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Best Varmint Scope – Top 9 Reviews & Guides

L.p. Brezny | Updated December 13, 2023 | Why You Should Trust Us | How We Earn Money
Cover photo of Best Varmint Scope showing a man peeking through the lens of a scope mounted on a rifle

If you’re looking for a varmint scope, you’ll find tons of options in the current market. But which is the best one to get?

The following is a selection of 9 scopes that have proven to be good glass sights desired by varmint hunters.

Best varmint scope

Best Varmint Scope Reviews

1. Zeiss Conquest V6 3-18X50

Zeiss Conquest V6 3-18X50 product image

Zeiss optical system is in my book a gold standard in high-grade glass sights and as such is often selected by the varmint hunter because seeing a target at long range is a very important requirement. 

The Zeiss varmint scope uses the BDC reticle that was actually developed by my old and now passed friend John Anderson, editor of the fine and old publication The Varmint Hunter Magazine.

John thought the idea up, passed it around, and got it ripped off because he did not protect the rights to the little vertical ring system in the sub-tensions.

Zeiss Conquest scope on a rifle

Mounting open turret settings for fast long-range sight adjustment and the sub tensions using the BDC rings the scope is easy to redirect regarding range quickly.

The scope is offered in the second focal plane SFF and mounts a massive 50mm objective lens.

This scope has ample cranking elevation adjustments for 1000 yard shots or more, and when using 20-40 MOA rails the scope can be pushed to a mile downrange with proper rifles and selected ammunition applied to the glass sight system.

Conquest is a class act all the way downrange. The glass in this scope is German high quality, and it shows when the target fade, rainbow rings, and fuzzy outlines are just not present on target even well out to 1000 yards.

I shoot this scope in terms of varmints on a 22-250 Model 70 Winchester and also the 6.5 Creedmoor. I flat out own the ground out to one-half mile down range. 

The scope uses a 30mm main tube, coated lens surfaces, and is completely water and fog-proof. The turret heads are large and carry ample adjustment range for the long shot but the scope is also offered in a capped version as well for the general hunters use.

2. Steiner T5Xi

Steiner T5Xi product image

In terms of a varmint scope, the Steiner T5Xi is a classic tactical sniper scope. This glass however is an outstanding varmint scope as it is set up for stretch shooting at targets in the next zip code.

This scope is used in no less than three different rifles and variants at BR&D as they are often used in conjunction with the 300 Win Mag, 22/250’s, and 6.5 Creedmoor turn bolt rifles.

This scope retains massive turrets that carry a lot of elevation and windage clicks. The turrets being a key to this glass sight have second rotation indicators as the shooter may be working for maximum elevation on a long shot across open country.

The glass on these scopes is outstanding and without question quality German generated as it can deliver a sharp image even well out to 1500 yards.

Offered in the first focal plane FFP, the scope will grow the crosshairs and the image at the same time within the same space.

The scope retains MOA sub tensions that allow through-the-lens elevation adjustments as well as the ability to use those accurate turret adjustments as well. 

Steiner T5Xi scope on a black background

The 56 mm objective lens is a large sight screen that pulls light and controls many nasty issues that can confront the shooter when the need is there to allow a clear sight picture.

This scope carries a lifetime warranty, is available in a total of three variants:  3-15 x 50mm, 1-5 X 24 mm, 3-15 X 34mm. Be sure and understand exactly what model you’re buying as the Steiner military. Snipe grade scopes are many. With the tools provided by Steiner, the glass sights offered by them meld into the varmint hunters’ world of sighting system quite well.

Author with rifle and Steiner varmint scope
Original photo: Author and Steiner scope

3. Track Toric UHD 4-20 X

Track Toric UHD 4-20 X product image

Again another scope I use often in terms of brand and exact model. This scope is built for range and accuracy. Designed for the long range target and varmint shooter, the scope lacks nothing but a massively high price tag.

The glass used on this scope is quality and returns low dispersion regarding light, keeps a clean image over the sub tensions offered, and will display little if any target fade.

Track Toric UHD scope mounted on a rifle and a wooden background

The large 30 mm one-piece main tube is built of high-grade aluminum, and as designed, will accommodate larger turret internals for long operational life even when elevation adjustments are twisted up and down all day long year by year.

Built in the first focal plane, this is a military-grade design and setup. Also in MRAD sub tensions, the glass is long-range ready for that sitting prairie dog target at 900 yards downrange.

This scope can also be obtained using the more standard MOA turret and sub–tension settings as well.

Zero stop on the turret adjustments and left-side illuminated reticle controls.

In truth is scope can pass the requirements of a first-rate sniper tool due to the design applications installed in this glass sighting system.

4. Monstrum G2 6-24 X 50 FFP

Monstrum G2 6-24 X 50 FFP product image

I selected this scope due to the fact that it carries extensive features just like the high-priced units do, but at a far lower cost. Not everyone can afford to put thousands of dollars in glass sights on a rifle.

At a very modest price tag, this scope retains an illuminated reticle, a good range of power for long shots, a 50 mm objective for gains in light transmission, and a ranging system within the sub-tensions.

Monstrum G2 scope with lens cap

While you can’t expect the very top-of-the-line glass in this price range scope, you are getting a good starter system and in some cases, the real surprise is that they will perform quite well beyond their price point and general design standard.

5. Leupold VX 5HD 3-15 X 44mm Side Focus

Leupold VX 5HD 3-15 X 44mm product image

This Leupold is a bit smaller than some and would work out well in a carbine or mini type rifle for varmints. As an example, the new .224 Valkyrie as a  short high-velocity cartridge works out very well to 1400 yards even in light shorter barrel rifles. This scope is a nice fit on the smaller receiver and will produce good balance as well.

Leupold VX 5HD scope beside its box and lens cap

This scope has the MOA reticle, special lens coatings for protecting the optics in the field, and push button zero lock with two full rotations regarding elevation adjustments as applied to the scope’s high open turret system.

All American designed and built with Leupold’s outstanding service and the use of their high end glass as well.

6. Leupold VX- Freedom 4-12 X 50mm

Leupold VX- Freedom 4-12 X 50mm product image

This is a budget-minded scope built for the varmint hunter who wants some range extension, light-gathering control, but not so many bells and whistles that it breaks the bank account when buying one.

This scope retains open adjustment turrets, the Leopold Duplex reticle. The CDS system allows on free extra dial built to your cartridge and bullet type and weight. Extra turrets are available upon request. This cool little scope will allow the shooter to dial bullets accurately without using computer data or DOPE cards when adjusting for the longer shots.

Hand holding a Leupold VX- Freedom scope

Built of a one-piece one inch tube in aircraft grade aluminum the scope is a sold product at a real solid working price.

NOTE: Remember there are seven different scopes in the Leupold Freedom line All of them can work out well as varmint glass, but some fit special needs just a bit better.

7. Vortex Optics Diamondback SFP

Vortex Optics Diamondback SFP product image

Here we have again a budget-priced, but well-made scope that is lower powered at 1.5-7 X 32. The scope is built for medium-range shooting.

For the coyote hunter working in eastern woodlands, or even brush-covered draws in the west this is enough scope to do the deed.  

Ground squirrel shooters with light cartridges again can make good use of this budget-priced name-brand glass sight.

Finger touching the Vortex Optics Diamondback scope mounted on a rifle

Waterproof, fog proof, and protected against other contaminants, this scope is an easy sell to my friend on the Mississippi Delta Bayou taking down all manner of critters.

Turret accuracy using metal-to-metal adjustments, and zero stop for fast returns to the correct zero make this an easy system to operate. The turret caps can be removed for easy access to knob controls, and the sub-tensions carry MOA hash marks (dots) for windage and elevation corrections on the fly.

8. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II FFP

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II FFP product image

As another option in the Vortex line we see a scope designed for serious long-range work and is one of the best hunting scopes on the list. This scope is offered in MOA and MRAD and can be obtained in either EBR 4 or 7, in both sub-tension types.

Vortex Optics Viper PST scope beside its box

This scope is a large 32mm tube using etched turret figures for easy use by the shooter, materials are aircraft grade aluminum, special light control glass, and target fade-free as well as good edge-to-edge color control.

Sub tensions are set to match the turrets and using elevation through the lens a good shooter can factor lead or elevation quickly.

9. Vortex Optics Viper HS LR FFP

Vortex Optics Viper HS LR FFP product image

This Vortex scope is a move up to range extension well beyond even 1000 yards down range.

This scope carries a power grade of 6-24 X 50mm, high tactical turrets in MOA graduation marks that match the sub-tension MOA marks through the lens. This scope will pull elevation to one mile or more. With a 40 MOA rail platform two miles, the scope glass is rated for well over 1000 yards, returning a clear crisp target acquisition. The CRS zero stop gets you back on zero quickly even after turning those turret settings twice or more around the clock.

Vortex Optics Viper HS scope on a rifle and skies in the background

My Vortex glass sights numbering two different scopes have returned great dependable performance as applied to 338 Lapua, 300 PRC, and 300 Win Mag. In some cases, range extension has been close to or at one mile on my private range in western South Dakota.

The Development of the Varmint Scope

In the area of the varmint hunter, the glass sight selection has always been extensive, with the turn to specialized scopes happening during the early 1960s. Even so, the actual advancement by the average shooter into using these sights at longer ranges didn’t actually take hold until much later during the 1970s and early 1980s. Most of us were very pleased to hit a prairie dog, badger, or coyote inside 400 yards on a good day.

In many cases, the early varmint scopes were fixed 10x magnification units that made use of larger forward bell housings and lens glass, then in times offered up turret windage and elevation advancement function. Even in the military, many sniper optic systems were fixed 10x well before the engineering went to work on the riflescope turret and developed a wide range of power settings, elevation advancement travel, and even better-grade lens glass.

Today the modern varmint scope retains several elements that set them apart from other glass sights. The first difference is scope length which is often on the long side. The second is the power setting range which is very flexible and carries an extensive number of settings.

The third is the use of advanced through-the-lens sub tensions as in MOA or MRAD hash marks for fast elevation adjustment on the fly. And last on the list is the adaptation of the newer lighted reticle on some models that move the scope almost to the night shooting level, or at least a late evening and very early morning sighting tool.

The development of varmint scopes over the years has created the optimum scopes you see today and present in this list.

For More: Read My 300 BLK Guide

If you’re looking for more, make sure to check out my 300 BLK guide to optics were we cover what you need to know to pick the perfect scope for a 300 BLK.

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