Varmint are often small, fast moving creatures that are a blast to hunt. However, iron sights are a poor choice for several reasons. But a good scope works exceptionally well for hunting varmint. A good scope makes it possible to pick off a tiny varmint at a hundred yards with ease. It doesn’t matter if it’s an AR 15, a Mossberg MVP, or a Ruger Mini 14, it can benefit from a scope.
Below are our recommendations for the 4 best 223 varmint scopes on the market.
The Nikon P-.223 Scope
- Nikon P-Tactical .223 1.5-4.5x20 Matte BDC600
- Price: $229.99
- Price as of 10/26/2020 11:44 PDT(more info about ad)
The Nikon brand of optics covers just about everything you can imagine binoculars, camera lenses, and of course rifle scopes. Nikon optics are well made and well thought out. Nikon sources industry advice from some of the more experienced shooters in the United States to design and configure an optic perfectly suited for a variety of arrangements. The Nikon P-.223 is one such optic. It’s designed for the .223 round and is an excellent option for hunting a variety of varmint.
Most varmint hunting is done at right around a hundred yards, with some skilled shooters pushing it out to 150 yards. At that range, you don’t need a super powerful option for hunting varmint. The Nikon P-.223 has a range of magnification from 1.5 to 4.5 power and it’s perfect for hitting small targets at 100 yards (see full specs). The 4.5 magnification allows you to have a wide field of view to track varmint as they run to and fro .
The Nikon P .223 is a great option for any .223 style rifle. It has a reliable and effective built-in bullet drop compensator. This compensator allows you to hold over a proper distance to allow the drop of a projectile at extended ranges. This allows goof proof corrections for range, and make shooting those tiny, slimy, little varmints easy.
The Bushnell AR Optic Drop Zone .223 Scope
- Bushnell AR Optics, Drop Zone BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, Matte Black, 4.5-18x/40mm
- Price as of 10/25/2020 18:37 PDT(more info about ad)
The Bushnell AR series of optics have been absolutely amazing for their price and performance. With AR in the name, you think you’re isolated to a single rifle but that is far from true. These scopes are perfect for any .223 caliber rifle. What makes them the best 223 varmint scopes is the built-in ballistic drop compensator. This compensator plots the holdover for you and allows you to pick varmint off out to 500 yards theoretically. (However, let’s be honest though, varmint are small, and you got to be a real expert shooter to take one down at 500 yards.)
Between 100 and 150 yards, though, this caliber and scope combo absolutely rules. The 4.5 to 18 power magnification makes this a multi-use optic for both varmint hunt and target shooting in general. The turrets are also target turrets that can be adjusted via fingertips on the fly. You can dial in windage corrections at will. You can then dial the weapon back to zero without issue when the wind subsides due to the zero reset turrets. The fast focus eyepiece allows you to get on target with ease, and make snapshots when necessary.
The Bushnell AR optic is a simple scope with very little complication. As an optic, it’s well made and perfect for hunting small, fast moving critters. The Bushnell brand means you have a solid warranty and a long ling of excellence to back you up.
Primary Arms 3x Compact Prism Scope
- Primary Arms SLX Compact 3x32 Gen II Prism Scope - ACSS-5.56-CQB-M2 - FDE
- Price as of 10/25/2020 21:34 PDT(more info about ad)
The most common .223 caliber rifle in the United States is the AR 15. The AR 15 series of rifles are the most popular rifles in the United States and have been for over a decade. They’ve been adopted to every role a gun can be, including home defense rifle competition rifle, patrol rifle, and of course hunting rifle. Hunting varmint with an AR 15 is quite possibly the most fun hunt ever. A scope, of course, helps when it comes to hunting varmint.
The Primary Arms 3x Prism compact scope is made with the AR 15 platform in mind and it’s notable at just how effective the weapon is when combined with the proper .223 scope. The Primary Arms 3x Compact prism scope is a fixed power option that it tough as nails. This scope is an excellent option for the AR owner on a budget.
The Primary Arms 3x prism scope features an illuminated reticle (see full specs) and a built-in ballistic drop compensator that reaches all the way out to 600 yards. Is this necessary for varmint hunting? Not really, but at 100 to 200 yards you have a solid idea of where your bullet will hit. The scope itself is excellent for popping prairie dogs, rabbits, and even coyotes. The Primary Arms scope are very robust and lightweight option for your AR 15 varmint-slaying machine.
Monstrum Tactical S330P Scope
- Monstrum S330P 3X Prism Scope | Black
- Price: $99.95
- Price as of 10/25/2020 17:03 PDT(more info about ad)
Budgets can be a real pain, but if you are willing to search and scour the internet you can find an option that fits your needs for the right amount of money. Luckily, I’m here to show you the way and scour the internet for you. For those with thin wallets, the Monstrum Tactical S330P is likely the best 223 varmint scope for the money. The Monstrum is a 3 power prism scope that stresses brilliance in the basics over tons of unnecessary features.
The Monstrum tactical features an illuminated reticle system that is also glass-etched. I the batteries die you won’t have problems using the reticle and continuing your hunt. The Monstrum Tactical optic is lightweight and compact and is perfectly designed for varmint hunting. It’s not only well suited for an AR 15 but any .223 caliber rifle.
Bottom line: the Monstrum gives budget hunters and shooters an option to easily pick off varmints at a variety of ranges.
Scopes to Take Care of Rascally Varmints
Varmint is a fun and exciting game animal to track and hunt. They are often fast moving, small, and present a big challenge for even experienced shooters. A good optic is the only way you can easily target and shoot most varmint species. Tossing a great .223 varmint scope on your rifle makes it incredibly easy to pick off a pest or two.
Owner of Reloaderaddict.com, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.