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Best Varmint Scope for 223

Best Varmint Scope For 223

Varmint hunting is not only a fun sport, but it is also important for getting rid of undesirable pests that destroy crops and property. 

Many types of calibers and rifles are appropriate for varmint hunting, but the most important thing that will give you top results is choosing the best varmint scope. 

The .223 caliber is one of the most popular calibers used in hunting. It can reach up to 500 yards before burning out. If you are looking for the best varmint scopes for 223, then you’ve come to the right place.

Top 6 Best Varmint Scope For 223

1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12×56 Hog Hunter Riflescope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12x56 Hog Hunter Riflescope

Suitable for:

The Vortex Crossfire II is the best choice for big game hunting, especially in low light or wet conditions, when many varmints are most active. 

The large objective lens and V-brite reticle permit you to spot targets, even in the faintest light. Its sturdy built is suitable for withstanding hard use. The single-piece tube is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and guarantees hardiness and shockproof execution. 

It is also nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed, which makes it fog proof and waterproof. This scope is suitable for both hunting and target shooting. 

In hunting, it is mostly used to kill coyotes, wild hogs, and bobcats. It provides long eye relief, clear optics, and adjustable MOA turrets.

Pros

  • Constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum, making it shockproof
  • Contains finger-adjustable turrets resettable to zero
  • To help correct parallax, the objective is set at 10 yards to infinity
  • Includes V-brite reticle, with 11 brightness settings
  • The tubes are nitrogen purged to make them waterproof
  • Tube length is 30mm
  • Provides long eye relief

Cons

  • The dial of the illuminated reticle is quite stiff
  • Light switch is hard to turn
  • Blurred image quality in cold weather

2. Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope

Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope

Suitable for:

This scope is perfectly suitable for squirrel hunting. It is also appropriate for various .22 rimfire calibers.  

Its price is less than $200, which is quite budget-friendly. Shooting with the VX-Freedom Rimfire is aesthetically pleasing because of its classic design. 

To avoid parallax, the objective is adjusted at 60 yards, which is perfect for shooting squirrels. The magnification range of this scope is 3x-9x. 

At 3x, the field of view is enough for close-range shooting, and at 9x, there is enough magnification for a close and definite shot. The scope contains cap-covered turrets and ¼ MOA adjustment system. 

Its Mil-Spec scratch-resistant coating enables great color retention and resolution, reducing glare by 80%. It is mostly used to hunt ground squirrels, squirrels, and chipmunks.

Pros

  • Contains the twilight light management system
  • Can perform perfectly in extreme weather conditions
  • Parallax adjusted for 60 yards
  • Comprises of ¼ MOA finger clicks adjustment for proper windage
  • 100% waterproof and fog proof
  • Unmatched low light performance
  • Impact tested and certified

Cons

  • The adjustment system is a bit stiff
  • The higher magnification settings and the reticle together can only be seen clearly till about 15 yards

3. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle 6-18x50mm Riflescope

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope

Suitable for:

Considering that the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn riflescope costs around $129, you can say that this is custom-built for the cost-conscious hunter. 

It gives the best performance in low light conditions and has an outstanding magnification for the price. This varmint scope offers 3.5 inches of eye-relief and a fast-focus eyepiece to swiftly secure your targets. 

It is fully multi-coated with layers of anti-reflective coating to provide clear and high-definition images. The magnification range for this scope is 6-18x and contains a 50mm objective lens. 

The parallax adjustment is made from 10 yards to infinity. It is 100% waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. This is mostly used for hunting jackrabbits, coyotes, and groundhogs.

Pros

  • Contains a wide field of view
  • Provides 3.5 inches of eye-relief
  • Comprises of a 26 inches long fast-focus eyepiece
  • Argon purged to make it fog proof
  • Optics are O-ring sealed to make them waterproof
  • Contains multi-X reticle
  • Fully multi-coated
  • ¼ MOA windage and elevation adjustments

Cons

  • Can risk exposure to lead and chromium
  • The glass is a bit fragile

4. Zeiss Conquest V4 6-24×50 Riflescope

Zeiss Conquest V4 Riflescope

Suitable for:

Priced at just below $1000, the Zeiss Conquest V4 is light yet sturdy and is one of the best varmint scopes available. Zeiss is notable around the world for its high-caliber optics. 

It offers 90% light transmission and commendable low-light and extreme weather performance. It presents a ballistic elevation turret and a standard capped windage turret. 

This varmint scope contains a fast-focus eyepiece offering 90mm eye relief. The windage and elevation turrets consist of the ¼ MOA adjustment system. 

The reticle is non-illuminated and contains very fine crosshairs for a clear view over long distances in the daylight. This riflescope is mainly used to hunt coyotes, groundhogs, or prairie dogs. The parallax is set at 50 yards to infinity.

Pros

  • Offers 90% light transmission
  • Provides up to 24x magnification
  • Contains fast-focus eyepiece
  • Offers 90mm eye relief
  • Sturdy and rugged built
  • Consists of the ¼ MOA adjustment system
  • The glass is quite clear and of high definition
  • Tube is fog proof and waterproof

Cons

  • Lack of sunshade
  • Flips are quite expensive

5. NightForce SHV 5-20X56mm Riflescope

NightForce SHV Riflescope

Suitable for:

The NightForce SHV is most suitable for long-range, big game hunting. It also performs best in low light conditions. With optional illuminated IHR reticle or center illuminated MOAR reticle, 3.5 inches eye-relief, and outstanding glass quality.

This riflescope is used for both hunting and target shooting. Basically, a scope that can serve all purposes from varmint hunting, big game hunting, and target shooting. 

The Zero set technology enables hunters to return to their original zero, even after making as many windage or elevation changes as required. This varmint scope offers a crisp, clear, bright, and high-quality image. 

The parallax is set at 25 yards to infinity. The varmints which can be hunted using this kind of riflescope are coyotes, prairie dogs, and wild hogs.

Pros

  • 3.15-3.54 inch eye-relief
  • Optional illuminated IHR reticle or center illuminated MOA reticle
  • Contains a second focal plane
  • The magnification range is 5-20x
  • Consists of the zero set technology
  • Constructed from 30mm aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Two-time award-winning scope

Cons

  • Quite heavy in weight
  • Doesn’t perform well in close range
  • Very expensive

6. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Scope

ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Scope

Suitable for:

This varmint scope is especially suitable for hunting after dark when various varmints are the most active. 

Priced at less than $600, it is unbelievable that this scope has outstanding night vision technology. Not only this, but the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Scope also contains many other cool features like a ballistic calculator, a 4K sensor, and the potential to record and live stream while hunting. 

It comes with a rechargeable Li-ION battery which promises 18+ hours of battery life. A lot of accessories are also provided with this scope, like a sunshade, scope cover, standard rings, L-shaped rings, eyecup, UBS-C cable, a ring with Picatinny rail, and lens tissue. 

It contains the One-Shot Zero feature which decreases the amount of time to align the rifle shooting with the scope. It is mostly used to hunt coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, and wild hogs.

ATN X-sight also contains a 240 feet field of view and provides an eye relief of 90mm. It also contains a built-in range finder. Its magnification range is 5-20x or 3-14x.

Pros

  • Consists of night vision technology
  • Contains a ballistic calculator
  • Contains a rechargeable Li-ION battery promises 18+ hours of battery life
  • Built-in range finder
  • Contains One-Shot Zero feature
  • The magnification range is 3-14x or 5-20x
  • Provides a lot of accessories with the product
  • Contains a 4K UHD sensor
  • Dual-stream video recording

Cons

  • Night-time performance is average
  • Getting used to the interface is a little difficult
  • Some models need re-zeroing after you’ve kept the scope in off mode for some time

Aspects to look for in the perfect Varmint scope?

Choosing the perfect scope for varmint hunting is quite a task as you have to keep in mind, a lot of factors that are person-specific. 

Whether you want long-range or precise shots, or whether you require hunting troublesome crows in the afternoon, will affect what kind of varmint scope you want to buy. 

Moreover, some varmints fall in the category of predators and therefore are intelligent, crafty, sly, and attentive creatures. This makes hunting them all the more difficult and choosing the correct equipment equally important. 

Following are the factors which make a scope perfect for varmint hunting

Magnification Range 

An ideal magnification range is really important as it enables you to hunt your prey from a safe distance. 

Getting too close can alert varmints and they can smell and identify whether they are close to an attacker or a predator. For people hunting in moderately wooded areas, the necessary magnification range is low power as the distance is generally 100 yards or less. 

While for hunting in both wooded areas as well as in plains, a moderate magnification range of 3-12x is ideal.

Low-light Feature and Objective Lens

The low-light feature is an important feature present in most varmint scopes, which enables hunting at low or no light conditions. 

Varmints are most active after dark, therefore, hunting them is only possible at night. Hence, the best varmint scopes should have this low-light feature. 

As lens coatings decrease the amount of light reflected, a fully coated lens is very important in a riflescope. Ideal coatings improve light transmissions and provide clear and high- quality picture in low light conditions. 

For hunting varmint in the moderate magnification range, the objective lens should be of 42-50mm range. 

Reticles

Reticles are basically the markings on the eyepiece of riflescopes that enables hunters to properly aim at targets and shoot precisely. 

Scopes with such markings are highly recommended as they make hunting simpler, especially for beginners. Additionally, as the target is always moving, scopes with a wide field of view is a must-have. 

A good reticle, like the Mil-Dot reticle, is a significant part of an ideal scope, in presence of a dynamic target. As altering magnifications after securing the target may be required, a first focal plane reticle is suggested. 

An illuminated reticle is required when there is faint light. Furthermore, click adjustable reticles are necessary for long-range shots.

Parallax 

Parallax is usually not an issue at most magnification ranges, but aside focus knob to avoid parallax error should be present in a varmint scope which is well within your budget.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is definitely required in every scope. If the scope hits your eyes during the sudden recoils or shooting from unusual angles, it can cause serious injury. 

So, a significant amount of buffer space between the eyes and the scope is necessary to avoid any eye injury. The minimum amount of eye relief in scope is about 3 to 4 inches.

Durability

A scope should always be sturdy and long-lasting, mainly because you’re spending a lot of money on it. You surely don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on a cheap, low-quality scope, only for it to get totally destroyed after just a few tries. 

To avoid this, you should always buy one constructed out of aircraft-grade aluminum and also have a lifetime warranty. Nitrogen purged lenses are also required in a varmint scope as they make the lenses waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.

Conclusion 

The best varmint scope can therefore be determined with respect to your hunting location, distance from the prey, and the kind of varmint you are hunting. 

Suppose that you want to aim at a dynamic target which is at close quarters, you should use a scope with a low magnification range like the Vortex Crossfire II Hog Hunter or the Leupold VX Freedom Rimfire riflescope.

If you desire to seek a small-sized, static game, your magnification range should be of high power like the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn, Zeiss Conquest V4, NightForce SHV, or the high power range model of the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart day/night riflescope. 

Also, if you’re after larger varmints, low or medium power magnification range scopes are recommended. For instance, the medium power range model of the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart day/night scope or the Leupold VX Freedom Rimfire riflescope is the perfect fit.

Clearly, the number-one scope among these will be the Vortex Crossfire II Hog Hunter Riflescope since it offers all the major features like a versatile magnification range, second focal plane, and V-brite reticle.

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