The .22 Hornet cartridge is highly acclaimed for its speed, power, and accuracy. While the cartridge has already fallen out of favor and has been replaced with the more modern .220 Swift and the .223 Remington, it remains a reliable cartridge for hunting varmints. It is a vintage cartridge that is more versatile than some modern projectiles.

However, it is essential to use the right scope if you want to obtain the many benefits that the .22 Hornet cartridge can offer. Whether you have a rifle from Ruger, CZ, or any other mass-market rifle manufacturer, only the best scope for .22 Hornet will suffice.

Quick Answer: The 5 Best .22 Hornet Scopes for 2020

First, let’s take a look at the top-rated .22 hornet scopes, then we’ll talk about how to choose the right one for you in our buying guide below.

Best Scope for .22 Hornet Reviews of 2020

Best Overall
Our Score 9.3 Out of 10
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Best Mid Range
Our Score 8.8 Out of 10
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Cheaper Choice
Our Score 8.4 Out of 10
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Our Score 8.2 Out of 10
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Our Score 7.9 Out of 10
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Nikon Prostaff Rimfire 3-9×40 Riflescope

Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II 3-9X40 BDC150
Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II 3-9X40 BDC150 amazon.com Check price

BDC 150 Reticle
Fully Multicoated Optical System
Spring Loaded Instant Zero-Reset Turrets
Spot On Ballistic Match Technology
Waterproof/Fogproof/Shockproof

The multicoating of the Prostaff Rimfire II is noteworthy. We were able to use the scope in near-dusk conditions and it still afforded us very clear images. In broad daylight, the glass never created annoying glares that would have made it difficult to spot a varmint from about 200 yards.

We find the Prostaff Rimfire II’s scope power for .22 Hornet to be just right for varmint hunting. It is easy to spot groundhogs from a distance. Zeroing the scope is also quick. Nikon uses a technology that allows the scope to retain its zero, while also allowing for very quick resets.

You will love the Rimfire II’s sleek scope body. It feels very solid and can take any abuse that your hunting adventures can bring.

The downside to this Nikon product is its lack of accompanying scope rings. This is not really a downer as it is easy to buy a high quality mounting ring to attach the scope to your rifle.

Pros
  • Very accurate aiming because of its ballistics compatibility
  • Comes with automatic zero turrets for very rapid shot compensation
  • Multicoated unequalled light transmission
  • Excellent all-around hunting/shooting performance
  • Dependable construction for all-terrain, all-weather use
Cons
  • Does not come with scope mounting rings

There is no denying the quality of Nikon’s optics for rifles. The Rimfire II may not have accompanying mounting rings. However, its remarkable construction and unparalleled all-around performance make the Prostaff a great rifle scope for your .22 Hornet firearm.

Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Riflescope

Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Riflescope, Rimfire MOA Reticle, Matte Finish
Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Riflescope, Rimfire MOA Reticle, Matte Finish amazon.com Check price

Repeatable 1/4 MOA precision finger clicks offer intuitive, simple adjustment over a lifetime of dependable use
Complete waterproof and fogproof integrity: ready for a lifetime in the field, in all...

Leupold never compromises on the quality of its glass. This is evident in the VX-Freedom. From its lowest scope power to its highest magnification, the VX-Freedom was able to provide crystal clear views. It is as if our target was only several yards from us. This is perfect for optimizing the .22 Hornet’s unique ballistic characteristics.

We were also impressed with the light transmission of the VX-Freedom. We hunted prairie dogs late in the afternoon and well into the evening. The light transmission capabilities of the VX-Freedom were everything we had hoped for.

The construction of the scope body is classic Leupold. It comes complete with exceptional fog-proofing and additional protection against the elements. These are all characteristics of a high quality rifle scope for the .22 Hornet.

We found that the VX-Freedom’s turret is not as snappy as what we have imagined. There is some play in the turrets when you try to compensate your shots. Of course, some people may not even recognize the “wobbly” feel.

Pros
  • Good light transmission for a better target tracking
  • Repeatable turret dynamics for faster target acquisition
  • Bright reticle for more precise aiming
  • Solid and lightweight construction for all-weather use
  • Good overall value
Cons
  • Turrets not as “snappy” as others

We do not mind the less-than-ideal turret characteristics of the VX-Freedom .22 Hornet riflescopes. Considering its price, the scope’s optical quality, wide power range, and excellent construction provide great overall value. It makes the Leupold VX-Freedom an excellent choice for varmint hunters.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9×40 SFP Riflescope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II Dead Hold BDC Reticle Riflescope, 3-9x40, Black (CF2-31007)
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Dead Hold BDC Reticle Riflescope, 3-9x40, Black (CF2-31007) amazon.com Check price

The 3-9x40 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 co...

Our tests showed that the Crossfire II is a great platform for discriminating shooters and varmint hunters. You can rely on the quality of the scope’s lens, giving you a very clear shot. There are no glares and reflections to worry about. What you get is the clearest target for your .22 Hornet bullet to hit.

The eyepiece of the Crossfire II focuses faster than other devices. It guarantees better acquisition of targets that may move from one place to another. The turrets are also very crisp and responsive. You can make multiple shots without ever losing the scope’s zero.

As a top rated scope, the Crossfire II performs well in various settings. The scope will help you perform at your best. It does not matter if you are hunting varmints or are sharpening your shooting skills at the range. This high end rifle scope can make you hit your target with a single shot.

While it is not a big deal for many people, we do find the weight of the Crossfire II to be less than ideal. Our rifle is hefty enough. Fitting the Crossfire II onto our rifle can really make lifting and aiming the rifle a bit tiring.

Pros
  • Good quality glass for better light transmission and image quality
  • Fast-focusing eyepiece for instant target acquisition
  • Resettable and repeatable turrets for precise shots
  • Excellent for shooting and hunting at different ranges
  • Reliable weatherproofing and fogproofing
Cons
  • A bit on the heavy side

Heavy or not, the coolest Vortex Optics Crossfire II remains a great option for those who have .22 Hornet rifles. Its craftsmanship and performance are always a given.

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9x40mm Riflescope

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope with 3.3-Inch Eye Relief, 3-9X 40mm , Black
Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope with 3.3-Inch Eye Relief, 3-9X 40mm , Black amazon.com Check price

Quality optics with stunning HD clarity
100 percentage quality materials used and tested extensively
Beautiful design and durability built to last
Low light rifle scope with 3 to 9x magnification a...

We can never question the capabilities of Bushnell to produce excellent optical products for rifles. After all, this brand is well-known for designing and manufacturing very nice scopes for many decades. The low light performance of the Banner Dusk & Dawn is a testament to the scope’s glass quality.

Not only is the Banner Dusk & Dawn excellent for hunting in low light environments. It has a very stylish design, too. The turrets of the Banner Dusk & Dawn scope are also crisp and they hold their zero very well.

The Banner Dusk & Dawn could have been the best scope for Ruger .22 Hornet if not for some issues of canted reticles. It was unfortunate that our test scope exhibited the defect after only several shots. The reticle canted some 5 degrees to the left.

Pros
  • Very clear glass with advanced lens multicoating
  • Great for hunting and shooting in low light conditions
  • Quick to zero and maintains its level
  • Elegant design and rugged construction
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Some issues of canted reticles

Canted reticles are a very serious issue that can confront scope manufacturers. We can only hope that this issue is an isolated case and not representative of the Bushnell Banner Dusk &Dawn 3-9x40mm Riflescope line. That said, this Bushnell product still gets our nod as one of the best 22 Hornet rifle scopes.

BSA 3-9×40 Sweet 22 Rifle Scope

BSA 3-9X40 Sweet 22 Rifle Scope with Side Parallax Adjustment and Multi-Grain Turret
BSA 3-9X40 Sweet 22 Rifle Scope with Side Parallax Adjustment and Multi-Grain Turret amazon.com Check price

Advanced optical rifle scope with quick-change turret system
Side parallax adjustment and multi-grain turret
Water-, fog-, and shock-proof
40-millimeter lens with camera-quality glass and 3-9X magn...

One thing we love about the BSA Sweet 22 is its specificity to standard .22 rifle systems. While it is possible to mount the scope on other rifles, the scope works flawlessly on the Hornet. Its glass is very characteristic of the kinds of optics that BSA is known for. The images are clear whether you use the lowest scope power or the highest magnification.

We also like the Sweet 22’s turrets. They are precise and are quick to adjust. The knobs are similar to what we see in military-spec’d scopes. The turrets offer the kind of feedback we all need when adjusting our aim to compensate for the effects of gravity and/or windage.

The Sweet 22‘s scope body is also expertly crafted. Its build quality is one that will make you want to take the scope to the roughest and toughest terrain.

Many hunters we’ve talked to consider the Sweet 22 as the best .22 Hornet scope. However, we find it heavier than other scopes we have tested. It can be very tiring to lift and aim the rifle with this scope.

Pros
  • Quality of the scope optics is great for its price
  • Turrets are very easy to change
  • Large size of objective lens for image brightness
  • Good feedback from the turrets
  • Good weather proofing and fog proofing
Cons
  • Quite heavy

We like to believe that the weight of the BSA 3-9×40 Sweet 22 is more an indication of its quality craftsmanship. It would be nice to fit one of the and high-performance scopes onto your .22 Hornet firearm.

What Makes a Great .22 Hornet Scope?

The .22 Hornet is best known for its accuracy, speed, and power. A great .22 Hornet scope should be able to enhance these ballistic characteristics of the Hornet for improved predator and vermin control.

It is a must that the scope has a high quality glass. Such a feature can enhance the precision of the projectile by improving light transmission through the lens. A scope for a .22 Hornet rifle should also have an accurate shot compensation system. Hunters and varmint controllers need to be able to adjust their turrets on the fly so that they can hit moving predators quick.

Since the primary use of a .22 Hornet is for varmint control, a reliable scope should have a magnification range of between 3x and 9x. Most predators and vermin can be tracked and shot within a 150-yard range. The power of the scope should allow for both close- and medium- range shots.

A great .22 Hornet scope also has exceptional construction. The scope body should be purged to prevent fogging. At the same time, a unibody construction will help prevent the ingress of both solid and liquid particles. Such a design characteristic ensures the optimum function of the scope’s sensitive internal components.

What Magnification Do You Need?

Choosing the right scope power or magnification depends on how you intend to use the device. For varmint hunting, the scope magnification you will need depends on the type of varmint that you will hunt.

Two of the most common varmints that people hunt are prairie dogs and groundhogs. These are small animals that are very alert. They can be very tricky to approach from a close distance. That is why you will need to hunt these varmints using a rifle with a medium-range scope. A good starting scope power will be 3x. You can then extend your scope power to about 7x or 9x.

One needs to remember that the magnification of a scope is useless if the quality of the glass is mediocre. A good .22 Hornet scope should have an excellent combination of clear optics and a wide objective power. Many varmint hunters prefer a scope with a 3-9x power as it gives them the versatility they need to track and kill the majority of pests.

If you are into hunting a specific species of vermin, then you can get a fixed scope. You can always pick one that has a magnification that will help you aim at the target at its maximum distance.

Factors to Consider when Buying a .22 Hornet Scope

Choosing from the best scopes for .22 Hornet rifle can be challenging to novice hunters. The confusion is almost always related to the newbie’s insufficient knowledge about the characteristics of a rifle that chambers the .22 Hornet cartridge. You need not fret, however. Your knowledge of the various scope factors can contribute to the selection of the right optical device for your .22 Hornet rifle.

Optical Quality

Glass quality is the single most important determinant of rifle scope performance. Viewing the target in exceptional detail is the inherent purpose of any scope. You want the scope to provide you with a very clear picture of what you want to shoot. When you look through the eyepiece, you would want the target to look as if it were only several yards away from you.

Evaluating the quality of the scope’s optics can be difficult. However, there are trustworthy brands that always put emphasis on the quality of their glass. They are your best choice when it comes to picking a scope for your .22 Hornet rifle.

Objective Size

The clarity of the target in your crosshairs can be enhanced by the amount of light that can enter through the scope. If there is more light entering, then you will be able to view the subject with greater clarity. This is especially true if you are hunting varmints at dusk or dawn.

Go for a scope with at least 33mm diameter of the objective lens. The ideal will be to get a scope with at least 40mm diameter. The problem with scopes with larger objective lenses is that they tend to be pricey and heavy.

Magnification

Your choice of scope power depends on the intended purpose of the .22 Hornet rifle. If it is for varmint hunting, then you need a scope magnification of about 3-9x. For tactical purposes, a fixed 4x scope will be fine.

We recommend trying the scope yourself. Adjust the scope to its highest magnification and check whether there is a reduction in image quality. There are some scopes that provide excellent image quality in the lower range of magnification. Unfortunately, they may not provide the same level of quality when the scope is in its high power.

Turrets

Varmints are remarkable creatures. They are cunning and can sense predators from a few hundred yards away. That is why you will need a scope that has very crisp adjustment mechanisms. Compensating your shots for the effects of gravity and windage can help you track these animals with greater accuracy.

It would also be good if the scope comes with turrets that retain their dynamics. You do not want to constantly calibrate your scope after every few shots.

Scope Body Construction

You will be mostly hunting in the wild. Your scope and rifle will be exposed to sand, dust, moisture, and other particles. That is why a good .22 Hornet scope should always have excellent protection from the elements. Check the seals of the scope body. Determine if the device has adequate fog-proofing.

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Conclusion

The .22 Hornet may have been overshadowed by the .223 Remington and other modern cartridges. However, one can never deny that the Hornet remains one of the most powerful, most accurate, and fastest ballistic systems on the planet.

Whether you are controlling varmints in your area or satisfying your lust for small game, you will need the right rifle scope. Scopes for the .22 Hornet more than complement the remarkable characteristics of the Hornet. These optical devices can make varmint hunting or small game hunting more exciting by giving you more accurate shots all the time. Now is the time to get your hands on the best scope for .22 Hornet rifles.