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The fact of the matter is, any shooter who’s shooting with a mediocre scope or red dot sight will always be beaten in a contest by one who’s working with a top-grade sighting device. Even if they have the best rifle in the game, like the Ruger 10/22.
And this is something that should be at the back of your mind anytime you’re out there shopping for a scope or red dot sight. Try to think of it as an investment, and not just another purchase. Your time will be well spent researching quality optics, and not how to pinch pennies.
To make your work a little bit easier, we narrowed the list down to just the 10 best Ruger 10/22 scopes and red dot sights. We honestly think they are excellent choices, for someone looking for precision and pinpoint accuracy.
|Best Overall||Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope||
|Best Value||UTG 3.8” ITA Red Dot Sight||
|Best Scope for Ruger 10/22 Takedown||Simmons 3-9x32mm Riflescope||
|CVLIFE 2.5-10x40e Red Illuminated Scope||
|MidTen 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight||
The TRS-25 Red Dot Sight scope is the type of sight that has you covered on all fronts—No kidding. This optic will deliver speed and precision, and it also features an adaptable brightness setting designed to support its illuminated 3 MOA dot reticle—The levels run from 1 to 11, and the control knob is finger-adjustable.
You know how at times it can be difficult to tell brown from an actual brown when hunting in the woods? And this is especially true for users who have eye sight problems. Well, fortunately for us, Bushnell heard our cries and remembered to incorporate the Amber-bright high contrast coating to the lens. So now, when you see brown or green or red or whatever color, you won’t have to question whether your eyes are playing tricks on you.
The TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope is for sure durable. You could drop it on the floor, hit it with a rod, submerge it in water, a puddle, or just leave it outside, and it still won’t die. The nitrogen bath and o-ring sealing added to it also made certain that the internal features aren’t compromised by fog.
“How versatile is it?”
Maybe you should ask the guy using the AR-15, or the other one holding a shotgun. Or maybe you should just test it on your rifle and see for yourself. The short answer is, it’s very versatile. And… runs on a CR2032 battery that doesn’t run out of juice the minute you switch it on.
Regrettably, Bushnell forgot to add an auto-off feature that would have helped us conserve that battery life. They should do something about that.
Before we even get to the features, you should know if this article piece was all about the best Ruger 10/22 scopes & red dot sights for the money, the UTG 3.8 ITA Red Dot Sight would’ve taken the first spot. It’s without a shadow of doubt the best sight for the guys looking for an incredible optical device that promises value for money.
Moving on, the first feature that really impressed us was the emerald coated lens. Now, we know you know a thing or two about lenses—and how their coatings increase light transmission—but this right here is on a league of its own. It’s so efficient and increases transmission by a whopping 95 percent. Hence, helping the optic produce crystal clear and bright views.
You don’t even have to think about the light conditions that you’ll be working with because once that 4 MOA reticle illuminates green or red, it’s go time. Everything will be visible and the sight will ensure you have no other excuse to underperform.
“What makes the UTG 3.8 ITA Red Dot Sight’s adjustment turrets different?”
The Coin-Adjustable windage and elevation knobs. They all work in harmony, are precise, and come with ½ MOA per click increments. You’ll be able to make adjustments quicker, even if you’re running up a steep hill.
There’s no need to look for mounting rings, if you’re thinking of purchasing this optic. UTG designed it to use a quick-detach picatinny rail mount—The type that can securely attach to anything with a flat top.
The lens cover was another high-quality accessory that impressed us. It will certainly protect your device for a long, long time, and make it easy to transport.
Is there a downside? Crazy you should ask, because we were getting there. The fact that its zero doesn’t hold well, is the reason it came second on this list.
We call it the best scope for Ruger 10/22, but in some circles, they like to call it the Truplex .22 Mag riflescope. So if by any chance you hear that name out there, don’t be confused.
Anyways, this particular sighting device has been designed specifically for the .22 rifle. The best example being, the Ruger 10/22. It’s quite affordable, but that doesn’t mean in any way, shape or form, that the brand compromised on quality or even durability.
To get us started, we’ll talk about the main one-piece tube. Simmons knew the only way they could maintain its strength and durability while reducing weight, was to construct it from a single piece. They also guaranteed that the scope remained shockproof, fog proof, and more importantly, water-resistant.
“Will the lenses handle harsh weather elements?”
Of course, they will. And we’re so sure of that because we’ve taken a note of the coating applied on their surfaces. It’s a HydroShield coating, and lens material is premium-grade optical glass.
The eye relief is relatively decent, and the reticle is the conventional duplex type. Funny thing is, Simmons decided to name it Truplex. This could be a marketing strategy, but we don’t know for sure.
On the device, you’ll find the TrueZero elevation and windage adjustment system. It will help you zero your rifle with ease, and prevent the optic from losing zero once the shooting starts. The SureGrip rubber surfaces were also great. We would have had to remove our gloves every time we needed to make adjustments, but we didn’t. So we appreciate that.
The only area of improvement is in the ring section. Those rimfire ⅜” dovetail mounting rings are not as strong as the ones that we’ve used in the past.
All in all, though, we think this is the best scope for Ruger 10/22 takedown.
CVLIFE once told us that they strive to adhere to customer needs and we now believe them. This product has some cool features and specifications, like the 2.5-10x power range. Instead of stopping at 3x, which is the minimum magnification offered by most scopes, they kept on going lower. And this is the same thing that they did with the 10x magnification. They could have stopped at 9x, but you know, they wanted their product to be “one size fits all.”
It’s objective lens is 40mm in diameter, and that’s an obvious plus. Expect the target images produced will be of a higher resolution and brighter, because the light-collecting power of the instrument is remarkable.
But that’s not the only reason why the images appear clear.
We took time to study the device, and learned that one of the lenses inside it is multi-coated green. The multi-coating application takes care of the reflections and everything, while the green lens facilitates light transmission. If you know anything about lenses, you’ll know green lenses are better than blue lenses at transmitting light.
Is the housing fragile? Absolutely not. That whole body is as strong as an ox—Probably even stronger. It’s made of aircraft aluminum, and that’s what also makes it lightweight.
“What is a Class IIIA laser?”
Sometimes written as Class 3A laser, it’s a visible-light laser with an output of power that ranges between 1 and 4.99 milliwatts. CVLIFE thought it would be wise to use this type of laser because it’s less harmful to the human eye.
Sorry, what’s that you asked? Why wouldn’t you want to buy it? Well, the only reason that we could think of is the limited eye relief. It comes with an eye relief of about 2.5”, which is not so great for heavy recoil.
The 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight is unique in the sense that it comes with 2 height mount options. There’s the low and lower 1/3 co-witness, so you don’t have to ask whether it will be able to lend its functionality on any platform.
Sight consumers are always drawn to dependable products. The kind that exudes strength, durability, and shock resistance. And that’s what the MidTen 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight is, as it’s made of aluminum.
The matte black anodized finish is also one of those to die for features. It protects the optic from scratches, and provides this cool sort of stealthy vibe.
The nitrogen inside is meant to ensure the internal surface remains dry. Without it, the system might be compromised by the fog that often develops as a result of rapid temperature changes.
“Is it actually waterproof?”
Yes, and we can confirm that. You see, like several other quality sights, the MidTen 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight does have an o-ring feature that seals the housing. Therefore, you can use it to hunt in the rain for as long as you want.
Speaking of rainy environments, you should know it offers multi-intensity levels of brightness as well. You’ll be able to see a knob with 11 different red dot settings. The first five are meant to help you adjust the lighting in a dim/rainy environment, the next four are to be used on a bright/sunny day, and the last two are for normal days.
“Normal” is used to refer to the days when the weather isn’t too harsh for the sight and/or user.
This sight model is an upgrade. It used to come with a 3-4 MOA, but now we’ve got 2MOA. And that equates to more accuracy. In addition, the previous model didn’t really have the both-eyes-open shooting feature, unlimited eye relief, or multi-coated scratch resistant lenses.
To top that off, the red dot feature is so advanced that no user has reported blurriness or issues with red glare.
We’ll give it a 4 start instead of 5 because the battery life was shorter than the 20,000 hours that we were promised.
How would we describe the Barska AC10380 Plinker-22 Scope? We would say it’s pretty much a standard scope. And that’s mainly because the attributes that come with it are just… basic. Not in a bad way, though.
Look at the nitrogen purged tube, for example. It’s been designed to be fog proof, shockproof, and waterproof, and that’s a good thing. However, it’s still a basic feature for a quality scope.
The windage and elevation adjustments are also cool and all, but they are standard as well. That means they’ll still deliver the same level of precision and accuracy like several other scopes on this list.
Seeing as this scope is intended for the Ruger 10/22, we were not surprised at all by its objective lens diameter, and the magnifying power range. The diameter is the industry standard, which is 32mm, and the magnification ranges from 3x to 9x.
“Will it be able to provide greater clarity in a limited light condition?”
Yes, it will. And to be honest, this is the only feature that caught us by surprise. We didn’t know the lenses designed with it were fully multi-coated.
The Barska AC10380 Plinker-22 Scope will have everything that you’d expect to find in an optic design specifically for a Ruger 10/22. Including the lens cloths, covers, and mounting rings. And… unlike other brands, they do offer unlimited lifetime warranty, which is dope.
Sadly, the crosshairs are not that sharp. And it’s the first thing you notice once you test it.
The RD-50 Micro Reflex Red Dot Sight has so many awesome features but what blew our minds was the 50,000 hours of battery life that it offers at the lowest brightness setting. And we’re not trying to downplay the capabilities of the Genuine Renata CR2032 Lithium battery. It’s obviously a good quality battery. We just know if we were using a different sight, that battery would’ve been drained in minutes—Maybe even seconds.
Just like the MidTen 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight, it also permits both-eyes-shooting, and is designed with the 2 MOA click value increments. The lens is made of scratch resistant material, and it’s multi-coated to boost image clarity.
You won’t have a problem camouflaging with this optic while hunting because the it’s matte black anodized finish will keep a stealthy profile. The circuitry will resist any damage that might be caused by rough handling, as it’s shockproof.
When you open the box, you’ll find a lens cloth, CR2032 battery, instruction manual, allen wrench, and rubber bikini cover. Sad to say, it doesn’t come with mounting rings. You’ll have to budget for those if you’ve decided this is the sight for you.
Ozark promised us that the next product model to be released will come with an adjustable brightness for all day use. And sure enough, they delivered. They gave us the Armament 4X Magnified Optic Scope, which features an illuminated reticle with multiple color settings.
If you don’t like the classic red, you can work with the green or blue. And just so you know, it’s BDC reticle is the perfect feature for long-range shooters, who always have to take into account the bullet drop.
That’s not the only special thing about the scope, as we again have 3 forward picatinny rail mounting points. That’s to say, it can go on the top, to the left, or to the right side. And you’ll still be left with more space on the rail to accommodate the laser or flashlight that comes with it as additional accessories.
“Will moving from a cold to warm environment disrupt anything?”
The answer is no, if you’re trying to ask if fog or water can find their way into the system, and disrupt zero or the sight itself. It’s o-ring sealed, and has not even once shown any sign of thermal instability.
The scope was given a 4x magnification and ¼ MOA click value increments. Meaning, if you know how to handle your rifle, you’ll never have to struggle making accurate shots.
We’re just begging Ozark to provide us with a lens cloth. That cloth is actually important to some of us, and we don’t like spending more money getting additional accessories. Especially the kind that’s being given for free by other brands.
The Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight came second to last because it has some great features but still underperforms in so many departments. One of the features that drew us to it was the 11 illumination brightness setting. It’s great and all, but not so great at controlling the intensity of the brightness.
The battery life was also another bummer. We were promised 80,000 hours, but we never got that. Come to think of it, we didn’t even clock half of those hours! And before you ask, just know this sight isn’t waterproof. If you want to test it, go ahead and do it, but don’t say we didn’t tell you so.
We, however, loved the unlimited eye relief, as it supported a rapid target acquisition. Okay, maybe that and the fully multi-coated lenses that made sure we got a clean, bright, and unobscured point of view.
Did it deliver a shockproof performance? Yes, but it was also underwhelming. The first day we could tell it could handle the recoil and impact. But as the days went by, we started noticing the internal system was somehow being affected.
We almost forgot to talk about the offset cantilever mount. That mount was the reason why we could move the sight with a backup iron sight and magnifier, mounted on the same rail.
Why’s the Monstrum 3-9×40 Rifle Scope part of this list? One, it comes with an adjustable objective lens. And you’ve not heard us talk about this feature in a long time because most optics don’t have it. An adjustable objective lens is not only efficient at transmitting light, but it also deals with parallax, and provides a sharper focus of the target image.
Two, installation is very easy. It installs directly to the weapon’s receiver, and the set screws are top quality. And lastly, it’s a variable 3-9x magnification scope that offers precision, and is machined from 6061 grade aluminum.
Why is it last on this list?
Well, first off, it has some visibility concerns. The images it produces are not that detailed and bright. Secondly, it’s not night vision compatible. So if you want to use it, you’ll have to wait for daylight. Thirdly, taking into consideration what it offers, it’s really not cost-effective. And lastly, the side focus adjustment is difficult to operate.
They say, the best customer is the one who’s informed. And that’s the whole purpose of this buyer’s guide. We don’t want you to be “just another browser” who thinks that they already know what defines a quality scope or red dot, when in reality they don’t.
Do you know what’s the one thing that has made the Ruger 10/22 one of the most loved rifles in the game? Its flexibility. This semi-automatic rifle can be modified in so many ways, and it comes with hundreds of aftermarket parts.
That means with a little bit of creativity, you can easily turn the Ruger 10/22 into a completely different type of rifle.
Let’s assume for a quick second that you’re just an ordinary squirrel hunter. The type of rifles often used in such escapades are normally trim, slim, and very easy to handle. The Ruger 10/22 is obviously not that, but if you know and understand how different accessories work in this industry, you’ll be able to turn that rifle into the perfect weapon for a squirrel hunter.
All you’ll be required to do is to walk into a gun custom shop and come out with all the fittings that will fully equip the rifle. Oh, and don’t forget the custom stocks and bull barrel. Those two are very important if you’re looking to spot and hit targets that are way out of range.
While searching for the perfect red dot or scope for your Ruger 10/22, you’ve got to remember that sometimes the one thing that makes a weapon primed for use isn’t even the different devices mounted on it. It’s how perfectly balanced it feels.
And that’s where the size and weight factor comes in.
How best you apply the rifle will depend on how perfectly balanced it feels. Assuming you’ll be spending the whole day shooting and running around with the rifle, working with a unit designed with large turrets and massive objective bells is not smart. That weight will make the whole experience feel more like a workout.
But if it’s a bench rest rifle that you’re trying to build, we say go for it. You can mount all the bells and whistles that you’d like to add.
We learned a lot while working with the Ruger 10/22. Besides its incredible flexibility, we also learned that figuring out its overall weight after modification is extremely difficult. There were so many things to take into consideration, and as much as it pains us to admit this, it was just too much information for our brains to process.
But the good thing is, the rifle also offers versatility. Therefore, if one red dot or scope feels too heavy, you can move on to a different option.
This feature will help you take advantage of the bullet trajectory to determine the exact aiming point at a given distance. The ‘BDC’ in BDC reticle is an acronym that stands for Bullet Drop Compensating. And the reticle is just a fancy name for the scope’s crosshairs.
Let’s say you’ve set your rifle zeroed in at 100 yards. If you look at your crosshair, you’ll be able to see reference numbers that show you what the bullet impact will be at a distance that’s farther than 100 yards.
Primarily, we have two BDC styles. There are the absolute hash marks and the unspecified hash marks. You’ll know you’re aiming your targets with an absolute BDC reticle style scope, if the incremental measurements are in milliradians (MRAD) or Minutes Of Angle (MOA). The hash marks in an unspecified BDC reticle style are often fixed, with no drop provided between each marking. Hence, ‘unspecified’.
That being said, if you wish to know what each one of the lines represents in an unspecified BDC reticle style, you’ll first have to run the reticle through a specific ballistic program. Unfortunately, the accuracy levels at distances that will be farther than 100 yards will still be under par.
We felt it was important to share all this information just to remind you how far we’ve come as an industry. And we have all these different technological advancements to thank for that. Our crosshairs now have abilities that never existed before. Without even breaking a sweat, you can clip targets that are hundreds of miles away with the help of this incredible feature.
However, we’re not implying that BDC reticles are the answer to everything. All we’re saying is, it can be dialed in to suit any load, and help shooters improve their marksmanship.
Before deciding which scope or red dot sight is perfectly designed for your Ruger 10/22, check out the brightness modes. Quality constructions usually have multiple brightness modes, which allow users to adjust the optical device to the light conditions in their surroundings. Settling for one that doesn’t customize your setup to your specific condition, is the same as settling for less.
The wider the field of view, the better. But then again, it will depend on the game size and your personal preference. What we’re trying to avoid is getting a scope or red dot sight that prohibits the hunter or shooter from being situational aware of what’s going on around them. Also, the Field of view can affect your accuracy levels.
For the red dot sight, you’ll have to look for one that has a high-quality glass lens. We don’t know if you know this, but these glasses and lenses are the crux of these sights. Get it wrong and you might as well throw away the whole thing.
For the scopes, the lenses have to be fully multi-coated. Not just multi-coated, but fully multi-coated.
Coatings come in different types. And the more layers of coating your lenses have, the better the performance. You might come across one that’s just Coated (C), there’s the Fully-Coated (FC), Multi-Coated (MC), and finally, Fully Multi-Coated (FMC).
A lens that’s only described as coated, has one layer of coating on at least one of its surfaces. And more often than not, that coating is magnesium fluoride. The fully-coated one will have an anti-reflective coating, but on both sides of its surface.
Multi-coated means your scope has lenses that have multiple layers of coating on one side or both sides of their surfaces. Lastly, we have a fully multi-coated lens. The kind is only found in high-end optical sighting devices.
The only difference between this type of coating and the multi-coated lens is the fact that this one has every single coating ever known to man—All of them. Moreover, they’ve been applied not just on the lens alone, but throughout the entire optical system.
It’s time to call it a day, folks. But as always, we’ll first have to remind you the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope is our top pick for the best Ruger 10/22 red dot sight. We believe it’s the type of sight that you’ll need if your priorities are speed, accuracy, and clarity. The UTG 3.8″ ITA Red Dot Sight offers the best Ruger 10/22 Red Dot Site for the money, and the Simmons 3-9x32mm Riflescope is our best scope for the Ruger 10/22.
Featured Image Credit: timotheos, Shutterstock
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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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