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(TOP 10) Best Rimfire Scope Review And Guides 2020

best rimfire scope

If you do not have time for the details, here are our top picks for the rimfire:

  1. Best Overall: Leupold FX-I Rimfire Fine Duplex 
  2. Best Rimfire Scope Under $100: Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope 
  3. Best Rimfire Scope Under $200: Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II BDC  
  4. Best Budget Rimfire Scope: Simmons Truplex . 22 Mag Riflescope 
  5. Best Rimfire Scope for Squirrel Hunting: BARSKA 3-9X32 Plinker-22 
  6. Best .22 Rimfire Scope: Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rimfire Scope 
  7. Best Value Rimfire Scope: Sig Sauer Romeo5 Compact Scope 
  8. Best Scope for Ruger Precision Rimfire: Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope 
  9. Best Scope for 17 Caliber Rimfire Rifle: Bushnell Engage 4-16x44mm 
  10. Best Rimfire Scope for Target Shooting: UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope 

What is the Best Rimfire Scope? 

A rimfire scope is one that has a parallax setting of about 50 yards. Best for short-range shooting, this kind of scope should only be used with a rifle that has low recoil. These scopes are usually not terribly expensive, but they definitely are not all built alike – or equal.  

How do you find the best rimfire scope? Personally, we like the Leupold FX-I Rimfire Fine Duplex. This scope is not only made out of high-quality materials, but it also works well with most brands of rifles. It’s backed by thousands of positive customer reviews, and we’re sure you’ll love it, too.  

Read also:

Best DMR Scopes
Best Scope for .243 Winchester
Best Scope for 30-30 Reviews 2020

However, keep in mind that buying a rimfire scope should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. You should take the time to research what features matter most to you in a scope – so that you can find the best rimfire scope for your needs and preferences. 

Top 10 Rimfire Scopes  

1. Best Overall: Leupold FX-I Rimfire Fine Duplex 

The Leupold FX-I Rimfire Fine Duplex Rimfire Scope has a duplex reticle and a black matte finish. It’s sure to be your favorite rimfire scope, and we’ve voted it the best overall rimfire scope for the .22lr for a reason. 

Not only is it 100% waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof, but it’s also parallax adjusted for 60 yards. It is lightweight and has a slim one-inch main tube.  

It offers precision ¼ MOA finger-click adjustments. You can adapt based on wind and elevation, making this a suitable scope in all weather and terrain. It even has scratch-resistant lense – and best yet, it’s made entirely in the United States. 

What We Liked: 

  • Super lightweight and attractive design 
  • Scratch-resistant lenses that resist abrasion 
  • Dependable and durable build 

What We Didn’t Like:  

  • Should not be used with low rings 

2. Best Rimfire Scope Under $100: Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope 

The Bushnell Banner is, without a doubt, the best rimfire scope under $100. It provides HD clarity and high-quality optics, utilizing high-quality materials that are tested rigorously before they leave the factory.  

This scope has a gorgeous design and is built to last a low-light rifle scope, it offers up to 9x magnification and has a 40-millimeter objective lens. The lenses are multi-coated for brightness and clarity, and it’s 100% fog and windproof, too. With 3.3 inches of eye relief and measuring only 12 inches long, it’s a great value for the money.  

What We Liked: 

  • Dry nitrogen filled 
  • Has a fast-focus eyepiece 
  • Best for big game and varmint 

What We Didn’t Like:  

  • No sunshade that is compatible with this scope 

3. Best Rimfire Scope Under $200: Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II BDC  

Nikon is known for its superb scopes and cameras, and the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II BDC is no exception. It is inexpensive yet also reliable, an upgrade from the 3-9×40 mm model with 4-12x 40 mm optics. It has an adjustable sight mechanism of 50 yards that can be adjusted by a quarter of an inch.  

Plus, it has a one-inch diameter so the tube can be held comfortably and looked through without you having to strain your eyes. It has a click-type adjustment for accurate aim and can be used in all kinds of undesirable weather conditions. With protection against fog, water, and dust, it is remarkably resilient.  

It has a sturdy build and a matte-black finish. You won’t attract the attention of your prospective target with this scope! It is also compact and lightweight, coming in at less than 14 ounces.  

What We Liked: 

  • Has finger adjustable turrets to adjust to zero without issue 
  • Sturdy build protects against drops and damages 
  • 75 yards parallax setting 

What We Didn’t Like:  

  • Close range magnification is blurry 

4. Best Budget Rimfire Scope: Simmons Truplex . 22 Mag Riflescope 

The Simmons Truplex is the best budget rimfire scope, coming in at less than $50. This scope, despite its low price, is of exceptional quality. It has four-inch eye relief and a Truplex reticle. It is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof and has fully-coated optics.  

The scope provides high-quality, sharp images. The lens has a HydroShield lens coating for a clear sight picture no matter what the weather conditions are, and it also has a SuerGrip surface so it’s easy to hold in all kinds of inclement weather conditions.  

What We Liked: 

  • 21 feet at 100 yards field of view 
  • Mounting rings included 
  • Allows for fine-tuning even when you’re wearing gloves 

What We Didn’t Like:  

  • Basic scope best used for target shooting and not hunting 

5. Best Rimfire Scope for Squirrel Hunting: BARSKA 3-9X32 Plinker-22 

We love the Barska Plinker scope because the name really says it all – it’s perfect for “plinking” at squirrels in your backyard! 

However, in addition to target shooting or occasional sputtering, it’s also great for more serious hunters. It is tough and rugged and can withstand most outdoor conditions. With a magnification that ranges from 3x to 9x, it provides just the right amount of sight without giving you more than you actually need.  

In addition, it has a 32mm objective lens that makes it fill with light and has a crisp, clear image. At the same time, though, it is not overly heavy. The 30/30 reticle makes it easy to see your target and how far away from you it is. The optics are fully multi-coated and it comes with adjustment knobs. 

These knobs aren’t found on all kinds of rimfire rifle scopes, but when they are, it’s good news. You’ll be able to correct for windage and elevation with the simple twist of a button. The scope is also resistant to shock, fog, and water. 

What We Liked: 

  • Parallax free at fifty yards 
  • Excellent field of view and sight clarity 
  • Lithgow, tipping the scales at less than 12 oz 

What We Didn’t Like:  

  • Reticle does not allow for basic adjustments 

6. Best .22 Rimfire Scope: Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rimfire Scope 

Vortex has quite a few different .22 rimfire scopes in its Crossfire series, and this one is one of the best. Great for plinking in the backyard as well as serious hunting, it comes with 2x to 7x magnification power that is variable and allows you to identify targets that are close by.  

The 32mm objective lens offers lots of light and a clear image, without adding too much weight. It is easy to use and has adjustable turrets that can be adjusted with the quick tap of a finger. It also has a reset feature that allows you to reset to zero after sighting in. you can adjust for both elevation and windage and you’ll love the fully multi-coated lenses, too. 

You’ll get clear, crisp views at all times with this rimfire rifle scope. It has an eyepiece that allows for a fast focus so you can hone in on your target quickly and easily. It’s also durable, made out of aircraft-grade aluminum. It is waterproof and fog proof with sealed O-rings and it’s even nitrogen-filled. 

What We Liked: 

  • 42 feet over 100-yard field of view at 2x magnification 
  • Bright, clear sight picture 
  • Waterproof and fog proof  

What We Didn’t Like:  

  • Lens covers are removable but not the convenient flip-up site 

7. Best Value Rimfire Scope: Sig Sauer Romeo5 Compact Scope 

The Sig Sauer Romeo5 is one of the best compact scopes if you’re looking for a good value for your mother. It has a 2 MOA red-dot system that provides ten different illumination settings (eight alone just for daytime) so you’ll have a target that is properly illuminated in all light conditions.  

The motion-activated illumination feature turns on when it detects motion but then turns back off when it doesn’t. It is waterproof (and can even be immersed up to one meter!) and is fog-proof, too. 

What We Liked: 

  • Comes with a low mount riser  
  • Made in the USA 
  • Lenses have spectracoat efficient coating to reduce surface reflections 

What We Didn’t Like: 

  • Some customers report that the red dot blurs 

8. Best Scope for Ruger Precision Rimfire: Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope 

Without a doubt, the best scope for Ruger precision rimfire is the Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope. Made with top-notch materials and designed specifically for rimfire ammo, this scope has a ton of praiseworthy features.  

Not only does it have up to 9x magnification, but it has an objective lens of 40mm for an excellent field of view and sight picture. This is consistent among all zoom settings, too. Plus, it has scratch-resistant lenses that are multi-coated, helping them resist abrasion and damage. 

That’s a feature that Leupold is known for, but the list of benefits doesn’t end there. The entire scope – not just the lenses -are durable. It’s made with aircraft-grade aluminum and has been double- and triple-tested by the manufacturer to make sure it performs well even in the harshest weather conditions.  

100% fog- and waterproof, this scope can be mounted on a rimfire rifle in a matter of minutes. With its dark matte finish, it looks stylish at all times. The finish also prevents glare, which as you know, can easily reveal your position to your potential target.  

With a parallax adjustment for 60 yards, this scope is perfect for rimfire cartridges so you won’t really notice the effect of the parallax when you’re shooting. With phenomenal eye relief at all magnification settings, this scope should be at the top of your list. 

What We Liked: 

  • Excellent eye relief 
  • Phenomenal shooting light 
  • Matte black finish is attractive and functional 

What We Didn’t Like:  

  • Does not come with a lens cap – although it is sold separately 

9. Best Scope for 17 Caliber Rimfire Rifle: Bushnell Engage 4-16x44mm 

One of the best rimfire scopes for a 17 caliber rimfire rifle is the Bushnell Engage Riflescope. Offered in a sleek matte black color, it is best used for this purpose as a 4-16x44mm but can also be found as a 6-24x50mm, 3-12x42mm, and 2.5-10x44mm.  

It comes with a flip-open objective and eyepiece covers. The lens is one of the best at repelling oil, dust, debris, water, and fog, as it has an extra protecting coating. It has 1-MOA elevation and windage hashmarks, helping you reach both short- and long-range targets with ease.  

It is nitrogen-purged for exceptional fog proof performance, and requires no additional tools in order to release or lock-in turrets. These turrets are locking, too, so you won’t have to worry about the settings budgeting even if you happen to bump or drop the scope.  

What We Liked: 

  • Anti-reflection coating for true color and brightness 
  • Easy parallax adjustments with a side-mounted dial 
  • Waterproof and fogproof construction 

What We Didn’t Like:  

  • Does not come with a sunshade 

10. Best Rimfire Scope for Target Shooting: UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope 

Also known as a UTG red dot, this scope is one of the most efficient UTG scopes you can buy. It’s nicknamed “red dot” because it has a red dot that can switch from red to green when the light comes on and is best used on Airsoft assault rifles and used for target shooting.  

It has a ¼ MOA per-click adjustment and comes with its own two lithium metal batteries. A rainproof and shockproof scope, it has a lock system that allows you to lock your settings so you can aim perfectly every time.  

Even if you happen to trip, fall down, or drop your scope, you won’t have to worry – the settings on this scope will remain secure. It is versatile and has a large field of view.  

What We Liked: 

  • Completely sealed and nitrogen filled 
  • Has flip-open lens cap 
  • Comes with 2” sunshade 

What We Didn’t Like:  

  • Rings are somewhat tall for the scope 

What to Consider When Buying a Rimfire Scope 

As we mentioned earlier, there is, unfortunately, no easy way to tell you which rimfire scope is best for you without actually knowing what kind of gear (and experience) you already have. It depends on how you like to shoot, where you like to shoot, and what kind of rifle you own.  

That being said, there are some general recommendations that you should keep in mind – and features you should pay attention to while you are shopping.  

Purpose 

The best thing to remember when you are shopping for your scope is that you don’t have to have a scope that checks off all the boxes – sometimes, good enough is good enough. 

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t look for a product that is the best of the best, but what it does mean is that you don’t need a rimfire scope with extreme magnification just because you want the extreme levels here. Instead, you need to think carefully about your purposes. Do you really need that much magnification? After all, it’s going to add a ton of weight to your scope – making it less valuable in other important categories. 

Materials 

What is your scope made out of? Anything you attach to your firearm should be built out of high-quality materials. Not only will this help prevent damage to your gun, but it will also be able to handle tough environmental conditions and the occasional bump and drop while you’re walking in the woods.  

For best results, look for a rimfire scope that is made out of a single piece tube. Certain materials, like graphite and aluminum, tend to be the most durable.  

Mounting 

Look for a scope that will be relatively easy for you to use and to mount. If, when you order, you aren’t entirely sure how this will be accomplished, then at least make sure the manufacturer includes detailed instructions and has an accessible customer service helpline in case you have any questions.  

Field of View 

How many yards away do you want to be able to see within your lens? The field of view refers to how many feet will be available to your sight horizontally when you look through the scope (usually measured at a distance of 100 yards).  

The field of view is going to become smaller as your magnification power increases – which is why you don’t need a lot of magnification (we’ll address this further in a moment). A short field of view is not going to impact you much anyway if you are shooting at fixed targets.  

Just keep in mind that a short field of view will make it more challenging to go after fast-moving targets, like you would when you are hunting.  

Lens Coating 

How well the lens is coated will impact your sight picture. A coating that is fully multi-coated is best, as there will be multiple layers. At the very least, make sure there is a single layer on all of the air-glass surfaces of the lens.  

You also need to look for a lens that is 33mm or less in diameter. This, combined with the right location, will cut down on light reflection and glare. Many rimfire scopes also come with abrasion-resistant coatings to help them last longer, too.  

Scope Weight 

Rimfire rifles tend to be lightweight, so you will want to invest in a scope that is equally lightweight. Choose one that is too heavy, and you’ll likely find that your rifle becomes lopsided and off-balance. Your aim will be affected as a result.  

This is especially true if you intend to use your new scope on a rimfire handgun!  

While weight will limit the features that your scope has, just keep in mind that sometimes all those features are not only unnecessary, but also impractical.  

Power Magnification and Level  

When you are shopping for a new rimfire scope, you’ll find that you can buy those that are either variable or fixed in terms of their magnification.  

A rimfire scope with fixed magnification allows for fewer moving parts and internal lenses that you have to worry about. You will be more accurate when shooting at various ranges. This kind of scope is also ideal for people who have a tendency to bump and hustle their rifles often.  

However, if you constantly are hunting and are rarely sure of how far away your target actually is (ie, you aren’t target shooting in your own backyard with fixed measurements available to you), then you should opt for a variable power scope. 

You don’t need to pay too much mind to magnification power when you are shooting rimfire cartridges – you aren’t going to be shooting that far away, so a scope with 20x magnification is really a waste of money.  

As long as your scope has magnification up to 9x, that should be more than enough. Even 7x will get you by in most cases.  

Objective Lens Size 

Having a large objective lens can be helpful if you are shooting in low light conditions. You’ll be able to let more light into the lens so your picture will be clearer. However, you want to avoid using lenses that are too large because that will add weight to your scope.  

Reticles 

When you’re buying a rimfire scope, you’ll be able to choose from fine or large crosshairs. While large crosshairs will be best for large game and close range (as well as for hunting in thick brush), a fine crosshair will be better for small game and long range shots. For most purposes, a medium crosshair will strike the perfect balance. 

Parallax Adjustment 

Parallax is an optical illusion in all scopes – and it’s one that leads to serious inaccuracies in your shots. Some have automatic adjustment to account for this, because when it is fixed, your optical illusion will be fixed, too, for that particular distance. A variable parallax can be compensated for.  

Waterproofing 

If you plan on taking your rifle out in all kinds of weather, then good waterproofing features are essential. Make sure it is o-ring sealed and nitrogen-filled for best results.  

FAQ 

What is the difference between a centerfire and rimfire scope? 

There are generally two types of scopes you can use – a rimfire scope, which by now, you are probably well-acquainted with  – and a centerfire scope. They are not interchangeable. 

The main difference between the two lies in the eye relief and adjustment of the lens. While both types of scopes work well at short distances (and in good lighting), a centerfire scope will work better when you are shooting longer distances or in dim lighting. Rimfire scopes usually only allow you to shoot around 50 yards, while centerfire scopes are best for shooting 300 yards or slightly more.  

Rimfire scopes are often chosen for short-range shooting because rimfire bullets don’t weigh as much. You may find that these scopes are best for shooting at small moving targets or for target practice. They are generally designed to be used on rifles that are marketed as rimfire rifles, as those features are already adapted to the unique needs of a rimfire scope.  

Can a rimfire scope be used on a centerfire rifle? 

You might be tempted to use your rimfire scope on a centerfire rifle – but don’t give in. Your scope likely won’t be able to handle the recoil. This can damage your lens beyond repair.  

Instead, use your rimfire scope on low-caliber guns like .22s. That being said, you can use a centerfire scope on a rimfire rifle if you need to.  

How do I mount a rimfire scope? 

You’ll want to read the instructions that come with your scope. This can vary depending on the type of rifle you have (make sure your new scope matches your rifle type when you buy, although several brands are interchangeable) and your scope brand. Just read the instructions that are included or hit up YouTube, where you’ll likely find a video that can answer that question for your specific equipment.  

How should I care for my rimfire scope? 

There’s not much you need to do in order to care for your rimfire scope. That’s not to say, however, that you can totally neglect it just because it’s low-maintenance and affordable! 

After each use, make sure you wipe your scope down to remove excess moisture – yes, even if it’s waterproof! If it is made out of steel, you will want to do a second rub-down with gun oil. Store it carefully and keep it covered when you do so.  

Conclusion  

You wouldn’t skimp on price and quality when it comes to your rifle – so why cut corners when you’re buying a scope? The right rimfire scope can make the difference between a so-so day of shooting and one that’s truly spectacular. Follow this guide and consider our top picks for the best rimfire scope for the .22lr, and you’ll be guaranteed success at the range – and in the woods. 

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