One of the trends I have been seeing in the last few years is the growth of airgun shooting. Oddly enough rimfire shooting took a dive for a bit since rimfire ammo has been virtually impossible to find. Now, however, the supply has caught up to a certain degree.
I wrote an overview of rimfire scopes by application a few years ago (http://opticsthoughts.com/?page_id=151)and it is still largely valid. However, there has been a number of new scopes introduced that work well for rimfire and air rifles, hence this post.
Firstly, it is worth mentioning that 17 Mach 2 cartridge appears to be effectively dead. While the new 17WSM is doing adequately well. 17WSM is a seriously fast rimfire cartridge, and scope selection for it is not different from most centerfire calibers.
With airguns, big bore air rifles in a variety of calibers are all of a sudden available
First on my list are the various SWFA Classic scopes. They all focus down to airgun distances and offer excellent performance for the money. I think FFP and SFP versions of the 3-15×42 are particularly suitable, although fixed power 6x and 10x models are excellent as well and cost less. Of my two airguns, one has a 6×42 SWFA scope and the other has a 3-15×42.
Vortex has a pair of tweener scopes that I am a huge fan of: Diamondback HP 2-8×32 and PST 2.5-10×32. The focus down to 20 yards and 35 yards respectively and are nicely compact with good optical performance. Diamondback HP has very long eyerelief which can make for difficult mounting on some air rifles.
For F/T and other endeavors that can tolerate a seriously large scope, Sightron SV 10-50×60 is a new and interesting option. Dual speed parallax is worth every penny if precision is what you are after. It is not cheap and it is not compact. It is, however, superb.
There have been other suitable introductions, of course, but these are the ones I am choosing from to put on my guns.
If I think of any others, I’ll post an update.