It doesn’t make much sense to hunt big game in the rain without a waterproof scope. And the same could be said if you’re a varmint hunter that doesn’t have the tools to get the job done properly. Varmint hunting can be lots of fun, but it’s more than that; it’s also a necessity. It helps with pest control and protects both property and crops.
If you’re going to do the job properly, you’ll need one of the best varmint scopes currently on the market that could well be the difference between hitting and missing your target.
So, let’s take a look at some of the best scopes for varmint hunters and find the perfect option for you.
Top 5 Best Varmint Scope On The Market In 2023 Reviews
1 Zeiss Conquest V6 3-18×50 Riflescope – Best Premium Varmint Scope
This Zeiss Conquest V6 3-18×50 riflescope is a high-grade premium model that is seen as the gold standard for many varmint hunters. And after using it for an afternoon, I can see why. It features a high-quality BDC reticle originally designed by the editor of The Varmint Hunter magazine, the late John Anderson.
Effective long-range shooting is the hallmark of this highly specialized scope. It offers incredible clarity and contrast with a number of brightness settings. The lightweight lenses have great light gathering capabilities, covered in multiple layers of T-Star coatings. It also features Zeiss’ patented LotuTec coatings as an extra layer of protection on the glass surfaces.
If you’re after crystal clear images with vivid colors, this really delivers, but you will pay for the privilege.
Cutting-edge fiber optics…
This Conquest V6 uses cutting-edge fiber optics and boasts one of the best illuminated dot reticles in the market. The crosshairs are super-fine and are way thinner than a human hair. This setup gave me amazing precision over longer distances, making it ideal for varmint hunting.
It’s constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum and is only 22.2oz in weight, which is comparable to many lightweight scopes.
Quality comes at a price…
The 50mm objective lens and 30mm tube length makes this a powerful yet sleek option. The high-performance target turrets, the wide field of view, and the unparalleled glass quality make this scope a desirable buy. It more than lives up to its reputation. However, top-notch varmint scopes like this are not cheap, so you’ll have to splash the cash to own this beauty.
- Premium grade varmint riflescope.
- Ultra-thin crosshairs.
- Top-notch BDC reticle.
- Precision accuracy over longer ranges.
- Multiple high-grade lens coatings.
- Incredible clarity and contrast.
- Lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum construction.
2 Vortex Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 Riflescope – Best Budget Varmint Scope
This Vortex Diamondback Tactical riflescope is a budget model that offers loads of features considering its affordability. If you read any of my reviews, I love Vortex Optics, and I love them even more when the price is right. They always offer high-quality products that are practical and built to last. This is one of their best affordable varmint scopes that will suit any type of longer-range hunting.
Choice of reticles…
One thing I liked from the get-go was the option of either Mil-dot or MOA reticles. They are both laid out in a Christmas tree configuration, which initially confused me until I realized they were designed to make windage and elevation adjustments on the move.
The scope is totally adjustable. The finger-adjustable turrets are audible yet tactile, with clear markings that make them easy to understand.
Best budget varmint riflescope…
Clear and concise sight images are standard with this scope. The fully multi-coated lenses are designed with extra-low dispersion glass that ensures impressive picture clarity. This works well in conjunction with the fast focus eyepiece that simplifies changes in magnification with its precision-glide erector system.
The objective lens is 40mm, while the 30mm long tube is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum. O-ring seals and the nitrogen-filled chamber ensure a fog-proof and waterproof shooting experience.
Great long-range performance for the price…
It shoots very consistently over 1000 yards, perfect for long-range target acquisition. All-in-all, this is a reliable, durable, and high-performing varmint scope that is a perfect option for any shooter on a budget who doesn’t want to sacrifice quality.
- High-quality glass MOA or Mil-dot FFP reticle.
- Multi-coated lenses.
- Shoots consistently over 1000 yards.
- Excellent value for money budget scope.
- Fast focus eyepiece.
- None considering the price.
3 Leica PRS 5-30x56mm Varmint Riflescope – Best Tactical Varmint Scope
Next in my Best Varmint Scope review, I have the Leica PRS 5-30x56mm riflescope, which is a tactical shooters’ perfect hunting companion. Leica has a fantastic reputation in the optics industry and is a proven market leader for binoculars and spotting scopes. So, it’s hardly surprising why so many varmint hunters opt for this model.
Quality all the way…
The large 56mm objective lens and the large 34mm single-piece tube make this a solid and reliable scope you can trust at long distances. And the use of premium German glass and patented multi-coated lens optics combine to give you the clearest and crispest image resolution in a variety of light conditions.
The illuminated first focal plane reticle has an upgraded Christmas tree layout that gave me clean and clear hash marks. This reticle design allowed me to easily flip through the entire magnification range. The 5x to 30x magnification range is ideally suited to long-range shooting, for those faraway pesky varmints who don’t want to get close.
Merging high-quality images and accuracy…
This Leica PRS comes equipped with loads of adjustable features. The ballistic turrets allow for simple and precise adjustments and feature zero-reset that’s toolless and lets you change your zero stops at any moment in the field. The high-level image quality gave me total control to focus on my target in an impressively wide field of view.
The scope is constructed from high-quality aluminum but is one of the weightier models in this rundown at around 36oz. But that’s what you get when buying a feature-rich and very durable varmint scope. The massive magnification ranges, top-notch glass, and impressive elevation range make this a top choice.
- Top-notch ballistic turrets.
- Premium quality German glass.
- Illuminated first focal plane reticle.
- 5x to 30x magnification.
- Perfect for long-range shooters.
- Tool-less zero-reset.
- Large elevation range.
4 Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm Riflescope – Best Value for Money Varmint Scope
This Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex riflescope offers immense value for money if you are a varmint hunter looking for a great deal. If you need ultra-fast target acquisition and enjoy both eyes open shooting, this is an inspired choice. It also features extended eye relief due to the forward mounting design that comes before the ejection port.
The magnification has a range of 2-7x, which allows you to easily target animals from either close or mid-range, making this a multi-purpose and versatile scope, and it really did improve my accuracy greatly over longer distances.
Tried, tested, and trusted…
The lenses are coated in Hi-Lume that dramatically improves the amount of light transferred in low-light conditions. It also uses high-grade optical glass that gave me notable brightness and clarity. It comes with loads of adjustment features so you can keep in total control in the field. This is one of the best variable power scopes that will give you repeatable audible clicks for easy adjustments.
The 9.7-inch-long tube is constructed from aluminum and is one of the most tested scopes in the marketplace. Each product has been individually tested for recoil and is fully shockproof. It is then purged 24 times with lab-grade nitrogen to absorb moisture and keep it fog-proof and waterproof.
Bye, bye rats…
The high performance and magnification coupled with the solid yet lightweight build makes this a must-have varmint scope.
- Target with both eyes open.
- High-grade optical glass.
- Improves accuracy over longer distances.
- Perfect for both short and medium-range.
- Each scope is individually tested.
- Purged 24 times with lab-grade nitrogen.
- Fog-proof, shockproof, and waterproof.
- Holds zero well.
- Excellent value for money, but it is still quite expensive.
- Reticle is not illuminated.
5 Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12×50 Riflescope – Best Lightweight Varmint Scope
The Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12×50 Riflescope is the final scope on my list of the best scopes for varmint, but it’s definitely not the least. In fact, it’s one of the strongest scopes that I’ve ever used. It’s ideally built for long-range varmint hunting and comes with a large 50mm objective lens.
It’s cost-effective, practical, durable, and comes with loads of top features. This is not the highest spec scope for sure, but what it does, it does well. And its two main selling points are its range extension and light-gathering abilities.
A real beast…
The Leupold VX-Freedom series of scopes all have similar optics that are perfectly suited to varmint hunters. And this scope was made in the USA, just how I like my optics.
The advanced optical system ensures practical light transmission, offers glare reduction qualities, and a clear and concise resolution. When you combine this with the unnerving accuracy over long distances and the choice of reticles, and you have a real beast on your hands.
Durable varmint hunting scope…
I was a big fan of the CDS (Custom Dial System) that eliminated any holdovers I had on longer-range shots. The impressive 4-12x magnification range can be rapidly adjusted in the field. And the FireDot illumination feature gave me a visible aiming point in all light conditions.
The 30mm tube is made from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum that’s ultra-lightweight, waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof. It can take some serious hard knocks but always comes back for more. The durability factor is what attracted me to this Leupold varmint scope in the first place. It performed well and is competitively priced when compared to similar products.
- Compatible with all rifle types.
- Strong and lightweight design.
- Constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum.
- 50mm objective lens.
- Impressive 4-12x magnification range.
- Advanced optical system.
- It’s not cheap.
Best Varmint Scopes Buyer’s Guide
Now that I’ve covered some highly recommended varmint scopes, it’s time to think about which one is perfect for your particular needs. So, let’s take a look at some of the main considerations when buying varmint scopes.
It’s All About the Magnification
We all know that magnification is always a major factor, even when you are not looking for long-range scopes. But when you are, magnification is king. Therefore, always go for scopes with higher magnification when you need the varmint removed quickly and efficiently.
A popular magnification range for varmint hunters is 4x to 14x, although this is not set in stone. A good low-end range is well worth looking out for because you can also make short-range shots and still have enough higher-end magnification when needed.
Is it Built to Last?
Durability is another factor that is necessary for any quality scope. We all like lightweight scopes, but we love tougher, more rugged scopes even more because they cost less money in the long term. As a rule of thumb, aim for a scope that’s constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum; however, some polymer models are also pretty durable as well.
Getting your Reticles in Order
There are four main reticle types commonly available, illuminated reticles, dot reticles, mil-dot reticles, and Bullet Drop Compensation reticles. With so much choice, which is the best option for your needs? Well, it depends entirely on what you are hunting and your shooting style and requirements.
A red dot reticle is perfect if you need a viable aiming point. But in low-light conditions, they can be a bit sketchy. An illuminated reticle would be a better fit in this scenario because it lights up the reticle and makes your targeting much more visible. Mil-dots are better for range finding, while Bullet Drop Compensation reticles gauge the expected bullet drop when shooting over long distances.
It’s important to know which reticle matches your needs and choose accordingly.
Keeping it Lightweight
A major issue for varmint hunters who are in the field for hours on end is the overall weight of their setup. Keeping weight down to a bare minimum becomes more evident as the day goes on, and especially if it rains.
The size of the objective lens adds to the overall weight, as does the tube’s diameter and length. Therefore try and find the lightest varmint scope possible, but, as mentioned, don’t sacrifice other important features such as durability when doing so.
Choosing the Correct Tube Size
Never underestimate how important tube sizes and lengths are. Its size will directly relate to how durable and solid it is. The standard size options are usually 34mm, 30mm, and 1-inch. I would recommend that you buy the 34mm tube model because you will get a wider field of view, but be aware of the weight as I have already covered. It’s always a trade-off, I’m afraid.
Need a Scope for More Than Varmint?
Well, check out our reviews of the Best Leupold Scopes, the Best Low-Light Rifle Scope, the Best 3 Gun Scope and Optic, the Best Low Light Rifle Scope, the Best Scout Scopes, or the Best Scope for Hog Hunting you can buy in 2023.
Or, how about the Best M4 Scopes Optics, the Best AR15 Carry Handle Scopes, the Best Scope for AK-47, the Best Air Rifle Scopes, as well as the Best Scopes for Mini 14 Ranch Rifles currently on the market.
So, What is The Best Varmint Scope?
As we’ve already gone through, the type of varmint scope you should buy largely depends on your budget, the magnification range you need, and what kind of reticle you want. All the scopes I reviewed are highly recommended and will all do the job. However, my personal favorite is the…
I chose it because I prefer an illuminated reticle option, just in case. It might be expensive, but that’s because of its high-end specs, the 5x to 30x magnification range, and the fact that it uses premium quality German glass. It performed exceptionally in all light conditions and even gave me a larger elevation range. If it’s within your budget, you won’t get a better scope for the money.
Happy and safe shooting.