Most drop dead reliable, take no @#$% .22 rifle?


February 22, 2007, 03:07 PM
I'm looking, again, for a good .22 rifle.

What I'm looking for is this. The absolutely most drop dead reliable, take a pounding, abuse me all day, every day, for ten years (you know what I mean) .22 you can recommend. Assume all due care and cleaning will take place.

I have no preference between semi, lever, pump, or bolt action.

Parts replacement, if ever necessary, should be simple and capable of being made by a gun smithing moron (me.)


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February 22, 2007, 03:15 PM
Ruger 10/22!

February 22, 2007, 03:18 PM
Single shot bolt action.

Or what Gunnut sugested.

Bazooka Joe71
February 22, 2007, 03:20 PM
ruger 10/22. Click, Bang. Every time.

February 22, 2007, 03:29 PM
i have a old marlin 781 .22 bolt action that i have counted atleast 20,000 rounds through and it still pops 2in groups @ 50 yards its been droped in the mud, hell the dog even pissed on the bolt and it still works 100%

the naked prophet
February 22, 2007, 03:30 PM
Savage Mk I.

There's nothing to break, it's a single shot bolt action. Pretty accurate. Yes, it's fun to crank out the rounds with a semiauto, but I just love the simplicity and ruggedness of a single shot bolt action.

February 22, 2007, 03:38 PM
gotta give a big +1 to the Ruger 10/22

one of the easier "point and click" interfaces to deal with today. :)

Just be thankful that Microsoft doesn't make rifles or pistols...:cuss:


February 22, 2007, 03:38 PM

Single-shots: Encore Pro Hunter or the G2 Contender. That depends on your weight preference and desired barrel length. If you want a barrel from 16" to 23", get the G2 Contender. If you want a barrel length from 24" to 28", get the Encore Pro Hunter.

Autoloader: If you want an autoloader, look into T/C's Classic .22.


El Tejon
February 22, 2007, 03:44 PM
All models can have lemons. Find one you like and buy multiple copies.

However, if you are set on just having one, I'd second Doc2005's rec.

February 22, 2007, 03:47 PM
Drop-dead reliable?


How would it be physically possible for a semi-auto to be as reliable as a manually-operated rifle?

So far as I can see, there is _no_ semi-auto .22 that would be as reliable as a single-shot bolt-rifle.

Technically, wouldn't a single-shot .22 with a hammer rather than a striker (say, a Savage/Stevens Favorite or other falling block) be more reliable than a boltgun?

If it needs to be a repeater, I'm under the vague impression (correct if wrong) that tube-feds are smoother-feeding than box mags. Though a levergun does not generally have as much force as a bolt (again, correct if wrong), I'd imagine that an all-steel Marlin 39A has more camming force than a .22 could ever need.

Not saying a 10/22 is a bad gun, just that I can't imagine how it would be more reliable or less prone to breakage/fouling than a manual.


February 22, 2007, 04:02 PM
I'd agree w/ the 10/22 crowd. I've got 3 and they've never given me any problems.

I would add, though, any Marlin 39 variation. Those lever actions are shooters!

February 22, 2007, 04:08 PM
Remington 572 pump

Shoots short, long and long rifle reliably every time.

February 22, 2007, 04:10 PM
Right now I have a 10-22 and an older mossberg .22 semi auto - neither is as reliable as my old BRNO .22lr bolt action I have way back in Africa - but since you also mentioned parts replacement as an issue - get the 10-22. Lots of parts available - if a barrel warps or gets worn out (not likely) you just get another one and put it on in less than 10 minutes.
Beware of aftermarket stocks, barrels, triggers and all that...some of them are pretty dingy. Stick with brand name parts and you'll be good - and never buy plastic magazines!

February 22, 2007, 04:18 PM
What I'm looking for is this. The absolutely most drop dead reliable, take a pounding, abuse me all day, every day, for ten years (you know what I mean) .22 you can recommend.The 10/22, however customizable and rebuildable it may be, does NOT fall into this categorization. I also think that the Contender family is a bit fragile relative to a bolt gun, courtesy of its exposed spur hammer.

An Enfield No7 trainer WOULD meet the stated requirements best - but good luck finding one of those. :what:

In the end, just about any bolt action 22LR will prove stone-cold reliable. I have had quite a few Marlin 25s and they're boringly dependable and work decades after their manufacture date just as they did on the day they were made.

High Planes Drifter
February 22, 2007, 04:21 PM
My older brother has a 10/22 and tho it is a range-favorite, it chokes with the 30 round mags. I'd suggest a quality bolt rifle if reliability is the chief concern. Perhaps a Remington or a Savage.

Actually I think Id go with the Remington in light of the stance they took for gunowners over the weekend.;)

February 22, 2007, 04:22 PM
no way is the 10/22 the most reliable
why in fact my old stevens single shot was prob the most reliable 22 ive ever had

Professor K
February 22, 2007, 04:22 PM
gotta give a big +1 to the Ruger 10/22

one of the easier "point and click" interfaces to deal with today.

Just be thankful that Microsoft doesn't make rifles or pistols...

I'd be more thankful Apple doesnt. There'd be no replacement parts, they'd all shoot obscure useless calibers that can only be had at Apple Store, and the only way to upgrade it is to throw it out and buy a new one.

February 22, 2007, 04:28 PM
I'd say marlin mod. 60. preferably one of the older ones, with the engraved stocks, they have a larger capacity and more durability. Had one given to me by my dad when i was 9... between my dad, brothers, 5 or 6 cousins, 2 uncles, my mom on a couple of occasions, my then-wife and who knows who else pumping rounds through that thing like there is no tomorrow - i think it stovepiped ONCE, and that was because i'd bought a box of cheap and cheaply made ammo.

it's too bad my ex-wife still has it, i'm 43 now and i sure miss that rifle, and my dad too.

February 22, 2007, 04:28 PM
Take this from a true sucker for a good .22 rf. If I could own only one firearm it would be a Marlin 39 lever action. They've been made now for over 100 years for a good reason! I know you can buy three 10/22 rifles for what a 39 costs, and the 10/22 is a vary good rifle. To get a 10/22 to shoot as well as a 39 you will pour a lot of money into it.

February 22, 2007, 04:35 PM
CZ-452 ZKM. Best .22LR for the money ever made. It's built like a Mauser and I don't know how you'd hurt it.

February 22, 2007, 04:42 PM
+1 for the 10/22 WITH the factory mag!

I have had SOME (~dozen or so since 1991!) FTF problems with the higher cap mags.

February 22, 2007, 04:42 PM
Marlin 925 clip fed bolt action. In 25 years, I've shot more stuff with it than I can remember. Had a 10/22. It sometimes jammed or failed to feed. The Marlin shoots short, long, long rifle and shot shells without fail. Accurate, too! :)

February 22, 2007, 04:43 PM
The absolutely most drop dead reliable, take a pounding, abuse me all day, every day, for ten years (you know what I mean) .22 you can recommend.

I didn't know Mosin Nagants came in .22 LR... :evil:

February 22, 2007, 05:01 PM
+1 for the CZ 452 bolt gun. It's like a little .22 Mauser. Even has Mauser style sights adjustable from 25-200 meters. Very accurate, too.

February 22, 2007, 05:14 PM
No idea where you'd find one, but this J.C Higgins model 42 has been 100% reliable (and surprisingly accurate) since my dad got it in the late fifties (I'm told).Bolt action, 8rd, magazine fed. Hard to be much more reliable unless you go with a single shot IMHO.

February 22, 2007, 05:24 PM
The CZ is basically a BRNO - like what I used to have. I have to say that you can't really beat them. I just hate small capacity magazines - because it makes libbies happy!

February 22, 2007, 05:26 PM
i like 10/22s as much as the next guy, but i'm under no illusions that they're drop dead reliable. :rolleyes:

most reliable (especially if it's going to be abused) has to be a bolt gun BUT for most instances, a lever action would be preferable to me.

February 22, 2007, 05:51 PM
Going to have to go with my Savage 22lr/410 over under break action.

February 22, 2007, 05:54 PM
The one 22 I would really suggest you get if you can find one for a decent price would be a Savage model 24 over get a accurate and reliable 22 on top with a 20 or 410 guage shotgun barrel on the bottom. I used to have one and it was a damn good firearm.

February 22, 2007, 06:00 PM
For absolute reliability auto clackers need not apply.

you would be hard pressed to find a more reliable .22 than a CZ 452 Trainer, After all if you're worried about reliability you want a really good set of sights as at least a backup.

OR if you can find one a Romanian 1969 trainer.

February 22, 2007, 06:01 PM
I have had my browning lever action .22 for over ten years now and it still shoots as well as the day I got it.

February 22, 2007, 06:03 PM
Marlin mod 981T.

February 22, 2007, 06:31 PM
Best damn 22 I've ever had and lighter than the 513T but just as accurate.

February 22, 2007, 06:35 PM
The 10/22 can be very reliable with the right ammo, though I've had ftf issues with Federal hollowpoints. My M69 Romainian trainer is very reliable.

February 22, 2007, 06:35 PM
Any magazine fed bolt. Tubes lend themselves to hard to clear problems when they decide to be difficult.

Seven High
February 22, 2007, 06:44 PM
Marlin 39M .22 lever action. 100% reliable!
February 22, 2007, 07:27 PM
I agree with .45 Guy. I own a Tula TOZ-78 that absolutely has never failed with any ammo at any time. I've personally shot Marlin 60's AND Ruger 10-22's that jammed or otherwise failed. Personally I think the 10/22 in factory trim is close to good but the huge aftermarket is support enough to conclude that there's lots of room for improvement. A Winchester Low wall might well qualify as impressively reliable, same goes for a Stevens favorite.

February 22, 2007, 07:32 PM
M6 survival rifle.

February 22, 2007, 07:51 PM
OP didn't specify which action type, which is a key factor (but doesn't seem to have slowed the thread down :D).

Single shot will always be more reliable than a repeater...manually-operated repeaters than self-loading...but the real thing is that NO .22 rimfire is more reliable than the ammo, and rimfire ammo is definitely less reliable, even when new, than centerfire ammo, and it doesn't necessarily store as well. I have some 50 year old Winchester .22LR that shoots well, but I have some 5 year old Remington and CCI that doesn't. The priming system is a weak link.

Maybe what the OP should look into is a .22 Hornet version of the M6 Scout...

February 22, 2007, 08:33 PM
CZ-452 ZKM. Best .22LR for the money ever made. It's built like a Mauser and I don't know how you'd hurt it.


This is my one gun that is indispensible, and I can't imagine replacing it with anything else.

Get a CZ 452 Lux or Trainer, and know simple, robust happiness.

Not to mention impressive accuracy and attractive lines.

February 22, 2007, 09:01 PM
A bolt, lever, or pump action. IMO probally a pump action.

February 22, 2007, 09:04 PM
Another vote for the CZ 452.......

February 22, 2007, 09:16 PM
Winchester model 67

Simple Man
February 22, 2007, 09:56 PM
While there are many reliable rimfire rifles out there it really breaks down less parts to break = more reliable - and since there are less parts it is easier to work on too. So I would suggest a quality brake action single shot.

Brian Williams
February 22, 2007, 10:00 PM
My Marlin 39M, although I have a 10/22 that is very reliable, it has choked occasionly, where my Marlin has never.

February 22, 2007, 10:08 PM
I have four 10/22s and they are great, but for drop dead reliability you will have to go with a single shot bolt action.

February 22, 2007, 10:10 PM
What I'm looking for is this. The absolutely most drop dead reliable, take a pounding, abuse me all day, every day, for ten years (you know what I mean) .22 you can recommend. Assume all due care and cleaning will take place.

ANSWER> from the look of it I would say the Romanian Trainer I picked up at a pawn shop had been through all of that and more. Still shoots and shoots well.

I have no preference between semi, lever, pump, or bolt action.

Parts replacement, if ever necessary, should be simple and capable of being made by a gun smithing moron (me.)

ANSWER> The Romanian Trainer doesn't have very many parts. I feel I could make some replacements with a file and the rest I could substitute from other sources. Find one that works smoothly and has good rifling and you're all set.
The same might be said of many clip fed BA rifles. Still love the CZ, the TOZ and the rest of the family but the Romy has already proven it can stand up to the torture and test of time.


February 22, 2007, 10:14 PM
I've had my Marlin 60 for a year with no hiccups. My father had one from 1983 to 1997 (year he died) with no problems (it went ot my uncle).

I have no experience with 10/22s, so I can't speak about them.

My high school rifle team used single shot 22 bolt actions with no problems.

Knowing what I know about the workings, I would say any bolt action 22 would be your most reliable weapons.

February 22, 2007, 10:24 PM
Marlin 39A.

Not only is it 100% reliable with every .22 LR shell that I have ever tried, it is the same with shorts, longs, and Aquila Colibris. I think that it would feed cigarette butts if I could figure out a way to prime them.

tasco 74
February 22, 2007, 10:55 PM
HIGH SCHOOL RIFLE TEAM??? now there's an obsolete term....... too bad!! i love my 1022 custom but i'm thinkin a bolt action will be more reliable....... i'm liking savage bolt guns lately got one on order so i'll get to see if that's the answer.........

February 22, 2007, 11:12 PM
allow me to amend my previous response.

at 10/22 would be ALMOST as reliable as a bolt gun if you load it like a single-shot :) load one, shoot one, load one, shoot one, load one...

February 22, 2007, 11:38 PM
Marlin 39A

February 22, 2007, 11:40 PM
the 10/22 is one, if not the most reliable semi-auto 22 ever built past or present. But those who are saying that pumps or lever action or bolt actions are more reliable are still wrong. The most reliable is a single shot break open design, most of which you can get new for about 100.00. I had one I paid 64.00 a few years back. There is literally only one moving part to fall apart in the action which is a large hinge which is going to beat any bolt, or gas system or pump hands down. Forgot the brand, but there are still a few out there. CDNN has a couple for 120.00 or so with stainless barrels. If you are talking reliability, talk moving parts count.

February 22, 2007, 11:50 PM

Ruger stainless/synthetic 77/22. Mine's an early one, over 15 years old. As a knock-around pickup gun that works every time, it can't be beat IMHO. Look where I live; I'm not talkin' theoretical, I'm talkin' it's been there & done that. Mine's got the old boat oar stock, I don't know how the new one's hold up, but the old one's do.

My second choice would be the CZ452, and I've got one of those too.


February 23, 2007, 12:21 AM
I liked the Winchester model 69A, still lots of them around and you can get them for cheap $200 +/- for a good one...

February 23, 2007, 12:29 AM
Single Shot Bolt.
Quite a few to choose from in the used or new market.

One example is the Remington 514 I had, and only used with factory iron sights.
I bought it from a Pawn Shop buddy for $25. Never failed, and scary accurate.
These 5xx series I have seen scoped, and the results- whoa! Accurate !

Like a dummy I was not paying attention and gave mine away when I gave away a bunch of single shot .22 rifles I had gathered for the purpose of giving away.

I miss mine, want another, still the young man that has still using it and still works and still accurate. I guess I was supposed to let that one go.

February 23, 2007, 12:39 AM

You know you can have my 514 anytime you want, I'm just holding it for you. I'll even hand deliver it. It is a great gun for a kid to take those first shots with. This one must have seen 50 new shooters since I brought it home.


February 23, 2007, 12:42 AM
I have had, or still have almost every rifle mentioned here. So i'll give you one of each, or two. lever is henry or marlin, especially a 39a. Semi is marlin mod 60 or remmy speedmaster, the speedmaster is cool because it will semiauto with short, long, or long rifle, it is a tack driver, and will hold 25 shorts at one time. So cool! bolt is marlin 981t, or any of the old 80 or 81 series,also tube fed like the remmy, will also shoot short long and long rifle, is also a tack driver, and will also hold 25 shorts at one time.
for pump , you gotta like any old remmy or winny. for a bolt action mag fed, Marlin is tough, but cz is double tough!!! just more money. i did not mention ruger 10.22 for a reason, I have one, I have had several, but to get them to be 100 percent reliable, they need some internal mods, and need a much better trigger job. I still have mine, and I like it, but with the cost of the rifle, and the mods, you will get up over 300 bucks, real easy.

February 23, 2007, 12:46 AM
I'd be more thankful Apple doesnt. There'd be no replacement parts, they'd all shoot obscure useless calibers that can only be had at Apple Store, and the only way to upgrade it is to throw it out and buy a new one.

But It'll never get a virus!! :neener: :D

All my correspondence is done on my Macbook Pro. I was microsoft all the way until I bought mine a few months ago. I hate to say it (not really), but I'll probably never buy another windows based PC (esp. since I can run windows on my mac!) ((which I have yet to do.))

Anyways, BTT, I have a friend who has a Henry Goldenboy. He paid a piece for it, but I have never seen that thing fail in any way. I would almost believe if you fed it one backwards, you'd see the empty casing fly out of the barrel and eject the bullet! (LOL) But that just could be his good fortune, as I haven't seen too many people say either way on this forum. I love my Remington 597 semi auto, once I switched to federal ammo and got the third gen magazines, I haven't had a problem since! (but for 180 bucks, if it explodes, I won't be too upset) I find it humourous that a Remington gun does NOT like Remington ammo (at least the bulk pack wally-world kind)


February 23, 2007, 12:48 AM
as always I will say-

If you want out of the box a Marlin modle 60 or 795 depending if you want tube or detachable magazine respectivly.

10/22 if you wanna play home gunsmith

February 23, 2007, 01:05 AM
Many have said it, so I will too: Every semi-auto will hiccup at some point. For reliable performance with any ammo, you need a manual action, and the simpler the better. Bolts are pretty foolproof and bulletproof. You break-action guys are forgetting that hinges can wear out too. I would put my money on the bolt gun to stand up to wear-and-tear longer. I like lever guns (have two of them), but they can be sensitive to the speed and force that you work the lever with; limp-wrist it and you can have an FTE. Pumps too--it's not easy to short-stroke a .22, but it can be done.

If you want a nice inexpensive break-action, CDNN is clearing out the Rossi guns, and last time I looked they were $79 in stainless and $59 in blue. Hard to beat that! I have one of those too. The only thing I would worry about on those guns is the little lever for the crossbolt safety. It seems a little flimsy and might be the first thing to crap out.

February 23, 2007, 02:32 AM
Going by the criteria of most reliable, either the Marlin 39a or a CZ-452 trainer. But for ease of repair the list shrinks to the CZ-452.

February 23, 2007, 07:46 AM
With all the praise of the 10/22, I want to mention that I think that the record for consecutive shots in a .22 autoloader is held by the Remington Nylon 66. I'll now grab the nomex... ;)

February 23, 2007, 10:07 AM
We, in the USA, are cursed with many very fine .22LRs. Why "cursed"? Simple, what a decison! Odd, I didn't see more people offer up the Ruger 77/22. That is a fine carbine! I'll still stick to the T/C.


Essex County
February 23, 2007, 01:26 PM
Very obvious. Any quality Bolt action in good condition. Single short or magazine fed, it's your choice.......Essex

February 23, 2007, 01:34 PM
Failing something manually operated (lever, bolt) the most reliable semi-auto I've ever laid my hands on was the Mossberg 702. It's not exceptionally pretty nor can it be riced out like a 10/22, but it feeds and fires absolutely every round of cheap junk ammo I feed it, has never failed to go bang, and has never had a failure to load, extract, or eject even when exceptionally dirty (~5000 rounds between cleanings).

Cheap, too.

February 23, 2007, 02:00 PM

I appreciate your offer and kindness.
Truth is, I am the big kid that wants to shoot the 514 :D
Err...lead by example or something along those lines...:p

I'll find one, or something similar, you do too much with new shooters and that in itself means a LOT to me, and the reason you need to keep passing forward with that 514.

Re: Nylon 66

Going on memory,
100,010 rounds fired
100,010 1" wood blocks tossed into the air.

No gun malfunctions.
No missed wooden cubes.

I forget the shooter's name, it would be great for someone to search, find and post with link for another thread.


February 23, 2007, 02:09 PM
I see my favorite, the Favorite has been mentioned! However, I must note that the extractor is a weak link in the design. Mine are a standard velocity only affair if I want 100% reliable extraction. Now a Stevens Marksman on the other hand....

February 23, 2007, 02:13 PM

That was Tom Frye. 100004 hits out of 100010 trys.


Quickdraw Limpsalot
February 23, 2007, 05:06 PM
Throw another vote in the hat for a Marlin 39A. They're not cheap by any means, but it just doesn't get any better in a .22 rifle, IMO.

February 23, 2007, 05:13 PM
My friend has a ruger 10/22 and I've been making fun of it because last couple times we took it to the shooting range it's been messing up. He always talks about how reliable it is, but the two times we've gone shooting with it, it doesn't seem to feed right. After about 3 or 4 shots ammo get bound up in the magazines, both magazines. I was thinking about getting one, until I witnessed this.

I have a J.C. Penney's (made by Marlin) bolt action .22. Works for me.

February 23, 2007, 07:11 PM
I've had my Marlin 39M ever since I was a kid and it has never failed me.

February 23, 2007, 09:45 PM
only1asterisk wrote:
That was Tom Frye. 100004 hits out of 100010 trys.

Thanks! Well, I 'membered most of the good stuff about that historic shoot.

Nylon 66, now ain't that something!!

I miss the Nylon 66s I had , especially that first one a Mentor gave me.

February 23, 2007, 09:51 PM
a .410 .22 brake barrel combo might be nice they have about +-five moving parts if it rusts just bang it on somthing hard to get the rust off plus its a shot gun so birds are fair game:)

February 23, 2007, 11:01 PM
I have a single shot Winchester bolt action that was built in the 20's. I got it for free because it had spent a lot of years abandoned in a barn, and was thought to be non-functional. I removed all the rust, cold blued it, refinished the stock and made a part for the rear sight.

That was nearly 40 years ago. I was short of cash so it was a worthwhile project. The gun turned out to be highly accurate - the bullet lube left in the barrel from the last time it had been fired had kept the bore perfect!

Today this is still my favorite .22. It goes to the range often and still shoots like a new gun. I have killed a huge number of cottontails and jack rabbits, along with squirrel and varments and 1 coyote. I have probably put in the neighborhood of 60,000 rounds through it.

February 24, 2007, 09:31 AM
Here's another from the IIRC file: I believe the Nylon 66 had the fastest cyclical rate of fire of semiauto .22 rimfire rifles. Last fall I put a centerfire handgun spinner at 50 yards [note: don't do this at home, kids] and fired at it with the Nylon. A .22LR isn't enough to spin the spinner, but around the 8th shot, very rapid fire, it flipped over because it had been zipped by enough of the puny .22LR bullets to impart enough energy to make it finally give in to the cumulative energy transfer. The 66 cycles very fast and has essentially no recoil, which is why that (stupid) trick worked.

February 25, 2007, 06:16 AM
My vote for the CZ452. I've two, my dad has one and the rifle clubs I know all use them as club guns.

February 25, 2007, 10:21 AM
I love the 10/22s, at least was a tack driver out of the box, with a manageable trigger, and no malfunctions with halfway decent ammo....great guns....The Nylon 66 is a great little repeater to, and if I had to pick a bolt gun, the 452 would be my budget choice, great guns....and Remington 541S would be my splurge the best ever made.....

February 25, 2007, 02:55 PM
You just reminded me, I still want one of those. And just when I thought I had every .22 I wanted. :D

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