Rimfire rifles are among the most used firearms and are extremely versatile in their uses. Many new shooters train using them and they are also popular for plinking or squirrel hunting. But it would be a mistake to fail to find a suitable riflescope for your rimfire.

When you are shooting small game or training the magnification needs aren’t particularly high. Because it is most common to make snap shots when squirrel hunting you want to keep it lightweight and low power.

But there are a number of very good quality variable power scopes that are capable of doing the job and they are available at quite reasonable prices. Not only that but it is possible to find a scope that is on sale for an even lower price if you’re prepared to look around.

Listed below is a selection of scopes that are frequently recommended as being among the best available for the rimfire rifle. They happen to be perfect for use when squirrel hunting and, a nice little addition, they all sit under the $100 mark.

This, of course is an arbitrary price but is a nice round number but it gives us a reasonable demarcation that provides us with what we might consider a low-cost scope.

Comparison of the Best .22 Rifle Scopes for Squirrel Hunting

Make / Model




Field of View

Ft @ 100 yds


3 - 9x


40 - 13


3 - 9x


36 - 13


3 - 12x


35 - 10


4 - 12x


29 - 9.7


3 - 9x


31.4 - 10.5


3 - 9x


37.7 - 14


3 - 12


37.5 - 12.4






3 - 9x


41 - 15


Detailed Descriptions of .22 Rimfire Rifle Scopes for Squirrel Hunting

We have provided a brief listing of the rimfire rifle scopes that are considered to provide a great option to use when squirrel hunting. Now we will take a more detailed look at each scope with a short review that identifies the specifications as well as their various features.

BSA Sweet 22 3-9x40 Rifle Scope

Product Specifications

  • Magnification: 3 – 9X
  • Objective Lens Diameter (mm): 40
  • Exit Pupil Range (mm): 13.33 - 4.4
  • Field of View @ 100 yards: 40 – 13 feet
  • Optimum Eye Relief (in): 3
  • Parallax Setting: 7.5 to infinity
  • Click Adjustment Value: 1/4
  • Length (in): 13.5
  • Weight (ounces): 19.40

This is the scope that is one of the most recommended for use on a .22 for shooters who are looking to save a few bucks. You can expect to get a high degree of accuracy when shooting over distances up to 100 yards.

It features standard swapable turrets that can be used with all of the standard .22 caliber loads. It has been specifically designed and calibrated for the .22 caliber so you know that is going to provide the most optimal performance when mounted.

The scope offers a generous objective lens at 40mm and this provides a field of view at 1000 yards ranging from 40 feet down to 13 feet depending on where you have y our magnification dialed in. The click adjustment value of the scope is ¼ MOA meaning each click moves the bullet ¼” at 100 yards.

The lens clarity is bright and clear and the Sweet 22 is waterproof, fog proof and shock proof. It will provide good and consistent service over many thousands of rounds. It does not come with scope rings so in order to get the most out of the scope you should also make sure you pick up a quality set of scope rings that are suitable for rimfire rifles.

There are many products in the BSA Optics range and the company is constantly introducing new models of all types of shooting-related products. Find out more by visiting the BSA Optics website.

BARSKA 3-9X 32 Plinker-22 Riflescope

Product Specifications

  • Magnification: 3 – 9X
  • Objective Lens Diameter (mm): 32
  • Exit Pupil Range (mm): 10.7 - 3.6
  • Field of View @ 100 yards: 36 – 13 feet
  • Optimum Eye Relief (in): 3.5
  • Click Adjustment Value: 1/4 MOA
  • Length (in): 12
  • Weight (ounces): 11.50

Another of the scopes that is specifically designed for general hunting and, as the name suggests, plinking with a rimfire rifle. When you consider the price that it has been released for, it is a very well built and compact scope. The performance when mounted on .22 mag rifles makes it a very good value for money scope.

The optics are fully coated and clear to give you a bright display. They are also fog proof and shock proof to maintain that clear view and the entire scope set up is waterproof so it will remain accurate in all types of conditions.

The reticle is illuminated 30/30 and the elevation and windage turret provides adjustment at a rate of ¼ MOA click values. It is parallax-free at 50 yards.

Along with the scope you also get a set of 3/8 inch dovetail rings and scope caps to protect the scope lens.

The majority of customers who have used the scope for plinking and training have found it provides a high degree of accuracy for such a low cost optic.

Negative comments about the scope center largely around the fact that it can be knocked off its zero too easily. A number of customers have reported that after only 20 or 30 rounds the crosshairs would move randomly by as much as 5 inches over a distance of only 50 feet. By the looks of things this is occurring in a minority of cases but is definitely something to consider if you are thinking about buying the scope.

BARSKA 3-12x50 Huntmaster Pro Riflescope

Product Specifications

  • Magnification: 3 – 12x
  • Objective Lens Diameter (mm): 50
  • Exit Pupil Range (mm): 16.7 - 4.2
  • Field of View @ 100 yards: 35 – 11.6
  • Optimum Eye Relief (in): 2.7
  • Click Adjustment Value: 1/4 MOA
  • Length (in): 13
  • Weight (ounces): 20.10

The second low-cost Barska scope that we are looking at as being suitable for rimfire rifles is the Huntmaster Pro. In this case the magnification ranges from 3 – 12X and the objective lens is 50mm in diameter. It is a performance scope that offers tough and durable construction and accuracy that can be depended on.

This is a good looking scope that has a sleek profile that will sit close to the rifle. The larger objective lens means there is increased light transmission to provide a clear and well defined picture and the 13 inch tube length with one-inch tube diameter ensures it will perform as well as expected.

The features that you expect to get from all recently made scopes such as waterproofing and being both fog and shockproof are built into this scope. An additional feature is an advanced center-lit illuminated reticle that can be adjusted to 11 brightness settings and this is combined with fully multicoated optics for easy target acquisition and high-contrast downrange view.

In short, the scope has been designed to perform strongly as the light begins to diminish and disappear.

It is supplied with a couple of lens caps to provide them with protection when the scope is not in use.

For more information about either of the Barska scopes that have been examined here or any products in the company's extensive range, you should visit the Barska website.

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 4-12x40 Multi-X AO Riflescope

Product Specifications

  • Magnification: 4 – 12x
  • Objective Lens Diameter (mm): 40
  • Exit Pupil Range (mm): 10 - 3.3
  • Field of View @ 100 yards: 29 – 9.7
  • Optimum Eye Relief (in): 3.3
  • Parallax Setting: Adjustable Objective
  • Click Adjustment Value: 1/4
  • Length (in): 12
  • Weight (ounces): 15

This is an extremely versatile scope that could be used on a variety of different caliber rifles including the .22. The scope optics are coated in the company’s proprietary Dusk & Dawn Brightness multi-coated process. This means that the brightness and clarity during the crucial first and last moments of daylight are covered.

The magnification ranges from 4-12x and the 40mm objective lens means plenty of light is captured. In addition the scope features a Multi-X reticle and has 1/4 MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustment. This gives the hunter faster target acquisition for quick aim and shoot capabilities.

It has a 1 inch tube body and it is waterproof as well as shock and fogproof. The adjustable objective parallax built into the scope means that your chances of achieving optimum accuracy over larger distances will be increased.

Bushnell is one of the more popular hunting accessories and optics companies and the range of rifle scopes is quite extensive. This model just sneaks under the $100 mark but it has a lot to offer the hunter and while it is not one of the scope models that has been specifically designed for the rimfire rifle, you can still expect good and consistent results over repeated rounds with it.

If you want to browse through the extensive range of rifle scopes in the Bushnell range you can also visit the Bushnell website.

Simmons 3-9X 32 .22 Mag AO Rimfire Riflescope

Product Specifications

  • Magnification: 3 – 9x
  • Objective Lens Diameter (mm): 32
  • Exit Pupil Range (mm): 10.7 - 3.6
  • Field of View @ 100 yards: 31.4 – 10.5
  • Optimum Eye Relief (in): 3.75
  • Click Adjustment Value: 1/4
  • Length (in): 12
  • Weight (ounces): 10

The Simmons Rimfire rifle scope has been made with one-piece construction to give it plenty of strength and durability. It provides an outstanding choice as a plinker that provides good accuracy and reliability and represents great value for money.

The scope comes with a number of features that should be noted such as the Quick Target Acquisition (QTA) eyepiece and this includes a high eye relief. Adjustment is also made easier by the SureGrip rubber surface that gives the fingers purchase so that adjustments can be made just as effective when wearing gloves as without.

The scope magnification ranges from 3-9X and the objective lens is 32mm. This translates to a Field of View that ranges from 31.4 feet to 10.5 feet and eye relief of 3.75 inches. The fully coated optical lenses provide good brightness and sharp images.

The scope, as with all of the Simmons .22 MAG rifle scopes, features the company’s Truplex Reticle. It is stated on the Simmons website that it is shockproof, fogproof and shockproof.

You can buy this scope with a choice of either a matte black or silver finish.

The full range of Simmons products can be browsed further by visiting the Simmons website.

UTG BugBuster 3-9x32 AO Rifle Scope

Product Specifications

  • Magnification: 3 – 9x
  • Objective Lens Diameter (mm): 32
  • Exit Pupil Range (mm): 10.6 - 3.6
  • Field of View @ 100 yards: 37.7 – 14
  • Optimum Eye Relief (in): 4.2 - 3.2
  • Click Adjustment Value: 1/4
  • Length (in): 8.1
  • Weight (ounces): 13.9

The UTG Bug Buster rifle scope is a compact scope that will suit shorter carbines or limited mounting areas. It is a 3-9X magnification power optic and the objective lens measures 32mm in diameter which should be sufficient for most rimfire shooters. It features as a scope with one of the widest fields of view out of all of the scopes that have been compared.

The body of the scope is made from aluminum and the overall weight gives it a solid feel that ensures it won’t feel flimsy and prone to breaking. It has been claimed by the company that it is both waterproof and shock proof and it has been sealed and nitrogen filled to prevent fogging.

It is a simple process of zeroing the scope by using the turret with the fingertips to make the adjustment. The adjustment is very easy with the turret rotating readily without having to apply too much pressure.

The crosshair reticle is nice and bright and can be illuminated to increase its visibility. It has been reported that the display remains crystal clear and sharp when using magnification from 3 to 7 but when it was increased to 8 or 9 there was an increase in blur and the clarity was lost.

For people on a budget the Bugbuster is a very nice option and can be relied on to provide consistent and solid performance over many rounds.

The scope is released by Leapers which is responsible for a wide range of shooting accessories. Find out more about this or other scopes in the range by visiting the Leapers website.

Monstrum Tactical 3-12x42 AO Tactical Scope

Product Specifications

  • Magnification: 3 – 12x
  • Objective Lens Diameter (mm): 42
  • Exit Pupil Range (mm): 13.3
  • Field of View @ 100 yards: 37.5 – 12.4
  • Optimum Eye Relief (in): 3 - 3.5
  • Click Adjustment Value: 1/4 MOA
  • Length (in): 11.5
  • Weight (ounces): 22.4

This is a scope that has been designed for all types of shooting from hunting, target and tactical situations. It has been built with a number of features that belies the low price tag and ensures that you can get a good .22 scope without having to pay a fortune. It has been constructed from aircraft grade 6061 aluminum which gives it a combination of tough performance and a light weight.

The scope has a magnification range from 3 to 12 times giving it targeting capabilities out to 500 yards. The reticle brightness is adjustable and can be set to 5 levels with the option of red or green for good visibility in either day or night time conditions.

The objective lens is adjustable (AO) to bring the display into sharp focus and will eliminate parallax and allow for range estimation. Further adjustability is possible with windage and elevation adjustment dials providing ¼ MOA click adjustment levels with locking turrets.

Also released with the scope by the company are Monstrum Tactical High Profile 1 Inch Scope Rings that will mount to any Picatinny or Weaver rail equipped rifle.

Where this scope loses supporters and picks up negative reviews is due to the fact that the reticle has a tendency to move and rotate within the housing after as few as 10 rounds. A similar issue has been reported that the scope will not hold zero for a proportion of people who have bought it.

It should be pointed out that the negative comments have been in the minority with the vast majority extremely happy with the performance of the scope.

For more information about this scope or other products by the company you can visit the Monstrum Tactical website.

Truglo Compact 4x32 Rimfire Rifle Scope

Product Specifications

  • Magnification: 4x
  • Objective Lens Diameter (mm): 32
  • Exit Pupil Range (mm): n.a.
  • Field of View @ 100 yards: 24
  • Optimum Eye Relief (in): 4
  • Click Adjustment Value: 1/4 MOA
  • Length (in): 10.5
  • Weight (ounces): 11.4

TruGlo uses its Tru-Brite technology to increase the visibility of the reticle by illuminating it so that it will be visible in all types of light. The illuminated red/green Mil-Dot reticle is used and this is designed for use when hunting turkey and deer.

This is a well-made scope that has been constructed from aircraft grade aluminum. It has a durable and scratch resistant exterior that consists of a non-reflective matte finish.

The lenses are fully coated to provide the highest level of clarity possible. The magnification is 4 times power and the objective lens is 32 mm in diameter to allow plenty of light to enter. As with most models of scopes these days it is waterproof and is nitrogen gas-filled to make it fogproof.

The scope will work best on a .22LR due to its size. When used on more powerful firearms there is a tendency for the reticle to be shaken loose. It is a solid scope that rimfire shooters will appreciate. It comes with a set of 3/8” scope rings that will mount on a rifle’s dovetail grooves.

Find out more about all of the products produced by the company by visiting the TruGlo website.

Tasco World Class 3-9x40 Riflescope

Product Specifications

  • Magnification: 3 – 9x
  • Objective Lens Diameter (mm): 40
  • Exit Pupil Range (mm): 13.3 - 4.4
  • Field of View @ 100 yards: 41 – 15
  • Optimum Eye Relief (in): 3.5
  • Click Adjustment Value: 1/4 MOA
  • Length (in): 12.75
  • Weight (ounces): 13

The Tasco World Class scope is a good budget scope that will suit the needs of many rimfire rifle hunters. It is built with the company’s Advanced Monotube Construction and has been found to be a rugged and dependable model.

The scope has a magnification power ranging from 3x to 9x and with a 40mm objective lens diameter, it gathers plenty of illumination. The lenses are fully coated to ensure the image displays sharply and clearly.

When using the 3x magnification the Field of View at 100 yards is an impressive 41 feet and this narrows down to 15 feet when zoomed out to 9x power.

As with other similar types of scopes the World Class scope is 100% waterproof as well as being shock and fogproof. When looking for bang for your buck performance this is a hard scope to go past. The Mil Dot reticle provides multiple aiming points and the vast majority of people who have used the scope have found no trouble zeroing the scope and having it retain zero.

Find out more about the company and the range of products it produces as well as more about the World Class scopes by visiting the Tasco website.

There is still a school of thought that it is not necessary to use a scope on a rimfire rifle. But the thing is that if you want to get the most out of your shooting a rifle scope that has been designed for use with the rimfire is going to improve your shooting to some degree.

Scope Magnification for Squirrel Hunting

You will find that the majority of shots you take when hunting squirrel will be over distances under 60 yards. This means you don’t need a scope with a crazy level of power.

In fact, the most popularly recommended power ranges are either 4-12x or 3-9x. Those who recommend scopes with these ranges admit that they generally set the scope at around the 6x level and rarely have a need to adjust it.

The reason for this level of power comes down to the clarity of the sight screen at this range. It also gives you a nice field of view and makes it possible to take quick shots, something that is important when hunting squirrel.

Bottom Line

It is true that you can get a great deal of value out of a low cost scope with many manufacturers producing tough and durable scopes that offer a great deal of accuracy for greatly reduced prices. But it is still just as important to mount the scope to your rifle using quality scope mounts. No matter how good the rifle scope might be, accuracy and ability to hold zero will come down to the quality of your scope mounts.


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