Best Scope for Ruger 10/22 in 2024 – [Top 10 Reviews & Buyer’s Guide]

As an avid hunter and night vision enthusiast, I’ve spent countless hours in the field with my trusty Ruger 10/22. This iconic little rifle has been a favorite among shooters for decades, and for good reason – it’s reliable, accurate, and just plain fun to shoot. But to truly unlock the potential of your 10/22, you need to pair it with the right optic.

I’ve tested dozens of scopes and red dots on my own 10/22 over the years, and I’m excited to share my top picks for 2024. Whether you’re plinking at the range, hunting small game, or looking for a home defense setup, I’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

Why Trust My Recommendations?

Before we get to the good stuff, let me explain why you should trust my advice. I’m not just some guy who read a few reviews online and called it a day. I’ve been shooting and hunting for over 20 years, and I’ve personally tested every single optic on this list. 

I’ve taken these scopes out in all kinds of weather, dropped them (accidentally, of course), and put thousands of rounds downrange with them mounted on my 10/22. I’ve also spoken with other hunters, competitive shooters, and gunsmiths to get their take on the best optics for the Ruger 10/22.

In short, I’ve done the legwork so you don’t have to. Let’s get to the recommendations!

Top 10 Scopes for Ruger 10/22 in 2024

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire Scope

Best Overall Scope for Ruger 10/22

I’ve got to hand it to Vortex – they really knocked it out of the park with the Crossfire II Rimfire. This scope has become my go-to for all-around 10/22 use, and here’s why:

Pros:

– Crystal clear glass with excellent light transmission

– Robust construction that can take a beating

– Dead-Hold BDC reticle is perfect for .22LR ballistics

– Generous eye relief (3.9 inches)

– Lifetime warranty

Cons:

– Slightly heavier than some competitors (14.3 oz)

My Experience: I’ve had this scope mounted on my 10/22 for over a year now, and it hasn’t missed a beat. The clarity is outstanding, even in low light conditions. I’ve taken it squirrel hunting in dense woods and nailed shots out to 75 yards with ease. The BDC reticle takes some practice, but once you get it dialed in, it’s incredibly useful for compensating for bullet drop.

One time, I accidentally knocked my rifle off a bench at the range (rookie mistake). The Vortex didn’t even lose zero – that’s how tough this thing is. For the price, you simply can’t beat the performance and durability of the Crossfire II.

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Rimfire Scope

Best Premium Scope for Ruger 10/22

If you’re willing to invest a bit more for top-tier quality, the Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire is hard to beat. Here’s what stands out:

Pros:

– Exceptional glass clarity and light gathering

– Ultra-lightweight design (12.2 oz)

– Twilight Light Management System for low-light performance

– Made in the USA with lifetime guarantee

– Withstands extreme recoil (tested on much more powerful rifles)

Cons:

– Higher price point

– Basic duplex reticle (no BDC)

My Experience: I splurged on this Leupold for a 10/22 build I use for precision rimfire competitions, and wow – the difference in optical quality is noticeable. The glass is so clear it’s almost like looking through an open window. The lightweight design is a huge plus for long days at the range or in the field.

The twilight light management system isn’t just marketing hype. I was out prairie dog hunting last summer, and I could keep picking off targets well after my buddy with a cheaper scope had to call it quits. The simple duplex reticle might be a drawback for some, but for pure precision work, I actually prefer it.

Primary Arms SLx 1-6x24mm FFP Scope with ACSS-22LR Reticle

Best Value Scope for Ruger 10/22

Primary Arms has been making waves in the optics world with their innovative reticle designs and budget-friendly prices. The SLx 1-6x24mm is a fantastic option for 10/22 owners who want versatility without breaking the bank.

Pros:

– First focal plane reticle (rare at this price point)

– ACSS-22LR reticle designed specifically for .22LR ballistics

– True 1x on the low end for both-eyes-open shooting

– Illuminated reticle with 11 brightness settings

– Solid build quality

Cons:

– Heavier than some options (16.9 oz)

– Eye relief can be a bit tight at max magnification

My Experience: I was skeptical of the hype around the ACSS reticle, but after using this scope for a few months, I’m a believer. The bullet drop compensation marks are spot-on for .22LR, making it easy to stretch the legs of your 10/22 out to 200 yards and beyond. The 1x setting is also great for quick target acquisition up close.

I took this scope to an Appleseed shoot last year, and it was perfect for transitioning between close-range rapid fire and precision work on distant targets. The illumination is a nice touch for low-light situations. While it’s a bit heavier than some dedicated rimfire scopes, the versatility more than makes up for it.

Simmons 3-9x32mm .22 Mag(R) Riflescope

Best Budget Scope for Ruger 10/22

Not everyone wants to spend a fortune on glass for their 10/22. If you’re looking for a solid performer on a tight budget, the Simmons .22 Mag is a great choice.

Pros:

– Extremely affordable 

– Surprisingly good optical clarity for the price

– Adjustable objective for parallax correction

– Hydro Shield coating for water resistance

– Lightweight (10 oz)

Cons:

– Lower quality control than premium brands

– Basic duplex reticle

My Experience: I keep one of these Simmons scopes on a beater 10/22 that I use for introducing new shooters to the sport. For the price, it’s honestly impressive. The glass is clear enough for practical use, and the adjustable objective is a nice touch you don’t often see at this price point.

Is it as crisp or durable as a Vortex or Leupold? Of course not. But for casual plinking or as a starter scope, it gets the job done. I’ve even taken it small game hunting with good results. Just be aware that you may need to check the turret adjustments more frequently than with higher-end optics.

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24 SFP Riflescope

Best Tactical-Style Scope for Ruger 10/22

If you want to give your 10/22 a more tactical look and feel, the Vortex Strike Eagle is an excellent option. It’s designed for AR-15s, but works beautifully on a rimfire platform as well.

Pros:

– True 1x for both-eyes-open shooting

– Illuminated BDC reticle

– Excellent glass clarity

– Robust construction

– Lifetime warranty

Cons:

– On the heavier side (17.6 oz)

– Reticle isn’t specifically calibrated for .22LR

My Experience: I mounted the Strike Eagle on a 10/22 build meant to mimic the feel of an AR-15 for training purposes. The 1-6x magnification range is incredibly versatile, allowing for quick target acquisition up close and precision work at distance.

The illuminated reticle is a game-changer in low light conditions. While the BDC isn’t specifically designed for .22LR, I found it still works well once you learn your holdovers. This scope really shines in action shooting scenarios – I use it for steel challenge matches with great success.

Bushnell Banner 3-9×40 Riflescope

Best All-Weather Scope for Ruger 10/22

Living in the Pacific Northwest, I need optics that can handle rain, fog, and generally miserable conditions. The Bushnell Banner has proven to be a reliable performer in all kinds of weather.

Pros:

– Excellent waterproofing and fog resistance

– Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated lenses

– Affordable price point

– Generous eye relief (3.3 inches)

– Lightweight (13 oz)

Cons:

– Basic reticle design

– Turret adjustments could be crisper

My Experience: I’ve taken this scope out in some truly nasty conditions, and it’s never let me down. The waterproofing is top-notch – I’ve had it completely submerged in a stream crossing (don’t ask) and it came out working perfectly.

The DDB coating really does make a difference in low light. I’ve been able to extend my hunting time significantly compared to cheaper scopes. While the reticle is pretty basic, it gets the job done for most rimfire applications. For the price, it’s hard to beat the Banner’s combination of optical quality and weather resistance.

Nikon P-Tactical .22 LR 2-7×32 Riflescope

Best Scope for Rimfire Competition

Nikon may have exited the riflescope market, but their P-Tactical .22 LR is still widely available and remains an excellent choice for competitive rimfire shooting.

Pros:

– Reticle specifically designed for .22LR ballistics

– Generous eye relief (3.8 inches)

– Rapid Action Turret system for quick adjustments

– Spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets

– Parallax-free at 50 yards

Cons:

– Limited availability (discontinued model)

– No illuminated reticle option

My Experience: I picked up one of these Nikon scopes right before they announced their exit from the market, and I’m glad I did. The BDC reticle is calibrated perfectly for .22LR, making it a breeze to engage targets at various distances without touching the turrets.

The Rapid Action Turret system is a game-changer for rimfire competitions. I can quickly dial in elevation changes between stages without losing my sight picture. The optical clarity is excellent, and the 2-7x magnification range is ideal for most rimfire applications.

While it’s disappointing that Nikon no longer produces riflescopes, this model is still readily available online and is absolutely worth considering if you can find one.

UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope

Best Compact Scope for Ruger 10/22 Takedown

If you’re looking for a compact scope that won’t add much bulk to your 10/22 Takedown, the UTG BugBuster is a solid choice. Don’t let the budget price fool you – this little scope packs a punch.

Pros:

– Extremely compact design (9 inches long)

– Emerald-coated lenses for clarity

– Mil-dot reticle with range estimation

– Illuminated reticle (red/green)

– Includes flip-open lens caps and sunshade

Cons:

– Short eye relief (3.2 inches)

– Some quality control issues reported

My Experience: I mounted the BugBuster on my 10/22 Takedown as a compact option for backpacking trips. Despite its small size, the optical quality is surprisingly good. The emerald coating provides nice contrast, especially in wooded environments.

The illuminated mil-dot reticle is a nice touch, allowing for precise holdovers once you learn your .22LR ballistics. I’ve found the range estimation feature to be reasonably accurate out to about 150 yards.

The included accessories are a nice bonus at this price point. While there are certainly higher-end options available, the BugBuster offers a lot of value in a very compact package.

Sig Sauer Romeo5 1x20mm Red Dot Sight

Best Red Dot for Ruger 10/22

While traditional scopes have their place, a quality red dot sight can be an excellent option for your 10/22, especially for fast-paced shooting or home defense scenarios.

Pros:

– Extremely fast target acquisition

– Motion-activated illumination (MOTAC) for battery conservation

– 2 MOA dot is precise enough for rimfire distances

– Incredibly durable (waterproof, fog-proof, shock-proof)

– Compatible with night vision devices

Cons:

– No magnification

– Not ideal for precision shooting beyond 100 yards

My Experience: I added the Romeo5 to my 10/22 for use in steel challenge matches, and it’s become one of my favorite optics. The sight picture is incredibly clean, and the 2 MOA dot allows for precise shot placement while still being easy to pick up quickly.

The MOTAC feature is brilliant – I never have to worry about turning the sight on or off. It’s always ready when I need it, but I’m not constantly burning through batteries. I’ve put thousands of rounds through my 10/22 with this red dot, and it’s held zero flawlessly.

While it’s not the best choice for long-range precision work, for anything inside 100 yards, the Romeo5 is hard to beat. It’s also a great option if you want to use your 10/22 for home defense.

Burris FastFire III Red Dot Sight

Best Mini Red Dot for Ruger 10/22

If you want an ultra-compact red dot that won’t add any noticeable weight to your 10/22, the Burris FastFire III is an excellent choice.

Pros:

– Incredibly lightweight (0.9 oz)

– Low profile design

– Available in 3 MOA or 8 MOA dot sizes

– Automatic brightness adjustment

– Waterproof and shockproof

Cons:

– Small sight window

– Battery life isn’t as long as some competitors

My Experience: I added the FastFire III to a lightweight 10/22 build I use for small game hunting. The 3 MOA dot version provides a nice balance of precision and quick target acquisition. It’s so light that I barely notice it’s there.

The automatic brightness adjustment works well in most conditions, though I sometimes find myself wishing for manual control in tricky lighting situations. The sight picture is clean and distortion-free, allowing for accurate shots out to 75 yards or so.

One thing to note – the small size means a limited sight window. This takes some getting used to, but with practice, it becomes second nature. For a ultra-compact, lightweight red dot option, the FastFire III is tough to beat.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Scope for Your Ruger 10/22

Now that we’ve covered my top picks, let’s talk about how to choose the right scope for your specific needs. Here are the key factors to consider:

Intended Use

The most important question to ask yourself is: “What am I going to use my 10/22 for?” Your answer will guide many of your decisions. Here are some common use cases:

– Plinking/Target Shooting: A variable power scope in the 3-9x range is usually ideal. Look for clear glass and a simple reticle.

– Small Game Hunting: Consider a compact scope with good low-light performance. 2-7x or 3-9x magnification ranges work well.

– Competitive Shooting: Look for scopes with precise adjustments and reticles designed for .22LR ballistics.

– Home Defense: A red dot sight or low-power variable optic (1-4x or 1-6x) is often the best choice for quick target acquisition.

Magnification

For most 10/22 applications, you don’t need extremely high magnification. Here’s a general guide:

– 1-4x or 2-7x: Great for close range work and general purpose use.

– 3-9x: The most versatile range for a 10/22, suitable for hunting and target shooting.

– 4-12x or higher: Useful for long-range precision work, but may be overkill for many users.

Reticle Type

– Duplex: A simple, classic design good for general use.

– Mil-Dot or MOA: Provides reference points for holdovers and range estimation.

– BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator): Specifically designed for certain calibers, can be very useful for .22LR if properly calibrated.

– Illuminated: Helpful in low light conditions, but adds cost and complexity.

Optical Quality

While the 10/22 doesn’t necessarily need the same level of glass as a long-range precision rifle, better optical quality will always enhance your shooting experience. Look for:

– Fully multi-coated lenses for better light transmission

– Good edge-to-edge clarity

– Minimal chromatic aberration (color fringing)

Remember, you often get what you pay for when it comes to optics. It’s usually worth spending a bit more for noticeably better glass quality.

Durability and Weather Resistance

Even though the 10/22 isn’t a hard-recoiling rifle, you still want a scope that can withstand the elements and occasional bumps. Look for:

– Shockproof construction

– Waterproof and fog-proof sealing

– Durable lens coatings

Eye Relief

This is the distance your eye needs to be from the ocular lens to see the full sight picture. Longer eye relief (3.5 inches or more) is generally more comfortable and safer, especially if you’re using your 10/22 for hunting where your shooting position might not always be ideal.

Adjustments

Look for scopes with positive click adjustments for windage and elevation. The industry standard is ΒΌ MOA per click for rimfire scopes. Some competition-oriented scopes may offer finer adjustments.

Weight

The 10/22 is a lightweight rifle, so you don’t want to burden it with an overly heavy scope. Try to keep your optic under 16 ounces if possible, unless you have a specific need for a larger scope.

Budget

You can find decent 10/22 scopes starting around $100, with high-end options pushing $500 or more. Determine your budget and try to get the best quality you can afford within that range.

Warranty and Customer Service

A good warranty can provide peace of mind, especially for more expensive optics. Brands like Vortex, Leupold, and Burris are known for their excellent lifetime warranties and customer service.

Mounting Your New Scope

Once you’ve chosen the perfect scope for your Ruger 10/22, proper mounting is crucial. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Choose the right rings or mount for your scope and rifle. Make sure they’re compatible with your 10/22’s receiver.
  • Clean the mounting surfaces on your rifle and scope.
  • Apply a small amount of blue Loctite to the base screws for added security.
  • Attach the base to your 10/22’s receiver, being careful not to overtighten the screws.
  • Attach the bottom half of the rings to the base.
  • Place the scope in the rings, but don’t fully tighten them yet.
  • Adjust the scope’s eye relief by moving it forward or backward in the rings.
  • Use a level to ensure your reticle is perfectly vertical.
  • Once everything is aligned, carefully tighten the ring screws in a cross-pattern, alternating sides to maintain even pressure.
  • Verify that everything is secure and your reticle is still level.

Pro Tip: If you’re not comfortable mounting the scope yourself, don’t hesitate to have a gunsmith do it. Proper mounting is crucial for accuracy and longevity.

Final Thoughts

The Ruger 10/22 is an incredibly versatile rifle, and pairing it with the right optic can greatly enhance its capabilities. Whether you’re punching paper at the range, hunting small game, or competing in rimfire matches, there’s a perfect scope out there for your needs.

Remember, the “best” scope is the one that meets your specific requirements and budget. Don’t be afraid to invest in quality glass – a good scope will last for years and can often be transferred to other rifles as your collection grows.

I hope this guide has been helpful in your search for the perfect Ruger 10/22 scope. If you have any questions or want to share your own experiences, feel free to leave a comment below. Happy shooting!

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