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Thread: Best $500 scope for rimfire?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    Best $500 scope for rimfire?

    As the title says, I'm looking for a scope that will be dedicated to a rimfire, 22LR to be precise. I will need it for 20yds out to 200yds, so an AO is a must, and I want 15x at minimum, if not 20x. A Vortex Viper has attracted my attention, but if there's a better option I've overlooked, I'd like to hear about it.

    I realize this is not a rimfire-exclusive forum, but I'm pretty sure some of you shoot rimfire matches, or at least have noticed a thing or 3 at the range.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Hannibal; 07-28-2017 at 07:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    skeettx's Avatar
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    Well I am using BSA Platinum 8-32 $100 scope at present
    It is a bit dark but on a good day I can shoot one holers at 50 yards with it.

    Most of the rabid dogs have gone to the 45X Leupolds but you can pick
    use a 36X Dot Leupold for about $500

    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    I guess I should have included yet another stipulation. Lifetime warranty without a receipt.

    My mistake, I apologize.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Check out Athlon optics, they are new, and have a no questions asked warranty.
    There are several models, I purchased a Talos BTR 4-14X for about $300.
    The etched glass reticule has mil graduations, is first focal plane, parallax dials back to 10 meters,
    30mm tube.
    I have it mounted on a Benjamin Marauder .25cal air rifle and really like it.
    To lazy to chase arrows.
    Clodhopper

  5. #5
    I have been looking at the acss recticle primary arms. I just want something more compact and lighter.

    Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverback13 View Post
    I have been looking at the acss recticle primary arms. I just want something more compact and lighter.

    Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk
    Hmmmm . . . . for a .22LR at multiple ranges with high accuracy requirements, I'm thinking NO.

  7. #7
    I think it can be done. The products out there seem too heavy. 15 oz seems too heavy for 22 rifle.

    Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Boolit Master




    Scharfschuetze's Avatar
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    .22 RF Scope

    I didn't see what rifle you intend to put the scope on. A good recommendation would be easier if one knew if it was a heavy target rifle or a light hunting rifle or something in between.

    Rimfire scopes are generally parallax free at 50 yards while the best high powder scopes are adjustable. 22 match scopes need to go down to a 50' parallax setting as well as to infinity for long range matches.

    My favorite scope for what you are looking for is the Unertl 10X 3/4" tube. I use it from 50' to 200 yards on a Model 52 Winchester in our local matches. Probably not what you want, but it's spot on for such activities.

    Were I buying a scope today for match shooting or vermin eradication, I would get a Leupold target scope with a 1" tube. It would be parallax adjustable and of a mid powder range. With it you would get the warranty that you desire as well a choice of reticles and repeatable target knobs for windage and elevation.
    Last edited by Scharfschuetze; 07-28-2017 at 11:42 PM.
    Keep your powder dry,

    Scharf

  9. #9
    Boolit Master smlekid's Avatar
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    I have a couple of Vortex Vipers very good scope for the money I use mine on a Fclass rifle shooting from 300 to 1000y
    you could also look at a Mueller they get good reviews

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

    LUCKYDAWG13's Avatar
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    you might want to go over and poke around on Rimfire Central http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/index.php
    kids that hunt and fish dont mug old ladies

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I recommend an OLD gunshow-bought ~$70 1" dia. FINE-WIRE (NOT duplex) reticule scope by any reputable maker. Has worked for me for decades. YMMV.
    Life Member NRA.
    Member: RWVA.http://www.appleseedinfo.org/smf/
    Member: WRSA http://westernrifleshooters.blogspot.com/
    Founder: Guns of the Golden West (Show group).
    Founder: Nosehills Gun Club.
    Founder: IPSC in Alberta.
    Retired from Instructing, and just about everything else!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smlekid View Post
    I have a couple of Vortex Vipers very good scope for the money I use mine on a Fclass rifle shooting from 300 to 1000y
    you could also look at a Mueller they get good reviews
    I bought a Mueller 8.5-25x44AO for this rifle about 4 years ago. Haven't shot the rifle much because I was so disappointed with the lack of clarity. But, I figured I got what I paid for. So, I'm trying to make sure I remain satisfied this time.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scharfschuetze View Post
    I didn't see what rifle you intend to put the scope on. A good recommendation would be easier if one knew if it was a heavy target rifle or a light hunting rifle or something in between.

    Rimfire scopes are generally parallax free at 50 yards while the best high powder scopes are adjustable. 22 match scopes need to go down to a 50' parallax setting as well as to infinity for long range matches.

    My favorite scope for what you are looking for is the Unertl 10X 3/4" tube. I use it from 50' to 200 yards on a Model 52 Winchester in our local matches. Probably not what you want, but it's spot on for such activities.

    Were I buying a scope today for match shooting or vermin eradication, I would get a Leupold target scope with a 1" tube. It would be parallax adjustable and of a mid powder range. With it you would get the warranty that you desire as well a choice of reticles and repeatable target knobs for windage and elevation.
    Rifle is a Savage MK II BTV in .22LR. I'm not planning on shooting in any tournaments, but I have happened across a description of some tournament shooting that has been started on the west coast fairly recently that looks like a fun way to practice on my backyard range. I've no intentions of hunting with this rifle, it's just too heavy to carry around, and I stalk when small game hunting.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master




    Scharfschuetze's Avatar
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    Rifle is a Savage MK II BTV in .22LR.
    That looks like a fun rifle and if you have that thumbhole stock, you certainly need a scope with high mounts. A 1" tube ought to be the cat's meow on it. With the challenged trajectory of the 22 RF, consider a mil dot reticle. With it you can hold over (and deflect for wind) easily when you know the range and the trajectory. No need for dialing things in although that's also an option with a scope with target knobs. The reticle is also pretty handing for range finding if you don't have a laser unit.
    Keep your powder dry,

    Scharf

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scharfschuetze View Post
    That looks like a fun rifle and if you have that thumbhole stock, you certainly need a scope with high mounts. A 1" tube ought to be the cat's meow on it. With the challenged trajectory of the 22 RF, consider a mil dot reticle. With it you can hold over (and deflect for wind) easily when you know the range and the trajectory. No need for dialing things in although that's also an option with a scope with target knobs. The reticle is also pretty handing for range finding if you don't have a laser unit.
    That's kind of why I was looking at the Vortex Viper. It is available with a mil dot reticle and I think a 1" tube is standard. (?)

  16. #16
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    A used Bushnell 4200 elite would be nice on a 22lr. I used a 6-24 on a airgun springer. Optics are super clear and there is a Mil-dot version. I sold one a couple months ago for 375 shipped. Turrents are precise enough for silhouette compitition. Lower power scopes dont bring as much money. Stay away from the 8-32 it gets dark at higher power. These older 4200 models have better glass than the new 6500 models.

    There was not a noticeable difference in clarity between the Bushnell 4200 and my Sightron SIII. Huge objective gave Sightron the advantage in a bright image.

    My 2cents!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    There are several used Leupold 6.5-20x40 scopes on ebay that fit you price range. I have over 20 Leupolds in various powers and configurations and I don't believe, dollar for dollar, there is anything better and very few as good.
    OK folks, there is only two ways to do this. My way or my other way.

  18. #18
    Boolit Man




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    I have a Leupold Ultralight 4-12X AO on a tricked out 10/22 that I'm extremely pleased with, but that's my squirrel gun - don't know if that would fit your needs. Fits warranty, price, quality glass, and 12X fits any max range I may try with a 22lr.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roysha View Post
    There are several used Leupold 6.5-20x40 scopes on ebay that fit you price range. I have over 20 Leupolds in various powers and configurations and I don't believe, dollar for dollar, there is anything better and very few as good.
    I've heard it's easy to get stuck with a knock- off from ebay, so I've always shied away from used scopes over there. Perhaps the problem is exaggerated. (?)

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Typically one hears the horror stories most because if everything goes good there is no story to tell. Quite honestly, given the volume of sales that ebay generates, I think it is amazing that there are not more sob stories.

    Generally speaking, my experiences with ebay transactions have been favorable. Yes, I have been burned a couple of times but a good share of it was my fault for not paying attention. For example, if a vendor has a positive feedback rating of, say, 85% this in itself should make one be prepared for possible problems. Not asking enough or not the right questions can also cause possible misunderstandings. The two times I have had problems, ebay backed me all the way and other then a big hassle, I didn't lose anything.

    However, vendors with a high positive feedback rating and with a large number of sales I feel quite confident that the transaction will be satisfactory. Most vendors will bend over backward to make things right but it is up to you to investigate the item thoroughly. I recently bought a 3-9x40AO and a 3-9x40 VXII and got exactly what I was expecting for the price I was willing to pay.

    If I was looking to buy what you are shopping for I would not hesitate to go for one of the 6.5x20s that I mentioned in my previous post. Of course I am very biased towards Leupold so that is where I look. Pretty much it is a "pay your dollar and take your choice" kind of situation. Used Leupolds seldom lose any more value, and often gain with time. I wish I had bought more 6.5x20s back when I was doing a lot of varmint shooting. Used, now, they are $100-150 more than I paid new. Oh well.
    OK folks, there is only two ways to do this. My way or my other way.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check