Best Rifle Scopes For Winchester Model 70 [Modern Production Models]

Image Referenced Nordic Rifleman

Are you shopping for a great rifle scope for the Winchester Model 70 rifle for hunting & range purposes?

In this guide, let’s check out some of the best rifle scopes for Winchester Model 70. We’ve tried many optics in the past, some are good and some are ok.

To save your time doing research, the Leupold VX-R 3-9X40mm is the best 1000 yard & low light scope under $600, and the Vortex Optics Diamondback 3.5-10×50 has the best low light performance and for value, and lastly the Nikon Buckmaster II 3-9X40 is the finest Japanese glass for a hunting scope under low light performance from dawn to dusk.

At the end of this post, you understand what scopes make sense for hunting purposes and what scope specs you should be looking at before you spend your money.


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Best Rifle Optics For Winchester Model 70 [Most Popular Calibers]

PREVIEWPRODUCTFEATURES
BEST AMERICAN HUNTER SCOPE
Leupold VX-R 3-9X40mm
  • Features:3-9X40mm, Fast focus eyepiece, Second Focal Plane, Motion Activated Illumination, Twlight Light Management System
  • Benefits:Lightweight, 1/4 MOA precision finger adjustment for repeatability, Absolute waterproof to survive the wild outdoors, Instant activation of FireDot illuminated reticle upon movement
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BEST VALUE

VORTEX CROSSFIRE II 3-9X50

  • Features:3-9X50mm, 1/4 MOA adjustment, Dead-Hold BDC reticle, Shockproof, Capped turrets, Fast focus eyepiece
  • Benefits:Fast on target reticle focusing, Rugged body withstands heavy recoil and impact, Fast re-indexing of turret to zero(NO TOOL required), LIFE-TIME Warranty
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BEST 12X w/ Low Light Performance

BUSHNELL NITRO 3-12X44 SFP

  • Features:3-12X44mm, IPX7 Waterproof, Ultra-wide band lens coating, Bushnell Exclusive EXO Barrier protection, Second Focal Plane, Deploy MOA reticle
  • Benefits:Durable body repels water + dust & debris, High contrast images under low light, Side parallax adjustment for precision shooting, 1/4 MOA for finer adjustment, Finger adjustable turrets without tool
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BEST FOR THE MONEY & Performance

NIKON BUCKMASTER II 3-9X40 BDC

  • Features:3-9X40mm, Fully Multi-coated optical lens, Precision 1/4 MOA clicks, Spot-On Ballistic Match Tech, Nitrogen purged O-Ring seal
  • Benefits:Generous eye relief to keep eye safe from heaviest recoil hunting rounds, Shockproof performance, Ammo specific reticle aiming points for spot-on accuracy, Positive MOA turret clicks for quick re-zero, Great low light performance
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BEST DEER HUNT SCOPE

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 3.5-10X50 SFP

  • Features:3.5-10X50mm, Dead-Hold BDC, Shock Proof, Precision glide erector system, Second Focal Plane
  • Benefits:Ideal for big game & predator hunting, Bright image from dawn til dusk, Fast focus eyepiece for quick reticle focusing,Precision Holdover reticle great for hunting & long range shooting
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270 and .30-06 are the most popular calibers for hunting with effective range up to 1000 yards using a 22″ or 24″ barrel using precision ammo and modern 9X magnification type scopes.

The Model 70 featherweight still remains one of the finest standard-production, big-game rifles of all time.

It’s amazing 67 years of continuous upgrade and caliber expansion up to 7mm, .22-250, .280 Remington and more.

Also Check Out: Best 1000 Yard Scopes Under $1000


Vortex Crossfire II 3-9X50 – Best Overall

Vortex is one of the best scope makers in the industry. Crossfire II series scopes offer premium quality Japanese made glass when configured with a 50mm objective lens, this thing is great in low light conditions for hunting.

For a 30-06 rifle like the Model 70 bolt action rifle for hunting purposes, this 30mm tube size scope is shockproof providing hunters great durability out in the woods, which will last as long as you take good care of it.

Worst case scenario, Vortex’s LIFE-TIME warranty guarantees product replacement if you break it in the field. For the price this is the best value scope.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9X50 SFP Riflescope Dead-Hold BDC MOA
  • The 3-9x50 Crossfire II Riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The dead-hold BDC is good for hunting/Shooting at varying ranges where Estimating holdover is a concern
  • With long Eye relief and an ultra-forgiving Eye box, you'll be able to quickly get a sight picture and acquire your target. The fast focus Eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing
  • Anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear views for the user
  • Capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with MOA clicks that can be reset to zero after sighting in

Bushnell Nitro 3-12X44 – Best 12X For Low Light

Image Referenced Bushnell

The Bushnell Nitro series line of rifle scopes are made with ultra-wide band coating on the lenses and its prism glass to increase the light transmission for brighter and clear image.

It’s Bushnell’s high/mid range level scopes that comes with Deploy MOA reticle, which is quite capable and simple to use for accurate shot placement at most practical hunting distances up to 300 yards.

In addition, Bushnell applies its exclusive EXO coating process that fuses to the lens and make it extremely slick, which deters dirt, mud, water away from the lens to maintain image clarity. If it doesn’t go away on its own, you can wipe it right off.

For Winchester Model 70 chambered in 270, 308 or 30-06. This is a great selection for anyone wants the capability of 12X and with great low light performance while spending less than $400.

Bushnell 3-12X44 Sfp, Deploy MOA Reticle, Gunmetal Grey, Box RN3124GS1
  • Hunting scopes rifles
  • Versatile top of the line
  • Another quality product

Vortex Diamondback 3.5-10X50 – Best All-Purpose Hunting Scope

The Diamondback 3.5-10X50mm is ideal for big game hunting with the Model 70 rifle. Weather you’re using it to shoot deers and other predator type animals at 100 yards or 400 yards… this thing’s got your back.

The 50mm objective lens gives the shooter as bright as possible image through the scope for any hunting lighting condition with exit pupil perfectly around 5mm at 10X power.

The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is the single best all-purpose hunting reticle intended for a wide range of hunting and long range applications.

In addition, the capped finger adjustable turret system makes it easy for 1/4 MOA / click adjustments in the field without any tool. For the price and performance this is great product from Vortex Optics.

Vortex Optics Diamondback 3.5-10x50 SFP Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC (MOA)
  • The Diamondback 3.5-10x50 riflescope is one of multiple configurations in the Diamondback lineup and is ideal for big game, predator/varmint, muzzleloader, slug shotgun, and long range applications.
  • Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for any hunting or shooting at varying ranges where estimating hold-over would be a concern.
  • Lenses are fully multi-coated for crstyal clear, bright images from dawn til dusk. The fast focus eyepiece allows for quick and easy reticle focusing.
  • Metal on metal precision turrets offer the ability to zero reset after sight-in. A precision glide erector system ensures accurate tracking and repeatability.

Leupold VX-R 3-9X40 – Best For Hunting

The 3-9X40mm 1″ diameter tube scope with fiber optic FireDot reticle shines brightly, which draws your eye and centers on the target for precise shot placement in any condition.

The Leupold VX-R is the best American made hunting scope. The 40mm size objective lens is a great option than the 50mm size objective lens for similar performances at a way more affordable price.

Besides the obvious the Leupold’s index-matched lens system has revolutionized glass clarity & light transmission in a rifle scope using lead-free glass coatings.

Additionally, this glass making process had a roughly 90% improvement in resolution and color fidelity resulting in crystal clear image under common hunting lighting conditions from dawn to dusk.

The ruggedness of this scope is the hallmark of every Leupold optics from the budget options to the $3000 ones. It’s a great hunting scope made in the U.S. to be mounted on the Model 70 hunting rifle.

Leupold VX-R 3-9x40mm Riflescope, Illum. FireDot Duplex (110686)
  • Leupold Model #110686 - VX-R 3-9x40mm with Illume. Fire Dot Duplex reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, & shockproof
  • Illuminated Reticle, ideal for lowlight conditions
  • Motion Sensor Technology extends battery life by deactivating illumination after 5 minutes of inactivity

Nikon Buckmaster II 3-9×40 BDC – Best For The Money

The Nikon Buckmaster lineup of rifle scope is the most popular hunting, muzzleloaders and precision shooting. It’s the best for the buck for anyone looking for a great hunting optic with all the great features for the Winchester Model 70 type deer rifle.

Usually the low light performance of the scope determines the price range of the scope based on objective lens and glass quality, which is why this Japanese made Nikon Buckmaster II features fully multi-layer coated lenses that allows max light transmission to hunt during dawn to dusk.

The same components can be found in other higher-end Nikon scopes, which includes spring-loaded reset-to-zero 1/4 MOA / Click turrets with protection caps for elevation and windage, Nikon’s patented BDC reticle.

Additionally, its fully backed by Nikon’s NO FAULT warranty policy.

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 BDC
  • Extremely bright sight picture
  • Fully multicoated lenses
  • Patented BDC reticle
  • Generous, consistent eye relief

Applications Of The Model 70 Rifle

deer hunting

The Model 70 is the upgrade of the Model 54, which set the standard for commercial bolt action rifles on the market today.

The rifle is favored by hunters for the most part, and it was used during World War II and the Vietnam War.

The U.S. Marine Corps discussed the various types of rifles and telescopic sights available at the time for the rifle.

Image Referenced pre64win

Based on testing, they concluded that the best rifle/scope combination for use by USMC sniper was the Winchester Model 70 equipped with an 8X target scope made by the Unertl Co.

Today, modern production Model 70 can accept way better optics for long-range shooting and hunting. If you want to learn more please check out this great American Rifleman resource on the Military Model 70 here.


How Do I Check The Year Of My Model 70 Rifle?

Production model by year

1935 – 1963: Pre 1964 rifle made by Winchester Repeating Arms
1964 – 2006: USRAC ( U.S. Repeating Arms Co/ Owned by FN Herstal)
2008 – Current: New Winchester Production

While pinpointing the serial numbers on the Model 70 can be extremely difficult. Please check out this great record source on MGW’s website here.


Pick The Right Scope

The maximum range of the model 70 depends on the caliber and the barrel length. As a rule of thumb – Always spend as much as you can afford for the scope than the rifle.

Reason 1 – Can’t trade in bad scope for a new scope, but you can trade-in your Model 70 for something else.

Reason 2 – A great scope last forever, and you can use it on other rifles if you choose.

The most popular calibers for the model 70 today are 308, 30-06, 300 WIN MAG, and 7mm.

Even though the rifle can reach as far as 1000 yard, but it is best for hunting purposes


Magnification – 3-9X Is Great For Hunting

Picking the right magnification for the Model 70 for hunting purposes is the first step because it dictates other important scope specs you need to look at.

Typical hunting distances are between 100 to 300 yards. A max 9-10X magnification scope gives the hunter enough image zoom to aim and track a target effectively.

As the magnification level goes up, the price of the scope goes up too. Therefore there is no reason for you to get a high magnification if 300 yards is the most you will shoot for hunting purposes.


Objective Lens: 40-50mm Is Optimal

deer hunting scope objective lens
Image Referenced Havalon Knives

Objective lens size determines how much light a scope can capture, but not always. What’s important is the exit pupil diameter, which we will cover in the next section.

Anything over 50mm and up is considered a large objective lens. When buying a scope for the Model 70 it’s extremely important to figure out what cheek weld position and optic height position you need to shoot comfortably, then make sure there is enough height clearance between the objective bell and the rifle.


Exit Pupil – 7mm Is The Best For Low Light

deer hunt during dusk and dawn
Image Referenced Mile Hi Rafting

Exit pupil diameter = (the effective diameter of the objective lens / Magnification). A 5-7 mm exit pupil is great for a hunting scope under low light conditions, but not in complete darkness.

The exit pupil diameter directly affects how much light the shooter will sees depending on the light condition. Because the pupil diameter of human eye changes based on the light condition.

Human Eye Pupil Size

  • Bright condition: 2 – 3mm
  • Low light condition: 7mm

Find a scope that has about 4 – 5 mm exit pupil diameter when the magnification is between 4-10X magnification so there is enough light transmission under low ambient light condition.

How you get a large exit pupil is based on the component combinations of objective lens diameter, focal plane lens diameter, and ocular lens diameter.


Eye Relief – Keep 4″ To Prevent Scope Bite

Eye relief distance is between the outer surface of the eyepiece lens to the position where the exit pupil is formed (eyepoint).

Eye relief distance is an important specification to look at when you buy a scope. For perfect sight picture alignment without the dark scope shadows AND to keep your eye safe from scope bite.

4″ eye relief distance is recommended and it’s the most common. As the magnification increases the eye relief distances shorten.


Best Reticle Type For Hunting

deer hunting scope reticle crosshair

When picking a reticle type please ask these following questions:

  • Dоеѕ іt hаvе а сrоѕѕ, аn ореn сіrсlе, а dоt?
  • Will it obscure vital kill-zones of my target when I zoom in
  • First focal or Second focal?

Тhе сеntеr роіnt оf thе rеtісlе іѕ vеrу іmроrtаnt ѕіnсе іt’ѕ іndісаtіvе оf whеrе уоu іntеnd уоur bullеt ѕtrіkе tо bе.

Duplex Reticle is the most common among hunting rifles. Іt’ѕ ѕіmрlе, clean, аnd іѕ соnѕіdеrеd thе аll-рurроѕе rеtісlе.

It’ѕ a great rеtісlе fоr huntіng іn thісkеr bruѕh оr bіg gаmе huntіng whеrе уоu nееd рrесіѕіоn tо ѕtrіkе thе kіll zоnе.


Adjustment Turret – Keep It Simple For Hunting Applications

Image Referenced GoHUNT

For a hunting rifle scope, it’s okay to have a simple turret system instead of a tactical ballistic turret for rapid MOA adjustments.

The purpose of the turret is to zero the reticle on the scope. So a capped turret is great for hunting because of the low rate of firing…

What does that mean?

It means it isn’t common for a deer hunter to rapidly send rounds down range compared to combat style long-range shooting where the shooter needs to rapidly adjust and for place accurate shots at different ranges on the fly.


Round-Up

The Winchester Model 70 model rifle is one of the greatest rifle ever built in the past (Also served in War), and it has continued to improve in its modern production models. It’s accurate, durable and affordable for any hunters and long range shooters.

Whether you shoot 30-06, 7mm, 264 WN, 308 or other caliber platforms using the Model 70 featherweight, Super Grade, Sporter, Alaskan or others, this remains a hunting specific rifle up to 1000 yards, but for most hunting distances up to 300 yards we hope you find our selections of hunting rifle scopes.

Read More: Best Scopes For Hard Hitting Rifle Calibers [All Budget]

Larry Gardner

Larry has been an active hunter and a long-range precision shooter. 7 years of long-range shooting experience and an active student even till this day. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a mechanical engineering degree and now works full time with Lockheed Martin Space in Colorado.