The .22lr is the Rodney Dangerfield of cartridges, it never gets any respect! Too many people buy beat up rusted rifles from a pawn shop and slap on any ole scope they can get for $20 at the nearest Walmart. What a shame…

The new technologies going into scopes made specifically for .22lr are awesome and the best scope for .22lr is a cheap and worthwhile upgrade for your gun. Here are five examples that’ll serve you well no matter what you’re planning for your rifle.

Check Out the Best Scope for .22lr .

Summary: Top 5 Scopes for .22lr

ModelFeaturesEditor's Rating (out of 5.0)
Nikon ProStaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle, 3-9 x 40mm- BDC Reticle
- Zero-Reset Turrets
- Lifetime Warranty
Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rifle Scope- V-Plex Reticle
- Rugged Design
- Lifetime Warranty
Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope- 40mm Objective Bell
- Specially coated Lenses
- Lifetime Warranty
Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC- Parallax Adjustment
- Target-Style Turrets
- Lightweight & Compact
Leupold VX-1 Rimfire Rifle Scope- Excellent Build Quality
- Small & Lightweight
- Snag Free Simple Design

What to Consider When Choosing a Good .22lr Scope?

Size & Weight

Adult rimfire rifles are compact, .22lr rifles made for children are downright tiny. They carry extremely well and can be toted over hill and dale for hours and you shouldn’t spoil that with a clucky scope made for shooting past the .22lr’s abilities.

Look for a compact scope that is as slight as you’re willing to pay for. Huge target turrets only belong on bench rest or precision rifles, if you plan on carrying your rifle long distance, skip turrets. The simpler, and easier to use your rifle scope the more likely you are to love it.


The reticle on a scope can now be had in just about any shape and configuration you could ever want. Some are very useful in the field, other not so much.

Known as a Ballistically Calibrated Reticle, BDC for short, they help you predict where you shot will go based on putting hash marks on the reticle to use as an old over when you’re shooting. They go from mild to wild with these marks and ranges but for hunting with a .22lr they are great.

Try and get a reticle that is intuitive and you can use quickly and under pressure. there are countless stories of hunters and competitors missing shots because their reticles weren’t easy to use.

Glass & Quality

You may think that because it’s just a .22lr scope, you don’t need “that good” of a scope. On the contrary high optical quality and good quality glass. Shooting at small game and tiny targets means slight aberrations in the glass or inferior light gathering ability will keep you from getting the most out of your gun.

.22lr Scope Reviews: 5 High-Value Models

Nikon ProStaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle, 3-9 x 40mm

Nikon is known for their advances in optical quality while keeping the price cheap. One of the best optics companies you can buy from they make all types of optical equipment and excellent scopes. This scope carries the standard fully multi-coated glass, O-ring sealed and dry nitrogen purged construction that you’d expect.

Sighting in on targets is easy, the design of the scope features a fast focus eye piece, intuitive BDC reticle, and smooth adjustment knob. The turrets on this scope are regulated for ¼” at 50 yards, perfect for a rimfire scope and have zero stops on them. If you hunt small game with your rimfire, this is an excellent choice for a scope.

Pros: High Quality, Zero Stop Turrets, Excellent Glass

Cons: Longer than other scopes

 Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rifle Scope

Vortex is known for extremely durable equipment and interesting new designs. They make excellent hunting optics that are dead simple and dead reliable. This is their best rimfire scope made for quick small game hunting in close brush.

Made from a single 1-inch tube of aerospace aluminum. This scope has slightly less magnification than other scopes with 2-7x power but makes up for it with a huge field of view of 42” at 100 yards. About as good as an optic can get for rimfire hunting.

Pros: Very Rugged, Clear Glass, Nice finish on the outside of the Scope

Cons: The turrets are a little long

 Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope

Bushnell makes the broadest range of sporting optics in the world and has all levels of performance and price. Their optics can be found on Walmart shelves and the rifles of elite military snipers. They’re biggest assets is that they can produce high-quality cheap optics, this is one of their examples. A rimfire version of the popular Banner Dawn & Dusk line.

Just like the name implies this is designed to gather the most of the amount of light for the least amount of money. It is one of the few rimfire scopes to have a 40mm objective bell and 3-9x power magnification. The huge bell and multicoated lens gather light really well for hunting at first light and before dusk.

Pros: Inexpensive, Exceptionally Bright,

Cons: Very Large Rimfire Scope, Heavy

Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC

Bushnell markets a number of specifically manufactured scopes for a variety of jobs. This scope is one made for Ar-15 variant rifles chambered in .22lr. It is an excellent value that includes high-end features like turrets and a BDC reticle that is accurate out to 125 yards, long range for the little .22lr.

This target style scope only has a maximum of 7x power so you may be lacking in magnification but the addition of the parallax adjustment makes the ranges you’re shooting at much clearer and easier to see. The turrets are large and can get caught easily in the field and the adjustment assembly on the bottom of the scope can limit how low you can mount it.

If you can overcome these limits you have an awesome scope you can use for plinking or competition on any rimfire rifle.

Pros: BDC Reticle, Turrets, Compact

Cons: Cannot be Mounted as Low as Others

 Leupold VX-1 Rimfire Rifle Scope

If you need a scope, you probably have heard of Leupold. The greatest of the American optics producers, they make some of the best sporting optics a man can buy. This is their value prices rimfire scope and while it is more than any other scope on the list it is well worth the money.

This scope is very simple, from the one price construction to simple adjustment knobs, and plain thin line reticle. The greatest strength of this optic is the quality. It won’t do any specialized jobs but till likely outlast every scope out there. It features little details that add up like 2nd generation Argon & Krypton filling, proprietary lens coating, and diamond coat exterior.

Pros: Extremely High Quality, Proprietary Coatings, and Fillings

Cons: Very basic features


The lowly .22lr is used for casual plinking, low-speed squirrel hunting and as a just all around woods, waling gun. Many people start on a .22lr and can’t get enough of it. While you’re not going to stake your life on a .22lr, you will certainly get more enjoyment out of having a quality optic on your gun.

The best .22lr scopes are easy to find and very cheap compared to their centerfire cousins. You just can’t beat the enjoyment of a fine .22lr rifle, so get yourself one of the awesome scopes listed here and get in the woods with it!