Varmint Hunting – A Brief Guide on Rifles and Riflescopes

If you are not a dummy at varmint hunting, you will know how difficult and pursuing it is to take down a varmint. Most creatures that come in this category are basically predators (feral dogs, raccoons, foxes, wolves, coyotes, and others) that are most cunning, stealthy and intelligent. Most importantly, they can sense you coming near even when you are around 100 yards away. Some of the varmints such as prairie dogs and groundhogs are ground burrowing ones, which makes the hunt all the more difficult. That’s why hunting varmints are very difficult, challenging, and taxing.

Nightforce SHV

Taking down a varmint becomes a necessity to people who raise livestock in their farms. If the varmint hunter misses the varmint, which has been roaming near the farm for quite some time, it means loss of a livestock he or she is raising. That’s why missing a shot while targeting a varmint is not an option.

Therefore, for taking a confident and precise shot, you should have a good rifle and definitely a great riflescope. There are certain rifles that are specifically known as the best available ones for the trade. In fact, there are innumerable riflescopes available in the market, right from a $200 scope to one having a $3000 price tag. So which one to go for? What are the features you got to look for in a riflescope for varmint hunting?

Fret not as this article deals with all these aspects. Read further to know the names of the best available varmint rifles, riflescopes and their characteristic features for achieving best possible experience on varmint hunting. Let us begin by discussing about varminter rifles before checking out the features of riflescopes.

Varminter Rifles

There are basically three types of rifles used for varmint hunting and they are Accurize, Terminal Ballistics and External Ballistics.

1.       Rifles coming in the Accurize category are known for extreme accuracy and this can help you bring down even the smallest varmint (say a rabbit, squirrel, or a rodent) from long range.

2.       The second type of rifle category is the Terminal Ballistics, designed for using bullets of light weight. These are generally used for making least possible penetration.

3.       Third kind is the External Ballistics rifles that help varmint shooters get a flat bullet trajectory as these are capable of firing bullets at high velocity.

Some of the most popular varminter rifles used in varmint hunting includes Bushmaster AR-15, Sierra Varminter, Savage Model 12 Varminter, Ruger No. 1, and Remington 700 SPS.

Riflescopes for Varmint Hunting

While selecting a rifle scope for varmint hunting, there are certain important features you need to look into before buying. Some of the factors that you need to check specifications of are magnification, reticle, light and objective lens and parallax setting.

1.       While buying a scope specifically for varmint hunting, a hunter will need a variable magnification power from 3x to 12x. Whether you are targeting a fox in the woods, feral dog/ coyote at long distance or prairie dogs in the planes, a 3x-12x variable range riflescope is perfect for use.

2.       Varmint hunting, especially the coyotes, is done during low light conditions, either during night time or dusk. That’s why a hunter will need a scope that has an objective lens diameter from 45mm to 50mm. Most optical analysts believe that 50mm diameter is the most suitable one for varmint hunters. Also look out for fully coated lenses, thereby reducing reflection of light off the lens and at the same time improving object picture by increasing light gathering capability of the riflescope.

3.       When it comes to choice of reticles, Mil-Dot as well as Click adjustable ones are preferred. If possible you should look for lighted reticle for these kinds of shooting.

4.       A scope having parallax compensation setting should be preferred.

Some of the most coveted riflescopes that you may consider buying for varmint hunting are Trijicon AccuPoint (2.5-10×56/5-20×50/3-9×40), Swarovski Z6i (2.5-15×44/2.5-15×56), Swarovski Z5 3.5-18×44, Swarovski Z3 (3-10×42/4-12×50), Nightforce SHV (4-14×56 .25 MOA-MOAR- Illuminated / 4-14×56 .25 MOA-IHR- Illuminated), Schmidt Bender Classic 4-16×50 Varmint Dot 8, Vortex Viper PST (2.5-10×44 EBR-1 Reticle MOA/ 2.5-10×44 EBR-1 Reticle MRAD), and others.

That’s all for now. Do keep these guidelines in mind while buying the rifle and the riflescope for getting the best out of varmint hunting.

by Scopelist