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Rifle scopes

Top 7 Best Varmint Scopes of 2024

When you’re out hunting varmint, you need a scope that delivers both precision and reliability, regardless of the distance or weather conditions. The 7 best varmint scopes of 2024 bring you a variety of options, each designed to enhance your shooting experience.
Whether you’re looking for something with advanced reticle types or impressive magnification levels, there’s a scope here to fit your needs. But what really sets these scopes apart? You’ll want to explore the unique features and benefits of each one to find out how they can make a difference in your next hunting trip.

Top 7 Best Varmint Scopes on the Market 2024

Note: The following advice comes from my personal perspective. What works for me might not work for you, but hopefully it sparks some ideas!

1. Primary Arms SLX 4-16X44 First Focal Plane Riflescope

If you’re a hunter looking for precision and durability, the Primary Arms SLX 4-16X44 First Focal Plane Riflescope with its ACSS HUD DMR .308 reticle is a top choice for varmint control in 2024.
This scope offers a versatile magnification range from 4x to 16x, ensuring clear and precise targeting. The first focal plane reticle maintains accuracy across all magnifications, while the partial illumination feature provides enhanced visibility in daylight conditions.
Constructed from robust aluminum, it includes zero-resettable turrets and a replaceable power ring fin for user customization. Calibrated for .308 Winchester and some .223 Rem loads, this scope also features a chevron central aiming point, optimizing precision.
With a limited lifetime warranty, it’s a reliable tool for serious hunters.
Best For: Hunters seeking a robust and precise riflescope for varmint control and mid-range targeting, with a focus on .308 Winchester and .223 Rem loads.
First focal plane reticle ensures accuracy across all magnifications
Durable aluminum construction with zero-resettable turrets
Includes partial reticle illumination and a chevron central aiming point for precise targeting
Heavier weight may not be ideal for all users
Limited compatibility with handguns despite being listed as compatible
No night vision capabilities, restricting low-light usage

2. Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16x50 Hunting Riflescope

For hunters seeking precision and durability, the Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16x50 Hunting Riflescope stands out with its impressive 4x-16x magnification and robust IPX7 waterproof construction.
This scope offers excellent image clarity, thanks to its Ultra-Wide Band Coatings and Exo Barrier, which guarantee ideal light transmission and protection against the elements.
The Multi-X Reticle, situated in the second focal plane, provides a clear aiming point without clutter. Capped windage and elevation adjustments further enhance the scope’s reliability and ease of use.
Weighing in at 20 ounces, it maintains a balance between durability and manageability. User feedback highlights the scope’s exceptional clarity and build quality, making it a solid choice for any serious varmint hunter.
Best For: Hunters seeking a durable, high-magnification riflescope with excellent image clarity and reliable performance in various weather conditions.
Ultra-Wide Band Coatings and Exo Barrier for superior light transmission and protection
Robust IPX7 waterproof construction
Clear and uncluttered Multi-X Reticle in the second focal plane
Issues reported with sighting in the scope
Some users find turret adjustments could be improved
Night vision capability not included

3. NIGHTFORCE SHV 5-20x56mm Zeroset .250 MOA Scope

The Nightforce SHV 5-20x56mm Zeroset .250 MOA Scope is equipped with powerful magnification and precise reticle options, making it perfect for serious varmint hunters aiming to enhance long-range shooting accuracy.
Featuring 80 MOA of elevation adjustment and side parallax adjustment, this scope guarantees exceptional precision, allowing shooters to fine-tune their shots effectively.
The ZeroSet technology incorporated in this scope enables a quick return to zero, making it particularly useful in dynamic hunting situations. The available reticles, MOAR and Forceplex, offer versatile options for different shooting preferences.
MOAR provides detailed elevation and windage markings, while Forceplex delivers a clean field of view with illuminated center crosshairs. Weighing just 1.91 pounds and compatible with rifles, this scope is highly praised for its clarity, performance, and durability.
Best For: Serious varmint hunters and long-range shooters looking to enhance their accuracy with a powerful, precise scope.
Excellent clarity and glass quality
80 MOA of elevation adjustment with ZeroSet technology for quick return to zero
Versatile reticle options with center illumination
Relatively heavy at 1.91 pounds
Higher price point compared to some other scopes
Requires Picatinny Mount for installation

4. Trijicon TR20 AccuPoint 3-9x40 Riflescopes

Hunters seeking unmatched clarity and battery-free illumination will find the Trijicon TR20 AccuPoint 3-9x40 Riflescope an exceptional choice. This riflescope features superior quality lenses with multi-coating, ensuring zero distortion and peak clarity.
Utilizing fiber optic technology and a tritium phosphor lamp, it provides battery-free illumination, seamlessly adjusting brightness and contrast. Its aircraft-grade aluminum housing guarantees all-weather ruggedness, while the second focal plane reticle maintains a constant size at different magnifications.
With manual brightness adjustment override, long eye relief, and water resistance up to 10 feet, this riflescope is designed for reliability and precision. The solid black matte finish eliminates glare, enhancing your focus.
Covered by a lifetime warranty on optical systems and metal structure, it’s a dependable choice for any hunter.
Best For: Hunters seeking unmatched clarity and reliable, battery-free illumination in a rugged, all-weather riflescope.
Superior quality lenses with multi-coating for zero distortion.
Battery-free illumination with fiber optic technology and tritium phosphor lamp.
Aircraft-grade aluminum housing ensures durability and all-weather ruggedness.
Higher price point compared to some competitors.
Limited to a 3-9x magnification range.
Tritium lamp warranty is only 15 years compared to the lifetime warranty on other parts.

5. Bushnell Rimfire 3-9x40 Riflescope

Bushnell Rimfire 3-9x40 Riflescope with DZ22 Reticle in Black - RR3940BS4 stands out for varmint hunters seeking precise hold positions out to 125 yards. Designed specifically for 40-grain .22 LR ammunition, this riflescope offers a magnification range from 3x to 9x and features a 40mm objective lens diameter.
The multi-coated optics enhance light transmission and resolution, ensuring clear sight pictures even in lower light conditions. Constructed from one-piece, aircraft-grade aluminum, the Bushnell Rimfire scope is both durable and lightweight. Its DZ22 Reticle is optimized for varmint and small game hunting, providing you with the accuracy required for successful shots.
With an IPX7 waterproof rating and a lifetime Ironclad warranty, you can trust in its reliability and performance.
Best For: Varmint hunters and small game enthusiasts seeking precision and reliability for .22 LR ammunition.
Clear and high-resolution optics with multi-coated lenses
Durable, lightweight one-piece aircraft-grade aluminum construction
IPX7 waterproof rating ensuring reliability in various weather conditions
Some users report issues with focus and clarity
Point of impact may change at different magnifications
Mixed opinions on value for the price

Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Riflescope

For avid hunters seeking a reliable and affordable scope, the Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Riflescope with Circle-X Reticle offers clear optics and exceptional performance. This versatile scope is designed for hunting and features a magnification range of 3-9x and a 40mm objective lens, ensuring a bright and clear view of your target.
With 6 inches of eye relief, the scope provides comfort during extended use. The multi-coated lenses and argon purging make it both waterproof and fog-proof, ensuring reliability in various weather conditions. Easy to mount and adjust, the Bushnell Banner is praised for its accuracy and clear optics, even in low light.
Weighing 12.5 ounces, it is lightweight and suitable for various firearms, making it a solid choice for both beginners and experienced shooters.
Best For: Avid hunters and target shooters seeking a reliable, affordable, and versatile riflescope with clear optics and exceptional performance.
Clear optics with excellent low light capabilities
Waterproof and fog-proof for reliable performance in various weather conditions
Easy to mount and adjust, suitable for various firearms
No night vision capabilities
May not have the same level of clarity and precision as high-end scopes
Limited to a maximum magnification of 9x

7. Monstrum Banshee 2-10x30 MPVO Riflescope

The Monstrum Banshee 2-10x30 MPVO Rifle Scope with Offset Scope Mount is ideal for varmint hunting, offering a magnification range from 2x to 10x for adaptability across various distances. The scope features the MX1 box reticle or the BDC B1 reticle, positioned in the second focal plane for improved visibility. Its inline dial-controlled reticle illumination has five brightness levels for optimal performance in different lighting conditions. The anti-reflective lens coating enhances clarity, while its dimensions are 13.5 x 3.75 x 3.63 inches with a weight of 0.98 kilograms, making it a sturdy yet manageable choice for precision shooting.
Best For: Varmint hunters seeking a versatile and reliable scope with excellent optical clarity and illumination features.
Wide magnification range from 2x to 10x for adaptability
Inline dial-controlled reticle illumination with five brightness levels
Superior optical clarity with anti-reflective lens coating
Concerns about the overall weight of the scope
Some users find the reticle size to be less than ideal
Potential limitations with the eye box in certain conditions

Factors to Consider When Choosing Varmint Scopes

When choosing a varmint scope, you should consider several key factors to guarantee peak performance and reliability.
Evaluate the magnification range options to match your shooting distances, and select reticle types that best suit your targeting preferences.
Additionally, lens coatings can enhance clarity, while durability and material affect the scope’s longevity, and sufficient eye relief is essential for comfortable and safe shooting.

Magnification Range Options

Selecting the appropriate magnification range is vital for adapting to various varmint hunting scenarios and ensuring precision. When choosing a scope, consider a magnification range that typically starts around 4x for closer shots and extends up to 16x or higher for long-distance shooting. This range offers the versatility needed to engage targets at varying distances effectively.
A wider magnification range allows you to adjust quickly to different shooting conditions, which is particularly useful when dealing with unpredictable movements of small varmints. Higher magnification levels are particularly beneficial for precision shots on small targets at extended ranges, ensuring you can place accurate shots even from a distance.
Conversely, lower magnifications offer quicker target acquisition at closer ranges, allowing for a more responsive shooting experience. Opting for a scope with a variable magnification range gives you the flexibility to adjust magnification based on the specific hunting scenario you encounter.
It’s essential to understand the balance between clarity, field of view, and image quality at different magnification levels. This understanding helps in selecting a varmint scope that meets your shooting needs, ensuring both clarity and precision across various hunting situations.

Reticle Types Available

Wondering which reticle type is best for your varmint hunting needs? Choosing the right reticle is essential for enhancing your precision and accuracy.
BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator) reticles are excellent if you need to make quick adjustments for varying distances. These reticles provide holdover points, allowing you to compensate for bullet drop without manual adjustment.
Mil-Dot reticles are another great option, especially for long-range shooting. They offer precise aiming points for windage and elevation adjustments, making them ideal for hitting targets at extended distances.
If your hunting scenarios often involve rapid target acquisition, consider Duplex reticles. Their simple crosshair design with thicker outer lines helps you quickly align your shot, ensuring you don’t miss fast-moving varmints.
For those who prioritize pinpoint accuracy on small targets, Varmint Hunters reticles are the way to go. These reticles feature multiple aiming points or hash marks, enabling precise shot placement.
Each type of reticle has its unique advantages, so consider your specific hunting conditions and preferences when selecting your scope. By understanding these options, you’ll be better equipped to choose a reticle that meets your varmint hunting requirements.

Lens Coating Benefits

High-quality lens coatings can greatly enhance your varmint hunting experience by improving light transmission and image clarity. When choosing a varmint scope, consider multi-coated lenses; they offer better contrast, color accuracy, and resolution, which are essential for precise target acquisition. These coatings guarantee you can clearly see your target, even in challenging lighting conditions.
Anti-reflective coatings play an important role in minimizing lens reflections, which can be critical for maintaining stealth. Reflections can spook varmints, making them aware of your presence and ruining your shot. By reducing these reflections, anti-reflective coatings help you remain undetected, increasing your chances of a successful hunt.
Coatings such as Exo Barrier or other proprietary options not only enhance optical performance but also protect the lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt. This increased durability ensures that your scope remains in excellent condition, providing clear and unobstructed views in various environmental conditions.
Fully coated lenses, which have anti-reflective coatings on all surfaces, maximize light transmission and image brightness. This ensures that you get the best possible view through your scope, regardless of the time of day or the lighting conditions, enhancing your overall hunting efficiency.

Durability and Material

When choosing a varmint scope, focusing on durability and material guarantees your equipment stands up to the rigors of the hunt. Opting for scopes made from aircraft-grade aluminum is important for ensuring longevity and resistance to recoil. This material is renowned for its robustness and ability to withstand the harsh conditions often encountered in the field.
In addition to the build material, pay attention to protective coatings. Scopes with nitrogen purging and O-ring seals offer waterproof and fog-proof performance, essential for maintaining clarity and functionality in various weather conditions. These features prevent internal fogging and protect against moisture ingress, ensuring your scope remains reliable.
Furthermore, selecting scopes with shockproof construction is essential to withstand heavy recoil and rough handling. This ensures that your scope maintains its zero even after experiencing significant impacts. Scratch-resistant lenses or lens coatings are also important, as they help maintain optical clarity and protect against damage from debris or accidental drops.
Lastly, prioritize scopes with solid build quality, which translates to consistent performance over time. By focusing on these factors, you can make sure that your varmint scope remains a dependable tool throughout your hunting endeavors.

Eye Relief Importance

While durability and material are fundamental aspects of a varmint scope, understanding the importance of eye relief is equally vital for a successful and safe hunting experience. Eye relief refers to the distance between your eye and the scope where you can see the full field of view without any shadowing or blackouts. This feature is critical for preventing recoil injuries, as a scope with inadequate eye relief can cause harm upon firing.
For high-powered rifles, longer eye relief—typically 3-4 inches or more—is advantageous. It helps you maintain a safe distance between your eye and the scope, protecting your brow bone from recoil impact. This not only contributes to a more comfortable shooting experience but also enhances safety.
Moreover, proper eye relief allows for quick target acquisition and tracking, which is especially important when dealing with fast-moving varmints. This means you can stay on target without having to constantly adjust your position.
When choosing a varmint scope, consider your shooting position and the type of rifle you use. These factors will help determine the ideal eye relief needed for your specific hunting setup, ensuring both precision and safety in every shot.

Waterproof and Fog-proof

Opting for a varmint scope that’s both waterproof and fog-proof guarantees you’ll have dependable performance in all weather conditions. When you’re out in the field, unpredictable weather can challenge your equipment’s reliability. A waterproof scope will make sure that rain or moisture won’t impact your scope’s performance, allowing you to maintain focus on your target regardless of the elements.
Equally important is the fog-proof feature. Temperature fluctuations can lead to internal fogging in lesser-quality scopes, greatly impairing your visibility. A fog-proof varmint scope is specially designed to prevent this issue, ensuring clear vision even when you switch between different environmental conditions. This clarity is vital for making accurate shots in any scenario.
Moreover, these features contribute significantly to the durability and longevity of varmint scopes. Scopes that are both waterproof and fog-proof are built to withstand the rigors of outdoor use, providing consistent functionality over time.
For varmint hunting, where precise visibility and performance can make a substantial difference in accuracy, investing in a scope with these attributes is essential. You’ll benefit from reliable, clear sighting, guaranteeing every shot counts, no matter the weather or conditions.

Mounting Type Compatibility

Selecting a varmint scope that’s compatible with your preferred mounting type guarantees a secure and reliable attachment to your firearm. When choosing a varmint scope, it’s important to take into account mounting types like Picatinny, Weaver, or Cantilever mounts. These options provide varying levels of stability and ease of installation, so it’s crucial to pick one that aligns with your shooting style and firearm setup.
Compatibility with your mounting type can greatly impact the overall balance and ergonomics of your rifle. This, in turn, affects your shooting comfort and accuracy. Ensuring that the varmint scope’s mounting type matches your rifle’s existing rail system or mounting platform is essential for a seamless and reliable attachment. A mismatched mount can lead to instability, which compromises performance and could even cause damage to your equipment.
Opting for a varmint scope that fits your mounting type can simplify the setup process, making installation straightforward and hassle-free. This compatibility not only enhances the performance of your hunting or shooting experience but also ensures that your scope remains securely in place, allowing for precise and accurate shots every time.


Choosing the right varmint scope demands careful consideration of magnification levels, reticle types, lens quality, and durability.
The top seven varmint scopes of 2024 offer a range of features tailored to meet these needs, ensuring precise and accurate shots in various hunting scenarios.
By understanding your specific requirements and the unique capabilities of each scope, you can make an informed decision, enhancing your hunting experience and increasing your chances of success in any weather condition.
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