5 Best Scopes for .30-30 Lever Action Rifles — Marlin, Winchester, Etc.

best scope for 30 30 lever action, best scope for 30 30 winchester, marlin

Photo by Lance Fisher / CC BY

One of the most popular cartridges of all time the venerable .30-30 round has been around for over a hundred years. The round is popular, but nowadays, essentially only two lever-action guns use it:  the Marlin 336 and the Winchester 94.

The .30-30 round is an effective short and medium range round perfect for brush hunting.  A good optic for the .30-30 should take advantage of the cartridge as an effective brush cartridge. The optic should be capable of relatively short range engagement distance and capable of capturing a lot of light to aid with the overhead canopy associated with hunting in heavy brush. These scopes need to be tough too, not only capable of withstanding weather and the rough and tumble life of a hunting rifle, but to the strong recoil of the .30-30 cartridge.

Here are our recommendations for the best scopes for .30-30 lever action rifles”

Weaver K4

The Weaver K4 is a traditional optic that fits hand in hand with the .30-30 caliber rifles. The Weaver K4 is a fixed power optic with a 4x magnification. The .30-30 is a powerful but relatively short range round designed for close range hunting. The 4 power magnification is perfectly suited for the .30-30 cartridge. The main benefit of a fixed power optic is the fact it is more likely to hold a zero when being fired, or when through the average bump and grind of a utility rifle.

The Weaver K4 features a fully multi coated lens for brilliant clarity. The K4’s 38mm objective lens is capable of gathering a wide and bright field of view for covering small clearings. The lens is also wide enough to be rapidly brought to the eye and to engage the target in those precious few seconds most get for taking a deer.

The Weaver K4 is also built from aircraft grade aluminum, which gives it the solid base and rugged dependability. The Weaver K4 uses a dual-x reticle, with a quarter MOA adjustment at 100 yards. The K series are known for their strength and dependability, and has been tested to withstand over 10,000 rounds from the powerful 375 H&H Magnum.

Weaver Classic K Series 4x38mm Dual-X Reticle Rifle Scope mfg# 849415

This is without a doubt one of the best scopes for .30-30 lever action rifles.

Leupold VX-2

Nothing says classic American hunting rifle like a 30-30 lever gun and a Leupold scope. Modern advancements in polymer tipped bullets allow you to wring surprising distances from the humble 30-30, and today’s hunter needs a modern scope to go with them. Suitable for mounting on most any 30-30 rifle, the Leupold VX-2 (see full specs) combines decades of American tradition with cutting edge technology to bring one fantastic scope to market. Featuring 4-12 power magnification, a 40mm objective lens, rugged Leupold construction and their famous lifetime warranty, this is the scope to bring your favorite 30-30 into the 21st Century.

SHOT Show 2012: Leupold VX-2 Riflescope

Simmons 8 point

If the Marlin .30-30 is the all American hunting rifle, then the Simmons 8 point is the all American scope. The Simmons 8 point is very simple, and very easy to use. While some may love bells and whistles, others crave simplicity and ease of use. The Simmons 8 point is a standard hunting rifle scope with the decades of engineering that have made such scopes so precise.

The Simmons 8 point comes at a very reasonable price and still features coated optics that provide a bright and vivid sight picture. The wide 50mm objective lens provides a wide and clear field of view, even when using the maximum magnification setting. The field of view at 100 yards is 31.4 feet at 100 yards at 3x, and 10.5 feet at 9x at 100 yards. This scopes comes in 3-9 x, which is quite standard. The magnification is adjustable via a wheel near the rear lens.

The Simmons 8 point uses a Suregrip audible windage and elevation adjustments that give a tactile and sound based feedback. The Simmons uses a True Zero windage and elevation system that is guaranteed to keep your zero held true.  This is easily among the best scopes for .30-30 lever actions.

TacFire Tactical

Right off the bat, the TacFire Tactical does not sound like an appropriate scope for the classic .30-30 lever gun. Well, names aside, the TacFire Tactical is in its own way perfect for the .30-30 rifle. In fact, it’s downright perfect for the classic Winchester 94. The top ejecting Winchester 94 is not well suited for an optic. The two options you have is mounting on an offside mount or on the barrel in front of the receiver.

The TacFire tactical is a long eye relief scope designed to be mounted well ahead of a receiver. This 2-7x scope is a perfectly modern optic that can be effectively mounted to the barrel without any loss of efficiency. The 2 to 7 power optic is great for short range, rapid fire, and it still steady enough to extend your own effective range.

The TacFire Tactical is constructed from a single piece of aircraft grade aluminum designed to withstand heavy recoil. The optic is fog and shockproof and nitrogen charged with weather resistance. The TacFire Tactical is arguably the best scope for .30-30 Winchester 94 rifles and is capable of great things in the right hands.

Leupold VX-6

One good Leupold deserves another, and in this case, we have a modest looking scope that is so jammed full of features as to render it nearly military grade. With classic throwback looks to the streamlined scopes of the 1940’s, but a state of the art illuminated reticle, this 1-6 power scope with its 24mm objective lens is right at home on top of any .30-30, from grandfather’s old deer rifle to a brand new lever gun ready to start another several generations of tradition. Lightweight, and perfect for the short to medium range the .30-30 round excels in, you can start taking your lever gun to the level with the Leupold Firedot.

Test of Leupold VX-6 1-6 scope on AR-15 rifle

The .30-30

The .30-30 is a round with an impressive and long history. While the round has been traditionally known for being most effective at short and medium ranges, an optic can still aid to its effectiveness. An optic can take this 100 year old round and the rifles chambered in it and bring it into this century. Stay safe and shoot straight.

  • Owner of Reloaderaddict.com, 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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6 responses

  1. Give consideration to everything first. Cost, Conditions, Caliber. Scopes don’t make a shooter. Shooters make the scope. in other words. Buy what is affordable to you. Don’t be afraid to read reviews, and pick it up before purchase and make sure its what you want. They all do the same thing, just in different ways. Knowing your Gun,scope, and confidence in using them is what makes good shooters.

  2. Let’s face it if you’re using a 30 30 which i do in certain spots it’s in thick woods or a small field. Keep in mind you need to know where you’re expecting the deer to show up. But it’s going to be thick which equals close, so be ready for the iron sites when they are right under you for no reason. Practice with your iron sights a bit so there’s no surprises.

    • So many people short change the 30-30, I’ve taken many whitetails at 300 +yards with the 30-30. taken too many to remember at 150-200 yards…., ALL with 1 shot

      • Aye, they are def. more than capable of reaching the 300 mark and with minimal
        drop if using good ammo. The first deer i ever killed with a rifle was at 220
        and my old Marlin stopped him right there!!

    • My Iron Sight wouldn’t line up on paper for nothing on a brand new 336W… so iron sight crap isn’t always the best advise (13 inches left of dead center was my best zero adjusted fully at 50 yards, that’s it!). I much rather place a rail and holographic sights on it if you were not going to use a Scope.

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