The 30-30 lever-action rifle is a high-performing yet classic firearm I’ve used for decades. With its combined power and light recoil, it’s a joy to use out on the range. I’ve decided to upgrade mine with equally excellent optics. After testing several scopes, my team and I would like to share our list of the best scopes for a 30-30 rifle.
OUR #1 RATED
Simmons 3-9x32mm Riflescope
OUR #2 RATED
CVLIFE 3-9×40 Optics R4 Reticle Crosshair Scope
OUR #3 RATED
Pinty 2.5-10×40 Tactical Rifle Scope
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Scopes for 30-30 Rifles in 2021
- 1.1 1. Simmons 3-9x32mm Riflescope
- 1.2 2. CVLIFE 3-9x40 Optics R4 Reticle Crosshair Scope
- 1.3 3. Pinty 2.5-10x40 Tactical Rifle Scope
- 1.4 4. BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope
- 1.5 5. Pinty 4-16X40 Rifle Scope
- 1.6 6. Monstrum 3-9x32 Rifle Scope
- 1.7 7. BARSKA CO11538 Colorado Rifle Scope
- 1.8 8. Leupold Freedom RDS (Red Dot Sight)
- 1.9 9. UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope
- 1.10 10. BARSKA 3-12x50 IR Huntmaster Pro
- 2 Buying Guide
- 3 How Do You Mount a Scope on a 30-30?
- 4 What Magnification Do You Need?
- 5 FAQs
- 6 And the #1 Scope for 30-30 Rifle is...
Top 10 Scopes for 30-30 Rifles in 2021
1. Simmons 3-9x32mm Riflescope
Simmons 3-9x32mm Riflescope is one of the best scopes for 30-30. It features HydroShield lens coating for protection, image clarity, and practical use, regardless of the weather. It also has a Quick Target Acquisition (QTA) eyepiece providing 3.75 inches of eye relief. This optic features a Truplex reticle, which has thick crosshairs that extend to the edges of its field of view.
You can use its SureGrip turrets that allow for easier finger adjustments on your lever action rifle. You don’t need to use a coin or special tool in making adjustments. This optic is waterproof and shockproof. Its included rings are 1-inch with 3/8” dovetail mounts that fit most standard .22 rifle grooves.
2. CVLIFE 3-9x40 Optics R4 Reticle Crosshair Scope
CVLIFE 3-9×40 Optics R4 Reticle Crosshair Scope features powerful clarity of image and zooming power for better sight placement. It can have a 9-power optic that focuses on even the smallest target located at a long distance. Its nine-power focus enlargement also gives you a more precise image of the target, much like the CVLife 6-24×50 hunting rifle scope.
This air-sniper 30-30 rifle scope is also affordable, water-resistant, shockproof, and fog proof. You can easily attach this rifle optic to your 30-30 lever-action rifle and a wide variety of rifles such as air rifles, air-soft rifles, 22LR, and c02 rifles.
3. Pinty 2.5-10x40 Tactical Rifle Scope
Pinty 2.5-10×40 Tactical Rifle Scope is a scope best for lever-action rifles that hold useful magnification and optic systems. This is good for a brighter viewing of the target set at a reasonably long distance. It also features a mil-dot reticle for better target acquisition made from aircraft-grade aluminum.
It features a generous eye relief and eyepiece that are well constructed. Its magnification is 2.5 to 10x, which lets you zoom in and zoom with just a knob. It has an easily adjustable and fully multi-coated lens that provides a crystal clear sight picture. It features an objective diameter of 40m, transmitting light with maximum level.
4. BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope
BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope is a riflescope best for a 30-30 lever-action rifle that features a 4-16x magnification scope. It also has 1/8 MOA click adjustments for precision accuracy. It provides fully multi-coated optics, providing impressive viewing clarity.
This optic comes with a 1” tube diameter and a 30/30 crosshair reticle for easy targeting, ideal for any shooting. This high-quality scope, like most Barska scopes, is also waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof, specifically constructed to withstand the reverse recoil produced by airguns.
This great scope features an Adjustable Objective (AO) for parallax correction, a quick access magnification zoom ring, and exceptionally high windage and elevation turrets.
5. Pinty 4-16X40 Rifle Scope
Pinty 4-16X40 Rifle Scope is also one of the best scopes for lever-action rifles that feature uncompromising mechanical performance, unsurpassed light transmission, and unbeatable optical clarity. It also features a hand-turn of 1/2 MOA windage and elevation adjustments along with an instant zero-reset turrets locking function.
It is engineered with a rugged, one-piece body tube with premium quality, making it water, fog, and shockproof. Its value combo includes a riflescope with correct magnification from 4 to 16 times, two mounts, flip-up covers, and a sunshade tube. This scope is mountable with Picatinny mounts and to any 20mm rails.
6. Monstrum 3-9x32 Rifle Scope
Monstrum 3-9×32 Rifle Scope is a lever-action rifle optic compatible with features that can illuminate its target reticle in five different ways for a crisp, clear image, even in low light conditions. It requires a CR2 battery that features a long battery life.
This 3-9×32 scope also features an adjustable objective lens (AO), allowing increased sharpness in imagery and range estimation. It has a ring that can also be beneficial for focusing. This scope is also a parallax-free scope and allows adjustments that eliminate parallax in most cases.
7. BARSKA CO11538 Colorado Rifle Scope
BARSKA CO11538 Colorado Rifle Scope is a riflescope best for lever-action rifles. It features a 3-9x magnification scope with 1/4 MOA click adjustments for more accurate shot placement. It comes with a 1” tube and fully-coated optics, providing impressive viewing clarity and distortion-free views.
The scope is built with extra-rigid construction, making it waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. This riflescope also comes with a 30/30 crosshair reticle for easy targeting, best for any shooting. It is also parallax free at 100 yards, making it easy to target at closer range.
8. Leupold Freedom RDS (Red Dot Sight)
Leupold Freedom RDS (Red Dot Sight) is a scope for 30-30 lever-action rifle that is consistent and durable,similar to Leupold Vx-1. It features a 34mm main tube and a Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) elevation dial for more precise target locking. This scope is also calibrated for a .223 Remington, 55 gr ammunition, which provides measurements of 600 yards 1 MOA click adjustments.
It provides a Twilight Light Max Management System for better low light performance, increasing the contrast and glare reduction. This red dot has a Motion Sensor Technology (MST) that extends its battery life.
9. UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope
UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope is a lever-action 30-30 scope that features a relatively wide selection of available magnification settings for more precise shot placement. It also features emerald coated lenses with an angled front sunshade, an integrated, and a flip-open lens cap, maintaining accuracy even at high noon.
With this scope, shooters can choose between its red or green illumination settings depending on the environment or the shooter’s preference. It provides at least 36 different luminosity settings to choose from while maintaining consistent illumination using special circuit housing that a red dot sight doesn’t offer.
10. BARSKA 3-12x50 IR Huntmaster Pro
BARSKA 3-12×50 IR Huntmaster Pro is a scope for a lever-action rifle best for hunting, target shooting, and plinking. It features an adjustable illuminated Red 30/30 Reticle with more light transmission and a bright sight picture, even in lowlight conditions.
This scope is parallax-free at 100 yards, durable and lightweight, perfect for hunting or target practice. It also comes with a CR2032 3V lithium battery, turret caps, lens cloth, and flip-up scope caps. This scope is suitable for mid-range to short-range targeting with its 3-12x adjustable zoom. And it also features a fast-focus eye bell, multi-coated optics, and large objective lens that deliver clear and high-contrast downrange views.
In buying the best scope for 30-30 lever-action rifle, check out the prices as some of these scopes are more expensive than a red dot sight. It would be best if you weigh whether the scope’s price point and its capabilities in the shooting range matches. You also need to see if the brand reputation, reviews, and recommendations are reliable and trustworthy.
Looking for affordable scopes? Check out our Barska spotting scopes review here.
The .30-30 lever-action rifles are specifically designed for hunting at medium to close range, so you need to consider the rifle’s strength in the shooting range before purchasing a scope.
Consider your rifle’s cartridge size and firing power because some rifle scopes cannot withstand high recoils. Best 30-30 rifles should hit targets between 100 to 150 yards, or you can push its maximum accuracy for about 200-250 yards.
So, in choosing the best scope, examine the magnification range available on each scope. You need to get one that fully complements your rifle and its cartridges.
As mentioned above, the 30-30 is quite powerful in the shooting range, so you must choose a durable riflescope to withstand its power. You may look for rifle scopes that are aircraft grade aluminum forged for better durability.
Also, look for waterproof scopes, proof, and shockproof, so it would still work even if you accidentally got caught up in the rain or dropped your scope while hunting.
The 30-30 scope is powerful like most red dot sights, but 30-30 ammunition does not have powerful recoils like most ammunition do. So, you need to get a scope with at least 6 inches of eye relief. This should be good enough for the best 30-30 lever-action rifle scope, not only for a red dot sight.
For another scope that offers generous eye relief, take a look at this CVLife Scope review.
It would help if you also considered the scope’s parallax. Look for scopes that are parallax-free because it is better than scopes with fixed parallax—some scopes, like a red dot, feature knobs and turrets for setting your windage and elevation adjustments. Also, consider the side focus adjustment knobs of the scope, as it is also an essential feature for long-range shooting.
Also, consider the scope’s turrets, as it is essential to make adjustments relevant to a more precise target shooting. This is even more important when making large adjustments or when using low-quality scopes. 
Some optics have fixed turrets, while others have quick adjustment systems. We suggest that you opt for scopes with rapid adjustment systems because they make adjusting the optics easier. Also, these systems typically retain their zero even after your sight-in.
Mounting system rails are vital to be considered because a good mount will reduce recoil even further. It would also maintain stability as you fire several shots or as you track a moving target.
Look for a scope that is mountable to most mounting system rails. Scopes with side mounts may let you use any normal optic and force you to use long eye relief scopes. This may not be best for target shooting.
For easily mountable scopes, check out our EXPS3 holographic weapon sight review.
FFP vs SFP
The size of the first focal plane reticles changes depending on the scope’s magnification level, which is particularly advantageous when used with scopes that frequently swap between high or low magnification settings. FFP scopes will appear to get larger as you zoom in and smaller as you zoom out. However, this can make your reticle too small for comfort or challenging to get used to in certain things.
Whereas the second focal plane reticles typically don’t change size even after switching between your scope’s magnification levels. At some point, the highest magnification setting in a second focal plane reticle is the “suitable” magnification for the spaces between holdover points. Scopes with second focal plane reticles usually don’t switch between magnification levels because their range is relatively limited. It features consistency of reticles; therefore, it becomes easier to get used to.
It’s noteworthy to remember that 30-30 lever-action rifles benefit most from second focal plane reticles since they don’t usually utilize scopes that reach further magnification settings. The Vortex Crossfire II is an example that has an SFP, which features a forgiving eye box and a dead hold BDC reticle.
If you plan to go on target shooting, you need to find a lever-action rifle optic with a large objective diameter since it can absorb more light. The larger the objective diameter, the more light it can absorb, hence the bright sight picture you can get.
We recommend getting an optic with a 50mm objective diameter. Smaller ones like the 38mm, will still perform well. However, it would help if you considered that the larger the camera’s objective lens, the heavier it will become. Larger scopes typically cost more, too.
Larger and heavier scopes may also affect your rifle’s overall weight since it will mount on your rifle. It’s up to you to manage your scope’s weight, cost, and performance in the shooting range.
When looking for the best 30-30 scope, image clarity is essential. You need an optic that will provide you with a clear and crisp image for better target acquisition. You need to identify the scope’s magnification range, turret adjustment for windage, and elevation for a better sight picture. Some scopes feature a dead hold BDC reticle for better image clarity.
The most popular power range for a lever-action rifle is still the venerable and classic 3-9 power range because it offers the ability to take close-in shots on a 3X or 4X power. The 9X magnification power also stretches its range past 100 yards.
However, fixed power scope models in the fixed power 4X and fixed 6X power range are best for new and younger hunters who want a simple optic configuration that is easier to use.
Consider the movement required to work a lever-action 30-30. A lightweight optic can be significant for some shooters. Mounting a heavy 30-30 rifle scope to a lever-action rifle can remove the fluidity and speed away from your shooting experience.
This might not be a problem for you if you only plan to mount an optic on your lever action for hunting purposes where rapid firing is not typically required.
How Do You Mount a Scope on a 30-30?
First, secure your 30-30 in the rifle rest and ensure that it’s not going to move around on you as you work. Drop the front sight down against the rifle barrel and screw-in the off-set hammer spur. After doing so, remove the screws on top of the receiver. This is where you will install the base mount.
And then, screw it down into place using the existing screw holes. The optic mount will often come with all that you need to install it, including the screws and Allen wrenches. Make sure it is good and tight.
Lastly, double-check that your optic is in the proper position and does not touch the hammer or the front sight.
What Magnification Do You Need?
You need a magnification of 1x to 9x for your 30-30, primarily if you hunt in medium to big games such as deer, moose, and elk hunting. It would help if you considered your scope’s magnification because it plays a vital role in getting a more precise target acquisition.
If you typically hunt from ranges 100 to 150 yards, the 1x to 9x magnification is ideal and enough. You don’t need to magnify your sight view for more than the 9x magnification unless you want to push your optic to its maximum effective range.
Yes. Although 30-30 lever-action rifles have relatively light recoil, you can still mount a scope on it if you want to achieve greater power and improve its accuracy at a more effective range. It is easier and more enjoyable during target shooting or hunting and in overall usage of the rifle itself.
And the #1 Scope for 30-30 Rifle is...
After hours of testing, we think the best scope for 30-30 rifle is the Simmons 3-9x32mm Riflescope because it features HydroShield lens coating that protects the scope and better image clarity. We also find its Quick Target Acquisition (QTA) eyepiece with 3.75 inches of eye relief beneficial. It features a Truplex reticle with thick crosshairs that widens its field of view. Its SureGrip turret also makes finger adjustments easier.