The 4 Best Scopes for .243 Winchester – Reviews 2023

best scope for .243  winchester

Photo by Jun Wang / CC BY

A majority of hunters today use some type of a sighting device on their long guns, because it gets rid of the need to line up the front and rear iron sights. This is no exception on a .243 Winchester rifle.

The .243 is essentially a necked down version of the popular .308 Winchester. It was designed as a varmint and predator round, but it has still found success in hunting coyote, pronghorn, hogs, and deer. It has also, on occasion, been used to bring down larger game such as elk and black bear, but most hunters would not recommend its use for these large kinds of animals, especially if the round is at or less than 85 grains. What most hunters would recommend, however, is a good scope to complement the rifle.

Here are the 4 best scopes for .243 Winchester rifles:

Leupold Mark 4 LR/T 6.5-20x50mm MR/T M1 Scope

We’re going to start out with, for most people, an expensive scope. The Leupold Mark 4 Long Range scope (see full specs) is designed for you to pinpoint your accuracy at long range distances in the very worst of environments. In other words, if you need a superior quality scope that leaves you with absolutely no room for error, then this is the scope for you. The lens coatings on the scope are matched exactly to each surface and type of glass in order to bring reflections down to a minimal and to make the most effective use of light to give more clarity to your eye. The Mark 4 is also built to Leupold’s well known standards of durability and toughness, considering its one piece construction with waterproof and fog proof materials on the scope and lens. This is one of the best scopes for .243 period.

Brownells - Leupold Mark 4 LR/T Scopes

Bushnell Trophy XLT Multi-X Reticle Riflescope Bone Collector Edition

One of the most proven riflescopes ever made is now ready for your .243 rifle. Made out of a nearly unbreakable one piece tube, the Trophy XLT is multi-coated in order to provide extra bright images even in dark environments and to protect the lenses from perspiration. The O-ring sealing and nitrogen purging make the Trophy XLT completely waterproof and fog proof. Magnification on the scope is adjustable between 3 to 9x with a ¼ MOA elevation and windage adjustments, delivering you with high level accuracy. The Butler Creek flip up caps only add further protection to the lenses.

Bushnell Trophy XLT Riflescope 3-9x40mm Gloss Multi-X Reticle 733944 Shooting Gaming Unboxing

Nikon Buckmasters 4-12x40mm Scope

The Nikon Buckmasters 4-12x40mm scope is priced just right for a long range hunting rifle. The Buckmasters (see full specs) has gained a strong reputation among deer hunters as being one of the most dependable scopes currently available on the market. This should be one of your top scopes of choice if hunting whitetails is your passion. The bright sight picture through the lenses permits very high resolution images. The multi-coloring also makes this scope suitable for hunting both in the early dawn and in the late dusk. This shockproof and waterproof scope also has a reticle that allows you to adjust the drop of the bullet to up to six hundred yards. This should be on any list of the best scopes for .243 Win.

SPR 2.0 shooting review & Nikon Bucksmaster II 4-12x40 Quick Look

Sightron SIH Series 3-9×40 Rifle Scope

The Sightron SIH is a scope that gives you a choice of three different reticles, with the options of HHR, mil-dot, or duplex reticles. You can also zoom in close on a target at 9x. Simply scan your general environment at 3x or you can select anywhere in between. The multi-colored lenses deliver superior light transmission and clarity. At a relatively lightweight fifteen ounces, the Sightron SH delivers everything you need with a minute per revolution of 15 MOA, a click value of one hundred yards, and a one inch diameter tube.

First Look at the Sightron SiH-TAC 3-9x40

Choosing the Best Scope for Your .243 Rifle:

There are many reasons why a hunter would want a .243 rifle. It offers substantially less recoil and noise than more powerful cartridges, making it a good choice for hunters who have sensitive hearing or, say, an injured shoulder.

Most commercial .243 ammunition is available at a weight of between fifty five to one hundred and fifteen grains. At a weight of one hundred grains and when fired from a twenty-four inch barrel, the .243 delivers a velocity of approximately 2,960 feet per second. This is more than adequate killing power for small to medium sized game, with the fastest kills being produced at less than two hundred yards. If you venture any further than two hundred yards, you run the risk of your prey acting like they haven’t been hit and covering great distances quickly while being wounded, especially with heavy boned game. All hunting cartridges have their limitations, and the .243 is certainly no exception.

Centerfire varmint and predator rounds like the .243 Winchester, being flat shooting, can often get by simply with any ordinary scope you put on them. But regardless of whether your .243 is going to be a bench gun, a varmint rifle, or a deer hunting weapon, you’ll want to optimize your accuracy as best as you can. For example, for a fixed power scope for a .243 your best bet is going to be between 6x to 12x, with 10x being your best bet. For a variable power low end magnification scope, you’ll do fine in the 4-8x range, but with a fixed power scope being between 2-3.5x. For a higher end magnification in a variable scope, 12 to 25x will be best.

Is there an all-around best scope for .243 Wins? Obviously the answer to this question can only be subjective and based on one’s personal experiences, but it’s hard to go wrong with a 3-9x scope if all you want is a good general purpose scope for your .243 rifle.

But it’s important that you understand the .243’s limitations, so discipline yourself to not make it do anything it can’t. Anything over two hundred yards and any game larger than deer even within that range have to be off limits. But all in all, stay within the .243’s limits and you’ll have a good rifle in your hands that will give you many years of worthy service…and a just as good scope to go with it. Good luck!

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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2 responses

  1. I was looking for a scope for my .243 to replace the old one that seemed to fog up the moment I took it out. Excellent article. I would suggest adding the information about the Bushnell like you did the others such as the amazon link and suggested price. Now that said, your last paragraph hit me hard. I think that first sentence is vital to any purchase of any accessory. I did not even think about it when I first was reading the article, but your information led to it and I appreciate it. My purchase will be reflective of the limitiations of my .243 – Thank you

    • Thanks for the your comment. I’ve added the Amazon info on the Bushnell. It was actually there before, but the link expired so I had to replace it with a new one.

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