Reader question: What is the best scope for 30-06 — whether a Remington 700, Ruger American, or any deer hunting rifle. We won’t cover the AR 15, though.
Gun nomenclature has gone such a roundabout, with several coding systems applied for naming guns.
More modern guns are named starting with the calibre or groove diameter followed by the company name. Not so with earlier guns. The 30-06 is one of the few guns named in a different way.
The 30 in the numerals “30-06” refers to .30, the bullet’s calibre, while 06 refers to the year the cartridge was adopted – 1906.
For effective range performance of this gun, or any gun for that matter, you need the best scope. But what does the best require?
There are a lot of great picks you can get without spending a fortune.
First, what type of shooter are you? Where do you often hunt? You don’t need so many numbers when you mostly hunt in close quarters.
A 3x variable or a 3-9×50 will serve you well. Instead, what you need is a wide field of view to deal with obstructions, such as trees and thickets.
At a distance of 100-200 yards, you may not even crank the 3-9x to the full. You’d need high power magnification only when you’re the type who hunts in vast open areas.
A bit of advice then: if your hunting in wide open areas, zero your rifle in at 200 dead on; and for forested lots or thickets, use the 1-inch high at 100 yards for more accuracy.
Bushnell Elite 6500 DOA 600 Reticle Riflescope
The Elite 6500 from Bushnell is one of the world’s best riflescopes in terms of light transmission, range of magnification, and all-weather transparency.
For magnification choices, you can either have the 2.5-16x or the 4.5-30x, for really good adaptability; from jump-shooting big game to long-distance shots at small targets. With its fully multi-coated lenses, you can be sure of having the brightest light transmission and well-defined images ever even in the foulest of weather.
Bushnell’s patented Rainguard HD water-repellent lens coating also prevents fogging caused by heavy condensation from rain, snow, sleet, or even from your own breath.
On the other hand, the DOA 600 reticle features a Rack Bracket reference lines that help you gauge accurately the distance of a target, with aiming points from 100-600 yards in 100-yard increments and most effective for precision shooting.
Other awesome features included in the package are: a shock-proof 30mm tube to store the scope; push/pull type turrets for easy and quick mounting, with resettable zero; 5-inch sunshade; and a side focus of 25 yards and over.
If you’re hunting within 600 yards, the Elite 6500 DOA 600 scope offers excellent features. However, the price of around $750 is a nonstarter.
Vortex Crossfire II 6-18x44mm AO Riflescope
At half the price of most leading scope brands, you get your dollars’ worth and surprisingly outstanding performance with the Vortex Crossfire II 6-18x44mm AO Riflescope.
For one, the scope is enhanced with fully multi-coated lenses that produce exceptional light transmission with low reflection, which are comparable to some of the pricier scopes.
The eyepiece is fast-focusing and fixes the reticle quick and easy, with an adjustable objective. It comes with resettable and capped turrets that emit clear and distinct clicks when fine tuning. Sighting is clear and perfect, considering that it costs only a third of the Bushnell Elite.
Beyond 300 yards, however, it’s less perfect. Machine-locking rings protect the scope from shock. For added perks, the package contains detachable lens covers, dust cloth, a sunshade that twists neatly into the scope, and last but not least, the scope’s complete manual.
Carl Zeiss Optical Conquest HD5 2-10×42 20 PlexReticle Rifle Scope
The German-made Carl Zeiss Optical Conquest HD5 2-10×42 20 PlexReticle Rifle Scope is a highly-advanced super zoom – the shortest in its category which is equipped with one of the trimmest opticals there is on the market.
Its sleek and fascinating design boasts of an HD lens system for amazing light transmission and enhanced imaging quality. It is protected by LotuTec outer lens coatings for scrape and moisture resistance.
You’ll fancy using this versatile scope whether you’re hunting in dense brush or in open country because of its wide 2-10x power range designed for greater target accuracy and precision.
You’d also appreciate the product’s new 5-year no fault policy plus the usual limited lifetime warranty. And for a little over $800, that’s an unbelievably low price from this German glass-maker.
Leupold 110801 VX Rifle Scope
When it’s about scopes, make sure you check the Leupold line always. For a 30-06, the Leupold VX 3-9×40 is an excellent match. Its LR reticle takes 300 to 500 yards effortlessly and dead on the dot.
Windage adjustment and added dots for long range targets are great features. As with Leupold’s other scopes, this clarity and illumination are amazing. The price ranges from $300 to $600 – for a Leopold, that’s a very good price!
Best scope for 30-06 for hunting rifle
As mentioned earlier, the best scope for your 30-06 depends on the usual condition with which you hunt. Don’t simply pick the cheapest, or the priciest, glass you see. But cheap is relative, you say.
For this article, we define cheap as below $200 and pricey as over $600.
Most scopes below $200 are useless, so don’t waste your time there. Pick within the mid-range because the features of scopes in that category are pretty decent.
The Bushnell Elite is power-packed but quite expensive. The Vortex will be a good choice for closer range. If you are shooting in open spaces more often than not, then look for another one.
The Zeiss scope is a trusted one and this particular scope is within the lower priced scopes. Its range is very good – high at 10x but not too high that it would affect the quality or resolution.
Leupold offers almost the same magnification as this Zeiss scope and with added long-range reticle marks at 300 and 500 meters. For those reviewed, Leupold offers the best features in a reasonably-priced package.
The bottom line is: don’t buy a scope on the basis of high magnifications that you don’t need. Stay within the 7x to 9x max, unless your shooting pattern dictates otherwise.