The .30-30 lever action rifle is an iconic symbol of the American West. Not only did this handy rifle help tame the western frontier, it has also put more venison on more family tables than any other rifle design.
The .30-30 Winchester cartridge is more than capable of consistently dropping deer and other game animals at ranges of 150 yards, even if it isn’t fired from a lever action rifle. However, pulling off a precision shot at that range can be difficult without a quality optic.
If you’re looking for the ideal scope for your favorite .30-30, you’ve come to the right place. Although mounting a riflescope on a lever rifle isn’t always straightforward, we’re here to help you find the best scope for 30-30 rifles, so you can successfully fill your big game tags and your freezer.
If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time for the details, here are our best picks for scope for .30-30:
- Burris Ballistic Plex Scout Scope 2-7x32mm
- Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm
- Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 4x32mm
- Nikon Prostaff P3 3-9x40mm
- Aim Sports 2-7×42 Scout Scope
- UTG 2-7×44 Long Eye Relief Scout Scope
- Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4×24 Dual-Illuminated Riflescope
- Simmons Truplex 8-Point 4×32 Riflescope
- Sig Sauer ROMEO5 Red Dot Sight
- HOLOSUN 503CU Circle Dot
Table of Contents
- Choosing the Best Scope for Your .30-30 Rifle
- Best Scope for 30-30 Winchester Reviews
- 1 Burris Ballistic Plex Scout Scope 2-7x32mm
- 2 Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm
- 3 Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 4x32mm
- 4 Nikon Prostaff P3 3-9x40mm
- 5 Aim Sports 2-7×42 Scout Scope
- 6 UTG 2-7×44 Long Eye Relief Scout Scope
- 7 Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4×24 Dual-Illuminated Riflescope
- 8 Simmons Truplex 8-Point 4×32 Riflescope
- 9 Sig Sauer ROMEO5 Red Dot Sight
- 10 HOLOSUN 503CU Circle Dot
- Final Thoughts
Choosing the Best Scope for Your .30-30 Rifle
The .30-30 Winchester is a medium range cartridge, so you’ll want a scope that compliments the cartridge’s capabilities. Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a .30-30 optic.
Most shots will be within 200 yards, so you won’t need an optic with massive magnification. A scope with a magnification range between 2x and 7x will work well for most of your .30-30 shooting.
Many shooters prefer to use a simple, fixed magnification scope on their lever rifles. This helps keep things simple, and simple is one of the best traits of .30-30 rifles.
The job of a scope’s objective lens is to help gather light, so you can see a bright, clear image of your target. Generally speaking, a larger objective will produce better, brighter image quality, especially in low light. However, a scope with a massive objective has no business riding around on a .30-30 rifle. .30-30s are compact, lightweight, highly maneuverable weapons. Slap a massive objective on one, and you’ve just quashed all the best traits these rifles possess. For the best performance, choose a scope with a modest objective and a low profile.
Will My .30-30 Lever Action Take a Scope?
Topping a lever action .30-30 with a modern optic can be a challenge. Many older rifles, especially the popular Winchester Model 1894, eject spent cartridges from the top. This design makes mounting an optic incredibly problematic. However, topping an old Winchester isn’t altogether impossible.
You can use a special side mount for your scope, which mounts the optic off to one side and out of the way of the ejection port. This type of mount can take some getting used to, and there is definitely a major learning curve with this set-up style.
Another option is to use a scout-style set-up. The forward-mounted scout design was originally conceived for use with a .308 Winchester bolt-action rifle. It allows the shooter to keep both eyes open to preserve precious peripheral vision. However, mounting an optic in this forward position, in front of the ejection port, just makes sense for top-ejecting .30-30s like the Winchester 94.
Not all .30-30s present this challenge. Models designed with a solid top, like the Marlin 336 and Henry lever actions, easily receive a scope.
Best Scope for 30-30 Winchester Reviews
1 Burris Ballistic Plex Scout Scope 2-7x32mm
If you’re planning to use a scout set-up for your .30-30, this scout scope from Burris is a fine option. The scope is compact, lightweight, offers plenty of eye relief, and is incredibly affordable.
The optical quality is impressive, especially for a scope in this price range. Burris uses high-grade optical glass and precision ground lenses larger than those used on most riflescopes. The size and quality of the lenses improve light transmission, so you can enjoy brighter, crystal-clear images, even in low light.
Burris made this scout scope ultra tough. Built with a solid, one-piece outer housing, the hand-fitted internal components are well protected. The durable construction preserves a consistent point of impact, even through stress and vibration produced by heavy recoil and rough use.
The scope features low-profile, finger-adjustable turrets and a modest 32mm objective lens that make this a perfect match for the fine, simple lines of a classic lever gun.
2 Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm
Leupold has been designing and producing dependable, top-notch hunting optics for generations. It’s obvious that no list of .30-30 scopes would be complete without at least one model from Leupold. Leupold optics are as classically American as the .30-30 lever gun, so these two make a perfect pairing.
The Leupold VX-Freedom makes a lightweight, low-profile companion for any .30-30 rifle. It is 100 percent waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. Made with 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum, this scope is durable enough to handle anything Mother Nature throws your way.
The VX-Freedom features Leupold’s exclusive Twilight Management System. Using proprietary coatings, Twilight Management reduces glare, provides astounding image clarity, and maximizes light transmission. With bright, crisp images, Twilight Management adds up to 10 extra minutes of shooting light at the beginning and end of the day.
The VX-Freedom also includes Leupold’s FireDot Illumination, which creates a highly visible, easy-to-use red dot aiming point, even in the dimmest light conditions.
3 Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 4x32mm
Although variable magnification scopes are incredibly popular, a modest, fixed power optic, like the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn, works perfectly with a .30-30 rifle. The 4x magnification sits right in the sweet spot for mid-range shooting. The simple design of this scope also compliments the simple design of a classic lever action hunting rifle. Keeping things simple means there are fewer potential failures to deal with in the field.
This scope features Bushnell’s unique Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi coated lenses. These ultra wideband coatings are designed to maximize clarity and brightness, particularly in low light conditions. Since most animals are more active at dawn and dusk, this scope is perfect for hunting deer, wild hog, and other game.
The Bushnell Banner riflescope is made with a one-piece tube that is nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed to prevent internal fogging. The scope is also certified IPX7 waterproof. That means all of the internal components remain dry, even if the optic is completely submerged in three feet of water for up to half an hour.
Priced well under $200, the Bushnell Banner is a smart option for shooters on a tight budget.
4 Nikon Prostaff P3 3-9x40mm
The Nikon name is almost synonymous with optical quality, and when you look through this scope, you’ll understand why. Featuring multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces, the optics on the Nikon Prostaff P3 are designed to maximize light transmission and produce bright, crisp, high-contrast images.
The .30-30 definitely isn’t a long range cartridge, and the higher end of the Prostaff’s magnification range may be close to overkill. However, that extra magnification can be handy when you’re trying to stretch the range of your rifle. The same can be said of the Prostaff’s BDC reticle and instant zero reset turrets. However, Nikon’s reticle is refreshingly uncluttered and provides an open sight picture for the short to medium-range shots the .30-30 makes best.
5 Aim Sports 2-7×42 Scout Scope
Aim Sports definitely isn’t one of the big names in the optics industry. However, the quality of their affordable 2-7x scout scope definitely earns this optic a solid spot on this list. Although this scope is priced well under $100, it is a quality optic with tons of performance for the price tag.
The scope has eye relief that stretches for what seems like a mile, making it perfect for mounting forward of a top ejection port. With a generous 42mm objective lens and green-fused, multi-coated glass, the scope provides plenty of light transmission and crisp image resolution.
The illuminated mil-dot reticle features adjustable rheostat for brightness control, so you can maximize the visibility of your crosshairs for virtually any lighting condition.
6 UTG 2-7×44 Long Eye Relief Scout Scope
This high-quality scout scope from UTG partners well with a traditional .30-30 rifle. This surprisingly affordable riflescope is packed with high-performance features, including an ample 44mm objective, emerald-coated optics, and a cutting-edge EZ-TAP Illumination Enhancing (IE) System. The entire scope is engineered to boost light transmission, elevate image quality, and enhance low light shooting.
EZ-TAP IE is an innovative system that provides multi-color illumination modes. WIth up to 36 colors to choose from, EZ-TAP IE makes it a breeze to line up your crosshairs in any weather condition and against any background.
The UTG Scout Scope has adjustable, easy-to-use turrets that provide fast fine-tuning. They also quickly return to zero with the simple flip of a switch.
Built on UTG’s True Strength Platform, this scout scope is built to last. It is nitrogen filled and completely sealed to protect internal components and deliver true shockproof, fogproof performance.
7 Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint 1-4×24 Dual-Illuminated Riflescope
Although the typical .30-30 rifle design definitely wouldn’t be considered “cutting-edge”, you can bring these traditional rifles into the 21st century with a high-end scout scope like the Trijicon TR24 AccuPoint. This high-end optic is packed with state-of-the-art features like Trijicon’s battery-free, “always on” reticle. In place of batteries, the reticle is illuminated by advanced fiber optics and tritium radiance. Reticle brightness automatically adjusts to any ambient light condition.
Trijicon optics are known for extreme, “battle-proven” durability, and the AccuPoint is no exception. One of the most durable riflescopes on the market today, the AccuPoint is tested to meet all military standards and protocols.
The Accupoint 1-4x scope offers plenty of eye relief for confident, both-eyes-open shooting. It also features a simple and effective triangle post reticle. The reticle design promotes fast ranging and easy holdover adjustments so you can make rapid, accurate shots on moving targets.
8 Simmons Truplex 8-Point 4×32 Riflescope
The Simmons 8-Point riflescope is a smart option for shooters on a shoestring budget. This one features fixed 4x magnification, a 43-foot field of view at 100 yards, and a quick target acquisition (QTA) eyepiece. It’s almost like this model was made for a lever action .30-30.
Although the 8-Point’s low light performance isn’t quite on par with some of the other optics on our list, it does feature fully-coated lenses. The image quality is crisp, bright, and offers nice color contrast in most daytime shooting conditions.
The turrets on the Simmons 8-Point provide SureGrip, audible-click windage and elevation adjustments that make zeroing the scope a fairly simple process.
9 Sig Sauer ROMEO5 Red Dot Sight
While it might seem counterintuitive to slap a modern red dot on a traditional .30-30, it actually makes perfect sense. The .30-30’s range, power, and short carbine length are perfect for a red dot sight, and the ROMEO5 is one of the best on the market.
The ROMEO5’s two-MOA aiming point isn’t exactly precise, but it offers enough precision to get the job done. The optic features 10 different illumination settings, eight of them optimized for daylight conditions and two for night vision (in case you want to really bring your lever action into the modern age).
The ROMEO5 is super durable and features MOTAC (Motion Activated Illumination). MOTAC automatically powers up when the optic is moving and then turns the optic off during periods of inactivity. This awesome feature conserves energy while ensuring your optic is always ready to go when you need it.
10 HOLOSUN 503CU Circle Dot
Another red dot option for your .30-30, the HOLOSUN 503CU features a 2 MOA center dot surrounded by a 65 MOA circle. The design makes it super easy to get on target, especially with the optic’s parallax-free, unlimited eye relief.
The HOLOSUN 503CU is super low-profile and incredibly lightweight, which is perfect for a carbine-length .30-30.
The optic is jam-packed with innovative, high-tech features, including Solar Failsafe, which keeps your optic running if your battery fails, and ShakeAwake Technology that instantly activates the LED when it senses movement.
Although some shooters may scoff at the notion of putting a scope on a .30-30 rifle, the right optic can make a world of difference when it comes to your shooting accuracy. These legendary firearms definitely haven’t outlived their usefulness, and with the best scope for 30-30, these traditional weapons provide effective, modern performance for tactical, defensive, and hunting applications.