The 10 Best Varmint Scopes for Hunting Rifles of 2020

Best Varmint Scope

Varmints are small animals and to be more specific, non-beneficial pests that can kill your livestock or ruin your environment. These include coyotes, squirrels, rabbits, etc., and they are not hunted primarily for food, but for elimination.

Since these animals are small and move very fast, you need a high magnification scope so as to easily spot their movement at a distance.

Ideally, for the popular .223 caliber rifles, a 4-16x magnification is best. For bigger guns, higher magnification power is recommended. That said, this article covers 10 of the best varmint scopes to consider buying. 

You can also read other product reviews such as sniper scoperimfire scopescope for Ruger 10-22scope for 300 blackout

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

ATN X-Sight II

1. ATN X-Sight II (Best Overall Varmint Scope)

  • Night vision technology
  • 1080p video recording
  • Phone/tablet connectivity via Wi-Fi
  • Smart range finder and ballistics calculator
Tasco VAR251042M

2. Tasco VAR251042M (Best Varmint Scope for the Money)

  • Affordable
  • Tactical Mil-Dot reticle
  • 10-yd to infinity parallax adjustment
Barska AC11084

3. Barska AC11084 (Best Long-Range Varmint Scope)

  • Up to 4x magnification power
  • 50 mm objective lens with multicoated optics
  • Tactical Mil-Dot reticle
Burris Optics 200261

4. Burris Optics 200261 (Best Compact Varmint Scope)

  • Compact 9.7 in. length
  • Ballistic Plex reticle with BDC
  • Quick target acquisition eyepiece
Nightforce C434

5. Nightforce C434 (Best Adjustable Varmint Scope)

  • Up to 100 MOA max elevation
  • Powerful magnification (up to 22x)
  • Tactical MOAR reticle
SWFA SS Riflescope

6. SWFA SS Riflescope (Tactical Varmint Scope)

  • Tactical Mil-Quad reticle
  • 10-yd parallax adjustment
  • Generous 3.9-in eye relief
Bushnell 616185

7. Bushnell 616185 (Low Light Varmint Scope)

  • Dusk and dawn multicoated lenses
  • Uncluttered Multi-X reticle
  • Fast-focus eyepiece
Leupold 170680

8. Leupold 170680 (Durable Varmint Scope)

  • Punisher-tested aluminum build
  • Scratch-resistant lenses
  • Twilight max light management system
Vortex CF2-31049

9. Vortex CF2-31049 (Varmint Scope with a V-Brite Reticle)

  • Illuminated V-Brite reticle
  • Large 56mm objective lens
  • Waterproof, shockproof and fog proof
Nikon 6721

10. Nikon 6721 (Fully Multicoated Varmint Scope)

  • Multicoated optics
  • Spot-on ballistics match technology
  • Scape coat and 2 mounting rings

PRODUCT

1. ATN X-Sight II

(Best Overall Varmint Scope)

ATN X-Sight II
  • Night vision technology
  • 1080p video recording
  • Phone/tablet connectivity via Wi-Fi
  • Smart range finder and ballistics calculator

2. Tasco VAR251042M

(Best Varmint Scope for the Money)

Tasco VAR251042M
  • Affordable
  • Tactical Mil-Dot reticle
  • 10-yd to infinity parallax adjustment

3. Barska AC11084

(Best Long-Range Varmint Scope)

Barska AC11084
  • Up to 4x magnification power
  • 50 mm objective lens with multicoated optics
  • Tactical Mil-Dot reticle

4. Burris Optics 200261

(Best Compact Varmint Scope)

Burris Optics 200261
  • Compact 9.7 in. length
  • Ballistic Plex reticle with BDC
  • Quick target acquisition eyepiece

5. Nightforce C434

(Best Adjustable Varmint Scope)

Nightforce C434
  • Up to 100 MOA max elevation
  • Powerful magnification (up to 22x)
  • Tactical MOAR reticle

6. SWFA SS Riflescope

(Tactical Varmint Scope)

SWFA SS Riflescope
  • Tactical Mil-Quad reticle
  • 10-yd parallax adjustment
  • Generous 3.9-in eye relief

7. Bushnell 616185

(Low Light Varmint Scope)

Bushnell 616185
  • Dusk and dawn multicoated lenses
  • Uncluttered Multi-X reticle
  • Fast-focus eyepiece

8. Leupold 170680

(Durable Varmint Scope)

Leupold 170680
  • Punisher-tested aluminum build
  • Scratch-resistant lenses
  • Twilight max light management system

9. Vortex CF2-31049

(Varmint Scope with a V-Brite Reticle)

Vortex CF2-31049
  • Illuminated V-Brite reticle
  • Large 56mm objective lens
  • Waterproof, shockproof and fog proof

10. Nikon 6721

(Fully Multicoated Varmint Scope)

Nikon 6721
  • Multicoated optics
  • Spot-on ballistics match technology
  • Scape coat and 2 mounting rings

1. ATN X-Sight II – Best Overall Varmint Scope

ATN X-Sight II
  • Magnification: 5-20x
  • Objective Lens: 85mm
  • Eye Relief: 2.6 in.
  • Length: 11.4 in.
  • Scope Range: 1000 yds

Top of the list is ATN’s X-Sight II, which takes the overall best spot due to a couple of reasons. For starters, it has day and night mode, with night vision technology that gives you a clear view of the targets.

Read More: The Best Night Vision Scopes

The scope also features 1080p full-HD video recording that allows you to record photos and videos of your hunting victories, even at night. This is paired to a Wi-Fi streaming system, which allows you to use your iOS or Android phone/tablet as a viewfinder, or to view the gallery.

Video recording is actually activated via recoil, which makes sure you don’t forget to capture your hits.

Apart from the powerful 20x magnification, you get a smart range finder that automatically identifies the distance to your target while a ballistic calculator automatically adjusts the point of impact on the fly. This makes it possible to hit long-range targets on the first try.

Other features include a 3D gyroscope for keeping images blur-free, a smart E-compass for navigation, E-zoom for easy magnification without losing the target in the field of view and a large 85mm objective lens that allow a lot of light in to create bright images.

The only problem is that this piece is quite costly.

Pros:

  • Night vision technology
  • Full HD video recording with Wi-Fi streaming
  • Smart range finder
  • Ballistics calculator
  • 3D gyroscope for stabilization

Cons:

  • Quite expensive

2. Tasco VAR251042M – Best Varmint Scope for the Money

Tasco VAR251042M
  • Magnification: 2.5-10x
  • Objective Lens: 42mm
  • Eye Relief: 3 in.
  • Length: 14 in.

If you are on a tight budget, Tasco’s VAR251042M is the most affordable varmint scope to consider buying. Despite this, the unit is very tactical because it is equipped with a Mil-Dot reticle, which has some range finding capabilities for enhanced accuracy.

The unit also has parallax adjustment settings from as close as 10 yds to infinity, which ensures high accuracy even at close range.

Other features include a magnification range of 2.5-10x with an exit pupil of 16.8 mm at 2.5x and 4.2mm and 10x, super con fully coated optics for clear imaging, 1/4 MOA windage, and elevation adjustments and a camouflaged matte black finish.

On the downside, the reticle is not illuminated for easy night time use.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Tactical Mil-Dot reticle
  • 10-yd parallax adjustment for close-range accuracy
  • Fully coated optics

Cons:

  • Not ideal for night time use

3. Barska AC11084 – Best Long-Range Varmint Scope

Barska AC11084
  • Magnification: 10-40x
  • Objective Lens: 50mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 in.
  • Length: 16.5 in.

With a magnification of up to 40x, Barska’s AC11084 is the best for long-range shooting because it can get your eyes to very distant targets. Additionally, it has a relatively large 50mm objective lens plus multicoated optics for clarity and brightness at a long-range.

To improve on accuracy, the objective lens is adjustable to eliminate parallax error while 1/8 MOA turrets give you very swift and small adjustments on every click.

Other features include a tactical Mil-Dot reticle for accurate range estimation and bullet drop compensation, and scope caps to protect the ocular lenses.

You also get different size options, which include a 4-16x 40mm with a 30/30 reticle, 6-24x 42mm and 50mm with Mil-Dot reticles, as well as a 6.5-20x 50mm with a fine crosshair reticle.

The only problem though is that the AC11084 is very long in size (16.5 in.), which means it takes up a lot of space above the gun.

Pros:

  • High magnification power
  • Multicoated optics plus large objective lens
  • Tactical Mil-Dot reticle
  • Includes scope caps

Cons:

  • Long size

4. Burris Optics 200261 – Best Compact Varmint Scope

Burris Optics 200261
  • Magnification: 2-7x
  • Objective Lens: 32mm
  • Eye Relief: 9.2-12 in.
  • Length: 9.7 in.

As compared to the AC11084, this unit from Burris Optics is very compact in size, measuring only 9.7 in. in length. This means that it occupies very little space above your gun and can, therefore, be comfortably used on long or short rifles.

Despite this size, the scope is well equipped for the job, featuring a ballistic plex reticle with 3 points for bullet drop compensation.

You also get a quick target acquisition eyepiece, coil-spring posi-lock that securely locks the turrets in position so as to maintain accuracy, multicoated lenses to create clear images and a fog-proof, waterproof and shockproof design with a camouflaged matte black finish.

On the downside, the unit has a low magnification of only up to 7x, which limits its range, and its reticle is not illuminated for easy night time use.

More Detailed: Burris 200261 Review

Pros:

  • Compact size
  • Ballistic Plex reticle with BDC
  • Quick target acquisition eyepiece
  • Coil-spring posi-lock for locking in the accuracy

Cons:

  • Non-illuminated reticle
  • Low magnification

5. Nightforce C434 – Best Adjustable Varmint Scope

Nightforce C434
  • Magnification: 5.5-22x
  • Objective Lens: 56mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.9 in.
  • Length: 15.2 in.

Most scopes usually have 60-70 MOA max elevation and windage adjustment but Nightforce’s C434 has up to 100 MOA of elevation adjustment and 60 MOA maximum for windage. This ensures no target gets out of range.

Coupled with a relatively powerful magnification of up to 22x, this gives you the ability to aim at long-range targets with maximum adjustment over a wider area.

That said, you get a tactical MOAR reticle that has range finding capabilities, and it is illuminated for easy night time use.

The product is also rigorously tested for better accuracy and is made using aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum for maximum durability. The only problem is that it is very costly to buy.

Pros:

  • Highly adjustable with up to 100 MOA max elevation
  • Relatively powerful magnification of up to 22x
  • Illuminated tactical MOAR reticle
  • Durable aircraft-grade aluminum construction

Cons:

  • Very expensive

6. SWFA SS Riflescope – Tactical Varmint Scope

SWFA SS Riflescope
  • Magnification: 1-10x
  • Objective Lens: 42mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.9 in.
  • Length: 14.2 in.

SWFA SS’ tactical riflescope is equipped with a tactical Mil-Quad reticle that is highly effective at range estimation, with 1/10 Mil adjustments per click. That said, the total elevation and windage adjustments are capped at 40 Mils each, which is good enough for such a reticle.

Other than that, this piece has low-range parallax adjustment that starts at only 10 yds out. Coupled with its relatively low magnification power of up to 10x, this makes it suitable for low to medium-range shooting.

More features include a relatively generous 3.9-in eye relief, fully multicoated lenses for clear viewing and a fog-proof, waterproof and shockproof design. On the downside, the reticle is not illuminated for easy reading in low light environments.

Pros:

  • Tactical Mil-Quad reticle
  • 10-yd parallax adjustment
  • Generous 3.9-in eye relief
  • Waterproof, shockproof and fog proof

Cons:

  • Relatively low magnification
  • Lacks an illuminated reticle

7. Bushnell 616185 – Low Light Varmint Scope

Bushnell 616185
  • Magnification: 6-18x
  • Objective Lens: 50mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 in.
  • Length: 16 in.

With dusk and dawn brightness multicoated lenses, Bushnell’s 616185 is particularly designed to produce crisp, clear and bright images in low light conditions. Additionally, it has a relatively large 50mm objective lens, which let in a lot of light for bright imaging.

The scope’s magnification is quite practical, spanning from a low of 6x to a high of 18x. This makes it ideal for medium-range shooting.

You also get a Multi-X reticle that is very simple to use because of its uncluttered design, 1/4 MOA click adjustments on windage and elevation, a fast-focus eyepiece and a 100% waterproof and fog proof build. On the downside, this reticle is not illuminated for easy viewing in low light.

Pros:

  • Dusk and dawn multicoated lenses
  • Quite large 50mm objective lens
  • Simple, uncluttered Multi-X reticle
  • Fast-focus eyepiece

Cons:

  • Non-illuminated reticle

8. Leupold 170680 – Durable Varmint Scope

Leupold 170680
  • Magnification: 3.5-10x
  • Objective Lens: 40mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.6-4.4 in.
  • Length: 12.6 in.

Leupold’s 170680 is built using 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum that is lightweight but very sturdy. Additionally, the unit is punisher tested to withstand up to 5000 impacts, which maximizes its durability even when used on heavy recoil guns.

You also get military-grade scratch-resistant lenses and a 100% waterproof, shockproof and fog proof design.

Other than that, the scope has a 40mm lens with a diamond coating for enhanced light transmission in low light. This is further enhanced by a twilight max light management system, which reduces glares so as to improve edge-to-edge clarity.

With this, you get an additional 20 minutes after dusk to complete your hunt. More features include an uncluttered duplex reticle and a camouflaged matte black finish.

The only problem is that the reticle is not illuminated and it lacks bullet drop compensation markings for long-range use.

Pros:

  • Punisher-tested aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • Scratch-resistant lenses
  • Twilight max light management system
  • 100% waterproof, shockproof and fog proof

Cons:

  • Non-illuminated reticle
  • No BDC points

9. Vortex CF2-31049 – Varmint Scope with a V-Brite Reticle

Vortex CF2-31049
  • Magnification: 3-12x
  • Objective Lens: 56mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 in.
  • Length: 14.3 in.

Vortex’s CF2-31049 is characterized by a V-Brite reticle that has an illuminated red center dot for improved visibility in low light conditions. This reticle is placed at the second focal plane and this ensures it does not change in size as you magnify the field of view.

Another benefit of this product is its large 56mm objective lens, which allows as much light through as possible, while fully multi-coated anti-reflective lenses prevent glares so as to create a clear field of view.

The objective lens is adjustable for parallax error elimination and you get audible MOA clicks on the turrets, with zero-resetting after sighting in.

Other features include a single-piece aluminum construction that is shockproof and nitrogen-purged, O-ring sealed optics for fog proof and waterproof performance. On the downside, the reticle lacks BDC points for eliminating guesswork in long-range shooting.

Pros:

  • Illuminated V-Brite reticle
  • Large 56mm objective lens
  • Durable 1-piece aluminum construction
  • Anti-reflective multi-coated lenses

Cons:

  • Lacks BDC marks

10. Nikon 6721 – Fully Multicoated Varmint Scope

Nikon 6721
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Objective Lens: 40mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 in.
  • Length: 12.4 in.

Rounding up the list is Nikon’s 6721, which is fitted with multicoated optics that transmit up to 98% of available light back to the rear ocular lens and to your eye. Coupled with a quick focus eyepiece, the optics create a sharp, clear image very quickly after making any adjustment.

Inside is a Nikoplex reticle that has a simple, uncluttered design. This allows you to use Nikon’s spot-on ballistics match technology, which enables you to discover the holdover points at various yardages when using different rounds.

You also get precise 1/4-in click adjustments with zero-reset, spring-loaded turrets, nitrogen-filled optics for fog-proof performance, an O-ring sealed housing for waterproof performance, a scape coat for safely storing the piece and two rings for easy installation.

However, the reticle is not illuminated and this makes it a bit difficult to spot the crosshairs in low light.

Pros:

  • Multicoated optics
  • Quick-focus eyepiece
  • Spot-on ballistics match technology
  • Includes a scape coat and 2 mounting rings

Cons:

  • Non-illuminated reticle

How to Buy the Best Varmint Scope

How to Buy the Best Varmint Scope

1. Your Rifle Type

There are several types of guns that you can use to hunt down varmints. The separating factor between them is usually power.

As such, less powerful small-caliber rifles such as the .22lr require low magnification scopes because they have a range of a little over 100 yds.

The best scopes for such a rifle would, therefore, be Burris Optics’ 200261 and Nikon’s 6721 due to their 2-7x and 3-9x magnification respectively.

On the other hand, for long-range high-caliber rifles such as the .243 or .22-250 Ruger, you need a high magnification scope such as the Barska AC11084. This will enable you to hit distant targets easily.

Read More: The Best Scopes for 22-250 Ruger

2. Types of Varmint

Another important factor to consider is the type of pest you are dealing with. For large targets such as coyotes, foxes, bobcats, feral pigs, and the like, powerful magnification is not really necessary because they can be spotted easily even at a distance.

Therefore, you can go for relatively low magnification pieces such as Tasco’s VAR251042M, Bushnell’s 616185 or Nikon’s 6721.

However, for smaller varmints such as squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, crows, etc., a high magnification scope such as Barska’s AC11084 or Nightforce’s C434 is recommended. This will ensure you spot the targets easily and hit them accurately even at a long-range.

3. Magnification

As a general rule of thumb, the higher the magnification power, the better. This makes scopes like the Barska AC11084, Nightforce C434, and ATN X-Sight II stand out from the rest. However, in most cases, this high magnification power means the unit is costlier to buy.

As such, you need to consider other factors such as the type of rifle you are using and the type of varmint you are hunting to determine the best magnification power that you need. All these are explained above.

4. Objective Lens

The objective lens is basically the front glass through which light penetrates through to the scope. That said, large lenses allow more light to pass through and this ensures you get a brighter field of view for easier spotting.

This makes ATN’s X-Sight II better off than the rest due to its 85mm objective lens.

5. Glass Quality

Apart from the lens size, you need to check its quality and to be more specific, the technology incorporated into the glass’ design. The most common one is multi-coating, which prevents glares from obstructing your field of view. This is recommended for clarity purposes.

Another desirable feature to have is scratch-resistant lenses, which are present in Leupold’s 170680. This improves the overall durability of the scope for long-lasting use.

6. Scope Range

Just like with magnification, the longer the scope’s range, the better. Using ATN’s X-Sight II  as an example, it has a 1000-yd range, which means it can be used on the most powerful rifles. It can also be used for short, medium or long-range hunting, making it very versatile.

Conclusion 

Even though all the scopes above are ideal for varmint hunting, ATN’s X-Sight II is the undisputed best because it has night vision technology, full HD video recording, a smart range finder with a ballistics calculator and a long 1000-yd range.

Though quite costly, it has very advanced features that make hunting fun and easy. For long-range hunting though, be sure to check out Barska AC11084, which has up to 40x magnification.

If you are a bit short on cash, we recommend Tasco’s VAR251042M as the best varmint scope because it is very affordable.


Thanks for letting us know!
Was this page helpful?
Related Reads
What We Like Highly durable construction Easy range estimation Water, fog and shockproof ...
What We Like Great for both day and night use Accommodates several other accessories Easy and ...
What We Like Great for long-range shots High-quality optics deliver superior image quality ...
What We Like Top-notch image clarity Durable and rugged construction Good for hunting from ...
What We Like Durable one-piece construction Holds zero well High-quality lenses give an excellent ...
What We Like Illuminated for increased versatility Well-built and rugged Easily resettable and ...
What We Like Highly useful for long-range shots Well-built water, shock, and fog proof design ...
What We Like Comes at a more affordable price tag Clear enough sight picture Quick and easy to ...
What We Like Completely, water, fog and shockproof Solid and durable materials Good enough eye ...