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Thread: Scopes for rimfire hunting rifles

  1. #1
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    Scopes for rimfire hunting rifles

    Scopes optimised for use with .22LR and 17HMR seem to be a neglected market segment.

    Shooting with these weapons typically involves:
    Small targets eg rabbit head
    Close ranges with wide multiples variation eg 5 to 50m
    Deliberate shooting (not snap shots at a big target).
    Low recoil, low waterproofness and low ruggedness required.

    Proposed required features:
    4-12 power (or higher for 17HMR)
    40 - 44mm Enough light gathering for dusk, adequate exit pupil at higher powers but enabling a low mount to bore line as many shots are taken short of the zero, where shot is well below sight line and every centimetre can mean a miss.
    Parallax (focus) adjustment down to 20m

    Desirable features:
    Focus to 5 or 10m
    Springer airgun rating
    FFP with mildot or else dialable with a simple duplex-like reticle
    Similar configuration to your centerfire scope

    So, there are not many special purpose rimfire scopes on offer. Leupold and Bushnell make them but not in the highest specification classes.
    Some high prestige brands do have models designed for long range and tactical use, which focus down to 25m. A couple focus even closer but they are becoming very big scopes for hunting.
    Then there are aspiring companies which are strong in the airgun market and have good close focus but perhaps optical performance, accuracy, dialing and durability expectations are not so rigorous there.

    Here's a rough and ready table in no particular order showing what I could find last week:
    viper and WallyR like this.

  2. #2
    Member GravelBen's Avatar
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    Nikon and Weaver make a few rimfire models too. Maybe Burris too?
    Steve123 likes this.

  3. #3
    Member Steve123's Avatar
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    I had a dialable Bushnell. Problem I found was squinting at dials in the twilight/night. Adjusting dials for parallax, dialing up the elevation etc is all good during the day but a hassle at night. I found the short effective range of 22lr made it a waste of time and the daytime dialing buzz wore off too fast. Another bitch was the eyebox was too bulky and I had to get super high rings to run it with the JW15. Sold it and got a Nikon Prostaff 4-12 with a BDC150, It has enough hold over points to make dialing unnecessary at 22 ranges. Parralax set at 75 yards so oneless thing to peer at in low light with middle aged eyes too.
    Got a 300 winmag to play dialing with now.

  4. #4
    Member sneeze's Avatar
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    Vortex diamondback HP 3-12x40 dead hold ret ticks most of the boxes at a not to painfull price, hash marks up to 11 moa and 90 moa internal elevation for stretching the little .22 out a bit
    Rules are for the obedience of fools
    and the guidance of wise men” Sir Douglas Bader.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for that suggestion about the diamondback. It does seem to tick the boxes. Have you seen one in use ? Any drawbacks ? As with Loopy and Bushys its not their top of the line grade is it ? There would be a place for a VX-3 or Z5 close focus model.

    Among Bushnell, I couldn't find any with <50yd parallax. Haven't looked at Weaver yet.

    I think this is right for .22 hunting; dialing isn't so useful. I don't do it on my airgun. You're too close to the animal to take on adjustments and squinting is definitely a problem.
    Dicko likes this.

  6. #6
    Member viper's Avatar
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    Hmmm, interesting thread, Rossi 45 might be your man to talk to here on the forum as he seems to shoot some very respectable distances with a .22
    Personally I don't bother any more with fancy recticles , I have a Burris 22lr scope with hash marks purposely designed for the 22.
    I shoot around a brick a month and have just got to know my rifle and ammo very well, 130 mtrs with holdover is not super uncommon on rabbits now.
    Depends how you approach the subject, I am moving and shooting the whole time, dial up would drive me nuts, I don't have the time or patience to fuck about.
    I spot the rabbit , guess the range, institutionally do the hold over and shoot.
    Success rate is pretty high, more I do and shoot the better I get.

  7. #7
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    I know you may not like to hear it, but one of the best rimfire scopes I have come across has these specs

    3-9x42 or 4-12x42
    Adjustable Objective from 0 metres to infinity.
    Mil dot reticle
    Designed for air guns so sturdily built and supported inside to handle the vibrations thrown its way...(Nothing I have ever seen handles the 1350fps springers, they savagely beat up even the best of scopes....)

    Priced around the $200 mark and will stand by those dearer scopes.

    Nikko Airking.By Nikko Stirling..And I have used one on my 22s for many many years and will continue to do so. They also make the Mount Master AO series at around the $150 but I prefer the finer cross hair on the Airking for the little bit more.

  8. #8
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    I have Hawke 6-24 & 8-32 sidewiders I bought for pre-charged air rifle. SR reticle. Used the 6-24 for .22 and has a nice thin reticle, I don't find too busy and has a reasonable app to apply dialing or hold-overs.
    But find the Bushnell 2-7 AR rimfire good overall. side focus, bdc hold-overs for .22 subs and nice proportion for the size of rifle. Optics ok.

  9. #9
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    I have a sensible Vortex Diamondback HP 3-12x42. One of the best scopes on the market for the money. Bagheera you are aiming way too high in price for a rimfire scope and too big and bulky. These are rifles you are going to walk a long way with. The Diamondback has a reticle with holdover marks, Viper is right dialing a rimfire is an exercise in futility. Sighted in at 100m that's everything covered out to about 130m with a 17HMR. It has proved to a very robust and weather resistant scope. Only complaint the thread on the turrets is not the strongest you have to be careful not to strip them.

  10. #10
    Member GravelBen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timattalon View Post
    Priced around the $200 mark and will stand by those dearer scopes.

    Nikko Airking.By Nikko Stirling..
    I haven't used the airking, but I have a couple of the next model up Nikko Nighteater - 6x36 on a 22, and a 3-9x42 that I used on a 22mag for a while and now sits around as a spare.

    They're solid reliable scopes and good value, but optically well behind the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire I also have - clarity etc is quite noticably better on the Nikon.
    mudgripz likes this.

  11. #11
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    I use a Tasco 3-9 x 40 mil dot on my CZ. Once you sort your zero and shoot it at various ranges out to the distances you shoot its deadly. Mine is first dot hold for 75 metres, second dot hold for 100 metres. If you have a range finder and a steady rest it almost becomes hard to miss. Longest shot was a magpie at 150 metres with top of the head hold on the 4th dot and supersonic ammo. It should be noted that the bird landed on the 150 metre mound of the range I was shooting on and I was at the bench rest waiting to take a shot so it was the perfect condition shot on a windless day but nonetheless shows what can be done once you get a mil dot dialled in nicely.

  12. #12
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    You cannot have to much scope, just bought this for my 17hmr!Name:  IMG_4491.JPG
Views: 516
Size:  655.7 KB
    sneeze, Dicko, ZG47 and 1 others like this.
    Boom, cough,cough,cough

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagheera View Post
    Thanks for that suggestion about the diamondback. It does seem to tick the boxes. Have you seen one in use ? Any drawbacks ? As with Loopy and Bushys its not their top of the line grade is it ? There would be a place for a VX-3 or Z5 close focus model.

    Among Bushnell, I couldn't find any with <50yd parallax. Haven't looked at Weaver yet.

    I think this is right for .22 hunting; dialing isn't so useful. I don't do it on my airgun. You're too close to the animal to take on adjustments and squinting is definitely a problem.
    Nice scope and very good value. sort of lower end of the mid range @$650. Glass is good for the money around bushnell elite 4500 area (subjective) no tunneling, mounts well, the font on the dials is stupid small but like most I use the hold points for hunting and only dial for long range gongs. It will focus down to 25yds on 12x and 6-7 yds on 3 but paralex free is 30yds and out. Clicks are good, not nightforce but better feel and more audible than my Z5,. FOV is not outstanding but very useable.Its the best of the comprmises I could find, can shoot tree bears at 5yds, punch groups at 50/100yds and hit gongs at 300+ (38moa to get to my 265yr plate with subs.)
    Name:  IMG_0006.JPG
Views: 510
Size:  848.0 KB
    Bagheera likes this.
    Rules are for the obedience of fools
    and the guidance of wise men” Sir Douglas Bader.

  14. #14
    Member Beetroot's Avatar
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    The best (most successful) rimfire scopes I have used are my Burris Fullfield 2 3-9x40 and Burris C4 3-9x40.
    The FF2 has been used on my 17HMR and 22lr, and consistently had kills from 0-150m with both calibers.

    My Burris C4 I have used a lot on my 22lr, and done a lot of shooting out too 200yards. The turrets and windplex reticle on the C4 has made for some very good long shots, (150yards+ with subsonic 22). but even the standard FF2 BDC when worked out accurately took out some bunnies at 120yard with the 22.

  15. #15
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    Gotta have an NF, just sighted this in, very nice!
    Boom, cough,cough,cough

 

 

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