.300 Winchester Magnum, or .300 Win Mag, is a widely popular hunting round thanks to its versatility.
.300 Win Mag is capable of taking down 95 percent of the world’s game. That includes just about anything found in North America, making .300 Win Mag especially popular for North American big game hunting.
Table Of Contents
- Our Best Scopes For 300 Win Mag
- What Are Scopes For 300 Win Mag?
- What Are The Different Types of Scopes For 300 Win Mag
- How Do Scopes For 300 Win Mag Work?
- What Do You Look For In The Best Scope For 300 Win Mag?
- Best Scopes For 300 Win Mag Reviewed
- Final Thoughts On Scopes For 300 Win Mag
Our Best Scopes For 300 Win Mag
- NightForce SHV 5-20×56 (Our Top Pick)
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12×44 (Best Budget)
- Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56 FFP (Best High End)
- Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm
- Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II First Focal Plane Riflescopes
It’s highly accurate and has an excellent effective range, maintaining supersonic speeds even past 1,200 yards. In fact, it’s been used to win 1,000 yard competitions, even at the most competitive level.
Of course, when it comes to accurately shooting at that point, your own sight becomes the limiting factor.
That’s why it’s essential to choose the right scope if you want to really take full advantage of .300 Win Mag’s range.
We’re going to talk about these great scopes for .300 Win Mag below and provide you with links to where you can buy them on Amazon. But first, let’s go over some background.
What Are Scopes For 300 Win Mag?
Scopes generally aren’t designed specifically for a particular caliber. However, they still typically have combinations of features that make them especially well suited for certain calibers.
In the case of .300 Win Mag, these features generally include:
.300 Win Mag is suitable for targets at both close and long range, so a good scope for .300 Win Mag should be as well.
You can find the magnification of a scope in all of those numbers used to describe it, that usually follow the name. The first number describes the minimum magnification. The second one describes the maximum magnification.
For example, a scope listed as 5-20×56 has a minimum magnification of 5x and a maximum magnification of 20x. (We’ll get to what the last number means in a minute.)
Collectively, these numbers are typically referred to as the “zoom ratio,” so the riflescope in the example above has a 3-20x zoom ratio.
A minimum upper magnification of 10x is generally sufficient for long range shooting while hunting. With that said, you may want much stronger magnification for precise long distance target shooting.
.300 Win Mag is able to achieve longer ranges than other .30 caliber rounds because it has greater velocity and energy than they do. While that’s great for your range and accuracy, it also means more recoil for you to handle and more energy to jostle and potentially damage your scope.
For that reason, it’s essential that a scope for .300 Win Mag is well-constructed to hold up to that level of wear and tear.
In addition, the jostling from the recoil shouldn’t cause the scope to lose zero. This can occur either by moving the scope out of place or by affecting the scope’s various adjustments.
Of course, this is all important for any type of scope, but it’s especially important for .300 Win Mag scopes.
Long Eye Relief
Another effect of .300 Win Mag’s recoil is the stronger kick. To deal with that, you’ll want a scope with longer eye relief, which just means the amount of space between your eye and the scope for a good image.
Long eye relief makes sure that the eyepiece doesn’t ram into your brow bone or worse, your eyeball, after you take a shot.
What Are The Different Types of Scopes For 300 Win Mag
.300 Win Mag is used by select law enforcement and military units as a sniper and marksmanship round. However, most of us civilians will use it for either hunting or target shooting and therefore need a scope suited for one of those two purposes.
Hunting scopes are typically designed to be versatile and to be quickly and easily adjustable in the field since game may show up at any distance.
Hunting scopes may have a duplex reticle or, for scopes specifically for longer range hunting, an moa-dot or mil-dot reticle.
Target scopes are designed for precise range shots where you know for sure the distance of the target. They typically have higher magnification than hunting scopes and finer adjustments.
Target scopes frequently have Christmas tree reticles. These reticles feature windage and elevation lines for easy adjustments.
How Do Scopes For 300 Win Mag Work?
Before we go too much further, let’s take a moment to talk about how scopes work. This will help you understand why certain traits and features make the difference between a good rifle scope and a great one.
In the simplest of terms, scopes work using a series of lenses. This is similar to other optic devices, like binoculars, telescopes, and microscopes.
The two most visible lenses are the ocular lens and the objective lens.
The ocular lens is at the rear of the scope and is the lens you look through to get your sight picture.
The objective lens is at the front of the scope, towards your target, and allows light into the scope body where it can travel through all the other lenses.
There’s also the focus lens in the middle, which, as the name suggests, helps focus the picture.
The erector system is between the focus lens and the objective lens. It includes the reticle, or crosshairs, and magnification lens.
The magnification lens moves as you adjust magnification. As you increase magnification, the magnification moves towards the front of the scope. Similarly, it moves towards the rear of the scope as you decrease magnification.
The reticle can be either in front of the magnification lens or behind it.
If it’s in front of the magnification lens, the scope is a first focal plane or front focal plane scope. This positioning causes the perceived size of the reticle to increase or decrease along with magnification. This causes the sight picture and reticle to always be the same size relative to one another.
If the reticle is behind the magnification lens, the reticle stays the same size regardless of the magnification settings. This is called a rear focal plane or second focal plane scope.
What Do You Look For In The Best Scope For 300 Win Mag?
Aside from the features that we mentioned above that make a scope good for use with .300 Win Mag, there are a few other traits you want to keep an eye out for when selecting a quality scope.
Objective Lens Diameter
The larger and clearer the objective lens, the more light that can be transmitted into the scope body. This allows for a better picture in low light conditions.
You can find the diameter of the objective lens by looking at those numbers used to describe the scope again. The last number, the one that comes after the maximum magnification level, is simply the diameter of the objective lens. Though the number may or may not have “mm” following it, it’s always listed in millimeters.
So to revisit our previous example, a scope listed as 5-20×56 has a 56mm objective lens.
Resistant to the Elements
A quality scope can be quite a large investment, so you want to be sure to choose one that’s waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof to help protect it.
This is important whether you plan to use the scope on the range or while hunting, but it’s especially so for hunting.
This is because there’s a greater risk of accidentally banging into something or coming into contact with water. At the same time, it’s also typically more difficult to seek shelter from sudden rain while out in the field as opposed to on a typical range.
Lens clarity is another important contributor to a good sight picture. A clear lens has no warps distorting the image, allows good light transmission, and is free of glare.
Typically, lenses are multicoated. Coatings help minimize glare, protect from scratches, and generally preserve a clear, bright image.
Large Eye box and Eye Relief
We already touched on the benefits of large eye relief in avoiding injury, but it also just makes a scope more comfortable to shoot with. Likewise, having a large eye box also helps.
The eye box is just the area behind the scope that you can see the full sight picture regardless of the magnification level. The larger the eye box, the more room you have to quickly find a comfortable position from which to shoot.
When shooting long distances, there are a ton of variables that cause the bullet to not actually hit where you aim. Obviously you want to have the ability to correct for those things. A good scope should correct for at least windage and elevation (also called bullet drop).
Higher magnification scopes should also have parallax adjustment.
The distance between each adjustment level should be as small as possible for more precise correction. The turrets that make the adjustments should be tactile so it’s clear when an adjustment has been made without having to look at the turret.
Finally, an illuminated reticle helps make the reticle more visible. This allows for faster, easier target acquisition, especially when shooting in lower light.
An illuminated reticle isn’t essential so you could absolutely skip it if you’re looking to save some money, but it’s certainly nice to have.
Best Scopes For 300 Win Mag Reviewed
1. NightForce SHV 5-20×56 (Our Top Pick)
With a huge magnification range, from 5x to 20x, the NightForce SHV Riflescope is versatile enough for both target shooting and hunting.
It has a second focal plane reticle so you don’t get a thin, barely visible reticle at low magnification settings and a thick reticle that blocks your view at higher ones.
It’s highly adjustable, with precise windage, elevation, and parallax controls. The MOAR reticle has 1 MOA elevation and windage markings with .125 MOA lines between. This allows you to make manual adjustments on the fly without having to touch your scope settings.
- Large magnification range with high maximum magnification
- ZeroSet technology for easily resettable zeroing
- Durable construction with waterproofing and fog proofing
- MOAR reticle may be daunting for new shooters
- Non-illuminated reticle
2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12×44 (Best Budget)
Quality optics don’t have to come from a high price range.
The Vortex Crossfire II Riflescope is an excellent scope with a second focal plane dead-hold BDC reticle that’s functional at a variety of ranges for easy holdover estimation.
The large, anti-reflective objective lens provides a crisp, bright sight picture. The long eye relief and forgiving eye box give you plenty of room to comfortably take advantage of that picture.
The scope also has capped, resettable turrets to make it easy to return to your previous zero settings.
- Single-piece, aircraft-grade aluminum body for shock proofing
- O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged for fog and waterproofing
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Heavier than other scopes
- Not as good for precise long range shooting
3. Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56 FFP (Best High End)
With unparalleled clarity and long-range precision, the Vortex Razor HD Riflescope is the scope to get if money is no object.
The lenses are made from high density (HD) glass for high resolution and true color, even in low lighting conditions. They’re also multicoated to maximize durability, light transmission, and clarity while minimizing glare.
It has a first focal plane reticle, so the relative distance between the reticle and sight picture stays the same as you adjust magnification. The hash marks on the illuminated EBR-7C reticle and the ¼ MOA adjustments on the turrets help precision even further.
- Largest objective lens on our list
- Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof
- Matte black ArmorTek scratch resistant coating
- High cost
- Somewhat heavy
The Leupold VX-3i Riflescope is a great choice for first time scope users. It has a simple, classic duplex reticle, quick sighting, and easy to use adjustment controls.
The durable construction, shock proofing, and anti-abrasion lens coating will ensure that the scope stands up to the inevitable hits and scrapes that happen as you get used to it. Waterproofing and fog proofing make sure that this Leupold scope can stand up to moisture.
At 100 yards, this riflescope has a 29.8 foot field of view on 3.5x magnification and an 11 foot field of view on 10x magnification.
- Durable, lightweight aircraft quality aluminum body
- Twilight Max Light Management System for better low light performance
- Lifetime warranty
- Not as good for precise long range shooting
This final scope, the Vortex Viper PST Gen II Riflescope, is similar to the Vortex Optics Razor. It has simplified features and a price that’s only about half as large, so it’s an excellent, more budget-friendly alternative.
Obviously the magnification is much more limited, but the Viper has the same illuminated EBR-7C reticle, the same fog and waterproofing, and the same single-piece, aircraft grade aluminum body for durability and shock proofing.
The Vortex Viper’s objective lens is smaller and the glass does not have the same quality as the Razor’s, but it’s still fully multicoated for clarity, light transmission, and abrasion resistance.
- Resettable zero
- Hard coat anodized matte black finish
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Not as good for precise long range shooting
- Turrets are a little large and stiff
Final Thoughts On Scopes For 300 Win Mag
.300 Win Mag is an excellent, versatile round, but you still need the right equipment to get the most out of it. That includes a high quality rifle, but even the best .300 Win Mag rifle and ammo are limited if you don’t also have good optics.
These reviews and the other info here should help you find just the right riflescope. All of the scopes we’ve reviewed here are great, so exactly which one is right for you just depends on your particular preferences.
Good luck and happy shooting!