Best Rimfire Scopes – The 5 Top 22LR Optics in 2023

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Rimfire rifles are very popular currently.

A .22LR rifle can shoot to about 50 yards with less than 1″ bullet drop, but just owning the gun alone will not give you the optimal experience that this cartridge can provide.

Sure, this may cater to some of your shooting needs, but from my experience, when it comes to hunting small game or even plinking, the range might feel extremely limited.

This is precisely where a rimfire scope comes in handy. Not only will it be able to maximize your gun’s range, but it significantly improves the accuracy as well.

Understandably, with so much variety in the market, finding the best .22 scope that fits both your needs and your gun can seem complicated.

In this guide, I’m going to tell you about the best rimfire scopes you can buy right now. I’ve personally tested all of the products below, and I know how all of them feel and perform.

So, sit back and read along!

My Top Pick – Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Rimfire Riflescope

In my opinion, the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Rimfire Riflescope is the best pick. I’ve fallen in love with it because it is an excellent combination of high-quality materials and modern, useful features. It is adapted for use in bad weather conditions, so I feel confident it will never let me down. For more detailed information, please go to the full review below.

My 5 Best Scopes For .22LR

I took it upon myself to narrow the options down for you in an attempt to find the best .22 scope. In short, here’s what I’ve got:

  1. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 Rimfire Scope – my top pick as it’s durable, provides extra shooting light, and has great lenses
  2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire – V-Plex MOA it has intuitive reticle and multicoated lenses, so even if it felt a little bulky to me, I really liked it.
  3. Simmons 3-9x32mm, .22 Mag(R) Matte Black this one speaks to my wallet best as it’s an excellent economical option with hydroshield coating and a QTA eyepiece.
  4. Leupold FX-I 4x28mm Rimfire Riflescope I like how lightweight it feels and that the objective lens size is adjusted really well.
  5. Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7×35 Rimfire SFP the precision windage and elevation turrets is really cool here, as well as the durability and simplistic reticle.

There are numerous reasons why I believe any of these could be the best rimfire scope for you. If you keep reading, you’ll find out what those reasons are. Let’s get started!

1. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Rimfire RiflescopeLeupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope

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Built with exceptional materials and some of the best innovative features you can find on a rifle scope, the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 is a top-tier piece of equipment. Built specifically for rimfire ammunition, what more can you ask for?

My Feelings After Using the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40

This rifle scope has plenty of features to warrant my high praise. For starters, it features 3x to 9x magnification and a 40 mm objective lens which provides me with a great sight picture and a decent field of view across all zoom settings. What I also like is that it has scratch-resistant lenses that are multicoated to resist abrasive damage far beyond many other rifle scopes on the market.

The rest of the scope is similarly durable, as it’s been made with aircraft-grade aluminum and has been thoroughly tested by the manufacturer to ensure proper performance even in harsh conditions or after lots of wear and tear. It’s 100% waterproof and fog proof, meaning I can also use it in bad weather. I can simply mount it on my rimfire rifle and take it whenever I like – making it very convenient. The dark matte finish makes the scope look stylish and prevents it from glaring, possibly giving your location away to your target.

But that’s not all. This scope already has a parallax adjustment for 60 yards. While it doesn’t have a parallax adjustment turret for further changes, this setting is ideal for rimfire cartridges, so I reckon parallax won’t have too much of an effect when you use the scope. It does have precision finger click adjustment turrets for windage and elevation; these are quite durable over the long term.

It also features excellent eye relief no matter what magnification setting you prefer to use: 4.17 inches at low magnification and 3.6 inches at high magnification—more than adequate for the .22 LR. That was really convenient to use.

Product Highlights

The matte finish is a very nice touch. Being waterproof, this scope won’t let you down in bad weather conditions. The eye relief and light weight of the scope are both value-added features that I enjoyed.

Common Problems and How to Deal With Them

The only drawback I noticed is the lack of an included lens cap. I had to buy a separate piece, which can up the asking price more than I anticipated.

Key Features

  • 3x to 9x magnification
  • 40 mm objective lens
  • Multicoated, scratch-resistant lenses
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum as the main material
  • 100% waterproof and fog proof
  • Matte finish
  • Excellent eye relief
  • Parallax adjustment for 60 yards
Pros Cons
  • Has a matte black finish
  • Provides extra shooting light
  • Lenses are super durable
  • Eye relief is great
  • The scope is water and fog proof
  • Doesn’t come with a lens cap

Basic Parameters

Manufacturer Leupold
Weight 1.1 Pounds
Eye Relief 4.2-3.7 in
Magnification 3-9 x
Field of View 33.1-13.6 ft at 100 yds

The Bottom Line

All-in-all, I consider the VX-Freedom 3-9×40 Rimfire rifle scope a top-tier piece of gear with plenty of exceptional features and durable and functional design. In my opinion, you won’t go wrong if you choose it to accompany your .22 LR rifle.

My rating: 5/5

2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire – V-Plex MOAVortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle (MOA)

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When it comes to professional-grade high-quality scopes, nobody does better than Vortex, and they have come up with yet another frontrunner.

My Feelings After Using the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32

Vortex has packed a ton of features into this without hiking up the price or sacrificing the quality. These include multicoated lenses, aircraft-grade aluminum, multiple reticle options, and fog and waterproofing.

One of the best options out there for medium to long-range shooting, the V-Plex MOA Reticle gives me unmatched accuracy. It’s highly functional, intuitive, has plenty of hold points, and never feels too cluttered in my hands. The reticle is etched in the second focal plane to always keep the image at an ideal size.

The lenses are multicoated with an anti-reflective coating for maximum light transmission and minimal glare. This provides me with sharp images, high contrast, and bright images, even in very low-light conditions. I am really impressed.

The eye relief is at a decent 3.9 inches, and the parallax is factory set at 50 yards. As for the field of view, it is quite impressive for me and goes from 12.6 feet to 42 feet at 100 yards.

Made out of aircraft-grade aluminum, it’s a one-piece model with an anodized exterior coating that protects the tube from scratches, bumps, oil, and dirt. Apart from that, nitrogen purge and O-ring seals make for a waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-resistant body.

What really speaks to me, though, is the craftsmanship of the reticle. It is hash marked for ranging, holdover, and windage corrections. The high-precision laser etching on the glass reticle is set to keep to the tightest tolerances possible. In my opinion, the crosshair is perfectly designed for a maximum balance between precision aiming and light visibility.

Another cool point is that the capped tactical turrets give me precise control for fast elevation and wind adjustments. This is also complemented by an integrated locking mechanism that prevents inadvertent alterations.

Product Highlights

I find the reticle very intuitive and enjoy the bright and clear views, thanks to the multicoated lenses. This product feels extremely durable in my hands.

Common Problems and How to Deal With Them

The only thing I didn’t like that much about this product is the size, as it feels a little bulky. However, I suppose it’s just the first impression, and after using it on a regular basis, I could get used to that, enjoying all the other features of this scope.

Key Features

  • Aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Multicoated lenses with anti-reflexive coating
  • 3.9 inches eye relief
  • Fog and waterproofing
  • Many reticle options
  • 50 yards parallax
  • Shock resistance
  • Capped tactical turrets with an integrated locking mechanism
Pros Cons
  • High-level craftsmanship
  • Intuitive reticle
  • Quality of materials and durability
  • Multicoated lens
  • Size is a little bulky

Basic Parameters

Manufacturer Vortex
Weight 1.5 Pounds
Eye Relief 3.9-4.7 in
Magnification 2-7 x
Field of View 12.6-42 ft at 100 yds

The Bottom Line

The Crossfire II Rimfire Riflescope is the latest addition to the Vortex lineup with its V-Plex reticle, which some shooters prefer over the BDC reticles. Another ideal choice for .22 rifles.

My rating: 4/5

3. Simmons 3-9x32mm, 0.22 Mag(R) Matte BlackSimmons 511039 3 - 9 x 32mm .22 Mag(R) Matte Black Riflescope

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Design-wise, I consider this one from Simmons to be the best one on my list. Sleek and sophisticated, it has a one-piece body that allows for lighter and more flexible handling along with added durability.

My Feelings After Using the Simmons 3-9x32mm

With a 12-inch length and a weight of 10 ounces, it feels a little on the heavier side, but it more than makes up for that in durability and aesthetic appeal – I really appreciate the sleek look of it. It looks like it is straight out of a movie.

I find it effortless to mount the scope as it comes packaged with a whole set of mounting rings. The eye relief is a modest 3.5 inches, but the scope holds steady even with decent recoil. For this reason, I feel really safe using it – there are no worries of injury.

Simmons TrueZero windage and elevation systems lock on to my target with deadset accuracy, which is further bolstered by the QTA (Quick Target Acquisition) eyepiece. Getting the target in my sights has never been easier. To make things even more comfortable, this scope features sure-grip technology, which allows you to make adjustments seamlessly even while wearing gloves.

The lens is fully coated and features HydroField technology, which allows me to use the lens under all weather conditions, which I always consider essential. Light reflection and glare are almost negligible.

It has a truplex reticle and a field of view that goes from 5 to 31.4 feet at 100 yards.

Product Highlights

The price really impresses me, it’s the perfect bang for your buck. I enjoy the clear sight picture made possible by the hydroshield coating. All in all, I get the impression that this product will perform great in any condition.

Common Problems and How to Deal With Them

The only problem I’ve encountered with this scope is its weight – it’s not super heavy, but it may feel a little bulky if you aren’t used to it. I’m sure this feeling lessens with time, though.

Key Features

  • Set of mounting rings
  • 3.5 inches eye relief
  • Quick Target Acquisition eyepiece
  • Sophisticated design
  • Truplex reticle
  • Fully coated lens
  • HydroField technology
Pros Cons
  • Highly Affordable
  • Sleek one-piece design
  • QTA eyepiece
  • Hydroshield Coating
  • Slightly on the heavier side

Basic Parameters

Manufacturer Simmons
Weight 9.6 Ounces
Eye Relief 3.75 in
Magnification 3-9 x
Field of View 33-11 ft at 100 yds

The Bottom Line

When it comes to the category of low-cost, budget-friendly scopes, the Simmons 3-9x32mm, 0.22 Mag(R) is indeed one of the best that the current market can provide. And if we compare all its pros to the cons, then the positives win by a long shot. I believe it would be one of the best M&P 15-22 scopes.

My rating: 4/5

4. Leupold FX-I Rimfire 4x28mm Fine DuplexLeupold FX-I Rimfire 4x28mm Riflescope

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Leupold is one of my favorite scope manufacturers, and this model shows why. It’s light, easy to use, and offers plenty of eye relief. It’s also one of the best scopes in terms of light transmission. Let’s see what else it provides.

My Feelings After Using the Leupold FX-I 4×28

This rimfire scope is agile and light, featuring 4x zoom with a 28 mm objective lens. It also comes with pre-set 60-yard parallax correction built into its design that effectively helps me hit targets out to about 100 yards. It comes with a fine duplex reticle, meaning that it isn’t super cluttered, so it allows me to focus on hitting my target without being distracted by too many holdover points.

The lenses are also multicoated for even better light transmission and significant durability in terms of oil or debris. Furthermore, the scope is built to last with its waterproof and fog-proof design. It’s even durable if you drop it – I accidentally did, and nothing happened! The matte black finish over its surface is another good choice on the part of the manufacturer, as it’ll help you be stealthy during tactical or hunting situations and prevent the scope from corroding over time.

The scope comes with 4.5 inches of eye relief, which is huge compared to most other scopes on the market, even rimfire ones. Most scopes only manage to give you between 3 and 4 inches of eye relief, so it was a really nice surprise for me. This extra space ensures that your eye will never be accidentally hit by the edge of your scope, which can potentially cause serious bruising. This is a safe and effective scope through and through, it feels really safe and secure to use.

Product Highlights

The lightweight feel is always a huge bonus to me. So is the all-weather durability. The lens size is well-matched, and the eye relief is great.

Common Problems and How to Deal With Them

Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that the turret adjustments are not as precise as I would expect. You just need to be careful with setting them – and be aware that they may not be perfect.

Key Features

  • Light structure
  • 4x zoom
  • 28 mm objective lens
  • Built-in pre-set 60-yard parallax correction
  • Duplex reticle
  • Multicoated lenses
  • 4.5 inches of eye relief
  • Waterproofing and fogproofing
Pros Cons
  • Very lightweight overall
  • Has lots of eye relief
  • Pre-set to compensate for parallax at 60 yards
  • Works in any weather
  • Good objective lens size
  • Turret adjustments could be a bit more precise

Basic Parameters

Manufacturer Leupold
Weight 0.88 Pounds
Eye Relief 4.5 in
Magnification 4 x
Field of View 25.5 ft at 100 yds

The Bottom Line

All in all, I really like this rimfire scope thanks to its great design and light weight of only 7.5 ounces. The extra eye relief is a welcome bonus to me.

An excellent choice for the 17 HMR as well.

My rating: 4/5

5. Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7×35 Rimfire SFPVortex Optics Diamondback 2-7x35 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle (MOA)

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This optic comes from one of the best scope manufacturers in the business. In my opinion, Vortex Optics offers a versatility that most other optics can’t match.

My Feelings After Using the Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7×35

For starters, I must mention that this scope can magnify between 2x and 7x, making it ideal for close to mid-range engagements and hunting situations. It comes with a special “V-Plex” reticle that is extremely minimalist – this actually seems an advantage to me since the reticle doesn’t clutter my vision. This is particularly handy when I want to use it for hunting smaller animals. It’s on the second focal plane, too, so it won’t change size when I need to swap magnification settings.

I also really like the fact that the lenses of this scope are multicoated. This improves the light transmission that the 35mm objective lens already provides, and imbues the lenses with some more damage resistance. This is all bolstered by a fast-focus eyepiece that lets me focus my reticle quickly and easily.

Furthermore, the scope comes built with metal precision turrets that allow me to compensate for both windage and elevation. I am also able to zero reset after I sought into my target. The magnification ring and these turrets both benefit from a precision glide erector system. This ensures that everything swivels and switches smoothly and consistently, even after lots of use.

Another great point about this scope is that it is extremely durable. The main body is made from a piece of aircraft-grade aluminum and comes with a hard-anodized finish. This reduces corrosive damage and prevents the scope from glaring in the sun and potentially giving away your position. It’s also argon-purged and O-ring sealed. This means that it’ll function well even in watery or foggy environments. I like that it won’t let me down in bad weather conditions.

Product Highlights

The magnification switching is hassle-free thanks to the precision glide erector system. I like the durability and great light transmission provided by the multicoated lenses and that it feels really solid with its hard anodized finish.

Common Problems and How to Deal With Them

I’m a bit surprised that the eye relief here is just 3.1-3.5 in – it didn’t disturb me much, but I feel that for some people, it can be a little too short. You just need to check if that works for you or not.

Key Features

  • Magnification between 2x and 7x
  • Minimalist “V-Plex” reticle
  • 35mm objective lens
  • Multicoated lenses
  • Precision glide erector system
  • Argon purging and O-ring sealing
  • High durability
  • Hard-anodized finish
Pros Cons
  • Very durable
  • Works in inclement weather
  • Comes with a simplistic reticle
  • Lenses are multicoated for light transmission, and durability
  • Has precision windage and elevation turrets
  • Precision glide erector system ensures smooth magnification switching
  • Eye relief can be a bit short for some

Basic Parameters

Manufacturer Vortex
Weight 14.2 Ounces
Eye Relief 3.1 – 3.5 in
Magnification 2 – 7 x
Field of View 19.3 – 64.3 ft at 100 yds

The Bottom Line

This optic is incredibly affordable, yet also one of the most versatile hunting rifle scopes I was able to find. It’s far from a long-range precision instrument, but it does a fantastic job of facilitating close-range accuracy. I also like that it’ll continue to work even in inclement weather: a serious consideration that hunters often need to keep in mind.

My rating: 4/5

What Magnification Do You Need?

Before you decide on the scope, it’s a good idea to determine what magnification you need. I recommend basing it on your usual shooting distance. If you want to shoot on different ranges, I’d advise you to get a scope with variable magnification. If you are new to rifle scopes, check what variable and fixed scopes are here.

The ranges are rough estimates based on a typical barrel length of 18.5″.

Close Range (up to 50 yards)

If your targets are at a close range, then for the best accuracy and view, in my experience, you will need a scope that has a 1 to 4x magnification.

Medium Range (50 to 100 yards)

For shooting targets within the 50 to 100-yard range (like pests and rodents), I recommend a scope that offers 4 to 7x magnification.

Long Range (100 yards and over)

When it comes to shooting at a long-range, clarity is of utmost importance. When shooting at 100 yards and above, I’d advise you to look for a scope which can reach at least 7 to 9x magnification power.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is .22 LR so popular?

The popular.22 LR has almost no recoil, making it suitable for both children and adults. It’s adaptable enough for small-game hunting, and because ammo is very inexpensive, it’s a terrific cartridge for honing your shooting skills.

Is the .22 LR lethal?

The threat of a .22 LR bullet to humans is often underestimated because it is less powerful than larger cartridges. In truth, a 22 LR bullet has the potential to kill or injure humans, so always take the necessary precautions and use it safely.

How many rounds of .22 LR should I have?

For hunting, you should have at least 1000 rounds of various and assorted hunting loads in your shotgun, 400 rounds in your large game rifle, and 4000 rounds in your .22 LR rifle.

What is a .22 LR rifle used for?

The .22 LR rifle is available in a variety of configurations, including bolt-action, pump-action, lever-action, and semi-automatic. The rifle is most typically employed as a field gun for small game hunting, but it can also be used for self-defense, pest or varmint management, target shooting, training, and survival.

What is the range of a .22 LR rifle?

The .22 LR has a range of 150 yards (140 meters), while practical ranges are usually shorter. After 150 yards, the round’s ballistics are such that compensating for the huge “drop” will be difficult.

Is a .22 LR good for survival?

The.22 LR is lethal against both human and animal threats, but shot placement is critical, and in a survival situation, it’s advisable to keep rimfire weapons for animals and carry a tiny centerfire handgun for human threats.

Do Navy SEALs use a .22 LR?

Yes, but not in the sense that it is a standard-issue caliber. Silence was declared. Navy SEALs have been known to employ the Ruger MKII and the High Standard HDM on secret-squirrel duties, and .22 LR pistols were utilized in Vietnam. Similarly, Mossad has been suppressed with rifles with a caliber of .22 LR.

Is .22 better than 9mm?

The simple shooting .22 LR is a fantastic choice for both new and experienced shooters. The 9mm cartridge is noisier, has higher recoil, and is more difficult to shoot. A 9mm would be better suited to more experienced shooters or self-defense shooters. Nonetheless, the .22 LR is generally better suited to folks who aren’t as skilled at shooting and have less expertise.

What can you hunt with .22 LR?

On the ground, rabbits, squirrels, rats, coyotes, raccoons, and birds up to and including turkeys are commonly hunted with 22 LR rifles.

Can a 22 LR kill a deer?

Although the .22 LR may kill a deer with good shot placement, it is forbidden to hunt with it in most states. For small game and varmints, .22 LR is far superior.

How far will a .22 LR kill?

The .22 LR is effective out to 150 yards (140 meters), however practical ranges are usually shorter. After 150 yards, the round’s ballistics are such that compensating for the huge “drop” will be substantial.

Concluding My Rimfire Scopes Guide

In today’s age of ever-advancing science and modern technology, I know how difficult it can be for any budding rifle enthusiast to choose a .22lr scope.

So, if you are looking for a piece that is quite durable and can serve you for an extended period, then the Vortex Crossfire can be the best rimfire scope, in my opinion. If you’re new to the field of rifle shooting, then I’d say the Leupold is going to be your ideal match.

The Vortex, on the other hand, is more for the professional hunter, while the Simmons is just as amazing for accuracy and precision. I hope this guide helps you choose the best Rimfire scope for your taste and needs.