Scopes for .300 Winchester Short Magnum

The .300 Winchester Short Magnum (or .300 WSM) is one of the many popular Winchester calibers. Introduced in 2001, this caliber performs similar to the .300 Winchester Magnum but can be used with lighter rifles and uses less gunpowder. One of the most appealing aspects of the .300 WSM is its versatility. It can be used for a variety of purposes including hunting, target shooting, and even long-range shooting.

After testing a handful of scopes I determined the Vortex Optics Crossfire II is the best 300 WSM scope option for the vast majority of people. I found it to be the perfect combination of value for your money, great glass clarity, highly adjustable, and can easily handle the heavy reacoil.

When choosing a scope for your .300 WSM, it’s important to consider what you’ll be using it for. If you’re primarily going to be using it for hunting, you’ll want a scope that is durable and can withstand heavy recoil. If you’re more interested in target shooting or long-range shooting, you’ll want a scope with a higher magnification and a better reticle.

There are many great scopes on the market for the .300 WSM, so it’s important to do your research and choose the one that’s right for you. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best scopes for .300 WSM at both ends of the price spectrum, so you can decide if the extra features are worth it for your situation.

Best Scopes for .300 Winchester Short Magnum:

After extensive testing, here is our final list of the 3 best scopes for a 300 Winchester short Magnum.

  1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II
  2. Nightforce SHV
  3. Leupold VX-6HD
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1) Vortex Optics Crossfire II

Let’s start with a scope that is on the lower-end of the price scale. Being a cost-friendly scope, it’s not going to be packed with features like some of the others we’ll discuss.

But, It’s a good scope for beginners or people who are on a budget. With that being said, this scope is excellent for hunting or target shooting at varying ranges with its Dead-Hold BDC scope reticle. The fast-focus eyepiece ensures quick and easy reticle focusing, while the anti-reflective lenses provide bright and clear views.

At the shorter end of the magnification spectrum, the image is nothing short of perfect. You might could even confuse it for a red dot sight. Unfortunately when you start zooming in, it shows you why it’s a budget-friendly scope. In fact, I rated Vortex one of the best rifle scope under 500 for low lighting.

At high magnification levels, the Vortex Crossfire II becomes blurry and there are a few too many smudges. You could learn to live with its imperfections, but I wasn’t that happy with what I saw.

The turrets are also disappointing. They work fine, but they do not offer those satisfying clicks that you get on really good turrets. Instead, they are mushy, and you can barely feel the clicks. This is a small potato issue at this price point though as a lot of people will be able to get past this particular complaint.

Parallax on the Crossfire II is fixed to a distance of 100 yards. This is okay for medium and long-range uses, but I personally like scopes that allow me to set it myself.

At the end of the day, the Crossfire II is a durable and accurate scope, and it’s an easy scope to recommend for .300 WSM given its price. Just understand what the drawbacks are before buying it.

What Other Customers Are Saying About The Crossfire II?

I got my scope slapped it on, bore sighted it at 100yds, worked it to a sub moa group and started driving tacks!!! I used vortexs ballistic calculator and figured my specific dope out and used the dead holds which landed on a 10 inch target all the way out to 420ish yards. For a sub 200 dollar scope you couldn’t ask for a clearer, more accurate, tight scope. I am now officially a vortex believer and will have one put on all my scoped rifles. – Patrick

Is there any type of illumination on the Vortex Crossfire II?

No. If you are looking for a low-priced scope with an illuminated reticle, then something like the Athlon Argos BTR might be up your alley (it will still cost you more than the Crossfire II). Many shooters ask where are athlon optics made? These are made overseas.

Illuminated reticles are almost seen as a luxury, and uncommon in budget scopes.

Is there an included sunshade?

While Vortex does include sunshades with some of its models, it does not include them in their budget lines. You will need to buy a sunshade separately.

What type of scope mounts are included?

Vortex does not include scope mounts with the Crossfire II. You will need to buy a scope mount separately. You might need to buy mounting rings as well — if that is the case, I recommend you buy medium-height rings, as they work great with the Vortex Crossfire II[1]

Still, you should probably check that the chosen 34mm Scope Rings will work with your scope + rifle combination.

Our Pick
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes
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2) Nightforce SHV

I understand that you might think that the NightForce SHV is too expensive for what it offers. There are no fancy technologies (some models don’t even have an illuminated reticle) and what you see is pretty much what you get — but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

You see, what truly matters in a scope is how accurate it is. And the NightForce SHV is extremely accurate. This scope feels great to use, and you will never remember that it lacks some of the frills that other scopes might have.

The build is exceptionally solid. Yes, the NightForce SHV is also made from a single block of T6 aircraft-grade aluminum, but there is attention to detail. This is a scope that feels nice both on your rifle and on your hand — there’s some heft to it and it definitely feels like a premium scope. In fact, I rated NightForce one of the best rifle scope under $300!

The glass on the NightForce SHV is also excellent. The quality of any environment through its lenses seems entirely life-like, even more so than other magnification ranges I’ve used before – which says a lot! It’s crisp and clear with an extremely bright image that doesn’t get distracted by glare or reflection; this goes for everywhere in your range as well (including close up).

The turrets feel great too – there isn’t mushiness at all but instead just one smooth movement returning you back to zero if needed without hassle whatsoever.

Nightforce has been a trusted name in the world of scopes for years. They’ve built their reputation on making high-quality equipment that’s proven to perform, no matter what type or environment you’re working in.

The SHV does just about everything well enough (apart from being able to change lenses) but it excels at its intended purpose: delivering crystal clear images and sound precision during even extreme conditions without missing one detail way down range.

What Other Customers Are Saying About The NightForce SHV?

The moment you look through this scope you are going to say…..this is where the extra money was spent. Amazing clarity. If Jesus ever has to pick up a long gun. He will be using Nightforce glass. So you ask WWJD. He would buy Nightforce. – Luke B

What is the length of the NightForce SHV?

This scope is 15.2 inches long.

Can you adjust the parallax?

Yes. Parallax is adjustable from 25 yards to infinity.

How many MOAs does this scope have per click?

Each click has ¼ MOA.

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3) Leupold VX-6HD

At the far end of the spectrum, sits the Leupold VX-6HD. This is not a cheap scope — quite the opposite, in fact. It costs a pretty hefty price, but the truth is the Leupold VX-6HD is one of the best .300 WSM scopes out there, period.

Once you understand its features and its high-quality materials, you realize why this scope costs so much. It is also made from T6 aluminum, but the VX-6HD is built with extra attention to detail. The result is a beautiful scope that is also highly durable.

Leupold’s features high durability scopes across its entire line-up. The VX line (from the cheap little Freedom to the pricier 6HD) is built to withstand 5,000 Punisher impacts. Each impact from the proprietary Leupold machine simulates three times the recoil of a .308 rifle shot — so you know these scopes are built to last.

The VX-6HD is also capable of operating flawlessly in a temperature range that goes from -40ºF, all the way to 160ºF. It is also completely fog-proof and waterproof up to a depth of 33 feet.

The turrets are also very crisp, with excellent clicks. But Leupold goes a step further than giving us satisfying turrets — the turrets on the VX-6HD have a return to zero function and a zero-lock custom dial system. With the custom dial system we can choose our preferred caliber and rifle type, which allows us to zero our scope easily and without having to do any math.

Of course, all of those things can be very nice, but they are all relatively worthless if the glass is not up to par. As you would expect given its price, the glass on the Leupold VX-6HD is nothing short of impressive. The glass is clear, and the image is very nitid across the entire magnification levels. There are no discernible glass imperfections or any type of blurriness. I’m also a fan of most of the leupold scopes made in usa unlike other lower quality scope brands.

The “Twilight Light Management System” is a standard across the entire VX line, but the VX-6HD gets something a bit more special, with the Twilight Max HD Light Management System. This improved version of the patented technology is something you have to see for yourself but believe me when I say that it makes a difference.

The classic duplex reticle is illuminated with a red light. It also features an electronic level, which allows you to access your stability. The reticle is easy to use and makes even the most difficult shots seem to be easy.

If this is not the best scope out there, it is unbelievably close. It is an extremely expensive scope, sure, but, once you use it, you understand why. If you have the money to spend, believe me that you are getting your money’s worth. If the budget is tight… well, plenty of cheap scopes allow you to hit your targets accurately — they just won’t feel as satisfying to use.

What Other Customers Are Saying About The VX-6HD?

This scope is fantastic! The last time I bought a new rifle/scope was 30 years ago and wow, they have come a long way. I bought the scope for a new rifle I purchased and was so impressed I ended up buying a second one to replace an existing scope on another rifle. – Matt Ashby

Is the Leupold VX-6HD SFP or FFP?

While most premium scopes tend to be FFP, the Leupold VX-6HD is SFP. This is not a cost-saving measure by Leupold — the manufacturer wants users to have the option of having a premium SFP scope if that’s their preferred type of reticle.

Best Scopes for .300 WSM Buyer’s Guide

Before choosing any of the below .300 WSM scopes, shooters need to fully understand the 300 Win Mag & you own personal needs. There is no universal best scope & shooters should take their own preferences & use case into consideration before buying any scope.

Scope Description
Vortex Optics Crossfire II The Vortex Crossfire II offers a clear sight picture, durable construction, and multiple reticle options.
Nightforce SHV Nightforce SHV scopes feature high-quality optics, precise adjustments, and rugged durability.
Leupold VX-6HD Leupold VX-6HD scopes provide exceptional clarity, brightness, and a wide zoom range.

What is 300 WSM?

300 WSM scope.300 WSM is a caliber type developed by Winchester in 2001[2] The letters “WSM” mean Winchester Short Magnum. As the name indicates this is a shorter and less powerful alternative to Winchester Magnum rounds.

How to choose a scope for .300 WSM?

The right .300 WSM scope for you might not be the right scope for another person. These types of choices come down to personal preference and budget. Which is also true when shopping for the best Tactical Scopes for AR-10 308 SHTF!

First you need to determine your needs. If you want to shoot .300 WSM rounds you are probably going to need a scope that can handle a beating, since those calibers pack quite the punch. But any additional extra features are going to be up to you: do you want an illuminated reticle, a return to zero function?


Remember that the more you add-on to your needs, the pricier your scope is going to be. That is why you also need to determine a budget that fits your needs. If you have the money to spend, then the choice is even easier — you can get a scope that does pretty much everything you want it to.

However, if your budget is a little tighter, then you are going to have to play favorites with the features you want your scope to have. This might be trickier than just going to a store and picking up the most expensive scope, but it is definitely doable.

Unfortunately, there is no right answer to the best .300 WSM scope. All of the scopes on this list are good, but they all have different drawbacks, such as the lack of features or the price. You will need to decide what you value the most and choose accordingly.

What Is The Optimal Eye Relief For A 300 Win Mag Rifle Scope?

The optimal eye relief for a 300 Win Mag rifle scope is 3.5 inches or greater. This generous eye relief is crucial when dealing with 300 Win Mag, or other high power rifles, that is well-known for its hefty kick. Having an eye relief of 3.5 inches or more ensures that the shooter can maintain a safe distance between their eye and the scope, preventing any potential injuries or discomfort caused by the rifle’s recoil.

FAQs – 300 Win Mag Scopes

How far can a 300 WSM shoot accurately?

A 300 WSM can shoot accurately up to 1,210 yards. Beyond that distance, the bullet will start to drop significantly in trajectory. For hunters who want to take shots at larger animals such as elk or moose, it's best to keep your shots within a range of 500-600 yards for a clean kill. Although I personally don't have the skills for anything outside of 150-200 yards.

How much magnification does a 300 Win Mag need?

A 300 Win Mag typically requires a 3-15x magnification range. However, it is important to consider the specific purpose of the scope in order to find the right magnification range. For example, if you are hunting deer at a distance of under 100 yards, then a lower power scope such as 3-9x may be more appropriate. Conversely, if you are hunting elk at a distance greater than 500 yards, then you would need a higher power scope such as 14x or even 15x.

Is 300 Win Mag flat shooting?

Yes, 300 Win Mag is a flat shooting cartridge. It's not the flattest shooting cartridge out there, but it does have good ballistic performance. This makes it a great choice for hunting big game animals like elk and deer.


Any of the scopes on this list will be great for .300 WSM rounds — some might just be better than the others. They come at different price points, and you will have to make the hard decision of whether the extra premium features are worth the big price tag or not.

If you want to keep expenses to a minimum, but still would like to have a very capable scope, then the Vortex Crossfire II is an easy recommendation. It is not the best scope in the world — not even close —, but for the price you are getting plenty of scope… just don’t expect any miracles.

The NightForce SHV is relatively more expensive than the Crossfire II, but it offers a way better performance. Is the price difference worth it? Only you can tell — for me, I think it is more than justifiable.

And if money is no objection, then the Leupold VX-6HD is one of the best .300 WSM scopes you can get. It is extremely well-built, and it has some of the best glass out there… but it comes with a price tag to match.

Which of these scopes do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.

About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

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