Gear

What is the Best 22 Scope?

4The .22 LR rifle is one of the most popular firearms for sport shooting and small game. It is efficient, simple, and best of all, inexpensive. Bullets are cheap, there is little to no recoil, and it can be a great way to introduce kids to shooting.

When it comes to these firearms, it may not seem worth getting a good scope. However, it is always beneficial to have something to help you aim a little better. Getting a low end one might work for some people, but that is not always the case.

If you want to improve your .22 experience, getting a scope might be just what you need. It will not only help you aim better, but it will also allow you to get the most out of your 22. However, you should not just jump into buying one without knowing what you are looking for.

There are many types of scopes that will work with a 22. The best 22 scopes are the ones that will give you the most for your money. You are going to have options regardless of what kind of shooting you will be doing.

If you get a scope that is not suitable for the firearm, it will not end up having splendid performance. There is no reason to sacrifice quality and performance for a good price. Why have a sight that does not accurately show you where things are?

Click here for the Best 22 Scope available in 2017!

Here is a brief comparison table of the top 22 Scopes (article continues below):

22 Scopes Comparison table

22 ScopeMagnificationPriceRating

NightForce Riflescope

NightForce Riflescope
5-20x56mm$$$$$

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5 out of 5 Stars

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Nikon Nikoplex

Nikon Nikoplex
3-9x40mm$

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4.6 out of 5 Stars

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BSA Sweet .22




BSA Sweet .22
3-9x40mm$

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4.2 out of 5 Stars

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Barska Plinker-22 Riflescope

Barska Plinker-22 Riflescope
3-9x32mm$

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4.1 out of 5 Stars

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Top 4 Best 22 Scope Reviews

You may be wondering, “What is the best 22 scope?”. Well, that can be a tricky question. The best one for you will be the one that best suits your needs and is usually a personal preference. However, out of all the options out there, there are a few that stand out from the rest.

These best 22 scopes are the ones that are of quality and do the things that you want them to do. Features vary from model to model, but the concept is the same. Helping you to see your target much clearer will help immensely with precision.

Do not let people convince you that you need to spend $400 on a scope. There are a few hidden gems within the many scopes that are of lesser quality. An inexpensive option can be ideal for getting the job done. If you do not mind decreased durability and foggy glass that will not take in much light, then you will be able to find something just right.

NightForce Riflescope

nightforce rifle scope

Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars from 6 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

If you have an unlimited budget, keep in mind that more expensive does not always mean better quality.

However, you are going to find some fantastic scopes at this price range. It will be worth it to do some serious research before dropping this kind of money on a scope, especially if it is for a 22.

There are many fantastic scopes at this price point. However, one of them is the real cream of the crop.

The NightForce Riflescope is a professional scope that will blow your mind. You get what you pay for. Moreover, you will be paying around $2,000 or more for this scope.

If you are a professional who wants to spruce up your 22, this is the ideal scope.

With crystal clear glass and many other features, it is hard to beat. Dropping some money on this one will not be something that you regret.

Pros:

  • Water proof
  • Shock proof
  • Fog proof
  • 30 mm tube
  • 9 eye relief
  • Finger adjustable turrets
  • 56 mm objective lens
  • Zero stop feature
  • Weighs 32 ounces

Cons:

  • There are no real problems with this scope. With such a price tag, you can expect the best of the best. Quality control is on point, and the scope itself will be worth every penny.

The best scope for 22 is the one that best suits your personal needs. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when you are looking for a scope for your firearm. The many different features that are available are great, but not always ideal.

Meade Wilderness Spotting Scope 20-60x80 mm

Nikon Nikoplex

Nikon Nikoplex

Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars from 134 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

If you have a bit of a larger budget, do not hesitate to splurge a little.

The Nikon Nikoplex Rifle Scope will help you to make precise shots and adjust it depending on the conditions you are dealing with.

For less than $200, you can get this scope and all of the amazing things that it offers.

Pros:

  • Clear image
  • Holds zero
  • Matte finish
  • Easy installation
  • Nitrogen filled
  • Water proof
  • Fog proof
  • Illumination is not needed

Cons:

  • The finish scratches easily
  • Plastic turret covers are hard to thread back correctly

Meade Wilderness Spotting Scope 20-60x80 mm

Barska Plinker-22 Riflescope

Barska Plinker-22 Riflescope

Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars from 412 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

The best 22 scope under $100 is none other than Barska’s Plinker-22 Riflescope.

It is engineered specifically for .22 rifles and rimfires. Ideal for plinking and general hunting, it is able to withstand the conditions that most hunters will face.

Included is a limited lifetime warranty against defects.

It may be shock proof and water proof, but you still need to clean it every so often as a regular part of maintenance.

When you are not using it, keep the protective cover over it.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Accurate
  • Durable
  • Fast shipping
  • Easy to use
  • Water proof
  • Shock proof
  • Fog proof
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Great deal for the money
  • Quality product

Cons:

  • Might be worth it to replace rings
  • No way to reset the elevation and wind age to the starting point
  • Need to have good quality ammunition for better accuracy

Meade Wilderness Spotting Scope 20-60x80 mm

BSA Sweet .22

BSA Sweet .22

Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars from 447 customers. Click the image for prices and reviews!

A scope that is one of the best ones for the money is the BSA Sweet .22 Rifle Scope.

For just $50, you can have a great scope for your 22.

Not only is it affordable, but it is also high in quality and will last you a long time.

This scope will do everything that it says it will do.

You cannot really go wrong when it comes to this scope, especially if you do not need a whole bunch of bells and whistles to go along with your scope.

Pros:

  • Excellent value
  • Clear sight
  • Easy setup
  • Water proof
  • Shock proof
  • Fog proof
  • Well constructed
  • Weight is at a good level
  • Customer service
  • Suits a variety of firearms
  • Good eye relief
  • Great light gathering

Cons:

  • May be large
  • Can be hard to zero the target

Meade Wilderness Spotting Scope 20-60x80 mm

History

Rimfire is an ignition method for metallic firearm cartridges. This approach is called such because the gun’s firing pin strikes and crushes the rim of the base to ignite the primer. The more commonly used centerfire method strikes the primer cap at the center of the cartridge’s base.

.22 rounds were the first rimfire cartridges. After being established, many larger caliber cartridges were developed. This happened in the mid to the late 19th century.

Armalite is the first company to come up with the concept. The idea was bought out by Colt, and many variations of the firearm exist. These changes are usually all but identical to the Colt’s 22s.

Suitable Scopes

When it comes to buying a scope for your 22, it is important not just to get the cheapest one and be done with it. It will not be worth it when your scope does not work properly or is low quality. Even 22s deserve a decent scope.

  • Types of Scopes
    • Variable Scopes
      • These are the most common type of scopes. They are useful if magnification is needed for a clean shot.
      • You can adjust the magnification of variable scopes.
    • Fixed Scopes
      • These used to be the only options around. With these, you cannot switch the magnification.
    • Night Vision Scopes
      • Being able to see your target in the dark can be something beneficial to you. If you enjoy doing night time shooting, it is perfect. These scopes are usually specialty, and you will have to buy one that specifically has night vision.

Ammunition Types

There are several types of ammunition that can be used with this kind of cartridge. Whether it be subsonic or high velocity, the type of ammunition will have an effect on your shooting. Depending on what kind of shooting you are doing, different bullets will be better than others.

  • Subsonic
    • This ammunition is preferred because of its accuracy and noise reduction. It is ideal for plinking and varmint hunting. The rounds include ‘match’ or ‘target’ loads with a muzzle velocity of 1080 feet per second, which is at the speed of sound.
  • Standard Velocity
    • Standard ammunition is usually somewhat supersonic. This means that they move faster than the speed of sound. Their muzzle velocity of about 1123 feet per second with a standard 4 gram
  • High Velocity
    • These cartridges used to be filled with black powder, but now they are more commonly filled with smokeless powder. The velocity of the muzzle for these rounds is anything from 1200 to 13oo feet per second.
  • Hyper Velocity
    • Hyper velocity rounds are usually lighter in weight and travel anywhere from 1400 to 1800 feet per second.

What to Look For

Several aspects of scopes will be important to take into consideration. Your budget is probably the most important thing for you. Also, magnification, weight, reticle, and parallax are all things to look for. These things to look are useful in helping you to figure out what is the best 22 scope for you.

  • Price
    • When it comes to scopes for the 22, the range of prices is quite expansive. They can start at $30 and be as much as $1000 or more. How much are you willing to spend? This is especially when you consider how you use your rifle.
    • Buying a $300 to $500 scope for a beginner may not be the best idea.
  • Magnification
    • Variable
      • Variable magnification is when you are able to switch the settings of your scope to suit what you are doing. These scopes also tend to be more expensive than their fixed counterparts.
    • Fixed
      • When the magnification is fixed, you are unable to change the magnification.
    • Weight
      • How heavy your scope is will directly impact how you shoot. Keep this in mind when searching for a scope. The heavier it is, the more compensation you will have to do to make up for the weight.
    • Reticle
      • Reticles are the aiming points or crosshairs that help you to ‘lock on’ to your target and give you a clear shot. This is the first thing that you want to look at when considering different scopes. The first step to take is to answer the question: what is the real reason that you want or need a rifle scope? Once you respond to this question, you can move on to figuring out the distance that you plan to use the scope from.
      • Crosshair Reticle
        • This type of reticle is better adapted to accurate There are usually two thin, vertical and horizontal lines that cross in the center of the visual field. This reticle, however, is not adapted for shooting at a moving target. It is also hard to do wind age and elevation adjustments.
      • Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC)
        • BDC reticles are easier to understand when you know the basics of bullet trajectory. Bullets do not fly in a straight line; they travel in an arc and then fall to the ground. When you are looking at a target, you are looking in a straight line while you aim. This, called Line of Aim (LOA), is affected by the arcing trajectory. To compensate, you will have to aim higher than your target.
        • If you do long range shooting, this will be beneficial. It allows you to aim directly at the target without the need for compensation.
      • MilDot Reticle
        • A mildot reticle helps to estimate the distance to the target. There are dots spaces in one mil (mil-radian) increments.
        • This will not tell you the height in which you need to aim, but it can help to cover trajectory arching.
      • Duplex Reticle
        • Duplex reticles are the most popular type of reticle. Each manufacturer has their own name for this duplex reticle. For example, Nikoplex, 30-30, et cetera. This combination of horizontal and vertical lines intersects in the center of the lens.
        • The complex shape of this type is thick for most of it, but thin around the cross section.
        • This allows you to do different things. These being, making a quick shot at a moving target or aiming at small targets. You can even make your own adjustments to focus your eye on the point in which the thin line becomes thicker.
      • Illuminated Reticles
        • There are a couple of types of illuminated reticles. They are used in low light conditions since the whole crosshair is lit up. Some types only have a part of it lit up. If you want this kind of scope, be prepared to drop some money. Inexpensive ones are going to be lesser in quality by a decently large margin.
      • Parallax
        • Parallax is when the focal plane of the scope is not aligned. This complicated subject is easiest defined as such. There is a way to test this alignment. Place the firearm in a stable resting position, without you holding it. Then, put a target at a distance that you know. Set the AO ring to work with that particular range, and adjust the rest so that the scope’s crosshairs are centered on the bull’s eye.

Additional Features

There is a wide variety of features that scopes can come with. These features are useful, but not always needed. Depending on what you need for your scope, these additional things can be more in the way than useful. It is ultimately up to you which features suit your needs.

  • Fingertip Adjustable Turrets
    • Turrets are ideal for long range shooting and hunting. However, they are not really necessary for this kind of firearm.
  • Massive Objective lenses
    • 40 or 42 mm objective lenses are not only unnecessary, but they are also too big. Adding this weight will require it to be mounted
  • Illuminated reticles
    • Focused on tactical applications, illuminated reticles can be problematic. Being too bright creates a wash out that makes smaller targets harder to see.

22 Scope Brands

Much like most other products, there are several companies and brands that make rifle scopes. In this same realm of thought, some brands are going to be held on a higher pedestal than others. Some of these brands are even well known for their products that have nothing to do with firearms. With reliable quality and experience, you cannot go wrong with many of the products from these brands.

The following six brands are the most popular ones that make scopes for any rifle, not just the .22. Not all of them are going to be compatible with your 22, but they are still good to look at to know what you are getting into.

There are much higher end brands that cost a fortune, but we are only going to go over the ones that are reasonably priced, or at least have products that are as such.

  • Leupold
    • Founded in 1907, this family owned company is one of the highest quality manufacturers of scopes in the world. Their scopes are used by the US military and Navy SEALs which shows just how quality they are. From simple hunting scopes to flexible and robust tactical designs utilized by the military, they have tons of options to choose from.
  • Redfield
    • “No Excuses” is Redfield’s motto. They offer a full lifetime warranty on all of their non electrical Purchased by Leupold & Stevens Inc. in April 2008, they did not acquire the capability of repairing their products that were made prior to the buyout.
  • Sightmark
    • Founded in 2007, Sightmark has been growing steadily in the modern shooting market. This is thanks to their products and rifle scopes. Operated in Texas, their motto is “Make Your Mark.” Their products have a large variety and are at the top of the market. They are known for making Triple Duty, Pinnacle, and Ezekiel rifle scopes which excel in performance.
  • Burris
    • Best known for their larger diameter lenses on their scopes, Burris is used by amateurs and professionals alike. The vow that they employ only the most knowledgeable and passionate engineers to develop their products.
  • Brushnell
    • As one of the older scope manufacturers, their products are still popular on the market. For over 65 years, they have prided themselves on only providing the best quality products to their customers. Most of their products are affordable and reliable hunting products.
  • Barska
    • Operated out of Pomona California, this is one of the top brands that provide rifle scopes on the market. Other than the United States, they have over 40 countries that they distribute to. The priority of Barska is all kinds of sport Also, they offer products that can be customized for their corporate customers.
  • Nikon
    • Nikon is not just famous for their cameras. They make other lensed products like scopes. Their scopes are very reliable, just like the company.
    • As one of the more well known brands of sports optics, Nikon has a variety of options when it comes to scopes. They are super popular for their cutting edge hunting optical rifle scopes. The strengths of this company include quality, product performance, and their commitment to innovation.

It is super important to make sure that you are not going the wrong way with your scope. Whether it be something too cheap or something that is not worth the money you drop on it, you are going to want to be cautious of what you end up getting. It may just be a 22, but it deserves a decent scope that will be of use to you no matter what you are trying to do.

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