Are you looking for the best scope geared towards varmint hunting? If so, don’t settle for just any scope that isn’t tailored for your uses. Use our guide to determine what to look for and read our reviews to get your hands on the absolute best varmint scope for your needs!
Comparison of the Best Varmint Scopes
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Aspects to Consider When Buying a Varmint Scope
Just because a scope makes a great varmint scope doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of differences between them. In particular, you’ll want to consider the following aspects of the scope as it relates to you:
There’s a huge difference between hunting squirrels and coyotes, and hogs are a whole other breed yet. What about foxes? Each animal moves at different speeds, produces different target acquisition problems, requires different precision levels, and most importantly of all, comes out at different times of the day.
Do You Need Night Vision?
If you’re hunting coyotes, other nocturnal, or dawn-and-dusk fauna, you’ll need something capable of seeing in the darkness. For low-light conditions, you can get away with a regular scope so long as it has a wide objective diameter, but if you’re planning on hunting at night, you’ll need night vision or thermal imaging.
Are you hunting in the Alaskan mountains or the flat plains of the Midwest? How about in dense vegetation? Each environment is different, requiring not only that the scope is rugged enough for the conditions, but also is capable of cutting through fog, snow, rain, haze, or whatever else you’re stuck in.
This could be related to the environment, but how far away you shoot is extremely important. Those in flat plains or who simply love a challenge will want high-powered scopes, but if you’re shooting at sub-100 yards, this is more likely a liability.
Review of the Best Varmint Scopes
Now that you know a bit more about what to look for in your varmint scope, let’s take a look at the best scopes on the market as of right now. Bear in mind that while each is well-suited for use as a varmint scope, that doesn’t mean your own preferences don’t matter! We’ve categorized each according to how we see it, but be sure to get one that you’ll enjoy.
Barska 6.5-20x50 Ao Varmint Target Dot Riflescope
We don’t know you or your unique needs, but if we had to hand you a single varmint scope, it would be this. That’s because it’s exceptionally affordable and should get the job done for just about any varmint hunting in any conditions. If you want a quick answer or a riflescope that’s supremely flexible and easy on the wallet, here you go.
The Barska Varmint riflescope offers 6.5x-20x magnification power, which is a significant enough power to handle very long distances but should be low enough at 6.5 that you’ll do fine with all but the closest ranges. Additionally, a 50mm objective lens allows for superb light capture in combination with fully multicoated lenses that produce a brilliant picture.
It allows for very fine adjustments, with 1/8 MOA turns to both elevation and windage via capped turrets with an audible click. Often, you’re limited to ¼ MOA, so this is twice as precise as the average.
No matter where you’re taking it, it will hold up, as it is fully waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof. Additionally, the aircraft aluminum construction has been treated with a black nitride finish to resist corrosion and keep reflections away.
Plus, we love the reticle. It’s a very simple target dot, but it’s ultra-precise and easy enough for anyone to use.
Are there downsides? Sure, it doesn’t have thermal imaging or other advanced features, and it doesn’t cater to any niche needs you may have, but it’s a scope that should perform admirably when up against just about any task, short of dead-of-night shooting. With an exceptionally low price tag, it’s truly a scope that virtually anyone could use to achieve masterful results.
For most hunters, the Barska Varmint Riflescope should perform very well and does so at a price point that makes it accessible to anyone. Before you choose a varmint scope, we suggest making this your baseline for expectations.
Best Varmint Scope for .223:
Barska 10-40x50 Ao Varmint Mil-dot Riflescope
Building on many of the great features—including a low price tag that made our first entrant so great, our top choice for the 223 is another offering from Barska.
Here, you’ll get a magnification range of 10x-40x, which is both high-powered and versatile, although it is not well-suited for sub-100 yard shooting. You get the same generous 50mm objective lens and multicoat treatment, which means your image will stay brightly lit in the dimmest of conditions.
You also get the super-precise windage and elevation adjustments, with 1/8 MOA clicks via capped turrets. However, you have a mil-dot reticle, allowing for more precise long-range shooting and the need to account for bullet drop and other ballistic calculations.
Additionally, you’ll enjoy the same durable construction from aircraft grade aluminum with a black nitride finish. It is proofed against water, fog, and shock, and it resists corrosion and reflections.
Let’s revisit the price. You will be very hard-pressed to find a great scope that’s anywhere near what this one is being offered for with such a vast magnification power range. If you find a comparable scope that’s anywhere near this in price, it’s liable to be made from cheap parts and have poor optics and durability. If you’re on a tight budget, this is simply the scope for you—don’t trust anything short of a reputable brand and let this be your baseline standard when it comes to value.
We’re genuinely surprised at how high-quality a scope Barska can offer at this price point. You get great optics, sturdy construction, full weatherproofing, and most importantly, powerful magnification all at an unbelievable value.
Best Varmint Rifle Scope:
Burris - Veracity Riflescopes
Okay, so we’ve established what should be the baseline for value when it comes to varmint scopes. Let’s get down to an ideal scope for the average shooter—one that’s not cheap or super-expensive but provides a great balance of value and features.
That would be the Burris Veracity Riflescopes. First off, this line of riflescopes come in a lot of models, nine overall, to get just the magnification power, objective lens, reticle type, and general build that makes sense for what you’re hunting. That said, we recommend the most popular, flagship model, which is 4-20x50mm. Most details are transferable to other models.
You get an excellent 4x-20x magnification range, which is suitable for just about all long-range hunting. The 50mm objective lens allows for beautiful light collection, producing a brilliant picture in any conditions which are further enhanced by the very premium multicoat Burris applies to the lenses. The tube itself is 30mm in diameter, which not only assists with light transmission but also ensures a tighter hold between the scope rings and scope for great stability.
For a reticle, you get the Burris Varmint Reticle, which is a standard crosshair with subtended holds to calculate bullet drop. As a first-focal-plane scope, you’ll be able to use these marks at any magnification level. Often, first-focal-plane scopes are much more expensive—in fact, this scope is about half what the average FFPS typically costs!
Additionally, you get ¼ MOA adjustments via capped turrets with a positive click, and you have a physical zero-stop to return to zero.
Made from aircraft aluminum with a black nitride finish, it is proofed against water, fog, and shock, and further resists corrosion and reflections. This is backed by a Burris Forever Warranty. What’s the difference between “lifetime” and “forever?” Burris ensures that as long as the scope is in existence it’s covered, even if the scope is acquired second-hand or inherited. Now that’s commitment!
When it comes to accessible, reasonably-priced quality, it’s hard to beat what Burris offers. Sturdy, reliable, and fully weatherproofed, these quality scopes are even protected by a warranty that will outlive you.
Best Tasco Varmint Scope:
Tasco Target/Varmit 6-24x42mmx 40mm
With a great price tag and a versatile operation, the Tasco Varmint rifle scope offers 6x-24x magnification to take down anything from coyotes to prairies dogs, no matter how near or far. With lenses that have been multi-coated and given a supercon multi-layer, you’ll have vivid colors and optimum brightness in any light conditions.
Additionally, it is designed for improved maneuverability without sacrificing your field of view too much, with a balanced 42mm objective width and one-inch diameter tube. This enables you to more easily follow active prey rather than feeling over-encumbered.
It offers a field-of-view of 13-3.7ft at 100 yards. Parallax can be set from 15 feet to infinity. There is also a highly comfortable and quick three inches of eye relief so you can rapidly perform ranging and acquire targets without wasting time. All of this is complemented by a slim design and a light weight of only 19 ounces, keeping you swift and stealthy.
The reticle type is a mil-dot and you also get fully adjustable windage and elevation with ¼ MOA precision courtesy of glove-grip turrets with audible clicks.
Further, the scope is crafted from high-grade aluminum with a black nitride finish. It is fully waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof and resists corrosion and reflections. This is backed by a Tasco lifetime warranty. For the price, this is an excellent package.
Tasco makes great value scopes, and if you’re hunting varmints, this is your most practical bet. With a great price, great versatility, and a build that enables you to keep moving swiftly, it will appeal to many hunters.
Best Nikon Varmint Scope:
Nikon Prostaff Rimfire Ii 3-9x40 Bdc150
We’ve yet to find a Nikon scope that we don’t love, as they always strike a great balance between a value scope and a premium scope, giving you the best features available at the lowest possible price.
As makers of great lenses for a wide variety of applications, they always have excellent optics, and this scope is no different. You get a premium quality glass with advanced multi-coat allowing for premium clarity and light transmission. Additionally, a proprietary Nikon multi-coat is applied to all their lenses, which helps to resist oils, water droplets, and debris, as well as protect against abrasions.
The scope has a magnification range of 3x-9x, which is somewhat more limited than others on our list, but it excels in this range. You’ll enjoy parallax-free operation at 50 yards and a super-precise BDC 150 reticle that is specially designed for use with high-velocity .22 long-rifle rimfire rounds. Additionally, windage and elevation are adjustable with buttery smooth turrets to ¼ MOA precision with audible clicks.
As for durability, Nikon never disappoints. You get full waterproofing, shock-proofing, fog-proofing, corrosion resistance, and a virtually reflection-free black nitride finish, all built on aircraft-grade aluminum in a single piece design with no stress points.
If you want a scope that performs like one that costs twice as much and comes from a trusted brand, Nikon is always an excellent option. Additionally, they back all their products with a lifetime guarantee, although some customers have reported that the redemption process can be a bit difficult at times.
We always love Nikon’s scopes for bringing a premium feel at a significantly lower price and their Prostaff Rimfire II is no exception. Specially designed for high-velocity rounds, it offers Nikon-grade optics and superb durability.
Best Varmint Scope For 22 250:
Nikon P-223 Bdc 600 Riflescope With Rapid Action Turret
A more premium option from Nikon is the P-223. Equipped with a 4x-12x magnification range and a 40mm objective lens, it is able to slim down the tube in a way that few manufacturers can do without sacrificing brightness.
Thankfully, the multi-coated lenses are given the Nikon treatment, which means the premium glass and proprietary chemical infusion capture the highest possible amount of light for an always-bright picture.
Additionally, every scope in the P-Series is optimized for Spot On Ballistic Match Technology which enables exact precision regardless of your load or caliber. As this model is specifically built for use with the .223 Rem/5.56 mm NATO round, you can trust that, when combined with its BDC 600 reticle, you’ll enjoy unparalleled accuracy with hash marks from 100 to 600 yards.
You also get a quick-focus eyepiece and ¼ MOA adjustments with rapid action turrets that are super-smooth but also almost feel magnetized into their position. Since it is specifically designed for this caliber, you will experience constant zero holds. You also have spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets.
As always, you get an excellent build. Made from aircraft-quality aluminum with full waterproofing, fog-proofing, and shock-proofing, it is nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed, as well as given a black nitride finish to resist corrosion and reflection. Add on Nikon’s lifetime warranty, and you’ve got a solid bet.
For the .225 Rem/5.56 NATO rounds, this offering from Nikon will offer unbeatable performance and the best precision you can expect from any range, all backed by a great build and warranty.
Are All Varmint Scopes the Same?
It’s important to understand that varmint scopes can vary quite a lot. Before buying, you should make sure to get one that works for you. Some common variations include:
Some varmint scopes are better-suited for low-light environments. They achieve this either through a superior lens coating, a wider tube, or most commonly, a high objective width lens.
Special Caliber Builds
Some scopes are specially designed to accommodate certain builds and calibers. This is important, as some ammo types will produce more potential shock, or be of such a velocity that the reticle must accurately match in order to accommodate bullet drop.
While scopes that offer high-powered magnification tend to be heavier and have wider lenses, some are designed to be lighter and more maneuverable. If you’re hunting prey that will require you to be stealthy and maneuverable, this might be a compromise worth considering.
Whether you’re hunting hogs, gophers, or squirrels, get the varmint rifle that makes sense for you. Read our guide to understand what features to look for and use our reviews to find the perfect match for your needs, no matter when or where you shoot!