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{TOP 10} Best Varmint Scope Reviews (2023 Updated)

Are you having trouble getting an accurate shot at small creatures or pests? A varmint scope can help you hit your target without stress. Follow through with this guide as we do a review on the top 10 best varmint rifle scopes that you may select from based on your specific needs. 

Best Varmint Scope Reviews

As a farmer, you automatically become a varmint hunter because you need to protect yourself, your family, and your crops by using the best varmint scope you can find in conjunction with your rifle. In the search for tiny creatures/pests, the best varmint scopes may make all the difference.

Varmint hunting is one of the toughest hunting experiences you can have as a hunter. This is because the majority of varmints are predators; as a result, they are extremely clever, cautious, secretive, and cunning. 

In simple terms, they are tough adversaries who provide an incredibly difficult set of hunting circumstances. Choosing the correct equipment for the task is a significant first step in guaranteeing a successful varmint hunt, and your rifle scope is the most important piece of equipment. 

Varmint hunting is essential to any farmer that produces a diverse range of livestock that is vulnerable to predators. Missing a single shot at a varmint might mean losing a couple of livestock in days and weeks ahead because that single varmint would keep returning until you take it down.

Here is our top 10 varmint scope :

Factors To Consider Before You Get A Scope For Varmint Hunting

Rifle and Cartridge

Despite the fact that we have numerous good varmint rifles and calibers, my weapon of choice for this shooting application is a big barreled bolt gun chambered in 5.56×45 NATO. This chambering appeals to me since it creates ballistic properties ideal for a wide spectrum of varmints, whether you want to take down some raccoons or go coyote hunting. 

Firearms chambered in 5.56×45 NATO can use .223 Remington ammunition, but the reverse is not possible. This caliber is so common in most NATO nations, and reasonably priced ammunition is widely accessible. The recoil impact from this cartridge and some other “Varmint Calibers” is insignificant. As a result, when selecting a varmint rifle scope, eye relief is more about shooting comfort instead of safety.

Magnification

As a varmint hunter, the magnification range you use when tracking these small creatures is dependent on the landscape of the area or farm you want to protect.  If your land is moderately forested in most parts, the ranges you will be able to deal with would be lower and within 100 yards range or fewer. In these conditions, you don’t need a high-powered scope. 

However, if your land area is a flat field, then you should be able to take some shots beyond the 100 yards range.  In any case, varmint hunting is all about versatility; hence the best magnification for a varmint scope is a variable scope that has a 3-12X magnification range. A riflescope in this shooting range is ideal for coyote hunting in a woodland environment or taking down prairie dogs in the plains regions. 

Objective lens and Light Transmission

What is the light transmission efficiency of a good coyote hunting scope? What is the index of refraction? These are the things you should be asking yourself when looking for the best varmint rifle scopes. One of the components that have the ability to affect light transmission and have a considerable impact on image clarity is the objective lens of the scope.

You’ve probably heard it before, but we’ll say it again: at the core of any scope is always a lens. And if this lens is compromised or scratched in any manner, the entire scope is rendered ineffective. It will not be able to pass light neatly through the tube, which is necessary if you want a clean image.

Varmints are frequently pursued in a low light condition, from sunset until late at night. It is critical to choose a good scope when hunting coyote or any other varmint. The best varmint scopes should have an exit pupil diameter that can work well in any low light condition. 

Exit pupil size is computed by dividing the objective lens size by the magnification. This indicates the size of the light beam sent to the ocular lens. In low light, the human eye pupil dilates to a diameter of around 5mm. 

The exit pupil of the scope should be larger than 5mm in diameter to make the greatest use of low amounts of ambient light. You will need an objective lens size between 42mm-50mm. An objective lens diameter of 50mm is, in my opinion, the greatest option. 

Fully multi-coated lenses are also essential in varmint scopes for low-light shooting. The quantity of light that is reflected from the lens is reduced by the lens coatings. The light that is not reflected by a lens is transferred to your eye via the scope and makes the image brighter. Hunting coyote in low light means you need a good lens coating that can increase your scope’s light-collecting capabilities and quality of image in low-light settings.

Reticle

Varmint hunting with your eyes on the reticle may be an extremely dynamic shooting situation. Because your target is frequently moving and sometimes fast, having the largest field of view possible is critical. As a result, you will need a decent reticle to have an accurate takedown. 

A Mil-Dot reticle may help you estimate range and holdover when you engage in long range shooting. It can also alert you about your lead on a moving target. A first focal plane scope might be a good idea for long range shooting. After you’ve sighted your target, you may need to adjust the magnification. 

An FFP reticle retains the target’s size relative to the reticle, which means that holdover, range, and lead estimations stay constant when changing magnification, but a second focal plane reticle does not. An illuminated reticle is not compulsory, but it is definitely suited for this type of shooting.

Parallax 

Parallax should not be a problem at the magnifications and ranges used for varmint hunting. An adjustable objective scope, or one that has a side focus knob to correct for parallax, is preferable.

Durability

A scope’s durability is directly proportional to its construction quality. It is no secret that the scopes currently available have varying construction quality. You can always determine which scope would be long-lasting by just looking at the materials used in its construction.

If the box description reads “aircraft-grade aluminum,” you’ve got a good scope. Riflescopes made from this material are not only durable, but they are also lightweight.

Eye Relief

Have you heard of the term “scope bite”? If you ignore this term and fail to prepare for it when choosing a scope then you might learn the hard way. When we talk about eye relief, we mean the distance between the gadget and your eyes. If your eye is far from the scope, a good eye relief should make it possible to see the full view uninterrupted.

Weight

Other elements, such as the objective lens size and the tube diameter, will have an impact on the weight. Also the scope material can also affect its weight. A scope made of aircraft-grade aluminum would be lighter in weight than other materials.

Your scope will be heavier if it has a larger objective lens diameter. The same is true for the tube diameter. If you are one of those shooters that constantly track or run up and down a hill while chasing a target, you might want a lighter scope. However, if you’re going to use sandbags as cushions, then any weight will suffice.

Tube diameter

The tube diameter of your rifle scope is just as significant as any other component since it adds to longevity and rigidity. It will also determine your field of view through the scope. Tube diameter is usually available in three major sizes: 34mm, 30mm, and 1 inch. If you’re searching for a wider FOV, a 34mm main tube is the one to choose.

Focal plane

As a varmint hunter, you might have your preference when it comes to choosing between a first focal plane and second focal plane reticle. We evaluated the best rifle scopes with both reticle options, so be sure you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each before making a purchase.

As you enlarge or increase the magnification of your scope, an FFP reticle seems to change its reticle size.

SFP reticles do not change size as you zoom, making them ideal for beginning varmint hunters. When following a moving target, you have to measure the distance every time you adjust, which might be annoying.

Adjustments

A good rifle sight should allow you to adjust for wind drop and elevation before firing. Many of our best scopes take windage into consideration. You can change windage and elevation manually using the turrets on your scope. The best scope for varmint hunting should be easy to adjust on the go with a finger.

Price and Warranty

When it comes to money, buying a cheap scope is not a good idea. Cheap scopes usually disappoint and wind up costing you more in the future. A decent rule of thumb is to buy the most expensive model your budget allows.

Many of the riflescopes we reviewed are reasonably priced. Whether you choose the low-cost ones or the high-end ones like the ATN X-Sight, ensure your new scope comes with a guarantee.

Before you lament about moisture damage or a cracked lens, ask whether it can be changed for free. If the sight fails to operate as claimed, reputable scope manufacturers will replace it.

Best Varmint Scope Detail Reviews

1. Nightforce SHV 5-20×56 

Nightforce SHV 5-20×56

The first best varmint scope we would look at in this review is the Nightforce SHV scope. This scope was created when shooters requested an optic that is top-of-the-line while remaining inexpensive.

Nightforce is widely regarded as a great high-end precision optic. Their riflescopes are so durable that one was shot during combat and still worked. That’s the degree of quality you won’t find on any budget scope.

The Nightforce SHV has all the qualities and features you need in a varmint scope, and it is offered at a very affordable price. Continue reading to find out why you should have this on your list.

The glass of this scope is flawless. Even at 20x magnification, the clarity is astounding. The field of view is enormous, and the edge-to-edge visuals offer tremendous color contrast. You can use this scope for long range shooting up to 1,000 yards, and the images would appear as if they were in front of you.

Because the glass is totally multi-coated, it offers shooters a higher light transmission. You can see anything you aim at, whether it’s broad daylight shooting, dusk, dawn, or anytime in between. The Nightforce scope has an engraved SFP MOA reticle that may be illuminated.

You should get the illuminated one because, without it, you cannot see targets at 20x power during low-light hours. 

Some people dislike the additional hash marks on the reticle; if you’re one of them, you may replace it with an IHR reticle. Illuminated reticles remove distortion caused by low light circumstances, making your life simpler.

This Nightforce scope has an eye relief that ranges from 3.15 inches to 3.54 inches. That’s very normal, and it works great on any rifle. The scope also has a large eye box and incredibly adjustable turrets.

This scope is a monster. It’s a large scope and weighs 29.1oz, so keep that in mind if you would be carrying it about. It is, nonetheless, incredibly durable. It is composed of a single piece 30mm aircraft-grade aluminum tube that is strengthened with hardened bronze.

The scope’s walls are also three times thicker than those of its competitors. This reduces stress and increases thermal stability. Furthermore, it is water proof, fog-resistant, and shockproof. Whatever you can imagine throwing at this scope, it will survive.

There was no scratch, crack, or damage, even when the scope fell from the bag when the sling hand cut, and it still maintained zero afterward when I shot with it. The durability is a good compensation for the weight.

The adjustment knobs on the scope are capped and contain metal dials that may be adjusted with your fingertip. They move effortlessly, click loudly, and stay in place when they should. It also has a zero-set capability, which allows for a rapid return to zero.

Regardless of the amount of elevation or windage adjustments you have made, it will quickly return to zero. You should be able to zero in this scope with less than 4 shots, and you will never have a problem with the zero.

It has a 5x to 20x magnification range, and the objective lens diameter is a massive 56mm. This makes the scope ideal for any type of hunting you wish to perform. You can use it for hunting varmints on your property or for target shooting practice.

The clarity is just as good at the highest magnification (20x) when compared to the lowest (5x) magnification, and you’ll never experience tunneling issues as is found in other riflescopes. This scope has a parallax adjustment knob for manually correcting parallax. It runs from 25 yards to infinity and is well-marked with distances.

It does not come with scope rings or a scope mount; therefore, you must purchase them separately.

2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44

The next best scope for varmint hunting is the Vortex Crossfire II scope. This scope mounts nicely on a HMR rifle. I don’t often use HMR rifles, but they are ideal for removing varmints from a farm.

If you want to conduct some close-range or mid-range hunting, this Vortex Crossfire II is the way to go. Continue reading to learn why this Vortex Optics is the ideal scope for you.

This Vortex scope has anti-reflective and completely multi-coated lenses, providing excellent light transmission and image clarity. As a result, this scope is ideal for low-light situations and taking down varmints shortly before dawn.

It might not be the clearest lens in the market, but anything comparable to this scope in terms of lens clarity will cost you twice as much. Despite the very low price, the scope still excels. I have shot a coyote from 300 yards with this scope, and it seemed like it was just 50 yards.

The tunneling effect can be a problem after you go over 700 yards or more. Although you can correct it, it will still be somewhat visible.

The scope comes with a Dead-Hold BDC and illuminated reticle, which you can get used to in a short time. It is ideal for experienced shooters since it takes the guesswork out of windage and holdover adjustments. If you are new to the shooting world, you might want to start with a simpler reticle.

This Vortex scope has an eye relief that ranges from 3.7 inches to 4.4 inches. This eye relief is very comfortable and it can be used with so many rifles. With the fast-focus eyepiece and the large eye box, You won’t have trouble aiming at your targets with the scope’s quick-focus eyepiece and large eye box.

This Crossfire scope is constructed from a single piece aircraft-grade aluminum.

I accidentally dropped it one day and feared it was going to be ruined. Not only was it fully intact and functional when I found it, but it also properly retained its zero.

The scope is fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof as a result of the nitrogen-purging and O-ring sealing. Vortex scopes are recognized for their exceptional durability, which they back up with a lifetime warranty.

The scope has finger-adjustable turrets that are capped and have a 1/4 MOA click adjustment, so no tools are required to turn the knob. They click audibly and reset to zero without hassle. It only took about 3 bullets to zero in, and it stayed that way for hundreds of rounds.

It has a magnification range of 6x  to 18x and an objective lens diameter of 44mm. The magnification is smooth to change, and there are several settings available. The Crossfire II scope also has a parallax adjustment knob that ranges from 10 yards to infinity. This feature simply and quickly addressed the tunneling effect I talked about before at higher magnifications.

This optics does not come with a scope mount or scope rings; you will have to purchase mounts and rings separately.

3. Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50 

The Athlon Optics Argos BTR is another great varmint hunting scope. This scope is cheap and highly effective for hunting coyote. It is one of my favorite go-to varmint rifle scopes.

I was not expecting much from a scope with this kind of price. But it blew me away when I installed it on my rifle.

This Athlon Optics has a very clear and sharp glass, and it allows lots of light to pass through it. At higher magnification ranges (18x-24x), the glass quality struggled a little. 

The lenses are extensively multicoated to decrease light reflection, so you won’t have to worry about the scope revealing your hidden position. The coating also improves light transmission, giving the optic a clear image.

You can go with the APMR MIL reticle, which I chose. MOA option is also available.

This Christmas tree design appeals to me because it incorporates several elevations and windage lines. Sometimes, shooters get tired of turning turrets for shots less than 1000 yards.

When hunting, I prefer to move quickly. I could sight my scope easily from 100 yards to 1000 yards with this APMR MIL reticle because I knew what each line represented in distance. The reticle being first focal is another advantage. Meaning as you zoom in or zoom out, the reticle will shrink or increase with respect to your target.

The reticle is illuminated with a red LED. In low-light circumstances, the illumination is sharp and not overbearing, which is useful for tracking down skunks.

The Athlon Optics eye relief is the greatest limiting feature for this very versatile scope. It has a poor eye relief of 3.3 inches which is a little tight for heavier recoil calibers, but you should be OK if you’re conscious of it and practice proper cheek weld. The eye box is large, but it gets a little tight at higher magnification ranges (18x-22x).

Despite its low price, this scope is not of poor quality. The main tube is made of a single piece 6061T6 aircraft-quality aluminum, which means fewer moving parts and lesser sources of failure during recoil impact.

The argon purging eliminates all moisture from the tube, ensuring fog-resistance and thermal stability. It is also totally water-resistant, fog proof, and shockproof. The lenses are further shielded from dirt, oil, and weather by an XPL coating. Nonetheless, I keep the provided lens caps on hand, just in case.

I would also want to point out that this Athlon Argos is one of the smallest and lightest riflescopes of this magnification available on the market. You don’t need to have muscles to carry it.

The turrets come with a nice grip, and they are accurate; however, they were a little squishy until most of the factory oil was removed. The turrets were re-greased in ten minutes and that made a huge difference in the scope. All that is required is cleaning away the factory grease and re-greasing it with Halofun Green Slime Lubricant. After re-greasing, the scope became more audible and easy to click.

The hash markings on the turrets allow for rapid changes and easy return to zero adjustment. In fact, I zeroed with just 5 bullets. 

The scope has a wide magnification range from 6x to 24x, making this lens useful for a variety of shooting sports. The parallax adjustment is smooth and precise, with adjustments ranging from 10 yards – infinity.

4. Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm 

Primary Arms scope brand has launched a lot of fantastic riflescope models, but this one takes the cake. The SLX FFP Scope line is well-known in the shooting industry for several reasons. Primary Arms never disappoints with their glass quality.

The major feature of this scope is the ACSS HUD DMR reticle. It was designed to provide the best performance when used with 233 Rem ammunition and 5.56 NATO. So it is not just any optical system for identifying or acquiring targets; it’s THE ultimate optical system.

The BDC technology and MIL-range system are also integrated into its clean, streamlined design. These features are designed to keep your accuracy on target at all times.

Primary Arms realized that in order to receive good feedback, the scope had to meet real-world criteria. And in order to do so, they needed aircraft-grade aluminum throughout the construction. This meant that the scope could endure any type of external pressure, whether indoors or outdoors.

Aluminum was clearly chosen for its durability, but it also made the SLX scope lightweight. Other notable features are its fog-resistant, water-resistant, and shock-resistant abilities, as well as the MIL turrets’ quick tracking.

You’ll definitely like the audible clicks, especially if you love counting every click during a turret adjustment. Unfortunately, the turrets do not lock. They can only hold long enough for you to complete the shot, and they will rapidly reset to zero. 

5. Vortex Optics Diamondback 

The Vortex Diamondback is a top-of-the-crop scope for Varmint hunting. And this is why:

The scope is made from standard aircraft aluminum, meaning you’ll be dealing with a scope that can perform in any condition. The Aluminum material used is lightweight, highly durable, and it can resist corrosion.

How about the scope’s glass quality? It is fully multicoated. It has a hard lens coating and an anti-reflective coating. In addition to enhancing light transmission, the coatings reduce the possibility of heavy scratches, removes stray light, and shields the eyes from UV ray.

The Vortex Diamondback scope was created to be strong and robust with its single-piece main tube design. So, if you were asking whence it acquired its tough reliability, the answer is the tube material and hard anodized coating. By providing concealment and decreasing shock, this function guarantees an enjoyable hunting experience.

This Vortex scope has its reticle on the SFP position. Simply said, it doesn’t maintain a proportionate relationship between the vision and reticle. It has rapid focusing capabilities and the image will be perfectly brilliant, detailed, and clear always. 

This Vortex Optics has a magnification range from 4x to 12x. It also includes an objective lens diameter of 40mm.

If you opt for anything larger, you will merely be negating the scope’s perfect balance which will make it become overly heavy or unpleasant for Varmint hunting.

Considering that Vortex generally provides a lifetime warranty, we believe this is an excellent purchase. The only issue we have is the limited eye relief. It is certainly not a huge concern to other individuals, but it is an annoyance to some.

6. ATN X Sight LTV 3-9x

Some hunters require night vision for nocturnal varmint or coyote hunting. That is where this ATN X scope shines in this scope lineup. The ATN X scope is affordably priced, precise, and straightforward to use. The new design by ATN is flawless.

The ATN X scope series is a reduced and lower version of the previous X-Sight II range. Even if it lacks all of the added bells and whistles of a digital Night Vision Scope, many applaud the daring move that brought about this scope manufacture.

This scope is inexpensive, highly lightweight, and far thinner than previous night vision scopes.

It has the One Shot Zero from ATN, which lets you get on target without wasting ammo. They also preserved the HD video recording capability, which allows you to submit your hog hunting accomplishment to social media.

Unlike many older scopes that may only last few hours on a single battery charge, this LTV scope has about 10 hours of battery life. 

You can push your varmint-hunting talents beyond your expectation with this night vision scope. Take up contracts with local ranchers and educate the youngsters on how to get rid of varmints on their property. Night vision scopes may help you with your varmint hunting and make it effortless.

7. BARSKA Varmint Scope 10-40×50 AO 

The Barska Varmint scope is a long-range and extremely accurate scope that may be utilized in a variety of shooting applications. It is suitable for target shooting, varmint hunting, long-range shooting, and precision shooting. This scope does an excellent job of bringing your target to the point of precision and clarity.

It features an adjustable objective for parallax correction and unrivaled precision. The turret adjustment is easy to grip for quick changes when you need it.

The scope comes with a multi-coated and large objective lens that helps to maximize light transmission through the scope. This, in return, provides you with better clarity. The scope is shockproof, fog resistant, and waterproof. As a result, it is perfect for usage in any weather.

This high-quality scope has been built to last. It is simple to operate, especially for inexperienced shooters. The scope was built for a variety of applications, not only for varmint hunting. It is reasonably priced, making it accessible to a wide range of shooters.

It may be difficult to concentrate on higher magnifications because the scope gets blurry at those ranges. 

8. SWFA SS 10×42 

If you’re seeking a good fixed scope for varmint hunting, you can check this scope out. It is a good option for shooters who want the best regardless of the cost. The SWFA scope is a superb scope with all of the functionalities and features that a good varmint scope should have.

It has a fixed magnification of 10x. You don’t have to worry about the reticle being in the first focal or second focal plane with this kind of magnification. Focal planes are considered only when a scope has variable magnification. 

The 10x magnification of this scope is ideal for varmint shooting. This is the type of ability that allows you to tell the difference between the animal you’re hunting and the surroundings around it. It also has incredibly clear lenses, allowing you to see the world in HD quality.

This sight has a mil-dot reticle. It allows shooters to make basic windage and hold over calls for bullet drop. The sight also has tactical turrets for quick adjustments on the go. 

It has enough functions to make you have an enjoyable and successful hunting experience. But it is quite expensive.

9. NightForce NXS 5.5-22X56

The NXS scope from Nightforce is another great scope for varmint hunting, and it has everything that a badass scope needs to get the job done. It contains 

The scope has a glass-etched reticle found on the SFP position. The reticle is also illuminated and has a 2 MOA size dot. The crosshairs allow for exceptional precision on tiny targets at very long ranges. The 30mm main tube and Hi-Speed Turret make it stand out among the competition.

10. Nikon P-Tactical 3-9×40

This lens was not intended for ordinary use. It is reasonable to believe the designers were only thinking about two things: AR-15 rifle and the 223 round. Any optic created to suit a certain purpose will always surpass its rivals. 

What is the scope range? This scope should comfortably cover about 600 yards. As a result, it is suitable for indoor and outdoor applications. Its BDC reticle is also an important feature. 

Every turret rotation you make will shift the zero by 1/4 inch, and you will not feel or notice any stiffness. Furthermore, because it is not your conventional turret, it will be less affected by the recoil of your rifle.

Another trait that we rarely encounter with variable scopes is the extended eye relief. You don’t have to worry about having a scope eye because the eye relief is about 3.6 inches long.

Some shooters expressed dissatisfaction with how simple it was for the lens to get scratched. The anti-reflective coating and superb waterproof abilities are worth mentioning. Because the scratch resistance of a lens is the core of any optical system, that immediately deducted the points that would have put this scope on top of the list, and finally, it is quite expensive.

FAQ

What is the best varmint hunting time?

Most varmints, such as foxes, bobcats, and coyotes, are nocturnal. The best times to hunt them are at night and morning. As a result, several of the best rifle scopes we chose feature exceptional low light capability.

How can I keep my varmint rifle scope in good condition?

You can maintain the condition of your scope by cleaning, covering the lenses, and storing them properly. When the scope is not in use, cover it with the lens cap and clean it with a microfiber cloth.

2 thoughts on “{TOP 10} Best Varmint Scope Reviews (2023 Updated)”

  1. Thanks Mike for the great article , I choose the Vortex Crossfire II, it was easier with all the expert information that you supplied . It was go on my CZ 512 22 WMR . Rile that I pick up today. Thanks again.

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