The Ruger 10/22 is one of the most popular .22 rifles currently on the market. It may even be the most popular when you factor in the various models, such as the traditional 10/22 Carbine and the beloved 10/22 Takedown.
Because of its popularity, this rimfire rifle has a huge aftermarket for parts and accessories. One upgrade that you shouldn’t overlook is a scope.
Sure, .22 isn’t exactly a long-range round, but a scope can still help you get the most out of your rifle.
Fortunately for you, we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite high-quality optics for the Ruger 10/22. But first, let’s go over some background.
What Are Scopes for Ruger 10/22?
Some scopes are specifically marketed as rimfire scopes. These scopes have features that make them especially well-suited for use with rimfire ammo and rifles, like the Ruger 10/22.
.22 isn’t really a long-range round. Its range is typically considered around 100 yards. With the right equipment, however, you can make it up to 300.
You don’t really need super-powerful magnification for these sort of close-range shots. In fact, be wary of using magnification that’s too powerful, since it narrows your field of view.
This makes losing track of your target easier and initial target acquisition harder.
3-9x is a good general-purpose magnification range if you’re trying to stretch your rifle’s accuracy as much as possible. You could definitely get away with a minimum magnification of 2x or even 1x and a max magnification as low as 7x.
Lightweight & Low Profile
.22 is a low energy, low recoil round and .22 rifles tend to be lightweight. To go with that, you want a scope that’s lightweight and low profile. Bulky, weighty scopes can make your rifle unevenly weighted.
Since the Ruger 10/22 is such a versatile rifle, there are lots of reticle options to choose from.
Our favorites are bullet drop compensation reticles (BDC reticles) and duplex reticles. BDC reticles make it easier to calculate holdover for on-the-fly adjustments. They’re great for getting the most precise, accurate shots.
Duplex reticles are better for people who prefer a more simple, clean reticle.
What Are The Different Types of Scopes for Ruger 10/22?
Ruger 10/22s are primarily used for varmint and small game hunting and target shooting. There scopes that are optimized for each purpose.
Target scopes include scopes for both plinking and competitive range shooting. Plinking scopes tend to be cheaper and less accurate, but they both have the same basic features.
Target scopes tend to have higher magnification strength than hunting scopes. They tend to have easy to manipulate turrets that make very fine clicks. Duplex and crosshair reticles are common, but BDC reticles are also popular.
They generally have larger turrets that aren’t as easy to manipulate since adjustments after zeroing typically aren’t as frequent as at the range.
BDC reticles are popular to compensate for this, but some hunters prefer the clean look of duplex and crosshair reticles.
How Does a Scope for Ruger 10/22 Work?
Ruger 10/22 scopes work basically the same as any other type of scope.
Light enters the scope through the objective lens, which is the lens on the end of the scope towards the muzzle.
The objective lens also focuses the light.
Next, the light travels through the erector assembly. The erector assembly contains the magnification lenses and the reticle.
A magnification lens moves forward as you increase your magnification settings and backward as you decrease the settings.
All of the scopes on this list are rear or second focal plane scopes. This means that the reticle is behind the magnification lens. This causes the reticle to stay the same size when magnification is adjusted, even as the target appears to get larger or smaller.
Finally, the light enters the eyepiece and travels through the ocular lens. The ocular lens is the lens closest to your eye and produces your sight picture.
What Do You Look For In The Best Scope for Ruger 10/22?
A scope doesn’t just need to be optimized for the Ruger 10/22. It also should be a high-quality scope in general. In addition to the features that we discussed above, look out for these as well:
Rimfire optics, like those for the Ruger 10/22, tend to be cheaper than centerfire optics. Still, you want to get the most for your money, so you want a durable scope.
Look for a waterproof and fog proof scope with features like o-ring seals and argon or nitrogen purging. To ensure that a scope is shockproof, look for a single-piece scope body made from a durable material like aircraft-grade aluminum.
Hard anodized coating on the scope body is also a plus. So is a scratch-resistant lens coating.
Of course, if your scope doesn’t have a clear, bright sight picture, it doesn’t really matter how durable it is. A scope should have good light transmission for better low light performance.
It should also have good color fidelity and a high definition image.
Lens coatings help with these kinds of features. Lenses should be at least fully coated, but it’s best if they’re multicoated.
A few models of the Ruger 10/22 have weaver or picatinny rails for mounting. If you have one of these, you’ll be just fine with a standard dovetail scope mount.
Otherwise, you’ll need to get scope rings with a different type of mounting system.
Best Ruger 10/22 Riflescopes Reviewed
Now that all the background is out of the way, let’s move on to the actual recommendations.
Tasco Rimfire Series 3-9×40 Riflescope (Our Top Pick)
Our top pick is the Tasco Rimfire Riflescope.
It has a 50-yard parallax setting and a 3-9x magnification range that makes it perfect for the Ruger 10/22’s range.
It’s a great general purpose scope and is a good option for shooters who are new to scopes.
The fast focus eyepiece makes focusing quick and easy. The lenses are fully coated and offer excellent clarity.
Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire 3-9×40 Riflescope (Best High End)
As we’ve said, rimfire scopes tend to be very affordable, so even our high-end pick, the Leupold VX-Freedom Rimfire Riflescope isn’t crazy expensive.
It does have some great high-end features though. The Twilight Light Management System, for example, allows the scope to perform better in low light conditions, while also cutting glare in bright light. The lenses have mil-spec scratch resistant coating.
Okay, so technically the Bushnell TRS-25 is a red dot sight, not a riflescope. Still, it’s one of the best optics available for the Ruger 10/22.
Besides, you don’t necessarily need magnification in .22 range. And if you do, you can always add a red dot magnifier.
The TRS-25 is a durable little optic that’s so lightweight and compact that you’ll barely notice it. It also has 11 brightness settings to ensure that you can clearly see the dot in virtually all light levels.
Unlimited eye relief
Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof
Great for fast shots
No magnification of its own
Integral dovetail mount, so you’ll need an adapter for most 10/22 models