In this buyer's guide, let's take a look at the best scopes for 243 for hunting and plinking.

I have tested these scopes from personal purchases and rentals, and here is what you can expect when you pick up one of them

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The Vortex Diamondback 3-9X40 is constructed as a solid one-piece, withstands heavy recoil and is impervious to damage. The Argon purging process guarantees water and fog resistance for hunting and plinking with a .243 rifle.

Vortex Diamondback 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope, 1 in Tube, Second Focal Plane, Black, Hard Anodized, Non-Illuminated V-Plex Reticle, MOA Adjustment, DBK-M-01P
  • Magnification: 3-9X
  • Objective Lens: 40mm
  • Focal Plane: 1st Focal Point
  • Exit Pupil: 1.9 - 8mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.3 - 3.5 in
  • Overall Length; 11.61 inches
  • Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Tube Size: 1" tube
  • MOA Adjustment Range: 0.25 MOA / Click

It has shockproof construction, capable of withstanding recoil and impact.

The scope boasts excellent light transmission due to its large 50mm objective lens, ensuring clear target identification even in low-light conditions.

With the added fast-focus eyepiece, shooters can easily adjust the reticle focus to match their eyesight.

The capped turret design prevents inadvertent turret movement while navigating through bushes during hunts and offers quick return to zero after sighting in the riflescope.

The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is a highly versatile hunting reticle suitable for various hunting and long-range applications.

Leupold VX Freedom 4-12X40 - Best Under $500

This is similar to the Vortex above, but with 3X more magnification power at a great price point

  • Magnification: 4-12X
  • Objective Lens: 40mm
  • Focal Plane: 1st Focal Point
  • Exit Pupil: 1.9 - 8mm
  • Eye Relief: 4.2 - 3.7 in 12X / 5.2 - 3.8 at 4X
  • Overall Length; 12.4 inches
  • Weight: 13.1 ounces
  • Tube Size: 1" tube
  • MOA Adjustment Range: 0.25 MOA / Click


The Leupold VX Freedom 4-12X 40 scope is on one of my .243 caliber rifle, and I've got to tell you, it's been a fantastic addition to my gear. The scope offers a 4X magnification that's great for mid-range shots, and a 12X magnification that really helps with long-range target identification.

One feature I absolutely love is Leupold's Custom Dial System (CDS). It makes target ranging so much simpler – just dial in the number and you're set for a dead-on shot. It's a huge time-saver and really boosts my shooting accuracy.

The zero-stop feature is another big plus. It allows me to quickly return to zero after making wind corrections, which is incredibly handy. It eliminates any confusion in turret adjustments, especially in high-stakes shooting situations.

Durability-wise, the lenses are top-notch. They're scratch-resistant with hardened surface coatings, which is consistent with the quality I've come to expect from Leupold scopes.

However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. If you're primarily into short-range shooting, the 4-12X magnification might be more than you need. Also, while the durability is great, it might come at a higher price point compared to some other options. But overall, for a .243 caliber rifle, especially if you're into both mid and long-range shooting, the Leupold VX Freedom 4-12X 40 is a brilliant choice.

Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25X56  - Best For Long Range

This American-made scope offers versatile utility beyond being compatible with just a .243 rifle. Its exceptional edge-to-edge clarity in the glass is precisely what a hunter requires in challenging low-light conditions.

Leupold FFP mark 5 HD 5-25X56 scope
  • Magnification: 5-25X
  • Objective Lens: 56mm
  • Focal Plane: 1st Focal Point
  • Exit Pupil: 1.9 - 8mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 - 3.8 in
  • Overall Length; 15.7 inches
  • Weight: 33 ounces
  • Tube Size: 35mm main tube
  • MOA Adjustment Range: 0.25 MOA / Click

I've been using this first focal plane scope on my .243 caliber rifle for long-range shooting and it's impressive. The reticle scales accurately at all magnifications, which is essential for precise distance adjustments.

The 35mm tube offers extensive turret adjustments – up to 100 MOA for elevation and 50 MOA for windage, perfect for long-range accuracy with a .243. The non-bolt interfering magnification throw lever is a standout feature, allowing for quick adjustments without affecting the bolt action.

Twilight technology enhances low-light visibility, extending illumination significantly and reducing glare. The new turret numbering system, with clear rotation markings and a protruding button on the last rotation, helps keep track of adjustments.

There's also a windage indexing line for easy adjustments without changing position. However, these advanced features might be more than needed for shorter-range shooting and could add to the cost. But for serious long-range shooting with a .243 caliber rifle, this scope is a solid choice.

Vortex Venom 5-25X50 FFP - Best FFP For The Money

This is the one of the best 1st focal plane scope for a 243 rifle without breaking the bank

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  • Magnification - 5-25x
  • Objective Lens Diameter - 50 mm
  • Adjustment Graduation - 1/4 MOA
  • Eye Relief - 3.4 inches
  • Tube Size -  34 mm
  • Focal Plane - Second
  • Length - 15.79 inches
  • Weight - 31.2 oz

This scope is in the first focal plane and offers the same magnification power as the Leupold Mark 5HD above, but it comes at a slightly lower price.

It features the EBR-7C Reticle, which provides accurate reticle subtension for ranging, with an open center reticle that improves target aiming visibility at long distances.

The scope includes a Mag Change Lever, which comes with a throw lever for quick adjustments to the magnification ring.

It boasts an improved eye box with enhanced durability, better glass, a larger eye box, and greater eye relief compared to the previous model.

The Gen 2 version of this scope features upgraded turrets with a design similar to their high-end RAZOR product line, offering easy adjustments in the field, similar to Leupold's zero stop feature.