Shooters are accustomed to hearing about the extended range and accuracy of large-bore rifles and scopes, while the 22 is rarely considered. However, for pure fun there is nothing like the 22LR.
For the longest time, a quality scope for a rimfire rifle was hard to come by; most had terrible optics, and adjustments were even worse. In the optics world the rapid advancement of technology has changed everything. Engineering and production costs have been slashed.
Best Rimfire Scopes
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Rimfire
Leupold began its rise to the top of the optics world in 1907 as a surveying equipment company. Through the decades, Leupold never wavered from its commitment to delivering quality optics. Today, no matter the caliber, Leupold has the optics to hit any target at any distance.
Rimfire VX-Freedom is a feature-rich scope that will take your plinking to the next level. Leupold Rimfire is in the popular 3-9 magnification range with a dedicated MOA reticle. The sight picture is magnificent with its 40mm objective lens.
Leupold has made an extremely durable scope with scratch-resistant glass. The VX is 100% waterproof and fog proof. Windage and elevation adjustments are precise with well-built turrets. Eye relief is excellent no matter the magnification setting; a generous 4.17 inches at high magnification and 3.6 at the low setting.
Features of the Leupold VX
- Attractive matte black finish
- Second focal plane scope
- 25 MOA of measurement
- Resettable Index Ring
- Parallax Free adjustment to 60 yards
Bottom Line: Top-of-the-line scope with plenty of outstanding features explicitly made for the 22.
Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7×35 Rimfire
Vortex is not so much a company as it is a community of like-minded shooters, hunters. Vortex Nation covers the military and law enforcement across the globe.
Diamondback is machined from a solid aluminum alloy block, giving it a flexible but rigid feel. Argon proofing of the Vortex keeps the scope free of moisture and fog. The optics on the Diamondback are unbelievably good.
Fully-coated, scratch-resistant lens is perfect for hunting at a short distance. Sharp, crystal clear images appear in the crosshairs. A very generous 35mm objective lens brings everything closer in perfect clarity—a not-so-good but adequate eye relief of 3.1 inches.
Diamondback is equipped with a V-plex reticle that is minimalist but highly adequate. V-plex will not clutter your vision or the image when hunting smaller animals. Targets on the second focal plane scope will not change size as you adjust magnification.
Turrets on the Diamondback are precision metal components for exact adjustment. Magnification rings and turrets benefit from the precision glide erector system. Vortex is exceptionally durable and comes in a flat black ionized finish.
Features of the Vortex Diamondback
- Elevation and Windage have 100 MOA adjustment
- Lightweight at only 14.2 ounces
- Lifetime Warranty
- Constructed to withstand recoil
Bottom line: Vortex has built an accomplished scope for the Rimfire rifle crowd. Features all the elements of the long-range scopes Vortex is known for. Extremely accurate!
Tract Optics 22 Fire 3-9×40
22 Fire from Tract is one of the most accurate scopes on the market. BDC reticle allows you to sight in at 150 yards in 25-yard increments. Bottom vertical crosshairs provide bullet drop compensation information. Shoot either Hyper-Velocity or Standard-Velocity ammunition with the same accurate results.
Tract’s 22 Fire has all the characteristics of a high-powered centerfire scope in Rimfire configuration. The main body of the 22 Fire is a two-piece tube sealed with O-rings to purge with argon. Magnification rings with rear-facing numbers are super smooth.
Tract’s Optics feature a fully multi-coated system for excellent sight-in for clear images and resisting scratches.
Windage and elevation turrets feature audible clues for exact adjustment. Turret system on the 22 Fire allows for a spring-loaded reset to zero. A very generous 40mm objective lens provides excellent resolution at long-distance.
Features of the Tract Optics 22 Fire
- Good Eye relief at 3.5 inches
- Great exit pupil at 4.2 inches
- The reticle is electro-formed copper wire
- Second focal plane
Bottom Line: 22 Fire is an excellent and affordable scope—plenty of solid technology in a good-looking package.
Bushnell Optics Forge4.5-27x50mm
Bushnell is a global brand making everything from apparel and eyewear to holsters and rifle scopes. Bushnell is one of those brands that anyone who loves the sport of shooting and hunting can spend a fortune at the website.
Forge may be a little too much rifle scope for just shooting prairie dogs or plinking; however, this is the scope to have if you are a competitive shooter. Two models are considered Bushnell Forge, with the colors being black and gold and either first or second focal plane.
Magnification is off the charts at 4.5 to 27, all this with a massive 50mm objective lens. Forge features a turret-halting zero stop, which takes only seconds to set up and guarantees a return to zero. Turrets are tactile with an up and down locking mechanism.
Glass on the Forge is bright, clear, with excellent resolution. Optics are multi-coated for scratch-resistant use.
Features of the Bushnell Forge
- Generous eye relief at 4 inches
- Waterproof construction and O-ring sealed
- Hefty at 29.9 ounces
- EXO Barrier protection for Bushnell Optics
Bottom Line: If you want to best scope for your 22 rifle, the Bushnell Forge is the answer. This scope has all the features you would typically associate with larger caliber long-distance products. The Forge is expensive.
Simmons 3-9x32mm 22 Mag
Simmons is one of those names most people may not be familiar with; however, the company makes an affordable, quality scope. Since 1983 Simmons has been slowly building a solid reputation with excellent products.
22 Mag comes in as the least expensive scope on our list. Loaded with features, the Simmons is perfect for plinking and target practice. 22 Mag features a Quick Acquisition eyepiece with generous eye relief. Acquiring a target is quick and easy.
Add in fully coated optics and scope rings, and the Simmons 22 Mag delivers the most bang for any buck. Simmons delivers four different models in the 22 Mag series. Two have a matte black finish, while the last two feature a silver finish.
Reticles on the 22 Mag are a Truplex design with an outstanding exit pupil on each model.
Features of the Simmons 22 Mag
- One-piece tube construction
- Fully coated optics for sharp imaging
- Lightweight at only 8.6 and 10 ounces
Bottom Line: For the money and the features, there is no competition.
Tasco Rimfire .22-Caliber 9x32mm
Tasco started as a hardware store over 60 years ago, so they know a thing or two about what people want. Tasco has long been recognized as a consumer-based company selling sporting goods along with sports optics.
Tasco Rimfire was explicitly built for the 22 ammunition and its unique characteristics. Rimfire is durable and light, which does not interfere with the balance of your rifle. Classic 3×9 magnification is perfect for just about any type of shooting.
This .22lr Scope was built from a single piece of aluminum for rigid and durable performance. A perfect blending of a large objective lens and a beautiful magenta-colored reticle. The scope is waterproof and fog proof, just like products a lot more expensive than the Rimfire.
Features of the Tasco .22 Caliber Rimfire
- Easy to zero and keeps its setting
- Beautiful magenta lens coating
Bottom Line: Rimfire is another well-built rifle scope that is affordable with dead-on accuracy. Scope rings are included.
Athlon Argos 6-24×50
Athlon is a technology-first company, and this tendency is apparent in every scope they build. The company has developed strong engineering partners and strategic alliances to market its scopes around the world.
Argos is a feature-rich, affordable rimfire scope with a lot of available options; you will only find these features on higher-end scopes. The Precision True Zero Stop is a lockdown zero, and dial it back when needed.
Athlon’s Argos has been machined from a solid block of 6061 T6 aluminum for rigidity and exceptional durability. Optics are multi-coated, delivering excellent images in a low-light environment. The proprietary Athlon XPL coating keeps dust and grime from scratching the surface.
Argos is a First Focal Plane Scope with an Illuminated etched reticle for precise accuracy.
Features of the Athlon Argos 6-24×50
- Large objective lens for premium light saturation
- Argon purged for waterproof and fog proof operation
- Matte black finish
Bottom Line: Athlon has quietly become one of the premier scope builders in the world with affordable, quality constructed products.
BARSKA 3-9x32mm Plinker
Barska is a global brand with strong name recognition for outdoor sporting optics. Founded in 1994, the company offers gear for several industries, all tied together by optics.
Plinker was crafted specifically for the 22 rifle and engineered for target shooting and hunting. Barska’s Plinker is an affordable solution with plenty of options.
Fully coated glass means a crystal clear and bright image. The Plinker is waterproof, fog-proof, and durable. A 30/30 reticle makes this scope accurate beyond its price.
Features of the Barska Plinker
- One-piece tube construction
- Large 32mm objective ring
- Good Eye Relief at 3,5 inches
- Lifetime Warranty
Bottom Line: Plinker is another affordable well-equipped 22 rifle scope. Features and price make this an unbeatable combination.
Choosing The Best Rimfire Scope For Your Needs, Consider These 4 Features.
- Focal Plane: Crosshairs (reticle) can be located in two distinct locations within the scope tube. A first focal plane scope has the reticle in front of the magnification lens, while a second focal plane is behind the magnification assembly. SFP scope, the reticle appears to stay the same size no matter the magnification. FFP scopes, the reticle changes size as the magnification is changed up or down.
- Reticle: Nothing in a rifle scope has seen more technological advancement than the crosshairs. This thin piece of glass holds the key to accuracy in every scope built in the modern era.
- Turrets: Two types of turrets are featured on a quality scope, either exposed or capped. Shooters need to recognize the importance of a turret. These knobs are the direct link to your optic system.
- Power: A lot of magnification is a grand thing to have if you are hunting elk in the tundra of Alaska. (when was the last time that happened?) However, magnification is the least important feature when choosing a rifle scope for your 22 rifle. There is a reason 3×9 is the most popular setting.