The 4 Best Varmint Scopes Reviewed [2017]

best varmint scope

With the explosion of predator species and varmint small game critters in the West, and even in the East with coyotes, hunting varmints is one of the fastest-growing parts of the hunting culture. More hunters than ever are trekking onto BLM land, public forests, and private ranches armed with flat shooting cartridges and high-powered scopes, looking to call in predators or set up on a prairie dog town.

If you are going to be hunting predators this coming season, the best thing you can do is get your hands on the best varmint scope for your particular hunting situation and style. Here’s how to choose the right long range varmint scope, the best scope from Bushnell or the best scope from Vortex, whichever you need. Along with things to look for and things to shy away from.

Things to Look for 

Decide how far you’re going to be shooting, and what size targets you are going to be shooting at. It takes more magnification to shoot a woodchuck then a coyote at the same distance.

Make sure you know what your target is going to be and what sort of rifle you are going to be shooting at. Some slim and trim rifles that are multipurpose for both medium-size and small game won’t do well with a huge objective bell and target turrets set up, but specialized varmint hunting guns will most likely require these features. Think ahead and make sure you get the right scope with good features for what you intend to be doing.

Varmint Scope Reviews

These are in our opinion the 4 best scopes for hunting varmint. Read on to see why.

Crossfire II 4 - 12x50mm AO Riflescope

best varmint scope for 22-250

The Best Varmint Scope for .22-250

Vortex optics doesn’t need any introduction. They make extremely innovative and high-quality rifle scopes at value-driven prices. This is an excellent option and one of the best long-range centerfire rifle scopes for varmint hunting because it combines exceptionally high build quality, with an excellent warranty and a price that can’t be beaten.

This is a four – 12 X magnification rifle scope. It's great for hunting small or medium-sized varmint game at distance with rifles like a .22 – 250 or any other cartridge that you plan to stretch out with.

The 50 mm objective Bell is massive and creates an effective means of gathering light all the way out to the very edge of legal shooting light, or even at night with a full moon. The lack of illumination on the scope is a non-issue for people who have even the smallest amount of ambient light. Hunting coyotes at night is a definite possibility in an open area with a bright moon and the scope.

If there’s a downside to this scope, it’s the weight. This is a heavy and bulky rifle scope that should be reserved for varmint setups that you plan to shoot more than you will carry. However, if you can put up with the weight and bulk of this rifle scope you will never be disappointed with its performance or warranty.

Nikon 8496 P-223 3x32 Matte BDC Carbine

best varmint scope for 223

The Best Varmint Scope for .223

The AR 15 is more common now for hunting than ever before. Especially .223 for hunting coyotes and other varmints you can’t beat the fast follow-up shots and ease-of-use in the field that an AR 15 affords. The great thing about the popularity of this rifle is the fact that you can get specialized optics specifically for the gun.

This is an excellent optic from Nikon that combines their high-end technologies that go into industrial and medical grade optics, into a scope that is purpose made for the AR 15 and allows you to take a simple optic and stretch the magnification and features out to the very edge of the-the .223’s ballistic range.

The fully multicoated lenses, BDC reticle and 32 mm objective Bell all work together to provide an exceptionally crisp and clear sight picture that you can use to nail targets out to 500 yards with relative ease. With the right ammunition, this is a varmint hunting machine, especially with the fast follow-up shots and AR 15 affords. If you want a purpose made a scope for your varmint carbine this scope from Nikon is hard to beat.

Nikon Buck Master II Scope with BDC Reticle, 4-12 x 40mm

best varmint scope for 243

The Best Varmint Scope for .243

Nikon makes some of the best value-driven rifle scopes on the market. No other company makes as many optics for industrial or medical uses. In all the technology that goes into that equipment comes through an excellent optical quality in each and every one of their scopes. 

This is an excellent example of one of their value-driven scopes that, while not completely driven for varmint hunting, works excellent as an all round scope that can be pressed into service.

Much like the .243 cartridge, this scope can be pressed into service for varmint hunting as well as other types of hunting, because of the large 40mm objective bell an excellent optical quality. There are no aberrations in the glass and it is crystal clear always throughout the magnification range from 4x power all the way out to 12x power.

Hawke Sports Optics Vantage 4-12x40 AO 17HMR

varmint scopes for 17 hmr

The Best Varmint Scope for .17HMR

If you’re going to be hunting varmints with a rimfire small-bore rifle, typically you’re going to want a good balance between features magnification weight in bulk. The lightweight and fast nature most rimfire rifles make a huge decked out scope very difficult to manage in the field.

Hawke sports optics has done a great job with putting together a high magnification scope that has every feature you could want, and no feature you don’t need for hunting varmints with a .17 HMR.

This scope features a 4-12x40mm magnification objective bell set up. This may seem large for a .17 HMR right? But consider the fact that you are often hunting small game at extended ranges with this type of rifle and you can clearly see why high magnification is not only necessary but preferred.

Everything about this scope drives an excellent bargain. The lenses are fully multicoated and perform well in low light at the edges of shooting light and the build quality of the scope reflects the price very well. You won’t be disappointed if you get this scope mounted up to your rimfire rifle.


The simple fact is: there's a best varmint scope for every rifle and cartridge combination out there. These are some of the best varmint scopes on the market for various cartridges and purposes, but be on the lookout for the one that you like the most and get it mounted up to your rifle and get into the field. The best scope in the world doesn’t do you any good if it’s in your gun safe.

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