Rimfire .22 LR rifles are widely used for self-defense, plinking, practice, and varminting. The .22 LR cartridge is inexpensive and exceptionally good for shooting small game at short to mid-range distances. Mounting a scope on these rifles greatly improves their accuracy and performance. But choosing the right scope for Rimfire .22 LR rifles requires you to consider certain factors.
We have outlined the features of a good Rimfire scope to help you with your decision. We have also handpicked and reviewed the best .22 LR scopes on the market, so you don’t have to scour the online marketplace.
Comparison of the Best Rimfire Scopes
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Benefits of Investing in a Great Rimfire Scope
Rimfire rifles are generally used for practice, self-defense, and varminting. The very basic benefit of mounting a scope on a Rimfire rifle is accuracy. Small varmints like rats, rabbits, and squirrels are very difficult to shoot at a close range. Plus, they move quickly. Using a scope allows you to hit a target from a longer distance with good accuracy.
Additionally, certain scopes allow you to shoot precisely under low lighting conditions. Such scopes also offer a tactical advantage in home defense situations. Furthermore, .22 LR Rimfire rifles are also used for hunting big game like deer and whitetails.
However, it requires precise shot placement on vital organs, which can only be achieved with the help of a good rifle scope. Rifle scopes offer you the capability to shoot targets from a long range, no matter what your intentions are, which is ultimately the most important benefit.
How to Choose Rimfire Scopes
A good Rimfire scope must have several characteristics to perform exceptionally. Here, we’ll take a look at certain features of a rifle scope which make it ideal for use with .22 LR Rimfire rifles.
Scopes can either have a fixed or variable magnification, a.k.a power. A wide range of magnification is helpful for shooting targets at different ranges. On the other hand, fixed scopes have fewer moving parts and don’t require resetting. However, variable magnification has an upper hand here.
Durability and Weight
Rimfire rifles are very common hunting and varminting weapons. So they are subject to a lot of tampering, sagging, and shocks. A good Rimfire scope must be durable enough to withstand all of the rugged conditions the rifle is subjected to.
Plus, having a lightweight scope greatly reduces fatigue while carrying and shooting the rifle, and doesn’t affect the equilibrium. The scope should also be weatherproof and have crisp and clear lenses.
Scopes with mil-dot or BDC reticles are better for Rimfire rifles because they allow you to shoot at different ranges without making adjustments to the windage and elevation settings. Some scopes also have illuminated reticles which are effective in low light conditions.
It is always a good decision to use scopes specifically designed for .22 LR rifles, since they are appropriately ranged and calibrated according to the ballistics and performance of the most common .22 rounds.
A scope should have easy-to-adjust turrets which can be easily reset to zero, and also hold their values under recoil stress. Plus, such a scope should also have parallax setting, or it must already be set for parallax.
Review of the Best Rimfire Scopes
Keeping in mind the ideal qualities of a .22 LR Rimfire scope, as discussed above, we have handpicked and compiled a list of the best Rimfire .22 LR scopes on the market. All the scopes reviewed here have been picked based upon positive user reviews, features, and fair pricing.
Vortex Optics Crossfire II
The Crossfire II series of scopes from Vortex includes our top pick of the Rimfire scope. This scope has a variable magnification of 2x-7x, which lets you take short as well as long-range shots. The scope has a one-inch aluminum made main tube, which already speaks of its durability and ruggedness.
The scope is O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged to prevent any dust, debris, water, or fog to build up on the lenses. The purging also makes it resistant to shocks, which, however, is not a big issue with .22 LR recoil. The scope has a long eye relief of 3.9 inches, which also allows you to use it as a scout scope.
A V-plex MOA reticle offers finely graded crosshairs to create a subtle and clear sight picture for better accuracy. The turrets are capped and fully-adjustable for windage and elevation. Plus, they are easily resettable to zero. The lenses are fully multi-coated and deliver a crisp image of the target. It has been aptly priced to fit a general budget.
The Vortex Crossfire II is a versatile scope which can be used for tactical purposes, hunting, and scouting. The scope is durable, lightweight, and fits every budget.
Best .22 Rimfire Scope:
Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope
The Simmons Truplex .22 mag riflescope is by far the best-selling Rimfire scope on the market. The scope features a variable magnification of 3x-9x and an objective lens of 32mm. So you can take down targets at the maximum effective range of a Rimfire rifle. The Simmons scope features high-quality, fully multi-coated lenses which deliver a crisp and clear image.
The scope has a QTA (Quick Target Acquisition) eyepiece, along with a long eye relief of 3.75 inches. The rubber-coated turret caps allow for easy adjustment even while wearing gloves. The tube has been nitrogen purged to resist water, fog, and the shock of .22 mag cartridges. The scope has been custom designed to suit .22 magnum cartridges and the power of the scope also complements that fact.
The SFP Truplex reticle has broad and clear crosshairs which do not wash out under the influence of daylight or a contrasting background. The scope looks aesthetically pleasing. The package includes Rimfire 3/8" dovetail mounting rings which prevent you from needing to buy a scope mount separately.
The Simmons Riflescope is a low-priced scope good for use with .22 mag calibers. The package includes mounting rings, and the Truplex reticle is good even for an old pair of eyes.
Best Rimfire Scope Under $100:
Truglo is renowned for making low-priced, high-quality products. They have come up with a compact and durable scope for your Rimfire rifle. The scope has a fixed magnification of 4x and an objective of 32mm. It features multi-coated lenses which deliver a crisp and clear image of the target. The aircraft grade aluminum made main tube is nitrogen-sealed to be waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof.
The rubber eye guard on the eyepiece protects the user from any sort of eye injuries and also provides a comfortable shooting experience. Additionally, the scratch-resistant, non-reflective matte black finish is good for varminting, as it doesn’t scare away small targets. The reticles can be chosen from duplex and diamond options, both of which are good for hunting and tactical uses.
The scope comes fitted with 3/8" weaver style rings, so you can quickly mount them on any rifles with appropriate rails. The eye relief on the scope is about four inches so you probably won’t face any problems while hunting quick-moving game. The durable leaf spring mechanism for windage and elevation adjustments is easily resettable to zero.
The Truglo Rimfire scope has a durable and compact design and is good for varminting and practice. The reticles are exceptional for hunting and the eye relief is good. However, the scope is not for very precise applications.
Best Rimfire Scope Under $200:
Bushnell 633941 Rim Fire Optics Series Riflescope
Bushnell is probably the most renowned manufacturer of rifle scopes, so it definitely had to get a place in our list. This Bushnell Rimfire rifle scope features a 3x-9x magnification which allows you to shoot distant targets. The large 40mm objective lens pushes in enough light to give you a clear shot in low lighting conditions.
The scope has been specifically designed for .22 LR Rimfire rifles, so its characteristics comply with the ballistics of such rifles. The aluminum main tube is purged with nitrogen and O-ring sealed which makes the scope waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. The multi-coated lenses deliver bright, high contrast images with the least amount of eye strain.
This Bushnell scope has fully-adjustable turrets to make changes in windage and elevation, as well as parallax. The parallax adjustment is comparatively a rare feature in rifle scopes. The scope also looks aesthetically pleasing because of its matte black finish.
The Bushnell scope is a reliable, durable, and efficient scope for mounting on your Rimfire rifles. The scope features a BDC reticle which helps you take shots at various ranges with precision. Bushnell scopes are known for their clarity, and the lifetime warranty is obviously a no-brainer to choose these scopes.
Best Nikon Rimfire Scope:
Nikon Prostaff Rimfire Ii 4-12X40 Scope
The Nikon Prostaff Rimfire is a long scope with a high range of power. The scope provides zoom-in capabilities with a range of 4x-12x, so you can take the farthest shots pertaining to the maximum range of a rimfire rifle. The large 40mm fully multi-coated objective lens delivers clear and contrasting images of your targets.
The scope is fully sealed and purged for maintaining resistance against water, fog, and shocks. The scope is also parallax-free at 50 yards. The spring-loaded turrets can be instantly zeroed, which is definitely a plus. The generous constant eye relief of 3.7 inches lets you take consecutive shots at different distances with precision.
Like other Nikon scopes, this scope is also optimized for use with Nikon Spot On Ballistic Match Technology using your smartphone for calculating ballistics on the field. The BDC 150 reticle contains pre-set dots for aiming at specific distances, so you don’t have to dial the turrets after every shot.
The Nikon Prostaff is good for long-range hunting. The scope can be used with Nikon's Spot On technology, which is definitely a plus.
Best Compact Rimfire Scope:
Leupold FX-I Rimfire 4x28mm Fine Duplex
The Leupold FX-I is a compact, low-profile, and lightweight scope with a fixed magnifying power of 4x and a mid-sized objective lens of 28mm. The scope features Leupold’s proprietary technology of argon/krypton sealing which makes it waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. The lenses feature a DiamondCoat 2 ion-assisted lens coating, which helps the scope deliver clear images.
The scope has a duplex reticle, originally designed by Leupold in 1962. The thick reticle crosshairs converge to form a finer cross, allowing the shooter to distinguish between the target and the background, even when the target is moving. The scope has easily-adjustable turrets with ¼ MOA adjustments and gives a pleasing appearance to suit your rifle.
The Leupold FX-I is a compact and lightweight scope with fixed magnification and good eye relief. The scope can also be used for scouting, in addition to varminting at close quarters.
The .22 LR Rimfire rifles are generally used for varminting, practice, and defense. Having a scope on such rifles greatly improves their effectiveness and your accuracy with them. A good Rimfire scope must have ample magnification, durability, lightweight, multi-coated lenses, and if possible, a compact design.