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Old May 16, 2008, 10:57 AM   #1
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What's the best scope for a .22 rimfire rifle?

My Bro-in-law has a Bushnell 3X9 on his 10/22 that seems pretty nice, and I've always like Bushnell scopes. What are some others I should consider?
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Old May 16, 2008, 12:23 PM   #2
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See-through rings....

Consider getting some see-through rings so you can use the sights for close-up work. You can find with the sights and aim with the scope. Makes for fast target aquisition.
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Old May 16, 2008, 03:05 PM   #3
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I personally don't care for see-through scope rings. Better to have the scope sit as low to the barrel as possible. For a scope, I like the BSA sweet series. I have one on my .17 and one on a .22. Can't beat them for the price.
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Old May 16, 2008, 03:46 PM   #4
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For target work with a 22 you need a scope with a adjustable parallax. These come in two styles adjustable objective (AO) or side focus. They do the same thing but side focus is a little harder to accomplish so it costs a bit more. At the short ranges that you deal with for rimfire shooting this becomes a very important feature if you're serious about bullseying the targets. What is does is let you correct out a distortion that might have the cross hairs appear just slightly off target. It's far less important for plinking or hunting.

The standard advice for rifle scopes is to budget as much for the scope as you do for the rifle. For hunting or plinking a 2-7x32 or 3-9x40 scope should be plenty. If you get into competitive target shooting the sky is the limit. I have a 6-20x50 on my target sporter and a 8-25x50 on order for my race rifle.

Bushnell can be a good choice but pick a good one. At least the Banner series. BSA has a reputation for falling apart really quickly and should be avoided. Some of the people on rimfire central swear by Mueller Optics' APV 4.5-14x40 but I haven't had good luck with my first Mueller scope. But they beat heck out of BSA and it might just be my eyes. Both the Banner and APV can be had for around $120 in silver or matte black.

Be prepared to spend another $50 on a better scope mount (not see through) and rings. You can't get a good cheek weld if you use see through rings. Oh and MidwayUSA has a guide for selecting the right ring height.

Then get signed up for some low cost Appleseed training.

Edit: My replacement Mueller Eradicator arrived today and meets my expectations.
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Last edited by sholling; May 16, 2008 at 08:58 PM. Reason: Updated information.
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Old May 16, 2008, 06:04 PM   #5
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Sholling has it right regarding an adjustable objective. I've had good luck with the Mueller APV mounted on my CZ 452 American. Leupold EFR scopes are much better, and much more expensive. You can do some great plinking with the Mueller or Bushnell (if the latter, I'd opt for the Banner Dusk & Dawn series). For serious work, I'd go with a Leupold.
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Old May 17, 2008, 05:15 AM   #6
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In optics, usually, more money means better quality. Depends on the range and use of the rifle. A 3X9 or 4X12 with adjustable objective will do for just about all hunting/plinking, more magnification for target shooting. I like smaller scopes on rimfire rifles myself, like a 2X7 scope.
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Old May 17, 2008, 05:40 AM   #7
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See through rings suck. You should be able to close your eyes, shoulder the rifle, then open your eyes and not have to move your head to see through the scope.

For hunting, I use a 10/22 with an older 1.5-4.5 scope. For target, an AO will give you a fairly close estimation on range to figure the bullet drop.

For brand, just about anything can survive the recoil of a 22LR, but I'd still avoid anything made in China.
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Old May 17, 2008, 12:41 PM   #8
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The Bushnell and Tasco 22 scopes are okay. I have a couple. Just depends on the kind of shooting you are planning on as to what you choose (and of course the thickness of your wallet). Don't buy see thru scope rings for a 22. If you plan on a lot of fast shooting, get a 4x and practice. The scope should line up almost perfectly with your target when the gun is shouldered. Shot a lot of rabbits that way on the jump.

Of late, I have been buying the Weaver 2.5-7x or 3-9x AO rimfire scopes for my newer 22 rifles. They run a bit less than the Leupolds, and I think they're just as good. I recommend them.

For general shooting, plinking, and hunting, it is hard to beat a fixed powered 4x 1" diameter scope (Weaver, Leupold, Bushnell, Nikon, Tasco). They used to be my standard scope I'd buy for 22 rifles. I didn't buy the cheapest scopes, but I totally understand choosing a medium grade $50 scope for a 22 rifle. Definitely choose a "rimfire scope" versus a scope for a centerfire. When I was in my teens, I only bought the cheaper scopes for 22's, but as I get older I saw the value of a better scope.
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Old May 17, 2008, 07:51 PM   #9
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Ditto "sholling" and ".22-rimfire". If you want to use a centerfire scope, you need an adjustable objective. Parallax can be a huge problem at close range when it is set free at 100-150yds. An adjustable objective remedies that. For field use I prefer a designated rimfire scope like the 4x and 2-7x from Weaver or Leupold. The Leupold is probably the "best" of the type but the Weavers are also very good. Avoid cheap scopes at all costs, they are more expensive in the end.
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Old May 18, 2008, 12:03 AM   #10
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Just so we don't confuse the OP. Correct me if I'm off a bit... A non-AO 'centerfire scope' is said to be parallax free at 100yds or greater, while a rimfire scope is designed to be parallax free at 50yds. But these are crude estimates. AO or side focus can be dialed in to be parallax free from 30ft to infinity. For 50-100 yard plinking or hunting a basic rimfire scope makes the best sense because you don't have to stop and dial it in. For serious target work AO makes sense.
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Old May 18, 2008, 03:57 PM   #11
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Sholling is on the money with the AO. It is the way to go. I just got done doing some research for my new Savage Mark II. I went with the Bushnell 3200 4-12x40 AO. I have some links that may help you select your scope.

I hope that helps. They guided me a bit.

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Old May 18, 2008, 08:04 PM   #12
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An adjustable objective is the way to go if you're target shooting, they are more trouble than they're worth on a field gun. Which is exactly why I don't use them.
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Old May 18, 2008, 09:48 PM   #13
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My Remington 511 wears an old Weaver K4 in steel Weaver tip off mounts. It has the fine crosshairs, and is sighted in for 1/4" above the center at 25 yards. As long as I squeeze the trigger and I breathe right I can hit a dime with a 6 o'clock hold. Feral cats DO NOT like it. I had a Weaver Marksman 3x9 with the duplex crosshairs on it once, but the sight picture just didn't seem right at close range, so I swapped it out for the original setup. Old is good.
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Old May 26, 2008, 08:14 AM   #14
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.22 scope

Check out Millett scopes. Cheaper than Leupold, but with very adequate optics and a lifetime warranty.

I've got a 6-24 on my marlin that really lets you see the holes in paper, which is hard to do at 100yds with a 22.
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Old May 26, 2008, 08:55 AM   #15
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I'm not saying it's the best but I like the Weaver RV7, 2.5-7X28.
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Old May 27, 2008, 06:59 AM   #16
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The Mueller AVP is highly rated over at rimfirecentral. I liked mine so much I bought a TAC II for my M1A. So far, it's great.
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Old May 27, 2008, 08:54 AM   #17
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You need a scope designed for 22 rimfires (not a cheap one) but not one for large center fires since they will have the parallax set for 100 yds and you need one with parallax set for 50 yds. Better yet, get a scope with adjustable parallax. Something in a 3-9x or 3-12x.
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Old June 1, 2008, 04:24 PM   #18
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If you can't see 'em you can't hit 'em.
I have a Redfield Widefield 4X with 4-plex reticle on a Browning T-bolt.
This is a big game scope and have no problem with parallax at any range.
The big game scope has a large, coated front lens that reaches out with both hands and DRAGS light in.
The advice to budget as much for the scope as for the rifle is exactly right.
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