The Best Scope for a Ruger 10/22 in 2022
The Ruger 10/22 is one of the most, if not the most, successful rimfire rifles in history. The design was released by Ruger in 1964, and it hasn’t started to drop in popularity yet. The reason behind it’s popularity may come from it’s inspiration, the M1 Carbine.
This rifle isn’t like its inspiration, though. The 10/22 is best used for hunting small game, and close-range shooting. However, it can be used for just about anything, ranging from self defense, to hunting, to target shooting.
Ruger has seen so much success with this rifle that they’ve released numerous versions of it. It’s the small ammo rifle that just won’t quit. There have been 11 different iterations of it, and it’s not likely that they’ll stop there.
In this Guide
- Mounting a Scope on the Ruger 10/22
- Determining Your Magnification
- Choosing the Best Scope for Your Ruger 10/22
Why Do People Love the Ruger 10/22 So Much?
There are a number of reasons that the Ruger 10/22 is so popular. First and foremost, it may be the best starter rifle available, even though it wasn’t designed to be one. With its lightweight design and wonderful feeling while being used, just about anyone can fire the 10/22 with confidence. It isn’t a youth rifle, but it very well could be.
This isn’t the only reason to love the Ruger 10/22, though. Check out these reasons that people keep coming back to this classic rimfire rifle:
- The rifle has negligible recoil, meaning that just about anyone can handle the small amount of kickback when firing.
- The ammunition used in the 10/22 is inexpensive, so it can be used frequently without wrecking your wallet.
- It’s easy to handle, being that it is compact in size and design very well.
- Weighing it at about 5 pounds, it can be carried for long distances without breaking your back.
You Can Find Anything You Want For a 10/22
This is just another reason to love the 10/22, but it needs its own dedication. This rifle has been popular for so many years that you can find just about anything you want for a Ruger 10/22. This means that it’s customizable at great lengths, and it can be made to feel like an extension of your body.
Unlike other firearms, the Ruger 10/22 is made for everyone. While it may not feel like that out of the box, you can certainly find an inexpensive selection of aftermarket parts to make that statement true. This rings so true that you can actually build an entire 10/22 from third-party aftermarket parts alone. What other rifles can boast that?
While this may be true, today we’re talking about one accessory in particular, the one that can really make this rifle shine. We’re looking at the best scopes for the 10/22, no matter how you plan on using it.
Mounting a Scope on the Ruger 10/22
With 11 different models, there are a few things to take into consideration when mounting a scope on the Ruger 10/22. For example, the standard model 10/22, as well as the very popular Takedown model, come with a gold bead front sight and an adjustable rear sight. These can work on their own, provided that you know how to use them, and the range at which you’re accurate with them.
However, not all models come with these sights. Some come with no sights at all, in fact. Examples of these models are the 10/22 Competition, the 10/22 Compact, and the 10/22 Tactical. You can’t fire a rifle very well without a sight of some sort, so for these models a scope is absolutely necessary.
Thankfully, the majority of these models come with the same way to mount a scope, though. The rail included with most 10/22 models is a combination scope base adapter, allowing you to use Weaver-style and .22 tip-off scope mounts. This makes mounting a scope easy.
Things to Consider Prior to Buying a Scope
Before you’re ready to buy a scope, though, you need to know a few things about your 10/22 and its intended use. First things first, let’s talk about the shooting range you’ve got.
When you unbox your Ruger 10/22, it’s going to be able to shoot accurately at about 50 yards with less than 1 MOA. This is fairly impressive, considering that this rifle isn’t meant to be used at long ranges, necessarily.
This means that the rifle is doing exactly what it was designed to do. It’s able to hit small targets at a worthy distance. It does so without destroying them, thanks to its small caliber. For many, this is the first rifle that they learn to shoot or hunt with, and for good reason. It’s darn good at being a small caliber rifle. It’s popular for a reason, after all.
But, can it go further? Absolutely. It’s an impressive rifle that’s been in production for almost 60 years, so it can certainly handle distances greater than 50 yards. That’s where a scope comes in, naturally.
Understanding the Average Distance on Your 10/22
When you’re considering the accuracy of the 10/22, 50 yards is pretty significant. But how far will your bullet actually go?
Shooting any firearm can be divided into three ranges. You’ve got your short range, medium range, and long range. How do you break these up for a Ruger 10/22, though? Let’s take a look:
- Short Range: Up to 50 yards
- Medium Range: 50 to 100 yards
- Long Range: 100 yards and further
These are the capabilities of a completely stock Ruger 10/22, as if you’ve just pulled it out of its box, with the standard 18.5 inch barrel.
While we aren’t covering any accessories other than scopes in this article, it is important to note that these ranges can be modified. It can be done using different ammo, or different accessories. One of the most notable ways to increase range is by increasing barrel size, for example. These little changes will affect how you use the rifle, as well as what scope you’ll need for it. For all intents and purposes, we’re talking about Ruger 10/22 models that are stock here.
Determining Your Magnification
We’ve covered the distances of the Ruger 10/22, as well as the way the sights perform out of the box. Now, it’s time to discuss the importance of having a scope, and the magnification of that scope.
While it may be true that this scope is designed for short ranges for the most part, that doesn’t mean that a scope is unnecessary. Even if you’re shooting at distances under 50 yards, having an optic is key to being accurate. The magnification that you choose depends on what you’ll be using the rifle for, and at what range. Let’s go over the optimum magnification for the three ranges discussed above:
- Short Range (Up to 50 yards): This is what the Ruger 10/22 excels at. Most people buy a Ruger 10/22 planning to use it as a short range rifle for small game, or as a plinking rifle. If you want to make the shot every time, look for a scope with magnification of 1x to 4x.
- Medium Range (50 to 100 yards): While the 10/22 is best at short range, it’s no laughing matter at ranges from 50 to 100 yards.This is for the people going after skittish game, or getting comfortable shooting at longer ranges. Look for a scope ranging from 4x to 6x in magnification.
- Long Range (100 yards and above): Shooting at this distance on any rifle requires practice. This is especially true then using a 10/22. At distances this great, you’ll want to have better clarity, as well as higher magnification. Plan on using a scope that has a magnification anywhere from 6x to 9x.
Knowing how you plan to use your Ruger 10/22 is the best way of understanding what scope you’re looking for. If you’re not shooting anything at long range, you’re likely going to like shorter range scopes better. On the other hand, if you’re not sure what you’ll be using the rifle for, or you just want versatility, a scope with a wide range of magnifications never hurts.
Choosing the Best Scope for Your Ruger 10/22
To put it simply, there is no single best scope for the Ruger 10/22. You can’t have just one option for a rifle that’s so adept at doing just about everything. As such, we couldn’t choose one scope and call it the best on its own. As such, we’ve got a few different options for you to choose from.
Determine how you’re going to use your 10/22, what range you’ll be shooting from, and keep reading! We’ve got quite a few options for you listed below.
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire
This is largely considered to be one of the best scopes ever made for the Ruger 10/22, and for a few great reasons. First, let’s talk about the range on the scope itself. The scope has magnification options from 2x to 7x, meaning that it can cover anything from short range to long range shooting. Pair that with a 32mm lens, and you’ll have no problems making your shots.
So, we’ve already covered that it’s got great magnification, paired with a great lens. This is enough to purchase it outright. However, the pros keep on coming. The craftsmanship on this scope is impeccable, while maintaining a lightweight profile. It’s made from aircraft aluminum, making it strong but light. It’s more than sturdy enough to handle the recoil from a Ruger 10/22.
Looking further into the optics, however, it’s important to keep in mind the way the scope actually functions. The reticle on this scope is positioned on the rear focal plane, making it ideal for hunters. It has a field of view between 12.6 and 42 feet, meaning that you can keep an eye on everything that’s in front of you, too.
With the high magnification on this scope comes adaptability. It has elevation and windage adjustments, which are able to be made within 60 MOA. Adjustments are made with ¼ MOA clicks on the capped turret.
- 2x to 7x magnification, covering all ranges the 10/22 is capable of
- V-Plex reticle designed with hunting in mind
- 3.9-inch eye relief
- Anti-reflective, fully-coated lenses
- Made from aircraft aluminum, making it highly durable
- High-quality scope that will fit most budgets
- Clear sight image
- Designed with adjustment in mind, and easy to use
- Focus isn’t always on point
TRS-25 Red Dot Riflescope
While this scope doesn’t fit the standard design of a rifle like the Ruger 10/22, it’s certainly effective on it. It’s something a little different, and we like different.
This optic is designed with short to mid range shooting in mind. The scope has no magnification, making it a 1x, effectively. However, magnifiers are available for purchase that can increase the range on the scope itself. This scope, though, is made for people who want to test their marksmanship without magnification.
The scope itself is a classic red dot sight, which makes aiming a breeze. It’s been designed with longevity and effectiveness in mind. The body is made entirely from aircraft aluminum, meaning that it’s strong. The lenses are fully coated, making color transmission and picture quality immaculate. It’s also been sealed with O-rings, and purged with nitrogen, meaning you’ll never have to worry about wet conditions or fogging.
Things to keep in mind are the mounting hardware included. It comes with Picatinny rings, meaning that you may need to mount them differently. For practicality, though, there’s a lot of good about it. It comes adjusted for parallax up to 50 yards, and is set to 3 MOA by default. The optic has 11 different brightness settings, making it ideal for any situation.
If you’re looking for short to mid range optic, or want something a bit more tactical, then the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is a great match for your Ruger 10/22.
- Red dot optic that utilizes a 25mm lens
- 11 different brightness settings
- O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged
- Fully coated lenses housed in an aircraft aluminuim body
- Weather and water resistant
- Adjusted for parallax up to 50 yards out of the box
- Clear image and great brightness
- Lacks magnification
- Only good for short to medium range shooting
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Rimfire Riflescope
If you’re looking for something that’s going to perform well at longer ranges, the Leupold VX-Freedom might be what you’re looking for. This scope was designed with long-range shooting in mind, coming with magnification options from 3x to 9x, paired with a 40mm lens.
This optic is ideal for somebody who is going to use and abuse their gear constantly. The lenses are coated with military-grade abrasion resistant materials, which no other scope can compete with. The entire scope was built with durability in mind all-around.
However, this scope doesn’t have parallax adjustment on it. That may be a drawback for some. Thankfully, though, it comes pre-adjusted for parallax for up to 60 yards, which pairs well with the 10/22. Though it lacks parallax adjustment, it does have windage and elevation adjustments.
Now, if you’re a hunter that stays out for days on end, this scope has another feature that may benefit you in the long run. Leupold calls it the Twilight Light Management System. The way that the lenses and coatings are arranged inside the scope gives you an extra 10 (sometimes more) minutes to hunt during dusk or dawn. If you like putting in long days, this scope will suit your style.
When you put all of its features together, you get one of the best hunting scopes available for the Ruger 10/22. It’s going to perform in the field, and stand up to whatever you can throw at it.
- 3x to 9x magnification
- Eye relief of 3.7 to 4.17 inches
- Field of View ranging from 17.8 to 43.8 feet
- Twilight Light Management System
- Parallax correction for 60 yards
- More durable than any other scope on the market
- Great for long range shooters
- Best light management system available
- More expensive than other options
When it comes down to it, the best scope for your Ruger 10/22 comes down to the way that you intend to use it. It also comes down to your marksman style, of course. With a rifle that’s so well-rounded, you can do just about anything with it. As such, it’s important to know what you want to use it for before picking up a scope.
From target practice to hunting, this rifle can do it all.No matter what you’re looking to accomplish with your Ruger 10/22, one of the scopes on this list should suit your needs!