With a scoped rifle you have a better chance of not only hitting the squirrel on the first try but killing the squirrel rapidly and without the animal suffering needlessly. A good optic should also allow you work in low conditions. Squirrels are most active in the evening so you’ll need a quality optic to gather light effectively. The best scopes for squirrel hunting also need to be able to fit small weapons like .22 rifles and .410 shotguns. Luckily, there are plenty of options online, and we’ve picked the four best below:
The Weaver Rimfire
- WEAVER Rimfire 2.5-7X28 Riflescope (Matte)
- Price as of 10/27/2020 13:24 PDT(more info about ad)
A classic .22 long rifle scope, the Weaver rimfire is lightweight, easy to mount and zero, and precise for small game. The small lightweight optic is perfect for mounting of rifles like the Ruger 10/22 or Marlin Model 60. The Weaver rimfire is a solid one piece tube that aids in long lasting durability and overall precision. The lenses are fully multi coated and transfer light just as well as optics with larger objective lenses.
The Weaver rimfire is available in 2.5 – 7 power and this is plenty sufficient for hunting squirrels. The scope excels at ranges at 100 yards or closer, and if you are hunting past 100 yards those must be some awfully tall trees. If you are using a high powered airgun instead of a traditional weapon, the Weaver Rimfire will still work for you. It’s simply designed for lighter, smaller rounds.
The Weaver rimfire is a rugged optic and field worthy. The optic is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof, a major consideration for a hunting optic. The parallax is set for fifty yards, which gives you a good sight picture, without little stress on your eyes. This is one of the best scopes for squirrel hunting period.
Nikon P Tactical 2-7x32mm
- Nikon P-Tactical Rimfire 2-7X32 Matte BDC150
- Price as of 10/27/2020 09:54 PDT(more info about ad)
The Nikon P Tactical Rimfire model is designed and based off of Nikon’s popular AR line of optics but shrunk down for the rimfire world. The Nikon P Tactical is perfect on top of an AR chambered in 22 long rifle like the S&W M&P 22 or the Mossberg Plinkster AR. The Nikon Rimfire’s main claim to fame is the fact it features a bullet drop compensator for precision shot placement
A bullet drop compensator is designed to predict bullet drop at certain yardages. The holdovers are circles which act as additional reticles. For example if I have a squirrel at 100 yards I place the second circle on the squirrel and pull the trigger. The bullet drop compensator goes out to a 150 yards. This is an excellent little features on this rimfire optc.
Like its bigger brothers the Nikon Rimfire (see full specs) uses a rapid turret system for tool less adjustments on the fly. This creates ¼ of inch adjustments at 50 yards. The 2-7 magnification is perfectly sufficient for squirrel hunting and the 32 mm lens matches up with its bigger AR based variant. The Nikon rimfire is an excellent all around optic hunting tree rats.
Sightmark Ultra Shot
- Sightmark SM26005 Ultra Shot M-Spec Reflex Sight, Black
- Price: $119.95
- Price as of 10/28/2020 04:54 PDT(more info about ad)
The Sightmark Ultra Shot is perfect for both the rimfire rifle and the small bore shotgun. The Sightmark Ultra HD may not provide magnification but it does provide a wide field of view, an easy to use optic, and the ability to rapidly get on target. The Sightmark lends itself a bit more to the shotgun side of the house, but hunting if hunting in thick woods with a rifle, the Sightmark Ultra Shot is a good choice.
The Sightmark Ultra Shot is a holographic red dot optic that provides a whopping 105 foot field of view. The optic is water resistant and can work with Sightmark’s own magnifier which may handy for those using a rifle. The Ultra Shot allows for rapid reflex shooting, which makes it perfect for taking down running targets.
The Ultra Shot allows the shooter to seamlessly follow as a squirrel bounds from tree to tree, until the perfect shot presents itself. The Ultra Shot can even cowitness with the front site of an AR styled rifle, including the popular 22 LE variants of the weapon. The Ultra Shot provides a crisp and clear picture, and the ability to rapidly track targets.
Field Sport Red Dot
- Field Sport Red and Green Reflex Sight with 4 Reticles
- Price: $34.66
- Price as of 10/28/2020 07:09 PDT(more info about ad)
The Field Sport red dot sight isn’t just a red dot but offers green as a choice, as well as 4 different reticles. The Field Sport is all about versatility and usefulness. The Field Sport is designed to be an inexpensive easy to use optic for small low powered weapons. This optic is designed for use on the light recoiling 22 LR and 410 style weapons, and offers an interesting advantage for hunters.
Those looking to squirrel hunt could surely do so with a pistol, and would probably enjoy the extra challenge using a pistol would offer. However, could they use an optic? With a traditional magnified optic it would be impossible due to eye relief issues. With the Field Sport’s unlimited eye relief you can easily mount this to a pistol like the Beretta Neo or the Ruger Mark series and hunt away.
The reticles range from a simple red dot, to a crosshair, a circle and dot, then a cross hair circle and dot. Each has its advantages, for example the simple red dot would work perfect for a pistol, but the crosshair and circle would allow the rifle shooter to utilize holdover for range and windage for longer distance rifle shooting. The Field Sport is easy, simple, and very affordable. The best scope for squirrel hunting is sometimes a red dot sight!
Squirrels can be fun and interesting little creatures to hunt. The hunt can be surprisingly dynamic and difficult if your marksmanship skills are not up to par. Having an optic greatly increases the chance to take home a bag or squirrels, and makes taking difficult shots on these small critters much more effective. Is an optic a must have on a squirrel rifle? Maybe not, but man, it makes it a lot easier.
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.