Q: I want to make more use of my .22-calibre rifle. Which sight is best for small game?

by Steve Galea | September 4, 2013

.22 caliber rifle with a scope

Answer: That depends on individual taste, terrain, and the species hunted. A quality scope, expressly made for rimfire rifles, is definitely advantageous if you snipe for squirrels, varmints or other small game. It’s also great in dim light and especially useful if your eyesight isn’t as sharp as it used to be. Good optics allow for pinpoint accuracy and, with practice, quicker acquisition of game.

Having said that, a quality scope can be expensive, add weight, and change the balance of a rifle — and, in my opinion, just doesn’t look right on lever-action .22s. Also, when game is really close or barely visible through a screen of brush, a scope is not always the ideal sighting system.

Peep or buckhorn sights, on the other hand, are simple and practical in the field, especially when you consider that most shots at small game happen at less than 40 yards and in good light. With practice, this is easy range for shooters who know their open sights.

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