AR platforms utilizing a 300 AAC blackout (300 BLK) system are becoming increasingly popular among sportsman, military units, hunters, and competition shooters.
The 300 Blackout essentially provides the best of both worlds from the ever so popular 5.56 NATO and the 7.62×39. The round still has the slimline design of the 5.56 giving it less drag over long distances but encompasses a much more powerful punch, comparable to the 7.62. In short, the 300 Blackout comes out of the barrel faster and will hold that speed for longer than our old favorite calibers.
Another attractive reason to switch to the 300 Blackout is its variable usage with flash hiders and suppressors. These rounds are designed to be used subsonic without changing the gas system which makes them much more effective for suppression. Done correctly, the bullet noise hitting the ground is nearly louder than the report of the rifle!
- Here is a List of the Best 300 Blackout Scopes in 2019
- 1. CenterPoint MSR Rifle Scope
- 2. UTG BugBuster Scope (Best Under $100)
- 3. Bush Banner Rifle Scope
- 4. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Adjustable Objective
- 5. Athlon Optics Talos Rifle scope
- 6. Nikon Buckmasters II (Best Under $200)
- 7. Nikon P-300 with BDC (Great Value)
- 8. Primary Arms SFP GEN III (Best Under $300)
- 9. Leupold VX-R Patrol FireDot Illuminated Scope
- 10. Burris 200437 MTAC
- 11. Trijicon ACOG .300 Blackout Ballistic Reticle
- 12. EOTech HHS ll ExpS2-2 with G33 3x magnifier
- 13. Sig Sauer SOT61008 Tango6
Now that you have a very basic understanding of why people are allured into building a 300 Blackout, your next step may be to price out parts and create a build list. Fortunately, most parts from a standard AR-15 are compatible with a 300 BLK system. The only things you need to pony up for is a barrel and new muzzle break. That’s it! The magazine, gas block, tube, lower, etc are all compatible and usable on a 300 Blackout.
Aside from that, if you’re using optics with a ballistic calculator, windage, bullet drop compensation, etc that are specially designed to operate with a 5.56, you’ll also need need to find the best scope for 300 Blackout, which is what we’re here to discuss! Now, most scopes that you’ve thrown on your 5.56 rifles will probably suffice in a causal situation, however, if you’re looking to squeeze out the most efficiency and precision from your new (more expensive) 300 BLK rounds, you’ll want to find scopes that are designed for the 300BLK ballistics, which are significantly different than the 5.56.
A lot of what applies to AR-15 scopes will also apply to 300 Blackout scopes. Both rifle platforms will generally always allow for either or to be mounted and some scopes even have variable bullet ballistics to be used with either round. Both rounds have roughly the same levels of recoil which means that any scope capable of being mounted on an AR-15 will likely suffice when being used on a 300 BLK as well, despite the 300 BLK round having more power.
In this guide, we’ll pin down how to identify the best scopes for your 300BLk rifle’s job including top features to look for, important specifications, and of course, budgeting! After you gain a fair understanding of what you’re looking for, I’ll show you where to find my favorite 300BLK scopes and review them!
Giving Your 300 Blackout The Right Set of Eyes
Most of you are probably already familiar with the AR-15 and if you have one, it’s likely you also have a scope or two lying about. Now, scopes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and its likely that you may have a scope that is interchangeable between the two platforms that will simply “work”. However, we aren’t spending the extra money on a new rifle for it to just “work”. We are upgrading the AR-15 5.56 platform to the 300 BLK because we want the most out of our rifle, increasing the range, effectiveness, and versatility that our rifle provides us.
With this in mind, and money already spent on upgrading, you likely don’t want a scope that just works. You want a scope that is built and designed to optimize the 300BLK system. If you’re like many other firearm enthusiasts and you’ve made the move from 5.56 to 300BLK, it’s quite likely that you’re looking for those increased bullet ballistics at further distances.
It’s no secret that the 300BLK has incredibly higher (roughly 17%) bullet velocity than the 5.56 and since it’s encased in a much more streamlined manner than the 7.62, you know it’ll keep its velocity over a much further range. This means any scope designed to sit atop a 5.56 rifle will not be optimized or capable of providing the precision and accuracy you need to maximize the effectiveness of this bullet.
First and foremost, before hopping on to Bushnell, Sig, or Amazons’ websites, you need a plan. Dial in the scope of the mission you’ll be set on long before you even think about buying a scope. No scope will handle every job perfectly so really think about how you’re going to use this bad boy.
Home defense? Go ahead and stop reading here and instead pop over to my optics guide as you won’t need a scope for good ol’ close quarter combat situations.
This Guide is for Those Going the Distance!
The 300 AAC Blackout round has an effective range of around 500 meters! In this guide, we will cover things you should know (if you don’t already) and think about when shopping for a scope for 300 blackouts. First, here is a good YouTube video that explains why the 300 Blackout is quickly gaining popularity.
Understanding What the Numbers Mean
The X’s and the MM’s: If you haven’t bought a scope before or you simply just haven’t paid attention in the past, all the numbers and such found in a scopes description can certainly be confusing! Without understanding these algebra looking equation things, you likely won’t find the perfect scope for your needs and may end up with far too much or too little magnification for your needs.
Example: 1-9x 40mm
The first numbers are the power of magnification. In our example above, this means targets will appear no larger than normal on its 1x setting. But wait, there are 2 numbers married together with a hyphen, what can that be?
Those numbers indicate a range of power. This example shows us the scope is capable of a minimum magnification power of 1x all the way up to a maximum power of 9x. Finally, the last number that is given in millimeters tells us the diameter of the objective lens. Here we have a 40mm objective lens, which is neither small or large but more so in the middle range.
The size of the scopes objective lens determines how much light it receives, making the image brighter and crisper. Having an objective too large, though, may result in heavier and harder to steady performance from the additional weight of the glass. Glass weighs a lot so I suggest finding an objective lens that will suffice for your lighting needs but isn’t significantly overkill.
Sometimes you may see an example that is simply just 4x 30mm. This means the scope will have a magnification level of 4 and cannot be adjusted. Scopes with fixed magnification levels are great if you know for a fact that you’ll be shooting at an appropriate range for that level of magnification but may cause the shooter some headache if they incur targets close up.
This guide is focused on rifles firing a 300 AAC Blackout which is slightly more effective and powerful than the .223 or 5.56 NATO rounds. This ammunition is not suitable for extremely long distances. Their effective range is roughly 500m and is usable up to roughly 800m. This means that buying scopes optimized for distances further than 800 meters is a terrible idea, both for your sanity and your bank account.
You’ll also want to consider your effectiveness at close range. Generally, scopes with high levels of magnitude cannot focus on targets close up. If you’re a hunter, this could be bad news if your trophy buck walks right past your deer stand!
Most people will be using their AR 300BLKs to take down targets within 500 meters or less. Make sure the scope you choose is suitable for this distance, or whatever distance your mission requires, so be it that the ammo can actually reach the missions specifications.
Most rifles aren’t ridiculously heavy out of the box but they can become quite cumbersome when fully outfitted. Optics are arguably going to be one of the heaviest additions to your rifle and not all optics weigh the same!
Going back to what we talked about with the objective lens, you’ll want to ensure you find a lens that is small and thus lightweight enough to not throw off your balance or ability to hold the rifle steady while still offering the performance you need. Getting the right scope is tough and may take some trial and error to see what works for you. What I don’t recommend is loading up on the largest scopes you can find, because usually you won’t need the added performance and the weight is far more of a con than the scope is a pro.
Eye relief on a scope is measured by the distance your eye can be positioned away from the edge of the ocular lens. Some scopes require your eye to be as close as one half an inch away from the lens, which is funny when the recoil slaps you in the face! Other, (typically more expensive) scopes allow for several inches of eye relief. Typically scopes with 6″ of eye relief or more are marketed as long eye relief scopes.
In short, further eye relief means a more enjoyable shooting process and less black eyes. No more making up stories about how someone punched you for outshooting them when in reality you just got KO’d by your own rifles kick!
Pricing: Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck
If you had to sell the boat to build this bad boy, you better consider the van buy a scope for it. A scope should roughly match the quality (not necessarily price) of the firearm it will be married to. If your 300BLK rifle is decked out to the max for ultimate precision, sparing little to no room for improvement, the scope you marry it to better have the same standards! Putting a cheap scope on an expensive rifle is like putting off brand street tires on a powerful supercar. You can do it, but you’re essentially throwing away performance and leaving just its exotic appearances.
Typically, you’ll find smaller objective lenses and tubes are significantly cheaper. This doesn’t always hold true, as there are many variables that play. Scopes that do not offer magnification or have fixed focal lengths also tend to be on the cheaper side.
Using your AR-15 for both 5.56 NATO and AAC .300 Blackout
Since a standard AR-15 only needs a barrel swap to fire a 300BLK, it seems only fitting to have mags filled with both 5.56 and 300 BLK as you can use them both within just 30 seconds of barrel swapping. This is fine and dandy and may score some “time saving” points, however, if you accidentally grab a 300 BLK mag and throw it through a 5.56 barrel, you’re in for a very VERY bad day.
I HIGHLY recommend labeling them appropriately to ensure no accidents occur. You can even go as far as to purchase these nifty little bands on Amazon to identify which magazines have which rounds.
There is MUCH MUCH MUCH more that you can learn about scopes, but this guide should have gotten you up to speed on a basic level thus far. Without further a due, I’d like to show you the best scope for 300 Blackout systems at multiple price points. Keep in mind, these are scopes that I personally enjoy. Which scope you choose may depend on how tacticool you think one looks over another or your personal preference on features. There are HUNDREDS of options, so consider the ones I’ll show you but also take a look around for other possible options you may enjoy.
This list is mostly for those of you who would rather hit the range now instead of later while shoppers are stuck behind their computer screens reading about every single scope on the market. Remember, some AR-15 5.56 scopes may work just fine, while others may send your rounds far off target. Before buying, always ensure the scope will be usable with 300BLK ballistics.
Bargain Busters: Scopes Under $100
I don’t recommend buying a 300 Blackout scope in this price range. They will not provide you with the performance you deserve. We discussed earlier that your scope should match the quality of your rifle. There are no AR-15s or 300 BLK rifles for sale anywhere near $100 unless you robbed someone. You can’t even convert an AR-15 into a 300 BLK for under $100! These may be suitable if you just want a placeholder or something to plink paper with for fun, but they will not offer a great level of accuracy, versatility, or durability.
Also, when shopping for bargain buster options, please make sure the scope can handle the recoil of the firearm you’re placing it on. Not all scopes are built to withstand a multitude of force, which is exactly what they’re going to receive while on a high power rifle.
Some manufacturers make general usage scopes that are cheap and usable on things like airsoft rifles. These scopes, although sometimes marketed as being compatible with AR-15s and even 300 BLKs, are generally not made to offer precision on a real firearm and may not be built to endure the constant shock that firing one of these rifles produces.
Here is a List of the Best 300 Blackout Scopes in 2019
1. CenterPoint MSR Rifle Scope
Price Range: Under $100
Magnification: 1-4x 20mm
My review: This optic is okay for those that shoot their 300 Blackout every once in a while just for the pure enjoyment of firing their weapons. It won’t offer supreme marksmanship accuracy, but it will get the job done. The construction is mostly plastic which makes the durability of this scope very low and easy to break. I recommend using Loctite or glue on the mounting screws as they become loose with just a few shots resulting in losing your zero. So long as it doesn’t rattle loose and move around, this scope isn’t horrible, it’s just not great. This is the cheapest scope for 300 blackout systems I would consider usable. Personally, I would still go with the next scope on this list if I was working with a $100 dollar budget.
- It’s difficult to adjust the turrets as they are stiff and also plastic, making them easy to break
2. UTG BugBuster Scope (Best Under $100)
Price Range: Under $100
Magnification: 3-9x 32mm
My review: This scope isn’t specifically designed for 300 Blackout applications but it will work just fine. Being under $100 gives this scope a pretty big advantage over its direct competitors. It has an intuitive mil-dot reticle with multiple color options. It seems to be much more durable than any other bargain scope, although it is certainly not waterproof and I’d be wary of being caught in the rain, even though it does say it’s rain proof. This isn’t bad but I wouldn’t take this out on a multi-day hunting trip or expect to land tight groupings over 300m with it.
This is my pick as the best 300 Blackout scope under $100. The next scope on this list is a very close second but if I had to choose one this would be it. I attached a video review of this scope below.
- Not completely waterproof
- Limited eye relief
3. Bush Banner Rifle Scope
Price Range: Under $100
Magnification: 3-9x 40mm
My review: In my opinion, this is a very close second to the scope listed above. It is a surprisingly durable scope that will work well and hold a zero on a 300 BLK. The only real con with this scope is that it’s a little blurry at high magnification levels. I’ll attach a YouTube video below so you can see exactly what I’m talking about. This certainly isn’t the highest quality scope on this list but if you’re just looking to get the most bang for your buck this is a great option.
Here is a pretty good YouTube review on this scope. The guy who is reviewing it doesn’t speak English very well, but the information is on point.
4. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Adjustable Objective
Price Range: Under $200
Magnification: 4-12x 40mm
My review: This is an awesome scope considering it’s under $200. It doesn’t have any spectacular functions, but it does have a handy little BDC reticle and the most basic adjustments you’d need to have a little fun at the range. It is completely sealed and probably okay for a little ran during a hunting trip. With this scope, you should have no problem using the medium range capabilities of your 300 Blackout without a problem.
- Parallax adjustment turret is takes some getting used to
5. Athlon Optics Talos Rifle scope
Price Range: Under $200
Magnification: 6-24x 50mm
My review: This is a pretty great little scope to have for medium ranges. It has no incredibly amazing features but it is relatively durable and will provide good consistency in the 100-200 yard range. This is the lowest scope on the Talos line, which is known for their high-end scopes but this scope performs just as good at a lower price if you are shooting for fun.
Cheap lens caps that aren’t attached
6. Nikon Buckmasters II (Best Under $200)
Price: Under $200
Magnification: 4-12x 40mm
My review: So long as you get one that isn’t broke, isn’t a knockoff and doesn’t come with factory defects, these scopes are incredible for the price. I would almost say they are equal in usability and precision as scopes in the next price range. It has a decent amount of durability and really does offer a great sight picture at every magnification level. This is my favorite scope for 300 Blackouts under $200, at least for general purposes.
This video is actually more of an advertisement, but It does give a brief overview of the scope.
- Some complaints of quality control
- Difficult to contact Nikon customer support
Formidable Mentions: Scopes Under $300
For the most part, entry level rifles firing a 300 BLK round are usually sold around the $500 mark. This means scopes in this price range will be suitable for marriage with entry level rifle owners. I strongly advocate, as a general rule of thumb, to budget your optics the same way you’d budget your rifle.
7. Nikon P-300 with BDC (Great Value)
Price Range: Under $300
Magnification: 2-7x 37mm
My review: This scope is specifically designed for an AAC .300 Blackout round and has a BDC reticle inclusive of hash marks that are optimized for the round itself. I was very surprised when I first saw this scope. At first glance, it doesn’t look like anything special, but once you’re glaring down the scope and nailing targets with ease at variable ranges, you’ll see why this is a top-rated scope! They also make these with higher levels of magnification and for other rifle rounds such as a .308 and 5.56 NATO.
The video attached below is long. If you want to jump straight to the P-300 skip to around 14:12 in the video.
8. Primary Arms SFP GEN III (Best Under $300)
Price Range: Under $300
Magnification: 1-6x 24mm
I attached a good video reviewing this optic below. I recommend skipping to 1:00 in the video.
My review: Before we get started, I just want to make it clear that this scope comes in a variety of different flavors, both in different caliber specific reticles and also in different magnification levels. Before buying, ensure the reticle on the model you’ve selected is optimized for the caliber you’ll be using!
This scope is by far one of the most versatile systems on this list. It allows for CQB style operation with its wide field of view and 1x setting. Outside of CQB, the scope is an absolute monster when it comes to mid-range targeting. The reticle is crystal clear and the 11 illumination settings do well to mend with just about any kind of lighting situation you’ll find yourself in. Going the distance, the 6x magnification and bullet drop compensation attributes of the .300 Blackout BDC reticle makes reaching the maximum range of your blackout rounds easy peezy! The scope is extremely well manufactured and comes fully waterproof. To me, it’s the perfect size as well. A lot of the scopes on this list are long and bulky and make the rifle feel top heavy and fragile.
If you don’t have clear expectations for your rifle or you simply know you’ll be facing targets at multiple ranges, I highly recommended scope and I feel it is the best scope for 300 blackout rifles under $300. It has great versatility across the board and comes at a very reasonable price tag!
9. Leupold VX-R Patrol FireDot Illuminated Scope
Price Range: Around $500
Magnification: 1.25-4x 20mm
My review: Leupold is probably one of the most well-known high-quality scope makers out there and each and every one of their sights lives up to its name. This sight is incredibly easy to use and fits very well on top of a 300BLK rifle. It doesn’t have intense magnification levels, but with an AR15 style rifle firing 300BLk, you will rarely ever need significantly more magnification than what this scope offers. The price is a little high compared to scopes of this same magnitude but you’re going to be paying a slight premium for the Leupold name. If that doesn’t bother you, pick this one up!
- Exposed knobs are easy to knock out of place
- The reticle is a little on the thick side, taking up more of the sight picture than I would want. This is really just a personal pet peeve, though
10. Burris 200437 MTAC
Price Range: Under $500
Magnification: 1-4x 24mm
My review: This scope is one of the highest quality scopes you can purchase for a 300BLK platform that is suitable for short to medium distances. This scope obviously isn’t made for long distance shots, so I wouldn’t expect it to fare well there, but it does offer incredible sight picture and unbeatable eye relief. This sight also has a very elegant design that I don’t normally mention, but this one is just impressive that I couldn’t help it. The Burris MTAC is a fantastic low to medium range scope that is well priced and sits beautifully on top of any AR15 platform. It’s also very lightweight compared to its near competitors and comes with a lifetime warranty.
- The reticle is a bit overkill and a little distracting
- This scope is only made for short to medium distance targets and does not perform well in long distance, as it’s not designed to
Bank Busters Unlimited: $500 and Up
This section is where I detail scopes that I personally awesome above $500. Most of these are probably a bit unnecessary to the casual 300BLK enthusiast but may be a lifesaver to a competitive shooter or die-hard hunter.
11. Trijicon ACOG .300 Blackout Ballistic Reticle
Price Range: $1300
Note: You can get this Trijicon ACOG with a green reticle here.
My review: It’s a Trijicon ACOG. Do I need to say more? This is one of the most legendary sights on the market today. Battle-tested and ready to roll with an innovative buy once cry once price and quality! Yes, it will likely destroy your bank account, but who cares? Your 300BLK rifle has an ACOG! This thing is meant for rapid deployment and tight groupings at medium range. You won’t be sniping things a mile away, but you will have the best tactical scope for 300 blackouts on the market. Buy this and never shop for a mid-range scope again. This is my favorite optic on this list!
Here is a good video reviewing this scope (except the scope in the video is nickel boron coated) and its reticle.
Your wife might divorce you for spending such a ridiculous amount to see stuff far away
12. EOTech HHS ll ExpS2-2 with G33 3x magnifier
Price Range: Under $1000
Magnification: 1x or 3x
My review: I’ve actually reviewed this setup already in our optics guide but since I like it so much, why not talk about it here, again? I think it’s fitting if you have the additional funds to shell out for it! With this EOTech system, you’ll be getting the best of both worlds. A tried and tested 1x holographic sight with a 3x prism magnifier that sits on a hinge. Easily flip between the two and engage with targets in both close and medium range. This is most suitable for competition shooters or combat deployments but if you so choose, you can certainly use it to hunt and/or impress people at the range. Spend some money and have some fun, this thing is awesome! Just beware of knock-offs, they’re everywhere. Ensure you’re really buying it from EOTech.
Check out this nifty video of the combo in action:
- Not suitable for the maximum ranges 300blk is capable of
- EOTech has had some quality issues and a lawsuit
13. Sig Sauer SOT61008 Tango6
Price Range: Under$1500
Magnification: 1-6x 24mm
My review: If you have the money, this scope is incredible. It’s durable and heavy, built like a bulldozer and just as strong as one. Using this scope will give you the freedom of close up engagements on 1x with both eyes as well as intense 6x magnification for medium to long range targeting. It’s really just another Sig product, need I say more? Yes, they’re pricey, but they are also of the highest quality in any category they release products in, scopes being no different.
- Heavy comparable to many other scopes on this page
- Extremely expensive – you’re paying a premium for the Sig Sauer logo
I hope this guide has managed to teach you a thing or two about how awesome 300 blackout rifles are and how to outfit them with the proper optics to fit your needs. If I missed one or something new comes out that I haven’t gotten the chance to review yet, let me know in the comments! Also, if you have any sick builds, feel free to send them in and i’ll feature them!
Corporal Wabo is a former Infantry Squad Leader with 3rd Bn 4th Marines. As an outdoor enthusiast, he has been testing outdoor and tactical style gear for over 20 years. He started this website while transitioning out of the Marines, and since has recruited several other Marines to help him work on the Marine Approved website. On this website, we only write about things within our range of expertise like tactical gear, survival gear, hiking supplies, etc. Check out the “About Us” tab to meet the team.