Small caliber rimfire cartridges continue to be popular because they are light, inexpensive and readily available for loading in your .22 long rifle for successfully hunting small game, especially with the addition of the best rimfire scope available for mounting on your gun.
Non-military shooters fire more .22LR ammunition annually than the total amount of all the other calibers together.
Rimfire rifles and ammo are very efficient for small game and varmint hunting and adding increased optical capabilities to these rifles enhances their accuracy, usefulness and desirability.
The fact that there are simply so many rimfire firearms in the world makes them a market to be reckoned with and there are many excellent international companies who compete for your business if you own one.
The Best Rimfire Scope Is Available In Fixed Or Variable Magnifications
When considering the many choices which would be the best 22 rifle scope to purchase for your rifle, it is important to understand some basic facts.
Both fixed and variable magnification scopes work well for rimfire rifles.
Rimfire scopes can be less expensive, but be careful that you are getting the quality you want.
The best rimfire rifle scopes can actually cost as much as the deluxe scopes for centerfire rifles.
Look for the features you want in the price range you can really afford.
It's A Good Idea To Match Magnification To The Rimfire Cartridge You're Using
Fixed 4X scopes (four power magnification) are really ideal for hunting small game with small caliber cartridges.
A fixed power scope is also generally more compact and lightweight than any of the variable power scopes.
The fixed power scope is a good fit for a .22 rifle and generally has better optics than a similarly priced variable power scope.
The opposite is true for the .22 Magnum, the .17 Mach 2, and .17 HHR cartridges and all these shoot much flatter than the .22LR.
These guns need the extra optical “reach” of a variable magnification scope to make full use of the advantage of their flatter trajectories.
For these rifles, consider a 3-9X scope, a 2-7X or the ultimate, a 4.5-14X Mueller one as their best rimfire scope choices.
Adjustable Objective Lenses Help You Deal With Parallax
The chief difference between the best rimfire scope today and almost all of the centerfire scopes is the distance at which they are focused to be parallax-free.
Rimfire rifle scopes have either an adjustable objective lens (AO) that allows you to focus the scope at the correct distance or they are (almost always) factory focused to be free of parallax at 50 yards.
Field and Stream magazine through their online articles rated some rimfire scopes and chose their best rimfire scope candidates in several price categories. The following eight scopes are their recommendations.
Don't Forget Field Of View (FOV) When Adjusting Magnification
The Sightron SII 3-9X36 mm AO has fully multi-coated optics that are sharp and bright.
The correction of color offered is very good and it has a great eye relief of three and one half inches to four inches.
The Sightron's field of view at three times magnification is 33 feet at 100 yards. The adjustable objective (AO) is from ten yards to infinity, which is very impressive.
This scope is expensive but it is one of, if not the best 22 rifle scope on the market today.
The Leupold VX-II 3-9X33 mm EFR (extended focusing range) has three to four inches of eye relief and is very easy to look through with good contrast and sharp images.
The multi-coated lens correct the color and flare very well while the field of view (FOV) at 3X magnification is 34 feet at 100 yards. Its front parallax AO ring is marked with little gold numerals. This scope has the clearest, best view of any of the other scopes listed except the Nikon.
Some Centerfire Scopes Are Suitable For Rimfire Use As Well
The Burris Timberline 3-9 X 32 mm is really a compact centerfire riflescope meant for use on short action rifles, such as rimfires.
It is focused to eliminate parallax at 100 yards instead of 50, so it is really more appropriate for use with a .17 HMR rifle.
The 3-9X magnification range is suited to magnum rimfire rifles used in hunting varmints and small game hunting.
The target view is clear and sharp but field of view is limited to only 25 feet at 3X – but for most 22 rimfire hunting duties, that’s generally sufficient since the game is small in size.
The Weaver Classic Rimfire 2.5-7X28 mm has a Duel-X reticle with fully multi-coated optics. FOV is 41 feet at 100 yards at 2.5X and eye relief is almost four inches and it is moderately priced.
The Nikon Prostaff Rimfire Classic 4X32 mm has the clearest, best view of any of the other scopes listed with the exception of the Sightron.
The FOV is 11 feet at 50 yards and the eye relief is a great four inches. This fixed magnification scope is the best rimfire scope that can also be used with excellent results for centerfire rifles that are chambered for revolver cartridges.
The Leading Rimfire Scopes Have Useful Features
The Simmons .22 Mag 3-9X32 mm AO is considered to be the best selling scope in the United States.
It is one of the best of the lower priced scopes. It is covered by the Simmons Limited Lifetime Warranty and has a True Zero adjustment system as well as a Tryplex reticle.
The FOV at 3X is 30 feet at 100 yards and eye relief is three and three quarter inches.
The Bushnell Rimfire 3-9X32 mm is an economical scope that is very good for all small game hunts. Eye relief is three inches and it has fully coated optics to reduce flare.
The Bushnell Rimfire 4X32 mm is a fixed magnification scope that is good for all rimfire rifles when they are used for hunting purposes. It has the same characteristics as the 3-9X32 model and they both have the same Multi-X reticle.
Both are focused to be parallax free at 50 yards.
You Can Choose From A Wide Range Of Excellent Rimfire Scopes
Other companies make excellent rimfire scopes and may have a model that could be the best rimfire scope for the way you hunt and shoot.
Barska, Mueller, Bushnell, Simmons, Weaver, Leupold and Nikon are solid, reputable companies to look at when you want to check out some of the leaders in the field. These companies set the standard for high quality rimfire rifle scopes.
Tasco, Mulin, BSA Optics, Konus and Redfield also produce high quality rimfire scopes worthy of your consideration.
You can be sure that one of these manufacturers is certain to have the very best rimfire scope for your rimfire firearm.