The 4 Best Scopes For 308 [2020 Update]

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Today I’m going to show you the best scope for 308.

In fact:

I’ve hand-tested over 10 scopes alone for this review.

The best part?

I’ve sorted the scopes by use. So whether you’re on a budget or need the best hunting scope for 308, you’ll find it here.

Let’s dive in!

Why should you trust me?

Don’t.

If you’ve learned one thing from life is to never trust anyone. I took that advice to heart.

Rather than blindly taking people’s word on the best scope, I decided to test their claims.

So I bought every good scope recommendation out there. Gun forums, Youtube videos, 308 scope guides, shooting magazines, etc.

I read everything and only bought what seemed to be the best. Tried each scope, one-by-one. And what you see down below are the only ‘golden’ survivors from the test.

So, feel free to take a look. If any of them call for you, give it a test. That’s the only surefire way you’ll find your best 308 scope.

The 4 Best Scope For 308

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best 308 scopes:

  1. Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×50: Best Overall Scope for 308.
  2. Vortex Razor HD II 4.5-27×56: Best Long Range Scope for 308.
  3. Leupold Mark 6 3-18×44: Best Leupold Scope for 308.
  4. Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24×50: Best Scope for 308 AR.

1. Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×50: Best Overall Scope for 308

Let me start out by saying that the Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×50 is the only .308 rifle scope that you’ll ever need.

In fact, it outperforms all other 308 tactical scopes in dawn or dusk low light conditions.

I’ve tried many different scopes on my rifle and this has quickly become my favorite.

If you’re looking to make the most out of your .308, read on to find out why this is the scope for you.


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass clarity was evident to me the first time I sighted in this scope. Out of all the scopes I’ve tried, this is by far the clearest.

It has edge blackened lenses, which greatly cuts down on glare, and the DiamondCoat 2 used on the lenses has a higher light transmission. It also has a TwilightMax light management system, designed to give you a clear, bright sight picture in dim lighting.

What all this means for you is that you’ll easily be able to spot your prey at any time, even with poor lighting conditions.

And if that isn’t enough, it has a heavy Duplex reticle, which stands out in low light, making it even easier to see your target.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

I found the eye relief on the Leupold VX-3i to be quite generous.

It is 4.4 for low magnification and 3.6 for high magnification, which lets you get a more natural head position and makes looking through your scope more comfortable.

The nice, wide field of view you get from the eyebox makes it perfect for hunting in open areas (or hog hunting), letting you cover a bigger area.


Durability

When looking for the best budget scope for 308, you’ll want to know that it has some durability. This scope not only meets that expectation, it goes above and beyond.

Leupold puts every rifle scope through their recoil simulation machine, aptly named the Punisher, which has three times the force of the .308 recoil. It’s also made with high quality aluminum and is completely waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.

Also, the ultra lightweight design helps to disperse the recoil energy, which means not only is it more comfortable and easier to carry around, it also helps prevent internal damage and doesn’t mess up your zero.

If that’s not enough to convince you, I’ve personally knocked it off the back of my truck and dropped it in a mud puddle. It still worked perfectly for me.

Not to mention, it comes with a lifetime warranty and Leupold’s customer service is fantastic. I know this from first-hand experience


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage turrets are incredibly reliable.

It’s an easy, precise ¼ MOA finger click to adjust the turrets and they are crisp to the touch.

I was able to get it zeroed within 50 shots easily and it holds zero better than any other scope I’ve ever owned.

The turrets do make long range shooting a little more difficult though, because they don’t have a stop or reset function. Fortunately, I don’t do a lot of super long range shooting, but if you do, you can buy a model with a custom dial system (CDS).

Or you can check out my list of the best long range rifle scopes.


Parallax & Magnification

The magnification for this scope is 3.5-10x, making it better for short to medium ranges, although it can handle some long range as well.

With the 308, medium range at 150 to 300 yards is ideal. You’ll need 6-9x magnification here, making the Leupold VX-3i perfect for the job.

If you like target shooting or shooting with an M1A, it easily accommodates short range as well. The focus is quick and very clear, so much so that I was easily able to see the holes on my paper target at 100 yards.

At 10x you’ll be pushing it to the limit for 350 yards and out, but the long range is still manageable.

The magnification turns easily, so you’ll be able to adjust quickly to different terrain and you won’t even have to lift your head to verify the power setting.

It doesn’t have a parallax adjustment, but it is factory set at 100 yards. At 10-50 yards, the field of view is pretty limited, so keep that in mind. Since most people, myself included, use their rifles for 100 yards and beyond, I don’t find this to be a big problem.


Mounting & Rings

This scope doesn’t come with any kind of mount or rings.

So I’d recommend using 1” high Leupold Standard Scope Rings.

It comes with a durable bikini-style lens cover, but if you want some added protection when you’re not using your scope, I’d invest in a Leupold Scope Cover.

Sale
Leupold Scope Cover, Small (53572)
  • Small - 8.5" w/20mm Objective
  • Made of water-resistant, nylon-laminated neoprene
  • Protects your scope from dirt and damage

Is the Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×50 worth it?

If you’re looking for the overall best 308 scope, I definitely think this is the one for you.

It has:

  • Durability
  • Light weight
  • Low light visibility
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Great glass clarity
  • Precise, reliable turrets
  • Variable magnification (3.5-10x)

To put it simply:

The Leupold VX-3i is well suited for any application in which you’d use your 308.

You’ll be able to get an accurate sight picture whether you’re hunting in open fields or dense foliage. Plus, with the TwilightMax, you’ll easily be able to get an extra 20 minutes of hunting time at dawn or dusk.

You get the best budget 308 scope without having to skimp on quality. The lifetime warranty also guarantees that you’ll always be happy with the performance of your scope.

So if you want to make the most out of your 308, try the Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×50 and you won’t be sorry.

Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x50mm Riflescope
  • Model #170684 - VX-3i 3.5-10x50mm with Duplex reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
  • DiamondCoat 2 - Ion-assist lens coating for higher light transmission and the greatest level of abrasion resistance

2. Vortex Razor HD II 4.5-27×56: Best Long Range Scope for 308

Vortex knocked it out of the park with the HD II 4.5-27×56 riflescope.

In fact, I think it’s the best long range scope for 308 rifles. The glass is clear, the reticle is awesome, and the magnification can’t be beat.

Ready to find out more? Read on…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

In a word, the glass clarity on this scope is amazing.

Even at maximum zoom, I can clearly make out every single detail of my target. There’s no blurriness or distortion.

This is because Vortex used a special APO Lens Index Matching system and premium, high density glass to make sure you get the clearest image. Light transmission is also great, because the scope is fully multi-coated with a special XR Plus coating. This special coating eliminates glare, too.

Now for the reticle.

The Razor HD II uses a First Focal Plane Mrad Reticle.

The holdover lines grow as you zoom, which is fantastic for long range shooting. And the reticle is etched into the lens, so you don’t have to worry about the holdover subtensions ever straying.

The holdover lines on the reticle are really useful at long range. No more guesswork! (Looking to improve your accuracy? Check out this handy guide.)

As an added bonus, the reticle is illuminated too. There are 11 different brightness settings, and the brightness adjuster is built into the parallax adjustment knob on the side of the scope.

This is great because you can switch between the different brightness settings easily while in the shooting position. The lowest two settings are even compatible with night vision.

In fact, I think the reticle makes this the best hunting scope for 308.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

Eye relief for this scope sits at a nice 3.7 inches.

This is plenty of space to settle in and find a comfortable eyebox. And since you’ll want to take your time lining up those long distance shots, that comfort level is important. I run this scope on my M1A for long-distance target shooting and it’s a very pleasant shooting experience.

Plus, at 3.7 inches, you won’t have to worry about scope bite on higher recoiling rifles.


Durability and Weight

This scope is built like a tank.

The whole tube is made from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum. Single tube construction is always the toughest because it doesn’t have any seams or weak points.

Also, the innards are O-ring sealed and argon purged to make sure that they are completely waterproof and fogproof.

Plus, the lenses are coated with a special Armotek coating that protects the scope’s lenses from dust, dirt, oil, and scratches.

All of these features come at a weight cost, though. The scope itself weighs almost 5 pounds. This is my only real complaint about the Razor HD II; it’s definitely not lightweight!

However, since I almost always use this scope from a prone shooting position, it’s not really that big of an issue for me.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage knobs on this scope are easy to use and reliable.

Field adjustments can be made easily by hand. The turrets produce a very solid click that I can not only hear, but can feel too. And at .01mil per click, I am able to make very precise adjustments. Also, the elevation turret locks into place when you are done adjusting, so that you don’t make any accidental adjustments once you are set and ready to go.

There’s even a visual indicator to show you how many full revolutions you’ve made on the elevation turret.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Razor HD II uses special L-Tech turrets that have a hard stop to make returning to zero quick and easy.

Speaking of zeroing, this scope uses a unique adjustment system to set your zero.

Rather than clicks, the zero is set using free spinning adjustments. This allows you to be even more precise than .01mil when setting your zero.

You’ll need to use the special tools included in the package to set and lock your zero. I was able to zero in easily within a few shots, and I haven’t noticed any straying.


Parallax & Magnification

There is a parallax adjustment knob located right on the side of the scope. This makes parallax adjustments quick and easy.

The magnification on the HD II is incredible. You get variable 4.5-27x zoom. Even at 27x, I haven’t noticed any fuzziness or blurring of the image.

This 6x zoom range means you can easily pick out (and pick off) targets at distances of up to 1000 yards. It’s basically a rifle-mounted telescope!

This great magnification makes this the best scope for 308 long range shooting.


Rings & Accessories

The Razor HD II comes with a battery, cleaning cloth, and adjustment tools included in the package. It also ships with a sunshade for daytime shooting.

But, it doesn’t come with any mounting hardware.

I recommend using the Vortex Precision Matched Rings (34mm High) to get the scope mounted to your long-distance rifle of choice.

Vortex Optics Precision Matched Riflescope Rings
  • These Vortex Precision Matched Rings position the center of the riflescope tube at a height of 1.00 inches (25.4 mm) from the base. Will only work with Picatinny spec mounts—will not work with...
  • Our Precision Matched Rings are kept in pairs throughout the manufacturing process — ensuring perfection from one set to another.
  • We start with certified USA 7075 T6 billet aluminum and hold it to an extremely tight tolerance of .0005 using our precision Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) mill.

Also, since it doesn’t come with any lens caps, I bought some Vortex Defender Flip Caps (Size E-10 for the eyepiece and O-56 for the objective lens.)

Vortex Optics Defender Flip Caps
3 Reviews
Vortex Optics Defender 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 Razor HD II 4.5-27×56 worth it?

All in all, the Vortex Razor HD II is a fantastic riflescope for long-range precision shooting and hunting.

It’s got:

  • 4.5-27x zoom
  • Crystal clear glass
  • Easy parallax adjustment
  • Solid, durable construction
  • L-Tek turrets with hard stop on zero
  • Etched, illuminated, FFP MRAD reticle

And if all that wasn’t enough, the Razor HD II is protected under the Vortex Unlimited Lifetime VIP Warranty. So if anything ever happens to your scope, you know you’re fully covered.

So if you’re looking to buy the best scope for long-range shooting, look no further than the Vortex Razor HD II.

Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 3-18x50 FFP Riflescope EBR-2C MRAD
  • The Razor HD Gen II 3-18x50 riflescope is feature rich and deadly accurate; perfect for advanced precision shooting operations. The glass-etched EBR-2C MRAD reticle has 11 illumination intensities and...
  • Built for dialing in long-range, precision shots, the L-TEC Turret System features a locking mechanism that prevents accidental elevation adjustments. A visual rotation indicator allows shooters to...
  • A 6x zoom range offers magnification versatility while the fast focus eyepiece adjusts the reticle into sharp focus. Side parallax adjustment and illumination controls have been integrated into one...

Need a scope for your Ruger 10/22? Check out my list of the top choices.


3. Leupold Mark 6 3-18×44: Best Leupold Scope for 308

Are you a big fan of Leupold? Then get the Leupold Mark 6 3-18×44.

Not only is it one of the top choices for my 308 rifle, but it’s also a favorite among the military and law enforcement.

Why?

Keep reading and all will be revealed…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

Leupold always delivers crystal clear glass and the Mark 6 is no exception.

It has the TwilightMax HD light management system, which provides edge to edge HD clarity while also cutting back on glare, making it easy to see a clear, bright sight picture in low light conditions.

On top of that, it has DiamondCoat 2 on the lenses, allowing for higher light transmission, and a dial illumination control so you can adjust to the brightness level that works best for you.

All that to say, the Leupold Mark 6 delivers the best sight picture you’ll find for long range hunting or tactical shooting. And it’s got your covered for short-medium range hunting (like varmint hunting) too.

My favorite part of this scope is the Front Focal H59 reticle.

The mil increments of the reticle stay the same, no matter the magnification, so you can easily estimate range at all magnification settings.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief is significantly large at 3.8 for low magnification and 3.9 for high magnification.

Personally, I found that the critical eye relief wasn’t as picky about head position as some of the other scopes that I’ve tried, making it a lot easier to use at extreme long ranges.

You also get a wide field of view from the eyebox.


Durability

I can’t say enough about my love for the Leupold brand. They make the most durable scopes around.

The Mark 6 is made of high quality aluminum, which not only makes it lightweight and easy to carry around, but it also adds some protection to the scope. This is because it can disperse the recoil energy to help prevent internal damage.

It’s also waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof and has been tested to withstand the harshest weather conditions.

I’ve taken it on a hike through a downpour, dropped it a few times and tossed around in the back of my pick up truck…and it was STILL dead accurate.

Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty 🙂


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage dials make long range shooting easy.

These turrets feature an auto-locking pinch and turn adjustment. The pinch turrets make it easy to set an elevation and know that it will stay there. They also make an audible clicking sound, so you know just how much you’re adjusting.

But what about zeroing?

It was a painless process and took no time at all. Once I got it sighted in, I just set the zero stop and it hasn’t lost it’s zero yet.

The one drawback that I came across was getting started.

The instruction manual for the turrets and zeroing was not very clear. In the end, I turned to the internet and got everything set up perfectly.


Parallax & Magnification

The Leupold Mark 6 has a variable magnification of 3-18x.

With a wide range of power, this scope is the best scope for a 308 bolt action rifle and other cartridge, like 6.5 creedmoor.

The field of view at 3x and all the way out to 18x is wide with no serious distortions, making long range shots deadly accurate even at close to 1000 yards.

This scope has parallax adjustment on the side, so you can quickly focus it from any position.

However, the parallax knob is a little touchy for my taste. But since I don’t need it that often, I haven’t found it to be a huge problem.


Mounting & Rings

The Leupold Mark 6 doesn’t come with a mount or rings.

So I bought 34” medium Leupold rings.

And since I wanted to easily adjust the magnification knob, I bought a Leupold throw lever.

Leupold, Mark 6 Throw Lever Matte
  • For Leupold Mark 6 Series Rifle Scopes
  • Made of anodized aluminum

Finally, to keep my scope safe and clean when not in use, I invested in a Leupold Scope Cover.

Sale
Leupold Scope Cover, Small (53572)
  • Small - 8.5" w/20mm Objective
  • Made of water-resistant, nylon-laminated neoprene
  • Protects your scope from dirt and damage

Is the Leupold Mark 6 3-18×44 worth it?

For military, law enforcement, or long range shooting, this scope is the one to beat.

It has:

  • Lightweight
  • Tactical turrets
  • Excellent glass
  • Low light visibility
  • Rugged durability
  • Precision accuracy

In a nutshell:

The Mark 6 is the best 308 rifle scope for tactical units and long range hunters.

For military or law enforcement that are already carrying a lot of extra equipment or hunters hiking long distances to find game, having full size features on a compact size scope is a game changer.

Plus, you’re getting high quality optics on a scope that’s built to last. Backed by Leupold’s lifetime warranty, the Mark 6 is the only tactical scope you’ll ever need to own.

If that all sounds like the perfect scope for you, try the Leupold Mark 6 3-18×44. I promise you won’t regret it.


4. Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24×50: Best Scope for 308 AR

The Vortex Viper HS-T is the best long-range scope for the 308 AR.

In fact, I’ve used this scope on multiple tactical shooting, hunting, and long-range operations (1000+ yards).

And trust me when I tell you this: the Viper HS-T is the scope for your 308 AR.

Here’s why…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass is insanely crisp and clear.

It comes with fully multi-coated, extra-low dispersion lenses, which gives me a clear view and bright image.

It’s equipped with a VMR-1 reticle: a hashmark-based second focal plane reticle.

So the reticle remains the same size regardless of your magnification, making it perfect for precise holds at longer ranges.

This model isn’t illuminated, which may be a downside if you like night hunting, but it does have a reflective quality, improving visibility.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

The .308 round packs a mean punch and produces quite a bit of recoil.

But good news:

The HS-T has 4-inches of forgiving eye relief, which keeps me from getting hit in the eye.

However, the eye box is a little bit narrow for me. But with a bit of extra effort on adjustment, I can still get the perfect cheek weld for swift and easy target acquisition.


Durability

Three words: waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof.

And since the lenses come with Armortek, they don’t get scratched or broken easily.

It’s super reliable not only because it’s made from aircraft-grade aluminum, but because it has a hard-anodized finish.

Overall, extremely durable.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage turrets are smooth and crisp. They have very positive tactile feedback.

It comes with a fiber optic radius bar that’s very helpful for quick, full turns.

The best part?

The HS-T is equipped with the Customizable Rotation Stop (CRS).

Within three rounds, I was able to zero the scope without difficulty. It also holds zero well.

After firing over 50 rounds, the turrets tracked true and proved to be reliable.


Parallax & Magnification

The 6-24x variable magnification makes it great for long-range tactical shooting and open environments.

The scope stays accurate up to about 18x. Although I find it turns somewhat fuzzy around the edges at 24 power, the center remains crisp and clear.

The magnification ring has a visible red stop at 18x, which you can feel when turning it. So there’s no need to look up to make sure you’re on the correct magnification for range estimation.

The parallax adjustment goes from 50 yards to infinity, giving me optimal image focus at different yards.

Speaking of yards, I like how the knobs are labels with the yardage on the side instead of on the front lens. This makes it much easier to reach out and adjust when transitioning from different distances.


Mounting & Rings

Unfortunately, mounts and rings aren’t included.

So I mounted the HS-T with a Vortex Cantilever 30mm Mount (2” Offset). It’s incredibly durable and barely adds weight to my build.

Vortex Optics Sport Cantilever Riflescope Mounts
931 Reviews
Vortex Optics Sport Cantilever Riflescope Mounts
  • Use this cantilever mount for mounting 30 mm telescopic sights onto flattop style rifles.
  • The 2-inch offset of this cantilever mount positions the scope in a forward location, allowing the correct eye relief and head placement on your rifle.
  • The cantilever ring mount positions the center of the riflescope tube at a height of 1.59 inches (40.39 mm) from the base. Weighs 6.7 ounces.

Also:

It does come with a sun shade, cleaning cloth, and bikini lens cover. But if you prefer flip caps (like myself), I suggest Vortex’s Defender Flip Cap Eyepiece (Eye Piece Size: E-10, 41.5-46mm) (Objective Size: O-50, 55-59mm).

Vortex Optics Defender Flip Caps
3 Reviews
Vortex Optics Defender 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.

These caps keep the image through my HS-T crystal clear without a ton of dust distorting my view.


Is the Vortex Viper HS-T worth it?

If you’re looking for a scope with a long lineup of excellent features AND a low price tag, get the Viper HS-T 6-24×50.

Here’s why: it’s got…

  • Clear glass
  • 6-24x Magnification
  • Second Focal Plane
  • Great eye-relief distance
  • Precise, target-style turrets
  • Waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof build

And to top it all off, if you’re worried about breaking this optic, Vortex’s Lifetime VIP warranty has you covered: no receipts required, they will repair or replace it without charge.

All in all, the Vortex HS-T 6-24×50 is a fantastic scope if you’re into long-range shooting, and still exceptional for everything else.

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50 SFP Riflescope VMR-1 MOA
  • The Viper HS-T 6-24x50 is one of multiple configurations in the Viper HS-T (Hunting & Shooting Tactical) line. VMR-1 Reticle (MOA) is perfect for accurate holds at extended ranges . Featured length of...
  • Incorporating our premium, fully multi-coated, extra-low dispersion lenses brings excellent resolution and color fidelity. The XR coatings provide enhanced light gathering capability while Armortek...
  • The exposed target-style turrets are constructed for precise and repeatable finger-adjustable clicks. A CRS Zero Stop allows for reliable return to zero capability after dialing temporary elevation...

Do you want to check out another superb riflescope that’s also on my list? Head over to my review of the Leupold-VX-R.


Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best scope for 308 guide.

So as a recap:

If you’re looking for the best overall scope for 308, get the Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×50.

Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x50mm Riflescope
  • Model #170684 - VX-3i 3.5-10x50mm with Duplex reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
  • DiamondCoat 2 - Ion-assist lens coating for higher light transmission and the greatest level of abrasion resistance

How about the best long range scope for 308? Then opt-in for Vortex Razor HD II 4.5-27×56.

Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 3-18x50 FFP Riflescope EBR-2C MRAD
  • The Razor HD Gen II 3-18x50 riflescope is feature rich and deadly accurate; perfect for advanced precision shooting operations. The glass-etched EBR-2C MRAD reticle has 11 illumination intensities and...
  • Built for dialing in long-range, precision shots, the L-TEC Turret System features a locking mechanism that prevents accidental elevation adjustments. A visual rotation indicator allows shooters to...
  • A 6x zoom range offers magnification versatility while the fast focus eyepiece adjusts the reticle into sharp focus. Side parallax adjustment and illumination controls have been integrated into one...

Looking for the best leupold scope for 308? Choose Leupold Mark 6 3-18×44.

Lastly, if you are looking for the best scope for 308 AR, I’d recommend Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24×50.

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50 SFP Riflescope VMR-1 MOA
  • The Viper HS-T 6-24x50 is one of multiple configurations in the Viper HS-T (Hunting & Shooting Tactical) line. VMR-1 Reticle (MOA) is perfect for accurate holds at extended ranges . Featured length of...
  • Incorporating our premium, fully multi-coated, extra-low dispersion lenses brings excellent resolution and color fidelity. The XR coatings provide enhanced light gathering capability while Armortek...
  • The exposed target-style turrets are constructed for precise and repeatable finger-adjustable clicks. A CRS Zero Stop allows for reliable return to zero capability after dialing temporary elevation...

That said, you can’t go wrong with any of these options. After all, I have hand and torture tested all the above scopes, and proved to be reliable.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which rifle scope will you pick for your 308?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

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