Hunters all over favor the .270 Winchester for its availability, reliability, terminal ballistic, and slight recoil. Its cartridge is unparalleled when it comes to delivering high impact shots, giving excellent penetration, and killing the target quickly. If you use this rifle for hunting game, you are sure that whatever you hit will go down.
If it is such a superior rifle, why would shooters think of messing with it by adding a scope? The .270 Winchester is great for big game hunting. Bucks and elks do not usually show themselves at noon. They usually come out at dusk or dawn. While your rifle may have the firepower to effectively shoot at them, your eyes may not have the capacity to see effectively and help you aim.
This is why hunters utilize scopes to improve their performance. With the right scope, you can spot your prey even in low light conditions, acquire your target quickly, and ensure that you hit your target exactly where you want to. This list is here to help you decide on which scope model to buy to enhance your .270 Winchester.
Some Things You Need to Know about the .270 Winchester
Hunters have been using the .270 Winchester for nearly a hundred years. It has gained a reputation for being the cartridge of choice when it comes to hunting North American game animals. Its primary selling point is its immensely flat trajectory. This capability makes it ideal for longer shots reaching over 300 yards.
It works best with 150gr bullets but can accommodate 100gr and 160gr. The 150gr is ideal because it achieves a good combination of impact energy and velocity. Both are crucial in taking down a big animal. However, for bigger game, you can always handload the .270 with 180gr projectiles.
If you are hunting small game like coyotes, the lower weight bullets are the practical choice. You can get great distances from them using the .270 Win. For hogs, antelopes, and moose though, only the 180gr will do the trick.
Why are we discussing game and bullets? Because the kind of animal that you plan on hunting will affect the type of scope that will be perfect for your rifle. Besides the kind of game you wish to take down, read on to know what other factors to consider in choosing the best scope for 270 Winchester.
What Makes the Best Scope?
Scopes come in many forms and have varying features. The following features are going to dictate how great the scope is and how expensive it would be. Before you go online and order a scope for your .270 Winchester, go over these features.
Magnification is probably the biggest factor that you will need to choose in buying a scope. Will you go for a fixed magnification or one with variable power? How do you tell? Scope models usually have numbers accompanying them. If you see just one (e.g. 4x) then it is a fixed power scope. If there are two numbers (e.g. 2-6x) then it is a variable scope. The first number is the minimum magnification, and the second number is the highest.
How do you choose magnification power? This where the type of animal you hunt comes into play. Low powered scopes are ideal for hunting big game. These creatures usually live in thick woods ad would appear without any warning. They spook easily too, so you want to be able to aim and shoot as quickly as possible. Low powered scopes will enable you to do this. For your .270 Winchester, 4x magnification may be best.
If you are wondering whether fixed magnification scopes worth considering, don’t be swayed by the disdain that it is receiving from new hunters. You would be surprised that many experienced hunters prefer fixed magnification scopes because they already know the game they want to hunt. They have a better understanding of the distance that they usually shoot from, thus knowing which magnification works best.
Variable scopes tend to be more expensive because they are harder to manufacture. If you have a limited budget, getting a fixed scope with better quality turrets, glass, and light transmission is much better than settling for a variable magnification scope of the same price. The other features are going to be subpar.
The glass end away from the shooter is the scope’s objective lens. This model also indicates the size of this feature. Generally speaking, you would want a big objective lens for your scope, because it dictates how much light enters your scope.
The downside of selecting a big lens is that it is heavier, bulkier, and requires high mounts. If you will be using your .270 Winchester, this would mean carrying all that extra weight around for the duration of your trip.
Stick to objective lenses that measure 40mm or smaller. To get better illumination, just buy a scope equipped with high quality coated glass. The coating is essential if you want to improve lighting transmission as well as reduce glare and provide better contrast for your image.
The size of the scope’s body is referred to as the tube size. The standard diameter for this is 30mm (1 inch). Other scopes are bigger. Of course, the bigger the tube diameter, the costlier it becomes.
Why would you choose something pricier? A bigger body means better durability and more precise internal turrets adjustment. Again, if you are working under a limited budget, the 30mm tube is good enough for the .270 Winchester.
There are currently 3 categories of reticles: simple, Mil-Dot, and BDC. Realistically speaking, if you shoot at anything closer than 200 yards, you would only need the simple reticle. While holdover reticles can help guide you for longer shots, it doesn’t make any major difference.
Most scopes offer a minimum of 3-inch eye relief. This means your eye can comfortably be 3 inches away from the scope when you aim. This is a good thing as you don’t want your face to get hit when the rifle recoils.
Riflescopes are usually equipped with capped turrets or ones that do not allow for finger adjustments. This makes sense because you don’t want any accidental movements when you use the rifle for hunting. The one thing that you need to check for with this feature is if it holds zero well.
Now that we understand the features of a rifle scope, let us look at the top 7 choices for best scope for 270.
1. Barska 6.5-20×50 Varmint Riflescope
This scope by Barska is another versatile accessory that works well both in a close-range and long-distance shooting. While the lowest power, 6.5x, may still be too high for a .270 Winchester, it can still be used with the rifle for when you use it for hunting big game.
It is designed for tactical shooting, but many hunters use this scope when they go hunting for varmint. The reason is that the strong magnification makes it so easy to sight smaller game.
A fine reticle is mounted on this scope. It doesn’t impede your view when you are trying to put the target in your sights. The reticle works perfectly even in low light. Matte black paint coats its body. The tube is fully sealed to make it shockproof, fog proof, and waterproof. Even if it rains, you don’t have to hide your scope. You can just keep on walking and tracking game.
Eye relief is pretty generous at 3.6 inches. You can be assured that your face will not get hit even if you hand load your .270 Winchester with a 180gr ammo.
We have another review if you are interested in reading about other top rated varmint scopes.
- Easy adjustment features
- Wide range of magnification
- Extremely versatile
- Very heavy
2. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle AO
This rifle scope is an easily adjustable high-quality scope that boasts of a multi-X reticle. What exactly is a multi-X reticle and what is it for? Also known as the duplex reticles, it is crosshairs that starts thick and then tapers into narrow lines that intersect in the middle.
The thick lines guide your eyes so you can find the center faster. The narrow lines are specifically done that way, so you still have full sight of your target with no interference.
The wide magnification range makes this scope versatile. You don’t have to worry about buying another scope if you have another firearm besides your .270 Winchester. You can easily adjust for long and mid-range shooting.
With the right mounting, the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn scope should withstand recoil from long rifles and even large caliber bullets so it can easily handle the .270 Winchester.
As for eye relief, this scope offers immense eye relief at 6 inches. That’s a lot of space between the scope and your eyes. This is good so you don’t have to adjust your stance too much.
Durability is not an issue with this scope as it is built to resist water and fog. Additionally, one entire piece of high-quality material was used for the tube construction. This means there are no seams to worry about. You can drop this and not worry about damaging the product.
The only negative comment we’ve read about this scope is that it does not hold zero well. If this happens, you have to keep making adjustments. This is frustrating when you are on a hunting trip and you miss a chance at a target because you were still adjusting your scope.
- Good for low lighting conditions
- Features multi-x reticle
- Has generous eye relief
- May have trouble holding zero
3. Nikon Buckmaster II 3-9×40
Buckmaster and Nikon are both top-notch optics manufacturers, which is why many rifle enthusiasts were excited about their collaboration. The Nikon Buckmaster II is said to be one of the best scopes you can get with a mid-range price tag.
As expected, this scope’s glass is exceptionally clear and great for bright conditions. There are some reports that it doesn’t perform as well in low light conditions, but it is not that bad for its price.
It has a BDC reticle. What this means is that it has marking to help you compensate for any bullet drifts in cases where the wind is too strong or when your target is far.
You can easily dial the scope to adjust for varying distances and then reset to zero without any hassles. This is great because marking down numbers while in the field can be difficult if not altogether impossible.
One major downside to getting the Nikon Buckmaster II is that it has been reported to break fairly easily. It’s a good thing that Nikon covered this scope with a warranty where they will fix or replace it even if the damage was caused by the shooter.
For another affordable option for your rifle, check out our review of the Redfield Revolution.
- Very affordable
- Good image quality
- Lifetime coverage for damage
- Not as durable as the other models
- Only passable in low light conditions
- Turrets take time to calibrate
4. Vortex Optics Diamondback
This scope from Vortex has a magnification range from 4x to 12x. Its lowest power is just right for our selected rifle. Its owners can utilize its versatility to shoot at more distant targets.
It is labeled by its manufacturer as virtually indestructible. This is good news as hunting rifles, like the .270 Winchester, are often put through its paces. Its one-piece body is constructed from a solid piece of aluminum that is also the material used for building aircraft.
The Diamondback Tactical scope features a dead-hold bullet-drop compensator that makes it more effective in aiming at a target standing far away. The reticle is accurate no matter what magnification you choose. Unfortunately, there are some complaints that it gets blurry from time to time.
Its XR Fully Multi-Coated lenses supply you with a clear sight picture. Any glass that is exposed to air is coated multiple times with anti-reflective layers. Besides making light transmission more efficient, it also prevents your prey from seeing you because of any glare reflecting off the scope.
Finally, we get to the turrets. This scope has exposed turrets to let you change the windage and elevation precisely and easily. It also has a zero-reset element that returns the setting to the original one once you sight in.
- Useful for hunting big game and varmint alike
- Offers a wide range of magnification
- Virtually indestructible body
- Reticle has tendency to go blurry
5. Vortex Viper PST Gen II
Experienced hunters carry more than one rifle. This is so they can quickly switch firearms when conditions change. If you have more than one rifle in your gear, you may want to consider getting a Vortex Viper PST Gen II.
This scope is known for its high quality. The glass the manufacturer used for this scope is really good. It allows light to enter the scope so you can get clear and bright images all the time.
The Vortex Viper has a magnification range of 3x to 15x which is why it is suitable for long-range shooting and hunting. You can even use it during times when it is still dark because it uses an illuminated FFP reticle.
Speaking of FFP reticle, this one has reliable holdovers no matter the magnification setting you choose. The turrets have both zero reset and zero stop features to help you keep your settings.
The only main complaint from users is that it is pretty heavy. The 28.1 oz can be tiring to carry around when you are hunting in a dense forest.
- Great illumination for low light situations
- Good quality glass
- Has long-range turrets
- Slightly heavier than other models
6. Leupold VX-3i
If money is not an object, you can never go wrong with purchasing a Leupold VX-3i. It may be the best scope that you can get for your .270 Winchester.
The quality of glass that was used is the first thing that sets the Leupold VX-3i apart. It offers excellent transmission of light. This is great for buck hunters because their prey becomes more active when the sun is not out.The Leupold will be able to help you set your sights on targets that are partially hidden in the shadows.
Even if you walk around for a long time, you will not get easily tired from carrying your .270 Winchester as the scope is extra lightweight. It only weighs 12. 6 oz. But just because it is light doesn’t mean it doesn’t pack a punch.
The Leupold VX-3i is very sturdy and could withstand abuse. The manufacturer sourced high-quality materials for this scope. Therefore, it is shock and waterproof. Its manufacturer even subjects the scopes to complete submersion. This proves that the tube is completely sealed.
One of the complaints about this is that when the magnification is turned up, the field of view becomes smaller, preventing you from seeing the whole area. Another is its lack of zero-stop and zero-reset functions. Having to keep track of your adjustments can be annoying.
- Performs great in low light
- Extremely durable
- Not very affordable
- High magnification setting decreases field of view
7. Swarovski Z3
If you think the Leupold is expensive, you probably haven’t seen the Swarovski Z3. This high-end scope is pricey but its features explain how the manufacturer can charge that high. This scope is perfect for rifle owners who want to invest in just one scope that they will use for the rest of their lives.
The glass of this scope is of supreme quality. Its light transmission is unparalleled. Some users likened looking through this scope to watching a high definition movie on tv.
This scope is so small and light that it doesn’t seem much of an addition to the bulk of the .270 Winchester. The Swarovski Z3 only weighs around 12 oz and measures a little over twelve inches in length.
Hunters rave about the scope’s turrets with its tactile clicks. It makes it easier to keep track of your adjustments. It also comes with a cap to prevent accidentally screwing up your settings once you aim. The manufacture used plastic to construct the turret, and this might turn off some rifle owners.
- Amazing light transmission
- Effective turrets with audible clicks and zero reset
- Extremely durable
- Not affordable
The 7 rifle scopes mentioned above are the best in terms of features, performance, and price. You can pick any of them and know that your shooting experience will be elevated. The features are somewhat varied. Some have illuminated reticles, more ample eye relief, or better glass quality. We are sure that one of them will fit your shooting needs.