The rimfire rifle is a marksman’s favorite weapon to take around for hunting, and that’s because of several practical reasons. Unlike the ARs, which have a strong recoiling force, the 22LR rifles impart little to no recoiling power. This makes handling them easier for shooters of all ages.
No recoiling does not mean you won’t be able to enjoy a wide variety of shooting games. It can offer an acceptable shooting range so that you can display your shooting skills in a versatile range of games. Plus, both the rifle and ammunition can cost much less than other firearms up for grabs. Hence, simplicity, versatility, and affordability combined make it a popular weapon among shooters.
Nonetheless, to take full advantage of your rimfire rifle, you must mount a reliable scope on it. Before deciding which product to buy, one should check the key factors that make the riflescope worth investing in.
In this article, we have pointed out those factors and hand-picked the manufacturers fulfilling the ideal criteria.
7 Best Rimfire Scopes Under $100
1. UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Rimfire Scope
UTG has a long history of offering firearms optics and accessories at a reasonable cost. Lately, the brand has started focusing on adding innovative features to its products. The UTG BugBuster is an example of one of such advanced equipment. This scope has a length of around 8.5 inches, while the tube has a diameter of 1 inch. It weighs 13.9 ounces only, so you can carry it easily and equip it on a rimfire platform.
As UTG 3-9×32 has a magnification power of 3x-9x, you can display sharpshooting skills for close or medium range contests. Surprisingly, this low-end scope also offers a parallax adjustment option. Such advanced features play an essential role in preventing optical illusion generally encountered at high magnification power.
Moreover, the nine mil-dot reticle allows you to fire precise shots. On the scope, you will find three dials dedicated to elevation and windage customization and illumination adjustment. By using the elevation and windage turrets, you can adjust the scope to a desirable position. In contrast, the illumination knob lets you modify the brightness of the reticle as per surrounding light.
Additionally, UTG never forgets about securing the longevity of its optics. Encased in a high-grade aluminum body and a tube filled with nitrogen, this scope is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. Plus, the emerald-coated lens works perfectly to provide for bright and clear images.
- Sturdy Construction
- Mil-Dot Reticle
- Lockable Turrets to Avoid Unintended Changes
- Mounting Rings Available
- Limited Eye Relief
2. Simmons 3-9x32mm Black Riflescope
Those who love exploring and hunting out in the woods might have come across any Simmons products. Simmons always strives to introduce upgraded yet affordable products in the market, and they are one of the customers’ favorite brands. This riflescope with an anodized coating and matte finishing gives a sleek look to your weapon. In comparison, the aluminum-made mounting rings save you from the hassle of searching for a compatible mounting system.
On the zoom ring, you will find 3 to 9 screen-printed numbers that indicate the magnification powers. Since the ring is grooved, you can precisely switch and stick to the desired magnification level. Als is an integrated fast-focused ring that allows swift focus adjustment for the shooter’s eye, reticle, and target.
The high-quality lens with a special coating provides for excellent light transmission and sharp image quality. Even in humid conditions, the optics have HydroShield coating that combats fog or water from blurring your view for clear sighting. The availability of triplex reticle and parallax adjustment features denotes that your vision will be crystal clear even at 9x magnification power.
To make your shooting experience worthwhile, the scope equips SureGrip rubber surfaces that function smoothly under all environmental conditions. As the main tube is a single piece, you can rightly estimate its lightweight and durability. Along with it, you will also receive lens caps and threaded aluminum caps with the scope to protect the lens and turrets from accidental damages while on the move.
- High-Quality Optics
- Waterproof and Shockproof
- One-Piece Built
- Quick Target Acquisition (QTA) Eyepiece
- Supplies Mounting Rings With Allan-Head Machine Screws
- Inaccurate Adjustment Clicks
3. CVLIFE 2.5-10x40e Red & Green Illuminated Scope
Before discussing its key features, we would like to mention that it’s one of the few scopes that install a laser light. By beaming the 5mW light in the aiming direction, you can have better target acquisition for a range of 100 yards.
Unlike the previously mentioned scopes, this one has a higher magnification range of 2.5-10x. Hence by using it, you can cover more expansive areas and target both small and large animals. The 40mm objective lens and multi-coated glass assure that you will have a clear vision in varying brightness levels. In contrast, the outermost glass has a scratch-resistant coating to protect it from scratches or dirt.
Furthermore, you can switch between non-illuminated, red, or green MIL-DOT reticles as per the requirement. The green reticle suits best under high brightness, and the red offers clear vision at night. Each illumination mode has five brightness levels so that you can make perfect vision adjustments. For enhanced image quality, there is a dioptric adjustment option that sharpens the blurred views commonly experienced at high magnification.
The installed turrets are responsive and well-calibrated. So, you can make correct changes with ease. You can install the scope on the rifle right after receiving it as the manufacturers supply a 20mm mount for the weaver and dovetail bases. The package also contains a battery, cleaning cloth, and lens cover, which leaves behind nothing you would need to start sharpshooting away.
- Low Cost
- Five MW Laser Light
- Illuminated Reticle With Green and Red Modes
- Bullet Drop Compensator
- MIL-DOT Reticle
- Not the Sturdiest
4. Bushnell Banner 3-9X 40mm Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
For many of us, low cost is taken as the poor-quality indicator. However, Bushnell has proven the concept wrong by offering all essential features at highly minimal prices. The Multi-X riflescope has a high magnification power of 3-9x, by utilizing which you can shoot targets at a distance of 400 to 600 yards.
Although this scope does not come with an illuminated reticle, the multi-coated optics secures a clear vision from dawn till dusk. If you are a hunting enthusiast, you must be aware that animals are comparatively more active during sunsets and sunrise. Considering this, the Bushnell Banner has a unique DDB technology that works perfectly for delivering sharp yet bright image quality during these hours of the day.
To make shooting enjoyable yet straightforward for beginners, this scope has a Second Focal Plane (SFP) which denotes that the reticle size will remain the same throughout all magnification settings. Unlike FFP, where the change in reticle size makes the adjustments perplexing. Also, the 40’-14’ field of view is sufficient for stationary or moving target acquisition.
On top of this all, low investment is of no benefit if the scope cannot last long. This is not the Bussell Barrier case, as it features barrier technology that obstructs water, fog, and shocks from damaging the tube or optics. There is also an ultra-slick coating potent enough to fight against oil, debris, dirt, or water for years. And if, in any case, your scope gets damaged, you can simply call on the manufacturers as they offer a lifetime warranty.
- Top Par Optics
- Simplistic Functioning
- 6 Inches Eye Relief
- Lifetime Warranty
- Unsuitable for Shooting in Complete Darkness
5. Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE 3-9X40mm Scope
Have you ever heard of the quality of Nikon optics? As the brand has mastered, you must have created the most productive yet the most inexpensive scopes. Situated in the Philippines, Nikon products are highly competitive in the optics industry. Thus, one can rely on their scopes for turning their shooting games into a definite victory.
Like other rimfire scopes, the Prostaff Rimfire II has a magnification power of 3-9x, which is sufficient enough to view distant targets without minimizing the field of view to an unsuitable level. This offers a 33.8’ field of view when you are sighting at 3x magnification. And a 4.4’ field of view for 9x magnification at 100 yards. While image crispiness and clarity are maintained throughout the magnification levels and you easily switch by spinning the power selector dial.
As for optics, the Rimfire Prostaff II installs multi-coated glass that works perfectly from morning till evening. However, as the reticle cannot illuminate, you cannot expect it to work for night hunts. Besides, the BDC reticle availability is impressive as the high-end brands like Trijicon or Zeiss also prefer to feature this reticle. The Ballistic Drop Compensator (BDC) reticle is highly liked because it grants the shooter a prior estimation of bullet drop at varying distances.
Moreover, the scope has rugged construction with nitrogen-purged tube and O-sealed optics that never leaves a chance for water, fog, or dirt to invade. Plus, the casing is shock-resistant, so it can efficiently fend off against beatings. And in case of malfunctioning, you have the backup of Nikon’s limited lifetime warranty and replacement policies.
- BDC Reticle
- Excellent Image Quality
- Compact & Lightweight
- 40mm Objective Lens Allows High Light Transmission
- Zero-Reset Windage and Elevation Turrets
- It Doesn’t Offer Mounting Rings
6. TASCO 3-9x32mm Rimfire Series Reticle Riflescope
Although this scope will not blow your mind with a robust set of features, it contains a combination of decent features that can suffice for casual hunters. As the lenses are magenta-coated, you will not face the problem of glaring or reflection while sighting.
The glass quality is satisfactory, and you can view clear images through it under high brightness. Nonetheless, as the brightness diminishes, the scope loses its image quality, making it unfit for dim light conditions.
The scope has monotube construction that makes it rigid, compact (14 inches length), and lightweight (11.4 ounces). Also, the scope has mounting rings attached to it that you can install firmly on .22LR bases. Simultaneously, the matte finish gives it a rich look so that mounting it will not dull the appearance of your weapon.
The Tasco Rimfire Series has a magnification range of 3-9x that makes it competitive for short or long-range hunting or plinking. It also has the critical parallax adjustment option that allows the user to remove optical illusion issues while locating distant targets. In comparison, the reticle is deliberately kept simple to assist the beginners in understanding the working of riflescopes.
- Quality Optics
- Decent Look
- Parallax Adjustment
- Non-Illuminated Rticle
7. Sightmark Core 4×32 Rimfire Riflescope
If you want a complete beginners-oriented scope, the Sightmark fixed scope with no extra knobs or dials is the apt product to buy. However, this simplicity does not make it any lesser than the other scopes mentioned in this guide. Made of aircraft-grade aluminum, this scope has topmost durability. Plus, the single-piece construction further boosts the sturdiness without making it bulky.
The tube has an anodized coating that protects it from external damages. And you can take it anywhere as it smoothly resists water, fog, shock, or scratches. Since the optics installed are multi-coated, the light transmission is maximized, and you can enjoy clear and bright image quality. Moreover, even the scorching sun cannot obstruct your vision as the coatings efficiently fight against glare.
The Sightmark Core equips a 22LR BDC reticle that renders easy as well as intelligent functioning options. By estimating your bullet drop over different distances, you can have better target acquisition. For windage and elevation customization, there are two capped turrets integrated into the scope. They are easy to dial and can function smoothly in different weather conditions.
Considering the scope has a fixed magnification power of 4x, you can play remote shooting or hunting games right away without needing to practice the working of any extra turrets. But unavailability of an illuminated reticle makes it unfit for shooting in complete darkness.
- Easy to Use
- Fixed 4x Magnification
- Aircraft-Grade-Aluminum Construction
- Multi-Coated Lens
- Limited Area for Customization
Things to Consider Before Buying a Rimfire Scope Under $100
1. Optics Quality
Even if you are trying to cut corners, some manufacturers will never compromise on the quality of the lens. The reason is apparent – a scope’s performance depends entirely on the grade of lenses equipped. One way of determining the lens quality is visiting the shop and looking through different scopes available at similar price ranges. The clearer their image quality is, the more accurate they will offer.
But if you are buying the scopes from online suppliers, look for the one with special coatings that reduces glare and offers high light transmission. Besides, some protective coatings are also done to prevent the lenses from obscuring your view.
The making of scope defines clearly how long it is going to last. Suppose you think that low-cost means compromising on the construction. You are getting the wrong end of the stick. As there are several brands featuring scopes with durable built, you can easily find a befitting match for yourself.
Also, as rimfire rifles are comparatively lighter in weight than other weapons, mounting a bulky scope may result in an inaccurate aim. Therefore, look for a riflescope that is compact, lightweight, and durable. The one-piece tubes are rugged and do not weigh much. A scratch-resistant coating with well-calibrated rings or turrets is also a plus point.
Lately, manufacturers have adopted sealing the riflescope tube by removing air and filling it with a noble gas like nitrogen. This prevents air, fog, or water from entering the tube, resulting in blurring the vision and deteriorating the scope. Hence, it is evident that such scopes are best to work through wear and tear.
Besides, you may not find every brand offering a lifetime warranty, but there are some daring to back their low-end products as well. Finding them assures that your money is not at all going to waste.
3. Magnification Power & Field of View
Hunters generally own rimfire rifles. Sometimes you can manage to target animals at close distances by the naked eye. But for more expansive areas, zooming and locating the faraway preys is crucial. This is where the high magnification power will work out. Most of the rimfire scopes have a magnification of 3x to 9x which means you can enjoy medium-range shooting games efficiently.
In contrast, there is another factor that works alongside zooming, i.e., the field of view. This tells how much surrounding area you will be able to see through the sight at 100 yards. The larger the size is, the easier it will be for you to target moving animals.
Remember that the field of view decreases with increasing magnification levels. Therefore, if you play hunting games enthusiastically, preferring a scope with standard magnification power, a wide field of view is essential.
4. Fixed vs Variable Power Scopes
When buying the rimfire riflescopes, you will have to choose between the fixed or adjustable scopes. Depending upon each individual’s requirement, the choice of scope varies. If you are a newbie and want to practice shooting or hunting games, the fixed scope is desirable for you.
Since such scopes have a fixed magnification power, you won’t need to make any adjustments. Besides, this simplicity makes them super-rugged and lighter as there are no extra customization knobs installed.
On the other hand, the variable scopes open doors to versatility. By altering the magnification levels, you can target nearby or faraway animals. This is also a plus point for target shooting, as varying the distance per requirement allows better target acquisition.
All in all, if you want a no-frills scope, go with the one with fixed magnification power. For those looking for something with bells and whistles, the variable one will be the apt choice.
5. Parallax Adjustment
Scope parallax is defined as an optical illusion in which your view while sighting is inconsistent. If the crosshair moves as you move your eyes, the scope is not adjusted correctly and requires fixation for accuracy. This condition is commonly observed when you are sighting at high magnification powers.
To solve this, the rimfire scopes should have a parallax adjustment option. This adjusts the reticle to a definite spot. Consequently, it does not change your position with your eye movement. By utilizing this feature, you will be able to hit the bull’s eye every time you plan to go hunting.
Usually, it is recommended not to be fooled by the no-brand name. But here, with riflescopes, we can find some well-known manufacturers offering scopes at flexible price ranges to meet the needs of their customers. Going with them has lower chances of losing money as they have a reputation to maintain.
Also, their products are tried and tested. So, you can go through the customer’s reviews and decide whether it will be the best match for your hunting games or not.
Each scope has the potential to function efficiently only if it’s according to your needs. If you are looking for an inexpensive scope offering the same features as those costing an arm and a leg, the UTG, Simmons, and CVLIFE’s optics are the right match. They have illuminated reticles, well-calibrated knobs, and adjustable magnification ranges.
On the flip side, if easy functioning is your concern, then the Sightmark Core with fixed magnification is outright the simplest. Other than that, different brands offer scopes costing a fraction of $100 yet managing to cater to all essential features.
In short, we suggest you go with the one that meets the level of your shooting skills excellently.