5 Best 22 Rifle Scopes

The .22LR rifle offers you a precise short-range shot, but if you’re targeting something hundreds of feet away, you’ll need extra help from a scope. And you don’t need help from the crumby scope that came with your rifle. So what are the best 22 rifle scopes?

Many of the scopes available today promise to fit your gun, but some of them are better suited to the .22LR than others. More importantly, the various specs are best suited for certain uses.

The scope used for hunting a deer hundreds of yards away isn’t the one you’d use shooting a raccoon from the tree.

There are some excellent scopes out there, so we’re reviewing our five favorite 22 rifle scopes. Each scope has something unique to offer a gun owner, whether it’s a warranty or field of vision.

Ready to find your next scope?

How We Choose Our Ratings

We’re committed to painting an honest and accurate picture of all the scopes we review. And the truth is, you can’t get that from the specs alone. You can compare magnification to lens diameter all day, but you’ll never know anything important about the product until you’ve looked through the lens yourself.

Because of our commitment to providing the best reviews we possibly can, we use a complex rating system that accounts for many aspects of the product.

We start by looking at manufacturer descriptions. It’s plain to see distinct differences between products based on those descriptions alone. We look at specs and individual technologies to distinguish the difference between products. But the real question isn’t what magnification range the product offers – we want to know if it does what it says on the tin.

That’s why we combine a review of the specs with customer reviews and testimonials – people who’ve used the scope on the ground. We gather reviews and look for common strands to work out what really works and what simply doesn’t.

Armed with all this information, we give the product a rating out of five stars. Because our process is clear, you can trust that the only products that receive a five-star rating are those truly deserving of one.

We Compare the 5 Best 22 Rifle Scopes

Product

Image

Details

Our Rating

Price

Leupold 113872 VX-1 Rimfire Scope

Best .22 Rifle Scope Leupold 113872 VX-1 Rimfire Scope

produces a sharp and vivid image regardless of the visibility conditions on the ground

Barska 3-9×32 Plinker-22 Rifle Scope

Best .22 Rifle Scope Barska 3-9x32 Plinker-22 Rifle Scope

fully multi-coated optics creates bright and  clear sighting

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Plex Rimfire

Best .22 Rifle Scope Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Plex Rimfire

features a newly enhanced eyepiece for fast focus and multi-coated lenses

Aipa AR15 Tactical Rifle Scope Combo C4-12×50

Best .22 Rifle Scope Aipa AR15 Tactical Rifle Scope Combo C4-12x50

maintain a perfect zero for at least 100 rounds even with recoil

Nikon P-RIMFIRE BDC 150 Rifle Scope

Best .22 Rifle Scope Nikon P-RIMFIRE BDC 150 Rifle Scope

magnification spectrum is broader than other products – 2x to 7x for added options and accuracy.

Review of the 5 Best 22 Rifle Scopes

1. Leupold 113872 VX-1 Rimfire Scope

Best .22 Rifle Scope Leupold 113872 VX-1 Rimfire Scope

The point of adding a scope is to improve your field of vision beyond what your eyes are capable of: the optical system is thus key. We like the Leupold scope’s Quantum Optical Systems, which is capable of producing an image that is both sharp and vivid regardless of the visibility conditions on the ground.

The Quantum Optical System is aided by the Index Matched Lens System and the application of Multicoat 4, which minimizes reflections to make the most of out your lighting and provide better images.

Let’s talk stats:

Weight: 8.2 ounces

Field of View: 2.86 inches/ 100 yards

Eyepiece Diameter: 1.36 inches

Additionally, the scope is both water and fog-proof (100%), and it offers a 3:1 zoom ratio featuring a magnification spectrum of 2.40x and 6.70x.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Overall, the scope offers a clear line of sight with added eye relief and minimal reflections. The objective lens is small, but it’s still one of the best scopes you can buy for the money.

In our opinion, if you want perfection, you should choose a Leupold scope. If however you are willing to spend more, then you might want to check out our review of Leupold Mark 6 3 18x44mm.

Pros

  • Features a Multicoat 4 increasing amount of all light that reaches your eye and minimizes reflections for better image quality 
  • Features an Index Matched Lens System eliminating reflections and maximizes light
  • Material is treated with DiamondCoat, featuring the best abrasion resistance and light transmission

Cons

  • Objective lens can be small 
  • Stiffness in dials when adjusting
  • Brightness at highest magnification level can be reduced

2. ​Barska 3-9×32 Plinker-22 Rifle Scope

Best .22 Rifle Scope Barska 3-9x32 Plinker-22 Rifle Scope

Barska offers what some consider a budget version of the 22-rifle scope, but what we believe is the value version. It’s one of the least expensive scopes out there that still provides excellent value for money.

Why? Because it’s a great scope and a great price, but it also comes with a lifetime manufacturers’ warranty.

According to Barska, they designed the Plinker-22 precisely for .22 rifles and rimfires. It offers fully multi-coated optics for performance and clarity. You’ll find shots are easier at 50, 75, and 100 yards. Reviewers say the clarity remains good even when you turn the magnification up to 9, which is impressive for a budget scope.

Specs:

Stats: 3-9×32

Weight: 11.5 ounces

Field of View:

Objective Lens Diameter: 32 mm

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Like most scopes, it’s water- and fog-proof, but we like that it’s also shock-proof. Unlike other scopes, it’s suggested that you avoid using it on a nitro piston or springer because there’s too much kick and you’ll destroy your scope quickly.

It works well with guns like the Marlin 60 rimfire rifle.

Pros

  • Water, fog, and shock-proof
  • Features a fully multi-coated optics creating bright and  clear sighting
  • Includes mounting rings, lens covers, and lens cloth

Cons

  • it’s suggested that you avoid using it on a nitro piston or springer because there’s too much kick and you’ll destroy your scope quickly.

3. ​Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Plex Rimfire

Best .22 Rifle Scope Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Plex Rimfire

Vortex Optics’s Crossfire range is one of its most popular riflescopes. The Crossfire II model boasts a newly enhanced eyepiece for fast focus and multi-coated lenses in addition to MOA turrets that are not improved and resettable.

Stats for the Vortex Optics Crossfire II:

Stats: 2-7×32

Weight: 14 ounces

Field of View: 42-12.6 feet/100 yards

Eye Piece Diameter: 32 mm

While optical systems remain the most important feature on our list, durability sits in second place. There’s nothing worse than memorizing a scope like the back of your hand only to replace it sooner rather than later. Vortex Optics uses aircraft grade aluminum on all its scopes, so it can take a beating.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The main feature distinguishing the Crossfire II from other scopes is the eye relief, which is slightly longer compared to other models.

You’ll find that the feature aids you when you’re aiming upwards such as when you’re small game hunting.

You’ll focus in faster even at a different elevation, which shaves off seconds between spotting and pulling the trigger.

This however lacks a night vision feature. With this, you can read on our reviews of the the best night vision rifle scopes to find the right one for you. 

In addition if you wanted an upgraded version, then Vortex Crossfire II 6 18×44 can be a good choice for you. 

Pros

  • Features a fast focus eyepiece allowing quick and easy reticle focusing
  • Made of ultra-hard, scratch-resistant coating protecting exterior lenses from scratches, oil and dirt
  • Rugged construction withstands recoil and impact
  • Unlimited VIP Vortex lifetime warranty

Cons

  • May become blurry when you use the zoom feature making it ineffective outside of 150 yards
  • Lacks a night vision feature

4. Aipa AR15 Tactical Rifle Scope Combo C4-12×50

Best .22 Rifle Scope Aipa AR15 Tactical Rifle Scope Combo C4-12x50

We wanted to make sure we included a tactical rifle scope for the AR-15, and the Aipa scope combo is one of the best deals we’ve been able to find.

You’ll get optimal optical clarity with 4-12 magnification and a 50 mm diameter objective lens. More importantly, you’ll get 4 reticle patterns for use in all kinds of scenarios as well as a green laser and a reflex sight.

All three pieces are easy to install on top of your AR 15. We like the scope because it remains strong and stable even after 50 rounds. Even with recoil, you’ll maintain a perfect zero for at least 100 rounds.

Specs:

Stats: 4-2×50

Weight: Not provided, but the bulkiest scope on the list

Field of Vision: 9.7-3.3/29.1099 apparent (degree): 22.7

Optical Lens Diameter: 50 mm

Overall, it’s one of the best scopes out there, and despite its weight, it will improve your shot.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Pros

  • Featuring a large objective lens that boosts light gathering power and excellent magnification
  • Boasts a red dot reflex sight with bottom switch for accurate gun optic and substitute for overpriced holograph
  • Allows for clear high resolution image unlimited eye relief and wide field of view 
  • Easily mountable to any 22 &11mm rails (Picatinny or Weaver)

Cons

  • Offers only a 30-day money back guarantee

5. Nikon P-RIMFIRE BDC 150 Rifle Scope

Best .22 Rifle Scope Nikon P-RIMFIRE BDC 150 Rifle Scope

Nikon’s P-RIMFIRE .22LR rifle scope offers shooters a 50 to 150 shooting range and adds accuracy to your distance. The scope employs a Fully Multicoated Optical System for creating a balance light transmission whether you’re shooting during the day, at night, or in the rain or fog.

We like that the magnification spectrum on the Nikon scope is broader than other products – 2x to 7x for added options and accuracy.

Product Statistics:

Stats: 27-x32

Weight: 16.1 ounces

Field of View: 6.4 to 22.3 feet at 50 yards

Eyepiece Diameter: 32 mm

Ultimately, there are a few things to love. The scope zeros in on your target quickly and in multiple settings, meaning it does what it says on the tin. It’s also fog proof and waterproof, though we’ve come to expect this by now. The only downside is that it’s more expensive than some that offer many of the same features, particularly the Vortex Optics Crossfire II

If you are not a beginner and looking for a rifle scope for professional and competitve shooting, then you might want to check out our review of the Nikon Buckmaster 4 12×50.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Pros

  • Lifetime repair and replacement 
  • Features a positive click reticle adjustments to get you zeroed in quicker and maintain your setting—even with heavy recoil.

Cons

  • Turret knobs are found to be slightly canted and make the underlying reference lines unusable.

Buyer’s Guide

Are you new to guns or simply never thought you needed a scope before?

A scope dramatically improves your accuracy by providing a clear, well-lit picture from hundreds of yards away.

The right scope allows you to snag the biggest buck you’ve ever seen after hours of tracking it. But it’s possible to buy the wrong scope, and while you may see the deer, an ill-suited scope could throw off your shot, ruining your chances.

Follow our buyer’s guide to find the right scope for the right time:

What Do the Numbers Mean?

Every scope is accompanied by several numbers that represent its specs in a standardized format.

The first number represents magnification while the second represents the diameter of the objective lens. These numbers are separated by the letter “x.”

Magnification represents how large an image becomes when you look at it through your scope.

If the specs of the scope state 3-9x22mm, then you’ll be able to adjust the scope to see objects between three and nine times the size you’d see with the naked eye.

The diameter of the objective lens, or the front lens, in millimeters. So, in a 3-9x22mm scope, the size of the lens is 22 millimeters. We’ll talk more about the objective lens later in the guide.

Optical Power – Magnification

Optical power, or magnification, is the key element in making a buying decision because it deliminates the scope’s usefulness for your purposes.

A scope too weak for your needs is only slightly better than not using a scope at all.

Generally speaking, scopes with a lower magnification (3, 4, 5, 6, etc.), allows you to shoot faster and more intuitively and easier track targets.

Higher numbers provide greater resolution and are ideal for hitting precise targets, but they’re difficult to use in an unsupported position because they’re both longer and heavier.

Here’s a basic rule of thumb: if your target is less than 500 yards away, stick with a scope lower than 10x.

If you’re using a rifle in a supported position (like behind sandbags), then you’ll be better equipped to take on a scope with a magnification of 10x and greater.

Objective Lens Size – Diameter of the Lens

The objective lens on a scope transmits the ambient light that brings an image into focus. Larger lenses, therefore, let in more light and bring in clearer brighter images. Often, you’ll find a larger objective lens with higher magnification ratings.

Generally, larger lenses produce better images. However, there are caveats to this.

A larger objective lens doesn’t necessarily improve image quality at all magnifications. For example, there’s little difference between a 40mm and 50 mm diameters in low magnification settings, but the difference in size becomes apparent above 12x magnification.

Additionally, there are a few downsides in using larger objective lenses. Larger lenses require a higher mounting, which impacts your ability to shoot.

In other words, a large scope may better allow you to see the target but could throw off your ability to pull off the shot.

Reticles

Reticles are the patterns shown on the inside of your scope that frame your target. There are dozens of patterns to choose from ranging from simple to complex.

The most common reticles are the duplex, mildot, and BDC reticles. These three reticles feature four lines are leading from the four cardinal directions of your scope with a center designed to direct your eye for accuracy.

Duplex:

  • Target features four lines at a cross
  • Focuses eye towards the center of the scope
  • Aids low light
  • Best for target shooting and hunting

Mildot:

  • Based on the duplex pattern with added enhancements
  • Dots move across the cross according to milliradians
  • Allows you to see range when size is known
  • Best for adjusting for elevation and wind
  • Standard reticle for law enforcement and military
  • Best for rifle use over 300 yards

BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator):

  • Several points included in a pattern corresponding to distance
  • Only available for use with certain cartridges
  • Moderately accurate for ranges over 500 yards
  • Ideal for general purpose carbine or rifle

These basic features should give you a clearer idea of what kind of scope is best suited for your needs. Of course, there’s more to consider including adjustment systems, focal planes, and parallax, but it’s the specs and reticles that help you narrow down your scope from the wide number of products available.

Didn’t find what you were looking for? You can check out our reviews of air rifle scopes and scopes for 308 Bolt Action Rifle.

If you’re a beginner and would like to know more, do read on our tips on choosing the right rifle scope and other buying guide.