The Best Scope for .30-06 in 2023


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January 1, 2023

The .30-06 Springfield cartridge, or .30-06, was a cartridge originally produced and introduced to the US Army in 1906, then later being standardized. The name itself, .30-06, refers to the bullet caliber in inches, with the 06 referring to the year it debuted. It was an armed forces staple until the late 70s when it was effectively retired in favor of more recent ammunition technology.

The .30-06 form factor has been picked up by countless arms manufacturers and ammunition producers and has resulted in an incredible amount and variety of .30-06 rounds available for just about any modern shooting need. It has since become one of the most popular and beloved calibers in existence.

The Best Scope for .30-06

Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10×40

leupold vx-3hd 3.5-10x40

For years now, Leupold has been one of the foreru-nners in the rifle optics industry, and for good reason. Not only are their products durable, reliable, and accurate, but they are also very affordable. One of their most successful riflescopes of all time is the VX-3, and each subsequent version in the lineup has lived up to the reputation of prior models.

Their newest product in the VX-3 lineup, the Leupold VX-3HD, definitely holds true to its name. This line is popular because they are dependable, rugged, and durable, plus they come with a lifetime performance guarantee. The VX-3HD is a great choice for hunters and rifle enthusiasts for several reasons.

Weighing in at just 13.5 ounces, this scope is a fantastic choice to mount to a variety of rifles, as you don’t have to worry about it weighing you down. In fact, how light it is makes this an ideal choice for long hikes and tactical situations. Since it weighs so little, it shouldn’t add to your physical fatigue or slow you down when you need to move swiftly.

In a hunting scope, the things that really matter are ruggedness, clarity, and brightness of the optics, anti-fog, return to zero, and high-performance in low-light settings. The VX-3HD hits all of those marks.

The Elite Optical System provides exceptional clarity, hence the HD in the name of the scope. This lens coating system amplifies the light and provides enhanced light transmission. In turn, this results in amazing clarity, even in low-light conditions. The optics are also great because they have a Hydrophobic Guard-ion coating, which protects against scratches, dust, and water.

One place where this scope shines is in how easily it returns to zero. Leupold’s ZeroLock system is great because it uses cryogenically treated dual springs in each of the adjusters. This system is also helpful because it helps lock the dials in place, which is really helpful if you’re the type of person to bump your knobs frequently.

Setting the correct distance for your target is important, but not all scopes make this easy for the user. The Leupold VX-3 HD has a Custom Dial System available that allows you to manually dial in the distance to your target. To receive the free cds elevation turret, you just have to enter your serial number and some other relevant information on Leupold’s website and they’ll send it out to you.

When looking for a scope for your .30-06, it’s important to look for something that is durable and has been tested to ensure it will last. The Leupold VX-3 HD is fog proof and waterproof, and Leupold can prove it. Inside of each scope, they use a special blend of argon and krypton gasses to purge the scopes prior to sealing them. This allows the Leupold VX-3 HD to handle depths of up to 33 feet.

Their scopes are also tested to see if they can withstand harsh conditions. They are rated to handle temperatures as low as -40° F and as high as 160° F. After passing this test, they are put through the Punisher, a machine that simulates a recoil that is triple the force of a rifle chambered in 308 Win.

Overall, if you’re looking for a durable, affordable scope for your .30-06, check out the Leupold VX-3 HD.

What Is A .30-06 Best Used For

The .30-06 round is considered one of the best overall cartridges for hunting game. It works for nearly all types of large mammalian game, in areas spanning the continent from northern prairies of the northern Canadian provinces, to the sweaty and swampy bayou. It’s functional from 3 to 300 yards and is best complemented with a weapon and scope that can capitalize on this.

With its reputation as being a bullet that can win shooting competitions at short, medium, and long-range, the .30-06 can be considered one of the most versatile rounds in hunting and sport shooting today. The accuracy of the .30-06 is nearly unmatched, with many modern hunting rifle manufacturers printing Minute of Angle with popular ammunitions. This can lead rifles that are well-tuned and cared for to reach one-half or one-quarter Minute of Angle precision.

What Are The Benefits Of Using .30-06 Over Something Else?

The hardcore .30-06 adherents will give you all kinds of reasons, some true, some less so, but in reality, there are a number of real, measurable reasons why .30-06 is better than many other calibers or types of ammo.

In general, the .30-06 is a heavier bullet, and so it will by default carry more kinetic energy. This means when it contacts a target, it will transfer more of that energy to the target, hitting harder and penetrating deeper than a comparably propelled lighter bullet. The manufacturers of .30-06 are constantly refining their products and improving them, so with some of the more advanced .30-06 options, some going up to 220-grain, .30-06 is a bullet that can take down your usual fall bucks in the heartland, but it can also drop a bull moose in the frigid north.

Why Use A Scope

Scopes for rifles that are shooting .30-06 are nearly a necessity. Even though there are many situations when you will be able to get a decent and effective shot off under 100 yards using iron sights, there will likely be far more where in order to take a comfortable and more importantly confident, shot that’s out there at 150 yards or more, you will absolutely want a scope.

That’s just when you have found and want to take a shot. Think about all of the time while out hunting, that you spend not shooting. This is the time that many people forget to think about. By having a scope that you are comfortable with, you can easily use it to scout for targets or to stalk potential targets as they move through the area.

A scope that you struggle with will only lead to a frustrating outing, and possibly eye strain or a headache as well, from squinting into a low-quality sight all day.

Choosing The Best Scope For Your Needs


Magnification is arguably one of the most important things to consider when you’re shopping for scopes or other optics. Most hunting happens at ranges of 100 yards or less, with occasional stretches out to around 200 yards. If you will be out hunting game that will need more magnification than that, you’ll certainly know ahead of time and it won’t come as a surprise when you’re gear shopping.

For most folks who are hunting in reasonably thick bush and brush, a low power scope can give you a better visual when you’re in close range while being able to provide a bit of zoom if you need to shoot through more open country, rolling hills, or prairie.


I know a lot of people would put clarity above the reticle quality, but I look at it a little differently. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt that your scope is going to be clear and visible, you’re producing a scope. If on the other hand, the reticle isn’t attractive to me, the glass won’t matter because I’ll never be looking through it.

If my target is close range, say under 100 yards, I like a more simple reticle. But If I know that I will be hunting targets beyond 100 yards more routinely, I’m going to want something with a few more aiming points. I hate clutter, but I like information. If the scope is going to be for a mix of close and mid-range targets, I’m going to try to find a scope that has a smooth compromise of the two.


While it goes without saying that your hunting/scouting optics will need to be perfectly clear and illuminated, you may be surprised at how many scopes on the market have cloudy or irregular optics due to low-quality lenses.

When you’re shopping for your next .30-06 scope, be sure that your glass and lenses are large enough to allow sufficient light in, even at dawn or dusk when conditions will be dimmer. This should be possible without adding a ton of weight to the scope.

Every product is hand selected by our editors. We may receive commissions on purchases from a link.

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