The Best Rimfire Optics at Every Price Point
July 24, 2014
Current ammo supplies (or lack thereof) aside, rimfire rifles are among America's most used firearms. Rimfires are kings of versatility and can be used for everything from training new shooters, hunting, plinking and pest control to serious target competition.
Despite the popularity of the .22 LR and other rimfires rounds such as the .17 HMR and .22 Short, optics for rimfire use are often regarded as an afterthought. Shooters who agonize over which optic to mount on their 6.5 Creedmoor commonly throw whatever scope they find lying around on their 10/22.
Failing to match a suitable riflescope to a rimfire is a mistake and can result in poor performance. Most scopes designed for traditional big game or general target shooting use a fixed parallax setting, usually at 150-200 yards. Shots at that distance are rare with a rimfire, which is the primary reason why scopes specifically designed for rimfire use are important. Optics with an adjustable objective can usually be dialed-down for use at rimfire distances, but smaller scopes are not usually adjustable.
Since experience has taught me that glass is often the weak link in a rifle's performance chain, I have no problem putting a $500 scope on a $200 rifle. In fact, my "training rifle" for hunting season is a Marlin .22 that wears a Leupold variable scope. The bore has seen better days and I'm on my second set of mounts , but the scope works like it did on day one. Not everyone shares my priorities, so we've prepared a list of rimfire optics at every price point. Whether you're looking for a $50 scope for a plinker or a $2,000 competition optic, we've got you covered.