One nice thing about rimfires is their greatly reduced recoil allows you to use more inexpensive red dots (or reflex sights—they’re both the same thing), and even outright visual clones of popular styles, which not only saves money but allows for a sometimes pleasing visual aesthetic. Of course too, there is nothing wrong with sticking your favorite top shelf red dot on your 10/22, especially if it’s the same model you use on your primary centerfire rifle. In fact, we examine a red dot that is rather popular for AR-15’s in just that context.
Here are our recommendations for the 4 best red dots for Ruger 10/22 on the market.
Field Sport Red and Green Reflex Sight
- Field Sport Red and Green Reflex Sight with 4 Reticles
- Price: $32.88
- Price as of 04/14/2021 07:19 PDT(more info about ad)
This little gem seems like it was made for the 10/22. Right off the bat, it is a nice, unobtrusive little red dot that seems right at home on a sleek rimfire rifle. But it gets better from there because it’s more than just a red dot, it features multiple reticles, ranging from a simple dot to complex crosshairs. Additionally, you can switch between red or green colored reticles and dots, making this a truly versatile and highly adaptable red dot for your 10/22. All told, this is without a doubt one of the best Ruger 10/22 red dots.
Bushnell Trophy TRS-25
- Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope, 1x20mm, Black
- Price: $60.78
- Price as of 04/14/2021 14:22 PDT(more info about ad)
However, the title for the best red dot for 10/22 rifles on a budget must go to the Bushnell TRS-25. One of the greatest bargains in the red dot world, this optic (see full specs) is widely considered to be an ideal entry level red dot for tactical carbines, which means it’s also utterly perfect in every way for your favorite 10/22. I recently had the pleasure of shooting one of these on a large .300 Blackout pistol and went out to buy another right away (I already have one) simply for the low cost and the fact I can leave one installed on my 10/22 and continue to practice with an identical optic. Honestly, I could probably fill an entire article just going over how kick-butt the TRS-25 is. With the 25mm objective lens, amber coated optics, and 3 MOA dot, the only reason not to run this red dot is that it hasn’t arrived in the mail yet.
UTG CQB Dot
Another inexpensive goody, UTG offers a nice little red/green dot that could be just as at home on your 10/22 as it is on your basic AR-15 or shotgun. For a song, you get a dandy red dot full of advanced features including coated optics, infinitely adjustable dots, quick detach mounting ability, and a large 38mm objective lens. Turn your 10/22 into an advanced close range small game killer or buy two of these and use the same red dot on your rimfire as your favorite centerfire rifle. Either way, this is one of the best 10/22 red dots that doesn’t come with a three figure price tag.
- HOLOSUN HS403A Micro Red Dot Sight (2 MOA)
- Price: $199.99
- Price as of 04/14/2021 14:08 PDT(more info about ad)
Now I’m of the mind if you’ve taken the trouble to build a high end 10/22, the sort that is described as “match grade” and you’ve built a truly lovely rifle, you need some equally awesome optics like the Holosun 403 (see full specs) . Imagine a red dot you could just turn on, and leave on, with a battery life of over 5 and a half years! This is just that red dot, and it only gets better from there. It has an auto on/off function (pick up the rifle, the red dot turns on. Leave it alone, it shuts off after 8 hours). Truly parallax free, the 2 MOA dot is on the target when you put it there, and it features generously sized adjusting knobs for use with gloved hands. With true waterproof construction and a lifetime warranty, this optic is the one you’ll want if you’ve built an epic 10/22. It’s likely the best Ruger 10/22 red dot period.
Don’t Forget the Base
Most red dots are built to fit on a standard Picatinny rail and may not fit on the Weaver rail that ships with most 10/22. However, for very little money, you can install a Picatinny rail on your 10/22 and expand your optics choices to include all of the most up to date and modern red dots.
- UTG Tactical Low Profile Rail Mount for Ruger 10/22 Rifle
- Price: $6.99
- Price as of 04/15/2021 04:06 PDT(more info about ad)
Why Red Dots?
Why not? The 10/22 has been offered as a target pistol, basic rifle, takedown rifle, and been rebuilt to be everything from a legal machine gun, to suppressed hunting rifles, to match winning target guns. That means it’s pretty easy to match the red dot to the application.
A target gun like the Ruger Charger benefits from a red dot, inasmuch as they are very suitable for most rimfire work, and you don’t have to invest in a long eye relief version like you would a scope, they simply are the more versatile optic choice.
On a hunting or plinking rifle, red dots give you rapid target acquisition and visual feedback. Put the dot on the head of a grouse or squirrel, pull the trigger, and you’ve got lunch. High quality target rifles benefit from high quality red dots, especially at shorter ranges where magnification may not be needed.
And let’s face it, that most classic of all rimfire activities is shooting at random targets on a safe range. I’ve spent many an afternoon with a red-dot equipped 10/22 shooting at shotgun hulls, soda cans, or just ringing steel. Most rimfire shooters shoot within easy iron sight range, and with that in mind, the best red dots for 10/22 rifles are actually a more viable optic than many scopes are. And it’s more fun to boot!
Owner of Reloaderaddict.com, 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.