Loved for its friendly recoil, long lasting barrel life, and efficient powder consumption, the .308 Winchester is a popular rifle cartridge that has been around for well over six decades. This rimless, bottle-necked cartridge was adopted in 1952, and with a few minor modifications, it became the 7.62 x 51mm round used by NATO troops.
If you are planning to shoot targets positioned as far as 250 to 300 yards, then the .308 Win round can be superbly efficient when paired with the right riflescope. Even beyond that range, the .308 Winchester can still outperform other long-range rifle cartridges like the .300 Win or 7-mm Remington Magnums.
Hunters from all over the world enjoy using the .308 Winchester round to shoot down medium to large sized game. In North America alone, this cartridge is used extensively to hunt pronghorn, elk, whitetail deer, and even the occasional black bear or caribou.
But whether you’re a professional hunter or just something learning the tricks of the trade, you should understand that you’ll definitely need a good quality scope to hit your targets dead on. So, which is the best scope for .308 Win cartridge rifles? There are several factors to consider when selecting the best telescopic sight for any rifle designed to use the .308 Win round. These aspects will be explained below to help you choose the best scope for .308 compatible rifles.
What Is The Maximum Effective Range For The .308 Win Round?
There’s really no point in buying high powdered scopes that can sight targets beyond the range of your .308 Win caliber rifle. There idea here is to avoid buying scopes with features that will not be of much help to you in the field. Fortunately, the .308 Win cartridge is quite versatile. Whether you intend to drop targets from short, medium, or long range, this round will deliver great performance when used along with a good scope and rifle.
According to the US Army, the .308 Win can be effective up to 800 meters. On the other hand, the US Marine Corps (USMC) reaches a 1000 yard (915 meters) maximum effective range for this round in favorable weather conditions. Beyond that range, the .308 Win begins to go off course very quickly.
Consider Your Specific Shooting Range
For close to mid-range shooting, you’ll need a low power variable .308 Win scope. For instance, something like a 3.5-12x magnification scope and an objective lens size of 35-40mm should be enough to drop deer and human sized game from a range of within 250 yards. Scopes with lower magnification will also have a friendlier price and offer a wider field of view.
Alternatively, if you’re going to use your .308 caliber rifle at long range (600+ yards) for varmint shooting, then be sure to go for a 6-24x variable scope with a large 50mm objective lens. Typically, tactical scopes with a built-in bullet drop compensator and calibrated turrets will be most ideal when using your .308 rifle from 300+ yards.
A good .308 scope should also be covered with a warranty as well. In addition, consider choosing illuminated reticles if you plan to hunt in low light conditions. Finally, it’s also important to pick scopes designed with rugged bodies that can hold up to the vigor of outdoor use.
The .308 Win caliber rifles require a good scope in order to drop targets with accuracy. These rounds are designed to go the distance and deliver punishing energy even from long range. For that, you’ll need to invest in the best scope for your .308 rifle. And in order to make the right choice, remember to consider what distances you will be shooting from. Lastly, take into account your budget and any other specific features that will provide a competitive edge when you are out in the field.