Top 10 Best .22 Rifle Scope 2018: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Best .22 Rifle Scope

When people think guns, they often think that bigger is better. However, the .22 long rifle is a large counterpoint to that belief. It is known as one of the most popular rifles all over the world, while firing smaller rounds at slower speeds than its competition. 

However, many sportsmen and hunters swear by it. If you have one yourself, you’ll want to get the Best .22 Rifle Scope out there to further enhance your shooting experience. 

Developed well over a century ago, the .22 Long Rifle (5.6x15mmR) is one of the most popular and beloved cartridges ever made. This fairly affordable and accurate round is chambered in every firearm we know, from concealed deadly weapons in the form of pens or mobile phones through handguns to suppressed sniper rifles.

For this occasion, we have prepared an overview biased toward popular brand-name products with the accent on small game hunters and target shooters, because the energy potential of .22LR is ideal for pest control and small game.

Most of the gun authorities would agree that .22 LR is effective up to 50-70 yards for wiping out small varmints. However, when you complement your rimfire gun with a good scope, the limits of the .22LR's accurate shooting would be raised to the about 150 yards distance.

People love it mostly for its flexibility. Depending on the part of the world you’re asking the question, you can be answered that the .22 rifle is used for self-defense, pest control, hunting, competition shooting, and as an emergency survival tool. 

For hunters and competition shooters, having an accurate .22 rifle is a paramount concern. You might miss that deer or lose out on points on the field. This is why adding a scope would be a great move.

Name

Magnification & OL

Reticle

FOV

Price

Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Riflescope

4-12x40

Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)

32.4-11.3 feet/ 100 yards

Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16x42 Riflescope

4-16x42

Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)

23.8-6.1 feet/100 yards

Burris Fullfield TAC30 Riflescope 1-4x24mm

1-4 x 24

Ballistic CQ™

100 low – 32 high (ft. @ 100 yds.)

Nikon ProStaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle

4-12 x 40

BDC Reticle

7.9 - 23.6 ft @ 100 yds

Vortex Diamondback 2-7x35 Review

2-7x35

VPlex Reticle

64.3-19.3 feet/100 yards

Leupold fx-ii Scout Rifle scope 2.5 x28mm

2.5x28

Duplex Reticle

22-7.30 (ft/100 yd)

Barska 3-9x32 Plinker-22 Riflescope Review

3-9x32

30/30 reticle

36-foot at 3X/13-foot at 9X(@100 yds)

UTG 3-9X32 1 BugBuster Scope Review

3-9X32

RGB Mil-dot

37.7' - 14'(@ 100 yards)

Simmons 22 MAG 3-9x32 Rifle Scope Review

3-9x32

Truplex Reticle

(ft. @ 100 yds): 31.4/10.5

Primary Arms Micro Red Dot Sight

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2 MOA Dot

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10 Best scopes for .22 rifle Reviews

Knowing the basics of what you should look for in a .22 rifle scope, let’s check out some of the best available right now. There are several rifle scopes that consistently perform well and are favorites of many buyers. 

They’re not perfect and different rifles will require different scopes. However, this short overview of what they’re capable of should give you a good idea of what you should compare your potential purchases against.

Read up on the seven following scopes and check them out individually if you want to learn more. With a simple check you should be able to ensure that you get a scope that fits your rifle best.

Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)

Score: 4.8  Andrew Garfield

The Vortex Optics Diamondback series are one class bellow Viper or Razor HD models but very comparable with VX-II Leupold riflescopes. 

The Diamondback scopes are a perfect match for varmint hunters because of their large field of view (32.4-11.3 feet at 100 yds.) and high magnification range.

As one of the best .22 Long Rifle scopes, the Vortex 4-12x40 with a magnification of 4-12x and parallax fixed at 100 yards is an impressive tool for medium range hunting and long-range shooting.

While the budget-minded hunters are satisfied with an objective lens of 32mm, the Vortex Diamondback offers 40mm objective bell large enough to provide sufficient amount of light.

Features:

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    The Diamondback has a 1" central tube machined of single piece 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum. Though initially meant for smaller .22 calibers, all durability tests confirmed that it would withstand the most powerful magnum rifles. While the body is argon purged for fogproof performance, the whole scope is sealed and watertight, and all lenses surfaces are multi-coated to prevent scratches. 
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    As an ideal match for hunters, the Diamondback features a customized Dead-hold BDC reticle positioned in SFP (Second Focal Plane). Being not too busy, equipped with dot design, the plain Dead-hold BDC reticle helps eliminate guesswork on holdover and windage corrections.
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    The turrets are caped and boast ¼ MOA adjustment graduation with positive, audible clicks. The adjustable knobs paired with an impressive 60 MOA windage and elevation travel make it perfect for long range hunting.
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    However, the reticles in Diamondback series of scopes are not illuminated limiting this scope for hunting and shooting at daylight.

-  The only negative for this scope could be the short eye relief. While the standard riflescope eye relief is 4 inches, the Diamondback has 3.4" at minimum magnification and only 3.1" at max power.

The Diamondback riflescope incorporates a lot of features typical for the higher priced .22 riflescopes with performances that will suit both beginner and experienced hunter.

Since .22LR ammunition generates low recoil, the sensitive eye relief at higher power level is not objectionable once you get used to it.

Vortex Optics Diamondback HP

Score: 4.8  Andrew Garfield

One of the latest addition to the Vortex`s line of optic devices is Diamondback HP (High Performance) 4-16x42 riflescope.

The Diamondback riflescopes are well known for its fully multi-coated optics that provide excellent resolution, bright image and color fidelity, but the High-Performance lineup as the next generation of this Vortex family features improved optical coatings and increase light transmission for optimal brightness in low light conditions.

In other words, this face-lift of popular Diamondback line offers the extra-low dispersion (XD) glass lens elements with fluorite crystals and Vortex’s patented XR proprietary anti-reflective coatings.

Features:

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    Furthermore, the HP versions, unlike former Diamondbacks 3.1”-3.4” short eye relief, come with a standard eye relief of four inches. Measuring in length 12.5 inches and weighing 18 ounces the 4-16X42 riflescope is the biggest one of the entire HP Diamondback series.
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    With 4x time zoom range, this HP scope possesses a parallax correction, which is easily accessible via side placed knob that can be adjusted from 30 yards to infinity. The capped turrets allow windage and elevation adjustments up to generous 80 MOA for using this high power scope for long-range shots. While the adjustments result in positive clicking turns they do not make audible clicks.
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    The Diamondback HP line sports DEAD-Hold BDC 2nd Focal Plane Location reticle that involves the estimation of holdover at different ranges and provides corrections for the impact of prevailing winds.
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    The lens and precision glide erector system are housed in a body that is made of 1"- diameter aircraft-grade aluminum tube. The single-piece tube is externally hard-anodized and purged with Argon gas and secured with O-ring seals for superior fog - and waterproof performance.

-  The most common remarks are related to a poor light transmission at maximum power and too thin BDC reticle in low light.

-  Because of uneven quality control, customers can sometimes come across at defective items and issues with inability to sight Diamondback scopes in or keep zero.

Like the rest of the Diamondback family, these one-inch tube diameter riflescopes can be mounted easily with 1-inch medium rings on any .22 rifle. 

Anyway, the Vortex Diamondback HP series coming at under $400 is a viable option and perfect match as .22 rifle scope for relatively inexpensive rimfire rifles.

Burris Optics Fullfield TAC30 Riflescope 1-4x24mm with FastFire 3

Score: 4.6  Andrew Garfield

For the end, we left one very interesting optic combination from the renowned leader in the riflescope market, the US manufacturer - Burris optics. The Fullfield TAC30 Riflescope 1-4x24mm with FastFire 3 is the entry level of Burris riflescopes for tactical and hunting use.

This compact variable scope is built around rugged 30mm main tube machined from the aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum with weight from 25% to even 50% less than many other competitors in their class.

Every detail of this scope gives the feel of ruggedness and endurance, meaning that Fullfield is capable of withstanding the adverse weather conditions as well as the rigours of tactical work and harsh hunting environment.

According to this, the one-piece outer tube is moisture-purged and injected with nitrogen for waterproof and fog proof use at low temperatures.

Features:

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    In addition, the low profile TAC-2 knobs (Tactical Adjustment Knobs) are capped for more protection against accidentally bumps or movement. Burris advanced windage and elevation system offer 130 MOA adjustments with audible and positive clicks ensuring unfailing repeatable accuracy.
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    The Fullfield TAC30 as a versatile scope features 3.1" - 3.8" eye relief paired with 1x 4-magnification power. This combo is equally good for point-blank, both-eyes-open firing and for shooting at mid-distance targets. In other words, this outstanding optics will turn on your .22 rimfire rifle into a deadly piece of equipment for efficient hunting and precision shooting from 3 yards to 200 yards.
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    Superb Burris glass system features multi-coated HiLume coatings for maximum low-light and performance and clear and bright images.
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    The riflescope boasts Ballistic CQ reticle that allows rapid engagement of close-quarters targets. Furthermore, a Second Focal Plane reticle provides aim points for 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 yards for .223/5.56 caliber ammunition.
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    As a bonus, lighted reticle features 10-illumination levels appropriate for all lighting conditions.
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    This combination comes with an excellent supplement, FastFire III red dot sight mounted with the 1" rings on top of TAC30. This setup allows shooters to stay in the ready fire position without the need for a 45° offset mount. FF3 is an improved FastFire II with variable brightness settings, top mounted battery compartment and upgraded windage and elevation adjustments.

-  As a mid-priced optic Burris Fullfield TAC30, the scope has some drawbacks such as difficult to turn on/off illumination and hardly noticeable illuminated reticle in bright sunlight conditions.

The package from Burris includes a perfect combination of magnification and sturdiness, though for more experienced users the red dot over the low powered riflescope is an unnecessary piece of equipment.

Actually, FF III doubles the performance of the scope since when it is on 1x power Fullfield works like a red dot sight as you shoot both eyes open and aim with the circle

Nikon ProStaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle

Score: 4.6  Andrew Garfield

What is really noticeable about the Nikon ProStaff Rimfire scope is its powerful and varied magnification range. Starting with 4x magnification, it goes all the way up to 12x. That’s a pretty powerful and varied range for a .22 long rifle. 

This will ensure that any shot you take will be as easy as the others, no matter what the distance. This is helped along by the fact that it uses a BDC reticle for aiming. 

Moving from one level of magnification to another is easy thanks to the ¼ minute of angle when adjusting the scope. It also helps that the lens is multi-coated, allowing it to operate in a variety of environments. 

With its 98% light transmission, visibility will not go down from dawn to dusk. If you’re hunting, this scope is a great help. Even the smallest varmint will have to be wary with this in your arms.

Pros

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    Increased accuracy in your fire grouping at any distance thanks to the BDC reticle.
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    Nikon’s brand performance shines through in a solid product.

Cons

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    It can be hard to adapt to it for some time, but you can get the hang of it after some shooting practice.
Vortex Diamondback 2-7x35 Review

Score: 4.5  Andrew Garfield

The Diamondback is an impressive rimfire rifle scope for your .22 long rifle. It has a good spread of magnification starting from 2x to 7x. The 35mm lens is also great for providing you with a very clear look at your target. 

This is combined with the argon purging process done for the scope and multicoating done on the lens. The result is a scope that is both waterproof and fogproof.

Even the body of the scope is tough. It is made of a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum. This makes it pretty hard to damage and can resist even the most powerful recoil that your rifle can throw at it.

Unfortunately, it has a pretty basic reticle, though you can opt to upgrade and get the version with a BDC reticle. You may also need to do some adjusting for the scope to fit perfectly.

Pros

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    Very tough single-piece body made of aluminum ensures it will function in a most environments.
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    Fine adjustments can be made to the scope so that you get the right level of sighting that you want.

Cons

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    The turret screws will need a bit of adjustment the first time around and they are a bit tight.
Leupold fx-ii Scout Rifle scope 2.5 x28mm

Score: 5  Andrew Garfield

The Leupold brand is a very well-known one and all of their products bear their stamp of quality. The FX-II is a prime example of what they can do. This rifle scope is ready to take a beating and function all the way.

For .22 long rifle users, this scope is pretty much for those who like hunting and shooting. The  super-long eye-relief allows you to just put up the rifle and shoot. Since it is more than a foot away, you can get the same level of precision on your quick shots.

The single magnification can make you hesitate, but 2.5x is powerful enough for the close-up hunting that this scope was designed for. It also helps that Leupold used the Multicoat 4 lens system on the scope so that you can have a fuller and clearer picture.

The scope itself is fog-proof and waterproof, as well as being a very tough piece of kit. This quality does not come cheap though.

Pros

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    The Leupold brand has proven itself through the years and this is an excellent example of what they can do.
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    Anti-glare and multi-coating ensure that you get a perfect look at what you’re shooting at.

Cons

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    Very expensive compared to others on the market. It can be worth it dependingon your pistol.
Barska 3-9x32 Plinker-22 Riflescope Review

Score: 4.3  Andrew Garfield

If you’re looking for an affordable scope for close-range plinking and hunting, then this Barska scope should be able to meet your needs. 

Since close range is around 100 yards, that’s still impressive – though you can push this cope to reach 300 yards easily. This scope has a decent range of magnification. It ranges from 3x to 9x, which should be enough for most purposes. 

The multi-coated optics ensures that you can clearly see whatever it is that you’re shooting. This is no problem in whatever the conditions are since it is both waterproof and fogproof. 

The scope itself is very sturdy, which is surprising considering its price point. Aimed at the avid hunter, it should be able to face a lot of the rugged conditions that most hunters face. 

The kit itself includes some necessary tools like a lens cover and some rings for supporting the scope. The lens cover works fine, but I recommend finding your own set of rings since using the included ones can disrupt your aim.

Pros

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    Really well-made considering it is China-made.
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    A good level of magnification and image clarity allows you to hit your target easily.

Cons

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    The included rings are badly designed. It would be better to find a replacement for them.
UTG 3-9X32 1 BugBuster Scope Review

Score: 4.5  Andrew Garfield

UTG’s Bug Buster scope is a pretty impressive piece of kit. First, the scope is very durable and is fulled sealed and filled with 100% nitrogen. This ensures that it can function in a wide variety of conditions and guns. 

You will always have a reliable aim when you use the Bug Buster. With its impressive 3x to 9x range of magnification, you’ll be able to see what you’re shooting at with impressive clarity. 

The mil-dot reticle helps increase your shooting accuracy greatly. It helps that it uses red and green reticle illumination which allows you to shoot even in low-light environments. 

The Bug Buster also goes the distance by providing its mil-dot reticle with nine dots on each crosshair, allowing for better distance judging. 

It has a reasonable price point, too, allowing you to have affordable access to a solid .22 scope. Unfortunately, it’s a bit small and has a short eye-relief. This will force you to try and shoot with your eyes close to the scope.

Pros

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    The scope is very durable and well-made. It should be able to handle a lot of the stresses of use.
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    It is very user-friendly, allowing for quick adjustments when necessary.

Cons

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    Low eye-relief will force you to squint into the scope when aiming.
Simmons 22 MAG 3-9x32 Rifle Scope Review

Score: 4.3  Andrew Garfield

An improvement on one of America’s most popular rimfire scopes, the 511039 adds some pretty great features. One of them is the SureGrip adjustments. 

This allows for easy adjustment of the scope even with gloves. Another great feature is the QTA eyepiece, which allows for quick target acquisition. These two features alone can make it an impressive piece of kit. 

However, it delivers more. For one, it is a Simmons scope. This means that it is very well-made in terms of durability. Added to that, the lens is very good. 

It has a range of 3x to 9x magnification and presents a great image. It starts off at a decent eye relief at 3.5 inches, but the distance does wobble around depends on the magnification. 

The lens also has a solid coating that allows it to work in all weather conditions. Combine this with a low price point and you’ve got a winner.

Pros

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    The scope is very solidly constructed and is going to last you a long time.
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    Easy sight adjustment makes it easy to see your target.

Cons

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    Eye relief changes depends on the level of magnification. You’ll want to have a cheek rest ready to move your head closer to the scope.
Primary Arms Micro Red Dot Sight

Score: 4.6  Andrew Garfield

Red-dot sights are an interesting type of scope. Instead of the normal reticle, a red LED puts up a red dot on the scope where the center of the crosshairs would normally be. 

This allows pointing and shooting quickly even without peering inside the scope. The Primary Arms Micro is a great introductory scope for this type of kit for your .22 rifle.

With over a thousand hours of battery life, you will be able to use this scope for a long time. You can adjust the red dot to operate from day time conditions to night vision compatible. 

There are no worries even about the weather – this scope is waterproof and durable enough to work in most conditions. Even the size is comfortable. 

Fitting in the palm of your hand, you can easily mount this on most rifles and remove it just as easily. At its low price point, this scope deserves a good look.

Pros

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    Red-dot sights have an infinite eye-relief range allowing you to shoot and aim even with your eyes away from the scope.
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    Very sturdily made and is just the right size.

Cons

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    Like all red-dot sights, requires power from the battery. Remember to turn it off or you’ll end up discharging it.

Finding the Best Scope for .22 Rifle: Buying Guide

However, it is easier to say that you are looking for a .22 rifle scope than actually buying one. Whether you walk into a store or browse online, there are hundreds of choices available. You’ll want to narrow down your choices.  Here are a few factors that you’ll want to consider when you’re buying a scope:

Magnification

One of the most important factors to consider is the magnification level of the scope. To find out how powerful the scope is, just read the number in front of the “x.” Most of the time rifles prominently display it. 

This is how big they magnify the image. A 2x magnification means that they double the size of the image, while 9x increases it by a factor of nine.

Being powerful does not mean that it should be your main choice. It also depends on your rifle. If your .22 rifle is meant for long rang shooting, then a 2x scope is not pushing it enough and you’re better off with something powerful. 

However, if you primarily hunt and shoot in forested areas, you won’t be seeing that far anyway so a 12x or a 32x scope is not going to be that useful.

As as rule of thumb, lower magnifications make it easier for faster and intuitive shooting, while more powerful scopes are better for aiming and deliberate shots. Variable power scopes would be a good compromise since it allows you to shift from one magnification level to another.

Size

The next thing to consider is the size of the lens. You’ll notice that most scopes list the lens size after the magnification level. The larger the lens, the more light can be transmitted through it. This means you’ll get a better and clearer image. 

However, larger lenses can make your .22 rifle clumsy to hold. Look for a balance between image clarity and ease-of-use.

Reticle

Reticles or reticules are the crosshairs that you see in the scope. There are three different types available. There is the standard duplex reticle that everyone is familiar with, a simple crosshair with nothing fancy. 

Next, there is the mil-dot reticle which has dots that help determine the size of the target. The most popular right now is the BDC or the bullet drop compensator reticle that allows for proper aiming without needing to adjust the scope.

Budget

Finally, you’ll want to ensure that the scope is well-within your purchasing power.

Conclusion

These seven are currently some of the best out there, however, there is no definite Best .22 Rifle Scope. Your rifle may work best with a scope that is not as good for others. 

However, if it’s really hard to make a choice, I’d prefer getting the Nikon ProStaff Rimfire scope. With it’s BDC reticle and powerful magnification choices, it is the most adaptable of the bunch. 

It also has a pretty reasonable price tag for all the features that it brings to the table. A close second would be the Primary Arms Micro Red Dot Sight. It is just as adaptable and is also at a reasonable price point.

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Andrew Garfield
 

Andrew is a predator. Have years of experience in hunting with a lot of expert knowledge in hunting technique, rifle, scopes and other tools of types of equipment that used for hunting.

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