Are you looking for the best scope for your .30-30? Look no further, we’re here to help you with all that you may need to know. Most shooters have experienced shooting with a .30-30 cartridge on a Winchester 94 or a Marlin 336 - and it isn’t difficult to fall in love with these firearms because of the rounds.
This round type is perfect for hunting small game such as squirrels, geese, ducks and pheasants, making it very versatile and easy to see why it’s a popular choice amongst many hunters. Moreover, the recoil is near non-existent.
However, choosing a scope for a .30-30 is a much harder task than shooting with one. There are many questions that need to be asked before settling on one scope - what price range is acceptable? Is durability important? Does it work in poor lighting conditions? How much eye relief do I need?
These are only a few of the questions that need to be answered before choosing your new scope, so beginning the search can be a daunting task.
Choosing a scope without answering all the necessary questions or simply picking one that the professionals or your friends are using can be a big waste of both time and money.
However, we understand that some people don’t have enough time or perhaps they just don’t want to sit around researching scopes all day. That’s where we come in and do the hard work so you don’t have to! Stop reading your one hundredth review of the day and read this article instead - we can assure you it is much faster and more beneficial.
We’ll be looking at our favorite scopes for .30-30 firearms, what scopes are useful for and a few things to consider before committing to a model. But you’ve done enough useless reading, so let’s just get straight into it, shall we?
Why Are Scopes Useful?
You may be expecting us to say that obviously scopes are used to see long distances and therefore make long range shots more accurate, right? Actually, we’re here to say that every shooter and hunter has a different reason for why they need a scope, and the reason you’re here today is different to everyone else's.
Long range shots aren’t most commonly associated with .30-30 cartridges, as they typically work best for shorter distances. However, some scopes are better used for their optics at a low level of magnification, which is mostly what we’ll be looking at today.
Putting a good quality scope on even the worst rifle can help its quality rise considerably, so they’re definitely a worthwhile piece of gear to invest in.
Adding an optic to your firearm can increase your visibility considerably which will increase your accuracy of every shot. Your target will appear more focused and clearer so you’ll be able to line up your aim with the prey and be much more likely to hit it than if you were only relying on guesswork.
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Best Scopes for .30-30 Firearms - Comparison Table
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Best Scopes for .30-30 Firearms - Reviews
The Leupold VX-Freedom range was already popular amongst the hunting community, and Leupold only accentuated this when it added six new models to the range in May of 2018.
The Bushmaster Riflescope 3-9x40 was one of these new additions and quickly made a reputation for itself as being an excellent choice for scope.
The 3:1 zoom ratio erector system works well in almost any environment, so it’s a great scope for hunters who like to switch up their settings each time. This scope is one of the more affordable models in Leupold’s line, however the design does not reflect this at all.
In fact, Leupold strived to create an affordable scope that could up to the standard of their best performing scopes, and it didn't disappoint.
Great durability and reliability come into play here, making it one of the most popular choices of scope for rifles which use .30-30 rounds. It’s fogproof and waterproof so you can use it in wet and rainy conditions as well as in cold early mornings.
Using the 450 Bushmaster’s ¼ MOA adjuster, you can keep your shots as accurate as possible over and over again.
Vortex has created their Copperhead 4-12×44 Riflescope specifically for hunters, and this can be seen through its generous eye relief, weatherproof qualities and the exterior made from aircraft grade aluminum.
Hunters are often out in nature in all sorts of tough weather conditions, and this scope will live up to their high expectations and keep their shots accurate effortlessly.
The reticle is able to be seen in all environments, including poor weather conditions such as fog and rainstorms, and the glass always seems light.
Another interesting feature is the very accurate tracking which will allow you to get precise shots every time. Many users are shocked by the attractive price point for such an impressive scope.
This Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope by Bushnell is perfect for people who are just getting into the sport of hunting and don’t want to invest in a high end scope just yet. It is a very popular choice for hunters of all levels because of its attractive price.
In fact, this is one of the most affordable scopes on this list, so it’s worth considering if you’re on a budget. Don’t let this fool you though - you won’t believe it’s a cheaper alternative while using it.
It is completely waterproof, fogproof and shockproof so you can use it whenever you want without being phased by the environment. The shockproof feature helps this model take heavy recoils easily, as long as it’s mounted correctly.
The lenses are multi coated meaning the images are crisp and bright thanks to the great light transmission. This allows hunters to keep enjoying their hobby even after the natural light has gone.
We cannot recommend a better scope for tracking, crisp details and excellent durability than this model by Leupold.
This scope features their own custom dial system which allows you to make adjustments easily, a great feature for beginners or hunters without much experience with scopes, keeping your shots accurate and fast paced without you getting flustered or confused about the adjustable settings.
Along with this, other notable features are the generous eye relief and how quickly the eyepiece focuses. These two features allow the user to be able to spot, aim and shoot within moments while keeping their eye a safe distance away from the firearm.
The eye relief is also generous which makes the whole experience more comfortable for the hunter, another factor that makes this scope perfect for beginners.
The Vortex Crossfire II scope is made from aircraft grade aluminum, giving it excellent durability. If you’re a hunter who tends to have a rougher style of hunting or prefer hunting in tough conditions, this scope is a great choice for you. In fact, it has been praised on its high quality despite its low price.
Moreover, you can use this scope easily in poor lighting conditions thanks to great light transmission capabilities from the multi coated lenses.
These lenses are also anti-reflective to prevent bright sunlight from ruining your images, as well as being scratch proof.
There are multiple different sizes and styles for this scope to come in, so you can customize your purchase to ensure your scope is going to be the most beneficial to you, whether you want more light transmission or a lighter scope, or higher or lower magnification powers.
The Fullfield II Ballistic Plex Riflescope from Burris comes with the whole package - a great warranty, reasonable price point, excellent quality images as well as many more attractive features.
It’s like this scope was built for .30-30 rounds, and the amount of beneficial features that come with this scope compared to the low cost is quite remarkable.
The Fullfield II has been compared to various higher end scopes, standing to reason that this may be the most cost effective scope on the market right now.
Instead of using the popular O ring seals, Burris opted for quad seals on their Fullfield II to make it as waterproof and fogproof as possible.
With a practically leak-free eyepiece and a watertight multi-coated lens, this is a great scope for hunting expeditions in wet weathers. Moreover, the eyepiece is very forgiving thanks to its size and well thought out placement.
The Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope is especially known for its reliability and continual accuracy. You can make easy adjustments to the reticle with the positive-click system, which is very beneficial to help you keep up with the fast focusing eyepiece.
These two factors make short distance shots a dream as you won’t have to wait any time to get a clear view.
All Nikon scopes are completely fogproof and waterproof as well as shockproof so there is no question on whether this is a durable scope or not.
Thanks to the multi coated lenses, the light transmission is excellent and the lenses are anti-glare, anti-reflective and scratch resistant, suggesting that this scope will be in your hunting gear bag for a long time after purchasing.
Best Scopes for .30-30 Firearms - Buyers Guide
Top Four Factors to Look Out For in a Scope
Accuracy is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a scope for your .30-30. The whole point of a scope is to allow the shooter to see their target more clearly and take the guesswork out of the sport, so if your scope doesn’t offer excellent accuracy you may as well not be using one.
When choosing your scope you’re going to want one that is going to give you the most accuracy as possible, otherwise you may find yourself shooting at the bushes next to your target, rather than the target itself.
No one wants to drop a lot of money on a scope that is going to break within months, so durability is a must. It’s known that firearms are often not looked after the best, what with all the accidental dropping and poor environmental conditions. Moreover, firearms with more of a kickback can greatly affect the durability.
Unfortunately, shooting and hunting is not a cheap hobby and therefore the best equipment is the most expensive. To really get your money’s worth out of all your gear, you’re going to want to ensure it is of the highest quality and durability.
Scopes are also widely used to enable the hunter to see further in the distance to improve their accuracy and precision. As .30-30 rounds are most likely to be used at shorter distances, a lower magnification may be more beneficial to you as you’ll be able to see more at a shorter distance.
Choosing a scope with a lower magnification will still enable you to see the target better by enlarging it so you’ll get more of an accurate shot. What’s more is that you won’t be paying a higher price for a feature you’re hardly going to use.
Clarity is another important factor to consider as a scope with fuzzy images is almost completely useless. The ability to see clearly through your scope is going to allow you to line your reticle up with your target properly and therefore achieve accurate shots every time. Much like with the accuracy of a scope, if the clarification is poor then you may as well not be using a scope and you’d be better off relying on the naked eye and guesswork instead.
Earlier we discussed the top four factors to consider when choosing a scope that you had to know before even beginning your search. However, now we’ve looked through the top scopes for .30-30 firearms on the market, we’re sure you’ll agree that there are many more considerations that need to be thought about before making the leap.
Below we’ll be looking at these additional factors in greater detail so you can be confident in the knowledge of what you’re looking for. Additionally you will be able to determine which of these are more necessary for your style of hunting and therefore what your scope needs to include rather than just what you want it to include.
First Focal Plane, or Second?
Choosing whether your reticle is on the first or second focal plane depends on your personal experience with FFP and SFP scopes, and preference. Choosing which of these you’d want for your scope is going to cut your list of potential scopes in half, so it is important to establish your wants from the outset.
First Focal Plane scopes use a reticle which changes as you alter your magnification, keeping the reticle accurate no matter which magnification power you are using. If you zoom in your reticle adjusts and can still be relied on, and vice versa.
Second Focal Plane scopes include a reticle that remains the same size, no matter what magnification power you’re using. This is only the most accurate when using one magnification power, which is often the highest setting, so you will have to do some mental maths and guesswork to achieve accurate shots.
Choosing whether you want a FFP or SFP scope depends heavily on how often you’ll be changing magnification settings - if the answer is often, perhaps a FFP is the way to go so you don’t have to put as much effort and time into getting precise shots.
Eye relief means how far away from the scope can you still look through it clearly. This is very beneficial as you won’t want to be hit in the face with your scope while using a firearm with a heavy recoil. It also changes the way you hold your gun and where you’ll have to mount the scope.
Generally speaking, scopes with larger eye relief are considered better as your shooting experience will be both more pleasant and safer. Being able to hold your firearm away from your face makes it much more comfortable for your arms, so this is a great feature to look out for. It also allows for more room if you wear glasses.
We think it goes without saying that shooters are going to want a scope with an attractive price point which doesn’t affect the quality. That would be ideal, right?
Unfortunately we know that often higher quality comes with a higher price, so it really depends on how often you’re going to be using the high quality features.
If you’re an avid, experienced shooter you may opt for a more expensive scope, but if you’re a beginner or don’t find yourself out hunting too often, you’re more likely to go for a more basic and cheaper scope. However, beginners may want to invest in an expensive scope from the outset.
There are many scopes that are still great quality while remaining relatively inexpensive, so stick to your budget and you’ll still be able to find a good quality scope.
The amount of experience you’ve had with scopes will affect your opinion on which models are the best for your .30-30, as you’ll know more about what you like and dislike.
However, if you’re a beginner and have no experience, you’re most likely going to want a scope with easy usability and aids you in your learning. More experienced shooters might want more of a customizable scope that you can tweak to exactly how you want it, and that boasts the highest quality possible.
For the latter hunters, you might not be as fussed about the price point as you know you’re going to get a lot of use out of it. Investing in the best scope is worthwhile to avid hunters, as long as it’s extremely durable and is going to last a long time.
Moreover, experienced shooters are going to know what to look for in a scope to determine whether it is worth the high price point, which is why your personal scope experience is a big factor in your decision.
The size of a scope's objective lens determines how much light is allowed into the tube and therefore how light and clear the images are able to be. The larger the objective lens, the larger the price point, but a larger one is considered much more beneficial so the extra price is worth it in our opinion.
However, a larger objective lens will make the scope heavier, and a heavier scope will put more pressure on your arms and may affect your accuracy. Try and find a happy medium in between too small and too heavy to get the most out of your scope.
Another thing to consider is whether the lens is coated or not. A multi coated lens has multiple layers of chemicals on it to make it glare and reflective resistant to ensure your images aren’t affected by the sunlight. Reflections may alert your prey to where you are, so this is a great feature to have.
Multi coated lenses will also often allow even better light transmission as well as ensuring the glass is scratch resistant.
The tube diameter affects how much light can be transmitted and how wide the field of view is. A wider tube often allows more internal adjustments and is best used for long range shooting, however wider tubes increase the weight of the scope so keep this in mind when making a decision.
Also consider the material of the tube. Most effective and durable scopes have a tube made from aircraft grade aluminum, so this is really the minimum to look out for. If a scope’s tube is made out of anything less durable than this, we’d suggest finding another one.
Size and Weight
As we just mentioned, the heavier and larger you scope is may affect your aim and accuracy. It also might be annoying to drag a huge piece of equipment around all day, so a lighter and smaller scope is generally more desirable.
However, these are typically pricier and therefore you should consider how important the size and weight of your firearm is to you. If you’re an avid hunter who finds themselves out in the woods almost every weekend, holding your firearm up for long lengths of time while you stalk your prey, you may really benefit from a lighter and therefore more comfortable scope.
However, If you’re more of an occasional hunter this may not be the most important factor to you as you may be more interested in a cheaper alternative.
Firearms which use .30-30 rounds are most often used for hunting, however you may have other purposes for your particular gun. Whatever reason you’re wanting to use your firearm for, it’s going to change a number of features you need and how important different factors are, so make sure you know what you’re going to be using your firearm for before you even start looking for a scope.
Tailoring your choice for your individual use is going to benefit your choice greatly.
How to Mount Your Scope
Now you’ve established which scope is the best for you and you have a good idea about which one you’re going to invest in, you know have the task of mounting it onto your gun. But how do you go about this and get it working properly?
Choosing the correct mount and mounting the scope properly will enable you to use your gear effectively and get the most out of your investment.
A scope’s mount is important as it ensures the scope is mounted most efficiently. For example, if you mount your scope correctly, the eye relief will be in the optimal position and therefore make your experience safer and more comfortable.
If not mounted correctly, you may find that you’re having to risk a black eye in order to get an accurate shot.
It is also vital that your scope is mounted securely so that you don’t put yourself or your scope in danger. The last thing you want is your scope to fly off your firearm after one recoil, risking potentially fatal damages, thanks to insufficient mounting.
Before buying a mount, make sure you know how your firearm ejects shells, as this will impact where on your gun you mount the scope. If the shells come out of the top of your gun, you’ll need either a scout setup or a side mount. These are the most common ways to mount a scope to a .30-30 rifle, but double check your personal gun beforehand.
A scout setup takes gas tubes with handrails which can be used to attach them to their scope. This is more of a DIY mount, but this doesn’t make it any less effective.
A side mount is simply a mount that attaches to the side of your firearm rather than the top. This may affect the balance of your gun and might affect how parallel your face can get to the scope, so you may need to take extra time to practice using a side mount.
Now you’ve made it through the article, you’ll have a better understanding of what to look out for when purchasing a scope and how to mount it. Out of our top seven picks, there isn’t one that jumps out at us for being the best overall as the best scope for you depends on your individual needs and preferences.
It’s no use to you what the best scope is for us or your peers, so only you can answer the question of which is the best scope for rifles using .30-30 rounds.
Beginners may want to start small and therefore begin with Bushnell’s Dusk & Dawn scope thanks to the low price and the reasonable amount of features.
Alternatively, beginners may know that they’re going to get lots of use out of their scope and therefore want to invest in a top quality model. See, there’s really no right scope for everyone - the final decision is all down to the individual.
We know that’s perhaps not the answer you were hoping for and that we were just going to tell you the scope you should get rather than you having to make a decision yourself. However, we’ve strived to make the decision as easy as possible for you through our buyers guide and useful information, so begin choosing the most important features to your hunting style as well as the least important.
Then you can read all the reviews above and find one that adheres to your wishes the most. Don’t pay attention to what your friends or the professionals are using - the best scope for you will be found by choosing one specifically for you.
Make sure you’re happy with your choice before purchasing your new scope, and we hope our article has made your hunting experiences (both for a scope and for prey) easier, quicker and more bountiful!