When looking for the best rimfire scope in 2023, you will likely compare it to the scopes that fit the .22 Long Rifle. There’s no denying that the .22 Long Rifle is one of the most popular rounds ever designed. There are several reasons why: First, it has almost nonexistent recoil, making it perfect for introducing new people to shooting as well as target practice; secondly, it can also be bought and stored in bulk; third, it can take down practically any small game you can think of; and forth, it is relatively cheap or at least it was however prices have increased and fewer are available following the gun controls scare of 2013.
Short On Time? Here Is The Bullet List
- Rimfire Scope on a Budget: BSA Sweet .22 Rifle Scope
- Budget Magnum Rimfire Rifle Scope: Simmons Truplex Reticle Rimfire Riflescope
- Midrange Rimfire Scope: Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Rifescope
- Higher End Rimfire Scope: Nikon Prostaff Rimfire Riflescope
**Below are our more detailed reviews. Click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
.22 Long Rifle (commonly abbreviated as LR) is a type of round that we refer to as rimfire. Rimfire is a different type of round from the more widespread centerfire round in that, as the name suggests, the gun’s firing pin strikes the rim of the round in order to ignite the powder inside the casing and send the bullet flying. Centerfire rounds, on the other hand, will shoot when the gun’s firing pin strikes a primer that is its own component and ignites the powder when struck.
Is .22 LR the only kind of rimfire round? Definitely not. Other popular kinds of rimfire ammunition sold on the market today includes the .17 HMR, .22 Short, .22 WRF, and .22 WMR. Like .22 LR, they tend to be cheap and are great for small game hunting and target shooting.
If you want your rimfire rifle to perform the very best, it needs to come installed with the best rimfire scope possible. This best rimfire scope can be installed on any rimfire rifle regardless of whether it’s chambered for .22 LR or any of the other rimfire calibers that we just discussed.
But what makes a rimfire rifle scope the best rimfire rifle scope? This is just one question that we are going to answer in this article, but first we’re going to talk about the importance of having a high quality rimfire scope followed by a list and description of some of the best rimfire target scopes that are currently available on the market.
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The Importance of a High-Quality Rimfire Rifle Scope
While we believe it is wise to learn how to shoot with open sights before you learn how to shoot with a scope, we also believe that the ability to shoot long distances and the ability to shoot accurately with a rimfire rifle will benefit from the aid of a powerful and high-quality scope.
Even though .22 LR and other rimfire rifles are extremely popular in the United States, optics in general are often discussed as an option rather than a need. As a result, most shooters will simply attach the cheap scope they have lying around in their garage on their rimfire rifle and call it good.
In other words, if you don’t match your rimfire rifle with the best rimfire rifle scope possible, your overall performance as a shooter is bound to drop. The best rimfire scopes are those that come with an adjustable objective so you can dial in your rimfire rifle to your desired distance when you sight it in, which is shorter than the distances of popular centerfire rifle rounds such as .308 or .30-06. The problem is that because rimfire rifles naturally have a shorter range, a majority of the scopes that are made for rimfire rifles are not adjustable. This can make the process of looking for the right rimfire scope for you rather difficult.
While the process of looking for the best scope possible for your rimfire rifle is a little more difficult, it is certainly not impossible. To help you, we’re next going to list out some of the best rimfire rifle scopes that are currently available on the market. It doesn’t matter whether you have a limited budget or an infinite amount of money to spend because we’re going to include rimfire scopes from a wide variety of different price ranges.
What is the Best Rimfire Rifle Scope?
There is no universal best rimfire rifle scope. Nonetheless, there are still specific features that you would be wise to look for when on the market for a rimfire scope.
The first feature to look for is to confirm that the scope is built for either .22 or rimfire rifles specifically. While it definitely is possible for you to mount a scope designed for a larger rifle on your rimfire rifle, if you want the best performance your scope should have been built for and tested with rimfire caliber rifles.
Size of Tube
The second feature is that your rimfire scope must have a tube that is at least one inch, if not larger. If your rimfire scope is any smaller than that, it isn’t going to deliver the same range and performance.
Waterproof and Fog Proof Capabilities
The next feature to look for is waterproof and fogproof capabilities. If your scope doesn’t have either of these things, you should reject it. You need your scope to work in a variety of harsh conditions. If your scope is susceptible to water or fog, it doesn’t deserve to be mounted on top of your trusted rimfire rifle.
The final and arguably most important feature is the feature that we discussed earlier in this article: adjustability. Never go with a rimfire scope that is not adjustable, even though the majority of rimfire scopes that are made aren’t. Each of the four rimfire scopes that we recommended are fully adjustable. And in addition to being adjustable, an objective lens of at least 32mm on your scope is a good idea so you’ll have an overall better sight picture.
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Best Rimfire Scopes on the Market in 2023
Best Rimfire Scope on a Budget:
BSA is one of the best brands you can buy when you desire an optic that is high quality but offered at a reduced price. This automatically makes BSA an excellent option for those who desire excellence on a budget.
That being said, the Sweet .22 Rifle Scope model definitely lives up to the expectations that BSA has set. This scope is developed specifically around the .22 LR. As far as features are concerned, it includes target turrets that are completely interchangeable, fog proof and waterproof lenses, and a 40mm objective lens.
A waterproof scope with a far range is a lot to ask for when you’re on a budget, but BSA is one of the best rimfire scopes for under $100.
Best Budget Magnum Rimfire Rifle Scope:
Another excellent rimfire rifle scope that you can buy on a budget is the Simmons TruPlex Reticle Rimfire Scope. What makes this scope different from the BSA Sweet .22 scope is that Simmons built the TruPlex scope with the .22 Magnum round specifically in mind. Now you can use any of the other scopes in this list with the .22 Magnum or this scope with another rimfire round if you want. However, since this scope was built and tested by Simmons for the .22 Magnum, you’re going to get overall better performance with your .22 Magnum rifle with this scope.
As we mentioned, this is a budget scope option. You can’t expect the same level of quality as Bushnell or Leupold, but you’re not paying as much either. There are still enough features that make the Simmons TruPlex something to look at, which is why it made our Best Rifle Scope list. Even though this scope costs in the neighborhood of $50, it still produces a crystal clear and wide range view when you look through it – there’s no need to worry about blurriness with this scope out of the box. Simmons sells the TruPlex with mounting rings, so you don’t have to search for rings elsewhere on the market that might not even fit the TruPlex in the first place.
Best Midrange Rimfire Scope:
Bushnell is a pretty big name in the firearm optics world, so it would make sense that they have a scope designed for use with rimfire rifles as well. Now obviously anything that Bushnell makes is going to cost a bit more money than what BSA makes for example, but the overall quality of the scope makes that higher cost justifiable.
The Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X riflescope was designed by Bushnell with both .17 HMR and .22 LR rifles in mind. In terms of specifics, this scope has a power of 4-12x40mm and is built for both low light shooting conditions, which you have guessed from the ‘dusk and dawn’ part of the scope’s name. The construction of the scope is one hundred percent waterproof and fog proof with over three inches of eye relief, so your eye is not constantly pressed against the scope when taking aim.
All in all, this is an excellent scope for your rimfire rifle and easily your best option if you need a scope for low light shooting or hunting conditions. Many believe that dawn and dusk are the best times to hunt and this scope makes hunting in both of those times perfectly possible. Bushnell sells the Banner Dusk & Dawn in the $150 to $175 range.
Best Higher End Rimfire Scope:
Not everyone knows that Nikon makes rifle optics and scopes since we most commonly tend to associate the company Nikon with making cameras, but those who know enough about scopes also know full well that Nikon produces some of the most high quality scopes that you can buy. The Nikon ProStaff Rimfire Riflescope is Nikon’s flagship offering to rimfire hunters and shooters.
The reason why the ProStaff is one of the best all around rimfire riflescopes on the market is for two reasons: the quality of the lenses and the overall durability. Not only is the ProStaff completely waterproof and tested by Nikon to withstand rough conditions, but it is fully O-ring sealed as well. The optic is also multi-coated and comes equipped with quick reset turrets. You could easily mount the ProStaff on top of a Ruger 10/22 or Marlin Model 60 and sight yourself into 150 to 200 yards in no time. Magnification on this scope is 3-9x40mm.
If you want the Nikon ProStaff, you can expect to pay upwards of $400. However, as long as you have that kind of money to spend and desire the absolute utmost in quality for your rimfire rifle scope, it will prove to be well worth the investment.
Best Rimfire Scope Conclusion
With the information in this article, you have now learned the importance of having the best scope possible for your rimfire rifle. We have provided a list of four specific rimfire scopes that come highly recommended and the specific qualities that the best rimfire rifle scope would come with.
Regardless of the type of rimfire caliber that you use or the purpose that you have in mind, whether it be small game hunting or plinking and target shooting, any one of these scopes should work beautifully for you.
Carefully examine the budget and then choose the best scope for your budget. If you’re on a very limited budget, that means the BSA Sweet or the Simmons TruPlex if you have a .22 Magnum. For a mid-range rimfire scope, it’s hard to go wrong with the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn. And if you have a lot of money to spend and are shopping on the higher end of the market, the Nikon ProStaff should be your top pick.
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