What Makes a Good 17 WSM Scope

What Makes a Good 17 WSM Scope?

The .17 Winchester Super Magnum (WSM for short) is one of the best varmint hunting rimfire cartridges to be found in the market because of the fact that it has its bullet trail is more even than other cartridges.

A hunting rifle as good as this one needs to be equipped with a scope that is on par with its performance to bring out its best features.

In today’s article, we will be looking at some of the features that make a durable 17 WSM rifle scope that you should be on the lookout for the next time you go shopping for rifle accessories.  Let’s get started!

What Makes a Good 17 WSM Scope?

Here are the factors that make a 17 WSM scope great.

1. Objective Lens Width 

The objective lens is the glass used for the far end-side of your scope, and having a wider lens lets a greater amount of light pass through it and enter your eye. Therefore, the extra amount of light provides you with a much brighter line of vision and is also very advantageous during low light hunting trips.

One way to determine how large you need your objective lens depends on the magnification you wish to use.

The equation: ‘exit pupil = diameter of the objective lens/ magnification power’ states that if the magnification power is greater than the diameter of the objective lens, then you will get a smaller exit pupil.

This will also make the picture of the sight that you see through the lens much darker and hence reduce your chances of getting your prey.

For reference, the average size of the pupil of an adult in bright lighting measures between two-four millimeters, while in dark conditions, measures around 4-8 millimeters.

2. Magnification Power

Ideally, it is thought that for smaller targets located some distance away from the hunter, higher magnification power is required. Hence, it would be better for you to also settle for a scope that has a magnification that falls somewhere in the middle to higher value range.

Magnification Power

Typical ranges would be from 4-16x, 6-24x, and if you wish to go all out, then a range of somewhere between 8-32x.

However, we would suggest you not go for the highest magnification power (32x) since it shortens your field of view and poses a problem when trying to lock in the exact position of a target and hence reduces your chances of getting your prey.

3. Object Parallax Adjustment

This feature is essential, and your scope should have it since it helps with both long- and close-range hunting. Having a scope with parallax adjustment makes it easier to aim since it lessens the need to have your eye seamlessly lined up to the scope.

You will get to choose the range of your parallax adjustment, and we would suggest you set the minimum adjustment to around 10-15 yards to infinity. Also, you could opt for a side knob parallax, but those fall on the costlier side of the spectrum.

4. Coating of the Glass and the Lens

The coating of your glass and lens is even more important than the width of your objective lens since the right type of coating has the ability to turn even a dark scenery picture into a brighter one.

However, people often tend to think twice about investing more money on their scopes than on their rifles. So, you might sometimes see people using high-quality rifles with medium or average quality glass. If you are willing to spend some extra bucks, we suggest you get a lens that has a high-quality coating on it.

5. Turret

How your turrets work has a huge effect on the quality and quantity of the game that you catch. Good quality turrets tend to be very precise and can easily be fixed and re-fixed with just your fingers. They should also be repeatable, meaning that they should be able to be used repeatedly at small intervals.

6. Reticle Pattern

The reticle pattern that you choose may not match the pattern that someone else might choose for the same hunt, meaning that this factor depends solely on the hunter. Hence, you should do your research on what kind of reticle pattern you should get before you head out to buy a new scope.

Reticle Pattern

Another thing that the reticle depends on is its focal plane, of which there are two types:

7. First

The first focal plane on reticles are able to handle quick changes in magnification power but is unfortunately not as affordable as the second focal plane.

8. Second

On the other hand, we have the second focal plane, which is cheaper than the one we just mentioned but cannot handle more than one magnification power value. Hence, if you wish not to spend too much on your scope, this is the one for you.

However, we suggest you go for the first focal plane since it will prove to be much more efficient and more comfortable to use than the second focal plane.

9. Stability of the Scope

This is one of the essential factors that you should definitely look into when purchasing a scope. If your new scope is incapable of holding the defined turret adjustments in place for long periods, it is just not good enough.

Your scope should withstand extreme environmental conditions such as very high or very low temperatures and brute force. It should also be able to stay in one piece even when it comes in contact with water or a large amount of water pressure.

When purchasing a scope, we would advise you to go for one which comes with a warranty period from its manufacturing quality so that you may be able to get it changed if it is not serving you the way it should be.


This brings us to the end of our article for today. We hope you found this guide helpful and now have a much better idea of what you should be looking for in your hunting rifle scope the next time you go shopping for it. Thank you for reading till the end!

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