Best Varmint Scopes – 2021 Round-up Review

| Last Updated June 3, 2021

Are you looking for the best varmint scopes for hunting? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Finding the right kind of scope for your varmint rifle is important since you’ll need an accessory that will help you go the distance. And it’s possible for you to hit a varmint from seriously impressive distances.

With so many of them on the market, a lot of varmint scopes are not as great in quality and performance. Fortunately, we’ve managed to find five of the best varmint scopes on the market for this review. Before we get to the list, we’ll talk about whether or not a scope is good for varmint hunting and determine which scope size is good enough for you.

We’ll also talk about which characteristics and features make a varmint scope great compared to some of the others on the market.

Comparison of the Best Varmint Scopes

  • Best overall varmint scope
  • Objective measured at 40mm in diameter
  • Magnification level ranges from 3 to 9 times
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  • Allows for filming 1080p video
  • Runner-up for best overall varmint scope
  • Available in 3-14x or 5-20x magnification ability
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  • Best varmint scope for the money
  • Magnification levels range from 6 to 24 times
  • Available in either a 40mm or 42mm objective
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  • Objective measured at 28mm
  • Best varmint scope for 223 rifles
  • Magnification levels range from 1 to 8 times
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Can Any Scope Be Used For Hunting Varmints?

The short answer is no. To better explain it, here’s why not all scopes for varmint hunting are the same. For one, you’ll need a scope that will give you a decent amount of eye relief. At the same time, it should be a scope that will match the rifle you are using.

For example, if you are using an AR-15 for varmint hunting, you’ll need a scope that will give you a decent amount of eye relief. Some of the features and characteristics of some scopes may not even be suitable for some varmint rifles (i.e.--airsoft varmint rifles).

What Size Scope Do I Need?

Once again, it will depend on the kind of rifle you are using for varmint hunting. On top of that, you’ll want a scope that will properly fit the scope mount that you use. If you use scope rings, that’s when you should worry about scope size (diameter). For the most part, you can probably get away with large objective scopes (40 mm or more), even if the scope is about an inch in diameter. 

What Makes a Great Varmint Scope?

There are some features and characteristics that will make a varmint scope stand out above the rest of the pack. It is important to find one that meets (or even exceeds) your standards. Here are some characteristics and features that will make a varmint scope stand out:


The price tag may matter to those who are on a budget. But what you need to understand is that it shouldn’t be the sole reason why you bought it. If you are indeed on a budget, you’ll want to invest in a scope that is excellent in quality and performance (so long as it’s the best you can afford). Do not go for cheap for the sake of saving money. Otherwise, you’ll be disappointed. 

High-Quality Materials

Most of these scopes will be made from high-quality materials. As such, your housings will mostly be made from some kind of aluminum that is proven to be durable against damaging elements like shock and weather (among others). Remember, the better the quality, the better the chance it will last you a long time.

Easy to Adjust

Sometimes, your shots will appear to be a little off. What it can boil down to is the scope being a little out of alignment. So you should find a scope that allows for easy adjustments in terms of parallax, windage, and elevation. You can even make easy, on-the-fly adjustments if need be when you’re out in the field or at the target shooting range. Best of all, you’ll probably won’t need tools to make the adjustments.

Review of the Best Varmint Scopes

The following is a list of the five best varmint scopes currently on the market. The reason why they have made the list is based on specific features and characteristics that make them stand out. You’ll need to find one that matches your ideal description so you know you can find the one that is the closest possible match.

Let’s begin with the “best overall” choice on our list:

Best Overall:
Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle 3-9X 40 mm


  • Superior durability and quality
  • Sight picture is clear and high in definition
  • Useful in both daylight and low-light settings
  • Allows for superior accuracy and precision shooting
  • The objective provides a wide image view. Perfect for quick target acquisition


  • May not be compatible with .270 Winchester rifles
  • A few have complained about the optic lens fogging up at times
  • Some have complained about the scope hitting the bolt at times

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new buyers were pretty happy with this scope. They said they managed to tack this on their favorite rifle without any problems. The results were pretty much instantaneous. They managed to hit their targets accurately from about 200 to 250 yards out. One user even said he managed to hit a hog from that distance and in just one shot.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Bushnell scope is perhaps one of the more reliable scopes on the market. Not to be outdone, the construction and quality are outstanding. So, it has the potential to last you a good while and it can protect your rifle from all kinds of shock, bad weather, and anything else that might otherwise damage a scope. The image quality is top-notch, even in low-light weather conditions.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a perfectly good scope for those who want to hit varmint and hog targets at some pretty impressive distances. So if you prefer knocking down targets from a good 250 yards out, you’ll probably find this scope more appealing to you. Get this scope if you think it’s a good fit for you and you won’t be disappointed.

Bottom Line

The Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X scope will be the kind of scope you can use from dawn until dusk (hence the name). It will certainly serve you in the long-run if you want a scope that will work almost around the clock to help you bag your next varmint target. Of course, you can get it done at such an impressive distance you’ll wonder why you didn’t buy it in the first place.

ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p Video

ATN X-Sight II HD 3-14 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope w/1080p Video, Ballistic Calculator, Rangefinder, WiFi, E-Compass, GPS, Barometer, IOS & Android Apps


  • Housing is super-durable
  • Magnification levels are excellent
  • Great for hog and varmint hunting
  • Perfect for both day and night hunting
  • Shoots excellent videos in high definition


  • Some say it’s quite pricey
  • Night vision light may be a bit weak
  • A few have complained about the image quality not being good enough

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new users had nothing but great things to say about this scope. For one, they said it was great for round the clock use. Most hunters were using it in the day time, while some others were using it during the night for the purpose of hunting predators and varmints. The housing was quite durable and the image quality was pretty decent for most.

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the major features of this scope is the video feature. You have the ability to shoot small video clips that will capture your hunting moments. If that’s impressive to you, this scope will be exactly what you’re looking for. For all the technology it has, it’s a hunting scope that is fit for the 21st century. But still, it works just like any other hunting scope, giving you the best in accuracy and precision shooting.

Who Will Use This Most

This scope will stand out as one of the best if you are looking for something that is durable, precise, and can deliver an accurate shot or two like nothing else. And if you want to capture it all on video, this scope can do that for you. If you don’t mind the high-tech stuff, this should be a great hunting scope for you to use.

Bottom Line

The ATN X-Sight II HD Smart Day/Night Hunting Scope is perhaps your best choice for a scope that can be used both day and night. Whether it’s hunting or predators, you’ll have a hunting scope that will give you precise, accurate shooting in any given hunting application. Don’t be surprised if this thing grows on you quicker than anything else.

Best for the Money: 
Tasco Target/Varmit 6-24x42 mmx 40 mm


  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Excellent image picture quality
  • Great for varmint and hog hunting
  • Easy to adjust for windage and elevation
  • Provides accurate shooting from various distances


  • Can be blurry at full magnification
  • Some say the turrets are in the wrong place
  • A few have complained about the optics being a bit dark

What Recent Buyers Report

Many buyers loved the scope. Even if it’s considered one of the most affordable on the list, the new buyers got more than what they paid for. Typically, they managed to get a good amount of high-quality image pictures out of the whole deal. Not to be outdone, they did manage to hit their shots from about 200 yards out. One user said he has never been satisfied with a hunting scope like this until now.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle scope is pretty solid in construction. Performance-wise, it can definitely kick into the clutch in most hunting situations where timing can certainly be a factor. For a scope that is considered a “budget” scope, you can make all kinds of easy adjustments and get clear shooting ability out of the whole deal. Accuracy is definitely a must and this scope certainly delivers on that promise. If you want a scope that stands out as one of the best in performance while being kind on your wallet, this puppy might just be what you’re looking for.

Who Will Use This Most

This will likely be used as a beginner hunting scope. If you have never hunted varmint or hog before, this is a good scope to start out with. For the quality and performance you’ll get out of this, it will probably be one of the best investments you’ve ever made so far. If you love to hunt and want to give varmint hunting a try, get a scope that will do its job well.

Bottom Line

If you want a really good varmint hunting scope without breaking the bank, the Tasco Target Scope will certainly be the one you’ll want to get for your own use. Even for the price it’s going for, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything that will exceed the expectations of budget shoppers anywhere else. This scope will be the best investment you’ve ever made, even if the price tag isn’t too expensive.

Best Varmint Scope for .223: 
Trijicon AccuPower 1-8x28


  • Excellent image quality
  • Easy to install on most rifles
  • Built like a tank and super-durable
  • Perfect for hunting varmints, predators, or hogs
  • Illuminated reticle makes low-light use a lot easier


  • May add some weight to your rifle
  • Illumination may not be as bright as some expect
  • Windage and elevation turrets may be a little difficult to adjust at first

What Recent Buyers Report

Many new users were quite satisfied with the scope’s overall performance. For one, they managed to get a good look at their targets in low-light conditions thanks to the illumination of the reticle. More importantly, they managed to make it easier to hit their hunting targets from about 250 to 300 yards out. One user said that while he never knew it was possible, knocking down a varmint from a pretty impressive distance was probably his biggest hunting accomplishment yet.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is built for hunting with the use of a .223 hunting rifle. Even more so, it can definitely allow you to reach some pretty good distances. So if you have a .223 you really want to put to good use, this is the scope that will probably be the most compatible. It’s built to last, has exceptional image quality regardless of the time of day it’s being used, and can reach out and touch something at distances you might have never known was possible. If that’s what you want out of scope, this is the one you’ll want to choose.

Who Will Use This Most

This rifle scope will be one of the best hunting scopes on the market for those who like to hunt at any given time of day. So, whether you use the illuminated reticle or not, it will still be one of the most useful scopes you’ve ever owned for the purpose of hunting. If the features and characteristics of this bad boy stand out to you in some way, you know you might have the winning option.

Bottom Line

The Trijicon AccuPower Rifle Scope is arguably one of the best rifle scopes for those who want to hunt varmints (or even predators) at any given time of the day. You’ll probably want this for the purpose of day time or nighttime hunting. But no matter when you use it, it’s a great varmint scope you can depend on for image quality and accuracy.

Best Varmint Scope for .22 250: 
Nikon Prostaff 5 BCD Riflescope, Black, 4.5-18x40

Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BCD Riflescope, Black, 4.5-18x40


  • Exceptional image quality
  • Crystal-clear magnification
  • Easy-to-adjust turrets are perfect for on-the-fly adjustments
  • Ridiculously durable and protected against shock, fog, water, and bad weather
  • BCD reticle allows for sharp and accurate shooting and quick target acquisition


  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

This scope was quite impressive for most users. One of the things that stood out to them was the quality, high-clarity image pictures. One user said the image quality was clear as a bell and probably the highest definition possible. Overall, these new users were able to make adjustments on-the-fly in the event of their shots being a little off. The accurate and precise shooting was a breeze. Many users managed to nail their varmint or coyote targets dead-on from about 300 yards out.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle scope is one of the best scopes from Nikon. In fact, many Nikon scopes are popular for this exact reason: the image quality. Almost every scope from the brand will give you an image quality that is second to none. On top of that, you get a reticle for quick target acquisition and pinpoint accuracy. It’s no wonder why they are one of the most trusted names in hunting scopes. And if that’s what you want out of a scope, this Nikon scope will definitely stand the test of time and take on any hunting challenge.

Who Will Use This Most

If you want superior and clear image quality, sharp pinpoint accuracy, and built-to-last durability, you’ll definitely want to give this scope a go. It’s perhaps one of the textbook examples of how a hunting scope should be. At some point, you might want to see this somewhere high atop the list of best hunting scopes.

Bottom Line

The Nikon ProStaff BCD Riflescope will be the go-to hunting scope for you if you are looking for the ultimate in image quality and accuracy. This scope will look great on so many varmint rifles and will deliver a performance that will be hard to match. If you want a scope that will give you a long period of faithful service and deliver consistent results, this is the one you ought to go with.

Types of Varmint Scopes

There are different types of varmint scopes on the market. Of course, they differ in many ways from each other. But what exactly are they? Let’s take a look to see which types are popular:

AR-15 Scopes

There are varmint scopes compatible with AR-15 rifles. These will typically be a bit beastly when it comes to features and characteristics. Expect them to be stronger and more durable in quality. These will likely be resistant to shock and weather, among all other things.

Night Vision/Illuminated Scopes

Most varmint hunting happens during the night. If that’s where you thrive the most, then the choice is a no-brainer when it comes to the type of scope you choose. Find a scope that will give you an illuminated reticle feature or gives you decent night vision that will allow you to see from a good distance.

Air Rifle Scopes

There are some hunting scopes that are actually appropriate for the use of hunting varmint with air rifles. They probably won’t have much in the way of eye relief for you to work with, since air rifles won’t have a ridiculous amount of recoil. But nonetheless, they should be durable and have easy adjustments for windage and elevation.


The best varmint scope is out there. So you’ll just need to find one that will stand out as the best option for you in terms of quality and performance. One of these five scopes might pique your interest, so it’s important to look a little closer if there's one that you might like. If it’s impressive enough, buy it and enjoy it for a long period of time.

People Also Ask

The following is a list of frequently asked questions typically asked by prospective buyers. Use this as a guide while looking for a scope that will be the best fit for varmint hunters like yourself. Here are the following questions:

Will a .22 Kill a Coyote?

It’s highly unlikely that a .22 will kill a coyote. It may, however, be able to kill smaller invasive critters depending on the distance and velocity of the round. But for bigger animals, the likelihood of killing one with such caliber is not good.

What is the Best time of Day to Call Coyotes?

It depends on a few factors. One of them is the location. If coyotes reside in close proximity to humans, they’ll most likely be out and about in the nighttime hours. However, they can roam around during the day if they are in an open field or an area where humans are not in a close radius. Make sure to call coyotes in areas where they are active, whatever time of day.

Is Shooting a Coyote Legal?

Yes, it is. However, it may depend on the time period (which varies by state). As a precaution, research your state’s laws on hunting coyotes before venturing out for them. However, if a coyote is threatening you or your livestock, you may have the legal obligation to shoot it if it poses any kind of danger.

What Time of Night Are Coyotes Most Active?

Typically, coyotes will be up around dusk until the early morning hours. However, depending on their situation. they may be active at any given point of day since they’ll be hunting for food. But the likelihood is hit or miss. 

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.