The 5 Best .22 Mag Scopes Put to the Test (The Results)


This Nikon ProStaff toughed it out with us on a late-season, plains coyote hunt on the sagebrush dominated rolling hills of Arapahoe County, Colorado.

Out of the box, this high quality, fully coated, rifle scope had the look and feel of one of the best scopes offered on the market. It mounted seamlessly to my Magnum.

Nikon boasts that this scope allows in 98% of light, and is fully multi-coated and nitrogen filled scope to prevent fogging – so we took it out to the field to put it to the test.

The Power

This Nikon ProStaff is a variable power scope. The 4-12×40 allows you to dial from 4 up to 12 magnification to suit your hunting needs. That’s more power in a scope than I need for shorter range ‘varmint hunting’.

I usually hunt inside 100 yards so I shot the scope with a setting around 5. A fixed scope would most likely be the best candidate for hunting small game.

The Objective Lens

This scope’s objective lens is a little larger than what is required for the .22 Mag and offered a very clear sight. It was clear and bright at 40mm and provided the best light transmission front to back.

I did shoot my rimfire in the evenings and found that the larger objective was far more gracious in letting in light as you approach dusk. There was no parallax adjustment on the scope but it appeared that one was built in and set at around 100 yards.

Fuzziness and blurriness were not a problem during our intense hunt. The scope’s optics performed in an outstanding fashion. I selected the bullet drop compensation (BDC) reticle for quick and easy range finding.

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Rugged and Durable

Yes, this rifle scope performed well on our weekend coyote shoot in the snowbanks of Kiowa Creek in Eastern Colorado. There were quite a few creek crossing, climbing on our bellies and hauling scope mounted rifles into tree stands. We’re rough on gear out here and the Nikon performed very well under the worst-case conditions.

Knobs and Dials

Both the Diopter adjustment and the magnification zoom, as well as the elevation and windage turrets functioned smoothly. Windage adjustments were smooth yet reported a loud click to ensure accurate and confident shooting.


Currently, pricing information is unavailable online because demand for this tough little scope is high. I paid $180 for the test scope for my .22 Mag which didn’t hit my pocketbook too hard.

The Verdict

I kept good notes in the field while testing these scopes. After the trial I reviewed my notes and saw that the Nikon ProStaff scored very well, with durability and quality optics bringing it to the forefront.

The 3.7 inches of eye relief worked very well and made for comfortable cheek weld with the stock length of the Browning T-bolt I was shooting that day.

I was most satisfied with this model for my rimfire. This good-looking scope finished first and it’s the best performer with a large objective lens, demonstrating the best light transmission and offering a clear sight picture. The coated optics withstood large changes in weather patterns without fogging up, and a true dialed bullet drop compensator matched up perfectly with the .22 Mag.

2. Simmons 3-9x32mm .22 Waterproof Fog Proof Matte Black Rifle Scope

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>