Best Scopes for a 30-06 Rifle – Editor’s Picks for 2021
When searching for the best scopes for a .30-06, you must look at a variety of features and functions. This will ensure that you find the most adequate scope for your shooting and hunting needs. The .30-06 was originally designed for military use but has become a popular contender in the field of recreational and competitive hunting.
- 1 What Are the Basics of a 30-06 Rifle?
- 2 What Magnification Do You Need for Typical Use of a .30-06?
- 3 What Are the Best Rifle Scopes for a 30-06?
- 3.1 Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 BDC
- 3.2 Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40mm
- 3.3 Leupold VX-2 4-12x40mm
- 3.4 Burris Fullfield II 4.5 – 14x42mm Ballistic Plex
- 3.5 Athlon Optics Helos BTR 6-24×50 MOA
- 3.6 Vortex Viper PST 5 – 25x50mm FFP EBR-2C MOA
- 3.7 Leupold FX-3 6x42mm Wide Duplex Reticle
- 3.8 Nikon Black FX1000 4-16×50 MOA
- 4 Conclusion – Best Scopes for 30-06 Rifles
Below you will find some tips for choosing a quality rifle scope as well as a handful of options that you might want to consider before choosing the best scope for your shooting and hunting, whether long-range or other distances.
What Are the Basics of a 30-06 Rifle?
The .30-06 cartridge first came on the military scene in 1906, offering a lighter weight and higher velocity than its predecessor. Today it continues to be a worthy competitor in the hunting and sporting fields. – What makes hunting and tactical scopes similar?
With its accurate targeting and moderate recoil, it’s an amateur-friendly choice for small, medium, and big game targets.
The .30-06 can shoot up to 200 yards (have a look at the best 200-yard scopes) with less than 1 MOA. With the right scope, the .30-06 is capable of shooting up to 1000 yards (find the best 1000-yard scopes). When looking for a scope, the tube should be 1″ or 30mm in diameter with same-sized rings on the tube body.
At larger magnifications, a scope sometimes features parallax adjustment. The standard is 1/4 MOA change per adjustment knob click at 100 yards for MOA reticles and 0.1 MRAD (milliradian) for Mil-Rad reticles. Adjustments could be finger-adjustable or via a turret. Some turrets reset to zero while others don’t.
The .30-06 is intended for long-range shots of 500 yards or more (here are our reviews of the best 500-yard scopes), which will require an adequate field of view as well as good light transmission to get a crisp image. Opt for variable magnification on your scope so you don’t feel limited. A larger objective lens (40mm to 50mm) will offer a wide field of vision and usually better low-light capabilities which is a huge advantage for long-range targeting.
When looking for a scope, it’s best if it already comes with scope rings included in the purchase. That way, there is no guesswork about which ones to get.
Another thing to consider is the adjustment knobs on the rifle scope. It’s nice to have a good click to them that you can feel so that you don’t have to rely on sight to make the changes. It will prove more effective to your focus when you’re out in the field or at the shooting range.
Remember, the .30-06 is meant to shoot at distances greater than 150 yards. Therefore, magnification will depend on how far you want to shoot and your zoom ratio is only part of the equation. Durability, price, size and weight, and other internal factors will be paramount to your choosing the right scope.
That being said, it deserves the best scope that meets its specifications. This guide will help you find the best scopes for 30-06 rifles. Since all hunters will have their unique needs, we’re providing an overview of some top choices.
What Magnification Do You Need for Typical Use of a .30-06?
Of course, it depends on the yard distance that you plan on shooting from. The further away your target is, the higher the magnification you need.
At close-up ranges, you will want to use 1x to 4x magnification while mid-range should go from 4x to 9x. A magnification of 9x or higher will work for those long-distance shots.
The downside to amping up your magnification is that the field of view gets smaller; that’s something to keep in mind. You should also remember that the front objective lens should be proportional to the field of view and the amount of transmitted light.
For typical uses, aim for a magnification between 3x and 12x. By typical uses, we mean hunting varmints, deer, and bears. Keep that in mind when finding the best scope for a 30-06 rifle. (Do you need different magnification for the best 300 BLK riflescopes?)
What Are the Best Rifle Scopes for a 30-06?
Below you’ll find reviews for several top scopes for a .30-06. Take a look and weigh the pros and cons of your specific needs so you find the best scope for 30-06 rifles!
Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 BDC
The Vortex Optics Diamondback comes from one of the best known brands for optics and has developed quite a following among hunting enthusiasts. It has the essence of a classic hunting scope and is perfect for a wide range of applications, including being a great match for 30-06 rifles. Small, medium, or big game is no issue here.
Its Vortex Optics Diamondback has XD extra-low dispersion glass increases picture resolution for a larger field of view. Meanwhile, the XR multi-coated lens maximizes light transmission while minimizing reflection and glare.
Its magnification range goes from 4x to 12x, allowing you to shoot over 1000 yards. This translates to crisp visuals and sight picture images in all hours of daylight. The 42mm objective lens is large enough to allow light in when light conditions are less than perfect.
The fast-focus eyepiece allows for quick reticle adjustments and multiple configurations. The precision of the capped zero-reset turrets makes for accurate tracking time and time again. The somewhat short eye relief of 3.1 inches isn’t amazing and the design is a bit rugged but it’s reliable and still does a great job.
Some of its best features of the Vortex Optics Diamondback include its second focal plane and dot design on the MOA reticle. This makes it so the reticle size stays the same as you adjust magnification and you have greater windage correction. The maximum windage and elevation adjustment are 60 MOA.
As for stats, this scope is 12 inches long and weighs in at 14.6 ounces. Its field of view at 100 yards ranges from 11.3′ to 32.4′. The one-piece anodized tube is shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof with a slim profile and optimal mounting height. Overall, this is in our opinion the overall best scope for 30-06 rifles for hunting.
- Greater windage correction
- Low dispersion glass
- Ease of estimating hold-over
- Somewhat rugged design
- Little-known manufacturer
Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40mm
The Nikon ProStaff is aesthetic yet durable and comes with a killer price tag. The fully multi-coated optical system transmits 98% of light and comes with an adjustable sunshade. The body tube is O-ring sealed and nitrogen-purged, making it a high performer in various weather conditions.
The magnification on the Nikon Prostaff has a variable range from 3x to 9x. Also, the patented Nikon BDC reticle is great for long distances while providing a normal picture at shorter ranges and a clear crosshair aiming point. The turrets are finger-adjustable for greater precision and quickly reset to zero so you’re not held up on the field.
The Nikon Prostaff measures 12.4 inches long with a 40mm objective lens and 3.6-inch eye relief and a compact aluminum body. The quick-focus eyepiece and spring-loaded adjustment knobs are convenient features that help you stay on target in a variety of conditions.
Plus, the Nikon Prostaff scope is well-suited to rifles and shotguns (can you use a riflescope on a shotgun?). It also boasts high-contrast views, incredible shooting precision, a great BDC reticle, and the famed Nikon lifetime warranty.
Its field of vision at 100 yards is 11.3′ to 33.8′ and the scope is fog-, shock-, and water-proof.
- Clear picture
- Precise hand-turn adjustments
- Variable magnification
- Not-very-sturdy build
- Non-illuminated reticle
Leupold VX-2 4-12x40mm
Made for American hunters, the Leupold VX-2 is the result of 70 years of experience. The lifetime warranty almost seems excessive given its excellent quality and durability. With its Custom Dial System and Index Matched Lens technology, this has got your hunting needs covered.
Some of the best features on the Leupold VX-2 include its ability to zero in on a target quickly and precisely, thanks to its 1/4 MOA at 100 yards and finger-adjustable knobs for elevation and windage. The ergonomic eyepiece and Index Matched Lens system are O-ring sealed and filled with argon for a waterproof and fog-proof design. Plus, the Leupold VX-2 scope has rapid parallax adjustments too.
The Leupold VX-2 is suitable for all types of weather. The Leupold VX-2 is a compact scope that has a 3:1 zoom ratio for different distances, making it awesome for targets large and small. The bright, clear lens provides optimal clarity and high-contrast pictures while reducing glare. You don’t need to worry about shooting in low-light conditions either as the 40mm objective lens provides enough size to let a lot of light into the tube.
Tactile and lightweight (13.1 ounces), the Leupold VX-2 is made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy that stays cool while firing. The turrets are easy to set and the FireDot ballistic reticle makes for simple target acquisition.
- Compact and lightweight design
- High-contrast picture
- Rapid parallax adjustments
- Finicky elevation dials
- Lower eye box quality
Burris Fullfield II 4.5 – 14x42mm Ballistic Plex
The Burris Fullfield II scope comes from a company with decades of experience and a solid reputation. While the scope has a simple design, it offers stellar optics and an impressive Ballistic Plex Reticle. With uncluttered and compensating trajectories up to 500 yards, the reticle sits on the first focal plane and works with multiple calibers for your convenience.
The 42mm objective lens on the Burris Fullfield II enhances the light collection and light transmission and is nitrogen-filled to prevent fogging. Also, adjustable parallax settings bring the accuracy up a few notches.
The 1/4 MOA adjustments and steel gears add precision and a nice feel in your hands. At 18 ounces, this isn’t the lightest scope available but it’s an approachable scope for amateur hunters and a high performer for the pros.
The quick target acquisition and 4.5x to 14x magnification are ideal for tactical shooting, hunting, and target shooting. Long-range accuracy and high performance in different weather and lighting conditions make it a great choice.
Additional features include protected capped turrets, a wide field of view, a 3.8-inch eye relief, multi-coated lenses, and reinforced construction. It can be a bit cumbersome but it’s applicable in many situations.
- Compensation for trajectory up to 500 yards
- Ability to match any bullet weight
- Wide magnification range
- Heavy weight
- Simple look
Athlon Optics Helos BTR 6-24×50 MOA
One of the first things that you will notice on the Athlon Optics Helos BTR are the large, exposed turrets. They look serious and intimidating but they help you make speedy adjustments for your follow-up shots.
Everything about this scope makes your shots a piece of cake. The product had to go through intense testing before being introduced to the market.
A large amount of MOA markings on the Athlon Optics Helos compensates for the drop of the bullet as well as wind direction. Add to that the parallax settings that go from 10 yards to infinity and you’re all set.
The illuminated APLR2 MOA reticle does require batteries but it offers better night vision and brighter images in combination with the excellent light transmission. The multi-coated lens is waterproof and resistant to thermal shock. As if that wasn’t enough, the scope comes with a lifetime warranty.
This is a more expensive choice but it has some unbeatable features including the lockable elevation and windage functions. The easy push-down turrets lock in place and have a nice feel to them, as does the 30mm, 6061-T6 aluminum tube body.
At 29.7 ounces, 14″ length, and equipped with a 50mm objective lens, it is a bit on the bulky side. Yet, it’s one of the best first focal plane scopes that you’ll find for long-range shooting.
- Illuminated reticle for night vision
- MOA markings
- Parallax settings
- Large, heavy body
- Battery-operated reticle
Vortex Viper PST 5 – 25x50mm FFP EBR-2C MOA
The Vortex Viper PST is very expensive but comes with solid tactical features and a good reputation. It’s a prime candidate for hunting and tactical shooting, making it easy to aim and shoot with precision and ease typically using one eye for aiming.
This first focal plane riflescope is great at all distances but it shines at medium- to long-range shooting. The 5x to 25x magnification and multi-coated optics offer great zoom range while optimizing the light transmission through the 50mm objective lens for a better sight picture every time.
Some of its best features include laser-etched turrets, hand dials, adjustable parallax settings, and RZR zero stop. The variety of adjustment options along with durable materials means that you get greater control over your shot.
The reticle has 10 intensity levels and a fiber optic rotation indicator for holding on to your target. The low dispersion glass allows for better color fidelity and resolution. What’s great about the glass is that it’s multi-coated with Armortek and O-ring sealed to be waterproof, fog-proof, and free of dirt and scratches.
Finally, the fast-focus eyepiece and the illuminated, glass-etched reticle are hash-marked with MOA-based subtension and floating wind-hold dots for hold-over and windage control. The maximum elevation adjustment is 70 MOA and the maximum windage adjustment is 35 MOA. Other specs include a 3.4″ eye relief, parallax settings of 25 yards to infinity, and an anodized low-glare finish for better camouflage.
- Adjustments and control
- Illuminated reticle
- Range of magnification
- Professional grade
- Very expensive
Leupold FX-3 6x42mm Wide Duplex Reticle
The Leupold FX-3 6x42mm offers solid performance for serious hunters. This scope is built to last even under extreme weather conditions. The price isn’t outrageous but it is on the pricier side, especially for amateurs.
Its stunning features make up for the price tag, though. Some of its functions include 1/4 MOA precision adjustment for elevation and windage and a lightweight 1″ main tubing to accommodate additional legacy rings. This scope offers repeatability and reliability in a lightweight, compact package.
The scope is also waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof and it stands up to thermal shock as well.
Argon/Krypton technology reduces the diffusion of gases in the scope while blackened edges on the reticle lens promote greater visibility and usable light for bright, high-contrast images. The Twilight light management system features glare management for low-light performance and a 1:1 zoom ratio with up to 6x magnification.
Rugged and accurate with a smooth matte finish, this scope withstands three times the recoil of a .308 rifle and is ideal for medium- to long-range hunting. It has been tested for optimal climate and impact performance.
This Leupold rifle scope weighs in at 13.6 ounces and measures 13.2″ long with an eye relief of 4.4″. Its field of vision at 100 yards is 17.3′.
- Lightweight and compact yet sturdy design
- Performance in low light settings
- Quality of reticle lens
- Many similar competitors
- High price
Nikon Black FX1000 4-16×50 MOA
The Nikon Black FX1000 is a mid-price scope with a glass-etched reticle in the first focal plane. It boasts Nikon-grade optics as well as side focus parallax adjustment for a high-contrast picture in all light conditions. The dialing functionality for the magnification adjustment feels pretty good too.
Back to the Black FX-MOA reticle, though. It optimizes the sight picture and helps with elevation and windage correction. The MOA adjustment per revolution ranges from 25 to a maximum of 90 MOA. This scope also features a rapid return to zero turrets for high-speed follow-up shots.
A 3″ eye relief and rubberized eye guard on the quick-focus eyepiece keeps this scope comfortable and easy to use. Add to that the on/off adjustable reticle illumination, the durable 30mm main tube, and the large objective lens, and you’ve got a high-quality riflescope.
It’s on the heavier side but the O-ring sealed and nitrogen-purged glass is waterproof, fog-proof, and resistant to thermal shock, which is a good trade-off.
- Brilliant optics quality
- An illuminated reticle will bullet drop compensation (BDC reticle)
- MOA adjustments and parallax settings
Conclusion – Best Scopes for 30-06 Rifles
Now that you’ve got the basics of what to look for in a scope, you can fit your rifle with the best 30-06 scope on the market to fit your requirements. Take your budget into consideration as well as the distances that you will primarily be shooting from and pick the best scope for 30-06 rifles from the list above based on your needs.
It’s easy to assume that magnification is everything but there is so much more to think about, including things like windage and elevation adjustments, light transmission, BDC reticle and/or illuminated reticle to just name a few to make an optic one of the best scopes for 30-06 rifles. We hope this guide helps you in finding the best scope for your 30-06 rifle!