One cartridge that enjoyed immense popularity amongst rifle users is the 300 Winchester Magnum. People hunt deer and even bear with this rifle cartridge. It has a pretty powerful recoil as well, considering it is designed to deliver a hefty blow. So the scopes mounted on rifles shooting the 300 Win Mag have to be pretty durable. We have covered such scopes in our review section for the best 300 Win Mag scopes in the market.
The 300 Win Mag, as they call it, is one of the most used cartridges in hunting big games. There is a long history associated with the 300 Win Mag. It was created and crafted with much precision and released for use in the Model 70 rifle. The Model 70, which is dubbed the rifleman’s rifle, was famous for its use as a sports rifle in hunting contests.
The 300 Win Mag was designed so that most standard rifles could accept the cartridge without hassle. It is based on the predecessor .338 Win Mag and .337 H&H Mag cartridges. Since most standard rifles can use the 300 Win Mag cartridges, scopes can vary. So finding the right optics for your gun will be a difficult task. But we will do our best to help you out with this review.
Why Do You Need a Scope for Rifles Using 300 Win Mag Cartridges?
The .300 Win Mag cartridges are relatively standard and mainly used for long-range hunting applications. If it was close range, even the average hunter might be able to hit a target 50-yards away accurately. When we move away from the 100-yard distance, it becomes difficult to shoot on point. Some people can shoot as far as 150 to 200 yards without the help of optics. But these are people who practice at the gun range.
To shoot a moving target like a deer or wild sheep, you need accuracy. Such accuracy is impossible without the assistance of good optics. The .300 Winchester Magnum is said to be good for about 1000 yards distance and more. If you plan on long-range hunting, you would need a scope to aim at your target accurately.
People use scopes on a slug gun which has a maximum of 200-yard effectiveness using powerful slugs. The 300 Win Mag has an effective range of up to 1100-yards at most. If you want to shoot even half that distance with precision, you need a scope. Your iron sights won’t get you anywhere that kind of distance. A good scope with a variable magnification of up to 30X will make sure you don’t miss a single shot.
What to Look for in Scopes for 300 Win Mag
While used to hunt for bigger games, like bears and deers, the 300 Win Mag is also a competition cartridge. Law enforcers also use it for sniping targets at a distance too. If you want help picking out the scope for your rifle that uses the cartridge, check out this comprehensive buyer’s guide.
Scope for the rifle shooting a 300 Win Mag has to be durable. That is because the cartridge has a mighty kick to it. The cartridge has been developed to maximize power, and so it creates a good amount of recoil. And because of that, if you mount anything on your rifle that shoots it, it needs to be durable. That includes the scope and, of course, so always check the material from which the scope is made.
The industry-standard these days is aircraft-grade aluminum which is pretty light but also very strong. It is durable and does not rust over time, making it an ideal choice for this application. It is also waterproof because it does not accumulate rust regardless of the moisture. And lastly, the lighter weight helps when you have to carry around a heavy rifle everywhere when hunting.
But even if the scope holds its construction well, it does not necessarily mean it’s suitable for your rifle. If you have to zero it in after every round fired, it is utterly useless. Now the 300 Win Mag is designed to have more power in the cartridge. The increased amount of gunpowder to create that power means massive recoil at every shot. Your scope needs to bear the brunt without losing the adjustments you made to it before firing the shot.
If you plan to use your rifle to shoot a 300 Win Mag round at the range, you need some excellent magnification on your scope. If you can’t see a target correctly, it will be hard to hit it. Since the cartridge is suitable for at least 1000 yards, you will need some powerful magnification options. Something above the 10X zoom is going to be necessary.
If you plan on hunting deer or elk with it, then maybe something a little lower will suffice. 9X zoom is ideal for hunting-based applications, but buy something that will work in both scenarios. So you don’t have to buy two of these and just go over your budget uselessly.
The 300 Win Mag is designed to shoot at distances. When shooting over distances, a standard crosshair does not cut it. You need something that helps you adjust your shot according to space. For such applications, BDC or MOA is the preferred reticle style to have in your scope.
4. Other Features
Some other features to look for in your scope are whether the lenses are multicoated or not. A multicoated lens improves the light transmission of the scope. This helps you hunt better, even during dusk when the natural light is fading. Multicoated lenses also help reduce glare and reflection of light. Plus, it helps ease any dust buildup on the lens as well.
All optics are usually nitrogen or argon purged, and O sealed to avoid fog buildup on the lenses during cold weather. And if the reticle is on the second focal plane or the first focal plane. The difference is when you adjust magnification, the reticle stays the same throughout in the second focal plane.
A scope with more features and higher magnification means it is going to be expensive. You can find various budgets in scopes for 300 Win Mag. Depending on your need, a scope can go anywhere from 200$ to 2000$ and above. The bottom line, though is, the more remarkable features a scope has, the more expensive it tends to be. Of course, there is also quality, but all of the scopes in the reviews below are top-notch. Even the cheapest one on our list is pretty solid..
Best Scope for 300 Win Mag Reviewed
1. NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope
When it comes to image quality through the lens of a scope, the NightForce SHV knocks the ball out of the park. The 56mm lens does a fantastic job when it comes to image clarity. The MOAR reticle is not so complex but also pretty helpful when it comes to shooting at distances. The scope has rugged construction, providing that much-needed durability to withstand the recoil of a 300 Win Mag cartridge.
There are tactical MOA turrets on the scope that come with a ZeroSet feature. This feature allows you to instantly set the scope back to zero with a flick of a switch. And because of that, adjustability becomes exceedingly easy on the SHV.
The SHV has a magnification range of 5-20X, making it a good choice for close-range deer hunting and long-distance target shooting. The magnification is variable, another adjustable feature. So whether you are shooting deer and elk, or a target in a range, you are good to go.
Lastly, the reticle is on the second focal plane, meaning no matter what zoom setting you are on, the reticle stays the same. NightForce also gives a good warranty on their product, and there is also an illuminated reticle variant, the C535. If you want to hunt at late timings, that is what you would prefer.
- Rugged Construction
- ZeroSet Feature Allows Zeroing Turrets With One Switch
- 5-20X Magnification with Clear Crisp Image
- Second Focal Plane Reticle
2. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC
The Nikon Buckmasters II with the BDC reticle has to be one of the best budget scopes for the 300 Win Mag market. It is incredibly cheap compared to all the other scopes that are on this list. The only downside is, it also has the lowest magnification coming in at 3 to 9X zoom at most. But you don’t need more than 9X zoom when it comes to hunting for a bigger game.
The BDC or bullet drop compensation reticle on this scope is unique. That is because of the see-through ballistic circles under the center. This creates less clutter on the reticle when you are hunting. The body is pretty rugged, which is good as the 300 Win Mag packs a hard punch.
Being a scope from Nikon, the star of these optics has to be the lens. Since Nikon is a massive name in camera lenses, it is a given that the lenses on their scope would be top quality. You get the most fantastic light transmission on this optic. The image is also evident throughout the whole magnification range.
You also get adjustable turrets for windage and elevation to zero in on the fly. Lastly, it is nitrogen purged, fog-resistant, and waterproof. And the best part, Nikon gives you an outstanding warranty for the scope. All in all, it is a good value for the price.
- Quality Lens With Clear Image Throughout Magnification Ranges
- Incredible Light Transmission for Hunting at Low Light
- Fog-resistant Lens
- Good Warranty
- Magnification Can Be Low for 300 Win Mag
3. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II First Focal Plane Riflescopes
Vortex Optics is a big name in the gun scope market. They have some of the finest optics, with the Viper PST Gen II being top of the line. This is a great hunting rifle scope that provides you with some fantastic features. One feature is suitable in its name, and it is the first focal plane reticle scope. This means that the reticle adjusts according to the magnification setting you are on.
Speaking of magnification, this riflescope has a variable zoom range of 2 to 10X. This is ideal for shooting the bigger game during the season. The scope is milled out of a single piece of aluminum for solid construction. That alone speaks volumes about how durable this scope is.
Along with the usual multicoating, the Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II lenses have an Armortek coating. Not only do you not get any glare and have improved light transmission, but you also look at longer age on the lens itself. The Armortek coating prevents dust, oil, and scratches on the glass itself.
Lastly, the reticle is illuminated and adjustable, so are the windage and elevation. And the chamber is argon purged, and O sealed so no fog build-up. Plus, this is also waterproof so that rain won’t ruin your hunting session. With all these fantastic features comes a hefty price tag, but it is worth its price.
- Durable Single Piece Aluminum Construction
- Illuminated Reticle
- First Focal Plane Reticle
- Armortek Coating for Longer Life of Lenses
- Crisp Quality Image
- Very Pricey
4. Primary Arms PLx 6-30x56mm FFP Rifle Scope – Illuminated MIL-Dot
The Primary Arms PLx Rifle Scope comes with an illuminated MIL-Dot reticle that gives you hunting prowess even when the sun is down. If we are talking about the big games over long distances, this is the scope you would want to have. These optics have adjustable brightness for illumination. At the brightest level, it illuminates the reticle even during the daytime.
Other than that, we are talking about some far distance shooting with 6-30X magnification. You can shoot as far as 600-yard distance with the 300 Win Mag cartridge in your rifle accurately if you have this scope. The MIL-Dot reticle helps with precision at different ranges.
The glass used for the lens is Japanese, and with the vast 56mm lens, you can expect some crystal clear image quality. The lens is multi-coated for superb light transmission, and with the illuminated reticle, hunting at night becomes easy.
While the optics don’t come cheap, they have a lifetime warranty from Primary Arms. You also get quality Butler Creek caps for covering your lenses to protect them from dust and rubble when not in use. And for daytime, you also receive a sunshade to prevent direct sunlight from getting in your eyes.
- Lifetime Warranty
- Impressive 6-30X Magnification for Long Distance Shooting
- Quality Lens for Crystal Clear and Sharp Image
- Included Sunshade and Butler Creek Caps
- Illuminated Reticle
5. Zeiss Conquest V6 5-30×50 ZMOA Reticle w/BDC Turret
Zeiss is a giant when it comes to lenses. Zeiss produces the lenses for most cameras these days. The Zeiss Conquest V6, albeit the most expensive optic on our list, is also one of the best in the world. Nothing beats the quality of the lens in this scope. It has a six-layer multicoat, a high light transmission glass, and a LotuTec protection coat that repels moisture, oil, and dust. So whether it is foggy or dusty, your lens stays clear, and you get the best quality image regardless of the conditions.
The light transmission on these optics is terrific; you can see even in the lowest light settings without trouble. The illuminated reticle is ultra-fine. It is not too thin that you cannot spot it, but thin enough to provide you accuracy at multiple magnification ranges. Speaking of magnification, you get 5-30X zoom on this scope, so long-range shots are super easy.
The construction is durable enough to withstand the shock from a 300 Win Mag without trouble. It has a BDC reticle, so shooting at a long-distance target is incredibly accurate on this scope.
The housing of the scope is purged and sealed to provide the usual fog resistance. But with the LotuTec coating, even if the glass fogs up a bit, it will just drip down since the lens will repel any water at all.
- Illuminated BDC Reticle
- Durable Construction
- Best Quality Lenses
- LotuTec Coating for Moisture and Dust Protection on Lenses
- Incredible Light Transmission
- Second Focal Plane Reticle
- Incredibly Expensive
In all essence, scopes for the 300 Win Mag can be pretty expensive. But that does not mean there aren’t any budget options in the market. The Nikon Buckmaster II is a prime example of a great budget lens. But one thing that is consistent throughout all the optics is their durability. The 300 Win Mag is deliberately designed to have more extensive housing for gunpowder. This is to reach higher velocities, making it the preference for shooters and law enforcers alike.
But as you go up in price, you start to receive more features in your scope. Higher magnification, illuminated reticle, special features like the ArmorTek coating and LotuTec coating are just some of the elements present in the high-end scopes. But the budget will depend on your requirements. If you want to hunt at night, then choose a scope with an illuminated reticle. On the other hand, if you’re going to hunt at a long distance, choose higher magnification.
Regardless of that, any of these scopes will suffice your needs more than enough.