.308 Scope Selection Guide
Find the Best Scope for Your AR-10 and 308 AR Rifle
There used to be a guideline to budget as much on your rifle scope and scope mount as you spend on your rifle, while that still applies somewhat today if you want the best scope money can buy and have the cash to buy it but you shouldn’t feel pressured to do so.
Define Your Scope Needs and Budget
From a budget and magnification standpoint be realistic with your needs. You don’t need a $4300 NIGHTFORCE BEAST 5-25X56MM SCOPE ZEROSTOP F1 DIGILLUM H59 RETICLE to punch paper at 100 yards or hunt wild boar in the brush. On the opposite side of the spectrum a $250 VORTEX OPTICS 4X CROSSFIRE II isn’t going to be your best choice for taking out bad guys at 800 yards.
Define Your Scope Needs and Budget
From a budget and magnification standpoint be realistic with your needs. You don't need a $4300 NIGHTFORCE BEAST 5-25X56MM SCOPE ZEROSTOP F1 DIGILLUM H59 RETICLE to punch paper at 100 yards or hunt wild boar in the brush. On the opposite side of the spectrum a $250 VORTEX OPTICS 4X CROSSFIRE II isn't going to be your best choice for taking out bad guys at 800 yards.
You Get What You Pay For With Scopes
Modern manufacturing methods have come a long way to improve the quality of low cost scopes but make no mistake there are substantial differences in most expensive scopes.
- Construction Quality: Generally speaking expensive scopes are precisely manufactured optical devices inside and out
- Glass: Expensive scopes typically have better glass that is clearer and brighter than cheap scopes. They also feature coatings to improve optical performance.
- Light Gathering:
- Useable Magnification:
- Precise Adjustments:
- Environmental Resistance:
You might also be interested in our picks for the Top 5 AR-10 308 AR Scopes for 2018.
Selected by the U.S. Army for both the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle System and for U.S. Special Forces, the Sig Sauer TANGO6T is available in the commercial market. Designed for today’s common MSR/AR and bolt action platforms, this scope is the ideal solution for CQB / mid-range tactical engagements, 3 Gun competitions, and hunting. The TANGO6T is complete with our HDX optical system for extreme clarity and low-light performance, HellFire fiber optic and glass-etched illuminated reticles, and first or second focal plane designs.
The Scalarworks LEAP Scope Mount is one of the lightest quick-detach riflescope mounts on the market. The LEAP scope mount is machined from 7075-T6 aluminum and uses 4140H steel hardware for absolute rigidity that results in a near-seamless integration between your rifle and optic. Scalarworks LEAP mounts are designed using two of the most efficient structures in engineering, the tubular boom, and I-beam bridge. These structures not only add strength and impact resistance to the mount but also allow for significant weight reduction. Additionally, LEAP Scope Mounts feature the Scalarworks’ LevelDrive screw that ensures that your scope is always perfectly level when in the mount.
The Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm FFP Rifle Scope with Illuminated First Focal Plane ACSS Raptor Reticle has been calibrated to be true at every magnification. The reticle’s features include automatic ranging out to 600 yards, moving target leads, and a large, fast horseshoe that easily draws your eye to the target. This caliber specific reticle is tuned for 5.56 NATO, 5.45x39mm, and .308 Win. Full red reticle illumination is provided by a single (included) CR2032 battery, and a spare battery is included inside the windage turret cap. A total of 11 settings take the reticle all the way up to daylight bright. All lenses are fully multicoated for maximum light transmission and the 6063 aluminum body is Type II hard anodized in matte black.
Made with high-quality Japanese glass, MPO scopes from Brownells have an illuminated non-obscuring milling reticle etched onto the first focal plane. This reticle allows the shooter to easily center the target at high magnification, while still having a strong crosshair aiming point at low magnification.
In addition, Brownells MPO scopes are full of other features long-range shooters and competitors look for, but at very competitive prices.
Turrets: The MPO turrets feature 10 MRAD per turn adjustments in 0.1 MRAD increments. The elevation turret has a resettable zero with built in zero stop, a feature we feel is necessary for competition use and helps prevent the shooter from getting “lost in the turrets”. The windage turret is capped to prevent accidental adjustment and give added protection to the turret so competitors can remain confident in their zero while maneuvering obstacles while on the clock. Both Turrets feature a helical version of our Glock slide serrations to ensure a solid grip even with wet hands.
Maintube/Magnification: The 34mm main tube allows for maximum adjustment range with the internal optic system. The MPO 3-18x50mm features 40 MRAD of internal adjustment and the MPO 5-25x56mm has a total of 20 MRAD internal adjustment. The built in magnification lever gives the shooter a solid purchase on the mag ring and helps increase leverage to make mag changes on the clock nearly effortless.
Components/glass: All MPO scopes feature edge blackened glass, the less stray light bouncing within the optic, the better the image quality. Multicoated lenses help improve light transmission while also protecting the lens surface from scratches. Before the optics are sealed up, they are Argon purged to ensure the internal lenses are fogproof.
Includes: Both models include a 4″ sunshade, lens caps, cleaning cloth, and tools needed to adjust the turret.
The $349 Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-16×44 FFP Rifle Scope features a first focal plane reticle, a feature ordinarily reserved for 4-figure-priced scopes. This allows shooters to use the information-packed EBR-2C reticle for ranging, holdovers or windage corrections on any magnification. Housed inside its durable, one-piece aluminum tube is a 4x optical system delivering excellent edge-to-edge clarity and sharp resolution. Exposed elevation and windage turrets are low profile enough to stay out of the way in packing situations, but offer the quickness, ease and precision of dialing accurate shots at distance. A side adjustable parallax gives shooters peace of mind by removing parallax error from the equation from 20 yards to infinity.
The Eliminator III provides expert shooters with a level of sophistication only imaginable before now. With its X96 reticle technology, the Eliminator III provides even more accuracy, more range and a method of windage compensation at any magnification. The Eliminator II incorporates the X38 reticle providing accuracy at any magnification. The BURRIS ELIMINATOR III 4-16×50 LASERSCOPE is the most innovative and effective hunting riflescope in the world. Combining outstanding optics, pinpoint laser rangefinding, and precision trajectory compensation for the exact ammunition you choose for your hunt, it eliminates most of the variables and guesswork that often cause hunters to go home empty-handed. In one fast sequence the Eliminator III determines the distance to your target, factors in your trajectory and illuminates the perfect holdover. It’s that simple.
The Eliminator III significantly extends the range and accuracy of your favorite rifle. No other riflescope combines the level of quality, technology, accuracy, repeatability, speed and effectiveness. It will greatly increase the distance at which you can make an ethical shot.
Built-In Laser Rangefinder – Laser range capability out to1,200-plus yards with reflective target, 750-plus yards with non-reflective target. Allows you to range your target without carrying additional equipment. New model with remote cable switch makes ranging activation even easier.
The NIKON BLACK X1000 6x14x50SF is part of a new line of mid-level priced Nikon riflescopes geared towards AR-15, 308 AR and Precision Rifle Shooters. When I saw the Nikon M-308 series 308 AR scopes going out of stock at the usual big name sources I had a suspicion there were new Nikon scopes on the horizon. The scope market is very competitive especially in the $399-$699 price range so it’s no big surprise I was right. Recently the Nikon Black X1000 Riflescopes became available for purchase. Nikon appears to be marketing their Black1000 scopes and Nikon Black scope mounts towards the “MSR” rifle shooter. The Nikon Black X1000 appear to be priced about $150 less expensive than the Vortex PST Gen II. This is a smart move in my opinion. Nikon also seems to be touting their warranty. Again Nikon is clearly targeting Vortex. These new Nikon scopes should be well received by 308 AR, AR-10 and AR308 shooters looking for affordable scopes.
Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic – Parallax-free, non-magnifying red dot sight is ready at all times, with no switches or levers to fumble with. Simply install the supplied battery, turn the PRO on, and forget about it – for up to 3 years! 2 MOA center-dot, with 6 daylight and 4 night vision brightness settings, enables accurate target engagement under a broad variety of conditions. Includes a detachable spacer that allows co-witnessing with the standard iron sights on AR-15/M16/M4 weapons. Or remove the spacer to install the PRO on shotguns or submachine guns. Integrated “rail-grabber” mount with knurled, oversized knob aids in quick attach/detach on Picatinny rails. Compatible with all generations of night vision devices; may also be used with Aimpoint 3x Magnifier and Concealed Engagement Unit. Flip-up lens caps included. Hard-anodized aluminum, 5¼” (13.3cm) OAL. 3” (7.6cm) high, including spacer. 13 oz. (368.g) wt. Unlimited eye relief. Waterproof to 150’ (45m) depth. One DL1/3N lithium battery, included.
The Vortex Riflescopes Flare Illuminated Bubble Level is everything you ever wanted in a scope level. Low-signature, rear-facing illumination with three intensity levels ensures optimal visibility in all light conditions. The recessed push-button control is easily accessed from a shooting position. The integrated Picatinny rail mount attaches easily and keeps the level low and trim. It can be mounted and removed with the riflescope on or off your rifle. The Vortex Riflescopes Flare Illuminated Bubble Level is made in the USA.
VORTEX SPARC II Get on target fast with the Vortex Sparc II red dot sight. Ultra-compact and lightweight, the SPARC II (Speed Point Aiming for Rapid Combat) is equally at home mounted on an AR-15, AR-10 or 308 AR rifle. Digital rear facing controls for powering on/off...
Vortex Optics RAZOR AMG UH-1 Holographic Sight Vortex Optics RAZOR AMG UH-1 Holographic Sight It appears that Vortex Optics now has Eotech in their sights with the announcement of the AMG UH-1 Holographic Sight. The timing could not be better given Eotech's latest...
Mildot Master – An analog calculator designed similar to a slide rule, performs the following operations: Range to target, bullet drop and wind drift compensation, angle of fire for uphill and downhill shots.
VORTEX STRIKE EAGLE 1-6×24 AR RIFLE SCOPE – Speed and versatility—that’s what 1x variable optics offer AR shooters who need to engage targets from point-blank out to extended ranges. And that’s exactly what you’re going to get with Vortex’s new Strike Eagle 1-6 x 24. Take into consideration what it costs to get into this optic, and you may find you can’t afford not to buy it. Whether you’re burning through a 3-Gun Stage, logging some range time, or holding for hair on a coyote you’ve duped into thinking you’re lunch, the Strike Eagle is up to the task. High-quality, fully multi-coated lenses deliver a clear, crisp sight picture and optimal low-light performance.
The Nikon M-308 series riflescopes have become one of the most popular 308 scopes for visitors of 308AR.com seeking the best value for their hard earned money.
NIKON M 308 4-16x42mm BDC 800 RIFLESCOPE Nikon part number 16463 represents Nikon’s Precision AR Optic technology for heavier caliber rifles capable of long-range accuracy. A large magnification range combined with an oversize lens provides accurate shots with heavy caliber rifles in any conditions.
The Ultimate Optics Guide to Rifle Shooting