Abstract Angular distributions of the elastic scattering of 130 MeV 3He on 24Mg, 90Zr, 120Sn and 208Pb have been measured between 7° and 70° (1ab). An optical model analysis of the experimental data has been performed. Both volume and surface absorptions were found to give equivalent fits. Inclusion of a spin-orbit term was unnecessary. In the 60–200 MeV range of the real well depth investigated, there exist two potential families characterized by the volume integrals. J R ≈ 330 and ≈ 450 MeV · fm 3. No unusual features, such as exceptionally large diffuseness, were observed in the geometrical parameters.