Top 10 Best .22 Rifle Scope 2018: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
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.
Magnification & OL
Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)
Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)
32.4-11.3 feet/ 100 yards
Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16x42 Riflescope
Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA)
23.8-6.1 feet/100 yards
Burris Optics Fullfield TAC30 Riflescope 1-4x24mm with FastFire 3
1-4 x 24
100 low – 32 high (ft. @ 100 yds.)
Nikon ProStaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle
4-12 x 40
7.9 - 23.6 ft @ 100 yds
Vortex Diamondback 2-7x35 Review
64.3-19.3 feet/100 yards
Leupold fx-ii Scout Rifle scope 2.5 x28mm
22-7.30 (ft/100 yd)
Barska 3-9x32 Plinker-22 Riflescope Review
36-foot at 3X/13-foot at 9X(@100 yds)
UTG 3-9X32 1 BugBuster Scope Review
37.7' - 14'(@ 100 yards)
Simmons 22 MAG 3-9x32 Rifle Scope Review
(ft. @ 100 yds): 31.4/10.5
Primary Arms Micro Red Dot Sight
2 MOA Dot
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that the scope is well-within your purchasing power.
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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