A girl hunting with a rile and scope.

10 Best Rimfire (.22LR) Scopes in 2021 – Tested & Reviewed

10 Best Rimfire (.22LR) Scopes in 2021 – Tested & Reviewed

Table of Contents

    When you’re going out to hunt, or just picking up your rifle to pop some distance targets in the back yard, you’re going to want a scope. Scopes are amazing little pieces of simple technology. Some of them are just two pieces of glass fitted into a piece of cheap aluminum, but if you find a good one you’re going to be practically drowning in versatility.

    A good scope increases your performance in low-light conditions by expanding the amount of light directed towards your eyes, and magnifies your surroundings in a crisp resolution with anti-glare lenses, and turns your 22lr rifle into a tool you can be proud to call your own.

    If you’re having trouble sorting through all of the scopes out there on Amazon, we can help you out. After a while, all of the options start to blend together. Do you want the argon or the nitrogen? Does that even matter?

    Clear your mind, imagine your perfect scope, and we’ll dig it up for you!

    In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

    Overview
    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
    Title
    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
    Price
    $309.95
    Rating
    Overview
    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
    Title
    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
    Price
    $309.95
    Rating

    10 Best Rimfire (.22LR) Scopes

    Overview
    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
    Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Riflescope, Rimfire MOA Reticle, Matte Finish
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II Dead Hold BDC Reticle Riflescope, 3-9x40, Black (CF2-31007)
    Bushnell AR Optics, 1-4x24 Drop Zone Optics
    Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope (4X32, Matte) with Rings
    Title
    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
    Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Riflescope, Rimfire MOA Reticle, Matte Finish
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II Dead Hold BDC Reticle Riflescope, 3-9x40, Black (CF2-31007)
    Bushnell AR Optics, 1-4x24 Drop Zone Optics
    Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope (4X32, Matte) with Rings
    Price
    $309.95
    $299.99
    $149.00
    $149.49
    $31.74
    Rating
    Overview
    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
    Title
    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
    Price
    $309.95
    Rating
    Overview
    Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Riflescope, Rimfire MOA Reticle, Matte Finish
    Title
    Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Riflescope, Rimfire MOA Reticle, Matte Finish
    Price
    $299.99
    Rating
    Overview
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II Dead Hold BDC Reticle Riflescope, 3-9x40, Black (CF2-31007)
    Title
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II Dead Hold BDC Reticle Riflescope, 3-9x40, Black (CF2-31007)
    Price
    $149.00
    Rating
    Overview
    Bushnell AR Optics, 1-4x24 Drop Zone Optics
    Title
    Bushnell AR Optics, 1-4x24 Drop Zone Optics
    Price
    $149.49
    Rating
    Overview
    Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope (4X32, Matte) with Rings
    Title
    Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope (4X32, Matte) with Rings
    Price
    $31.74
    Rating

    1. Leupold VX Freedom 27-33 mm

    Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Riflescope, Rimfire MOA Reticle, Matte Finish
    47 Reviews
    Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Riflescope, Rimfire MOA Reticle, Matte Finish
    • Repeatable 1/4 MOA precision finger clicks offer intuitive, simple adjustment over a lifetime of dependable use

    The Leupold VX is what you’d call an old reliable. Looking through this scope you’ll be greeted by your standard duplex reticle. This model comes with Leupold’s classic 1962 design. It’s stood the test of time for a reason. The thick outer ring of this reticle is easy to focus your eye on as soon as you pull the scope to your eye, and the thin wire-like crosshairs are delicate yet assertive enough to allow for long-range target acquisition. It comes with a finger click ¼ MOA for simple and intuitive adjustments. You’re not going to be fussing with fine-tuning the zoom with this one. The Leupold is designed to reduce your time spent lining up the shot, letting you focus on your timing. 

    It’s light and sturdy because it’s made from aircraft-grade aluminum, so when you add it to your favorite rifle you’re not going to find yourself having to readjust to the new weight too much. Like we said, reliable. Finding accessories for the Leupold is as easy and being familiar with the Leupold catalog. If you know what you’re looking for, you’ll find it, and it’ll fit. Need a flip-up cap? No problem. This is the kind of scope you buy once and may never need to replace.

    PROS

    • American made
    • Reliable and simple to use
    • Waterproof and fog proof 

    CONS

    • A little simple, if you’re looking for higher performance from your scopes

    2Nikon P-tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600

    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
    414 Reviews
    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
    • The BDC 600 reticle offers Shooters unique open circle aiming points and hash marks from 100 to 600 yards

    The Nikon P-tactical scope is sleek on the outside, and robust on the inside. If you’re going hunting, and you want distance clearly laid out for you so you can account for bullet drop and windage, then this is the scope for you. The BDC 600 reticle is one of the most unique reticles out there. The open circle aiming points leave nothing obscured from your view, and the hash marks from 100  to 600 yards make accuracy an easy target the very first time you take your shot. 

    The one-inch body tube is easy to handle, if you’re sick of cumbersome scopes, then look no further than this Nikon scope. It’s built with elevated windage and elevation turrets that are spring-loaded so you can compensate for everything you can think of without having to wrestle with your brain, and as soon as you’re done you can reset the scope with a simple press. 

    It’s easy on the eyes in every sense. This is a sleek looking scope, and it offers constant and generous eye relief. You can stay out there all day without worrying about straining your peepers or constantly having to switch back and forth between your good eye and your well-rested eye.

    PROS

    • Sleek
    • Easy to use, lots of assistance for lining up the perfect shot
    • Waterproof, fog proof and shockproof

    CONS

    • This scope weighs in at over a pound

    3Vortex Optics Crossfire II v-plex

    Vortex Optics Crossfire II Dead Hold BDC Reticle Riflescope, 3-9x40, Black (CF2-31007)
    3,379 Reviews
    Vortex Optics Crossfire II Dead Hold BDC Reticle Riflescope, 3-9x40, Black (CF2-31007)
    • The 3-9x40 Crossfire II riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for hunting/shooting at varying ranges where estimating holdover is a...

    The Vortex Optics Crossfire comes with the Vortex Dead-Hold reticle. The hash marks here make accounting for distance easy without cluttering your field of view. The eye relief here is ample as well, so you’re not going to be straining with a lens that’s right on your face. 

    The lenses here are treated with an anti-reflective coating, so no matter what angle you find yourself shotting from, you’re not going to have to fight tooth and nail with the sun, so find your favorite spot, and settle in for the long haul knowing you’re not suddenly going to find yourself blinded by nature. 

    The turrets on this scope are capped nicely, so if you’ve got it packed away in a bag, you’re not going to be scratching things up. These capped turrets have a nice click to them so adjustments are easy and predictable without having to take your eye away from the scope. 

    The inside of the scope has been purged with nitrogen and sealed up tight with a quality o-ring to give you long-lasting waterproof and fog-proof performance. 

    PROS

    • Water and fog proof
    • The anti-reflective coating makes for clear sight at any time of the day

    CONS

    • Weighing in at almost one and a half pounds, this scope is a touch on the heavy side
    • Doesn’t come with a flip-up cover

    4. Bushnell AR Optics

    Sale
    Bushnell AR Optics, 1-4x24 Drop Zone Optics
    230 Reviews
    Bushnell AR Optics, 1-4x24 Drop Zone Optics
    • Fully multi coated - multiple layers of anti-reflective coating on all air-to-glass surfaces deliver bright, high-contrast images.

    The AR Optics from Bushnell is heavy, but every ounce of that weight is well earned. First of all, it’s heavy-duty. It’s built to take a beating (not that you should be beating it around), all of the time you’re spending with it out in the field you’re bound to drop it or bang it up against something, but this bad boy is the definition of shockproof. If you don’t believe us, toss it around for a while, and you’ll be pretty surprised by how well it holds up. 

    The lenses are fully treated, we’re talking rain guard as well as multiple layers of anti-reflective coating. On the second focal plane we’ll find a modest, but helpful reticle. The hash marks here are a quartet of tasteful unobtrusive dots that disappear into the rest of the reticle if you don’t find yourself needing to use them. If you do, however, need to make a tricky precise shot, you’ve got side parallax adjustments that are easily accessible and easy to fine-tune.

    This scope also features a throw-down power change lever for another layer of customization, allowing you to set the scope to two different heights, so you’re never really going to have a bad time with this scope.

    PROS

    • Chock full of features
    • Well worth the weight

    CONS

    • A very heavy scope

    5. Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope

    The first thing you’ll notice about the Simmons Truplex is the way it looks. This is a simple scope that draws you in without having to be too flashy about it. The red accent around the turret on top is an excellent touch.

    The second thing that you’ll notice about this scope is its four-inch deep eye relief. This is an amazing distance for quick target acquisition. Four inches from your eye is such a nice and natural distance for your eye to focus on. You could stare through this all day without tiring your eyes out even a little bit. The Trueplex reticle is nothing to write home about, but simple is best, sometimes. You’re not going to be getting any distance hashes, but if you’re pretty experienced and you’re looking for a simple scope that will allow you to draw and fire without having to fiddle with a bunch of junk, then you’ll be in good company with this scope. 

    The lenses are treated with their Hydryshield coating so if you’re caught out in the rain you’ll be good to go. The entire scope is also waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof, so it’ll keep up with you no matter how rough you are.

    PROS

    • Generous 4-inch eye relief 
    • Sleek design
    • Light and simple to use 
    • Rubber surfaces make for easy grips when wet

    CONS

    • Adjustable turrets are a little more awkward to use than scopes with a similar design

    6. Monstrum 3-9x40 Rifle Scope with AO Adjustable Objective | with Ruger 10/22 Dual Ring Scope Mount

    The Monstrum rifle scope looks the part. This is a rugged piece of equipment. For all of its visual bluster, It manages to keep its weight underneath a pound, which is great considering how versatile this scope is, and the durability is excellent. 

    The adjustable 3-9 times zoom will have you easily peering at targets around five hundred yards away. You read that right, we’re talking five football field’s worth of clarity and precision. The adjustable objective lens eliminates parallax and range estimation if that’s something you struggle with when you’re lining up distant shots or just don’t have to have to deal with them. 

    It’s machined from 6061-grade aluminum, it’s unified one-piece mount design is how it achieves such a light weight while retaining its rigidity, and a detachable throw lever allows for smooth adjustment of the magnification range. That throw lever is also an easy way to shed a little weight on this scope.

    PROS

    • Lighter than it looks
    • Built specifically for the Ruger 10/22 platform, so if you’re shopping around for that, then this will fit like a dream
    • Nice 3 inch eyepiece relief 
    • Nitrogen sealed, shock, water, and fog proof 

    CONS

    • If you’re looking for a scope that’s not built for that specific mount, consider looking elsewhere 

    7. Nikon Prostaff P3 Predator Hunter BDC Predator Riflescope

    The Nikon Prostaff is similar to the P-tactical. It’s easy to handle, deceptively simple, and machined to give you an easy time out in the woods. The slender airplane grade aluminum is rugged, so you’re going to be getting your money’s worth out of this thing. 

    The lenses are treated and water and fog proof. The eye relief is a cool 3 inches consistently, meaning you’re always going to be able to pop this scope up to your eye without having to try too hard to find a focal point. It has similar zero-reset turrets and satisfying ¼ MOA adjustments. The BDC reticle is easy to use, especially if you’ve got an active target in your sights.

    PROS

    • Forgiving active target BDC reticle
    • Similar to the Nikon P-tactical if you’re looking for a pared-down scope with most of the same features
    • Sleek and easy to handle

    CONS

    • Similar to another scope by the same brand, so you may be left feeling like you missed out

    8. Athlon Optics Neos 3-9x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

    Athlon Optics prides itself on creating affordable scopes that exceed the quality you’d expect from similar competitors in its price range. Strapping this scope to your rifle for the first time will leave you thinking you accidentally received a much more expensive model.

    The build quality is excellent and the clear well-machined lenses are treated multi-coated just like lenses on pricier scopes, so you’re not going to have to worry about being blinded by the sun or missing out on a great hunt just because the rain started rolling in. The scope is purged with nitrogen just like more expensive scopes, keeping internal moisture low and preventing it from fogging up on the inside. 

    Just treat this scope with respect and don’t expect it to keep up with the absolute top of the line highest caliber rifles, and you’re going to have a blast with this scope.

    PROS

    • Reticle is unobtrusive
    • Straightforward and rugged-looking design
    • Great quality for the price point

    CONS

    • Struggles on higher caliber rifles 

    9. Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, Illuminated APMR MIL Reticle

    Sale
    Athlon Optics , Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, Illuminated APMR MIL Reticle,
    536 Reviews
    Athlon Optics , Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, Illuminated APMR MIL Reticle,
    • First focal plane reticle stays valid at all power settings allowing you to fully utilize the specially designed reticle that shrinks or grows along with your target as you zoom in or out.

    The illuminated reticle on this scope pulls a fun little magic trick. It’s situated on the first focal plane, unlike a lot of other reticles, but it remains accurate throughout all of the several magnification settings this scope offers. Sighting with this scope is great for small game hunting and target shooting alike.

    This scope is incredibly sturdy. It’s built with 6061T6 aircraft-grade aluminum, and purged, not with nitrogen, but with argon. You’re going to be dealing with even less moisture and even more impact resistance than you’ll see on most scopes out on the market right now. The lenses on this scope even come coated in their proprietary XPL coating to repel dirt as well as water. 

    PROS

    • The illuminated reticle is a nice touch
    • Clear sight picture
    • Great for any kind of ammo or caliber
    • The reticle on the first plane grows and shrinks according to your zoom level

    CONS

    • All of these features don’t come cheap

    10. Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope

    Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope (3-9X32, Silver)
    263 Reviews
    Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope (3-9X32, Silver)
    • One-piece tube construction for lighter handling, greater strength and durability

    This scope might stick out to you. All of the other scopes on this list are black. This silver scope is just too good to exempt from our list. It’s a light single piece tube that’s easy to handle, and it looks great with any rifle you can throw at it. The silver color doesn’t mean it’s going to be slick and unwieldy, though. This scope has sure-grip rubber surfaces, so you’re not going to be slipping and sliding all over the scope while adjusting for your shot. 

    The lenses are fully coated and clear as day. The field of view is grand, and the TruPlex reticle leaves your eyes unobstructed while you scan the horizon. 

    This is a simple scope, but it does all of its jobs well. If you’re looking for something nice to add to your rifle without having too many options bogging down your shot, this scope will fit your needs just right. 

    PROS

    • Looks great
    • Easy to use

    CONS

    • The reticle may shift if you’re too rough with it

    Our Winner

    Overview
    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
    Title
    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
    Price
    $309.95
    Rating
    Overview
    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
    Title
    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
    Price
    $309.95
    Rating

    Nikon has spent decades figuring out how to master any kind of shot whether it’s with a rimfire rifle or a camera. They’ve taken the lenses in their cameras and all of the impossible intricacies you need to master bending light, and packed it into a scope that’s comfortable, simple, and gets the job done right

    The Nikon P-tactical scope wins our number one spot for that alone, but the incredibly clear lenses grant incredible light transmission, and easy to use turrets help as well. If you’re plinking off varmints in the distance or trying to nail some big game, the quality of life in this high-quality scope will reduce the friction between you and the perfect shot. This rimfire scope might be a touch on the heavy side, but it’s lighter than a lot of scopes with similar offerings, and the weight isn’t wasted anywhere on the scope. It’s useful and precise, and you’ll love adding it to your collection. Frankly, it’s the best scope for your money. 

    Bonus tip: Learn how to (and how not to) use a bullet drop compensation scope with this video!

    In
    Click to rate this post!
    [Total: 1 Average: 5]

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.

    Click to rate this post!
    [Total: 1 Average: 5]