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Best Scope for 243 – Time for Some Varmint Hunt

So what is the big deal with the .243 cartridges? I certainly believe that this cartridge has become extremely popular and desirable owing to its feasibility for varmint hunting. Be it varmints of any sort – mammals or birds, small-sized or medium-sized, crop destroyer or disease spreader – no one likes a troublesome pest! This is why it is essential to kill these nuisances. And trust me when I say that 243 is functional ammo when it comes to shooting down these pests.

What makes it highly desirable is its versatility. This versatility is mostly in terms of target types. It can genuinely hunt down each varmint – regardless of size, density, and swiftness. So we have a go-to cartridge for all species ranging from ferrets to foxes.

Top 5 Best Scope For 243 Reviewed

NameSpecsUSPToday's Price
Vortex Crossfire II3-9x40Budget-FriendlyClick Here
Vortex Diamondback4-12x40VersatileClick Here
Leupold VX-13-9x40Cost-EfficientClick Here
Bushnell Banner3-9X 40Optical ProwessClick Here
NcStar3-9x42IlluminatedClick Here

What we usually associate with 243 is not long-range shooting but close range target acquisition. I say target acquisition in terms of accuracy and precision. Which is why a good scope becomes equally relevant to the matter at hand. Scopes accentuate the accuracy of your shot and hence give you a total worth of 243. Read on to know about the best scope for 243.

What you need for a 243 cartridge is a scope that helps you get hold of that shot. For this, you need a good quality lens, reticle, and other adjustment features that will ascertain precision. Let us look at some of these scopes. Keep accuracy shooting in your mind as we shuffle between these scopes from various manufacturers. Read on for further dissection.

1. Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40 Plex MOA Rifle Scope

best scope for 243

Vortex has the reputation of being affordable and reliable. Being owned by a veteran himself, they take it upon themselves to ascertain that the customer’s happiness is met with. This is why Vortex scopes are extremely popular. To get into the matter of things, this particular Vortex Optics Crossfire II scope is one of the cheapest in the market. Cheapest doesn’t mean that it has a lower standard of features. Let us go across each factor.

To start with, the scope has good quality optics. The equipment has an objective lens of 40mm. The bigger the lens, the better the light transmission. Not only is more light absorbed into the device, but it is also properly utilized. This is done through the fully multi-coated feature. Further, the lens has anti-reflective coatings on all glass-air interface surfaces.

To speak of the reticle, the first thing you must know is that the reticle is placed in the Second Focal Plane. This plane goes hand in hand with the V-Plex reticle. V-Plex is essentially used as a Vortex’s standard duplex reticle. The wider crosshairs in the outer and the finer ones in the inner part of the reticle help in easier and accurate target acquisition. Further, this reticle is quite versatile in the sense that it can be used for any kind of hunting.

Other features that add to the shooting experience are the fast focus eye-piece and the capped turrets. The fast-focus eyepiece feature ensures that you can attain the focus of the target even when it shifts positions swiftly. The capped turrets, on the other hand, are more focused on delivering precision features. It helps in zeroing-in efficiently and ensures that the zero stays intact.

The scope is highly appreciated for its efficient eye relief. This measure of 3.8 inches is considerably well to guarantee a harmless shot. The scope weighs around 15oz thereby making it lightweight and extremely handy.

Further structural efficiency is ensured by its strength and durability. The scope is made of a single piece of one inch of aircraft-grade aluminum. The Aluminum alloy ensures strength while the size and single-piece tube make more space and comfort for internal adjustments. Further, the scope is Nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed thereby making it fog proof and waterproof. The rugged structure also ascertains shockproof nature. The equipment is also bestowed with the Vortex VIP Lifetime warranty.


  • Optical quality
  • V-Plex reticle for better target aiming
  • Fast Focus eyepiece
  • Capped turrets for efficient windage and elevation adjustments
  • Extended eye relief
  • Lightweight
  • Strong and durable
  • Weather-resistant
  • Shockproof
  • VIP warranty


  • Customers have complaints about the blurs in crosshairs at high magnification

What’s The verdict?

In conclusion, Vortex Optics Crossfire II is all the three things that the manufacturers declare it to be – clear, tough, and bright. It is affordable as well. It is a must buy if you are out with a lighter pocket and lighter consistency-in-clarity expectations.

2. Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm Rifle Scope

Yet another scope from the Vortex family. This Diamondback scope is better in terms of range versatility. Also, Diamondbacks tend to have a wider field of view in comparison to a Crossfire. Both are essentially budget scopes and will give you good benefits for your money. Nevertheless, let us look at what features distinguishes this scope from Crossfire.

To start with, the scope has a 40mm objective lens. As you must already know, 40mm is a reasonably good lens for light transmission. This Vortex Optics Diamondback is bestowed with XD and XR lens elements. The XD elements ensure low-dispersion quality in the lens. Thus the image you get will be sharp, crisp, and embedded with utmost color fidelity. The XR coating is a fully-multi coated feature that attaches an anti-reflective coating to the area that has an air to glass interface.

In the case of the reticle, the Vortex Optics Diamondback has a VMR 1 reticle. While this is essentially meant for ranging features, there are other benefits of having a Daimbndback – and most of this is for accurate target aiming. VMR 1 reticle keeps a check n holdover and windage corrections and hence gives you better chances of shooting down a moving target. This reticle is aptly placed in the Second Focal Plane.

Other features that users find desirable are more in Diamondback when compared with Crossfire. Diamondback has a Precision Glide Erector System. This makes zooming in and out comfortable and smoother at all ranges. It also has an additional Magnification Rib. This is a ring that helps make swifter magnification changes so that you are always on your toes. Then comes the exposed tactical-style turrets that ensure smoothness for windage and elevation adjustments. The radius bar acts as a tactile indicator for the turrets. As a cherry on the cake, you get a fast-focus eyepiece. Thus, the scope is efficient for fast target acquisition and accurate aiming.

In terms of structure, the Diamondback is similar to Crossfire. The structure is made of aircraft-grade Aluminium. It is water, fog, and shockproof. It has an eye relief of almost 4 inches. Diamondback is also assured with a Vortex VIP warranty.

What’s The verdict?

Vortex Diamondback is definitely a step above Crossfire in terms of precision and convenient features.

3. Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope

In comparison to Vortex, Leupold does stand a rung above – especially if you value quality over affordability. The quality level that is associated with Leupold is affectively visible in the lens, build, and overall performance. Furthermore, this manufacturer has immense experience in the field. Owned and run by the five generations of a family, they very well know how to knit a place for themselves in the scope market.

Moving on to the specificities of the scope at hand – Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm Riflescope – one cannot miss out on the high-quality optics the scope is bestowed with. This scope has an objective lens of diameter 40mm which is fairly good for light transmission. Further, it has a Multi-coat 4 lens system which is an advanced coating mechanism. Through this feature, the lens gives you bright images with an edge to edge clarity and contrast.

The scope has a Firedot Ballistic reticle placed in the Second Focal Plane. This reticle is best for close-range shooting at around 200 or 300 yards. It has further aiming points at 500 and 600 yards. Beyond all this, the reticle is illuminated. The illuminated reticle combined with the aforementioned lens features gives utmost clarity and visibility at even low light situations.

Other mentionable features are the 3:1 zoom ratio, tactile power selector, and 1/4 MOA click adjustments. The 3:1 zoom ratio gives you more and more range options – allowing you to go beyond just close range. The tactile power selector adds to this by making your magnification selections tactile enabled. The 1/4 MOA clicks are finger adjustable and thus highly reliable for windage and elevation adjustments.

There is no question of strength and durability arising. The scope is made of 6061 T6 Aluminium which is the strongest alloy in the market. It is also nitrogen purged for better weather resistance. The scope is essentially water and fog proof. With an eye relief of 3.7 to 4.2 inches, the scope assures maximum safety even for high recoil. It is additionally assured with the Leupold Lifetime Warranty.


  • High-quality optics
  • Multicoat 4 feature
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Firebolt Ballistic reticle
  • 1/4 MOA finger click adjustments for windage and elevation
  • 3:1 zoom ratio for variety ranging
  • Tactile power selector for easier zoom adjustments
  • Strong and durable
  • Water and fog proof
  • Efficient eye relief
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Shows inefficiency at lower magnifications
  • A tad bit difficult for beginners

What’s The verdict?

Leupold VX 1 is definitely worth the money you invest in it. The advanced features could with efficient optical features makes it worth owning.

4. Bushnell Banner Dusk and Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope

Bushnell might not be as experienced as Vortex or other manufacturers. But they are a reliable manufacturer for high-performance scopes. You might have to give this scope a try to truly taste its magic.

To start with, the scope is bestowed with a 40mm lens. Like the other scopes mentioned, this lens is also best for light transmission. The lens is fully multi-coated. Further, it is bestowed with the specialized Dawn and Dusk feature. This DDB multi-coated lens ascertains even better image clarity and brightness. This quality optics promises you HD clarity for image viewing. Further, the scope has a magnification range of 3-9x which is desirable for close-range shots.

This scope comes with a Multi-X reticle. What does this mean? Multi-X reticle is essentially similar to a Duplex reticle. That is, this reticle has wider crosshairs that help to divert your attention to the center. The finer crosshairs in the center act as a means for ensuring accuracy while aiming at a target. Further, this reticle is placed in the Second Focal Plane – meaning that, measuring and locating a target becomes easier and more efficient.

Other features of convenience include a fast-focus eyepiece and a 1/4 MOA finer adjustable clicks. The fast-focus eyepiece lets you capture moving targets with no difficulty. On the other hand, the windage and elevation adjustments are made finger adjustable and easier to shift. These two features will ensure that your shot is always well aligned.

Additionally, the scope is weather resistance owing to the Argon gas filled O-ring sealed tube. The remarkable eye relief of 6 inches is a trademark feature of the scope.


  • High-quality lens
  • Dawn and Dusk multi-coated feature
  • Multi-X reticle for accurate shooting
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • 1/4 MOA finger adjustments
  • Remarkable eye relief
  • Water and fog proof
  • Remarkable eye relief


  • Does not hold zero after a while

What’s The verdict?

In conclusion, Bushnell is definitely a run above others when it comes to optical clarity and brightness. This is one reason why you should give the scope a try.

5. NcStar 3-9×42 Compact Illuminated Rifle Scope

NcStar is the new kid on the block. In a span of just a few years, this manufacturer has acquired for itself a tag of innovation. This scope stands out from the other four in terms of its red or green illumination. This helps in target acquisition, especially in low light situations.

In terms of lens features, the scope has an objective lens of 42mm diameter. This is the biggest in terms of the other scopes mentioned in this listicle. Hence, there is no much question of light transmission prowess. This lens is fully multi-coated. Hence, there is assured clarity and brightness with this lens.

The biggest advantage of this scope is the illuminated reticle. This illumination offers you the provision of shooting in low light conditions with the utmost efficiency. Even in other situations, there is the factor of easier target acquisition that illumination supports. This illumination is available in both red and green. This has the added advantage since green is more favorable for target aiming.

To add to this illumination, the scope offers multiple brightness settings. The scope makes use of many innovative techniques to make your shot precise. In fact, the scope is suitable for all weather conditions. It is also compatible with rails as well as mounts.


  • Big lens for better light transmission
  • Fully multi-coated
  • Illuminated red or green reticle
  • Added multiple brightness options
  • Water and fog proof
  • Compatible with most mounts
  • Strong


  • Does not stay zero intact

What’s The verdict?

This scope is a feasible try if you want to experiment with illuminated scopes. The optical quality and reticle features are unmatchable.


Which magnification is best suited for 243?

This depends to a large extent on your needs. To start with, we can rule out a long-range scope. Our focus will be on hitting small or medium size targets at a close and medium range. Hence a scope that has a magnification range between 3x-10x is preferable. The range patterns depend on your need.


With that being said, you are welcome to choose between the 5 models I have laid out for you. Remember that each has its own peculiarities and advantages. Depending on your need and comfort choose one that suits your hunting style. Don’t forget to thank me later. Happy Hunting to you!