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Nikon M-308 Riflescope Review – A good scope for a .308?

Reivew of the Nikon M-308 Riflescope

The M-Tactical .308 rifle scope by Nikon is a sturdy hunting optic. The Nikon M-Tactical .308 riflescope is designed to work with a .308 rifle, specifically the Remington 308 rifle. It can also fit an AR-style rifle and specifically work well with any 308 rifles!

Review of the Nikon M-308 Riflescope

Nikon did announce in 2019 that they will leave the market of designing and selling rifle scopes. So, technically, the Nikon M-308 is discontinued but you can still purchase it online and at many local gun dealers.

If you’re looking for a solid scope for a .308 that is built with the highest quality standards and a lifetime warranty then definitely keep the Nikon M-308 scope on your shortlist while it’s still available! Let’s get into the review of this specific 308 scope so you can figure out whether it’s a good match!

Review of the Nikon M-308 Riflescope

This rifle scope is waterproof and is designed to help hunters and shooters sight targets at a variety of distances. You can get the Nikon M-Tactical 308 with the BDC 800 reticle. It’s a bullet drop compensated reticle that is calibrated for a .308 caliber up to 800 yards. The magnification range on the M-308 4-16x matches these higher ranges perfectly.

When you order the scope with the Nikoplex reticle then it comes with the Rapid Action turrets from Nikon. The Nikoplex reticle is calibrated with yardage markings for the 7.62 NATO/.308 Win round. The Rapid Action turrets are calibrated for that ammo to make the scope a great match for a 308 rifle.

Nikon offers customization and tutorials on their BDC reticle use through a manufacturer designed website. If you are unsure which of the two reticles would be best for you, visiting Nikon’s website will help you determine which reticle will work best for your hunting and shooting style. 

In addition to helpful reticle information, Nikon’s hunting optic website will help you adjust your targeting for different caliber speeds. Then the standard fire rate of the hollow-point .308 caliber bullet is what the M-308 is designed to sight. Any other ballistics will need to visit the Spot On application (or website).

Technical Specifications of the M-Tactical .308 4-16x42mm

Actual Magnification4-16x
Objective diameter42 mm
Exit pupil2.6 mm at 4x
Eye relief4 – 3.7 in.
FoV at 100 yd6.3 – 25.2 ft
Tube diameter1-inch
Length13.5 in.
Adjustment graduation¼ MOA
Maximum internal adjustment40 MOA
Parallax setting50 yd.
Outside diameter of eyepiece44 mm

Optics – Lenses, Glass and Multi-Coatings

Nikon has a history of making great lenses for hunting optics. The Nikon M-308 scope is no exception to this traditionally high craftsmanship. The objective diameter on the Nikon scope is 42 mm. The exit pupil on this scope is 2.6 mm at the 4X magnification.

Nikon has coated the optical system with its patented “Ultra Clear Coat.” This protective coating is designed to protect the glassware as well as assist with light penetration.

Parallax Adjustments

The Parallax setting on the Nikon M-308 is adjustable. The minimum parallax is 42.08 m. You can adjust the parallax to infinity according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

This parallax adjustment is ideal for people who are planning on hunting in the real world. Since your target acquisition won’t always be at the default parallax distance, adjusting for clarity is perfect for hunters that want sharp optical resolution.

Eye Relief on the Nikon M-Tactical .308

The eye relief on the M-308 is 3.7-4 inches. This means that the Nikon scope can be used with a gun with moderate kickback like the 308 caliber rifles. Because of the somewhat short eye relief, you do not want to use a high-powered rifle with high recoil that will cause you to have the optic rebound into your eye socket. There is nothing more painful than a black eye caused by a hunting optic with short eye relief.

Low-Light Capabilities

It is best to mount the Nikon M-308 when you don’t need high levels of magnification or light penetration. While this scope has 95% light transmission, it can illuminate darker areas, but not as well as other scopes with higher light transmission and better low-light capabilities. If you’re looking for a hunting or tactical scope that can be used in the later parts of dusk or earlier parts of dawn this hunting optic may not provide enough light transmission. 

There is no natural zoom (1x) on the scope. The 4X magnification for the Nikon M-308 is the minimum magnification. This magnification is designed to be zeroed at 100 yards.

Most long-distance hunters will not find a problem with the 4X minimum magnification, though if you prefer to quickly scope your targets this could be problematic. Your target acquisition will not be as quick as if you were using a red dot sight.

The field of view at 100 yards for the 4X magnification is 25.2 ft/7.68m. At 16x magnification, the FoV narrows to 6.3ft/1.92m.

Turrets and Zero-Reset

The turrets built into the Nikon M-308 4-16×42 are tactical-style turrets. Each of the turrets features a zero-reset allowing you to adjust for windage and elevation while acquiring a target and then go back to your zero-point settings.

The Rapid Action turrets that you can have when you order the scope with the Nikoplex reticle instead of the BDC reticle have their clicks calibrated for the .308 Win round.

The custom turrets allow for instant corrections. The adjustment of graduation on the windage and elevation turret is 1/4 MOA. The turret system on the Nikon M-308 is standard for similar scopes.

The shining feature of the Rapid Action turret system on the M-308 4-16×42 is the automatic zero reset. Other scopes of similar quality don’t feature this. Not having to mess around with your rifle to get your zero when in a tree stand is unparalleled.

Other Aspects to Consider

If you’re looking for other deciding factors when purchasing a rifle scope one of the key things to consider is whether that scope is waterproof and fog proof. The Nikon M-308 is both waterproof and fog proof. This scope is waterproof up to 2 inches of water for 10 minutes and it will still function as though it was brand new out-of-the-box.

Having a scope with a waterproofing is very useful for hunters who work in marshy areas. If you are at risk of accidentally getting your scope wet in the muck or water then waterproofing is definitely something you’re going to want to have on your scope.

The matte finish of the rifle scope makes it easier to blend into the scenery. You’re not going to worry about the outer hull of your scope reflecting light and catching your prey’s attention. It is a durable matte finish and shouldn’t scratch easily. Making this scope maintain its “fresh out of the box” appearance.

One of the most important considerations you should have is what will happen if something on your scope breaks. Nikon got you covered by providing a lifetime warranty on their scopes, including the Nikon M-308 line of optics.

Pros and Cons

There are some excellent features of this riflescope. The Nikon M-308 scope design seems to be based off the higher end Monarch series of scopes designed by Nikon. The performance of the scope doesn’t leave you wishing that you had bought something else. With similar performance to the Monarch style of scopes, the M-308 holds its own.

Calibrated BDC Reticle

If you’re shooting a .308 then the Nikon M-308 is a great match. The BDC 800 reticle is BDC reticle that is calibrated for the .308 and allows you to shoot 800 yard long-range shots.

Nikon is one of the better-known glass manufacturers. You can purchase this riflescope knowing that you are going to get good quality glass craftsmanship. The proprietary coating on the glass that Nikon provides helps eliminate some common optical problems.

The 95% light penetration is great for almost all hunting conditions. Since it is designed for long range open area shooting, you should be able to acquire any target with ease through the sight with minimal black out.

The scope is waterproof and fog proof allowing it to be used in multiple weather conditions. Nikon made sure that even marksmen working in wet conditions would be able to utilize this scope.

The turret adjustment system is superior to competition because of the automatic zero markers. The easy adjustment for windage and elevation make this a fun scope to use. While you don’t have to worry about losing your zero when attempting to acquire a new target because you can utilize the zero-reset built into the turretting system.

There are a few drawbacks to using the Nikon M-308 riflescope. The limited adjustments for ammunition can make it less appealing for those who like to use high powered or high velocity ammo.

Also, the Nikon M-308 4-16×42 lacks 1x power. The field of visibility at 4x is 7.68 m but it is still limited. If you are trying to keep your eyes on your target through the scope, the limited line of sight could be problematic. Especially with the higher power minimum zoom. Once you are used to the FoV offered by the Nikon M-308, you shouldn’t have any issues. But if you are replacing a scope that had a 1x starting point you may have an adjustment period.

Conclusion – Nikon M-Tactical .308 Scope Review

This is a good quality riflescope for your .308 rifle. If you are looking for something specifically designed to fire hollow-point .308, you cannot go wrong with the Nikon M-308.

The BDC 800 reticle will work well on a .308 rifle. Considering that you’ll use this caliber for medium-range to long-range shots, the calibrated BDC reticle can be of tremendous help and makes target acquisition a breeze.

Nikon is known for making high-quality optics and this scope is not going to be a letdown.

Designed for long-range hunting, this riflescope does everything you need. The waterproof and fog proof features ensure a lasting lifespan for your purchase. There is also an easy target acquisition and a broad field of view.

The M-308 4-16×42 scope provides a slim profile and sleek look to any .308 weapon. If you are looking to have a low-profile scope with high function, then this 42mm objective diameter scope is right for you.

Remember that any custom zeroing can be done using Nikon’s riflescope website. That makes this a useful and user-friendly scope.

Detailed Nikon M-308 Rifle scope review
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Rifle Scopes Center Staff