The classic .30-30 rifle has been an American staple since the closing years of the 19th century. Still going strong today, the iconic .30-30 levergun is a part of our cultural heritage, and a traditional hunting and sport shooting rifle for countless people. Given the ubiquitous nature of this rifle, it is no wonder people are constantly looking for the best scope for a lever-action rifle.
While many rifles, like the Marlin 336 are a solid top and easily scoped, other lever-action rifles require special side scope mounts. However, regardless of what rifle you have, there are plenty of scope options out there.
As you can see, here’s the list of .30-30 scopes I’ll tackle in this review:
Best Budget Buy
|Barska 3-9x40 Riflescope 30/30 Reticle|| ||$85 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Burris Scout 2-7x32 Ballistic Plex Scope|| ||$349 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm Riflescope Duplex|| ||$229 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40mm, BDC Rifle Scope|| ||$116 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Vortex Crossfire II Scout Scope 2-7x32mm|| ||$149 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Weaver K4|| ||$117 Shop NowClick to read my review|
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Where Do You Use a 30-30 Scope?
.30-30 scopes make excellent accessories when you use them in:
- Hunting: With a .30-.30 rifle’s strong firepower, scopes help you sight targets from mid- to close- ranges. With their magnification spread between 3x to 9x, you’ll have a clear picture of that deer in the woods. To illustrate, .30-30 scopes are the most effective when you use them to hunt for boars, coyotes, deer, and elks.
- Field Shooting: A .30-30 scope also stands out at the range. Like other scopes, you can equip one to help you hone accurate shots. Many competition shooters practice their shooting skills using a .30-30 scope. Given their durability, you can operate .30-30 scopes under harsh environments. Several of these environments include sun, fog, dust, and even rain.
Moreover, our hunter education article provides tips and tricks you can use when hunting.
How to Install a Scope on Your Firearm
Of course, a .30-30 scope proves useful when securing a game or practicing your shooting skills. Despite their small and compact sizes, installing one on your gun can get a bit complicated. That is to say, I’ve provided a step-by-step process on how to install a .30-30 scope on your gun. As such, here are the things you need to know to get started:
- Do a safety check on your gun. Before doing anything else, it’s important to do a gun safety check. First, always point the muzzle away in a safe direction to avoid serious firing accidents. Then, open the action and check if your receiver/magazine has loaded ammo in it. Next, remove the load and put them in a safe storage box. But if there’s no ammo installed, close the action and proceed to the next step.
- Place your gun in a rifle rest. Pull the front side down against the rifle’s barrel. Because doing this helps you attach the scope easier without needing to detach your rifle’s front sight.
- Drag the front side down. Pull the front side down against the rifle’s barrel. Because doing this helps you attach the scope easier and faster without the need to detach your rifle’s front sight.
- Attach the offset hammer spur. To latch the hammer spur, use screws to keep it in place on your gun. Once it’s screwed in, you’ll find the hammer overhang under the scope. But you cannot cock the hammer back in this position. Thus, this offset lets you cock the hammer back without your scope getting in the way too much.
- Install the base hammer to your rifle. On top of the receiver, take out the screws. This is where you attach your base mount. With the visible screw holes, screw the base hammer down into place. A lot of scopes come with all the materials you need to install them, including Allen wrenches. For extra sturdiness, screw the base hammer well and tight.
- Sight your scope. To make sure you have installed it well, check and sight your scope. In fact, attaching scope rings onto the base is a good idea to keep your scope secured onto your rifle. Make sure that your scope doesn’t touch the front sight or hammer so it’s in a proper position.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Scope
Like any other gear, you need to check some of a product’s conditions before buying it. To help you decide, here are the following factors you need to look out for in a good .30-30 scope:
- Durability. Most of the time, people use .30-30 scopes for shooting or hunting. For this reason, it’s important that you look at how sturdy a scope is. In today’s market, many manufacturers create scopes that have resistance against certain elements. For instance, some can withstand harsh conditions like dust, fog, and even rain/water.
- Weight. Besides durability, another factor that you should consider in a .30-30 scope is its weight. In fact, the majority of today’s scopes only weigh up to 15 oz. These weight numbers allow you to move and react quicker to your surroundings. Despite its light mass, keep in mind that you should check your rifle’s compatibility with a .30-30 scope. That way, you’ll not spend thousands of bucks for buying a wrong scope instead.
- Magnification. An excellent .30-3-scope should have good magnification capacity. For better hunting results, buying a 7x or 9x Marlin .30-30 scope is a great choice. These ranges grant you the chance to hit your targets even from a distance of 200-250 yards. Otherwise, scopes with more than 9x magnification could mess up the image clarity.
- Mounting system. By default, .30-30 lever guns don’t produce much recoil whenever used for shooting. Still, you should take note of a scope’s mounting system when picking a good one to pair with your gun. To illustrate, most of today’s .30-30 scopes consist of either forward or side mount options. Forward mounts compels you to use long eye relief scopes. Meanwhile, side mounts allow you to use any normal scope. Hence, choose a mounting system that you’re comfortable using the most.
- Lenses. For this, it’s ideal to have your scope’s lenses large in size. The bigger a scope’s lenses are, the more light passes through them. With this, you can get a clearer and brighter picture of your target from afar. Despite these perks, keep in mind that scopes with bigger lenses are heavier in weight. This might cause you to miss shots or hurt your arms while holding your scoped weapon. To limit these consequences, I recommend that you get a .30-30 scope with 32mm lenses. These can grant you the perfect blend of weight and light transmission.
- Eye Relief. Like mounting options, a great scope should offer comfortable eye relief. In definition, an eye relief refers to the largest distance between the focal lens and your eye. To prevent hurting your eye while sighting for long periods, a 6-inch eye relief is ideal. This is effective when you attach your scope on your .30-30 rifle.
- Price. Like always, one common but important factor to consider when buying a scope is its price. Unlike thermal scopes, .30-30 scopes often come with affordable prices. As of this writing, a lot of .30-30 scopes cost below $300. Plus, there are also some that you can buy for only $85! Regardless of the price, many of these scopes still include superb sighting features.
6 Best 30-30 Scopes for Lever Action Rifles in 2021
Like any other gun gear, picking a scope for your .30-30 lever gun is a challenge. To save you all the trouble, we’ve evaluated thousands of scopes available in today’s market. After careful deliberation, my team selected this year’s 6 best .30-30 scopes. But before anything else, let’s go over each scope’s details:
|Barska 3-9x40 Colorado Hunting Riflescope||3-9x||14.5||$85.00|
|Burris 2-7 Scout Scope||2-7x||13.0||$349.00|
|Leupold VX-1 3-9x40 Riflescope Duplex||3-9x||11.2||$229.99|
|Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40, BDC Rifle Scope||3-9x||15||$116.87|
|Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32||2-7x||12||$149.99|
|Weaver K4 4X38 Riflescope||4x||9.9||$117.50|
Barska 3-9×40 Colorado Hunting Riflescope
Barska impresses people once again with their Colorado Hunting Riflescope. What makes it stand out is its 30/30 or Duplex reticle which allows you to hit a bull’s eye starting at 100 yards and beyond. With an adjustable magnification, you can perform accurate quick scans and zoom targeting.
In addition, this optic uses black matte for its entire framework. The mentioned material gives the scope its shiny yet durable look. Also, its fully-coated lenses provide you clear and bright images of your prey. The said lenses let you gather light with little to no problems. Hence, you can rely on this scope should you plan to use it at any time of the day. Plus, its 1-inch monotube offers you comfortable eye relief. Apart from this, the monotube is also immune to elements like shock, water, and fog. Given its mass of only 130z, you can attach this .30-30 scope to your gun without adding much to your firearm’s weight. Gun enthusiast Jeremiah Valpatic sights this scope at 50 yards through this video:
Speaking of sights, let’s focus more on the Colorado Hunting Riflescope’s main features and how they work. The scope has a 3x-9x magnification range. And with such huge magnifying power, this makes it suitable to use for mid-to long-range shooting. This gets even better with the scope’s field of view. To prove, the said FOV can reach up to 100 yards. Also, it’s easy to change the scope’s windage and elevation thanks to its knob that you can find on the side. In conclusion, this is our list’s cheapest .30-30 scope, costing you only $85 for one. Thanks to Barska’s lifetime warranty, replacing and repairing this scope is an easy feat.
- Has a 30/30 or Duplex reticle
- Adjustable magnification for quick scans and zoom targeting
- Made of black matte material
- Is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Simple windage and elevation adjustments
- Fully-coated lenses for clear and bright images
- Includes a 3x-9x magnification range
- Has an FOV of 100 yards
- Comfortable eye relief
- Very affordable
- Doesn’t come with scope mounting rings
Burris 2-7 Scout Scope
The 2-7 Scout Scope by Burris is a simple yet refined scope that matches well with .30-30 lever gun rifles. It boasts itself with its Ballistic Plex reticle. With this, you can shoot without tweaking your windage and elevation adjustments often. Therefore, this scope will help you save both time and money whenever you’re out hunting in the woods or shooting at your local range.
Let’s look at some of this scope’s attributes. For starters, the 2-7 Scout Scope comes with steel-on-steel turret adjustments. Using these can help you withstand strong firing recoil. Like the Barska, because it has multi-coated lenses, it provides you a bright and clear image of your target. Since it uses 2x-7x magnification, you can sight with this scope even from a distance of 300 yards and beyond! As such, this scope is perfect to use when trying to catch wild games like prairie dogs, elk, and the like. To see an exhaustive review of this scope, you can check out the video below:
Lastly, this scope has lenses that measure 32mm in diameter. Plus, it also includes an eye relief which is 9.2 to 12 inches long. With these, you can keep both your eyes open for comfort while shooting. Thus, this is ideal to pair with .30-30 rifles like the Winchester 94. This is because the top eject needs specialized side scope mounts. Not to mention, the 2-7 Scout Scope comes with a Burris Forever Warranty. Even when you gift or sell your scope, it still covers the scope’s replacements and repairs. Like most warranties, this also doesn’t charge you any repair or replacement fees.
- Includes a Ballistic Plex Reticle
- Can withstand strong firing recoil
- Multi-coated lenses produce bright and clear images of your target
- Provides 2x-7x magnification range
- Sights up to a distance of 300 yards
- Offer comfortable eye relief
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Very expensive
- Needs special scout scope mounting setup
- Lenses may not work well under all low light conditions
Leupold VX-1 3-9×40 Riflescope Duplex
It’s pretty hard to write about 30-30 scopes without putting a Leupold on the list. For generations, Leupold continued to sell fine hunting scopes in the market. Their solid optic reputation is evident through their VX-1 scope. This power scope caught many shooters’ attention with its 3x-9x magnification range. Given its versatile magnifying capacity, you can use this scope to sight even from 400 yards away. Like the first option, this scope performs well in mid-to long-range shooting distances.
Let’s talk about this scope’s physical features. Firstly, the VX-1’s entire framework consists of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy material. This contributes to the scope’s long-lasting durability. For instance, it will not suffer easy damages or breakages even when it hits a hard surface. Plus, this is also what made this scope get an IPX7 rating, making it waterproof. Secondly, this scope has a mass of only 13.6oz, making it lightweight and easy to attach to your rifle. Thirdly, it offers an eye relief of 4.4 inches and a main tube of 1 inch. Like the 2-7 Scout Scope, the VX-1 allows you to open both your eyes while sighting or shooting. For more details, here’s YouTuber Big Ed’s unboxing and overview video about the VX-1:
In addition, the VX-1 is also immune to fog and shock elements besides being waterproof. Since the reticle also measures 40mm, you can sight with this optic in comfort for long hours. Of course, this makes it even better with the scope’s 3-9x magnification power. Like other scopes on this list, the VX-1 is suitable for mid-to long-range shooting at the range or forest. Plus, it can also stand against recoil even up to 3x that of a .308 rifle. Thus, you don’t need to worry about your scope smacking you in the face each time you fire a bullet. In brief, this scope goes well with other popular lever guns like the Marlin 336 and Mossberg 464.
- Comes with a magnification range of 3x-9x
- Can sight targets even up to 400 yards away
- Made of sturdy aluminum alloy material
- Is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof
- Offers comfortable eye relief
- Is immune against strong recoil
- Great for intermediate or long shooting distances
- May not perform well in extreme weather conditions
- Lenses not suitable for night hunting
- 3x-9x magnification may not get you the most range for well-made handloads
- A bit pricey
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Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40, BDC Rifle Scope
Whenever you hear the brand Nikon, expect your scope to have the best premium features. In fact, their ProStaff scope is one example. Like the second pick, this optic also has a unique attribute called the Ballistic Match. It is a type of software that tells you how to use your scope and load in the best ways possible. This makes the ProStaff an ideal scope for both veteran and newbie shooters alike.
Moving on to its exterior, the ProStaff uses Black Matte housing. With this, you’re guaranteed a scope that doesn’t get easy dents and other possible minor damages. Also, this optic includes a BDC reticle which offers you a more comfortable grip. Not to mention, its transparent ballistic circles allow you to get crisp and clear images. This scope uses a magnification power of 1x-4x. Though not as powerful as the earlier options, it does work well even when you sight from even 150 yards away. To show, here’s a comprehensive review and field demo of the ProStaff scope done by YouTuber towert7:
Furthermore, this optic’s lenses measure 24mm in width. Though not the largest, these still provide you comfortable eye relief while shooting. Thus, you can keep targeting and shooting with both your eyes wide open. To add, its multi-coated optical system can send up to 98% of available light. With this, you can use this scope when sighting targets even in dark or rainy areas. Like the rest of this review’s selections, the ProStaff scope is also immune against heavy recoil. Your scope’s zero settings remain unaffected despite your chosen rifle’s strong recoil.
Apart from its high-quality characteristics, the scope also comes with sealed O-rings. With these, you get a fog-proof, shockproof, and waterproof scope. Furthermore, this scope is compatible with a lot of .30-30 rifles. For instance, you can attach one on the .30-30 Marlin rifle, the Remington .30-30, and Savage .30-30.
- Comes with an installed Ballistic Match software
- Made of black matte housing
- Not susceptible to easy dents or breakages
- Generates crisp and clear images
- Performs well even at 150 yards
- Immune against heavy recoil
- Transmits huge amounts of bright light
- Can fit a variety of .30-30 rifles
- Does not always hold the turret settings to zero
- Works best for handloaders alone
- Controls a bit stiff to move or adjust
Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 Scout Scope
One of today’s most popular optics, the Crossfire 2-7×32 packs balanced scope features. To prove, this scope’s trademark is its BDC reticle. The said inclusion lets you fire shots at distances longer than your zeroed range. With this, you can one-shot a target even from a faraway distance of 200 yards. The mentioned reticle makes it fitting to use for doing long-distance shots.
Let’s take a look at this optic’s whole framework. Like the VX-1, the Crossfire 2-7×32 uses aircraft-grade aluminum alloy for its body. Given the said alloy’s properties, you get yourself a durable and flexible optic. Not to mention, its unique housing design guarantees you continuous transmission of light. Even with heavy recoil, you can still get a clear sight of your target. Also, its O-ring seal protects the scope from clogging its interior with dust and moisture. Plus, it’s nitrogen-filled, therefore, the scope is weatherproof. Here’s how YouTuber ZRUS Outdoors Channel used his Crossfire 2-7×32:
True to its name, this optic has a 2x to 7x magnification range. Like our other options, this lets you sight your prey from both short and long distances. Thanks to its 32mm lenses, you can also experience comfortable eye relief. Since it has a VIP unlimited warranty, you can have scope repairs and replacements at any time.
- Comes with a BDC reticle for shooting long distances than your zeroed range
- Allows you to fire shots even at 200 yards
- Great for both short- and long-range shooting
- Made of sturdy aluminum alloy material
- Can withstand strong recoil
- O-ring seal makes this scope resistant against moisture, debris, and dust
- Includes a 2x-7x magnification power
- 32mm lenses result to comfortable eye relief
- Includes a VIP unlimited warranty
- Can’t send much light when exposed to dark spaces
- High magnification blurs quality of image
- MOA clicks are unclear
- Doesn’t pose much shot accuracy at mid-range distances
Weaver K4 4X38 Riflescope
Last but not least of our best .30-30 scopes review is none other than the classic Weaver K4. Coming from the Weaver scope series, this .30-30 optic’s best trait is its wide FOV. It can cover distance ranges of almost 22 feet. Thus the scope ranks high in the FOV category. Its versatility has served American sportsmen, soldiers, and law enforcement officers since the 1940s. As a result, many shooters dub it as one of the greatest scopes of all time for the .30-30 rifle guns.
Apart from its broad field of vision, the Weaver K4 also stands out for its 38mm lenses. Given its lens measurement, this scope is also one of the most recommended .30-30 optics today. For best results, you can use this scope during the day to get brighter target images. In addition, this scope includes a Dual-X reticle. Because of this, you can hit accurate shots against fast-moving prey like coyotes and boars. Plus, the Weaver K4 uses aluminum alloy for its general structure. For more reference, you can watch the brief unboxing video of the Weaver K4 below:
Moreover, a lot of users praised the Weaver K4 for its large exit pupils and generous eye relief. With a 3.3” eye relief, you’re going to have a fun time shooting or hunting with this scope for long periods. Thanks to its magnification power that can reach up to 4x max. Hence, you can locate targets from short- to mid-range distances. Also, its multi-coated lenses offer you sight pictures with good clarity. Even in poorly-lit areas, you won’t lose track of your prey thanks to its parallax-free glass lenses.
- Has 38mm lenses
- Offers a wide FOV of almost 22 feet
- Built-in Dual-X reticle allows you to shoot more precise rounds
- Provides a comfortable eye relief
- Can reach up to 4x magnification range
- Perfect for short- to mid-range shooting
- Its multi-coated lenses provide excellent image clarity
- 4x magnification range not suitable for shooting at long distances
- Fixed power optics reduces several shooting opportunities
To sum up, I would go with Barska’s Colorado Hunting Riflescope for the best budget .30-30 optic. With a sale price of only $85, you’ll enjoy a flexible and adjustable scope for your .30-30 lever gun. But for our best pick, my vote goes to Leupold’s VX-1. Its waterproof nature and versatile 3x-9x magnification are a few of its best traits.
For more .30-30 add-ons, you can check our best Marlin 336 accessories article. Do you happen to own one or two of the above-mentioned scopes? Which of our .30-30 scopes has caught your attention? Let us know by writing down your thoughts in the comments section below!