Best Rimfire Scopes – Top 5 22lr Rifle Scopes for 2020


The rimfire name comes from the type of ammunition that is used with the rifle. The firing pin strikes the bottom of the cartridge on an are the resembles a ring, this ignites the primer and fires the bullet.

The first rimfire cartridges where .22s, thus the name rimfire rifle. Soon after many other larger caliber cartridges where created in the 19th century. The design of the rimfire cartridge has basically remained the same since 1845.

There is much debate between rimfire vs centerfire rifles, but because of the nature of this review we will focus on the benefits of the .22lr’s

best rimfire scope for 22lr

The beauty of this rifle is that it is that it uses one of the cheapest ammunitions out there. Making it one of the best for hours on end of target practice.

The nature of their design carries very little recoil and muzzle blast t which makes them a great option for new shooters as well. 

As avid hunters there is no biggest thrill than the hunt, and this rifle is one of the most fun ones for small game or pest control.

Even though range might be limited at times, a great scope will make the hunt or practice that much more fun.

With a good scope you will be able to maximize your rifles range and accuracy. Therefore, pairing your rifle with the right scope should be a priority in order to make the most out of it. A .22lr is accurate up to 200 yards.

Because of the short range of the rifle, ultra high magnification on the scope is not really needed.

Top 5 22lr Rifle Scopes for 2020

Image Source: Adobe Stock

Magnification and Range


As previously discussed, you will not need a magnification for anything that is beyond 200 yards.

Here are our recommendations based on range:

Less than 50 yards:
1 to 4x magnification

50 to 100 yards:
4 to 7x magnification (Best for pest control and small game)

More than 100 yards:
7 to 9x magnification

Top 5 Scope List


Below you will find some of the top rimfire scopes that we have carefully reviewed and analyzed for you to make a better decision on your selection.

We have ordered the scoped from the most expensive to the best budget friendly option with some of the best reviews on the market.

Scope Image

Scope

Price

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope

Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II

Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II 3-9X40 BDC150

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rimfire

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire – V-Plex MOA

Bushnell Banner Dusk

Bushnell 614124 Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Adjustable Objective Riflescope, 4-12X 40mm (Best Budget)

Simmons 511039 3 - 9 x 32mm .22 Mag Matte Black Riflescope

Simmons 511039 3 - 9 x 32mm .22 Mag(R) Matte Black Riflescope (cheapest and best rated)

Top 5  Scopes for your 22lr - In-Depth Reviews


1. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope-Reticle View

This brand makes some of the world’s best optics in its class. It’s no wonder we find them in our number one spot.

If you are serious about hunting and want the best of the best for your rifle, you have just found an amazing option.

This brand offers pristine optics, rugged durability and accuracy, Leupold just DELIVERS!

The VX Freedom was designed for the shooter who wants to get a little more distance out of his rifle. This scope delivers outstanding performance for mid to long range distance.

Excellent for the 60 yards range this scopes lands on the sweet spot of our preference. It uses and MOA that will take your plinking to a whole new level. The parallax is adjusted for 60 yards.

We love how the power selector is easy to grip which makes changing magnifications a breeze. Some of the cheaper brands make this chore a little painful and a waste of time that could be better used shooting.

The ruggedness of this scope is also something to be in awe with. Leupold sumbits this scope to over 5,000 impacts in a simulation machine which has a recoil 3X greater than a .308. You can only image how this bad boy will outperform anything out there.

Another feature that we love about this scope is the absolute waterproof and fogproof integrity it has. Making it ready to perform in any condition.

Ever gone shooting during twilight hours? This scope allows you to see more in less light. It adds up to 10 extra minutes of shooting light and it eliminates up to 80% glare-producing stray light than other competitors.

We cannot say enough about the durability of this scope and how much of a joy it is to use it. The lens clarity and scratch resistance make this scope one of our favorites.

PROS

  • Easy-To-Grip Power Selector
  • Rimfire Parallax
  • Ultra-Lightweight Design
  • 3:1 Zoom Ratio
  • Twilight Light Management System

CONS

  • A little expensive

2. Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II 3-9X40 BDC150

Second on our list is one of our favorites. Nikon offers top of the line optics at a medium entry price which makes it an amazing scope for beginners all the way to long range shooters.

The optics in this scope cover medium range and long range of a 22lr.

From 50 yards all the way to 100+ yards, the reticle in this scope allows shooters to compensate for bullet drop at extended shooting distances.

The BDC 150 reticle was specifically designed for rimfire. It offers uniquely designed ballistic circles which are great for long distance shooting but also offer optimal clarity for short range where the crosshairs are the aiming points.

The multicoated optics on this scope that contain anti-reflective compounds makes seeing images in bright vivid color and HD quality like features.

Just as the Leupold optics this coating make optimum light transmission when shooting during low light environments such as dawn or dusk.

When It comes to adjustment features, Nikon has made this almost automatic. When sighting in you rifle you can easily go back to zero by lifting the spring-loaded adjustment knob that will go back to “ZERO”.

Ruggedness is also a plus on the scope. Even though it only weighs 13.1 ounces it has waterproof and shockproof features as it’s more expensive counterparts.

Finally, the eye relief on this bad boy keeps on giving all day every day. It has a generous gap of 3.6in.

PROS

  • Fully designed for rimfire
  • Specially coated optics
  • Waterproof and fogproof
  • Low light transmission

CONS

  • Not as good for under 50yds

3. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire – V-Plex MOA

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rimfire-Details
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rimfire-Reticle View
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rimfire

Vortex is an optics company that is taking other scope companies a run for their money. They are designing and manufacturing high quality pieces at very accessible prices.

At a medium entry level price this scope offers some of the best quality features of other higher end models. This is outstanding as the craftmanship on the Crossfire II 2-7×32 comes from a single piece of machines aircraft-grade aluminum which gives military specs durability and makes it shockproof as well.

The finish on the Crossfire II 2-7×32 has what the company calls ArmorTek ®, which is an ultra-hard, scratch resistant coating that protects the lenses from scratches oils and dirt.

Just as the higher end counterparts the Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire comes with multicoated optics that allow for low light transmission and has good anti-reflective features.

The V-Plex MOA reticle has incredible accuracy and is intended for a wide variety of hunting applications. The second focal plane on this piece makes sure the holdover and wind drift correction are accurate at the highest magnification.

Another great feature of this scope is that the company has also created multiple accessions for it which makes it quite versatile.

The scope also includes or comes with nice reticle covers.

Finally, the Crossfire II 2-7×32 has a pretty good eye relief at 3.6in and the parallax is set to 50yds. After sighting in, the gun can shoot 1/2" groups @ 50 yards consistently.

It’s a no frills hunting scope that’s warrantied for life what more can you ask for??

PROS

  • Multicoat lenses
  • Long eye relief
  • Quality manufacturing

CONS

  • Medium reticle focus

4. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Adjustable Objective Riflescope, 4-12X 40mm (Best Budget)

Bushnell Banner Dusk

 At a very affordable price Bushnell brings in an amazing deal for any rimfire rifle. This company has been in business for many years in the optics world and offers great warranty and quality on their products.

 The simplicity of this scope is what makes it a great addition form your .22lr. Build and quality are there and will not let you wish for more.

 The Bushnell Banner Dusk is good for long range shooting and features a Mutli-X reticle which gives the old classic view.

 All the optics are fully multi coated which gives you anti-reflective properties like the previous counterparts.

It also features argon purged fog proof optics which makes it great for all types weather and ambient temperature.

Eye relief is sits at about 3.3in which is not bad at all.

Magnification is awesome and for the price it is not a bad deal.

One thing that needs to be disclosed is that the magnification seems to be backwards. Typically the 4 would be farthest to the left and 12 farthest to the right and you would turn counterclockwise to zoom in, this is the exact opposite.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Adjustable Objective
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Reverse adjustments.

5. Simmons 3 - 9 x 32mm .22 Mag(R) Matte Black Riflescope (cheapest and best rated)

Simmons 511039 3 - 9 x 32mm .22 Mag Matte Black Riflescope-Details
Simmons 511039 3 - 9 x 32mm .22 Mag Matte Black Riflescope-Reticle View
Simmons 511039 3 - 9 x 32mm .22 Mag Matte Black Riflescope

Alright, now let's talk dirt cheap rifle scope for the money.

Simmons brings into the house of the best entry level scopes into the 22lr rifle family. It is a very durable scope that contains all the basics necessary to start plinking or doing pest control.

The Simmons 3 - 9 x 32mm .22 Mag offers something the company calls QTA™ (Quick Target Acquisition) eyepiece which gives you plenty of eye relief which makes acquiring targets a breeze.

Another nice feature of this dandy scope are the nicely knurled adjustment mount knobs on the mounting structure. This makes it quickly adjustable even when wearing gloves.

Parallax comes factory set at 50yds.

Simmon also offers Hydro Shield lens which give you a good quality picture through the lenses.

Something to notice about the scope is that the rings that come with the scope are not compatible with OEM Rugger rail and new ones should be purchased if you have own one.

Finally, the scope is well made in comparison to its higher end counterparts. It is clear with only a slight bit of distortion at max power align the far edges of the FOV.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Great starter scope
  • Fast mounting

CONS

  • Distortion on edges of FOV

Conclusion

At the end of the day, your decision on choosing a scope will vary depending on the use it is intended for. With all the brands, technology and advancement out there the possibilities might be endless. So, here are a few tips on how to make your decision a little bit easier.

  • How durable to you want the scope to be, and will this be your last scope? I’d go with the Nikon Prostaff.
  • You are just starting out, and have a tight budget. I would pick the Bushnell Banner.

Finally, I would keep the lenses below 40mm, as I feel they are to bulky for this type of rifle. Keep it light, agile and durable!