Last Updated on April 7, 2021
Squirrel hunting is one of the most enjoyable moments for any fun-loving hunters or shooters. It’s one of the easiest too. You don’t need to go through a lot of pain for the preparations and journey of squirrel hunting. But you certainly need the best scope for 22lr rifles for squirrel hunting. Having that by your side, you are ready to go for a squirrel hunt.
As you can find squirrels everywhere from Kentucky to California, Maine to Mississippi, such an abundance of this small game produces plenty of seasonal hunting opportunities. Besides, they are really good to eat. You will find no wild game cookbook that doesn’t have some good bushy tail recipe for this little critter. Squirrel hunting includes lots of action which is good for the kids too. So, gear up with the best 22 scopes for squirrel hunting and take a deep breath. You’re hunting!
Best Scope for 22lr Squirrel Hunting Reviews
01. Simmons Truplex 22 Mag 3-9x Riflescope for Squirrel Hunting
Simmons Truplex is one of the most popular rimfire riflescopes for squirrel hunting in America. The addition of many innovative features has made it unique from the others. Its quick game acquisition eyepiece with plenty of eye relief acquires preys with a snap. Its sure-grip adjustment will allow you to have a nice grip in all situations. You will be able to handle it swiftly even wearing gloves.
The fully coated optics is very handy and classy for taking bright, sharp images with high contrast. It’s constructed with one-piece molding. That is why it is so light, holds great strength, and offers you great durability. The scope is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. So, in every weather condition, it will give you great service without any doubt.
It has the best magnification for 22lr which is 3-9x. The parallax correction present here can be preset from 50 yards to infinity. It has a 3/8” dovetail shape mounting rings included with it that help to get a good setting adjustment. For such a low price, it’s quite a bargain to be the best scope for 22lr squirrel hunting!
- One-piece tube construction offers great strength
- High-quality fully-coated optical glass
- Sharp, bright images with high contrast
- Water, fog, and shockproof
- Best scope for 22lr hunting competition for squirrel
- Well adjustable mounting rings
- Best rimfire scope under $100
- Excellent eye relief
- The sure-grip rubber surface is very handy
- Medium level elevation and windage
- The Magnification and Objective (mm): 3–9 x 32
- The field of View at 100 yards is: 31.4 / 10.5
- Eye-Relief (in / mm): 3.75 / 95
- The Exit Pupil is(mm): 10.7 / 3.6
- Weight of the scope (oz / g): 10 / 284
- Click Value of the scope in at 100Y is: .25
- The adjustment range of the scope at 100Y is: 60
02. Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II 3-9X40 BDC Reticle 150
Nikon Prostaff is extremely popular among shooters because like all the other rimfire calibers, they are fun to shoot and extremely accurate as well. They provide a comprehensive lineup of various riflescopes for that matter. Its fully multicoated optical system is perfect for long-range guns with the rimfire-specific BDC reticle 150. You will get a compensated bullet drop at extended firing distances.
The BDC reticle’s unique see-through ballistic circles will offer you an extra advantage over the long-range shooting. Besides, it will allow a normal sight picture when you will need shorter-range shots if the aiming point is the crosshair. You will get a bright and vivid picture with optimum light transmission from dawn to dusk because of the presence of multilayer anti-reflective compounds on every glass surface.
It has an instant spring-loaded zero-reset turret which makes field adjustments as simple as dialing in your ranges. This wonderful scope is optimized with the Nikon Spot On™ Ballistic Match Technology. As a result, you will be able to discover all of the aiming points on the scope’s reticle for your specific ammunition and load at various yardages.
Its consistent and generous eye relief will keep your brow safe from the heaviest recoiling cartridges, severe shooting angles, and lightweight rifles. It has a nitrogen-purged O-ring sealed structure that is completely waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. It is certainly the best scope for 22lr squirrel hunting.
- Instant spring-loaded zero-reset turrets
- Has Multi-layer anti-reflective optical system
- Bright and vivid pictures with optimum light transmission
- Water, fog, and shockproof
- Nitrogen purged, O-ring sealed structure
- BDC 150 reticle
- Best rimfire scope under $200
- Eye relief is generous and consistent
- Spot On™ Nikon Ballistic Match Technology
- Little bit pricey
- Magnification: 3- 9x
- Objective Diameter: 40mm
- Exit Pupil: 13.33mm
- Field of View @100 Yds: 4.4 ft & 11.3- 33.8 ft
- Tube Diameter – Other: 1 in
- Eye Relief: 3.6- 3.6in
- Weight: 13.1 oz
- Overall Length: 12.3 in
- Adjustment Graduation – Other: 1/2 in
- Max Internal Adjustment: 80 MOA
- Parallax Setting – Other: 50 yds
- Waterproof/Fogproof: Yes
- Spot On Custom Turret: Yes
- Matte Finish: Yes
- Usable in: Rimfire squirrel hunting
- Reticle: BDC 150
03. Bushnell Trophy 1x25mm, Black, TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Riflescope
If you want a fast game acquisition, then there is nothing like a red dot for squirrel hunting. This Bushnell Trophy will give you accuracy even in dim conditions. Its engineered amber-bright optics, the TRS-25 1×25 will quickly help you to distinguish between the brown tree and critter. Its multi-colored optics can see the prey even in low-light conditions. It is 100% waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof like any other quality scope.
The Bushnell rimfire scope has a CR2032 battery and the housing is filled with dry nitrogen. The eye relief is unlimited and can be used easily with both eyes. This increases the awareness of the shooter about the surrounding environments and provides faster game acquisition. Because of the parallax-free design, you will need no centering. The dot will follow your eye movement remaining focused on the squirrel in the meantime. The TRS-25 will deliver a full-size performance of the sight in reduced size with low power consumption.
The scope uses a crisp and sharp red dot reticle. You can adjust the red dot setting by using the control knob. To nullify the unintentional turn-on of the knob, a certain amount of resistance is cleverly designed into it. In ambient light conditions, you may find the red dot blurry if the dot intensity is set too high. This may occur indoors with fluorescent, artificial lighting. Set this at the highest point should be the light conditions are bright ambient.
Otherwise, the red dot will be non-centric and distorted. To get the best result, only increase the red dot setting when you are aiming for a reference that isn’t glaring but perceptible. The matte finish gives it a cool look. The low-priced beast can be the best scope for 22lr squirrel hunting you’ll find for yourself.
- Blazing game acquisition ability
- Top-level accuracy
- 100% waterproof, fog-proof, shockproof
- Multi-coated optics
- Super active in low-light conditions
- Low power consumption
- Parallax free design
- Best scope for squirrel hunting
- Difficult to set illumination setting
- Partial obstruction of the field of view
- Finish: Matte
- Power / Objective Lens: 1 x 25mm
- The Reticle of the scope: 3 MOA Red Dot
- Field of View of the scope (ft@100 yds. / m@100 m): Unlimited
- Weight (oz./g): 3.7 / 106
- Length (in./mm): 2.4 / 61.8
- Eye Relief (in. / mm): Unlimited
- Click Value in.@100 yds / mm@100m: .5 / 14
- Adjacent Range in.@100yds / m@100m: 70 / 1.9
- Mounting Length is (in. / mm): 1.1 / 28
04. BARSKA Plinker-22 Riflescope 3-9×32
BARSKA Plinker-22 is the most popular riflescope of this company which is specifically designed for 22 rifles and rimfires. You can easily use this scope for plinking and general hunting applications. It can bear all sorts of rugged outdoor conditions that you may face. The dovetail rings and scope caps are really handy and fully coated optics will give you maximum service.
It has waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof construction. The 1-inch mono-tube construction will offer you real durability and performance. You will get a parallax-free view from 50 yards without any problem. Sharp optical clarity and performance are guaranteed with this awesome scope. You can react in any environment easily because of the adjustment knob that comes with it.
For fine-tuning of windage and elevation, they offer you a 0.25-inch click adjustment. You also get a 3/8” mounting ring free with the riflescope. The black matte finish is always cool for any scope. This lightweight scope like these ones will provide you with a striking performance. With a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, Plinker-22 can simply be one of the best scopes for 22lr squirrel hunting you may get anywhere.
- Mono-tube construction offers great strength
- Great for general hunting and plinking
- Can withstand the rugged outdoor environment
- Provides sharp optical clarity and performance
- Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof
- Best rimfire competition scope
- Fine-tunable for elevation and windage
- Comes with 3/8” mounting rings
- Best 22 scope for squirrel hunting
- Scope rings aren’t high level
- An adjustment can be an issue
- Magnification: 3-to-9X
- Tube length: 12’’-inch
- Tube diameter: One-inch
- Exit pupil: 10.7-3.6 millimeter
- Objective lens: 32-millimeter
- Reticle: 30/30
- Eye relief: 3.5”- inch
- Field of view: 36-foot at 100 yards at 3X magnification
- Field of view: 13-foot at 100 yards at 9X magnification
- Click value: 0.25”-inch
- Weight: 11.5-ounce
05. Sightmark Ultra Shot Sight with QD Digital Switch
For close range, fast-moving preys, this Sightmark Ultra Shot is one of the best scopes for 22lr squirrel hunting. It is equipped with a digital switch button that is on the side of the scope. It comes in handy for adjusting the settings for variable brightness in any lighting condition. You can easily remove the mounting as it can be quickly detached. This will help you when you are using iron sights or other accessories.
The competition scope for 22lr is exceptionally durable as it has a strong body. The protective aluminum shield hood adds to the defense of the new version from the original ultra-shot model. It has a sleek, tactical look because of the matte finish which also eliminates reflection. This ultra-shot QD digital swift reflects sight can be the alternative to the overly priced mil-spec models.
Also, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty. The 3x AG5 battery is very durable and comes with a rubber lens cap. The adjustment tools are pretty good also. Its field of view is 105 feet @100 yards. Not to forget, it is also waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. It has an old-school look that gives it an antique touch. Also, check Vortex Venom red dot for a good result.
- Best for close range, fast-moving squirrel
- The adjustable variable brightness setting
- Quick detachable mounting
- Protective aluminum shield hood
- Anti-reflective matte finish
- Lifetime warranty
- Water-resistant, fog proof, shockproof
- Infinite eye relief
- Exceptionally durable
- Not the best image quality
- May seem over-priced
- Magnification: 1x
- Objective Lens: 33x24mm
- Field of View: 35 m@100m
- Reticle: 4 Pattern
- Reticle Color: Red
- Battery: 3x AG5
- Battery Life: 25-150 hrs
- Brightness Settings: 1-5 and “off”
- Max Recoil: Up to .50 Caliber
- Finish/Color: Matte Black
- Lens Coatings are: AR Red
- Mount Type is: Weaver Quick Detach
- Construction of the body: Aluminum
- Operating Temperature is: 0 to 120 degrees F
- Dimensions are: 94x56x56 mm
- The weight of the scope: 7.6 oz.
Buying Guide of Best Scopes for 22lr Squirrel Hunting
Hunting is a game of precision and accuracy. It’s an adrenaline-pumped exciting activity that often requires the patience and endurance of the hunter. Hunting can be the most basic level starting with the spear or any sharp object and ending with the delicate use of a scope to kill a game like a squirrel. Whichever one the prey is; the enjoyment is the same for any hunting lover. When you are selecting any good scope like the night vision types for your 22lr from the market, you need to consider certain criteria.
Optics of the Best Scope for 22lr Squirrel Hunting
As 22 rifles are light in weight and have a small caliber, you need to match the scope with it that has the correct optics. For any squirrel hunting, you don’t need any large or heavy scope. A lightweight and simple scope would be the perfect fit for your hunting. Besides, for any close-range shooting, the rifle scopes with smaller optics are the best options. On the other hand, in the case of quality coyote hunting with scope, you will need to cover a longer range most of the time. You can use some top-level bow sights too for hunting squirrels through bow shooting.
Size of the Objective Lens
You need a very good objective lens. The bigger the better. As it will create clearer and brighter images to take a good shot at your game. So, like all the other devices, you will need a good lens for the best scopes for 22lr squirrel hunting.
As parallax alignment is an important issue, and you are using rifle scopes of small caliber, I will suggest you have a good magnification range like the red dots for the scope. As a result, you will get very high-level support while you are out for any hunting.
Riflescopes mainly show two types of parallax.
Fixed parallax: This is the factory set and non-adjustable parallax. Most rifle scopes come with 100 yards fixed parallax.
Adjustable parallax: It can be adjusted either by adjustable objective or side focus. In this parallax setting, you have to set minimum and maximum parallax values. In most cases, the lowest setting is 25 yards and the maximum value is infinity.
Typically, squirrel hunting is performed between 25 to 50 yards. So don’t take too much magnification scope to avoid image distortion. This will ease up the process for you.
This is the distance between your eyes and each lens. Larger eye relief is more convenient to see objects clearly. Moreover, .22 LR has some back thrust so when you shoot, this may hit your eyes. The long eye relief will help to reduce such thrust. So, you should check the eye relief distance necessarily.
Eye relief is also important for glass wearers. For glass wearers, the recommended distance is 3 inches or more than that. Luckily, our reviewed scopes for 22 LR squirrel hunting pass the test.
The price goes up as you will select quality scopes. The bigger the scope is the higher the price would be. Besides, additional features would also contribute to the price range like this awesome scope Vortex Razor. As a result, choosing a smaller one will lighten the burden on your pocket. So, you need to be very wise to pick the perfect one. Like, choosing the budget-friendly EOTech clone sights instead of the holographic ones to save some bucks.
Quality and clarity come first when I choose any product for me. When you are picking a good quality product, you are already a step ahead in your hunting journey. So you need to make sure to have excellent lenses that are precisely calibrated and also have accurate click adjustment.
You should also check brightness before buying the scope. It will ensure sharp and clear images in any lighting condition. Most importantly you need to remember that it’s not a sniper shot rather a squirrel hunting. So, gadgetry isn’t that much of an issue here.
Squirrel hunting is a short-range shooting. So, most reticles either BDC, Mil-Dot, Illuminated, or Duplex will work well in this range. So, don’t worry about spending on special reticles.
How to Zero in A scope for 22 LR Squirrel Hunting?
This is almost similar to zero in other rifle scopes. The steps are as below:
- First of all, install the scope on your rifle. Make sure, rings come with the right diameter and the mounting kit fits the rifle.
- Place your eyepiece to see clear images. Be sure, the eyepiece is far enough so recoil won’t wound your eyes.
- It’s time to get level. To ensure a stable shooting position, you may need a shooting bench and mount or bipod.
- Let’s align the reticle perfectly with elevation and windage adjustments.
- Then set up the MOA. Most scopes come with ¼ MOA increments.
- Now try some shots out. Note down where every round is hitting. According to your preference, shoot at 25 yards, 30 yards, or 50 yards. Many suggest 40 yards for sighting and shooting. If you plan to shoot squirrels at around 25 yards, sight the 22 LR for 35 yards instead of 40 yards or 50 yards.
How Much Magnification Do You Need for Squirrel Hunting with 22lr Scope?
It is always better to have a scope with longer magnification. You can easily have scopes that have magnification levels up to 40 starting from 7 or 9. You may wonder, which magnification level serves best for squirrel hunting. Well, that depends on the lighting of your surroundings and the distance that you are trying to cover. Most of the famous brands offer scopes with long magnification levels for the best scopes for 22lr squirrel hunting. You can try any of those. But you must test the magnification before buying one. Just look through the eyepiece while rotating the focus ring. And examine how far you can look clearly.
According to some expert shooters, it is better to have a scope that can cover 150 yards. That’s a good distance to cover for a scope, but with a quality one, you can see things at that distance quite clear.
Things to Remember for Squirrel Hunting with 22lr Scope
There are certain things to remember before you start your squirrel hunting. Be very aware of these as it will help you to land good prey for you.
Before you start your hunting, make sure that you have all the necessary papers needed for your hunting permit.
The Best Time
Squirrels normally go out in the morning for food and they get back to their shelter in the afternoon. So, these times are really good for going for a kill. And, you don’t need to hunt at night, which may be problematic for you.
Spotting the Game
When you reach the place, be very silent and standstill. Don’t make any noise as it will push them away from you. Try to locate the rustling of the small feet both on the grounds and on the trees. You also need to be very silent to hear the teeth cutting and nut hulling sounds. Try to locate the big tail of that tiny dude with a hunting-grade monocular. As they make noise when climbing any trees, you may find some if you take note. Remember that they come in a number of colors i.e. red, black, blue, purple, grey, and brownish fur.
Best Scope for 22lr Squirrel Hunting Distance
There is no perfect number for me when it comes to scoping any squirrel. It varies from 25 to 40 yards for me. Although, an accurate 22lr along with a good shooting skill will you to have a headshot out to 50 yards or more.
In general, squirrels are tree-loving creatures. They love nuts. So, you will find them in the trees that have various types of nuts and similar kinds of fruits. Oak trees are very popular amongst squirrels. So, you need to go somewhere full of trees. Woodland areas are the perfect type of place for you. And find nut trees when you get there.
22 Caliber Rifles
When I go squirrel hunting, I always prefer a small-caliber rifle. As shotguns are not suitable for small game hunting. But, you can use them in a big game like turkey hunting. Besides, being a critter creature, the shotgun will destroy the body of the game. For that reason, 22lr is a suitable one for having a go in any competition. With that bad guy, you will be able to get a good head or heart shot. It will be just perfect for a small creature like that.
Size of the Squirrel
Different types of squirrels have different sizes. The eastern gray squirrel has a weight of 0.88 to 1.32 pounds, a Siberian chipmunk 0.11 to 0.33 pounds, an alpine marmot 6.17 to 7.28 pounds, and an African pygmy squirrel 0.035 pounds! So they are really small creatures that are really fast and difficult to scope.
As they are very skittish creatures, you need to make sure that you move very slowly and quietly as much as possible. It’s very important to have camouflage for you when you make a move. As soon as you detect any movement, you must position yourself to take a clean shot.
Using Bait for Attraction
You can use baits like nuts, seeds, and different fruits for seeking the attraction of the squirrels. Place the bait in a place where you can easily scope them out and no obstacles for having a clear view. Make sure that your position is not in an open place rather in a hidden one. The use of a perfect bait will attract the game thus reducing your wait time.
Shooting any squirrel on the ground is much easier than on a tree. Also, it may cause damage to the meat as it will drop from a height and it may get stuck within the branches of the trees. So try scoping them whilst they are on the ground. You can use quality hunting lights at night too like the one used for coyote hunting.
A headshot is always best for any small creatures as heads are not normally eaten. So try to make a clean headshot. If you can, you are good to go. But it may be difficult for any new hunter as the head of a squirrel is a tiny aim. The second best aim point is the heart which lies just under the neck of the little fellow. Try to shoot from a side view as the front or back view will narrow down the aimed area for you. Besides, a side shot will make the head a large aim point.
As you may find it hard for locating any prey for a long time and also may need to wait for a while, you need to be very patient when you go hunting. This often determines whether any hunter will be successful or not. It’s a waiting game. So mind that before you want to try your luck.
Safety Procedures for Squirrel Hunting
For any basic hunting operation, you need to follow some regulatory safety rules. As you are dealing with rifles and small game scopes, there are lots of safety techniques that you must adhere to. Those rules will keep you safe and allow you to have a wonderful shooting experience. Also, try to secure other fellow hunters’ safety like your own safety. Follow some vision-based forums for more info.
Safety for Guns
- Before you start a hunting journey, always check your weapon first. The muzzle must be cleaned and the parts of the weapon should be oiled properly. Any dirt or debris can’t be present.
- You should use binoculars for scoping the game. Try to stay at a distance from the aimed area. That will keep the area a secure place for the prey.
- Stay away from any damaged tree or timber or broken ones. Avoid the branches that are dead or have crashed down. It may hurt you or any fellow hunter.
- Keep your weapon in a way so that it will always face the floor. Don’t point it at anyone. Even when you are cleaning it, always keep the face down. The gun barrel must be down when you are carrying it out.
- Never put your finger on the trigger unless you are making a shot. When cleaning, keep your fingers away from the trigger. Even if the chamber is empty, the trigger must not be touched.
Safety for Hunters
- When hunting, it is recommended to put a camouflage for easy mingling within the woods. But try one colored clothing for easy recognition for other fellow hunters. Too much camo isn’t good as others may not detect you from the woods.
- Try to keep your prey within the range and within a clear viewpoint. It will ease out the process of hunting. Use monoculars or binoculars to check them out. Generally, hunting monoculars comes in handy in this situation. A clear shot is a must. Don’t try to shot if any obstacle is present between you and the squirrel.
- Don’t take a shot if the squirrel is moving. It will create the success rate of a dropdown. As they are very little and super-fast, chances are you will miss your prey. Moving prey is very difficult, even for a shotgun.
- If there is a wind, don’t shoot. As the 22 caliber bullet is very light, the wind may affect the accuracy of the shot very seriously.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is the best scope for 22lr squirrel hunting?
Answer: You can go for any renowned brand. But we prefer the Simmons Truplex most for squirrel hunting.
- Is it better to have an illuminated scope for squirrel hunting?
Answer: An illuminated scope will help you shoot in low-light conditions. From experience, we know that squirrels are active at dawn and dusk. In such a scenario, an illuminated scope will help you a lot. So illuminated scopes are not mandatory but they will definitely help.
- Are fixed power scopes good for squirrel hunting?
Answer: You can prefer fixed power scopes to adjustable scopes. Fixed power scopes are easy to operate and they are very effective. You can find fixed six power or four power scopes in the market. Famous brands like Leupold offer fixed six-power scope.
- What about red dot vs scope for squirrel hunting?
Answer: Red dot sights offer 1x magnification while scopes offer several levels of magnification. Since squirrels are moving targets and you have to shoot them by covering a certain distance, scopes are preferable to red dot sights.
- What is the best scope for the 22 LR squirrel hunting competition?
Answer: Squirrel hunting completion is easy when you have 22 rifles with high-end squirrel hunting scopes. We recommend picking Nikon 3-9×40 Scope to have great hunting to win the champion’s medal.
- Can I use a slingshot instead of 22 rimfire rifle for squirrel hunting?
Answer: Squirrel moves vary fast so without excellent hunting skills, it will be difficult for you to kill them with the slingshot. On the other hand, it’s easier to kill using a 22 LR rifle. And the best scopes for squirrel hunting will enhance 22 LR immensely. If you want to shoot with a slingshot, make sure you shoot squirrels’ heads.
- What is the best rimfire scope for squirrel hunting?
Answer: Typically, .22 LR is widely held for squirrel hunting as a rimfire scope. However, there are some other options like 22 TCM, 17 WSM, 17 HMR, 17 PMC, 17 HM2, 5 mm, etc.
- Is a 12 gauge good for squirrel hunting?
Answer: The 12 gauge shotgun is quite enough for adults. However, if you are under 18, we recommend using 20 gauge for squirrel hunting.
- What kind of game can hunt with a 22 LR?
Answer: The .22 LR is a short-range, classic game hunting rifle. You can use this firearm for killing varieties of games like raccoons, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, and so on. However, you can use this for coyote, deer, or hog hunting to any shorter distance. In this case, the best scopes for squirrel hunting will enhance the range up to 100 yards. Besides .22 LR is widely used in benchrest shooting.
- Is 22 LR good for squirrel hunting?
Answer: The 22 LR is surely a great firearm for squirrel hunting. Although there are pros and cons of using 22 LR, still the perks surpass the limitations. This rifle is versatile, easy to use, and less expensive. But its power is a downside.
- What size of ring comes with this 22 LR squirrel hunting scope?
Answer: Most of the good scopes for squirrel hunting designed with a 30 mm main tube. To hold the scopes upright, 3/8 ’’ dovetail rings come with the scopes. Several top squirrel hunting scopes come with other dimensions main-tube, like 34 mm or 46 mm. In such cases, you need other sizes of rings.
- Is it good to hunt squirrels in the rain?
Answer: In the heavy rain, squirrels hardly come out of their den so don’t go hunting then. Alternately, if it rains lightly, squirrels move here and there for food, you can hunt them in such situations.
- Can I shoot squirrels in my garden?
Answer: Yes, shooting squirrels in the garden is legal. You can also do it by trap easily. Whatever the way you choose, do it knowing your area rules to avoid penalty.
Squirrel hunting will include full of action, so brace yourself up with the perfect gear for you. That is where the best scope for 22lr squirrel hunting comes as a solution. Also, don’t forget to enjoy the rustling sound of the outdoor and fresh environment. Enjoy your hunting to the fullest with our 22 scope recommendation!