What Kind of Optics for .22LR?

What Kind of Optics for .22LR?

When it comes to shooting .22LR, optics can make all the difference. Whether you’re shooting for fun or competition, having the right optics can help you improve your accuracy and hit your targets with ease.

But with so many different types of optics available, how do you know which one is right for you?

Understanding Optics for .22LR

When it comes to choosing the right optics for your .22LR rifle, there are a few important factors to consider. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at three key aspects of optics for .22LR: magnification, objective lens size, and reticles.


Magnification refers to how much larger an image appears through the scope compared to the naked eye. For .22LR rifles, a magnification range of 3-9x is usually sufficient for most shooting applications. However, if you plan to shoot at longer distances, you may want to consider a higher magnification range.

Objective Lens Size

The objective lens is the lens at the front of the scope that gathers light and transmits it to the eyepiece. The size of the objective lens is an important factor to consider when choosing optics for your .22LR rifle. A larger objective lens will allow more light to enter the scope, resulting in a brighter image. However, a larger objective lens also means a heavier and bulkier scope. For .22LR rifles, a 40mm objective lens is usually sufficient.


Reticles, also known as crosshairs, are the markings inside the scope that help you aim at your target. There are several different types of reticles available, including duplex, mil-dot, and BDC (bullet drop compensating) reticles. The type of reticle you choose will depend on your shooting needs and preferences.

Factors to Consider


The first factor to consider is the purpose of your rifle. Will you be using it for hunting, plinking, or competitive shooting? The purpose of your rifle will determine the type of optics you need. For example, if you plan to use your rifle for hunting, you may want a scope with a higher magnification to help you spot your prey from a distance. On the other hand, if you plan to use your rifle for plinking, a red dot sight may be a better option.


Your budget is another important factor to consider when selecting optics for your .22LR. Optics can range in price from less than $50 to several thousand dollars. While it’s true that you get what you pay for, there are many affordable options that provide excellent performance. Determine your budget before you start shopping for optics, and stick to it.

Shooting Distance

The shooting distance is another important factor to consider when selecting optics for your .22LR. If you plan to shoot at short distances, a red dot sight or low-magnification scope may be all you need. However, if you plan to shoot at longer distances, you’ll need a scope with higher magnification.

Types of Optics for .22LR

If you are new to the optics industry, I recommend you to read this great resource from Optics Junkies for everything you need to know about choosing a rifle scope. For .22LR, depending on your shooting needs and preferences, you can choose from the following types of optics:


Riflescopes are the most popular type of optics for .22LR rifles. They offer magnification and precision, allowing you to shoot accurately at longer distances. When choosing a riflescope for your .22LR, look for one with a low magnification range, such as 3-9x. This will give you enough magnification for precision shooting without making it difficult to acquire targets at closer ranges.

Red Dot Sights

Red dot sights are a popular choice for fast-paced shooting, such as plinking or shooting at moving targets. They offer a wide field of view and are easy to acquire targets with. When choosing a red dot sight for your .22LR, look for one with a small dot size and a durable construction.

Iron Sights

Iron sights are the most basic type of optics and are often included on .22LR rifles. They offer no magnification but are reliable and easy to use. Iron sights are a good choice for beginners or those who prefer a more traditional shooting experience.

Holographic Sights

Holographic sights are similar to red dot sights but offer more advanced features, such as reticle customization and night vision compatibility. They are a good choice for those who want a versatile optic that can be used in different shooting scenarios.

Choosing the Right Optic

Compatibility with .22LR

The first thing you need to consider is whether the optic is compatible with your .22LR rifle. Some optics are designed specifically for .22LR rifles, while others are more versatile and can be used with a variety of firearms. Make sure you choose an optic that is compatible with your rifle to ensure the best possible accuracy and performance.

Ease of Use

Another important factor to consider is ease of use. You want an optic that is easy to mount and adjust, and that provides clear and accurate sight picture. Look for an optic with easy-to-use controls and intuitive adjustments that allow you to quickly and easily make adjustments on the fly.


Durability is also a key consideration when choosing an optic for your .22LR rifle. Look for an optic that is built to withstand the rigors of regular use, including recoil and harsh weather conditions. Optics with durable construction and high-quality materials will last longer and provide better performance over time.


Finally, make sure you choose an optic with a strong warranty. A good warranty will give you peace of mind and protect your investment in case of any defects or issues with the optic. Look for a warranty that covers the optic for at least a few years, and that provides good customer support and service.

By considering these factors when choosing the right optic for your .22LR rifle, you can ensure that you get the best possible performance and accuracy from your firearm.


In conclusion, selecting the right optics for your .22LR rifle is crucial to ensure accuracy and precision. When choosing optics, consider factors such as the intended use, budget, and personal preferences.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, a simple 4x magnification scope can do the trick for general target shooting or plinking. However, if you plan on using your rifle for hunting or more advanced target shooting, investing in a higher-quality scope with variable magnification and adjustable turrets is recommended.

When it comes to reticle types, the classic duplex reticle is a popular choice for .22LR rifles due to its simplicity and versatility. However, if you prefer a more specialized reticle, consider options such as the BDC or Mil-Dot reticle for long-range shooting.

Finally, don’t forget to consider the durability and reliability of the optics you choose. Look for scopes with shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof features to ensure they can withstand the elements and rough handling.

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