A rimfire rifle is a short-distance rifle used mainly for shooting under 50 yards. This rifle uses a .22 caliber cartridge with its primer located within a hollow circular rim under the cartridge.
Even though the rifle itself is used mainly for short-distance shooting, using it without a scope will limit its effectiveness drastically. This is why the need for a scope that will match your rimfire rifle is essential. Because of the peculiarities of a rimfire rifle, just any other scope wouldn’t cut it here. You need a scope made for the activities of a rimfire rifle.
Rimfire rifles are low recoil weapons and would need a scope that works well in this condition. A combination of a solid rimfire rifle and a matching scope will unlock your shooting potentials by improving your accuracy and range.
This article is about helping you make the right decision to choose a rimfire rifle scope. Now, the right decision is relative and should be judged based on your particular needs. Using the scopes that will be listed here, the buying guide, and your needs, you’ll finally get the perfect scope for your rimfire rifle.
Best Rimfire Rifle Scope
Because we understand the stress it takes to choose a rimfire scope, we’ve made the decision easier for you by coming up with a list of some of the best rimfire rifle scopes around.
- Leupold VX-FREEDOM 3-9×40 Rimfire Scope – Our top pick
- Bushnell 613510A 3.5-10×36 Rimfire Scope
- Sightron 25003 SIII 10-50×60 Rimfire Scope
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 SFF
- Simmons 3-9×32 Rimfire Scope – Budget Pick
- Athlon Optics 212008 Ares BTR 4.5-27×50 Rimfire Scope
|Leupold VX-FREEDOM||• Magnification range of 3-9x|
• Extra shooting light
• Excellent eye relief
|Bushnell 613510A||• Magnification of 3.5-10x|
• Lifetime warranty
|Sightron 25003 SIII||• Magnification of 10-50x|
• Second focal plane
• Fast focus eyebell
|Vortex Optics Crossfire II||• Magnification of 2-7x|
• Multiple turret options
• Zero reset feature
|Simmons 3-9×32 Rimfire Scope||• Magnification of 3-9x|
• SureGrip technology
|Athlon Optics||• Magnification of 4.5-27x|
• Illuminated reticle
• Precision zero stop
1. Leupold VX-FREEDOM 3-9×40 Rimfire Scope
This Leupold VX-freedom rifle has a magnification range of 3-9x, which will serve even distances above 100 yards. With this, you are not limited to the short-distance shooting but can explore longer distances. The quality of the image from this scope is supported by its 40mm objective lens diameter, which allows the light needed for clear images to enter the scope.
This scope is built for rimfire ammo and range with a combination of effective and durable materials. Its body is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and then covered with a black matte finish to reduce glare. The scope is also sealed properly to prevent water from entering, and the tube purged to keep it fog proof.
Its durability does not only focus on its body, and it extends to its glass too. It uses an anti-scratch glass that has been multi-coated for better light transmission and to protect the lens from damage.
It has a long eye relief of 4.17 inches at the highest magnification and 3.6 inches at the lowest. This is good enough for your shooting with your rimfire rifle. It has a fixed parallax adjustment set at 60 yards, which is ideal for shooting with rimfire rifles.
Nevertheless, there is still a parallax adjustment turret alongside elevation and windage turrets to help you zero in on your target. They are all finger-adjustable and easy to operate.
There is no attached lens cap, and you may need to spend more to get caps for your lenses.
- Magnification range of 3-9x
- Objective lens of 40mm
- Excellent eye relief
- Good optics
- Durable scope
- Finger adjustable turrets
- Extra shooting light
- Lens cap not included
2. Bushnell 613510A 3.5-10×36 Rimfire Scope
Bushnell optics are of the highest standard, and this one is no different with a power range of 3.5-10x, you get a wide magnification range to choose from. It also uses a 36mm objective lens diameter so the light needed for clear images can get into the tube.
If you think its wide magnification range is all there is to this scope, think again. When we ran our test on the best rimfire scopes, we had a hard time picking between the number one scope on this list and this Bushnell scope. This should tell you how well it is built.
Aside from its generous eye relief of 3.8 inches, it has an appealing matte black finish that also acts as an anti-glare so you don’t inadvertently give away your position.
Its turrets may not be the most advanced, but that is excusable since this is not a high-end scope. You’re surprised, right? This was how I felt when I realized this scope goes for under $100 despite its many features. Well, who are we to complain? Its turrets, including elevation, windage, and parallax knobs, are all finger adjustable for quick aiming.
Talking about quick aiming, its eyepiece uses a quick target acquisition system to quickly lock into targets and reduce the time spent aiming. The scope is also a rugged one with a waterproof and fogproof tube.
All these at an affordable price and a lifetime warranty. This is a great buy for your rimfire rifle. Bear in mind that you may find it difficult to zero in initially, but it should get a little bit more straightforward once you get the hang of it.
- Magnification range of 3.5-10x
- Objective lens of 36mm
- Lifetime warranty
- Waterproof and fogproof scope
- Fast-focus eyepiece
- Good eye relief
- Parallax adjustments available
- Basic turrets features
- Can be difficult to zero in
3. Sightron 25003 SIII 10-50×60 Rimfire Scope
This is a long-range rimfire scope evident by its huge magnification range of 10-50x. This range covers most of your long-range shooting needs. You may not even need to use its highest power levels as you’ll probably be satisfied at lower magnifications. Its high power level is backed up by a large objective lens size of a whooping 60mm. If you compare the objective lens of the other listed scopes in this list, you’ll see how large this is.
Because of its magnification levels, the objective lens must be large or you’ll be struggling with the clarity of the image even at lower power levels.
Magnification and a matching objective lens may be its most obvious advantage, but many other features make this scope a good fit for your rimfire rifle.
The glass quality is excellent and the lenses multi-coated with the special zact-7 revcoat for added protection and light transmission. It uses a fast focus knob located at the side of the scope. This helps you to quickly pick up a target.
It uses an ExacTrac windage and elevation system for precision and aiming adjustments. There is also a parallax adjustment knob which is not a common feature.
Its features, especially its wide objective lens, make this scope bulky and heavy. The heavenliness was reduced significantly by the use of durable and lightweight aluminum material to make its one-piece body. This also keeps it shockproof and watertight. The tube is nitrogen-purged to stop fog from forming.
To cap it all up, it has a lifetime warranty on it.
- Magnification range of 10-50x
- Objective lens size of 60mm
- Fast focus eyebell
- Shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof
- Side focus parallax adjustment
- Second focal plane
- Lifetime warranty
- Zact-7 revcoat lens coatings
- Bulky and heavy
- Blurry images at higher magnification
- Does not come with a lens cover
4. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 SFF
Vortex is already a popular optics brand producing several top-tier scopes for the industry; it would be a shock if none of its scopes made it into this list. Vortex has a couple of rimfire scopes, but the crossfire II 2-7×32 scope stands tall.
It is a second focal plane rimfire scope with a magnification range of 2-7x, covering all your close-range shooting needs. This power range is backed up by a 32mm objective lens that will allow the right amount of light into the scope. The power here is perfect for the typical rimfire rifle as they are usually used for short-distance shooting below 50 yards.
It comes with multiple reticle options for you to choose from and make your shooting more personalized. I love the V-plex MOA reticle option as it focuses on added precision and several hold points across the board. The reticle is hash marked for holdovers and direction adjustments.
Its lenses are multi-coated for extra image clarity, glass protection, and prevent light reflection on its surface that may give up your location. The high contrast that these coatings bring will help you get better image quality even when using the scope in low light conditions.
It uses capped tactical elevation and windage turrets with an integrated locking system that locks in your zero and prevents it from accidentally resetting. There’s also a reset feature attached, so you can still zero after sighting in.
Made from aircraft-grade aluminum, O-ring sealed, and nitrogen-purged to make it shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof. You can use it in wet conditions without worries, and it can drop without breaking.
- Magnification range of 2-7x
- Objective lens of 32mm
- Multiple turret options
- Zero reset feature
- Integrated zero locking mechanism
- Long eye relief
- Multi-coated lenses
- Durable scope
- Inconvenient lens covers
5. Simmons 3-9×32 Rimfire Scope
This is our budget pick. If you’re on a string budget but still want to enjoy the best of a rimfire scope, this Simmons rimfire scope is just what you need. Don’t get it twisted, being affordable doesn’t make it inferior, in fact, of even better features than some other more expensive options and that is why it makes this list of best rimfire scopes.
Its magnification is between 3-9x for your short distances needs and even some of your long-distance shooting. It also uses a 32mm objective lens, large enough for enough light intake and small enough to keep the scope light and easy to move around. Its hydro shield coating also helps to provide you with clear images for better shooting.
This scope’s design is sleek and its one-piece body keeps it lightweight and reduces spaces for water to enter the tube, thus making it waterproof. Its body is made from durable materials and gas-filled to stop fog from forming inside.
The scope also uses a quick target acquisition system (QTA) to quickly draw your eyes to the target when you look through the scope – this saves you valuable time in the process. There is also a true zero adjustment lock with dead set accuracy. What this means is that alongside quick targeting, you’ll get accurate shots out of this scope.
It comes with a set of mounting rings and is also easy to mount and use. Even though its eye relief of 3.5-3.9 is not the widest, it is still decent since rimfire rifles are not high recoil rifles.
There’s SureGrip technology on the turrets so you can still make adjustments even if you’re wearing gloves.
However, some of its downsides are the lack of warranty aside from the normal Amazon 30 days return policy and its size. It is slightly bulky. But all these are negligible since this is an affordable scope.
- Magnification of 3-9x
- Objective lens of 32mm
- SureGrip technology
- True zero adjustment
- Quick target acquisition system
- Only 30 days return policy available
6. Athlon Optics 212008 Ares BTR 4.5-27×50 Rimfire Scope
This scope has a wide magnification range spanning from 4.5-27x this should cover all your mid to long-distance shooting needs. For you to get clear images in scopes with high power levels such as this, you need a large objective lens. The manufacturers of this Athlon scope know this, that is why it is fitted with a 50mm objective lens so a good amount of light enters and brightens the image you see.
This is evident in the crisp images it produces even at higher magnification. Most scopes with high power levels struggle to achieve clear images at higher magnification. It uses high-definition optics glass with fully multi coated lenses, this further helps it achieve its aim of better and clearer images.
The scope is a high-end scope with great features to match including an illuminated reticle for low light and night shooting. There’s also an adjustable eyepiece, so you get quick targeting.
The rimfire Athlon optics has a side focus parallax adjustment, windage, and elevation turrets that are easy to adjust. However, the scope lacks a lock-in feature to keep your zero intact even if it bumps on an object. It does have precision zero stops.
It is made from 6061-T6 aluminum alloy and is argon-purged to prevent fog from forming inside and obstructing your view.
It is somewhat annoying considering the price of the scope that it does not include lens caps.
- Magnification range of 4.5-27x
- Objective lens of 50mm
- 6061-T6 aluminum alloy body
- Shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof
- Illuminated reticle
- Precision zero stop
- Excellent optics
- Side focus parallax adjustment available
- Fully multi-coated lenses
- Lack of lens caps
- Lack of zero lock-in feature
Buyer’s Guide for choosing the best Rimfire Scope
Do you want to know the exact way we use to get the top rimfire scopes to test and see how you can use it to get the particular rimfire scope to use? I’ll be laying it all bare here.
They are factors to consider so you can make the best decision when it comes to choosing a rimfire scope. Here you go:
- Know Your Purpose
There’s nothing as important as knowing your shooting purpose when it comes to selecting the perfect rimfire scope. Luckily, it is also one of the easiest to come about.
All you need is to analyze what you intend to use your rifle for; tactical shooting, home defense, hunting, target practice or whatever the case may be.
Once you can decide what you want to use your rimfire rifle, you can then start your scope hunting armed with the information you have uncovered.
This is the power of the scope and the relationship between the image’s size and what you would have seen if you used your normal eyes.
Magnification is important as it improves the range of your rimfire while also ensuring the maximum level of accuracy when you shoot. Rimfire rifles usually focus on short distant shooting so you’ll most likely find more rimfire scopes with lower magnification levels but don’t let that be the deciding factor.
You want to use the information from the purpose of your shooting to determine the magnification that is ideal for you. If you’ll be doing more long-distance shooting, you may need to consider scopes with higher power levels.
- Objective Lens
This usually goes hand-in-hand with the magnification of the scope. If the power level is high, there’s a need for a wide objective lens so more light can enter.
For lower scopes with lower power levels, smaller objective lens sizes will work just fine as you do not need that much light to get clear images.
Even though rimfire rifles are low recoil weapons, you still need a durable scope as not only recoils can damage your scope. You need a scope that can survive a fall without breaking.
There’s also a need for a weatherproof and temperature-proof scope that you can easily use across different weather and temperature conditions.
These are what to consider in the durability of a scope before buying it for your rimfire stifle.
In general rimfire scopes are affordable with some even lying below the $100 mark. Nevertheless, you still need to consider the price and your budget for the scope.
If you check well, you may find an even better scope at a more affordable price.
This list and buyers guide was borne out of the growing use of rimfire rifles and people struggling to choose from the various rimfire scopes available. After taking the work off your hands and doing a deep dive, we came up with this comprehensive guide for your use.