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Product review: Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm

In a market saturated by black rifle parts and accessories, is there room to stand out? The Vortex Strike Eagle has been around for a couple years, and it has certainly carved its niche in the landscape of optics for the ubiquitous AR-15. So, what sets this scope apart?

Image credit: Vortex
Image credit: Vortex

The reticle

Really, to gain traction in the glass game these days, you need to be offering innovative sighting systems. It wasn’t too long ago that grid reticles weren’t even a thing. Now, most long range shooters wouldn’t look past them for practical or tactical style shooting competitions. With the Strike Eagle, Vortex went the other direction, tending towards the simple and easy to use.

The AR-BDC (AR Ballistic Drop Reticle) is designed to give easy elevation holdover using common .233/5.56 loadings. With a 50 yard zero, the crosshair is good to use from 20 yards through 200 yards, on any magnification setting. On 6 power (top of magnification range), the hashmarks equate to a holdover for 300, 400, 500 and 600 yards.

This makes for very fast shooting for competitions such as IPSC or 3 Gun, and combined with a switchview throw lever, extremely quick transitions from near to long-range targets can be achieved, without relying on a secondary optic or BUS (back up sights). Another feature which aids quick target acquisition is the halo that surrounds the crosshair, drawing your eye to the centre of the reticle.

A Vortex V-4 Switchview Throw Lever is installed in literally a minute, and makes your life so much easier.
A Vortex V-4 Switchview Throw Lever is installed in literally a minute, and makes your life so much easier.

There is a newer version of the Strike Eagle, which comes with a 1-8x magnification range and the AR-BDC 2 reticle, which follows the general principals discussed above. It also, however, has holdover notches for 5 and 10 mph winds, again, aiding quick decision-making while engaged in a course of fire.


What if I’m not shooting .223 Rem?

One of the wonderful things about the AR platform is its versatile and modular nature. As such, many of you will likely have an AR-10 or AR-15 in a different calibre, and the AR-BDC hasn’t got you all giddy yet. Well, the manual for the reticle does include drops for your average .308 Win load. And if you’re getting more exotic than that, you can easily use the Vortex LRBC (Long Range Ballistic Calculator) to work out drops for your specific rifle and ammunition.

I’ve been using the Strike Eagle 1-6×24 on my .22LR trainer, which is a Carl Walther produced HK416D. By plugging in my ballistic data for CCI standard ammo (which I verified with a chronograph), I was able to find my drops on the various hashes in the reticle. In preparing for the PSNZ22 practical rimfire shoot, which had known distances of 40 m to 150 m, I zeroed at 50 m and used the LRBC to produce the below reticle image.

The Vortex LRBC web app is incredibly useful for figuring out drops and wind holds, and can give you traditional drop charts or reticle images such as the above.
The Vortex LRBC web app is incredibly useful for figuring out drops and wind holds, and can give you traditional drop charts or reticle images such as the above.

As you can see I had a pretty good holdover for 70, 95, 120 and 150 metres on the 5x setting. Getting used to the magnification settings (or writing them down) you could actually get quite a precise drop on a specific hashmark by change your zoom level.

Outstanding features

There are a few nice extras that help to keep this scope top of mind when considering an optic for ‘run and gun’ style comps. The included flip caps mean you don’t have to worry about losing or forgetting a bikini style scope cover. It also adds to the ‘tactical’ look that many strive for with their black rifles.

Also included is an illuminated reticle, with 11 brightness settings. Sure, this isn’t anything new, but it’s well thought out. The dial is on the side of the sccope, rather than near the ocular bell. This means you hardly have to lift your head to see the setting you are selecting.

I don’t often make use of illuminated reticles (black targets at extended ranges probably being a notable exception, with my Viper PST), but I found this one particularly useful for the inaugural PSNZ22 shoot, which was shot in overcast conditions in pouring rain. I mean, bucketing down at some points. Having the illuminated reticle on very bright setting (it was still daylight after all), I was able to easily pick up on the subtensions and holdover, despite shooting against black or dull targets, obscured by rain.

Speaking of rain, if you get it on your scope lenses – don’t try and blow it off with your mouth before you shoot. You’ll just fog up the glass for a few seconds, which is very disorientating. And I did it twice!

Build quality

The Strike Eagle is exactly what you pay for. The glass is not the same quality as the Vortex long range scopes, but you don’t need it to be for this style of shooting. The construction is solid, yet refined. Not to mention, backed by the Vortex unlimited lifetime warranty. Did I mention the rain before? Because, damn, did it rain! The Strike Eagle 1-6×24 held up its end of the bargain, delivering outstanding reliability, and has done so on several trips since.

The turrets are capped – so if you’re wanting the ultimate tacticool sniper rifle scope laser sight with external tactical tactile turrets, this might not be the one for you. However, if you’re interested in shooting quickly from a defined zero while holding over at known or ranges, this scope will fit the bill, without the risk of bumping your turrets while throwing your gun around the course.

A cantilever mount with 2 inch offset assures correct eye relief and proper alignment of the 30 mm tube.
A cantilever mount with 2 inch offset assures correct eye relief and proper alignment of the 30 mm tube.

The negatives

When I first looked at the Strike Eagle, one of the other writers from the blog noted that when they had seen one in-store, the 1x magnification setting, was actually smaller than normal vision – in otherwise less than 1x. I was concerned about this and wrote to Vortex, and they pointed out that eye relief can make a difference in this department. After playing with the eye-relief adjustment ring, I found the perfect spot, and the magnification was true to what it said on the dial. So, not a negative, but something to keep an eye out for (pun intended).

There was one negative. I found the battery cap on the illumination knob wanted to unscrew when I manipulated the dial in the same direction as the thread. This may have been a missed thread on my scope in particular, or it could be something to watch out for when checking out the scope for yourself. Either way, I did not feel it was a big enough deal to try and send back for repair or replacement. In fact, if I just grasp the dial by the body of the knob, rather than near the edge, there’s no problem.

It’s inconvenient if you’re trying to maneuver yourself and your firearm quickly – it’s just one more thing to be mindful of. However, as I mentioned above, Vortex have the best warranty in the business, so if you find yourself with a part that doesn’t feel quite right, don’t be lazy like me – ask them to fix it, and they will.

Overall impression

Ten out of ten, would buy again. Yes, there are ‘better’ AR optics out there. You could have a very sophisticated piece of equipment, or you could go rugged and basic, I’m sure you could find something that beats the Strike Eagle in one way or another. However, I personally think that very few optics deliver in all the ways this Vortex unit does, and at the same price point.

If you want a reliable and easy to use scope with great features at a reasonable price,  I don’t know what more you could ask for.

Product review: DOCTERsport 8-25×50 AO

Writing a gun blog certainly has its advantages. One of those is exposure to brands and products you may not otherwise have come in contact with. A perfect example of this is this quality European scope, which I may not have tried out if I didn’t spend a lot of time researching firearm-related products.

The DOCTERsport series is aimed at target shooters, whereas most of the riflescopes made by Docter are built for the European hunter. With this kind of heritage, you know the scope is going to be made to pretty exacting standards, as hunting in the Northern hemisphere can occur at temperatures and elevations unknown to Kiwi hunters.

Speaking of heritage, other factors contributing to Docter’s all-round excellence are it’s shared heritage with Carl Zeiss and its more recent past with Analytik Jena, a company that specialises largely in precisely manufactured and tightly toleranced lab and medical equipment. Docter was recently bought (along with the bulk of AJ’s business) by capital investment firm NOBLEX GmbH. The new owner has assured customers that they will continue to manufacture existing Docter products and parts, and will even invest more into the optics business. Hopefully this will mean continued advancement from an already great producer of high quality scopes.

The large objective bell requires higher scope rings.
The large objective bell requires higher scope rings.

Being European…

The simple fact that this scope is manufactured in Germany by a known maker of fine glass means a lot. It means great optical clarity, fantastic quality and technical specs like you can’t believe. It also means measurements and manuals are in metric units. For example, the lower magnification scopes in the range have adjustments of 7mm per click at 100m – thankfully for those that are used to imperial or MOA measurements, this is 1/4″ at 100m. For the 8-25×50 model you are looking at 3.5mm at 100m, or 1/4″ at 100m, per click.

Light transmission

The scope has fantastic light-transmitting properties. According to Docter, more than 90% of light is transmitted during the day and more than 86% at dusk – not bad in failing light!

At the highest end of the magnification range, you do lose some clarity, but not as much as you’ll notice in cheaper scopes. I only really noticed it the other week at max magnification, shooting in a thunderstorm, with heavy clouds. Under normal shooting conditions, you won’t notice a lack of light at all.

The DOCTERsport has features that will suit some shooters, but hinder others. The questions is - what purpose are you buying a scope for?
The DOCTERsport has features that will suit some shooters, but hinder others. The questions is – what purpose are you buying a scope for?

The 8-25×50 model

This end of the series has the largest objective bell (57mm tube – 50mm lens) and zoom range, so you know you’re dealing with a long-range scope. However, there are a couple aspects to consider when using this scope for extended ranges. Firstly, the 4.5-15×40 and the 8-25×50 are the only AO models in the range, so you’ll be parallax free if you have your settings right. That’s one for the positive column.

Light transmission is excellent, but I personally find the Cross Hair reticle too fine. Others will find it perfect.
Light transmission is excellent, but I personally find the Cross Hair reticle too fine. Others will find it perfect.

On the negative side of the ledger, the adjustment range is not huge. In fact, in the AO models, it’s significantly less than the fixed parallax versions. I’m no scope manufacturer, so I’m guessing it’s to do with two things – introducing more gearing for the Adjustable Objective, and having a limited amount of space in the housing.

The lower end scopes in the range have an adjustment range of 150cm at 100m. So, theoretically (if you’re zeroed in the exact middle of the adjustment range), you can adjust 75cm up or down at 100m. At extended ranges, this will translate into greater vertical or horizontal distance. However, obviously, if you’re working in MOA or MilRads, it’s one constant number.

With the 8-25×50 model, your adjustment range is just 56cm at 100 metres. However, if your rifle and mount are true, this is okay. If you want to shoot beyond 300m – 400m and you’re shooting a calibre with a significant drop, you’ll run out of adjustment range. Also, with any scope, if you’re at the end of the adjustment range, you’ll have other issues with gearing. So, if you want to get truly long range, you’ll need to get adjustable bases or a 20MOA rail – although, let’s be honest, if you’re serious about long range, you have those anyway.

When I first tried this scope on my 6.5×55 I could barely get on paper at 25m, and at 100m I just didn’t have enough adjustment to get on paper. I was too low and to the left. However, the issue was not with the scope. This limited adjustment range highlighted the fact that whoever mounted the bases on my rifle had done a pretty poor job of it, with the rear base sitting higher than the front and off to the side a fraction as well.

The coin adjsutable turrets are necessary for the optional target turrets, but they are not an ideal mechanism.
The coin adjsutable turrets are necessary for the optional target turrets, but they are not an ideal mechanism.

Mounting the scope on my 7mm-08, I enjoyed the crystal-clear clarity and the extras Docter had sent along. The first time I used this scope on my Mossberg was at the NZDA Taupo range in the height of summer, with huge amounts of glare and mirage. Thankfully, the long sun shade made for easy shooting and eliminated a lot of mirage from barrel heat as well. You know careful thought and consideration has been put into the machining of these threads, as the logo lines up nicely with the top of the scope, as does the logo on the large eye piece.

I say the eye piece is large, but it’s not overly so. It’s more that it is longer and bulkier, than wider. So it shouldn’t get in the way of bolt handles on modern rifles, but it has a lot of tolerance for eye relief, allowing you to mount the scope in a way that suits your shooting style. It also has a great fast focus ring that extends a fair way.

All of the adjustment gradations are easily seen from the shooter's position.
All of the adjustment gradations are easily seen from the shooter’s position.

Adjustments and reticle

This scope does have a lot of features, and this review article is probably dragging on a bit, so I’ll finish up with a quick overview on the adjustments and reticle.

There are various options for reticles – Plex, Dot and Cross Hair. The scope that I was sent to review is the Cross Hair variety, and it is exceptionally thin. This is great for seeing more of your target at long range, but it’s difficult to use in quick-fire applications, where you would want the Plex reticle. In my personal opinion, it’s a bit too fine, but for those that shoot long distance all the time, it could be just what they want.

There are no reticles with holdover marks (unless you count the post on the Plex), so it’s a scope designed for shooting at known distances. Again, this does mean a cleaner and less obstructed view through the scope.

Most Docter scopes come with finger-adjustable turrets under caps. This particular model comes with tool (or coin) adjustable turrets under low profile caps. The reason for this, is that there are optional target-style turrets that are finger adjustable, and screw into the coin adjustment slot. I like the idea of target turrets, but this method does make them a bit too sloppy in my opinion. The tactile response to adjustments is just not as good as other Docter scopes, but you do gain the benefit of being able to see

The optional target turrets offer easy adjustments from the shooting position.
The optional target turrets offer easy adjustments from the shooting position.

your zero markings from behind the gun.

Not only can you clearly see the markings on the target turrets, but because the magnification and parallax adjustments are on rings that slope towards the shooter, you can clearly see these as well, without moving from your shooting position.

These other rings are also quite coarsely geared for a scope of this price and magnification level. Coarse doesn’t mean bad. Coarse means quicker, but less fine adjustments. Whereas finer gearing means more precise adjustments, but long throws, which slow you down.

The scope does, of course, come with all you would expect in terms of ruggedness. Fantastic rubber armour where it’s needed, as well as all the usual shock, fog and water-proofing you’d expect in a modern scope.

Overall impression

Overall, the scope is worth the money spent if it suits your style of shooting. It is designed for target shooters, shooting at known distances in variable conditions. If you’re after a hunting scope or something to throw on your AR, Docter have some other brilliant scopes for those applications, but this is not the one.

Docter scopes are not easy to find in New Zealand, but Serious Shooters does have a decent stock, Wilhelm Arms may still have some stock if you ask Richard, and there are Australian and European stores that will ship to NZ if you don’t mind a bit of a wait.

The 8-25×50 currently retails around NZ$1700, but if you can find it on special, you can usually shave off a couple hundred bucks. For a German quality scope with this many features, you’re doing well at a price like that.

If you want a chance to win the scope used in this review, head along to our Facebook page, and also check out the terms and conditions here.


Mounting a scope on a .303

The old .303 has been a staple of the Kiwi bush for decades, and will most likely continue to be around for decades to come. Usually the pristine, fully wooded specimens are locked away in gunsafes and taken out for service rifle shoots, and even old sporters get treated with a degree of respect, reflecting their heritage from the culling days.

However, some sporters are the perfect base for a project that’s a little bit fun – a little bit different. So, looking out for the perfect beginning of a bush rifle project, an easy scope mounting scenario was high on the list for me.

Comparing two SMLEs, one with original fixed sights and one with a scope mounted and iron sights removed.
Comparing two SMLEs, one with original fixed sights and one with a scope mounted and iron sights removed.

Most of the older rifles with scope mounts have rails that bridge the gap between the front of the action and the stripper-clip/bolt guide. I think I’ve only seen one with weaver-style rings jimmied into place, and one with a scout-type mount that fit over the rear sight – similar to what you see on some Mosin Nagant scout projects.

Anyway, these older rails – they all tend to lack any Weaver or Picatinny type cross sections – the slots where the recoil stop sits. If you try and fit modern rings to one of these older rifles, you’ll find that after a few shots, the rings will start to slide back or loosen.

So, this means if you buy a rifle with one of these old rails you have a couple choices.

Find some old rings

You could try and find some old style rings that lack a cross-bar. These are similar to the dovetail rings you get for rimfire rifles and for modern Tika rifles. The difference is the width of the ring bases, so you may not be able to find a modern type that will fit your older rifle – especially if the angle of the lips doesn’t mate up with the angle of the rail.

With the ATI scope mount, a longer allen key will be very helpful for the rear grub screws.
With the ATI scope mount, a longer allen key will be very helpful for the rear grub screws.

So, you may have to try and find some old school rings. However there are two downfalls to this approach. Firstly, older rings were phased out for a reason. The cross bar on picatinny and Weaver style scope rings means the rings cannot slide back on the rail under recoil.

The second downfall is that you will be getting an unknown quantity. They will probably be for 1″ tubes only, and you won’t know whether they’re good quality, well-aligned, etc.

Remove the rail and replace

There are a few modern rail types that you can fit to your .303. There are ones that you drill and tap into the side of the action – I’m not a big fan, but others like them. They’re quite similar to the kind of aftermarket rails you’d use on an AK, Mosin or SKS – basically actions that aren’t designed for scope rails.

The grub screws in the rear of the ATI scope mount use tension to keep the rail in place.
The grub screws in the rear of the ATI scope mount use tension to keep the rail in place.

Because the rear ring of the action is quite different to modern actions, your standard MOA rails probably won’t be much help. However, ATI produces a mount that uses one screw into the front ring of the action and a couple grub screws against the rear ring of the action. While these two rear screws are not drilled and tapped into the action, the force they apply seems to be strong enough to keep the rail in place under recoil.

I’ve been using one on a project .303 for a while now, and have had no complaints.

With any aftermarket scope mounts on an SMLE, you’re going to have a pretty high scope. So, you’ll probably need to look at an aftermarket stock or some sort of cheek riser to allow easy and repeatable eye relief. More on that in another article soon, as this project continues to evolve.

Product review: Weaver 40/44 Series 6.5-20×44 scope

Every now and then you come across a product that presents you with the best of dilemmas. The problem I have with my new 40/44 scope is choosing which rifle to fit it to. Now, I may sound like a gushing schoolgirl at this point, but read on and let me explain why this scope’s versatility is a nice problem to have.

Price range

The ocular bells allows plenty of clearance for bolt handles and gloved fingers.
The ocular bell allows plenty of clearance for bolt handles and gloved fingers.

Let’s not kid ourselves, when you’re purchasing optics the first thought you have is, ‘How much is my wallet going to bleed to get the kind of clarity/magnification/quality I want?’

There’s a common saying that if you put a $300 scope on a $1000 rifle, then you’ve got a $300 rifle. I would argue that the 40/44 Series 6.5-20×44 is the exception to this platitudinal rule.

The manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) listed on Weaver’s website is roundabout $320-330 USD, depending on the specs you go for. If you’re lucky, you can catch it on special or find a store/site with free shipping and get it to your door for around that price. But! Does it shoot like it belongs in the $300 – $500 USD ($450 – $600 NZD) range?



The first thing I did when I unpacked the 40/44 was mount it on a Savage .243 to check out the fit and function. Unfortunately I installed it with rings that were a tad snug, and immediately had some long scratches after I pushed and pulled the scope around finding a comfortable fit.

The objective bell clears the rear sight on this Savage nicely.
The objective bell clears the rear sight on this Savage nicely.

Feeling pretty upset with myself for ruining a brand new scope (before I’d even had a chance to photograph it for this review too!), I tried to rub the marks out a bit with my thumb. And they lifted. The black, hard-anodized matte finish is built for such rugged use that even scraping it along in tight metal rings didn’t leave any permanent marks on the finish. I’ve had much more expensive scopes (especially with matte finishes) end up with unsightly scratches even from a trip to the range, let alone hiking through the bush.


If there’s one thing that’s a tell-tale sign of poor – or even average – manufacturing quality, it’s sloppy elevation and windage adjustments.

The fine gearing makes for smooth use and precise adjustments.
The fine gearing makes for smooth use and precise adjustments.

Even when I was just playing around with the scope before actually going to the range, I could tell that the 40/44 Series was just a little bit better made in this area than most. The clicks were tight and consistent, and there was no play in the adjustment turrets. After taking the turret caps off, adjustments can be made with your fingers, with no special tools or coins necessary.

The parallax and magnification adjustments have a bit of a longer throw than other scopes in the same price bracket. This is actually a good thing. What this indicates is finer internal gearing, which means more precise adjustments can be made. The movement of these parts is also smooth, but resistant enough to the point where you don’t have to worry about unintentional movement.


The optical quality is really what most people get giddy about when choosing a new scope, although I’d maintain that mechanical quality is just as important.

In my experience there are two major indicators of optical quality in a scope. The first (and most obvious) is light transmission. Is the scope clear, bright and easy to use? The answer in this case is yes. The second, and certainly equal, indicator of quality materials and craftsmanship is the ability of a high-magnification scope to continue to provide optimal light transmission at the high end of its zoom range.

In other words, if I were hiking around the back country with the magnification set around 10 for medium-range shots, but then decided to take a longer range shot requiring all 20x zoom power – at dusk – could I expect the same level of optical clarity?

Many competitor scopes at this level – and certainly the cheap no-name brand scopes on TradeMe – start to get murky towards the end of their range. I had a 6-24x power scope that I realistically couldn’t use beyond 18 or 20 without losing too much light. I’ve also owned an 8-32x scope that may as well have been an 8-24x for all the use the upper range was.

It may be a hunting scope, but it's perfectly at home on this rimfire rifle.
It may be a hunting scope, but it’s perfectly at home on this rimfire rifle, along with the aftermarket Boyds stock.

I’ve glassed tree-lined creek beds with this scope in failing light at maximum zoom, and also used it at maximum zoom at an indoor target range, and in both situations found the light transmission to be excellent. So much so that I would be confident in saying I could use the full potential of this scope, and not just stick to the lower ranges.

Specified use

Of course, how you intend to use any particular scope is up to you. However, certain optics are created with particular uses in mind. According to Weaver’s website, the primary use for the 40/44 in 6.5-20×44 with Dual-X reticle is as a large game hunting setup.

The 6.5-20x version of this scope comes with three reticle options – the Dual-X, Ballistic-X and Varminter. All are variations on the duplex reticle and the use for hunting is readily apparent. The thick posts draw your eye naturally to the finer crosshair in the centre, making for quick target acquisition.

The Ballistic-X version has some elevation holdover hashes for those who prefer to holdover rather than adjust their turrets – useful for shooting on the move, rather than from a prone position. The Varminter crosshair features a round dot in the middle of the reticle to form a natural point of focus for the eye.

If you choose the Dual-X (like I have) or the Varminter, you’ll likely be making elevation adjustments in the field. Using a ‘cheat sheet’ calculator, you can quickly figure out what adjustments you need to make and have these on a card taped to your rifle for quick reference. Alternatively, some time at a range with multiple distance options can help you figure out exactly what your load/rifle/optic combination requires.

Thankfully the 40/44 is designed with quick adjustments like these in mind. After removing the turret caps, you’ll notice the turret markings are easily visible from the shooter’s position.

The turret adjustments are easily seen from the shooter's position.
The turret adjustments are easily seen from the shooter’s position.

The ocular bell is also quite compact, which has multiple benefits. It’s easier to see past when making turret adjustments for starters. But more importantly it means more clearance between the bolt handle and the scope. This makes for easier mounting on older rifles, as well as convenient use with gloves when you’re in the mountains.

Overall impressions

It’s easy to see how this scope could be favoured by hunters the world over. It’s not a Super Slam, but for the budget-conscious shooter or the back-up rifle, it’s great value for money with many of the same features as the more expensive scopes. It’s no surprise that it’s a ‘best rated’ product on Optics Planet.

The ruggedness and mechanical reliability means a lifetime of use, while the optical clarity makes it perfect the times of day you really expect to be hunting in New Zealand. The uncomplicated reticle and ease of adjustment makes for more confident shooting in the field too.

While this scope was originally mounted on a .243 Winchester for hunting use, it’s found a new home on my bolt action .22LR along with a Boyds Pro Varmint stock for target shooting. While it may seem a strange application, indoor smallbore target shooting involves known distances without wind variation, making the simple reticle ideal. The high level of magnification also means precise shooting and knowing what your score is before you leave the mound. The large objective lens also means plenty of visibility indoors under artificial lighting. Lastly, the adjustable objective means you can shoot at high magnification at ranges as close as 25 yards.

But, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, this scope could sit on almost any of my rifles and be fit for purpose. It could go on my 6.5×55 and be used for F-Class, or thrown onto my 7mm-08 for a light, bush-ready rig. Like I said at the start, it’s a good problem to have!

Choosing a scope for rimfire plinking

Choosing a scope for your rifle comes down to many competing factors. There’s quality, availability, price, and often competing recommendations from friends, magazines or internet forums. One often overlooked variable is fit-for-purpose. IS the scope you’re looking at ideal for the type of shooting you want to do?

A 6-24×56 with Milrad reticle is great, but not necessary for scrub hunting in New Zealand. Equally inappropriate would be a 3-9×40 with duplex reticle on an F-Class rifle. While either situation could be made to work, neither would produce outstanding results.

I’ll be doing a series of articles on fit-for-purpose scopes, to help with choosing a piece of glass for your next project.

4x32 with torch
This simple 4×32 with attached torch is great for possum hunting and can be used for plinking as well. Not so great for target shooting.

Rimfire plinking

Shooting tin cans or pieces of paper on your own land, or just at the range for fun, does not require an expensive or elaborate scope setup. Often this kind of plinking is done open-sighted, but for those with failing eye-sight or those who just like to practice with optics, a low-magnification scope such as the Classic Rimfire range from Weaver would do the job well.

Rimfire scopes are often not made to stand up the recoil of centrefire rifles, so if you plan on swapping scopes between rifles, you should probably look at a low-magnification centrefire rifle.

If your budget is seriously lacking, you can look at the Kilwell Huntsman or Nikko Stirling Mountmaster, both offered by Serious Shooters and various others. A 3-9×40 with duplex reticle, it’s all you need to get started. These are often the types of scopes included with package deals. You should eventually upgrade to something a bit higher spec if you intend hunting with it.

In the same vain, don’t buy cheap scopes off Trademe, unless you are looking for something for airsoft or paintball. I’ve checked these out and while a few are acceptable, many are sloppily built and have magnification ranges vastly different from what is stated, as well as adjustments that are inaccurate. These can do the job if you are buying your first .22, but do not attempt to hunt with these. Low-quality scopes can lead to unethical kills.