The .300 Blackout is a cartridge designed to use in a M4 carbine by Advanced Armament Company (AAC). It is a popular round for tactical purpose as both supersonic and subsonic grains are available. This means users can easily switch between more energy, louder rounds and less energy, suppressed rounds. Some supersonic .300 Blackout are used for big game hunting as well.
The maximum effective range for .300 Blackout is between 300-500 yards depending on the type of grain. But the majority of shots would likely be under 300 yards. With these facts in mind, it’s time to equip the right optic to maximize this cartridge’s potential.
As a summary, here’s my list of the best scope for 300 blackout.
Best Scope for 300 Blackout
Prior to picking an optic, one must know what to look for.
What makes a good .300 Blackout scope ?
Since most applications for the cartridge are medium to big size (human torso or big game) within 300 yards, low to no magnification optics would be a better pick.
Advantages of low magnification optics :
- Better field of view as you can still observe most your surroundings
- Fast target acquisition
2-7x is the highest magnification I would recommend. Other tactical range such as 1-4x or a red dot would also be a nice choice.
A special mention to red dots and 1x scopes : These optics has the fastest target acquisition possible as they allow for use with both eyes open and provide unlimited field of view. In my opinion, they’re the best choice for CQB.
Objective Lens Diameter
Objective lens diameter coupled with magnification defines exit pupil diameter, which is the size of sight picture you see through the scope.
As a general rule, higher magnification optic needs bigger objective lens diameter. In this case, magnification is low and smaller objective lens diameter such as 24mm or 32mm is enough.
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Glass and Lens Coating
Glass and lens coating quality are what define a scope. However, they don’t come cheap. Quality such as ED (Extra Low Dispersion Glass) and Fully Multi Coated lenses are a plus if you can afford it. These features minimize abnormal colors, improve image quality and make your scope more durable (Waterproof and Scratch-proof).
There are 3 main groups of reticle pattern
- Simple – Duplex, NikoPlex, V-Plex, Dot, etc.
- Mil-Dot, MOA – Crosshairs
- BDC – Bullet Drop Compensation calibrated to particular rounds
This is more a matter of preference as you can pick any for scopes of intended range under 300 yards. Simple reticle has the uncluttered appeal, while the BDC will give an approximate bullet drop for your loads. Note that BDC reticle will give “approximation” rather than exact bullet drop due to difference in grains, atmosphere, muzzle length and other external factors.
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Mil and MOA aren’t necessary for short range, but get it if you like.
The point of illuminating a reticle is to make target acquisition faster. This makes the reticle easier to spot especially in dark or low light background. Illumination should also be usable in broad daylight. And another thing to consider is the battery life.
Elevation and windage turrets for .300 Blackout is more of a set and forget type. The important thing for it are that they’re easy to enough to zero, holds zero and don’t adjust unintentionally.
Zero resettable, tactile and audible clicks features are nice to have features.
Eye Relief and Eyebox
Eye Relief – Standard rifle scopes have 3” to 4” of eye relief. This helps prevent the scope hitting your eye due to recoil.
Fortunately, the .300 blackout kick is not that strong and scopes with 2.5” – 3” eye relief is acceptable.
Eye Box – The more important factor is the eyebox. This is the amount of eye placement wiggle room for full sight picture from the scope. It leads to faster target acquisition.
Parallax is mostly non-issue for 50-200 yards as most manufacturers will factory set parallax at about 100 or 150 yards. Under 50 yards however, parallax becomes more of an issue. Look for scopes with parallax adjustment if most shots are taken under 50 yards.
The ability to hold zero, fogproof, waterproof and long battery life are desired feature to look for. Furthermore, the scope must be tolerable to harsh field conditions, such as extreme temperature and external force.
Reliable manufacturer’s warranty goes a long way to ensure usability of a scope. Transferable warranty also helps maintain reasonable price when selling the scope in second hand market.
1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32
Now a major brand in rifle scopes industry, Vortex Optics has converted many big name fans to their own in just a period of less than 15 years. Most seasoned hunters cited Vortex as quality with affordable price scopes.
For budget-minded people, the Crossfire II 2-7×32 is a nice choice to look at. Even though glass quality and lens coating are not comparable to higher priced scopes, they’re usable and especially clear on low magnification. On 6x-7x magnification however, it is noticeably less clear and more blurry on the edges. Light transmission during low light of dawn and dusk is admittedly not that great.
On the upside, the scope offers a wide field of view which is good for observing surroundings and fast target acquisition.
The optic comes with a general BDC reticle not calibrated to .300 Blackout. It can be useful if you use the Strelok App or measure each drop mark yourself. For the turrets, they are not that precise, but as is the norm with scopes on this price range. They are also finger adjustable and zero resettable which is pleasant to have.
Eye relief is generous. But eyebox is rather small as the sweet spot is particularly hard to find. It’s also durable enough to hold zero on the .300 Blackout. The optic is covered by reliable Vortex Lifetime warranty.
|✓ budget and value scope||✗ Not good in low light|
|✓ Clear on lower magnification||✗ 6x-7x edges not clear and gets more blurry|
|✓ Nice FOV||✗ Narrow eye box on high magnification|
|✓ Reliable Vortex warranty|
Price : $$
2. Steiner P4Xi 1x-4x24mm Riflescope
The American made Steiner P4Xi glass and image quality is top notch. It’s crisp and clear on all magnification. Plus, it works very well with both eyes open on 1x much like a red dot. This means unlimited field of view and eye relief.
The P3TR reticle functions well at drawing your eyes. It’s thicker on the outside and becomes thinner once closer to the center. Furthermore this reticle can be illuminated with 11 power settings. It’s daylight bright and has 2 power level being night vision compatible. Between each power setting are off positions, making it very easy to turn on and off at the predetermined brightness level. And in the event that the battery dies, you can still see the black reticle.
There are Civilians and Law Enforcement version. The difference is just the built in throw lever on the magnification ring in Law Enforcement version. For me, the zoom ring is smooth enough to adjust with your fingers but a throw lever really makes it easy to adjust on the fly.
Turrets are accurate and repeatable. However, the clicks are mushy and could use some improvements. Furthermore, they are not zero resettable and have no zero stop features.
This optic is very well made and is durable for all field conditions. It also comes with reliable and transferable warranty from Steiner Optics
|✓ High quality glass||✗ Slightly mushy turrets|
|✓ True 1x, Can be used with both eyes open||✗ Not zero resettable|
|✓ Easy to use daylight bright illuminated reticle||✗ No zero stops|
|✓ Night vision compatible||✗ High price|
|✓ Precise and repeatable turrets|
|✓ Made in USA|
|✓ Reliable Transferable Lifetime Warranty|
Price : $$$$$
3. Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
Aimpoint Pro is one of the high quality red dot sights in the market. It offers the best possible experience with both eyes open optics as there are no magnification.
Fast target acquisition with unlimited field of view, the Aimpoint Pro is rather a no-frill-but-excel-at what-it-does kind of optics. It has 2 MOA dot and 10 brightness settings. On higher power, the dot is easily seen under sunlight. There are 4 levels of night vision compatible brightness. Furthermore, it weighs only 7.8 ounce.
The real selling point for any Aimpoint product is the reliability in real world situation. This red dot is designed to take some serious beatings and is favoured by the military. It can withstand a lot of shock (40 +/- 4 g in y and z axis, 500 g in x axis) and is waterproof up to 150 ft. The warranty is 2 years for professional or competition use and 10 years for personal use which is very acceptable in my opinion.
Battery life is dependable to 30,000 hours on power setting level 7. A reliable number as Aimpoint Pro is known to work for more than 3 years under a single battery. You can leave the optics always on, knowing that you do not have to fumble on on/off switch during an emergency, and be ready from the get go.
The downside is that, even though it’s a cheaper model in Aimpoint’s arsenal, it’s still a high price and not a budget optics.
|✓ Very reliable and durable||✗ Not much additional features|
|✓ True 1x, can be used with both eyes open||✗ Higher priced|
|✓ Unlimited field of view and eye relief|
|✓ Long life battery|
|✓ Clear and daylight bright red dot with night vision compatibility|
|✓ Decent warranty|
Price : $$$$$
4. Primary Arms 1-6×24 SFP (Gen III) with Illuminated ACSS 300BO | (.300 Reticle Option)
Primary Arms Silver Series 1-6×24 is one of the most affordable 1-6x with acceptable quality at the time of this writing.
Its glass and lens coating are not on par with the Steiner PX4i nor the Leupold VX-R Patrol. But it works very well for its price and is satisfying for most users. The scope is not a true 1x, maybe 1.1x. That said, it still works very well with both eyes open and has minimal fisheye effect. Furthermore, the optics has generous field of view. A downside is that eyebox is rather small at 6x.
The most notable feature is its illuminated ACSS 300BO reticle, which accurately shows bullet drop for both supersonic and subsonic loads. Reticle pattern is intuitive and easy to use in my opinion. Illumination is daylight bright with 11 brightness settings.
Another scope with similar feature is the Trijicon ACOG .300 Ballistic, which costs a fortune.
Turrets are accurate and repeatable. Each click represents ½ MOA which is the norm for 1-6x scopes. One outstanding thing about the turrets is large internal adjustment range of 140 MOAs.
Primary Arms 1-6×24 weighs 16.9 ounce which is a bit heavy. Overall durability is good. The optics is rugged, well-made and performs well in field environments. Primary Arms warranty is comparable to Vortex’s, which is one of the best out there in the market. It’s fully transferable, hassle free and covers electronics.
|✓ .300 ACSS BlackOut reticle||✗ Rather heavy (16.9 oz)|
|✓ Works nicely with both eyes open||✗ Slight fisheye effect|
|✓ Able to see black reticle even if the battery is out||✗ Small eyebox at high magnification|
|✓ Durable in field conditions|
|✓ Great warranty|
Price : $$$
5. Leupold VX-R Patrol 1.25-4x20mm w/ FireDot | (Lightweight Option)
Leupold VX-R Patrol 1.25-4×20 w/ Firedot is a lightweight LPVO (Low Powered Variable Optics) for .300 Blackout as it weighs only 12 oz.
Glass is very clear and is slightly better than Viper PST Gen I. It’s 1x magnification is not a true 1x, but 1.25x gives only slight fishbowl effect and I notice major improvement in target acquisition speed with the Leupold VX-R.
Furthermore, you get a range of magnification to 4x, which is more versatile than a red dot coupled with a magnifier.
Dot illumination is adjustable and daylight bright. It is bright enough for most outdoor situation. However if you’re in snowy or desert terrain, the dot might be slightly too dim.
Battery (CR2032) lasts over a year, which is plentiful in my opinion. This is made possible by its 5 seconds auto-off when no motion is detected. And in the worst case scenario when your battery dies, you can still see the reticle just fine.
It’s 30mm tube is ruggedly built and can withstand a lot of abuse. One drawback is that the famous Leupold Lifetime warranty doesn’t cover electronics. It’s illumination system is covered for only 2 years while the other parts of the scope have lifetime coverage.
|✓ Clear, crisp glass||✗ Not true 1x|
|✓ Low powered variable optics||✗ 2 years warranty on electronics|
|✓ Reticle illumination with acceptable battery life|
|✓ Very durable|
Price : $$$$$
With its combination of affordability and quality, Primary Arms 1-6×24 SFP (Gen III) with Illuminated ACSS 300BO is my recommended choice. Slight fisheye effect is not a big deal once you get used to. Its reticle is calibrated to .300 Blackout and is very intuitive to use.
If you need no magnification, Aimpoint Pro could be the best choice for you. It has unmatched reliability, fast target acquisition and unlimited FOV.