Best Rimfire Scope


Are you looking for precision and accuracy when out on the field or at the range with your .22 or other rimfire rifle? Choosing the best rimfire scope can make an incredible difference to your shooting performance, but with the sheer number of options out there, how do you know which scope will give you that coveted edge?

Our Top Picks

Our #1 Top Pick: Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire

When it comes to versatility and reliability, the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire takes top honors. This scope is a perfect blend of quality and affordability. Featuring a specific V-Plex reticle designed for a variety of hunting applications, it offers clear glass and excellent light transmission, which allows for great sight pictures even in low-light conditions. The fast-focus eyepiece and fully multi-coated lenses ensure a crisp image, while the resettable MOA turrets enable easy, repeatable adjustments. Built with a single-piece tube, the Crossfire II is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof, making it ready to withstand the elements and the recoil of even the most robust rimfire cartridges.

Pick #2: Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire 3-9×40

The Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire 3-9×40 scope is a testament to what a classic American company can offer for the discerning marksman. Known for their rugged construction, Leupold scopes are crafted to serve generations. This particular model comes with a 3-9x magnification range which is adaptable for both close and long-range targeting. The Twilight Light Management System is a standout feature that provides clear images in various light levels. Additionally, the scope is ultra-lightweight and water-resistant, with a parallax set for 60 yards which is ideally suited for rimfire rifles.


Nikon’s PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II BDC150 is a brilliant choice for those who need precision in their shots. This scope boasts Nikon’s renowned optics quality; it comes with fully multi-coated lenses that provide maximum brightness and contrast. The BDC150 reticle is specifically designed for rimfire shooters, offering unique open circle aiming points from 50 to 150 yards. It also features precise, 1/4-inch at 50 yards adjustments for reliable and consistent P.O.I (point of impact) changes. Robust in construction, it is nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed, making it waterproof and fog proof.

Pick #4: Simmons 3-9x32mm .22 Waterproof Fogproof Matte Black Riflescope

The Simmons 3-9x32mm .22 Waterproof Fogproof Matte Black Riflescope offers great functionality at an attractive price point. This is an ideal choice for those shooting on a budget but still requiring quality performance. With HydroShield lens coating and a TrueZero windage and elevation adjustment system, this scope maintains a clear sight picture and stays locked in under any shooting condition. The Quick Target Acquisition (QTA) eyepiece ensures rapid target acquisition and a generous eye relief. Its simplicity and rugged build make it a favorite among casual shooters and seasoned hunters alike.

Pick #5: Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC Rimfire Reticle Riflescope

Bushnell has long been a trusted name in optics, and their Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC Rimfire Reticle Riflescope further cements their reputation. Designed with the rimfire .22 caliber user in mind, it features a calibrated BDC reticle for holdovers up to 125 yards. With a 2-7x magnification range and fully multi-coated optics, this scope ensures superb clarity and brightness. It has target turrets for pinpoint precise adjustments and is built to withstand bumps, bangs, and drops with its durable aluminum alloy body. The Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 is a well-rounded choice that won’t disappoint.

What to Know Before You Buy

  • Magnification: Rimfire rifles are typically used for shooting at short to medium ranges. Therefore, an appropriate magnification for a rimfire scope is usually between 2x and 9x. Higher magnification is not always better in this case.
  • Reticle: A good rimfire scope often has a simple reticle that’s easy to use. Some offer bullet drop compensation (BDC) reticles that are specifically calibrated for typical rimfire shooting distances.
  • Lens Quality: The quality of the lenses is crucial. Look for fully multi-coated lenses as they provide the best light transmission and the clearest image.
  • Parallax Setting: Many rimfire scopes have a fixed parallax setting, typically around 50 yards, which is suitable for the range most rimfire rifles are used at.
  • Turrets: Adjustable turrets allow for quick changes in windage and elevation. Some scopes offer resettable turrets, which can be beneficial for shooters who frequently adjust their zero.
  • Durability: The scope should be able to handle the outdoors as well as the recoil of your rifle. Features like waterproofing, fog-proof construction, and shock-resistant housing are important.

Factors to Consider Before Buying

  • Intended Use: Are you hunting, target shooting, or participating in competition? Your scope choice should reflect your primary activity.
  • Budget: Decide on a price range that’s comfortable for you. There are great options at various price points, but generally, investing more can get you better quality and durability.
  • Weight: Since rimfire rifles are often used for their lightweight and maneuverability, choosing a heavy scope can offset these advantages. Consider the weight of the scope so as not to burden your setup.
  • Size/Fit: The scope should fit your rifle without overhanging the barrel or affecting the balance and handling of the gun.
  • Warranty: A warranty can be an indicator of the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. A good warranty will protect your investment in the long term.
  • Eye Relief: Ensure the scope offers adequate eye relief to maintain comfort and safety while shooting.
  • Customer Service: Consider companies with a track record of excellent customer service for support and ease during any potential troubleshooting.

Why Trust ChooseRight?

At ChooseRight, we take great pride in our review process because we understand that when it comes to precision instruments like scopes, your experience in the field is directly influenced by our recommendations. Our team of experienced shooters and outdoor enthusiasts has thoroughly reviewed these products, with an emphasis on hands-on testing where possible. We’ve also diligently read through thousands of customer reviews to watch for any patterns in praise or criticism. Moreover, we’ve sought feedback from professional shooters and hunting guides to bring you well-rounded, insightful, and trustworthy reviews. Our goal is to ensure you make an informed purchasing decision that leads to satisfaction and success in your shooting endeavors.

Finishing Thoughts

Choosing the right rimfire scope can transform your shooting experience, providing clarity, precision, and an overall improvement in performance. While our top picks offer an excellent starting point, your specific needs, preferences, and budget should ultimately guide your choice. Keep an eye on important factors such as the scope’s magnification, reticle design, lens quality, and durability when making your decision. Don’t forget to weigh in the additional considerations listed under factors to consider before buying. Remember, the right piece of glass can make all the difference when you aim down sights. Happy shooting!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a rimfire scope?

A rimfire scope is a type of optical sighting device specifically designed for use with rimfire rifles, which are firearms that fire cartridges where the firing pin strikes the rim of the cartridge base to ignite the primer, as opposed to centerfire rifles which strike the center of the base. Rimfire scopes are typically calibrated for the ballistics of rimfire cartridges, which have less recoil and shorter effective ranges than centerfire cartridges.

Can I use a rimfire scope on a centerfire rifle?

While it is physically possible to mount a rimfire scope on a centerfire rifle, it is not recommended because rimfire scopes are not built to withstand the higher recoil of centerfire ammunition. Also, the calibration and reticle design may not be suitable for the ballistics of centerfire rounds. It’s best to use a scope that’s designed for the type of rifle and ammunition you’re using.

What magnification do I need for a rimfire scope?

The magnification you need depends on your intended use. For close to medium-range shooting (up to 100 yards), a lower magnification (such as 2-7x or 3-9x) may be sufficient. For longer ranges, shooting small targets, or if you require more detail, a higher magnification might be necessary. However, remember that higher magnification can limit your field of view and make shooting at moving targets more challenging.

What features should I look for in a rimfire scope?

Key features to consider when selecting a rimfire scope include: lens quality, clarity, and coatings; durable construction; water, fog, and shock resistance; reticle type (e.g., BDC or duplex); adjustable turrets for windage and elevation; and a suitable magnification range for your specific shooting needs. Some shooters may also prefer scopes with adjustable objective lenses (AO) or side focus to correct parallax error.

How do I properly zero a rimfire scope?

To zero a rimfire scope, you’ll need to adjust the scope’s windage and elevation turrets to align the crosshairs with where the bullets strike at a certain distance (typically 50 or 100 yards for rimfire rifles). This involves shooting at a target from a stable platform, observing where the shots land, and making the appropriate adjustments until the point of aim matches the point of impact.

Are rimfire scopes suitable for hunting?

Yes, rimfire scopes are quite suitable for small game hunting and varmint control. Their lower magnification is generally appropriate for the ranges at which rimfire cartridges are effective, and they’re normally lightweight, which is advantageous for field use. It’s important to choose a scope with the appropriate reticle and magnification for your hunting environment and quarry.

How do I maintain my rimfire scope?

To maintain your rimfire scope, keep the lenses clean using a microfiber cloth and specialized optical cleaner. Avoid touching the lenses with your fingers. Ensure that the scope’s mounts are secure and check them periodically. Avoid exposing your scope to extreme temperatures for prolonged periods, and store it in a protective case when not in use. Also, regularly inspect your scope for any signs of wear or damage.

Does price reflect the quality of a rimfire scope?

Generally, you get what you pay for when it comes to rimfire scopes. Higher-priced models often have better optical quality, more durable construction, and additional features like illumination or higher quality coatings. However, there are many affordable scopes that offer great value and performance for the average shooter. It’s important to consider your budget and specific needs when choosing a scope.

What is the difference between a fixed and variable rimfire scope?

A fixed rimfire scope has a single, non-adjustable magnification level (e.g., 4x). It tends to be more rugged and have a brighter image because of fewer lenses. A variable rimfire scope allows you to adjust the zoom level (e.g., 2-7x) to suit different shooting scenarios. They offer more versatility but can be more expensive and complex.

Can I use a rimfire scope for competitive shooting?

Yes, many competitive shooters use rimfire scopes for events like precision target shooting, biathlon, and silhouette shooting. Competition shooters often favor high-quality scopes with fine reticles, precise adjustment turrets, and high magnification levels to accurately engage targets at various distances.

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