Best Rimfire Scope: A List of 2018’s Top-Rated Items for Your Convenience!

To understand what is the best rimfire scope, it’s important to understand the difference between rimfire and centerfire rifles. Essentially, the main difference is in cartridge size, where rimfire is the original pin hit cartridge developed over a century ago and are small bore. Centerfire is large bore cartridges, which demand that the pin hit the center of the cartridge’s firing cap.

Top-Rated Rimfire Scope List:

PhotoProduct nameFeatureProsMore info
1. Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC)1. Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40This is the Nikon PROSTAFF 3-9x40 Matte BDC

  • 1” Main Body Tube

  • BDC or Nikoplex Reticles

More Information
2. Leupold 113872 VX-1 Rimfire Scope with Fine Duplex Reticle, Matte Black Finish2. Leupold 113872 VX-1This is the Leupold 113872 VX-1 Rimfire 2-7x28mm

  • Multi-coated optics

  • 3:1 Zoom Ratio

  • 1/4 MOA Finger Click

More Information
3. Nikon P- RIMFIRE 2-7x32 Nikoplex Rifle Scope, Black3. Nikon P- RIMFIRE 2-7x32 NikoplexThis is the Nikon P-Rimfire 2-7x32 Nikoplex with Extra Turret

  • Fully Multicoated Optical System

  • Nikoplex Reticle with Rapid Action Turrets

  • 2 Sets of Tactical Style Elevation Turrets

More Information
4. Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC Rimfire Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets, Matte Black, 2-7x/32mm 4. Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC Rimfire Reticle This is the AR Optics 2-7x 32mm - AR92732

  • Compensating BDC reticle

  • ¼ MOA click adjustment for precise targeting

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5. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes5. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal PlaneThis is the Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes

  • Fully Multi-Coated

  • Second Focal Plane Reticle

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6. BARSKA 3-9x32 Plinker-22 Riflescope6. BARSKA 3-9x32 PlinkerThis is the 3-9x32mm Plinker-22 Rifle Scope with Rings by Barska

  • 3-9x Magnification

  • 32mm Objective Lens

  • 1" Aluminum Alloy Tube

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7. Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope7. Simmons TruplexThis is the Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope

  • One-piece tube construction

  • Fully coated high-quality optical glass

  • Waterproof, fogproof and shockproof

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8. TASCO MAG39X32D Rimfire Series 3-9x 32mm 30/30 Reticle .22 Riflescope (Matte Finish)8. TASCO MAG39X32D Rimfire Series 3-9x 32mm 30/30 ReticleThis is the TASCO MAG39X32D Rimfire Series 3-9x 32mm 30/30 Reticle .22 Riflescope (Matte Finish)

  • Advanced Monotube construction

  • Magenta lens coatings

  • ¼ MOA click adjustment

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9. BSA Sweet .22 3-9x40mm, Duplex reticle, Rifle Scope9. BSA Sweet .22 3-9x40mm, Duplex reticleThis is the BSA Sweet .22 3-9x40mm, Duplex reticle, Rifle Scope

  • Multi-grain trajectory compensation

  • Zero-reset turrets

  • Adjustable objective

More Information
10. Nikon 6729 ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC)10. Nikon 6729 ProStaff 4-12 x 40This is the Nikon 6729 ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC)

  • Patented BDC reticle

  • Extremely bright sight picture

  • Versatile magnification range

More Information

Small bore rifles are .17 to .22 in size, and the two most popular types are the .22LR and the .17HMR. These two bores have the largest following in hunters, competition shooters and enthusiasts.

In most cases, rimfire scopes are interchangeable between these two bores, and you will find one scope being used for different applications. The more professional user will have a specific scope for each weapon they own.

Rimfire scopes are inexpensive when compared to large bore and sniper rifle scopes. Their optics are high grade, and they are designed for all weather use but are also calibrated for shorter distances due to the power of the small-bore rifle. You will also find that the best rimfire scope for squirrel hunting is also adaptable for air rifles too.

To make your life easier I have collated a list of the best budget rimfire scopes, these are all considered to be the best rimfire scope under $200, and I assure you that every one of these scopes is the best rimfire scope for the money.

Now let’s take a look at the 10 best rimfire rifle scopes on the market.

Best Rimfire Scope Reviews:

1. Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC)

The Nikon PROSTAFF 3-9×40 Matte BDC is an expert rifle scope and one of the best 22 rimfire scopes on the market. This scope comes with a choice of reticles, between BDC or Nikoplex. The BDC reticle gives you that “dead-on” long distance result and supersedes the more traditional Nikoplex reticle, however, both are exceptionally accurate in the right hands.

The optics are coated with multiple Layers of Anti-Reflective material that is designed to maximize light transmission, provide optimized brightness and contrast. These optics are contained in a 1” aluminum body made from aircraft aluminum alloy and treated with a type-III anodized surface treatment that provides a harder and resilient surface.

The controls are executed with precision ¼” clicks, this delivers a faster adjustment without having to take your eye off the target, and you zero in quicker. The eye relief and design compensate for any heavy recoil, and the scope has precision O-rings and a nitrogen purged body to deliver a comprehensive Waterproof, Fogproof, Shockproof device.

Specifications

  • Magnification 3 – 9 x
  • Objective Diameter 40 mm
  • Exit Pupil 4 – 13.3 mm
  • Field of View: 3 – 33.8 ft @ 100 yds
  • Tube Diameter: 1”
  • Eye Relief 6”
  • Objective Outside Diameter 50 mm
  • Eyepiece Outside Diameter 44 mm
  • Overall Length 4”
  • Adjustment Graduation – Other ¼”
  • Max Internal Adjustment 80 MOA
  • Parallax Setting – Other 100 yds
  • Waterproof/Fogproof Yes
  • Light Transmission: Up To 98

 

 

2. Leupold 113872 VX-1 Rimfire Scope with Fine Duplex Reticle, Matte Black Finish

The Leupold 113872 VX-1 Rimfire 2-7x28mm has a Multi-coat 4® lens system that is engineered to provide extreme clarity from edge to edge of the visual field, this comes with outstanding contrast, and a delivers a bright sight picture in all extreme and low-light conditions.

This scope comes with a versatile 3:1 zoom ratio erector system that handles all situations with perfection, and in the hands of even an amateur, will deliver expert results. The ¼ MOA adjustments are smooth, and the click rate allows for an on-eye adjustment while focusing and ranging onto the target.

This scopes parallax is adjusted for 60 yards, and the whole unit comes neatly constructed in a 1” aluminum alloy tube.

Specifications

  • Weight (oz):50
  • Linear FOV (ft/100 yd) – Low 20
  • Linear FOV (ft/100 yd) – High 80
  • Linear FOV (m/100 m) – Low 00
  • Linear FOV (m/100 m) – High 80
  • Eye Relief (in) – Low: 50
  • Eye Relief (in) – High: 10
  • Eye Relief (mm) – Low: 00
  • Eye Relief (mm) – High: 00
  • Objective Diameter (in) 10
  • Weight (g: 00
  • Elevation Adjustment Range (MOA) 00
  • Windage Adjustment Range (MOA) 00

 

 

3. Nikon P- RIMFIRE 2-7×32 Nikoplex Rifle Scope, Black

The Nikon P-Rimfire 2-7×32 Nikoplex with Extra Turret is another fine example of precision perfection from the house of Nikon. The two turrets included are Standard Velocity and Hyper Velocity. This provides a professional extra for shooters that dial-in their shots using known ranges.

The optics are multicoated for maximum light transmission and deliver maximum brightness in all daylight conditions. The eye relief is complemented the optics and gives you optimized precision while changing magnification.

The Zero-Reset Turret Feature is designed to simplify the field adjustment process. To use this feature, you sight-in as usual and lift the spring-loaded adjustment knob, which you then rotate to your “zero,” then re-engage.

The 50-yard Parallax Setting delivers precision shots every time, and you get a precision ¼ MOA click adjustment that provides positive reticle adjustment for faster zeroing and manages all recoils.

This device is completely waterproof and fog proof and was nitrogen filled with O-ring seals to maintain the integrity of this purpose.

Specifications

  • Magnification 2 – 7 x
  • Objective Diameter 32 mm
  • Exit Pupil 6 – 16 mm
  • Field of View: 4 – 22.3 ft @ 100 yds
  • Tube Diameter 1”
  • Eye Relief 8”
  • Eyepiece Outside Diameter 44 mm
  • Weight 1 oz
  • Overall Length 5“
  • Adjustment Graduation: ¼”
  • Max Internal Adjustment 80 MOA
  • Parallax Setting 50 yds
  • Waterproof/Fogproof Yes
  • Reticle NikoPlex

 

 

4. Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC Rimfire Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets, Matte Black, 2-7x/32mm

The Bushnell AR Optics 2-7x 32mm Drop Zone-22 Rimfire Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC) reticle riflescope was designed for all .22 rimfire rifles and comes with some exceptional features.

This model comes with a precise side parallax focus that delivers pinpoint-precise adjustments. This is accompanied by their caliber-specific reticle that is designed to provide absolute accuracy with every shot.

This scope is calibrated for 38-40 grain cartridges, .22 bore Long Rifles with high-velocity loads. The scope zeroes in at 50 yards, and provides precise aiming points up to 125 yards.

The fully multi-coated optics assure you of highly-efficient brightness. The fast focus eyepiece delivers optimized accuracy and is extremely reliable. To maintain these features, the scope is made of an anodized aluminum alloy that was nitrogen purged and sealed with O-rings. You get full waterproof and fog proof performance in all condition.

This is a great long distance scope for target shooting.

Specifications

  • Weight 6 Ounce
  • Tube Diameter 1″
  • Power Variability Variable
  • Minimum/Maximum Power 2x/7x
  • Adjustment Click Value ¼ MOA
  • Adjustment Type Click
  • Exposed Turrets Yes
  • Finger Adjustable Turrets Yes
  • Turrets Resettable to Zero No
  • Turret Height High
  • Fast Focus Eye Piece Yes
  • Lens Coating Fully Multi-Coated
  • Reticle Drop Zone-22 Rimfire BDC
  • Reticle Construction Wire
  • Holdover Reticle Yes
  • Reticle Focal Plane Location 2nd
  • Parallax Adjustment Side Focus
  • Waterproof Yes
  • Fog Proof Yes
  • Shock Proof Yes
  • Overall Length (A) 3”
  • Eyepiece Bell to Objective Bell Length (B) 6”
  • Objective Lens Diameter 32 mm
  • Eye Relief 7”
  • Exit Pupil Diameter 5-4.6 mm
  • Field of View @ 100 Yards Minimum Power 50’
  • Field of View @ 100 Yards Maximum Power 17’
  • Maximum Windage Adjustment 50 MOA
  • Maximum Elevation Adjustment 50 MOA

 

 

5. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes

The Vortex Optics Crossfire is an exceptional piece of engineering. This budget-friendly scope comes with a lot of reliable features that deliver constant optimized performance all the time. The scope is made of an anodized aluminum alloy that was nitrogen purged and sealed with O-rings.

The optics are all Multi-Coated, and they provide excellent light transmission, brightness, and clarity, through multiple anti-reflective coatings. The Second Focal Plane Reticle Scale maintains the same sized appearance and comes with highly accurate subtensions that provide excellent range estimation, holdover and wind drift correction in all magnifications.

This single machined 1” tube, is made of aircraft grade aluminum that was anodized for extra hardness to handle all recoil and withstand any wear and tear from daily use. The nitrogen purged interior and O-rings provide a completely waterproof and fog proof condition, and the capped reset turrets give you re-indexing to zero after sighting.

Since this scope comes with a 100 yard parallax, it is best used for long distance target shooting and bullseye competitions.

Specifications

  • Objective Lens Diameter 44 mm
  • Eye Relief 9”
  • Field of View 7-8.4 feet/100 yards
  • Tube Size 1”
  • Turret Style Capped
  • Adjustment Graduation ¼ MOA
  • Travel per Rotation 15 MOA
  • Max Elevation Adjustment 50 MOA
  • Max Windage Adjustment 50 MOA
  • Parallax Setting 100 yards
  • Length 1”
  • Weight 2 ounces

 

 

6. BARSKA 3-9×32 Plinker-22 Riflescope

The Barska 3-9×32 Plinker-22 Riflescope (Black Matte) is a great plinking and hunting rifle scope. This model is designed to be waterproof, fog proof and shockproof. This model comes with an illuminated reticle, 30/30 design and has ¼ MOA clicks for a smooth and accurate focus.

The parallax is set to 50 yards, and you have two 3/8” dovetail mounting rings, two lens, and scope covers to assure longevity.

This precision instrument is the Barska .22 instrument of choice for all levels of use but is an exceptional scope for training newbies and youngsters.

This is a near to perfect hinting scope, without a parallax it provides you with accuracy and short distance ranging for high-quality performance.

Specifications

  • Magnification 3x-9x
  • Objective Lens 32mm
  • Tube Diameter 1”
  • Eye Relief 5”
  • Exit Pupil 7mm – 3.6mm
  • Click Value ¼ MOA
  • Field of View (ft@100yds / m@100m) 36ft/12m@3x, 13ft/4.3m@9x
  • Reticle 30/30 Reticle
  • Reticle Color Black
  • Turret Style Capped
  • Focal Plane Second
  • Optical Coating Fully Coated
  • Waterproof Yes
  • Fogproof Yes
  • Adjustment Knob Windage, Elevation, Adjustable Rheostat
  • Product Weight (lbs) 46 oz.
  • Length 12”

 

 

7. Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope

The Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope is quite a feat of engineering. This amazing 22 rifle scope comes with some interesting features, such as the Simmons® QTA™ (Quick Target Acquisition) eyepiece which is designed to provide maximum eye relief allowing you to acquire targets efficiently and fast.

This model also comes with the Simmons® SureGrip™ feature; this allows you to make easy adjustments, even in cold weather when wearing gloves.

The fully coated optics provide maximum brightness and clarity of vision, and the whole shebang comes with a complete set of mounting rings.

To be honest, if you want a general all-purpose scope that will never fail you, and is a perfect learner scope for beginners, this is the one to get.

This is a great hunting scope, without a parallax to confuse you, you can range and target with the perfect magnification range and extra wide pupil relief, delivering accurate shot after shot.

Specifications

  • Model Number 511039
  • Magnification & Objective (mm) 3–9x 32
  • Special Features RF RINGS
  • Field of View (ft. at 100 yds.) (M at 100M) 4 / 10.5    10.5” / 3.5
  • Eye Relief (in) (mm) 75 / 95
  • Exit Pupil (mm): 7” / 3.6mm
  • Weight oz / g 10 / 284
  • Click Value (in at 100Y) (M at 100M) 25 / 7
  • Adjustment Range (in at 100Y) (M at 100M) 60 / 1.7
  • Reticle Truplex

 

 

8. TASCO MAG39X32D Rimfire Series 3-9x 32mm 30/30 Reticle .22 Riflescope (Matte Finish)

The TASCO MAG39X32D Rimfire Series is quite an instrument, and it comes with exceptional properties. This device has 30/30 reticles and comes with all the rings needed. However, what makes this scope stand out is its price. This is one of the least expensive models on the market and is the best scope for Ruger American rimfire weapons and is the best cheap rimfire scope on the market when comparing performance to price.

This is a great small game and plinking scope, it is accurate up to 50 yards and will give you exceptional shots for up to 100 yards as well, but for the best performance, stay within 50 yards.

This is an amazing competition range scope, combining the magenta coating with the 50-yard parallax, you will never miss your bullseye with this scope.

Specifications

  • Power/Obj. Lens (mm): 3 – 9x 32mm
  • Field of View (ft.@100yds./m@100m): 75′ – 6′ / 6 – 2
  • Focus Type: Eyebell
  • Parallax Setting (yds./m): 50/45.7
  • Eye Relief (in./mm): 3″
  • Reticle Type: 30/30
  • Windage/Elevation: ¼ MOA
  • Tube Dia.: 1″
  • Weight (oz./g): 3/320.4w/o rings
  • Length (in./mm): 75/324
  • Exit Pupil (mm): 7mm @3x /3.6mm @9x
  • Lens Coating: MML FC

 

 

9. BSA Sweet .22 3-9x40mm, Duplex reticle, Rifle Scope

The BSA Sweet .22 3-9x40mm is a feat of amazing engineering and delivers accuracy and reliability in all areas. This is a .22 LR specific scope and is designed to handle and compensate for 36 grain, 38 grain, and 40-grain bullets.

This model comes with exceptional trajectory compensation features, as well as adjustable objective characteristics specifically designed for .22 LR rounds.

The optics are fully coated for extreme clarity, brightness, and contrast and provide you with 3x to 9x magnification and a 40mm objective.

The body is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof, and works perfectly in unison with the hand-adjustable windage and elevation controls.

This is a great adjustable parallax scope for competition range shooting and delivers great long range accuracy for perfect bullseye hits.

Specifications

  • Item Number: 178951
  • Magnification: 3-9X
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 40mm
  • Reticle: Duplex
  • Eye Relief: 3″
  • Field of View @ 100 yds.: 40’ at 3X, 13’ at 9X
  • Tube Size: 1”
  • Turret Style: Quick-change for varied bullet weights
  • Click Adjustment Value ¼ MOA
  • Elevation Adjustment: 40 MOA
  • Windage Adjustment: 40 MOA
  • Parallax Setting: 5 yds. – ∞
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Fogproof: Yes
  • Length: 7″
  • Weight (ounces) 80

 

 

10. Nikon 6729 ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC)

OK, we are back to Nikon, and yes, the Nikon 6729 ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC) is another fine example of perfection in form. This model comes with their patented BDC reticle that outperforms all others and delivers their “dead-on” functionality.

The optics are Nikon multi-coated optics that delivers constant high-resolution images in all adverse conditions and environments. In fact, they are so good they transmit at 98% light efficiency, which is unbeatable on the market.

The magnification range provides for full versatility, and the eye relief is profound, keeping you safe from any recoil, as well as aiding you with all unusual shooting angles.

The ¼ MOA adjustments provide truly accurate clicks that make zeroing in easy and fast.

Bottom line, this is a professional model for expert use and will be as good as perfect in amateur or beginner hands. It is a long range scope for bullseye ranges, and the 100-yard parallax will never let your accuracy down.

Specifications

  • Magnification 4 – 12 x
  • Objective Diameter 40 mm
  • Exit Pupil 3 – 10 mm
  • Field of View: 3 – 23.6 ft @ 100 yds
  • Tube Diameter 1”
  • Eye Relief 7”
  • Objective Outside Diameter 50 mm
  • Eyepiece Outside Diameter 44 mm
  • Overall Length 1”
  • Adjustment Graduation ¼”
  • Max Internal Adjustment 60 MOA
  • Parallax Setting 100 yds
  • Waterproof/Fogproof Yes
  • Light Transmission  Up To 98

 

 

Rimfire Scope Buying Guide

Before you go and take a mortgage to buy the most expensive rimfire scope on the market, consider some of the characteristics of this bore and what you really need this scope to deliver.

.22 and .17 are short range, small bore rifles used for small game hunting and plinking. Essentially, they are a perfect weapon for youngsters and beginners to begin learning how to handle a rifle and how to understand the aspects of scoping, ranging, targeting and handling recoil. Also, how to handle guns in general, from maintenance to use in adverse conditions.

This means that the rifle scope has to meet its demands, and in the rimfire range you are not looking for a 1-mile sniper shot through plated glass and 3 inches of reinforced concrete.

Let’s look at the characteristics that need to be considered when buying a rimfire scope.

Magnification

Power is objective; this means that unlike many who think of magnification in a subjective manner, the magnification range of your scope is actually derived from the applications you intend to use the rifle. So, if you are using a rimfire rifle, which has a bore of either .17 or .22, your range is between 50 to 150 yards at the extreme. In most cases, your target will be within the 50-yard range, and in extreme conditions over 50 yards possibly reaching 100 yards.

 

As such, you do not require magnification over 9x, anything above that is daft.  In most cases, you need a 4x reticle and a 3x to 9x magnification scope. So, when someone boasts they have 16x, ask them to take a shot at the man on the moon.

Weight

Obviously, lightness is the objective for any rimfire scope irrespective of its application. The lighter, the better, but not at the expense of precision and durability. There is a fine line to draw between rugged and flimsy.

In terms of balance, some people do prefer a heavier scope that adds to the rifles stability while shooting. Weight is actually both subjective and objective. Just make sure that you get a very light scope for youngsters and beginners, and get a specific weighted scope for professional requirements.

Parallax / Adjustable Objective

For anyone asking what does Parallax mean? “Parallax is the displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight and is measured by the angle or semi-angle of inclination between those two lines. “ Wikipedia

Now that you understand that this is an accurate method of measuring distance, and is used by astronomers for celestial calculations, understand that it is an essential part of targeting accuracy.

Essentially, parallax is an optical illusion, which causes inaccuracy in numerous cases. It is a feature that makes you have a wrong position of where your target is. To test whether the product has parallax, it’s important for one to sight in on their target in their normal firing positions. Slightly adjust your gaze (the angle at which one is looking through the product). If such a small change moves the reticle of your product, then the parallax of the scope isn’t aligned for the distance you were testing.

BUT

Take into account that the parallax has to be set for accuracy, this means that a 60-yard parallax is set for 60-yard accuracy, if you shoot under this, your shot will not be effective. To be sure of the parallax you need, consider this: To shoot a bullseye, you need a 100-parallax setting, this will give you accuracy over 100 yards. To soot a squirrel racing up a tree nearby, you need a 50-yard parallax, because, in most hunting scenarios, the shot is close.

Now, add to this the adjustable objective, which means you can change the parallax setting for a more accurate calculation. However, personally, for small game shooting you don’t want a parallax, a parallax is for target and competition shooting not for hunting. A parallax will make you miss your shot every time.

So, bottom line: for hunting, no parallax, for everything else, sure.

Reticle

You will always need to consider windage and elevation with rimfire shooting. The bore is so small that any wind and distance will upset your shot. This means that you need a good

Duplex thin crosshair reticle for accurate shots.

If you intend to shoot over 100 yards, then you will need a mil. dot reticle, these provide higher accuracy over longer distances but are not so good for hunters of small game. The simplex thin crosshair used by most if not all hunters are the best, and consider the golden rule: the smaller the target, the smaller the weapon, the bore and the reticle required to make the shot. This rule works both ways of the size of course.

Massive Objective Lens

Take note that the larger the lens, especially those that are over 40 mm will increase the weight of your scope. You will also need to mount the scope higher and to be honest; I don’t know why you would want such a large scope on a .22 bore rifle.

Fingertip Adjustment Turrets

These are excellent features for long range shooting, not so needed on short or small game shots. Unless your squirrel or critter stands still and smiles at the cameras, you won’t have enough time to play around with the turret adjustment. Consider the additional cost for such a feature and then consider what you need it for.

Illuminated Reticles

These are bipolar devices. OK, what do I mean by that, well here goes. The best rimfire scopes will come with illuminated reticles. However, illuminated reticles can lead to over brightness, causing a sort of a whitewash on the focusing lens, and running the clarity of the target. When buying an illuminated reticle, make sure it doesn’t ruin the quality of the sighting.

Conclusions

A .22 and .177 rifle is a perfect tool for any survivalist and outdoors hunter. It is part of a complimentary pack of instruments (Ar15, 12 bore SG’s, etc.) that are used cohesively to provide food and safety when used wisely.

A good scope is as important as the reliability of the rifle; a good scope will provide you with lethal shots and save you on ammo as well as time. Investing in a rimfire scope is one of the most cost-efficient investments you will make, and to be honest, you should consider buying different scopes for different applications and guns.

Anyone of the scopes above delivers accuracy and precision and is picked to suit all budgets and applications.