Questions and Answers with The Wolf Pack : Suggested Optics for a .338 win mag Remington Rifle?

Question from Lorenzo,

Hi my name is Lorenzo I was looking for tips and suggestions on buying a scope for my new .338 win mag Remington rifle. I would like to know what’s your opinion on putting a Leopold Mark AR Mod 1 6-18×40 mm on it. I’m planning to use it for my bear and wild boars hunting also will be shooting at 250 -300 yards. Please let me know your opinion when you get a chance.

Thank you.


  1. If you’re going to consider less than 500 yards as a fairly maximum range, you won’t need anything going to 18x.
    Though I’m not familiar with Leopold other than reputation, I’d say you could do worse and maybe not much better, though you’ll be paying a premium price for more scope than you need. (Of course, I think using a .338 mag for boar or bear is a bit of overkill as well. But to each their own.)
    You might look at a lower power scope- such as a 1.5 to 6 x 40 for boar and bear hunting. I’d think a lower power for boar since you’d want to see them rapidly and the higher power will lose them in the brush. Of course, you’re already looking at a 1.6 on the low end, so you’ve got that covered. But 18x high end? You want to count the cavities in their tusks before shooting? 😉
    Not being a name dropper, I think that the Leopold is a bit ‘hoity-toity’ for a ‘commoner’s’ weapon. We’re more like Nikon, Redfield, Swarovski type peoples. Again, to each their own.

    • Be carefull with Redfield as they do not handle recoil very nicely from magnums.

    • I’m on board with Nilkon. Although some say their quality is gone I don’t agree.
      “But 18x high end? You want to count the cavities in their tusks before shooting? ;)” had me laughing too loud.

  2. I had a Browning A-bolt Stainless Stalker (with the BOSS system) in 338 win mag. Actually I had two, one in 338, one in 7mm mag. They were both equipped with a Leupold VX-2 in 3-9. Both were sub moa guns, and the optics were more than sufficient for anything inside of 400 meters.

    My maximum range limit for shooting at any big game I am hunting is 250 yards or so. I’ve never taken a shot at big game past 150 yards yet. 6x will be far too much magnification for close up shots, which will be more likely with bear and boar.

    • I have used many scopes with 6X such as 6-18 X 50 magnification at close range if you have a scope with a good Objective lens like a Leopold then that should not be an issue.

  3. Question #1: Will you be in brush? If so, you’ll find that 6x is way too much for 50 yard brush shots. And both of those critters can move. You might think you are going to get your shots at 250 but if they come at you, you will be lucky to get a second with that power.

    Question #2: Will you be shooting from a supported position. Personally I can’t hold a rifle with anything over 12x still without using a bench. At 200 yards my target moves all over like I’m drunk.

    I have found that quality pays, period. But that does not mean you have to buy the biggest there is. Most people don’t spend enough on a scope. Some buy way too much scope. Most of the guys up here with money but no experience buy 6-18 (or larger) scopes with a 50mm objective. In my opinion that is way too much scope mass. (Plus most of them couldn’t hit a Buick at 300 yards but think they need a gun that will shoot 900 for that running elk shot.) My personal general use preference is a 30mm tube, side focus, in 3-12/14x. I can spot with the high power, turn it down to 6x for shooting and seeing. Then if the ranges get closer, I go to 3x.

    I like Leopold VarX 3’s (and their variations). There are a couple of others, but anymore the side focus and 30mm tube are what I really look for.

    You results may very.

    • This advice is assuming that you have already bought the rifle. If not I agree with JSW that you have too much gun. Bullet is okay by I’d go with a standard 338 or the new Ruger round. It won’t beat you up as much.

      A 308 with a 200 grain round nose bullet would be plenty for either critter.

      • Oh, sorry, JP, I didn’t mean he has too much gun, just more than I thought is necessary for a pig or bear. Nothing wrong with having a lot of muscle when you need to get the job done, just that sometimes we tend to use more force than needed.
        As for the .308, I’d not be afraid to take mine after any animal in North America with a 180-200 grain bullet.

        • JSW:

          I was not meaning to be insulting. I have just seen too many people buy a 338/378 Mag when they don’t really need it, then find that the recoil is substantial and the ammo expensive. So they don’t practice with it. I see way too much game that is shot by people who don’t practice. Usually find it in the Spring. Big guns with big bullets going real fast do no good if you can’t hit what you’re aiming at.

  4. I agree with jsw. 338 is a mite large for boar. A 338 for bear would be about right if you are hunting Kodiak bear.I kinda over do on scopes since my eyes kinda suck . I would not recomend the ar scope if it made for the ar 15. The recoil on a 338 is a tad more then a poodle shooter.

  5. I favor the 30-06 because you can go from 140gr bullets for deer up to 200 grs. for Elk or Moose. Of course everyone has one, so shells are available. For scopes I like the high end Nikons and Leupolds. If you’re on a budget, Burris makes a pretty good product for the money. 3-9 works for me, so does 2-7 on my Marlin 30-30.

  6. Nice rifle. For adapting it to bear or boar, or other game, you can choose different bullet weight and type. I would recomend a simple scope, as you do not plan on very long range shooting, though this would be ok up to at least 800 yard. Like SWFA SS6X42.
    You get great light, large field of vieuw, tough and reliable. I know this will make lots of hunters/shooters jump sky high. Keep it simple, and it’s not expensive either. I use this scope on a .308 CZ, did all I ever expected, even some pretty long range near 950 yards, and as close as 50.

  7. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    I’m also with the ‘keeping it real’ crowd above, low power for animals that size make more sense. More power does not make the scope better and for animals 200 #s and up, their bodies are large enough to see with mid range power. Leupold, or IOR Valdada if the budget allows.

    My .338 has a Leupold VX III 2.5-8x – plenty of power. Good luck with your choice.

  8. charlie (NC) says:

    go to this website. expand and read the paragraph at the top and it will help you answer your questions.

    Leupold is the best bang for the buck in rifle scopes as far as I know. There are some that are better but a lot more expensive, there are some that are more expensive that aren’t as good and there is the rest of the junk.

  9. 1MoreBoyScout says:

    Excellent rifle! My Dad used to bear hunt in Alaska with the very same kind of rifle. I shot it a couple of times when I was about 14 or 15. It packs a wallop!! He was using with iron sights at the time. The Leupold is a mighty nice scope. A lot to be said for good ol’ Iron sights though..

  10. Chuck Findlay says:

    I would say a fixed 4-power as you will be able to estimate range better if you don’t keep changing power levels.

    if you feel you must have a variable power scope, a 2 to 7 would be good.

    I agree with others, you bought too much gun for north america. You are going to burn more powder then needed, it’s going to kick more then needed and cost more to shoot then needed. A 7-mm or 3006 would have been a better choice. Or if you are only going to be shooting a few hundred yards a Marlin 45-70 lever gun would have been a good choice.

  11. I can’t speak to bear (have never killed one) but I have killed about
    40+ boar. Weight range 175-450 in size. I have used 7mm, 30-06
    308, 45-70, 44mag (Marlin carbine) and .357 Marlin carbine. My area is brush & scrub oak with ranges seldom more than 100 yds.
    If you are talking black bear I would think they would be between
    150-300 lbs. and about the same range as boar I have hunted. My favorite gun for boar is my ,44 Mag. Marlin loaded with a 300 gr JHP with an old Leopold 1.5 X 4. scope. Works great for me and I have never lost an animal and have had very little tracking to do.

    • charlie (NC) says:

      Gary, Black bear in my area easily run in the 400 to 500 lb range and I know of a couple that have been killed that were well over 600. I heard someone say the other day that 700 lb black bear had been killed about 20 miles from here. No insult intended but if you kill a 150 lb black bear you are killing a baby. They stay with their mom for 2 years and are well over 150 when they are weaned.

  12. I have a 338 Win Mag with a 3X9 Redfield on it. It has worked good for me.

  13. Patriot Farmer says:

    I love the .338 win mag and I love Leupold optics. If you can handle the recoil the 338 is a good rifle to have. I have even used one for deer hunting. I have a Leupold scope mounted on my 300 win mag and I couldn’t be happier. The view is very clear, durable and it holds it’s zero. I may not go with the high magnification that you talk about but you can’t go wrong with the scope.

  14. Steve Townsend says:

    Do you mean a Leupold scope? If you do, my opinion is that you will not find a better scope for any rifle, including magnums.

    This includes other brands of scopes that cost much more.

  15. Ohio Surveyor says:

    As a Land Surveyor who look threw scopes all day long…..I love Zeiss….second choice being “Topcon” does not make a rifle scope…. I suggest Nikon.


    I recommend Hawke Optics. I use one on a .257 Weatherby which has a bit of oomph to it so I know they take magnums. Never had an issue but it has a lifetime warranty. Some models are pricey but all made in the US.

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