Today I’m going to show you the best 22LR scope for target shooting.
I’ve hand-tested 18 scopes alone for this review.
The best part?
I’ve sorted the scopes by use. So whether you’re on a budget or need the best 22LR optic, you’ll find it here.
Let’s dive in!
If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best 22LR scopes:
- Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire: Best Overall 22LR Scope
- Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire: Best Close-to-Medium Range Scope
- Bushnell Drop Zone-22 2-7×32: Best Short-range Varmint Hunting
- Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50: Best Short-to-Long Range 22LR Scope
The Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire is the best overall 22LR scope.
I’ve used it for hunting, target shooting, night time hunting and more.
What makes it so versatile?
Keep reading and I’ll show you…
Here’s the thing:
When a scope is positioned at a low price point like the Leupold Freedom Rimfire, it usually equates to reduced quality.
But that’s wasn’t the case here.
In fact, the glass on this scope is just as crisp and clear as the glass used on more expensive Leupold sights.
It’s also great in low light conditions, making the visibility problems I usually face with early morning shooting nonexistent.
But what about the reticle?
It’s a standard duplex reticle set in the second focal plane.
This allows you to have a strong and easy to see reticle at all magnifications.
It has a whopping 4.1” of eye relief!
That’s more than any other scope on this list.
The best part?
You can shoot with both eyes open, and accurately hit your target without worrying about getting a black eye 🙂
The VX-Freedom Rimfire is well built.
It’s crafted with lightweight aluminum that is O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged.
In other words:
It’s completely shockproof, waterproof and fogproof.
In the dead of winter, with snow actively falling, I didn’t have a single temperature or fog related problem.
The dials worked correctly, and are set at ¼ MOA with audible clicks to ensure precision.
However, the knobs feel cheap. The plastic used on the knobs is soft and feels like something you find in a dollar store.
Don’t get me wrong:
The knobs work fine and do exactly what they are supposed to do. I just wish Leupold used a higher quality plastic or even aluminum for the knob.
That being said, they are accurate, easy to use and track true. It’s also easy to zero, and holds zero even with strong recoil or accidental drops.
The 1.5-4x magnification is perfect for hunting and target shooting.
In fact, I’ve used it up to 200 yards without a problem. Further than that would require more magnification. I’d recommend checking out my Vortex Viper HST 4-16×44 Review.
Although parallax is fixed, I experienced no blurriness or fuzziness when shooting within 100 yards.
If you’re looking for the best overall 22 LR scope that will work in almost any situation, then the Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire is for you.
Here’s why. It’s:
- Clear glass
- Works well in low light
- Short-to-medium range magnification
The Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope is budget friendly and easy to use scope. Plus, it’s backed by Leupold’s lifetime guarantee.
You break it, they’ll fix it…free of charge.
- Model #174179 - VX-Freedom Rimfire 2-7x33mm Riflescope with a Rimfire-MOA reticle and Matte finish
- 100% Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.
- Parallax adjusted for 60 yards, ideal for rimfire cartridges
Looking for the best close-to-medium range scope for target shooting? Then get a Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32.
Not only is it affordable, but the scope’s features is built with quality.
Keep reading to find out…
Glass clarity is always one of the defining features on a Vortex optic and the Crossfire II 2-7x is no exception.
This scope has a fully multi-coated lens that provides a stunningly bright and clear view of your target.
The lens also has an anti-reflective coating. This reduces light absorption to minimize any glare that could appear in your sight,
What’s better is the V-plex reticle.
It’s a popular hunting reticle that can be used for about any hunting applications. That’s why I recommended it in my 4 best scopes for Ruger 10/22 guide.
However, it’s wire constructed. Although it’s not bad, it can break and occasionally lose their position.
This reticle is a second focal plane (SFP) which lets you increase or decrease magnification without changing the size of the reticle.
So the reticle gets to do its job without obstructing your view of the target.
One sure sign of a quality optic is the eye relief.
A good scope should allow you to have a comfortable distance between your eye and the eyepiece while still being able to clearly see the full field of view.
The Crossfire II really delivers in this area. It offers a very forgiving 3.9 inches of eye relief at the lowest magnification and 4.7 inches at the highest magnification.
The eye box (range of positioning behind the eyepiece) is also really generous. This allows for faster target acquisition and is a big reason why this optic can be recommended for both tactical use as well as for hunting.
The Vortex reputation is built on the company’s resolve to make a product that endures.
Crossfire II displays all the signs of the vortex standards
Like other Vortex products, the Crossfire II has been designed to surpass the standards of similarly-priced riflescopes.
The hard-anodized tube is made from aircraft-grade aluminum which protects it against scratches and dings.
The design is also shockproof, ensuring that the components aren’t easily jumbled by the movement of your gun. Not to mention movements that come with normal use, such as, having it packed up with the rest of your gear in the back of your truck, or even accidentally knocking it over or dropping it.
The scope is O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, making it both waterproof and fog proof.
If for some reason any of these features fail or your scope is damaged in any way, Vortex covers it with its VIP lifetime warranty.
The company will either repair or replace your Crossfire II, no matter what the problem is or how long you’ve had it.
To top it all off, this heavy-duty scope weighs just 14.3oz. — a comfortable addition to most rifles.
The turrets on the Crossfire II are medium height and finger adjustable.
The knobs have a sturdy feel to them and can be easily manipulated, even with a gloved hand. Both turrets are capped to protect your settings and can be reset back to zero after sighting in.
Windage and elevation can both be adjusted to 60 MOA with each click measuring ¼ MOA.
With a magnification of 2-7x, this is a scope meant for close to medium-range shooting.
The parallax adjustment is fixed up to 100yds which is a good fit for this level of magnification.
With a price tag of only $129, you are getting a great scope with quality features that many people pay twice as much for.
Not only that, but when you take into account the lifetime warranty, it’s almost a no brainer.
If you’re looking for a solid tactical scope that excels in hunting, then I’d recommend the Crossfire II.
- The 2-7x32 Crossfire II Rim fire riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The V-Plex reticle is a popular all-purpose hunting reticle intended for a variety of hunting...
- With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you'll be able to quickly get a sight picture and acquire your target. The fast focus eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing.
- Anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear views for the user.
Want to do short-range varmint hunting?
Or rimfire tactical matches?
Then take a look at the Bushnell Drop Zone-22 2-7×32. It’s literally designed for the .22 LR round.
The best part?
It’s super affordable. Let’s take a closer look…
The glass is surprisingly good.
In fact, I didn’t notice any tunnel vision from the bezel like I do with other similarly-priced optics.
But what’s even better is the Drop Zone-22 BDC reticle.
It’s specifically engineered for 38-40 grain, .22 LR high-velocity loads, with a 50-yard zero.
What that means is it specifically measures the .22 LR’s trajectory, giving you completely accurate bullet drop estimates.
This is perfect if you do short-range varmint hunting or rimfire tactical matches.
The 3.6” of eye relief is very forgiving — even at full magnification.
Also, the eye box is generous. I didn’t experience any eye fatigue.
The Drop Zone-22 is built like a tank.
It’s O-ring sealed, argon purged and crafted from durable aluminum. Which means, the scope is waterproof, fogproof and shockproof.
However, it comes at a hefty cost:
At about 19.5 ounces in weight, the Drop-Zone 22 is one of the heaviest scope in its class.
The exposed target turrets are reliable.
They produce positive, crisp clicks. No tools are required. And the ¼ MOA is very precise.
However, the dials are a bit stiff to turn…at first. With usage, it’ll loosen up.
Moving on, zeroing was easy. After 7 rounds, I was zeroed in. It also held zero like a champ. 82 rounds and a few hikes later, I still haven’t lost zero.
Just like the turrets, the power ring is also rather stiff.
Use a throw-over lever. This makes turning the knob a breeze.
The scope is also equipped with an adjustable side parallax knob. This is gold…considering the price of the optic.
It can adjust as low as 10 yards to infinity. A plus if you’re plinking, engaging close targets or rimfire shooting.
The 2-7x magnification and parallax adjustment is clean and precise.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly 22LR scope, then get a Bushnell Drop Zone-22.
Here’s why. It’s got:
- Clear glass
- Long eye relief
- 22LR BDC reticle
- Side parallax adjustment
It’s literally designed for small game hunting, plinking and rimfire shooting.
The best part?
It’s backed by Bushnell’s lifetime warranty. So if ANYTHING happens to the scope, they’ll fix er’ up for free.
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Drop Zone 22 LR Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC) reticle
- Side focus parallax adjustment for adjustable long range accuracy and a fast-focus eyepiece
4. Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50: Best Short-to-Long Range 22LR Scope
The Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50 is the best short-to-long range scope for your 22lr rifle.
The Argos BTR packs in many of the features of top-dollar scopes, but for a fraction of the cost. Like what? Keep reading to find out…
Glass Clarity & Reticle
The glass on the Argos BTR is very high quality, which means the image you see through your scope is clear and crisp. In fact, the Argos BTR excels in low-light conditions.
I’ve found that it’s the perfect scope for dusk and dawn hunts. This is because the BTR is made with a fully multi-coated lens which provides fantastic light transmission.
I’ve noticed that when I zoom in to 18-24x, I get a little bit of blurriness. That said, for under $400, you really can’t beat the image clarity of the BTR.
Now let’s take a look at the reticle.
I was expecting a pretty basic reticle from this scope, especially considering the price. However, the BTR uses an illuminated, etched APMR MIL reticle. It’s anything but basic!
Here’s a look at the APMR MIL reticle:
I really like the illuminated reticle, especially when I’m shooting in low-light conditions. There are 11 brightness settings which means that I can find the perfect illumination level every time.
I do wish that the BTR had an auto-shutoff feature to help save on battery life, but I tend to keep an extra Lithium battery in my bag just in case.
Also, since the reticle is etched into the glass, you don’t need to turn on the illumination at all if you don’t want to. The etched reticle is also much more durable than a wired crosshair, so you don’t have to worry about your wires getting knocked off center.
One of the best things about the Argos BTR is that it is a first focal plane riflescope, which means that the reticle grows as you zoom in on your target. No more calculations for holdover or windage when you change your magnification.
I love that the MIL reticle works at all ranges, and this feature usually only comes in scopes that cost over $1000.
Eye Relief & Eye Box
The eye relief on the BTR is a nice, comfy 3.3 inches. This is perfect for low-to-zero recoil calibers like 22lr.
The eye box is also nice and generous, although I’ve noticed it does shrink a little as you zoom in to max.
The Argos BTR is incredibly durable. The tube is made from heat-treated, aircraft grade aluminum and is sealed with O-rings.
As if that’s not enough, the whole tube is made from a single piece of metal, which makes it stronger and more waterproof than multi-piece scope tubes. The BTR is also argon-purged and uses an etched reticle.
All of these features mean that the scope is able to handle any kind of conditions and take any kind of punishment that I might throw at it.
Elevation & Windage Knobs
Here’s the scope’s biggest con…
The turrets move very easily, with almost no resistance…which can lead to over adjusting.
However, I spent about ten minutes re-greasing the turret caps. When I was done, the turrets felt much less mushy and the clicks were a lot louder.
If you’ve never regreased turrets before, here’s a quick video showing you how to do it:
Zeroing was a very easy process. I was able to zero the scope in less than ten rounds once I was hitting paper.
And I’ve put hundreds of rounds through my 22lr since, and the zero has held true.
In my experience, these turrets have proved to be very reliable.
Parallax & Magnification
The parallax adjustment knob works very well. It’s easy to turn and accurate. This makes for easy adjustments in the field.
The 6-24x magnification is probably my favorite thing about this scope. Whether I want to shoot something ten yards out or plink a target at 1000 yards, the BTR is my go-to.
The scope image is very clear up until about 20x. After that it gets a little bit blurry, so you may want to invest in a higher-end scope if you want to do a lot of extreme distance shooting.
That said, I’ve found that the Argos BTR still functions well at 1000 yards, especially when you consider the price.
Mounting & Rings
The Argos BTR doesn’t come with any rings or a mount, so I’d suggest getting a set of High Scope Rings that fit your 22lr.
- Permanently attaches to base
- Square recoil control key for positive engagement of ring to base
- Rings securely mount around scope using 4 Torx style T-15 socket cap screws, 25 in/lb. Of torque recommended
The scope does come with a set of lens covers, which is nice. It also includes a battery for the illuminated reticle.
I went ahead and bought a 50mm Athlon Sunshade to use for my daytime shooting.
- Reduce Glare And Sun Reflections Off The Objective Lens
- This Black Sunshade Uses A Screw-In Assembly That Attaches Easily
- Country Of Origin: China
It helps a lot with glare and reflections.
Is the Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50 Worth It?
If you need an all-range scope for your 22lr, you can’t go wrong with the Argos BTR.
Here’s why. It has:
- First focal plane
- 6-24x magnification
- Excellent in low-light
- Reliable, hand-adjustable turrets
- Illuminated, etched BTR MIL reticle
- Fully multi-coated glass for clear, crisp image
And all of this comes in a package that costs a fraction of what other competing scopes cost.
If all of that wasn’t enough, the BTR comes with Athlon’s Gold Medal lifetime warranty, so you know you’re covered if anything happens to your riflescope.
If you want all these features in a low-cost riflescope, then the Argos BTR 6-24×50 is for you.
- First focal plane reticle stays valid at all power settings allowing you to fully utilize the specially designed reticle that shrinks or grows along with your target as you zoom in or out.
- Advanced Fully Multi-Coated lenses gives you better light transmission to bring optimum brightness and true color across the entire light spectrum.
- Reticle etched on the glass that provides excellent backing support for complex reticle design and offers great durability and much higher shock resistance to recoil
Looking for a riflescope for your AR? Here’s our list of the 7 Best AR-15 Scopes and Optics.
I hope you enjoyed my best 22LR scope for target shooting guide.
So as a recap:
If you’re looking for the best overall .22LR target shooting scope, then get the Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire.
What about the best close-to-medium range optic? The Crossfire II 2-7×32 is for you.
If you’re into short-range varmint hunting, then opt-in for the Bushnell Drop Zone-22.
Or if you’re looking for the best short-to-long range scope, then get the Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50.
Whichever .22LR scope you choose, you’re bound to hit a reliable, yet effective optic. I’ve spent hundreds of rounds through each one with no failure.
Now I want to turn it over to you:
Which rifle scope will you pick for your .22LR?
Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.