Your decision to own a good rifle also means that you should start checking out a good review for the top rifle scopes in the market today. It is primarily because you will need an informative buying guide to also help you shop for high-quality scopes. This is especially true if you own the M&P 15-22 rifle because you will be needing the best scope for M&P 15-22 in such a case.
You will need to pair your rifle with scopes that deliver the top performance in the industry. The problem is that numerous options for scopes exist in the market, making it quite confusing to make a really smart buying decision. If you are on a hunt to find one that will boost your confidence when using the rifle, then this article can be of help.
We have gathered seven of the top performing M&P 15-22 scopes so you will have an idea about which one you should invest in. A short buyers guide also follows, further promoting ease during the selection process.
Table of Contents
- Top 7 Best Scopes for M&P 15-22 Reviews
- 1. Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC Rimfire Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets – Best Overall Scope for M&P 15-22
- 2. Vortex Optics SPR-1301 Spitfire 1x Prism Scope with DRT Reticle – Runner-up Scope for M&P 15-22
- 3. Nikon ProStaff Rimfire II with BDC Reticle, 3-9x40mm – Best Nikon Scope for M&P 15-22
- 4. BARSKA 3-9×32 Plinker-22 Riflescope – Best Budget Scope for M&P 15-22
- 5. Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec Sight NV QD – Best Red Dot Scope for M&P 15-22
- 6. Nikon P-RIMFIRE BDC 150 Rifle Scope – High-end Scope for M&P 15-22
- 7. Aimpoint Carbine Optic (ACO) Sight
- What Makes a Great M&P 15-22 Scope?
- Factors to Consider when Buying a Scope for M&P 15-22
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Top 7 Best Scopes for M&P 15-22 Reviews
1. Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC Rimfire Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets – Best Overall Scope for M&P 15-22
One of the riflescopes I will instantly recommend to anyone shopping for it is the Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC. It is actually designed as an AR 22 scope but properly and accurately calibrating it will qualify it for the most dependable scope for your M&P 15-22.
It boasts of its budget price, allowing it to meet the needs of target shooters looking for budget-friendly scopes. What I love about it is that even with its budget pricing, it was still able to preserve the positive features and benefits of the brand’s AR series scopes, particularly those that work for AR-15 style rifles.
I love the overall construction of the scope, too. It is primarily made from the sturdy aluminum alloy material plus it boasts of its black anodized matte finish. Parallax adjustment is also easy with the built-in side knob. I am also glad that it is made to be lighter compared to other scopes in the market.
Another advantage I discovered upon the regular use of this scope is that it is primarily made for accurate sharpshooting. It has a high level of accuracy for a wide shooting range because of the built-in rimfire rifles. It also has several features designed to boost the user’s accuracy.
For instance, you can take advantage of its side parallax focus, which features target turrets so you can enjoy pinpoint precision and accuracy. You can zero it in at 50 yards and enjoy a high level of accuracy from 60 yards to 125 yards.
I am also very pleased with its multicoated optical sight as I discovered how effective it is in delivering clear and sharp visuals regardless of the weather and light conditions.
2. Vortex Optics SPR-1301 Spitfire 1x Prism Scope with DRT Reticle – Runner-up Scope for M&P 15-22
Another choice that I am pleased to include in this article is the Spitfire Prism Scope from Vortex Optics. I noticed that this scope truly excels when used in shooting applications that are from the close to medium range. This is the time when speed and quick target acquisition are important, and this scope delivers well in those areas.
One incredible feature of this scope is its directly etched reticle into the prism. This is beneficial as it ensures that you will get a great point of aim all the time whether it is illuminated or not. I am also very satisfied with its fast-focus eyepiece, which works in adjusting the built-in reticle into sharp and clear focus.
I also intend to highlight the sturdy and shockproof construction of this scope. This solid construction makes it possible for the Spitfire to have low recoil, allowing it to withstand impact and recoil regardless of how harsh it is. I am so glad of the O-ring seals and nitrogen purging included in this scope.
It is because both features guarantee that it will become completely waterproof and fog-proof. The lens image it uses is fully multicoated. The lenses also take pride in its anti-reflective coatings. All these work in promoting a night vision capability, delivering bright and sharp views and images even when used in low-light conditions.
The reticle also comes with five levels of intensity, making it possible for the scope to blend well with any situational condition. The compact design of this scope is also one of its most striking benefits.
3. Nikon ProStaff Rimfire II with BDC Reticle, 3-9x40mm – Best Nikon Scope for M&P 15-22
I am also very pleased to include the Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II in my most highly recommended products for M&P 15-22 riflescope. One striking feature of this scope is the BDC 150 reticle, which works by having a bullet drop compensator that does the calculation with surgical accuracy and precision.
With this, I am sure that this is one of those rimfires from the same brand capable of promoting perfect holds with the least amount of guesswork needed. I am also satisfied with the spot-on holdover circles at the targeted distances. Another thing that pleases me about this scope is its great balance of sturdiness and lightness.
It is sturdy enough, thanks to its aluminum polymer body while still being lightweight enough. The sturdiness of this scope makes it capable of resisting moderate beating. It even comes with enough toughness and sturdiness to handle the typical wear and tear faced by any riflescope.
It is also completely fog-proof and waterproof. I am also impressed with the precise hand turn adjustments that this scope takes pride in. In addition, it has anti-reflective compounds, giving you the clearest sight pictures.
It can also minimize the risk of committing errors when making adjustments on elevation and windage, thanks to its zero reset turret. Also, you can make adjustments on the elevation and windage turrets with the aid of your fingers.
This scope also makes it possible for you to customize the setup based on the shoot and distance with the help of its spot-on tool.
Another budget-friendly riflescope designed for M&P 15-22 is the BARSKA Plinker-22. I can genuinely say that it works as a great companion for your rifle because aside from being both compact and lightweight, it is also easy to manage and operate. I also noticed that it complements with the M&P 15-22 well.
I am also very glad about the Plinker’s 3-9x magnification because it is known for being a fantastic all-around magnification range for all riflescopes. This scope boasts of its affordable price without sacrificing its overall quality. It also has most of the traits that make it as sturdy and tough as possible.
These include being fog-proof, shockproof, and water-resistant. With all these features that enhance the scope’s sturdiness, I can safely assume that this optic can handle all forms of possible abuse.
It is also one of the most flexible scopes I got the chance to use as it works not only for plinking but also for casual competitions and hunting small games. It comes complete with all the things that you might need, including lens covers and mounting rings. Also, it allows you to view clear pictures, so shooting will surely be easy for you.
It also promotes its quick-zero capability. This means that you can easily and quickly zero it in. I am also proud to say that this scope boasts of its up to 95 percent accuracy for a max of a hundred yards.
Another fascinating advantage of this scope is that it can lessen the risk of glare, thanks to its multi-coated lens.
5. Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec Sight NV QD – Best Red Dot Scope for M&P 15-22
Another scope for the M&P 15-22 that does not cause any disappointment to uses is the SM14002 Ultra Shot Pro NV QD from Sightmark. This specific scope is known for working as a highly effective square-windowed optic capable of providing users a wide field of view.
I specifically like the mounting system of this scope because I instantly noticed how quick and easy it is to detach it. With such a system, the scope is easy and quick to pop on securely. I am also impressed with the dependable night vision mode or setting of this scope. I am so pleased to announce that it is useful in low-light situations.
The reticle pattern used in this scope is also one of its most striking qualities. It even boasts of its four reticle patterns, giving you the opportunity of making adjustments on the red dot’s visibility depending on the present lighting conditions. I am also very satisfied with the scope’s internal locking system as it aids in holding zero well.
As for its overall construction, I can say that it does not disappoint as it is made to be truly tough and sturdy. In fact, it can withstand shock, impact, and water very well. It works well as an optic designed for plinking at close quarters as well as tactical hunting. Furthermore, it is easy to use and mount.
Aside from all that, it boasts of its ability to eliminate parallax compensation through its double pane glass, which promotes ease for beginners in shooting to hit their targets accurately.
6. Nikon P-RIMFIRE BDC 150 Rifle Scope – High-end Scope for M&P 15-22
If you are looking for a more high-end scope then I suggest you should go for the Nikon P-RIMFIRE. Just like me, passionate shooters and hunters will most likely appreciate this scope considering the fact that it perfectly complements the capabilities of the M&P 15-22.
I am so impressed with the overall keen design of this scope as I noticed that it is built to be long-lasting while being easy to use, operate, and care for. I also discovered that it has plenty of incredible functionalities that you can’t find in other standard scopes. It is built to be solid and tough, as well.
In fact, the scope features two of the most positive traits that any possible user is looking for in terms of its construction – being fog-proof and waterproof. This ensures that you can use the scope even when it is raining or when there is fog that might have a negative impact on its lens and optics.
Another positive aspect of this scope is its fully multicoated optical system. With such a feature, I am pretty sure that it can maximize the transmission of light all throughout. It also lets you enjoy your tactical style. It is even possible for you to take advantage of the hand turn adjustments, allowing you to zero in the scope quickly.
Another thing that I truly like about this riflescope is that it boasts of the most relaxing and comfortable eye relief, preventing eye strain and eye fatigue even when you use it for long hours.
7. Aimpoint Carbine Optic (ACO) Sight
Aimpoint Carbine Optic is another scope specifically designed for use for Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22. I am happy with this S&W optic because it has a 2 MOA red dot reticle, which promotes ease when using it for target shooting. I would also like to highlight the incredible benefit of having a highly accurate firing mechanism.
I find this scope very satisfying because I can operate it with ease and less effort. Once mounted, you will be able to start using it. Another thing that impresses me about this scope is that it promotes absolute co-witnessing using any kind of assault rifle backup sight.
The fact that this M&P 15-22 scope is constructed using high-grade aluminum also enhances its durability. It is also fully waterproof. Another thing that makes it distinguishable is its semi-matte finish, which actually contributes to minimizing glare when you are using it.
It has lenses coated using multiple layers, which is a major help in limiting reflection. I like the incredibly high visibility delivered by this scope at night, thanks to the 2 MOA dot size reticle that it uses. Another fascinating trait of this riflescope is that it offers a limitless eye relief, giving it the chance to avoid eye fatigue and strain.
I also absolutely love the total of nine brightness settings built solidly into this scope. You can use this scope for a number of purposes, too, including competitive shooting, self-defense, and hunting. Furthermore, I can assure you that it showcases a great performance in terms of accuracy considering the fact that it has a red dot sight.
I can also say that it is one of the lightest scopes designed for M&P 15-22 at present.
What Makes a Great M&P 15-22 Scope?
Although the .22 LR has an effective range of 150 yards, it is still in your best interest to get a rim fire scope for your M&P 15-22. Just because the ammunition for the rifle is not meant for long-range shooting, that does not mean that it will not benefit greatly from a scope.
A good scope for the M&P 15-22 is a .22 caliber rifle that is lightweight. The rifle itself is very lightweight, so you would not want to make it top-heavy by installing a heavy optic. Because the .22 LR does not have much of a kick, eye relief is not really an issue when choosing scopes for your M&P 15-22. Just choose the one where you can get a good sight picture from a distance you are comfortable with.
Ultimately, the best scope for the M&P 15-22 will depend on where you will be using the rifle. If you will be using it mostly for plinking, or target shooting, then you can choose any short to mid-range scope you can find. If you will be using the rifle mostly for hunting small game animals then get one with a slightly larger objective lens so it has better light transmission in low-light conditions.
It should also be waterproof & fog proof so you can use it in all weather conditions. One thing that you should know is that you do not need to get a long-distance scope for the M&P 15-22 because it is not a sniper rifle.
Although the .22 LR can still be fatal up to 350 to 400 yards, it is almost impossible to shoot it accurately due to the immense amount of bullet drop. That said, you need a scope that is actually intended for the M&P 15-22.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Scope for M&P 15-22
In your search for a dependable M&P 15-22 scope, you have to spend time assessing and considering these factors:
This is one of the most important features of a scope, as it is the range by which you can zoom in on your target. If you are looking for scopes for the M&P 15-22, remember that the weapon’s effective range is around 150 yards. That said, a good scope would have the range of 2x to 9x zoom.
Getting one that has better range will only be a waste since the bullet drop compensation from beyond 200 yards will be so great that you will need to aim high above the center just so you can hit the target. A scope with a modest 2x to 9x zoom works best because you rarely need to compensate for anything.
This is the part of the Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 scope that lets light into it, so you can get a clearer sight picture. The bigger the objective lens, the more amount of light comes in. However, bigger lenses also add weight so you need to choose your options wisely.
For an M&P 15-22, the usual 32 mm objective lens will do fine. However, if you are thinking of hunting in low-light conditions, then something bigger might work better for you.
Again, you need to take into consideration where and how you will usually be using your M&P 15-22. Will you be plinking at the range with a bipod or sandbag to help you keep your rifle steady? Then getting a heavy scope will not be an issue.
On the other hand, if you will be using your M&P 15-22 to stalk your game, then choose a scope that will not add that much weight to the rifle.
Windage and Elevation Adjustment
Since you own an M&P 15-22, you do not have to worry too much about these settings as the .22 LR rounds are so light that you can shoot targets beyond its effective accurate range of 100-150 yards. This means calculating for windage and bullet drop is moot. However, you would still need the windage and elevation adjustment to zero in your scope.
The lens coating prevents glare from ruining your sight picture. This is necessary if you will using a scope with a large objective lens. The coating allows light to transmit into the scope and prevents it from reflecting outward. There are generally four different kinds of lens coating available:
- Coated – This means that at least one of the lenses, usually the objective lens, is coated with a single layer of anti-reflective film.
- Fully-coated – This means that all lenses are coated with at least one layer of anti-reflective film.
- Multi-coated – At least one lens has multiple layers of anti-reflective film.
- Fully multi-coated – All lenses are coated in multiple layers of film.
Keep in mind that multi-coated optics are more expensive than those with single coats, obviously, so you better have a bit of room in your budget if you want to use them.
More commonly known as the “crosshair”, the reticle is the part of the rifle scope that actually helps you aim your rifle at the target. Looking into your scope and lining up the reticle is similar to lining up your rifle and taking aim using the iron sights. The only difference is that with a reticle, you can do so more accurately.
Choosing reticles is a matter of personal preference and there are literally dozens of different kinds you can choose from. If you want something that has more accuracy, a small reticle is the one for you. However, these reticles are hard to see, especially in low-light conditions.
If you want to aim at your targets quickly, a larger reticle is what you are looking for. The caveat here is that these kinds of reticles can cover up your target, especially if it is far away.
Many reticles have posts or scales set in the crosshairs. These are called BDC reticles. These small graduations are used to compensate for the amount of bullet drop compensation (BDC), which happens when you are shooting from a great distance. There are also marks on the horizontal crosshair and these ones are used to compensate for windage.
There are two types of focal planes in riflescopes – the first and second. In an M&P 15-22 optic with a second focal plane, the reticle can be found at the end of the erector tube, which is the end that is closer to the rifle’s butt.
What this means is that the reticle remains the same size regardless of the magnification setting of the scope. When you zoom in on your target, the reticle will take up more of the sight picture, but it actually remains the same size.
For a rifle scope with a first focal plane, the reticle is in front of the erector tube, which means that the reticle zooms in as well as the image. The great thing about this is that the tick marks in the reticle are always in proportion with the target, making it accurate at all zoom levels.
First focal plane scopes are more expensive than second focal plane scopes. However, it will let you make sight adjustments quicker than making changes in the windage and/or elevation settings.
The only importance of knowing the tube size of your scope is so that you will know the size of the mounting rings you need to use. Tubes generally come in two sizes – 30mm and 1-inch. There are really no benefits to choosing one over the other, so you can just choose whichever one you want.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
M&P 15-22 scope or red dot?
If you are confused as to whether to use a scope or a red dot system on your M&P 15-22, ask yourself what you will be using your rifle for. This will ultimately help you make the right choice of scope.
If you will be using your M&P 15-22 mostly for plinking targets beyond 100 yards, 125 yards, or so, then you will need to use a scope to easily and accurately aim at your target. It is also assumed that you will be using a bipod or some other form of support for your rifle while you are at the range, so having a scope is the obvious choice.
A scope will also apply if you will be using your M&P 15-22 for hunting varmints. You will be waiting for hours just to get a good shot at your target prey. You need to take your shot from as far away as possible so as not to spook it. This is also the primary reason why you need to use a scope to get a clean shot.
However, if you will be using the M&P 15-22 for close quarters combat, or if you are a prepper who wishes to have some sort of protection for yourself and your family in case something bad happens, then it is better to use a red dot sight as it will be much easier and faster to aim.
How to mount a scope on an M&P 15-22?
The good thing about the factory M&P 15-22 is that you do not have to install a picatinny rail on it as the default hand guards already have it. This means you just need to find a mounting setup for your choice of rifle scope.
Some rifle scopes already come with mounting rings but if you want a uni-body mounting bracket or if your scope does not come with a mounting system included, then you better find out the size of the scope’s tube then buy an appropriately sized rings for it.
Once you have all of the necessary parts, you can start installing the scope onto your M&P 15-22. Start by clamping down your M&P 15-22 onto your workbench vise. Before you clamp on the rifle, put a layer or two of a thick cloth to protect the rifle from scratches.
Before you tighten the vise, take a small level and place it on a flat surface. Check if the rifle is level and then completely clamp down the rifle in place. Place position the mounting rings or base on the picatinny rail. Make sure that it is in a spot where it will be comfortable for you to peek into the scope.
Once you are happy with the position, tighten the screws down to secure the mounting rings/base. Check again if the base is level with the rest of the rifle. Unscrew the tops of the mounting rings. If you positioned them correctly, the rings will cradle the scope at just the right position.
Once the tops of the rings are removed, position the scope in between the two rings. Make sure that the reticles are in the right orientation. If you are satisfied with the placement, place the tops of the mounting rings and screw them down tight. Again, check if the M&P 15 scope is level with the rifle.
Now that you have successfully mounted your M&P 15 scope onto your rifle, it is time for you to zero it in. Since the M&P 15-22 does not have much in terms of range, you can just zero in your scope at 25 yards, 50 yards, and 100 yards. You can go beyond, up to 150 yards if that is what you like, but do take into consideration that at that distance, the round would have expelled most of its energy and would start to drop.
How to zero iron sights M&P 15-22?
The first step involved in zeroing sights is to make sure that your rifle is on a stable base. Keep in mind that any unnecessary movement will mess up your zero. Place a target 25 yards down range then fire off three rounds.
Basing off from where your three shots hit, adjust the front sight post up or down. You might need a specialized tool for this. After adjusting the front sight post, adjust the windage (left or right). Fire another three-round group and make the necessary adjustments until you find the sweet spot.
Once you are done making adjustment for 25 yards, set a target 50 yards down range and repeat the previous steps.
Leupold Mark AR MOD 1, 3-9x 40mm VS. Leupold VX-1, and the Nikon ProStaff Rimfire II, 3-9x40mm
Considering the fact that all three of these scopes are made specifically for rifles that fire small caliber bullets, like the .22 LR, choosing just one based on their features is nearly impossible seeing as they are almost identical in terms of features. Take note that they are all fully multi-coated
All of them also have same size optics as well as weatherproof. The Leupold VX-1 would have been the solid choice out of the three, though. However, the problem is that this model of scope is no longer in production.
The company created a new model that should replace the original VX-1 scopes on the market. Although that one is a viable replacement, it still does not rank the same as the original.
You can also pick the Nikon Rimfire II. Although its finish is not that tough, the Nikon Rimfire II is a bit above the Leupold Mark AR MOD, thanks to it being almost a hundred bucks cheaper, but still a good overall choice.
Even though the M&P 15-22 is not meant for long-range shooting, remember that such does not necessarily mean that it will not benefit from a good scope. In fact, if you want to get full use of the M&P 15-22, it is absolutely necessary to get a scope.
You can use the iron sights for close-range shooting then switch to the scope for medium-range targets. Now that you know how to choose the right and the best scope for M&P 15-22, go out and get one now. You will find that your choice of scope will really complement your rifle, making them truly yours.