Last Updated on April 28, 2021
It doesn’t matter if you have the best .22 rifle out there — if you don’t have a top-notch scope, you’re behind the eightball.
The good news is that there are plenty of choices out there. The bad news is that not all those choices are top-notch.
Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you and sifted through the noise to find the best scopes for your .22. These are the best reviews that you’ll find.
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, check out our comprehensive buyer’s guide, which will walk you through everything that you need to know.
|Best Overall||Bushnell 613510A Rimfire Optics Scope||
|Best Value||TRUGLO 4x32mm Compact Rimfire Scope||
|Premium Choice||Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope||
|Simmons 3-9x32mm .22 Riflescope||
|Barska AC10380 Plinker-22 Scope||
If you’re looking for an excellent scope for a great price, this Bushnell scope is exactly what you want. It has an impressive zoom range from 3.5x to 10x magnification, a fast-focus eyepiece, and a parallax adjustment that makes sighting in every shot easier. It also has generous eye relief at 3.8″ and comes with a lifetime warranty, so you’ll never need to worry about replacing this scope.
The only downside is that it can be difficult to zero and sight in, but once you get it there, it holds extremely well.
If you’re on the hunt for the best rimfire scopes for .22LR rifles for the money, then you’ve come to the right place. This is an extremely affordably priced scope with an illuminated reticle. No matter the conditions, you’ll be able to see the reticle, and you even have two color options that you can cycle through.
While this is an affordably priced scope, keep in mind that you only have one magnification setting to choose from. So, if you’re shooting targets at varying distances, this might not be the scope that you’re looking for.
However, with 4″ of eye relief, this is a great scope for both beginners and experienced shooters alike.
There are few brands as well-respected as Leupold. Taking a look at its VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope, it’s not hard to see why. First, you get tons of eye relief at 4.17″, and the variable magnification ranges from 2x to 7x is outstanding.
The Twilight Light Management System is a Leupold staple that helps set it apart from the rest. The system provides up to 10 extra minutes of usable light at twilight, which can be the difference between a successful hunt and heading home empty-handed.
While this scope is the most expensive option on this list, it is entirely made, assembled, and designed in the U.S.A. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, so while you might be spending more up front, it’s the last scope that you’ll need to buy for your .22.
This Simmons rifle scope is an affordable scope option for your .22. It has a great magnification range, from 3x to 9x, and the HydroShield coating provides a clear picture no matter your shooting conditions.
Moreover, the Quick Target Acquisition (QTA) eyepiece makes it easier than ever to focus your image after changing magnification levels. Finally, the 3.9″ of eye relief is near the best in the industry, making this an easy scope to use from various positions.
However, this scope does not come with a warranty, so all you have is the 30-day return period through Amazon. This usually isn’t a problem, but if your scope breaks in a few months or years, you’re out of luck.
This Barska .22 scope is an excellent option in the intermediate price range. While it doesn’t have as many features as premium choices, it does come with a lifetime warranty and can get the job done.
It utilizes a 3x to 9x magnification range and has clear and bright optics that make lining up and taking every shot easier than ever. Keep in mind that this scope has 3.5″ of eye relief. While that’s a decent amount, it’s not as much as some of the better options.
Overall, it’s a good but not great scope that comes with a lifetime warranty. So, if you’re tired of replacing your scopes but don’t want to spend a ton of money on a top-of-the-line option, this is an excellent choice.
Hawke might not get the same brand recognition as Vortex Optics or Leupold, but it makes great scopes that come with lifetime warranties. Its Sport Optics 14222 Vantage IR Riflescope definitely fits the mold of a top-notch scope.
For starters, it has a phenomenal magnification range from 3x to 9x, is easy to zero, and has decent eye relief at 3.5″. Additionally, it utilizes an illuminated reticle with two color options that you can cycle through.
No matter your shooting conditions, this scope makes it easy to see and shoot your target. It’s a great all-around scope, even if you have to pay more for it up front.
Vortex Optics is one of the top names in the optics industry, but if you’re looking for a premium .22 scope, this isn’t the model that you want. It’s not bad, but there are better options out there at this price point.
This scope does come with an awesome lifetime warranty, and the 2x to 7x magnification range is great. Like all Vortex Optics scopes, you get bright and crisp images with the ability to make quick and easy windage and elevation adjustments on the fly.
However, you do have to deal with the more expensive price tag, and the eye relief is sharp at 3.1″. It’s just not what you want with an expensive scope.
An expensive scope that just misses the mark is this Athlon Optics Neos scope. While it has nifty features, it’s just a little too expensive for what you get. The magnification range is impressive, starting at 4x and maxing out at 12x, and the ability to adjust parallax is a huge perk.
You do get a lifetime warranty, which means it is the last .22 scope that you’ll need to purchase. However, you only get 3.1″ of eye relief, regardless of how much power you’re using.
On the more affordable side of things is this Tasco Rimfire. While it’s affordably priced and offers an ideal magnification range of 3x to 9x, the praise stops there. That’s because this scope comes with sharp eye relief at 3″, struggles to hold zero, and doesn’t even come with everything that you need to use it.
Tasco provides the rings for the scope, but they’re incredibly cheap, and you’ll need to replace them to get a usable scope. Ultimately, even if you’re looking for a lower-priced scope, there are plenty of better options out there.
The CenterPoint Optics Illuminated Hunting Riflescope makes this list, but it struggles to hold zero, even when you’re shooting a .22.
Additionally, it doesn’t have excellent clarity, and the 3″ eye relief is incredibly harsh. But this scope does have a few perks. First, it’s a low-priced scope. Second, it comes with a lifetime warranty, so you’ll never have to replace this scope (even though you might want to).
Third, the magnification range is ideal at 3x to 9x. Finally, this scope does have an illuminated reticle with two different color options. While this isn’t the worst choice out there, you can probably do better.
Whether you’re new to picking out scopes or have been here a time or two, you’re bound to have a few questions. We came up with this comprehensive buyer’s guide to walk you through everything that you need to know.
Eye relief refers to the distance that you need between your scope and your eye to get a clear picture. Too little eye relief, and you’ll smack yourself in the face when you pull the trigger, though a .22 doesn’t have a ton of recoil to worry about.
The second problem is seeing through your scope if you’re shooting in a non-conventional position. If you’re prone or even crouched over, it can be uncomfortable to sit that far over your rifle as you look through the scope. The longer you look through the scope, the more uncomfortable you’re going to be.
While you don’t need tons of eye relief if you’re shooting a .22, we recommend getting at least 3.5″. This way, you can comfortably look through your scope no matter your position or how long you look through it.
Parallax refers to the distortion that the magnification of the lens gives off. When you’re shooting through a magnified scope, parallax occurs at shorter magnifications. This is how you can have too much magnification.
It doesn’t matter how much magnification you have or how much time you spend sighting in your scope, if the parallax is off, you’ll never hit your target.
The good news is that most of the scopes on the list are parallax adjusted for 50 to 60 yards. So, as long as you’re shooting farther than that, you won’t run into any problems.
However, some scopes with lower magnification ranges have a parallax adjustment as low as 10 yards and enable you to adjust them. This makes it easy to shoot your target no matter how far away it is.
If you’re using your .22 for hunting or target practice, shooting a 3x to 9x magnification range is ideal. This will allow you to shoot targets as close as 50 yards but gives you the ability to hit targets up to 400 yards out.
However, if you feel like you need more power, you can opt for a 10x or 12x magnification level; anything past that, and you’re not going to hit it with a .22. On the other side of things, if you’re looking to shoot closer targets, you can opt for a 2x to 7x magnification. This shortens your effective range but allows you to accurately hit targets as close as 10 yards. This can be a big deal if you are close to your target.
If you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of great options out there for you. However, that doesn’t mean you should blow through your entire budget.
We’ve found that if you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, you should allot around $150 for a .22 scope. While you can find scopes for a fraction of that cost, they don’t come with lifetime warranties, so there’s a good chance that you’re going to spend more money in the long run.
On the other hand, the highest-priced premium choices can cost twice as much. While there’s no denying that they perform better, they’re often overkill for what most people want out of a .22 scope.
Our premium choice, the Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope, comes with a Twilight Light Management System, and this is one of its primary selling points. But you might find yourself wondering why the extra optical brightness is such a big deal.
It comes down to the fact that you’re limiting the amount of light when looking through your scope. So, while you might be able to see fine on an overcast day without your scope, when you look through it, then your target might be hard to see.
Systems like Twilight Light Management bring in more light, extending the amount of time that you can see through your scope. While Leupold is the only brand with the Twilight Light Management System, other companies have features that increase the amount of light that their scope brings in.
This is one of the most significant differences between higher-ranked scopes and ones lower than that. Brightness matters and it’s a big deal.
There are a few different scopes on the list that have illuminated reticles. While you don’t need one, it can be a nice feature to have. When you’re trying to line up your shot, the reticle is an extremely important part of the process.
It’s about more than putting the center of the reticle on the target. You need to account for bullet drop, which means utilizing all those small marks that you see. Of course, if light is scarce, it can be hard to see any marks, which means you might not make your shot.
Illuminated reticles make it easy to see everything that you need to make your shot. Moreover, if you can change the illumination color, you won’t have to worry about the reticle blending in with the target.
However, keep in mind that if the battery in your scope dies, you won’t have any reticle, and it’s going to be near impossible to make your shot.
Not every scope will fit on every rifle. That’s why it’s essential to figure out what kind of mounting system you have on your rifle before you pick out a scope. While there are tons of options out there, the three most common are Picatinny, Weaver, and Dovetail mounts. Once you know what’s on your rifle, you can verify fitment for each particular scope.
It doesn’t matter if you get the most expensive scope on the market or the cheapest. If you don’t take the time to sight your scope, you’re never going to hit your target. That’s because your scope doesn’t come perfectly aligned to your rifle — you have to do this yourself.
While there are tons of choices out there, not all are created equal. You can spend a ton of money on a scope, only to find out that it’s a piece of junk. Hopefully, this guide walked you through everything that you need to know to get the right .22 scope the first time.
If you’re still worried, try one of the top choices off our list. They’re all great options that will have you nailing your target in no time!
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Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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