The .22LR is one of the most popular rifles sold today because it is reliable, plus the ammunition is fairly cheap. Although you can find the ammunition at an affordable price, the range of this particular ammo is not that wide. Fortunately, you can expand the selection by using a rimfire rifle scope for .22LR rifles.
When you use the right scope, you can unlock the full power of the .22LR. However, there are so many models and brands in the market that picking the best one can be challenging. In this article, we review the best 15 rimfire scopes for the .22LR. We’ll also talk about how to choose the right one for you in our buying guide below.
The 15 Best Rimfire Scopes for the .22LR in 2020
What We'll Cover
- The 15 Best Rimfire Scopes for the .22LR in 2020
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire Rifle Scope
- Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II 3-9×40 BDC 150 Reticle Rifle Scope
- Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II 4-12×40 BDC 150 Reticle Rifle Scope
- Bushnell AR Optics 2-7×32 Drop Zone-22 BDC Rimfire Reticle Rifle Scope
- Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Rifle Scope
- Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7×35 Rimfire V-Plex (MOA) Rifle Scope
- Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Rimfire MOA Reticle Rifle Scope
- BARSKA 3-9×32 Plinker-22 Rifle Scope
- Primary Arms 6×32 Non-Illuminated ACSS 22LR Reticle Rifle Scope
- BARSKA 4×32 Plinker-22 Rifle Scope
- Nikon Prostaff Target EFR 3-9×40 AO Matte Precision Reticle Rifle Scope
- BSA Sweet .22 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope
- Burris Droptine 2-7x35mm Ballistic Plex .22 Reticle Rifle Scope
- Bushnell Rimfire Optics 6-18×40 Rifle Scope
- TASCO Rimfire Series 3-9x 32mm 30/30 Reticle .22 Rifle Scope
- What Is a Rimfire Scope?
- What Makes a Great Rimfire Scope?
- What Magnification Do You Need?
- Factors to Consider When Buying a Rimfire Scope for .22LR Rifle
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire Rifle Scope
The 2-7x32 Crossfire II Rimfire riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The V-Plex reticle is a popular all-purpose hunting reticle intended for a variety of hunting appl...
One of the signature features of this Vortex scope is its excellent lens coating. All Crossfire II scopes are fully multi-coated, which means that both the objective and the focal lenses are covered with multiple layers of anti-reflective film. Still, the scope allows the objective lens to gather as much light as it can from the environment to make sure that the sight picture is as clear as possible. However, some users found that the reticle loses focus at high magnification.
- Excellent anti-reflective coating
- The reset turrets are capped and easy to use
- The reset turrets return to zero
- Solid aluminum used, making the main tube sturdy
- Extremely waterproof and dust-proof
- The reticle can be quite fuzzy at high magnification
Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II 3-9×40 BDC 150 Reticle Rifle Scope
BDC 150 Reticle
Fully Multicoated Optical System
Spring Loaded Instant Zero-Reset Turrets
Spot On Ballistic Match Technology
If you are in the market for a good all-around scope that is under $150, this is a good option. This variable scope has a range of 3x to 9x, which is the perfect power for most .22LR rounds and similar bullets. One of this scope’s best features is that it has a specialized reticle for .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire rifles. The BDC reticle not only allows the rifle to shoot accurately at targets up to 200 yards away, but it also lets you use the bullet-drop compensation to shoot at targets up to 500 yards away.
- The specialized reticle is useful
- Perfect magnification power for
- 22LR rifles
- The turrets easily reset to zero
- Promotes accurate shots
- Ideal use for extended-range shooting
- The lens is not quite as clear as anticipated
Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II 4-12×40 BDC 150 Reticle Rifle Scope
Specifically designed and engineered for the .22 Long Rifle caliber, the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II 4-12x40mm Riflescope w/ BDC Reticle is made with Nikon's Fully Multicoated Lenses to deliver a sup...
If you are a new rifle owner and want an affordable scope that performs well, the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II 4-12×40 is the best scope for you. It ensures efficient light transmission, thus producing a clear and crisp sight picture. With the magnification and the specialized BDC 150 reticle that allows for effective bullet drop compensation, you can accurately hit targets that are far beyond the .22LR’s max effective range of 200 yards.
- Specialized reticle maximizes the capabilities of
- 22LR rifles
- Higher magnification power means clearer images
- Set parallax correction at 50 yards
- Turrets easily return to zero
- Very affordable price, even for a
- 22lr riflescope
- Lenses are not that clear, although they are still usable
Bushnell AR Optics 2-7×32 Drop Zone-22 BDC Rimfire Reticle Rifle Scope
The Bushnell AR Optics 2-7x32mm Rimfire Riflescope w/ Drop Zone-22LR BDC Reticle combines a fully multicoated optical path with a .22 caliber specific reticle to create a lightweight optic for clos...
This .22LR BDC scope features a Bushnell-designed reticle that makes shooting beyond the .22LR’s maximum effective range possible. The reticle has a BDC made specially for rimfire rounds, making it easy to make adjustments. You will enjoy Bushnell’s turrets because of their deep knurling and adjustability. This means making adjustments on the fly will be faster and easier than ever. However, this scope is probably one of the heaviest .22LR scopes in the market. Even though its heaviness does not affect the aiming of the rifle, you can still feel the weight after a while of use. In fact, this scope is almost twice the weight of most rimfire scopes.
- Specialized reticle maximizes the capabilities of
- 22 Magnum
- Knurling on the turrets make them easy to hold
- Auto-reset makes it easy to adjust and correct aim
- Effective waterproofing and shock-proofing capability
- No tunnel vision effect
- It is heavy for a small scope
Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Rifle Scope
Features Truplex Reticle. Waterproof, fogproof and shockproof
Parallax correction preset from 50 yards to infinity
Rimfire 3/8" dovetail mounting rings included
HydroShield coating ensures a clear ...
The Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Rifle Scope has superb value. It has multi-coated lenses that allow maximum light transmission while preventing reflection efficiently. Furthermore, the turrets come with Simmons’ SureGrip knurling, which is helpful for adjusting the elevation and windage. The spring-loaded turrets will easily spring back to zero so that you quickly can make corrections. However, the one downside of this rifle scope is that the built-in rings that come with it do not do a great job of holding the scope in place.
- Budget friendly
- Equipped with a good lens coating
- Features easy to adjust turrets
- Promotes clear and good sight picture
- Generous eye relief guaranteed
- The rings that come with the package are quite small and will not fit for Ruger 10/22
Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7×35 Rimfire V-Plex (MOA) Rifle Scope
The Diamondback 2-7x35 Rimfire riflescope is ideal for use at close range on 22 rimfire, shotguns, and muzzleloaders. The V-Plex reticle is a popular all-purpose hunting reticle intended for a wide...
Despite its short eye relief, this scope packs a lot of punch for its price. One pleasing fact about this scope is that it has a sturdy build—you can mount it on shotguns as well as muzzleloaders. Additionally, this scope can withstand recoil without getting damaged. In fact, it will not lose its zero after consecutive firings. The tube uses Argon gas, which compared to nitrogen, yields better results. Because of this, you can use this scope for hunting, regardless of the weather. Unfortunately, this scope’s eye relief is not sufficient. If you mount this on anything that uses high-velocity ammunition, such as the AR-15, you will want a scope with extra protection.
- Useful on or compatible with a variety of firearms
- Excellent weatherproofing, waterproofing, fog-proofing, and shock-proofing capabilities
- Clear and crisp images regardless of the weather
- Excellent lens coating for maximum light transmission
- Parallax can be adjusted at 50 yards
- Short eye relief
Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Rimfire MOA Reticle Rifle Scope
Reticle: Rimfire MOA Tube Diameter: 1 inReticle Focal Plane: Second Focal Plane (SFP) Color: Black Weight: 11.1 ozIllumination Type: Non-Illuminated Adjustment Type: MOA Adjustment Click Value: 1/4...
With this model, you will get an awesome scope for a respectable price. The VX-Freedom uses a system called Twilight Light management to help it gather more ambient light from the environment. This makes this scope the ideal companion for hunting at all times of the day. You can also use this scope for plinking at your local range. The turrets have a satisfying clicking feature, making them easy to adjust. Additionally, they spring back to zero, which leads to quick corrections.
- Excellent low-light performance
- Equipped with a lens, which is as clear as some of the high-end scopes
- Precise ¼ MOA adjustments
- Excellent weatherproofing, waterproofing, and shock-proofing structure
- Designed and made in the United States
- Does not come with lens covers
BARSKA 3-9×32 Plinker-22 Rifle Scope
Barska 3-9x32 Plinker-22 Riflescope AC10380 is engineered specifically for your .22 rifles and rimfires with a striking performance. Made for plinking and general hunting, Barska Plinker 22 Rifle S...
Despite the fact that the scope rings do not fit most other rifles, you can easily find a remedy for this by using other mounting brackets. With this scope, you can accurately make shots beyond 100 yards. The Plinker-22, although designed for plinking, is also a good scope for hunting. The fully multi-coated lenses also maximize light transmission, ensuring that you will get a bright and crisp sight images, regardless of the light condition outside. Furthermore, the anti-reflective coating prevents light from bouncing off the lenses. This further prevents you from giving your position away to your target
- Made specifically for plinking
- Very well constructed
- Accurate ¼ MOA increment adjustments
- Impressive light transmission capabilities
- The scope ring is not compatible with a lot of other rifle receivers
Primary Arms 6×32 Non-Illuminated ACSS 22LR Reticle Rifle Scope
The Primary Arms 6X Scope with the Patented ACSS 22LR Reticle, Black PA6X32-22LR Objective Lens Diameter: 32, Magnification: 6, Reticle: ACSS 22LR, Tube Diameter: 1, Reticle Focal Plane: Second Foc...
Although there is an issue with the scope not holding zero when used with fast ammunition, this is not much of a problem if you are just looking for a scope for the .22LR rifle. This compact rimfire scope has an ACSS reticle that is perfect for plinking and hunting small animals and varmints. It has an integrated BDC reticle, range-finding capabilities, and windage adjustments. Additionally, the turrets have enough knurling on them that allows for easy adjustments on the fly. The turrets are also set low to give the scope a nice, sleek look.
- Features a nice utilitarian reticle that you can use for short to medium-range shooting
- Low profile turrets and easy to adjust
- It is perfect for standard velocity rimfire ammo
- Fast target acquisition
- Expert weatherproofing and shock-proofing structure
- Can’t hold zero when used with ammo faster than a
BARSKA 4×32 Plinker-22 Rifle Scope
Precision Aiming: The 4x magnification scope features 1/4 MOA click adjustments for precision accuracy.
Quality Construction: The scope comes with fully coated optics, providing impressive viewing ...
Even though this scope comes at a reasonable price, you will still receive amazing features. This fixed power scope is perfect for plinking. The reticle of the Plinker-22 can provide you with important information, including BDC, windage, elevation, and range. Another phenomenal feature is this scope’s anti-reflective lens coating. The fully multi-coated lenses maximize the amount of light transmitted through the scope, thus providing you with the brightest and clearest sight image possible. Unfortunately, the included scope rings are not compatible with other rimfire rifles. If your rifle does not have a dovetail receiver, you need to get new mounting rings that can accommodate the scope.
- The fixed-power magnification makes target acquisition quicker
- The reticle provides all of the information that you will ever need to hit your target
- The scope is specifically designed for plinking, but it can do well with other tasks
- Efficient lens coating maximizes light transmission but minimizes light reflection
- The scope rings are not compatible with most rifle receivers
Nikon Prostaff Target EFR 3-9×40 AO Matte Precision Reticle Rifle Scope
Quick Focus eyepiece
Adjustable Objective – Parallax free viewing down to 10 meters
New Precision Target reticle-perfect for rimfire or air rifles
Fully Multicoated Lenses with Superio Light Transm...
If you are looking for an accurate scope and have a bit more room in your budget, then this scope is the best choice for you. One neat feature on this scope is the adjustable objective lens. It is useful for making adjustments to the scope to minimize the amount of parallax. It also lets the scope make precise shots, even at maximum range. There are only a few rimfire scopes with this feature. This scope’s turrets are especially impressive because they auto-reset to zero. If you make the wrong adjustment to your windage, for instance, you can just reset it to zero to make new adjustments quickly. However, one fault in this scope is that the center dot of the reticle is a bit too large, which makes aiming with complete precision a bit too hard.
- The adjustable objective lens eliminates parallax
- Turrets automatically revert to zero when released, making quick and easy adjustments
- Top-notch build quality
- Effective waterproofing and shock-proofing capability
- Equipped with clear lenses that provide crisp sight images
- The center dot of the reticle is a bit too large
BSA Sweet .22 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope
Product Info for BSA Optics Sweet 22 3-9x40mm Scope with Rings
The BSA Optics Sweet 22 3-9x40mm Scope with Rings was developed to be the best scope for anybody needing an outstanding improvement fo...
The BSA Sweet 22 is specifically calibrated so that you can use it on .22LR rifles. If you will be using high-velocity rounds, you can swap out the installed turrets for the appropriate ones. This scope also comes with an adjustable objective lens. With this scope, you do not have to do any guesswork because you can set everything to your ideal values. This will make an already-accurate rifle even more accurate. However, in this scope, the reticles are not securely installed. If you use it on a high-velocity rifle, the recoil will cause the reticle to dislodge and spin around.
- Fairly inexpensive
- Comes with an adjustable objective lens
- ¼ MOA adjustment clicks
- Swappable turret caps for different grain loads
- Effective lens coating
- The reticle will come loose when the scope is used with high-velocity rounds
Burris Droptine 2-7x35mm Ballistic Plex .22 Reticle Rifle Scope
You need a reliable, affordable scope that still offers top-flight performance – the new Droptine will get the job done. High quality, precision-ground glass is multi-coated to offer superb low-lig...
The Burris Droptine scope is probably one of the sleekest-looking scopes available. It is an overall beautiful scope that will add a lot of style to any rifle. However, those are not the only benefits that you can gain from this scope. The lenses are crafted using high-quality optical glass, giving the user high-clarity sight images. The lenses are precise for faster focus and efficient light transmission, and the amount of light transmitted by the objective lens is more than enough to give the user a clear image.
- Sleek and stylish design that works for all rifles
- Competitive pricing at under $500
- Clear high-grade lenses provide bright and high contrast images
- Efficient light transmission by the objective lens
- Slightly heavier than other scopes
Bushnell Rimfire Optics 6-18×40 Rifle Scope
Outsmart your target when you equipped your favorite rimfire rifle with the ultra precise Bushnell Rimfire Optics 6-18x40mm Side Focus Riflescope. Providing peak performance for precise shot placem...
If you want to find out how far you can push your rimfire rifle’s capabilities, this is the scope that you need to use. The scope has ¼ MOA adjustments so that you can adjust your aim with pinpoint accuracy. It is almost impossible to miss your target when you are using this scope. It also comes with a side-focus parallax adjustment, which is typically only seen in high-powered sniper scopes. However, this scope can be tough to zero in. It might take you a couple of passes before you can accurately set the sight’s zero.
- Sight image is clear at all magnification levels
- Holds its zero nicely, even when the rifle is dropped
- Side parallax adjustment has just the right amount of tension
- 18x maximum magnification designed to make shots that are well beyond the maximum effective range
- The Multi-X reticle etched on the first focal plane is easy to use
- It is hard to zero in
TASCO Rimfire Series 3-9x 32mm 30/30 Reticle .22 Rifle Scope
Beautiful design and durability built to last
Tailor-made for .22 rimfire rifles--includes rings
Features full-sized, 1-inch Advanced Monotube Construction, 50-yard parallax setting
The Tasco Rimfire scope is a leading product when it comes to providing value at a reasonable price. The light transmission of the objective lens in conjunction with the Magenta lens coating provides the user with high contrast. Additionally, the mono-tube construction guarantees that the scope will be waterproof and fog-proof. However, you may need to replace the mounting rings with ones that have better quality.
- Efficient magenta lens coating, which allows maximum light transmission with virtually no reflection
- Mono-tube construction for full waterproofing and fog-proofing
- Easy to zero
- Holds its zero even after high recoil firing
- The included scope rings are not that good
What Is a Rimfire Scope?
Rimfire scopes are made for rifles chambered for .22 LR and similar ammo. Rimfire ammunition is typically low recoil, which is why rimfire scopes generally have short eye reliefs. One reason why rimfire ammunition is called as such is that its cartridge is made of thin brass. At the bottom of its casing, you will see a thin sheet of primer. This means that the hammer just needs to hit any part of the rim to ignite the primer and make the powder charge combust and expel the bullet.
Rimfire vs. Centerfire Scopes
You can use centerfire scopes on rimfire rifles, but you cannot use a rimfire scope on a centerfire rifle. Rimfire ammunition is limited to small calibers because of how fragile the construction is. This is the reason why scopes made for rimfire are made without considering the recoil strength. If you use a rimfire scope on a centerfire rifle, the recoil produced by each round will jar the scope so much that it might mess up the zero. In some cases, the recoil of the rifle might even be strong enough to jar the lenses out of their bases.
What Makes a Great Rimfire Scope?
First of all, the scope should be lightweight. If a good part of the rifle’s total weight comes from the scope, then it defeats the purpose of using a lightweight scope. Also, a great rifle scope has clear lenses. This will allow more light to get inside the scope and give you a clearer sight picture. If you will be getting a variable magnification scope, the focus should be sharp at all magnification settings.
What Magnification Do You Need?
If you want to shoot at targets around the 200-yard mark, you can compare different scopes quite easily using some basic math. For instance, if you are comfortable shooting with iron sights at 25 yards, you need to divide 200 yards by 25 yards, which gives you 8x. Since there are no scopes that are just 8x power, you can use variable scopes using 3x to 9x magnification.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Rimfire Scope for .22LR Rifle
When you are in the market for the best rimfire scopes, there are some things that you must take into consideration.
Objective lens size
The objective lens refers to that part of the scope positioned in front. The main function of this lens is to transmit light into the scope. If the lens can gather a lot of light, the image that you will see in the focal lens will be clearer.
The lens coating prevents light from reflecting off the lens of the scope. There are several different configurations when it comes to lens coatings. However, these days, most scopes are fully multi-coated. In other words, both external lenses have multiple layers of anti-reflective film installed. Find the scope that has the best light transmission while also preventing light from reflecting off the lenses.
Because the .22LR only has a maximum effective range of around 200 yards, you do not need a powerful scope. For this distance, you can get by with a 9x magnification. You can also use a 12x scope if you want but that will be a bit overkill.
Fixed or variable power
There are advantages and disadvantages to using either fixed or variable power scopes. For instance, variable scopes can be used for a myriad of applications, from CQB to medium-range shooting. On the other hand, target acquisition is much faster when you are using a fixed-power scope.
The weatherproofing ability of the scope is necessary, especially if you intend to utilize your rifle for hunting.
This is the max distance between the eyes and a scope’s focal lens. In rimfire scopes, this detail is not that important, as the rifles chambered for rimfire rounds do not have that much recoil. This is why rimfire scopes usually have eye reliefs of 3 inches or less.
Rimfire rifles will always be popular. Aside from being easy to use, they can serve and fulfill plenty of functions, and the ammunition they use are cheap. Because the .22 rounds do not pack that much in terms of stopping power, you need to make sure that every shot that you make counts. One way to ensure this is by using the best rimfire scope for .22LR. Many different rimfire scopes are available these days, but not all of them work quite as well as you thought they would. With the information you gained from this article, you can start you research and pick the best scope for you.