Best Scope For M&P 15-22 – Top 5 Optics in 2023

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I’ve been a hunter and a shooter for the better part of my life, and I’ve come across quite a few rifles in my time. Among them is the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22, easily one of the most economical AR-15-style rifles out there. Ever since its launch back in 2009, it’s been a go-to low-cost alternative, with much cheaper ammunition and components than most of the other AR-15s I’ve had the chance to handle.

This light .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle is one I’ve grown to appreciate, and I’m not the only one. Many fellow enthusiasts echo my sentiment, and if you’ve got one in your possession, you’ve probably realized why.

With its manageable recoil, beginner-friendly handling, and surprisingly quiet operations, this rifle is the perfect starting point for budding hunters and plinkers like I once was. Plus, the affordability of its aftermarket attachments is a major win.

However, it’s important to know that the M&P 15-22 isn’t your typical AR-15. There are a few crucial aspects that differentiate it, including:

  1. It runs on a blowback mechanism rather than a direct impingement system.
  2. The frame is made of polymer instead of the usual aluminum.
  3. It uses proprietary polymer magazines.

But, apart from these distinctions, the M&P 15-22 is, in most ways, a standard .22 caliber AR-15, complete with a similar disassembly procedure and safety lock mechanism.

Now, how about we put it to the test out in the field? Then, let’s move onto exploring the best scope for the M&P 15-22, based on my hands-on experience.

Maximize Your Shooting Range

Range and Accuracy of a Standard M&P 15-22

Like most rimfire rifles, the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 excels at close-and mid-range, while falling behind a bit at long-range. Out of the box, the M&P 15-22 performs at its best in the 50 to 100 yards range. However, you can easily hit a target up to 200 or even as far as 300 yards away, if you know what you’re doing.

Before you scour Amazon for an M&P 15-22 scope, it would be helpful to know what close, mid and long-range actually mean.:

  • Long-range is roughly 100 yards or above
  • Medium-range is anywhere from 50 to 100 yards
  • Close-range is usually defined as under 50 yards.

While the M&P 15-22 can perform decently at long-range, it’s not really meant for that. M&P 15-22s use what’s called rimfire cartridges, which have a low-pressure firing mechanism. That’s ideal for plinking, target shooting (Olympic rapid-fire target shooters use .22 “short” caliber rimfire ammo), and hunting varmints. That’s not as good for long-range sharpshooting, but rimfire ammo is also a lot cheaper. It’s a give-and-take.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what kind of scope you will need.

What Magnification Do You Need?

The rule of thumb here is that the further away your target is, the higher the magnification you will need.

  • For close-range targets (up to 50 yards away), 1x to 4x will do the trick.
  • At medium range (50 to 100 yards), you can get by with a scope in the 4x to 6x range.
  • Lastly, at longer ranges (100 yards and over), you will need more than 6x magnification, up to 9x.

Remember that the M&P 15-22 and other rifles of its ilk aren’t really made for long-range shooting, so you likely won’t need very high magnification.

The 5 Best M&P 15-22 Scopes

Remember, practice is No. 1 in this field, but good gear is a close runner-up. Finding the right scope for your rifle is the difference between having a frustrating, boring time at the range and having fun. It’s also the difference between hitting the turkey you’ve had your sights on for the past few minutes or letting it escape.

If you’re a beginner, it can be tough to tell apart a good scope from a bad one. But if that’s the case, don’t worry, I have you covered. After testing around, I’ve found my five favorite scopes for the M&P 15-22.

  1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire
  2. Bushnell Rimfire 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope
  3. Simmons Truplex .22 MAG 3-9x32mm Riflescope
  4. TASCO Rimfire Series 3-9x32mm .22 Riflescope
  5. Vortex Venom Red Dot Sight, 1×26.5mm

Let’s dive in and take a closer look at each of them to see which is the best scope for M&P 15-22.

1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 RimfireVortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle

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It’s no particular surprise that Vortex Optics has one of the best scopes for an M&P 15-22, but let me show you just why this scope caught my eye.

My Feeling After Using This Product

For starters, this optic is highly affordable and comes with excellent magnification ranges for the M&P 15-22: 2-7x, with an effective 32 mm objective lens. The objective lens is bolstered by multiple coatings, which guarantee bright sight pictures when you look through the scope.

In keeping with other Vortex products, the Crossfire II is made of a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, ensuring rugged performance and shockproof resilience. It’s also rated to work in any kind of weather, including wet or foggy environments.

But I really like the capped and finger-adjustable windage and elevation turrets. These can easily be reset to zero after you sight into your target, and I found them to be effective in any hunting environment. In addition, these are audible, so you don’t need to look at them to make adjustments. As any experienced hunter knows, this is an invaluable benefit – the less time you take your eyes off your target, the better.

Product Highlights

The most important elements of the Crossfire II, in my eyes, are the long eye relief and a very forgiving eye box. In a nutshell, a .22 firearm, like an M&P 15-22, won’t produce a lot of recoil by default. But the long eye relief and eye box guarantee you won’t run into any issues with your safety when you pull the trigger.

The eyepiece is fast-focus, making it easier than ever to focus on the reticle, which is a simplistic, all-purpose V-Plex variety. For my money, this was a great combination with the M&P 15-22 and its focus on fast-paced varmint hunting and similar exercises.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

The only big downside to the Crossfire II is the lack of markings on the windage and elevation turrets. These make it so you have to memorize your settings, although the fact that they can easily be reset to zero somewhat offsets this minor flaw, as you can quickly set them back and then re-adjust as necessary.

The scope  would also be excellent for Ruger 10/22 and Marlin 60.

Key Features

  • 2-7x magnification
  • 32mm objective lens
  • SFP scope


  • Excellent optics
  • Great eyepiece and eye relief
  • Scope is very durable
  • School is affordable and effective


  • Windage and elevation turrets have no markings

Basic Parameters

Manufacturer Vortex Optics
Weight 14.3 oz
Eye Relief 3.9”-4.7”
Magnification 2-7x
Field of View 12.6’-42’

The Bottom Line

All in all, the Crossfire II is my go-to M&P 15-22 scope thanks to its versatility, affordability, and overall high performance, especially given the excellent eyepiece.

My rating: 4.9/5

2. Bushnell Rimfire 3-9x40mm Rifle ScopeBushnell Rimfire 3-9x40 Illuminated Riflescope, Hunting Riflescope with BDC Reticle Lightweight and Waterproof Sealed

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I also found this Bushnell Rimfire rifle scope to be an excellent choice, and for a variety of important reasons.

My Feeling After Using This Product

For starters, the Bushnell rifle scope is built with a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum. As a result, it’s durable and should last you for a long time to come, even if you use it as your primary optic with your M&P 15-22 (as I did for a few days).

This dedicated rimfire scope is perfect for small game hunting and plinking, as well as varmint hunting, thanks to its excellent optics and multiple coatings. The optical coatings boost resolution and light transmission, as well as enhance color contrast so it’s easier for you to see your target.

Then there are the capped windage and elevation turrets. These offer tactile feedback, but they aren’t marked, limiting their use in some cases. Still, I found them to be functional and valuable additions to the scope and its overall performance.

Product Highlights

The real highlight of the rimfire scope, in my opinion, is the BDC or bullet drop compensation reticle. It is specifically designed for .22 LR rounds, so it’s perfect with M&P 15-22 firearms. It has hold positions for up to 125 yards, helping you estimate bullet drop for long-distance targets.

On top of that, it’s illuminated, maximizing hunting accuracy in the dark. You can adjust the illumination settings using a built-in dial on the side – I found it to be easy to use and very responsive. The illumination settings are also distinct enough that I could easily imagine good use cases for each during my tests of the optic.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

As I noted above, the windage and elevation turrets aren’t marked. This is somewhat surprising, as the dial that lets you adjust the illumination settings for the reticle is marked. Overall, it’s a minor flaw, but disappointing as it seems the manufacturer didn’t consider this when designing the rimfire scope. After all, why would you mark one dial, but leave the other ones unmarked?

Key Features

  • 3-9x magnification
  • 40mm objective lens
  • SFP scope


  • Excellent optics overall
  • Fully waterproof and very durable
  • Lightweight and responsive design
  • Great illuminated BDC reticle
  • Highly affordable


  • Windage and elevation turrets aren’t marked

Basic Parameters

Manufacturer Bushnell
Weight 15.4 oz
Eye Relief 3.6”
Magnification 3-9x
Field of View 13’-39’

The Bottom Line

In the end, I’d easily recommend it as an affordable, effective scope if you are a fan of M&P 15-22 optics that come with illuminated reticles with built-in holdover points.

My rating: 4.9/5

3. Simmons Truplex .22 MAG 3-9x32mm RiflescopeSimmons Truplex .22 MAG 3-9x32mm Riflescope, Waterproof and Fogproof Rimfire Rifle Scope

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The Simmons Truplex .22 MAG scope is a quality piece of equipment for several key reasons, and it’s one of the most affordable you can find for M&P 15-22 firearms.

My Feeling After Using This Product

Starting with the affordability, I found this optic to provide phenomenal value for money. Indeed, it’s a highly budget-friendly scope, so it’s a great beginner optic if you wish to practice with your M&P 15-22 and learn the ropes of hunting before splurging on higher-priced scopes.

Despite its price, the .22 MAG Scope has a lot to like, including the quality 32 mm objective lens with multiple coatings. In addition to that, the rest of the scope is designed for durability thanks to waterproof and fog proof purging. You can use it in any hunting environment without worrying about malfunctions due to the weather or wetness.

The scope is one of the lightest on the market at 9.6 ounces, so it won’t offset the balance of your M&P 15-22 rifle. Scope covers, a lens cloth for regular cleaning, and mounting rings for fast installation on your rifle make this one of the most user and beginner-friendly optics on the market, bar none.

Product Highlights

The Truplex reticle is the highlight of the .22 MAG Scope, in my eyes. This simplistic reticle is also great for beginners, as it will enable quick and easy target acquisition without cluttering up the sight picture. It’s nothing too fancy, but it gets the job done at a price you practically can’t beat.

However, your mileage may vary. If you like more informative, detailed reticles that provide additional information, such as holdover estimation points, the scope overall could feel a little lackluster. Thus, this scope will be a better fit for some firearm enthusiasts and less ideal for others.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the price, the .22 MAG Scope’s windage and elevation turrets are a bit slippery and less than stellar. Furthermore, I found that the scope’s optics aren’t the best at withstanding recoil. While this shouldn’t be a problem with your M&P 15-22 firearms, it could be an issue if you use the MAG Scope with a different firearm in the future.

Key Features

  • 3-9x magnification
  • 32mm objective lens
  • SFP scope


  • Excellent lenses in general
  • Comes with accessories and mounting rings
  • Very affordable
  • Reticle is easy to use


  • Not the toughest scope on the market
  • Windage and elevation turrets can be better

Basic Parameters

Manufacturer Simmons
Weight 10 oz
Eye Relief 3.75”
Magnification 3-9x
Field of View 11’-33’

The Bottom Line

Overall, I’d recommend the .22 MAG Scope for beginners to M&P 15-22 use and hunting in general, both for its affordability and for the plethora of user-friendly features that come packed into the purchase.

My rating: 4.7/5

4. TASCO Rimfire Series 3-9x32mm .22 RiflescopeTASCO MAG39X32D Rimfire Series 3-9x 32mm 30/30 Reticle .22 Riflescope (Matte Finish)

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In my search for the best scopes for M&P 15-22 firearms, the TASCO Rimfire Scope entered the mix in part thanks to its value, but also in part thanks to its surprisingly good features.

My Feeling After Using This Product

This scope is tailor-made for .22 rimfire rifles, and it comes with built-in mounting rings right out of the box. That makes it another user-friendly purchase, particularly given the highly agreeable asking price.

The 32 mm objective lens has magenta, multilayered lens coatings. These guarantee bright and clear images when you sight into the scope, in my experience. The bright optics are complemented by parallax elimination for up to 50 yards. That’s a little short for long-distance hunting, but it could be fine if you’re only planning on using your M&P 15-22 and attached optic for varmint hunting and backyard planking.

The rest of the scope is durable and is designed to function in wet and foggy environments alike. The matte finish prevents sun glare from giving away your position or from affecting your sight picture, even if you decide to take your firearm into the field at high noon.

Product Highlights

I was mostly impressed by the overall price and affordability of the scope. Sure, it lacks some of the more techie or standout features of higher-priced optics. But when it comes to budget-friendly scopes, you can’t beat the Tasco scope. It’s a perfect pick for newcomers to hunting and firearms in general, as the last thing you want to do is splurge on something pricey before you know what you like or what works best with your rifle.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

That all said, the Tasco scope does have some downsides, notably the slipperiness of the windage and elevation turrets and the lack of overall adjustability. It’s a scope meant to be used out of the box for casual shooting, not serious hunting to any extent. With that in mind, I wouldn’t recommend it for hunters in search of something reliable and high-performance, especially over the long term.

Key Features

  • 3-9x magnification
  • 32mm objective lens
  • SFP scope


  • Good matte black finish
  • Lightweight
  • Decent optics and lenses
  • Comes with mounting rings
  • Very affordable


  • Windage and elevation turrets aren’t great
  • Can’t be adjusted very well for individual hunter preferences

Basic Parameters

Manufacturer TASCO
Weight 11.3 oz
Eye Relief 3”
Magnification 3-9x
Field of View 6’-17.75’

The Bottom Line

The TASCO rimfire scope is a solid, affordable optic suitable for beginners and novice hunters. Choose it if you want an M&P 15-22 scope that won’t break the bank and will let you experiment with different scope functions before upgrading.

My rating: 4.5/5

5. Vortex Venom Red Dot Sight, 1×26.5mm

Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sight - 3 MOA Dot

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What’s this? A red dot sight instead of a scope? Hear me out. As a lightweight AR platform, the M&P 15-22 doesn’t always call for a scope that lets you zoom in. Sometimes, you want an optic that enables fast, agile target acquisition without limiting your peripheral field of view. That’s what the Venom Red Dot Sight offers.

My Feeling After Using This Product

Right off the bat, I found the Venom Red Dot Sight to be phenomenally durable for such a small package. It’s made with an aluminum housing, ensuring that it will function in any weather and will withstand significant wear and tear before showing signs of stress. The lenses are also multicoated, promoting good light transmission and color contrast.

Even better, I found the Venom Red Dot Sight to come with 1 MOA windage and elevation adjustments. These make using the optic in a variety of environments a breeze. You can also use this sight on any platform you have in mind, not just your M&P 15-22 firearm.

The multicoated lenses are bolstered by power and red dot setting controls. These are located on the left side of the sight – I was pleased to find that there were 10 different brightness levels for the red dot, which made it perfect for shooting against any background and in any ambient light environment during my tests.

Product Highlights

But I was really impressed by the auto brightness mode. In a nutshell, you can enable the auto brightness mode sensor, after which point it will control your red dot intensity based on the ambient light environment around you. It frees up your focus to do other things, like track your target. I really liked this feature when I tested it in the field.

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

By far the biggest issue is price. Make no mistake, this is not an affordable optic for novice hunters, so you’ll have to be willing to part with some cash to upgrade your M&P 15-22 with the Venom Red Dot. That said, I’d still recommend it if you’re looking for a good tactical red dot sight for close-range target shooting.

Key Features

  • Red dot sight
  • 1 MOA adjustments


  • Illuminated red dot has 10 brightness settings
  • Automatic brightness function available
  • Very lightweight and durable
  • 1 MOA adjustments allow for compensation for windage and elevation


  • A bit pricey

Basic Parameters

Manufacturer Vortex Optics
Weight 1.1 oz
Eye Relief N/A
Magnification N/A
Field of View N/A

The Bottom Line

In the end, the Venom Red Dot Sight is a stellar tactical optic for M&P 15-22 platforms and for other firearms, including pistols, shotguns, and more. Consider picking it up if you’re in the market for something flexible and adaptable rather than a traditional magnifying scope.

My rating: 4.8/5

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a M&P 15-22 used for?

The Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 is a blowback-operated .22 LR variation of the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 semi-automatic rifle, rather than direct impingement. It’s designed for plinking (recreational shooting) and small game hunting.

Is MP 15-22 centerfire or rimfire?

The M&P 15-22 is a fast-firing, quick-handling semi-auto rimfire rifle that’s well suited for plinking and target shooting fun, as well as serious tactical training.

Are Smith and Wesson AR-15 any good?

This rifle was designed by Smith and Wesson to be as tough as nails, and it will withstand the tests that are thrown at it. It is one of the most reliable affordable ARs on the market. This AR isn’t going to fire like some tricked-out SIG AR version. It’s built to be rugged and work when you need it most.

How accurate is MP 15-22?

The MP 15-22 trimmed 5-shot groups closer to an inch at 25 yards in several testing, which is a reasonable compromise given that they tend to go downrange in high numbers. At 25 yards, typical M&P AR 15-22 accuracy isn’t amazing, but it’s still useful.

How many M&P 15 models are there?

There are twenty-four models in their current collection, with prices ranging from $739 to $1,989.

Is the M&P 15-22 an assault weapon?

The M&P 15-22 is referred to as a “assault rifle,” by some, and it definitely has the appearance of one. It’s a.22-caliber semiautomatic Smith and Wesson. It’s a smaller-caliber version of the contentious AR-15.

Is the M&P 15-22 Reliable?

With any load, there had been no problems of any type. The M&P 15-22 Sport has a solid reputation, and these new model modifications could make action-rimfire rifle competition more accessible. It can play a match right out of the box. Accuracy testing were conducted from a benchrest at a distance of 25 yards.

Is the M&P 15-22 good for self-defense?

As a home defense rifle, much like the venerable Ruger 10-22 or AR-15, the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 is lightweight, compact, and affordable. These guns are often useful as companions to centerfire rifles for inexpensive range practice and familiarization firing and that makes them absolutely ideal for self-defense and home protection.

What does M&P stand for?

According to S&W websites and history, the letters “M&P” stand for “Military & Police” and they’re used to honor the Smith & Wesson.38 Military & Police revolver. The.38 Military & Police revolver, currently known as the Model 10, has been in continuous production since 1899, according to the firm, with over six million units produced.

What magazine will fit M&P 15-22?

There are multiple options for the weapon but the M&P 15-22 Magazine from S&W is made to match the M&P 15-22 family of weapons. It has a 25-round capacity and a long-lasting metal spring with a polymer follower. A see-through center with a load help button is also included.

What are you waiting for?

All in all, if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, the Nikon ProStaff Rimfire is miles ahead of its competitors in that price tier. However, if you’re looking for the most refined scope design-wise and aren’t afraid to pay a premium for it, the Leupold 113872 VX-1 can’t be beaten.

In the end, we hope this article has helped you out in your quest to find the perfect rifle.

You may also find interesting, which are the best scopes for Ruger AR-556 and 300 Win Mag.