Best Rimfire Scope for Squirrel Hunting

If you are one of those people, like me, who enjoys the challenge of executing the perfect shot on a squirrel as opposed to just getting in the general area with a shotgun, you know how important it is to have a rifle / scope combination that is capable of performing.

You also know that just because you are hunting with a rifle, these wiley little creatures aren’t going to sit still for long and give you a lot of time for the shot. Having a lower level of magnification, that is quickly adjustable, preferably fixed, is a requirement.

In addition, a squirrel’s color blends in perfectly with the trees they spend the majority of their lives in. This makes lense clarity ultra important along with a large enough objective to gather maximum light during low light shooting conditions when these little magicians are most active.

These issues alone make the requirements for the best squirrel rifle scope special. Just any scope won’t give you the advantages you need to be successful in this endeavor.

After 50 years of enjoying hunting these little critters with a 22 lr rifle, I have used a lot of different scopes and rifles and learned a ton from all of them. I have compiled all of that experience to create the list below of the best squirrel scopes on the market today for your 22 lr squirrel rifle so you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did.

Best 22 lr scopes for squirrel hunting

Most FlexibleAthlon Talos BTR 1-4×24
Best BargainPrimary Arms Classic 1-4×24
Best ValueVortex Crossfire II 2-7×32

What makes a good 22 lr scope for squirrel hunting ?


Too much magnification on a squirrel scope is actually a negative. Of course all shots will be attempted while the animal is sitting still but they move often and quickly. Too much magnification and the field of view won’t be large enough to track it for the best shot.

Objective size

It is important that objective size is large enough to gather enough light during prime shooting times, when light is low, to keep your sight picture clear.


Glass should be of sufficient quality with adequate coatings to give a very clear sight picture. Squirrels blend into their backgrounds really well. Nature has seen to this. Extreme glass quality is not required as most shots are within 50 yards. It just has to be good enough to keep everything clear.


Of course all of this is needed without over investing in a scope. Most shooters agree that you should have about the same amount of money invested in your optics and you do in the rifle.

All of the scopes I suggest below have been measured and chosen for it’s ability to meet these requirements.

Comparison of important features

Obj Dia
Clarity# cust
Avg Score 1-5

Most FlexibleAthlon Talos BTR 1-4×24Excellent404.5$170
Best BargainPrimary Arms Classic 1-4×24Excellent1494.3$124
Best ValueVortex

Most Flexible- Athlon Talos BTR 1-4×24 Direct Dial Fixed

  • Illuminated reticle provides greater visibility at dusk and dawn
  • Reticle is etched on the glass to provide excellent backing support for complex reticle design and offers great durability and much higher shock resistance to recoil
  • Fully multicoated optics effectively reduce reflected light and increase the transmission of light giving you a brighter image than normal single coated lenses
  • Aircraft grade aluminum construction provides extra strength and durability to handle the toughest terrain over a lifetime of use
  • Heat treated one piece tube gives the scope extra strength over multi-piece tubes and keeps moisture out to prevent fogging up

Actual scope reticle pictured below

Out of 38 rankings from actual customers who purchased and used this scope, it received an actual score of 4.5 our of 5 possible points. The negatives were

  • breakage of internal components for one customer on a 30 caliber rifle
  • one customer didn’t like the exposed turrets allowing quick adjustment, would have preferred to have them covered.

Best Bargain – Primary Arms Classic Series 1-4×24

  • SIMPLE DUPLEX DOT RETICLE: The second focal plane design keeps the duplex reticle the same size at any magnification while guiding the user’s eye to the center dot
  • PARTIAL RETICLE ILLUMINATION: Powered by a common CR2032 battery, the center dot illuminates red and features 12 brightness settings for use in low-light conditions
  • GENEROUS EYE RELIEF: Eye relief ranging from 3.5 inches to 4.9 inches depending on magnification
  • 1-YEAR WARRANTY: We’ve got you covered for a year after purchase – If a defect due to materials or workmanship has caused your product to malfunction, Primary Arms will either repair or replace it

Actual reticle pictured below

Out of 148 rankings by actual customers who purchased and used this scope, it scored an average of 4.3 out of a possible 5 points.

Best Value – Vortex Optics Crossfire II

  • The 2-7×32 Crossfire II riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for hunting/shooting at varying ranges where estimating holdover is a concern
  • With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you’ll be able to quickly get a sight picture and acquire your target. The fast focus eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing
  • Anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear views for the user; Max Elevation Adjustment: 60 MOA
  • Capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with MOA clicks that can be reset to zero after sighting in
  • A single piece tube constructed from aircraft grade aluminum ensures strength and shockproof performance. O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, the Crossfire II delivers waterproof and fogproof performance

Actual reticle is pictured below

Out of 257 rankings by actual customers who purchased and used this scope, it had an average score of 4.7 out of 5 possible points.