Rimfire rifles a fun little things. They’re easy to shoot and the ammunition is cheap. But, they’re even more fun to shoot if you’ve got a scope to push your shots to longer distances and challenge yourself.
A scoped rimfire rifle is also a great learning platform for developing good long range shooting fundamentals. So, the right rimfire scope can give you a lot of value.
SPOILER: If you’re here for the spoilers, and want to know how this article ends right away, the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire 3-9x40 BDC150 is the best overall rimfire scope. It’s got great glass and lens coatings, and the specs mimic those of a standard whitetail scope. So, it’s affordable and easy to use.
If you’re not the sort of person who reads the last page first, we’ve got all the best rimfire scope reviews on tap.
Top Rimfire Optic Models in 2021
The Best Rimfire Scope Reviews: The Best Glass for Your Plinkster
The winning rimfire scope gets the top slot. The others are lined up in order of price, from surprisingly inexpensive to mind-blowingly pricey.
Here’s our lineup.
1. Nikon Prostaff Rimfire 3-9x40 BDC150 - Best Overall Rimfire Scope
The Nikon Prostaff Rimfire 3-9x40 BDC150 is essentially a whitetail scope with a reticle designed for the .22LR round.
Many standard hunting scopes feature 3-9x magnification. And, the 3-9x magnification range on this scope mimics the performance of many other optics. So, this is an excellent scope to use for training or teaching your children to shoot, since it works just like a scope they might use on a larger caliber rifle.
The 40mm objective lens is also very nice for a rimfire scope. Some manufacturers build their rimfire scopes with smaller objective lenses, since .22LR doesn’t have the range of larger calibers. But, this scope gives you the same clear bright picture that you’d get from a more powerful optic.
The BDC reticle features aiming points for overholds that are specifically calibrated for the trajectory of a .22LR bullet.
It’s perfect for practicing shooting without adjusting your optic and making quick shots at varying ranges.
All this comes with Nikon’s industry leading glass and lens coatings that maximize light transmission and produce an exceptionally sharp image at all magnifications.
The only real drawback of this scope is the parallax. This scope is parallax free at 50 yards. It would be nice if the parallax could be adjusted to zero yards, since it’s not uncommon to take short range shots with a .22LR rifle.
But, that’s minor shortfall. Overall, this scope makes an excellent training optic or a great piece of glass to make your rimfire rifle more capable and fun to shoot.
2. Feyachi Falcon 2-7x32mm Long Eye Relief Rifle Scope - Budget Rimfire Scope
The Feyachi Falcon 2-7x32mm Long Eye Relief Rifle Scope is an incredibly affordable option for those who want a scope that’s made specifically for .22LR.
2-7x magnification is perfect for .22LR. It’s strong enough that you’ll outrange the .22 round before you outrange the scope.
The 32mm objective lens is pretty standard for a rimfire scope. It lets in plenty of light for the lower magnifications. You’ll get a nice, bright picture in almost any conditions, and at maximum magnification.
This scope also offers impressively long eye relief. It’s easy to pick up your reticle and acquire your target. So, this is a good option if you like to make fast shots with your scoped rifle.
Speaking of the reticle, the Dead Hold BDC reticle offers hash marks for estimating windage and holdovers.
The reticle is great for shooting at multiple distances without making adjustments to your scope.
Although the scope itself is a solid optic, some buyers have experienced quality control issues. However, Feyachi has resolved the problem in every case. It just takes a little time and effort.
But, you can’t beat this scope for the price. It’s a low cost option that offers similar performance to many higher priced scopes.
3. Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC Rimfire Reticle Riflescope - Value Rimfire Scope
Bushnell is known for their affordable, high-performance optics. The Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC Rimfire Reticle gives you a great blend of high-end performance and affordability.
It’s a 2-7x magnification optic, which is perfect for the .22LR. You’ll be able to zero in on anything you can hit at any range the .22 round is capable of.
The 32mm objective lens collect enough light to give you a bright, clear image in low light and at maximum magnification.
The stats are fairly standard for a rimfire scope. But, there are a couple things that set this scope apart from the lower priced competitors.
First, Bushnell offers outstanding glass and excellent multi-coatings for maximizing light transmission, and ensuring that you get a super high-contrast image. So, it’s easier to pick out targets and identify animals through this scope.
Also, the parallax is adjustable. So, you can dial your scope in for top-notch precision at the longest distances a .22LR is capable of.
And, there’s a BDC reticle that gives you aiming points for holdovers. So, you can shoot at multiple distances quickly, without adjusting your optic.
The only thing to consider with this scope is the weight. It’s 19.5 ounces, which makes it one of the heaviest rimfire scopes on the market.
Even though this scope is a step up in price from the super affordable scopes, it’s also a step up in quality and performance. It’s an excellent scope for anyone who’s discerning about the quality of their gear, but also budget-minded.
4. Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II 4-12x40 Rifle Scope BDC 150 - Long Range Rimfire Scope
The Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II 4-12x40 Rifle Scope BDC 150 is a powerful scope that could be used on a more powerful rifle, as long as you zero it correctly.
That’s because it’s a 4-12x magnification scope. 4-12x might seem a bit excessive for .22LR. But, it’s excellent for anyone who wants to engage super small targets at maximum range.
The 40mm objective lens is large enough to create a bright image at all magnifications. It’s also great for shooting in low light conditions, if you’re the type of shooter who likes to shoot into the evening.
This scope uses Nikon’s BDC reticle, which has holdover aim points that are calibrated specifically for rimfire rounds. So, you can shoot at varying ranges without making adjustments to your optic.
The glass is also incredibly clear, and the full multi-coating improves light transmission and color fidelity. So, you get a high contrast image with super vivid colors for identifying animals or spotting targets in minimal light.
The only downside to this scope is that the higher magnification range limits the short and medium range viability. If you’re shooting at shorter ranges, you may find that even the slightest movements cause you to lose your sight picture.
But, this is a great scope, that offers a lot of versatility at a reasonable price. If you think you may want to mount your scope on multiple rifles, you should consider this scope.
5. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane 2-7x32 Rimfire Riflescope - Tactical Rimfire Scope
Vortex Optics is known for super high-end optics. And, the Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane Riflescope is no exception. It’s a very high-end optic that’s specifically designed for rimfire rounds.
The 2-7x magnification is ideal for .22LR and other rimfire rounds. The low end is minimal enough that you can make short range shots, and the highest magnification setting is powerful enough for excellent precision at long range.
The 32mm objective lens pairs well with the moderate magnification. It lets in enough light to produce a bright, clear image at maximum magnification.
Vortex Optics also uses excellent glass and thick multi-coatings that maximize light transmission and improves color fidelity. This means that you’ll be able to get a good sight picture and identify your target in low light.
Additionally, the eye relief is very long. This makes it easy to find your reticle and acquire your target quickly for faster shots and target transitions. It’s also nice for shooting from the ready in tactical situations.
The reticle is a simple duplex reticle, that Vortex calls the V-plex reticle. It keeps your field of view clear. But, it doesn’t have a ton of functionality for windage and range estimation.
The parallax is adjustable, which is nice for dialing in your optic to specific distances.
But, some users have found the parallax adjustment and turrets to be quite tight from the factory. So, you may have to work with the adjustments to make them a bit more comfortable to use.
Even so, this is an excellent scope for anyone who wants an optic for a tactical rimfire rifle.
6. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope - Rimfire Scope for Hunting
Leupold is a legendary brand in rifle optics. The Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope gives you the performance Leupold is known for, in a package that’s calibrated for rimfire rounds.
The 3-9x magnification gives you more range than most rimfire scopes, and it matches the magnification range of most whitetail hunting scopes. So, you can use this as a training optic, or mount it on both your rimfire rifle and larger caliber hunting rifle.
This scope is fitted with a 40mm objective lens that collects enough light for dawn and dusk shooting, even at maximum magnification.
Additionally, this scope includes Leupold’s Twilight Light Management System, which reduces glare and adds up to 10 minutes of useable light to your hunting day.
All this couples with Leupold’s exceptional glass and lens multi-coating to give you an optic that’s excellent for getting out and shooting early in the morning and staying out late.
The reticle is a standard duplex reticle. It’s simple and keeps your field of view uncluttered. But, the reticle doesn’t offer a lot of hash marks or aiming points for windage estimation or hold overs.
Overall, this is an outstanding scope that’s designed for shooting rimfire rounds in common hunting conditions. It works great as a training scope or an optic for using on multiple rifles.
Heading in For Sundown
Even though most rimfire rounds are not designed for super long range shooting, a good optic can make your rimfire rifle a better training tool, or just make it more fun to go plinking. So, a good rimfire optic makes your rimfire shooting life much better.
If you want a solid rimfire scope that won’t impact your credit score, the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire 3-9x40 BDC150 will do everything you need. It’s a capable, well-built scope.
Now that you know which scopes are best for your rimfire rifle, it’s time to upgrade from those classic iron sights. Get yourself a good optic and get more precision.
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