When it comes to caliber, .22LR (22 Long Rifle) is not necessarily the strongest one or super useful for self-defense. However, it is a timeless cartridge that just goes and goes on. Why? It is super affordable, there is plenty of it, it comes with little to no recoil, makes little noise, and gets shot from equally affordable guns. So, if you are looking for a good rifle to shoot this little round, we will show you the best of them.
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The Ruger 10/22 is the best allrounder for .22LR. It is super reliable, and it is also very customizable. Whenever you want to use it, you can be sure it will go bang while you can make it look like the way you want and attach any optics you like. It is a great gun for kids to start their love for guns, and even for grown up it makes a lot of sense to have one.
The design is so good that it practically became the standard against which all the other .22 rifles are measured. You can get it in a myriad of variants and fit it to any need you have. It feeds from a rotary magazine, and there are aftermarket ones available with higher capacity. If you want to find any fault, it might be trigger that to some shooters leave a lot to be desired, but that is being really picky.
The gun itself is an American classic, and being semi-automatic, you can send out a real cloud of tiny projectiles. The main variation that people use are the Takedown which is great for easy transport, the Tactical, the Sporter, and the Carbine. The action of each of these variants runs very smoothly, and they are also as accurate as it can get for such an affordable platform.
The magazine capacity stands at 10 rounds for the ones that come with it, but you can easily increase that with aftermarket mags all the way to 100 rounds. In fact, the aftermarket support is in one word huge. You can get everything from mag releases over triggers to bipods and advanced optics.
The Henry Golden Boy Lever Action has a good reputation in the shooting community. It comes with an octagonal barrel and is drilled and tapped to mount optics. As a special feature, the shiny brasslite finish of the receiver stands really out.
The impressive look is enhanced even more by the Walnut stock. However, there is a price tag attached to it. Also, a gun like this is just too nice for hard work on the range or in the field. For an MSRP of $617, you might be tempted to just leave it in the gun save. On the other hand, it is much too nice for that as well. It just has to be shot at least sometimes. The tubular magazine comes with a capacity of 16 rounds. The barrel has a length of 20 inches and a 1 in 16 rate of twist.
The Savage 64F is a great choice if you are looking for value. It is a reliable and trustworthy platform made by a company that is well-known for affordable prices and quality guns. The 64F fits here exactly. It comes with everything you need for a nice price.
Coming with a straight-blowback semi-automatic action, this gun is very reliable on the range as well as in the field. It features a carbon steel barrel and feeds from 10-round magazine. Some mind find that the synthetic stock might not offer the best look, but that is a question of taste, not of functionality.
Costing just $130, the Savage 64F is not only a bargain, it is also very accurate. Hitting what you are aiming at is not a challenge. It is also very customizable so that you can make it fit any need you have.
The barrel has a length of 21 inches and a 1 in 16 twist rate. With the barrel and receiver made from carbon steel and the synthetic stock, it is lightweight making it easy to carry it around. Also, it does come with a great aftermarket support that includes triggers, extended magazines, and even folding stocks. This makes it a great plinker as well as a good gun for hunting small game.
There is also a takedown model available. This means, you can easily put it in your backpack and have it with you whenever the need for it arises.
6. Thompson/Center T/CR22
Thompson/Center is well known for its bolt action gun and also for its muzzleloaders. The T/CR22 fits the bill for a good .22 rifle that equally works fin at the range as in the field. As an extra, it comes with a great look thanks to its hardwood stock. Also, it is optics ready as it comes with an included rail. The trigger is crisp, and the gun is reliable. To make it even more useable in the field, it has an overall rather short length.
That does, however, come with a downside. You have to pay for it a little bit more, but for that, you get enhanced precision which makes this platform still attractive when it comes to the bang for buck relationship.
The T/CR22 features a 17-inch carbon steel barrel with a 1 in 15 twist rate. This does help noticeably with accuracy. It feeds from detachable box magazines which each hold 10 rounds. The MSRP of $472 is for a gun as such not necessarily too much. It just makes this rifle stand a little bit out of the crows in the .22 department. But as said before, it is worth it.
The Marlin Model 60 is a classic design. As a semi-automatic .22 rifle, it is just fun to shoot. Actually, apart from that, there is almost nothing outstanding with it just that it is absolutely reliable. If you want, you might see its look as something outstanding as it features a walnut stock and a tubular magazine which does come with a good capacity.
However, this design also makes it a little bit picky when it comes to ammo. You might be hard pressed to find the exactly right kind that your Marlin Model 60 likes. Many owners of this rifle have come to it through inheritance from their parents or grandparents what does give it a sentimental value.
However, it does also fit the more practically minded shooter with a capacity of 14+1. Its barrel as a length of 19 inches and sports a 1 in 16 twist rate. You can also get a variant with a 4x20mm scope attached from the factory. You can find it for less than $200 what by itself is a good reason to by one.
Tikka`s T1x MTR is a great precision rifle that you can use for a lot of different applications including of course plinking and hunting. It is very lightweight with just 5 pounds and 11 ounces making it no challenge to carry it in the woods. Also, it comes with a 70-degree bolt lift. The aggressive texture makes it very controllable when shooting and the low-profile magazine shows its worth when you are finding your way through bushes.
If there is a downside to it then it is the length of pull. It is too short for full-grown shooters but not short enough for the younger ones. The absence of a recoil pad is also not necessarily a help.
The rifle comes in two variants with a 20- or 16-inch barrel. Both of them have a 1 in 16.5 rate of twist. Built for precision, they come with a single stage trigger and a threaded muzzle. The receiver is drilled and tapped to accept a picatinny rail to mount optics. Luckily, there are aftermarket recoil padas as well as spacers available.
3. Marlin 39A
The Marlin 39A has been around for a long time and earned a reputation for being reliable. This is owed to the emphasize on quality over quantity. It features a hooded front sight and a vintage classic look as well as feel. Also, it comes with a high capacity, and the steel parts are forged. When it comes to the downsides, it is not easy to get a hold of one of these beauties, and the price is not necessarily the most affordable.
However, if you get one of them, you have a classic hunting rifle that you can pass down to your kids. Feed it quality ammo, and it will just continue to work fine.
The Winchester Wildcat is a very innovative design with new aesthetics. The lower receiver can be removed in the field, and it features an ambidextrous skeletonized buttstock. Also, an optics rail is included. The ergonomics are for some shooters not necessarily perfect, and to use optics, you might need a cheek riser, but overall, it is a great design, and the rifle is lightweight. That makes it easy to carry it around when hunting. The weight is just 4 pounds thanks to the molded polymer stock.
It takes just pressing a single button and the entire lower receiver can be pulled from the stock. In it, there are two Allen wrenches that are useful to make sight adjustment when being in the field. Also, it comes with a slide lock button which increases safety especially for new shooters.
The front sight is made as a ramped post, and the rear sight is a ghost ring. To make the gun more versatile, it accepts aftermarket magazines made for the Ruger 10/22. The price is just $270 what by itself helps making this gun very popular.
The Browning SA-22 is a break-down gun which is very accurate thanks to its high-quality design. As a takedown gun, it is easy to store and also easy to clean. It also has a nice look thanks to its engraving on the receiver and the polished blued finish. However, it does use a bottom ejection port which might take some time to get used to it.
The bottom ejection does also have its upside. It makes this gun ambidextrous. The barrel has a length of 19 inches and a 1 in 16 twist rate. A unique feature is the port in the stock through which the 10-round magazines are loaded. This keeps this rifle slim and easy to handle.
There you have it guys, a choice of .22 rifles with which you cannot go wrong. If you own one of them, let us know in the comments and tell us about your experience shooting it.