Searching out the top 10 rimfire scopes comes down to staying with scopes built expressly for rimfire rifles, and knowing what rimfire you’re talking about.
Understanding the differences in the modern rimfire family of rifles and cartridges is just about a requirement in this case. Scope selection is considered first by which rimfire we want to address here.
In this case, the 22 Long Rifle rimfire round is first up on the scoreboard regarding scope performance standards.
Best Rimfire Scope Reviews
1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 SFF
This scope as offered by Vortex is a classic example of a modern one inch tube rimfire scope that is set up just like the “big rifle” glass sights. This scope is using the V-Plex sub tensions and is an all purpose scope that can be adapted to both 22 Long Rifle and a move up to 22 Magnum if desired.
The scope retains a long eye relief, and a wide eye box for quick sighting on that tree squirrel moving from limb to limb high in the canopy of the hardwood.
Anti-reflective multi coated lens surfaces capped reset and adjustable turrets with ¼ MOA clicks are standard and offer quick accurate zero.
The construction consists of a single one piece aluminum tube, O-ring sealed to fight off water in any amount and built from the turret up to work as a hard nosed field applied glass sighting system.
2. Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope
In this scope, we have Leupold’s well known worldwide quality, a 2-7×33 powered optical system that fits a flexible use when it comes to rimfire cartridges, and a one inch main tube just like the larger centerfire rifles carry.
The turret settings are in MOA ¼ inch clicks, make for accurate and fast changes in zero or elevation when required.
I would use this scope with both 22 Long Rifle cartridges and the heavy 22 Magnum rimfire. With many years of small game hunting in the hardwoods of central Minnesota behind me and hundreds of squirrels brought to bag I can say that the 22 Magnum, 22 Special, and Remington express being the full line of very old school squirrel rounds I have used over the years ending with the 22 Long Rifle would all be effective when this scope was applied to getting the evening meal out of a white oak tree.
The scope has the Leupold light “Management System” that pulls light early in the morning to late in the evening to allow the hunter a few extra minutes in the woods each day. Like the big guys in the Leupold scope line, this scope retains exact zero and turret clicks repeatability every time the elevation or windage is changed.
3. Bushnell Rimfire Multi-X Reticle
This scope is the Bushnell 3.5-10×36 mm.
When talking about scopes I can pass this along to you the buyers. Here at Ballistics Research, we run about 43 different scopes on a massive variation in rifles and calibers. In effect, we need to depend on the glass sights to work or we lose time that is always in short supply anyway around here. Bushnell has been a gold standard in both light rifle and shotgun sights for at least 40 years and the first scope ever bought for test work as a Bushnell brand name product is still getting the job done. As such this scope being presented here carries a whole lot of history with me and my outfit.
This little scope is big rifle size standard and uses standard rifle rings and bases. This is not a grooved receiver model at all.
This scope carries replaceable turrets for 17 HMR, and also blank turret for general use. The scope will not have advanced turrets but the cos is not on the high end, but trust me the guts and glass quality will get the rimfire job done all day long, and in a pinch bolting it on a scattergun for turkey season is not a bad idea either.
Waterproof and fog resistant the scope is a field grade unit and a good buy when searching for a product in that area of performance. Remember you can’t get a motel room for $88.00 today, but you can get 40 years of service out of a glass sight by Bushnell.
4. Bushnell 1-6x24mm AR Optics
Even though this scope by Bushnell is classified as an “ AR” scope just by the fact that it is a lower power system designed for shorter range than the super scopes it will work out as applied to a rimfire cartridge. With the advanced shooting course in rimfire at ranges today out to 200 yards and more again, the parallax adjustments and turret settings on this scope fit the need in the flexible scope department well.
This scope is a chopped bell making it lighter in weight as applied to smaller 22 LR type receivers.
I can remember when I saw the very first one inch scope mounts as offered by Weaver back in about 1960. These were the real deal because now we could put “ big rifle” glass on our squirrel rifles. This scope by Bushnell fits the task very well, and the power controls as an extension is a nice fix to very rapid power setting changes on the fly.
Built using an illuminated reticle the scope is very workable in the early pink up dawn shooting conditions, and also late into the evening or when night hunting.
The one inch aluminum tube is a one piece design, and the glass all retains a super surface treatment to protect it from scratch and other nasty stuff the swamp or brush country can dish out.
If you’re shooting 100 yards and more have no fear of the one inch tube high power rifle scopes. They work!
5. Simmons 3-9x Rimfire Riflescope
This scope is a move to the budget line end of the spectrum in that it is well under 100 buck and is offered in the 3-9×32 compact size using an aluminum tube construction.
Workable glass for the task at hand ( close range 22 rimfire shooting) and parallax corrected from 50 yards to infinity.
The scope has the Hydro Field lens coatings for nasty field condition control, and a sure grip rubber surface treatment for positive control even in very bad weather conditions.
This scope comes complete with a set of rings and bases for fast mounting on a 22 rimfire rifle. The scope is also very workable as an option for use on the 22 Magnum rimfire as well.
6. Barska 4X32 Plinker-22
Here we have the Barska 4×32 plinker. Not a massive long range rimfire system by any means, but a scope for the tip off based .22 rifle that the backyard shooter wants to train on.
Believe me when I tell you that I shot squirrel and rabbit for many early years and at times actually fed the family using a rifle and scope that fit the exact pattern of this little scope if not even somewhat less of an optical system.
This scope retains ¼ MOA click adjustments, coated optics, one inch tube diameter, and parallax free at 50 yards.
The scope is sold with 3/8” dovetail mounts being set up for the grooved receiver system on many 22 LR rifles.
7. TASCO Rimfire Series 3-9c32mm
This Tasco MAG39X32D Rimfire Series 3-9c32mm is set up in the 30.30 sub tensions. This scope retains tip off mount ( grooved receiver system) coated lens glass for field protection, a one inch tube in the event the owner ants to switch out bass and rings for standard “ big rile” mounts, and the scope I light in weight at 0.71 pounds.
This is a basic scope that gives the shooter added magnification and is a good starter system when moving into longer range rimfire shooting events.
In truth, this scope is about all the average small game hunter working for the family dinner table needs in a hardwood forest against small game.
8. TruGlo 4x32mm
This scope is set up as a 22 rimfire scope in the starter bracket, but it retains coated glass, a well applied exterior finish to protect the scope in the field, duplex reticle, and the scope comes with 3/8 inch grooved receiver mounts.
This scope makes use of the Dual-Color illuminated ( red & green ). This makes the scope a little night fighter and when not required the power can be turned off and the sub tension is observed in the standard black.
9. Bushnell Dusk To Dawn Circle X
As a final scope offering, I return to the one inch tube “ big rifle” size optical system. In this case Bushnell and the general purpose option goes to 3-9x40mm power, and their special light gathering system. This scope uses the Dusk to Dawn light control glass, the lenses are coated. It is a good choice when the shooter wants to push range a bit in the 22 LR, or move up to the 22 Magnum Rimfire round.
The scope carries the Circle X reticle, ¼ MOA clicks adjustments on the capped turret housing and uses the Bushnell fast-focus eyepiece. Bushnell carries a very broad line of scopes that can be fitted to 22 long rifle shooting needs. Search Amazon and you will find the right fit every time.
For more reading see: can you shoot rimfire in a centerfire gun.
I have been writing firearms and outdoor material for over 50 years to date. I have hunted across the world, including Russia, and a great deal of time professional hunting in Australia. I currently live in the American West and hunt all across the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Big Horn Mountains. I have specialized much of my work as a load developer in shotguns and rifles. I have run a small company that builds suppressor barrels of my design and load tests for writing purposes and consulting. My commercial names include Ballistics Research & Development / Metro Gun Systems TM.
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1 thought on “Best Rimfire Scope – .22 LR & Mag Reviews”
The turrets on the Leupold VX_Freedom Rimfire scopes are absolutely awful. I bought a 2-7 that went back to Leupold twice for turret tracking issues. They replaced the 2-7 with a 3-9 that had the same tracking issues right out of the box. The 3-9 is also now back at Leupold for the second time. The turrets don’t even return to the same mechanical zero from one end of the travel to the other and the elevation turret does not move the required number of full rotations to meet the advertised elevation range of 60 MOA.
The turrets are difficult to turn and yet are so sloppy in the detents that I have no confidence they are actually in a detent or they are just rocking around from one setting to the next. Rotating either turret a specified number of MOA seldom results in a shot-group moving the same amount. Sometimes moving the turrets 1/4 MOA moves a shot-group several inches (@ 25 yards) and at other times moving the turrets several MOA does not move the shot group at all. Leupold has SERIOUS issues with these turrets.