At a Glance: Best Scope For A Ruger 10/22
Comparison of Best Scope For A Ruger 10/22
Our Top Pick
|Vortex Optics Crossfire II SFP Scope||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Riflescope||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Simmons 3-9x32mm Riflescope||View Latest Price|
The Ruger 10/22 rifle is one of America’s most popular firearms, and for good reason. It’s easy to use, doesn’t carry a lot of kickback, and is chambered for cheap but effective rimfire ammunition. A phenomenal firearm for general pest control, backyard plinking, and teaching younger shooters the ropes of hunting out in the wild. Wondering what can make a Ruger 10/22 rifle even better? Adding a top-quality scope to your Ruger 10/22. We did the work for you by finding you the Best Scope For a Ruger 10/22.
Even though most Ruger rimfire rifles aren’t used for long-distance sharpshooting, a great optic can still offer incredible performance boosts and help you hit those difficult shots. Finding the right scope for your Ruger 10/22 can be time-consuming and difficult. We’ve already found the eight best scopes for your Ruger rimfire rifle. Take a look – there is something perfect for you just below.
Our Guide To The 7 Best Scopes To Use With Ruger 10/22 Rifle
Rather than go with the most expensive or longest-range scopes, we looked specifically for quality scopes that work within the Ruger 10/22’s most common ranges. We’ve also selected several scopes of different budgets, plus some optics with special features for those who want some cool bells and whistles. Let’s break each scope down in more detail.
Vortex Optics Crossfire II SFP Scope
This scope comes from one of the best optic manufacturers in the industry – Vortex – and can magnify between 2x and 7x. Combined with a 32 mm objective lens, it’s a perfect second focal plane optic for use with Ruger 10/22 rifles. Use it anywhere under 100 yards and you’ll experience excellent performance.
It has additional features that make it worth your time, including eye relief of a few inches and a “fast focus” eyepiece. This will help you focus your reticle and sight-in to your target a little more quickly. This is also bolstered by fully multicoated lenses, which improve light transmission and prevent reflections from causing glares in your sight picture.
We also like the capped reset turrets, which are finger adjustable and can be reset to zero as soon as you zoom in to your appropriate distance. The entire optic is made from one piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, so you’re looking at fantastic performance and durability without the scope being too heavy.
It’s weatherproof, and you can choose from either a simplistic V-Plex reticle that offers excellent vision or a BDC reticle depending on your preferences. Even with all that, it comes with a fast-swapping magnification ring that will let you change zoom powers quickly and easily without jamming.
The biggest downside is undoubtedly the asking price, which is a bit high compared to the other scopes on the list. Even so, it’s still a fantastic Ruger 10/22 scope for those who don’t mind paying a little extra for the best of the best.
- Two reticle types to choose from
- Good magnification settings
- Excellent lenses
- Great construction and durability
- Plenty of eye relief
- Totally weatherproof
- Heavier than expected
Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
This scope comes from a top-tier manufacturer, offering some of the industry’s best optics and true high-definition clarity. That’s largely because the scope is made with excellent materials, including multi-coated lenses that are specially designed to improve brightness and clarity. Finding smaller vermin in the brush will be easier than ever.
The DDB or dusk and dawn brightness lenses are also great for use in the earlier or later parts of the day when animals are most active. Thus, this may be a great choice for use with a Ruger 10/22 rifle you plan on taking with you for small game hunts.
- Eye Relief: 3.3-Inch
- Weight: 0.81 Pounds
- 3-9X 40mm
It can magnify between 3x and 9x, offering excellent versatility in that regard. It also features a 40 mm objective lens, plus ¼ MOA windage and elevation adjustment turrets for added precision shooting. The scope is made for waterproof operation, so don’t worry about using it in inclement weather.
Alongside all these benefits is a fast-focus eyepiece for quick target acquisition and a “Multi-X” reticle that’s simplistic and minimalistic to provide as few distractions as possible before you take a shot. At just 12 inches long and just 13 ounces and weight, it’s a great scope for smaller Ruger 10/22 rifles.
- Very light and easy to mount
- Has fantastic lenses for dusk and dawn shooting
- Fairly precise adjustment turrets
- Has a fast-focus eyepiece
- Waterproof design
- Turrets do click, but not as audibly as many will like
- Have to use tools to reset the turrets
Simmons 3-9x32mm Riflescope
Simmons scope is a 3x-9x model, offering useful utility at closer ranges and accuracy improvements to upwards of 100 yards or so. It’s a perfect fit for many Ruger 10/22 rifles.
It offers fully coated and high-quality class lenses (the objective lens is 32 mm to allow plenty of light into the scope). The lenses have a special “HydroShield” coating that will guarantee an excellent sight picture even if there’s lots of ambient moisture in your environment. We also really like that the scope corrects for parallax automatically – it’s preset for 50 yards, which is where many will use their Ruger 10/22 rifles, anyway.
The rubberized surface makes it easy to grip and water slides off the top. Scope rings are included and already mounted to the bottom for easy snapping onto an existing rifle and rail system. Considering that it only weighs 10 ounces and is 12 inches long, it’s clear that this is one of the most user-friendly Ruger 10/22 rifle scopes on the market.
It even comes with windage and elevation adjustment turrets, plus a simplified reticle. The lines thin out the closer you get to your crosshairs so the reticle doesn’t get in your way when shooting a small target.
Downsides? Unfortunately, the elevation and windage turrets aren’t very precise compared to those offered from other options. We also think that the eye relief could be a bit better. Still, it’s a pretty good scope when you consider the extremely affordable asking price.
- Has phenomenal glass lenses
- Included mounting rings
- Corrected for parallax at 50 yards
- Has rubberized surfaces for easy gripping
- Windage and elevation turrets could be better
- Eye relief isn’t the best
Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Riflescope
This second Simmons scope can also magnify between 3x and 9x, though it features a much larger, 50 mm objective lens to collect a greater amount of light in any environment. This does mean that it’ll only be suitable for Ruger 10/22 rifles that can fit such a large objective lens, so keep this in mind before finalizing your purchase.
If you do go with this scope, you’ll enjoy multi coated optics that can improve color contrast and detail and you look through them. The scope overall is also waterproof and fog proof, and it’s designed to remain steady and stable even under heavy recoil. This isn’t really necessary with a Ruger 10/22 rifle, but it’s still a nice choice if you want to use the scope for another rifle later.
The scope comes with a locking windage and elevation adjustment turret system. This way, you won’t accidentally jostle the turrets out of position as you move around. There’s a quick target acquisition eyepiece for easier target acquisition, plus nearly 4 inches of eye relief. Ultimately, it’s a much higher quality version of the last scope, with the only downside being its unsuitability for smaller carbines and rifles due to the width of the objective lens.
- Has excellent lenses and light transmission
- Eyepiece helps you acquire your target more quickly
- Comes with locking windage and elevation turrets
- Works well with other, high recoil rifles
- Comes with a good amount of eye relief
- Objective lens may be a bit too large for some rifles
Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Scope
Leupold is best known as one of the premium rifle scope manufacturers in the world. This scope is, therefore, normally pretty pricey. But it’s well worth the cost if you want something top-tier and suitable for use on challenging small game hunts.
- Objective Size: 40mm
- Reticle: Rimfire MOA
- Weight: 12.2 ounces
- Length: 12.39 inches
That’s because the scope comes with a proprietary Twilight Max Light Management System. It’s a system that combines smart scope internal design with a unique way to focus the objective lens. The TMLMS will ultimately result in an extra 10 to 20 minutes of shooting light at the beginning and end of the day. These are ideal times to catch animals as they are stirring or going down for the night.
But the rest of the scope is also high quality. It’s already adjusted for parallax up to 60 yards, which is great for use with rimfire cartridges. It’s also totally weatherproof, comes with a matte finish so the scope doesn’t glare under harsh sunlight, and it comes with precision adjusting windage and elevation turrets that click audibly as you use them. All in all, it’s a fantastic piece of equipment.
- Allows for extra shooting light
- Ideal for any weather
- Already parallax adjusted
- Has excellent windage and elevation turrets
- Has a matte finish for added stealth
- Doesn’t come with mounting rings
CVLIFE 3-9x40mm Optics R4 Riflescope
This rifle scope can magnify between 3x and 9x, and it operates with a 40 mm objective lens for great light transmission in general. It comes with windage and elevation adjustment turrets – these are a bit of a downside since you can’t adjust them with your fingers. But you can either use a flat head screwdriver or a coin depending on what you have on you.
It also comes with a fast-focus eyepiece, multicoated lenses that can provide a good sight picture, and a smooth, simplistic second focal plane reticle that won’t get in the way when targeting smaller critters.
As another bright side, this scope is easily one of the most affordable you’ll find on the market, bar none. It even comes with mounting rings by default, so installing it on your Ruger 10/22 rifle is quick and easy.
It’s otherwise made to last, with weatherproof construction and an aluminum body. Despite the latter factor, it’s a little heavier compared to the other advanced scopes on this list. Still, consider this pick if you’re on a tight budget and don’t want something too cheap for comfort.
- Has a fast-focus eyepiece
- Comes with mounting rings
- Weatherproof construction
- A little heavy at 1.15 pounds
- Turrets can’t be adjusted with your fingers
Pinty 3-9x40mm Red Green Rangefinder Riflescope
This last Ruger 10/22 rifle scope can also magnify between 3x and 9x and has a 40 mm objective lens. But unlike the other models, this optic comes with an illuminated reticle that can alternate between red and green colors and five brightness settings. This makes it arguably the best Ruger 10/22 rifle scope for nighttime use.
Bolstering these factors are fully multi coated lenses and around 3 inches of eye relief. Even better, the reticle comes with built-in rangefinder functionality so you can find distant aiming points depending on your hunting or target shooting needs.
It also comes with twin complementary scope rings you can use for any Weaver or Picatinny rail mounting system. The scope is designed to be used in inclement weather, offers tool-operated windage and elevation adjustment turrets, and an extremely affordable asking price. It’s not the cheapest on the list, but it’s still quite the budget-friendly pick.
- Has an illuminated reticle with five brightness settings
- Reticle has rangefinder functionality
- Has good eye relief
- Comes with two mounting rings
- Works in any weather
- Have to use tools for the turrets
- Fairly heavy at 1.65 pounds
Why Put A Scope on a 10/22?
The Ruger 10/22 rifle comes in several different models; standard Ruger Carbine, Ruger Takedown, and Ruger Tactical. While the Carbine and Takedown come with adjustable rear sights and gold bead front sights, the Ruger Tactical, Compact, and Competition models don’t come with any sights whatsoever.
The Ruger 10/22 is best used for shooting between distances of 30-75 yards, which means you don’t need a particularly high-powered scope for best results. So, hitting smaller critters or varmints outside of 30 yards will be a lot more difficult if you don’t have a scope, or at least some basic iron sights, to help you out.
A scope can provide:
- More accuracy
- User confidence
- Better performance for varmint-hunting
- Better savings by conserving ammunition
Furthermore, a scope on your Ruger 10/22 may push your effective range out to about 100 yards. If you become good enough with your rifle, you might even be able to shoot targets out to 120 yards or so.
In short, you should get a scope for your Ruger 10/22 for the same reason as you would any other rifle: to improve your accuracy and conserve ammunition via fewer missed shots.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Ruger 10/22
A scope can help boost your maximum effective range by giving you a magnified image of your target, alongside potential reticle advantages like the ability to compensate for both drop and/or windage and elevation.
You can get the most out of your 10/22 by:
- Using a smooth, upgraded trigger system. A rough trigger will result in a clunky pull every time. Smooth trigger pulls result in better accuracy
- Longer barrels. If possible, choose a Ruger 10/22 rifle with as long a barrel as possible. Many Ruger models come with around an 18.5-inch barrel length. Going higher means better accuracy at a distance
- Go for a precision machined aftermarket barrel if you plan on tinkering with your Ruger carbine. This can include threading or other upgrades to spin your bullet as it exits the barrel, improving your accuracy.
What Makes A Great Ruger 10/22 Scope?
Size and weight
An excellent Ruger 10/22 scope will be constructed with size and weight taken into account. Because the Ruger rifle isn’t very heavy by itself, and because you don’t need a scope of particularly high magnification power, any appropriate scope should be lightweight and relatively small.
Smaller and lighter scopes are easier to mount on to your weapon and won’t throw off the balance of the rifle, especially if you’re used to using the weapon’s iron sights. Generally speaking, great Ruger 10/22 scopes will be around 12-18 ounces or so in weight and anywhere between 10 inches and 13 inches in length.
Top-tier Ruger 10/22 scopes should have quality features that make them stand out from their competitors.
For instance, longer-distance scopes of magnification powers greater than 4x or so should have windage and elevation adjustment turrets. These turrets will allow you to adjust your reticle’s position relative to your target to compensate for your environment’s elevation difference or wind direction.
Some turrets will audibly “click” as you move them. This is great for making precision adjustments.
You should look at mounting options for a particular scope. Some scopes will be mounted with rings, requiring a little more intensive effort to install everything correctly. Others may be able to mount on to your Ruger 10/22 rifle’s Weaver or Picatinny mounting rail system.
Bullet Drop Compensator and Other Reticle Options
A Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) is a reticle featuring small hash marks on the lower vertical line. These hash marks, so long as you have properly zeroed and calibrated your rifle, will let you compensate for bullet drop over time, allowing you to hit shots at more distant ranges.
BDC reticles are of admittedly limited with Ruger 10/22 rifles since your absolute maximum effective range is just a bit over 100 yards or so. Still, this can be advantageous when hunting varmints or pests at those upper distances.
Other reticle options can make a scope more or less valuable. Some reticles are simple and minimalist, while others feature additional hash marks you can use to compensate for other variables like windage or elevation.
Consider whether a reticle is on the first or second focal plane.
A first focal plane reticle:
- Changes size with your magnification settings. This keeps any measurement hash marks accurate relative, to your target
- Is better for long-distance shooting
Second focal plane reticles:
- Do not change size with your magnification settings. They’re calibrated for one magnification power (detailed in your scope’s user manual), but require some calculating or estimation on your part used with other magnification powers
- Are better for short to mid-range shooting
Both types of reticles can be used effectively at any distance. It’s just a matter of your personal preference. Oftentimes, second focal plane reticles are easier to use and are, thus, better choices for beginners.
What magnification do you need?
The Ruger 10/22 is best used as a small game or light varmint hunting rifle, or even a backyard plinking tool for use with your friends. It’s not designed for big game hunting or long-distance sharpshooting.
At its absolute best, a Ruger 10/22 rifle or carbine will only be able to accurately hit shots up to a little over 100 yards. Because of this, you don’t need a scope with a magnification power of greater than 9x. A 9x magnification scope will allow you to hit shots at over 100 yards provided the rest of your rifle is suitably calibrated.
Scopes between 4x and 7x magnification are better for hitting targets between 50 and 100 yards, while close-range shooting at sub-50 yards should be done with scopes of 4x power or less.
Picking A Scope For Your Typical Range And Targets
While all of the aspects above do matter in terms of scope quality, you should ultimately pick a scope that works best for your typical range and targets.
For instance, if you use your Ruger 10/22 rifle primarily to take down pests or vermin on your property, you’ll want a scope that works for mid-to-long range shooting. Go for a longer-range scope with higher magnification powers, and possibly a first focal plane reticle. A BDC reticle is a good option.
On the other hand, if you just use your Ruger 10/22 rifle for target shooting at the range or backyard plinking, you don’t need a scope that’s perfect for long-distance shooting. You can go with a cheaper and lighter optic in this case.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Scope for Your Ruger 10/22
The overall quality of a scope’s construction can determine whether it’s a good purchase. You should specifically focus on aspects like:
- What materials were used for its construction – aircraft-grade aluminum is a popular choice and one we like since it’s durable but lightweight
- The scop’s finish if it has one. A finish can lower the likelihood of corrosive damage or reduce sun glare
- Weather or waterproofing scopes can be used for hunting or in inclement weather without having to worry about whether the optic will fail on you
- Magnification switching smoothness. Some scopes have smooth magnification rings, while others are janky to use and aren’t very well-made.
All in all, be aware that you get what you pay for and higher-quality scopes may require you to spend a bit more than the cheapest scope asks.
The magnification range matters a great deal when determining if a scope is a good choice for your rifle. Again, pick something that works for your needs instead of just going for the longest-range scope you can find.
Scope magnification powers are broadly organized like this:
- 1-4x: best for shooting below 50 yards
- 4x-6x: best for shooting between 50 and 100 yards
- 6x-9x: best for shooting between 75 and 120 yards
Objective lens size
The objective lens size for a scope describes the size of the lens facing your target. A wider lens will be able to collect more light and transmit a more vibrant sight picture to your eye. Wider lenses are usually better if you can manage it, but keep in mind that some lenses are too wide to fit onto certain rifles.
Make sure that any scope you buy has a lens that will fully fit on your Ruger 10/22 before purchasing. Otherwise, you’ll have to make a quick return.
Eye Box And Eye Relief
Your eye box and eye relief are sort of the same thing. An “eye box” is an imaginary box within which your eye will theoretically get the full sight picture provided by the optic you’re using. It’s everywhere that your eye can be positioned to the side, above, below, or anywhere else around the scope and still be able to see your target and reticle.
Your scope’s “eye relief” is the space between your eye and the scope where the full sight picture is on display. For instance, a scope’s eye relief is at three inches. This means that, when a shooter sets their eye 3 inches away from the scope, they should be able to see their target and reticle perfectly.
Eye relief is also important since more relief means your eye is farther from the scope, and is thus less likely to be injured when the rifle kicks after firing a shot. However, a Ruger 10/22 rifle doesn’t require a scope with high eye relief since it doesn’t produce a lot of recoil overall.
Eye relief between 2-4 inches should be fine for most users.
How To Mount A Scope On A Ruger 10/22
Your mounting process will be different depending on whether your scope uses rings that must be drilled into the rifle or that can be combined with a pre-existing mounting system. Most Ruger model rifles already have ring holes pre-drilled into them for user convenience. If you have a mounting rail system, your scope’s mounting rings can be placed on the rail using screws. Then the scope can be placed in the rings.
To mount your scope:
- Remove all four plug screws from the top of your rifle. Use a flat-head screwdriver
- Place your scope on your rifle and attach it using the screws that come with your optic
- Separate the scope rings’ halves, then place the scope in the rings
- Reconnect the halves of the rings without totally tightening them
- Position your scope so that you give yourself enough eye relief and that you guarantee a clear sight picture. Tighten the rings once all is in position
What is The Best Scope For A Ruger 10/22?
When you boil it all down, the Vortex Optics Crossfire II SFP Scope is easily the best rifle scope for use with a Ruger 10/22 rifle. The combination of top-tier optics, phenomenal and weatherproof design, plus the capped reset turrets, there’s simply nothing this optic can’t do. It’s great for both close and longer-distance shooting with your Ruger carbine thanks to its variable magnification settings, too.
However, each of the above rifle scopes can be a decent choice depending on your budget or the specific features you find interesting. Keep what we discussed above in mind before making your purchase and you’ll end up buying something truly excellent for your needs. Good hunting!