Best Rimfire Scopes for a .22LR: 2023 Top Picks

For those who appreciate precision and want to get the most out of their rifle, a high-quality rimfire scope can significantly enhance your shooting experience. Tailor-made for .22LR rifles, these scopes offer specific features that complement the unique aspects of rimfire shooting, which often involves shorter ranges and lower bullet velocities.

Rimfire scopes come with a wide variety of specifications and features, making it essential for shooters to consider their specific needs and requirements when choosing the best option.

Factors such as the magnification range, lens quality, and reticle type can all play a crucial role in the success of your shooting experience. The optimal rimfire scope can bring out the true potential of your .22LR rifle, improving your accuracy and overall enjoyment during plinking, hunting, or competitive shooting.

When making a purchase, it is essential to keep in mind that a well-balanced rimfire scope will focus on the practical limits of the .22LR cartridge, avoiding unnecessary features while providing essential functions. The critical aspects to consider include the scope’s clarity, durability, and the ability to hold zero after multiple rounds.

I’ve researched and tested various rimfire scopes designed specifically for the .22LR cartridge. This in-depth analysis aims to help fellow shooting enthusiasts find the perfect rimfire scope that meets their unique requirements and enhances their shooting experiences.

Best Rimfire Scopes for .22LR

I’ve personally researched and compiled a list of the best rimfire scopes for your .22LR, to help you make the most of your shooting experience.

Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope 2-7x33mm (174179)

I highly recommend the Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope for those seeking a reliable, high-quality scope for their .22LR.


  • Exceptional clarity and image quality
  • Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
  • Parallax adjusted for 60 yards, suitable for rimfire cartridges


  • High rings needed for proper clearance
  • Adjustments may feel less tactile at slow pacing
  • Possible to receive a returned item when purchasing

I was truly impressed with the clarity and image quality after trying out the Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope on my .22LR. The Twilight Light Management System allowed me to squeeze in those extra minutes of shooting during dusk, while also reducing glare and keeping the image crisp.

The scope’s durability and resilience to the elements were equally impressive, as it’s 100% waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. The build quality felt solid and the lightweight design made it easy to handle. Besides, it has a Rimfire-MOA reticle and is parallax adjusted for 60 yards, which is just perfect for Rimfire cartridges.

Although this scope’s performance is top-notch, I came across a few minor drawbacks. When setting up the scope, I had to purchase high rings to ensure proper clearance for the bell and rifle. While accurate, the precision 1/4 MOA finger click adjustments felt slightly less tactile when turning the dials slowly.

One other caveat to be aware of when purchasing this scope is the possibility of receiving a returned item. A few customers have reported receiving an opened package with slight marks on the scope. However, with its superior quality and performance, I still believe the Leupold VX-Freedom is an excellent choice for any enthusiast looking for the best rimfire scopes for their .22LR.

Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32mm Rifle Scope

Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32mm Rifle Scope

The Vortex Crossfire II is the perfect scope for a .22LR rifle offering crisp optics and solid build quality.


  • Superior clarity and brightness
  • Easy to use turrets and magnification
  • Impressive eye relief


  • Not specifically designed for rimfire rifles
  • SFP reticle requires precise eye positioning
  • Made in China, not the USA

I recently tried out the Vortex Crossfire II on my .22LR rifle, and I was impressed with the overall performance. The glass provided exceptional clarity and brightness allowing me to shoot with increased accuracy. I appreciated how easy it was to grip and adjust the magnification ring and turrets even with gloves on.

Although this scope isn’t specifically designed for rimfire rifles, I found it to be a good fit for my .22LR. The eye relief was just right for me, and I didn’t have to struggle with getting a clear sight picture. However, since it has a second focal plane reticle, I had to maintain a precise eye position for consistent results.

The one downside I noticed was that even though Vortex is known for being an American brand, the Crossfire II is made in China. Despite this, the build quality felt solid and the scope held zero without issue during my time using it. In conclusion, the Vortex Crossfire II is an excellent scope for a .22LR rifle offering precise optics and a durable build that I would recommend to fellow shooters.

Simmons Truplex .22 MAG 3-9x32mm Riflescope

Simmons Truplex .22 MAG 3-9x32mm Riflescope

The Simmons Truplex Riflescope is an affordable and reliable choice for rimfire enthusiasts looking for accuracy and performance.


  • Great quality for the price
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Clear and bright image


  • Rings might not fit all rifles
  • Not designed for long-range shooting
  • No night vision capabilities

When I first used my Simmons Truplex .22 MAG 3-9x32mm Riflescope, I was impressed by the clarity and brightness of the image. With its 3-9x magnification range and 32mm objective lens, this scope is perfect for close to mid-range shooting, which I needed for my .22LR rifle. It also has a versatile Truplex reticle that aids in quick and easy target acquisition, even in low light conditions.

Durability is an essential aspect of any riflescope, and the Simmons Truplex provides that with both waterproof and fog proof capabilities, ensuring it can perform in various weather conditions. I took it out on a rainy day, and it held up just fine without any issues. Combined with Simmons’ reputation for quality and reliability, this riflescope is a great investment for enhancing your rimfire shooting experience.

However, I noticed with this scope that the provided rings might not fit all rifles, so be prepared to buy a different set of rings if they don’t fit your rifle. Also, it’s not designed for long-range shooting, so if that’s something you want to do, you might want to consider a different scope with higher magnification power. The lack of night vision may also be a downside for some users, but for me, it wasn’t a major concern.

The Simmons Truplex .22 MAG 3-9x32mm Riflescope offers excellent performance and image quality at an affordable price, making it a fantastic option for rimfire shooting enthusiasts. Despite some minor drawbacks, it is a solid investment for anyone looking to improve their rimfire shooting experience.

Athlon Optics Ares ETR UHD 4.5-30×56

Athlon Optics Ares ETR UHD 4.5-30x56

I highly recommend the Athlon Optics Ares ETR UHD 4.5-30×56 for its clarity, functionality, and value for money.


  • Exceptional image clarity and true color reproduction
  • First focal plane reticle with 6 illumination settings
  • Precision Zero Stop System for accurate zeroing


  • Slightly touchy eye relief at high magnification
  • May be too feature-rich for a casual user
  • Heavier compared to some alternatives

I recently had the opportunity to test the Athlon Optics Ares ETR UHD 4.5-30×56 riflescope, which exceeded my expectations. With its ED glass, the scope significantly reduces chromatic aberration, giving me a bright, sharp image with true color reproduction even at long distances. The first focal plane reticle, which stays valid at all power settings, allowed me to easily adjust to any zoom level while maintaining a clear and accurate aim.

The Precision Zero Stop System was a big plus for me. I was able to lock down my zero position and dial back to it with a sharp and precise stop right at my zero mark. This feature definitely sets this riflescope apart from other options on the market.

One drawback I encountered was the slightly touchy eye relief at high magnification. Although it didn’t affect my overall experience negatively, it’s worth mentioning for those relying heavily on high-zoom shooting. Additionally, the scope may be a bit too feature-rich for a casual user; however, it undoubtedly offers countless benefits for those looking to up their game in the field.

Overall, the Athlon Optics Ares ETR UHD 4.5-30×56 is a fantastic riflescope that delivers superior performance at an affordable price point. It’s an ideal choice for both avid hunters and serious long-range shooters seeking high-quality optics without breaking the bank.

Burris FastFire III (3 MOA Dot)

Burris FastFire III

I highly recommend the Burris FastFire III for its ease of use, accuracy, and versatility in various shooting scenarios.


  • Easy tool-less windage and elevation adjustments
  • Three levels of brightness with an automatic brightness setting
  • Top of sight battery access for convenient battery replacement


  • Finicky battery compartment cover
  • Not tested with high-recoil firearms
  • No night vision compatibility

I mounted the Burris FastFire III on my .22LR, and I have to say, it has been a game-changer. The easy tool-less windage and elevation adjustments made it simple to zero in and hold zero exceptionally well. The three brightness levels, along with the automatic setting, allowed me to easily adapt to varying lighting conditions.

One of my favorite features is the top-of-sight battery access. This makes battery replacement much more convenient, as I don’t need to remove the sight from the gun. However, I did find it a tad difficult to screw the battery cover on without cross-threading, but once it was in place, everything worked perfectly.

On the downside, I’ve only tested the Burris FastFire III on my .22LR, so I can’t speak to its performance with high-recoil firearms like a 12-gauge shotgun or a .30-06 bolt action rifle. Plus, it doesn’t have night vision compatibility, which could be a deal-breaker for some.

The Burris FastFire III is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reliable and versatile rimfire scope for their .22LR. It’s easy to use, accurate, and adaptable – a great addition to your shooting setup.

Hawke Vantage IR 3-9×40 Rimfire Scope

Hawke Vantage IR 3-9x40


  • Superior strength with 1-inch mono-tube chassis
  • Fully multi-coated lenses for improved clarity
  • Illumination with dual red and green settings


  • Stiff knob on lighted reticle adjustment for some users
  • May require 1″ rings, not included
  • Limited to 5 brightness settings

I recently had the pleasure of testing the Hawke Vantage IR 3-9×40 Rimfire Scope on my .22LR, and I must say, I was thoroughly impressed. The 1-inch mono-tube chassis offers excellent strength and durability, ensuring stability even during heavy recoil. The fully multi-coated lenses also provide enhanced light transmission and increased contrast, which is essential for clear and precise target acquisition.

The low-profile fingertip turrets with 1/4 MOA adjustments make it easy to fine-tune the scope while protecting it from the elements when out in the field. Moreover, the high torque zoom ring allows for smooth magnification adjustments without shifting during recoil. This feature, coupled with the multi-stage illumination of dual red and green brightness settings, maximizes reticle visibility in various lighting conditions.

However, there are some minor drawbacks of the Hawke Vantage IR 3-9×40. One user reported a stiff knob on the lighted reticle adjustment, which might be a manufacturing inconsistency. Also, the scope may require 1″ rings that are not included in the package, so be sure to purchase those separately. Finally, the illumination is limited to only five brightness settings, which might not cater to everyone’s preference in diverse lighting situations.

The Hawke Vantage IR 3-9×40 Rimfire Scope is a fantastic investment for anyone looking to enhance their .22LR shooting experience. Despite the few limitations, its performance, durability, and clarity make it stand out as an exceptional choice in the world of rimfire scopes.

Bushnell Rimfire 3-9×40 Illuminated Riflescope

Bushnell Rimfire 3-9x40 Illuminated Riflescope

I highly recommend the Bushnell Rimfire 3-9×40 Illuminated Riflescope for its exceptional performance and quality at an affordable price.


  • Crystal clear optics and easy magnification adjustments
  • Lightweight and waterproof one-piece construction
  • Hold positions out to 125 yards on BDC reticle


  • Illumination not working for some users
  • Confusing ballistic app and lack of owner’s manual
  • May require additional high rings for proper clearance

While using the Bushnell Rimfire 3-9×40 Illuminated Riflescope, I noticed how clear and bright the image quality was. The adjustable magnification quickly zoomed in on my target with ease, providing a seamless experience. The multi-coated optics improved light transmission and contrast, making it simple to get on target.

The lightweight, waterproof-sealed, one-piece aluminum construction made this scope feel durable without adding unnecessary weight to my rifle. I also appreciated the capped turrets that protected my scope settings while I was out in the field. The BDC reticle with hold positions out to 125 yards gave me the confidence in my aim to make accurate shots.

However, there were a few drawbacks. Some users reported that the illumination feature did not work upon arrival. The ballistic app and lack of owner’s manual can be confusing for beginners. Extra high rings might also be needed for proper clearance on certain rifles.

Overall, the Bushnell Rimfire 3-9×40 Illuminated Riflescope is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to enhance their small game hunting or target shooting experience with a dedicated .22LR rimfire scope. The product’s high-quality performance is backed by Bushnell’s lifetime warranty, which adds great value to this purchase.

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Riflescope

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25

I highly recommend the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Riflescope for its durability, performance, and affordability.


  • Easy mounting on various firearms
  • Waterproof and shockproof construction
  • Nitrogen purged for fog proofing


  • Brightness settings may not suit all environments
  • Smaller size may be unexpected
  • Some units may come with older logo font

I recently mounted the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Riflescope on my .22LR rifle and was impressed with its compatibility on different firearms such as pistols, muzzleloaders, and shotguns. The Picatinny mount system easily fit on the rail, and after zeroing in, it held its position well during my use at the range.

The waterproof and shockproof construction made the scope durable even in harsh conditions, and I was reassured that the nitrogen-purged optics won’t fog up in humid environments or rapidly changing temperatures. I found it essential for maintaining clear vision and preventing unnecessary disruptions while shooting.

Something to note is the brightness settings. Although the red dot reticle has 11 levels of brightness, in extremely bright or dim environments, some may find the sight harder to see or too bright. I personally found the range of settings to be adequate for my needs, but others might need to consider their primary shooting environments when looking into this riflescope.

Some buyers are confused about the older yellow/gold logo font on certain product images. However, this issue is purely aesthetic and does not affect the functionality or overall performance of the riflescope.

Overall, the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Riflescope offers durability, performance, and adaptability at an affordable price. It is a great option for those looking to enhance their shooting experience with a reliable rimfire scope for their .22LR firearms.

Armstrong Precision Rimfire 4-16X44 Scope

Armstrong Precision Rimfire 4-16X44 Scope

This scope provides great value for .22LR shooters with its multitude of features and excellent performance.


  • Impressive eye relief
  • Lockable and resettable turrets
  • Side parallax focus from 15 yards to infinity


  • Slightly heavy at 1 pound 2 ounces
  • May require some learning with the MIL-DOT reticle
  • Limited customer reviews

I recently had the opportunity to test the Armstrong Precision Rimfire 4-16X44 Scope on my .22LR rifle, andI was genuinely impressed by its performance. The excellent eye relief allowed me to quickly and comfortably find my target, while the lockable and resettable adjustment turrets ensured that my settings remained precise during my shooting session.

The side parallax focus feature was a real game-changer, as it enabled me to adjust the scope’s focus from a close 15 yards to infinity. This feature is particularly useful when shooting at closer ranges, which is common for .22LR calibers.

While using the MIL-DOT reticle, I discovered that it requires practice and research to fully understand and use effectively. However, with numerous online resources available, I learned quickly and found it to be a versatile and useful tool for ranging and estimating targets.

The only drawback I noticed was the weight of the scope. At 1 pound 2 ounces, it may feel slightly heavy for some users, but I quickly adapted to it, and it did not hinder my shooting experience.

In conclusion, the Armstrong Precision Rimfire 4-16X44 Scope offers great value for .22LR shooters looking to improve their accuracy and shooting experience. The pros definitely outweigh the cons, and I highly recommend giving this scope a try, especially considering its included accessories and 100% money-back guarantee.

Buying Guide

When looking for the best rimfire scope for a .22LR, several factors must be considered. In this buying guide, I’ll help you understand the various features and aspects to keep in mind.


The first thing to consider is the magnification of the scope. For a .22LR, you don’t need a very high magnification scope, as the rifle’s effective range is usually around 150 yards. A fixed power scope between 4x and 6x or a variable power scope ranging from 2x to 7x should be sufficient for most practical purposes.

Objective Lens

The objective lens diameter directly affects the amount of light that enters the scope, impacting brightness and clarity. A bigger objective lens will result in better light transmission, but remember that larger lenses can also add weight to the scope and make it bulkier.

Reticle Type

Many reticle styles are available, but one of the most popular choices for rimfire shooters is the bullet drop compensating (BDC) reticle. This type of reticle allows for easier adjustments when aiming at longer distances, as it provides holdover points for varying ranges. Another option is the basic duplex reticle, which offers simplicity and faster target acquisition.

Parallax Adjustment

Parallax is the optical illusion that occurs when the target and reticle appear to shift positions as you move your head. For scopes designed for rimfire use, it’s important to have a parallax adjustment set for shorter distances, typically around 50 yards. This can be achieved through adjustable objective (AO) or side focus parallax adjustments.


Easy-to-use, reliable turrets are essential for making accurate adjustments when sighting in your .22LR rifle. Look for scopes that have finger-adjustable turrets with tactile and audible clicks, making it easier to dial in your shots.

In addition to these essential features, also consider other factors such as fogproofing and waterproofing, scope weight, eye relief, and overall build quality. Considering these aspects, you can narrow down your options and find the perfect rimfire scope for your .22LR.

Frequently Asked Questions

What magnification works best for a 22LR rifle?

In my experience, a magnification range of 3-9x is ideal for most .22LR rifles. This range offers versatility for different shooting distances and situations. At lower magnifications (3-4x), it’s perfect for plinking and close-range shooting, while at higher magnifications (7-9x), it’s great for precise target shooting or small game hunting.

What size scope is best for a 22LR?

A compact or mid-size scope is typically best for a .22LR rifle due to its lightweight and compact design. Scope sizes with an objective lens diameter between 32mm and 40mm are quite suitable. These scopes still provide decent light transmission and perform well in most lighting conditions.

Do Rimfire rifles need special scopes?

Rimfire rifles, including .22LR, do benefit from scopes specifically designed for them. These scopes typically have parallax adjustments set at shorter distances, typically around 50 yards, compared to the standard 100 yards for centerfire rifles. Rimfire scopes are also often designed to handle the unique recoil impulse of rimfire rounds.

How important is the reticle type for rimfire scopes?

The choice of reticle type depends on your shooting preferences and needs. A simple duplex reticle is often all you need for general plinking and casual shooting. However, if you plan on engaging in precise target shooting or hunting, a reticle with holdover points, such as a BDC or Mil-Dot reticle, can be quite helpful for bullet drop and wind compensation.

Do parallax adjustments matter for 22LR scopes?

Parallax adjustments can be beneficial for .22LR scopes, especially if you shoot at varying distances. Since rimfire rifles are often used at closer ranges than centerfire rifles, having a scope with an adjustable parallax can help keep the reticle and target image on the same focal plane, ensuring more accurate shots.

What is the best sight in distance for a 22?

The optimal sight-in distance varies based on your intended use. I find that sighting in at 50 yards works well for general plinking and casual shooting. If you’re into precision target shooting or hunting, you may want to consider sighting in at 75 or 100 yards, depending on your typical shooting distance.

How far will a .22 shoot accurately?

A .22LR can maintain accuracy to around 150 yards, but that can vary depending on the specific ammunition, rifle, and shooter skill. Beyond 150 yards, bullet drop and wind drift become significant factors, making it more challenging to achieve consistent accuracy. Remember that target shooting and hunting small game should ideally be done within 100 yards for maximum effectiveness.

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