If there’s a great first rifle, it’s a Ruger 10/22. No other rifle in existence is loved by this many new shooters and veterans alike as the Ruger 10/22. There’s just something about inexpensive rimfire ammo with a 25-round magazine and exceptionally well built and reliable semi-automatic rifles. To get the most out of this rifle you’ll want the best Ruger 10/22 scope that you can get.
The Ruger 10/22 carbine has more models than any other rimfire rifle on the market and shopping for the best scope for your exact situation can be difficult. Here are some tips, and the best scopes for each situation so you don’t end up with the wrong optic the next time you go shooting!
Pick Your Purpose
While most rimfire rifle scopes are made to be pretty much similar, you’ll need to narrow down exactly what you need for your Ruger 10/22 to get the most performance.
A great example would be the difference between a lightweight squirrel hunting gun and a purpose-built competition rifle. On one hand, you want maneuverability and quick snapshots, and on the other you want a high-powered feature driven design to nail targets at the edge of the ballistic range of the gun.
Make sure you know exactly what you want, and more importantly what you do not want before you go shopping. It’s very easy to get sucked into paying for performance and features you don’t need.
The 5 Best Ruger 10/22 Scope Recommendations
With the multitude of rifle scopes on the market these days it can be hard to shop. Here are the five best Ruger 10/22 scope suggestions and how to know which one is best for your set up.
The Best Scope for Ruger 10/22 Rifles
Bushnell has more models of scopes and optics on the market than any other company. You can find their products all over the world for military units to the shelves of Walmart. Most of their products are excellent, and this is a perfect example of a purpose made .22 caliber scope that is excellent for a Ruger 10/22.
For starters, the optical quality of the scope is perfect for rimfire. At the top you may experience a little bit of distortion, but not enough to throw off your shots. This means that while you don’t have the finest optics in the world you do have many more features without having to pay top dollar for the scope.
This includes a specialized BDC rimfire reticle made to predict the shots of the .22LR cartridge. If you want to shoot out to the very edge of the .22LR’s ballistic potential, you’re going to need a way to predict the rainbow trajectory that it experiences. To correct for wind, full target turrets are included on the scope and are easy to dial in and out, even when wearing hunting gloves.
The fully multicoated lenses are adequate for the job and good features like the tactile feeling of the target turrets go a long way to making this a joy to use in the field. As an all-around scope for .22LR, especially for shooting at long-range, you won’t find a better combination of features, price, and value.
The rugged and tactile nature of this entire scope makes it very easy to use in the woods or on the target range for anything from competitions to squirrel hunting. You can depend on the scope for anything you use your Ruger 10/22 for. I would have no hesitation buying one of these myself or recommending it to anyone.
The Best Scope for Ruger 10/22 Under 100 Dollars
If you don’t have a ton of money to spend on a rifle scope, you don’t have to settle for a cheap knock off type import scope. Bushnell makes a ton of different models for cheap and this is one of their best scopes for a Ruger 10/22 under $100.
This is an excellently balanced rifle scope that will get the job done for most anything you use a rimfire rifle for. It is a maximum of 10x magnification that is still clear enough to accurately make out targets at the very edge of the .22 LR’s ballistic range. In fact, for hunting, there are probably few better scopes because of the compact and lightweight nature of the scope and the fact that it costs so cheap, you won’t mind banging it around in the field and constantly worry about the cost.
As far as rifle scopes go, this is one of the simplest you come across. It has two adjustable turrets swappable for different cartridges, a simple fin adjustment for magnification and a fast focus eyepiece to easily and painlessly shoot quickly or on the move.
For the money, there are few better scopes on the market that bring together the quality and capability of this scope. You can rely on the scope to do most anything you would expect from a rimfire rifle.
The Best Scope for Ruger 10/22 Tactical
Nikon manufactures optical equipment for everything from eyeglasses to industrial lasers. They make a ton of different products and all of their engineering experience goes into the rifle scopes. All that experience paired with real-life shooters to dictate how these are made make for excellent rifle scopes.
This is an excellent example of what a rimfire scope should be and it is the best scope for Ruger 10/22 target tactical. Simply put, this scope was actually designed for a .22 caliber AR 15. That lineage of a lightweight and fast carbine design for snapshots pairs well with the Ruger 10/22. Overall this scope carries exceptionally well and works in the field better than most other scopes.
As soon as you pick it up you’ll notice how well the fully multicoated lenses are integrated with a BDC reticle and target turrets. Accounting for holdovers and predicting the drop of the .22 LR cartridge is exceptionally easy with this rifle scope.
The Best Scope for Ruger 10/22 Target
It's been established that Nikon may be the leader for in-value-driven optics. This is one of their more contemporary designs for a rimfire rifle. It combines all the features you need to have for an all-around rimfire rifle that is optimized for hunting or extreme precision. This makes it one of the best scopes for a Ruger 10/22 target rifle.
It is a classic 3-9x40mm scope that has just enough weight to fully top off a rimfire rifle and have zero recoils that offers all the performance you use as a centerfire scope. Nikon puts together a great product with a fully multicoated lens dry nitrogen purged body and overall compact design that still delivers excellent performance.
When it comes to target shooting you want to be able to identify targets quickly and focus on the colors their putting out. That is easy to do with superb optics all the way through the magnification range on the scope. The silky-smooth adjustment and attention to detail all the way from end-to-end on the scope is apparent immediately when you pick it up.
Nikon backs up everything on their scopes and provides an excellent product. If you need a good scope for shooting targets with your Ruger 10/22 you can’t go wrong with this Pro-Staff model from Nikon.
The Best Scope for Ruger 10/22 Takedown Rifle
Vortex optics has made a name for themselves as one of the best manufacturers to start innovating and revitalizing the optics industry. They make a ton of different products all of which are extremely armored and covered by the best warranty in the business. They partnered more firearms manufacturers than any other optics manufacturers to provide low-cost optics and package deals.
That philosophy in providing a rugged and reliable optic carries over into their other models and this is an excellent example of what you can get for your money if you want to shop around. For a Ruger 10/22 takedown, a rifle that will be constantly moving disassembled and reassembled in a hurry, a slim and trim but also rugged and reliable scope is needed.
Vortex fits every category with several of their scopes, but the Crossfire II with the plex rimfire reticle stands out as one of the best. This is because you get a maximum of 7x power in a 32mm objective Bell, but a BDC reticle that allows you to predict the drop of a .22LR bullet all the way out to the edge of the cartridges effective range.
The quality and durability of the scope cannot be understated in the slim and trim design works exceptionally well for all room for rifles but a takedown rifle in particular. You won’t regret outfitting a rifle with a scope like this, especially if you choose this model from Vortex.
Size & Weight
Make sure that any scope you buy is not going to upset the weight and balance of your Ruger 10/22. Rimfire rifles are fun to shoot and hunt with because they are lightweight and compact. Adding a huge telescopic sight to the top of your rifle is going to upset the weight and balance of the point where the handling characteristics make it difficult to shoot.
Choose a slim and lightweight design over a heavy and bulky one anytime you can get away with it.
Rimfire scopes are made to a lesser standard and durability than centerfire scopes. There's simply less recoil to deal with and people don’t tend to thrash on rimfire rifles the way they do centerfire duty guns.
Make sure that you don’t exacerbate any problems with your scopes design by abusing it, but also don’t forget that many scopes have a lifetime warranty. If your scope breaks during normal use make sure you contact the manufacturer to see if it is under warranty.
Rimfire scopes tend to break more often than centerfire scopes because they are made to a cheaper price point and manufacturers know this and will often honor warranties that would be honored on centerfire scopes.
Import vs Major House
When buying a rimfire scope you’ll notice that the market is flooded with cheap no-name brand imported products. I would advise you stay away from these. They don’t offer nearly the same level of quality as even a comparable American optics manufacturer and they will often leave you to dry when you need customer support. You'll find this especially when honoring warranties or getting replacement parts.
Buyer beware, there are a ton of very good American companies making cost-effective optics. There’s little reason to go for a cheap no-name generic scope.
Centerfire Vs Rimfire Scopes
The difference between centerfire and rimfire scopes may seem cosmetic at first, but once you get a model of each in hand you can clearly see the difference. Centerfire rifle scopes are made to withstand much more recoil than their rimfire cousins, and typically have higher magnification and better overall construction.
While you can’t use a rimfire scope on a centerfire rifle, you can certainly use a centerfire scope on a rimfire rifle. Meaning, if you have a centerfire scope that you absolutely love with on your hunting rifle for big game, you absolutely could buy a copy and put it on a Ruger 10/22. It might be bulkier and overbuilt for the application, but there is something to be said about consistency across your guns.
Unless you want purpose-driven features like a specially made BDC reticle or target currents there’s no reason you must have a rimfire designated scope on your Ruger 10/22 carbine. Pick the best scope for your gun and shooting situation.
There’s never been a better time to buy a scope for your Ruger 10/22. With the advent of the Internet and so many manufacturers competing for your business, scopes have come leaps and bounds in recent years. It can be difficult to find the best scope for each situation, but you can’t go wrong with any of the scopes on this list.
Just remember, the best scope for Ruger 10/22 does you no good in your safe. Pick a scope, follow the mounting instructions to get it on your gun and get out in the field.