It’s a great time to love guns. New innovations have surpassed all previous notions of what a rifle can be and what small bore projectiles can do. All accessories and ancillary piece of equipment that you use with guns are getting fantastic.
Let me explain…
A great example is the .17wsm cartridge. A screaming round that is the smallest caliber available and the best rimfire round to ever hit the market. This fantastic little round deserves the best scope for 17 wsm that you can get your handson, but being such a new combination of size and power it’s hard to nail down exactly which scope is best for it.
What the .17wsm Wants?
The .17wsm is in fact a rimfire round with little recoil and built on tiny rifle action and light weight designs. This doesn’t mean it’s a toy, the .17wsm is a capable coyote gun out to 150 yards in the right hands and a long distance small game slayer as far as you can reliability hit. This means a light weight scope with ample magnification is what you need to top off your high-powered rim fire.
Keep the scope as small as possible while still getting enough light gathering and magnification to really reach out and use the .17wsm’s extended range.
Our Top 5 Best Scope for 17 WSM
There are literally truckloads of different scopes out there. The .17wsm is a special cartridge so you’ll need a special scope to get the most out of it, here’s the best scopes .17wsm in the world.
This is by far one of the best scope for the .17wsm because it is one of the few scopes designed specifically for the cartridge. It is slightly on the expensive side for a rimfire scope with the sheer amount of features it brings to the table, it is certainly worth it.
The scope is on the long side with large turrets. Making it a great target shooting scope but is a bit obnoxious in the field. It’s large turrets are big enough to grab with gloves on to quickly dial in the scope to get on target.
The reticle of the 17SM45 is designed specifically for the .17wsm and can be switched between three colors, red, green and blue. The illuminated reticle is a great feature for low light hunting and target shooting in an indoor range and switching the colors is fun and makes seeing it against a backdrop much easier.
The reticle is graduated and ballistically calibrated for 20gr and 25gr .17wsm projectiles so you can be absolutely sure of your aiming pint well out to the edge of the cartridge’s range.
Finally, the objective bell spins for you to dial in your distance to the target. You have multiple ways to just drive tacks with this scope and the solid construction from BSA and combined with the 1 year warranty makes it an awesome optic.
- Bright easy to see reticle
- Positive easy to use turrets
- Clear glass
- Large & Heavy
- Reticle can be slightly off
Nikon is an excellent choice at any price range but really sines when it comes to mid-level priced optics because of the value the afford. This is a rimfire scope from their Prostaff line, their mid-range offering, that has awesome magnification for the .17wsm at an adjustable 4-12x range.
This is an excellent scope for long range hunting with the .17wsm because it is large, but makes up for it with a huge level of magnification and excellent optical quality. One of the best things about Nikon scopes is the level of optical quality you get for your money.
The fully multi coated lenses in these scopes are superior to all others in their price range and should be at the top of the list of any “glass snob.”
If you plan on using your .17wsm to set up on prairie dog towns and look through your scope all day, this is your scope. The optical quality will keep any headaches or eye fatigue at bay.
The scope is on the large side so a lightweight plinker and walking around gun setup would be hindered but a target or close in coyote gun would be the calling card for this scope.
The objective bell is large making the scope rise pretty far above the stock of the rifle, so stocks made for youth model guns aren’t going to be a good match for this scope. Any adult sized rifle is good to go, any adult would be lucky to have such a quality scope.
- Excellent fit & finish
- Good light gathering
- Good magnification range
- Objective bell feels unbalanced
- Mounts too high off the bore, easily canted
Nikon makes the list again but with a different scope for a different job. This Nikon 17 wsm scope is a much smaller scope made for accurate shots, lighter weight and high precision. The greatest things about this sight is the marriage of the target style turrets with the BDC reticle.
The P-rimfire scope reticle makes for easy and accurate shooting out 150 yards, the very edge of the .17wsm’s range for game. That means you’re getting every ounce of performance you’re paying for with this hot new cartridge.
Should you get the itch for greater accuracy take a moment to dial in the shot with the largest turrets and really nail targets out further than any other rimfire will let you. The rimfire specific set up of this scope calls for ¼ click 50 yard adjustments on the turrets. A welcome feature for the closer range work this scope will be used at.
A nice touch of this scope is knowing that Nikon is taking care of our environment by using their new Eco-glass. A totally lead and arsenic free glass refining process that is good for hunters and for the habitat we hunt on.
The excellent optical quality from Nikon comes in a smaller form factor than most other scopes made for high performance rimfire scopes. This is an excellent option for hunting requiring lots of movement. Squirrel, crows, small game of all sizes will fall prey to a .17wsm with this optic.
- Excellent fit & finish
- Compact but gives up no performance
- Easy to read turrets
- Heavier than other scopes
- Bulky turrets
Some people just don’t like to shoot game at long rages and chose the .17wsm to be light, fast hard hitting varmint cartridge. Well, for those guys we need a light fast riflescope to go along with it.
For you walking around gun, let me recommend this Vortex scope for 17 wsm. A leader in intuitive designs that really simplify field optics for hunters. This is a scope made for rimfire hunting and is utterly devoid of any complex features.
Once mounted up all you need to know how to do is adjust the 2-7x power scope. A sweet spot for rimfire shooters at traditional ranges who need just enough to see small targets, but not to such they lose field of view.
The 32mm objective bell works with the fully multicoated lenses to gather light and force it through scope making dark timber of the last few moment of shooting light precious time you can still hunt.
Vortex is known for insane warranties and insane durability. This scope uses a 1inch tube, made from a single piece of aerospace grade aluminum, O-ring sealed and dry nitrogen purged. Completely fog proof, waterproof, and very, very shatter resistant.
Finally, this performance driven scope uses the company’s proprietary V-plex reticle design that makesnailing game a cinch. The fats focus eye piece works well to speed up the process and the intelligent reticle makes this the crème of the crop.
- Lifetime warranty
- Silky smooth exterior finish
- Great fast focus eyepiece
- Dim for its size
- Unbalanced in the hand
- Lacks adjustments
At first glance this scope may seem out of place with so many of the scopes featured here being optics focuses on long range rimfire shooting. However, when shopping for the cheapest scope for .17wsm, no one does it like Bushnell.
The optics giant knows cheap scopes and this is a fine example. Yes, it has a fixed 4x power. Yes, it has a slim 32mm objective bell. No, it won’t last forever. However, it’s a great start if you don’t know what you want and don’t have a ton of cash.
If you just need a cheap plinker and plan on abusing your scope, this Bushnell 17 wsm scope is an excellent option. The fixed 4x power features Bushnell’s glass which is the best of the cheap, combined with dead simple controls.
All you must do is dial it in and forget about it. For extreme economy, this model comes with its own rings, ready to be mounted. These scopes do really require a deeper look than they would appear to deserve.
The lenses are fully multi coated and despite the narrow body and small objective lens, gathers light well enough to be used as a small game hunting optic in dark timber. The scope its self is extremely lightweight and is a shoe in for a youth hunter who’ll abuse their gun and doesn’t need extra controls or features.
- Cheapest quality scope
- Ready to mount
- Very low profile
- No adjustments
- Dim reticle
- Glass lacks crispness
Centerfire vs Rimfire Scopes
When you start really looking at scopes labeled for rimfire and centerfire scope sit may seem there’s little difference. The difference between a centerfire and rimfire scope is the rimfire scope has less internal construction and is less rugged compared to their centerfire cousins.
In the field, they’ll be just as rugged. Meaning if you drop the rifle, hit the gun on a tailgate or treestand you’re not more likely to break a quality rimfire than a comparable centerfire. However, recoil resistance is the main difference.
A centerfire scope can be used on a rimfire rifle, though it’s overkill. A rimfire scope cannot be used on a centerfire gun of any kind. The recoil impulse will shatter the scope in short order and void any warranty you may have had.
Use These Tips to Your Advantage…
- Don’t Forget the Rings - When you buy your scope, try and get rings from the same manufacturer. Although it’s not a sure thing, matching rings are good to have to keep from having any problems with proprietary parts or differences in design.
- Get it Mounted Professionally - If you’ve never mounted a scope, or don’t have the correct tools, take a trip to your local gunsmith. Most guys don’t mount scopes every day so the investment in tools and time is more expensive than just getting a good ‘smith to do the job.
- Mount it Close, but Not Too Close - Make sure you know the correct eye relief for the scope you’re getting and have it mounted close. The .17wsm kicks very soft, but more than a .22lr or .22wmr even. A scope with critical eye relief will tell you exactly how far to mount it, a scope with non-critical eye relief should be put closer in its range, just to make finding the reticle easier and faster.
- Weight & Balance Mean a Lot - Mount your scope low, keep it light, and go by feel. If it feels a tad off in the show room, it’ll feel heavy and top sided after a few hours on foot in the woods. Don’t compromise here. Having a properly balanced lightweight rifle and scope combination that fits your body well is one of the most important steps to achieving field accuracy.
- Buy a Scope with a Warranty - When you shell out cash for a scope, make sure it has a warranty. Scopes are equipment that can be abused at times and need to be able to take a walloping in the field. Make sure you buy from a company that will stand by what they make. If they won’t guarantee it’ll work no matter what, don’t buy it.
The .17wsm is one of the most unconventional rounds to come out in recent years. It has many, many uses and is one of the best ways to get centerfire performance from a rimfire round. If you’re looking for the best scope for 17 wsm you’ve got the world at your disposal.
The advances in optics and technology has come together to make for a great marketplace and with the major manufacturers it’s hard to go wrong.
But never Forget…
The whole point of buying gear, is to get in the field. Whatever you buy, get outdoors and enjoy your time in the field!