Best 308 Rifle scope of 2018 & Buying Guide
Choosing the best scope for a 308 rifle is easier than you think. The 308 is a rifle which is designed to shoot a bullet at a long distanced target. The 308 is about the best tactical rifle, but it’s not necessarily for only snipers. It’s a great rifle for hunting too, especially large and medium game.
Like every other gun users, the 308 rifle owners want the best gears to spice up their firearm and what better way than getting the best scope for their guns? We have listed and explained some basic and most important requirements to aid you in purchasing the best scope for your 308 rifles.
Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm
Leupold 115390 Mark AR Mod 1 3-9×40 mm
Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x42mm Mil Dot Reticle
Requirements for the best 308 Riflescope
1. Clarity and distance capability
Since 308 rifles are designed for long range shooting, scopes for such rifles should be precise up to 300 yards and above. If the riflescope is accurate only to 250 yards, but at increased magnification lacks clarity, the rifle will not be perfect for long distance shots, irrespective of the circumstance.
This does not mean there are not some wonderful short to medium range scopes which will work perfectly on a 308 rifle. There are. This simply means, overall, for 308 rifles, the scope isn’t the best.
When we talk about clarity, we mean a scope which does not show a view that is distorted at extended magnification and shows a very clear image view under both low light and bright light conditions.
The best 308 rifle scope should be one that satisfies its purpose. It might not be used in tight areas where limbs and branches might be an issue. But then, the lenses have a need for treatment to make them resistant to scratch.
The tube has to be sealed, usually filled with argon or nitrogen to resist fog, and should have a solid construction. The riflescope’s interior parts are protected by the sealing and filling with gas which makes it more durable. What the riflescope is made of should be given consideration, because you need something that is not going to get damaged easily. It’s also important for the scope to be shock resistant because hard recoil can occur on a 308 rifle. Most 308 rifles are usually bolt action; hence, the best scope for a 308 rifle must be able to resist the shock that occurs from the locking into place of the bolt.
Buying a quality rifle scope means it should take a long period before it is replaced for the same purpose, assuming that the scope is well maintained. Thus, the scope needs to be well built and durable. Naturally, it is not easy to know how durable a scope will be. There are yet some indicators which would prove how long the scope is likely to last for.
3. Easy to use
Great scopes shouldn’t be hard to use, should be easy to decrease or increase magnification and should not take too much time in sighting them in. After sighting in, a good scope should remain steady, so it’s not necessary for it to be sighted again after the rifle has fired a few rounds. This is important not only for a 308 but all riflescopes. However, this is essential for long range scopes. If a scope doesn’t remain sighted in at 400 yards, a shooter can miss his target if it’s not aligned even slightly.
The dials have to be simple to adjust and to read. The scope’s eye relief has to be comfortable, and the reticle has to be clear. If the scope’s eye relief is not right or its reticle is not clear, it isn’t simple to use.
The objective lens’ diameter is important too. A longer diameter will show a better view, which will make it easier finding and tracking a target. The scope is not simple to use if finding your target is difficult.
A high grade 308 scope and a cheaper one could have a big difference in their cost. Normally, the high-quality scopes cost much. But this shouldn’t be true for all situations. What the rifle and scope will be used for is a major factor.
For instance, with less than $50, you can get compact tactical riflescopes which are of high quality. However, these scopes are usually light weight, with an objective lens of about 32mm, and mostly do not have variable magnification. They are mainly less than 8 inches long too. Though these scopes are good, they wouldn’t fit for long range shooting like targeting a moving elk or deer. However, they might be okay for hunters who are likely shooting at a game less than 100 yards.
On the other hand, there are 308 rifles copes which cost more than $1000. As expected, the expensive scopes usually have high-quality components and more features. So before buying a scope, it is advisable to consider the purpose of the scope carefully. We know that ‘cheap’ implies an inferior product, but this doesn’t apply always. Also, that a rifle scope is very costly does not mean it’s the best .308 riflescope. As important as the price is, it certainly is not the most important factor that requires consideration. The best .308 Riflescope will probably be within the range of $350 and $1000.
With all these requirements in mind, we will now look at the best scopes for a 308 rifle.
1. Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope
The Nikon M-308 scopes are designed specifically for high-grade long distance rifles like the 308. The M-308 displays a nice view at a maximum of 25-inch magnification, with an objective lens of 42mm. Though it’s got a 1 inch tube and sturdy build, also it weighs a little over 1 pound, quite okay for a 308. Its length is about 1 foot, which is reasonable for a 308, most especially if the scope will be used for elk and deer hunting.
The M-308 is both fog proof and waterproof, which makes it convenient for use in any weather. With a light transmission of about 95%, it will work in both dim lighting and bright lighting. It is adjustable up to 25 inch, which gives room for easy adjustment for accuracy at short and long range.
The Nikon M-308 has a 4 inches eye relief and is about 13 inches long, which makes it convenient to use. Its sturdy build makes it the best 308 AR scope. It’s also great for 308 rifles used for long range shooting and hunting big game.
- 42mm objective lens and 4-inch eye relief
- Magnification up to 25 inch
- Light transmission of 95%
- Fog proof and waterproof
- BDC 800 reticle
- Bright completely multi-coated optical system
This scope has a bullet drop compensator (BDC) 800 reticle that helps in the adjustment of the rifle trajectory due to the effect of gravity on the bullet. This is essential for the sighting in of the scope and shooting. The scope also has custom turrets, parallax adjustment and side focus.
The disadvantage of purchasing the scope is that it does not come with a mount. This shouldn’t be an issue anyway because purchasing quality mounts isn’t a bad idea. Though this scope isn’t cheap, but with good maintenance, it should last a long period. The Nikon M-308 is the best 308 riflescope for hunting and long distance.
2. Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x42mm Mil Dot Reticle
The name Bushnell is associated with very high graded riflescopes, and the Elite 6500 is quite perfect for 308 rifles. The riflescope is solidly built. After sighting in, the scope can handle 308 recoils easily. It also works well with bolt action rifles.
The scope has consistently and exceptionally clear optics which are multi-coated for durability of the lenses. The Elite 6500 is filled with nitrogen and is shockproof, fog proof and waterproof. The scopes have to pull and push turrets and are zero resettable for easy and quick sighting in. Both the elevation adjustment and windage are resettable. It has a sunshade and side focus.
The mil dot reticle increases accuracy significantly, especially at long distances. This is one of many reasons the reticle has been made the standard for the most popular riflescopes, for both law enforcement agencies and the military. A possible disadvantage is that the riflescope needs to be carefully mounted on the tube and barrel to be leveled. Otherwise, the target can be missed. This should not be an issue for a pro. Besides, many gunsmiths can easily mount the scope without problems.
- 42mm objective lens with mil dot aiming reticle
- Multi-coated optics with excellent HD clarity
- Nitrogen filled for waterproof, shockproof and fog proof
- Push and pull turrets with zero resettable
- Magnum recoil resistant
The clarity, sighting ease, adjustments, field of view and durability of this rifle scope are all top notch. It’s perfect for a .308 rifle, whether for shots between 300-600 yards or 100-200 yards. It could be a little costly for beginners but is not bad for a great tactical scope. The Bushnell Elite 6500 is certainly the best 308 tactical riflescope.
3. Leupold 115390 Mark AR Mod 1 3-9×40 mm
Though the Leupold 115390 Mark AR costs less, the name Leupold is known for high-quality riflescopes, and the Mark AR isn’t any different. This riflescope has a Mil Dot reticle too for accuracy, and it’s the best Leupold Riflescope for 308.
The Mark AR is a little over a foot long and weighs about a pound. Its eye relief of between 3 and 4 inches makes shooting comfortable. The scope is Krypton and Argon filled to make it fog proof, irrespective of the temperature. The scope is shockproof, and its lenses are fully multi-coated which makes it waterproof. The Mark AR is built to withstand 308 rifles recoil.
For good color transmission and clarity in the field of view, this scope is the best choice. Though the mil dot reticle has made the scope perfect for tactical shooting, it’s excellent for beginners too. Leupold offers turrets which are zero resettable, specifically for 308 rifles too.
The Mark AR Mod 1 is exceptionally simple to use because of its wonderful optics. Acquiring the target is very easy, and after sighting in, the mil dot reticle makes estimating distances quite easy. The Mark AR Mod 1 comes with a manual on how to use the mil dot reticle to sight in.
Note that the magnification is 8.6 maximum, though it’s listed as 3-9variable. The difference is almost negligible when in use, so it’s only a minor drawback. For this, The Mark AR Mod 1 is not downgraded because the magnification difference is a minor issue. In fact, that the scope I developed in the USA makes it an easy compensation. Though the scope also is not lit, it is very clear, and its light transmission is so large that the scope works well in low-light environments too.
- 3-4 inches eye relief and 1inch main tube
- Mil-dot reticle for accuracy
- Multi-coated lenses for better light transmission and minimizes reflection for better image quality
- 6 maximum magnification
- 2ndgeneration Krypton/Argon waterproofing
The Mark AR Mod 1 is the best 308 scope for the money, because of its fair price. Its only disadvantage is the ease of use because the use of mil dot reticle requires some knowledge with practice.
Purchasing a scope for your 308 rifle depends on whether it’s for short or long range shots. Now that you’ve known the essential requirements of a great scope, the three listed riflescopes are just perfect for your 308 rifle, depending on whether for short or long range shooting.