Best Varmint Scopes For 223 – 2021 Buyer’s Guide

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Varmint hunting or vermin hunting is associated with the hunting of small mammals or birds, which may be troublesome for humans since they might act as pests. These can include creatures such as crows, ravens, rats, etc.

There are special rifles available in the market that are used for hunting them. But a rifle is not complete without a scope, especially considering that most of the prey under this category is small in size, which makes it all the more necessary to have one.

To also help you pick out one to deal with these pests, let’s discuss the uses and different kinds of rifle scopes that are perfect for varmint hunting.

Comparison Chart of the Best Varmint Scopes For .223

  • Durable design optimized for low-light conditions
  • Full water and fog proofed construction
  • Fitted with a fast-focus eyepiece
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  • Impressive clarity provided by fully-coated lenses
  • Designed with fog, shock, and waterproof construction
  • Specially designed to withstand recoil forces
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  • Best for the Money
  • Made with fast focus technology
  • Integrated red and green illumination
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  • Coated optics system provides high-quality clarity
  • Fitted with a QTA eyepiece for quick acquisition
  • Water, fog, and recoil proof
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  • Fully coated optic lens system
  • Solid construction provide shockproof capability
  • Argon purged to ensure fog and waterproof functioning
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What Makes a Scope Great for Varmint Hunting With a .223?

Below you will find some of the factors that make a scope great for varmint hunting.

Magnification Range

A useful magnification or zoom range allows you to observe your surroundings and prey easily from a safe distance. You do not need to get too close to shoot it accurately. This is great as animals have a sharp sense of smell and can tell if they are in the presence of a predator or an attacker.

Low-Light Feature

This is quite an important feature and is common in a lot of varmint scopes. It allows you to perfectly view and observe your surroundings even at night, or in other instances where a lot of light is not available for precise viewing. 

This feature makes it easy to hunt pests in the dark, as creatures such as rats are usually nocturnal.


Reticles are the markings on the eye-pieces of scopes that make it easier for the user to aim at their targets and shoot accurately. It is preferred to get a scope with such markings as it makes hunting easier for a person, especially if they are a novice or a beginner.

Review of the Best Varmint Scopes For .223

Now that we have discussed the factors required for a good quality varmint hunting scope, let's get into some of our top picks, their features, and what makes them stand out.

Best Overall:
Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn


  • Can function in low-light conditions and has eye-relief of 3.5 inches
  • Purged with argon, making it fog-proof in all kinds of weather conditions
  • Includes lenses with anti-reflective coating to give high-quality and sharp images
  • Has a riflescope with a magnification range of 6-18x and an objective lens of 50mm
  • Consists of a sealed O-ring, which keeps all the optics completely waterproof, when even fully submerged in water


  • Had a few problems with adjustability in some pieces
  • Some of the scopes were quite fragile and needed to be handled carefully

What Recent Buyers Report

People who recently bought and used this scope have loved its performance. They say that the construction is excellent, and it is also highly durable, as it can fight water, rust, and fog. It functions perfectly, even in low-light conditions, and gives images with excellent quality.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Its multi-coated lenses are a superb feature. Each layer of the optics has been covered with a high-quality anti-reflective coating. This allows the person to use the scope to be able to view things with full clarity. 

There are no sun blotches or reflective distortion that may hinder proper vision and make it difficult to look through. This is great because the scope can be used in all sorts of lighting conditions, even in extremely bright lights. It will not affect the view. 

Another highlight of this model is that the images taken because these lenses are high in quality, completely free of distortion, and sharp.

Bottom Line

This is a high-quality scope with a lot of features that make it worth your while. Bushnell has always been a frontrunner in sporting optics, and this one proves why that exactly is yet again.

BARSKA Varmint Mil-Dot Riflescope

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


  • Includes lenses with anti-reflective coating
  • Contains a crosshair reticle with a target dot, for easy hunting
  • Consists of 1/8 MOA click adjustments for high-level accuracy
  • Has an eye-relief of 3.6 inches and is waterproof, fog-proof and shock-proof
  • Has a magnification range of 6.5-20x and a parallax adjusting the objective lens of 50mm


  • Some scopes had a problem with the lens coating
  • There were also adjustability problems in some pieces

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers and users of this scope have been highly satisfied with it. There were a few faulty pieces delivered to some people, but the problem was solved quickly with replacements. They have an excellent zoom feature, which keeps images and views clear. The adjustable objective lens is key for clarity and sharpness as well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The objective lens of this scope is quite unique because of its adjustability, as this makes it different from the normal objective lenses you may get in scopes on the market. Usually, sharp and clear viewing ability and images are credited to the great magnification range or zoom feature of scope or great anti-reflective lenses.

This scope has both of these features, and an adjustable objective lens, which makes it stand out from the rest. This adjustable lens is significant because it helps with the correction of the parallax error that may occur when shooting targets at a great distance.

Bottom Line

A great scope with an additional viewing feature. This makes it a lot better than some other scopes on the market. As a result, you get good value for your money.

Best for the Money:
CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope

CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope 6-24x50 AOE Red and Green Illuminated Gun Scope with Free Mount


  • Has a magnification range of 6-24x
  • Contains an objective lens of 50mm
  • Diameter of the tube is 1 inch, and it has an eye-relief of 3.52 inches
  • Consists of a rifle scope with red and green illumination reticles of level 5 intensity
  • The Field of vision is 28ft. at a 100 yards and it has a click value of 1/8 at a 100 yards


  • Turrets are not all that great
  • Hard to find the power at which the reticle markings were

What Recent Buyers Report

They have been quite surprised by the performance of this one. The zoom and focus adjustments work perfectly, and you can find the perfect setting according to your distance very easily.

Also, most scopes only consist of zoom or magnification adjustments, while your eyes have the task of focusing. But that’s not the case with this model, which is highly appreciated.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The focus ring is one of the few features that we like. It is uncommon for most scopes to have both a magnification setting and a focus setting. Usually, it is one or the other. 

The magnification feature or the zoom settings are the ones that are primarily responsible for adjusting and focusing on the distance at which the scope is aimed so that job goes to your eyes.

But the focusing features makes it easy. All that is required after zooming into your desired distance is to move that ring until you get a clear view and then you can fully focus on that area.

Bottom Line

The focus ring makes this one of the best. And along with a host of other features, this one is worth investing in if you are a hunter or a fan of outdoor sports.

4. Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm


  • Contains fully-coated anti-reflective optics
  • Fully waterproof, fog-proof and recoil-proof
  • Has a magnification range of 3-9x and an objective lens of 50mm
  • Consists of TrueZero 1/4 MOA windage and elevation adjustments system
  • Has an exit pupil of 16.6-5.6mm and a 60-inch adjustment range at 100 yards


  • Does not come with rings
  • Seals popped in some of the scopes

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyer reports tell us that the scope looks nice and can easily fit on a rifle; that is what most of the customers have said about it. It is easy to understand why it has been loved by all that have used it.

It offers great image clarity, has a good amount of eye-relief, and exit pupil range.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product stands out to us mainly because of the eye-relief and exit pupil. Eye-relief is the distance from which you can see the whole image through the eye-piece, and the exit pupil is responsible for the amount of light that may enter a scope to make the image visible.

A larger eye-relief means that a person can move their eye farther away from the eye-piece without losing the complete image or area of focus. A larger exit pupil means more light will enter, which means the image will be clearer.

The ranges available in this scope are higher than the alternative models on the market, which is a positive point for this one.

Bottom Line

In all, with this unit, you get great viewing and imagery, with a sharpness and clarity that is unmatched at this value. This one will surely shine through the competition and make you want to use it over and over again.

5. Vortex Optics Diamondback


  • Contains fully-coated anti-reflective lenses
  • Includes metal turrets with the ability to reset
  • Has a magnification range of 1.75-5x and an objective lens of 32mm
  • Consists of a dead-hold BDC reticle, which is good for hunting even at distances
  • Purged with argon and has a sealed O-ring, making it shock, fog and waterproof


  • Few people received scopes with scratched lenses
  • Some scopes had a piece of black plastic or metal sticking out in front of the eye-piece

What Recent Buyers Report

It is worth every penny is what most of the reviews have said. It is highly accurate, with a great reticle. Its optics are clear and offer sharp images.

All who have bought this scope have been very happy with its performance, and find the price-to-performance ratio satisfactory.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is an innovation in itself. It is a vortex special, and it works perfectly with a bunch of different kinds of rifles. It has drop hash marks, and these allow the user to accurately shoot targets from a safe distance, even up to 500 yards.

The bullet will hit precisely and will have minimal to no chance of drifting. It is a great addition to an already great-quality scope, which puts it in a class above the rest of the models available in the market.

Bottom Line

A good scope such as this should not be underestimated. Vortex is a well-known company in the optics industry, and with previous hits such as the razor and viper series, it will be easy for people to love this one too.

Advantages of Investing in a Quality Varmint Scope For Your .223:

There are multiple advantages to investing in a good varmint scope. These include:

Good Image Quality

Any of the scopes mentioned above can be chosen if good-quality images are what you are looking for. There's no use in investing in scope with bad optics as that should be one of the first things a scope should have, especially for varmint hunting.

The images need to be sharp, clear, and perfect even in low-light settings, which all of our chosen scopes give.


Durability should be important as who wants to spend loads of money on a scope that is as fragile as crystal? These scopes are all fog, water, shock, and even recoil proof, as they have sealed O-rings and have been purged with argon.

These will last a long time as they are high in quality because of material, as well as function.


All the scopes mentioned above have been given great customer reviews in terms of accuracy, especially when it comes to shooting their target.

They have great optics, which allow for perfect viewing of prey. They also have marked or illuminated reticles, which help in making a clear shot.


All scopes listed in this article are top-of-the-line and some of the best ones for varmint hunting. We have declared them as our top picks after thorough research and after reading countless customer product reviews.

Each of these will suit and work favorably with a .223 rifle because of their features and will last you a long time because of their durability.

People Also Ask

Even though we have tried our best to give all the details about our products, there may still be some things that can confuse readers or just be some things related to varmint hunting in general that they may want to clear up. 

So, below, we have answered a few common questions for our readers.

What is a Varmint?

A varmint is defined as a creature that acts as a nuisance or causes disturbances and troubles for humans, be it in their homes or on their lands. They are also called vermin or pests. They are mostly small mammals, such as rodents, or birds, such as crows or ravens.

Is the .223 a Good Varmint Rifle?

Yes, it is one of the most popular choices for hunting varmints. It has great firing power and can shoot accurately at distances. It is simple in design, easy to use, and gets the job done.

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.