Best Scope for 17 WSM – The Top 5 Optics in 2020

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There are a few rounds as versatile as the .17 WSM cartridge. As a rimfire round, it’s a top choice for hunters of all types and is particularly effective for taking down targets at close to medium range. Thanks to its lightweight and excellent design, this cartridge can travel up to 3000 ft./s.

Naturally, you’ll want a fantastic scope to go with any 17 WSM weapon. Finding the right scope for your next hunting expedition can be tricky without doing extensive research beforehand. That’s why we put this guide together and did the research, so you don’t have to. Below, you’ll find the top 17 WSM scopes on the market plus some advice to help you pick out the best scope for your needs on your first purchase. Let’s get started.

Table of Contents:
What is a 17 WSM Rifle Good For?
What to Consider in an Ideal 17 WSM Scope
The 5 Best Scopes for 17 WSM
Concluding the Guide


What is a 17 WSM Rifle Good For?

These weapons are designated vermin-hunters. The size and velocity of their rounds make them ideal for stopping coyotes and similarly sized animals. At the same time, these rounds don’t tend to produce a lot of recoil, so they can be used with a broad selection of scopes.


What to Consider in an Ideal 17 WSM Scope

17 WSM scopes can vary drastically in their features and functionality. Let’s go over the major things to consider as you browse so you pick the right scope for your rifle or hunting expedition.

Magnification Settings

Any scope will come with a series of zoom levels or magnification settings that determine how far it can increase your vision. Higher power scopes will narrow your field of view but will be exceptional for hitting targets upwards of 1000 yards away.

However, the 17 WSM round is best used for more common hunting scenarios that take place below 1000 yards. For this reason, we’d recommend that you look for scopes with magnification settings no higher than 12x or so. Naturally, we provided scopes within this range for your consideration below.


First or Second Focal Plane?

All rifle scopes will have a reticle either on the first or second focal plane. First focal plane reticles will seem to increase in size as you increase the scope’s magnification power. They’ll also seem to get smaller as you decrease magnification. This is useful because the reticle’s holdover points will stay accurate relative to your target no matter what magnification setting you use.

On the other hand, second focal plane reticles never change size no matter how far you’re zoomed in or out. This can be helpful for hunters that have scopes without a very wide magnification range, such as scopes with zoom levels between 3x and 8x.

There’s no right or wrong answer for every hunter. That’s why we provided scopes with both types of focal plane reticles for your consideration below.


Durability

You’ll also want to find an excellent scope that is built to last. Not only does this save you money in the long run (by preventing you from having to purchase a new scope shortly after your first pick), but it also ensures that the scope can work in any weather or in a variety of hunting situations.

Always try to find scopes that are built with waterproof and fog proof functionality in mind. You should also look for scopes that have lenses that have been multicoated or otherwise insured against damage from dust or dirt. Multicoated lenses also usually provide superior visibility and light transmission.

All of the scopes below have some or all of these advantages that make them well worth your time and money.


Parallax Turrets

Finally, try to find scopes that give you the ability to compensate for parallax, either in the form of a side-mounted turret, like windage or elevation turrets, or in the form of an adjustable objective. Either of these tools will let you better land your shots at a distance and up close.

Many of the scopes below have some kind of tool to help you deal with parallax and its effects on your accuracy.


The 5 Best Scopes for 17 WSM


1. Nikon Prostaff Rimfire 4-12×40 with BDC Reticle Nikon ProStaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle, 4-12 x 40mm

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This scope is a phenomenal piece of equipment. It features magnification settings between 4x and 12x, both of which make use of a clear 40 mm objective lens. This lens has been fully multicoated to improve light transmission up to 98% of the available rays. In short, it’s a phenomenal lens system that will deliver a clear sight picture no matter what.

This lens system is bolstered by 3.7 inches of eye relief and a set of zero-reset turrets with spring-loaded adjustment systems. In other words, this scope is easy to use and it’s also easy to adjust for windage and elevation. This will make landing shots on more distant targets at higher magnification power easier. 

BDC Reticle

This scope features a BDC, or bullet drop compensation, reticle. That means that it has holdover points at the bottom segment of the crosshairs, which can let you automatically adjust your shot by taking gravity drop into account. It’s an excellent reticle for landing distant shots and hitting your targets when it matters the most.

Pros:

  • Has BDC reticle
  • Lenses are multicoated
  • Turrets of zero stop capability
  • Plenty of eye relief

Cons:

  • No parallax turret

The Final Verdict

Overall, this versatile and effective scope is a perfect choice for a variety of hunting scenarios, specifically those that benefit the 17 WSM cartridge. The BDC reticle will be particularly excellent for hunting small vermin or animals that tried to run away from you.

It would be also a perfect scope for .22 LR and M&P 15-22.


2. BSA Optics 7 Super Mag Rifle Scope, 4.5-14x44mm BSA Optics 17SM4514x44AORGBCP 17 Super Mag Rifle Scope, 4.5-14x44mm

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This scope features magnification settings between 4.5x and 14x, making it an ideal choice for getting animals within traditional hunting engagement ranges and even beyond 1000 yards. Unlike our last choice, this also features an adjustable objective that will let you compensate for parallax. It’ll be far easier to hit shots at its higher magnification powers as a result.

Furthermore, this scope features a pair of dual grain windage and elevation adjustment turrets to make compensating for those elements a breeze. It’s durably built and is both waterproof and fog proof. To make things even better, the comes with a limited one-year warranty that covers manufacturer defects or breaking from normal wear and tear.

Illuminated Reticle

While this reticle isn’t a BDC type, it’s still well worth your time and money. It can be illuminated in either red or green colors and has ballistic ranging information on the crosshairs. This means that the reticle will work admirably in low light conditions and is particularly well-suited to 17 WSM rounds.

Pros:

  • Has adjustable objective
  • The reticle can be illuminated
  • Has ranging information on the reticle
  • Turrets respond well
  • Made to withstand any weather

Cons:

  • Can’t lock turrets, easy to accidentally shift

The Final Verdict

All in all, this is a scope built for the kind of ammunition the 17 WSM cartridge is. It features one of the best reticles in the business for cartridges of this type, plus an adjustable objective to help you land shots at all distances. The one-year warranty is a nice bonus.


3. Leupold FX-I Rimfire 4x28mm Fine DuplexLeupold FX-I Rimfire 4x28mm Riflescope, Fine Duplex Reticle, Matte Finish

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Leupold has always made fantastic scopes, and this model is no different. It’s actually a fixed magnification model, featuring a zoom setting of 4x for its 28 mm lens. This means you don’t have to mess with changing magnification settings. However, this is an ideal zoom setting for 17 WSM cartridges, as it’s perfect for hunting smaller animals within relatively close distances.

It’s made with an ultra-lightweight design and built to withstand any inclement weather, allowing you to take it on any kind of hunting expedition. It’s precision windage and elevation turrets offer finger-sensitive clicks with each increment shifted, so you can change these attributes without taking your eye off the target.

Scratch-Resistant Lenses

These lenses are some of the most durable on the market. They’re scratch resistant to military standards, so you know that they are made with quality in mind. In short, these lenses will be able to continually deliver excellent sight pictures to your ocular lens without suffering in quality, even if the scope gets quite dirty.

Pros:

  • Lenses are very durable
  • Fixed magnification is great for 17 WSM
  • Turrets offer tactile feedback
  • Can be used in any weather

Cons:

  • Eye relief might be a bit too long for some

The Final Verdict

Overall, this is a durable but lightweight piece of equipment that’s perfect as an agile scope to accompany 17 WSM rounds. It’s automatically adjusted for parallax at 60 yards and has a smooth, easy-to-use reticle, plus scratch-resistant lenses that’ll keep working for a long time to come.


4. Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 Black Matte RiflescopeNikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC)

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This Nikon scope can magnify between 3x and 9x, making it an ideal companion piece of equipment for use with 17 WSM cartridges. It also features a quality BDC reticle that can help you land more distant shots and a quick focus eyepiece; this will help you focus on your target rapidly after sighting into the scope.

It further features multicoated lenses and durable construction that can work even when wet or in foggy weather. The zero-reset turrets are responsive and smooth, and the scope offers 3.6 inches of eye relief on average, which is plenty for 17 WSM weapons.

Matte Finish

This scope is finished with a black matte coating. Not only does this look stylish with many weapon platforms, but it will also keep you stealthy when hiding in the underbrush. Basically, the sun won’t glare off of the scope’s surface, potentially alerting your target to your presence. Beyond this finish, the scope is durable and long-lasting, featuring special sealing to prevent water or fog damage from affecting the piece’s performance.

Pros:

  • Water and fog proof
  • Has BDC reticle
  • Has black matte finish
  • Turrets have a zero-reset function

Cons:

  • Slightly blurry at full zoom

The Final Verdict

It’s a great scope for hunting skittish animals, particularly since it won’t glare in the sun. The rest of its features are similarly excellent, such as the multicoated lenses, the BDC reticle, and the zero-reset adjustment turrets. In total, it’s an affordable but extremely effective piece.

The Nikon is also a great scope for 45-70.


5. UTG 3-12×44 Compact ScopeUTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings

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This compact scope features magnification settings between 3x and 12x, providing lots of effective ranges to use with your 17 WSM. It’s built with fully multicoated lenses that can provide extra durability and much better light transmission than you might initially expect. The purchase also comes with flip-open lens caps to preserve the lenses when they are not in use.

This scope further includes premium zero locking and resetting target turrets, plus a parallax knob. All three types of turrets adjust with precision and offer tactile responses to let you adjust for these variables without removing your eye from the target.

Illuminated Reticle

This scope’s illuminated reticle is truly phenomenal. It features 36 different brightness intensities, each of which can be adjusted using the parallax knob. This is a bit difficult to get used to but well worth it in the end. The reticle also has special circuits to prevent it from fading even under heavy recoil. 

Pros:

  • Turrets are responsive and tactile
  • The reticle can be illuminated
  • Lenses are fully multicoated
  • Can be used in any weather
  • Has a lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Illumination controls take a bit to get used to

The Final Verdict

All in all, this is a perfect scope for combining with 17 WSM cartridges. Its durability and adaptability in low light shooting conditions make it a prime piece of equipment for using during dusk or dawn, especially for hunting coyotes or similar pests that might be most active during these hours. The rest of its features are also excellent, particularly the turrets.


Concluding our 17 WSM Scopes Guide

Overall, the right scope for your 17 WSM depends on how often you want to use it, what features you prioritize, and your budget. Hopefully, one of the above scopes checks all the boxes for you and your search is done. Thanks for reading and good hunting!

For fixed scopes, check our 1-8x scopes and 1-6x scopes guides.