Best .308 Scope Under $300: Precision on a Budget

Best .308 scope under $300

Our Top Picks

Overall Best .308 Scope Under $300

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope, Duplex CDS (174182) (174182)

Maintains accuracy and holds zero even after repeated use with the .308’s recoil.

  • Magnification: 10/10
  • Reticle: 9/10
  • Cost: 10/10

MSRP:

$396.39 Check Price

Best Tactical

Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm

Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Riflescope - ACSS-Orion Reticle

Specifically tailored for hunters and marksmen who require quick distance estimation, wind holds, and moving target leads.

  • Magnification: 9/10
  • Reticle: 10/10
  • Cost: 9/10

MSRP:

$299.99 Check Price

Best .308 Scope Under $200

Sig Sauer Buckmasters

SIG SAUER Buckmasters Tactical Hunting Shooting Durable Waterproof...

The Sig Sauer Buckmasters series is a budget-friendly option for shooters who don’t want to compromise on quality.

  • Magnification: 8/10
  • Reticle: 8/10
  • Cost: 10/10

MSRP:

$104.95 Check Price

Known for its versatility, accuracy, and the perfect balance between power and manageability, the .308 has become a go-to choice for hunters, target shooters, and tactical enthusiasts alike. And if you thought nailing that perfect shot with your .308 rifle meant emptying your wallet, think again! We’re here to prove that you can achieve top-notch accuracy without splurging a fortune. Learn about our picks for the best .308 scope under $300 – offering clarity, precision, and a lot of bang for your buck!

How to Choose the Best .308 Scope Under $300

Here are the factors we considered while picking the best .308 scope under $300:

FeaturesLeupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mmPrimary Arms SLX 4-14x44mmSig Sauer BuckmastersVortex Optics Diamondback SFVortex Optics Crossfire IICategory Average
Overall Score4.754.254.504.334.674.5
Magnification Range555454.8
Reticle Type4.554.544.54.5
Optical Quality and Clarity54.54.54.54.54.6
Durability and Build Quality5544.54.54.6
Eye Relief4.5354.554.4
Adjustment Turrets4.5344.54.54.1

Magnification Range

The magnification range you need depends on your intended use. For versatile shooting with a .308 rifle, a range of 3-9x is commonly preferred. This range is suitable for both close and medium-range shots. If you’re planning on longer-range shooting, you might consider a scope with higher magnification.

Reticle Type

second focal plane rifle scope, vortex optics Strike Eagle

The reticle, or crosshair, helps in aiming and should suit your specific needs. A Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) reticle is popular for .308 rifles, as it helps estimate holdover at different distances. Other options include Mil-Dot for range estimation and Duplex for simplicity.

Optical Quality and Clarity 

Look for scopes with high-quality lenses and coatings. A scope with clear, bright, and sharp images will significantly enhance your shooting accuracy, especially under different light conditions.

Durability and Build Quality

vortex strike eagle rifle scope

Ensure that the scope is robust enough to handle the recoil of a .308 rifle. It should be waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof to withstand various outdoor conditions and impacts

Eye Relief

Adequate eye relief is necessary to protect your eye from recoil. Look for a scope with sufficient eye relief (at least 3 inches is recommended) to ensure comfortable and safe shooting.

Adjustment Turrets

The ability to adjust windage and elevation precisely is crucial. Look for scopes with turrets that offer clear and audible clicks. Some scopes also offer zero-reset turrets, which can be handy.

5 Best .308 Scopes Under $300

Best .308 scope under $300: Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm

FactorLeupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mmCategory Average
Magnification Range54.8
Reticle Type4.54.5
Optical Quality and Clarity54.6
Durability and Build Quality54.6
Eye Relief4.54.4
Adjustment Turrets4.54.1

Quick Specs:

  • Weight: 12.2 oz
  • Reticle: Duplex, Hunt Plex
  • Length:12.49 in
  • Eye relief: 3.7 in

The 3-9x magnification range of the Leupold VX-Freedom is well-suited for the effective range of a .308 rifle. This range is versatile enough for close to medium-range shots, which are typical in hunting scenarios and target shooting with a .308. 

The .308 caliber is also known for its significant recoil, and the rugged construction of the Leupold VX-Freedom makes it capable of withstanding this. Its durability ensures that the scope maintains accuracy and holds zero even after repeated use with the .308’s recoil.

The compact and lightweight nature of the scope doesn’t add much weight to the .308 rifle, maintaining the balance and handling of the firearm, which is important for field use. Despite having no illumination, the Twilight Light Management System of the Leupold VX-Freedom enhances visibility in low-light conditions. This feat is advantageous for hunters who often find themselves in those scenarios, especially during dawn and dusk.

Pros

  • Long eye relief
  • Waterproof, fog proof, shockproof
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Ideal magnification range

Cons

  • No illumination
  • Adjustment knobs could be improved

Score

Magnification Range Score – 5/5

Well-suited for the effective range of a .308 rifle.

Reticle Type Score – 4.5/5

Simple to use reticles make life easier.

Optical Quality and Clarity Score – 5/5

Excellent visibility in low-light conditions.

Durability and Build Quality Score – 5/5

Tested to withstand harsh conditions.

Eye Relief Score – 4.5/5

Generous eye relief is well-suited for the .308 rifle’s recoil.

Adjustment Turrets Score – 4.5/5

User-friendly and audible clicks.

Overall Score – 4.75/5

What Customers Say

If you are looking for a lightweight scope to reduce the weight of your hunting rifle – you landed on the right one. This one is extremely lightweight and crystal clear. I have 3 Leupold scopes now and I am very happy with all of them. I put this on a 6.5 cm bolt rifle and was blowing out the bullseye at 200 yards within the 1st box of ammo.

Charlie

Best Tactical .308 scope under $300: Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm

FactorPrimary Arms SLX 4-14x44mmCategory Average
Magnification Range54.8
Reticle Type54.5
Optical Quality and Clarity4.54.6
Durability and Build Quality54.6
Eye Relief34.4
Adjustment Turrets34.1

Quick Specs:

  • Weight: 25.2 oz
  • Reticle: ACSS Orion reticle
  • Length:12.9 in
  • Eye relief: 3.14 in

The SLX riflescope from Primary Arms is calibrated for deer and coyote-sized targets using the .308/7.62 NATO cartridges. Its ACSS Orion reticle is specifically tailored for hunters and marksmen who require quick distance estimation, wind holds, and moving target leads. If you’ll be using your rifle for both mid-range and long-range, the 4-14x magnification offers flexibility for various shooting scenarios.

It’s also built-ready to withstand the outdoor elements and the recoil of a .308 rifle, and it comes with fully multi-coated lenses. Now, take note that the turrets on this one might not feel as nice as higher-end scopes – but for a riflescope under $300, you can’t beat it.

Pros

  • Reticle especially designed for the .308 caliber
  • Capped turrets
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof

Cons

  • Short eye relief
  • Heavy
  • The turrets are a bit spongy

Score

Magnification Range Score – 5/5

Well-suited for the effective range of a .308 rifle.

Reticle Type Score – 5/5

Reticles particularly designed for the .308.

Optical Quality and Clarity Score – 4.5/5

Top-quality lenses deliver tack-sharp images.

Durability and Build Quality Score – 5/5

Built tough for rough use.

Eye Relief Score – 3/5

Short eye relief.

Adjustment Turrets Score – 3/5

Spongy turrets could be improved.

Overall Score – 4.25/5

What Customers Say

I bought this brand previously. And product is always great. Glass is always nice and clear. Somewhat say it is top dollar class. Others would say itbest bang for the buck I will agree.

Michael Lupe

Best .308 scope under $200: Sig Sauer Buckmasters

FactorSig Sauer BuckmastersCategory Average
Magnification Range54.8
Reticle Type4.54.5
Optical Quality and Clarity4.54.6
Durability and Build Quality44.6
Eye Relief54.4
Adjustment Turrets44.1

Quick Specs:

  • Weight: 14 oz
  • Reticle: Buckmasters BDC
  • Length: 15.79 in
  • Eye relief: 4.17 in

The Sig Sauer Buckmasters series is a budget-friendly option for shooters who don’t want to compromise on quality. With various models offering different magnification ranges (3-9×40, 3-9×50, and 3-12×44), the Buckmasters series provides flexibility for different shooting needs, whether it’s for close-range hunting or longer-distance use.

Despite its lower price point, the series does not skimp on optical clarity as these scopes provide clear and bright images.

The downside is, the Buckmasters’ light transmission might not be as high compared to more expensive optics. This could impact visibility in low-light conditions.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Unlimited lifetime (transferrable) guarantee
  • Generous eye relief

Cons

  • A bit bulky in terms of length
  • Low light transmission
  • No illumination

Score

Magnification Range Score – 5/5

Well-suited for the effective range of a .308 rifle.

Reticle Type Score – 4.5/5

Reticle has no illumination.

Optical Quality and Clarity Score – 4.5/5

Clear images but light transmission could be improved.

Durability and Build Quality Score – 4/5

Solidly built.

Eye Relief Score – 5/5

Generous eye relief.

Adjustment Turrets Score – 4/5

Reliable turrets, excellent tracking.

Overall Score – 4.5/5

What Customers Say

It works great, and has very clear optics. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles like an illuminated reticle or anything like that, but if you want a basic scope where you can zoom in and maintain a large field of view, then this is a great inexpensive option.

David Barbara

Vortex Optics Diamondback 1.75-5×32 SFP

FactorVortex Optics Diamondback 1.75-5×32 SFPCategory Average
Magnification Range44.8
Reticle Type44.5
Optical Quality and Clarity4.54.6
Durability and Build Quality4.54.6
Eye Relief4.54.4
Adjustment Turrets4.54.1

Quick Specs:

  • Weight: 13 oz
  • Reticle: Dead-HoldBDC (MOA & MRAD)
  • Length: 10.2 in
  • Eye relief: 3.5 in

The Vortex Optics Diamondback SFP offers a good blend of features suitable for your .308 rifle. What we love most are its precision-glide erector system that provides smooth zoom lens adjustments and its fast-focus eyepiece that enhances usability. 

It comes with a Dead-Hold BDC reticle that is designed to help shooters compensate for bullet drop over different distances. This is particularly useful for the .308 caliber, which is commonly used for mid to long-range shooting. This type of reticle provides reference points that allow you to adjust their aim for bullet drop without having to physically adjust the scope’s turrets. Using a BDC reticle is also faster than adjusting elevation settings on the scope for each shot. This simplicity and speed can be beneficial in hunting situations where time is essential.

On the downside, this DIamondback scope only has a limited magnification range so it isn’t as effective at longer distances.

Pros

  • Shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof
  • Long eye relief
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • No illumination
  • Limited magnification range
  • Smaller objective lens

Score

Magnification Range Score – 4/5

Limited magnification range.

Reticle Type Score – 4/5

Nice reticle but no illumination.

Optical Quality and Clarity Score – 4.5/5

Crisp images but wished the objective lens diameter was bigger.

Durability and Build Quality Score – 4.5/5

Excellent build quality backed by lifetime warranty.

Eye Relief Score – 4.5/5

Ample eye relief.

Adjustment Turrets Score – 4.5/5

Audible clicks.

Overall Score – 4.33/5

What Customers Say

Put this on a top end .22LR target shooting rifle. Awesome quality, easy to zero, great vision through the scope. Overall top end product.

Rick

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

FactorVortex Optics Crossfire IICategory Average
Magnification Range54.8
Reticle Type4.54.5
Optical Quality and Clarity4.54.6
Durability and Build Quality4.54.6
Eye Relief54.4
Adjustment Turrets4.54.1

Quick Specs:

  • Weight: 15.6 oz
  • Reticle: Dead-HoldBDC, V-Plex, V-Brite (Illuminated), Straight-Wall BDC
  • Length: 13.15 in
  • Eye relief: 3.9 in

If you want a scope with Vortex’s no-questions-asked warranty but need a wider magnification range, our last pick won’t disappoint.

Like the Diamondback, the Crossfire II also comes with a second focal plane reticle. But it has more magnification options available (2-7x32mm, 3-9x40mm, 3-9×40, and 3-9×60).

Other features worth noting are its fast-focus eyepiece, resettable MOA turrets, and easy-to-use magnification rings; all of which offers a smoother shooting experience.

You might want to think twice, though, if you want a lighter and more compact setup as the Crossfire II is heavier and bulkier than our other picks.

Pros

  • Generous eye relief
  • Available in illuminated reticle
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof

Cons

  • Bulky and heavy

Score

Magnification Range Score – 5/5

Available in multiple magnification ranges.

Reticle Type Score – 4.5/5

Several reticle options including one with illumination.

Optical Quality and Clarity Score – 4.5/5

Bright and sharp images even in low light.

Durability and Build Quality Score – 4.5/5

Excellent build quality backed by lifetime warranty.

Eye Relief Score – 5/5

Better eye relief than the Diamondback.

Adjustment Turrets Score – 4.5/5

Audible clicks as expected from a Vortex.

Overall Score – 4.67/5

What Customers Say

For a sub 200 dollar scope you couldn’t ask for a clearer, more accurate, tight scope. I am now officially a vortex believer and will have one put on all my scoped rifles.

Patrick

Best .308 Scopes Under $300 FAQs

What is the best distance to sight in a .308?

The best distance to sight in a .308 rifle depends on your intended use. For general hunting and shooting, 100 yards is a common and practical distance for sighting in. This distance provides a good balance between accuracy and versatility. However, if you plan to shoot at longer ranges, you might consider sighting in at 200 or 300 yards. The key is to understand the ballistic characteristics of your specific .308 ammo and adjust your sighting distance based on your most common shooting scenarios.

What is the range of a .308?

The effective range of a .308 rifle can vary based on several factors, including the type of ammunition, barrel length, and the skill of the shooter. Generally, a .308 rifle is effective up to 800-1,000 yards for target shooting. For hunting purposes, the practical range is often shorter, typically within 300-600 yards, to ensure ethical and humane shots. 

Is a 3-9×40 scope good for a 308?

Yes, a 3-9×40 scope complements the capabilities of the .308 rifle well, especially for general hunting and medium-range shooting. 

The 3-9x magnification range offers clear views at both closer and longer distances. The 40mm objective lens provides a good balance between light-gathering capability and size, so it is suitable for a variety of lighting conditions and environments. 

Final Thoughts: Best .308 Scopes Under $300

Now we have proven that top-notch accuracy with your beloved .308 is achievable on a budget. Remember, finding the best .308 scopes under $300 is about striking the right balance between quality, functionality, and affordability.

The .308’s effective range for hunting and target shooting makes these scopes an ideal match. Now you’ll achieve precision and reliability without overspending. 

Always consider the type of shooting you’ll be doing most often, and choose a scope that complements your .308 rifle’s strengths.

Picking a scope doesn’t mean emptying your savings. With these options, you can up your shooting game and still have cash left for other cool shooting gear.

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Last update on 2024-06-17 / Images from Amazon Product API