One of the most famous mid-sized cartridges in existence – .22-250, celebrates a half-century after its standardization by Remington and represents one of the best all-around, long-range .22 varmint cartridge available today. The .22-250 caliber rooted its name from the wildcat combination of a .250 Savage case and .224 caliber bullet. As for the most of calibers, the selection of the best scopes for 22-250 rifle depends on cartridge specifications and intended use.
In brief, with its flat trajectory out to 400 yards the .22-250 Remington ammunition is great for small game hunting, especially if you shooting varmint beyond 400 yards. With its ability to reach more than 4,000 feet per second, this light recoiling rifle round is an excellent cartridge for long-range target and varmint shooting, but it also has tactical applications. Varmint hunters use the .22-250 Remington rifle cartridge because the combination of the small-bore bullet of high velocity reduces excessive penetration and eliminate ricochets.
Since the .22-250s travel so fast and are very accurate with almost no kickback, best scopes for .22-250 rifle will ensure some tightly grouped shots at 600 yards, and even further. In addition, the .22-250 ammo is cheap and fun to shoot, so this is the reason more to invest in a better quality telescopic sight. A powerful .22-250 rifle that can shoot longer distances is only useful with excellent optics. There are several aspects to consider when you are looking for the best varmint scope for .22-250, and they are ranging from your budget, through magnification to the resistance to wear, water and fog.
Throughout this .22-250 scope review, we will focus on rifle scopes specifications like lens coating and quality, magnification, the field of view, adjustments, reticle styles and overall durability. As first, you should know that the most important component of any optical instruments is glasses, and good glass doesn’t come cheap. There is one rule claiming that you should spend nearly as much or even more on a rifle scope than you did on a weapon. In this review, we have encompassed several trusted brands that offer models that can handle not only medium and long distance varmints and target shooting but also very long range targets over 500 yards.
- Best Scope for 22-250 Rifle
- 1. Nikon BLACK X1000
- 2. Vortex Razor HD LH 3-15×42
- 3. Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10X44
- 4. Leupold Vx-5hd 2-10x42mm
- 5. NightForce COMPETITION 15-55x52mm
- 6. Burris XTR II 5-25x50mm
- 7. Bushnell Tactical 6-24X50
- 8. Athlon Helos BTR 6-24×50 MOA
- 9. Swarovski Optik Z5 3.5-18×44 BRH Reticle
- 10. Steiner GS3 4-20x50mm
Best Scope for 22-250 Rifle
1. Nikon BLACK X1000
One of the best varmint scopes for .22-250 is bearing Nikon Sport Optics label and belongs to their family of BLACK series rifle scopes introduced in 2017. This Nikon lineup encompasses 4-16×50 and 6-24×50 models with X-MRAD or X-MOA tactical-style reticles dedicated to long-range shooters and it’s a perfect match for your .22-250 Remington rifle.
All scopes from Black X1000 series feature a 30mm main body tube machined from the aircraft-grade aluminum alloy. The scope body is O-ring sealed to prevent moisture from entering interior and nitrogen purged to prevent glass fogging.
The 4-16x50SF boasts full multi layer coatings on all air-to-glass lens surfaces for bright and high contrast sighting at all magnifications.
A Black model 4-16x50SF have X-MRAD or X-MOA ballistic reticles placed in Second Focal plane, (the SF in the name).
Each of the rifle scopes in the Black X1000 lineup has a turret-mounted side focus Parallax adjustment with integrated reticle illumination control with 10 intensity levels.
The Nikon BLACK X1000 is affordable long range rifle optics without bells and whistles and on par with other offerings in this class. With an ample four-time zoom optical system and spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets, the new BLACK rifle scopes can be applied to virtually any shooting application.
The open, tactical-style turrets tracked perfectly whether you choose MOA or MRAD option. Both knobs have ¼ MOA or .1 MRAD click graduations while the rifle scope delivers 90 total MOA and 25 MRAD internal adjustment travel, respectively.
The Nikon BLACK X1000 Series is made in the Philippines like most of its counterparts and it is targeted towards the entry-level precision rifle shooter with a limited budget.
2. Vortex Razor HD LH 3-15×42
The Razor HD LH 3-15×42 is quite smaller than its older, big brothers from the popular Vortex Razor series. Anyway, the new Razor HD LH (High Density, Light Hunter) is made in Japan and features 42mm objective glass, it is designed to be a compact and lightweight accessory for your .22-250 rifle.
Measuring at only 16.5 oz., and featuring 5x power range and high-density extra-low dispersion glass the Razor HD LH could easily become the best varmint scope for .22 250 rifle, particularly for those people who are looking for one of the lightest long-range scopes for their varmint rifle.
Whereas any minimalist can appreciate keeping down an overall weight of the rifle, the Razor HD features all standards typical for its class. The scope body is constructed from a 1-inch single piece of aircraft-grade aluminium, which is argon-filled to take away chances of fogging.
The waterproof tube is fitted with O-ring seals to prevent moisture and dust from entering the housing.
Parallax is addressed with a side focus and can be set from 20 yards to Infinity. The scope has long eye relief 3.8-inch across the magnification range.
The Razor LH 3-15×42 delivers stunning image quality due to XR Plus premium fully multi-coated lenses. Applying ArmorTek coatings, Vortex has protected all exterior lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt.
Vortex engineers have blended details of classic German Number 4, BDC hash-marks and a target dot in the new G4 BDC reticle design. While this SFP (second focal plane) ballistic reticle enables you to determine ranges out to 500+ yards, the non-illuminated but heavier sub-tensions are suitable for low light conditions.
The capped turrets for windage and elevation feature mid-size profile and offer 1/4 MOA impact point correction.
As with all Vortex scopes, with Razor HD LH series you will receive VIP, full-replacement or repair lifetime guarantee.
3. Vortex Viper HS 2.5-10X44
One interesting and new model comes from the Vortex flock and belongs to their mid-priced line of Viper HS (Hunting & Shooting) scopes.
The Viper HS 2.5-10×44 pretends to be the successor of classic 3-9X scopes but it provides more magnification versatility with 4x zoom range.
The strong single-piece central tube is sealed with O-rings and argon purged to prevent internal fogging and provide waterproof performance. Because it is based on 30mm machined aluminum tube the Viper HS delivers increased 86 MOA adjustment for windage and elevation.
While this extremely compact unit for a 2-10×44 scope measures at 12″ long and weighs about 16oz., it may easily qualify for the best scope for .22-250 rifle.
The other selling point and trait that the hunters would particularly appreciate, is an objective bell featuring a mid-size 44mm lens as a compromise between compactness and light gathering.
In addition, the XD lens elements are multi-coated with patented Vortex VX l anti-reflective coatings for optimum light transmission. All exterior lens surfaces are protected with scratch-resistant Armortek coatings.
The scope is equipped with capped quick-reset turrets for extra protection to keep the adjustments from unexpected impacts during harsh field use. The turrets increments are marked in ¼ MOA per click and they matched the reticles graduation.
The Viper HS in 2.5-10×44 is available with the V-Plex or the Dead-Hold BDC reticle, both positioned in the second focal plane (SFP) and without illumination.
4. Leupold Vx-5hd 2-10x42mm
Another universal rifle scope in this guide for the best varmint scope for .22-250 rifle comes from Leupold and falls under their new line of VX-5HD rifle scopes, introduced in 2017.
While it carries classy Leupold look with a recognizable signature gold ring and the sleek profile, the VX-5HD is a lighter variant of company’s VX-6HD and comparing to them VX-5HD rifle scopes come with 5 times zoom factor.
Leupold’s VX-5HD 2-10x42mm incorporates high-definition calcium-fluoride lenses, called a Twilight max light management system. That proprietary lens coating maximizes the light transmission in blue and red colors, providing a visible advantage to hunters during dawn as well as dusk.
All of the exterior glass on the 2-10x42mm scope has layers of Leupold’s Guard-Ion coating, designed to shed water, dirt and fingerprints.
The VX-5HD line features pop-up Windage adjustment knob protected by a cap whereas the Elevation turret can be dialed without removing a cap. These turrets have a 1/4 MOA click value with a 120 MOA maximum adjustment of both settings.
This scope comes with ZeroLock 2 (CES-ZL2) elevation turret that allows you to find your load’s zero and lock it in.
This Leupold rifle scope also includes in a box one free Custom Ballistic Dial; a clever designed Custom Dial System (CDS) for your specific load. Elevation turret comes with ZeroLock 2 (CES-ZL2) that allows you to find your load’s zero and lock it in.
The VX-5HD 2-10x42mm scope is one of the six VX-5HD models, and it is the only one coming without an illuminated reticle. You can choose either simple Duplex reticle or FireDot Duplex reticle, both set in the second focal plane.
The Leupold 2-10x42mm rifle scope provides generous 3.8 inches eye relief at all magnifications, a handy feature when you might be shouldering the rifle quickly.
The central 30mm scope body is constructed from 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum and in combination with the humble 42mm objective lens it weighs only 16.4 ounces. The larger, single-piece main tube is sealed for waterproofness and filled with the argon-krypton mixture for fog-free use at low temperatures.
5. NightForce COMPETITION 15-55x52mm
Nightforce first introduced a family of Competition rifle scopes in the year 2013 to offer an enhancement over its NXS and Benchrest rifle scopes. Nightforce Competition 15-55×52mm scope is highly specialized optics for stationary shooting and for competitive use at a known-distance match such as the long-range benchrest as well as F-class target shooting.
As such, Nightforce Competition has found its place in this .22-250 scope review, as a viable option for this flat shooting caliber.
Although the Nightforce competition scope looks similar to the tactical optics, it is differing in several crucial details. Nightforce Competition rifle scopes series offers four different second focal plane reticle options.
The selection of very thin SFP reticles is a better solution for very high magnification as they should cover as little of the target as possible. The reticles come without illumination since you normally do not need an illuminated reticle for target shooting.
”Tactical style” target knobs feature a ZeroStop function, providing with every rotation 5 MOA of adjustment.
Another of the most notable attribute of the Nightforce Competition is its huge 15-55x magnification range. Whereas it is excellent for the long-range targets, the powerful magnification comes at the price of a relatively small eye box; eye relief is humble 3.15 inches.
A similar case is with scope adjustments that come with .125 MOA (eighth-minute-of-angle) clicks for both elevation and windage turrets. While great for use at a predefined distance, they limited scope adjust-ability to 55 MOA of vertical adjustment, which is mostly insufficient for the needs of extremely long-range shooting.
The scope features extra-low dispersion or ED glass and side knob for parallax compensation that can be adjusted from 25 yards to infinity.
With 30mm central tube made from single piece aircraft-grade aluminum, Nightforce Competition 15-55×52 rifle scope measures descent 27.87 ounces, which is considerably lighter than its Benchrest and NXS counterparts.
6. Burris XTR II 5-25x50mm
Burris Optics has entered the field of “Tactical” rifle scopes with XTR II (Xtreme Tactical Rifle Scope) series introducing it on Shot Show 2017 in Las Vegas.
Although Burris premium line of rifle scopes is designed for serious competitive and tactical long-range precision rifle shooters, the XTR II 5-25x50mm model will, without doubt, be a great optics for plains game hunting and one of the best varmint scopes for .22-250 Remington.
The combination of the huge 34mm body tube and 50mm objective lens help in low-light performance, offering varmint hunters better contrast and clear images in dawn and dusk.
The robust XTR II scope housing is machined from 25% thicker tube profile than the original XTR series and nitrogen purged for fog proof use at low temperatures. XTR II features a 5-times zoom system, which allows for a larger field of view and better target acquisition.
The XTR II features Hi-Lume fully multi-coated lenses and new scratch-resistant ˝StormCoat˝ coating on the outer glasses, which also causes water to bead and shed off the lenses.
The Burris XTR II 5-25x50mm scope sports the exposed tactical turrets, enhanced with XT-100 click adjustment knob. The dimensionally matched precision adjustment knobs come with 100 clicks per rotation to provide easier calculations and faster adjustments.
While all high-magnification XTR II rifle scopes like our 5-25×50 model have front focal plane reticle design, you can choose reticle either in MIL/MIL or MOA/MOA configurations.
Burris XTR II 5-25X50 is available G2B and SCR (Special Competition Reticle). Both illuminated reticles are designed primarily for competitive use but will also work great for open plains hunting.
Whereas the XTR II provides darker and somewhat less clear picture at the highest magnification, it should be mentioned that Burri’s price tag is considerably lower than the high-end European glass.
7. Bushnell Tactical 6-24X50
Today in arms bazaar “Tactical” is an inevitable word and optics sights have not been excluded from this trend. Bushnell Company has jumped on the bandwagon upgrading their Elite 4200 series of rifle scopes with some tactical features such as the mil-dot reticle with 1/10-mil click adjustments and the first focal plane (FFP).
Such optics` configurations are usually called “mil/mil” scopes and in addition, Bushnell Elite Tactical series have tall target-type turrets that allow for increased 70-MOA windage and elevation adjustment ranges.
Utilizing nearly 1/8 inch thick tube walls, the 30mm housing of the Bushnell Elite Tactical rifle scopes is very firm and hefty at 27-ounce, but it is further strengthened via a “cold molding” process, which generates a more durable element than hammer-forging.
Bushnell Tactical 6-24X50 features Ultra Wide Band Coating and fully multi-coated lenses for better light transmission at dawn and dusk and excellent image sharpness and contrast.
All outer lens surfaces are protected with RainGuard HD anti-fog technology while the scope’s interior is purged with argon gas for long-term reliability. The scope comes with saddle-mounted parallax, which focuses, from 25 yards out to infinity.
The combination of 4-time zoom power, an illuminated Mil-Dot aiming reticle and a large light-gathering 50-millimeter objective bell make this Bushnell Elite 6-24x rifle scope ideal for all kind of hunting or tactical use, especially in low light conditions.
The only negative refers to only 3″ short eye relief which is on the lower end of the acceptable range.
The Bushnell 6-24X 50 like other scopes from Elite Tactical line are produced by one of Japan’s premier optics manufacturers.
8. Athlon Helos BTR 6-24×50 MOA
Athlon Optics is a USA-based company in the Kansas City area with production facilities placed in both Japan and China. Their more expensive Helos BTR (Bright Tactical Reticle) line is made in Japan and consists of two models: 6-24×50 and 8-34x56mm.
Athlon Helos BTR 6-24x50mm is released to the market on Shot Show 2017 and immediately attracted the attention of long-distance shooting gun community.
All Athlon Helos BTR series of rifle scopes sport the reticles set in the first focal plane (FFP), rugged 30 mm main tube, and exposed tactical turrets with zero stop function. Furthermore, both scopes boast 4 times magnification range, which makes them versatile in multiple shooting disciplines.
The tall, open-style turrets provide 1/4 MOA steps ballistic and wind-shift corrections within range of a 60 MOA. The Athlon Helos BTR rifle scopes are built from durable 6061 T6 aircraft-grade aluminum whereas the tube is filled with inertia gas Argon to purge any moisture out of the housing giving you better waterproofing and thermal stability.
The Athlon Helos BTR features fully multi-coated inner lenses for better light transmission and all external glasses coated with ˝XPL coating˝ for scratch resistance and dirt.
As a dedicated long-range rifle scope, Helos BTR 6-24 x 50 easily finds its place in this .22-250 Scope Review, particularly if we consider Helos specialized APLR2 illuminated MOA reticle with dense stadia and a tree-like ballistic grid under the center.
Though the eye relief of 3.3″ can be discouraging when using high-powered rifles, it shouldn’t be a problem with .22-250 rifle.
9. Swarovski Optik Z5 3.5-18×44 BRH Reticle
Swarovski Optik has reaffirmed their reputation as a manufacturer of high-end European glass with a new Z5 line of rifle scopes. Perhaps the two most notable attributes of the Swarovski Z5 scopes are the remarkable 5 times power ratio placed in very compact 1-inch (25.4mm) housing.
Hence, all Swarovski Z5 models are slender, lightweight scopes with low profile making them one of the best scopes for .22-250 rifle or other lighter and similar compact rifles.
Featuring a large field of view and generous power range in the small and light package, the Z5 lineup has been a hit with hunters, especially those who hunt in either wooded forest or the vast, open plains.
The Swarovski Z5 scopes are non-illuminated, but they offer large, rugged turrets with distinctive adjustable clicks with the option of ordering a ballistic turret (BT). This means that the Z5 3.5-18X rifle scope with a ballistic turret will enable you to easily adjust the reticle at three pre-defined distances, marked with three different colors.
The Z5 rifle scope is available with several ballistic and plain reticle set in the second focal plane, but our 3.5-18X44 model boasts BRH reticle, a heavier version of the popular BRX reticle, designed for better low light visibility for big game hunting.
Utilizing an aluminum material in construction and a moderate size 44mm objective bell, the Z5 scope will ensure small weight followed by a low profile on your rifle and reduced parallax issues. On the Z5 rifle scope, the third turret controls the parallax compensation for more accurate long shots in open fields.
10. Steiner GS3 4-20x50mm
The Steiner 2-10×42 rifle scope is a member of a new GS3 series of rifle scopes from the renowned binoculars manufacturer Steiner Optik from Germany.
If you’re looking for a hard-wearing optic for hunting in all terrains, consider this Game Sensing rifle scope, which packs a ton of features into a fairly light and compact package. The length of the Steiner GS3 2-10×42 rifle scope is 13.5 Inches and it weighs moderate 18 ounces.
With durable construction and rugged 30 mm aircraft-grade aluminum tube filled with nitrogen, the GS3 scope is ready for an unflinching and all-weather performance.
The main selling point of this newly developed series of hunting rifle scopes is Steiner’s Game Sensing feature. Actually, it is about lens coatings dubbed a Color Adjusted Transmission (CAT). These coatings amplify contrast to visually separate our quarry from its surroundings that are either leafy or shadow-dappled.
This Steiner premium optics comes with several reticle options placed in a Second Focal Plane, and our model sports simple, non-illuminated ballistic Plex S1 reticle.
With a large objective lens diameter and a wide 5x zoom range, Steiner 5004 model offers maximum versatility for hunting game and immediate shooting from 30 to 450 yards in a matter of seconds.
The low profile, capped turrets provide 48 MOA of windage adjustment and 64 MOA adjustments for the .elevation. The knobs have increments of 1/4 MOA per click.
You might have found a perfect candidate for your .22-250 rifle and also you have probably concluded that our selection encompassed mid- and high-end glasses that financially more leaning towards the European scope’s budget.
When you are in a quest for the best scopes for .22-250, you may find that all modern scopes claim to have industry-leading optical features appropriate for any shooting activity.
However, in this article, we have clearly divided optics on those purpose-built for stationary shooting and ones more mobile for predators shooting and other types of hunting.
With more than 50 years experience in the field and the testing lab, author L.P. Brezny is one of today’s most recognized shotgun experts and authors. He is a contributor to dozens of firearms publications, such as Wildfowl, Shotgun Sports, and Varmint Hunters, and he is a regular columnist in the Gun Digest annual as well as AmmoLand News.