4 Best Scopes for 243 [2020 Update]

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Not sure what scope to get for your .243 rifle?

Look no further.

I’ve tested ALL the best scopes for 243 rifles (plus .243 scope mounts and accessories).

By the end of this guide, you’ll find the perfect optic for your .243 rifle.

Let’s get started!

The 4 Best Scopes for .243

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best .243 scopes:

  1. Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-9×40: Best .243 Scope
  2. Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50: Best Long Range Scope
  3. Burris 3-9×40 Fullfield II: Best Budget Hunting Scope
  4. Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×40: Best for Varmint Hunting

1. Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-9×40: Best .243 Scope

The Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-9×40 is the best .243 scope.

Why?

Keep reading to find out.


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass is clear as day.

In fact, I’m able to comfortably use it both during the day and at night.

Vortex Optics Diamondback rear optic
Via: GY6vids

This is due to the fully multi-coated lens and 40mm objective lens.

But what about the reticle?

It’s a Dead-Hold BDC reticle set in the second focal plane (SFP).

Vortex Optics Diamondback reticle
Via: GY6vids

Which means, consistent reticle size at all magnification levels.

But my favorite feature is the fast focus eyepiece.

You simply turn the eyepiece knob and it’ll focus the reticle within seconds. This is super helpful when you’re out hunting big game or even target shooting.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

The 3.3 – 3.5 inches of eye relief is a bit short…

…especially at higher magnifications.

Vortex Optics Diamondback eyebox
Via: GY6vids

So don’t put this scope on a rifle that kicks. Also, I wouldn’t recommend taking it for hunting. I’d primarily use it for benchrest shooting and plinking.


Durability

The Diamondback can take any abuse.

Due to its hard, anodized finish on the surface and its high quality construction of aircraft-grade aluminum, this 243 rifle scope will withstand any drop.

It’s even waterproof, shockproof and even fogproof.

So if you like to hunt in various conditions, this will work perfectly.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The capped reset turrets make adjusting easy.

I love the pop-up dials for its simple and precise adjustment. It’s audible, easy to read and precise.

Vortex Optics Diamondback zoom dial
Via: GY6vids

The turrets allow the scope to zero reset after sight-in.

Which means no more readjusting every time you decide to shoot at another distance.

But what about zeroing?

The Diamondback holds zero well, even after 50 rounds! I recommend setting it at 100, 200, even 300 yards for a perfect shot.


Parallax & Magnification

The 3-9x magnification is versatile.

The parallax is set at 100 yards and the focus range goes to infinity and beyond.


Mounting & Rings

I mounted it on a Vortex Viper Extended Cantilever Mount. It’s durable, lightweight and holds zero.

Vortex Optics Pro Extended Viper 30mm Cantilever Mount
490 Reviews
Vortex Optics Pro Extended Viper 30mm Cantilever Mount
  • Sport type: Hunting
  • Made with pride in the USA.
  • Vortex Pro 30mm cantilever ring mount provides the correct height and forward placement for proper scope mounting.

Also, the bikini caps that came with it didn’t cut it.

Vortex Optics Diamondback mount
Via: GY6vids

So I invested in some quality Vortex Defender Flip Caps (size: E-10 & O-40)

Vortex Optics Defender Riflescope Flip Caps
  • Virtually indestructible, the Defender is the most versatile and durable flip cap on the market, this is the last flip cap you'll ever need
  • A stainless steel spring flips the cap into multiple stop positions at 45 and 90 degrees
  • Made in the USA

Is the Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-9×40 worth it?

If you’re looking for the best 243 BDC scope for 243 rifles, this is it.

Here’s what I liked about it:

  • Durable
  • Clear clarity
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Capped reset turrets

It also comes with a lifetime warranty. So if your scope breaks or malfunctions, Vortex will repair it for free.

I highly recommend the Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-9×40 scope for its multi-function shooting, impressive fast and focus bdc reticle, and the budget-friendly price.


2. Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50: Best Long Range Scope

The Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 is a fantastic long-range rifle scope.

In fact:

I think it’s the best scope for a 243 Winchester.

Here’s why…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass on the Vortex Viper is fantastically clear.

The image is bright and crisp, thanks to the large 50mm objective lens. The clarity holds up even at the highest zoom settings.

Vortex Viper 6 glass clarity
Via: GunGuyTV

This is because Vortex Optics used their specialized XR coating to fully multi-coat the scope lenses. These features are great for long range shooting.

Speaking of long range shooting, this 243 scope uses a Dead-Hold BDC reticle.

The pro? It estimates holdover, windage, and even bullet drop for you. Which means, no more guessing!

Also, the reticle is set in the second focal plane.

This means that the reticle doesn’t grow when you zoom in, so it won’t obscure your target. Also, since the reticle size doesn’t change, you can use the holdover lines at any magnification.

Vortex Viper 6 reticle
Via: Vortex Optics

In short, the Dead-Hold BDC reticle is great for long range hunting and target shooting.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief on the Vortex Viper is a nice, easy 3.1 inches.

This is plenty of room for high-recoiling rifles. You can definitely put this scope on your hunting rifle and not worry about any bite.

I found the eye box was nice and easy to settle in to — just like the TRS-25.

Vortex Viper 6 zoom
Via: GunGuyTV

However, I did find that the eye box was a little tight at max magnification. But that’s to be expected from any scope 🙂


Durability

This scope is very durable.

The tube is constructed from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum. Single-piece tubes are much stronger than multi-piece tubes and the Viper is no exception!

It’s also completely waterproof and fogproof. And if that wasn’t enough, Vortex coated the lenses with their Armortek anti-scratch coating, so the glass is scratch proof too.

After using the Viper on multiple hunting trips, I’ve found that it can take about any condition.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

I love the turrets!

They adjust with clear, audible clicks. The included turret caps are nice and snug.

Vortex Viper 6 windage turret
Via: GunGuyTV

And, thanks to the Precision-Force Spring System in the knobs, the turrets are dead-on when it comes to repeatability and ease of adjustments.

In fact, I can easily make adjustments with gloves on in the cold. This is great for those long hunting trips!


Parallax & Magnification

The magnification is versatile.

You can go from 6.5x to 20x zoom very easily and smoothly. The Viper uses Vortex’s Precision-Glide Erector System to make sure that the zoom is smooth and consistent, and I can feel the difference when I’m in the field.

Also, I really like the MAG-Bar. It’s very easy to use in the field, and I can see my zoom level from the shooting position. This is really useful when ranging my targets.

Vortex Viper 6 parralax
Via: GunGuyTV

Speaking of ranging, the Viper comes with a side parallax adjustment knob, so you don’t have to worry about any crosshair wiggle when you zoom in. You can also see the range numbers on the parallax knob while in the shooting position. This is great when you need to adjust after zooming in on a distant target.


Mounting & Rings

The Vortex Viper doesn’t ship with any rings or mounts. If you don’t have any, I recommend using a 30mm High Viper Pro Riflescope Rings.

Vortex Viper 6 scope
Via: GunGuyTV

Also, the scope comes with cheap slip-on scope caps. So I’d replace them with quality Vortex Optics Defender Flip-up Scope Caps (E-10, O-50).

Vortex Optics Defender Riflescope Flip Caps
  • Virtually indestructible, the Defender is the most versatile and durable flip cap on the market, this is the last flip cap you'll ever need
  • A stainless steel spring flips the cap into multiple stop positions at 45 and 90 degrees
  • Made in the USA

And if you intend on shooting during daytime and want to reduce sun glare, I highly recommend getting Vortex’s 50mm Sunshade.

Vortex Optics Viper Riflescope 50 mm Sunshade
607 Reviews
Vortex Optics Viper Riflescope 50 mm Sunshade
  • Reduce glare and sun reflections off the objective lens by adding a 4-inch sunshade to your 50mm Viper riflescope.
  • This black anodized sunshade uses a screw-in assembly that attaches easily.
  • Designed specifically for the Viper 50mm riflescope to easily attach to these following models only: PST-5258, PST-5255, PST-5251, VHS-4310, VHS-4309, VHS-4315-LR, VHS-4307-LR, VHS-4307, VPR-M-06MD,...

Is the Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 worth it?

Overall, the Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 is an absolute beast of a long range rifle scope. It’s one of the best scopes on the market for long distance hunting and target shooting.

Here’s why. It’s got:

  • Clear glass
  • Incredible magnification
  • Reliable, easy-to-use turrets
  • Durable, weatherproof construction
  • Dead-Hold BDC second focal plane reticle

The best part?

The Viper comes with a lifetime warranty. So if anything happens to the scope, Vortex will repair it for free.

In short: if you’re looking for a high quality long range scope, then I’d highly recommend going with the Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50.


3. Burris 3-9×40 Fullfield II: Best Budget Hunting Scope

The Burris 3-9x40mm Fullfield II is one of the best budget scopes around.

In fact:

It costs less than $200 and could be used for anything from hunting big game to target shooting.

But is it worth the money compared to other scopes?

Let’s find out!


Glass Clarity & Reticle

When I first began looking for a budget scope, I thought I’d have to sacrifice glass quality/clarity to save money…

But with the Fullfield II you don’t have to.

In fact:

It significantly increased the accuracy of my aim and the range of my shot — even from 250 yards away.

How?

The Hi-Lume multi-coated lenses. This allows for great light transmission and clarity. However, the clarity isn’t as sharp in low light conditions.

Nonetheless, it works very well for daytime hunts and on non-overcast days, allowing for decent flexibility in technique.

What’s even better is the plex reticle.

Burries Fullfield II reticle
Via: Dgunnut

It’s a simple set of crosshairs with hash marks that help compensate for distance. And the surprising part was that the ballistic predictions were spot on!

At 100 yards, I hit the bullseye. At 200 yards, it was dead-on. Everything worked as intended.

The best part?

The reticle is just the right dimensions — not too thin or thick — making it easy to see through the scope.

And if you intend on hunting long-range, I’d recommend mounting a 1” Bubble Level. This will ensure your rifle is perfectly vertical.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

It has 3.1-3.4” of eye relief.

Burries Fullfield II Eyebox
Via: Dgunnut

That’s not too bad, especially for a budget optic. Good news is that the eye box is generous and doesn’t fatigue my eyes.


Durability

The Fullfield II is very durable.

Burries Fullfield II scope
Via: Dgunnut

It’s completely shockproof, fogproof and waterproof.

The best part?

It weighs only 13 ounces.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The ¼ MOA turrets aren’t too bad.

It clicks precisely and they’re easy to grip.

Burries Fullfield II windage and elev
Via: Dgunnut

However, they’re spongy. So I used a thin film of silicone grease to improve the turret’s movement. (Pro tip: a little goes a long way, so use sparingly!)

I had no problems with zeroing. In fact, it was super easy. After 6 or 7 rounds, I was locked in. And the Fullfield II held zero even after 200 rounds.


Parallax & Magnification

This scope is versatile.

With a magnification of 3-9, you can get up to around 200 yards shooting distance. This makes it great for small/large game hunting, defense and hunting in closed environments.

Unfortunately, it has no manual parallax adjustment to fix reticle drift.

Good news is I didn’t experience much parallax 🙂


Mounting & Rings

Mounts and rings are not included with the Fullfield II.

So I used 1” Burris Extreme Tactical Rings. They’re affordable and sturdy.

Burris XTR Rings 1 Inch Medium 420181, Black
136 Reviews
Burris XTR Rings 1 Inch Medium 420181, Black
  • Sport type: Hunting
  • 1/2-Inch size
  • 1 inch pair of rings

Also, since the Fullfield II doesn’t come with flip caps, I highly recommend investing in Butler Creek Lens Cover (E-13, O-25). It’ll protect your lens.


Is the Burris 3-9×40 Fullfield II Rifle Scope worth it?

If you’re looking for the best budget hunting scope, then get the Burris 3-9×40 Fullfield II.

It has everything you need for hunting:

  • Durability
  • Clear glass
  • Precise turrets
  • Versatile magnification

Plus, you’re backed with Burris’ Forever Warranty. So if your optic gets damaged, Burris will repair/replace it for free.

If this scope sounds like it’s for you, feel free to give it a shot.

Sale
BURRIS FullField II 3-9x40 Scope, Ballistic Plex Reticle, Matte Black (200162)
202 Reviews
BURRIS FullField II 3-9x40 Scope, Ballistic Plex Reticle, Matte Black (200162)
  • Popular and premium traditional hunting riflescope at an affordable price
  • High-grade optical glass provides excellent brightness and clarity with lasting durability
  • Quality, precision-ground lenses are larger than those of comparable scopes, for better light collection

4. Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×40: Best for Varmint Hunting

The Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×40 is the best scope for varmint hunting.

In fact, it’s great for small moving targets and plinking.

Why?

Let’s take a look…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass clarity is bright and vivid, even after dark.

Leupold VX3i glass
Via: My Extreme Hunting & Fishing

This is all due to its Twilight Max Light Management System. Which means no matter the lighting, you’re sure to get a clear view.

And the reticle?

Leupold VX3i reticle
Via: Leupold Optics

It’s a Duplex reticle that’s set in the second focal place (SFP). So when you change magnification, the reticle’s size remains the same. Which translates to more precise target shooting.

But I really love how the reticle is uncluttered, making any running varmint easy to shoot.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief is generous at 4.4 inches maximum.

But it does narrow to 3.6 inches at the higher end of the magnification range.

Leupold VX3i eye relief
Via: My Extreme Hunting & Fishing

So you may have to take it slow in adjusting to get it perfectly set.


Durability

The Leupold is ready to rumble.

It’s crafted from high quality aircraft-grade aluminum and is both nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed. In simple terms, it’s completely shockproof, waterproof and fogproof.

Even better is the twin bias erector spring.

It reduces backlash with adjustment repeatability and guards against point-of-impact shifts so you’ll have better accuracy.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The uncapped turrets have great functionality.

Due to their tactile construction, these turrets have great focus and magnification controls.

Leupold VX3i elevation and windage
Via: My Extreme Hunting & Fishing

I love how they make a smooth, audible clicking sound. So there’s always clear confirmation whenever I adjust them.

But how easy is zeroing?

I found that zeroing was simple and easy enough. It only took me five shots to zero in AND it actually remained there.


Parallax & Magnification

The 3.5-10x magnification offers a great view.

The parallax is set at 75 yards to infinity, so focusing on those smaller targets is a breeze.


Mounting & Rings

I mounted this scope on a Leupold 177093 Mark AR Integral Mount. It’s secure, ultra-lightweight, and it holds zero.

Sale
Leupold Mark Scope Mount
60 Reviews
Leupold Mark Scope Mount
  • Model #177093 - Mark scope mount in size 1" in Matte finish
Leupold VX3i mounts
Via: My Extreme Hunting & Fishing

But the included bikini caps aren’t my favorite.

So I recommend getting the Alumina Flip-Back Lens Cover (Standard EP).

Leupold Alumina Flip Back Lens Cover Standard Ep 59055
218 Reviews
Leupold Alumina Flip Back Lens Cover Standard Ep 59055
  • Model #59055 - Alumina flip back lens cover kit in standard EP

Is the Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×40 worth it?

If you’re looking for a scope to do varmint hunting or plinking, go for the Leupold VX-3i.

Here’s what I liked about it:

  • Quick zeroing
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Uncluttered reticle
  • DiamondCoat 2 lens

It also comes with lifetime warranty. If your scope is defected or gets damaged, Leupold will repair it, no questions asked.

That said, I highly recommend the Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×40 scope for its lightweight use, precise aiming, and reasonable price.


Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best scope for 243 guide.

So as a recap:

Out of all of the 243 scopes on this list, the best overall is the Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-9×40. It will perform above and beyond expectation.

If you want the best long range optic, then you’ll want the Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50.

When looking for the best .243 scope on a budget, then the Burris 3-9×40 Fullfield II is the way to go.

Sale
BURRIS FullField II 3-9x40 Scope, Ballistic Plex Reticle, Matte Black (200162)
202 Reviews
BURRIS FullField II 3-9x40 Scope, Ballistic Plex Reticle, Matte Black (200162)
  • Popular and premium traditional hunting riflescope at an affordable price
  • High-grade optical glass provides excellent brightness and clarity with lasting durability
  • Quality, precision-ground lenses are larger than those of comparable scopes, for better light collection

Lastly, if you are looking for the best hunting scope that works in low light conditions, then look no further than the Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×40.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which rifle scope will you pick for your .243?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

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