Naturally this screamer of a cartridge requires care in selecting optics. You’ll be wanting a scope worthy of the great accuracy potential of this round, so higher magnification and centerfire quality are the order of business. No cheap simple rimfire scope will do, so we sat down with a pot of coffee and scoured the bowels of the internet in the interests of finding the 4 best scopes for .17 WSM out there. The coffee was good and so are these scopes!
BSA 17 Super Mag Scope
- BSA Optics 17SM4514x44AORGBCP 17 Super Mag Rifle Scope, 4.5-14x44mm
- Price: $96.14
- Price as of 10/26/2020 14:17 PDT(more info about ad)
There aren’t many scopes custom built around the .17 WSM, but this is one of the best. BSA is well known for quality optics at affordable prices, and this is no exception. It features a ballistic ranging reticle calibrated for 20 and 25 grain bullets, adjustable objective, 4.5-14 power magnification, a huge 44mm objective lens, plus water, fog and shock proof construction.
This is truly a .17 WSM scope for the ages, and packed full of high dollar features at a strangely reasonable price. If you are somewhat short on funds or don’t want spend too much of your hard-earned dough, this is the best scope for .17 WSM in my book.
Nikon Prostaff Rimfire
- Nikon ProStaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle, 4-12 x 40mm
- Price as of 10/25/2020 21:05 PDT(more info about ad)
A top notch scope for your favorite .17 WSM, the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire is designed for precision shooting with a proprietary and carefully calibrated reticle, ½ MOA adjustable windage and elevation turrets, and multi coated glass free of heavy metals.
This is an ideal and highly advanced scope for .17 WSM use, and is highly suitable for long and short range target shooting, or even casual plinking and hunting. You’ll find it built to centerfire quality but at an affordable price that is hard to beat for such a feature rich scope. Quite likely the first and last scope you’ll ever need for your favorite .17 WSM rifle.
Simmons .22 Mag Rifle Scope
- Simmons 3-9x32mm .22 Waterproof Fogproof Matte Black Riflescope (511039)
- Price: $48.89
- Price as of 10/26/2020 08:27 PDT(more info about ad)
Don’t let the name fool you, this scope is ideal for your the .17 WSM. It is a very affordable scope yet surprisingly well made. I’ve always turned to Simmons for inexpensive yet surprisingly high grade optics, and this is no exception.
With a “sweet spot” 3-9 magnification that is suitable for most any use you’d put this scope to and a generous light streaming 32mm objective lens, plus multicoated optics and water/fog proof construction, you’ll find this scope will serve you well for years and years for hunting, plinking and formal target shooting.
Leupold FX-I Rimfire
- Leupold FX-I Rimfire 4x28mm Riflescope, Duplex (58680) (58680)
- Price: $199.99
- Price as of 10/25/2020 20:50 PDT(more info about ad)
Of course, we’d include a Leupold scope. A powerful, hard hitting and accurate round like the .17 WSM needs a high end scope to use it with, and there isn’t much better than a Leupold (unless you want to spend four figures!). Featuring a fixed 4 power magnification, a 28mm objective lens, and the usual high quality construction you’d expect from Leupold, this scope is heads and shoulders above other competitors.
While some might balk at the fixed magnification, experienced shooters have long appreciated the simplicity and function of a fixed power scope. Designed for the discerning shooter who knows exactly what they want, consider an FX-I for your next or current .17 WSM.
The Best Scopes for .17 WSM and You
Born of a desire to have a more powerful and faster .17 caliber rimfire than existing cartridges on the market, the .17 WSM is an exciting cartridge the delivers equally exciting performance. Capable of breaking 3000 feet per second, the .17 WSM is as much at home bouncing cans around a backyard range as it is for varmint and coyote hunting. Packing 400 foot pounds of energy, the .17 WSM is a king among magnum rimfire cartridges, and scope selection should reflect that.
If you want to engage in casual plinking, a casual scope will do. Pick one modestly priced with modest performance factors. You probably wont’ care so much about the quality or type of optic coatings or sub MOA turret adjustments. You should still care about water and fog proof construction though. My choices for plinking would be the Simmons we looked at earlier if you are trying to save a buck or the BSA for a good all around scope.
Target shooting demands a better quality scope. Here precision, optical clarity and even the size of the objective lens matter. I would not use the Simmons scope for more than casual target shooting, but the BSA or Nikon will excel for even competition level shooting. If you are a big fan of fixed power optics, run with the Leupold (see full specs), but my top choice here would be the Nikon ProStaff (see full specs).
For hunting, really any scope here would do the job, but if you are hunting at night, choose the largest objective lens you can. The BSA is ideal in all respects, especially since it features a ballistic ranging reticle and a very large objective lens. For daytime hunting my first choice would be the Leupold though, but I admit to a bit of old fashioned fondness for fixed four power scopes and hunting.
As with any rimfire rifle, even high grade scopes are crazy affordable compared to their by design heavier built centerfire counterparts. The power and speed of the .17 WSM lets you move into a world normally dominated by semi-custom small bore centerfire rifles, while still enjoying the various advances in modern rimfire scope design.
As you can see, no matter what you choose, it’s difficult to break the bank when buying the best scope for .17 WSM. This leaves you with more time and money to focus on investing in your rifle and shooting to improve your marksmanship. Regardless of the scope you choose though, you’ll find the optic of your choice makes shooting your favorite rifle an even more enjoyable and exciting prospect.
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.