Lost in the world of .300 AAC Blackout scopes? Don’t know which one to put on your new rifle?
Well, fortunately for you, .300 Blackout scopes don’t have to be difficult to navigate. In this guide, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about choosing a .300 Blackout scope, complete with recommendations of a few of my favorites.
I’ve been using .300 BLK for a while now and like many of you, I think it’s a neat cartridge with some cool applications. But, it doesn’t matter how good the cartridge is if we can’t hit anything with it because of a bad optic, right?
Let’s talk about what makes a good .300 BLK scope, how to choose the one that will best meet your needs, and which ones you should take a look at first.
Ready to get started?
What Is a .300 Blackout Scope?
To determine what makes a scope good for .300 Blackout, let’s start by looking at the round itself.
.300 Blackout ammo was designed by Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) for the M4. AAC designed the round to replicate the ballistics of 7.62x39mm for the AR-15 platform, complete with the ability to use standard AR-15 mags to full capacity.
This means that you can swap uppers on a standard 5.56 AR and run your .300 BLK mags without an issue. Just don’t try to run .300 BLK in a 5.56/.223 upper.
The overall design process was a success though, and AAC ended up with a powerful but low-pressure intermediate cartridge that can be manufactured in either supersonic or subsonic rounds.
.300 Blackout is already a quiet round, but it’s also ideal for noise and flash suppression. The low pressure also makes it excellent for short barrel rifles as well and it burns all it’s powder in a 9” barrel so you don’t get the big fireballs like you do with short-barreled 5.56 guns.
All of these features combined make .300 BLK popular for a few different purposes. Each of these purposes reveals traits that a good .300 Blackout scope may need to have.
For example, .300 Blackout is perhaps most commonly used for hunting, especially for deer and hogs, though also for black bears. All three of these animals tend to be most active in the morning and evening. Hogs in particular are often active in the dark.
Therefore, a .300 BLK hunting scope should have excellent light transmission for a clear, bright sight picture in low light conditions. An illuminated reticle is also helpful for hunting in low light. Something that works well with thermal optics or night vision might also be useful if you’ve got those options available.
I’ve already mentioned that .300 Blackout is good for SBRs, so you may have guessed that it’s not a long range round. If so, you’d be right. It’s definitely more of a short-range round, but the right .300 BLK cartridges can be pushed up to medium-range with the right optic.
That brings me to a couple more popular uses for .300 Blackout.
For one, the round has gained a following in 3-Gun competition, where ranges tend to be shorter than in other competition styles. With that said, .300 BLK isn’t the best choice if your 3-Gun range goes beyond about 200 yards. Sure, it’ll hit, but not with the accuracy of some other options.
In addition, .300 Blackout is a good choice for close-quarter combat, such as home defense.
For both of these purposes, you want a lower magnification riflescope. I’d generally recommend going no higher than a 3-9x scope for this round.
In fact, for home defense in particular, you’ll want a scope that starts at a 1x, which means no magnification. This ensures that your field of view isn’t too small when aiming at close range targets. A red dot sight is also a good alternative to a magnified optic for close-quarter combat, and probably better for most people.
There are lots of scopes with reticles designed for .300 Blackout rounds in particular. These are mil-dot and bullet drop compensation reticles with holdover marks specifically positioned for the Blackout cartridge’s ballistics, making it easy to find your aiming point.
These reticles can be very useful, especially if you’re shooting at the upper end of .300 BLK’s effective range. However, they’re not essential and for close quarters some shooters will actually prefer something simpler, like a duplex reticle or red dot sight.
.300 Blackout’s limited range also means scopes for the round typically have second focal plane (SFP) reticles. However, there are a few exceptions with first focal plane (FFP) reticles, which can be a good choice for extending your accurate range, particularly with .300 BLK optimized reticles.
How Do You Choose the Best Scope for 300 Blackout?
Of course, a .300 Blackout scope should also just be a good scope. Be sure to keep a few more things in mind when choosing a .300 Blackout scope:
A scope can have a perfect reticle, the ideal magnification, and whatever other awesome features, but if it has a blurry, dim, or otherwise poor sight picture, it’s still a bad scope.
Look for a scope with lenses made from clear, high-quality glass without distortions. Lenses should also be fully coated, and ideally multicoated, for good light transmission and picture definition without glare. A scratch-resistant lens coating to protect and preserve the quality of the lenses is also a huge advantage.
Of course, the last thing you want to do is spend money on a scope and then have it fall apart after just a couple of uses, especially in the middle of a hunt, competition, or defensive situation.
Look for a scope that’s resistant to water, shock, and fogging. Traits like o-ring seals, argon or nitrogen purging, and single-piece housing all ensure durability. Aircraft-grade aluminum or aluminum alloy housing is lightweight yet rugged.
Fixed magnification scopes have fewer parts and therefore tend to be less prone to breaking than variable magnification scopes. However, that comes at a huge cost in terms of versatility that many shooters don’t consider worth it.
Similarly, you want to get the most out of your money. After all, few of us can afford to just spend anything on a scope.
Make sure that a scope has all the important features you need for your purposes before getting caught up in other exciting features. In addition, consider how much you’ll really use novelty features before splurging on them.
Look at trusted brands for assurance of the quality of a scope at your price point. All of the brands on this list offer great scopes. I’ve included recommendations across a large range of prices on this list, from just $130 all the way up to $4,400, so there are options for pretty much any budget.
Primary Arms SLx
Vortex Optics Crossfire II
Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
1 - 4 x
ATN ThOR 4 640
1.25 - 5 x
1. Primary Arms SLx with ACSS Raptor Reticle
The SLx line is probably Primary Arms’ most popular and for good reason. The entire line is great, but we particularly like the Primary Arms 1-6x224mm SLx scope with the ACSS Raptor reticle for 300 Blackout and 7.62x39.
The ACSS Raptor 300BO/7.62 reticle is designed with holdover points that match the ballistics of those rounds for easy elevation adjustments. It’s similar to the original ACSS from Primary Arms, but with full illumination and a larger horseshoe for faster target acquisition.
The reticle allows ranging up to 600 yards. Since it’s a first focal plane reticle, it’s accurate at any magnification level. This sets this scope apart from the other scopes on this list.
The illuminated reticle has 11 brightness settings and uses a red LED and a CR2032 battery. It comes with a spare battery inside the windage turret cap.
The reticle isn’t the only good thing on this scope, though.
It also has low profile, finger adjustable capped turrets with a precise .25 MOA click value. The quick focus eyepiece allows for even faster target acquisition, while the fully multicoated lenses provide excellent light transmission for a clear, bright sight picture.
In addition, this scope has pretty rugged construction. It’s waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof, and has a single piece 6063 aluminum body with a Type II hardcoat anodized matte black finish. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
2. Trijicon ACOG - Best Scope For 300 Blackout
If you’re looking for a fixed magnification scope, then the Trijicon ACOG line is your jam.
It comes in a few different fixed magnification strengths ranging in price from about $860 up to about $1,230 on Amazon.
The higher magnification models, 3x30, 3.5x35, and 4x32, have crosshair reticles optimized for particular rounds. If you opt to go with one of these, be sure to choose the correct option for 300 BLK.
Meanwhile, the lower magnification models, 1.5x16S, 1.5x24, and 2x20 have simpler reticle styles that can be used with any round.
Regardless of magnification or reticle style, each ACOG scope has an illuminated reticle. Most reticles are available with red, green, and amber illumination choices.
Trijicon ACOG .300 BLK Reticle
In addition, the illumination on most ACOG scopes works a bit differently than the typical illuminated reticle. Most ACOG scopes feature tritium and fiber optic illumination for always-on illumination without a battery.
This not only means you never have to worry about running out of power, but also that the reticle’s brightness automatically adjusts based on light conditions.
However, the 4x magnification is also available with red and green LED illuminated reticles. These use a AA battery and have six brightness settings.
Another unique feature of Trijicon’s ACOG scopes is that they’re designed for use with Trijicon’s Bindon Aiming Concept, which incorporates “both eyes open” shooting for better situational awareness.
Because these scope have fixed magnification, they have fewer moving parts and therefore more durability. They’re also waterproof, fogproof, and shock-resistant with rugged, well-constructed housing for even greater durability.
In fact, Trijicon ACOG scopes are a popular choice for military marksmen and have been thoroughly combat tested in all kinds of weather conditions.
Finally, Trijicon ACOG scopes have high quality, fully multicoated lenses for excellent light transmission even in low light conditions and a clear field of view.
3. Vortex Optics Crossfire II
For the most budget friendly choice, you can’t go wrong with the Vortex Optics Crossfire II.
The Crossfire II is one of the most popular scopes on the market with more than a dozen models available with various magnification ranges.
For your .300 Blackout rifle, we recommend one of the 1-4x, 2-7x, 3-9x, or 3-12x magnification models. At these magnification levels, the Crossfire II is available with a dead hold BDC, V-Plex, or V-Brite reticle, though not all of these are available for each magnification level.
Dead-Hold BDC Reticle
Each Crossfire II model has fully multicoated lenses to increase light transmission and prevent reflection. They also have a fast-focus eyepiece and capped reset turrets that can be adjusted without tools.
The Crossfire II is also quite durable. It’s waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. The single piece housing tube is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and has a hard-anodized finish.
Select models have adjustable parallax, which can be useful for close-range shooting.
Prices for Crossfire II models range from $130 to $300 depending on magnification range, objective lens size, and reticle choice. Oh and make sure you get the standard model, not the SCOUT variant seen below.
4. Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
This next .300 Blackout optic is actually a red dot sight rather than a scope, but since .300 Blackout is a short-range round, I thought it was worth including despite the lack of magnification.
The Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic was designed with law enforcement in mind, but it’s also great for civilians.
For one, you get the benefits of a red dot, like unlimited eye relief and faster target acquisition than either iron sights or magnified scopes. However, the Aimpoint PRO is also just a great red dot.
It has a 2 MOA red dot that’s always on so you never have to fumble with a power switch before you can use the sight. However, it also has low power consumption, so it can have up to three years of battery life on a single battery.
The Aimpoint PRO is waterproof and has an aluminum alloy housing with a hard anodize finish.
It has integrated front and rear flip lens covers to protect lenses and keep them clean. Recessed lens openings protect optics even when flip covers aren’t in use. The front lens opening is threaded to allow installation of an anti-reflection device.
It’s also night vision compatible and can be paired with Aimpoint magnifiers for occasions that you do want magnification. It comes with a QRP2 mount and a removable spacer. With the spacer, the sight lines up well on the AR platform, but it can be removed for weapons with a low line of sight, such as the AK47.
5. Steiner P4Xi - Best Budget Scope For 300 Blackout
The Steiner P4Xi is a great little CQB/CQC scope that’s also accurate up to 400 yards.
Unlike most of our other picks, the P4Xi comes in a couple models, but for .300 Blackout, we recommend the 1-4x24 model because of its lower magnification.
The Steiner P4Xi has an illuminated P3TR BDC reticle with 11 illumination settings: 5 day time settings, 4 low light settings, and 2 night vision settings. There’s also an off position between each brightness setting that totally disconnects the CR2032 battery to extend battery life.
The illumination controls and adjustment turrets are all low profile to prevent snagging.
The P4Xi boasts long eye relief and a forgiving eye box. It has a single piece 30mm tube for durability and is also waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
6. ATN ThOR 4 640
.300 Blackout is commonly used for hog hunting, so we’d be remiss not to include a thermal scope.
ATN is one of the biggest brands for thermal and night vision optics and the ATN ThOR 4 640 shows exactly why. This digital thermal scope comes in 1-10x, 1.5-15x, 2.5-25x, and 4-40x magnification models. Each is packed with features to keep you at the top of your game on every hunt.
To start, it has a 640x480 thermal sensor for superior sensitivity and detection. Then, the built in smart range finder and ballistic calculator allow the smart mil-dot reticle to automatically account for range, wind, temperature, humidity, altitude, air pressure, and more.
You can show off your new accuracy by using the scopes 60 fps video recording to stream your hunt via wifi, save video to the internal micro SD card, or both at once. Recoil Activated Video ensures that you never forget to record a shot.
The ATN ThOR 4 640 has a rechargeable battery that provides up to 16 hours of continuous battery life.
All those features don’t come cheap, though. These scopes start at around $3,500 for the lowest magnification and go up to about $4,400 for the highest.
.300 Blackout is a great round that’s well suited for hunting, 3-Gun, and home defense, but not every .300 Blackout scope is equally suited for each of these purposes.
While the scopes on this list are the best scopes for 300 Blackout, be sure to keep in mind what you’ll be using your scope for to make sure you get the best 300 Blackout scope for both your particular needs.
And be sure to check out our picks for the Best AR-15 BUIS to find a backup option should your scope fail you. Also checkout the Best Offset Iron Sights for AR-15s for a non-magnified sighting alternative that you can use without having to remove your scope.
What do you think about these .300 Blackout scopes? Did any catch your attention? Do you think you’ll be adding one to your .300 Blackout setup? Let me know in the comments below!