4 Best Scopes for .22-250 in 2020 [HAND TESTED]

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What is the best scope for .22-250?

I wasn’t sure. So, I spent hours researching and a good portion of my bank account hand-testing various scopes.

After a couple of weeks of testing, I knew exactly what the best scope for .22-250 is.

In fact, I found 4 of them.

Let me show you…  

Why should you trust me?

I’m not a military veteran with 30+ years of gun experience.

I’m not an employee of a huge optic company. Nor am I a gun instructor.

I’m just fellow gun enthusiast — like yourself — that wanted to find the best scope for .22-250.

Everywhere I looked, reviewers recommended something different. Some say get this, while others say don’t get that. I was confused.

So, I figured the best way for me to find the best scope for .22-250 was to actually hand-test the scopes. And I did EXACTLY that.

I hand-tested all the technical features: eye relief, glass quality, turrets, zeroing, durability and more. No feature was spared.

What you see down below are the best scopes for .22-250 that survived my testing. I might have lost $2,591 bucks and a couple hours of sleep, but at least I now know the best scope for .22-250.

I hope my research helps you find the best .22-250 scope!

The 4 Best Scopes for .22-250

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick list of the the 4 best .22-250 scopes:

  1. Vortex Crossfire II 6-24×50: Best Varmint Scope for .22-250
  2. Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40: Best Bang-for-buck Scope
  3. Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14×50: Best 22-250 Scope for Hunting at Night
  4. Nikon Prostaff P5 4-16×42: Best Versatile Scope

1. Vortex Crossfire II 6-24×50: Best Varmint Scope for .22-250

Tired of those small game nuisance animals eating your crops?

Squirrel eating crops
Just bringing home dinner for the fam. (Photo by Robert F. Bukaty)

Or just want to whack a few groundhogs, prairie dogs, raccoons, or alike varmints?

Raccoons looking around
Is that Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy? (Photo by Lorri Carter)

Then get the Crossfire II. It’s the best varmint scope for the .22-250 rifle.

Some scopes within the $150 – $300 range lack quality glass, eye relief and durability — making it hard to get those nasty buggers.

However, the Crossfire II is quite the opposite.

With a whopping 4” of eye relief, ultra-forgiving eye box, and fully multi-coated lens, the view and light transmission is unreal.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II ultra-forgiving eye box

Deers, coyotes and bobcats at night won’t stand a chance against this baby.

In addition, the scope features an Adjustable Objective (AO) and fast focus eyepiece for EASY image focus and parallax-free views.

In other words, you never have to worry about blurriness again.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II parallax-free views

That’s not all. Machined from solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum, the Crossfire II is ruggedly constructed to take hits.

It’s nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed, making it completely waterproof and fogproof.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II aircraft-grade aluminum

Here comes the best part…

It uses a Dead-Hold BDC reticle. With the hashmark-based design reticle, you no longer have to estimate range, holdover or wind drift — it does it all for you.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II dead-hold bdc reticle
Dead Hold BDC Reticle

I’ve been able to pluck targets from as close as 50 yards all the way up to 750+ yards. That’s why I use a Crossfire II scope on my Ruger 10/22

The only tiny drawback is the weight (23.6-oz). But, let’s be honest:

Would you rather compromise quality for weight? Probably not.

Pros:

  • Clear, bright images
  • Dead-Hold BDC Reticle
  • Adjustable Objective (AO)
  • Long Eye Relief
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Weight

Is the Vortex Crossfire II 6-24×50 worth it?

If you’re looking for the best varmint scope for .22-250, the Crossfire II is your target.

It has EVERYTHING to wreck vermins…

  • Durabality
  • Clear views
  • Long eye relief
  • Adjustable objective (AO)
  • Resettable (capped) turrets

…all at a price that hits the bullseye.

To top it off, it comes with Vortex’s Lifetime warranty. Meaning, if anything ever happens to the scope (regardless if it’s your fault), they’ll repair it for free.

That’s warranty you can’t simply beat.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24x50 AO, Second Focal Plane Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA), black, Model:CF2-31045
693 Reviews
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24x50 AO, Second Focal Plane Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA), black, Model:CF2-31045
  • The 6-24x50 Adjustable Objective Crossfire II riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for hunting/shooting at varying ranges where...
  • The adjustable objective provides image focus and parallax removal to the shooter while anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear views.
  • With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you'll be able to quickly get a sight picture and acquire your target. The fast focus eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing.

2. Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40: Best Bang-for-buck Scope

The Vortex Diamondback has all the features of a $500 scope at a FRACTION of the price.

For example:

The XR fully multi-coated lenses maximizes light transmission while the XD extra-low dispersion glass brings unparalleled resolution — almost as if looking out of a 4k display.

Looking through Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40 scope

It’s not built cheap either.

Constructed from a solid one-piece tube of 6061 T6 aircraft-grade aluminum, the Diamondback is basically indestructible and can handle all kinds of recoil.

vortex diamondback 4-12x40 turrets

For example, when I’d perform hunts in Texas and Colorado, I was surprised it can hold a solid zero…

even after being tossed around in my pickup, a 5k hike and a drop on solid cement.

It’s also O-ring sealed and argon purged, making it completely waterproof and fogproof.

vortex diamondback 4-12x40 waterproof

That means you can still hunt in the worst conditions.

What’s more, the capped, re-settable turrets and fast-focus eyepiece allow for quick field adjustments.  

vortex diamondback 4-12x40 exposed turrets

And since the Diamondback uses a second focal plane (SFP) Dead-Hold BDC reticle, I no longer have to estimate range, holdover or wind drift — it’s all done for me.

But there is one drawback I noticed…

When the scope is at its highest magnification, the glass gets a bit blurry on the edges, especially if I hunt at night or in low-light conditions.

vortex diamondback 4-12x40 high magnification blurry

Pros:

  • Amazing clarity
  • Fast-focus Eyepiece
  • High-quality build
  • Precision Turrets

Cons:

  • Blurry at high magnifications

Is the Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40 worth it?

If you’re on a budget and looking for a scope that performs equally as good as a $500 scope, get the Diamondback.  

It has clear views, resettable turrets, a durable build that’ll last till’ the day I die and unconditional lifetime warranty!

This makes the Diamondback one of the best .22-250 scopes for the money.

In addition, it can easily withstand the recoil of a .30-06.  So feel free to equip this scope on your 30-06

Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)
807 Reviews
Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)
  • The Diamondback 4-12x40 riflescope is one of multiple configurations in the Diamondback lineup and is ideal for big game, predator/varmint, muzzleloader, slug shotgun, and long range applications.
  • Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for any hunting or shooting at varying ranges where estimating hold-over would be a concern.
  • Lenses are fully multi-coated for crystal clear, bright images from dawn till dusk. The fast focus eyepiece allows for quick and easy reticle focusing.

3. Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14×50: Best 22-250 Scope for Hunting at Night

If hunting at dawn or dusk is a problem for you, the Leupold VX-3i is your savior.

The VX-3i uses an advanced light management system (called Twilight Max) that allows for crazy bright views in low-light conditions. Let me explain.

Leupold VX-3i Twilight Max

Most optics only focus on high percentages of light transmission by using “mid-day” light (the light at the center of the visual spectrum).

And they also transmit stray light, which helps the scope achieve increased light transmission, but at a cost: the image’s quality.

Sort of like resizing an image in Photoshop — the more it’s enlarged, the more quality it loses.

When your image’s quality is on the line, so is your trophy. But that’s not the case with Leupold VX-3i.

Instead of focusing on “mid-day” light, the VX-3i focuses light transmission on the ENTIRE visible spectrum, including the ends.

Why does that matter?

At dawn and dusk, your eye is most sensitive to the light at the ends of the spectrum.

And since the VX-3i uses light at the ends of the visible spectrum, it maximizes usable light for bright views when you need it most.

Leupold VX-3i objective lens

To top it off, the edge blackened lens is enhanced with DiamondCoat2 (an ionassist coating) that will boost light transmission EVEN FURTHER and provide abrasion resistance that exceeds military stands.

Leupold VX-3i coated lens

Ultimately, whether you hunt during dawn or dusk, the VX-3i will always provide stunning clarity, vivid images and sharp resolution.

Leupold VX-3i clarity

It’s also argon/krypton purged, completely weatherproof, and constructed from 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum.

It’s built to survive World War III.

It won’t break. Nor will it miss. With stunning eye relief, an ultra-forgiving eyebox, and ¼ MOA precision finger-click turrets, nothing will escape your view.

Leupold VX-3i Turrets

Pros:

  • Razor sharp views
  • Incredibly durable
  • Generous eye relief
  • Amazing light transmission

Cons:

  • Price

Is the Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14×50 worth it?

I have nothing but praise for the Leupold VX-3i.

It has a superb glass, durable (and lightweight) build and insane light transmission. It’s easily one of the best coyote hunting scope for 22-250.

To seal the pot, the VX-3i is fully covered by Leupold’s lifetime warranty.

In other words, if anything ever happens to the scope, Leupold will repair it absolutely free of charge! (Sing Hallelujah!)

Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x50mm Riflescope
70 Reviews
Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x50mm Riflescope
  • Model #170704 - VX-3i 4.5-14x50mm with Duplex reticle and Matte finish
  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
  • DiamondCoat 2 - Ion-assist lens coating for higher light transmission and the greatest level of abrasion resistance

4. Nikon Prostaff P5 4-16×42: Best Versatile Scope

Looking for a versatile scope that’ll dominate day AND night? This is it.

The fully multi-coated lens transmits up to 98% of available light, providing consistent bright views regardless of time.

It’s also nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed, making the Prostaff completely waterproof, fogproof and shockproof.

That way, the scope is still usable, even in the worst weather conditions.

Nikon Prostaff scope

Let me know if this sounds familiar to you:

You know when you’re in the field and need to quickly make field adjustments but can’t because your scope requires tools to adjust the turrets?

The Crossfire II fixed that.

With precise, repeatable turrets that make a positive, audible click when adjusted, making field adjustments couldn’t be easier.

Nikon Prostaff Turrets

In addition, zeroing is stupid fast and it actually holds zero!

A bear can literally grab your scope, bite away and it’ll still hold zero.

Want to see about that? Bear meme

(Ok, maybe not. But you get the point.)

The Prostaff is also equipped with a BDC reticle.

Just like the Vortex Crossfire II, the reticle is great for long-distance shooters since it eliminates the guesswork of holdover, range and wind drift.

Nikon Prostaff 4-12x40 BDC

Nice!

Lastly, the scope comes with Nikon’s Lifetime warranty and Spot On app that provides you with precise aiming points (at your specified range).

Nikon Prostaff Spot On App

There is, however, one small drawback…

The zoom knob was a bit stiff when it came in. But the more I rotated it, the more it loosened up.

Pros:

  • Clear lens
  • Long Eye Relief
  • Resettable Turrets
  • 98% Light Transmission

Cons:

  • Stiff knob

Is the Nikon Prostaff P5 4-16×42 worth it?

It’s Nikon. It’s a $200 scope that boasts 98% light transmission, clear views, and consistent reliability every time you pull the trigger plus Nikon’s Lifetime Warranty.

To me, the Prostaff is too good to pass.

You can even use this scope on your AR-15!

PROSTAFF P5 4-16x42SF Matte BDC
20 Reviews
PROSTAFF P5 4-16x42SF Matte BDC
  • Spring-Loaded Instant Zero-Reset Turrets and Aluminum Turret Caps
  • one-inch main tube
  • 4x zoom ratio

What’s the Best Scope for .22-250?

These are the best optics for .22-250.

All of the scopes on this list screams quality. They’re reliable, durable and come with lifetime warranty so you never have to worry about getting another scope. You can’t go wrong with any of them.

But here’s the best part:

If, for any reason you don’t like the scope, Amazon has you backed up with their 30 days return policy. That gives you plenty of time to test out the scope under your everyday conditions.

As I continue testing out other scopes, I’ll update this guide ASAP if I find another best scope for .22-250.

Also, let me know if I missed any other scopes (in the comments down below) so I can test them out.

Final note: if you are a CQB hunter looking for a prism sight, check out my review on the Burris AR-332. Or if you need an AR pistol scope.

Debating between the Nikon Prostaff and Leupold VX-3i? Ask yourself this 
question: 

What’s my budget?

If you can comfortably spend $500 on a scope, then go with the Leupold VX-3i. 
It's an amazing scope and definitely worth the money (if you have it).

But if it was up to me, I’d opt in for the Nikon Prostaff for two reasons:
1) It's cheaper
2) It performs great in low-light conditions.

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