You are the proud owner of one of the most successful rimfire rifle designs in history. Since 1964, Ruger continues to pump out the semi-automatic that everyone loves. Its inspiration was found in the standard US military firearm from WWII into the Vietnam War: the M1 Carbine.
Although you won’t be fighting battles with this rifle, it’s ideal for small game hunting and relatively close-range shooting. They serve every purpose, from hunting to defense, to target shooting.
They’re so popular that Ruger released 11 different models to suit every niche of their users.
In addition to its origins in a trusted, American company, the Ruger 10/22 is popular for its:
- Negligible recoil
- Inexpensive ammunition
- Easy handling
- Easy customization
- Lightweight (around 5lb)
Although this isn’t a youth rifle, it has the characteristics of one. That means it’s perfect for teaching a first-timer how to shoot. Even without an interest in hunting, who doesn’t love some innocent can or bottle targets in the backyard?
Let’s see exactly how far you can place those targets.
Going the Distance: Maximize your Shooting Range
Out-of-the-box, a Ruger 10/22 can shoot accurately up to approximately 50 yards with less than 1 MOA. (Source: mcarbo.com)
It doesn’t sound like much, but they aren’t made to be a long-range rifle.
Otherwise, this timeless classic does precisely what it’s made to do. It hits small targets from a considerable distance without completely obliterating them. For many people, it also comes with a light wind of nostalgia. That’s because it’s the first gun we ever got to practice with as kids and still tote around today.
So what can you expect on your next trip to the range with your Ruger 10/22?
A Quick Guide to Distance: How Far will Your Bullet Go?
For an out-of-the-box Ruger 10/22 with an 18.5-in barrel length, keep these rough measurements in mind:
- Long Range: about 100 yards and above
- Medium Range: 50 – 100 yards
- Close Range: under 50 yards
Remember, these ranges are simply an out-of-the-box standard. Ammo and aftermarket parts can cause the average range to deviate considerably. Believe it or not, they can make a noticeable difference. That’s why some people opt for longer barrels – a longer barrel gives a longer shot.
What magnification do you need?
If you’re new to the game, you might not think that a scope is necessary for shooting a football field length or less. That’s far from the truth. Since this rifle is ideal for small targets, all the extra magnification power makes a difference in precise shooting. Besides, you have to be able to see what you are shooting to hit it, don’t you?
Generally, longer shots require higher magnification. What is magnification, and what does it mean? Check out our guide here to understand how lens measurements and magnifications work.
So which one will work best for your average shooting distance?
- Long Range (100-yd and above)
- Adept long-range shooting takes practice. Hitting small targets from this distance takes even more practice, better clarity, and higher magnification. The best 10/22 scope for long ranges has a magnification of around 6 to 9x.
- Medium Range (50 – 100yd)
- Shooting within this range probably means you have rats loose in the barn or moles digging up your yard. If you want to get an edge on them, you’ll want somewhere between 4 – 6x power.
- Close Range (up to 50yd)
- The Ruger 10/22 is ideal for close-range shooting. If you want a pinpoint shot to win that bet against your buddies, try 1 – 4x power. They’ll definitely be buying the next round and asking where you got your Ruger 10/22 scope.
The best scope for Ruger 10/22 owners is the one that matches their marksmanship style. If you don’t require high power, stick to one that packs in more features with less range.
Alternatively, if you’re never sure when the next shot will be, play it safe with a wide variable. A proper scope will adjust quickly from 1x to 9x right when you need it!
After you’re done shooting, see how to clean a Ruger 10/22 rifle.
The 6 Best Ruger 10/22 Scopes
Finally, you’ve chosen to step up your game. Besides a little bit of practice, all you’re missing is the best scope for Ruger 10/22 rifles. So which one is it?
You don’t have to do all of the exhausting browsings and digging through the internet, we’ve already done it and narrowed the top six options down.
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire – V-Plex MOA (Amazon)
- Simmons 3-9x32mm, .22 Mag(R) Matte Black (OpticsPlanet)
- Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 Rimfire Scope (OpticsPlanet)
- Athlon Optics Neos 3-9×40 BDC Rimfire Reticle (OpticsPlanet)
- Leupold FX-I Rimfire 4x28mm Fine Duplex Scope (OpticsPlanet)
- Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight (Amazon)
A quick note: why do some scopes say “BDC” and others don’t? BDC stands for “bullet drop compensation.”
Simply, this means that you will not have to adjust the elevation for longer range shots. All you have to do is use the reticle that matches the distance you are shooting and pull the trigger.
Don’t settle for any less than the best. They’re all right here and can be mounted directly on your Ruger 10/22 today!
Finding Your Next Scope
Let’s get down to business!
If you are a fan of Ruger, you can check Ruger mini 14 scope recommendations.
1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire – V-Plex MOA
When it comes to manufacturing high-quality riflescopes, Vortex Optics is always on target (no pun intended). And if you’re looking for a scope that is ideal for close to mid-range shooting, then the 2-7×32 Crossfire II Rimfire is surely worth checking out.
The Rimfire version of the Crossfire II comes with a V-Plex reticle that makes it suited to a wide variety of shooting applications. With this version of Vortex Optics’ rifle scope, you get a field of view of hundred yards. And the 3.9-inch eye relief ensures that all the shots you take are comfortable.
However, at higher magnification levels, it can get a little washed out. So, if you’re looking to use your rifle scope over longer distances, opt for some of the other choices on our list with magnification more than 7x and a bigger lens.
Incredible build quality
One of the best things about every Crossfire II model is how well they are built. These riflescopes are crafted out of a single piece of an aircraft-grade anodized aluminum tube. Moreover, the scopes are O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, which ensures they are waterproof and fog proof even under the most challenging situations.
The Bottom Line
Apart from long-range shooting, the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire impresses on almost every front. It is durable and well built, fitted with excellent optics, and comes with a simple yet effective reticle. You surely can’t ask more from it.
You can also check our best rimfire scopes guide, in which this scope also features.
2. Simmons 3-9x32mm, 0.22 Mag(R) Matte Black
Do you want true ingenuity for pocket money price? This riflescope features technology made especially by Simmons. This includes the HydroShield lens coating to prevent reflection and glare. Their steel-on-steel TrueZero system locks in “true zero” hunt after hunt while improving windage and elevation.
When you go to adjust your elevation, the SureGrip rubber surfaces let you handle your scope in any condition. However, like a lot of low-budget scopes, a screwdriver is necessary to make adjustments. Additionally, the adjustment clicks are not clearly distinct but are still helpful.
Otherwise, there’s one more fantastic Simmons specific feature that neatly ties it all together.
Simmons Quick Target Acquisition (QTA)
Are you using heavier loads in your rifle and suffering from heavy recoil? Simmons ceases the suffering with its QTA technology. The eyepiece has a large, clear optical view that gives you a more in-focus vision. It saves time from wiggling and repositioning when you’re shooting from awkward spots. You won’t waste a second on the field or miss out on any cheeky creatures.
The Bottom Line
Simmons pours a lot of heart into this product to offer you a good, budget scope. Although it has its share of downsides, consider all that you get for an amazingly low price. It’s by far the cheapest on our list and is such a good deal; it’s almost highway robbery. However, don’t use this scope for actual highway robbery!
3. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Rimfire Riflescope
The Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope isn’t your average piece of equipment. For starters, it features some of the most abrasion-resistant lenses on the market; these are capable of resisting scratch damage to a military standard, so you know that they are high-quality compared to the lenses of many other scopes on the market.
The scope as a whole reflects this commitment to durability, as it’s built out of aircraft quality aluminum and designed to function in inclement weather thanks to waterproof and fog proof sealing.
That’s not all. This scope, which features magnification settings between 3x and 9x with a 40 mm objective lens, also has been pre-adjusted for parallax up to 60 yards. This is a perfect setting for most rimfire cartridge types and offsets the minor drawback that it lacks a parallax turret.
It does have a set of excellent windage and elevation adjustment turrets; however; these provide audible clicks each time you move them.
Twilight Light Management System
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the scope is its special light management system. This arrangement of lenses and special coatings provides you with not only a clearer and brighter sight picture in general but also gives you an extra 10 minutes or so of shooting light during dusk or dawn.
Basically, it allows you to continue or finish a hunt as the day begins or draws to a close. Needless to say, this can be extremely valuable to many hunters out in the wild.
The Bottom Line
Overall, we’re very impressed with the VX-Freedom. It offers excellent magnification settings for rifles of this type and extreme durability, plus some of the best lenses on the market; where else can you find scope lenses designed for extreme scratch resistance and better light transmission?
Want to know how to mount your scope? Check how to mount a scope to your Ruger 10/22.
4. Athlon Optics Neos 3-9×40 BDC Rimfire Reticle
If you want a reliable scope for your rimfire rifle, this Athlon Optics scope has you covered. For starters, it features multicoated lenses and is broadly constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum. The aircraft-grade aluminum keeps its weight down to about 17 ounces: hardly enough to offset your weapon’s balance.
The resulting scope is lightweight and durable, even under heavy use, and the multicoated lenses will help provide a quality sight picture in any ambient light conditions.
It also features capped and resettable finger adjustable windage and elevation turrets for easy accommodation of different weather or environmental conditions on a hunt. The matte black finish will keep you stealthy as you hunt, preventing the sun from flashing on the scope’s surface.
The optic provides a generous eye relief at about 3 inches and is both waterproof and nitrogen purged to guarantee it’ll work in any weather. It can magnify between 3x-9x and has a 40 mm objective lens: a great setup for the short to midrange work common with 10-22 rifles.
Of particular note is the high-quality BDC rimfire reticle that comes with the optic. Short for “bullet drop compensating”, this reticle will let you estimate bullet drop when shooting at farther distances. The reticle is perfectly designed for use with .22 rimfire cartridges to ensure even greater accuracy.
The Bottom Line
All in all, this scope is a quality piece of equipment and a perfect accessory for rimfire 10-22 rifles. You’ll be able to rely on it both for varmint or more serious hunting and for backyard plinking or target shooting with your friends.
5. Leupold FX-I Rimfire 4x28mm Fine Duplex Scope
Here’s a suggestion for a fixed optic for your Ruger 10/22 rifle, made by one of the best optic manufacturers in the business: Leupold. This scope is fixed at a magnification power of 4x, and it comes with a 28 mm objective lens. But it’s one of the best scopes you can find since it’s already parallax adjusted for 60 yards – in other words, it’s already perfectly tuned for its magnification setting.
Furthermore, the scope comes with precision ¼ MOA, finger-adjustable windage and elevation turrets. These allow you to precisely and quickly compensate for either variable and land shots even in difficult conditions. The lenses for the scope are scratch-resistant, even to military standards, and can transmit light quite well overall.
The scope as a whole is fairly durable while still being very lightweight. You’ll be able to combine this optic with relatively light rifles without throwing off your build’s entire balance, as a result.
Twilight Max Light Management System
The coolest part of this scope is the proprietary Light Management System. In a nutshell, this system combines special Leupold lens advancements and interior design specifications to improve brightness and clarity across the board. While this helps you during regular daylight hours, it’ll also give you a few extra minutes of shooting light during both dawn and dusk.
Any hunter should see the value of this system, as these times of day are when certain types of animals are most active.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, it’s one of the best rimfire optics you can find, particularly for engagements below 60 yards. It’s a phenomenal pairing with Ruger 10/22 rifles and is built with durability and user-friendliness in mind.
6. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope
Want something a little different for combining with your 10-22 Ruger? In that case, check out this Bushnell optic. It features an illuminated red dot optic in addition to plenty of other excellent aspects.
For instance, it’s made with aircraft-grade aluminum and has fully multicoated lenses for superior color transmission and greater sight picture quality. Like many other top-tier scopes, it’s made with waterproof construction in mind, employing O-ring sealing and nitrogen purging for superior performance even in wet environments.
But it’s also durable overall, as it’s completely capable of withstanding bumps and drops in the field. Furthermore, this optic is quite easy to mount on most Ruger 10-22 rifles. It comes with Picatinny mounting rings by default, however, so keep this in mind if your rifle is already equipped with Weaver rings instead.
The scope is a red dot model, however, so you won’t be able to magnify your sight picture. Instead, the 25 mm objective lens paints a red dot sight for you to line up with your target. As such, it’s a particularly good choice for short-range hunting with your Ruger rifle. Fortunately, the optic is already adjusted for parallax up to 50 yards.
11 Brightness Settings
As mentioned, this optic comes with an illuminated red dot reticle. The single knob on top of the optic lets you swap between 11 brightness settings, which in turn ensures the reticle can be used both in bright daylight and nighttime settings. Each setting clicks as you turn the knob, so you’ll never be surprised by a different illumination setting than the one you intended to use.
The red dot reticle is set to 3 MOA by default. But this is a great size for hitting targets out to 50-100 yards or so.
The Bottom Line
All in all, Bushnell’s TRS-25 optic is a quality pick for any Ruger 10-22 owner who wants to primarily use the rifle at short to mid ranges, or someone who wants a tactical optic rather than a magnifying scope. The illuminated reticle and high-quality construction secure this as a solid pick for most.
You can also check our full Bushnell TRS-25 Review.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Ruger 10/22 Takedown?
The Takedown, which was first launched in 2012, allows customers to disassemble their rifles and store them in a backpack or small container for travel or trekking. It’s no surprise that so many 10/22s have found their way into gun owners’ safes, given the variety of combinations and options available.
Are There Many Configurations For The 10/22?
The Ruger 10/22 is available from the factory in eight distinct configurations, providing purchasers lots of choices when it comes to the style and finish of their rifle.
Manufacturers have also released a bewildering array of Ruger 10/22 aftermarket accessories. Lightweight polymer stocks, such as those made by Magpul, have been added to add weather resistance and weight reduction to the mix. Drop-in triggers are available from a variety of manufacturers, all of which will improve the shooter’s experience. Franklin Armory also sells a binary trigger to liven up your range sessions. A fast search will give several possibilities for you, regardless of the improvement.
Why Does The Ruger 10/22 Use A Unique Magazine?
The Ruger 10/22 relies on a rotary-style box magazine for feeding. The magazine has a capacity of 10 to 25 rounds. This rotary magazine has a large capacity and a consistent feed system. The Ruger 10/22’s rimmed design, on the other hand, isn’t ideal for magazines.
Is The Ruger 10/22 Expensive?
The Ruger 10/22 is inexpensive and generally costs about $200. However, because of the massive amount of variations around this model, it’s not uncommon for customers to find certain 10/22 models that are far more expensive. But the base model sells for just a couple of hundred dollars.
What Is The History of the Ruger 10/22?
Bill Ruger, Harry Sefried, and Doug McClenahan worked together to create the Ruger 10/22. The 10/22 was overengineered, as was everything the fastidious Ruger developed, yet it was eminently inexpensive thanks to its well-thought-out mechanisms. It was only $54.50 when it first came out.
Ruger delivered proofs of its next catalog, touting the new .22 rifle, to gun writers on March 24, 1964. Only three preproduction prototypes were available at the time. Even though it wasn’t formally publicized in gun publications until June of that year, visitors at the 1964 NRA Annual Meeting got to see and handle the rifle in Ruger’s booth later that spring.
Have Many Ruger 10/22 Models Been Sold?
To date, more than 6 million Ruger 10/22 rifles have been sold in all varieties, a figure that no doubt thrilled the late Bill Ruger. The 10/22, in fact, has carried the traditional Christmas “kid’s rifle” to realms that no other rimfire rifle has gone before.
Why Did The Ruger 10/22 Switch From Walnut Stocks?
Ruger switched to birch stocks in 1980 as the price of walnut rose. The stocks were eventually changed to maple. In 1986, laminated stocks were introduced, and in 1992, a stainless steel barrel was made available. The trigger housing was recently upgraded from aluminum to polymer.
What are you waiting for?
Do you want to get the advantage of those pesky creatures in your yard? Perhaps you want to get an edge on your buddies at the range? Either way, it won’t happen without the best scope for Ruger 10/22 rifles.
With so many low-budget options with high-quality performance, it’s hard to resist. You can go all out on high-dollar optics, but they won’t make a noticeable difference above other 10/22 scopes.
Beyond that, there isn’t any customization or special ammo that will match what the perfect scope can do. Find yours today and finally realize what you’re capable of accomplishing with that trusty old rifle on the wall.