You have a .308 rifle, and what’s not to love about it? This rifle is the ultimate. It is arguably the most popular short-action, big-game hunting cartridge you can own. Civilians, military and the police all appreciate the .308 rifle.
Straight out of the box, a .308 can shoot accurately at 200 yards. This is great, but what can you do if you want to expand that range? The answer is to add an optic. Scopes have the ability to take your rifle and make it even better.
In order to purchase the right scope for your .308, you need to answer a few questions. It is good to know what you intended to use the scope and rifle for- competition target shooting? Big game hunting? It is also crucial to know what your maximum shooting distance will be, since not all scopes will shoot out to the same distance. And you should also have a budget in mind. The price of scopes can have quite a price range. Since most gun owners consider accessories to be part of their gun investment, it's a good idea to have a working budget.
What is the purpose of a scope?
More and more people are taking up an interest in hunting and in firearms. This means that there is also a growing interest in accessories. Accessories have the ability to turn an average hunting day into a great one. For rifles, there are many accessories available to add on and enhance your shooting experience.
One of these accessories is a scope. Scopes are used by rifle owners for different reasons. There are some scopes for night use, others are intended for shorter ranges, some are better for varmint hunting and some are designed for long range shooting.
By adding on the right scope for the .308 caliber rifle, you increase your ability to enjoy all of the favorable benefits that the rifle has to offer, including aerodynamic shooting, comfortable weight, economic power consumption, and multiple use capabilities in a number of settings.
It is crucial to decide how you will be using your rifle and scope. Long range shooting is defined as shooting that takes place at a distance that requires the shooter to factor in ballistics, especially windage and bullet drop. These two factors are necessary for accurate target hitting at a distance.
In the sport of shooting, long range shooting is generally broken down into different classes. Benchrest shooting involves distance that are between 100-1000 yards. F class shooting is typically 300-1000 yards as well. Practical Precision shooting involves targets that are 100-1800 meters out and use steel targets.
Other factors that contribute to deciding long range shooting are, weather and caliber and the distance at which you consistently hit your target. For a .22 rifle, any distance over 100 yards is considered long distance.
It is important to know if you plan on using a scope on your 308 for shooting at 100 yards, or the scope on your 308 for hunting.
Which Brand is Best?
There are many companies that make scopes for rifles. And although there are many companies, all scope will have certain aspects in common. Here are some things to consider when buying a scope.
Any scope that you purchase for hunting or tactical purposes should be durable and able to withstand the normal wear and tear. Aircraft grade aluminum is the standard for quality rifle scopes, so be sure that the scope you purchase is constructed from it.
Another key feature of a good hunting scope, is that it has both low profile windage and elevation turrets. Low profile turrets are a good feature since they will not get snagged in brush or get knocked off as easily. You should be able to manage them easily.
It is always a good idea to make sure that your scope is waterproof and fog proof.
2. Can maintain zero
Any scope that you use with your .308 needs to be able to maintain it’s zero. There is a recoil to the .308, and your scope needs to be able to withstand it. You will not have time to properly zero your scope when you are actively hunting.
3. Fixed vs Variable Power
A fixed scope will only have one level of magnification. A variable scope will have the ability to flip through different levels of magnification. Deciding between the two will really come down to personal preference. Some scope users like to have the ability to pull back and view more of the terrain as they are hunting. Whether a scope is fixed or variable will not have a big impact on the price difference.
A fixed scope might be a good choice if you intend to use your rifle for hunting in dense vegetation, where most of your shots will be taken at 150 yards and less.
If you are looking to purchase a variable scope, you should look at the lowest magnification setting. You may not always be shooting out at 500 yards. You need to be sure that your scope can quickly adapt to a shorter distance and have a wide enough field of view to be able to sight your target.
This is an important factor. Eye relief refers to the distance between your eye and the scope that allows you to see a clear picture. Given the recoil of some firearms, this is important. The minimum recommendation is 3.5” of eye relief.
Brands of scopes
When you start your search for a scope for your .308, you will encounter many brands. Vortex Optics is a well-known company. The Vortex scope for .308 rifles are well designed and well made. They do use aircraft grade aluminum. In addition, they make their scopes to be as lightweight as possible and as sturdy as possible. Vortex Optics makes scopes for just about any situation.
Night force Optics is another well respected brand. If you choose a Nightforce scope for your .308 rifle, you will be choosing a top-quality product. The scopes are expertly designed and constructed to stand up.
What about price?
It is easy to wonder how much a new scope will cost you. Scopes can vary in price; there is a wide range from less expensive to extremely pricey. Most people do consider the rifles and accessories to be an investment and it makes good sense to think this way.
Keep in mind, you do not necessarily need to buy the most expensive long-range scope. You should buy the best scope for your skill level and needs that fits within your budget. Make sure that you know how it will attach to your rifle as well.
Scope prices can range from under $100.00 to several thousands of dollars. Most enthusiasts do consider them to be an investment and an item they will have for a long time.
It is not necessary, however, to spend the most money. The key is to look for a scope that has the attributes you need for the type of shooting you plan on doing with it. Some people follow the general rule that your optics should cost at least ½ of what you paid for your rifle.
Points to Remember
A scope is intended to enhance your shooting experience. There is a wide range of scopes available with different options and capabilities. Therefore, it is important to know how you plan on using your scope and what your is your intended shooting distance. You need to know your purpose in adding a scope to your rifle. These factors will help you to narrow down your choices.
The .308 rifle is probably one of the more popular rifle choices. It is safe to say that almost every optics manufacturer will have a scope that fits your.308 rifle. When you are purchasing a scope, make sure you understand how it is mounted. It is crucial that the scope be mounted correctly.
Once you have correctly mounted your new scope, make sure to zero it before taking it out in the field or on the range. A properly zeroed scope and rifle will greatly increase your rate of success with hitting your target.
Scope prices have a wide range. It is possible to spend under $100 and get a decent scope. You could also spend thousands of dollars and get a good scope. Your determining factor should be to buy the best scope you can afford that has the features you need for the type of hunting you will be doing. It is a good idea to consider the purchase of a scope to be an investment. You should have your scope for many years.
When choosing a scope for your .308, take your time. Make sure you know how you intend to sue your scope and rifle and the maximum shooting distance you will be using. Remember, a scope is only as good as your success with it.