Best Varmint Rifles of 2019 – Ultimate Review

Finding the best varmint rifle can be a challenge. But if you have a good idea of how these rifles work and what they are used for, then the search process won’t be so difficult. A varmint rifle is definitely something you’ll need for the sake of hunting small critters or varmints that are considered a nuisance to homeowners.

It’s important that you find one that will meet (or even exceed) your standards when it comes to quality and performance. While there are so many varmint rifles on the market, we’ve put together a list of the seven best varmint rifles currently available.

Before we get to the list, we’ll talk about what a varmint hunting rifle is and what it’s used for. We’ll also discuss whether or not any rifle can be used for varmint hunting. Finally, we’ll talk about why the seven rifles we’re about to review made our list. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Varmint Rifles

PRODUCT DETAILS
gm2-table__image

Savage 110 Apex Hunter XP .308 Win Rifle W/ 3-9x40 Vortex Crossfire II Scope

  • Best overall varmint rifle
  • Includes a Vortex Crossfire II Scope
  • Chambered in .308 Win Caliber shots
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Remington 700 SPS Varmint 223 Rem 5 Round Bolt Action Rifle

  • 5-round capacity
  • Runner-up for best overall varmint rifle
  • Chambered to fire in .223 caliber rounds
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Ruger American Rifle Bolt-Action Rimfire Rifle

  • Adjustable trigger included
  • Front and rear sights included
  • Best varmint rifle for the money
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Benjamin Marauder Mrod Air Rifle Combo Air Rifle

  • Best varmint air rifle
  • Includes 2-stage adjustable trigger
  • Uses 2,000 to 3,000 psi of compressed air
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Brownells XBRN177E2 AR-15 Rifle

  • The best varmint AR-15 rifle
  • The capacity of 20 +1 rounds
  • Chambered in 5.56 NATO shots
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Savage Arms .22-250 12 FV Bolt-Action Varmint

  • Best 22 250 Varmint Rifle
  • Barrel made from carbon steel
  • Adjustable AccuTrigger included
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

DPMS Oracle .223 16" 30+1 Tactical Rifle

  • Best 223 Varmint Rifle
  • 30 + 1 magazine capacity
  • Barrel measured at 16 inches
View Latest Price

What is a Varmint Rifle and What is it Used For?

A varmint rifle is a kind of rifle used for the purpose of hunting varmint or small, invasive critters. Typically, they are not just used for hunting but they can be used for property management. For example, if you have varmints or small animals that tend to damage your property, you can use a rifle to get rid of them and possibly prevent future damage. 

Can Any Rifle Be Used For Varmint Hunting?

The answer is no. One of the major reasons is simple. Some rifles may be too powerful for varmint hunting. The last thing you want to do is fire off a rifle that is powerful enough to blow a varmint off the face of the earth. Thankfully, the rifles we chose ensure that none of them have too much power for the purpose of warding them off. 

Why Did These Rifles Make Our List?

We didn’t choose these rifles at complete random. We managed to choose them based on some of the characteristics and features that made them stand out. On top of that, the overall performance of the rifles themselves provided a strong-enough case of why they belong. Here are a few additional reasons:

Affordable in Price

Whether you are on a budget or if you have money to play with, you’re bound to find the rifle that matches your personal needs and preferences. However, you should abide by this rule: find the best quality and performance you can afford. This way you won’t sacrifice quality for the sake of saving yourself a few dollars. 

High-Quality Materials

If you want something that is built to last and won’t wear and tear so easily, then you’re going to need a rifle made from high-quality materials. The thing about materials like steel, aluminum, or polymer (among others) is that they are proven to take on all kinds of beatings, multiple amounts of shock, and other elements that may otherwise damage poor-quality materials. But don’t let that translate into neglecting your rifle. You should always clean it on a regular basis

Wide Variety of Choices

By a wide variety, we mean we have thrown in a mix of different rifles great for varmint hunting. Some of them use live ammo while others are air rifles. The similarity between the two is power. They are both powerful enough to knock down varmints easily. One difference that is a no-brainer to point out, is safety. It’s better to use an airsoft rifle in a suburban neighborhood than it is to fire off an AR-15 with neighbors nearby when ridding your property of varmints.

Review of the Best Varmint Rifles

The following is a list of the seven best varmint rifles currently on the market. While going through the list, you’ll want to make a note of any features and characteristics that pique your interest. If you have a good idea of what your ideal varmint rifle looks like (and how it operates), you’ll find one of the seven to be a good match. Close enough is always better than nothing at all.

With that said, let’s begin by taking a look at the best overall choice on our list:

PROS

  • Aesthetically sharp
  • Bolt action slides nice and smooth
  • Durable and super solid construction
  • The scope is really durable, also, it provides great image quality
  • Superior firing power, can knockdown varmint from about 200 to 250 yards away

CONS

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new buyers were quite happy with the rifle. They said the feeding of the ammo via the bolt action was jam-free and the bolt action itself moved around smoothly without any grittiness. On top of that, they managed to fire off a few rounds at the range, hitting the bullseye and close to it from distances ranging from 150 to 250 yards. One user said he uses this for long-distance varmint hunting and even hog hunting.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is solidly built, durable, and can definitely do some damage in a hunting situation. In short, it’s considered to be the total package. Durable, great firing power, and equipped with one of the best scopes in the business is the Vortex Crossfire II. The scope is probably one of the most durable out there. And with crisp and clear image quality and a reticle that allows some pretty sharp and precise shooting, it’s no wonder they got the best overall honors.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be a great varmint hunting rifle for a lot of hunters that want to go the distance. Whether it’s varmint or hog, this rifle has a considerable amount of knockdown power that will make sure your bag limit is met day in and day out (or whenever you get the chance to go hunting). So if you are looking for a rifle that is pretty much the epitome of how a varmint rifle should work, go with this.

Bottom Line

The Savage 110 Apex Hunter XP .308 Winchester Rifle has proven why it belongs to the best overall slot. We cannot stress enough the durability and performance. And when it’s equipped with one of the best hunting scopes on the market, you can be certain it’s going to be one of the best varmint rifles on the market. For these reasons, this rifle has the potential to hang on to the best overall spot for quite some time.

PROS

  • Powerful shooting
  • Reduced recoil right out of the box
  • Superior durability and construction
  • Sling swivels are strong and can allow for most slings
  • Shoots with precision and accuracy at various distances

CONS

  • May be a bit too loud for some users
  • Can be a challenge to use without any kind of sight attached
  • Disassembly can be a challenge at first (for maintenance purposes)

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new buyers were quite happy with the rifle. This rifle was strong in durability and packed a powerful punch in terms of shooting. More importantly, a lot of new shooters managed to install some sights to ensure their shots were dead-on accurate. Even one user said he managed to install a front sight on his rifle and successfully managed to hit his targets from a good 150 yards out.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is chambered to fire .223 caliber shots, which are possibly one of the most popular choices when it comes to hunting varmints. The firing power behind this is pretty solid and it’s decent enough for rounds to go the distance. If you want a good rifle that will work to knock down varmint and hogs, this could be what you’re looking for. Aesthetics-wise, it’s a head-turner. But don’t get it solely for the looks.

Who Will Use This Most

This would be ideal for those who hunt varmints and hogs and want to shoot them from a good distance (100 yards to 150 yards, at best). Don’t be shocked if this rifle ends up doing that on a consistent basis. Overall, this rifle is pretty solid and can fire like a champ. If you want something that’s completely simple in design and use, this is the varmint rifle to go with.

Bottom Line

The Remington 700 SPS Varmint 223 is without question, a really good varmint rifle to have on hand. And it can definitely get the job done, no matter how often you use it. If you’re not much of a long-distance shooter but still want to knock down your targets from quite a distance away, this just might be right up your alley.

PROS

  • Really fun to shoot
  • Excellent firing power
  • Very durable construction
  • Accurate and reliable across many distances
  • The trigger is easy to adjust and trigger pull weight is manageable, regardless of how it’s set

CONS

  • Rear sight may interfere with scopes
  • The clip may be easy to lose in the field
  • Some have complained about misfeeding

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new users were pretty stoked about having this rifle in hand. Not only were they quite happy with the price it was going for, they were also happy with what they got in return. Simply put, they got more than what they paid for. One user said he managed to accurately hit his targets from 100 to 150 yards without the use of a scope. To add, he was seriously impressed with the precision and accuracy he got out of it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This varmint rifle is pretty solid in construction. Its sights (both front and rear) co-witness quite nicely, which explains why you’ll get really good accuracy and precision each time you shoot at a target. Structurally, the rifle is built solidly thanks to a mix of polymer and steel. Both are high-quality materials proven to last and handle the multiple amounts of gunfire.

Who Will Use This Most

This will perhaps be the go-to varmint rifle for those starting out with ridding their property of varmints or hunting them down (including hogs, as well). If you want something that will give you all kinds of accuracy and firing power without having to cost an arm or a leg, you’re better off getting a rifle like this. Especially when you want to deal with your targets from 100 to 150 yards (or more) away.

Bottom Line

If you want a rifle that is easy on the bank account and exciting to use for many hunters, this rifle from Ruger is the perfect varmint hunting rifle (and at a price that you can afford). Don’t be surprised if this ends up being your rifle for the long-term (despite the fact that it’s designed to be a newbie-friendly kind of rifle).

PROS

  • Really accurate and precise
  • Plenty of magazine space for most users
  • The barrel is compliant with most state laws
  • Easy to customize with additional accessories
  • Solid construction and materials are super-durable

CONS

  • May be a bit heavy at times
  • A few were not happy with the overall accuracy
  • Some accessories may need to be replaced prior to use

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users were happy with this rifle for a few good reasons. One, they had plenty of rounds to work with for varmint and hog hunting. They were also pretty happy with the ease of use and the ability for them to customize the rifle to their own preferences. One user said he was able to add on a nice scope to his rifle and managed to hit a few targets from about 200 yards out, at best.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We now focus our attention on the big guns (no pun intended). This rifle is powerful. But it doesn’t have too much power to the point where it would be considered too much for varmint hunting. This can perhaps get the job done at some longer distances. Not to mention, it’s a rifle that is tough all over and gives you so many rounds to work with. So, if you want a rugged-looking rifle that can make varmint hunting enjoyable, this might be the rifle you’ll want to consider giving a closer look.

Who Will Use This Most

This rifle will certainly be fun to use, especially if you are using it for hunting varmints and hogs. And with plenty of firing power at your disposal, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything else quite like this on the market. So if you want some power, distance, and accuracy rolled into one total package, this is the rifle that can be your best friend out in the field.

Bottom Line

The DPMS Oracle is rugged, powerful, and can be reliable in any given hunting situation. It’s the perfect rifle for those who want more than enough shots to get themselves through a long day of hunting. While you might not be able to use all 30 rounds, you’ll still have plenty of rounds to work with the next time you head out hunting.

Benjamin Marauder Mrod Air Rifle Combo air Rifle

PROS

  • Light in weight
  • Easy to pump and fire
  • Reliable most of the time
  • Best for property management in a suburban area
  • Can reach out and touch something as far as 60 yards out

CONS

  • Can be a bit loud
  • The scope isn’t really the best
  • Some say it’s quite pricey for an air rifle

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, a lot of users were searching for a varmint rifle that would be perfect for suburban and even rural property management when it comes to varmint. When they came across this, they were pretty happy with the rifle, in general. It was easy to pump and delivered a whole lot of knockdown power when dealing with varmint from close-range. One user said this came quite in handy when he had a bit of a raccoon problem in his neighborhood. He chose this rifle since it was the safest possible option compared to using live ammo. So far, he’s been able to use it with great success.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you think air rifles are not the best for varmint hunting, this one, in particular, will prove you wrong. One of the many reasons why this rifle stands out as one of the best is the amount of air power delivered in every shot. This air rifle is no toy. It’s the kind of rifle that can do some serious business, especially against varmint targets in a suburban setting.

Who Will Use This Most

This rifle will obviously be used for the purpose of dealing with varmints in a suburban setting. In fact, it’s pretty much required to use it in such a setting. Because you are setting up a dangerous situation if you just so happen to be using live rounds. If you’re smart about managing the varmint problem, you should use a rifle that will still pack a powerful punch and knock down a varmint or two. This rifle is the best possible example.

Bottom Line

The Benjamin Marauder is one tough customer when it comes to air rifles. If you think this is just some child’s toy, think again. In fact, it’s too powerful for kids to use. But if you want to get rid of varmints without risking the life of your neighbors, this just might be the one you’ll want to use for the long term.

Best Varmint AR-15 Rifle:
Brownells XBRN177E2 AR-15 Rifle

PROS

  • Easy to customize
  • Accurate and reliable
  • Light in weight, even when loaded
  • Easy to load, takes a couple of minutes
  • Excellent firing power and you’ll have plenty of rounds handy for hunting

CONS

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

This rifle was a hit with most users, especially those who fancy themselves AR-15 rifle users. They said they managed to hit their targets with accuracy and precision at ranges between 100 to 250 yards. One user was even able to reach that far while test-firing it at the range. He added that the front sight was at a good size but didn’t obstruct the target at all.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a varmint rifle that is built solidly and can go the distance. As a result, every shot you fire is precise, accurate, and will certainly knock down varmints with ease. Though it is an AR-15, it’s got quite a bit of power but it’s not considered to be too much by varmint hunting standards. With 20 rounds at your disposal, it's plenty for all your hunting needs. So if you want something that is built solidly and ready for action in the hunting fields, this is what you’ll need.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be a great rifle to have if you need something that will be quite handy for long-distance shooting purposes. By long-distance, we can define it as 200 yards or more. Most AR-15s are known for going quite far. So if you are in search of the perfect varmint rifle that will get the job done at some impressive distances, this is the one you’ll probably go with.

Bottom Line

The Brownells Carbine 5.56 Rifle is the one rifle that can definitely provide a lot of knockdown power for varmints and hogs out in the field. For an AR-15 rifle, it’s rough, tough, and precisely accurate. For a heavy-duty rifle you can depend on for hunting, this bad boy makes a strong case as to why its one of the best.

PROS

  • No barrel break-in
  • Excellent firing power
  • Bolt action feeds very well
  • Superior quality and construction
  • Outstanding accuracy,can hit targets effectively at various distances

CONS

  • May need to be cleaned before initial use
  • Some say the finish on the stock was uneven
  • A few have reported the first shell failing to eject

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users were pretty happy with the rifle overall. They said the shooting power provides some serious knockdown against varmints. Accuracy-wise, it was able to reach a distance of 300 yards. One user was even shocked that he could shoot a varmint target from that far away (and in one shot, no less). The construction was solid and the rifle is surprisingly lightweight for a hunting rifle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle might just be one of the best long-range rifles on the block when it comes to varmint hunting. Not only that, you can get the job done without the aid of a scope. If that isn’t quite the impressive feat, then we’re not sure what is. If you want a varmint rifle that can do some serious damage at distances that are considered quite impressive, this rifle might just be the best possible choice for you.

Who Will Use This Most

If you want to knock down a varmint or two from ridiculous distances, this is the kind you want to put to good use when you’re out in an open field. It’s shooting ability is reliable, powerful, and dangerously accurate. If those are the attributes you look for in a rifle for varmint hunting, this should be one of the rifles to add to your arsenal.

Bottom Line

The Savage Arms 12 FV Bolt-Action Varmint Rifle is a pretty impressive rifle when it comes to performance and quality. And surprisingly enough, it’s going at a reasonable price. While it’s not necessarily cheap, it isn’t too expensive either. So if your budget allows for a middle-of-the-road price on a pretty decent varmint rifle, you should consider this one, in particular, as your potential long-term choice.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Aside from the features and characteristics, there are some things that you should consider that will play a role in your purchasing decision. You’ll want to mull these over so you are better informed and ready to make a decision at some point down the road. Here are some aspects that you’ll need to consider:

Where Do You Live?

Specifically, do you live in a rural area or a residential area? The answer will influence the rifle you’ll need to choose. If you live in a residential area (like a suburb), you should consider investing in an air rifle, since it would be dangerous to use live ammo in such a setting. If you live in a rural area and at a good distance away from other neighbors, you’ll have a bit more flexibility in what type of rifle you can use.

Property Management or Hunting?

Is your situation more of a property management thing? Or are you simply hunting for varmint for the thrill of the hunt? Either way, finding the right rifle for the specified purpose will be key. If you are hunting, you’d be more apt to use a standard rifle. For smaller critters, an air rifle might be sufficient. 

How Many Rounds Do I Need?

This is a question that can be answered based on your personal needs and preferences. So you should consider your situation regarding varmints and then answer any additional questions that may be relevant to why you need a varmint rifle. Whether you need a few or a lot, the ball is in your court.

Conclusion

A great varmint rifle will certainly be something to have in your arsenal, especially if you want something that is reliable, powerful, and able to get the job done at any given time of day. Find one that will work to the best of its abilities and you’ll have a rifle in the situations that matter most for a long time.

People Also Ask

The following are a few questions you can use as a guide to help you better understand how varmint rifles work. Consider the following answers, as they will help you make a better-informed decision. These are the questions asked by most prospective buyers:

What is the Best Varmint Rifle Caliber?

There are various answers to this question. However, some of the best calibers that some of our previous readers have used were .223, .308, and .22-250, to name a few. It will also depend on the kind of varmint you are trying to hunt down, as well.

What Rifle Caliber Shoots the Flattest?

One of the popular varmint calibers that can shoot the flattest is the .308 Winchester. If you want flat shooting, you should consider purchasing rounds like the Hornady 150 BSP Light Mag rounds. 

Is a 300 or a 308 More Powerful?

Of the two, the 300 caliber is perhaps the most powerful for a few reasons. For one, it can hit a foot higher and deliver more energy and impact compared to its 308 caliber counterpart. 

Related Post

Leave a Comment