Rifles of all kinds can be found chambered for .270. This includes the more common bolt action and lever-action rifles, as well as the more unusual pump-action and even double rifles.
.270 was designed for high performance for big game hunting at 300 to 500 yards which, at the time, was considered long-range. It was also designed to have moderate recoil, less than .30-06.
Modern firearms can send modern .270 rounds 1,000+ yards with no problem. That said, other rounds do those kinds of long distances much better, and .270 really shines in close range and mid-distance shooting.
Whatever range you shoot at, however, you should invest in a scope for your .270 rifle. Sure, you can probably make do with iron sights or holo sights, especially for short-range, but a good .270 scope makes sighting much easier.
To make it easier for you to choose one, we’ve assembled our recommendations for the best riflescopes for .270 Win. We’ve been sure to includes scopes of every price range, from high-end to budget-friendly.
We’ll get to them in a moment, but first let’s cover some background information to help you understand what makes a good .270 riflescope.
What Are Scopes for .270?
A scope should have a few particular traits to make it a good scope for .270 Winchester:
Exactly what magnification range you want depends on the distances you’ll be shooting. For the most versatility, you’ll want a minimum magnification range of no more than 2x and a maximum magnification of at least 10x.
However, for general purpose use you can also get away with a minimum magnification of 3.5x or less and a maximum magnification of 8x or more.
The smaller and farther away your targets will be, the more benefit you’ll get from greater magnification. At the same time, low magnification becomes less important.
On the other hand, larger and closer targets make it essential to have low enough magnification.
As a hunting round, .270 Win scopes can encounter some abuse. Ensure that yours can stand up to it by choosing a durable scope that will hold its own in all weather conditions.
Look for a scope with a single-piece scope body. You want the scope body to be made out of a durable, but lightweight material like aircraft-grade aluminum to help it stand up to shock.
O-ring seals help make scopes waterproof and fog proof. Nitrogen or argon purging provides additional fog proofing.
It’s also ideal for your scope to have scratch-proof lens coating. Even though you should have protective lens caps on your scope whenever it’s not in use, accidents can happen. The scratch-proof coating will help protect your lenses when they do.
.270 scopes may have a variety of different reticles.
The simplest of these is the traditional crosshair reticle. It’s simply a vertical and horizontal line crossing one another at the center of each line.
A duplex reticle takes the same idea but has the lines thicken a ways away from the center. The thicker lines make the reticle easier to see, but keeping them thin at the center prevents the reticle from blocking your view of the target.
A bit more complicated is the BDC (bullet drop compensation) reticle. It has hash marks at fixed intervals down the line in the 6 o’clock position.
It may also have hash marks along the lines in the 3 and 9 o’clock positions, but it only needs the 6 o’clock lines to qualify as a BDC reticle.
These hash marks measure fixed intervals to help you calculate holdover at particular distances. Holdover is the amount of correction needed to counteract the impact of bullet drop on the elevation of your round.
The intervals are measured in either MOA (minutes-of-angle) or MRAD (milliradians or mils). Both MOA and MRAd are angular measurements.
A mil-dot reticle is another step up from a BDC reticle. Instead of just marking in the 6 o’clock position, a mil-dot has dots in all four directions. This helps the shooter make adjustments for both windage and elevation.
A true mil-dot reticle uses dots, but there are also plenty of reticles that operate off of the same basic idea but use hash marks instead, like a BDC reticle.
We’ll talk about which reticles are best suited for what in the next section.
What Are The Different Types of Scopes for .270?
There are two main types of scopes for .270 Win, hunting scopes and target scopes.
Since .270 is primarily a hunting round, hunting scopes are more popular than target scopes.
A scope for a hunting rifle tends to have less powerful magnification than a target scope does.
Even when a hunting scope has higher than normal magnification to help with smaller game at longer distances, it still doesn’t typically reach the same upper magnification as a target scope.
Hunting scopes tend to have a larger field of view than target scopes. This makes it easier to follow a moving target and to find your target again if you lose it.
Hunting scopes generally have crosshair or duplex reticles, though they may also have BDC reticles. A simpler reticle is typically preferred for hunting scopes.
This is because the busy background of a forest can make reading BDC and especially mil-dot reticles cumbersome.
When hunting, precision isn’t particularly important as long as a shot kills, but when target shooting, precision is all there is. Target scopes, therefore, tend to have stronger magnification.
This extends your possible range and, most importantly, get you the closest possible look at the target to nail the most precise shot.
Similarly, a large field of view isn’t as important for target scopes since your target is unlikely to run off should you accidentally lose it.
Typically have BDC or Mil-dot reticles. The extra information that they provide helps target shooters to make more precise shots.
How Do Scopes for .270 Work?
When it comes to understanding how riflescopes work, there are three main parts that you need to know. These are the objective lens, the erector system, and the ocular system.
Light enters the scope through the objective lens, which is housed in the objective bell. The larger the objective lens, the more light transmission.
After the light is focused and filtered through the objective lens, it enters the main body tube.
There it travels through the erector system. The erector system contains the scope’s reticle and magnification lens.
All of the scopes we’ve recommended here are variable power scopes, which means that the scopes magnification power can be adjusted. This is achieved by moving the magnification lens when the power ring is rotated.
As the lens moves forward, magnification increases. As it moves backward, magnification decreases.
In a front or first focal plane (FFP) scope, the reticle is in front of the magnification lens. This causes the target and reticle to appear to stay the same size relative to one another even as the magnification setting changes.
In other words, as magnification increases, both the reticle and target appear larger. Both appear smaller as magnification decreases.
Most of our recommendations are rear or second focal plane (RFP or SFP) scopes. This means that the reticle is behind the magnification lens.
Unlike an FFP scope, the size of the reticle on an RFP scope appears to stay the same size regardless of magnification power.
Once the light has gone through the erector system, it travels through the ocular lens in the eyepiece, where you see your sight picture.
What Do You Look For In The Best Scopes for .270?
In addition to being good for .270, a scope should also just be just plain good in general. Look for features like these to identify a good scope:
Virtually all scopes allow for windage and elevation adjustments. Many scopes also offer parallax adjustment. And, of course, variable scopes allow for magnification adjustments.
It should be easy to adjust all of these things, even when it’s wet or you’re wearing gloves. It shouldn’t be easy to accidentally move the controls, however.
The magnification ring should move smoothly. The windage and elevation turrets, however, should be tactile so it’s obvious when a change in settings has been made.
Clear Sight Picture
All the magnification in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have a clear sight picture.
Your scope should have good light transmission. We already know that a larger objective lens allows for more light transmission.
However, more light transmission isn’t always better. Too much light can allow for glare or make the picture too bright if weather conditions are bright.
Many objective lenses have a lens coating that helps them filter certain wavelengths of light. This allows for a balanced picture that’s bright enough in low light conditions but not too bright in bright conditions.
Your sight picture should have high definition and color fidelity. It shouldn’t have flaws that distort the image or an obvious tint.
Eye relief is the distance from the objective lens to your eye at which you get a full, unencumbered sight picture at all magnification settings.
Longer eye relief allows you to mount the scope farther forward on your rifle and makes it more comfortable to shoot. It also stops the scope from hitting you in the eye or brow bone when it recoils.
Since .270 is a moderate recoil round, you don’t need as long of eye relief as you would for a heavier recoil round.
Most scopes have an eye relief of around 3.5 inches. That’s plenty for avoiding injury, but again, longer eye relief does make shooting more comfortable.
Best Riflescopes for .270 Reviewed
Now that all the background is out of the way, let’s move on to the actual recommendations.
Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Riflescope (Our Top Pick)
This Leupold scope is a second focal scope with a duplex reticle. It uses Leupold’s Twilight Max Light Management System.
This system allows for not just more light transmission, but better light transmission. It gives you up to 20 extra minutes of shooting light while also eliminating 85% more stray light, preventing glare.
It comes with a bikini-style lens cover, but also has scratch-resistant lenses. It’s waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. Pros
Excellent picture clarity
Leupold Lifetime Guarantee
A little costly
Not particularly well suited for long-range shooting
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 3-15X44 FFP Riflescope (Best High End)
If you’re looking for a luxury option, look no further than the Vortex Viper PST Gen II.
It’s packed full of high-end features.
Those include adjustable parallax, anti-reflective lens coating, and an illuminated reticle.
Speaking of reticles, this first focal plane scope is available with an EBR-2C or EBR-7C reticle. Each is available in either MRAD or MOA measurements. The exposed windage and elevation turrets use the same units as the reticle.
The lenses are fully multicoated and there’s ArmorTek scratch resisting lens coating on all exposed glass surfaces. The aircraft-grade aluminum scope body has a low-glare matte black hard anodized finish. Pros