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Best Rifle Scope for Ruger 10/22 – Editor’s Choice 2020

Best Rifle Scope for Ruger 10-22

The Ruger 10/22 is a commonly used rifle. What scope do you need? What is the best magnification? Did you wonder about these questions yourself? Read on to get the answers in this post.

Best Rifle Scope for Ruger 10-22

What Are the Basics of the Ruger 10/22?

The Ruger 10/22 is an incredibly popular American semi-automatic rifle. The versatile rifle has the right combination of features for everything from small game hunting to target shooting or self-defense.

The Ruger 10/22 uses .22 caliber rimfire ammunition in a 10-round rotary magazine designed to resemble the US 30-caliber M1 carbine. It quickly became a hit when first released.

Ruger has produced the carbine version of the 10/22 continuously since 1964. The company now produces 14 variations including the 10/22 Takedown, Takedown Lite, Target, and Tactical.

The popularity of the rifle has also led to a major market for third-party accessories and parts. The size of the aftermarket for the Ruger 10/22 is so large that you can assemble one entirely from third-party components.

Why do people enjoy using the Ruger 10/22? Affordability and versatility are two of its main advantages. Some variations cost less than $200. The rimfire ammo is also inexpensive compared to centerfire ammunition.

The 10/22 is lightweight and has limited recoil, making it easy to handle and suitable for a variety of uses. Beginners and experts frequently choose the Ruger 10/22 for shooting small targets at 50 yards or less using just the sights.

At close range, the rifle works well for small game hunting and target shooting. The low-caliber rounds are also well suited for these tasks as they do not annihilate the target.

If you intend to shoot further than 50 yards, you need to add optics. With a scope mounted on the rifle, you can increase your accurate range beyond 100 yards.

The intended use of the rifle also helps to determine other features to look for in the right scope. For example, hunters should look for scopes with clear optics. A fully multi-coated lens provides greater light transmission, helping to illuminate your view at dusk or dawn.

The best scopes for the 10/22 are also lightweight. As most variations of the Ruger 10/22 only weigh about five pounds, adding a heavier scope reduces balance and stability.

Unfortunately, the diameter of the objective lens also impacts the weight of the scope. 20mm to 32mm lenses should remain lightweight. If the lens is larger than 40mm, pay attention to the weight of the scope before buying.

Features of a Rifle Scope

What Magnification Do You Need for the Typical Use of a Ruger 10/22?

Fixed magnification scopes were the most common choice for Ruger 10/22 rifles and other low caliber rifles. Decades ago, a 4x fixed scope would be a top choice. Thanks to better technology, you now have a wide range of power magnification levels to choose from.

Choosing the right magnification depends on how you plan to use the rifle. For typical uses with the Ruger 10/22, look for 1x up to 9x magnification.

9x should offer accuracy for up to 500 yards, far exceeding the average range needed for small game hunting, target practice, or training. Higher magnification is primarily only needed for competition shooting.

3x-9x scopes remain the most popular choice for the Ruger 10/22 and most low-caliber hunting rifles. With 3x magnification, you can still hit pinpoint shots at close range. 9x should offer more than enough magnification for 100 yards and beyond.

2x-7x scopes are also a common option for close- and medium-range shooting. If you intend to hit targets at ranges greater than a couple of hundred yards, you may need more than 9x power. However, anything beyond 10x requires a supported position and limits the clarity of budget scopes.

If you only plan on using the rifle for close-range shooting, look for scopes with less magnification. A simple 1x-4x power scope offers more than enough zoom for increased accuracy at less than 50 yards.

Of course, the size of the target also impacts the magnification needed. Even at a few dozen yards, you may need a powered scope to hit a small rodent. However, hitting a wild hog at the same distance does not require the same level of magnification.

Keep in mind that increasing the magnification limits the field of view and decreases tracking. When using a higher magnification level, it helps to have a scope with a large objective lens. As mentioned, a larger lens also increases the weight of the scope.

To find the right balance between weight, magnification, and light transmission, look for a scope that matches your intended use for the Ruger 10/22.

What Are the Best Scopes for the Ruger 10/22?

Using the features discussed to compare options, the following scopes stand out as the top recommendations for the Ruger 10/22.

Simmons 3-9x32mm, 0.22 Mag(R)

The Simmons 3-9x32mm is a budget scope. Due to the price, do not expect the scope to have the greatest construction. However, despite the low-cost design, it offers surprisingly clear magnification and several useful features including parallax correction.

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Features and Performance

The 511039 scope from Simmons weighs just 10 ounces and comes with dovetail mounts. It mounts easily on most variations of the Ruger 10/22, including the carbine and takedown versions.

The scope offers 3x-9x magnification. If you need to hit targets beyond 50 yards, the magnification range should have you covered.

The lightweight scope feels a little delicate. In fact, it damages easily when dropped as it is not the most durable scope available.

The optics are fully coated, increasing the clarity and sharpness of the image. Simmons also added a HydroShield material on the lens to keep the optics clear in all weather conditions. However, compared to high-end scopes, the clarity suffers when using the higher magnification levels.

The scope also includes adjustments with 1/4 MOA clicks. The turrets feature a rubber coating, allowing for easier adjustment even when wearing gloves or hunting in cold conditions.

Pros:

  • Lightweight design
  • Rubber grip for easier adjustments in the cold
  • Incredibly affordable scope

Cons:

  • Not the most durable scope
  • Loss of clarity at full magnification

Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC Rimfire Reticle

Bushnell Optics is known for producing mid-range scopes with quality components. The Drop Zone-22 includes durable construction and clear optics for a scope in this price range, providing a great overall value.

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Features and Performance

The Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 includes 2x-7x magnification with a 32mm lens. Compared to other scopes with similar magnification and lens sizes, the Drop Zone-22 provides a wide field of view.

With minimum magnification, the FOV is 50 feet at 100 yards. At 7x magnification, the FOV is 17 feet. The wider field of view is useful when using higher magnification settings or tracking a shot. Small game hunters should appreciate the larger lens.

The image also remains clear in any weather conditions, thanks to the fully multi-coated optics and nitrogen purged tube. You should not lose clarity at full magnification.

The side parallax adjustment on the scope makes it a versatile option. Instead of coming factory set at 50 yards or 100 yards, you can adjust the parallax correction for different yardages or magnifications.

The one issue with the scope is its weight. Due to the durable construction and extra features, it weighs 19.5 ounces, making it one of the heavier choices.

Pros:

  • Durable construction and sealing
  • Fully multi-coated optics that provide a clearer image
  • Fast-focus eyepiece and parallax adjustment

Cons:

  • Weight of 19.5 ounces, making it a heavy scope for a lightweight rifle

Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II 3-9X40 BDC150

The Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II Scope is specifically designed for .22 caliber rifles. It includes the BDC reticle found on many 10/22 scopes and spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets for easier in-the-field adjustments.

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Features and Performance

The PROSTAFF RIMFIRE offers 3x-9x magnification and a large 40mm lens. The parts are all durable and made using high-quality materials. The optics are also made using high-end glass and provide a crystal-clear view in most conditions.

The scope has a sleek appearance and weighs just 13.1 ounces. It is not the lightest 10/22 scope but it is not the heaviest either.

The scope has the standard windage and elevation turrets and focus ring. The parallax correction is set at 50 yards.

Matching the sleek design of the scope, the turrets do not have any labels or indications for the individual clicks. This is not a major issue but some hunters may find it inconvenient.

The field of view is a little limited compared to other options. With full 9x magnification, the FOV is just 11.3 feet. At 3x magnification, the FOV is 33.8 feet. This may impact your ability to track your shots but should not matter for target shooting.

Pros:

  • Durable construction and parts
  • High-quality glass optics
  • Precise adjustments

Cons:

  • No labels for turret clicks
  • Limited field of view

Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7×35 Rimfire

The Diamondback riflescope from Vortex Optics is calibrated for close-range shooting with rimfire rifles such as the Ruger 10/22. It features precision turrets, a fast-focus eyepiece, and crystal-clear optics.

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Features and Performance

The Vortex Optics Diamondback has 2x-7x magnification with a 35mm lens. This range is suitable for a wide variety of uses but is mostly intended for hunting. It even uses a V-Plex reticle, which is considered a useful all-purpose hunting reticle.

The scope is designed to hold up to repeated use and includes high-quality construction. The metal components include precision turrets and a solid one-piece main tube with a hard-anodized finish. The tube is also shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof.

The Diamondback provides clear sighting at close range or medium range. The lenses are fully multi-coated while the focus adjustment includes a fast-focus eyepiece. You get a clear view at any magnification level from 2x to 7x.

Along with superior clarity, the scope offers precise adjustments. Adjusting the scope based on windage and elevation is easy due to the metal-on-metal precision turrets. You can zero reset after sighting in.

Pros:

  • Clear optics at full magnification
  • Durable construction with minimal moving parts
  • Versatile magnification range

Cons:

  • One of the more expensive choices

Burris Droptine Riflescope with Ballistic Plex Reticle

The Burris Droptine Riflescope includes many standard features for a 10/22 scope, including 1/4 MOA clicks and a one-inch main tube. It also includes 3x-9x magnification. However, it stands out for its ease of use and quality light transmission.

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Features and Performance

The 3-9×48 Droptine Riflescope comes equipped with a large lens. The 48mm lens provides superior light transmission compared to smaller lenses, helping to maintain a clear image in low light settings.

Due to the larger lens, the scope is also a little bulky. It weighs about 1.2 pounds, adding a few extra ounces compared to other scopes in the same price range.

The 3x-9x magnification should suit most uses including small game hunting or target shooting. The main drawback is the lack of clarity at full magnification. The edges of the reticle may appear slightly blurry with 9x magnification.

While the image quality degrades at full magnification, the scope is still easy to use. It features standard windage and elevation turrets. The low-profile turrets and focus knob are a little tricky to turn when wearing gloves but they remain set after zeroing in your settings.

Pros:

  • Quality light transmission
  • Large 48mm lens for greater light transmission
  • Easy-to-set turrets and focus knob

Cons:

  • Low-profile turrets that are difficult to adjust when wearing gloves
  • A 1.2-pound scope that is heavier compared to other options

BARSKA 3-9×32 Plinker-22 Riflescope

The BARSKA Plinker-22 Riflescope is a lightweight scope and one of the best budget options. It may not offer the greatest optics but it comes with a variety of accessories that rarely comes with scopes anymore, including lens covers.

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Features and Performance

The BARSKA Plinker-22 includes many standard features found on most scopes including a nitrogen purged tube for a waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof design. It also has standard turret adjustments for adjusting for windage or elevation.

The 3x-9x magnification and 32mm lens are also common features for scopes intended for the Ruger 10/22. However, this is one of the cheaper 3-9×32 scopes available.

The low cost makes it a recommended choice for beginners or those wanting a spare scope. While it is a budget scope, it includes fully multi-coated optics that provide greater clarity in limited lighting. However, the reticle crosshairs lack sharpness and may appear a little blurry.

It comes with everything needed to add the scope to your Ruger 10/22. The scope includes mounting rings, lens covers, and a lens cloth. It is also backed by a limited lifetime warranty. These features are less common with modern scopes, which requires you to purchase caps or mounting rings separately.

The bottom line is that the BARSKA Plinker-22 allows you to remain accurate at close-, medium-, or long-range without costing a fortune.

Pros:

  • Affordable 10/22 scope
  • Lightweight design for greater balance
  • Surprisingly good clarity in low light settings

Cons:

  • Slightly blurry markings in the reticle

Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope

The Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope comes equipped with several features that place it in a class above the other options. These features include an advanced light management system and a comfortable eye relief.

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Features and Performance

The VX-Freedom is a lightweight scope with 2x-7x magnification paired with a 33mm lens. The main tube is constructed from aircraft-quality aluminum and is purged to make it shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof.

The parallax correction is set for 60 yards, a common choice for rimfire scopes. It provides the optimal focus for close- to medium-range targeting.

To adjust for windage or elevation, the scope includes precision turrets with 1/4 MOA clicks. The adjustments are precise and dependable even with rugged use.

With an eye relief of 3.7 to 4.17 inches, the scope is also comfortable to use. You get a clear view without needing to put your eye too close to the scope.

The field of view is decent for the magnification range and lens size with a FOV of 43.8 feet at 100 yards at the lowest magnification level. The FOV at full magnification is 17.8 feet.

The top reason to consider using this scope is the Twilight Light Management System. It increases clarity in low-light settings, giving you an extra 10 to 15 minutes of daylight at dusk or dawn.

Pros:

  • Superior optical clarity compared to other scopes
  • Precise adjustments
  • Comfort due to the eye relief and wide FOV

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive scope

Conclusion

Choosing the best rifle scope for Ruger 10/22 rifles depends on your specific needs. Several of the options offer 2x-7x magnification while others provide 3x-9x magnification. Both options should meet your needs for medium- or long-range shooting.

If the cost of the scope is the main issue, consider using the BARSKA Plinker-22 Scope or the Simmons 3-9x32mm Scope. These scopes are affordable but offer reliable clarity for their price.

The Nikon, Burris, and Bushnell scopes are solid mid-range scopes with decent optics. However, the Leupold VX-Freedom and Vortex Optics Diamondback stand out as the top recommendations for the Ruger 10/22.

These scopes offer superior sharpness and clarity even in low light settings. With the Leupold VX-Freedom, you also get a wider field of view that helps you track your shots.

Before you select one of these scopes, remember to think about how you plan on using your Ruger 10/22. Focus on the range, clarity, FOV, and cost.