In any assemblage of working rifles, the most important one is not a .30/06 or .223 or .460 Thunderf***er, it is the .22 rimfire. That is what teaches you to shoot and, once you’ve learned, keeps you from backsliding. If you tell me how many rounds of .22 ammo you go through in a year, I can tell you how good a rifle shot you are.


There are a number of extremely good .22 rimfire rifles on the market, but the same does not hold true for dedicated .22 scopes. There are plenty of sound, inexpensive models that will get the job done, but as for really top flight, the only one I know of is the Leupold VX-II 3X-9X EFR. It comes in matte black, and with a fine Duplex crosshair. You can focus it for any range from 10 meters to infinity. The optics are very sharp, the adjustments are precise, and it’s covered by Leupold’s legendary warrantee. It ain’t cheap–around $400 real world–but if you thought it was, the more fool you. There is no doubt in my military mind that this is the best of its kind.


A number of posts ago, I whined about the complexity of the latest generation of laser sights and binoculars, and about the worthlessness of directions for same. So, when I got to handle a pair of Leica’s Geovid HD BRF rangefinder binoculars it was a revelation. They are set at the factory to measure in either yards or meters, so you look for a Y or an M on the box. Then you buy them, put in the battery, and go hunting. That’s it. That’s all. They are just as marvelous as you think they are, and it’s worth paying all that money if only to avoid the technogeek babble.