Best Scopes For 17 WSM – 2021 Round-up

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The .17 WSM is a rifle cartridge that was first introduced in 2012 by the ammunition company, Winchester.

Since then, it has become known as the fastest rimfire cartridge ever manufactured and has become the most commonly used one for varmint or small game hunting. Companies even manufacture scopes that can specifically be paired with it.

So in this article, we have some of the best scopes available on the market for .17 WSM.

Comparison Chart of the Best Scopes For .17 WSM

  • Long eye relief with forgiving eye box
  • Finger adjustable, capped reset turrets
  • Nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed
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  • Reticle is RGB illuminated
  • Objective is adjustable
  • One year limited warranty
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  • Best for the Money
  • 1 inch tube with quick-focus eyepiece
  • Easily adjustable objective
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  • Best Scope for Savage 17 WSM
  • 6.5-20x magnification for extreme precision
  • Scope caps and lens cloth included
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  • Best Leupold 17 WSM Scope
  • Shockproof, fogproof, and waterproof
  • 1-inch maintube design is ultra-lightweight
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What Makes a Scope Suitable for a .17 WSM?

Some factors make a scope suitable for .17 WSM, such as:

Magnification Power

Magnification is one important factor in any scope. It depends on two main things: the distance and the size of the target. If your target is smaller in size and at a large distance from you, you need to magnify or zoom into it more to get an accurate aim and shot.

Objective Lens

The objective lens of the scope should have a large diameter. The bigger the lens, the more light will reach your eye as more of it can enter the scope in the first place. Hence, this makes it easier for you to see your target clearly, even in low-light situations. And if it is adjustable, all the better.


No matter how much a scope costs, the one thing that it should be is high in quality and durable. It should be long-lasting so that it can come in handy for years of hunting. Nowadays, most of the scopes on the market are manufactured with sealed O-rings and have purged nitrogen or argon, making them fog, water, and shockproof.

How Accurate is a .17 WSM?

The .17 WSM rimfire rifle cartridge has been hailed as the fastest cartridge ever manufactured. It is the most popular choice when hunting for varmints, pests, or small game. But is it as accurate as it is fast is what matters.

People have tested it with different rifles and compared it to other cartridges, and it has turned out that it can accurately hit targets up to 200 yards, with only minor differences.

A user reports that at a 100 yard zero setting, the .17 WSM drops at 150 yards with only 1.2 inches off, and at 200 yards with only 4.1 inches off. In terms of rimfire rifles, this is great accuracy.

Review of the Best Scopes For .17 WSM

Now that we have discussed some important points that a good-quality scope should comprise, here are our top picks, their details, and what makes them stand out from others available on the market.

Best Overall:
Vortex Optics Crossfire II


  • Adjustable capped turrets
  • Optics are fully covered with anti-reflective coating
  • Magnification range is 2-7x, and the objective lens is 32mm
  • Consists of the Vortex special Dead-Hold BDC Reticle for precision and accuracy
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction, purged by nitrogen and with a sealed O-ring


  • Some scopes got very blurry when zoomed past 6x
  • Clarity in some scopes during low light conditions left a lot to be desired

What Recent Buyers Report

People who bought and used this scope have found it nearly perfect, or as perfect as one can get. It holds zero when adjusted and has great clarity, and has great accuracy when shooting even at great distances.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The factor that makes it stand out is its long eye relief. Eye-relief is the distance from the eye-piece at which you can get a full and clear view of the image of your target and surroundings. It is very important when it comes to hunting scopes.

The greater the eye-relief of the scope, the farther the eye can be taken from the eye-piece without any image distortion. Low eye-relief can cause problems, as getting too close can distort the image, and getting too far can make it appear very small in the center.

The eye-relief of this one is 2.7 inches, which is good for a quality scope.

Bottom Line

Great features come as a full package in this scope, from its magnification to its turrets, lightweight construction, and durability. It is as close to a high-quality scope as we can get.

BSA Optics 17SM4514x44AORGBCP


  • Consists of a dual grain turret
  • Contains an illuminated RGB green, blue and red glass-etched reticle
  • Magnification range of 4.5-14x with an adjustable objective lens of 44mm
  • Water-proof, shockproof, and fog-proof, with a limited one-year warranty
  • Eye-piece is fast focusing, and it has a ballistic range reticle for 20 and 25grain


  • Elevation was also faulty in some of them
  • Some scopes had problems with windage control

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers reported that it is well-constructed and is a great illumination reticle. People love that it easily locks down after adjusting so that it does not need to be readjusted every time they use it. Also, the accuracy was a surprise for people who were using it for the first time, as it was better than expected.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reticle is a great addition to this scope. Normally, reticles are just the markings on the eye-piece of the scope, which help with the accuracy and precision when aiming and shooting at targets.

But this is no normal reticle. It has RGB illumination in three colors, green, blue, and red. This allows you to better aim and shoot at your targets, especially in low light situations or when hunting in the dark. 

It also has a ballistic range for 20 and 25-grain weighing rounds of bullets. This makes the performance of the scope excellent.

Bottom Line

In all, this is a great quality scope with a host of features that make it perfect to pair with a .17 WSM. It is highly accurate and gives great clarity when viewing targets. It is also very durable and will last you for years to come.

Best for the Money:
Bushnell 613510A Rimfire

Bushnell 613510A Rimfire Optics Scope with Multi-X Reticle, 3.5-10 x 36mm, Matte


  • Consists of replaceable and adjustable BDC turrets
  • A rimfire-specific scope which is calibrated for the .17 WSM
  • Contains a multi-x reticle for precision while shooting targets
  • Has a fast-focus eye-piece and is light and easy to carry and adjust
  • Magnification range of 3.5-10x with an adjustable objective lens of 36mm


  • Elevation issues reported in some pieces
  • Some scopes became less accurate while shooting after only a small amount of time

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have liked the performance of this scope. They say that it has a sharp reticle with incredible focus, and it also holds zero quite well. Overall, reports suggest that it is rather well-made and very durable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The optics on this Bushnell scope are superb. Each layer is fully covered with anti-reflective coating, making sure that the viewing is free of any sort of hindrance.

The anti-reflective coating also makes it easy to use in all kinds of lighting conditions, especially really bright ones. Even then, you get a clear view of your target and surroundings, as there are no distortion, glare, or reflections that may cause problems for you.

The image quality is also very vivid because of this; it is sharp and bright, and promise full clarity.

Bottom Line

Bushnell is one of the best companies in sporting optics. This scope is great in quality and function. It is also rim fire-specific and calibrated to suit a .17 WSM perfectly.

Best Scope for Savage .17 WSM:
BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot

Barska AC10048 Varmint 6.5-20x50 Rifle Scope Target Dot Reticle Adjustable Objective , Black


  • Water-proof, fog-proof and shockproof
  • Contains a fine crosshair reticle with 1/8 inch MOA click adjustments
  • Consists of fully-coated anti-reflective lenses for clear images and viewing
  • Magnification range of 6.5-20x with a parallax adjusting the objective lens of 50mm
  • Has a quick access magnification zoom ring and easy-grip turrets for fast adjustments


  • Recoil is a bit too strong for some people
  • Windage adjustment turret broke in some scopes after just a few uses

What Recent Buyers Report

Better than expected, is what people who have been using other brands for a long time have said after giving this one a try. Crosshair that is hair-thin, and glass with great clarity, make it as good as some of the top competitors in the game of sporting optics.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Along with great optics and a great reticle, it has a large magnification range. An important point of a good scope is that it can zoom into and magnify its focused objects clearly without blurring them or making it hard for them to be viewed by the human eye.

This one has a magnification range that can make your target 6.5 times to 20 times larger than its original size, making it easier to even view it from a safe distance and not get caught up in trying not to lose it at the slightest movement.

Bottom Line

Great reticle, optics, and construction make this one a must-have for people who are a fan of shooting and hunting. It will live up to the reviews it has been given as it was an unexpected, but not unwelcome addition to a lot of hunters' scope collections.

Best Leupold .17 WSM Scope:
Leupold FX-3


  • Magnification of 6x with an objective lens of 42mm
  • Contains a wide duplex reticle for quick target acquisition
  • Has 1/4 MOA click adjustments for proper elevation and windage
  • Water-proof, fog-proof and shockproof, aluminum construction makes it light in weight
  • Consists of the Twilight Max Light Management System for vivid and bright target images


  • Faulty scopes received by some people
  • Some people had problems with the turrets

What Recent Buyers Report

Satisfied buyers report that this is rather the best scope they have ever invested in. You would think that a fixed magnification would make it less appealing, but people actually say that it is not essential to have a large magnification range for a scope to work perfectly.

If the one setting that it gives is the best there is, then that's all that counts.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Twilight Max Light Management System makes the unit stand out most. It is a Leupold-specific feature, not seen in any other company's scopes. This feature takes the performance of scope in different lighting conditions to a whole new level.

This allows you to view your surroundings with top-notch clarity and vividness, leaving nothing lacking with its sharpness. The image quality is also superior to most scopes available on the market, being bright, vivid, and high in quality.

The lenses also have full-spectrum coating and glare management, which make it possible to have up to 20 minutes of shooting light.

Bottom Line

Leupold is one of the many reputable brands in scope manufacturing. With its centuries-old tried-and-tested methods of manufacture and product testing to perfection, this scope will definitely live up to your expectations.

Should Any Scope Be Used on a .17 WSM?

Yes, most of the scopes on the market nowadays can be used with .17 WSM. This is because it was first introduced in 2012, and since then, it has become the most commonly used cartridge for hunting, especially varmints or small prey.

Companies who have wanted to remain relevant and ahead of the sporting optics industry have upped their game and manufactured scopes that cater to it and can be paired with it.

So, most of the scopes manufactured nowadays have a high magnification range, great optics and eye-relief, and adjustment turrets; some of the factors that make them relevant for use with a .17 WSM.

How Far Can a .17 WSM Shoot?

As stated above, the .17 WSM is the fastest cartridge to date and has a high accuracy rate when it comes to rimfire rifles.

It has been tested by various hunters over the years to determine how far off a target needs to be shot by it. It has been determined that it can accurately shoot up to 200 yards, going off target only minutely.


All the scopes listed in this article are great for pairing up with a .17 WSM. We say this because we have compiled them after thorough research, and by reading and comparing the customer reviews related to them.

Hopefully, this can help some of you decide which scope you would like to try out.

People Also Ask

Now even though we have tried our best to give every detail related to the listed products, there may still be some things that our readers may want to clear up. So, we have compiled the answers to a few commonly asked questions to help.

Who Makes the .17 WSM Rifle?

As Winchester is the company that introduced the .17 WSM cartridge, they are also responsible for manufacturing the rifle that goes with it, which is the 1885 Low Wall single shot. Other companies have also manufactured rifles that make use of these cartridges, such as the B-Mag bolt action by Savage.

How Fast is a .17 WSM?

The .17 WSM can reach up to 3000 fps with a 20-grain bullet and 2600 fps with a 25-grain bullet.

What is the Difference Between a .17 HMR and a .17 WSM?

The only difference between these two is their performance on the field. The .17 HMR can reach up to 2550 fps with a 17-grain bullet, while a .17 WSM can reach up to 3000 fps with a 20-grain bullet. 


What Does .17 WSM Stand For?

.17 WSM stands for 17 Winchester Super Magnum.

Can You Shoot a .17 WSM in a .17 HMR Rifle?

No, you cannot shoot a .17 WSM from a .17 HMR rifle, at least, not safely.

Is .17 Caliber the Same as .177?

No, a .17 caliber is equal to 172 inches in diameter, while a .177 caliber is slightly smaller as it is a pellet and mostly used for air guns or BB guns.

My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.