If you’re an avid fan of the .22 WMR, you definitely enjoy its effectiveness for short-and mid-range small game and varmint hunting. We too are just like you because this rimfire cartridge is our go-to choice when we decide to shoot some coyotes or raccoons as part of our off-season hunts.
But without a good scope, your time in the wild or on your ranch will not be fruitful. The good news is the RangerExpert team is here to help you with that! Our seasoned hunters reviewed a number of scopes that suit .22 Mag rifles.
This is your golden opportunity to find the best .22 Mag scope for you without having to test several models yourself because we’ve already done that for you!
Best .22 Mag Scopes We Reviewed
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane (Editor’s Choice)
Vortex is a name anyone can put their trust in, or at least that’s what the brand has established so far through consistent production of quality optics and riflescopes. Crossfire II is one of their most popular product lines and we wanted to put that to test to see if it could live up to our expectations. So, what are the key features worth mentioning?
The V-Plax reticle: Crossfire II is widely used for hunting purposes because this reticle, you have multiple styles to choose from including Dead-Hold BDC and Illuminated V-Brite MOA reticle. It packs battery-driven electronics for illumination, and we really liked the outcome of it.
The Multi-Coated Lens: Coating brought a revolutionary upgrade to the lenses across all platforms as far as optics are concerned. Coated lens ensures low dispersion of light, anti-reflection, image color and brightness accuracy and clarity under different lighting conditions.
Weather Sealing: Waterproofing and shock proofing adds an extra dimension to the scope as you wouldn’t have to worry about bad weather conditions or water submersion.
Single Tube Construction: Single tube construction of the scope only made it rugged and strong to withstand heavy recoils.
The Sealed O-ring: It protects the scope from water and fog while making it much easier and quicker to focus through the eyepiece.
What It stands Out to Us
- With this scope, you’re sure to enjoy a clear and focused view no matter the weather or environment you’re hunting in. The nitrogen-purged lenses offers an excellent image quality and fog-proof performance.
- The turrets operate perfectly. It took us only 4 shots to zero the scope that remained consistent even after 300 rounds.
- Ejection malfunctions were at a minimal level. We experienced only 2 malfunctions with the ejection in 300 rounds.
- It got a little bit blurry as we zoomed in. But you can adjust this problem with the eye relief though that won’t be an issue for short range shooting when mounted on your .22 mag.
- V-Plax reticle
- Anti-reflective and multi-coated lens
- Fast focusing eyepiece
- Finger adjustable and resettable to zero turrets
- Shock resistant
- Water and fog proof
- Not suitable for low light environment
- Becomes blurry above 6x zoom power
After a series of testing and hundreds of rounds of shootings, there’s no doubt anybody can rely on this scope choice. With a greater zoom capacity and fast focusing eyepiece, you can aim fast with higher accuracy.
Whether you’re a varmint hunter or an avid mid-range shooter, if you need the best 22 mag scope at a reasonable price, do get this Vortex scope.
CVLIFE Hunting Red and Green Illuminated Rifle Scope (Also Great)
This CVLIFE rifle scope is another top choice with a 6-24x50mm magnification power. It also has a wide field view of 28ft per 100 yards.
Short distance focusing clarity is a common issue with most scopes in this category because they could get blurry under 20 yards. But we were able to focus clearly at up to 10 yards. Clearly, this scope outperformed its peers in its ability to focus clearly at such a close distance.
However, after using this scope for a few days, we noticed that the zooming power was not measured accurately. The 24x on this scope is somewhat between 14-16x on other scopes. Irrespective of that, the glass and the eye relief were good enough.
Coming at around $50, this is too good for the price. You can’t get a better scope at this price range!
- 6-24x zoom power
- 28 feet field view
- Clearly focus even at 10 yards
- Unbeatable value for its price
- Nice build quality
- Slightly long in the size
This CVLIFE scope is absolutely a great addition to your hunting arsenal to be a better hunter. You might be thinking how such a low-priced scope could be so amazing. Well, you’ll see for yourself when you’ll give it a try.
Simmons 3-9x32mm .22 Matte Black Riflescope (Great Value)
The Simmons series has always been one of the most popular rimfire scopes for .22 mag rifles. This 3-9x32mm scope features the Truplex Reticle technology for quick focus. If you’re a great fan of that, it definitely should be on your shortlist. On top of that, it boasts a robust build with shockproof, fog-proof and waterproof features.
We also like its parallax adjustment capacity that allows you to cover from 50 yards to literally infinity! When it comes to lens quality, it performs better than what’s claimed on paper.
It is a fully-coated optical device. The HydroShield coating on the lens provides sharp and bright view and protects the lens from fog and water in severe weather conditions.
Another feature that makes it an excellent choice is its SureGrip rubber surface. This makes it easy for you to adjust the scope in various weather conditions, even with your gloves on.
- Great scope for .22 rifles
- Excellent clarity
- SureGrip rubber surface – adjustable in cold weathers
- Good light transmission
- Quality build
- Turrets and rings – a little bit hard to manage
If you’re looking for a rugged, feature-rich scope for your .22 rifle, you’re in the safe zone with the Simmons 511039. It scores high in terms of build quality, ease of use, weather sealing, lens coating, and parallax settings. This is a highly recommended gun accessory that deserves your attention.
Pinty 3-9X40 Red Green Rangefinder Illuminated Optical Rifle Scope
Pinty 3-9×40 riflescope can be another valuable addition to predator hunting gear. We particularly admire this model for its bright image and clarity.
This scope has a 3x-9x magnification power that’s impressive. The optics and eyepiece give good clarity. There are five brightness levels that you might find very helpful when hunting.
At the range, we got a 14/25 feet field of view at a 100-yard range. The eye relief offered is between 2.7-inch to 3.3-inch, which is not much but given the recoil of a .22 mag rifle, it works just fine and we didn’t have any problem with that.
The rangefinder reticle provides an easy and fast aim at various distances. Its O-ring sealing along with a nitrogen filled reticle makes it waterproof and fog-proof. So, on a rainy or foggy day, you can have a clear sight of your target.
- Quick and fast reticle focus
- Weather-resistant (water/fog proof)
- Nice aluminum build
- Decent quality optics
- The lens cap is not up to par
We must say this one is the clearest and brightest optics out-of-the-box compared to other scopes on our list. The build quality and weather sealing are up to the mark. At this price-point, this is the best 22 WMR scope that’s simply unbeatable. You can definitely give it a try.
BARSKA 3-9×32 Plinker-22 Riflescope
Designed to offer a striking performance, the Plinker-22 is one of the most popular BARSKA riflescopes built particularly for .22 rifles.
This lightweight scope won’t make your rifle heavy, which is a plus when target shooting and hunting. Also, you’ll enjoy its adjustable 3-9x zooming capacity. You can easily hover between short-and mid-range targets in no time. The 30/30 reticle crosshair is an added advantage here.
Moreover, the scope has fully multi-coated lenses that offer great clarity at all times. Its quality build ensures shockproof performance even after heavy use.
There are adjustment knobs that allow varmint hunters to respond well to the environment. It offers a 25 in. click value that is helpful in adjusting the scope for different elevations and windage conditions. What’s more, you’ll get mounting rings, lens cleaning cloth and cover with the purchase.
- Quality optics
- Easy to adjust
- Preinstalled 3/8 in. rings
- Quickly zeroed
- Gets a bit blurry at 8x and 9x
We believe it is an outstanding lightweight scope that comes really handy for short- and mid-range targeting. You will definitely find it super convenient during hunting. Features like fogproof, waterproof, and shockproof make it an ideal choice for rough weather conditions. You can put loads on it, and it will perform consistently. So, the choice is yours now.
Beginner’s Guide to Buying the Best Scopes for 22 Mag
1. Magnification Power
The maximum effective range of the .22 WMR is 125 yards and we recommend a range of 3x to 9x for accurate close to mid-range shots. Higher magnification is not really necessary for this cartridge but clarity in order to target those fast-moving animals like rabbits.
2. High-Quality Glass
The quality of glass is critical for a clearer and brighter picture. It offers the perfect blend of brightness and contrast to give you the best possible vision. These glasses come with different types of coatings. A fully coated lense would ensure better weather sealing capacity. Plus, it would also present an anti-glare view in the sun.
3. Objective Lens
When it comes to objective lens selection, size does matter. It plays a major role in displaying a brighter vision in low-light conditions. The bigger the lens, the brighter the view. The most commonly used objective lens for a brighter view is 50mm. In fact, a low magnification power with a large objective lens is the best combination for a brighter picture.
4. Easy Adjustments
When hunting varmints, you’ll only have a few seconds to adjust the turret. That’s why it’s vital to have windage and elevation turrets so you can make quick and precise adjustments in the field. You should also learn about the click-per-minute readings of the scope you are about to buy because every scope tends to be different in the adjustment of the minutes.
5. Generous Eye Relief
The .22 mag is a high-caliber bullet. The rifles that use these bullets usually have more recoil than others. That’s why they need to have generous eye relief to protect your eyes. 3.5 inches is good-sized eye relief. In our opinion, 5 inches of eye relief with lower magnification will definitely keep you out of trouble.
6. Rugged Durability
The best .22 Mag scopes are usually aluminum-made to withstand the recoil, workload, and weather conditions. This is the reason these are expensive optics. In terms of construction, one-piece constructed optic is the most durable one. Different types of coating technologies are used to make them waterproof and shockproof.
So, how much should you spend on your scope? Well, the rule of thumb is to spend as much for the scope as you would spend on your rifle. That might sound a lot, but trust us, it’s worth every penny.
However, some manufactures are designing less expensive scopes that’re also often reliable for short range shooting. But a precision optical device requires higher technology and research. The reduction of cost also affects the overall performance of the gadget. So, we suggest that you fix your budget wisely.
The scope itself is not all that heavy but a larger objective lens could add weight to it. Anything more than 40mm will affect your aim. Still, larger lenses are used for getting better image quality in low light conditions. But the body of the scope, if made out of higher grade aluminum or titanium, should cut the weight.
.22 mag optics come with different reticles, e.g. crosshairs (fine, medium, or heavy), duplex reticle, BDC reticle, illuminated and non-illuminated reticle, target mil dot reticle, and Bullet drop compensator. Crosshairs are the most widely used reticle. Before choosing your reticle, you should have prior knowledge on the thickness, precision points and the subtensions of the reticles.
10. Weather Resistance
Scopes, just like guns, experience recoils and rough handling under different weather conditions. Sand, water, dirt and fog can have a serious impact on your scope if it’s not good enough to withstand them.
This is why most renowned manufactures add different sealing and coating features to the scope to make their scopes waterproof, fog-proof, dust-and shock-proof. O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged coating are often used to do the job. If you buy a unit with such features, you can use it in bad weather conditions without any worry.
11. Turrets Adjustability
There are two turrets on such scopes: windage for the horizontal and elevation for the vertical reticle. A single click on the turret means 1/4” of adjustment at 100 yards, known as ¼ minute of Angle (M.O.A.). One inch at 100 yards is one M.O.A.
12. Lens Coating
There are different types of coating and over the years the technology has evolved rapidly. For any lens, you need to ensure that the maximum light is passed through it. On top of that, you’d want your lens corrosion-resistant for greater longevity.
If the lens is waterproof, dust-and fog-proof, you’re even safer. The magnesium fluoride coating was invented to ensure higher light transmission. This coating ensured up to 95% of light transmission through the lens. Later, zirconium oxide and zinc sulfide were used in combination for better results and strength.
Fully-coated lenses have at least only one type of coating while multi-coated lenses have multiple coatings, as you can guess.
13. Field of View
Moving onto the field of view, we always say that the wider, the better. The field of view should be wider because it will help you easily follow your target when it’s moving. A lower magnification will provide you a wide horizon while a higher magnification will squeeze it.
Care and maintenance tips
As you know, scopes don’t come cheap and you should take good care of the device. Here’s how you can do that.
- There are scope cleaning kits available for your aid. You can use lens cloth or brushes to clean dirt and water off the lens
- To remove dirt from the lens’ surface, first use the brush to remove the dirt. Then, use the lens cloth
- Don’t use any brush to clean the lens; use only the smooth airbrush provided by the manufacturer
- Don’t forget to tighten your scope rings because loose rings could damage the scope with constant shaking
- During off seasons, clean the device and keep it dry from water or moist. Then wrap with plastic
1. What is a .22 magnum and what makes it special?
Ans. It is a rimfire cartridge with a max effective range at 125 yards. Rifles and long barrels use this cartridge for more velocity. It is highly effective for masses of 20 pounds.
2. What is the effective range of a .22 magnum?
Ans. It is one of the best cartridges for short to medium-range shooting. It can travel up to 125 yards effectively.
3. Will a .22 mag scope work on a .22 long rifle?
Ans. Yes, they both will work like a charm. You are going to get some of the best shots of your life. This is an excellent combination for accuracy.
4. Will a .22 mag kill a coyote?
Ans. The .22 mag will easily kill a coyote within 100 yards. Here’s a little tip for you: always use a .22 magnum rifle instead of other rifles for great results.
5. Does a 22 need a scope?
Ans. A 3X or 4X scope is needed for the most accurate shot out of a 22 from a prone or rest at 100 yards. You may push this to 9X but that depends on your choice.
6. How far can I shoot with a 3 9×40 scope?
Ans. You may shoot out to a thousand-yard with a 3-9×40 scope considering it has quality optics and good turrets. Picking the perfect magnification range for long-range shoots is tough since everyone has their own preferences.
7. What’s the difference between .22 WMR vs 22LR?
Ans. Although they are both popular rimfire cartridges commonly used for recreational shooting, plinking, and small game hunting, there are some differences and here are the most notable ones.
a) Ballistic Performance: The .22 WMR or .22 Magnum has higher muzzle velocity and energy compared to the .22 LR. This results in a flatter trajectory and increased effective range for the .22 WMR.
b) Ammunition Availability: The .22 LR is widely available at affordable prices since it has been around for a long time.
c) Firearm Compatibility: Many firearms are chambered specifically for either .22 WMR or .22 LR and are not interchangeable. But some rifles like the Ruger Single-Six or Ruger Wrangler have interchangeable cylinders that allow you to switch between .22 WMR and .22 LR by changing the cylinder.
d) Recoil and Noise: Both cartridges have relatively low recoil, making them suitable for beginners and shooters who prefer minimal recoil. However, due to its higher muzzle velocity, the .22 WMR tends to produce a slightly louder report compared to the .22 Mag.