Every hunter remembers using a 22LR or going on a squirrel hunt in his amateur days. So let’s look at some Best Scopes for 22LR Squirrel Hunting. This furry scurry continues to be one of the most frequented hunting targets. You might think that an iron sight will suffice when you’re shooting at such a close range, but you shouldn’t underestimate your quick opponent.
In addition to a light rifle and an accurate cartridge like the 22LR, these fast-moving creatures also need a scope that can keep up with them. Now, you might not want to spend much on a 22LR scope, and we understand that. Therefore, we’ve brought to you some of the most cost-efficient, precise, and durable scopes for 22LR squirrel hunting.
Top 5 Best Scopes for 22LR Squirrel Hunting
|Simmons 22 MAG
|Best low light scope and visual experience
|Tasco .22 MAG39X32D
|Best at the lowest price
1. Simmons 22 MAG 3-9X32 Rimfire Rifle Scope
Simmons is an American based brand that supplies unbelievably affordable scopes that are packed with helpful features.
The Simmons 22 MAG will provide a brilliant picture of those squirrels. It comes with a unique HydroShield lens coating that is completely weatherproof. The coating minimizes glare and maximizes contrast and brightness to make sure your vision is top-notch. The 22LR scope comes with what Simmons calls the Truplex reticle, which is basically a duplex reticle with dots at the intersection to make your job simpler while you’re taking down your messy target.
To match your opponent, you have the quick acquisition eyepiece. Simmon’s signature TrueZero adjustment system uses an attached flex erector system instead of the traditional spring erector system for stability and recoil resistance. As a result, the scope can hold zero through almost anything. I like the turrets. They’re repeatable and accurate, making it one of my favorite and best scopes for 22LR Squirrel Hunting.
Another nice thing here is that the eye relief remains consistent at 4 inches throughout the 3-9 x magnification range. The SureGrip rubber surfaces make the adjustments a lot more user friendly. The scope is pretty lightweight at 10 oz. The sleek design is great for the price. It’s easy to mount. It does come with mounting rings, but I don’t recommend using those.
If I had to give you a downside, I’d say the mounting rings are cheaply made, but you can only expect so much from free rings that come with a $50 scope.
2. Barska 3-9×32 Plinker-22 Riflescope
Barska is one of the most popular pocket-friendly brands out there. It has more than 20 years of experience in producing all kinds of optics.
The Barska Plinker scope comes with fully coated optics for high contrast and resolution. I quite like the simplicity of the 30/30 duplex reticle, especially for squirrel hunting. The 3:1 zoom ratio is perfect for close-range shooting like this.
The eye relief is quite decent at 3.5 inches. The capped turrets are easy to use and accurate. You don’t have to use any tools while you’re on the go. The Plinker is parallax-free at 50 yards.
The body of this rifle scope consists of a one-piece tube for added alignment and toughness. It’s very durable for the price and is also completely waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. The scope has a nice matte finish. It comes with 3/8″ Dovetail rings that make mounting a whole lot simpler. The scope also has a limited lifetime warranty at this price.
However, I found that it doesn’t hold zero too well.
3. Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7×33 1 Inch Riflescope
Leupold needs no introduction. If you want great images, you go to this brand. It’s always the safest investment to make.
Even though the scope is competitively priced, Leupold has equipped it with its signature Twilight max light management system and scratch-resistant lenses. You will have incredibly crisp and glare-free images of your furry target, even if you’re shooting in low light. You can choose between the Rimfire MOA and a simple, elegant duplex reticle. The rimfire MOA comes designed specifically for a cartridge like the 22LR and has markings at 1 MOA increments to eliminate all guesswork.
The scope comes with precise, finger adjustable turrets and a fixed parallax. I’m quite comfortable with the 3.7-4.2 inch eye relief. I find that the device can hold zero well.
You will have ultimate durability thanks to the aircraft-grade aluminum construction. The VX- Freedom is waterproof, fog-proof, and lightweight to let you hunt quickly without any obstructions. Overall, it is well constructed with good looks and easy to mount.
This doesn’t come with any accessories like the previous two despite being the most expensive on this list.
4. Vortex Diamondback 2-7×35 Rimfire Riflescope With V-Plex Reticle
Vortex is a name that shows up on almost all of our lists. You can’t blame us for loving this veteran-owned, American produced brand.
The Diamondback comes with fully multi-coated optics for high-quality images. This scope has the biggest objective on this list, which means maximized light transmission and unbeatable brightness. The fast-focus eyepiece aids in speedy squirrel acquisition. The V-Plex reticle adds to its function by providing a very precise aim.
The capped turrets on this scope can be reset to zero, which is super convenient. The construction features the precision glide erector system that will take you for a smooth ride across the 2-7x magnification.
Body-wise, we have a single piece, an aircraft-grade aluminum tube that is undoubtedly solid. The tube is especially argon purged to make sure internal fogging never obstructs your view. It’s easy to install on your 22LR rifle. My favorite part is that it comes with a trustworthy Vortex VIP warranty.
However, it is relatively longer and heavier than the other scopes on this list (although not significantly).
5. Tasco 3-9×32 .22 MAG39X32D Rifle Scope
TASCO is a well-known optics supplier that is now under Bushnell. They are the pioneers of competitively priced, well-made optics.
This scope comes with multi-layered Magenta coatings and fully coated lenses that I have no complaints about. They provide glare resistance and balance out contrast effectively. Like the Barska scope, we have the 30/30 duplex reticle that makes aiming at squirrels a breeze.
The windage and elevation adjustments were good in my experience, and sighting in with this scope is easy. It can hold zero on your 22LR rifle for a considerable amount of time. It’s also notably recoil resistant despite being so affordable.
Like any good rimfire scopes, this one is lightweight for easy movement. The one-piece construction makes sure the device is tough, and your vision is aligned. Mounting rings are included. The scope is built to withstand water and prevent internal fogging effectively.
TASCO is also known for its great customer service.
The one downside is that the eye relief can be inadequate at 3 inches.
What magnification do you need?
If you’re squirrel hunting with a rimfire scope, you won’t really go beyond 75-100 yards. However, it’s still good to have a variable magnification since squirrels are unpredictable targets. You should start off with 2-3x on the lower end and 7-9x on the higher end. Anything beyond 9x will be unnecessary and expensive for squirrel hunting.
What else can you hunt with a 22LR?
The 22LR is a classic small game, short-range rifle. It also makes for a great entry-level rifle. The scopes listed here can be paired with your 22LR to hunt a variety of games besides squirrel. It can also be used in benchrest shooting. You can use it to take down raccoons, possums, barn rats, ground dogs, and even prairie dogs and deer.
What’s a fair price for a scope for 22LR?
You might not want to shell out too much for small game, and you might find yourself asking what a reasonable price for a 22LR scope is. You definitely don’t want a scope that costs more than your rifle itself. Good squirrel hunting scopes like the ones on this list can be found for under $200. You shouldn’t need to pay more than that for a rimfire scope.
What are the most important things to look out for?
Firstly, the best scope for 22LR squirrel hunting must be lightweight so you can move quickly. You also need a high-quality picture of your target at all times, especially since it’s easy to lose sight of small creatures.
The reticle must be simple to use, and it should not override your tiny target. We’ve already discussed the optimum magnification. The adjustments should be user friendly and allow you to operate your scope on the go.
Make sure that your scope mounts well onto your rifle because you’re in for a lot of movement. Lastly, your scope should be well built and durable. Your view should not be obstructed by internal fogging.
The squirrel might be a small game, but it’s a naughty opponent nonetheless. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned hunter, you shouldn’t settle for an iron sight when there are a variety of affordable scopes out there waiting to boost your performance.
The best scope for 22LR squirrel hunting is a very specific search, but at ShrewdHunter, these are exactly the kinds of doubts that we strive to solve.
Keeping in mind the range of the bullet and the swiftness of our target, we’ve brought you the best sighting devices while keeping it affordable. We hope we answered any questions you had about squirrel hunting and that you’ll come back to us for your next doubt.
Remember to keep the factors we mentioned in mind, and you’ll be on your way to a purchase you can’t regret. Have fun!