Rimfire Rifle Scopes Roundup and Reviews
Most shooters have a rimfire firearm of some sort whether it be a pistol or rifle; rimfires are both fun and economical to shoot and make an excellent firearm to train a new shooter with. Rimfire scopes can make the process of training a new shooter easier, as a new shooter that is hitting targets right away will be more interested in learning more about shooting. These 22 scopes can also make precise or longer distance shoots easier as they generally provide a more detailed sight picture of the target than open sights. Below are a few advantages and disadvantages of rimfire scopes.
Rimfire Scope Advantages
Compact – Rimfire scopes are generally shorter, lighter weight, and have smaller objectives than standard rifle scopes. This compact size makes for a better fit on the smaller dimensions of a rimfire rifle and helps keep the entire setup proportional.
Parallax Free at 50yds – While most standard rifles scopes that do not feature parallax adjustment are set parallax free at 100 yards, rimfire scopes are often set parallax free at 50 yards as often the shots taken with a rimfire rifle will fall closer to the 50 yard range than the 100 yard range.
Inexpensive – While a $150 is about the entry point for a good standard riflescope, the same amount of money will generally put you in the high end market for a rimfire scope. Centerfire scopes are not only larger and require more manufacturing material, but also have to be overbuilt because the manufacture doesn’t know if it will end up on a .22 Hornet or a 300 Remington Ultra Magnum. Rimfire scopes are designed specifically for rimfire rounds which all produce very little recoil.
Selection – The rimfire shooter has never had such a wide selection of options to mount on their favorite rimfire. Many of the most popular models tend to be either a 4x fixed power or a 2-7x variable power model. Some rimfire hunters and shooters prefer a reflex sight for their rifle as it offers a good option for those who do most of their shooting at relatively close ranges.
Selecting a Rimfire Scope
Deciding which rifle scope is right for you can be a bit of a task so Rifle Scope Spy has compiled three comparison charts of some of the more popular rimfire scopes currently available. The first two charts consist of 4x fixed power rimfire scopes while the last chart is made up of 2-7x variable power rimfire scopes.
4x Rimfire Scopes $75 - $250
|Mag/Obj||4 x 28mm||4 x 28mm||4 x 32mm||4 x 32mm|
|F.O.V 100yds||25.5'||25.2'||11.1' at 50yds||29'|
Leupold FX-I – The FX-I 4x28 is one the most expensive scope in the 4x comparison chart about costing nearly double what some of the competition does. However, the Leupold FX-I 4x28 also has the distinction of being the shortest and lightest rimfire scope in the grouping. This unit is set parallax free at 60 yards, comes in either a matte or glass black finish, and features a fine duplex reticle (as opposed to a wide or standard duplex)
Weaver Classic Rimfire – A popular choice among rimfire shooters, the Classic Rimfire in the 4x28 version comes in matte black with a duplex style reticle. The Weaver Classic Rimfire scope has been set parallax free at 50 yards and is also rated for use on spring powered airguns. While, one might think airguns don’t recoil anymore than a 22 rifle, it is the different kind of recoil caused by the spring that causes problems with 22 scopes and even traditional scopes that are not designed to withstand this unique recoil.
Nikon Prostaff Rimfire – Like the rest of the scopes in the Nikon Prostaff line the Rimfire versions received and update in 2011. Improved coatings and zero reset turrets were the major highlight of the update. The improved lens coatings allow for better light transmission while the zero reset turrets allow the shooter to sight in and then reset the sighted in scope to zero on the adjustment dial. The Nikon Prostaff Rimfire version has parallax set at 50 yards, and comes with a Nikoplex reticle. Note updated models seem to be shipping with a square sticker above the ocular end.
Konus KnousPro – Konus is a large optics manufacture that makes many optics outside the hunting industry as well. Their KonusPro 4x32 is available in either a black or silver finish and comes with a duplex style reticle. This model has its parallax set at 75 yards as opposed to the 50 yards of most of the scopes in this category (except the Leupold FX-I which is set a 60 yards). The KonusPro had one of the shortest overall lengths of the scope in the comparison chart, with only the Leupold being shorter.
4x Rimfire Scopes $40 - $75
|Mag/Obj||4 x 32mm||4 x 32mm||4 x 32mm||4x32|
Truglo Compact Rimfire – At less than ten inches the Truglo was one of the shortest scopes in the comparison; however at nearly 13oz it was also one of the heaviest with the Barska Plinker-22 being the only model heavier and weighing in at over a pound. The Truglo Compact 4x32 is also made in a shotgun version called the Strut ‘N Rut, and appears nearly identical, so make sure you are looking at the rimfire version which features a standard duplex reticle as opposed to the shotgun version which has a unique diamond reticle.
Simmons 22 Mag – Available in either a silver or matte finish, the Simmons 22 Mag is one of the most popular rimfire rifle scopes around. It features the Simmon’s Truplex duplex style reticle and is also has parallax corrected at 50 yards. The Simmons 22 Mag is also available in a 3-9x32 version.
Barska Plinker 22 – Having the unfortunate destinction of being the heaviest and longest scope in the group the Plinker 22 is a nearly a foot long and weighs over a 1 lbs. However, the Barska Plinker 22 is the only model to offer an illuminated reticle version (the standard version is shown in the chart) and a standard model with a silver finish is also available. Like others in the comparison parallax is calibrated at 50 yards and the crosshair is a duplex style.
Centerpoint AR22 – Like most of the other models availbe in the 4x32 comparison chart the Centerpoint AR22 comes in a black finish and with a duplex reticle. This Centerpoint rimfire scope is unique is the fact that is set parallax free at 30 yards which is a much shorter distance that the other scopes in this class.
2-7x Rimfire Scopes $100 - $250
|Mag/Obj||2-7 x 28mm||2-7 x 35mm||2.5-7 x 28mm||2-7 x 32mm|
|F.O.V 100yds||41.7' - 16.5'||64.3' - 19.3'||40.3' - 14.6'||58' - 18'|
|Eye Relief||3.8" - 3"||3.5" - 3.1"||3.7"||4"|
Leupold VX-1 – Much like in the 4x32 category, the Leupold VX-1 2-7x version is again the lightest and shortest in the above chart; although it once again comes with the highest price tag in the bunch. Like the FX-I this VX-1 version also features a 60 yard parallax free sight picture instead of the more common 50 yard distance found among its competitors.
Vortex Diamondback Rimfire – While also more of a budget line of scopes the Diamondback falls above the entry level Crossfire series in the Vortex line up. The Diamondback Rimfire model comes in a 2-7x35 configuration and is also listed for use on shotguns and muzzleloaders, and it parallax free at fifty yards. However, this added versatility comes a downside namely length and weight with this scope approaching the size of a standard centerfire rifle scope.
Weaver Classic Rimfire – The 2.5-7x28 Classic Rimfire comes in either a silver or matte black finish and comes with the Weaver Dual-X reticle (what Weaver calls its standard duplex reticle). It features multi coated lenses for increased light transmission and like its 4x28 version is also rated for spring operated air rifles. The Weaver Classic Rimfire is only slightly bigger than the Leupold VX-I and can be had for about $80 dollars less than the comparible Leupold 2-7x28.
BSA Sweet 22 – Also falling on the heavier side of rimfire scopes is the Sweet 22. However, this scope offers some unique features that the other rimfire scopes don’t. For instance, the BSA Sweet 22 it has a side focus parallax adjustment, which can correct parallax at ranges under 10 yards all the way out to infinity. The BSA Sweet 22 also has a elevation dial that is calibrated for popular 22 caliber bullet trajectories.
.22 Calibrated Scopes
The rimfire scopes in the charts above are a good representation of what is avialable for rimfire optics; and they are suitable for all rimfire calibers such as .22lr, .17 HMR, .22 Mag., etc. However, recently there have been several models of rimfire scopes introduced just for the .22lr, which feature either customized reticles or elevation turrets designed to match the ballistics of the .22lr cartridge. These scopes are generally rated out to 150 yards and take the guess work out of longer shots with a .22 long rifle. Learn more at our review .22 Calibrated Scopes.
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