Best .22 Long Rifle Scopes for Your Situation

.22 Long Rifle Scopes | Best Scopes for Each Situation

The .22 long rifle, or .22 LR, is arguably the most common and popular rifle cartridge in the world. The .22 long rifle is a versatile round offering accuracy, light recoil, and economical shooting.  Developed in 1887 by J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co. the beloved cartridge is estimated to be in production of 2-2.5 billion rounds per year. .22 LR lends itself to all kinds of shooting disciplines including target shooting, plinking, small game hunting, and shooting education. Odds are the first rifle you ever put to your shoulder was a .22 LR. Due to its immense popularity and vast versatility, the .22 LR is offered in just about every rifle type and action imaginable. From bolt action to semi-auto, break open and rolling block, and even lever action; there is a .22 rifle for every day of the week. Many shooters grow up plinking with a .22 LR and iron sights, learning to shoot and developing a love of the .22 rimfire rifle. Mounting a riflescope atop of a rifle chambered in .22 long rifle opens up a world of new shooting opportunities and better equips it for activities such as hunting small game, target shooting, and preparation for big game season.

There are many options on the market today by trusted manufacturers in scopes made just for rimfire cartridges. Setting up a .22 rifle with a riflescope creates a versatile tool that is practical in so many applications. Deciding which scope is the best fit as a .22 long rifle scope for you and your rifle takes some consideration. Putting the versatile .22 rimfire cartridge to work in a special use case scenario, means topping it with the .22 rimfire scope that is best suited for the job at hand. Take a look at some of these scope options, how they fit your shooting needs and style.

Small Game / Varmint .22 Riflescope

There is no other rifle caliber more suited to hunting and taking small game than the.22 long rifle. The pursuit of squirrels, cottontails, and jackrabbits for sport and table fare can find no better fit than the classic .22 rifle. In the north and west, many states allow the taking of grouse with a .22. Sneaking through heavy conifer forests, creek bottoms, or hardwoods with a rifle combined with a rimfire scope makes for an efficient and practical tool. Taking advantage of small game seasons in between big game hunts keeps hunters sharp, and extends time in the field.

The .22 LR is also a formidable tool for varmint control. Small, quiet, and accurate; a. 22 rifle is an excellent choice for taking care of critters like pack rats and possums, all the way up to crows and raccoons. Having a handy rifle on hand chambered in .22 LR for varmint control is a tool for every farm, ranch, and camp.

Outfitting your .22 rifle with a fixed 4X scope like the Weaver Rimfire 4X28 Dual X is a great option for a small-bore rimfire hunting rifle. The simple fixed magnification and instant focus on a fixed power scope is ideal for the .22 rifle and its effective range.

Big Game Clone Rifle in .22 LR

Spending time behind the stock of a big game rifle is an excellent way to develop accuracy and consistency. However, continued recoil can take its toll, and the repeated pounding from most centerfire hunting rifles can cause a shooter to develop a flinch in anticipation of the shot. The cost of shooting large caliber rifles is also a concern when you’re putting in time behind a riflescope in preparation of hunting season. If you run a hundred rounds through your centerfire big game rifle on a Saturday afternoon, both your wallet and your shoulder will take a pounding.

One fantastic solution to the recoil and expense dilemma is to build a copy of your big game rifle chambered in .22 LR. With so many .22 rifle options on the market, chances are you can find one extremely similar to your hunting rifle. Look for features like a quality trigger that is similar to the one on your hunting rifle, comparable weight, fit, and feel, and of course top the new rifle with a similar scope that you run on your hunting rifle.

The Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9X40 Rimfire on a .22 LR bolt gun is an amazing choice for a clone rifle replicating the ever popular bolt action rifle with a variable scope. This waterproof and fog proof optic offers unbeatable optical performance at a price that is easy on your paycheck.

Target Shooting and Plinking .22 Rimfire Riflescope

Cost savings and reduced recoil not only come into consideration for big game hunters, but for target shooting enthusiasts, new shooters, and plinkers as well. Twenty-two caliber rifles are practically perfect for learning the basics of shooting, for plinking at tin cans, and can be accurized for dead on precision as well. Another aspect of shooting a .22 long rifle is the advantage of utilizing indoor shooting ranges. Spending time at an indoor range during extreme weather opens a door to a new block of time behind the trigger.

A basic variable scope that is lightweight with adjustable zoom and focus makes for a practical all-around optic for a practical all around rifle. The Nikon ProStaff Rimfire II 4-12X40 with BDC reticle is the perfect match for an all around .22 rimfire scope and rifle matchup. With adjustable magnification from 4 power all the way up to 12, and the light gathering capability of a 40mm objective lens, the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire is as versatile as the .22 caliber cartridge.

Tactical and AR-Style Riflescopes for .22 Long Rifle

Tactical shooting, drills, and practice are not immune to the same woes of shooting big game rifles when it comes to cost and recoil. Many shooters cherish going the range to work on tactical drills and training and experience a need for something cheaper and more forgiving to shoot. With either a bolt gun in hand, a repeating rifle such as the ever popular 10-22, or one of the many available AR-style rifles chambered in .22LR; the advantages that come with shooting the .22 rimfire cartridge come into play.

Optics manufacturers have taken notice of the emerging trend of tactical shooters investing practice time with rifles chambered in .22 long rifle in hand. There are options on the market for tactical style scopes designed specifically as .22 rimfire tactical scopes that will fit your tactical rifle and shooting style like a glove.

Nikon’s AR P-Rimfire 2-7X32 with Nikoplex reticle is a perfect example of tactical glass made just for tactical style shooting. Designed with large easy to adjust tactical style turrets and engineered just for the .22 long rifle cartridge, the Nikon AR P-Rimfire is an excellent choice.

Consider a .22 Long Rifle Scoped Rifle for Your Shooting

No other rifle cartridge is as easy to shoot, cost-effective, and commonly available than the .22 long rifle cartridge. Building a rifle chambered in such a versatile and flexible round obviously calls for a quality rifle scope to match. Whether you’re planning on taking small game, plinking at the range, working on tactical drills, or developing accuracy; a .22 rimfire rifle topped with a .22 rimfire riflescope is just the ticket.

Why is Pre-Ranging Your Turkey Hunting Setup so Important?

Pre-Ranging Your Turkey Hunting Setup

Turkey hunting success often comes down to whether or not you can get a turkey into range. Whether using a shotgun or a bow, knowing the exact range at which you can effectively shoot a bird is vital. While you might be limited to no more than 40 yards, it’s important that you know where that is in the heat of the moment in the field. Pre-ranging your turkey hunting setup is easy enough but it needs to be ranged with confidence that only comes with the other tips mentioned below!

Know Effective Distance

Almost everybody has heard the phrase “know your effective range”. This phrase applies to every weapon you use regardless of the quarry and is no different for turkey hunting. Finding out what your effective range is for turkey hunting is as simple as patterning your shotgun. Your goal should be to place at least 10 pellets in the head and neck region of a gobbler. When patterning, a better goal to shoot for is around 100 pellets in a 10-inch circle.

Mounting a scope on your shotgun will also help you with adjusting your pattern. Having moving reticles allows you to adjust your scope if your pattern is off in any direction. Similar to deer hunting, just move your reticle to the densest portion of your pattern, shoot, and repeat until you’re confident with where your pattern is hitting on the target. This will help maximize the number of bb’s you’re able to place in the head and neck region of a turkey. Turkey hunting scopes are becoming more popular with most companies having some type of product for easy target acquisition and easy aiming for patterned shotguns. Regardless of whether you use a scope or not, patterning your shotgun will give you confidence knowing your effective range before entering the turkey woods which will also increase your efficiency and success.

Setting Up Turkey Decoys

After you know what your effective range is you can immediately improve your turkey hunting setup and it’s as simple as using this information to help you decide how far away from your blind you should set your decoys. It might be tempting to set your decoys out at your maximum effective range, but you should resist that temptation. Instead, set your decoys up even closer than what you’ve established as your maximum effective range. This will help you to still be able to make a lethal shot even if a gobbler hangs up beyond your decoys. So, for example, if your effective range is 30-yards, try setting your decoy up at 20-yards. That way if a gobbler hangs up at 30-yards, you’ll still be able to take an ethical shot and if that gobbler comes strutting into your decoys at 20-yards, then you should have a chip shot.

Remember that sometimes it doesn’t take much for a tom to hang-up just beyond your decoys so be sure to set yourself up for success. This is when having a rangefinder becomes useful. Having a rangefinder is an easy way to decide whether you should take the shot on a tom or whether he’s just out of range. Be sure to also range natural markers such as easily identifiable trees, shrubs, rocks, patches of grass, etc. to help you quickly determine how far the gobbler is once he becomes visible. Having these natural markers ranged before you have a gobbler in sight will also help you reduce the amount of movement needed to range the gobbler itself. Sometimes, even the best hunting plans can get flipped upside down so be sure to do everything you can to increase your chances of success.

Know the Terrain

Knowing terrain features of the property you’re hunting can greatly improve your turkey hunt. A little bit of scouting can go a long way, particularly if you’re hunting out of a field in a ground blind. First of all, establishing where toms tend to strut in the field before setting up will obviously help determine your blind placement and can be easily accomplished using a trail camera or by doing some scouting from a nearby road. But things may become a little more complicated if you decide to get out of your blind to pursue a bird on foot. Most people have experienced a situation where a tom was gobbling and seemingly coming into their calls, only to have the bird go silent and never show up. Knowing where property lines are and whether there are any creeks that run through the property can increase your chances of success. When chasing a tom, make sure to set up in a way so that property lines and creeks aren’t in between you and the tom. That way, there is no chance for those features to be the cause if a tom hangs up. Also, identify potential strutting areas where there is short vegetation that allows for a gobbler to be seen while strutting. Setting up in strutting areas will also increase your chances of intercepting the tom and closing the deal.

Injuring a Bird

It’s your responsibility as a hunter to make a clean and ethical kill and knowing your effective range will help you to do that. Taking shots that are outside of your effective range, or are taken with brush or tall grass in between the turkey and the hunter will often times lead to a miss or even worse, an injured bird. It can be easy to fall into the mindset that you’re sending several bb’s down range and all it takes is one to kill the bird, but don’t fall into that kind of thinking. Letting a tom walk away uninjured is far better than taking a questionable shot and injuring a bird.

Rangefinders for Turkey Hunting

There are many rangefinders to choose from that can work great for turkey hunting. Here are some good options but feel free to look around for several discount rangefinders and deals!

Vortex Impact 850 Rangefinder 

  • Range Reflective: 10-850 yards
  • Range Deer: 10-400 yards
  • Accuracy: + / – 1 yards @ 100 yards
  • Magnification: 6 x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 20 mm
  • Eye Relief: 15 mm
  • Length: 3.7 inches
  • Width: 2.95 inches
  • Weight: 5.5 ounces

Nikon Aculon Rangefinder 

  • Finish: Dark Green
  • Magnification: 6x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 20mm
  • Viewfinder Display: M/YDS
  • Measurement Range (yds): 8-550
  • Accuracy: +/- 1m/yd. (shorter than 100m/yds.), +/- 2m/yds. (100m/yds.+)
  • Eye Relief: 18.3
  • Power Source: 1 CR2 Lithium
  • Size (L&W&H): 4.4×2.8×1.4
  • Weight (oz): 5.6

Following these steps by patterning your shotgun and being confident with your effective range along with carrying a rangefinder while hunting will help to decrease the chances of wounding a bird and increase your chances of success.