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When it comes to choosing a scope for a Ruger 10/22 rifle many shooters take the “path of least resistance” and opt for an inexpensive 1″ tube model with a similar size objective that mounts on the grooved top rail of the rifle. These scopes are inexpensive and as the rifles have little to no recoil and are shot at relatively short ranges; they can last for many years. If or when they do malfunction, they are quickly and easily replaced. As a 22 rifle may never be a lifesaving piece of equipment or make the difference on an expensive hunting adventure, the majority of shooters will get by with this type of a setup and can safely assume that these are the best 10/22 rifle scopes for the money.
That is small comfort if your goal with your 10/22 is more than just shooting cans at the dump or taking out ground squirrels at 50 feet. Perhaps you are a dedicated shooter looking to improve and purchased a target grade 10/22 rifle similar to your big bore centerfire rifle to save money on ammunition or maybe you want to compete with your 10/22 in a match. Maybe you feel better with a scope that actually lets you see your target and the 1″ objective just does not cut it.
Whatever the reason, you want something more than that groove mounted 1″ flimsy piece with a 2.4X eyepiece that takes 5 minutes to acquire a sight picture. You need not go with a $1000 import from Austria or Germany as some of the best Ruger 10/22 rifle scopes can be had for a little less than $50 shipped to your door.
Best 10/22 Scopes
Ruger 10/22 Scope Reviews
The 5 best scopes for your 10 22 rifle are listed below, starting with the best one first. These is a good short list for the best scopes and will help you quickly decide which one you need.
We actually obtained this scope on a used rifle and were going to toss it in exchange for a higher end model, but curiosity got the better of us. It turned out to be a fine scope to run on our 10/22 for a number of reasons.
- The 3 X 9 setting is popular for many reasons and while you may keep it set to one setting, it is great to have the option.
- The sub-$50 price makes this Russian made scope hard to pass up.
- Like the Simmons’ scopes, the rings are not the best in the world. We recommend using either the factory 10/22 rings if they came with your rifle or buying a better pair.
- We have only seen this model in Matte black. It will look good on either a matte or blued rifle, but may not look so good on a stainless model.
The 3-9X variable power range is one of the most common settings found in North America and if you are shooting a rim fire version of your favorite hunting rifle, this scope is a no-brainer.
- Some shooters maintain that a 3-9X is a wasted effort on a 22 rifle used at short range and will never turn that dial above 6X. However, using the 9X setting on the Simmons allows this scope to serve double duty as a short range spotting scope so you can see how small your group is while you’re punching paper.
- The price at under $40 shipped makes this scope a real bargain.
- The scope is offered in either silver or black to match up with the metal on your Ruger 10/22.
- The included rings may not work on all 10/22s. If they work out of the box, that is fine, but keep in mind that aftermarket rings may be needed.
This one is kind of our odd-man out with no magnification or reticle, but the red dot brings with it some other advantages in close range accuracy.
- The compact design allows for a more durable optic and the red dot gives quicker target acquisition out to 100 yards than a traditional scope does.
- Unlike a typical riflescope, your distance is limited to what you can see with the naked eye.
- Running on battery power, the scope will become useless without a power source and these types of batteries can be hard to come by
Most shots with a 22 rifle are made at short range from 50 feet to 50 yards. Dialing up the magnification tends to restrict the field of view at short ranges and can make it difficult to focus. So our first scope will be a fixed 4X.
- The 32mm objective lets in plenty of light for you to acquire an outstanding sight picture and the included scope rings will match up to the groove atop your favorite 10/22 rifle’s receiver.
- Simmons uses their own style of turret caps on this model that allows you to make adjustments to windage and elevation without the use of a coin or screwdriver. Simply grasp the knob and turn it in the direction you wish to move the strike of the round.
- The eyepiece offers plenty of eye relief and Simmons’ QTA (Quick Target Acquisition) allows the shooter to quickly acquire a sight picture at that moment of truth.
- We only found this model in chrome and while that may look fine on a stainless 10/22, it might look odd on a blued rifle.
- The fixed 4X magnification may be limiting for certain shooters.
Another 3-9X scope, but this one carries the more familiar Tasco name. While quality may be hit and miss on their center fire models, they do a very good job with rim fire scopes.
- The 30/30 reticle reminds us of the Leupold Duplex reticle. This is probably the nicest one we have seen out of the 4 similar models.
- The bane of all these lower priced scopes seems to be the included rings. They are fine if you are the type that shoots once a year, but if you get any use of your rifle beyond that, invest in some better rings for the scope.
- We have only seen this model in Matte black.
How to Install a Scope on your Ruger 1022
The video below will walk you through all of the steps on how to mount and install a new scope:
All of these models are waterproof, fogproof and shockproof (although we would not perform the USMC test of using the scope body to hammer nails into wood and expect it to hold zero!) and the optics are multi coated to reduce glare. You can still spend more money in accurizing your Ruger 10/22, but these five will keep you hitting the target without breaking the bank.