Top 5 Best Scopes for 243 of 2021 Reviews & Buying Guide

The .243 Winchester cartridge is one of, if not the, most popular hunting round currently used in the continental United States. Perfect for hunting up to medium-size prey at long-range distances makes this versatile hunting round is perfect for a huge range of applications.

But what are the best scopes for the .243 Winchester round?

Well, let’s find out as I go through my top 5 Best Scopes for 243. I have gone for a wide range of scope options to cover all the bases, and have added a handy buyers guide at the end to help you understand all the most important factors when deciding on which scope is best for you and your style of shooting.

So, let’s get straight to it, starting with the excellent…

best scopes for 243

Top 5 Best Scopes for 243 of 2021 Reviews

  1. Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40 Riflescope – Best Value for Money Scope for 243
  2. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 1in Riflescope – Most Durable Scope for 243
  3. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Edition 3-14x Smart HD Day/Night Riflescope – Best Smart Scope for 243
  4. Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40mm Riflescope – Best Budget Scope for 243
  5. Primary Arms 3×32 Gen III Compact Prism Scope – Best Basic Scope for 243

1 Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40 Riflescope – Best Value for Money Scope for 243

The Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40 rifle scope is a fantastic place to kick things off. This scope is extremely versatile, built to withstand any conditions, offers great optical clarity through its entire magnification range, and is extremely budget-friendly.

Specs:

  • Objective Lens: 40 mm
  • Magnification: 4-12 x
  • Field of View: 11.3 – 32.4 ft at 100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 3.1 – 3.4 inches
  • Attachment/Mount Type: Ring
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA
  • Adjustment Range: 66 MOA
  • Focus Range: 100 yds to infinity
  • Illumination Type: Non-Illuminated
  • Optical Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Tube Diameter: 1 inch
  • Weight: 14.6 oz (413 grams)
  • Length: 11.9 (29.6 cms)

The 4 – 12 x magnification range pairs perfectly with the .243 Winchester round. Targeted towards 200 to 300-yard engagements with medium-sized prey, with a dead-hold BDC reticle that quickly and easily conveys a large amount of information to the shooter.

Fantastic optical quality…

Each and every air-to-glass surface of the Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40 has multiple coatings of top-quality anti-reflective brilliance. For the price of this scope, it’s hard to find an option that offers the same clarity and color representation.

The edge-to-edge clarity does suffer slightly at the very top end of the magnification range, but that’s honestly to be expected in even much higher priced scopes. In general, this rifle optic outperforms many higher-priced competing units.

Durable and relaiable…

Fully waterproofed, the Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40 can be submerged to a depth of 33 ft for a maximum of 30 minutes. The tube has been argon purged (this is usually reserved for much higher priced scopes) to combat any fogging issues that may occur, and the shock proofing is great for the price. The tube itself has been milled from a single piece of high-grade aluminum.

The warranty is one of the best offered by any optic company. I’m talking about an unlimited lifetime warranty that can be transferred when sold on, with no need to fill out any warranty card or to hold onto your proof of purchase. Literally, any issue will be taken care of by Vortex; that is how confident they are in this scope. Great to see.

In this price range, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better .243 Winchester optic.



Pros

  • Priced to please.
  • Best warranty on the market.
  • Perfect magnification range.
  • Great optical clarity.
  • Argon purged.
  • Fast focus eyepiece.
  • Hard anodized finish.

Cons

  • Non-illuminated reticle.

2 Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 1in Riflescope – Most Durable Scope for 243

Jumping up in price slightly, next up, let us take a dive into the world of the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 1in riflescope. This is still not what you would call an expensive, top-of-the-range rifle optic, but it does come with great features and beautiful clear glass.

Specs:

  • Objective Lens: 40 mm
  • Magnification: 3-9 x
  • Field of View: 33.1 – 13.6 ft at 100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 4.2 – 3.7 inches
  • Attachment/Mount Type: Ring
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA
  • Adjustment Range: 60 MOA
  • Illumination Type: Non-Illuminated
  • Optical Coating: Twilight Light Management System
  • Tube Diameter: 1 inch
  • Weight: 12.2 oz (345 grams)
  • Length: 12.39 in (31.4 cms)

You may be thinking, what on earth is the “Twilight Light Management System”?

Yeah, I thought the same when I first saw it printed on the box. It’s just a fancy name for Leupold’s proprietary lens multi-coating, but despite its questionable title, it actually works incredibly well when combined with the top-shelf glass elements. This system helps transmit the most amount of light while boosting the vibrancy of colors. Contrast at low-light hours, e.g., Dawn and dusk, is also greatly increased.

Another aspect that I love about this scope is that it is 100% designed and produced on US soil. There is not to say that scopes produced overseas are necessarily inferior to what we make, but there is an inherent amount of trust that comes with the build quality of stateside products.

Punisher Tested…

The company uses a machine they call the “Punisher “ to test the ruggedness of each and every scope model. The force produced by this machine is equal to 3 times the recoil of a .308 round, and it goes through 5000 impacts. All of this is to say that you do not need to worry about the build quality here.

The generous eye relief is more than acceptable, the capped turret dials are easily adjusted once uncapped, and there are two reticle options to choose from – either Duplex or Tri-MOA.

Will last a lifetime…

The warranty is unlimited, uncapped, and can be transferred without needing to hold onto the receipt.

Overall a great scope for a great price and a perfect addition to any .243 rifle setup!



Pros

  • USA made and designed.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Great value for money.
  • Generous eye relief
  • Built to withstand a huge amount of punishment.
  • Two reticle options.
  • Awesome warranty.

Cons

  • Simple reticle, but many shooters will like this.

3 ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Edition 3-14x Smart HD Day/Night Riflescope – Best Smart Scope for 243

Now for something slightly different…

The ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Edition 3-14x Smart HD Day/Night Riflescope is a “smart” scope that combines a highly sensitive 4K ultra HD sensor with a dual-core processor. This enables you to not only record and stream video simultaneously but also offers full night vision mode allowing you to hunt no matter the light conditions.

Any hunter worth his weight knows that some of the best hunting happens after the sun goes down (or before it rises), so why not have a scope that enables night hunts?

Specs:

  • Objective Lens: 50 mm
  • Magnification: 3-14 x
  • Field of View: 460 ft @ 1000 yds
  • Eye Relief: 90 mm
  • Display Resolution: 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Video Record Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Resolution: 3864 x 2218 pixels
  • Battery Life: 18+ hours
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Weight: 12.1 lb (952 grams)
  • Length: 13.8 in (34.4 cms)

Did I say how ridiculously sharp the image is? Up until a few years ago, the idea of being able to purchase a scope (for a decent price) with NV tech that can also record and stream your shots was purely a pipe dream. But not anymore!

Simply does it all…

Everything that this scope tries to do just works so well. The one-shot zero is great, you can tag targets and share their position on a smart map, and they’re also displayed on the HUD map that is provided down the sight vision. There is also the ballistic calculator, which takes all the guesswork away, and the smart MIL-DOT reticle can be adjusted to suit the hunt.

On top of all that, the recoil activated video works like a dream, and the battery assembly is one of the best offered on the entire market right now.

Designed for the hunt…

That’s not to mention the build quality. Top-shelf would be an understatement. Fully water-resistant, fog proof, and shockproof.

If you have never owned an NV scope and are looking for the Best Night Vision Scope for 243 to get you started, then this is the scope for you, without a shadow of a doubt.

Sure, this is the most expensive scope featured on this list, but in terms of value for money, it is hard to pass up!



Pros

  • Smart scope with NV.
  • One-shot zero.
  • Auxiliary ballistic laser and calculator.
  • Top-shelf build quality.
  • Smart MIL-DOT reticle.
  • Recoil-activated video.
  • Super long-life battery assembly.

Cons

  • Other than the price (which isn’t too bad, all things considered), there’s really nothing bad to say.

4 Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40mm Riflescope – Best Budget Scope for 243

Next in my Best Scopes for 243 review, the Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40mm Riflescope is hands down one of the best cheap scopes on the market. It keeps in line with the reputation Burris has fostered for great quality glass clarity and strong build aspects, but does so at just such a low price.

Specs:

  • Objective Lens: 40 mm
  • Magnification: 3-9 x
  • Field of View: 12 – 33 ft at 100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 3.1 – 3.8 inches
  • Attachment/Mount Type: Ring
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA
  • Adjustment Range: 66 MOA
  • Illumination Type: Non-Illuminated
  • Optical Coating: Hi-Lume Multi-Coated
  • Tube Diameter: 1 inch
  • Weight:13 oz (395 grams)
  • Length: 12.4 in (31.4 cms)

Designed for mostly medium distance use (up to 350 yards), the Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40mm Riflescope combines perfectly with the .243 Winchester round to give hunters a solid, reliable setup at a fraction of the cost of other scopes.

Superb quality for the price…

The “Hi-Lume Multi-Coated ” lenses offer crystal clear sight vision throughout the entire magnification range, although edge to edge clarity does suffer a little at 8x and above. The contrast and color representation is top-notch, though, even in sub-optimal lighting conditions.

Build quality is what we have come to expect from every single Burris scope. Single piece aluminum tube construction, O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, with a scratch and corrosion-resistant matte black anodized finish. This scope can take a beating and come out the other end without much to complain about.

Compact and lightweight…

The eye relief is generous, as is the field of view, the Ballistic Plex reticle combines the best parts of a duplex and MIL-DOT reticle and smashes them together with great results, and it all comes in a light and compact unit that will last for years. Burris even offers a very generous warranty to back this all up, crazy for the price!



Pros

  • One-piece 1″ main-tube.
  • Nitrogen purged for full water and fog proofing.
  • Recoil-resistant.
  • Best Budget Friendly 243 Scope on the market.
  • Simple but effective reticle.
  • Great optical quality.

Cons

  • Edge to edge clarity suffers at 8x and above.

5 Primary Arms 3×32 Gen III Compact Prism Scope – Best Basic Scope for 243

Coming to the end of my Best 243 Scopes review, no list would be complete without a prism scope option. The Primary Arms 3×32 Gen III Compact Prism Scope might not be the first scope that pops into your head when thinking about a great optic to match with the .243 round. But trust me – this scope is a great addition to any .243 hunting setup, especially for people who suffer from astigmatism.

Specs:

  • Objective Lens: 32 mm
  • Magnification: 3x
  • Field of View: 31.5 ft at 100 ft
  • Eye Relief: 2.92 inches
  • Attachment/Mount Type: Picatinny
  • Adjustment Click Value: 0.25 MOA
  • Illumination Type: LED
  • Optical Coating: Full Multi-Coated
  • Tube Diameter: 30 mm
  • Weight: 18.4 oz (521 grams)
  • Length: 2.95 in (7.4 cms)

This is a no frills, easy to set up and use, fixed magnification prism scope that you can trust to work every single time you pick it up. It has an effective range of around 230 yards when paired with the .243 Winchester round, so it’s not suitable for every hunting application, but for most.

Fantastic reticle…

One thing I love about prism scopes is the etched reticle. And this article, in particular, is one I really like. The BDC (bullet drop compensator) lights up a bright and vibrant red that makes target acquisition a breeze, and the hash marks make range estimations super simple. It may seem a bit cluttered when you first use it, but once you understand how it all works, it only boosts your accuracy.

Prism scopes are inherently a little heavier than traditional scopes, but I never felt weighed down when using this one. The build quality is great, featuring aircraft-grade aluminum and a hard anodized matte black finish. It comes IP67-rated for worry-free waterproofing and has fog resistance built into its design.

However…

The one downside is the eye relief. Again this is inherent with prism scopes and definitely not a deal breaker but worth mentioning. Overall though, this is a more than worthy scope, and one you should check out!



Pros

  • Rugged and compact.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great for shooters suffering from astigmatisms.
  • Super accurate.
  • Aids in quick target acquisition.
  • Durable Type II anodized black finish.
  • Bright illumination.

Cons

  • Not the best eye relief.

Best Scopes for 243 Buyers Guide

If you are shooting the .243 Winchester round, then you are most likely looking for a scope that will help you get every inch of range out of this awesome hunting round. As mentioned in the introduction, there is no one perfect scope for every situation, but there are some features that will help you decide on the best scope for you. Let’s take a look at them, starting with the…

Magnification Range

The .243 is a long-range hunting round that is capable of dropping a medium-sized target (think mule deer or wild boar) at a maximum range of between 350-450 yards reliably and repeatedly, depending on which scope you use.

So, What is The Best Scope Magnification Power for The .243 Winchester Round?

If you are looking to maximize the range of the round, then I would suggest a magnification range of 12x at the top end, although a 9x would also work. Anything above this will make tracking targets difficult at the effective range and will amplify any small movements you make, increasing the difficulty of hitting the shot.

In general, I prefer a variable magnification scope when shooting .243, although fixed magnification prism scopes should not be overlooked if you suffer from astigmatism issues and are shooting at a range of about 200 yards or less (as prism scopes do not offer magnification above 6x)

scopes for 243

Optical Quality and Sight Picture

Although the magnification range is important, optical quality is the most meaningful factor when considering which .243 scope is best for you – or any scope for any application, to be honest! If you are not getting a clear and crisp sight picture, then it’s time to choose a different option.

Look for scopes from reputable manufacturers who are known for producing high-quality glass that has been given a full multi-coating. This ensures top-end light transmission and accurate color representation free from aberrations and distortion.

A large objective lens (over 30mm) will help aid the light gathering properties of a rifle optic, as will a large exit pupil.

Eye Relief

A scopes eye relief refers to the maximum distance between your eye and the rear (ocular) lens of the scope while still being able to get a full, clear sight picture. This is important, especially if you are shooting rounds that pack a bit of a punch, as the last thing anyone wants is a black eye.

In general, as the magnification of a rifle scope increases, the eye relief decreases. If you choose a variable magnification scope, there will be two eye relief numbers supplied in the stats relating to the upper and lower magnification limits of the scope.

I always look for a minimum of 2.8 inches but prefer over 3.5 inches when looking at the eye relief of an optic.

Reticle Type

This feature of a rifle scope is up for debate as there is no “one size fits all” answer to which reticle type is best for you. Since we are looking at the best scopes for .243 Winchester ammo, I’m going to assume you’re hunting a medium to small size game at 200 to 400 yards.

Although a simple duplex reticle is fine for hunting, in recent years, there has been a surge in popularity with BDC (Bullet Drop Compensating) and MIL-DOT reticles among hunters. These reticles were originally designed to be used for tactical or long-range targeting, but can help increase a hunter’s accuracy and speed up target acquisition at medium to long ranges.

best scopes for 243 reviews

I will admit that they are not perfect for everyone. The complex nature of these reticles can be confusing if you are not used to seeing such a busy sight picture, and if this is the case for you, then I would suggest sticking with a more simple design.

Some manufacturers offer the option of multiple reticles in a single scope, although this is usually reserved for close-quarters combat scopes such as ACOG’s or red-dots.

Build Quality

Look for a full, aircraft-grade aluminum tube that is O-ring sealed, nitrogen (or even better argon) purged, with a waterproof rating, and good shockproofing. This will help to guard against not only the everyday knocks and bumps that come hand in hand with hunting, but also against the shock of the rifle’s recoil.

Turret style is also important for hunters. I always look for capped turrets to guard against unwanted accidental adjustments after zeroing. I also like turrets that don’t need a specialized tool for adjustments. Also, I look for turrets that offer fine MOA adjustments – 0.25 MOA is optimal, but 0.5 MOA will do the trick.

No need to stress as all the options I have laid out for you are top-quality products.

It’s also good to check out the warranty of a given scope. These days most optic companies offer comprehensive and generous warranties, with some even going as far as giving full, unlimited cover for their scopes.

Need More High-Quality Scope options?

Then check out my informative reviews of the Best AR15 Carry Handle Scopes, the Best Vortex Scopes, the Best Low-Light Rifle Scope, the Best 308 Rifles Scopes, the Best Scope for Hog Hunting, or the Best Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor on the market.

Or, take a look at our reviews of the Best Mil Dot Scopes, the Best Air Rifle Scopes, the Best Scopes for AR15 under 100 Dollars, the Best Deer Hunting Scopes, the Best Rimfire Scopes, and the Best Scope for AK-47 that you can buy in 2021.

So, Which is The Very Best of The Best Scopes for 243?

Which scope should you settle on? Well, that really depends on what you are using it for, but if you want my opinion it is very hard to beat the…

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 1in Riflescope

Well priced, easy to use and mount, 100% USA designed and manufactured, with an unbelievable warranty. Not really much more that you could ask for!

Happy and safe shooting.

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About Wayne Fletcher

Wayne is a 58 year old, very happily married father of two, now living in Northern California. He served our country for over ten years as a Mission Support Team Chief and weapons specialist in the Air Force. Starting off in the Lackland AFB, Texas boot camp, he progressed up the ranks until completing his final advanced technical training in Altus AFB, Oklahoma.

He has traveled extensively around the world, both with the Air Force and for pleasure.

Wayne was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster (second award), for his role during Project Urgent Fury, the rescue mission in Grenada. He has also been awarded Master Aviator Wings, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Combat Crew Badge.

He loves writing and telling his stories, and not only about firearms, but he also writes for a number of travel websites.

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