One of the most important accessories for anyone that owns a .22lr rifle is that of a scope. A scope can do wonders in assisting you when you’re out hunting or at the shooting range. No matter which type of .22 you’ve purchased, a scope heavily increases the chances of hitting your target. However, there are a myriad of aspects that you need to consider before buying one, factors that will allow you to purchase the perfect scope to match your rifle. As such, here’s an in-depth guide on what to look for when buying a scope and what common mistakes to avoid, as well as the best .22 rifle scopes on the market.
What to Look for When Purchasing a .22lr Rifle Scope
As with buying a rifle, the first thing you’re going to want to keep in mind when you’re in the market for a scope is that the higher the quality, the better it will perform. On that front, it’s recommended that you only consider a scope that is designed by one of the more mainstay brands and make sure that the build quality is excellent and won’t break at the first sign of tension. Since a .22 LR is used primarily as a means to hunt smaller game, such as grounds hogs, rabbits and squirrels, you will want a scope that will allow you to more readily hit the target from a greater distance than normal, making it easier to hit your target without having to get close to it.
It’s also important to understand that a higher price does not automatically equal higher quality. You don’t have to break the bank to buy a scope for your .22. What matters most is reliability, as well as making sure that the sights match up to where they are being pointed and that there are no reflections when looking through the scope. A higher price will give you a better optical resolution, but this is not necessary unless you are specifically looking to challenge yourself with extremely long range hunting. With that being said, you also don’t want to buy a scope that’s inexpensive and of shoddy craftsmanship.
When shopping for a scope, you will immediately notice that there are a myriad of different types available for purchase, with a 3-9×40 being the most common one for a .22. If you aren’t aware, the 3-9 stands for the amount that the scope’s magnification can be adjusted, while the 40 represents the size in millimeters of the lens you will be looking through. As smaller game can be tricky to spot without a good scope, it’s advisable to get a relatively high powered scope similar to the 3-9. However, you can also decide to merely stick with a fixed 4x power scope, as many hunters do just fine with one of these, but there are times when you may find yourself wanting a higher power. If you happen to be hunting deer or somewhat larger game at a closer distance, then you might want to think about opting for either a 1.5-5x or 2-7x variant.
If you’ve been hunting for many years, but have never thought about owning a scope, it’s also important to disregard everything you might have heard about scopes in the past. While older items are often higher quality and generally consist of better craftsmanship, the same does not hold true for scopes. Technology in scopes is evolving every day, creating better lens coatings options and click-stops for the adjustments. You will also find that newer models are becoming cheaper than some of the older ones, without sacrificing quality. You might want to think about purchasing an adjustable objective, the lens of the scope, as it allows you to change the focus depending on the range you’re shooting from. Scopes that contain this feature are usually pricier, but well worth it in the end.
Best .22 Rifle Scopes
When you’re in the market for a .22 rifle scope, it’s essential that you get your money’s worth. Some of the best brands on the market include Nikon, Leupold and Kahles, as well as a few others. If you’re on a budget and are looking for a scope that is of a high build quality, while also being a bit on the cheaper side, the Nikon ProStaff Rimfire 3-9×40 scope is the absolute best option at just around $130. This scope includes multicoated optics, a quick focus eyepiece and is waterproof and fog-proof, which will come in handy on those murky mornings out in the woods. If you’re looking for something a bit more high-end, then the Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 provides everything a hunter needs at just around $300, including waterproofing, a lens system that all but eliminates reflections and a larger reticule.