Scopes and Optics

Best Scope for Small Game Hunting

Simmons 3-9x32mm .22 Waterproof Fogproof Matte Black Riflescope

Do you want to buy the best scope for small game hunting? We will share the pros and cons of the top options to help you narrow your search. 

Small game hunting is one of the most fun outdoor activities practised by many. For some, small game hunting is the best way to spend free time and hone their hunting skills, but for others, especially the farmers, it is the easiest way to control their population.

However, small-game hunting is no easy feat. Due to their small and fast-moving nature, tracking their movement or taking them down can be challenging, especially when hunting from a distance. This is where scope comes into play. With the right scope, you will easily track their movement in any situation. A scope will also magnify the animals and help you place the shot accurately.

Whether you are a hunting beginner or a seasoned hunter looking for the best scope for small-game hunting, you have come to the right place. We have a detailed review of the top-rated scope options suitable for you. We have also included a buyer’s guide to help you find the best scope for your hunting needs.

So, without much ado, let’s get started.

5 Best Scope for Small Game Hunting

1) Simmons 3-9x32mm .22 Waterproof Fogproof Matte Black Riflescope

Simmons 3-9x32mm .22 Waterproof Fogproof Matte Black Riflescope

The Simmons 3-9x32mm .22 is arguably the best scope for small game hunting available on the market today. Built with the finest and most reliable features, the scope delivers stunning performance in any hunting field.

It features high-quality optical glass that maximizes resolution and color accuracy. In addition to that, the scope has fully-coated optics to increase light transmission when hunting in low-light settings. It also boasts a HydroShield lens coating that helps maintain a clear field of view, irrespective of the weather.

Moreover, this rimfire riflescope is built to survive in any hunting conditions. It has shockproof housing that withstands any punishment you subject it to. It also comes with SureGrip rubber surfaces for effortless adjustment under any condition and a black matte finish which camouflages your hunting position.

The scope is also waterproof, dustproof and fog proof to offer reliable performance under any weather condition.


  • 3-9x magnification
  • Waterproof, shockproof and fog-resistant
  • Truplex reticle
  • Adjustable parallax
  • SureGrip rubber surfaces
  • Fully-coated optics
  • HydroShield lens coating


  • Good eye relief
  • High-quality and clear optics
  • Budget-friendly
  • Accurate


  • The rings included are mediocre


2) BSA Optics 22 AO 3-9X40mm Rifle Scope

BSA Optics 22 AO 3-9X40mm Rifle Scope

The BSA Optics 22 AO is the best scope for small game hunting for beginners and budget buyers. It is inexpensive, easy to use, and fun to shoot with. It is also designed for the .22 LR, with 3 ballistically calibrated turrets for 36gr, 38gr and 40gr cartridges.

Stunning optical performance awaits you when you get this rifle scope. Built with a large 40mm objective lens, the scope maximizes performance in low-light settings by gathering more light. It also features fully coated lenses, providing bright and clear image views by enhancing light transmission.

Better yet, the scope is built to be virtually indestructible. It has a mono-piece 1-inch tube crafted from aluminum. This maximizes its durability and sturdiness without adding any extra weight. The scope is also waterproof and fog proof to be usable under rain and mist, in addition to a wide range of temperatures and any precipitation.


  • Adjustable objective
  • Matte black finish
  • Fully coated lenses
  • Waterproof, shockproof and fog proof
  • 3-9x adjustable magnification
  • 3 ballistically calibrated turrets


  • Crisp clear optics
  • Durable and reliable construction
  • Accurate
  • Lightweight and easy to use


  • No turret lock
  • Short eye relief


3) Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7×35 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane Riflescope

Vortex Optics Diamondback 2-7x35 Rimfire

In the optics industry, Vortex Optics is a brand whose reputation is second to none. It makes many quality rifle scopes, clear in the Diamondback 2-7×35 Rimfire Riflescope.

This classic go-to hunting scope is all you need to hone your hunting skills. It is loaded with premium features that every hunter dreams of. Besides, it is very easy to use and has an ultra-lightweight design, making it easy to carry as you look for a game.

The scope is built to offer stunning image quality from dawn to dusk. This is thanks to the fully multi-coated lenses, which enhance light transfer. It also brings a V-plex hunting reticle and a fast-focus eyepiece, making the reticle focusing effortless.

Like any other Vortex optic, this rimfire rifle scope is built to last. It has a solid 1-piece tube that is shockproof and durable enough to withstand any handling. For added protection, the scope has a hard anodized finish that shields the body from rust, corrosion and scratches.

Best of all, the scope is O-ring sealed and argon purged to deliver a lifetime of waterproof and fog proof reliability.


  • Hard anodized finish
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Metal-on-metal precision turrets
  • Waterproof, fog proof and shockproof construction
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Precision-glide erector system
  • Side focus parallax adjustment


  • Crystal-clear optics
  • Excellent build quality
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive


  • Short eye relief


4) Simmons 510513 Truplex Riflescope, Matte, 3-9x40mm

Simmons 510513 Truplex Riflescope, Matte, 3-9x40mm

If you are looking for a low-priced rifle scope that still delivers, look no further than the Simmons 3-9x40mm Truplex Riflescope. It offers many high-quality features to help you make the most of your hunting expedition.

This rifle scope is built to last. It is well-built with sturdy and durable materials to take in any beating. It is also recoil-proof and shockproof for added durability, and 100% waterproof and fog-resistant to survive all weather conditions.

The scope has an eye relief of 3.5 inches long enough to ensure comfortable glassing. It also features a simple Truplex reticle that is ideal for multiple hunting applications. Better yet, the scope brings a quick target acquisition eyepiece for fast and straightforward target acquisition.

To top it all off, this 1-inch tube rifle scope has fully coated optics and 1/4 MOA windage and elevation adjustments with audible clicks.


  • Truplex reticle
  • Fully coated optics
  • 3-9x magnification
  • Quick target acquisition eyepiece
  • Matte black finish
  • Water, fog and shockproof
  • 1/4 MOA windage and elevation adjustments


  • Easy on the wallet
  • Accurate
  • Great value for money
  • Solid construction
  • Decent eye relief


  • Can stand fierce air rifle recoil


5) Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire Riflescope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rimfire

Lastly, on our list of the best scope for small game hunting, we have the Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire Riflescope. As one of the many configurations in the crossfire line, this model is clearer, tougher and brighter.

The scope has a variable magnification power ranging from 2x to 7x. This makes it ideal for hunting small game at close to medium ranges. The scope also features the popular V-plex reticle suitable for a wide range of hunting applications to complement the ultra-versatile magnification.

When it comes to building quality, this rimfire riflescope has a rigid housing designed to stand up to anything you subject it to. It is waterproof and fog proof for operability under any weather condition and has capped turrets to ensure no accidental dialling occurs.

Furthermore, the scope is built with ease of use in mind. It has a fast-focus eyepiece that ensures quick and simple focusing of the reticle. It also comes in a lightweight design to be easy to use and carry in the field, and with the long eye relief, you can get a sight picture quickly.

The scope also boasts anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses, which provide bright, crisp and razor-sharp views of the target in any lighting condition.


  • Capped reset turrets
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Waterproof and fog proof construction
  • 2-7x magnification
  • V-Plex MOA SFP hunting reticle
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • 1-inch main tube
  • Hard anodized single-piece body tube


  • Accommodating eye relief
  • Built to last
  • Accurate
  • Cystal clear optics


  • Poor light transmission in low-light settings
  • The image quality is not good at the highest magnification


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Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Scope for Small Game Hunting

A quality and reliable scope will enhance your shooting precision and make your hunting expedition more rewarding. When shopping for the best scope for small game hunting, below are the important factors you should consider.


It should be made from high-quality materials for a scope to last long. Scopes made from aluminum alloy, magnesium alloy or high-performance polymer are ideal. These materials are not just durable but also lightweight.

Along with quality construction, the best scope for small game hunting should be built to survive all weather conditions. It should be filled with inert gas and an O-ring sealed to perform reliably under any weather.


The magnification your scope has will determine your hunting range. The higher the magnification, the further you can shoot accurately.

However, a scope with high magnification is not necessary for small game hunting. Typically, small game hunting takes place at close to medium ranges. For such a range, a medium-powered scope with not more than 9x magnification will suffice.

Objective Lens

The size of the objective lens is the other important factor you should consider. For small game hunting, a 40mm or less scope will do. It will collect ample light and ensure that the images generated are bright, color rich and detailed. A large objective lens will also give you a wide viewing angle so you can easily find and keep track of the game.


A sharp, clear, easy-to-use reticle will make your hunting expedition easier and more fun. It will create the perfect lines for you to shoot the target accurately. It is also wise to look for an illuminated reticle to use the scope in low-light settings.

Lens Coatings

Proper lens coatings are a must-have feature for the best scope for small game hunting. The coatings will enhance the transmission of light for bright and clear views. With clear views of the target, you can plan your shot more precisely under any situation.


Remember to look at how heavy the scope weighs. Avoid any model that is big and bulky. It will interfere with how you shoot and be cumbersome in the hunting field. Instead, look for a compact, lightweight model weighing less than 2 pounds. A lightweight scope will not just be easy to carry around but also be easy to shoot with.

Eye Relief

A scope with a long eye relief will be less fatiguing to use, especially during lengthy hunting sessions. It will also be easy to use with or without eyewear and safe on your eye when you are hunting with a fierce recoiling rifle. A tip is to look for a product that offers eye relief that is 3.5 inches long or more.



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FAQs on the Best Scope for Small Game Hunting

1) Do you need a scope for small-game hunting?

Yes, you do. You can hunt small game at close quarters without a scope, but it is much easier and more fun when you use one. For medium and long-range hunting, a scope is a must-have gear to hit the target accurately.

2) What size scope is best for small game hunting?

3-9×40. Since small game hunting occurs at close and medium ranges, a basic 3-9×40 scope will be more than enough. It will bring the distant subjects closer and offer a wide field of view that you need to find the targets effortlessly and keep track of the fast-moving ones with ease.

3) Do I need an illuminated scope for small game hunting?

It depends. If you hunt during the day or in a hunting field with enough lighting, an illuminated reticle isn’t necessary. However, an illuminated scope will greatly enhance your shooting precision in low light settings.


To be successful in hunting small game, you need a quality scope mounted on your hunting rifle. All the five scopes above are made with the small game hunter in mind. They offer the essential features to make the best of your hunting trips and make fond memories each time you set foot on the hunting field.

Identify your hunting habits and needs, then use this guide to find the best scope for you.


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