The 4 Best Scopes for .308 Rifles – Tactical, Long-Range Reviews

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Photo by Nick Botner / CC BY

The .308 Winchester (which with minor modifications became the 7.62 NATO) was introduced by Winchester in 1952, and has grown to be one of the most popular hunting cartridges in the world. For practical purposes, there is little difference between .308 and 7.62 NATO, but so much ink has been spilled on that particular topic, it is not worth getting into here, except to note their close similarity. Since 1952, the .308 has been found in everything from military machine guns and sniper rifles, to the simplest single shot hunting rifle. Today, the .308 is as much at home in a finely crafted bolt action hunting rifle as it is in several semi automatic versions of popular military rifles. All these guns have one thing in common, though: they shoot the .308 and .308 shooters often demand optics on their rifles.

They want the 4 very best scopes for .308 rifles they can buy:

1. Leupold Mark AR Mod 1 Scope

Once upon a time in the business world, common wisdom that you could never go wrong buying an IBM computer. It was a safe bet because they were backed up with quality and excellent service. Well, Leupold is the same way: you just can’t go wrong buying a Leupold. Who doesn’t like things like a lifetime warranty or an attention to detail and quality often lacking in today’s modern world? The Mod 1 is one of the best scopes for the .308 today and features a nitrogen and argon gas purged tube for maximum fog-proof protection, three to nine power magnification and a large 40mm objective lens. One of the safest bets for a high quality scope and at a price below what you’d expect to pay for this level of quality.

Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 3-9x40mm MIL Dot Scope Review

2. The Nikon M .308 Tactical Scope

Almost assuredly the best scope for .308 on the market, the Nikon M .308 (see full specs) rivals even the best Leupold for quality and performance. Built around the .308 cartridge, the M .308 includes turrets calibrated for match quality .308 and 7.62 NATO ammo, four to sixteen power magnification, heavy duty one piece body, fully coated optics for optimal light transmission, and custom precision reticle. Also included with this package is a special 20 MOA scope mount, which enables you to take longer distance shots than normal by angling the scope at a precise angle for optimal aiming over the entire trajectory of the round. This is the best long range scope for .308 rifles we can find.

Nikon M-308 Review @ Trigger Happy

3. The FSI Sniper Kit

One of the great benefits of modern precision machinery is the ability to purchase fantastic optics at fantastic prices. FSI offers a high powered scope with six to twenty four power magnification, red/green illuminated reticle and a 50mm objective lens, complete with a sunshade and mounting rings. Certainly one of the best .308 scope deals out there right now, this is a complete kit, ready to install on most any .308 rifle. Probably one of the best features of this scope is its illuminated reticle, which allows you to see your reticle under low light conditions, making it ideal for fitting on a hunting rifle.

Sniper / Tactical 6-25x56 Rifle Scope test

4. UTG SWAT Compact Rifle Scope

Here is a great little compact scope that is one of the best tactical scopes for .308 in its size and class. Packed full of high end features like a sealed nitrogen purged tube, illuminated bullet drop reticle, fully coated lenses, integrated sunshade, target turrets, lifetime warranty, and built to be fog-, shock- and rain- proof, the UTG SWAT is a rugged scope that has a surprisingly low price tag. Just as at home on a classic bolt action rifle as a modern tactical .308, this scope is just the ticket for the budget minded shooter seeking a feature rich scope for their .308 rifle.

Unboxing UTG 3 12x44 full length

More Advice on Picking the Best .308 Rifle Scope

There are millions of .308 rifles running around all over the globe. Some are rugged, no nonsense hunting rifles with synthetic plastic stocks and plain Jane finishes. Others are true works of art, built with the finest walnut stocks, hand finished steel, and lovingly built to be as much a work of art as a functional weapon, while still others are police or military tactical rifles, ranging from sniper rifles to modern tactical rifles like the AR-10 or M1A. However, they all will benefit from the addition of the best .308 scope suitable for the task at hand.

Owners of modern tactical rifles tend to favor either a compact scope that adds minimal weight, or a large high powered unit that really lets them reach out and touch something. Typically a tactical scope will have an illuminated reticle, a built in bullet drop compensator and turrets specifically regulated for popular bullet weights.

In turn, the best scopes for .308 bolt action rifles share a lot of similarities with the best tactical scopes for .308. Weight is a consideration, and illuminated reticles are nice for hunting in low light conditions, but a hunter wants a simply rugged scope that has adequate magnification and maximum light transmission. A target shooter, who takes joy in punching holes in paper from the comfort of a bench will seek out something different still. Large objective lenses, long scope bodies and sunshades are the order of the day for the bench shooter. They too want .308 calibrated turrets and a good range finding reticle.

The .308 benefits from a good scope for a number of good reasons. It’s a waste of a perfectly good round to shoot it at iron sight ranges of a hundred yards or less. This is a round designed to go the distance and to really reach out and deliver punishing energy at a distance. For that you absolutely need the best .308 scope you can get your hands on. No matter what you are shooting, from the most basic hunting rifle, to the most mission critical modern tactical rifle, you will benefit from choosing the best .308 scope possible. We’ve poked around and shown you some great choices suitable for any budget and any application, now get out there and shoot!

  • 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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3 responses

  1. Where can I get info on the price for one of these scopes or a website for ordering one ?

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