I received the following question regarding the rimfire scope article (here):
“I recently read the rimfire riflescopes post on this page and loved it. I was wondering what your thoughts were for a vortex viper 6.5-20×50 with dead hold bdc for a cz tacticool in .22lr. I plan on shooting some tactical precision competitions with rounds at various ranges from 50 to 150 yards. I am torn between getting this scope or one that has mil adjustments and a mil reticle. I would appreciate any insight you can offer about what I should be looking for in a scope. I respect your opinion. Thanks!”
The choice of the scope in this case largely depends on whether you want to use holdover or dialing with the turrets for this. I really like the 6.5-20×50 Vortex Viper, but for this application this would likely not be my top choice. 22LR has about 20 – 25 inches of drop at 150 yards with a 50 yard zero. The Viper can definitely work for that, but it is not designed with constant turret twisting in mind and for precision shooting competition, my inclination would be to either twist turrets or utilize some sort of a reasonably sophisticated holdover reticle that takes care of both elevation and wind holds.
Since you are looking at the Viper, I assume that your price range is in the ballpark of $500.
If I were you would look at scopes like Vortex Viper HS LR 4-16×44, Hawke Sidewinder 30 Tactical (I would look at the 6.5-20×42 model) and Nikon Monarch 3 4-16×42 with a custom XR turret that can be customized for your chosen ammo.
If you absolutely do not want to twist turrets, you either need to seriously step up in price or go with more or less only somewhat inexpensive scope that has a sophisticated reticle for distance and wind compensation: Pride Fowler Rapid Reticle 3-12×42 22LR . I have not tested this specific scope, but I plan to. I do have a fair amount of experience with their reticle and it works well.
Lastly, if you want to move up a bit in price and you want to use some combination of reticle holdover and turret twisting, SWFA SS 3-15×42 is a very good way to go.
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