Today’s hunters usually prefer rifle scopes with high magnification levels. “The more power the better” concept may be acceptable in areas like vehicle horsepower, but this can be a mistake for passionate hunters to take such an approach to their hunting.
This is especially true when looking for a scope for .22-250 rifle. You want to hit a fast-moving target and make a humane kill with this type of short-action rifle. Your scope should be fit for that purpose.
The RangerExpert team tested and reviewed today’s best scopes for .22-250. This is your opportunity to make your varmint and small game hunting endeavors an epic one!
Our Reviewed Best Scope for .22-250 Rifles
Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane (Editor’s Choice)
The Vortex Optics Diamondback has many top-notch features for varmint hunting. Moreover, the Dead-Hold BDC reticle with a magnification of 1.75 – 5 x 32 provides the power for taking large or small games.
The turrets come handy when zeroing or adjusting the movement and elevation settings. Meanwhile, the audible clicks help much in beating range estimation issues. Unlike most models out there, we noticed its dials turned smoothly. Thus, adjustments with fingers were pretty easy.
The Diamondback model features a multi-coated lens to ensure the transmission of bright, clear images. Still, it has a fast-focus eyepiece that makes reticle focusing easier. Also, it helps in reducing parallax errors. You’ll appreciate its long eye-relief that helps to protect you from recoil impacts without compromising on the quality of the view.
Luckily, the Diamondback unit is ideal for both light and heavy-duty applications.
Also, the one-piece tube design, anodized finish, O-ring seal creates a durable scope. Of course, it will work well with the .22-250 rifles under any weather condition. Besides, the Diamondback scope comes with caps to protect the lens from scratches.
This optics has so much to offer though it comes at a budget-friendly price. Indeed, it is from high-grade aircraft aluminum, having a lifetime warranty; so, you’ll enjoy a long-lasting performance. The item is available in other magnification powers.
In comparison with other models here, this scope was quite popular. It received many positive comments, proving that it met users’ expectations. Yet, a few reviewers had issues with balancing zooming levels for closer targets.
- Magnification: 1.75 – 5 x 32
- Reticle Type: Crosshair
- Eye Relief: Unlimited
- Material: Aluminum
- Construction: One-piece
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Durable construction
- Clear images
- Erector system for smooth tracking
- Lifetime warranty
- Multi-coated lens
- Relatively low magnification
Overall, this is a dependable scope for its solid build and compact design. The scope’s image clarity and shock resistance are excellent. Coming at a reasonable price, it seems to have an unbeatable performance and durability.
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-inch Tube (Also Great)
Vortex products always have a long-standing reputation for top quality and extraordinary performance. Thus, the Crossfire II is an extension of that fact. This device has everything you need from .22-250 scopes, but the price makes it more attractive. Similar to our Top Pick, it produces super clear, bright images with multi-coated glasses. Besides, it gathers enough light for night and daylight hunting.
The final magnification level is at 12x, and with the dead hold BDC feature, sighting won’t be an issue. Meanwhile, many users were satisfied with the operation of the turrets per zeroing and range adjustments.
The exterior is nitrogen purged. Besides, O-ring seal construction makes it ideal for the harshest environments. This means you can shoot in the rain or desert without worrying about any damage. The Crossfire II has a one-piece tube that improves its ability to overcome recoil impacts.
Surprisingly, the four sunshades that come with the scope match the exterior finish, giving it a stylish look.
Other items in the package include lens cleaners and caps that serve as care and maintenance kits. For us, it was hard finding any downside to this scope. Again, the accuracy of the sight was simply impressive.
- Power: 4 – 12 x 40
- Frame material: Aluminum
- Reticle: Crosshair
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Dead hold BDC reticle
- High-grade aircraft aluminum
- Shockproof performance
- Finger adjustable turrets
- MOA clicks
- Long eye relief
- Anti-reflective and multi-coated glasses
- Mount sold separately
This one is one of those rare products that received 5 stars from more than one thousand genuine sales on Amazon! The reason is clear, if you can do the right adjustments and a bit tweaking on the windage and elevation, you can ring your steel consistently at even 200 to 300 yards in a constant manner.
Notwithstanding its price range, the specs are overwhelming. The build quality and functions are top-notch. It can work in the rain and take the abuse of AR rifles. Like its thousands of users out there, you’ll never be disappointed within its range of applications.
CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope 6-24×50 AOE (Budget Choice)
If you’re looking for a cheap but reliable scope for small game hunting or range shootings, you shouldn’t miss this CVLIFE product.
This is the number one choice of many varmint and deer hunters in the USA for its zeroing accuracy and ability to endure heavy recoils. The mil-dot reticle’s size is standard and stays true through the magnification levels.
Most importantly, you can calibrate the reticle’s range finder to suit your preferred gun type. Besides, the red and green reticle light works well in all lighting conditions. No need to worry if your battery dies because the scope will still work.
What’s more, the turrets have markings yet, makes click sound for smoother sighting at different distances. Luckily, we’ve not had issues with zeroing accuracy.
The CVLIFE scope is about 6 inches long, yet does its job fine. It has a mounting system that smoothly locks on a weaver dovetail platform. We used it in fog, rain, and frigid conditions but we didn’t have clarity issues. On a side note, a few users complained about the long size, but that wasn’t a deal-breaker for us.
- Reticle Color: Red & Green
- Magnification: 6-24x
- Click Point: 1/8 inch
- Object Diameter: 50mm
- View: 28 ft
- Length: 6 inches
- Eye relief: 3.52 inches
- Diameter: 1 inch
- Net weight: 630 grams
- Battery: CR 2032
- Illuminated reticle
- Graduated turrets
- Click sound
- Zero accuracy
- Mounting platform
- Longer length
Overall, this is one of the best optics for small game hunting for the money and we have no reservation recommending it for your .22-250 rifle. But to enjoy this scope to the fullest, use the right mounting device and set the zero correctly.
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 30mm Tube
This scope is another great model from Vortex designed to complement the power of the .22-250 rifles. Like our previous choices, the coated lens offers clear output in low lighting or bright environments. Moreover, the zooming level kicks off from 6-24x, which is suitable for close and long-range targets.
Featuring a BDC reticle, you can quickly see the markings for better target tracking. Besides, the reticle is on the second plane; as a result, the reticle’s size doesn’t change with the magnification level. You’ll appreciate the O-ring seal, nitrogen-purged chassis when shooting in wet environments.
But because of the limited eye-relief, you can’t see through the scope if you’re about three inches away. The reticle has no light, but from our observation, the clarity was superb on average daylight.
- Optics: 6 – 24x
- Objective distance: 50mm
- Frame: Aluminum
- Style: Dead-hold BDC
- Scope weight: 23.6 ounces
- Tube length: 30mm
- Watertight design
- Lightweight and durable
- Bright and clear views
- Varying ranges
- Easy reticle focusing
- Finger adjustable resets
- Non-illuminated reticle
The scope is lightweight, compact, and durable. Moreover, the lenses are of high-quality, works well in daylight and low-light conditions. Still, it represents excellent value for the money, functioning well even in the most demanding conditions.
Athlon Optics Argos BTR, 6-24 x 50 (FFP)
We can’t complete our review without listing the Athlon BTR Riflescope. The best part about this device is its accuracy at short-range shots. That is to say; it enables you to pick a target easily and hit games at a little over 200 yards.
The Athlon BTR Riflescope has a power of 6-24x and an objective lens of 50mm; therefore, you can shoot from varying distances. Luckily, it has an illuminated reticle, which improves its image quality and accuracy of target acquisition. Another advantage of this is the reticle’s ability to enlarge or shrink when zooming. Besides, the etching of the reticle on the glass enhances its recoil resistance and durability.
The Athlon Optics has multi-coated glasses, giving users precise images at any time of the day. Still, the heated one-piece tube design makes it better at keeping off moisture. Also, it’s argon purged to make it fog proof, heat-resistant, and long-lasting.
However, at 29.6 ounces, this model was a little bulkier than the Vortex Diamondback.
- Size: 17 x 5 x 4 inches
- Weight: 29.6 ounces
- Tube Material: Aluminum
- Magnification: 6 – 24x
- Tube diameter: 30mm
- Eye Relief: 3.3 inches
- Fully adjustable reticle
- Multi-coated glasses
- Etched reticle
- Excellent thermal stability
- Impressive shock resistance
- Waterproofing design
- Relatively heavy
If you want to enjoy quicker target acquisition and accuracy, this is the best .22-250 scope for you! We believe it’s worth the price range and will work well with your 22 varminter.
Vortex Optics Viper 6.5 – 20x 50 Parallax Adjustment
Another Vortex product here, luckily, this one has the highest optical power. The Viper version is reliable, yet pretty easy to use, making it an ideal pair for any .22-250 rifles. The aluminum tube and anodized finish make it the perfect choice for any regular hunter. Likewise, it’s compact and lightweight yet solid enough to withstand powerful recoil.
Featuring extra-low dispersion glasses, the Vortex Viper Optics has an impressive image quality. Similarly, the many anti-reflective coatings on the lens help to increase light transmission.
What’s more, this model uses the Mil-Dot reticle, which helps estimate range, bullet holdover, and windage. Therefore, it’s a reliable choice for small game hunting.
Unlike our previous choices, the Vortex Viper scope uses the SFP reticle. Of course, in this type, the reticle’s size doesn’t change with magnification levels. The image’s appearance remains the same, giving better accuracy of range estimation.
Another outstanding feature of this scope is the mag bar, which allows quick, reliable magnification changes. Still, the zoom lens system has top-notch components that smoothen magnification. Moreover, it has a parallax setting of 50 yards to infinity, implying your eye distance won’t limit your shooting accuracy.
However, only negative is lack of sunshade; but you can get that separately. Meanwhile, the many impressive reports from users showed it performed admirably.
- Reticle Type: Dead-hold BDC
- Parallax range: 50 yards – infinity
- Windage adjustment: 65MOA
- Weight: 21.6 ounces
- Click/rotation: 12MOA
- Graduation Adjustment: ¼ MOA
- Eye relief: 3.1 inches
- Tube size: 30mm
- Ideal for varmint hunting
- Multi-coated optics
- Powerful magnification
- Mil-dot reticle
- Rugged design
- Mag bar for faster magnification changes
- Fog-proof and waterproof
- Second focal plane reticles
- No sunshade
This is probably the best varmint scope for .22-250, considering its zooming distance that stretches up to 1000 yards. You can expect outstanding results when taking short-and long-distant shots.
Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane
The Vortex Optics HS-T is another high-performing contender for our top ten. Like our previous choices, it’s waterproof, thanks to O-ring seals that protect the components from moisture or debris. Besides, it’s also argon-purged to make it functional in fog.
The Vortex HS-T has a magnification of 24x using a 44mm device. Moreover, it uses the MRAD reticle, which offers precise holds at a higher shooting range while the XR coatings improve the scope’s light-gathering ability. Still, the Amortek coating protects the glasses from scratches. The optics remain durable as a result, offering excellent image quality.
The exposed target-style turrets enable you to make quick finger adjustments. But the CRS zero stop function separates this scope from other ones out there. Yes, this feature allows the optics to return to zero after dialing the elevation knobs.
- Rated Power: 4 – 16x
- Objective length: 44mm
- Build material: Aircraft aluminum
- Reticle Style: VMR – 1 (MRAD)
- Tube size: 30mm
- Armortek lens coating
- CRS zero stop
- Argon purged production
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Fast focus eyepiece
- MRAD reticle
- Multi-coated lens
- One-piece tube
- Relatively expensive
With this best rifle scope for varmint hunting, you’ll get good value for your hard-earned money for sure. The clarity is superb, even up to 20x. Moreover, the build quality is fantastic, quick zeroing, and knobs spin well. Overall, its quality suits the price.
Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X
For varmint hunting and long-range shooting, you should consider the Bushnell Banner Riflescope. It has many amazing features that make it a good choice for your .22-250 rifle.
You’ll appreciate the scope for its DDB coated lenses, offering maximum light transmission and image clarity. Similarly, it provides adjustable magnification that ranges from 6 to 18 levels. Thus, it can successfully track an object at 100 to 500 yards.
Moreover, this Bushnell glass is the best scope for .22-250 for night or day hunters. Besides, it offers consistent focus, aiding quick target acquisition.
This model is dependable when it comes to shooting in foggy or wet environments. Besides, this scope is resistant to shock and scratch. So, wherever you go, you can be sure of this high-performance optics. The only drawback is the lack of sunshades, but you can buy them separately.
- Product Size: 17.7 x 2.9 x 2.4 inches
- Weight: 1.13 pounds
- Eye relief: 3.5 inches
- Magnification: 6 – 18x
- Objective length: 50mm
- Reticle: Multi-X
- Single-piece tube design
- Suitable for all weathers
- Works in low-light conditions
- DDB multi-coated glasses
- 100 percent water-resistant
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Durable and beautiful design
- Sunshades unavailable
This model is one of the best out there because of its robust and durable construction. It features DDB coated glasses, which ensures more light enters the lens to make your view clearer. Above all, the price is reasonable and the specs are great. This is definitely an excellent scope for the money.
Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40
Over the years, Nikon has earned a good reputation for manufacturing good-quality optics. Of course, you can’t expect anything less from the Nikon Prostaff version. This model is among the most advanced scopes available yet pretty affordable.
The multi-coated lens transmits around 98% light; so, you have the guarantee of high-quality images. We noticed the glass was clear, clean, and bright.
Luckily, this unit’s design makes it suitable for all uses and weather. For instance, it’s robust, fog proof, and waterproof, with a nitrogen-filled chassis to enhance durability. Weighing at 13.8 ounces, it’s one of the lightest scopes available.
At 9x magnification and 40mm lenses, you can expect better stability like you’ll get from optics with a higher power level. Yet, nothing boosts a shooter’s confidence more than dependable eye relief. Here, the Prostaff is unique with 3.6-inch eye relief; you’ll enjoy a better view for the most extended shots.
This stunning gun accessory offers a wide field of view with a maximum of 33.8 feet at 100 yards. Most importantly, the patented Nikoplex reticle pairs with a spot on ballistic technology. As a result, you’ll enjoy better-aiming accuracy.
In other words, the spot-on reticle lets you discover the holdover point per yardage for your rifle. We all know how technology plays a crucial role in improving precision and accuracy. But get the right mounting system for higher precision.
- Reticle: Nikoplex
- Length: 12.4 inches
- Actual Power: 3 – 9x
- Parallax setting: 100 yards
- Eye relief: 3.6 inches
- Objective diameter: 40mm
- Max. Field of View: 33.8 feet
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Spot on technology
- Multi-coated lenses
- Nikoplex reticle
- Zero-reset turrets
- Quick-focus eyepiece
- Fog-proof performance
- No mounting device
This Nikon Prostaff comes at the mid-range price, offering unbeatable performance. Likewise, the eye relief is fantastic. Indeed, the scope has a more specific field of view, sharp reticle, and easily adjustable turrets. Overall, we saw that it was powerful yet fun to use; many users were also happy with the purchase.
Leupold VX-3i 4.5 – 14x 50mm
Leupold is a common name in the hunting and shooting community. Of course, only a few companies can compete with the Leupold per their high-tech design and material selection. Besides, their optics devices have to pass an impact survival test to ensure they really work on .22-250 rifles. The only reason it’s taking 10th place on our list is its relatively high price.
The VX-3i has the best lenses when compared to other scopes on this list. It features a diamond coating glasses that not only transmit more light but also withstand minor scratches. As a result, you’ll enjoy colorful resolution and extreme image clarity. Indeed, this makes finding targets and image tracking easier.
Most importantly, this scope uses the ‘Twilight Max Light Management system’ that lets you see objects.
You can zoom from 4.5 to 14x, making it an excellent option for your .22-250 guns. Moreover, zooming in and out with this scope is pretty smooth, thanks to its comfortable adjusters. The click changes with ¼ MOA offering more reliable performance. Yes, it’s pretty accurate when switching between short and long-range shots.
The scope carries a lifetime warranty, which adds much value to the price. Besides, it’s completely sealed, ensuring it works well in dusty, wet, or foggy environments. However, we would’ve been happier if there was a night vision feature. But since it already offered an extra 20 minutes of shooting light, the VX-3i version was worth the purchase.
- Magnification range: 4.5 – 14x
- Tube Length: 12.2 inches
- Main tube diameter: 1-inch
- Weight: 16.5 ounces
- Eye relief: 3.6 inches
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Temperature range: -40 to 160F
- Zoom ratio: 3:1
- Clear and colorful view
- 100 percent waterproof
- Higher light transmission
- Scratch-resistant glass
- Lifetime of use
- Aircraft quality aluminum
- Duplex reticle
- Extremely shockproof
- No HD glass
The scope provides clear images and works well at gathering dawn or dusk light. The price is on the higher side, but its high-grade chassis and top-quality lenses make up for that. We believe the Leupold VX-3i is for people who desire to invest in high-performance and long-lasting scopes.
Quick Buying Guide for .22-250 Scopes
A specialized scope for .22-250 calibers should have at least 10x magnification with several adjustments to enable you to zoom for the shot. However, if you’re planning to hunt smaller games like a varmint, you’ll not need a scope with a higher power level.
2. Build Quality & Durability
Hunting scopes need to be made from durable materials to withstand daily abuse. Aluminum scopes are suitable for .22-250 ammos because of their excellent shock-absorbing ability. Also, the nitrogen purged, O-sealed optics are able to function in all environments.
3. Objective Lenses
For better image quality, the scope’s eyepiece should gather enough light. Of course, higher magnification needs larger objective lenses to transmit more light. However, weight issues will arise with increasing lens size. For the best results, choose glasses with a width of 34mm or higher.
4. Image Quality
A scope is useless if the image quality is poor. But one thing that affects image output is the glass. So, read user reviews or stick to manufacturers with a reputation for delivering better images. Yet, higher image quality scopes will come at a price.
5. Lens Coating
If you can afford, choose scopes with fully multi-coated glass surfaces. These types reduce glare and filter the light that help produce a brighter and clearer image.
The right reticle will improve your shooting accuracy. Besides, it should have resettable zero with thin lines. Most importantly, an illuminated reticle comes handy when hunting in dense forests or in the dark.
However, your preference determines the reticle type to pick. For example, BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator) reticles are for target shooting while simple plain reticles work for varmint hunting. Moreover, you should check if the reticle is on the first or second focal plane.
Of course, the second plane reticle is immovable while the first plane type’s size changes with the zoom level. As a result, tactical shooters usually prefer scopes with the SFP reticles.
Depending on your hunting purpose, you can choose a scope with complicated or straightforward turrets. The complicated types enable you to make windage and elevation adjustments. But you’ll not need that when hunting varmints. We recommend that you select easy-to-use optics, such that you can shoot without wasting time on the settings.
The impact from the .22-250 cartridges is relatively low, but your scope will be stable with top-quality rings.
9. Importance of Parallax Adjustment Turret
We recommend choosing a scope that comes with parallax adjustment. It is because the target through the scope should have the aiming reticle stamped on it clearly, and both must appear with a similar sharpness.
The parallax adjustment turret gives you the option to tune your reticle to be clearly visible on your target. This helps to zero on your target even more efficiently.
10. Right Magnification for Telescope
The first digit signifies the magnification of the optical telescope. You must have some basic knowledge of this before getting one.
If you take a 6 x 24 scope for a rifle, the number you see at the left of “x” gives you the rate of magnification of the object, or how bigger you can see through it than with your naked eye. Naturally, with the increase of this number, the rate of magnification rises. If the magnification rate increases, you will get a shorter field of view.
However, there are two kinds of scopes in this category– one that allows you to change the level of magnification (a variable option), and the other one that doesn’t (a fixed option).
11. Eye Relief
The scope’s eye relief gives the allowable distance between your eye and the eyepiece. A more extended eye relief protects you from the rifle’s recoil. Most optics have around 3 inches of eye relief, but your firearm’s recoil power determines which is perfect for you.
Look for a lightweight scope, weighing around 15 to 25 ounces. Of course, something higher will add extra weight to your firearm and slow you down as a result.
13. Overall Performance
Company reputation, feedback, and reviews will give you clues about the scope’s performance level. Before investing, check if the optic’s looks, reliability, accuracy, and functions match with the price.
14. Warranty & Budget
Like other items out there, scope brands have their respective prices. Generally, they cost around $50 to $1000. You should determine your budget as scopes with high-tech features are definitely expensive. Try to strike a balance between the scope’s cost and quality.
The Vortex series has a lifetime coverage. Your preferred choice should come with at least a 25-year long warranty.
Scope Care & Maintenance Tips
Exposing your scope to dust, dirt, or water isn’t a good thing. Of course, no matter how hard you try, you can’t keep your hunting gear safe from such elements.
However, you need to clean your optics’ lenses after each use to continue enjoying the views. Too much dirt causes blur images, and that’s not what you need. So, wipe off-hand stains or dirt from the lens and chassis using a damp cloth.
Cover the glasses whenever you’re not using the scope. Besides, avoid breathing on the lenses as this could mar your mission. You can use a low power blower to clear the dust in hard to reach areas like turrets.
Above all, with a little consideration and care, your .22-250 scopes will serve you long.
1. What is the difference between 22 and .22-250?
Ans. The .22-250 caliber is a short action cartridge that hunters use for small games weighing below 17 lbs. It was introduced in 1915 and evolved into the 22 ammo. In other words, the 22 round is a product series of the 250 cartridges, hence the name .22-250. The .22-250 caliber is fast, accurate, and reliable.
2. How do .22-250 and .223 calibers differ?
Ans. The .223 Remington is among the trendiest rounds in the US. It was designed for the troops but has become a favorite for most hunters. Like the .22-250 calibers, the .223 cartridge has lower recoil, making it suitable for M16 and AR-15 rifles. For the design, the .223 caliber’s length is long but has a shorter neck. However, both .223 and .22-250 cartridges are useful for varmint hunting, but 22 250 is more affordable.
3. What can you hunt with a .22-250?
Ans. Our suggestion is use a .22-250 for coyotes and small animals like rabbits, prairie dogs, and groundhogs.
4. What reticle is best for a varmint rifle?
Ans. Your preference determines your ideal reticle. However, make sure that you practice with your preferred reticle before hitting the woods. Meanwhile, the BDC and plain duplex reticles are applicable for any varmint rifle.
5. What is the most accurate range of a .22-250?
Ans. You can go as far as 500 to 700 yards without issues. Of course, the high-velocity .22-250 is light, so there’ll be bullet drift issues for long-distance shots.
6. What scope ring works best for a .22-250?
Ans. In short, solid rings are the best. Though the .22-250 has lower recoil, get the correct ring size for better stability.
7. How far can the .22-250 rifle shoot?
Ans. The .22-250 cartridge has a limited range, which is why it’s not used in the military. For instance, those having rifling twists of 1 – 12-inch, which work in 40 – 65 grain bullets, aren’t accurate enough at distances beyond 400 yards. However, the .22-250 cartridges with 1 – 8-inch twist, and suitable for 80-grain bolts can shoot up to 1000 yards.
8. How to mount a scope on .22-250 rifles?
Ans. Whatever the scope type, you’ll get better results if your mounting is correct. However, these tips will help.
- Get a scope level, screwdrivers, electrician’s tape, gun cradle, and dowel rods.
- Using an electric cleaner, degrease the screw holes, bases, rings, etc.
- Use stock combs when mounting, but try to position your scope a little low.
- If the aiming lens is large, you might mount the scope higher.
- Then, check the eye relief to see how it works with various magnification levels.
- Adjust the lens and reticle, try aligning the reticle with a distant object.
- Finally, focus in a low light environment to see if the reticle is accurate throughout.