So you are looking for the Best Varmint Rifle Scopes for the Money? As you know it is the practice of hunting vermin, usually mammal or bird pests such as badgers, bobcats, coyotes, sparrowhawks and raccoons. Such vermin are small, agile and very difficult to approach, therefore hunting them requires a long range, highly accurate rifle. Varmint rifles will often have:
- High velocity for a corresponding flat trajectory.
- Lightweight bullets for minimum penetration.
- Extreme accuracy in order to hit a very small target at long range.
Best Varmint Rifle Scopes
How to Look for Perfect Varmint Hunting Rifle Scope?
When looking for the perfect varmint hunting rifle scope, it’s easy to become completely overwhelmed due to the vast array of different options that are available. Rifle scopes offer various advantages over standard iron sites. These telescopes allow for faster aiming and magnify the target, thereby enhancing accuracy. Before we list the top performers, here are a few key parts to any scope:
The main body of the scope, usually 1” (30mm) in diameter.
The end of the scope farthest from the shooter’s eye which holds the objective lens.
Controls the amount of light transmitted through the scope, the higher the power of the scope, the larger this lens will be.
The end of the scope closest to the shooter’s eye, this holds the ocular lens.
A dial just in front of the eye piece that can be rotated in order to adjust the magnification of the scope.
Windage Adjustment Dial
AKA the “turret,” is found in the mid-section of the scope and is used to move the bullet impact left or right. This is often protected beneath a cap on hunting rifles, however, it is sometimes exposed on target and varmint models.
Elevation Adjustment Dial
Also found on the mid-section of the scope, this is similar to the above dial, however, it is used to move the bullet impact upwards or downwards.
Top 5 Varmint Rifle Scopes
1. Tasco Varmint 2.5-10x 42mm True Mil-Dot Reticle, 1/4 MOA Turrets Riflescope
Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
If you’re in the market for a scope that offers affordable versatility then Tasco’s optic is probably the best varmint scope for the money. Tasco creates their scopes under the guise of their mantra, “bragging rights are earned by the success of the hunt, not the amount you paid for your scope.” At less than $100, with the ability to set magnification between 2.5 and 10, this is a brilliant option if you’re in need of a top-performing, wallet-friendly solution.
Lenses and Coating
This scope, with its extra-large 42mm objective lens, is a top performer at mid and long ranges. The scope has SuperCon/Multi-Layered optics, providing HD quality and a variable magnification of 2.5X - 10X.
Magnification and Visibility
Using the scope at 2.5 magnification gives you a clear, wide view. As you crank the scope up to 10X, the magnification extends, allowing you to observe targets in the distance. The multi-layer coating provides excellent light transmission, allowing you to see reasonably well in the early hours of the morning and in the evening. In normal daytime hours you really can’t tell the difference between this and a scope that costs 5 times as much.
True Mil-Dot Reticle
The Tasco Varmint rifle scope features a true mil-dot reticle that can be used for elevation holdovers and windage compensation. ¼ MOA adjustments are used on this scope’s turrets for precision zeroing and targeting.
- Affordable – With comparable performance to scopes that cost four times as much.
- Adjustable range – Excellent for mid to long range shots.
- Precise zeroing and targeting - ¼ MOA Adjustments.
- Windage compensation and holdovers – With the use of the mil-dot reticle.
- Moderate rate of target acquisition.
- Visibility at long range – Can get cloudy at 10X magnification.
- There is some play between the adjustment settings on the turrets.
Tasco Varmint 2.5-10x 42mm True Mil-Dot Reticle, 1/4 MOA Turrets Riflescope Video Review
2. Nikon ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC)
Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
The Nikon ProStaff is another edition to Nikon’s long history of hunting rifle optics. This scope performs very well in undesirable hunting conditions and provides a bright, clear picture when aiming. The scope offers a large degree of magnification as well as a forgiving amount of eye relief, making it perfect for varmint hunting.
Magnification and Visibility
The Nikon ProStaff is incredibly bright and crystal clear even at high magnification. It has multicoated lenses that allow light transmission of about 90 percent. This makes low-light and low-contrast hunting situations possible, with this scope excelling in morning and evening conditions. The scope offers a magnification range from 4X up to 12X, placing almost any shot within range and allowing precise varmint hunting.
This scope offers the shooter 3.7 inches of eye relief, making it a great option for higher caliber rifles and those prone to heavier recoil. This also makes it perfectly suited to varmint hunting as you can take shots from severe and undesirable angles with confidence.
Sealed Housing and Sunshade
This scope has a nitrogen-filled, O-ring sealed housing, making it waterproof and fogproof. The scope also has support for an attachable sunshade accessory which can be used in bright, dusty or rainy conditions. If you travel while varmint hunting in diverse conditions, then in your case, this is probably the best varmint hunting scope for the money.
- Very bright due to multicoated lenses
- Extensive eye relief.
- Brilliant for undesirable and difficult conditions.
- Waterproof and fogproof.
- The glass quality could be better.
- Some feel uncomfortable hunting with it as it could get dropped and beaten around a bit.
Nikon ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC) Video Review
3. BARSKA 6.5-20x50 AO Varmint Target Dot Riflescope
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
The BARSKA Varmint Rifle Scope is brilliant for precision hunting. It houses a large 50mm objective lens which increases light transmission and gives a clear image. The optics are multicoated which affords crystal clarity. It has a 1” tube and comes with a target dot reticle. Magnification ranges from 6.5X to 20X.
Objective and Turrets
This scope features an Adjustable Objective (OA) which allows for parallax correction. It also has easy-to-grip high windage and elevation turrets. The adjustments for the turrets are made at a click value of 1/8 MOA. The scope is waterproof, fogproof and shockproof making it ideal for varmint hunting.
- Tactile turrets with MOA 1/8 adjustments.
- Fine cross hairs with a small center dot that doesn’t cover up small targets.
- Clear and bright glass at low to medium power settings.
- Distortion of the view at very high power settings.
- Tight adjustment knobs.
- Can lose the zero.
BARSKA 6.5-20x50 AO Varmint Target Dot Riflescope Video Review
4. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Circle-X Reticle Riflescope
Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
If you ask any hunter, they’ll tell you that more tags are filled in the low-light hours than at any other time of day. This Bushnell scope has been designed with this in mind. If you’re looking for a scope for varmint hunting in the low-light conditions of the morning or evening, then for you, this is the best varmint rifle scope for the money.
Lenses and Magnification
This scope features Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated lenses which enhance clarity and light transmission through the optics in low-light conditions, adding hours to your hunt. The scope is fitted with a 40mm objective lens and the magnification ranges from 3X to 9X, making it ideal for mid to longer range engagements.
Adjustments and Features
This varmint scope has a circle-X reticle and ¼ MOA fingertip turrets for easy windage and elevation adjustments. There is also a fast-focus eye piece and the entire scope is waterproof and fogproof.
- Crystal clear in low-light conditions.
- Your eye picks up the circle-x reticle with ease.
- Easy to zero.
- Great camouflage design.
- Could have range finder hairs.
- Could have more eye relief.
- Could have thinner crosshairs.
Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Circle-X Reticle Riflescope Video Review
5. SWFA SS 10x42 Tactical 30mm Riflescope
Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
If you are looking for the best of the best and you aren’t too concerned about your budget, then the SWFA SS Tactical Scope is a very high-quality optic. The SWFA was originally designed for the Navy, it does have a hefty price tag but is actually great value if you consider its features and what other manufacturers would be charging for it.
Magnification and Lenses
This rifle scope has a 40mm objective and a fixed magnification of 10X. This magnification is ideal for varmint hunting and allows the shooter to differentiate between the game they’re hunting and the surrounding environment. The lenses are of the highest quality, affording you an HD view of the world.
The SWFA scope utilizes a mil dot reticle for simple windage and elevation adjustments. The scope has a glove-friendly magnification ring which is easily turnable.
- Military grade scope.
- Robust and durable.
- Excellent for the price.
- Very good eye relief.
- Clear, quality glass and reticle.
- Not one of the cheapest scopes.
- Could have a thicker tube - If you tighten the scope mount too tight it will crush the crosshairs.
SWFA SS 10x42 Tactical 30mm Riflescope Video Review
There you have it. Hopefully this guide has helped you figure out what the Best Varmint Rifle Scopes for the Money is on the market. Feel free to share your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below.