Varmint hunting has become a common and necessary activity that requires people to get the best rifle scope for varmint hunting. This is because it enables them to control pests and shoot at them whenever they cause troubles or just as a part of their hunting experience.
Because these animals are wild and usually run fast, making them more complicated to locate, there have been many innovations and advancements incorporated into the rifle scopes. They are in the form of features, options, and parts that are specifically designed for catching varmints with a speed that nearly or completely match theirs.
However, potential buyers struggle with their choice of the best model out there. Don’t worry, though, as in the following paragraphs, we’ll explore what is offered on the market and help you see exactly what to look for in the different products. So, if you’re ready, let’s go!
The 9 Best Rifle Scopes for Varmint Hunting
Firstly, it should be noted that speed is crucial when hunting varmints. Aside from the great skills that hunters should possess, they need their rifle scope to be able to handle the situation. That’s why the brands aim at increasing the range of shooting with innovations in ammunition and similar details inside and outside the scope. Thanks to the long-range capabilities, shooters are able to hit their targets faster without scaring them.
Therefore, this is among the top things you should have in mind when shopping for scopes meant for this purpose. What follows are some of the top models offered on the market right now.
Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
- Magnification: 4-12 times
- Diameter of objective lens: 40 millimeters
- Weight: 14.6 ounces
- Eye relief: 3.1 inches
- Field of view at 100 yards: 32.4-11.3
As a reputable brand, Vortex has once more proven its high-quality through this rifle scope. Predominantly, it’s made to be utilized for hunting at long ranges and shooting at varmints and other similar animals.
It can do this with the help of the BDC reticle that’s dead-hold, allowing hunters to shoot at various distances. To accompany it, there is a completely multi-coated lens that gives away clear and bright images regardless of the time of day. Also, the reticle can be quickly and easily focused, which is very helpful when going after varmints. As for tracking the creatures, this scope incorporates a glide erector system.
Many users are concerned about the durability, but this model has a strong anodized finish that makes the product long-lasting and able to resist shock. Still, a possible downside that has been reported by hunters of varmints is that it lacks a zero stop feature.
BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope
- Magnification: 6-24 times
- Diameter of objective lens: 50 millimeters
- Click adjustments: 1/8 MOA
- Eye relief: 3.5 inches
- Weight: 22 ounces
- Field of view: 15 feet/4.2 feet depending on the magnification
This is a black scope that not only looks appealing but it has some previous features for hunting varmints. Firstly, it has a mil-dot reticle, which is responsible for simple targeting and small chances of error. This is very important when it comes to these fast animals.
Then, its construction is strong and durable with options for adjustments in order to increase the accuracy of the shots. As for the lens, they’re multi-coated and present the views in optical clarity. Not to mention that it’s waterproof, shockproof, fog proof, and can resist the reverse recoil. Connected to this, it arrives with caps and lens cloth included to enable users to maintain properly and prolong its life even further.
However, there are some downsides related to this scope. They are connected to difficulties with the focus and the windage adjustments.
Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope with Truplex Reticle
- Diameter of objective lens: 50 millimeters
- Magnification: 3-9 times
- Field of view: 31.4 feet/10.5 feet depending on the magnification
- Eye relief: 3.75 inches
- Weight: 13.2 ounces
- Exit pupil: 16.6-5.6 millimeters
Before everything else, it should be known that considering its affordable price, Simmons’ model has many useful details and options to offer. It consists of a lens that is coated to enhance the views and provide bright and sharp images to the hunters.
Another important aspect is the adjustment. In fact, in this product you can encounter a windage and elevation adjustments system that remains to zero even when the conditions are strenuous. Moreover, to spot the varmints quickly and with efficiency, there is a QTA eyepiece.
Also, the scope is completely waterproof, fog proof, and able to withstand recoil. Thanks to this, people can utilize it while hunting in different weather conditions that can often be harsh in nature.
Despite this, though, it’s worth noting that users said they experienced troubles with bore pounding. It lacks rings, as well, which is a problem for many users that want to attach it to their rifle at once.
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Gamo Air Gun Scope LC4X32 with Rings
- Magnification: 4 times
- Diameter of objective lens: 32 millimeters
- Weight: 1 pound
- Size of rings: 1 inch
Although Gamo may not seem like a familiar brand at first, it’s known for its quality models of scopes meant for different uses. This one comes with rings for easier attachment to various types of rifles. It’s suitable for varmint hunting, mainly due to its completely-coated lens that offers views in high-quality and with high contrast.
With the nice magnification, you can shoot at long distances, which is very convenient for varmints as well as adjust the elevation and windage properly. Aside from this, it comes with covers for the lens in order to help the owner protect them from external conditions. Therefore, you can take it with you on longer trips in nature without worrying about possible damages and changing weather conditions. Connected to this, it’s lightweight and portable.
However, it apparently has some issues with the focus and the zeroing that users find a bit frustrating. Yet overall, it’s a model with affordable price that’s worth at least checking out.
ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope
- Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Magnification: 3-14 times
- Field of view: 240 feet at 1000 yards
- Adjustment: 1/8 inches per pixel
- Quality of recorded videos: 1080p
Unlike many of the other rifle scopes, this one is smart and possesses many digital features that improve the whole hunting experience. More precisely, it incorporates a high-definition technology for day and night observing and clear shooting of the targets.
It’s accompanied by a calculator of ballistics, which helps users correctly discover the ballistics for shooting under a specific angle and from a long distance. There is also a compass for locating the varmints as well as a smart range finder for identifying the range. With it, the point of impact can be adjusted, as well.
Leaving these aside, the scope has an option to connect to Wi-Fi and capturing photos and videos of the hunting experience. That way, users can transfer them across multiple devices and watch them whenever they want or share them with people they care about.
Still, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the product has issues with the micro USB port and the batteries, requiring hunters to purchase additional batteries to take with them or an external battery pack.
UTG 4-16X50 1" Hunter Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, w/ Rings
- Magnification: 4-16 times
- Diameter of objective lens: 50 millimeters
- Sniper sunshade: 3 inches
- Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Mil-dot reticle colors: 36
- Dimensions: 17.7 x 3.1 x 3.1 inches
As a rifle scope that’s specifically designed for hunting varmints and other animals, it can boast with many useful features. Starting from its resistance to the coated lens, there are many things to look out for.
Hunters shouldn’t mind the weather while shooting with this product because it’s nitrogen-purged and totally sealed to prevent external elements from entering and ruining the lens. Therefore, it can withstand rain, fog, shock, and similar outside conditions. The system for illumination enhancement that has two modes – a dual-color one and one with 36 colors, operates in all conditions despite how harsh they are.
What’s more, the emerald coating on the lens maximizes the transmission of light, providing views that are bright and clear. Mentioning this, the mil-dot reticle that’s a part of it is capable of estimating the range for efficient aiming and shooting. When it comes to adjustments, the product has target turrets with zero locking and resetting so that the targets can be locked and shot on time. Finally, for comfortable utilization, the scope also has rings and lens caps that can be quickly and easily flipped open.
What is negative to some extent is that it has some zoom issues, especially when the distance is too long.
Mueller AO Eraticator Rifle Scope
- Diameter of objective lens: 50 millimeters
- Eye relief: 3 inches
- Size of the tube: 1 inch
- Magnification: 8.5-25 times
- Weight: 1.38 pounds
- Minimum focus distance: 20 yards
- Elevation and windage adjustments: 1/8
What’s interesting about this scope is that it can be purchased in two colors – black and silver. Both versions offer the same options with just the color being different. This leaves the choice to the potential buyers and their preferences.
For starters, it possesses a micro-dot that’s illuminated with a multi-fine crosshair. The crosshair has a purpose to prevent hairs from hiding the target when shooting at long distances. Then, it operates well both in full daylight and in low light conditions thanks to the micro black dot within the reticle. It can be tuned and illuminated through many settings for adjusting the brightness. Without requiring any tools, the Eraticator features finger turrets and elevation and windage adjustments that can be controlled with just a few clicks.
Even though mainly it has become famous due to its long-range capabilities and options for hunting varmints, it performs well in short distances, as well. Due to this fact, it can be utilized for multiple hunting types, including going after small and large animals.
When it comes to possible downsides, users state that the eye relief is small for their taste and the zoom is not always enough. But this isn’t something too serious and varies from user to user.
Simmons 655124 1-6x24 Predator
- Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Dimensions: 14 x 4 x 4 inches
- Eye relief: 3.9 inches
- Magnification: 1 – 6 times
- Diameter of objective lens: 24 millimeters
- Reticle in illuminated zone of strike: 223
Simmons produces many rifle scopes but this one is one of the best ones for those that need to hunt varmints. The multi-coated lens and the various adjustments contribute to this. As the views that are offered through it are sharp and in high contrast, the hunters can spot the animals clearly during different periods in the day.
Speaking of this, there is an adjustment knob on the side that allows shooters to achieve the maximum clarity of the image regardless of the distance of the targets. Because it’s completely fog proof and waterproof, it works well in harsh external conditions, too.
Eventually, it should be mentioned that this is a lightweight model that doesn’t take away from the comfort of the rifle and can be carried around easily. Yet apparently users warn about troubles with the magnification being not enough and the universal throw lever not fitting the magnification adjustment entirely.
AccuShot Bubble Level UTG 4-16x56 30mm Bubble Levelx 40mm
- Magnification: 4 – 16 times
- Diameter of objective lens: 56 millimeters
- Adjustment: 1/8 MOA per click
- Diameter of tube: 30 millimeters
- Eye relief: 3 inches
- Weight: 31.7 ounces
- Field of view: 24.4 – 6.8
- Dimensions: 19.2 x 4.2 x 3.5 inches
Transmission of light is one of the most important things when looking for rifle scopes suitable for varmint hunting. And this one definitely has a few features in this direction. The main one is the emerald coating of the lens. It contributes to the bright images and enhances the clarity for more accurate shots. To make sure the views are in high-quality in all conditions, it has a dual-color red and green mode together with a system for enhancing the illumination.
Another option this model incorporates is the view finder’s bubble leveler meant for reducing errors that may occur during the shooting at long ranges. It’s built-in and is made in a position of 6 o’clock. In terms of the adjustments, this one has one of the most precise MOA adjustments on the list with turrets that can be zero locked and reset.
Those that want to go hunting when it’s raining or the weather is rapidly changing, shouldn’t worry as it’s capable of resisting water, fog, and shock. Still, a possible con you should be aware of is the fact that the bubble level can’t be clearly seen while looking through the scope.
Guide for Buyers
When we’re talking of the best rifle scope for varmint hunting, usually a long-range is one of the first associations we make. No matter if the pest is smaller or larger, you’ll most likely be at a distance from it. So, to take it down, a long-range scope will do the trick.
With that being said, models with a caliber of above .200 will do the job just fine. Their popularity made the manufacturers aware of the demand on the market and they have increased the production these past several decades regarding these models. The popularity is also due to the velocity. For instance, one of the most popular models is the .260-caliber rifle scope, which was a real hit in the nineties. Nowadays, many users opt for .220 calibers, too.
Users need the ability to see far and in detail by zooming in on the varmint. For example, coyotes are some of the smartest and swiftest varmints you can encounter. Yet they can inflict huge damages on your livestock and everything you own. Achieving your purpose is made possible thanks to the magnification capabilities.
Even though experts can’t unify their opinions on the ideal magnification, it’s recommended to shop for models that have magnification power between 4 times and 14 times. With it, you can easily use close-range shots and spot varmints when they aren’t really close to you.
The shorter the range is the lower the magnification is. To illustrate, spotting varmints at three hundred yards or below, magnification powers of 3 times to 9 times will be suitable. But, if the yards go up to eight hundred, then the magnification powers should also increase to fourteen times and more.
When you’re shooting with the rifle, the scope’s recoil may be pretty strong. This is especially the case in high-caliber models. You can be hit in the eyebrow, which can be painful and dangerous. Subsequently, larger eye relief is desired.
Having said that, some users wear glasses when utilizing a rifle scope. High numbers in the eye relief department can solve this, too. That’s why many industry players advise purchasing a scope with at least three inches of eye relief. This is more than enough to fulfill the needs of various users and protect you from the hard recoil.
One of the buzziest questions when it comes to the best rifle scope for varmint hunting is connected to the costs and how much you should spend on one. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
Regardless, one thing is certain. Users shouldn’t compromise when it comes to the quality of the scope as that is the most important aspect. If you purchase a scope that will last only a couple of months, you’ll end up buying two in a relatively short period instead of one that is quality and costs more.
Generally, if you plan to hunt during the night, you should increase the budget to get a reliable rifle scope for varmint hunting. On the other hand, if the hunting will most likely take place during the day and the range is short, then you can reduce the budget and consider even more affordable options.
They may seem like trivial things, but accessories can seriously improve the whole observational experience and make you more effective while hunting. Make sure that you’re picking the ones that are suitable for your scope and that can be covered by your budget. Some users end up purchasing more accessories and go over their budget for some accessories they don’t need. That’s why you should know what you’re looking for and try to be as efficient as possible.
For starters, some accessories are included with the purchase of the scope. Some are sold separately. Still, among the accessories for these scopes, one can find carrying bags, lens covers, bipods, and more.
Bipods can come in very handy when you’re hunting for long periods of time. Also, they increase the stability and protect your arms from straining after holding the rifle and the scope attached to it. Some users put bags to achieve this effect, but bipods are becoming a more popular solution.
No matter how much you clean and maintain the scope, sometimes it’s bound to stop working. That’s when the warranty comes in. If the warranty period is longer, the better it is for you. That means that if something happens, you know that the brand you purchased the scope from will take care of everything.
If you aren’t satisfied with the conditions regarding the warranty, it’s useful to be more brand-specific and hunt for companies that provide the most adequate conditions for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is varmint hunting?
Answer: Varmints are known by many names. They may include pests, vermin, and others. These are usually birds and mammals that damage crops as well as livestock. That can later result in large money losses as well as reduced security. They can be a threat to human health, too. That’s why people are hunting them to protect their property. What’s interesting is that every country classifies different animals as varmints. Generally speaking, though, coyotes, certain types of rabbits, foxes, some squirrels, and more can be included among them.
How do rifle scopes for hunting varmints differ from the others?
Answer: Even though there are some features that are characteristic for rifle scopes for varmint hunting, at the end of the day they’re rifle scopes like the rest. They have all the regular features and specifications like a lens objective size, magnification powers, eye relief capabilities, a field of view, and more. But, they tend to be bigger than other rifle scopes. That’s because of the size of the varmints as some of them can be bigger. Also, they can be for short-range hunting as well as for longer ranges.
Is it illegal to hunt varmints such as coyotes during the night?
Answer: This depends on the country or state where you are situated and where you’ll be hunting. It is possible as numerous brands make rifle scopes that have a night vision for hunting varmints during the night and in low-light conditions.
What makes the best rifle scopes for varmint hunting durable?
Answer: While all features contribute to the overall quality and durability of the scope, some features that you should pay attention to are waterproofness and weather resistance. Thanks to these capabilities, users can operate with the scope even in harsh weather conditions. When it’s raining, they don’t have to worry if the images will be destroyed and can resume performing the activity. Shockproof capabilities are useful, too. That way, if the scope falls, the chances are small that significant damages will be inflicted on the rifle scope.
Varmints are nasty things and can cause real damage to people’s houses, workplaces, and other spots they love. Therefore, when hunting for them, they should have the right gear. This is more than clear after what we have presented so far. And the rifle scope made precisely for shooting at long distances is suitable for the job. The complication lies in choosing the model that fits people’s preferences and needs. The truth is that there are plenty of details and features to consider before making the purchase. So, here we laid out the key ones that are worth mentioning in hopes that they will aid you when you need them.
Now please talk to us regarding this topic. We would like to hear which scope is the right one for you and how you choose your desired models.