For the longest time, rimfire scopes were plain crappy. They either had spotty adjustments or just used inferior glass. But that was to change. Today, some pretty cool optics could cost you two or three times the riffle's price. 

Under the rimfire collection, the .22lr rifle is affordable and gives such accurate shots. Making it a no-brainer pick for many small game hunters and target shooters alike.

It offers a lightweight and minimum kickback or recoil makes this a great beginner’s rifle. You can use it for target practice, pest control, or plinking because it's cheaper than using centerfire ammo.

What's more, with less than a 1″ bullet drop, this rifle can shoot to almost 50 yards. Bear in mind that the riffle needs a light cartridge and a thin base limiting it to an accurate shooting distance of about 200 yards, which can be improved. But here's the catch, just owning the gun alone won't give you the optimal rifle experience this cartridge provides. 

When it comes to game hunting or plinking, the range you can work with might feel limited. And this is where the rimfire scope comes in. Not only does the rimfire scope maximise your gun’s range, but it also gives you a better magnification range and significantly improves your accuracy.

In today’s fast-advancing science and technology age, it can get tricky for budding rifle enthusiasts to choose the best fitting rimfire scope for their riffle. If you are looking for a durable rimfire scope or new to rifle shooting or a professional hunter, here's a guide to help you choose the best rifle scope for your rifle.

The Best Rimfire Scopes

1. Athlon Optics Neos 39x40mm Second Focal Plane Rimfire Scope

Athlon Optics Neos 3-9x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
  • Fully Multicoated optics effectively reduces reflected light...
  • Heat treated one piece tube gives the scope extra strength...
  • Aircraft Grade Aluminum provide extra strength and...
  • Waterproof to protect the scope in the harshest weather...
  • Robust mechanical system with special designs on both...

Here's a rimfire scope that gives you perfect precision and easy target acquisition with top-notch, durable construction that doesn't necessarily need you to break the bank. The Athlon Optics brand has a wide selection of rimfire scopes, but the perfect choice for someone on a tight budget would be the Neos series. The Neos 39x40mm has impressive features, designed and built to endure.

It has a BDC22 Rim Fire reticle that was explicitly designed for rimfire. The reticle lens allows the shooter to compensate for the bullet drop at extensive shooting distances.

It has a muzzle velocity of 1,250 feet per second and is designed to zero at 50 yards. It provides a bullet drop compensation for 75, 100, 125, and 150 yards.

The BDC 500 IR delivers a high-level precision for easy target acquisition at extended targets. It can be used with the most popular rifle cartridges.

It has a Center X reticle lens that is perfect for a quick, clear view of the target while maintaining a distinct aiming point. The heavy posts come in handy against cover and in twilight conditions.

Technical specifications include:

  • Eye relief- 2.99-3.07 inches
  • Click value- 0.25 MOA
  • Adjustment range per rotation- 15 MOA
  • Total elevation adjustment- 80 MOA
  • Total windage adjustment- 80 MOA
  • Pros
  • Fully multi-coated optics lens - to reduce reflected light and increase light transmission to give you a brighter image as compared to standard single coated lenses.
  • Waterproof - to protect the scope in harsh rainy weather conditions or if accidentally dropped into water
  • Nitrogen purging - which dramatically reduces the moisture inside to help maintain a fog proof and waterproof view
  • Has an aircraft-grade aluminium tubeHas the latest side parallax focus technology
  • Has a heat-treated one-piece tube make
  • Gives you a recoil resistance to take a 1000G recoil up to 1000 times
  • Has that ideal ruggedness that can withstand harsh elements in the surrounding
  • It is quite affordable for its quality features, precision, and durable build
  • Cons
  • It is specifically designed for the .22lr rifle

2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 – V-Plex MOA Rimfire Scope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex...
  • The 2-7x32 Crossfire II Rim fire riflescope is one of many...
  • With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you'll...
  • Anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright...
  • Capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with MOA clicks...
  • A single piece tube constructed from aircraft grade aluminum...

For a professional high-quality rifle scope, the Vortex has a cult following and comes with an unlimited, no-questions-asked lifetime warranty. The Vortex rimfire scope is packed with tons of features without sacrificing quality or crazy hiking on price. Features include multi-coated lenses, top aircraft-grade aluminium, a waterproof and fog-proof design with multiple reticle options.

It's one of the best options for medium to long-range shooting. The V-Plex MOA Reticle lens gives you an unmatched accuracy with highly functional, intuitive, and multiple holding points. To keep the image in ideal size, the reticle is etched in the second focal plane.

For minimal glare, bright and sharp images with high contrast, even in very low-light conditions, the lenses are multi-coated with an anti-reflective coating. The eye relief comes at a decent 3.9 inches with a parallax factory set of 50 yards. The field of view is quite impressive, and it goes from 12.6 feet to 42 feet at 100 yards.

The reticle is hash marked for ranging, windage corrections, and holdover. The high-precision laser etched on the glass reticle keeps the tightest tolerances possible. The crosshair feature is designed to balance precision and light visibility. 

The rimfire scope has capped tactical turrets that give you precise control for wind adjustments and fast elevation. To complement this, it has an integrated locking mechanism to prevent unintentional alterations. 

  • Pros
  • High-quality craftsmanship
  • Hash marked intuitive reticle etched on a second focal plane.
  • Crosshair feature
  • Quality material construction that is durable
  • Lenses are multicoated with an anti-reflective coat
  • Decent eye relief
  • The best option for professional shooting
  • Cons
  •  Some find it a little bulky

3. Nikon ProStaff Rimfire 3-9 x 40 Riflescope (BDC 150)

This simple 'no-frills' lightweight Nikon ProStaff Rimfire 3-9 x 40 is definitely one of the best, if not entirely the best, optic for .17 and .22lr rifles. It's widely used on all sorts of rounds, although it's specifically designed for rimfire rifles.

The Nikon Prostaff Rimfire offers a parallax factory set of about 75 yards and decent eye relief and a 40mm objective lens, ensuring a large field of view. The Nikon’s fully multi-coated lens delivers a superior sight picture.

The sighting-in is made easy using a ¼-inch at 50-yard adjustment. The rriflescopehas a BDC reticle with see-through ballistic circles that work superbly to give the shooter an additional shooting advantage at distances of up to 150 yards. The rimfire rifle scope gives you generous eye relief and is ideal even for eyeglass wearers.

  • Pros
  • Ideal for a wide range of rifle calibres, including the .17 or .22 rifleBDC 150 reticle
  • Has a near HD-quality sight picture
  • Superior 98% light transmission to aid in dark places
  • Fully multi-coated lenses optical system
  • Nitrogen-filled, oxygen-purged and O-ringed
  • Spring-loaded instantaneous zero-reset turrets
  • It is rugged and ideal for hunting out in nature.
  • Spot on see-through ballistic match technology
  • It is 100% waterproof and shockproof.
  • Cons
  • Scope rings are not included.
  • The reticle system is not illuminated.
  • The reticle comes as a wire instead of an etched glass

4. Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Scope

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope, Rimfire MOA Reticle, Matte Finish
  • Outer lens surfaces are scratch resistant to military...
  • 1/4 MOA precision finger click adjustments for windage and...
  • Versatile 3:1 zoom ratio erector system is ideal for...
  • Waterproof, fogproof and shockproof
  • Durable 1"; main tube constructed from aircraft quality...

Leupold is a leading manufacturer of precision rifle optics with one of the best rimfire scopes based in the United States. No one can argue with Leupold’s affordable VX lineup scopes when it comes to clarity and versatility in performance, which is an excellent offering for hunters and shooters.

The price range depends on the configuration of the rifle scope. It comes with a 1-inch main tube which ensures that the reticle size remains the same even if you dial the magnification scope up or down. These centerfire scopes are comfortable to use on a .300 WSM. The side focus, form factor, and killer low-light clarity make it most ideal for a long-range rimfire hunt.

The VX-Freedom rifle line is designed, machined, and assembled in the United States. Giving a majority of American hunters, AR-15 owners, rimfire blinkers, and long-range shooters an ideal shipping option at an affordable price range package.

The rimfire rifle scope reduces the effects of glare when aiming towards the sun's direction. The fixed parallax helps keep the price range of these scopes low.

With this rifle scope, you get finger-click adjustments for windage and elevation turrets right under the 80 minutes of angle (MOA click adjustments) or 23.3 mils of adjustment range turret caps. It has a generous eye relief that is between 33/4 inches at a higher magnification range and 5 inches on the lowest magnification power settings.

  • Pros
  • A rimfire rifle scope of 1741813-9x magnification range
  • Has a duplex reticle
  • 40mm objective lens
  • 1-inch tube diameter
  • Non-illuminated reticle
  • Slender, lightweight profile
  • Rimfire MOA reticle
  • Has a matte finish
  • Cons
  • Doesn’t have a lens cap

5. Leupold FX-I Rimfire Riflescope

Leupold 58680 FX-I Rimfire Rifle, Duplex (58680)
  • Model #58680 - FX-I Rimfire 4x28 Fixed Power Riflescope with...
  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
  • Rimfire Parallax - Parallax adjusted for 60 yards
  • Ultra-lightweight 1-inch maintube design
  • Precision 1/4 MOA finger click adjustments for windage and...

The Leupold FX-I offers one of the best scopes in terms of light transmission. Like all Leupold riflescopes, it's constructed to be shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof. It also comes with a duplex reticle.

With the micro-friction 0.25 MOA click adjustment dials, you can make precise windage and elevation adjustments for peak accuracy. For fashion-conscious shooters, these rifle scopes are available in gloss or matte black.

It comes in a factory set parallax at 60 yards. For easy acquisition, it has a fixed power magnification scope that provides sufficient magnification for any .22LR.  These scopes line come with a Multi-coat 4 lens system that provides outstanding clarity and an excellent, bright sight picture even in dim light.

These rifle scopes come with 4.5 inches of eye relief, which is much bigger than other scopes in the market to ensure that the rifle scope's edge will not accidentally hit the eye.

  • Pros
  • Overall is lightweight
  • Has a considerable eye relief
  • Pre-set parallax at 60 yards
  • Quality design and waterproof and fog-proof construct are fit for any weather.
  • Great objective lens size
  • Cons
  • The turret adjustments could be better.

Buying Guide for The Best Rimfire Scope

Overall, for the professional, the Vortex, on the other hand, is impressive at accuracy and precision. To also serve you for an extended period, then the Vortex Crossfire is the best.

If you’re new in rifle shooting, then the Leupold is an ideal match. Here are a few features that you should keep in mind while purchasing your rimfire scope:

A. Adjustable Parallax

Most centerfire rifle scopes with a fixed parallax are factory set at 150 to 175 yards, which is too far for most rimfire applications. Fixed parallax rimfire scopes are pre-set at 50 or 60 yards, which works great for small-game hunting but doesn't work so well for 20 or 25-yard shots. For precision, an adjustable parallax down to 25 yards is a must-have.

B. Focal Plane

There are two locations where the reticle can be installed in rifle scopes. The First Focal Plane (FFP) is where the reticle goes toward the objective lens. The Second Focal Plane (SFP) is where it's placed near the ocular lens.

When dialling up the magnification on an FFP scope, the reticle grows larger. While in SFP scopes, the reticle appears the same.

C. Weight

Most .22lr rifles weigh around 5 pounds in stock configuration. This then means attaching a heavy optic scope will throw it off balance.

D. Reticle Design

A simple duplex crosshair on a laser-flat .17 calibre or .22 rifle is hard to beat for hunting.

Frequently Asked Questions on The Best Rimfire Scope

1. What scopes should I consider for hunting?

  • Duplex or BDC
  •  An SFP
  • 50-yard fixed parallax or adjustable parallax
  • Capped turrets
  • 3X-9X or 4X-16X power scope

2. What lens size should I look out for?

Any lens size below 32mm will significantly reduce the quality of the sight picture. And lenses larger than 40 or 42 mm can be a bit bulky for the rimfire .22lr rifle.

About the Author Anton Scharff

Anton is a hunting expert who respects nature. Ask him anything about large game. Lover of the great outdoors.

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