Rimfire rifles are very popular nowadays.
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 when it comes to hunting small game or even plinking, the range might feel extremely limited.
And this is precisely when a rimfire scope comes in. Not only will it be able to maximize your gun’s range but significantly improve the accuracy as well.
But with so much variety in the market, finding the best .22 scope that fits both your needs and your gun can be complicated.
So, in this guide, we’re about to tell you about the best rimfire scopes you can buy right now.
So, sit back and read along!
You may also like these guides:
What Magnification Do You Need?
But before you decide on the scope, it’s a good idea to determine what magnification you need beforehand. That is based on your usual shooting distance. If you want to shoot on different ranges, 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, 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 the 100-yard range (like pests and rodents), then a scope that offers 4 to 7x magnification would be the ideal choice.
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, and it’s best to look for a scope which can reach at least 7 to 9x magnification power.
The 5 Best Scopes For .22LR
We took it upon ourselves to narrow the options down for you in an attempt to help you find the best .22 scope. In short, here’s what we’ve got:
- Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 Rimfire Scope (The Best Leupold Rimfire scope)
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire – V-Plex MOA (The Best Vortex Crossfire Rimfire scope)
- Simmons 3-9x32mm, .22 Mag(R) Matte Black (The Best Budget Option)
- Leupold FX-I 4x28mm Rimfire Riflescope (The Best Fixed .22 LR scope)
- Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7×35 Rimfire SFP (The Best Vortex Diamondback Rimfire scope)
There are numerous reasons why we 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 Riflescope
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?
What Makes it so Awesome?
This rifle scope has plenty of features to warrant our high praise. For starters, it features 3x to 9x magnification and a 40 mm objective lens, providing you with a great sight picture and a decent field of view across all zoom settings. But it also has scratch-resistant lenses that have been 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, to boot. You can mount it on your rimfire rifle and take it whenever you like. 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 has already been 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 it’s likely that 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.
The only notable drawback is the lack of an included lens cap; instead, Leupold has you purchase a separate piece, which can up the asking price greater than we anticipated.
- 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
The Bottom Line
All in all, the VX-Freedom 3-9×40 Rimfire rifle scope is a top-tier piece of gear with plenty of exceptional features and durable and functional design. You won’t go wrong if you choose it to accompany your .22 LR rifle.
2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire – V-Plex MOA
When it comes to professional-grade high-quality scopes, nobody does better than Vortex, and they have come up with yet another frontrunner.
What Makes This A Great Buy?
Vortex has packed a ton of features into this without hiking up the price or sacrificing on 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 you unmatched accuracy. It’s highly functional, intuitive, and has plenty of hold points never once getting too cluttered. The reticle was etched in the second focal plane to keep the image always at an ideal size.
The lenses are multicoated with an anti-reflective coating for maximum light transmission and minimal glare. This provides sharp images, high contrast, and bright images, even in very low-light conditions.
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 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 takes the cake is the craftsmanship of the reticle, though. 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. The crosshair is perfectly designed for a maximum balance between precision aiming and light visibility.
The capped tactical turrets give you precise control for fast elevation and wind adjustments. This is also complemented by an integrated locking mechanism that prevents inadvertent alterations.
- High-level craftsmanship
- Intuitive reticle
- Quality of materials and durability
- Multicoated lens
- Size is a little bulky
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.
3. Simmons 3-9x32mm, 0.22 Mag(R) Matte Black
Design-wise, this one from Simmons might be the best one on our list. Sleek, and sophisticated, it has a one-piece body that allows for lighter and more flexible handling along with added durability.
Why Should You Buy This Scope?
With a 12-inch length and a weight of 10 ounces, it’s a little on the heavier side, but it more than makes up for it in durability and aesthetic appeal. It does look like it’s straight out of a movie.
It’s effortless to mount 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. So there are no worries of injury.
Simmons TrueZero windage and elevation systems lock on to your target with dead set accuracy, which is further bolstered by the QTA (Quick Target Acquisition) eyepiece. Getting your target in your 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 a HydroField technology, which lets you use the lens flawlessly under all weather conditions. 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.
- Highly Affordable
- Sleek one-piece design
- QTA eyepiece
- Hydroshield Coating
– Slightly on the heavier side
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 out by a long shot. It would also be one of the best M&P 15-22 scopes.
4. Leupold FX-I Rimfire 4x28mm Fine Duplex
Leupold is one of our favorite scope manufacturers, and this model shows why. It’s light, easy to use, and has plenty of eye relief. It’s also one of the best scopes in terms of light transmission. Let’s see what else it can provide now.
Why the Leupold FX-I 4×28 a great pick
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, helping you hit targets out to about 100 yards. It comes with a fine duplex reticle, meaning that it isn’t super cluttered and will allow you to focus on hitting your 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 waterproof and fog proof design. It’s even durable if you drop it. 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. This extra space ensures that your eye will never be accidentally hit by the edge of your scope, which has the potential to give you a serious bruise. This is a safe and effective scope through and through.
- 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
The Bottom Line
All in all, we really like this rimfire scope thanks to its great design and lightweight of only 7.5 ounces. The extra eye relief is a welcome bonus.
An excellent choice for the 17 HMR as well.
5. Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7×35 Rimfire SFP
This optic comes from one of the best scope manufacturers in the business – Vortex Optics – and offers a versatility that most other optics can’t match.
What Makes This Scope So Great?
For starters, 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 is actually an advantage since the reticle doesn’t clutter your vision, particularly when you’re hunting smaller animals. It’s on the second focal plane, too, so it won’t change size as you swap magnification settings.
Even better, 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 will let you focus your reticle quickly and easily.
Furthermore, the scope comes built with metal precision turrets that will allow you to compensate for both windage and elevation. These can even be zero reset after you sight-in to your 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.
The scope is also great because it’s 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 makes it so the scope won’t glare in the sun, 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.
- 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
The Bottom Line
All in all, this optic is incredibly affordable, yet also one of the most versatile hunting rifle scopes you can find. It’s far from a long-range precision instrument, but it does a fantastic job of facilitating close-range accuracy. We also like that it’ll continue to work even in inclement weather: a serious consideration that hunters often need to keep in mind.
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.
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 employed suppressed. 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 our Rimfire Scopes Guide
In today’s age of ever-advancing science and modern technology, we know how difficult it can get 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. And if you’re new to the field of rifle shooting, then the Leupold is going to be your ideal match.
While the Vortex, on the other hand, is more for the professional hunter, the Simmons is just amazing for accuracy and precision.