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If you’re looking for the best scope to mount onto your Ruger 10/22, you’ll find there are a wide variety of options available on the market. Picking the right scope is about matching these options to your specific needs as the shooter. I personally recommend the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 as the best scope to mount onto a 10/22. This scope is packed with features and value, but there are plenty of other great scopes that might fit your specific needs even better.
In this article, I’ll introduce my top 5 scope picks for the Ruger 10/22. I’ll also discuss a number of factors that you’ll want to consider when choosing which scope is right for you. And finally, I’ll answer some of the frequently asked questions that come up with regard to 10/22 scopes. If you don’t have a Ruger 10/22, but need a scope for a different rifled that’s chambered in 22LR, you can check out this article: Best 22LR Scopes (Rimfire) in 2021.
Here are the 5 best scopes for the Ruger 10/22
1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire
The lifetime warranty offered by Vortex Optics is reason enough to consider mounting a Crossfire II on your rifle. This scope is packed with quality features, and while it isn’t the least expensive scope available, the price is still surprisingly low for what this scope offers.
With up to 3.9 inches of eye relief, and a fast-focus eyepiece, this scope is designed to help you quickly and accurately engage your target. Adding to this, the scope is equipped to handle the elements. O-ring seals keep out water, dust, and debris. Nitrogen gas purging helps keep the lenses from fogging in spite of shifting temperatures. And the durability that comes from a one-piece tube construction built from aircraft-grade aluminum gives you peace of mind that your optic will be protected.
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The variable range of focal power on the Crossfire II allows close targets to be engaged with ease using the 2x setting, but also allows a max focal power of 7x for a close-up view of targets that are nearing the max range of the 22LR.
- Magnification: 2-7x
- Field of view (at 100 yds): 42-12.6 ft
- Eye relief: 3.9 inches
- Weight: 13.9 oz
Unless you’re looking for the absolutely least expensive scope possible, the Crossfire II has good reason to be among your top options. It offers a clean view of your target, durable construction, and a variable range of focal power that, for most shooters, is just right.
2. Bushnell Rimfire 3-9X40 Illuminated
This is another scope that is packed with value. It’s available with illuminated and non-illuminated reticles. The illuminated model usually bumps the price up by about 20 dollars compared to the non-illuminated model, but if gaining a quick and easy sight picture is important to you, the illuminated red dots will be helpful.
Another great feature with this reticle is what Bushnell calls their “Drop Zone 22LR Reticle” which provides bullet drop compensation markings along the reticle’s vertical line. Once you’ve sighted your rifle in at 50 yards, these markings will represent 25 yard intervals. This means you have a dedicate mark for 50, 75, 100, and 125 yards—perfect for most uses of Ruger 10/22.
Also, the Bushnell Rimfire is durable. Its one-piece tube construction built from aircraft-grade aluminum ensures it remains a sturdy and dependable optic for your rifle. Adding to this, the scope is rated to be IPX7 waterproof. This means it can be submerged in water as deep as one meter for at least 30 minutes. Rain and snow will not be a problem with this level of waterproofing.
Finally, with an objective lens diameter of 40mm, this scope will allow a little more light in than most of the scopes listed in this article. More light means a clearer, cleaner view of your target. This is something that is especially important when you’re shooting in the low light of dawn or dusk.
- Magnification: 3-9x
- Field of view (at 100 yds): 39-13 ft
- Eye relief: 3.6 inches
- Weight: 15.4 oz
The 3-9x magnification of this scope gives you plenty of options when it comes to targets at varying ranges. Adding to this, the illuminated reticle with 22LR-specific range markings from 50-125 yards, makes this scope a solid option if quickly acquiring your target at varying ranges is something you need.
3. Simmons ProTarget Rimfire 2-7×32
Waterproof, fogproof, and shock proof features are all loaded into this scope in spite of its relatively low price. Adding to this value, the scope comes with a set of weaver style rings (just what you need for your Ruger 10/22), saving you a few bucks.
This scope’s magnification range is 2-7x, but Simmons also offers two other versions of this scope—a fixed 4x, and a 3-9x variable range. This lets almost any shooter get just the right level of magnification for their needs.
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The ProTarget Rimfire comes with interchangeable elevation turrets that are calibrated for 17HMR or 22LR. With the 22LR-specific turrets on, you can accurately adjust for distance based on the ballistics of the round you’re shooting.
- Magnification: 2-7x
- Field of view (at 100 yds): 45-15 ft
- Eye relief: 3.5 inches
- Weight: 11.2 oz
The ProTarget Rimfire is a low cost, but dependable option for your Ruger 10/22. The 22LR-specific turrets allow you to really dial in your shots (at .25 MOA/click), and the durable construction ensures you can use this scope in a variety of conditions. The fact that this scope is available in three different magnification powers makes it a great option for almost any shooter.
4. Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire 3-9×40
Mounting a Leupold scope onto a Ruger 10/22 comes at a high price compared to other options and isn’t necessarily the best option for everyone. More is not always better in this situation, but if you’re looking for a high level of accuracy, and you plan to shoot at the further reaches of the 22LR’s capabilities, then this might be a scope worth considering.
One of the reasons for this scope’s ability to perform well when accuracy is required is due to its reticle. Hash marks are provided at every MOA interval, wider marks are used to quick-reference the 5 MOA marks, and all of these marks are nice and thin to allow the shooter to engage the smaller targets that are typical of rifles like the Ruger 10/22 (or any other rimfire rifle). This might be overly complex and unnecessary for a novice shooter, especially if this level of accuracy isn’t needed, but for some, these features provide an unparalleled level of precision.
Protecting your investment, Leupold has designed this scope to be waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. The lenses are scratch resistant, and the scope is backed by Leupolds lifetime guarantee.
- Magnification: 3-9x
- Field of view (at 100 yds): 13.6-33.1 ft
- Eye relief: 3.7-4.2 inches
- Weight: 12.2 oz
This scope comes with a hefty price tag and features that might be overly complex for many shooters. That being said, if you demand a high level of precision with your shots, and especially if you’re shooting at the further distances that the 22LR is capable of, you might want to consider this scope.
5. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot
This optic is different from all the others in this article in that it’s not exactly a scope, it’s 1x red dot sight. This means you won’t get any magnification by looking through this optic, but you will get a very fast way of locking onto your target, especially at closer ranges.
The red dot is 3 MOA in size. That means that at 100 yards, the dot you’re viewing will cover 3 inches in diameter. Most shooters who choose to mount this kind of sight, as opposed to one with a higher power of magnification, do so because their targets tend to be within the closer ranges (under 50 yards). This 3 MOA dot at 50 yards will cover 1 ½ inches. At 25 yards, it will cover only ¾ of an inch. Within those ranges, this sight can be a great way to quickly engage targets.
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This sight is waterproof, shockproof, and even nitrogen purged for fog-proofing. And while the construction is designed to be durable, the sight itself weighs only 4 oz (much lighter than mounting a full scope). There are 11 different brightness settings to allow you to dial in the red dot to your needs based on the amount of light you’re working with. And at the middle setting of brightest, the battery is rated to last 5000+ hours, allowing you to worry less about your optic dying in the middle of a hunt.
One thing to be mindful of with this sight, is that it’s designed to mount to a picatinny rail. Most models of the Ruger 10/22 come with a weaver style rail. If you want to mount this sight, you’ll need to purchase an aftermarket picatinny rail which can be found for around $10.
- Magnification: 1x
- Eye relief: Unlimited
- Weight: 4 oz
This red dot sight from Bushnell isn’t going to give you any magnification, but if you tend to shoot at closer ranges, and want more speed than what you can typically get from iron sights alone, this optic might be perfect. It’s simple, durable, and fast.
What makes a great Ruger 10/22 scope?
The perfect Ruger 10/22 scope for you will greatly depend on what you’re planning on doing with the rifle. Certain features are more or less important depending on whether you’re competition shooting, hunting, or just shooting tin cans off the fence line. If you plan to use your 10/22 for a variety of purposes, that’s something to keep in mind as well. I’ll cover more of the specifics about the different factors to consider when selecting the right scope for you in the following section, but in general, there are certain features that most shooters will benefit from.
For one, the scope should have the proper level of magnification for your specific purposes. While this will vary for each shooter’s needs, anything over 9x will be overkill for almost any use.
If you aren’t familiar with the different numbers used in describing scopes and other optics, here’s and example: A 2-7×32 scope is a scope that has a variable power that can be adjusted from 2x all the way to 7x, and the objective lens diameter (the part of the scope furthest from your eye) is 32mm. The power of the scope (2-7x) simply refers to how much closer the object will appear through the scope than from the naked eye. So if you’re looking at a target with your scope set to 7x, then the target will appear 7 times closer than it does when looking at it without the scope.
Durability and weatherproofing features are something else that makes a great scope. Look for scopes that are constructed with a single-piece tube, or are advertised as being shockproof, waterproof, and even fogproof.
Another feature that makes a great 10/22 scope, is an eyepiece that is designed to allow for fast reticle focusing which lets you make easy adjustments to ensure that you’re getting the clearest, most crisp view possible through your optic.
Finally, a great 10/22 scope should be relatively light. For most purposes, a heavy scope will only make shooting the rifle more difficult. Simple is a good thing when it comes to a scope for the 10/22.
Factors to consider when buying a scope for a Ruger 10/22
Some of the factors to consider when buying a scope for the Ruger 10/22 were mentioned in the previous section, but let’s dig into some of the specifics.
First, you want to determine the level of magnification you need, both minimum and maximum. As previously mentioned, anything over 9x is probably more than you need. The reason for this has to do with the distance you’ll be shooting. While it’s possible to get shots on target at distances as far as 200 yards, that isn’t typically the range you will be working with when shooting anything chambered for the 22LR round.
After about 150 yards, the 22LR starts to suffer from dramatic increases in bullet drop—over 30 inches by the time it’s reached 200 yards. If you’re hunting, you’ll generally want to keep your shots well inside of that 150 yard range to ensure the bullet still has enough energy behind it to make a clean kill when it reaches its target. Depending on the type of animal you are hunting, the effective range might need to shrink even more.
So selecting what level of magnification you need will depend on the ranges you plan to shoot as well as what you are planning on shooting at. A power of 9, therefore, is usually more than enough.
The minimum focal power is also important to pay attention to. For example, if you’re hunting small game in an area where the vegetation is thick, your shots might all be within ranges closer than 25 yards. If your minimum focal power is too high, it will be harder to acquire your target, especially if it’s moving. Remember, the power of your scope represents how many times closer the object appears than when viewed by the naked eye.
A durable and weatherproof scope is another valuable feature, but there are some things to keep in mind here. Spending extra money to ensure the durability of a scope makes a lot more sense when dealing with larger caliber rifles that have enough recoil to potentially scramble your zero. For anything chambered in 22LR, however, recoil is very low.
Hunters might still want to ensure a certain level of durability as their rifles may get bumped around more than a competition shooter, for example. Still, it doesn’t take much to ensure your scope is durable, so don’t empty your wallet over this feature. As mentioned already, looking for scopes that have a one-piece tube design, and have features that make them more shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof, will usually ensure a long-lasting scope.
Once again, keep in mind the weight of the scope when selecting which product is right for you. If the scope is relatively heavy compared to other scopes designed for rimfire rifles, you might want to consider where the extra weight is coming from and whether or not you need those features. Most often, the weight comes from features that are geared more toward shooting accurately at the furthest reaches of what the 22LR is capable of. If that is what you’re doing with your 10/22, the extra weight might be worthwhile.
Finally, even after you’ve figured out the proper level of magnification, durability, and weatherproofing for your needs, the type of reticle might also be something to think about. Reticles vary from basic crosshairs to reticles with BDC (bullet drop compensation) markings. BDC reticles allow you to easily adjust for different ranges simply by aligning your target with different marks within the reticles. This allows you to make fast elevation adjustments without even twisting a knob. This feature might be worth considering if the range of your shots varies quite a bit.
How to mount a scope on a ruger 10/22
There are many models available of the Ruger 10/22, but most of them are set up to be compatible with both weaver style and tip-off style mounting hardware.
- To mount a scope, you’ll need to remove the plug screws found on top of the rifle’s receiver.
- Most models come with a weaver-style mount, if you’re using this, screw it into place using the holes you’ve just unplugged.
- Once this is in place, you’re ready to mount the rings which hold your scope to the weaver mount. When selecting your rings, keep in mind that they need to fit the tube diameter of your scope—so know your tube diameter before you buy your rings. This might seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Also, be aware that if you’re mounting your scope to the weaver style rail, your rings need to be weaver style rings. If they are designed for a picatinny rail, they won’t usually fit (aftermarket picatinny rails are available for the ruger 10/22 if that’s what you want).
- Separate the upper half of the rings from the lower half. Mount the lower half to the rails. Secure the screws, but don’t tighten all the way.
- -Set your scope into the lower half of the rings. Adjust the scope so that, when holding it to your shoulder in a firing position, you have proper eye relief, good and full sight picture, and the cross hairs are completely vertical and horizontal.
- Attach the upper halves of the rings. Screw them into place, but don’t tighten completely.
- Bring the rifle back to your shoulder and make sure that everything is still where you want it to be. If everything is good, carefully tighten the screws the rest of the way.
What scope to put on a 10/22?
There’s no need to spend a fortune on a scope for a 10/22. A more expensive scope is not necessarily the best scope for you. Only if you demand maximum accuracy and maximum range does the price of the scope really start to climb.
When it comes to selecting a scope for your 10/22, it really just comes to figuring out what you need the scope to do. More is not better. There are many scopes that are well under $100 that will suit most shooters’ needs. If you’re spending more than that, you might want to take a look at what you’re getting for the extra cash, and decide if you need it or not.
The scopes mentioned above are all great scopes for the Ruger 10/22, and there are plenty more on the market that can fit your needs. As already mentioned, there’s usually no reason to mount anything that is higher than a 9x. Other than that, pick the scope that offers the features you need.
What kind of rail is on a ruger 10/22?
Most of the models available of the Ruger 10/22 come with a weaver style rail that can be mounted using four holes located on top of the rifle receiver. Keep in mind that since this is a weaver-style rail, you must use weaver-style rings to mount your scope to it. Rings designed for a picantinny rail will not usually fit a weaver-style rail.
Can a scope be mounted onto a ruger 10/22?
Yes, most models of the Ruger 10/22 are compatible with both weaver and tip-off style mounting options by using the four small holes located on top of the receiver.
What is the maximum effective range of a ruger 10/22?
While the 22LR is capable of ranges up to 200 yards, bullet drop becomes dramatic enough that it’s maximum effective range is closer to 150 yards. For most purposes, especially hunting (and depending on the animal), the effective range that will ensure a clean kill is well under 150 yards.
While there isn’t any one scope that is perfect for everyone, using the information in this article will help you decide which product fits your needs the best. Of the five scopes discussed in this article, the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 came out as the top pick. The durable and reliable build of this scope, the “sweet spot” range of magnification power, and the simple all-purpose reticle put this scope at the top of the list.
The Bushnell Rimfire 3-9X40 is another great option, especially for hunting due to its 22LR-specific bullet drop compensation markings within the reticle. The specific nature of this reticle however is part of why it came out just slightly under the Crossfire II.
The Simmons ProTarget Rimfire 2-7×32 is another scope that might rank highest for your specific needs, especially if you’re wanting to keep to the lower end of the price range. This scope features the same 2-7x of magnification as the Crossfire II, but is also available in a fixed 4x and a 3-9x. Depending on your needs, this range of options might be enough to make this scope the perfect fit for you. Vortex Optics, however, backs their products with such an incredible lifetime guarantee that it still managed to keep the Crossfire II as my top pick.
When it comes to which scope to put onto your Ruger 10/22, be sure to weigh out what you really need your 10/22 to be able to do. There are many factors involved in this, and with the number of options available on the market today, there’s sure to be an option that fits your specific needs.