Developed as a replacement fo the 30-06 Springfield cartridge, the 308 Winchester ,or better known in military terms as the 7.62 NATO came into being as a sporting round just because ti was at the time a military designated cartridge.
Develpeing a muzzle velocity just under the 30-06 but smaller and lighter weight as applied to grunts hump belts of the stuff across rough ground. The 308 Winchester has been a solid part of the US Army and other services as well as NATO for many years. Even today as applied to electric gatling guns, fixed mounted machine guns and assault weapons, the 308 is still in service.
My Picks For .308 Scope
- Leupold VX-3i - Best For Open Country Hunting
- Burris Xtreme Tactical XTR II
- Steiner Optics GS3 Game Sensing Rifle Scope
- Bushnell Engage
- Zeiss Conquest
- Burris Fullfield II Ballisitic Plex Rifle Scope
When the subject turns to finding a good scope for this pared rifle and cartridge, the options are many, but being the cartridge will perform very well to 800 yards. With better BC bullets to 1000 yards, the choice in optics will largely depend on the exact purpose you are thinking about when take up the 308 Winchester as a service or sporting round.
In my experiences which includes many years of hunting with the 308 and also shooting some competitive target work with same, I am leaning toward rifle scopes that are able to do more than put bullets into targets 200 or so yards away with accuracy. Being the 308 is a very able long range cartridge, the better grade glass with capabilities to send bullets with accuracy to the next zip code tend to fit my thought patterns regarding the subject.
In terms of selected rifles for examples of workable tools when testing scopes for the 308 caliber rifles, my best examples currenty in house are a Kimber’s Pro Tactical, Mossberg’s new Scout series bolt gun, and a Smith & Wesson AR-10. These three rifles have shot game, target events, and have been test base systems for new load development as they have come down the pike in the writing market over several years to date.
Best Scope for 308
1 Leupold VX-3i - Best for open country hunting
In terms of price point and performance for your money, the Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14 x 50 is a unit to consider as applied to scoping the 308 Winchester rifle. This scope retains no exposed turret adjustments, but these models can be obtained with those installed. The scope pictured here makes use of the Leupold Duplex cross hair and is not set up with sub tension adjustments as in MOA or MIL dot elevation references. However as the 308 is a dead on hair in the scopes cross hairs cartridge to at least 350 yards using a 200 yard zero, this is not an issue when applied to most whitetail hunting situations
When optics are built to push range a good deal further is when the use of open turrets and advanced sub tensions start to come into play.
Using the large 50mm objective lens the scope pulls light well. That can be everything to a deer hunter searching out his or her target at first light or the last ray of dusk used as a background against a target. Leupold glass is first rate and hand set into the main scope tube not glued like many others are. I run seven Leupold scopes with the 50mm forward bell applied to an elk rifle and others ranging from 6.5 Creedmoor rifles to my old school dead on the target Kimber styled M-24 308 Sniper rifle.
This scopes use 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum on the one piece main tube section, retain ¼ MOA click adjustments on the elevation and windage knobs, it also has ‘Dimond’ Coat surface protection installed on the exterior glass so as to provide scratch and pitting resistance
- Size: 14 x 3 x 2.75 inches
- Tube size / one inch medium to medium high rings. ( Need to clear the 50 mm bell. )
- Weight: 1.4 pounds
Recommended for open country hunting ( 308 Win ) where exact range is a known factor.
2 Burris Xtreme Tactical XTR II
Turning to the Burris Xtreme Tactical XTR II is a major move up in cost, but also a major move forward in terms of taking on added long range situations.
I have tested and use this scope on a number of 308s with very positive results. The glass will not distort with increased range. No dull sports or fringe fading as well. The Armalight 300 Win that it is mounted on currently has shoot clean to 1500 yards against human illustrated sniper targets, and also been tested as an area weapons system agains mortar and machine gun nests at 3/4 mile down range.
This scope retains a zero stop system when sub tensions are used for range extention along with turret adjustments ( halfing )
This scope makes use of a 34mm main tube and as such requires detailed mounting with the correct bases and rings. Glass quality is outstanding and this is one system that I have been able to talk over with representatives of Burris that were retired snipers in the sand box and as such indicated that optical quality was nothing less than excellent under combat field conditions. If that works for them a deer hunters should be home free when selecting this level of optical glass.
Reticle is illuminated and carries MOA graduations ( sub tensions )
This scope will produce 80 clicks per rotation. That being the elevation ability to the extreme and much more associated with the 308 winchester cartridge.
The MOA reticle is an F Class system. Scope in FFP
Recommend 175 grain bullets in high BC for 1000 yard work. The scope will handle the task well.
3 Trijicon TARS101 3-15-50
If you have money to burn and want the very high end rifle scope that will do anything ever needed for the 308 Winchester round, turning to the king of the glass sights Trijicon and the TARS 101 is the best game in town. This scope is a 34 mm main tube sniper scope with a boat load of MOA adjustment for elevation and windage. Run the best bullets possible in 308 Win because this glass can handle any range any situation and do so as a life time investment.
The scope uses a LED FFP system which is built of special hardened military grade aluminum ( MilSpec ) and will return a full 30 MOA per revolution of its turret knobs. The scope retains a full 150 MOA total travel. That is over over one mile in elevation as appid to several ultra long range cartridges and it will setting in the 30 cal 308 Win nicely to 1000 yards and ore all day long. If the bullet carries the correct BC and enough bullet rotation, this glass will carry the mail.
Length 13.9 inches lacking sun shade and a weight of 47 ounces. The scope is best fit on a chassis rifle receiver or large conventional bult gun. This is a big scope designed for very major down range work. I shoot a Trijicon 3.5 x 10 on a Winchester Model 70 in 22-250 Rem and have for many years. Never an issue and never a re:zero at any time. Class act as a rifle scope.
4 Steiner Optics GS3 Game Sensing Rifle Scope
This big game and varmint scope comes in three variations. The 4-20x50mm, 2-10x42 mm, and 3-15x50mm. This scope has been hard nosed tested in the field by me in two or three variations over as several year period in termzs of special project and load development assignments. The glass is very high quality and retains great light transmission with little if any fade or color ring dispersion at the edges of the lens
The scope uses a Plex reticle with both dots and lins so as to allow the shooter to use quick reference sub-tension adjustments through the lens versus moving to the open turret adjustments for elevation and windage. Elevation and wind range of adjustment re turrets 70 MOA.
In total the company builds five total models that make up this series of hunting scopes. Focal plane not indicated regarding my available information. My personnel scopes ( two ) are both in FFP designs.
5 Bushnell Engage
Here we have a scope that drops in price point but still offers features found on much higher priced glass sights. Bushnell builds them all, believe me as I shoot a very high grade sniper scope on my 338 Lapua for one mile target work. However, the company can bring togethers additional models that are less expensive and still do the job in the field. Here is a scope that retains the following aids when going afield armed with the 308 Winchester cartridge and paired rifle.
You can buy this scope in four different variants. The model in the low priced range is the 3-12x42 and that scope still returns an additional nine different options as well. Flexibility is the key here and there is a scope built buy Bushnell to fit every needs believe me on that one please.
6 Zeiss Conquest
Tailing off with the last of the heavy hitting high dollar scopes, the Zeiss Conquest comes to the forfront as a masterpieve in quality glass, open quick adjustable turrets with zero stop controls, and built to German rifle scope standards tht are in effect next to none in the industry.
Today with specialized rifles and even souped up performance, toads in older rounds like the 308 Winchester a scope like the V6 Conquest is right in line to press forward with perfect performance standards out to 1000 yards and beyond under the correct elevation, air temperature and barometric pressure rates.
I have been shooting this scope on the 308 Winchester Mossberg Scout Rifle for over six months to date. Shooting under natural field conditions I used the scope andrifle setup for a major windage control story, as well as when testing new loads as offered by Black Hills Ammunition, Sig Arms, and others.When testing was completed I proceeded to remount the scope on the receiver of the new British 303 Courteney by Uberti.
This glass is beyond good and with some crrection on some old eyes in this shooter the opticl picture corrects itself due to again very high grade lens grinding techniques.
This scope is contructed of aircraft grade aluminum for weight reduction and field strength. The turret knobs will put 103 clicks of MOA in the bank for windage correction, and the scope owns the valley for long range, or very precision shooting on game at shorter ranges.
This scope is powered at 3-18 x 50 with a BDC Turret. The scope measures 338 mm, with a weifht of 630g. This is a large scope but still within the fitting requirements of AR -10 and smaller receiver/ action turn bolt rifles. Turret knobs are massive on the large housing, the scope also retains a focus adjustment knob on the left side of the turret. These scopes are equipped with accurate one MOA sub-tensions, and as such are very workable for both hunting and target work. I readjust my turret settings using a DOPE card, and notes for the exact bullet I am shooting in the field based on drop tables and real time target work. Turret settings are totally repeatable when moved off the zero mark, and there is no target fade in low or poor lighting conditions even at 600 through 1000 yards.
This scope is set up on the second focal plane SFF.
7 Burris Fullfield II Ballisitic Plex Rifle Scope
Now with a move well into the very affordable area of scope development but staying with a very well known brand in the process. The Burris Brand comes to the forefront as a very workable scope on a 308 chambered rifle that is going to see limited use at long range, but a whole lot of field time in the woods, across small clearings, and if kept to a range of about 300 yards maximum will do it all for the hunter. That means that this scope will fit right in with about 75 percent of the deer hunters needs across the country.
For the price this is a great deal of scope. Built in 3X9X40 as well as two additional variants, ( high price with more power aded ) the scope as presented here will do the job for the average whitetail hunter just fine.
In effect the 3-9X40 is the most popular scope size in use today because it can cover everything from close in tight shooting on running game to long range work up to 400 yards. I have personally harvested deer at 125 with a 9 power glass and in most cases even with all the extra power of a more complicated scope I tend to use 6X most of the time in the field.
The scope is built as a one piece tube system just like the hihg priced models. The lens surfaces are coated for protection and the gas filled tube is waterproof and fog resistent as well. I use a model of this very scope on a varmint rig that rides in the truck all the time, and it has never lost zero or given me the slightest amount of trouble in about eleven years to date. Here is the American west a rifle is a tool and it gets kicked around a whole lot. A scope that can survive here is well made to be sure.
When totaled all the scopes listed here and paired with the groups of scopes that are under the same design by the manufactures listed, will number well over 30 different offerings. All the these scopes and many more can be obtained through Amazon by way of the internet. When selecting a scope for the 308 Winchester just understand that better glass will give you better results down range. The 308 Winchester or other wise known as the 7.62 NATO in military terms, carries a grand pedigree, a long history of performance, and it is not to be set aside by the new developments in ordnance currently so popular among hunters and shooters today.