If you own a rimfire rifle and hope to get the best out of it then you need to accessorize it accurately. The first thing we would suggest you get a rimfire scope in order to get the best shot every time.
If you are tired of missing shots and want to be able to aim better then we strongly recommend getting a scope for your rimfire rifle.
For this post we have picked out our top 5 best rimfire scopes under $100. So you don’t have to go through the hassle of searching the internet for your perfect scope.
Best Rimfire Scope Under $100
If you are in a hurry then see this quick list of the top 5 best rimfire scope under $100:
- UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope
- Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
- Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II 3-9X40 BDC150
- CVLIFE 2.5-10x40e Red & Green Illuminated Scope
- Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope
1. UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope
For under $100 this scope has something which you don’t normally get at this price- we even came across much more expensive models without this feature.
We are talking about the adjustable parallax that can give you a parallax-free view from 3 yards onwards.
This is achievable with the wide angle front objective that is fully adjustable so no matter how much eye movement is present, the cross hair center point should not budge.
The mil-dot reticle is illuminated and can be adjusted according to the light conditions of your surroundings as it comes with several brightness settings.
With lockable turrets with a zero-rest feature, the zero should not be affected despite the number of times you change the settings.
Magnification power ranges from 3X to 9X on the 32mm objective lens which allows the shooter to choose how much power is required to get the most accurate aim on the target.
2. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope with 3.3-Inch Eye Relief
The multi-coated optics on this scope allow you to enjoy clarity and bright images even during the start and end of the day when the lighting is most unforgiving.
With a 40mm objective lens and 3-9X power, you can take on any hunting and shooting challenge with confidence.
As the scope is waterproof, fog proof and shock proof, you will have the upper hand on any weather or environmental conditions.
The M.O.A measure at a ¼ inch per click and comes with fingertip windage and elevation adjustment.
The crosshairs are ideal for precise shooting although we got mixed reviews on this from some previous users. Some users mentioned that the crosshairs were on the thicker side while some said that they looked rather fine. We guess it depends on the shooter’s preference.
Overall we feel this scope has a much better clarity and quality than most other scopes within this price range but it does have some issues with holding a zero as mentioned by other buyers.
3. Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II 3-9X40 BDC150
If the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II has caught your attention before or this is the first time you have heard about this rimfire scope then we are glad you are reading this because this model of scope is one of the best you get for such an affordable price.
It is a Nikon product so we can definitely say that you will not be disappointed with the quality and build of the scope. It is also a high selling product on Amazon so its popularity is proven.
Let us start with the numbers on this scope.
It sports a large 40mm objective lens and has a variable magnification power of 3X to 9X. We would say the image shown is almost HD quality, even when magnifying to the highest level.
Next, we have the 13.33 exit pupil for amazing light transmission which also assists in creating clear and vivid visuals. Multiple coatings add to the quality of the optics and allow shooters to aim better.
With a field view of 4.4 feet to 33.8 feet at 100 yards, the scope covers more area than just your target perimeter.
The scope has an eye relief of 3.6 inches and measures at 12.3 inches in length.
To add toughness and durability even on such an affordable model, Nikon has taken the step to have this scope built to be waterproof, fog-proof and shock resistant.
4. CVLIFE 2.5-10x40e Red & Green Illuminated Scope with 20mm & 11mm Mount
The scope comes with some incredible features and its price is so low that it had us checking it out twice just to be sure. Believe it or not, this item can be yours at less than $50!
Of course when something is too good to be true we need to dig in and in this case, we were truly impressed.
The objective lens is 40mm and with a magnification power of 2.5 to 10X, you can really aim for targets that are far away.
The Kellner eyepiece offers easy adjustments while the multi-coated optics ensure brighter and clearer images.
The field of view will depend on the level of magnification you choose but it ranges from 8.9 feet to 32.5 feet maximum.
The eye relief is 4-3 inch with an exit pupil of 16-4mm.
The M.O.A adjustments measure at a ¼ inch per click which is standard among most rimfire scopes.
Now coming to the unique addition on this scope, let us talk about the 5mW red laser. The laser can reach out a 100 yards so it is ideal for close range shots and can also be adjusted to work with the rifle’s aiming point.
The MIL.DOT reticle is illuminated, something we really didn’t expect a scope within this price range to have so give it an extra score for this touch. However, if you prefer to stick to the black reticle then just turn off the feature or select the lowest brightness level out of the 5 levels.
To increase versatility and usage, you can fit the scope on your rail either using the 20mm mount or the 11mm mount.
5. Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope
We included this item for its useful features and cool one-piece tube construction and sturdy build which makes it super durable, easy to handle and give the shooter amazing aim and firing accuracy.
The scope comes with a minimum magnification of 3X and a maximum magnification of 9X with an objective lens of 32 mm.
The field view is wide and clear with shooters being able to see a surrounding area of 31.4 feet maximum with the lowest magnifying settings.
If you choose to go for the highest magnifying power then the view naturally reduces to 10.5 feet.
The eye relief is 3.75inches with an exit pupil of 10.7/3.6 mm.
Click value is a ¼ inch at 100 yards so you can work accordingly when setting the M.O.A for the most accurate aim.
The optical glass lenses are multi-coated for clarity and high image quality so shooters can get the best shot in despite poor lighting.
To reduce the common issue of scope parallax, you can adjust and tackle the problem with the parallax correction feature that is preset from 50 yards onwards.
To add to the value of the overall build of this scope, the manufactures included rubber surfaces that make adjustments easy even when gloves on.
Buyer’s Guide For Rimfire Scope Under $100 & $200
Rimfire rifles are very popular as they are but when you equip it with a scope you get to actually enjoy the best shooting experience possible.
Before we get to the buying guide of a rimfire scope you need to know what kind of parts the equipment consists of and what each part is designed to do. Understanding a rifle scope will help you choose one better.
Scopes are made of metals and come in the form of a tube. The size of the tube may vary but always contain the same components.
The end that rests closest to the shooter’s eye will have the Eye-Piece while the other end (located farthest from the eye) will have the Objective Bell.
As you know that the Eye Piece is placed closest to the eye, it consists of two things that assist in focusing on the target. Both the Eye Bell and the Ocular Lens can be found on the Eye Piece.
If you notice a flared part of the eyepiece, it is the eye bell which you are probably looking at. The Eye Bell contains the Ocular Lens.
There are two lenses on a scope and the one closest to the eye is the Ocular Lens. This is the lens which you look through from your eye while adjusting the eyepiece to get clarity. With bigger lenses, you get bigger views. Diameter on Ocular lenses is measured in millimeters.
This is the part which contains the Objective lens and can be located at the other end of the scope tube.
This is the second lens on the tube, which is placed furthest from the shooter’s eyes. When you look through the Ocular lens your sight passes through and out of the Objective lens at the end.
The work of an objective lens on a scope is to collect light and convey it to the Ocular Lens.
Readings are also measured in millimeters.
The main reason we use a scope for better aiming is that it helps us shoot with precision and it does so by magnifying the points we target.
When we look through a scope we see images which seem closer than they really are, thus giving us clarity and helping us see things far away.
Some rifle scopes come with fixed power while some will allow the shooter to choose from a range of different levels of magnification.
Of course, we normally tend to think that the more options we get the better. But in this case, both the fixed power and the variable power scopes have advantages and disadvantages.
One advantage of a fixed power scope is that it is usually lighter and better rugged as the need for extra parts is reduced.
Whereas scopes with adjustable magnification power ranges allow shooters to select the best range based on the distance of the target.
As a shooter, you would want not only a good view on your target but also on its surrounding area. The field-of-view of scope is determined by how much area (in feet or yards) the shooter can see horizontally when looking through the Ocular lens.
If you are hunting an animal and you miss it or it moves a little while you are working on your aim, a wider field-of-view will allow you to move your rifle without having to take your eyes off the Ocular lens.
However, keep in mind that if you set your magnification level to a higher level then naturally the actual area you get to view around your target becomes lesser.
Having a problem with the consistency of the view? The problem is known as scope parallax.
If you shift your eye position and notice the crosshair on the scope also moving then you need to adjust the parallax.
With the correct parallax adjustments no matter how much you move your eye, the center point of the crosshair will remain on point.
These are the lines you see when you look through your eyepiece. They are a measuring scale that assists in precise locating and aiming.
The Crosshair Reticle on your scope may be fine, medium or heavy and depending on the size and distance of your target you must choose whichever is best.
If your target is far away and small in size then fine crosshair reticles are recommended. The closer and bigger the target is the higher you should go in range.
The Duplex Reticle and the Target Dot Reticles are two other popular choices for close range targets.
Sometimes you may need to move the vertical and horizontal reticles up or down, left or right to be able to move the point of hit on the target.
The turrets allow you to move the reticles individually and can either be designed for hunting scopes or tactical scopes.
When adjusting you usually hear a ‘click’ on the turret which counts for Quarter Minute of Angle.
Minute of Angle (M.O.A)
If you are new to shooting and have never used a scope before then these calculations may seem rather confusing to you at first. But once you start practicing first hand then you will be able to understand and start getting better at the adjustments.
Just remember that M.O.A is an angular measurement and one M.O.A is measured as one inch at 100 yards.
For example, if your target is 200 yards away and you know that an M.O.A spreads out at 1 inch per 100 yards so when adjusting the turret you need to think of a 2-inch increment.
With turrets that have ¼ inch increments, you will need to ‘click’ 8 times (2/.25). However, the number of adjustments per click may differ in various scopes.
So you need to first find out how many M.O.A You need to adjust before you can make the adjustment on your scope. Some scopes also adjust in 1 full M.O.A per click while some may be broken down to smaller fractions.
This is the amount of space between your eye and the Ocular lens and this depends on how far or near the shooter wants to be to the eyepiece.
Having your eye close to the lens will help block out light, thus giving you a better view. But at the same time, all the coiling on the eyepiece may cause discomfort to the eye.
Both the ocular lenses and the objective lenses should have coatings on them to help reduce glare. With more coatings on these lenses, your scope will be able to gather more light and give you a clearer picture.
How to Choose the Best Rimfire Scope
So now that you know about the parts of a scope and how each part is designed for, you should be able to compare between different models and know what sets them apart.
But shopping for the perfect scope requires a bit more understanding on certain factors that make these products worth your money and time.
Check out the following factors which should be considered when making your final pick.
Power and Focus Capacity
If your scope can not focus well and has very weak power then you might as well just rely on the naked eye. At least it will not cost you extra cash…maybe just your target.
On a more serious note, it is very important to make sure that your scope has a decent amount of magnifying power and the right mechanism to help you hit the bull’s eye.
With the right amount of focus, you will reduce the number of missed shots and build confidence that will greatly impact your hunting skills.
Of course every part of the scope matters but if we had to stress on the quality of just one component then we would pick the lenses. This is because with poor quality lenses you will not be able to get clarity in the image which you see through the eye piece and you may end up misfiring.
The image you see should be clear, bright and have a lot of transparency so you can relax and get a good shot no matter how close or far your target is.
Magnification Power and Accurate Focusing
Along with the ability to make a small object look big by magnifying it, a well-made scope should also have a high level of accuracy in terms of the best focus.
Sometimes a scope may enlarge an image but damage the quality in the process, giving you blurred or faded visuals.
Find out what the magnifying power on your scope is so you know whether it is ideal for short or long range targets. Your scope may have a variable magnification range or a fixed power.
Most rifle scopes these are waterproof as well as fog proof but we think we feel that we should still take you over the details.
Not long ago, these scopes had ‘unsealed’ tubes where air and moisture could easily enter and get trapped inside, causing the lenses to fog up and give shooters blurred images.
It also had a negative impact on the scopes longevity as it could easily get damaged if dropped in water.
Since then makers of rifle scopes have invented a sealing process where the tube is first cleared of any air and then sealed with a type of gas that keeps pressure from the inside. This pressure stops external air and other substances from entering the tubes.
So basically we are asking you to just get water and fog resistant scope.
Your ideal rimfire scope is made of essential accessories which all work together to give you the results you desire.
Important accessories include items such as the ocular and objective lenses, reticle and knobs among others depending on the model.
Every accessory should be of top quality so you can get your money’s worth and a great shot every time.
We recommend getting a scope that is complete and comes with all the accessories so you can get to work right away.
Whether you are on a budget or you can afford to splurge on a product, we bet you don’t want to spend on an item that will not last you long.
In order to get the best out of your rifle scope for a longer period of time, you must find out about its quality and construction.
A decent scope will be made using only the best quality materials that will improve the product’s performance and also prolong its life.
The outer part of the tube and whole frame should be scratch resistant and waterproof and should also not have any flimsy parts.
We don’t want to sound snobby here but when it comes to rifle scopes we really can’t help but recommend our readers to stick to well-known brands.
The reason why we suggest you stay away from no-name products and stick to brands, especially if you are a novice, is because brands have a reputation to worry about and they will not risk it by manufacturing poor quality items.
Of course, it does not guarantee anything as lots of scopes made by well-known companies also have flaws but the risk is low and their customer service is also better.
Nikon or Bushnell are two great examples of such brands that make quality rimfire scopes and the good news is that their products come with all sorts of price ranges.
If you can get an affordable piece from a good company that serves you well in the long run then we see no reason why you should waste your money on scopes from unknown brand names.
Should I choose a scope with a fixed power or variable magnification?
Both have their pros and cons so you must compare and see whichever works best for you. With variable magnification, you can aim from different ranges and will not be limited to a certain distance whereas with a fixed power scope you must always aim from a particular range.
However, fixed power scopes are easier to use and can be more durable as there is no fiddling with adjustments.
Can objective lenses be adjusted?
Yes but it depends on the build of the scope. Some scopes have adjustable objective lenses that help to reduce or tackle parallax issues.
What is the benefit if a wider objective lens?
The larger lens provides shooters with a wider field of view.
Why should reticles be illuminated?
Illuminated reticles help you see better when aiming in poor lighting conditions. Scopes normally come with the option of turning the lights off too in case the shooter wants to use the black reticle markings instead.
What kind of magnification do I need for short range shooting?
We recommend around 10X zooming maximum for short range targets because anything higher than that is not necessary and may hamper the image quality.
How is a shockproof scope beneficial?
If your scope is shockproof then you can use it on an air rifle without the danger of shocks.
Rimfire scopes are among those accessories that actually increase the value of a product- in this case, a rifle.
You can spend hundreds of dollars on a scope if you wish to but some of the best performing scopes surprisingly come at affordable prices.
The scopes we listed above are designed especially for shooters who are in need of a decent device that will not cost them a leg and an arm.
If you have a budget to stick to then you can purchase any one of our mentioned rimfire scopes and get the most out of your rifle every time you go hunting or target shooting.