Best Scopes for .22 Pistol in 2021 [All Options]

Best 22 Pistol Scope

Are you looking at pistol scopes? Narrowing down the best 22 pistol scopes can be a challenge, especially if you’re looking for handgun scopes for a specific purpose. One thing you want to make sure is that you get a pistol scope that does everything you need a scope to do.

We’ll go over all the important information you need to know about getting the right scope for your pistol, and especially your .22 handgun. 

Whether you’re looking for something for plinking or are looking to deal with pests around the house or even small game, there is a scope that will work great with your pistol, and our goal is to help you find it.

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

BEST FOR WEATHER

Leupold FX-II 4x28 Handgun Scope

Leupold FX-II 4x28 Handgun Scope

  • Diameter: 28mm
  • Magnification: 4x
  • Length: 8.4 in
BEST FOR FAST TARGET

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 

  • Diameter: 25mm
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Length: 2.48 in
BEST FOR MID RANGE

Burris 2-7x32mm Handgun Scope

Burris 2-7x32mm Handgun Scope

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 2-7x
  • Length: 9.7 in
BEST FOR ACCURACY

Weaver Classic Pistol Scope 2x 28mm

Weaver Classic Pistol Scope 2x 28mm

Weaver Classic Pistol Scope 2x 28mm

  • Diameter: 28mm
  • Magnification: 2x
  • Length: 8.37 in
BEST FOR CLARITY

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2x-7x32 Rimfire

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rimfire

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 2-7x
  • Length: 11.3 in
BEST FOR DUARBILITY

Simmons Prohunter 2-6x32 Handgun Scope

Simmons Prohunter 2-6x32

Simmons Prohunter 2-6x32 Handgun Scope

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 2-6x
  • Length: 9.2 in 
BEST FOR LIGHTWEIGHT

BSA Optics 30mm Red Dot Sight

BSA Optics 30mm Red Dot Sight

BSA Optics 30mm Red Dot Sight

  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Length: 3.8 in
BEST FOR ACCURACY

NcStar Pistolero 2.5x30mm Pistol Scope

NcStar Pistolero 2.5x30mm

NcStar Pistolero 2.5x30mm Pistol Scope

  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Magnification: 2.5x
  • Length: 8.86 in

Things To Know When Buy the Best 22 Pistol Scope

Functionality for the Best 22 Pistol Scopes

You may be hoping you can take your rifle scope and use it as a scope for your pistol instead, but that is generally not the case, and in this section we’ll go over the things that make handgun scopes different from riflescopes.

It’s also important to consider that your .22 handgun is most likely not your primary weapon. It won’t be your go-to for hunting and you probably won’t be relying on it for self defense or defending your home. While you may be in a situation where that is the case, it probably isn’t “plan A”, so to speak. 

Because the handgun isn’t being used for anything critical, it may make sense to choose a more budget-friendly optic and save your big dollars for improving your more serious firearms. 

That said, if you are using your .22 handgun for important shooting, then some of the more expensive scopes we have in this list may be of interest to you.

This is why we have included a variety of budget options in our list. Here are a few attributes of the best 22 pistol scopes and what you should be considering when looking to buy one.

Eye Relief

Eye relief refers to what distance your eye needs to be from the ocular lens in order to clearly see the entire target area in the scope. Dot optics are so great partially because they have unlimited eye relief; it doesn't matter how far away your eye is, you'll be able to see everything. There is a minimum distance your eye must be and a maximum distance your eye can be away from the ocular lens.

A scope designed for a pistol will have long eye relief compared to a scope designed for a long gun. This extended eye relief enables comfortable shooting when the handgun is held out in front of the shooter away from the face. On a rifle, generous eye relief is considered 4-5 inches, and on a scout riflescope with extended eye relief, you may have between 9 and 12 inches.

 scope eye relief

On handgun scopes, long eye relief would be considered around 20 inches, with most having a range between 10 and 20. It’s important to consider how long eye relief you need, and part has to do with your shooting stance, but another part has to do with how long your arms are. For a taller person, you may need more generous eye relief than a shorter person.

You’ll want to consider at what distance you most comfortably and quickly get your sight picture and do your target acquisition.

Magnification

Magnification is what allows your scope to zoom in on targets that are further away. This is an important function of a scope, and scopes that don't offer any zoom are useful in fewer situations than scopes that offer at least a little zoom. For a .22, you may not want much magnification, if any at all. Allow me to explain:

Many long gun scopes (but not all), will have much higher magnification than would be useful or valuable for a scope on a pistol. On scopes that are designed for a handgun, anything more than about 7x magnification would generally be wasted. 

Especially in the case of a scope for a .22 handgun, the ballistics of the round stop it from being effective beyond the range that you’d want more than 7x for shooting. In fact, some of the best 22 pistol scopes don’t have any magnification at all. This is the case for dot sights, and we have two recommendations here.

Generally speaking, if you are shooting under 50 yards with your handgun, then you can easily function with no magnification. If you want to shoot above 50 yards, then magnification becomes more important. You may want magnification for close-range shooting, but for most shooters it’s not necessary.

Differences Between the Best .22 Pistol Scopes

Some pistol scopes are perfect in some situations and terrible in another situation. If you are using your handgun for home defense, you’ll be shooting at such close ranges that a fixed magnification at 6x will do more harm than good. 

Two important factors to help you decide which scope to get are reticle design and optical clarity.

Reticle Design

The reticle is the visible, flat object that shows you what your aimpoint is. A reticle can be simple or complicated and come in many forms. The whole idea behind every reticle is to communicate as clearly and quickly where your firearm is aiming and what you'll hit if you pull the trigger. Different companies have different reticle designs and it's a key part of choosing the right scope.

The reticle of the scope you choose should reflect what you intend to use the scope for. If you’ll be shooting at close range then you’ll probably want something very simple like just one dot in the middle of the lens. 

Reticle

If you are trying to get as long distance as you can, then you’ll probably want a duplex reticle, possibly with a BDC ladder or other markings to make the reticle more useful.

Most of the reticle designs for a handgun scope are straightforward and simple. The general consensus is that you won’t be using your .22 handgun for long, difficult shots. 

If you aren’t seeing a reticle that you like in a scope designed for a handgun, you can always check scout scopes. Eye relief won’t be as long but you will have a lot more reticle choices.

Optical Clarity

A lot of people don't think about this, but sending light through a scope has the potential to make the image look much less clear than it is in real life unless you have high quality glass and good features that make the image as clear as it can be.

The larger your objective lens, the more light will be let in and generally the better your image quality will be. It doesn’t stop with just the objective lens, however. Having lenses that are fully multi-coated will make a big difference in getting a clear and bright image.

It’s typical for a scope in this class to have some illumination settings available as well, so if the reticle is too dim you can tinker with it. The winner for optical quality on this list is almost certainly the Leupold, so if that is the most important thing for you, then you may want to take a close look at the Leupold FX-II.

Part of optical quality is also dependent on the range you’re shooting at. A scope may give you great images at the low end of the magnification range, but when it’s zoomed all the way in the quality goes down. That is a common issue for a variable power scope. A scope that has a fixed zoom has an easier time because there are no moving pieces.

8 Best .22 Pistol Scopes

1. Leupold FX-II 4x28 Handgun Scope

22 pistol scope

The Leupold FX-II is a fixed-power pistol scope that has 4x power magnification. The field of view will be narrower than on a pistol scope that is lower power, but thanks to the fully multi coated lenses on the Leupold FX II, your image will have high clarity and great light transmission, and will perform better in low light than the other best 22 pistol scopes.

Leupold has really earned its status as a household name and is one of the most premium brands out there. If you're looking at pure quality and nothing else, Leupold would be the number one pick here, but especially for a scope intended for a .22 pistol, it's possible to over-invest in glass.

Leupold scopes are also highly durable. Each of their models is tested exhaustively to withstand recoil using their "Punisher", which simulates recoil 3 times that of a typical .308 rifle. The scope has to withstand 5000 hits on the Punisher before it is allowed to go to mass production. The level of care and attention that goes into these scopes is unparalleled.

Crystal clear clarity and high light transmission are the specialty of the Leupold FX II. Leupold has their proprietary Twilight Light Management System, which gives you a high quality image for acquiring your target.

Leupold FX-II 4x28 Handgun Scope

The price of Leupold FX-II 4x28 Handgun Scope varies, so check the latest price at

2. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight

best pistol scopes

The Bushnell Trophy handgun scope is a red dot sight, and this kind of sight is more common for a pistol or handgun. This pistol scope is a one-power, which means this scope doesn’t have any magnification or power change ring. It’s a high-quality red dot scope for the price, and will be useful for close range shooting and small game hunting.

The Bushnell is matte black, O-ring sealed, and shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof. It's a tough optic that will be able to handle anything your .22 can throw at it. You have multiple brightness settings for the dot and it's small enough to not cover too much of your target area while still big enough to be easily seen for quick target acquisition.

You have a 3 MOA dot, which should work well as a pistol scope, since a gun of that size won’t be shooting very far. The price makes this appealing for a beginner, but also for an expert, since either way you are probably not using your 22 pistol for mission-critical functions, but more for pest control or plinking.

One nice thing about red dot sights is that you don’t need mounting rings.

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot 1Sight Riflescope

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25

The price of Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 varies, so check the latest price at

3. Burris 2-7x32mm Handgun Scope

pistols with scopes

This Burris handgun scope is a 2x-7x magnification. It’s a high power handgun scope, and will give plenty of range for any gun shooting a .22 caliber.. Reviews are good, and this pistol scope is fog-proof. The adjustment system will be similar on this to rifle scopes that you may be used to.

A 2-7x32 scope is the ultimate in flexibility. If you want to be able to nail short range shots as well as long-range shots, then you'll be able to just fine using one end or another of the magnification range. 2x will still give you plenty of view even at close range, and the 7x can take you as far out as the bullet can reasonably travel anyway.

The 32mm objective lens should give good performance in low light, and your sight picture will be familiar with the Burris version of a duplex reticle, called a ballistic plex. The Burris Handgun Scope 2-7x32 gives a wide range and is a great choice to give your 22 pistol the most versatility possible.

Burris 2-7x32mm Handgun Scope

Burris 2-7x32mm Handgun Scope

The price of Burris 2-7x32mm Handgun Scope varies, so check the latest price at

4. Weaver 2x 28mm Classic Pistol Scope 

scopes for pistols

The Weaver chooses a middle ground of a fixed 2x power magnification. This keeps your field of view fairly wide but also gives you a little bit of help when shooting at a target that’s a little further out than would be easy with iron sights. If you are comfortable making a 50-yard shot with no magnification, then a 2x should help you comfortable make shots at 100 yards.

This pistol scope is very light weight at only 6.7 ounces, which is much lighter than most optics and might make it feel a little fragile, but it will hold up to the recoil and demands of being mounted on a .22 pistol. That is arguably one of the best things about searching for a scope for such a light cartridge; the demands on the scope are not high, so you can get better glass for your dollar.

This scope is good but basic, and more attention is paid to the fully multi-coated lenses for great image clarity and light transmission. The Weaver is fog-proof and more rugged than the silver coating would suggest. Image quality won’t compare to the Leupold, but this scope will still be good and for a fraction of the price.

Weaver Classic Pistol Scope 2x 28mm

Weaver 2x 28mm Classic Pistol Scope

The price of Weaver Classic Pistol Scope 2x 28mm varies, so check the latest price at

Here is another detailed weaver scope review, Check it out if you are looking for some other option by same manufacturer.

5. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2x-7x32 Rimfire Scope

pistol scope reviews

The use case for this 2-7x rifle scope on a pistol is when you are mounting it on a stand or in a shooting situation where you can get close enough to the ocular lens to be within the eye relief. That type of shooting does come up on occasion, and this is the best scope for it.

The Vortex 2-7x32 gives you the same basic specifications as the Burris at a much lower cost, but again, can only be used in a shooting situation where you can mount the pistol and get your eye closer. You can also consider the Scout version, which gives eye relief of 9.45 inches and is a couple of ounces lighter.

The 32mm objective lens gives crystal clear light transmission and the lenses are fully multi-coated for high optical clarity. Since it’s technically a rifle scope, the quality here is high.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2x-7x32 Rimfire

The price of Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2x-7x32 Rimfire varies, so check the latest price at

6. Simmons Prohunter 2-6x32

best handgun scope

The Simmons Prohunter is one good budget optic and a great scope overall. The reticle is a Truplex, which is much like a duplex reticle but the lines are thicker towards the outside of the view. The adjustment system is solid and responsive, and if you’re looking for the best 22 pistol scope, then this is worth considering.

Only going from 2x to 6x may make you wonder why you would choose the Simmons over the Vortex or the Burris. Here's why you might do exactly that: the Vortex is actually designed for rifles, so is only good for certain situations, and the Burris is phenomenal but also much more expensive, and that extra magnification isn't all that useful when you're talking about a .22

Target acquisition will be faster at the lower power, but good throughout the magnification range. This pistol scope does not come with mounting rings, but most don’t, so this scope is still a contender for the best 22 pistol scope. If you're worried about over-investing with the Burris, then the Simmons is a great pick.

Simmons Prohunter 2-6x32

Simmons Prohunter 2-6x32

The price of Simmons Prohunter 2-6x32 varies, so check the latest price at

7. BSA Optics 30mm Red Dot Sight

best handgun scope

Red dot sights are important to consider for the best 22 pistol scope, because as we mentioned before when talking about the Bushnell, most shooting with a pistol is going to be done at close range, so having speedy target acquisition and a clear sight picture with a simple reticle is more important than being able to shoot out to 100 yards.

The adjustment system on a red dot is usually simpler, as is the mounting process. This BSA red dot is incredibly affordable, but isn’t as high quality as some of the other options. The reticle is as simple as it gets; just a 5 MOA red dot. 5 MOA is big for a red dot, and that makes this particularly suited to close-range use, and not so much beyond 50 yards or so.

If you're thinking of using your .22 as an emergency backup for home defense, then this scope is just about perfect for that. It's affordable enough not to take many resources away from the one gun you intend to use the most, but functional enough to be able to be relied upon in case of an emergency. This can also be great teaching a friend or a child firearm basics and safety.

BSA Optics 30mm Red Dot Sight

BSA Optics 30mm Red Dot Sight

The price of BSA Optics 30mm Red Dot Sight varies, so check the latest price at

8. NcStar Pistolero 2.5x30mm Scope

best 22 pistol scope

The NcStar is fog-proof, and is fixed at 2.5x, which makes this scope similar to the Weaver, but even more affordable. What makes this a contender for the best 22 pistol scope is that the scope works well with the idea that your .22 pistol is not your main gun, or probably even your main handgun, and so dropping a lot of cash on a scope for it may not make a lot of sense.

This scope isn't illuminated, which is part of why this scope is so affordable, so if you're willing to miss out on one feature that a lot of people want, then this scope could be a great choice for you. The image quality on this scope is decent, and definitely good enough to be functional and valuable on your .22 sidearm.

If you want a simple, affordable way to increase the capabilities of your 22 pistol, then this may be the best 22 pistol scope for you.

NcStar Pistolero 2.5x30mm-Reticle

NcStar Pistolero 2.5x30mm

The price of NcStar Pistolero 2.5x30mm  varies, so check the latest price at

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Makes a Great .22 Pistol Scope?

Having the right amount of eye relief and magnification are the two primary things that will make an optic great for your pistol. Good reticle design that matches your purposes is also important.

What Magnification Do You Need?

It depends on how far out your targets are. If you are shooting at less than 50 yards, you may not need any at all, and there are very few things you can use a .22 pistol for that would require more than 7x.

What Factors Should I Consider When Buying a Scope for .22 Pistol?

You'll want to make sure that the reticle is to your liking, that it is compatible with your exact pistol, and that it is powerful enough for the distance you'll be shooting at.

Conclusion

We hope these reviews have been helpful as you look for the right scope for your needs. If we’re talking about image quality, then the Leupold would be our top choice, but there are several other scope options that are so much more affordable, that unless you really need that level of performance in a scope for a .22 pistol, that scope may not make as much sense for you.

Have you had experience with any of the scopes on this list? If you have a favorite scope on your .22 we would love to hear about your scope and learn more about what makes a scope perfect for you.

We all have our preferences, and there’s always more to learn. Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add to this list.

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