Inexpensive decent .22LR plinking rifle?


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Juna
December 29, 2006, 01:20 PM
The recent .22LR thread got me thinking... Which .22LR rifle would you recommend for an inexpensive, decent plinker? Do you prefer semi-auto or bolt action & why?

Someone said you can get a good .22LR for under $100 used. What specific rifles can you get for that cost?

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hexidismal
December 29, 2006, 01:38 PM
I'm not really a .22 guy, they bore me, so I can't speak for any specific models. A .22 for basic plinking for $100 is by no means uncommon though. My local gander mountain store tends to always have an assortment of NIB plinkers for around a hundred bucks.

glimmerman
December 29, 2006, 01:41 PM
Find yourself a used ruger 10/22. for the money they are the most reliable and after market parts are available everywhere and in any config. u can imagine. you should be able to find one for around a $100.

Froggy
December 29, 2006, 02:25 PM
You can get a brand new Ruger 10/22 (autoloader) for $200 or less at WalMart. Big 5 and other discount houses have them for about $210. If you want a sturdy, long lasting autoloader, they are about the best thing going. Lots of folks are drawn to them because of the large amount of aftermarket stuff available for that particular model.

Bear in mind the Ruger 10/22 comes in different "grades." That price is the birchwood stock, with barrel band, etc. For $300 you can have one in a nice walnut stock, checkering on the grip and forearm, etc. Or you can go the synthetic stock route if you think you want to get into the aftermarket "ultimate 10/22" game.

The triggers on the Ruger are terrible (very heavy pull). There are things you can do to lighten them up a bit, if you are comfortable taking a stone or file to the action yourself. Otherwise, you can hire that out or pay up to $280 to buy a very nice replacement trigger that slips right in and gives you a smooth adjustable trigger.

Another autoloader is the Marlin model 60 -- these can be found used in that $100 price range. Nice gun, but I sold mine off to buy the Ruger 10/22.

If you want a lever action, take a look at the Marlin 39.

If you want a bolt-action rifle, check out both Savage and the CZ line. Might be hard to find used, but the CZ model 452 series looks like a lot of value for the money.

foghornl
December 29, 2006, 02:29 PM
I haven't shot one, but Mossberg offers a couple of inexpensive .22's.....

Appropriately enough.....models are named "Plinkster" :D

Nil
December 29, 2006, 02:44 PM
Get a Ruger 10/22. I picked one up about a month ago for $159 new, so I imagine you can find a used one for closer to $100 no problem.

rustymaggot
December 29, 2006, 03:02 PM
plus one on the 10/22.

install a exact edge extractor tho, they need it to be reliable. its a 12 dollar part.

ZeSpectre
December 29, 2006, 03:04 PM
Savage model 64
semi auto
10 rd magazines

Mine is pretty nice (though that damned scope has GOT to go).

cmidkiff
December 29, 2006, 03:12 PM
I'll second the Savage 64f if you want an auto loader. Suggested retail is $135. Triggers are not bad, but not nearly as good as their accu-trigger models. If you like bolt guns, their Mark IIf lists at $169, and it has the accu-trigger now. Good quality, accurate little rifles.

Father Knows Best
December 29, 2006, 03:20 PM
Do you prefer semi-auto or bolt action & why?
Neither. For a .22 plinker, I prefer a lever action or pump. The best values are the Henry rifles. I think you can get a Henry 22 lever or pump at Wal-Mart for around $100 brand new. They're certainly well under $200, and they're made in the USA. For right around $200 you can get a Taurus 62 pump, which is an excellent replica of the Winchester model 62, i.e., the classic "gallery gun." The Taurus 62 is fast, fun and accurate. Also in the $200 or just above range are some excellent used lever action 22's, like the Marlin 39A and my personal favorite, the Browning BL-22. I just picked up a Browning BL-22 in like new condition with a scope for $260, and it's one sweet little rifle.

I like bolt .22's, also, but they're not as fast or fun for plinking. Bolt 22's make better target rifles, and my squirrel gun is a bolt (scoped Ruger 77/22). But for plinking, I like to be able to rattle off shots a little more quickly. The lever and pump rifles are almost as fast as the semiautos, and tend to be more accurate and a LOT more reliable. With semiautos you often have ammo sensitivity issues that you will never have with a lever or pump.

trbon8r
December 29, 2006, 03:29 PM
I second the suggestion on the Taurus 62. Being raised shooting a Winchester 62A, I love the Taurus. Mine shoots well, and has wood and blueing that is better than one would expect for the money spent.

That great "snick snick" sound as you cycle the rifle is worth the price of admission alone.

Selfdfenz
December 29, 2006, 03:41 PM
Auto -> Marlin Model 60 or for a little more the 795 or the 7000
Bolt -> Savage Mark II or if you're willing to stretch your price point to just over $200 the CZ 452 is a great rifle and a great value
Used Bolt -> if you can find one in decent condition a Romainian M1969 trainer ain't too bad (parts may be an issue down the road)

S-

ArmedBear
December 29, 2006, 03:43 PM
Don't skimp.

A $200 rifle might be a lot more than twice as fun as a $100 rifle.:)

There's nothing worse than plinking with a gun that jams.

Juna
December 29, 2006, 03:49 PM
Thanks for all the replies! :) I'll have to give some of those a look. I hadn't heard of some of those.

gaweidert
December 29, 2006, 04:24 PM
I own a Remington 597 that I got on sale at Gander Mountain a few years ago for $99. I discovered Rimfire Central and did a few things to "tune it up" a bit. Been reliable and fun to shoot. I prefer semi-auto simply because I am left handed.

Roadwild17
December 29, 2006, 04:27 PM
marlin mod 60, never any problems. Clean it after every 1000 or so rounds and its fine.

TallPine
December 29, 2006, 05:25 PM
Just go look around in pawn shops, etc

I got an old Marlin made (JC Higgins) bolt action .22 about 6 years ago for $75. Which was a good deal until you figure that it probably cost about $15 brand new in the 1940's.

It looks awful and shoots great. It's my bang around in the pickup gopher gun.

I finally spent about $30 to put a better scope on it.

maasenstodt
December 29, 2006, 05:58 PM
Let me offer an alternative. Classic Arms is now offering the TOZ-78 (http://www.classicarms.us) bolt action .22 for only $130 (go about halfway down the page to find it). My wife and I both really enjoy this rifle. It's probably just a notch below a CZ in terms of accuracy and it operates smoothly and reliably. At this price point, I don't know of any new .22 that matches it.

Good luck and have fun! :)

Selfdfenz
December 29, 2006, 06:45 PM
Juna

I'm not stealing the thread but just borrowing it for a sec.

maasenstodt

Can you describe the shape of the notch between the CZ and the TOZ 78? Is it accuracy or fit & finish or a bit of both. I've had my eye on the TOZ 78 in theory for a while now but have yet to encounter one in the flesh. Is it much less accurate than the CZ?

Did you get yours from Classic and if so how was the transaction?

He lists them for about $130. That seems to be an excellent deal and the lowest price I've seen anywhere considering it comes with 4 mags. At what price point would the TOZ 78 start becoming a poor value proposition?

I ask becasue there's a gunshow in town tomorrow. I haven't seen one at the past couple of shows but if I ran into one at $170 is that too much? $180?? More? Less?

He also has the model 99 for under $200 which is extremely interesting IMO?

Best

S-

rockstar.esq
December 29, 2006, 07:10 PM
maasenstodt you are absofrigginloutely correct! My Tula is the shootinest .22LR bolt action I've ever encountered. I truly love it and don't have any qualms fully endorsing it as a best buy item.

Armedbear I have to disagree that the price isn't an indicator of quality. Given that fully half the people I know who own a 10-22 bought it used for $100.00 or so your arguement loses weight. Plus, many of the lauded guns aren't any better in terms of function. From what I've been able to tell, the more expensive .22LR's tend to have better fit and finish rather than better performance. The CZ's that everybody loves come with gritty bolts, and glossy stocks. Neither helps to hit a target.

Something to keep in mind about the 10-22 is that like many Ruger products, the controls are too small and the triggers are too heavy. Both can be fixed for cheap but it's kind of stupid that their best selling product continues to be sold with such annoying features.

Bill B.
December 29, 2006, 07:37 PM
Ruger 10/22! They can take you all the way to the next level with all acccesories you can add later and are better than most as they come from the factory.

Gaucho Gringo
December 29, 2006, 07:46 PM
Ditto on the Taurus 62 or Henry slide action. I have a Winchseter 1906 which is one of the slide action models before the 62A and I have been shooting it for over 45 years. I have fired all other actions of 22 rifles and my favorite is still the slide action. No need to change your stance when shooting; just rack the slide, aim, pull trigger - repeat until out of ammo. Reload and repeat again. Always has been fun in my book.

Onmilo
December 29, 2006, 07:52 PM
I tend to prefer semi-auto rifles for plinking and the Marlin/Glenfield Model 60 is still a great rifle for this activity.

zero_chances
December 29, 2006, 08:09 PM
I picked up a remington 597 for a little over 100. Its a great shooter and have had no problems with it

cslinger
December 29, 2006, 08:31 PM
In a semi auto I say go with the Ruger 10/22. It is a good, robust rifle out of the box. The trigger is kinda crappy but good enough for a light plinker. The other benefit is the fact that there are exactly 12,282,345 aftermarket parts, stocks, mounts, barrels etc. that will allow you to build your 10/22 into anything you desire down the road.

In a bolt CZ452 no if's an's or buts. Save up a little extra. The CZ is not just a good .22 but a good rifle period. Well built, very, very, very accurate, decent trigger out of the box and a 15.00 kit from Eric Brooks can make it almost a set trigger. Stick with the special to keep the price down. They have great iron sights and are easily scopeable.

Lever action I would go Marlin 39. Its not cheap but it is one hell of a rifle period. The Henry's are not bad so to speak but the finish on the cheap models sucks. The brass models are decent though.

Pump - Old Winchester 62. Super fun, great build and accuracy and pretty much makes you feel like you are at a carnival shooting gallery.

As for semi vs. bolt I like bolts. Slows me down, lets me focus on each shot.

maasenstodt
December 29, 2006, 08:55 PM
Can you describe the shape of the notch between the CZ and the TOZ 78? Is it accuracy or fit & finish or a bit of both. I've had my eye on the TOZ 78 in theory for a while now but have yet to encounter one in the flesh. Is it much less accurate than the CZ?

Did you get yours from Classic and if so how was the transaction?

He lists them for about $130. That seems to be an excellent deal and the lowest price I've seen anywhere considering it comes with 4 mags. At what price point would the TOZ 78 start becoming a poor value proposition?

I ask becasue there's a gunshow in town tomorrow. I haven't seen one at the past couple of shows but if I ran into one at $170 is that too much? $180?? More? Less?

He also has the model 99 for under $200 which is extremely interesting IMO?
My CZ experience is limited to seeing the weapons at the range and the targets they've shot at, so I'm not your guy to give you a thorough compare and contrast between it and a TOZ 78, particularly since the only TOZ I've ever seen is my own. That said, however, my TOZ is in the same ballpark for accuracy as the CZs and definite step above my Marlin.

I did get mine from Classic Arms - just before they dropped the price :rolleyes: . I've ordered from those guys twice and I'd not hesitate to recommend them. Very friendly, quick shipping, and, as you can see, their prices are pretty good.

As far as price goes, if somebody was holding my TOZ 78 for ransom, considering that I paid about $180 for it with shipping and FFL transfer, I'd pay at least that and maybe up to $200 to get it back. Like rockstar.esq, I'm falling in love with the rifle and would certainly keep it over some of my more expensive firearms if forced to choose.

It's telling to me that I've yet to hear of anyone really disappointed with the TOZ 78, hence my strong recommendation.

Clipper
December 29, 2006, 09:14 PM
My wife's in love with her Plinkster. $99.00 at Gander mountain. She didn't like the too-narrow and square forend of the Savage, and preferred the sights & schnabbel forend on the Mossberg. It's light, accurate and quick.

rangerruck
December 29, 2006, 09:32 PM
every one who is into 22's at all, knows that the marlin mod 60 , is the best semi auto , period. and not just for the money. you can get them at pawn shops for 50 to 75 bucks. the ones made before 88 have a 17 round tube feed. As long as it is made after '85, it will have last shot bolt hold open. so if you get one made from 85 thru 88, you get the best of both worlds. Also accuracy on these are as good as it gets, until you are ready to spend way more money. it is the physics of their microgroove bbl, that imparts less deformation on the bullet, over any other tube. Now they are all accurate, you could get lucky llike me , and get a sick accurate one. such as this , at 100 yds.
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/mod60016.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/mod60013.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/mod60012.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/mod60011.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/mod60010.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/mod60009.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/mod60008.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/mod60007.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/mod60006.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/mod60005.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/mod60004.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/mod60003.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/mod60002.jpg
now , im not saying that all mod 60's are this accurate, but look how many of just A FEW, of the ammo's i am showing here, that will do sub moa at 100 yds. it will do this with about 20 diff brands/types of ammo. to get a more acc semi auto, you would have to step up to t/c or Kimber, and they will empty your wallet.
Also, any of their model 80/81 series, from the 1930's on, are also like this, except they are bolties, and they will shoot S, L, LR's. so cool!!! the tube will hold 25 shorts at one time, that means you can empty a 50 round box of shorts , in two loadings> that kicks butt!!!
i have a ruger, and it is fun, but just to get it a little modified, with some extra mags, and a cool carry bag, with a vq hammer, vq extractor, mag ext. release, trigger job, s.s. allen screw, torque wrench, i've got 400 bucks into it. All I did to the marlin was moly coat it. my 1937 model 81 dl , with a peep site is this;
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/004-2.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/003-2.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a284/pmullineaux/001-2.jpg
i was shooting next to a guy, with a tricked out Ruger space gun, with a 3x9 power scope on his, and I was smokin him!!. he looked at me like I must have lasers for eyes, nope, I said , it's just a 70 year old marlin , with a very good peep site. i soent 70 dollars total on this, after winning an auction , and paying my ffl. I moly coated this one as well.

joplinsks
December 29, 2006, 09:59 PM
I agree the Marlin 60 is about the best inexpensive 22 rifle ever made. It's a nice well balanced rifle that just feels good overall. Pair it with a nice cheap scope like the Simmons 22 Mag 4x32 and you've got a powerful combo. Paid 90 bucks for my 1993 Marlin 60 NRA commemorative edition in like new shape. A new Marlin 60 sells for 125 or so, but I think the older ones have much better fit and finish.

rangerruck
December 29, 2006, 10:04 PM
yeah, Jop, the older ones are better, not because better fit and finish, but mainly because the new ones use that 'walnut dip' painted on looking crapola! Uuugghhh! the wood underneath is almost white!

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