The 4 Best .22 Mag Scopes – .22 WMR Optic Reviews 2023

best 22 mag scope, best scope for 22 wmr

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The .22 Magnum is one of those rounds that is actually far more powerful than it might seem at first glance. North American Arms builds a popular mini revolver in .22 mag, Kel Tec builds a carbine and a handgun designed around the .22 mag, and it has long been popular in everything from survival rifles to dedicated varmint guns. From self defense to hunting, the .22 magnum fills a popular and important role in the rimfire world.

Naturally the question of what the best scope for .22 magnum firearms is will come up and we found a few good answers for you (and, if you’re not pressed for time, you might want to read our detailed explanation as to what makes the best .22 mag scope after the product reviews).

Vortex Crossfire 2

The Vortex Crossfire 2 is a compact rifle scope with a nice magnification range for the .22 Magnum. The Crossfire 2 has a 2-7x power magnification range that takes advantage of the powerful rimfire ballistics, but the short-range nature of rimfire rounds. The Vortex Crossfire 2 features a reticle with sub tensions to compensate for wind and bullet drop. The Crossfire isn’t the cheapest scope but is one of the best in terms of quality. It gives you a crystal clear sight picture. If you’re plinking you’ll easily see and hit your target if you’re hunting the varmint and vermin better watch their step. Any .22 Magnum rifle with a Vortex Crossfire 2 is a helluva machine.

Simmons 22 Mag TruPlex

I have a peculiar fondness for Simmons scopes. Sure, they are budget scopes, but they are surprisingly GOOD budget scopes. For a song, you can get yourself a pretty decent 3-9 power scope with a 32mm objective lens, a set of mounting rings and the usual coated optics and waterproof/fogproof construction you expect from a modern riflescope. For somebody on a budget, this certainly equates into the best scope for the .22 magnum. I stuck a Simmons on top of a 1940’s Mossberg target rifle, and hold my own against folks with big dollar scopes, proving that it’s not always what you pay for a scope that matters.

Nikon Prostaff

Of course, big dollar, big name scopes do exist for a reason, and if I could stop myself from buying new guns long enough to buy scopes instead, I’d own one of these. (But I just bought two Mosin Nagants, so learn from my overloaded safe and buy fewer guns and more high quality optics for the guns you do have.) The Nikon Prostaff (see full specs) is a high quality scope with 3.5-14 power adjustment, a 40mm objective lens, and special coated optics that are engineered to deliver maximum light transmission. This is a serious scope for serious work, and one of the best scopes for .22 WMR for varmint hunters or competition shooters. Or people who can control the urge to buy just one more gun…

UTG Illuminated Scope

This one was built for varmint hunters in mind. Featuring 36 different illumination and color modes suitable for any light condition, an enormous 50mm objective lens, 4-16 power magnification, a sunshade and included set of mounting rings that fit a Weaver or Picatinny rail, this scope is perfect for staring down a coyote or prairie dog at a few hundred yards. If you are looking for the best .22 mag scope for hunting, it’s hard to improve on this UTG scope (see its full specs) without spending three to five times the money.

Scoping the .22 Magnum

Most .22 magnum rifles are target guns or see hunting duty. For a rimfire round, its cost approaches and even exceeds some centerfire rounds in price. For me, some days it’s a tossup if I’m going to shoot my AR or a .22 mag. Right now I am contemplating a single shot in .22 magnum, which has had me considering scopes more than I normally do. My usual method for scoping a rifle is “look in the big box o’ gun parts” and hope that I find a scope. This, of course, is a terrible way to do things as that box is full of takeoffs from old guns, junk store finds of dubious quality, and the odd decent scope that I kept when I sold a gun. In this day and age, we are blessed with a plethora of high quality scopes, ranging from the very affordable to ones costing thousands of dollars, and for many shooters, a decent scope can be had for far less, with quality and performance going up from there.

To me, the .22 mag is strictly a hunting proposition. I’ve got a couple small handguns in .22 mag, but that is another story. For hunting small game, it’s hard to beat the .22 magnum, but it can be hard to pick the right scope. Ideally, the best .22 magnum scopes will be calibrated for the round itself. This makes aiming and range finding stupidly easy, especially if you are using common ammo. However, there is no reason to limit yourself to scopes calibrated for the .22 mag. The best .22 magnum scope is often a regular, run of the mill rifle scope . Hunters often favor an illuminated reticle scope for its ability to clearly show the crosshairs on a target in low light conditions, while target shooters may favor a scope with a large objective lens and high magnification. There is some crossover between the two, of course, and some scopes serve well either as hunting or target scopes. Casual sport shooters will probably wind up with the same scope a hunter uses, as they tend to have moderate magnification, and fewer high end target features.

However, no matter how you use your .22 mag rifle, you’ll find a good scope will really broaden your shooting horizons. Few people can accurately shoot past 100-150 yards on common iron sights, and without optics, you lose the opportunity to take longer distance shots, and cut the effective range of your rifle in half or more. A good scope gives you the astounding reach out and touch something that the .22 mag is capable of, and makes a day at the range much more fun. Once you scope your .22 mag rifle, you might even think you are shooting a whole different gun, as a new world of accuracy and precision opens up for you. We hope you’ve found the best .22 mag scope for your needs here.

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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3 responses

  1. Many thanks for a great post. I’m putting a scope on a Marlin 783, a great varmint gun. Your recommendations are greatly appreciated. I mostly use the rifle to pot groundhogs, a role it fills very well.

  2. Awesome posting! I am behind a 22 magnum marlin due to tighness in budget and your advise comes in the right moment. Tnx for both ends options and for the rest of the explanation. For sure I’ll be back to reread the whole article!

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