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5 Best Scopes for 30-06 Rifles in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated on May 9, 2021

Burris Optics Fullfield E1 Riflescope 4.5-14x42mm

A hundred years ago, the 30-06 was the top rifle for taking down big game like lions. However, back then they didn’t have the scope options that we have today.

With so many products, it is hard to know which one is going to suit your lifestyle. Don’t worry, we have compiled a list of detailed reviews that will help you figure out which one to mount on your firearm.

Each one comes with its own set of pros and cons, but any of these six optics would make an impressive addition to your rifle. If you’re looking to up your ability, then look no further than this list.

scope crosshairs divider 2

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Vortex Optics Diamondback Riflescope Vortex Optics Diamondback Riflescope
  • Solid one-piece tube
  • Fog, water, and shock proof
  • Multi-coated lens
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Pinty Pro 3-9X40 Mil-dot Tactical Rifle Scope Pinty Pro 3-9X40 Mil-dot Tactical Rifle Scope
  • Solid one-piece tube
  • Super light
  • Multi-coated lens
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope
  • Solid one-piece tube
  • Fog, water, and shock proof
  • Multi-coated lens
  • Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Circle-X Reticle Riflescope Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Circle-X Reticle Riflescope
  • Solid one-piece tube
  • Fog and water proof
  • Multi-coated lens
  • Burris Optics Fullfield E1 Riflescope Burris Optics Fullfield E1 Riflescope
  • Lighter than other scopes
  • Fog, water, and shock proof
  • Multi-coated lens
  • The 5 Best Scopes for 30-06 Rifles – Reviews 2021

    1. Vortex Optics Diamondback Riflescope – Best Overall

    Vortex Optics Diamondback Riflescopes_Amazon

    The Vortex Diamondback Riflescope shines at the top of our list because of the amazing features that come with it. The added bonus here is this scope comes with a camouflage baseball cap with your purchase. The scope features a dead hold BDC reticle that is good for hunting or even shooting over various ranges where hold-over could be a concern. The lenses are fully multi-coated, meaning your image will be crystal clear from early morning to dusk. This model offers a 4-12x magnification, making spotting your target easier than ever. The second focal plane reticles offer the advantage of never changing when you change the magnification level, meaning they will always be the same easy to see lines as before.

    Pros
    • Solid one-piece tube
    • Fog, water, and shock proof
    • Multi-coated lens
    • Dead hold BDC reticle
    • Crystal clear lens
    Cons
    • Lens covers are cheap
    • Mount rings are weak

    2. Pinty Pro 3-9X40 Mil-dot Tactical Rifle Scope – Best Value

    Pinty Pro 3-9X40 Mil-dot Tactical Rifle Scope

    When it comes to the best scopes for the 30-06 rifles for the money, we have the Pinty Pro Tactical rifle scope. This is one of the lightest scopes that we have ever had, coming in at only 17.6 ounces or just 1.1 pounds. The lightweight body of this scope makes it easy to carry around for hours without feeling the weight of it. With a 3-9x magnification, it still has amazing clarity no matter the magnification. The multi-coated lens provides crystal clear images through all times of day, from morning till evening. The eye relief on this scope is 3.25 inches, leaving you with room for recoil. This scope also has precise target acquisition with easy fingertip windage and elevation adjustments.

    Pros
    • Solid one-piece tube
    • Super light
    • Multi-coated lens
    • 25-inch eye relief
    • Crystal clear lens
    Cons
    • O-ring seal prone to breaking
    • Fall from zero faster

    3. Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope – Premium Choice

    Athlon Optics Argos BTR_Amazon

    At our premium choice, we have the Athlon Optics Argos BTR Rifle scope and it lives up to its premium choice. If you are looking for a scope that has all the bells and whistles, then this is the one for you. The reticle etched on the glass is illuminated to give you the best shot possible, no matter the light level. The fully coated lenses provide top of the line clarity and brings across true color across the entire light spectrum. Unlike other scopes on the marker, this one is argon purged, leaving you with better water and fog proofing. The first focal plane reticle shrinks or grows depending on the zoom level, leaving you with a crystal-clear image no matter what level you are at.

    Pros
    • Solid one-piece tube
    • Fog, water, and shock proof
    • Multi-coated lens
    • Argon purged
    • Crystal clear lens
    Cons
    • Electronic, not for all users
    • Higher profile than others

    4. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Circle-X Reticle Riflescope

    Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Circle-X Reticle Riflescope

    While not in our top three, our number four spot has features to fit any 30-06 needs. This scope is on our value side of the list, making it a great starter scope for those who aren’t sure what they are looking for but want quality. The optic provides 3-9x magnification with a 40mm objective lens. This scope also proves great dawn to dusk brightness with its multi-coated lenses for clarity. It has easy fingertip adjustment knobs for windage and elevation. The waterproof and fog proof construction make it great for various climates. No matter the distance, this scope has you covered and it won’t weight you down doing it.

    Pros
    • Solid one-piece tube
    • Fog and water proof
    • Multi-coated lens
    • Easily adjustable
    • Crystal clear lens
    Cons
    • Higher profile
    • Doesn’t hold zero as long as other scopes

    5. Burris Optics Fullfield E1 Riflescope

    Burris Optics Fullfield E1 Riflescope 4.5-14x42mm, Matte Black

    Coming in at our fifth spot is the Burris optic with its sleek design. This scope is made for those who want a simple design that allows for supreme accuracy. The scope features a long-range MOA reticle that offers detail no matter the distance you zoom in. This model is the 3-9x magnification, which is the smaller of the models this brand offers. The side focus allows for easy adjustment while looking down the barrel of the scope. Inside there is a trajectory model with cascading dots to compensate for wind drift, making it easy to aim. This is a scope for users who want something simple with nothing flashy to it.

    Pros
    • Lighter than other scopes
    • Fog, water, and shock proof
    • Multi-coated lens
    • Crystal clear lens
    • 3-9x magnification
    Cons
    • Side adjustment knobs are stiff
    • Doesn’t handle recoil as well as other models

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    Buyer’s Guide

    Tips When Buying

    You Get What You Pay For

    The simplest way to know you are getting a quality scope is to go with a manufacture with a long and established reputation. Why? They are known to make high quality optics for a long period of time and are trusted to keep making these optics. When you go to a manufacture with an excellent reputation, it is often going to save you time and your hard-earned money.

    You, honesty, do get what you pay for with your optic of choice. That doesn’t mean you have to dish out over a thousand dollars to get the best of the best. Our top-ranked optic is actually on the lower end of the price spectrum. Sure, there are some amazing optics that are pricy, but you may not need every feature that optic is giving. The best way to get what you want is to know what you want out of your scope and know what you are going to be using it for. At the end of the day it is what is going to work for you and what won’t.

    The quality of the material also matters. Just because something is lighter doesn’t mean it is going to hold up for a long period of time. If you plan on using your scope often, then you want something that is going to be able to last. Cheaper scopes won’t hold up to this as they were made to be replaced faster. A good quality scope could last you hours before needing to be replaced.

    Weight Matters

    The weight of the scope may not seem like a big deal at first. Sure, some of the mare a little heavier, but what does an ounce or two matter? While you may not notice that difference right away, you will after hours of use. Heavier scopes do get noticed the longer the firearm is being used. You’ll want a lighter weight scope if you plan on hunting for hours with the gun strapped to your back.

    Most firearms in this category end up being between 5-8 pounds. Once you add on that 2-pound scope you are carrying around 7-10 pounds of weight, not including the ammunition. All this can make your hunting trip end in exhaustion rather than with the game you want.

    Durability and Rugged Design are Key Factors

    It may sound strange to think that a rugged design is going to be key in finding the scope meant for you. It is important because you want a scope that can keep up with what you are going to throw at it. All the scopes you look at should be able to withstand major and minor impacts without breaking or throwing the whole scope off zero. It should also be able to hold on to the zero point after shooting. A lower-quality scope made from cheaper materials is going to lose the zero point after just a few shots.

    You also don’t want a scope that has loose turrets (the adjustment knobs). When your firearm recoils, the last thing you want is for your alignment to be off because the turrets moved. That would move your zero and you could easily miss your next shot.

    Pinty Pro 3-9X40 Mil-dot Tactical Rifle Scope Optical Scope

    Know Your Range

    Are you going for more close-up and personal range hunting, or are you thinking of going for the longer distance ranges? Both require two unique abilities. Close range you are going to want something that has a red dot, green dot, or holographic sight for shooting. These types of scopes allow you to find your target quickly and get your shot off before your target moves again. Depending on the scope and type, this could be integrated into the model.

    Longer ranges don’t need a quick target acquisition. You could easily get away with a scope with minimal to moderate magnification. You could leave out the fancy target acquisition and still have a perfect shot with longer ranges. While the red dots are handy and some give trajectory insights, you really don’t need all the bells and whistles to help aim from a distance. Time is on your side with distance shooting.

    Clarity is Important

    When going for a rifle scope, the ability to see your target is imperative. If you cannot see your target then you can’t shoot, it is as simple as that. This is where eye relief comes into play. If you want to be farther from your scope, then opt for a longer distance. The closer you are to the eyepiece of your scope, the more likely you are to get some recoil against your eye. As your eye socket is fairly thin bone, you are going to want to avoid this. Most come with a range of about 3 to 4 inches, leaving you plenty of room to avoid getting a black eye from your rifle.

    The amount of coatings a lens has is also going to determine how clear the image will be. The more coatings your lens has, the better as there will be less glare to worry about. The coatings also protects your lens from scratches. Dust is a part of life and if you are taking your scope out, it is bound to get dust on it at some point. The coatings eliminate the worry of scratching the lens up, making it unusable.

    If you intend to use your scope during all kinds of weather, make sure that your scope can do that. Look for water, fog, and shock proofing to be included in your scope. If there is an electric piece, then water proofing is imperative to keep it running.

    Electronic or Not?

    Which one is the best one? That depends on what you are looking for in an optic. It also depends on what you are looking to do and where you are going to go with your firearm. Batteries put a limit on how long you can use your optic, and if you are a hunter that enjoys spending hours out hunting, then it may not work with you. However, some scopes require illumination to work properly, which you have to plan for. If illumination isn’t high on your list of needs, then you could easily go without it.

    Hunter loading his shotgun with scope

    Image credit: Kaspars Grinvalds, Shutterstock

    Sizing

    Size really comes into play with how you want your firearm to look. There are lower profile scopes that have sleep lines and capped turrets for adjustment. These scopes aren’t made for fast adjustment but slower paced, lining up your shot the best you can adjustment. Then there are the tactical style turrets for adjustment to the magnification. The tactical style is great for extensive range and shooting quickly. It truly depends on your plans for the scope. For hunters a brilliant choice is the capped turrets as they are often smoother and quiet than the tactical style that click.

    Important Things to Consider

    When going to buy a scope there are plenty of options out there, but finding the one you need comes down to a few different things. Here are the fundamental things to consider when starting your search for a scope for you 30-06:

    • What range are you shooting at?
    • Do you prefer electronic or not?
    • How much are you willing to spend on an optic?
    • Does the profile matter to you?
    • What are the weather conditions like in the area you plan on using your optic at?
    • How much eye relief is best for you?

    After looking at those questions and answering them, you’ll be able to find the scope that is the right fit for you. There are plenty of options that do share similar features in various price ranges. Knowing the details of what makes a scope perfect for you makes it easier to sift through the list of products above.

    scope crosshairs divider 2

    Conclusion

    The winner of this list goes to the Vortex Diamondback Riflescope. This scope is the best of the best on this list because of its durably, price, and the amazing clarity it provides. It holds the best features that you could want and none of the ones you could live without. The Pinty Pro Tactical rifle scope is our best value and holds noble qualities with a lower price for those who are not sure on what they want to do just yet. Hopefully, our reviews made it easier to navigate through the list of products available to you. There are so many options that it can make your head spin just looking at them all. With this list you can find what you need from the most minimalistic to the one that has it all.

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    About the Author Robert Sparks

    Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.