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Although 300 yards might be a tad further than is ideal for hunting, sometimes you’ve got to take a longer shot. For competition shooting, hits at the 300 yard line are mandatory.
Here are a few things to look for in a 300 yard optic:
Full multi-coated lenses.
4x magnification or greater.
32mm objective lens or larger.
These are the specs that will get you a clear enough image for good shots at 300 yards.
Yes, you can do it with a less powerful scope—you could do it with iron sights—but why make things hard on yourself? Also, for hunting, your shot placement with a less powerful optic may not be precise enough to make an ethical kill.
So, here are the top optics that will give you exceptional 300 yard performance, without breaking the bank:
Our Top Choices on the Market
Our Best Choice
For those who need to know right now: the top scope for solid 300 yard performance is the Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC. You’ll get the most performance per dollar out of this model.
3 Best Rifle Scopes for 300 Yards (Updated 2021)
1. Nikon Buckmasters II
The Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC is the result of a collaboration between Nikon and Buck Masters, which produced a hunting optic with the capabilities hunters want, and the quality of Nikon glass. Even though it’s an optic designed for hunting, it’s equipped with some features that make it a legitimate option for target shooting.
The Buckmasters is equipped with Nikon lenses which are index matched, laser aligned, and fully multi-coated with anti-reflective coatings that reduce the amount of reflected light by 92 percent. This means you’ll get the clearest image in all light conditions, with minimal glare during full-light shooting.
As far as lenses go, the objective lens is 40mm, which is optimal for typical dawn and dusk shooting that hunters need performance for.
This objective lens size gathers enough light to for effective target acquisition and identification in low light environments, but is small enough that it won’t snag on things as you move around in the woods.
To meet the demands of hunters, Nikon designed the Buckmasters with 3-9x magnification, so hunters will find that this scope provides familiar function at the most common hunting ranges. 3-9x will be plenty, and arguably more than you might need, for shooting out to 300 yards.
The reticle is etched into the glass of the optic, so even though it’s not illuminated, it will remain crisp in all light conditions. The reticle itself is Nikon’s BDC reticle that features aiming circles on the vertical post that serve as holdover points for shooting at varying distances without making adjustments.
As always, Nikon has purged and sealed the Buckmasters so that it’s waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-proof.
Nikon also adds a lot of value to this piece of gear with their Spot On ballistic match software, which calculates zeroes for any round you’re using and makes this an ideal scope for those who want a single optic for multiple rifles.
All things considered, the Nikon Buckmasters scope is an outstanding option for hunters and target shooters who want performance all the way out to the 300 yard line on all their rifles.
2. Vortex Optics Diamondback
Vortex Optics produces a lot of solid optics for various purposes, and has a reputation for squeezing just a bit more performance out of their hardware than some competitors. This is the case with the Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40.
First, lens quality: in a word, outstanding. Vortex always uses high density, low dispersion glass in their scopes, so the image clarity is top notch. Additionally, the lenses are coated with Vortex’s proprietary full multi-coating for maximum light transmission. Even in bad light, the Diamondback still produces a bright, high definition image.
Where the Diamondback edges out many other scopes in this price range is the magnification.
The Diamondback features a 4-12x magnification range, which is outstanding for most common hunting ranges, and is a bit more powerful than a typical medium and large game optic.
This gives medium and large game hunters improved shot placement. Small game hunters and target shooters will find that the magnification helps them get the hits they need at longer ranges.
The Diamondback uses a 40mm objective lens for light collection, which is perfect for dawn and dusk shooting, but narrow enough to be streamlined for easy carrying when you’re hiking to your hunting spot.
Vortex fitted the Diamondback with their proprietary Dead Hold BDC reticle, which is similar to a mildot reticle, with hash marks for range and windage estimations, but is slightly more minimal than a standard mildot reticle for an unobstructed field of view.
Of course the Diamondback is purged and o-ring sealed for waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-proof durability, so your optic will perform in all conditions for many seasons.
Ultimately, the Diamondback’s slightly higher magnification is what makes it ideal for target shooters and small game hunters. However, any hunter or competition shooter could get precise hits at 300 yards and beyond with this scope.
3. Leupold VX-2
Best for Hunting
Leupold has a really solid lineup of dependable, high-performance scopes. One of the models that stands out is the Leupold VX-2 3-9×40. It’s equipped with all of the technology that makes Leupold optics so beloved, and comes in at a very friendly price point.
The VX-2 is built using Leupold’s Quantum Optical System. The system employs index matched, laser aligned lenses with blackened edges for a high definition image. The VX-2 offers a consistent, distortion free image across all magnifications.
Leupold built the VX-2 with 3-9x magnification, which is plenty for good shot placement on most targets at 300 yards and more. Additionally, this is a classic hunting magnification range, so you’ll easily transition from your old scope.
To help you get a clear view in dawn and dusk light conditions, the VX-2 collects light with a 40mm objective lens, which won’t get hung up on your other gear or snag in difficult terrain.
The reticle is a Leupold duplex reticle, which is a simple cross that leaves your field of view clear. However, the reticle is very minimal, and may be tricky to use for overhold shots.
To ensure that the reticle is always sharp, Leupold etched it into the VX-2 glass. The reticle isn’t illuminated, but etched reticles perform very well in low light conditions.
The VX-2 is purged with argon and krypton gas and sealed for waterproofing and fog-proofing. Additionally, argon and krypton provide exceptional preservation for the scope’s internals, so the VX-2 will maintain its performance for decades. For even more durability, the lenses are Diamond Coated, which improves scratch resistance as well as light transmission.
For hunters of all types of game, the VX-2 is an optimal choice that will enable you to make perfect shots at 300 yards and beyond.
THE ULTIMATE RIFLE SCOPE FOR 300 YARDS
If you’re looking to get the most use out of your scope at all ranges, the Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC is the way to go. You’ll get excellent performance, and a one-size-fits-all optic for all your rifles. If you're short on budget, we have a comprehensive list of rifle optics which are cheap but high-quality.
Now that you know which scopes will get you to the 300 yard line, it’s time to get out and do some shooting!
To better understand rifle scopes and optics, check out this article.
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