If there’s a ubiquitous .22lr rifle in America, it’s the Ruger 10/22. It is the best-selling rimfire rifle of all time and features the most aftermarket support of any firearm except perhaps the AR 15 and colt 1911. One of the most common accessories mounted on a Ruger 10/22 is a riflescope or red dot optic.
These inexpensive and lightweight rifles lend themselves to doing just about anything rimfire rifles can be asked to do. Small game hunting, competition shooting, plinking and even as a training tool, there is a model and rifle scope combination for anything.
Here are some of the best scopes for Ruger 10/22. Obviously, a target tactical 10/22 is going to need a different scope then a takedown rifle used for squirrel hunting. So here are some tips and tricks to making sure that you get the right scope for your Ruger.
Table of Contents
- Choosing the Best Scope/ Red Dot for Ruger 10/22
- Ruger 10/22 Red Dot Vs Scope
- Best Scope for Ruger 10/22 on the Market Reviews
- Best Red Dot for Ruger 10/22 on the Market Reviews
- Ruger 10/22 Accessories
- How to Mount a Scope on a Ruger 10/22?
- The Verdict
Choosing the Best Scope/ Red Dot for Ruger 10/22
#1. Size, Weight & Features
One of the characteristics that is most beloved of the Ruger 10/22 is its flexibility. Offering over a dozen models, with literally thousands of aftermarket parts, the Ruger 10/22 can be any rifle you want. They can be equipped to be a squirrel hunters dream, slim and trim with a smooth action and easy handling or you can take your rifle to a custom shop and have it last fitted with a fully custom stock and bull barrel for nailing targets at extremely long ranges. You could even fit it with an AR 15 style stock.
Depending on the application you have in mind you are going to need to balance the size, weight, and features of the scope that you buy. If your object is to have a rifle that you can carry all day for hunting, large target turrets and a massive objective bell are not necessarily at the top of your priority list.
Likewise, if you have a bench rest rifle that is rarely going to be used outside the range, it makes sense to have large turrets and a heavy objective bell.
While it’s impossible to know exactly how a scope is going to feel on a rifle ahead of time, rest assured that the Ruger 10/22 is an extremely versatile rifle that can accommodate very trim rifle scopes mounted at a very low bore axis for perfect handling. It can also be outfitted with extra high scope rings to accommodate a large scope.
#2. BDC Reticles
The new generation BDC reticles available on the market add capabilities to scopes that didn’t exist before. Without adding any weight or bulk to a riflescope, you can accurately call your shots out to extended ranges with a BDC reticle.
While there are rarely perfectly accurate, you can normally dial in a BDC reticle to the particular load that you are using at the time, and with a specifically designed rimfire optic, you can expect it to be close enough that there is little to worry about.
Just make sure before you go into the field you know your BDC reticle like the back of your hand. Many of the older designs are not as intuitive as they may seem, and you don’t want to lose a match or wound an animal because you didn’t study your reticle enough.
#3. Ranges & Targets
Many people assume that because a Ruger 10/22’s ballistic potential tops out at about 100 yards with a .22lr cartridge, you should get a small scope with modest magnification. This is not entirely true. You should base your choice of magnification on your expected targets and the ranges you’ll be shooting, not on the cartridge and gun combination you have.
For example, someone who is going to be shooting tin cans rarely passed 25 yards will have more fun with a red dot, or zero magnification optic that they can shoot fast with. However, someone who is going to be small game hunting out to 150 yards will most likely need high magnification to be able to pick out small targets among leaves and brush.
Pay special attention to small features that make your magnification more effective. Options like special coatings on objective lenses, BDC reticles, and even target turrets can allow you to make the most out of the scope. Possibly even saving you money on buying a larger magnification scope by allowing you to use a lower setting with greater accuracy.
This is certainly an area that is will change over time as your preferences and experience guide you to what sort of optic you prefer in the field. Don’t expect to get this right the first time, just sit down and have some careful thinking before you go shopping, so that you don’t buy the wrong scope for your Ruger 10/22.
Ruger 10/22 Red Dot Vs Scope
When deciding what type of optic to fit to your Ruger 10/22, you’ll find yourself either looking at an unmagnified optic, perhaps with a red dot style aiming aid or a magnified scope. While both present advantages within their design parameters they have very different purposes.
The advantages of a red dot style optic is its simplicity, size, and lack of bulk. Red dot optics are almost always lighter in weight, smaller in size and are much simpler use. They are fixed power, some even offer low magnification like fixed 4x magnification, so you can get some increased range but not so much it decreases your field of view. However, these scopes do ruin the parallax free nature of unmagnified red dots.
Best Scope for Ruger 10/22 on the Market Reviews
1 Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7x35 Rimfire Riflescope
When it comes optics, no other company is as innovative and forward thinking as Vortex Optics. Known the world over for making some the most rugged and dependable optics designed for sportsmen, they make one of the best riflescopes for a Ruger .22lr rifle.
This is a classic 2-7x35mm riflescope that combines several features that are pioneered by Vortex on their larger centerfire rifle scopes producing an excellent lightweight and compact scope for rifles like the Ruger 10/22.
The lenses of this optic are fully multicoated, with the same multicoating that their larger centerfire riflescopes get, providing crystal-clear images at dawn and dusk. This optic also features an excellent BDC reticle and aluminum target style turrets with zero reset adjustments for accurate tracking and repeatability.
Combinging this Vortex scope and this rifle means you can use this rifle for competition target shooting, or long-range small game hunting out to the very edge of a Ruger 10/22’s ballistic potential.
Essentially, you get a scope that is a mini version of a full-size riflescope designed for tactical long-range shooting. The refined size and shape of this rifle scope make extremely portable and well-balanced on top of the Ruger 10/22.
2 Nikon ProStaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle
Nikon is often one of the most recommended brand of optics for rimfire, or other plinking rifles, because they offer the best value in the business. Offering extremely high quality scopes for not a lot of money, these are old favorites among people who shoot long-range on a budget.
This is an excellent rifle scope because it inherits all the features of Nikon’s centerfire rifle scopes, including excellent fully multicoated lenses, but brings it to a size that makes it practical for long-range shooting with a Ruger 10/22.
This classic 3-9x40mm rifle scope, makes hunting and target shooting out to 100 yards with a .22lr possible and enjoyable, even at small game targets. While this rifle scope enjoys a quick focus eyepiece and quick change zero reset turrets specifically designed for a rimfire cartridge, this is more of a target shooting and precision hunting optic than a quick handling rifle scope.
It is not nearly as compact as other models on the market, but is just as rugged and will do fine on a Ruger 10/22. It’s dry nitrogen filled and double O-ring sealed to guarantee its waterproof and fog proof and the fully multicoated optics allow for up to 98% light transmission.
You’ll have complete confidence when hunting in the field with this optic knowing that you’ll be able to hunt to the very edge of shooting light without worrying about your scope breaking down or not being bright enough to see your target.
If you ever have a problem with the scope, Nikon offers a full lifetime warranty on this rifle scope. Simply awesome for a Ruger 10/22.
3 Burris Droptine Riflescope with Ballistic Plex .22 Reticle
Burris is a sleeper company when it comes to optics. Many people who know the optics industry very well recommend Burris highly, but they don’t get the same press and recognition as companies like Leupold or Nikon.
This is one of their most popular rimfire rifle scopes. Built around a 1-inch main tube with low-profile easily adjustable target turrets, an excellent 35mm objective lens, this scope combines everything you need for a rugged and reliable optic on a Ruger 10/22.
By far the best thing about this rifle scope is the BDC reticle. Specifically designed for your rimfire rifle, this reticle helps you calculate the bullet drop from a .22lr rifle like a Ruger 10/22 for long-range shooting or hunting.
Combine that BDC reticle with the excellent target turrets and adjustable magnification and you get a potent, high quality solution for a Ruger 10/22 Optic. Ready for just about anything, this is a favorite online with almost perfect reviews and recommendations.
4 Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC Rimfire Reticle Riflescope
While this rifle scope is on the larger side for a Ruger 10/22, mainly because it was designed for modern sporting rifles rather than rifles chambered for rimfire cartridges, it does a fine job of allowing you to shoot at long distances with the simplicity of a fixed power scope.
The BDC reticle and target turrets are very similar to centerfire rifle scopes. If you have any experience with long-range optics, you’ll instantly recognize these features.
Bushnell puts together an awesome product and this scope is no exception. It features fully multicoated optics, a fast focus eyepiece, intelligently designed features borrowed from larger centerfire rifle scopes.
The thing that sets this rifle scope apart for many others, is the side focus parallax adjustment. Many rimfire rifle scopes don’t include this and if that is important to you, this is going to be your best option without spending a ton of money.
While this is certainly a bulkier and more complicated optic than many Ruger 10/22 shooters will consider don’t be afraid to use it for long-range shooting or hunting.
5 Nikon P- RIMFIRE 2-7x32 Nikoplex Rifle Scope
If you have one of the tactical versions of a Ruger 10/22, consider this awesome Nikon rimfire scope made for modern sporting rifles. It is designed to be the epitome of the target tactical scope, featuring large protruding target turrets, a quick focus eyepiece, and a slim compact body that makes it ideal for a light and fast rifle like a Ruger 10/22.
The fully multicoated optics utilize Nikon’s ego class lenses. These lenses are made without lead or arsenic and are fully multicoated with antireflective compounds. The BDC reticle is proprietary for Nikon riflescopes and designed for rimfire cartridges, and pairs well with the quick zero reset.
This rifle scope is perfect for hunters or shooters who are going to be aiming at known distances and can dial in the precise hand turn turrets. All told, this is one of the most comprehensive rimfire scopes that will fit on a light weight rifle like a Ruger 10/22.
The fast focus eyepiece and critical eye relief means it’s not ideal for a takedown rifle, but for hunting or long-range riflescope, you can’t beat this for a Ruger 10/22.
Best Red Dot for Ruger 10/22 on the Market Reviews
1 Sig Sauer SOR52001 Romeo5
When it comes to some the finest firearm manufacturers, Sig Sauer is at the top of nearly everyone’s list. The prolific pistol manufacturer has turned to making suppressors and optics in recent years, and the results are awesome.
In short, this is a fresh take on the micro red dot sight that incorporates an integrated mount, motion activated power, and possibly the best battery life in the business.
Made entirely in the United States, this is a rugged and dependable IPX-7 waterproof optic that is completely shockproof and fog proof. It is built around an integrated 1913 picatinny rail that is removable, you can put this on nearly any rifle or pistol that accepts picatinny accessories.
The 2 MOA red dot provides 10 illumination settings including two specifically for night vision for visibility in any lighting condition. When the scope is not in use, it turns off. When the built in sensor detects movement the dot turns on. This preserves battery life and allows for a 40,000 hour typical battery life span.
Rugged and reliable, this is one of the best red dots for a Ruger 10/22 because it combines exceptionally high quality features and a small package that will fit inside a Ruger 10/22 takedown pack, and allow you to make quick snapshots with such a lightweight gun.
All this and the Sig Romeo5 is much cheaper than comparable red dot sights from other manufacturers. Simply an awesome red dot optic ready for anything from a target tactical model or a charger pistol.
2 Feyachi Reflex Sight
In the world of shooting, cheap optics abound. Many people don’t see why you should spring for a high dollar name brand red dot when it is going on a plinking or small game hunting rifle. It’s hard to argue with this logic. Why spend as much on an optic as you did on the rifle its going on?
For people who have this idea, but still want a reflex sight for a Ruger 10/22, consider this optic from Feyachi. This is a simple 33 mm reflex sight that is among the cheapest on the market but still is a cult favorite among shooters online.
Part of the reason this reflex optic is so well liked is its small footprint. It’s built around a picatinny rail mount that allows it to be used almost universally on firearms. It is ultralight waterproof and shockproof and is powered by a single 3 V lithium coin cell battery. The unit is parallax corrected and provides unlimited eye relief with point of aim point of impact sync.
Simply put, where the dot is, the round is going to go. Whether mounted far out on a takedown rifle in a scout style mount, or close to your eye for precision shooting, this is an excellent light and fast reflex optic for a Ruger 10/22, not only because of its low overall weight and size, but because it is one of the cheapest budget reflex sights on the market.
3 Holosun HS510C 2 MOA Holographic Red Dot Sight
If you’re looking for a red dot sight that offers the functionality of many red dot but you don’t want to pay the price for some of the name brand optics, look no further than this model from Holosun.
It is a full-sized optic featuring a 30mm objective lens, 2 moa red dot, and 65 moa ring reticle. The optic is built around a quick detach picatinny rail mount, open reflex style projection, and rugged aluminum body with a matte black finish.
For a typical 1.5-inch offset of iron sights, this optic features absolute co-witness. These optics become a favorite online because they are manufactured abroad, from China, and offer almost all of the benefits and ruggedness of name brand sights that cost four times as much.
For a rifle like a Ruger 10/22, where you may want a rugged high-quality military grade optic, but don’t want to pay the price, this is an excellent option. For roughly a quarter the price of a name brand optic, you get nearly all the capability.
Ruger 10/22 Accessories
There are a few key pieces of equipment you’ll want to go with your Ruger 10/22. These accessories will make your rifle easier to use, more accurate, and much more enjoyable to shoot.
#1. Scope Mount
For a long time, Ruger had proprietary scope mounts on the 10/22. With the advent and proliferation of so many models, however, normal weaver and picatinny rail mounts can be used depending on which model you have. Make sure you don’t skimp on a decent scope mount.
Not only will a good mount ensure accuracy and functionality but it also means you don’t have to worry about it coming loose or wobbling while your shooting or carry your rifle.
If you have a bench rest rifle, or want to wring out every drop of accuracy from your gun, consider getting your scope mount professionally bedded and mounted. This will ensure a perfect fit to the action of your Ruger 10/22.
Scope rings are what attach the scope to the mount on your rifle. While many scope mounts these days are all-in-one affairs, combining the mount and rings together, you may find yourself with rings that need to be put onto a proprietary mount.
If this is the case, make sure that you purchase your rings and mount together and preferably from the same material. High-quality rings of the right size will help you get all the accuracy you can out of your gun, and making sure that they are made from the same material as your base will prevent damage being caused by differences in hardness and durability.
#3. Rails & Forends
If you would like to mount a bipod, night vision scope, flashlight or other accessory to your Ruger 10/22 you’ll need a rail. That can mean purchasing an aftermarket stock that includes a rail system for the fore end or attaching sections of picatinny rails to the fore end of your rifle with screws or epoxy.
Be wary of off brand rail segments being sold online. Name brand rail segments from well-known manufacturers like Larue Tactical and GG&G, as well as polymer offerings from Magpul are cheap and readily available. There’s not a big reason to skimp on these.
There are a number of aftermarket magazines, including factory 25 round extended magazines for the Ruger 10/22. If you plan on using magazines make sure their legal in your jurisdiction for both ownership and for hunting, if you plan to hunt with a rifle. The Ruger 10/22 qualifies as semi-automatic firearm and may not be legal with extended magazines in your area.
Whether you have the Ruger 10/22 charger pistol or a full-size rifle, a bipod can be helpful for making longer shots and getting every ounce of accuracy possible out of your rifle. Get a quality bipod from a company like Harris so that you don’t have to deal with poor quality products ruining your shot.
You may be shooting a rimfire, but that doesn’t mean you should get the cheapest option available for everything. Low quality bipod’s can put undue stress on the fore end of your rifle ruining accuracy and are extremely annoying when they stop supporting your rifle while you are shooting.
#6. Aftermarket Triggers
There are number of aftermarket triggers available for the Ruger 10/22. Make sure that it is legal for your area. Also, make sure that if you select a trigger with a reduction in trigger weight you remind every person who will be shooting your rifle before they handle it.
There are a huge amount of aftermarket stocks available for Ruger 10/22’s. Some of them are excellent, the polymer version from Magpul and others are tactical models aimed at making the Ruger 10/22 almost like a rimfire AR 15. These can get expensive fast, and rarely offer an upgrade over a model offered from the factory by Ruger.
If at all possible, buy the model that you want from Ruger rather than buying a stock rifle and trying to change it with an aftermarket set up.
How to Mount a Scope on a Ruger 10/22?
Zeroing a riflescope on a 10/22 is a rather straight forward process but here’s a quick video that shows how to mount a scope on Ruger 10/22:
There’s never been a better time to buy an optic for rimfire rifle. There are more models of the Ruger 10/22 on the market available for you to buy than ever before, combined with the most amount of options for riflescopes. There’s no reason not to have the perfect rifle and optic combination for the job you have in mind.
Whether it’s target shooting, long-range small game hunting, or just plinking around and shooting tin cans, there is a rifle and scope out there for you. Make sure you read the reviews of riflescopes you have in mind for your Ruger 10/22 before you buy it.
Above all else though, get your hands on some cheap .22lr ammo and go out and get shooting! The best scope for Ruger 10/22 in the world isn't going to do you any good in your gun safe.