(1/30/11) The review for the Barska Varmint AO rifle scope was left for us by Patrick R. from Kansas. Thanks again for such a detailed review.
When I purchased my 6.8SPC upper receiver to use my AR-15 for deer season, I needed a scope to match the increased range of the 6.8SPC over the .223. My non-magnified Holosight just wasn’t cut out for longer range hunting. As I had spent most of my hunting budget on the new caliber upper, I had very little money left over for a scope. My search for a budget scope brought up some reviews for Barska rifle scopes, which seemed pretty decent.
In KS, a deer may present itself at 25yds or at 250yds on the corner of a farmer’s field, so I felt that I needed a wide range of magnification. I purchased the Barska Varmint scope in 4-16X50mm with an adjustable objective. The Varmint line of scopes is not very suitable to deer hunting, even though they are advertised as having a wide range of uses. If ever there was a case of buyer’s remorse, this is it. I realized after buying it that the good reviews were for Barska’s SWAT and Tactical line of scopes, not the Varmint line.
The scope does indeed have a wide range of magnification, which is useful for sighting in your rifle, or if you are plinking at prairie dogs. The adjustable objective on this scope, however, is not conducive to deer hunting since you may not know how far away the deer will appear. If you have the AO set at 300yds, and the deer pops out of the treeline at 40yds, your sight picture will not be clear and there will be considerable parallax, at least with this scope.
The scope is adjustable in 1/8″ increments instead of the 1/4″ increments most scopes are available with. This is very useful for long range precision shooting and for sighting in the rifle. It takes longer to adjust the crosshairs because of this, but you can really dial the scope in this way to get it just right. It’s about the only thing I like on this scope.
The manufacturer advertises: “The Varmint’s large objective lens coupled with multi coated optics increases light transmission and provides superior clarity.” If only this were true! I bought a scope with a 50mm objective to let in extra light during dawn and dusk hunting, but this scope does not live up to the advertising. I compared this scope to a similarly priced budget Simmons scope with a 40mm objective, and the Simmons was brighter than the Barska’s 50mm objective. During the day, this isn’t much of an issue, but it becomes an issue at dawn/dusk, when the deer are moving. In fact, due to the scope not being bright enough, I was unable to see the spikes on a deer that I shot about 30 minutes after sunrise. I had to burn my buck tag on a 2″ spike.
Manufacturer’s Specs for the Barska Varmint scope:
- Model: AC10042
- Magnification: 4-16 x 50
- Objective lens: 50mm
- Fog proof
- Reticle: 30/30
- Exit pupil: 12.5 – 3.1mm
- Multi coated optical coating
- Field of View (ft@100yds/m@100m): firstname.lastname@example.org, 5.7/1.9@20x
- 3.5 inch eye relief
- Click value: 1/8 inch
- Adjustment knob: Objective parallax adjustment, adjustable windage and elevation
- 1 inch tube diameter
- Black matte finish
- Weight: 21 ounces
- Length: 14.57 inches