Small caliber often means small game, which makes a good scope key for hunting with a .22. A good rimfire scope can make a huge difference in your accuracy and shot placement. Of course, not all scopes are created equal so we’ve reviewed the seven best rimfire scopes on the market today to make sure you are properly equipped.
Rimfire vs Center Fire Scopes
Let’s start off with understanding the difference between rimfire and center fire scopes.As efficient as they both are, there are functional differences that you need to know.
To start with, both types of scopes have different ranges. Rimfire scopes are suitable for short-range shooting. They have a parallax setting of about 50 yards. Center fire scopes have a preset parallax setting of nearly 100 yards or more. They also come equipped with an Adjustable Objective (AO). This helps in making parallax adjustment easier.
Rimfire scopes are especially preferred for rifles that have a low recoil. They are not strong enough to bear a high level of recoil. For rifles with a high recoil, center fire scopes are best, as they have more power to withstand.
So for short-range hunting game, rimfire scopes are unbeatable. The rounds are inexpensive and the low recoil is helpful. But when it comes to long-range use, some say you can use rimfire but I believe your best option is center fire.
In terms of cost, center fire scopes are more expensive than rimfire scopes. So, it entirely depends on your need and weaponry type. Because if you require a center fire scope, it could benefit as a long-term investment.
Can a rimfire scope be used on a center fire rifle?
Ans: No, it is not recommended to use your rimfire scope on a cente rfire rifle. As mentioned earlier, center fire rifles have a strong recoil which rimfire scopes can not handle. It will be damaged beyond repair.
Can you use a center fire scope on a rimfire rifle?
Yes, center fire scope can be used on rimfires if you can match the rail on receiver and scope diameter. These scopes are stronger, but rimfire scopes are still better suited for rimfire rifles.
Best Rimfire Scopes Table
When you are looking for the best rimfire scope, there are a few criteria to keep in mind.
- Reticle Type. Just like any other kind of scope, there are multiple reticle types for you to choose from. This is a personal preference, so be sure to select a reticle that you feel comfortable using.
- Magnification. Since a rimfire scope is going to be used on a smaller caliber firearm, you will probably not be shooting out to the same extreme distances as a centerfire rifle. As such, you will not need quite as much magnification. However, make sure that you get enough so that you can easily see your desired target at your desired distance.
- Field of View. Once the scope is installed, make sure that you can see a full sight picture through the scope. If the end of the scope is too far from your eye or too close, you will not see through the scope correctly. Once adjusted, if the sight picture is still not great, you may need to find a scope with a larger opening to look through.
- Ease of Installation. Unless you are a gunsmith by trade, you want to make sure that the installation process for your new scope is quick and easy, with zero chance of mix-ups. If the scope is installed correctly, it will not work.
- Ease of Adjustment. Now that the scope has been installed, you need to zero it in. You should look for a scope with easy to use dials so that you can make sure you can easily hit your target.
- Weight. Since the firearm, you will be using this scope on will most likely be on the lighter side, it makes more sense to get a lighter scope, so you don’t throw the gun out of balance. However, the heavier a scope is, the more durable it will be as well.
Top 3 Rimfire Scope Reviews
The Vortex rimfire scope is a sleek, durable and efficient second focal plane scope.
The Vortex Crossfire II is a great choice for someone looking for a rimfire rifle scope. The Crossfire II has a long eye relief and a fast-focus eyepiece which provides amazingly quick focus on the V-Plex reticle. It is built of aircraft-grade aluminum tube making it the best choice for outdoors!
The Crossfire II has 2x-7x multiplication, making it easy to reach out to greater distances and get a more accurate sight picture. It was easy to install and adjust so that the view through the scope was crystal clear.
A reliable scope that has good amplification is easy to install and has a simple reticle, the Vortex Crossfire II would make an excellent choice for most rimfire rifles.
- Brand Vortex
- Color Black
- Style 2-7×32 Rimfire – V-Plex
- Item Dimensions LxWxH 14 x 3 x 3 inches
- Sport Type Hunting
- Item Weight 5 Pounds
- V-Plex MOA Reticle
- Highest level performance and reliability
- Long Eye Relief
- Fast-focus Eyepiece
- Adjustable Reset Turrets
- Quick and easy reticle focusing
- Variety of hunting applications
- Waterproof and fog proof performance.
- Bright and clear views for user
Leupold is another prominent name that has been delivering best performance for years. Their VS-Freedom rifle comes packed with amazing features such as waterproof, fogproof and shockproof abilities.
The Twilight Light Management System is great at balancing light transmission, glare reduction, and image contrast and resolution. This promises a crisp image quality as well as extra minutes of light shooting. This is one of the best low-light rimfire scopes available.
- Item Dimensions LxWxH 14 x 3 x 2.75 inches
- Sport Type Hunting
- Item Weight 1 Pounds
- Material Aluminum
- Twilight Light Management System
- 1/4 MOA finger click adjustments
- 100% Waterproof, Fogproof
- Lightweight, Impact and exposure tested
- 60 yards parallax
- Best for extreme outdoors
- Can bear strong recoils
Tract Optics is known for producing high-end rifle scopes and binoculars. The FIRE lands on our list because of its great features and and best-in-class eye relief large objective lense. Even when the scope was zoomed up to its maximum amplification, we did not experience a loss in our field of vision.
This scope has brilliantly designed hand-turn windage as well as elevation adjustments with precise, repeatable and audible 1/4″ clicks at 50 yards. They are easily reset to zero without any other tools required.
- Brand Tract Optics
- Item Dimensions LxWxH 7 x 4.8 x 3.5 inches
- Item Weight 5 Pounds
- Sport Type Outdoors
- 22 FIRE T-Plex reticle
- Best Eye Relief
- Spring Loaded Reset to Zero
- Hand-Turn windage and elevation adjustments
- Multi-Coated Optical System
- Lifetime Warranty
- Efficient at higher magnification