Best 22lr Scope For Target Shooting: My Top Picks

When I bought my first .22 LR rimfire rifle, I knew I had to get a scope that could match the legendary rimfire rifle’s performance. At first, finding the best 22lr scope was not easy. But after trying out a variety of scopes, I have become somewhat of an expert in finding the best scope for 22lr.

It is for this reason that I have decided to compile my knowledge and insight into this informative article. In this article, I have compiled a list of rimfire scopes that made a good impression on me. Also, I will be telling you why I believe a .22lr rifle is a must-have.

A Quick Comparision Of Today’s Top 22LR Scope

Last update on 2023-01-25

Why Should You Need Scope On Your Rimfire Rifle?

The .22lr rimfire is arguably the most common rifle on the market. The .22lr rimfire is also often used for training, plinking, and hunting varmints. It has low recoil, making it very easy to shoot accurately. Additionally, the round is cheap to purchase and reload, making it ideal for practice shots or target shooting competitions.

But a few drawbacks to shooting with the .22lr rimfire include its relatively low power and the fact that it is not particularly effective at hitting large, stationary targets as the centerfire cartridges.

As a result, in some states using a .22lr rifle to hunt big game is illegal. Since you will be hunting varmints that are small and not easy to spot a scope designed for hunting small games such as a low-power scope will come in handy. A scope will improve your accuracy and help you take out more rodents or varmints.

Best 22lr Scope

Characteristics Of Best Scope For 22lr

So which is the best .22 long-range rifle scope? The best one must need to comes with some unique characteristics which are given below

Ability To Hold Zero:

From one shooting to another shooting session even after a long period of transportation or storage the scope must be able to retain its adjustment. In other words, it must need to maintain zero. In hunting or shooting, one of the important aspects of a high-quality riflescope is the ability to hold zero. If you lost the zero it will become a nightmare in critical situations.

Characterstics Of Best Scope For 22lr

MOA or MRAD:

Riflescope is used for precise shooting. Minute of angle (MOA) or fractions of thousandths of radiant (mil or MRAD) is the riflescope adjustment regulations. A high-quality 22lr scope must need to be precise, accurate, and error-free. It is ideal to have a scope that comes with MOA or MRAD technology.

Parallax Adjustment:

For hunting and shooting, you may need extreme accuracy and for that, you need to avoid parallax error. For that reason, the scope must need to have a parallax adjustment feature. If you move a lot and not hunting or shooting from a fixed area it is better to choose scopes that have a parallax adjustment knob on the side of the rifle, not in the objective lens.

Other Consideration

For starters, it will be lightweight and have an average-sized objective lens. As for the tube, it will be a 1-inch barrel with a nitrogen-filled interior. Also, the best 22lr rifle scope should have either a fixed or an adjustable magnification. A Fixed magnification of 4X to 6X or a variable magnification of 3X to 9X.

Anything beyond 9X will cause images to be blurry. These are some of the basic features that you should look out for when shopping for scope for a 22lr rifle. 

Best 22lr Scope For Target Shooting Competition

If you are passionate about target shooting competition like me and have a 22 Long Range Rifle, then you must need to have the best 22lr scope for target shooting competition. From my experience and various field test, I picked up two specialized scopes for shooting purposes. Have a look! these are the best scopes for the 22lr competition.

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm BDC

The Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm BDC 1 scope feels and looks like it was built purposefully for rimfire rifles. For starters, it has a magnification range of 3-9x and an objective lens of 40mm.

For long-range shooting, hunters can use the BDC Reticle’s unique see-through ballistic circle features. It is lightweight and comes with other important features such as waterproof, shockproof, and so on.

Measuring 1.4 lbs, the scope feels light and compact. The main tube measures 1 inch, which is standard for most rimfire rifles.

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm BDC 1in Waterproof Matte Riflescope

Thanks to its multicoated optics, the scope has a fantastic light transmission. With the Precise Hand-Turn 1/4-inch @ 100 Yards Click Adjustments, you can zeroed the reticle quickly even with heavy recoil, and maintaining your own settings.

Pros

  • Its lightweight and compact
  • Images are bright thanks to its multicoated optics
  • consistent eye relief
  • BDC Reticle
  • Budget Friendly

Cons

  • For Mounting the ring there are only 5 inches of 1″ tube. Where many bolt-action rifles need wider mounts than this.

Specification

  • Multi-coated lenses
  • 42 mm objective lens
  • 3X to 9X magnification

Who Is it For?

For less than 150 dollars, this scope is the best rimfire .22 Long Rifle cartridge scope for the money and if you are shooting anything in the 50 to 80-yard radius, then this is the right scope for you.

Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600

The Nikon P-223 BDC 600 Riflescope with Zero-Reset Turrets is one of the few rifle scopes specifically designed for the 22 long-range rifles.

So how did Nikon achieve this?

Well, the Nikon P-223 BDC 600 has a plethora of features suited to the 22 LR rifle. In this regard, the scope is lightweight and compact. Additionally, it has a 3-9X magnification, which is suited for the 22 LR rifle. The objective lens is 40 mm in diameter, which means it does not add to the weight of the scope.

To further improve its quality, Nikon opted for fully multicoated optics. The results are clear and bright images at any time of day. The scope is manufactured using aluminum and polymer.

Nikon P-223 BDC 600 Riflescope with Rapid Action Turret Review

Pros

  • Features fully multicoated optics for clarity and bright images
  • It is lightweight and compact
  • The thin crosshairs on the reticle are easy to see and do not cause any obstructions
  • Is specifically designed for the 22 lr rifle
  • Has a long eye relief of 3.6 inches

Cons

A bit pricy but worth the money.

Specification

  • 3-9X magnification
  • 40 mm objective lens
  • 11.3 – 33.8 ft @ 100 yds feet field of view
  • 1-inch tube
  • 3.6 inches of eye relief

Who Is it For?

If you are wondering what is the best scope for 22lr competition, the Nikon P-223 BDC 600 Riflescope with Zero-Reset Turrets is one you should consider. The scope is versatile and can be used for competitive shooting as well as for hunting.

Best 22lr Scope For The Money

The best rimfire scope 22lr has to be worth its price tag. This means that a good scope needs to offer you value for your money. Of the money .22 LR rifles available there are very few that can compete with the below-reviewed scopes in terms of value for money.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4 – 12x40mm AO Riflescope

The popular Crossfire II Rifle scope is one that I have used many times. And so I have high regard for this riflescope. At its price point, this scope has a lot to offer. 

To begin with, the 40 mm objective lens is not too big to make the scope bulky and it is not too small to inhibit the scope’s light transmission. 

As for the magnification, you get an adjustable magnification of 4 to 12X, which is a little bit on the higher side for a .17 hmr rimfire scope but still gets the job done. The eyepiece focuses fast, and the optics are fully multicoated. But what makes this scope the best scope for a 22lr is its long eye relief. The scope’s eye relief is legendary and is loved by many, myself included.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II Review

Pros

  • Is long-lasting and durable thanks to its aluminum construction
  • Can withstand harsh weather thanks to its nitrogen-purged tube
  • Has a long eye relief
  • Offers great light transmission
  • Offers great value for money

Cons

  • The finish is not that good

Specification

  • 4-12X magnification
  • 3.9 inches of eye relief
  • 1-inch tube
  • 24.7 feet eye relief
  • 40 mm objective lens

Who Is it For?

The Crossfire II 4 – 12x40mm AO Riflescope is the perfect scope for hunting. Its long eye relief and average sized objective lens are suited for hunting. Additionally, its aluminum body means that it can survive in harsh weather conditions.

Hawke Sports Optics 4-16×50 Vantage AO IR Riflescope

I know what you are thinking, is the Hawke Sports Optics 4-16X50 Vantage AO IR Riflescope designed for rimfire rifles? Well, I had the same doubts before I got to try it out. As its name implies, this scope is not a small scope and neither is it lightweight. It weighs 21.9 ounces, which is mainly thanks to its extra-large 50 mm objective lens and its 4-16X magnification. But what this scope lacks in compactness it more than makes up for in its performance.

Hawke Sports Optics 4-16x50 Vantage AO IR Riflescope Review

The large 50 mm objective lens guarantees remarkable light transmission. This translates to extra bright images. To add on to this, the scope’s optics are all fully multicoated, meaning that you get crisp, clear images with great contrast. And that’s not all, the mil-dot reticle of this scope is illuminated, thus, missing the targets even in low lighting is almost impossible.

Pros

  • Has an illuminated mil-dot reticle, which is easy to spot in low lighting
  • Offers high-end specs at an affordable price
  • The one-inch mono-tube is tough and strong
  • Uses etched-glass reticle, which is of a higher quality compared to a wire reticle
  • Has a large objective lens that offers great light transmission

Cons

  • The scope is quite hefty compared to other scopes within its category

Specification

  • 4-16X magnification
  • 50 mm objective lens
  • Illuminated mil-dot reticle
  • 15.3 inches long
  • Fully multicoated optics
  • Nitrogen filled tube

Who Is it For?

A maximum magnification of 16X means that this scope might not be the best scope for 22lr squirrel hunting. Nevertheless, thanks to its large 50 mm objective lens, it is the best rimfire scope for dawn and dusk shooting. 

Best 22lr Scope Under 200

22lr rifles are known for being affordable. That being said, the best 22-long rifle scope needs to be affordable as well. Fortunately, there are quite a number of 22lr scopes that cost less than 200. But since I cannot review all the rifles in this price segment, I will only concentrate on the four 22 rifle scope reviews which fall in the best rimfire scope under the 200 price range.

Primary Arms Fixed 6 X 32mm Rifle Scope

First on the list is the Primary Arms Fixed 6X32mm rifle scope. With a patented advanced sighting system, this scope feels more like a high-end scope than a budget scope. As its name suggests, it has a fixed magnification of 6X, which is not bad for a rimfire rifle scope. This fixed magnification is backed by a 32 mm objective lens.

Primary Arms Fixed 6 X 32mm Riflescope Review

Being a 22 LR scope, this scope weighs a meager 12 ounces and has a 1-inch aluminum main tube. In terms of glass quality, I have to say; I was impressed with the clarity of the images. Needless to say, the optics are fully multicoated. The turrets turn smoothly and do not require any tools, which is great, especially for hunters.

Pros

  • Is easy to use due to the turrets not requiring any tools to turn
  • Is made from aluminum meaning it is durable
  • Weighs 12 ounces, meaning it will not throw your 22 LR rifle off balance
  • Comes with an innovative and patented reticle with a built-in bullet, windage, and elevation compensation
  • Comes with a three-year warranty

Cons

  • The scope is not illuminated meaning it might struggle in low lighting

Specification

  • Advanced Combat Sighting System reticle
  • 6X magnification
  • 32 mm objective lens
  • 1-inch tube diameter

Who Is it For?

Is the Primary Arms Fixed 6 X 32mm Rifle Scope the best rifle scope for a 22LR rifle? Well, that’s debatable. However, what is not debatable is that this scope offers great value for money. Also, this scope is the perfect scope for target practice. So if you want a scope for target practice, this is the scope for you.

Nikon ProStaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle

So Nikon has finally decided to enter the rimfire market with the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire. The latter is a great scope, and I got to use it in a recent competition. The scope has a matte black finish and uses Nikon’s tried and proven BDC reticle.

Thus, when it comes to optical performance, this scope does not disappoint. The optical quality of this scope is fantastic. Of worth noting is that with this scope you can spot targets from up to 150 yards. One of the best things about this scope is that it has a zero-reset turret, which is easy to turn. For long-range shooting the see-through BDC reticle offer an advantage over other scopes

Nikon ProStaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle Review

Pros

  • Images appear clear and razor-sharp
  • Is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum for durability
  • Its lightweight and compact
  • Uses see-through BDC reticle circles that reduce obstructions
  • Can spot targets from 150 yards

Cons

  • The turrets could be of a better quality

Specification

  • 3-9X magnification
  • 40 mm objective lens
  • 3.6-inch eye relief
  • 33.8 feet eye relief
  • 12.4-inch length
  • 13.3 mm exit pupil

Who Is it For?

The Nikon ProStaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle has all the features you would expect from the best .22 rifle scope. That being said, this is the best scope for use on your next hunting trip. It is light, has a large objective lens and is made to last. Therefore, it is the right sighting tool for a hunter. 

Burris Droptine Riflescope with Ballistic Plex .22 Reticle

Burris is a company that has been producing 22 scopes for some time now. One of the company’s bestsellers is the Droptine Riflescope. So why is this scope a bestseller?

For starters, it comes with fully multicoated optics that deliver exceptional light transmission. The 35 mm objective lens is to be expected for a scope of its price range.

This objective lens is backed by an adjustable magnification of 2-7X magnification, which is also standard for rimfire scopes. Where this scope really excels is in the reticle department.

Burris opted for a ballistic plex reticle. The turrets are easy to adjust without the need for any tools.

Burris Droptine Riflescope with Ballistic Plex .22 Reticle

Pros

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • The turrets can be adjusted without tools
  • Is a lightweight and compact scope
  • Has a decent eye relief

Cons

Its range is not as good as that of some of its competitors

Specification

  • 1-inch tube
  • Finger adjustable turrets
  • Multi-coated optics
  • 2-7X magnification
  • 35 mm objective lens
  • Ballistic plex reticle
  • 4.1-inch eye relief

Who Is it For?

The Burris Droptine Riflescope with Ballistic Plex .22 Reticle is great for competitive shooting. 

Best Rimfire Scope Under 100

We did some research to find out the best rimfire scope under 100 dollar and finally, we conclude that BSA Sweet .22 3-9x40mm Duplex reticle rifle scope is the best 22-long rifle scope under 100 dollar price range

BSA Sweet .22 3-9x40mm Duplex reticle Rifle Scope

There is nothing sophisticated about the BSA Sweet .22 Duplex reticle rifle scope. Nevertheless, it is its simplicity that makes this a great rifle scope.

It features an average 3-9X magnification and 40 mm objective lens. The scope is specifically calibrated for the .22 bullet. The turret system is a quick-change system that I found to be easy to use. Despite its price tag, the optics on this scope are fully multicoated.

Moreover, the entire scope is 100% fog proof and waterproof. This means that it can be used in harsh weather conditions. Also, I was impressed with the scope’s three-inch eye relief. A 36.6 feet field of view adds to the scope awesomeness.

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Pros

  • It is an affordable scope
  • Is specifically designed for the 22 LR rifle
  • Features lens covers for protecting the lenses
  • The turrets are easy to adjust

Cons

  • It weighs 20 ounces, meaning it is not as light as other scopes

Specification

  • 3-9X magnification
  • 40 mm objective lens
  • 40 feet field of view
  • 100% waterproof
  • 3-inch eye relief
  • 1-inch tube

Who Is it For?

This scope is designed for plinking. So if you want the best budget 22lr scope for eliminating varmints on your garden, then this is the scope for you.

Best 22 long rifle scope under 50

When you are new to 22 LR rifles, you will want to spend an as little amount of money as possible. In this regard, you will probably be looking for a scope in the under $50 price segment. There are many scopes at this price point, but two stand out for me. The following are my top picks!

BARSKA 3-9×32 Plinker-22 Riflescope

When it comes to price and quality, there are few scopes that can compete with the BARSKA 3-9X32 plinker. One of the things I love about this scope is that despite its price, it is easy to zero in. The scope’s 3-9X magnification is average and should be expected from a scope of its caliber. The objective lens, on the other hand, measures 32 mm. Also, it comes with dovetail rings that make it easy to attach to most 22 lr rifles. Also included in the package include mounting rings, lens covers, and lens cloth. Also, at its price point, this scope has fully multicoated optics that deliver exceptional light quality. Its black matte finish looks stunning.

BARSKA 3-9x32 Plinker-22 Riflescope

Pros

  • It is a cheap alternative to pricey models
  • Has a waterproof and fog-proof construction
  • Comes complete with mounting rings
  • You get a lens cover and a lens cloth for cleaning the lenses
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty

Cons

This scope is not designed to be used in extreme weather conditions

Specification

  • 3-9X magnification
  • 32 mm objective lens
  • 12-inch length
  • Fully multicoated optics
  • 3.5-inch eye relief
  • 0.375-inch dovetail rings

Who Is it For?

Similar to the BSA Sweet, this BARSKA model is designed for plinking. Thus, this is the scope you get when you want to exterminate pesky varmints.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when you want the best .22 scope, you will have to be ready to do some research. And this article is a good place to start your research. All the scope’s reviewed offer something different.

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