recommendations for a .22


wild billz
March 15, 2006, 12:59 PM
Iím interested in a .22 rifle, shooting my spinner targets at 40 yards with my Ruger Mk2 is hard.

Iíve done research online and it seems that Marlin is highly regarded, low cost, dependable and fairly accurate. Since I am on a tight budget I was wondering if the other manufactures have a rifle comparable in cost, quality and accuracy to Marlin? Also is Marlins model 60 as accurate as a bolt action? I was wanting something to plink with and to shot at my clubs silhouette shoot once a month. I am open to lever, bolt, or semi auto, I guess even pump action too. What I do like is the higher capacity of the tube feed .22s. I have to say I would prefer a wood stock, but can live with a synthetic stock and change it out in time.

An option I have is that I have an old Stevens model 56, but its missing the front sight post. I was considering having it drilled and tapped for a scope, but I only have the one 5 round magazine. Would it be worth scoping that? I doubt I can readily find a replacement sight post or magazines. Does anyone know if they are accurate? Iíve never shot it, having inherited from my father minus the front sight.

A final option would be to search the gun shows or pawn shops for a used rifle. I guess the bottom line is what .22 can I get that will satisfy my low cost threshold, but allow me to at least hit the ram at 100 yards or my spinner target.

I have access to a Winchester model 190, and Iím not impressed, its jams, but probably needs a good cleaning, and my friendís dad has an old marlin 39 golden, and that is out of the price range unless I get lucky.

Sorry for the rambling, that darn bug has bitten me and it itches badly.

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March 15, 2006, 01:08 PM
Semiauto: Ruger 10/22 will begin at about $180, and they are ubiquitous. Truckloads of aftermarket parts for them, and if you want serious accuracy, you'll need them. I went with a Remington 597 (Wal-Mart, $140), and it is just fine out of the box.

I'm sure others will be along shortly with recommendations for tube-fed or bolt action rifles. Good luck choosing- there's a whole bunch of inexpensive (but not cheap) plinkers.

March 15, 2006, 01:22 PM
FYI, (numrich) should have magazines and a front sight for your Stevens - they list quite a few parts for the 56C if that's what it is.

I like the Remington 597 very well but if you're set on a tube magazine and wood stock then Marlin is the way to go. Both models are more accurate than you'd expect for the price.

March 15, 2006, 01:23 PM
Ruger 10/22's are pretty decent inexpensive auto-loaders.

CZ452's are pretty decent inexpensive bolt actions.

Taurus M72's are pretty decent inexpensive pump actions.

Savage Stevens are pretty decent inexpensive falling block actions.

Henry makes a pretty decent inexpensive lever action.

wild billz
March 15, 2006, 01:25 PM
thanks, I'm not hard over on tube fed or wood stocks, but want the most bang for the buck i can get. I'll check out numrich and see what they have. My steven's is a 56 not 56C, are they compatible for parts?

March 15, 2006, 01:52 PM
the marlin 60 IMO is the best way to go, also the 795. 60 has the teb feed and while I was a little questioning of tube over detachable it isn't anywhere near as bad as I expected and I actually kind of like it, only thing is if you want fast reloadings it isn't as fast as popped out a mag and putting a new one in. Both solid dependable and right out of the box very accurate, 795 also has a synthetic stock if you like those over wood.

The 10/22 out of the box is decent, but not as good as a marlin. It isn't as accurate and on newer models the trigger sucks. I know several people that own both (don't own a 10/22 but have shot ones owned by friends) and almost all will say they will take their marlin any day if they had to choose. The 10/22 costs more, and to make it as good you need to put even more money into in after market parts. If you want a gun to tinker with or a project gun or to work on some basic gunsmithing skills these things shine. But if you want a great .22 you can take out of the box and maybe just a scope or new irons the marlins are the way to go. For out of the box accuracy and reliability they are great, and cheaper then the 10/22 by several dollars.

wild billz
March 15, 2006, 02:04 PM
thanks for the replies. I tried numrich and ordered a 10 round magazine and a front sight for a 56c, I hope it fits the 56, it was only $2.60 so it was worth a try. That should help while I figure out which new .22 to get. I saw a picture of the grey laminated wood Marlin 609 and liked it, plus they had a tube fed bolt action. My plan is to drive to a couple of shops and check them out, then make the tough call.

Is it safe to assume that a semi auto is less accurate than a bolt? Same for the pump adn lever actions being less accurate than a bolt? The bolt has to be the easiest to care for.

Would a60 be more accurate than say the remingtom bolt or henry pump?


Darth Ruger
March 15, 2006, 02:17 PM
Marlins are great for the price, very accurate. I prefer bolt-actions due to better inherent accuracy than a semi-auto, and there will never be any concerns about reliability of feeding. I've never had a Model 60, but I was a regular on the old MarlinTalk forum and many people there referred to it as the "jammomatic". Some experimenting would turn up a reliable load, but that's not even a factor with a bolt action (before everyone starts slamming me about the Model 60, note that I didn't say it's unreliable, but that many others have said that). I have an 880SQ (heavy barrel), which they renamed the 980V a couple of years ago (the only difference is the new trigger). But it doesn't appear on the new website, so maybe they've dropped it. :confused:

Anyway, a regular bolt gun like the 925 is a great squirrel smasher for the price, and Marlin makes accessory stocks (like gray and brown laminated) for about $77 if you want to replace the one yours came with. You can see the stocks here:

Marlin replacement stocks (

March 15, 2006, 03:21 PM
Marlins 60--best out of the box accuracy you're likely to see. I shoot better groups with the Model 60 autoloader than with my 25N bolt, but alot of that may be because I have a better scope on it. I also haven't shot the bolt nearly as much. Gonna get some better glass and see what it'll do.

wild billz
March 15, 2006, 04:52 PM
I just stoped by Walmart to look at the .22s. I looked at the Marlin 60, adn the Ruger 10/22. I have to say the Ruger felt much better than the Marlin. I was bigger adn heavey with a way nicer stock. The Marlin was 176, it was stainles adn scoped, adn the Ruger was 214, stainless. The marlin didn't have the front sight, I guess because it was scoped.

I called one of my local gun shops and they wanted 20 bucks a hole to drill and tap my old Stevens, so not worth going there for that.

I'll need to shop some more.

March 15, 2006, 06:45 PM
the marlin 60 IMO is the best way to go, also the 795. 60 has the teb feed and while I was a little questioning of tube over detachable it isn't anywhere near as bad as I expected and I actually kind of like it, only thing is if you want fast reloadings it isn't as fast as popped out a mag and putting a new one in. Both solid dependable and right out of the box very accurate, 795 also has a synthetic stock if you like those over wood.

Ditto on the Marlin 60 or 795. i have the 795, great gun, i like the detatch mags, not a big fan of tube mags unless on a lever action. Marlins are accurate almost all the time right out of the box and take scopes well. i shoot Winchester Dynapoints outta mine, 500 rounds for $10.

As for the Winchester 190, i have one, my dad bought it years ago on sale and then later gave it to me. the 190 has a histoy of the barrel comming loose sometimes. alot of people either buy the barel tool, use JB weld on the threads and tighten it up permentantly, or take it to your gunsmith and have him do it. If you need a good cleaning take off all the furniture and blast the hell out of it with Carboratour cleaner in the action, chamber, feed ramp and barrel.let the carb cleaner soak for a while then use a brush, then blast it again. just be sure to oil it again. good luck Eric

Ohen Cepel
March 15, 2006, 06:53 PM
I like the 10/22. However, the Marlins are nice also.

I would shop around. I know a guy that just sold a nice Marlin for $85, I would have bought it, but just wasn't for me. There are a lot of good used ones floating around and unless someone has abused it (which will be obvious) it's real hard to wear a .22 out.

Good luck!

March 15, 2006, 09:58 PM
I have an CZ452-e It is with a dout the best shooting rifle I have owned and I have had a lot of guns. I love the ramp sight you can go from 25 to 250 yards. I have only shot out to 100yds. BUT IT WILL OUT SHOOT MOST SCOPED GUNS. The last time I was out it keep 6 out of 6 shoots inside 3" using only iron sights.

March 15, 2006, 11:07 PM
It is his first "real" gun. I "borrowed" it today while he was at school (Shhh! Don't tell !) just to see what it could do. I took it to the indoor range as it was snowing here - (I'm getting old).

Put the whole mag through a hole the size of a dime. Standard NRA indoor pistol target. I can't wait till it warms up and I can "borrow" it again ! :D

March 16, 2006, 12:27 AM
if you are going to target shoot, you watn a semi or a bolt, this way you dont have to move so much , and lose your cheekweld. the mod 60 is allways pretty accurate, i got lucky , and got a world class accurate one, but it is hit or miss on just how accurate your swill be, same with the bolts, they will all probably shoot under an inch at 50 yds, its just that some will do that , out to 100 yds., i would also take a look at biathlon basic , charles daly, brno, or cz if you can spend up to 300 or so. in the used rack look at all of those, plus add any old mossbergs' winny's or remmy's. these baby's from the 50's and 60's are quite well known for their outstanding accuracy.

March 16, 2006, 01:53 AM
Check pawnshops, I have seen a ton of $50-$70 Marlin 60s, and quite a few 10/22s under $150. I bought a really nice '70s 10/22 with a scope for about $120. A week later I saw a newer stainless steel 10/22 with a beautiful blonde laminate stock for $140 Actually I think the best values I have seen In pawnshops have been .22 rifles, probably due to their overabundance.

March 16, 2006, 02:35 AM
Pick up and point the Remington 597 - to me it feels more like a real gun than either the 10/22 or the Marlin. That's what sold me on it in the first place, and my eyes seem to like the open sights on the 597 better than the others.

wild billz
March 16, 2006, 06:34 AM
thanks for the advice, its not getting any easier. I called around to a gunshop and they can't keep the Rugers in stock, and a used one is gone in hours. Thay has a Marlin 60, and the guy said he had a Charles Daily in and he was very impresses by it. He menitoned a couple of others too. If I can save some cash and maybe trade some of my milsurps I can get more gun.

It comes down to holding a few and seeing what I really want. I've out grown ripping shots at dirt at 25 yards, and have been trying to hit spinners out at 40 yards or further and wouldn't mind trying my club's monthly Silhouette shoot, so maybe too cheap won't do.

From what I'm reading I doubt 1 22 is enough, I may well end up with a bolt and a semi some day. More hands on research and probably more questions is in order. There's a gunshow at the end of the month, no telling what I may find. Local pawn shops are drying up, one I used to go to stoped carrying firarms for insurance reasons. Do the big chain shops carry them?

thanks for the more than helpful replies.

wild billz
March 16, 2006, 07:03 AM
Some of my observations so far. At Wally World, the first rifle I looked at was the model 60 since everyone rants and raves about it. It was a stainless one that was scoped. It looked good in the cabinet, but when I held it it seemed really light, the stock was cheap wood that had a horrible dip on it. It seemed like a kids gun, and when my 5 year old out grows his Cricket it would be a good size for him. I didnít really care for the bolt release on it either. It was a thin metal half cicle right in front of the trigger guard. I did like the safety, that was positioned well and felt good to engage.

The Ruger 10/22 was next, another stainless version. It immediately felt better in my hands weight and size wise. It seemed way more solid and that little drum magazine is something Iíve never seen before, a feat of engineering, except that the whole thing including the well is plastic. Does it break? The Ruger seemed more like a real rifle in regards to weight, balance, and feel.

Having never shot either I find it hard to believe that the little Marlin 60 can be better out of the box than the Ruger.

Again the Winchester 190 I have access to is light and a small rifle like the Marlin. The bolt carrier on the one I can shoot is plastic and is broken in half. It also is know to jam, but I know it hasnít been cleaned in a long time. The one I shoot is scoped with a low-end scope. Iím going to borrow it and shoot spinners at 40-50 yards and see how it does. Iíve never shot anything else that cans at 25 yards with it, and itís suited to that. IĎll have to volunteer my services to clean it, the owner wonít.

I have the Stevens 56, just found the 5 round magazine, and I ordered a 10 rounder and a front sight for it. Other than being OLD and beat up, being I have no idea how it shoots, but the weight and heft is decent. Itís a solid steel and wood rifle. When I the sight on it Iíll shoot it, but I wonít drill and tap it , thatís at least 60-80 bucks, and that is almost a new rifle!

From these observations I have an affinity towards wood and steel, with some weight. Something more like an adult rifle than a light weight youth rifle. That said nothing is out of contention. Just out of budget, but time can fix that. I want to look at the CZ trainer, and others, The Remington, Savage, and Charles Daily. This is so much fun, its like when I buy a new car, research, research, research.

March 16, 2006, 08:36 PM
Ruger 10/22 has to be the best deal for a .22lr purchased new these days.

But there are millions of used .22s out there that will get the job done too.

I have worked on Marlin model 60s before, completely stripped them down to bare receivers. The newer they are, the cheaper the components. OK if you get one used for $50, but not my first choice for a new rifle.

Look for the used $50 .22s in the paper, it may take a while, but you will find them.

March 17, 2006, 03:27 AM
I would go for a Ruger 10/22 or a CZ452. I've had great luck with the Rugers, and parts/upgrades are readably available and reasonable priced (at least for the basic ones).


March 17, 2006, 03:35 AM
if you like out of the box accuracy, run from the Ruger. stick with the oldies, or for new and accurate go with marlin or cz.

wild billz
March 23, 2006, 07:03 PM
Ok folks, did some more research, here and at rimfire central. I have a hankering for the CZ 452 trainer, the Marlin 39 might come into play if I can find one cheap enough, but I have a CZ bug pretty bad right now.

Any comments on the trainer? Other models better? Anyone try the semi auto CZ?

March 23, 2006, 08:27 PM
I've never seen a CZ .22 auto, but I have a 452 bolt, and it's the best of the ones I've ever had. All holes touching at 25 yds, and not much worse at 50. It also seems to be relatively insensitive to ammo. Almost everything groups well.

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