Buying a .270 scope can be a real pain.
There are tons of options out there on Amazon, not to mention all the other retailers, and they pretty much all claim to be the best scope, or at least the best at their price point.
So how do you know which scopes are good and which aren’t?
It doesn’t have to be hard. This guide will help make it easy to not only know what makes a good .270 scope, but also what makes one of these options the best scope for you.
Everyone’s needs are a little bit different, so I can’t just tell you “hey get this one”, but what I can do is point you to a number of options and give you everything you need to pick the best one for your specific needs. If you just want to skip to the recommendations though, here they are:
Athlon Optics Midas TAC HD
Aircraft Grade Aluminum
Burris Fullfield II
3 - 9 x
Burris Fullfield E1
3 - 9 x
3.5 - 10 x
3 - 9 x
Vortex Optics Diamondback
Aircraft Grade Aluminum
3.5 - 10 x
Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II
Aircraft Grade Aluminum
3 - 18 x
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II
Aircraft Grade Aluminum
3 - 15 x
For the rest of this, I’ll start out by going over some background information on what makes a scope good for a .270 rifle, then move on to how you can choose a .270 scope that best fits your needs. After that, I’ll tell you about a handful of my favorite .270 scopes to help you get started on your search.
Ready to get started? Then let’s dive right in.
A Little Background on the Venerable .270 Winchester
Way back in 1925, Winchester released the .270 Winchester as an option for the legendary bolt-action Model 54.
The round was developed based on the .30-06 Springfield, which was a highly-popular round with both civilians and the military at the time.
The slightly longer .270 quickly gained popularity as a long-range hunting round suitable for medium to large game, a popularity that improved with the praise of legendary professional hunter Jack O’Connor.
It had moderate recoil and good terminal performance, and soon it was more than just Winchester rifles that came in this chambering.
Back in the day, it was marketed as being suited for shots out to 500 yards, but thanks to advances in ballistics and optics since then (not to mention the general interest in long-range shooting) it is easily a 1,000 yard cartridge today.
It may not be the first choice of long-range precision shooters today, but it is an immensely-popular choice with hunters who want to be able to reach out to longer distances.
I’ve eaten quite a lot of venison over the years and quite a lot of it was put on the table by this cartridge, and I’d wager that’s true of most hunters out there.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the things to keep in mind when choosing the best scope for a rifle chambered for this excellent cartridge.
Things to Keep In Mind When Choosing Your .270 Scope
Traditional crosshair and duplex reticles are the go-to choice for hunting. These simple reticles are easy to use, allow for quick sighting, and don’t obstruct your target. Traditional crosshairs can get lost in a busy background but duplex reticles help resolve this by thickening the lines away from the center.
One the other hand, ballistic reticles, like bullet drop compensation (BDC) and mil-dot reticles, are becoming an increasingly popular choice for hunters.
These reticles have hash marks to make windage and elevation corrections easier. However, these reticles can be distracting or difficult to make out in contrast to the busy background that’s often present when hunting.
Depending on the ranges you’re shooting at, make sure you’re going with a reticle that makes sense for you and your environment. If you’re going to be putting down whitetail at relatively close range in the South Georgia woods, a duplex reticle is probably fine.
If you’re going after plains game and need to be able to reach out a little further, maybe look into a BDC or mil-dot reticle rather than some of the more short range options.
Another thing you need to consider is the magnification range that you want. For a scope as versatile as possible, you’ll want a variable magnification scope with a broad magnification range.
Still, you’re unlikely to find a scope that performs well at all ranges, so choose the magnification range based on what you’ll be using your scope for most.
For short to medium range hunting, you want a magnification strength of about 3-9x. For mid-range hunting, you’ll want a magnification range of around 4-14x. 4x magnification is a good low-end for close shots and a 14x high-end is good for most any hunting distance.
Finally, for long range target shooting or varmint shooting (though the .270 is a little overkill for the latter), you’re looking at much higher magnification strengths, around 25x on the upper end.
These higher power scopes are a little more expensive, but high magnification (especially on a variable power scope) makes the longer shots easier, without hurting your ability to make closer-range shots.
One other choice you have to make is windage and elevation turret style. Like with reticles, there’s a more traditional choice, but also an up and coming alternative.
The traditional choice is capped turrets. These turrets, as the name indicates, have caps covering the turrets to protect them and prevent them from being accidentally bumped, messing with your zero. They’re also typically low profile for the same reason.
This makes adjustments in the field more difficult, but since one typically zeroes their hunting scope and then leaves the turrets alone, this isn’t usually a problem.
The alternative is a tactical or ballistic style turret. These turrets are typically exposed, meaning that they don’t have a cap, and are large and easy to adjust. This makes accidental adjustment easier, but also makes it easier to make adjustments in the field if that’s your thing.
This style is geared more towards long-range shooting where simple “Kentucky Windage” shots are a little impractical with a duplex reticle, even for skilled shooters,
Most people are probably going to be looking at .270 scopes for hunting, and if that’s the case for you, you need to consider light transmission and the light gathering abilities of the scope.
Quality optics for most hunting situations will have multicoated lenses that aid in light transmission (think the Diamondcoat lenses on the Leupold VX-1 and Leupold VX-R) in order to make those late-afternoon and early-morning shots in low-light or shots in sub-par weather conditions easier.
Now, without further ado, let’s get into our top picks for the best rifle scopes for .270 Winchester. Whether you’re looking for some glass to go on top of a hunting rifle, or you’re trying to build a long-range target rig with a rifle you already have, there should be options here for everyone.
1. Athlon Optics Midas TAC HD
First up is the Athlon Optics Midas TAC HD.
This scope is a great choice for medium and longer range shots, thanks to a 4-16x magnification range and a first focal plane (FFP) MIL Ranging Reticle for more accurate sighting for long distance shots.
The 10 yard to infinity parallax adjustment also lends a big helping hand to long distance accuracy.
In addition, the Midas TAC HD features a capped windage turret and an exposed elevation turret to prevent accidental windage adjustments while leaving the more frequently used elevation turret accessible for adjustment for targets at different ranges.
Both turrets are Zero Stop, making it easy to return to your zero setting after making adjustments. Each turret has a .1 MIL click value.
This scope also features fully multicoated optics with HD low dispersion glass and a 30mm aircraft grade aluminum tube.
Want to know more about Athlon Optics Midas Tac? Check out our product review.
2. Burris Fullfield II
Burris is a great company for affordable optics that are still decent quality. The Burris Fullfield II is one example of this.
This scope is available with a second focal plane Plex or Ballistic Plex reticle. The Plex is Burris’s duplex reticle, while the Ballistic Plex is their BDC reticle.
It has capped turrets with a ¼ MOA click value and a 50 MOA adjustment range for each elevation and windage.
This black matte riflescope is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof and has steel-on-steel adjustments for durability. It comes with the Burris Forever Warranty.
It also has a no-slip grip on the eyepiece for easy adjustment and is a lightweight 13 ounces.
My only real complaint is that, at 3.1 to 3.4 inches, the eye box is a little restrictive.
Check out our detailed Burris fullfield II review for more similar options.
3. Burris Fullfield E1
The Burris Fullfield E1 is quite similar to the Fullfield II, but it does have a few key differences.
The Fullfield E1’s defining feature is its second focal plane Ballistic Plex E1 reticle. Like the regular Ballistic Plex reticle, the Ballistic Plex E1 is a BDC reticle.
However, the E1 is more “christmas tree” style, with hash marks that get wider the farther they are from the center reticle. The hash marks on the E1 are also placed to roughly mark bullet drop for every 100 yards up to 500 yards for big-game hunting cartridges. Dots on the side of each hash mark indicate holdoff for 10 mph winds.
The Fullfield E1 also has an easy to turn power ring on the eyepiece that's great for using with gloves. The eyepiece is designed to accept flip-up lens covers, making it easy to keep your lenses protected.
This scope has finger-adjustable, low-profile turrets. They’re capped to avoid bumps, but the caps are easy to remove and the knobs are easy to adjust. Like those on the Fullfield II, these turrets have a ¼ MOA click value and a 50 MOA adjustment range for each elevation and windage.
The double internal spring-tension system helps preserve zero even when the scope is exposed to shock and vibration.
Also like the Burris Fullfield II, the Fullfield E1 is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof with steel-on-steel adjustments. It also comes with the same lifetime warranty from Burris.
The Fullfield E1 is just as lightweight as the Fullfield II and has the same matte black finish.
On the other hand, it also has the same shorter eye relief.
4. Leupold VX-3i
Leupold has been in the rifle optics game for more than a century and you don’t get that kind of longevity without building good scopes.
For one example of that quality, look at the Leupold VX-3i, one of the most popular Leupold scopes, and one of my favorites for .270 shooters.
This scope has a rear focal plane duplex reticle. In fact, the duplex reticle was invented by Leupold back in 1962, so this is the OG duplex reticle. This one isn’t available with Leupold’s Firedot duplex, but that’s a minor complaint. You don’t really need (or want) an illuminated target dot in your reticle for most long range shooting anyway.
The scope’s real crowning glory is the Twilight Max Light Management System. This optical system eliminates stray light that causes glare and adds up to 20 extra minutes of shooting light for the freedom to shoot in a variety of lighting conditions.
Another feature of note is the long eye relief, which measures in at 4.5 to 3.6 inches.
The scope is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. It comes with a bikini style lens cover and Leupold’s Full Lifetime Guarantee.
It’s also available in a kit that includes a 2.5 inch sunshade, anti-reflective device, a scope cover, and an objective and eyepiece cover.
5. Simmons 8-Point
The Simmons 8-Point is a very budget friendly pick, costing only about $65.
Sure, at that price you can’t expect it to have the same quality as the higher priced scopes on this list, but it really is a great value for the price.
It features fully coated optics, a QTA (Quick Target Acquisition) eyepiece, and a lengthy 2.75 inch eye relief. It has a Truplex reticle, which is Simmons’ version of the duplex reticle, and a large 50mm objective lens to let in plenty of light.
The SureGrip capped turrets are fingertip adjustable and produce an audible click. They have ¼ MOA click adjustments and a 60 MOA total adjustment range.
The TrueZero windage and elevation adjustment system retains zero through tough conditions
The scope is also waterproof, fog proof, and recoil proof, and it’s a lightweight 13.2 ounces.
6. Trijicon AccuPower
Trijicon is another big name in the world of shooting optics and the Trijicon AccuPower is another great choice for .270.
It’s available with MIL-Square Crosshair, MOA-DOT Crosshair, and Standard Duplex Crosshair reticle patterns. Each pattern is illuminated to make the reticle more visible in low light condition, and is available with either red or green LED illumination.
The AccuPower has 11 brightness settings with an “off” position between each. It runs on a single CR2032 battery that provides at least 31 hours of battery life on the max brightness setting.
The scope has fully multi-coated lenses made from broadband, anti-reflective glass for better performance in all light conditions. The scope allows shooters to use Trijicon’s famous Bindon Aiming Concept, or “both eyes open” shooting.
This Trijicon scope has rugged, all-weather construction for excellent durability, featuring a 1 inch tube, aircraft-grade aluminum housing, and a matte black hard coat anodized finish. It’s also waterproof.
Check out our detailed Trijicon AccuPower 2.5-10x56 review for similar options.
7. Vortex Optics Diamondback
Next up is the Vortex Diamondback, a budget-friendly yet feature-rich hunting scope. It’s more expensive than the Simmons 8-Point, but it’s also a step up in quality from the more budget options like the Simmons above, Nikon Buckmasters, or most Bushnell offerings, making it a solid mid-tier option.
The Diamondback has a second focal plane Dead Hold BDC reticle that makes holdover adjustments easy.
The one-piece aircraft-grade aluminum alloy scope body has a hard anodized matte finish and is durably constructed for shock proofing. The scope is also argon-purged and features o-ring seals for water and fog proofing.
The fully multicoated optics feature Vortex’s proprietary lens coatings to cut reflection and improve light transmission. Inside, the scope has a Precision-Glide Erector System for smooth zooming.
Outside the fairly compact scope is the Fast Focus Eyepiece for quick, simple reticle focusing, as well as the capped reset turrets. The turrets have 65 MOA max adjustment for both windage and elevation with 15 MOA per rotation and ¼ MOA click values.
8. Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II
Our next recommendation is another Vortex Optics scope, the Vortex Razor HD Gen II.
The Razor has a high end price tag, but that’s reflected in the features of this high quality scope. It's designed for both hunting and tactical purposes, especially for long-range shooting.
To start, it has a first focal plane EBR-7C Christmas tree-style ranging reticle in either MOA or MRAD. The reticle is glass-etched for durability and illuminated for visibility.
It features 11 illumination settings with an “off” position between each. It also boasts locking illumination, which holds the reticle brightness at the desired setting.
One of the Razor HD’s most notable features, however, is it’s clear, bright, high-contrast sight picture.
This scope’s lenses are index-matched for color correction and optically indexed for edge to edge brightness and definition. They’re made from low dispersion glass for resolution and color fidelity.
The lenses are also XR Plus fully multicoated for optimal light transmission and low light performance. Vortex used Plasma Tech coating application technology for superior coating durability.
And speaking of durability, the exterior lenses also have an ArmorTek scratch-resistant lens coating. The scope itself is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. The low-glare matte hard-coat anodized finish not only protects the 34mm single piece aircraft-grade aluminum tube, but also helps avoid giving away your position.
The L-Tec Zero Stop turrets feature an integrated locking mechanism to allow for quick, easy windage and elevation adjustments while avoiding accidental adjustments. The turrets allow for infinite zero settings. The friction reduction turret system and wear resistant turret screw further improve durability.
The turrets have a precise .1 MRAD or ¼ MOA click value with 28.5 MRAD or 71 MOA max elevation adjustment and 10 MRAD/34 MOA max windage adjustment. An external rotation indicator gives you a visual and tactical point of reference for the elevation turret.
The Razor HD has a wide 37.8 to 6.25 feet field of view at 100 yards. It also has adjustable parallax from 25 yards to infinity with a side focus parallax adjustment knob.
However, at 46.5 ounces, this scope is quite weighty, about three times as heavy as many of the other scopes on this list.
9. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II
We’re finishing up the list with the Vortex Viper PST Gen II, a more mid-range option from Vortex Optics. It’s a more tactical style scope, which isn’t traditional but is becoming more and more popular among hunters.
The Viper PST Gen II is available in first focal plane and second focal plane versions. The SFP version has an EBR-4 (MOA) reticle with hash marks for windage and elevation corrections. The FFP has a similar, but more “Christmas Tree”-style EBR-7 reticle in your choice of MOA or MRAD.
Beyond that, the different versions are identical.
Whichever reticle you go with, it’s glass etched and illuminated. It will also match the turrets for quicker and more accurate shooting.
The turrets are tactical-style exposed zero-reset turrets. They feature a fiber optic radius bar turret rotation indicator that provides a visible and tactical indication of turret rotations. The turrets have a ¼ MOA/.1 MRAD click value, 75 MOA/22 MRAD max elevation adjustment, and 40 MOA/11 MRAD max windage adjustment.
This scope’s lenses are made from low dispersion glass for resolution and color fidelity. They’re XR Plus fully multicoated for optimal light transmission and low light performance. External glass surfaces also have an ArmorTek scratch-resistant lens coating. It comes with a 3” sunshade to further cut glare in bright light conditions.
The 30mm single-piece tube, as well as the rest of the scope housing, is made from aircraft-grade aluminum tube with matte hard anodized finish. The scope is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof.
The scope has a 41.2 to 8.6 foot field of view at 100 yards, which you’ll note is actually larger than the more expensive Razor HD Gen II.
Within the scope is the Precision-Glide Erector System for smooth zooming and the Precision-Force Spring System for easy windage and elevation adjustment and adjustment consistency.
Finally, the Viper PST Gen II has 20 yards to infinity parallax adjustment, controlled with a side focus knob.
The legendary .270 Winchester deserves a good scope, and hopefully now you know everything you need to know to choose the best scope for your specific needs. All the options on this list passed our testing and review process with flying colors, and each one excels in it’s given niche.
All you have to do is pick the one that best suits your own personal preferences. Or just try a bunch of ‘em, we’re not gonna tell you what to do.
What we will do is promise that they’re all great on top of any .270 rifle, and will serve you well for years to come.
Which of these .270 scopes do you like the best? Is there one you like over all the others? Let us know in the comments below! Also, be sure to check out our list of best .30-06 scopes if you’re looking for more scopes like this (most .30-06 scopes will be great on a .270 as well, after all).