The Ruger 10/22 is widely considered one of the most popular and successful designed rimfire rifles in history. Ruger has continuously been designing and producing semi-automatic firearms since 1964 thanks to their inspiration of the M1 Carbine - the standard US military firearm from World War II and the Vietnam War.
Although this rifle won’t be being used to win any battles, many shooters opt for it during small game hunting expeditions as well as close-range shooting. The great versatility that this rifle offers is unmatched and you can almost use it for any shooting style.
Ruger is such a popular brand that they have released 11 different models of rifle to suit every one of their supporters.
Other than the fact that it’s been made by a trusted and popular brand, the Ruger 10/22 is also highly regarded for its easy handling and customization, affordable ammunition and barely-there recoil. It also weighs only five pounds so is considered a lightweight rifle.
This rifle wasn’t created to be a youth rifle, however the characteristics above are similar to one and therefore is perfect for newcomers and teaching people how to shoot. Even if they have no interest in getting into the sport of hunting, you can still teach them how to knock a few cans off the wall, right?
But how far away can you place the targets?
How Far Does It Shoot?
From the get go you can achieve accurate shots up to 50 yards with the Ruger 10/22 at less than one MOA. If you're expecting more, remember that this rifle is not made for long range shooting.
Like we said, this rifle is able to hit small targets from a reasonable distance without causing too much trauma. For most people it gives them a sense of nostalgia as they remember knocking cans off of walls when they were younger.
But that was years ago, so what can you expect from your new adventure with the Ruger 10/22 in hand?
How far will the bullet go?
Without any other gear the Ruger 10/22, with a barrel length or 18.5 inches, will be able to reach distances of around 50 yards and lower for close range, between 50 and 100 yards for medium range, and 100 yards and above for long range.
These are all estimations with a new rifle in mind. The ammunition and aftermarket parts will cause this to differ considerably, so take this with a pinch of salt. Another thing to remember is that a longer barrel gives a longer shot, so if that’s what you’re looking for consider a longer barrelled gun.
What Magnification Does It Require?
The Ruger 10/22 rifle is designed to shoot small targets, meaning you’re going to want all the magnification power you can get to ensure precise and accurate shots every time. You’re going to have a hard time shooting something that you can’t see, aren't you?
Generally speaking, longer shots require higher magnification to remain accurate, however it is still beneficial for any range of shooting. Let’s have a look at the different ranges and what they’ll benefit most from in regards to the Ruger 10/22.
Long range shooting is considered 100 yards and over, and is considered the most difficult level of shooting. Being able to hit small targets from this distance takes skill and practice, as well as a good scope that is going to give you clear images and high magnification powers. The best scope for this range will have a magnification of around 6x to 9x.
50 to 100 yards is considered medium range shooting and is used for small targets that are considered skittish so you don’t want to get too close to scare them away. 4x to 6x magnification range will work well for this.
Close range shooting is where your target is up to 50 yards away from you. This is best used for knocking cans off a wall and will only require 1x to 4x magnification power to get an accurate shot.
Just because you can get a scope with a higher magnification power, doesn’t mean you have to. The best scopes will be the one that matches up to your shooting style, so if you’re more of a medium range shooter, you don’t need to get a long range scope.
If you’re not too sure about your shooting style and are unsure about which magnification range to go for, consider choosing one with a wider range like 1x to 9x.
Four Top Ruger 10/22 Scopes
Now we’ve gone through what to look for in a scope for the Ruger 10/22, we’ve found the top four scopes that are most likely going to step up your game and impact the accuracy of your shot for the better.
Instead of scrolling through endless pages of potential suitors, enjoy our short list of the best of the best. We’ve done all the hard work so all you need to do is choose one and get practicing!
Some scopes may boast a BDC reticle, but what does this mean? A BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) reticle simply takes the work of adjusting the elevation for long range shots away from you, so you don’t have extra work to carry out. These are often incredibly accurate, but just because a scope doesn’t have one, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily worse than one with a BDC reticle.
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Best Scopes for Ruger 10/22 - Comparison Table
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Best Scopes for Ruger 10/22 - Reviews
Simmons not only created this scope, they also designed a number of the technologies that are featured within this model. This includes the HydroShield lens coating which prevents both reflections and glare from lowering the quality of your images. Moreover, their TrueZero locks in the firearm's true zero to prevent the elevation and windage from becoming inaccurate or knocked out of place.
The SureGrip rubber surfaces allow you to keep your scope usable in any condition. This means that even in torrential rain, your hands won’t be slipping all over your scope. That being said, you’ll need a screwdriver to make adjustments to your scope which can take up much more time than higher priced scopes. At each adjustment there is a click to tell you which measurement you’re at, however these could be more distinct than they are.
Having said this, this is still an excellent scope from Simmons that boasts a respectable amount of features.
Simmons Quick Target Acquisition
Simmons Quick target Acquisition technology prevents the user from suffering the effects of heavy recoil. The eyepiece has a large view which gives a larger amount of in-focus vision, saving you the time of repositioning the eyepiece when shooting at irregular angles. This keeps you from missing your shot thanks to unhelpful equipment.
Simmons has clearly spent a lot of time and effort creating this scope for people looking for an affordable model. There are a few drawbacks, but what scope doesn’t? You’ll be getting a decent scope with a variety of features for a great low price.
Vortex has a long list of excellent rifle scopes which are designed with attention to detail and high quality materials, which is why their Crossfire II Rimfire scope has found its way onto our list. The 2x to 7x magnification power is optimal for mid range shooting, meaning you’ll be able to get accurate shots from around 50 to 100 yards away.
The V-Plex reticle that is included within this scope is versatile and will suit a number of shooting styles, so the chances are that this scope will be an excellent aid in all your shooting endeavors. Thanks to the 32mm objective lens, you’ll be able to achieve a field of view of about 100 yards, and you won’t need much more for mid range shooting.
The 3.9 inches of eye relief are welcomed by shooters who wear glasses or are concerned about high recoil, although the Ruger 10/22 has minimal of this. It still ensures maximum comfort while taking all your shots, and it’s better to be cautious than sorry, right?
When using the higher magnification powers, your images can get slightly washed out and lose a little clarity. This means that if you’re looking for a scope to shoot long distances with consistently, you’re better off choosing a scope with a larger maximum magnification level than 7x, and one with a larger objective lens.
Amazing Build Quality
One thing that the Crossfire II Rimfire scope cannot be faulted on is its wonderful build quality. It is made from a singular piece of aircraft grade aluminium which has also been anodized. In addition to this, it is sealed with O rings and has been nitrogen purged to ensure it is completely weatherproof and durable, even in the toughest of environments.
Unless you’re an avid long range shooter, this scope carries hardly any drawbacks. It is made from sturdy and durable materials, it’s completely weatherproof, has amazing optics and a surprisingly effective reticle. For a scope designed for mid range shooting, you can’t ask for any more.
Nikon has done it again with their ProStaff Rimfire scope - not only does it have magnification powers of 3x to 9x and a 40mm objective lens, it also uses a BDC reticle that shoots out to 150 yards, giving you precise shots every time. What’s more is that the eye relief is a reasonable 3.6 inches so that you’ll never have to worry about recoil and black eyes.
The zero-reset turrets are quick to jump into action when you’re too busy chasing small prey to do it yourself. Instead of having to concentrate on twisting the knobs while running, all you’ll need to do is zero in and reap the rewards of a locked in target.
So you may be thinking that this sounds like a reasonable scope that does what you expect of a budget scope, right? Well, there is one more feature that takes it from good to superior.
98% Light Transmission
Woah, it’s bright in here! It’s just like being inside the Nikon ProStaff Rimfire with its amazing 98% light transmission. While most scopes offer up to 90%, this scope gives you brighter and clearer images every time and allows you to hunt for longer, even when you’re losing light.
The higher the light transmission, the higher the contrast will be in the images. This means that you’ll be able to see every single movement through this scope, which is perfect for small game animals which tend to be trickier to spot and capture.
What do you say about a budget scope that has everything? There are no solid deal breakers that come with the Nikon ProStaff Rimfire, and what more do you expect from a market leading company such as Nikon?
Having said this, you cannot adjust the parallax settings closer than 25 yards, meaning you may experience slight blurring if you’re looking to shoot close range. Other than this, there’s no reason why this scope wouldn’t greatly benefit your hunt.
Don’t be fooled - this scope from Leupold isn’t your typical piece of shooting gear. Why, you ask? To begin with, the lenses are made from some of the most durable materials on the market. No matter how much this scope goes through, you’ll find no scratches on those bad boys. In fact, they’re actually up to military standard so you know you’ll be getting some real tough glass which isn’t often found on the market.
This is a testament to the durability of the scope as a whole, thanks to the aircraft grade aluminium and specialized sealing that keeps it completely weatherproof. This scope is extremely durable and will be great for harsh environments.
With magnification powers ranging from 3x to 9x and a 40mm objective lens, the field of vision is excellent. Moreover, this scope has a pre-adjusted parallax for up to 60 yards which will suit most cartridge types. This makes up for the fact that there is no parallax turret as you should be able to use it without one.
There are turrets to adjust the elevation and windage which have great accuracy, however there are loud clicks each time you adjust them which may compromise your hiding position.
Twilight Light Management System
An interesting feature of the Leupold VX-Freedom Riflescope is its light management system. This is the way the lenses are arranged within the scope and help give you a brighter and crisper image. This is also helped by the multi coated lenses. Moreover, you’ll also get an extra ten minutes or so of extra shooting time in low lighting conditions.
Essentially this allows you extra time to continue your shooting session as the sun comes up or goes down. This doesn’t seem the most helpful feature to all hunters, but it’s always handy to have it just in case.
There’s no denying that this scope is a great model on the market, thanks to its excellent durability and unbeatable lenses. What other scope’s lenses are made of military grade materials while still allowing amazing light transmission? Moreover, the magnification settings are perfect for the Ruger 10/22 rifle.
Best Scopes for Ruger 10/22 - Buyers Guide
There is no denying that the Ruger 10/22 rifle is an excellent firearm with great shooting capabilities. However, if you’re hoping to impress your peers at the range or get one up on those pesky small game animals, you’re going to need a reliable scope to really amp it up a notch.
The general rule is the more you spend on anything, the higher the quality of the product. Having said this, there are so many high quality scopes on the market at low prices that it’s hard to resist. While you can find more expensive options, it’s unlikely that they’ll make a large impact opposed to a cheaper alternative.
There’s nothing that will improve your shooting and aim more than a perfect scope, so find the best suited one to you and reap all the rewards on offer!