.22 LR scopes - BDC reticles or turrets?


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I have been shooting .22 LR on pests at long range (100+ yards) most of my life, with just iron sights or simple 4x or 6x scopes, but in the the last few years, i have used several different graduated reticles and target turrets.

I began with a 4-12x40 AO airgun scope with 1/8 minute turrets, to test ammunition. But I took it to a dairy farm to eradicate some pigeons, and built a range card beforehand out to 200 meters. It proved to be quite effective, and and left it on for a while, for squirrel hunting. It seemed too large for even a .22 the size of a centerfire, so I tried something smaller.

I put a Burris 2-7x35mm Ballistic Plex on there, and this was really the trick, about perfect. But I thought the parallax adjustment might be a good thing for a .22, and the Burris had to go back onto a deer rifle.

I ran across a deal on a Hawke Sport HD 4x32 with an etched mil dot reticle. This worked really well, too. The dots are 9 inches apart at 100 meters, which means putting the target halfway in between at 100, and the first dot down at 150... works great. The crosshair is fine and sharp.

So then I bought a Hawke 2-7x32 AO, which is certainly nice, and not much money, either, and small enough for my tastes.

Bushnell has started making some airgun scopes again and .22 and .17 scopes in 3.5-10x32 AO, with just a duplex reticle, and drums for .17 and .22 which you can install yourself. This may still be slim enough to suit me, but I don't know if I want to twiddle with turrets when I have 7x doped out to 200 meters with a .22 LR.

I know a lot of you over there shoot rabbits and pigeons with honking big scopes with turrets, so I thought I would ask how that works for you. I can see it being great from a fixed hide where you have measured or lasered the range, and maybe even shot some targets at spots on your range card to note the turret settings, but I wonder how it will work for walking, spotting and stalking pesky pigeons about a farm. I just have to stand and shoot, with maybe a post or tree for a rest, maybe just offhand, to 200 yards, with little time. The Bushnell, at $79.00 discounted, is so cheap as to tempt me.

A Leupold 3-9x33 EFR would be really nice. So would the little Burris 4.5-14x42 AO made for the short magnums, but both seem extravagant for a .22 LR.


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Personally, I've not used turrets for dialling range on my .22lr. I have a scope with a mil dot type reticule.
have to be honest though, I've never shot beyond 100y with it. I'd probably opt for a different chambering if I was planning shots at that range.


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Fixed Mag 6x44
most often under the lamp off sticks or off hand/off tree

Range finder by "Mk1 eyeball"
holdover "minute of rabbit ear"

finest shot I ever took was 110 paces off a couple of bamboo canes at a big buck rabbit standing up looking at me in the tramlines of some corn.
thought he was out of range...

dropped just into his chin


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Its down to preference and what you get used to so every body is different and if the target falls its the right answer

I like high mag and can Aim off with a mil dot ret or dial But ive done it for a very long time and fine low mag scopes difficult to use any more ( ie under 10 x )

Mostly for hunting I Hold over as its quicker, so have the trajectory set in the dots to get me the best advantage at the ranges i want to shoot into so minimising range finding errors (ir by eye snap shooting) longer range and hide shooting etc I can use a laser ranger to be more accurate and maybe use more magnification (up to 50 x ;) )

Dialling needs a good quality scope that has a repeatable dial that wont wear out over time and use. a lot of cheaper tactical scopes will be junk after a while twiddling.

I also use Chairgunner to map the trajectory (much easier used to have to do it by hand on paper) and can drop over a range of available BDC Reticules you can play with zero ranges to fit to the marks etc (always best to check fire a few after to make sure and maybe tweak the numbers to match your combo)

HMR is more difficult as its so flat that it takes a lot of magnification for the Mil dots to give a meaningful alternate aim points


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mtc genesis 5-20x50, to much mag really but i love the AMD reticle,plus the glass is very good on this scope (imho),i learn the holdover marks to the distances they hit bullseye or a rabbits head,combine this method with a rangefinder and i can head shoot rabbits out to 120yds off sticks at 10x


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If you're hunting with it, there often is not enough time to twiddle the turret before Wodger Wabbit disappears so a mil dot system is better IMHO.
Saying that I have a fixed 6x42 Swaro with a No 4 reticle on my bunny basher zeroed 1/2" high at about 50 yards & I use the Mk1 eyeball for ranging & hold over.



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i have a mildot hawke normally on 6/8 mag but to be honest its all guestimation freehand off sticks which is new to me anyway its allways been freehand and no bipod i cant get into those things at all ,ive only just started with sticks because im now using centrefire,


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Thanks for the experiences.

I am surprised how many use Mil Dots. They really work for the .22, especially if you have enough power to make the spacing small enough in inches to match the .22.

Your experiences with the turrets mirror mine: good from a blind at known ranges, but not for a walk-around rifle, where you don't know if you are going to be able to stalk to 25 yards or have to pull up and take a shot at 100 yards, right then.

If I go from the Hawke 2-7x32 mil dot, I think it will be to a small ballistic plex, like the Burris 2-7x35 or the Vortex Crossfire 2-7x32 Deadhold. These really do match up to some usable ranges for the .22 LR, .17, .22 WMR, and .22 Hornet. And the marks are fine enough for precision placement on small game at long distances.

I use these Burris scopes on some of my centerfires, and they work for me. It is good skill building for me to have similar scopes on a .22, just as it is to have a mil dot on a .22 to match a mil dot 10x on a .308, or to have some duplex 6x42s on a .22, a .223, and big game rifles.


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I have a 3-10 x56 Hako on my annie with mil dot and a trajectory table stuck to the stock, so I hold over on dots. Mine is zeroed at 50 yds, the drop at 100 is just over 7" and equates to 2 mil dots.

My son has identical LH annie and has a vortex viper PST on his, its milirads and he just dials in and its frighteningly accurate with Eley subs, infact the ammo is the limiting factor.

Deben do a really good range of scopes for rimfires and can use their ballistic programme.