12 Best Rimfire Scopes in 2021

So, you need the best value scope for short range shooting or hunting? The best rimfire scope offers clear views and doesn’t cost a fortune. Here are our favorites.

Top options

Best rimfire scope

Vortex Diamondback
2-7x35mm

Best for the money

Leupold FX-II
2.5x20mm

Best budget option

Vortex Crossfire II
2-7x32mm

Best rimfire scope

1. Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32 Riflescope

The Crossfire II Vortex rimfire scope boasts a 32mm objective lens with a variable zoom of 2x to 7x. It is a truly versatile rimfire scope to take care of all short to mid-range encounters. The design is pretty compact and streamlined and won’t weigh you down. It is one of the top rated rimfire scopes because of the value it delivers. 

There are fully multi-coated optics present on this 22lr tactical scope and they provide you with a crystal clear image no matter where you point your gun at. The rimfire pistol scope comes with capped turrets and single-piece construction to take on outdoors very well. 

With fog and moisture-proof construction, this 22 long rifle scope can take on any external elements with ease. No matter what the conditions are, you will be locked and loaded on your target with this best value rimfire scope. Battery life could have been better, though.

What we liked

  • Features Aircraft grade aluminum construction
  • Best 22 scope for the money
  • Anodized finish to ensure durability
  • Fully multi-coated glass optics
  • Single-piece tube construction
  • Quick-to-focus eyepiece
  • Shock, moisture, and fog proof 
  • 0.25 MOA clicks for elevations and windage

What we didn’t like

  • Not a great battery life
  • Flare at edges
  • Doesn’t come with an illuminated reticle

Magnification: 2x to 7x
Lens diameter: 32mm
Field of view: 12.6 feet to 42 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.9-inch to 4.7-inch
Reticle: V-Plex
Length: 11.3-inch
Weight: 14.3 oz
Features: Single piece construction, 2nd focal plane, a fast-focus eyepiece

2. Vortex Diamondback 2-7x35 Rimfire Riflescope with V-Plex Reticle

The Vortex Diamondback is a good scope for 22lr that comes with a 35mm objective lens and a variable magnification that goes from 2x to 7x. The Vortex 22lr scope is ideally suitable for rimfire guns because it is lightweight in construction. It is one of the top rimfire scopes in this price range. 

The scope comes with a V-Plex reticle is a good choice for fats target acquisitions. One of the best features of this scope is its sturdy construction and will prove to be very resilient against recoil. You won’t have to make ajustments to your scope settings. 

It is the best scope for a 22lr rifle and its crosshairs are crystal clear and Vortex has purged the scope with argon. Hence, it is going to handle rain and fog pretty well. This scope is best suited for rimfire rifles, muzzleloaders, and shotguns. It is the best Vortex scope for rimfire and comes with a second focal plane. You can take your aim at further distances as well.

What we liked

  • Made using aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Wide FoV that goes from 19.3 feet to 64.3 feet  at 100 yards
  • The wider exit pupil of up to 17.5mm
  • Glass optics with full multi-coating
  • Hard anodized finish for better gripping and durability 
  • ¼ MOA for elevation and windage adjustment
  • Variable magnification with V-plex reticle

What we didn’t like

  • The battery life is of only 150 hours
  • The ocular lens is a bit too big for a small rimfire scope
  • Reticle is non-illuminated

Magnification: 2x to 7x
Lens diameter: 35mm
Field of view: 19.3 feet to 64.3 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.1-inch to 3.5-inch
Reticle: V-Plex
Length: 11.6-inch
Weight: 14.2 oz
Features: Aircraft-grade aluminum, hard-anodized finish, single-piece tube construction

3. Leupold FX-II 2.5x20mm Rimfire/Ultralight Rifle Scope

The FX-II rifle scope features a fixed magnification of 2.5x and is equipped with a 20mm objective lens. If you are looking for a compact-sized rimfire scope, you don’t need to look any further. 

It is the best .22lr scope because the optics of this scope come with a diamond coating that ensures you get clear images wherever you point your scope at. Apart from that, this coating ensures that your lenses remain well-protected against any scratches. The index-matched lens system of this scope by Leupold assures the provision of bright and vivid images whenever you glance down the tube. 

The adjustable objective rimfire scope is completely fogged and waterproof, and you can use it without any issues in a range of different conditions. The scope is made of aluminum alloy and comes with a wide FoV. So you can use this Leupold 22 rimfire scope in the outdoors without a problem and have better situational awareness about your target. 

What we liked

  • DiamondCoat to prevent the optics from scratching 
  • 6061-T6 Aluminum alloy construction for durability 
  • Second focal plane for better aiming at longer ranges
  • Waterproof construction 
  • Nitrogen purged for better protection against elements 
  • Lockable eyepiece 
  • Wide Duplex reticle for quick zeroing in

What we didn’t like

  • Its reticle doesn’t illuminate 
  • Not suitable for longer ranges

Magnification: 2.5x
Lens diameter: 20mm
Field of view: 39 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 4.9-inch
Reticle: Wide duplex
Length: 8-inch
Weight: 6.5 oz
Features: DiamondCoat, aluminum alloy 6061-T6, index-matched lens

4. SightMark Core SX 4x32mm Compact Rimfire Riflescope

The Core SX rimfire pistol scopes feature an objective lens of 32mm and 4x magnification. This 4x rimfire scope has a pretty compact design for a lightweight rimfire rifle. SightMark has specifically calibrated it for the .22lr rimfire gun and redefines target shooting with accuracy. 

These best rimfire scopes are the best choice for you to consider if you are into recreational plinking or small game hunting. It is equipped with a BDC reticle and a good choice for quick target ranging. The compact rimfire scope also features a 2nd focal plane, so shooting at farther ranges won’t be an issue for you. 

These compact rimfire scopes come with a pretty decent 8mm exit pupil that can create a sharper image with high contrast. This scope for a .22 rifle comes with a wider field of view of 32.4 feet at 100 yards. The scope features a weaver mount and can last for up to 4000 hours with its battery.

What we liked

  • This best rimfire pistol scope comes with multiple accessories
  • IP67 rated for waterproofing
  • Dust and fog proof construction
  • Broader operable temperature range from 0F to 120F
  • Aluminum construction is strong and lightweight
  • Wider FoV of 32.5 feet at 100 yards
  • 2nd focal plane available for acquisitions of targets at farthest points

What we didn’t like

  • Non-variable magnification
  • The reticle is not illuminated

Magnification: 4x
Lens diameter: 32mm
Field of view: 32.5 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 4-inch
Reticle: BDC
Length: 9.1-inch
Weight: 11.7 oz
Features: IP67 waterproof, fully multi-coated, 2nd focal plane

5. Primary Arms 6X Scope with ACSS 22LR Reticle

This Primary Arms .22lr rimfire scope comes with its signature ACSS reticle that is adapted for a rimfire rifle. If you are into plinking or small game hunting, it is the best 22lr scope. 

Easy range estimation with this scope is pretty easy because parts of its reticle are sized to correspond well with bottles, cans as well as some small mammals. The turrets are adjustable and you can hear the tactical adjustments of it for accuracy in elevation and windage.

This 22LR rimfire scope comes equipped with a 32mm objective lens. It can provide you with a 6x magnification and if you are looking for short-to-mid range shooting with your rifle, this scope will prove to be very useful for you. The scope is equipped with a 2nd focal plane as well and can help you in taking those long shots. ACSS reticle is pretty effective in immaculate range estimations.

What we liked

  • The 22 rifle scope comes with a decent battery life
  • Best rimfire scope under 200
  • Compatible with a variety of scope mounts
  • The elevation and windage adjustments are quick
  • Features 2nd focal plane for accurate target acquisition at distance 
  • 0.25 MOA adjustment for elevation and windage
  • Fog and waterproof construction

What we didn’t like

  • Non-illuminated reticle
  • The focal range at a closer distance is way too limited
  • Magnification is fixed

Magnification: 6x
Lens diameter: 32mm
Field of view: 17.5 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.2inch
Reticle: ACSS
Length: 1-inch
Weight: 12 oz
Features: Water and fog proof, 2nd focal plane, anodized matte

6. Rudolph Optics Hunter HD Series H2 3-9x40 Riflescope

The Hunter HD Rudolph optics is equipped with a 40mm objective lens that works well in low light conditions. The scope also features a variable magnification that ranges from 3x to 9 and allows you to take those perfect shots at close ranges. It is the best 22 rimfire scope and features a D1 reticle. Its tube diameter is 1-inch, so light transmission remains pretty effective. 

With the help of a 2nd focal plane, you can conveniently take your shots at the targets that are far away from you. With an exit pupil that ranges from 4.44mm to 13.33mm, the rimfire rifle scope can gather a decent amount of light and provide you with a brighter and sharper image. 

The linear FoV of this best rimfire rifle scope ranges from 9.5 feet to 29 feet at 100 yards and comes with an eye relief ranging from 3-inch to 3.8-inch. The entire scope is made of aluminum and it’s pretty sturdy with waterproofing.

What we liked

  • Variable magnification allows closer accurate shots
  • 2nd focal plane ensures quicker target acquisition farther away
  • Aluminum construction for resilience and durability
  • All glass rimfire optics with fully multi-coating
  • MOA adjustment click value of 0.25 for elevation and windage 
  • Better light transmission
  • Wider exit pupil for clearer and sherpa images

What we didn’t like

  • Non-illuminated reticle
  • Takes a little while to hold the zero

Magnification: 3x to 9x
Lens diameter: 40mm
Field of view: 9.5 feet to 29 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3-inch to 3.8-inch
Reticle: D1
Length: 11.7-inch
Weight: 13.9 oz
Features: Waterproof, fully multi-coated, 2nd focal plane

7. Simmons 22 MAG 3-9X32 Rimfire Rifle Scope

This rimfire Simmons riflescope is a good budget-friendly option. It is equipped with Simmon’s signature TrueZero adjustment technology paired with a QTA (quick target acquisition) eyepiece. 

You’ll find it works amazingly well on your .22WMR without any trouble. You can easily punch a lot of paper and drop many small games without missing a beat.

The TreuZero technology replaces the biasing or gimbal spring construction with a flex erector that attaches to the scope’s body for maximum stability. The ball bearing system is audible and provides accurate readings when you are working on them.

The best budget rimfire scope is equipped with a 32mm objective lens and a variable zoom that goes from 3x to 9x. It means the scope can provide you with an FoV that ranges from 3.6 feet to 10.7 feet at 100 yards. And with an exit pupil of 10.7mm at best, you can conveniently use it with your spectacles on.

What we liked

  • Quality optical glass with full multi-coating 
  • Best rimfire scope under 100
  • QTA eyepiece is fast in target acquisition
  • TureZero flex erector system song with MOA adjustment dials
  • Hydroshield lens coatings ensure clear viewing in harsh weather
  • Rubber surface featuring SureGrip
  • Truplex reticle for quick point-and-shoot
  • Suitable for an old marlin 60

What we didn’t like

  • The reticle doesn’t illuminate
  • Not a very tough scope

Magnification: 3x to 9x
Lens diameter: 32mm
Field of view: 11 feet to 33 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.75-inch
Reticle: Truplex
Length: 12-inch
Weight: 10 oz
Features: TrueZero flex erector and elevation and windage, HydroSheild lens coating, QTA eyepiece

8. BSA Optics 3-9x32 Special Rimfire Target Rifle Scope

This BSA optics is the best scope for 22 rifles that features a 32mm objective lens and boasts a variable zoom that ranges from 3x to 9x. This entry-level rimfire scope is equipped with a 30/30 reticle for better aiming. The water, fog, and shockproof construction of this scope make it a top choice for any outdoor excursion. 

The rimfire rifle scope has a robust construction, so normal wear and tear are not going to mess it up at all. But the best thing is this scope is compatible with air, centerfire, and rimfire rifles. It comes with an exit pupil that ranges from 3.7mm to 8.3mm and a field of view of 13 feet to 40 feet at 100 yards. 

These 22 rimfire rifle scopes don’t feature an illuminated reticle, but they come with fully coated optics and waterproofing. The overall construction of this scope involves aluminum and plastic and it will continue to perform for a long time.

What we liked

  • 30/30 reticle is quick to focus
  • Broader FoV that ranges from 13 feet to 40 feet 
  • Aluminum and plastic construction for lightweight and robust features
  • Fully multi-coated glass lenses 
  • Variable magnification for better close-range shooting
  • Compact construction better than Sightron rimfire scopes
  • Elevations and windage adjustment 

What we didn’t like

  • The reticle doesn’t come with any illumination
  • Slow at full zoom

Magnification: 3x to 9x
Lens diameter: 32mm
Field of view: 13 feet to 40 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.5-inch
Reticle: 30/30
Length: 12.25-in
Weight: 14.4 oz
Features: Fully coated, shock, fog, and waterproof

9. Barska 3-9x32 Plinker-22 Riflescope

This Barska 22lr rifle scope is equipped with a 32mm objective lens. The scope also features a variable zoom that ranges from 3x to 9x. It will allow you to take out those cans at short ranges.

The rimfire target scope is equipped with a 30/30 reticle for simple applications and comes with a Dovetail mounting system. The FOV of this scope can manage ranges from 13 feet to 39 feet at 100 yards. 

The 22 rimfire scope also comes with an exit pupil ranging from 3.6mm to 10.7mm. This riflescope boasts a good eye relief of 3.5-inch. The click value for elevation and windage adjustments is 0.25. The scope is resistant to fog and water and can perform well outdoors even when the weather is not on your side.

What we liked

  • Variable magnification from 3x to 9x
  • Best scopes for 22lr
  • Long eye relief for convenient viewing through eyeglasses
  • Wider exit pupil for better, sharper images
  • Wider FoV ranging from 13 feet to 39 feet at 100 yards 
  • Seconds focal plane with fully multi-coated optics
  • Fog and waterproof construction 
  • Quick target acquisition

What we didn’t like

  • Doesn’t come with reticle illumination
  • Not enough windage adjustment
  • Elevation adjustment is not enough for zeroing in

Magnification: 3x to 9x
Lens diameter: 32mm
Field of view: 13 feet to 39 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.5-inch
Reticle: 30/30
Length: 12-inch
Weight: 11.46 oz
Features: Capped turret, 2nd focal plane, fully multi-coated

10. Simmons ProTarget Rimfire 2-7x32mm FMC Rifle Scope

The Simmons ProTarget rimfire scope has a 32mm objective lens and features a variable magnification that ranges from 2x to 7x. The .22 scope comes with a Truplex reticle that allows you to acquire targets quickly. 

The optics of this rimfire scope is clear enough. You can have really nice positive click adjustments on the turrets.

It is the best .22 scope because it features an exit pupil that ranges from 4.57mm to 16mm. You can conveniently enjoy clear and sharper images through the scope. Additionally, the interchangeable turrets for ballistic elevation can be made with 0.25 MOA clicks at a time.

This best 22 scope comes with a weaver style mounting. The lens comes with full multi-coating. Hence, if you are looking for a 22 scope that can provide you with clearer, brighter images, this is a good rimfire scope for you to consider.

What we liked

  • Good low light performance
  • Quick target acquisition
  • Sharper and higher contrast images 
  • Matte finish for a comfortable hold 
  • Easy to adjust controls 
  • A good option for close-range shooting

What we didn’t like

  • The reticle is non-illuminated
  • BDC isn’t great
  • The rimfire scope doesn’t take recoils very well

Magnification: 2x to 7x
Lens diameter: 32mm
Field of view: 24 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.2-inch
Reticle: Truplex
Length: 14-inch
Weight: 11.2 oz
Features: Fully multi-coated, matte finish, triplex reticle

11. Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12x50 Riflescope

The VX Freedom Leupold is the top choice for your .22LR because it is equipped with a 50mm objective lens and a variable magnification range from 4x to 12x. The tactical rimfire scope comes with the FireDote Duplex reticle that can range targets very quickly.  

The Leupold 22 scope defines how a rimfire scope needs to be. Most people think rimfire rifles don’t need much power. But if you are serious about small game hunting and plinking, this Leupold rimfire scope will work pretty well. You can also use your rimfire scope to shoot at 200 yards with high accuracy. 

These scopes for 22 rifles come with a 2nd focal plane, but they will disappoint you with their short exit pupil of 3.4mm. 

The scope for .22lr has a wide FoV and is made of aircraft-grade aluminum. The reticle on these rimfire tactical scopes comes with red illumination and you can hit your targets in low light conditions pretty well. 

What we liked

  • Good close-range shooting
  • Red illuminated reticle for low light shooting
  • Aircraft aluminum for durability and resilience
  • Eye relief ranging from 3.7-inch to 4.9-inch
  • Wider FoV 
  • FireDot Duplex for quick target acquisition
  • 2nd focal plane for better performance at longer range

What we didn’t like

  • A bit expensive
  • Not for casuals or novices

Magnification: 4x to 12x
Lens diameter: 50mm
Field of view: 10 feet to 21.5 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.7-inch to 4.9-inch
Reticle: FireDot Duplex
Length: 12-inch
Weight: 13.1 oz
Features: Illuminated reticle, aircraft-grade aluminum, the custom dial system

12. Nikon P-TACTICAL 2-7X32mm RIMFIRE Riflescope

The P-Tactical rimfire rifle scope comes with a 32mm objective lens. It is also a good option if you are looking for plinking or small game hunting. It is the best 22 rifle scope and equipped with 2x to 7x magnification along with the BDC 150 reticle. 

The scope comes with a 2nd focal plane and allows you to take out targets that are far from you. With an exit pupil ranging from 4.6mm to 16mm, this scope can provide you with high contrast images and different ranges. 

Having a wide FoV that goes from 12.6 feet at 100 yards to 44.6 feet makes it the best .22 rifle scope. Now you can have better situational awareness of what is going on around your target. The .22 rifle scope will be a lot more useful for you when you are doing some small game hunting. 

What we liked

  • Aircraft-grade aluminum alloy construction
  • Fully multi-coated glass lens for clearer and vivid images 
  • Long eye relief for easy use with spectacles 
  • You can use seconds focal plane for shooting farther targets
  • 0.25 clicks adjustment for windage and elevation
  • Fully waterproof construction
  • Quick to focus eyepiece

What we didn’t like

  • No illumination is there for the reticle
  • Focusing takes a while at full magnification
  • Doesn’t come with any accessories

Magnification: 2x to 7x
Lens diameter: 32mm
Field of view: 12.6 feet to 44.6 feet at 100 yards
Eye relief: 3.8-inch
Reticle: BDC 150
Length: 11.5-inch
Weight: 16.2 oz
Features: SFP, aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, quick focus eyepiece

Rimfire vs. Centerfire Scopes

In terms of specs, there might be a few differences between the two types of scopes. But primarily, they come with a different parallax setting. Parallax happens when the reticle and the target are on different planes in your scope. You will detect it when you move your eye or head when you’re looking through the scope. The reticle will appear to move with your head movement.

Rimfire scopes

Rimfire rifle scopes have their parallax set around approximately 50 yards. And for that reason, they are suitable for short-range shooting. If you are looking for small game hunting, plinking, or short-range shooting, these scopes will work for you pretty well. 

These scopes are designed to work with rifles that have low recoils like shotguns, rimfire rifles, or .22 LR rifles. These scopes are not sturdy enough to withstand heavy recoil. Rimfire scopes are better suited to novices.

Centerfire scopes

These scopes come with a preset parallax of approximately 100 yards or maybe a little more. These scopes also come with an adjustable objective lens. This feature makes parallax adjustment super simple. 

These scopes come with longer eye relief and are better suited for shooting at longer ranges. Centerfire scope is resilient and they can handle high recoils pretty well. These are best used for long-range shooters and hunters. Professionals of this game will love to use these scopes.

How to Choose the Best Rimfire Scope?

Rimfire scopes are better suited for short-range shooting. If you are new to the game of shooting or hunting, then working with these scopes will be a better option for you. Even if you have some experience under your belt, you need to look at some of the features very carefully to get the best performance out of your rimfire scope. Here’s a list of some of the important features you need to consider. 

Adjustable parallax

Parallax is the most important aspect that differentiates a rimfire scope from a centerfire scope. When you move your head and you notice as if the reticle moved as well, that’s when the parallax occurs. A rimfire scope with adjustable parallax allows you to work with smaller targets pretty well.

And you need to make sure the cope you are looking for comes with an adjustment for it. It will be a useful feature when you are aiming at smaller targets. For shorter ranges, rimfire scopes are equipped with an adjustable parallax that ranges from 50 yards to 75 yards and is a good choice if you are looking to hit smaller targets.

Focal plane

There are two different focal planes available. One is 1st focal balance and the other is 2nd focal plane. The first focal plane (FFP) allows you to acquire targets that are closer to you. The second Focal Plane (SFP) allows you to acquire targets that are farther from you. If you are looking to top out at 200 yards with your 22LR rifle, go for a rimfire scope that comes with a 2nd focal plane.

Reticle design

There are different types of reticle designs available with rimfire scopes. If you are looking to hit targets closer to the 150-yard mark or above, go for the BDC reticle. Anything under that range and a classic duplex reticle would be a sound choice. Also, don’t go for illuminated reticles because aiming at smaller targets with them is quite difficult.

Turrets

These rimfire scopes come with elevation and windage turrets to increase your aim. Windage is to adjust the turret horizontally and elevation is for vertical adjustment. Adjusting these turrets will make your aim better, either uphill or downhill. Make sure you go for scopes that come with minimal adjustment clicks of around 0.25 MOA for more precision.

Magnification

In most cases, you will find rimfire scopes with magnification ranging from 2x to 8x. And for close-range situational awareness, these are good numbers. Of course, for better short-range aiming, you can go for variable magnification as well. But fixed magnification won’t be an issue if you regularly aim at around 100 yards. But keep in mind, with higher magnification, you will have to compromise your field of view. 

Objective lens size

The size of the objective lens that is there in your scope is going to matter a lot. With a bigger-sized optic, the overall weight of your scope will increase and with a 22LR rifle, you don’t want that much to happen. And, of course, you are already working under 200 yards, so a heavier optic is going to be worthless. Hence, an objective lens ranging in size from 32mm to 40mm would be ideally suitable.

Lens coating

Make sure you go for a fully multi-coated lens to ensure the best performance. These lenses ensure that you get sharper and clearer images at different ranges. Also, make sure these lenses come with water-resistive coating as well for all-weather performance. 

Eye relief

Rimfire scopes come with longer eye relief as compared to centerfire scopes. It is the distance between your eye and the eyepiece of the scope. To avoid injury, you need to go for eye relief longer than 3 inches to handle recoils well. And it becomes even more important if you wear glasses. 

FAQ

What is a rimfire scope?

A rimfire scope comes with a parallax setting of 50 yards and is a suitable viewing device for short ranges. These scopes are suitable for rifles that have low recoil.

What is the best scope for the 22lr target shooting?

The best scope for 22lr for target shooting is Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12×50 Rimfire Riflescope. This scope for 22lr comes with a 50mm objective lens and a variable magnification of 4x to 12x.

What is the best scope for a 17 rimfire?

The best scope for a 17 rimfire is the BSA Optics Special Rimfire Target Rifle Scope. It is equipped with a 32mm objective lens and comes with a 3x to 9x variable magnification.

What is a good 22 scope?

Overall, the Rudolph Optics Hunter HD Series Rimfire Scope is a good 22 scope. It features a 40mm objective lens with a variable zoom of 3x to 9x.

Can you put any scope on a 22?

Some centerfire scopes work well on a 22 but there is no guarantee that they will outshine even a good quality rimfire scope. Your primary objective needs to be what do you want to achieve with your scope and rifle.

Will a 22 mag scope work on a 22 long rifle?

Yes, a 22 mag scope will work on a 22 long rifle. You will only have to do some minor adjustments with the parallax and everything will be immaculate.