SCOPES

Best Scope for 30-06: How to Decide?

Deer hunting with 3006 gun
Mike Benton
Written by Mike Benton

Buying a riflescope is not always an easy task. More often than not, you will mess up and purchase a scope that does not meet your range expectations, or that is not right for the rifle it’s mated. It makes no sense to mount a pistol scope on a shotgun, just like it is dumb to use a 4x power scope on a .338 Lapua Magnum.

The best way to increase your chances of purchasing the right scope is by defining the functions to be achieved. Buying a scope that achieves the intended purpose is the best and only way of avoiding confusion and high prices.  Here we are on the hunt for the best scope for a 30-06.Of course, the element that completes a scope is the glass inside. This glass comprises the lenses that magnify and direct light as well as a prism located on a moving track.

The specifications and operation limits of a scope are irrelevant to the users, but rest assured, they are critical factors that get better and better every year and should be considered when planning to buy a riflescope.In essence, last year’s scope gets cheaper as time passes by. The following factors are basic requirements when looking to purchase a new scope.

Product NameWeightMagnificationPrice
Nikon Prostaff13.7 ounces3 - 9xCheck price on Amazon
Leupold VX-111. 2 ounces3 - 9x
Check price on Amazon
Bushnell Trophy XLT Bone Collector Edition13 ounces3 - 9xCheck price on Amazon
Leupold VX-211.2 ounces3 - 16xCheck price on Amazon
Simmons 8-Point Truplex13.2 ounces3 - 9xCheck price on Amazon
Vortex Optics Diamondback32 ounces4 - 16xCheck price on Amazon
Nikon Buckmaster BDC16.1 ounces3 - 9xCheck price on Amazon
Vortex Optics Viper PST48 ounces3 - 9xCheck price on Amazon
Bestek AOEG22.2 ounces6 - 24xCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

Before we take a detailed look at particular scopes, it would be good to highlight some of the key features that you should take a look at while you consider which is the right now for you.

Length

The length of a scope is a crucial aspect to consider when buying a riflescope. If the length is shorter or longer than the mount, it becomes worthless as it cannot be used. The overall lengths need to be in line with the overall size and weight of your rifle.

The length of any accompanying accessories should also be taken into consideration when determining the overall length of the scope. Such accessories may include flash hiders on the objective lens, anti-glare hoods, and scope caps that are fitted on both ends and lead to longer scopes.

Weight

Weight is arguably the biggest constraint to building a riflescope. It is also the biggest concession you are going to make given that the weight of the scope can either make or break the entire rifle onto which it is mounted.Remember, the bigger the tube, the higher the magnification, the bigger the turrets and lens, then, the more weight you are going to place on the rifle.

pellet gun scope in room

Let the drive to buying a scope be purpose-oriented. Determining the acceptable weight of the scope should be a decision reached at after establishing the use of the rifle. Less weight is always better but is not effective in all circumstances.

Tube Diameter

The scope tube is the long thin part that connects the eyepiece to the objective bell. It is the part that houses light accessories such as the adjustment dials, prism, and any other illuminating equipment featured by the scope. Tactical scopes that need extreme light transmission and clarity upgrade from tube diameters of 1-inch up to 30mm.

The adverse effect associated with increased high transmission is that it leads to a 50% increase in weight and sometimes cost. These particular scopes are mountable at higher levels and make rifles overly unwieldy.If you don’t mind the weight and dimension drawbacks, such scopes are the best with a performance record akin from going from a V8 to a V12 engine.

Magnification

Magnification power refers to how much bigger the target will be after observing it through a scope. In most scopes, the magnification power can be adjusted depending on your preferences. Magnification power of a scope is denoted by the first value on a scope label.

view through scope

For example, a 2-9×40 scope has a magnification of 2x and can be adjusted up to 9x power. The key thing to remember is that magnification doesn’t enable you to shoot better, rather, it allows you to see better.

Reticles

This is the crosshairs that allow for proper alignment of the scope and the target. Simple reticle designs are considered as life savers in battles and combat situations as opposed to fancy designs which have proven to be liabilities, especially in hunting expeditions.ACOG rifle scope is an example of a scope that effectively uses the BDC reticles to improve performance. All in all, if you are going to use the gun for particular tasks such as sniping and hunting, the frequent practice can better acquaint you to the scope reticles.

Light Transmission

This is the amount of light passing through the scope into your eyes. In this case, much is always better but also remember quality is as important as quantity.New scope models have different light transmission capabilities that have filters to regulate the amounts of light entering the scope. That said, the user can adjust the objective bell’s diameter to gather enough light depending on the time of day or night.

Eye Relief

Eye relief refers to the distance between the pupil and the eyepiece. If the chosen scope has the wrong eye relief, you may not be able to see through the scope.There are two types of eye relief, critical and non-critical. The former is best suited for precision bolt action rifles whereas the latter is used in tactical and defense environments.

Parallax

Parallax error is observed when an object or shape viewed through a scope moves or shifts from the initial position. This is a difficult error to deal with and requires special handling of the magnification ranges so that it is not adjustable.

Field of View

The field of view is a critical measure of how much you can see through a scope from a particular distance. Usually, the lower the magnification, the greater the field of view and vice versa.

Objective Lens

This is an important feature of a scope as it is responsible for gathering light and focusing images. Scopes with huge objective bells produce crystal-clear images.However, large objective bells imply heavy rifles. Therefore, the only way of avoiding purchasing a wrong scope is by defining the work at hand and acquiring a scope that fits the size and weight requirements of the specified job.

Budget

This is the amount you are willing to spend on purchasing the scope. Apparently, the best scope in the whole world means nothing to you if you cannot afford it. When planning to buy a scope, nail down the purpose of the rifle and then make sure you purchase a scope that effectively carries out the function.

Top Products on the Market

There remains a great variety of riflescopes that potential buyers can check in the stores to suit their requirements. These range from:

Nikon Prostaff Riflescope

Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40Price: Approx. $140

Weight: 13.7 ounces

Specific features: Magnification power 3-9x, 80 moa parallax setting, up to 98 supplied accessories

Best use: Hunting and target shooting

The Nikon Prostaff Riflescope is one of the best and most reviewed rifle scopes in today’s market. The scope possesses same specs as the Buckmaster 3-9x40mm with the exception of the lens.

The scope uses zero-reset turret making it versatile and the best 30 06 scope. The scope is best used for hunting and target shooting where it offers high quality and mid to long ranges for the price.

The riflescope not only offers value for money but also guarantees durability and long time warranty. The glass used in assembling the product is clear and bright.  However, the scope model is large and bulky thereby necessitating high mounts.

PROS:

  • Compact Riflescope with 3 to 9x magnification and 40mm objective lens
  • Fully multicoated optical system transmits up to 98 percent of available light
  • Zero-reset turret with spring-loaded adjustment knob; 3.6 inches of eye relief
  • Nitrogen-filled, O-ring-sealed housing for waterproof, fog proof performance
  • BDC reticle; quick-focus eyepiece; measures 12.4 inches

CONS:

  • Doesn’t hold the line of sight
  • There is not enough contrast between the target and the crosshairs

Related: CVLIFE Tactical Rifle Bipod is perfect for this scope. It has an adjustable leg length and can be quickly attached to or detached from the rifle using existing swivel stud.

Check the price on Amazon

Leupold VX-1 Waterproof Riflescope

Leupold Vx-1 3-9x40Price: Approx. $150

Dimensions: 12.6 x 1 x 1 inches

Specific features: Rugged and waterproof, leupold scope cover, elevation adjustment dials with 1/4 MOA click rate

Best use: Hunting

The Leupold VX-1 Waterproof Riflescope is built with ballistics aiming system that offers precise focus required for long-range hunting. At a lower magnification of 3x the scope can create a large field of view that measures approximately 32.9 Ft at a distance of 100 yards.

The eye relief provided for the scope allows even spectacle wearers to use the riflescope without any hindrance. Apart from increasing durability, the multicoated lens system of the rifle makes it efficient in minimizing light loss while generating clear images at the same time.

The adjustable magnification power offers users the chance to see a detailed view of the object. Also, the scope is designed with tough, waterproof, and sturdy material that makes it efficient even in harsh environments.

PROS:

  • Quantum Optical System with lead-free glass and Multicoat 4 lens coatings
  • Finger-adjustable dials (1/4-MOA per click) allow for quick and easy zeroing and adjustments in the field
  • Leupold’s classic lockable eyepiece for a secure focus
  • Oxygen purged and nitrogen filled for decades of waterproof and fog proof performance

CONS:

  • The knobs are not tightly screwed
  • It has no Mildot
  • The scope is hard to adjust

Related: Pairing a riflescope with a spotting scope is always a good plan when shooting or hunting.  This gives you the ability to check the target area and have a view of the target. A great option would be the Emarth AE Spotting Scope.

Check the price on Amazon

Bushnell Trophy XLT Scope

Bushnell Trophy XLT Bone CollectorPrice: Approx. $110

Weight: 13 ounces

Specific features: 91 percent light transmission, butler creek flip-open scope covers, 100 percent waterproof and fog proof

Best use: Big game hunting

The Bushnell Trophy XLT Scope is the most proven scope in history. Its ability to allow over 91% light transmission through its nearly indestructible one-piece tube elevates the standards of the scope internationally.

All models of the scope contain fully multi-coated optics which allow production of quality images even during the precious times between dark and almost dark.

Continuous tests indicate that the piece tube offers utmost dependability while durability is increased by the Butler Creek flip-up caps that shield the lenses from fogging and precipitation. There is indeed no other riflescope that can match or compete with XLT.

PROS:

  • Fast focus eyepiece; 1/4 MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustments
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • 100% waterproof, fog proof and shockproof
  • Dry nitrogen filled

CONS:

  • Has a very poor eye relief
  • It is heavy
  • It doesn’t hold zero

Related: Since you will need to mount your new scope to your favorite handgun, why not take a moment to consider the Picatinny/Weaver Medium Profile Rings from AccuShot to give you a great mounting option.

Check the price on Amazon

Leupold VX-2 Riflescope

Leupold Vx-2 3-9x40mmPrice: Approx. $245

Weight: 11.2 ounces

Dimensions: 14 x 3.2 x 3 inches

Specific features: Tube diameter: -1 inch, magnification: -medium (approx. 3x – 16x)

Best use: Hunting

The Leupold VX-2 Riflescope gives optimal clarity and light transmission not found in other rifle scopes for the same price. It is a top scope for 30-06 rifle to be used in hunting expeditions. Its magnification can be adjusted to lower levels to accommodate greater fields of view.

The clear glass and broad objective bells ensure that you can hit your target even at long ranges. Your investment in this 30 06 scope is long-term, owing to its durable nature.

The scope is made of quality glass that is long-lasting and is accompanied by a lifetime warranty.  The only disadvantage with this scope is that it cannot be adjusted continuously for a long period.

PROS:

  • Has a revolutionary quantum optical system
  • The riflescope is diamond coat
  • It as an Index matched lens system
  • Has a very clear scope

CONS:

  • The zero is hard to adjust

Related: Leupold Standard 1″ Rings fits securely into your scope for easy accessibility.

Check the price on Amazon

Simmons 8-Point Truplex Riflescope

Simmons 8-Point Truplex Reticle RiflescopePrice: Approx. $40

Weight: 13.2 ounces

Specific features: Magnification 3-9x, 50mm objective lens, fully coated optic lens, truezero windage elevation adjustment, waterproof, fog proof and shockproof design

Best use: Hunting

When put into comparison with other riflescopes, Simmons 8-Point Truplex Riflescope has a bigger magnifying power which makes the scope topnotch. The scope has been designed in a compact design that is easy to handle and pack.

This is also attributed to the light weight of the device that makes its mounting quick and easy. Simmons 8 Point scope can be used for all kinds of locations and conditions. The scope comes with an adjustment knob that is used to adjust the angles of depression and elevation.

This makes aiming of targets comfortable while increasing precision. The rifle scope is fitted with a 50mm objective lens that comes with a 3-9 magnification that allows full and clear viewing from 100 yards.

At this distance, Simmons 8 Point allows a 31.4-10.5 field of view, which is far more than what many scopes within this range can offer. As this is not enough, the lens has been properly coated to improve the quality of the images and scenes viewed.

The Simmons 8 Point scope has been entirely finished such that it catches the eye of a shopper even before they can be introduced to the numerous and cutting edge feature the scope has to offer. This is complimented with a QTA eyepiece that enables a wider eye relief and allows one to quickly point out the desired targets.

The rifle scope also comes with True Zero Windage Technology, which ensures that the pointer is always set at zero regardless the weather conditions, making it a scope for use in both cool and hostile climatic zones. This is due to the water and shock proof design of the rifle scope.

These also come in a wide variety of rings thereby allowing a range of products to choose from. This rifle scope can be described as a value for money as it will satisfy all your aiming works and for a subsidized price.

This riflescope has a waterproof, fog proof and shockproof design that enable it to withstand the harsh conditions during hunting. It is strong and durable scope hence; it’s able to withstand any harsh conditions.

PROS:

  • Waterproof, Fog proof & recoil proof
  • Riflescope offers robust feature set for the price; coated optics provide bright, high-contrast images
  • 1/4-MOA SureGrip audible click windage and elevation adjustments
  • Proprietary TrueZero windage and elevation adjustment system stays locked to zero through strenuous conditions; QTA eyepiece enables easy target acquisition

CONS:

  • The magnification ring can’t be adjusted
  • Windage and elevation knobs are mushy
  • It doesn’t hold zero

Related: AccuShot Picatinny/Weaver Medium Profile Rings is perfect for mounting this scope.

Check the price on Amazon

Vortex Optics Diamondback HP Riflescope

Vortex Optics Diamondback HPPrice: Approx. $360

Weight: 32 ounces

Dimensions: Length 12.5 inches

Specific features: Magnification 4-16x, 42 mm objective lens, 1” tube diameter, windage/elevation: 1/4 moa, length: 12.5.”

Best use: Long range shooting and hunting

Vortex has been a leader in the manufacture of riflescopes for some time now and has not disappointed regarding the quality of their scopes. The company offers a wide range of scopes for the various markets there are. The Vortex Optics Diamondback HP Riflescope is fully equipped to do all the job for all your long range targets.

It comes fitted with XD extra-low dispersion that enables high definition views while the XR coated lens ensures maximum light penetration making the product suitable for all your hunting needs. This scope is designed in such a way that is just the right size for you.

It is neither too big nor too small and thereby highly preferred. It is also a top choice among scopes for rifles due to its compatibility

For all hunters who want to push their 30-06 to the limits of 1000 yards, the 4-16x42mm is the scope you need. This scope guarantees the high precision of far targets that cannot be offered by the ordinary scopes common in the market. It has been tested and proved to be worth every penny you pay for it.

This scope also comes with an inbuilt BDC reticle which is a must have for every long range hunter. It helps save a lot of precious time that would have otherwise been wasted in making adjustments during aim.

In addition to this, the scope is fitted with high-quality optics that hard but super bright. This is definitely the most reliable 30-60 scope for your rifle and is suitable for all long range shots and hunting requirements.

PROS:

  • Dead-hold bdc reticle: customized dot design helps eliminate guesswork on holdover and windage corrections. Good for hunting/shooting at varying ranges where estimating holdover is a concern.
  • Second Focal Plane Reticle: Scale of reticle maintains the same ideally-sized appearance.
  • Features XD Lens Elements, XR Fully Multi-Coated, ArmorTek Coatings as well as Waterproof, Fogproof and Shock performance from O-ring seals and Argon gas purging.
  • Includes 4-inch sunshade, Protective lens caps, and Lens cloth

CONS:

  • Not effective in low light situations.
  • The knobs don’t track

Related: Vortex Optics Hunter 1″ Medium Rings Set helps keep the riflescope in position.

Check the price on Amazon

Nikon Buckmaster Riflescope

Nikon Buckmaster 3-9x40 BdcPrice: Approx. $95

Weight: 16.1 ounces

Dimensions: Length 13.1 inches

Specific features: Waterproof, magnification 3-9x, 40mm objective lens, 3.6” eye relief

Best use: Long range shooting and hunting

This was a joint venture by both Nikon Buckmaster Riflescope to come up with the 3-9x40mm scope which is long-lasting and can be used for a wide range of tasks. The scope is crafted out of non-reflective glass that allows maximum light penetration of up to 98%.

Buckmaster also boasts a waterproof outer cover rendering it for all season uses. The device also comes fitted with Nikon’s BDC reticle that allows easy targeting regardless of the environment. To crown it up, the product comes with a lifetime guarantee of efficiency.

The 3-9×40 affords an eye relief of 3.6″ which is more than enough for your 30-06 rifle. This should prove necessary for all aims and targets within the magnification range.

When properly utilized, the scope can make a perfect target in 12 rounds and be guaranteed of a clear shot regardless of the magnification setting, be it 3x or 9x. This makes it an excellent value for money when compared to more pricey devices.

Unlike most products in its price range, the Buckmaster retains its zero reading even when dropped. This price is easily affordable by the middle-income hunters, which comes with guaranteed accuracy and the zero mark is retained at all times.

However, the scope does not provide for night vision viewing, but its high definition optics allow just enough light penetration at dusk.

PROS:

  • BDC reticle trajectory-compensating system is designed and calibrated to provide fast, simple aiming points for various shot distances
  • 100 percent water and fog-proof housing, O-ring sealing and nitrogen filling ensure moisture never penetrates the interior
  • Durable, versatile riflescope is the result of collaboration between Nikon and Buckmasters
  • Brightvue anti-reflective system of multicoated lenses provides over 92 percent anti-reflection capability

CONS:

  • It has no zero
  • The images produced are poor

Related: In tactical situations, it is a good idea to have a quality sling on your rifle.  One of the bests that we’ve come across is the Accmor 2 point Rifle Sling.

Check the price on Amazon

Vortex Viper PST

Vortex Optics Viper PST FFPPrice: Approx. $500

Weight: 48 ounces

Specific features: 30 mm tube diameter, crafted from a single solid block of aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum.

Best use: Tactical shooting and hunting

The Vortex Viper PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) scope combines all the fine features of pricey riflescopes for a low cost. This implies that the product allows you to precisely hit your targets without having to pay dearly for the top notch rifle scopes the market has to offer. The PST also boasts identical reticles and tower measurements that enable to make several shots within no time.

The rifle scope is crafted from a single block of aircraft grade aluminum making it sleek and easy to handle just by design. As if this is not enough, the device comes handy with proper elevation and depression adjustment knobs that allow easy aiming and switching.

This brainchild is a result of thorough market research as well as the use of high technology so as to come up with just the right scope for all your shooting and hunting expeditions at an inexpensive price. This is a design of the future that has been brought to life and which is affordable unlike other scopes with the same capabilities.

PROS:

  • Fully Multi-Coated
  • Vortex XR proprietary anti-reflection lens coatings increase light transmission with multiple coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces
  • Constant suspensions allow accurate holdover and ranging at all magnifications
  • It has a Precision-Force Spring System

CONS:

  • The parallax adjustment is not totally effective

Related: Vortex Optics Hunter 1″ Rings Set helps keep the riflescope in position.

Check the price on Amazon

Bestek AOEG Riflescope

Bestek 6-24x50mm AoegPrice: Approx. $35

Dimensions: Length 15.75 inches

Specific features: Magnification: 6~24x, eye rifle (mm):75.94~81.53, field of view (m): 3.98~16.24, field of view (m): 3.98~16.24.

Best use: Hunting

The BESTEK AOEG Riflescope offers increased illumination levels five Red and Green respectively. These prove decisive in the proper adjusting of the lens to ensure swift and precise shots. This comes with an increased battery life that allows it to run smoothly with no fear of blackouts.

The optics are made of multi-coated glass that is smooth and precise. This glass is hard enough to prevent scratching and breaking of the lens.

Adjustment of the scope made easy by the heavy duty scope rings that come with every package. These are also used for mounting the scopes onto the rifles. Magnification is adjusted by revolving the ability ring while the distance is checked by attuning the length of the ring.

PROS:

  • Illuminated Level: 5 Intensity (Red) and 5 Intensity (Green). Red or green dot crosshair with front focus eyepiece adjustment helps you shooting the target fast and accurately. Battery: CR2032 x 1 (Included)
  • Heavy duty scope ring mounts for 20mm Weaver dovetail rail only. 2pcs scope ring mounts and 1pcs lens cover included
  • Hard anodizing multi-coated lenses ensure a good hand feeling and avoid of scratching

CONS:

  • It doesn’t hold zero on some rifles
  • The scope is not clear at a specified

Related: If you already don’t have a rifle stand, it is recommended that you get one for yourself. Such as the CVLIFE Tactical Rifle Bipod Stand, easy to use and easy to carry with you. Made from aluminum, it is sturdy and fits all rifles with easy mount swivel stud.

Check the price on Amazon

Final Thoughts

It is always advisable to be aware of all your shooting needs before purchasing a rifle scope. This should be followed by a careful consideration of your budget. Upon deciding on these factors, you can proceed on to make an informed decision and make a purchase that has a good value for money.

We’d love to hear which option you have selected for your 30-06. Let us know in the comment section below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Benton
Mike Benton

Mike is a hunter since he was 6 years old and his father would take him to Alaska or British Columbia. He realized that the difference in gear that you have might have a big impact on how much game will you carry home. Later he decided to share his valuable experience with our readers to help you to choose the proper gear for hunting and outdoors.

  • Carl Agner

    If you’re going out in the field with a 30-06 you’re probably looking for some big game. After reading your article and looking at the suggested products, I’m still favoring Bushnell over the other brands. Some users complain that the caps are annoying. I’d say you’re probably better off getting your own protection for your scope.

  • Mike Benton

    Bushnell is one of the best brands as far as rifle scopes are concerned. Bushnell line of riflescopes has high performing optics, fast-focus eyepiece, and superior shock, fog, and water resistance. Great choice, Carl.

  • Anthony Gonzalez

    My dad just loves big game hunting. Any chance he gets, he goes up to his cabin and spends a lot of time watching the wildlife pass by. He recently got a Browning BLR and I want to get him a new scope for it. I was curious to see if anyone could tell me if the Bushnell Trophy XLT scope would be good idea for that rifle?

  • Mike Thomas

    I’m looking for a new rangefinder to use for golfing. My old one was recently stolen with my entire golf bag and I want to use this as an excuse to upgrade to a more modern rangefinder. I really like the features and specs for the Bushnell Medalist Laser Rangefinder. Can anyone explain how exactly the “pinseeker” technology works, please?

  • Mike Benton

    The Bushnell Trophy is certainly a good choice for your dad’s rifle. It comes highly recommended by most users.

  • Mike Benton

    The Pin Seeker technology is one of the bestselling features of Bushnell. This technology offers a golfer with short vibrating pulses, which provides confirmation when a laser locks onto a flag.

  • Alex Melson

    I let my son-in-low use my old riflescope during his trip to Colorado, and I regret it, now! I don’t really know what happened, but it is damaged and unfit for use. The point is that my friends invite me to go hunting next weekend and I have to order a new scope during the next few days. My buddies recommend the Vortex model, and I think that Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 Riflescope will work well for me. Is it 100% shock proof?

  • Mike Benton

    Good choice, Alex. The Vortex Optics Diamondback HP comes highly recommended by most users – not to mention that it has a fogproof and shockproof construction that offers reliable performance under extreme conditions.

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