There are several things that need to be considered when mounting a Ruger 10/22 scope sight. First, the Ruger 10/22 is a small rifle that is classed as a carbine. As such it has a very short receiver length. This means the rifle requires a short-scope tube design. It will maintain balance and allow proper mounted control when firing.
Second, the rifles come from the factory with drilled-out holes. They are used to mount scope blocks or in some cases a Weaver-style rail. It is up to the buyer to decide how to mount a rifle scope.
Even though the 10/22 is offered in many variants, the basic size remains about the same. Again, the primary requirement here is buying the correct scope length for the rifle receiver.
The 10/22 is a rimfire rifle. Therefore, you need to decide how much magnification and other features are needed. For the most part, the rimfire round is workable to about 100 yards or a bit more.
However, there are new target games today that stretch the little cartridge’s range a great deal. For most of those events, different style rifles are embedded in the target rifle’s design. In other words, they are not a home for a little general-use carbine like the Ruger 10/22.
In this article I will select seven different rifle scopes that are the best in the business for this rimfire rifle.
Top 7 Best Scopes Ruger 10/22 Reviews 2021
1. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle SFF
This scope is a cut-back “chopped” model lacking the forward expanded bell housing. These scopes are primary AR-type glass. As such, they are a good fit for the short receiver Ruger 10/22.
I know there are some folks that think you can’t use a “big rifle” scope on a rimfire rifle. The question I ask is why not? Sure, the optics are set up for heavy cartridges in centerfire rounds. Glass, however, is glass. Better quality glass means better results when rimfires are used with high-grade optics.
I learned this many years ago when shooting a squirrel using a Winchester Model 77 rimfire. It had a grooved receiver modified to mount a Weaver straight one-inch tube 4x power scope. I owned the woods with that setup. I was more successful than my partners that were stuck with shooting ¾ 22 LR tip-off style mounted scopes. If you want results that push your range, go for the one-inch tube. Then work with the better optics installed in those systems.
This scope retains a 1-8X24 power setup. That allows for great light control with the larger objective lens. It is illuminated for total control over low light conditions in the field
The reticle is a BDC3 system that allows the shooter to DOPE exact bullet drop on longer-range shots. Back in the day, we had to actually cut back a bullet’s nose to decrease its weight and get a flatter trajectory. It was a simple fix to only having a single crosshair sub tension display.
I only wish I had the tools that are available today for taking on squirrel hunting those many years ago. This Vortex is a great example of a real solid .22 rimfire glass sight.
2. Leupold VX-3HD 1.5-5×20.
Here is a one-inch main tube with a cut bell (short model). It is made of aircraft-grade aluminum. It has a handset glass reticle that is of the CDS-ZL Duplex designed by Leupold. And, it includes a zero lock turret setup available in different cartridge ballistic settings.
The scope quality, weight and balance are also important qualities of this scope.
Offered with a high end 4X range the glass sight, it will produce enough magnification to handle the .22 LR cartridge.
There are three variants of this scope. They are the Leupold VX-3HD, VX- Freedom, and FX II. That flexibility means the price range is flexible. The features will also fit any shooters needs for his or her Ruger 10/22 carbine.
In effect, you have here three options in one basic tube design. Buyer choice rules here.
3. Vortex Optics Crossfire II SFF.
This second Vortex is a 1-4X24. It is in the lower power range. But it is very workable for almost all .22 LR shooting needs. There is a V-Brite reticle for illuminated dusk or night shooting. The capped turrets provide protection when hunting in rough conditions. The MOA clicks for accurate zero adjustments. Plus, the single-piece 30mm aluminum tube was constructed of aircraft-grade materials.
Field testing this brand in several models have always turned out well. The scopes retain ample elevation and windage adjustment features. The glass quality pulls longer-range targets with ease.
4. Simmons 3-9X32mm.22
This Simmons scope is built for use with the .22 LR cartridge. It is not some high-tech piece of gear. Instead, it is a solid little scope that fits the receiver of the Ruger 10/22 perfectly. Built as a double bell scope, the objective carries a larger 32mm than some of the previous models. This scope is a tough little customer. I use them on several rifles and shotguns.
It can take the pounding of a heavy game load in a 12 bore. You know, then, that it can take the .22 Long Rife cartridge for about a lifetime of shooting. The oldest scope I have in inventory here at Ballistics Research & Development is almost 40 years old.
The scope weighs 9.6 ounces. It has a 3.8-inch dovetail mount. This mount can be changed out to a standard one-inch tube mount at any time.
The parallax corrects from 50 yards through infinity. The sealed turret caps are built to take a pounding in rough field conditions. Glass quality is outstanding for the price. As recently as last week, I was using one on a T/C carbine .22 Hornet for prairie turkey hunting here in western South Dakota. That carbine carries a very short 3-inch receiver. This scope is a perfect balance for the rifle. It has been in service for over 40 years as an operational field rifle glass sight system.
5. Monstrum G3
Here we have a modestly-priced short bell scope that runs out to 1-6X24 magnification. It has an objective setup. It was built in the first focal plane (FFP) and is designed for close to medium distances.
The reticle is illuminated via the dial controls at the rear of the scope. It is built of aircraft aluminum in a one-piece tube design. Also, it carries the MOA reticle for fast accurate zeroing.
Using the open-style high turret knobs, the scope can be quickly adjusted for an extended range. That makes the 10/22 competitive in distance shooting competitions for the .22 LR.
6. Bushnell 613510A Rimfire Optics Scope
This scope is built for the .22 LR. It also uses added elements associated with big rifle-designed glass sights. The scope uses the Bushnell-designed “Multi-X’ retile, 3.5-10 power, and a large 36mm forward bell.
Keep in mind that Bushnell has been a leader in light rifle scopes. They were one of the first to offer a split from the basic ¾ tube .22 rimfire scope. They moved into the “big rifle” glass sight product development. This company knows what is needed. In turn, they offer some very positive design elements. As a professional hunter, writer, and guide, I elected this scope many years ago. I have never been disappointed. At this point, the scopes tend to cost me about a dime a year to own. Good recovery of a dollar spent I must stay.
The BDC turrets are set up for 17 HMR. They are replaceable for other cartridge types, though. The primary thing about this scope is that they last a very long time, even when used in not-so-friendly environments.
This scope will not cover the whole top of the Ruger 10/22. In many cases, the double-wide bell scopes do just that. That this scope does not is a huge advantage.
The scope also uses high quality aluminum construction and is designed with a full-size one-inch tube.
7. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X reticle.
This scope is “big rifle” in design. It has a 3.3 inch eye relief and 3-9X 40mm optics. It is a bit large for the 10/22,. Still, it is a very workable squirrel rifle sight when light conditions are poor.
These scopes are old school. They have been around forever. I shoot several of these scopes on different rifles and shotguns here at Ballistics Research. Failure is not an option. These scopes do not ever let me down. From Texas turkeys to Australian wild pigs, these glass sights carry the mail just fine.
Without question, you’re getting a whole lot of rifle scope for a super budget price tag.
Clearly, many of the scope systems reviewed above have similar basic designs and offerings. This is because the Ruger 10/22 rifle is not considered a long-range weapon. Rimfire shooting is almost always under 100 yards unless it is done in specific competitions. Therefore, the scope selected need not have all the expensive advanced features of more advanced scopes.
As an example take the Sig Sauer Whisky TANGO AR-style sight now being built for the US Army. Sure, you can own the sight, put it on the rifle, but the limitations of the cartridge will never allow the system to be used to its full advantage.
You can also use a stock switch to a wire stock system with the 10/22. Then mount the HUD display and laser sight system for low light field applications. I have two 10/22’s and both have had their factory stocks removed in order to make them specialized. Here in western South Dakota, we cannot shoot anything above a .22 rimfire at night. Therefore, the Ruger 10/22 and a very close-range sight is all I need under these circumstances.
The Ruger 10/22 is a massively successful seller. One reason for this is that it is very easy to put a scope on the rifle. Stay simple, find a good price point, and this system will serve you well.
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L.P Brezny has been writing and reviewing product as well as how to projects for the past 50 years. He has authored four books on shooting with three on long range, and one covering shotgunning. With 26 years on a metro police department as a street officer and the rank of SGT / training L.P. has covered all the bases regarding weapons and street survival.
During the early years in non-toxic shotshell ammunition development L.P. designed the first successful measurement system for recording the speed of shot shell payloads down range. He was responsible for getting actual shotshell velocities printed on factory load boxes. Over the years he has developed and markets MetroGun System TM, and sells his designed ammunition for subsonic sound suppressed shotgun shooting.
Current L.P. resides in the South Dakota Black Hills and spends a good deal of time working through many types of ammunition both in the field on warm targets. With ultra long range being a current specialty L.P. shots for test and accuracy at ranges as great as one or more miles on the wide open Dakota grasslands.