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  1. #1
    Grandmaster doddg's Avatar

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    Handgun scopes for .22LR

    I am trying to put optics on handguns b/c it opened up another level of fun!
    I have a 1980s SW 41 that had been drilled and a rail adapted to fit, but I'm not going to that trouble for guns not set up for it:
    - Glock 44
    - DW & SW revolvers from the 80s
    - couple of 1911 .22LR clones

    Just bought a Ruger Hunter Single-Six revolver that comes with rings & a built in rail, begging for a scope.
    Also, I have a SW 22A-1 that can shoot better than what my eyes can see with fixed sights.
    I thought I'd go with scopes b/c I like the magnification that a red dot doesn't.

    My two basic scopes now:
    - old RWS fixed 1.5 that came with my SW 41
    - old Nikon 2.0 fixed I bought used ($90) at an LGS (old sticker still on it of $190).
    I had a thread about red dots and got some great input, but I did end up getting a less expensive one, but I was warned away from a couple problematic ones (thanks!).
    I have a $90 Bushnell TRS-25 $50 Dagger Defense red dot (which I like better).
    My needs are basic.
    I can't fathom needing to shoot anything beyond 25 yds. with a handgun, but after I get my outdoor membership, maybe that will change, but I think that's is why God created rifles.

    I realize that for the experienced members this list is choosing the "lesser of evils."
    But, warn me away from the worst & steer me towards the reliable.
    I might even be able to get a used one from someone that has a basic scope when they started out and they have moved up.


    I found these in the $50-$150 range when googling from articles recommending value-priced scopes:
    - $63 Simmons ProHunter Truplex Reticle Handgun Scope, 2-6 x 32mm (Silver)
    - $46 NcStar 2.5 X 30 Pistol Scope/Blue Lens/Ring (SPB2530B)
    - WEAVER Classic Silver Handgun Scope 2 x 28 with Dual-X Reticle Bushnell product
    - $59.90 Hammers Long Eye Relief Pistol Scout Scope 2-7 X 32 with Weaver Rings
    - $150 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7 x 32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
    - $150 Nikon 8470 Force XR 2 x 20mm Pistol Scope, Nikoplex reticle, Matte
    - $89.99 BSA Edge Pistol Scope 2-7 x 28mm Duplex Reticle Matte
    - $99.97 Sightmark Core SX 4 x 32 Pistol Scope
    - $27.99 CVLIFE 4 x 32 Compact Rifle Scope Crosshair Optics Hunting Gun Scope with 20mm Free Mounts
    - $53.16 AIM Sports 2-7 X 32 Dual Illuminated Pistol / Scout Scope - Long Eye Relief, w/ Rings JHI2732B, Color: Black, Tube Diameter: 1 in,
    - $50 CenterPoint 2 x 20mm Pistol Scope

    There were more recommended, of course ,but pricier ($150 - $400).
    Last edited by doddg; 07-02-2020 at 11:01.

  2. #2
    Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by doddg View Post
    ...I found these in the $50-$150 range when googling from articles recommending value-priced scopes:
    - $63 Simmons ProHunter Truplex Reticle Handgun Scope, 2-6 x 32mm (Silver)
    - $46 NcStar 2.5 X 30 Pistol Scope/Blue Lens/Ring (SPB2530B)
    - WEAVER Classic Silver Handgun Scope 2 x 28 with Dual-X Reticle Bushnell product
    - $59.90 Hammers Long Eye Relief Pistol Scout Scope 2-7 X 32 with Weaver Rings
    - $150 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7 x 32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle***
    - $150 Nikon 8470 Force XR 2 x 20mm Pistol Scope, Nikoplex reticle, Matte
    - $89.99 BSA Edge Pistol Scope 2-7 x 28mm Duplex Reticle Matte
    - $99.97 Sightmark Core SX 4 x 32 Pistol Scope
    - $27.99 CVLIFE 4 x 32 Compact Rifle Scope Crosshair Optics Hunting Gun Scope with 20mm Free Mounts***
    - $53.16 AIM Sports 2-7 X 32 Dual Illuminated Pistol / Scout Scope - Long Eye Relief, w/ Rings JHI2732B, Color: Black, Tube Diameter: 1 in,
    - $50 CenterPoint 2 x 20mm Pistol Scope

    There were more recommended, of course ,but pricier ($150 - $400).
    To get this started...

    ***The two scopes highlighted in red are rifle scopes with short eye relief and are not really usable on a pistol.

    The "$59.90 Hammers Long Eye Relief Pistol Scout Scope 2-7 X 32 with Weaver Rings" has eye relief of 13"-17"...again, too close for a pistol.

    My opinion only - Unless I planned to primarily shoot from a solid rest, I would stay with 1.5x-2.5x. The view through a 4x scope is terribly shakey for me offhand.

    Also check the manufacturers sites for info (if available) on how close a target can be and still be in focus and the distance the parallax is set. I tried to use a 1.25-4x scope for the Ruger MKIV challenge on INGO at 25' and it did not go well. The scope was not in focus at that short range and it's parallax was set considerably farther out (probably 25-50 yards) resulting in a shot being off if my eye wasn't perfectly aligned with the axis of the scope. At that close of a range I shot better with iron sights.

    If you are shooting at 25 yards all reasonable quality pistol scopes should do the job but check for the above info if you will predominately be shooting at 7-10 yards.

  3. #3
    Grandmaster doddg's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcttr View Post
    To get this started...
    ***The two scopes highlighted in red are rifle scopes with short eye relief and are not really usable on a pistol.
    The "$59.90 Hammers Long Eye Relief Pistol Scout Scope 2-7 X 32 with Weaver Rings" has eye relief of 13"-17"...again, too close for a pistol
    My opinion only - Unless I planned to primarily shoot from a solid rest, I would stay with 1.5x-2.5x. The view through a 4x scope is terribly shakey for me offhand.

    Also check the manufacturers sites for info (if available) on how close a target can be and still be in focus and the distance the parallax is set. I tried to use a 1.25-4x scope for the Ruger MKIV challenge on INGO at 25' and it did not go well. The scope was not in focus at that short range and it's parallax was set considerably farther out (probably 25-50 yards) resulting in a shot being off if my eye wasn't perfectly aligned with the axis of the scope. At that close of a range I shot better with iron sights.

    If you are shooting at 25 yards all reasonable quality pistol scopes should do the job but check for the above info if you will predominately be shooting at 7-10 yards.

    Thanks gmcttr!
    Confusing since since they showed up under "handgun scopes" but they are for rifles.
    I had read where a 1.5 - 2.0 was the best for most applications.

  4. #4
    Sharpshooter

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    You can put a rifle scope on a 22 pistol because the recoil is so low. We do it all the time. My TC wears a Weaver 15x. I've put a 6-24x on a Browning Buckmark. You need to be more open minded.

  5. #5
    Grandmaster doddg's Avatar

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    BGDave responded to my WTB ad and sold me a Leupold M8 2x20mm EER Handgun Scope.
    He had picked it up used and ended up not needing it: my good fortune!


  6. #6
    Plinker rala's Avatar

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    you can also look at scout scopes. Anything with a 9-11 in eye relief will work. Regular scope with 3in eye relief might work , but it will be very awkward to hold
    A CLEAR CONSCIENCE IS USUALLY THE SIGN OF A SELECTIVE MEMORY.

  7. #7
    Grandmaster doddg's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by rala View Post
    you can also look at scout scopes. Anything with a 9-11 in eye relief will work. Regular scope with 3in eye relief might work , but it will be very awkward to hold

    I was surprised at the short distances you mentioned for a handgun scope.
    I measured the eye relief with the Leupold and it seemed to start at 12" (with arms bent) from the scope to my eye and goes to 18-19" in usable eye relief with my arms extended normally.
    But it barely works: it seems to be on the edge of its useful eye relief at 18" with 19" is really pushing it.
    I don't have particularly long arms so I was surprised, with it being an EER, that it didn't have more "extension."
    I've read about some eye reliefs going out to 19" of one that I remember.

  8. #8
    Marksman

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    If the Leupold eye relief is not enough you might try a tube type red dot.

  9. #9
    Grandmaster doddg's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 700 LTR 223 View Post
    If the Leupold eye relief is not enough you might try a tube type red dot.

    I can make it work I just won't be doing any timed steel matches with it.
    I googled "tube type red dot" since I hadn't heard of it.
    Thanks for the tip!

  10. #10
    Grandmaster doddg's Avatar

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    Picked up another scope for the SW 22A-1 from BGDave, who I bought the Leopold 2x20 from.
    This was a simple Tasco Pro-Class 4x30.
    I had tried to put one of my red dots on it, but it wouldn't fit on the rail.
    Fortunately, the rings that came with this fit on the older Weaver rail that the 22A-1 had.



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