Best Scope for 30-06 – The 5 Best Optics in 2023

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If you spend your weekends hunting deer, bears, and other medium to large game, you are probably aware of the Springfield 30-06.

One of my favorite things about this particular cartridge is the range of rifles it has been chambered in, including names like:

  • Browning
  • Remington
  • Nosler
  • Mossberg

Going the Distance: Maximize your Shooting Range

The reason I am a huge fan of the Springfield 30-06 is that it can shoot up to 200 yards with less than 1 MOA. Although 200 yards is the general rule of thumb, other factors will cause slight deviations. Some factors come from your rifle’s specifications, and others vary by grain.

On the field, there are several situations where you have to beat that 200 yards. When you mount a reliable scope, shooting up to 800-1000 yards is possible with the 30-06. If you are not looking to shoot long-range, a scope can be beneficial for you as well.

After using a variety of the most reputable products, I’ve highlighted the five best scopes for 30-06. Here’s what you need to know when you’re ready to start.

A Quick Guide to Distance: How Far will Your Bullet Go?

From muzzle point blank with a standard 1.5” scope height, follow these rough measurements for the Springfield 30-06 caliber:

  • Long Range: 400 yards and above
  • Medium Range: 200 – 400 yards
  • Close Range: Up to 200 yards

After 200 yards, the bullet starts to drop significantly with less velocity. After 300 yards, the drop falls below one foot, which means you’ll require some help to get that long shot. Unfortunately, based on my experience, it will take a little bit more than just extra practice.

You’ll have to use a scope that fits your personal shooting parameters. With the right power, your Springfield 30-06 ammo can go further than you ever thought.

What Magnification Do You Need?

Whether that target is a few yards away or way out on the horizon, you can always use some help. While it makes sense to think that more magnification is always better, that’s not the case. It must match up with the distance you’re shooting.

If you’re trying to shoot at a longer distance, you’ll want more magnification. What is magnification, and what does it mean? Check out my quick guide here to understand how lens measurements and magnifications work.

Which one of these sounds more like you?

  • Long Range (400 yards and above)
  • Like many proud hunting rifle owners, you probably lie awake at night dreaming of that 1000-yard goal. Lucky for you, it’s not impossible! Just find the best scope for Springfield 30-06 caliber with powers of 9x and higher.
  • Medium Range (200 – 400 yards)
  • The Springfield 30-06 is one of the most popular hunting calibers, and for a good reason. From this range, you’ll get the bulk of your beasts safely and ethically. Get a better view of this winter’s meat in the 4 – 9x power range.
  • Close Range (Up to 200 yards)
  • With the power of the Springfield 30-06 caliber, there isn’t much you can’t obliterate in this range. Most likely, you’re aiming for the dead-on bullseye that will win that bet on the next round of drinks. Ensure that win by using a scope that utilizes 1 – 4x power.

You’re already using one of the most popular calibers on the market. Despite how familiar you are with it, it can only do so much on its own.

Even the most expensive, most exclusive rifle in the world won’t get you where you want to be. You’ll only get there by finding a scope that aligns closely with your typical shooting style. Whether you’re up close and personal or a long-shot pro, I have the perfect mate for your rifle!

The 5 Best Scopes for 30-06 – My Top Picks

Having tested numerous high-quality scopes for 30-06, I’ve shortlisted 5 products that are my absolute favorites. Which one of these will be the next mount on your rifle?

  1. Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24x50mm
  2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44mm BDC
  3. Leupold VX-3i 3.5x10x40mm Rifle Scope
  4. Vortex Optics Diamondback 6-24x50mm
  5. Trijicon TR24G AccuPoint 1-4x24mm Riflescope

A quick note: Why do some scopes say “BDC” and others don’t? BDC stands for “bullet drop compensation.”

Simply, this means that you will not have to adjust the elevation for longer-range shots. All you have to do is use the reticle that matches the distance you are shooting and pull the trigger.

As you can see, my favorite choices are courtesy of the most reliable names on the market. No tricks, no games, just straight up the quality you deserve.

Finding Your Next Scope

Let’s get it going! You can also see which are the best scopes for deer hunting.

1. My Top Pick – Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24x50mm Gen2Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2 6-24x50 Riflescope - APMR FFP IR MIL, Black

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This Athlon rifle scope has magnification settings between 6x and 24x power, as well as a 50 mm objective lens, which in my opinion, make up for an ideal choice for 30-06 rifles.

My Feelings After Using the Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope

After the tests I’ve done, I can honestly say that the view this optic provides is truly impeccable. The lens is large enough to provide an excellent sight picture and show you a generous field of view, no matter which magnification setting you decide to operate within.

The reticle is on the first focal plane; this means that it will change sizes as you switch between magnification settings, which I find very useful. It will become bigger the further zoomed in you go and smaller as you zoom back out. But it will also keep your holdover hash marks the same relative to your target for increased accuracy.

Another feature that I found impressive when I was testing the product was that the reticle is also illuminated. It allows you ultimate accuracy even in low light environments.

Product Highlights

The scope is equipped with a parallax adjustment turret to eliminate parallax at longer ranges. The windage and elevation adjustment turrets are similarly tactile and precise and can be switched without looking, thanks to their broad ridges and audible clicking sounds.

Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2 6-24x50 Riflescope - APMR FFP IR MIL, Black

I’ve also been particularly impressed by the lenses, which have been fully multicoated to provide excellent light transmission and exceptional color contrast. Furthermore, the reticle has been etched onto the glass to keep it durable and to prevent it from shaking, even if your rifle causes a lot of recoil.

The riflescope has been made with aircraft-grade aluminum to provide superior mechanical integrity. It’s exceptionally shockproof and is also waterproof, so you can feel free to go hunting in the rain without worry.

Common Problems and How to Deal With Them

The only minor issue I experienced was that the scope is not entirely fog proof. The best way to deal with this is to simply wipe the lens with a fiber cloth.

Alternatively, you can also ask the manufacturer if there are any special products that you can safely use with your scope to prevent the lenses from fogging up.

Key Features

  • Made of aircraft-grade aluminum
  • First focal plane reticle
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Parallax adjustment turret
  • Shock resistant
Pros Cons
Great optics Not entirely fog proof
Illuminated reticle
Very resistant to shock damage

The Final Verdict

In my opinion, this riflescope is a superior choice if you get down and dirty on your hunts frequently. Its illuminated first focal plane reticle gives you a lot of versatility for tackling targets at varying ranges.

It would be a suitable choice for the 30-30 as well.

My Rating: 5/5

2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44mm BDCVortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44 AO SFP Riflescope Dead-Hold BDC MOA

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This Vortex riflescope allows you to switch between 6x and 18x magnification power. These magnification settings work with a 44 mm objective lens. This isn’t the widest lens I’ve seen. But the smaller size does mean that it will be an easier scope to mount on your rifle than scopes with larger lenses.

My Feelings After Using Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44mm BDC

I am truly blown away (pun intended!) by how good this optics is. The adjustable objective can help you remove or reduce parallax and help you focus your image at longer ranges. The lens has also been multicoated to give you better sight pictures and better color contrast.

The turrets this scope is equipped with are adjustable with the tip of your finger, and they click after each adjustment. Thanks to the tactile feedback, I didn’t have any problems  adjusting them without looking.

The scope is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum; it’s shockproof and sealed to make it waterproof and fog proof, as well.
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44 AO SFP Riflescope Dead-Hold BDC MOA

Product Highlights

For me, the BDC Dead-Hold reticle is of particular interest. BDC (meaning bullet-drop compensation) reticles allow you to place your shots accurately while using the vertical hash marks provided beneath the reticle crosshairs. I used these hash marks to estimate my bullet’s drop over distances.

The Dead-Hold BDC reticle also has horizontal marks to let you compensate for bullet drift in windy conditions. With a reticle as excellent as this, the need for dedicated elevation and windage turrets is much lower, although said turrets are still nice to have for precision adjustments.

Common Problems and How to Deal With Them

One of the issues I noticed with this scope is that the red dot reticle can wash out a little in high lighting conditions, which in my opinion, is particularly important when hunting during the daytime.

The reticle washout can be mitigated by turning up the dot’s brightness higher than you would normally do.

Key Features

  • Made of aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Second focal plane reticle
  • Shockproof
  • Waterproof
  • Fog-proof
Pros Cons
Excellent BDC reticle The reticle can be easily washed out
Great durability
Objective lens removes parallax

The Final Verdict

This scope is an affordable and versatile model, which makes it one of my top picks in this category. It’s my go-to gear when operating in mountainous locations or other spots with a lot of elevation differences.

It would make an excellent scope for long ranges.

My Rating: 4.5/5

3. Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Rifle ScopeLeupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Rifle Scope

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This Leupold rifle scope is another one of my top choices for 30-06 rifles. It offers magnification settings between 3.5x and 10x power, allowing for excellent close-range and medium-range targeting opportunities.

My Feelings After Using Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Rifle Scope

What I particularly love about this scope is the brilliant vision it provides. The scope uses a 40 mm objective lens, which is wide enough to provide a generous field of view without upsetting the balance of your scope or requiring extra mounting options.

The scope has lenses with a Diamond Coat 2 coating; this improves light transmission much higher than the coatings of many competing scopes and provides excellent scratch resistance. This coating ensured that the lenses continued to work even after I’ve used them a lot in the field.

Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Rifle Scope

Product Highlights

One of the greatest aspects of this scope is the Twilight Max Light Management System, which has completely changed my hunting game. This technical upgrade brings in more light, even in low-light shooting environments, and balances image resolution and color contrast. In many cases, this system can provide you with up to 20 extra minutes of light for hunting accurately. In some twilight or dawn hunts, these additional minutes can be the difference between a successful hunt and a failure.

You can choose between three different types of reticles. The scope provides 4.4 inches of eye relief, which is enough to protect your eye even with heavy recoil.

The scope is also 100% waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof. It’s made of aircraft-grade aluminum and has been tested by the manufacturer to ensure that it continues to perform under hefty recoil and lots of use. Even with all this durability, it’s exceptionally lightweight to keep your rifle balanced for accuracy.

Common Problems and How to Deal With Them

I’ve found that windage and elevation turrets aren’t adjusted well. You can try and adjust them yourself, or you can get in touch with Leupold so they can do it for you.

Key Features

  • Made of aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Diamond Coat 2 coating
  • Waterproof
  • Shockproof
  • Fog-proof
Pros Cons
Provides extra light in low light environments Windage and elevation turrets aren’t super tactile
Durable lenses and body
Good eye relief

The Final Verdict

This scope is perfect for hunters who, just like me, primarily go after targets during the dusk or dawn; they can get the most use out of the max light management system.

You can also check our full Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×40 review.

My Rating: 4.5/5

4. Vortex Optics Diamondback 6-24x50mmVortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24x50 First Focal Plane Riflescopes - EBR-2C (MOA) Tactical Reticle

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This riflescope offers magnification settings between 6x and 24x power. It has a 50 mm objective lens with a reticle set on the first focal plane. The glass of the lens is extra-low dispersion, so it concentrates collected light to provide you with a better sight picture and excellent color contrast.

My Feelings After Using Vortex Optics Diamondback 6-24x50mm

I can honestly say that this scope is one of the best I’ve tested. The eyepiece is a fast-focus model. This design helped me focus my eyes on the reticle and over my target more quickly than other scopes. This effect is enhanced even further, thanks to the multiple coatings that are brushed over the lens.

Product Highlights

Smoothness and stability are kings when it comes to this scope. You can see this design philosophy in the precision glide erector system. It uses premium components to make sure that every time you switch between magnification levels, the sequence goes off without a hitch and switches instantly in any condition. For me, this scope works wonders.

There’s also a magnification rib that facilitates rapid switching between your zoom levels in the heat of the moment.

Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24x50 First Focal Plane Riflescopes - EBR-2C (MOA) Tactical Reticle, Black

The scope has exposed tactical turrets and a side parallax adjustment knob on the left-hand side. All of these turrets allowed me to adjust windage and elevation and eliminate parallax with tactile clicking satisfaction. At the same time, these adjustment turrets aren’t bulky enough to get in your way.

The scope is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof, all at once. It’s been mainly designed to withstand extreme recoil and impacts from dropping the scope or from crawling around to get into the ideal position for your shot.

A hard-anodized finish lowers the glare of the scope and helps you keep your cover from animals on alert. The anodized coating also prevents your scope from suffering from rust damage over time.

Common Problems and How to Deal With Them

I found that the scope’s reticle is a little thin, which may cause your ‘quick focus’ or parallax to be slightly out of phase. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about it in this case.

Pros Cons
Very durable, anodized coating The reticle is a little thin
Precision glide erector system
Excellent lenses

Key Features

  • First focal plane reticle
  • Precision glide erector system
  • Hard-anodized finish
  • Highly durable
  • Shock-proof
  • Waterproof

The Final Verdict

This scope is excellent for hunters who need to switch between magnification settings quickly. It’s great for hunters that are comfortable shooting within the enter spectrum of available zoom levels.

My Rating: 4.5/5

5. Trijicon TR24G AccuPoint 1-4x24mm Riflescope, 30mm Main Tube with BAC Green Triangle Post Reticle
Trijicon TR24G AccuPoint 1-4x24mm Riflescope, 30mm Main Tube with BAC Green Triangle Post Reticle, Matte Black

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Trijicon’s TR42G AccuPoint scope is a potentially excellent choice for close-range varmint hunting and property defense. For example, it has a 24 mm objective lens and a potential max magnification of up to 4x.

My Feelings After Using Trijicon TR24G AccuPoint 1-4x24mm Riflescope, 30mm Main Tube with BAC Green Triangle Post Reticle

I am impressed by how well this scope works for short-range 30-06 hunting. While I didn’t use this scope to hit targets at long distances, it was more than enough for general hunting needs or target shooting.

Most importantly, the scope comes with battery-free illumination thanks to its tritium phosphor lamp. This illuminates the glass-etched reticle at all times without worrying about distortion, battery life, or anything else. It’s a fantastic design choice that ensures you’ll be able to use the scope for both daylight and low light hunting or plinking for years to come.

The reticle is, as mentioned, glass etched to ensure long-term durability and stability. It’s also etched on the second focal plane, so when I used it, it stayed constant even as I swapped between magnification values. This also makes the AccuPoint scope a good optic for new hunters or shooters that may not know how to mentally compensate for first focal plane reticles.

Meanwhile, the lenses are multicoated to boost light transmission and reduce distortion to near zero. All of this is packaged in lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum housing, so the scope only weighs about 14.5 ounces. I was able to mount it on my rifle without having to worry too much about throwing off the balance of my firearm.

Also included are a set of lens caps and a warranty card that covers any manufacturer defects for a few years.

Common Problems and How to Deal With Them

One issue I’ve found is that windage and elevation turrets lack clear markings. You can try to adjust them yourself or get support from Trijicon.

Pros Cons
Comes with excellent lenses and reticle design Windage and elevation turrets lack clear markings and don’t offer tactile feedback
Includes a warranty and lens caps
Very lightweight and durable
Has an illuminated reticle that doesn’t rely on battery power

Key Features

  • Made of aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Battery-free illumination
  • Second focal plane
  • Highly durable
  • Illuminated reticle

The Final Verdict

As you can see, the Trijicon AccuPoint optic is a reasonably priced and versatile riflescope perfect for short-range 30-06 hunting. Combine it with a lightweight and balanced rifle, and your shooting efficiency may increase dramatically.

My Rating: 4/5

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Springfield .30-06?

The 30-06 Springfield cartridge, sometimes known as the “thirty-ought-six” 7.6263mm in metric notation, and Winchester’s “30 Gov’t ’06” was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 and later standardized. It was still in use in the late 1970s.

The number “30” refers to the bullet’s caliber in inches. The “06” stands for the year the cartridge was introduced, which was 1906.

It was designed to take the place of the 30-03, 6mm Lee Navy, and 30-40 Krag cartridges. The 30-06 remained the standard rifle and machine gun cartridge of the United States Army for nearly 50 years before being replaced by the 7.6251mm NATO and 5.5645mm NATO, both of which are still in use in the United States and NATO. It is still a popular sporting round, with ammunition available from all major manufacturers.

What’s The Difference Between a .30-06 and a Springfield .30-06?

There is no difference. Winchester simply called is the .30-06 Winchester caliber.

How Far Can The .30-06 Shoot?

The Springfield 30-06 can fire less than 1 MOA at 200 yards. Although the usual rule of thumb is 200 yards, there will be modest variations according to various factors. Some aspects are determined by your rifle’s specs, while others are determined by grain.

There are various scenarios on the field where you must beat that 200 yard mark. Shooting distances of up to 800-1000 yards are attainable with the 30-06 if you use a good scope. Even if you aren’t planning on shooting long range, a scope can be useful.

After about 200 yards, the bullet’s velocity begins to decline significantly. After 300 yards, the drop is less than one foot, implying that you’ll need some assistance to get that far shot. Sadly, it will require more than just additional practice.

For that reason, a .30-06 is ideal for short-range shooting and mid-range shooting up to a certain point.

How Much Does 30-06 Weigh?

Current .30-06 factory ammunition varies in bullet weight from 7.1 to 14.3 grams (109.6 to 220.7 gr) in solid bullets, and as low as 3.6 grams (55.6 gr) with the use of a sub-caliber bullet in a sabot.

Why Did The Military Stop Using .30-06?

The military used to employ the .30-06 but during the Cold War, it was decided that NATO would start to rely on standardized ammunition calibers instead, and the 7.62mm was selected as the new choice. Because of this, the US also no longer used the .30-06 for its military.

What’s Bigger: The .30-06 or 5.56mm?

The .30–06 is a much larger and heavier round with much more terminal velocity than a 5.56, but there are other factors that make a round more deadly.

How Powerful Is the .30-06?

A .30–06 round, weighing between 150 and 220 grains, leaves the muzzle at between 2500 ft/sec and 3000 ft/sec and delivers between 2700 and 2900 ft-pounds of energy.

What are you waiting for?

Don’t wait any longer to make the most out of your favorite rifle!

You may find our guides about the best scopes for ar-10 and best m1a scopes interesting.

Get up close and personal with the Nikon and Leupold models, or go all the way with Vortex. No matter what choice you make, you can’t go wrong with these Springfield 30-06 legends.

If you want to take your 30-06 out at night, check which night vision or thermal scopes will suit it.

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