THE BEST .22 Rifle Ever


April 9, 2008, 02:47 PM
I want to buy my first .22 rifle. Something my kids can shoot some day. Something I'll enjoy shooting being 27 and 6'4". Something great, classic, reliable. You get the drift...

I'm looking at Marlin 60. Looks nice. But it's very cheap ($160). How is the quality of Marlin rifles?
Also, what else would you recommend?

I'm thinking about getting a .22 semi auto pistol and semi auto rifle. To have handgun and rifle just for plinking all day long :D and still stay below $20 in ammo cost :what:

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April 9, 2008, 02:49 PM
Cz 452.

April 9, 2008, 02:52 PM
Cz 452.

I mean semi auto :)

April 9, 2008, 02:57 PM

Look at the Browning auto, even better if you can get an older Belgian copy, but the Japanese versions are decent.

April 9, 2008, 03:02 PM
For an autoloader, few can better the T/C Classic .22, which has a threaded barrel to receiver fit. Not many .22s can boast that.

For bolt-action rifles, the Savage Mark II, CZ 452 and Marlin (various models) are all excellent.

The Ruger Mark I, II and III pistols are excellent. No shock there.

Don't overlook the T/C Arms Contender or G2 Contender. You can even get the Encore in .22LR.

April 9, 2008, 03:08 PM
Browning .22 lever-action rifle. if you want a semi-auto - get a Browning semi-auto rifle

Browning Buckmark .22 semi-auto pistol.


April 9, 2008, 03:10 PM
The marlin model 60 is a GREAT rifle. Of all my guns it's the first I bought myself and one of my favorites. It's not cheap, it's inexpensive and there is an inherent difference.

It's reliable, easy to maintain, and accurate, far more so in all categories then a gun that price has right to be. Holding 15 rounds is a nice benefit and the tube magazine makes a nice profile if you hunt.

Was just shooting it yesterday but forgot to save the targets. Using my lead sled as a sight in/rest and 4x magnification 85% of my 50yd groups of all 15 rounds could be covered by a silver dollar using bulk pack Remington. The only thing I have done to it has been to add a bushnell scope and leopold rings. Everything else on it is stock.

April 9, 2008, 03:10 PM
Another vote for the Thompson/Center Classic .22 (now called an R55).

Graceful lines, classic styling, accurate, dependable... the only thing I miss is an option for a click adjustable peep sight... and I'm 'modifying' a set of tech-sights made for a 10/22 to fit mine :)

Either that, or the browning auto... I prefer a magazine loaded configuration for a semi-auto rifle.

April 9, 2008, 03:16 PM
But it's very cheap ($160). How is the quality of Marlin rifles?

The quality, fit, and finish of Marlin rifles are excellent. I have 4 different Marlin rifles, and my basic Model 60 doesn't have a checkered walnut stock, but the blueing and overall quality are the same as my Golden 39A for almost 4 times the price. And the quality of my 2007 39A is equal to my 1973 39M, so Marlin's quality has not gone downhill, either. You don't have to find an old one to get a good one...

The base model 60 has relatively primitive sights, though they work fine, and the other variants have nicer ones. I put a scope on mine; the accuracy and the stock geometry begged for one, and I like my .22 lever guns for open sight shooting.

The 60 is my hands-down choice for an inexpensive semiauto .22. Fun, reliable, accurate, cheap (mine was $129 last year on sale at a local store). Heavier barrel with noticeably better accuracy than the more expensive "Brand X".:)

Now, if you want to know what THE BEST rifle is, hell, that's hard to pin down. I haven't shot a Remington Speedmaster, but people love 'em. Same with the little Brownings. They look weird, but they shoot well. T/C's have a well-earned following. Magnum Research and Volquartsen do amazing things with the 10/22 design. I've recently put a .22LR upper on my AR, and man that thing's fun, and accurate, too.

But these guns start at twice the price of the Marlin 60 and go up from there, in multiples. Dollar for dollar, I still dig the Marlin.

April 9, 2008, 03:19 PM
Something my kids can shoot some dayI've got a Montgomery Wards Model 35A .22 that is 75 years old. Bought by my great grand dad, passed to my grand dad, passed to my dad and passed to me. Plan on using it at the range this month. Family passed down .22's are cool !

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 9, 2008, 03:21 PM
The best semi .22 (non-custom) is probably either the Browning SA-22, or the Thompson Center R-55 Benchmark. I'd probably go with the T/C.

P.S. There are two other available models of the T/C R55 besides that Benchmark.

That's new guns. There's quite a few old discontinued ones.

April 9, 2008, 03:27 PM
You need to check out the other .22 rifle thread going on right now.

Of course I'm gonna recommend a Ruger 10/22. :p

April 9, 2008, 03:29 PM
I have a Ruger 10/22 (who doesn't?) and a Marlin 60. I love them both for different reasons. My 10/22 is very compact and easy to handle, and it's fun for plinking. You can put high-cap magazines on it, but it's most reliable with its factory 10rd rotary mag. The Marlin 60, on the other hand, has a tube magazine under the barrel which holds more than the factory mags for the Ruger. My Marlin is from the early 1980s, so it holds more than the brand new ones they sell now, I think. Either way, you'll have a higher capacity than you would from a factory Ruger magazine.

As far as accuracy goes, they're both fine for plinking, but the Marlin seems to shoot tighter groups. Maybe that's because of its longer barrel. If I'm going out to shoot at soda cans, I'll grab whichever one is handy. If I'm going to shoot squirrels, I'll pick up the Marlin.

April 9, 2008, 03:30 PM
+1 for the 10/22

April 9, 2008, 03:33 PM
Can't tell you about Marlins but if you want quality go with Ruger!

April 9, 2008, 03:40 PM
Duh (kicks self) could I forget the Remington 552 BDL Speedmaster?! You can load shorts, longs or longer rifle, or mix and match any or all of them with zero adjustments.

April 9, 2008, 03:44 PM
Bah, semi autos are overrated, get a lever action :D.

Ain't cheap, but it definitely fits the bill as a gun that will last a few generations, and you just don't get any more classic than the 39A, the oldest and longest continuously produced rifle in the world.

April 9, 2008, 03:49 PM
Agreed OMGWTFBBQ, but he wants to know about semiautos...:)

The lever guns will feed CB Shorts, Stingers, Velocitors, dirty cheap bulk LR ammo, whatever you put in them. And they're FUN.

That's another reason to go with the 60. It shoots well, but it doesn't cost so much that you can't afford to get a lever gun, too.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 9, 2008, 04:05 PM
Can't tell you about Marlins but if you want quality go with Ruger!

My advice is 180 degrees - I would say "I CAN tell you about Rugers because I've had both, and if you want quality and the vest value, forget about the Ruger and go Marlin". But that's low-end. Your question didn't set a budget, which implies high-end. Hence my recommendation above. But now since there is confusion, what exactly is the budget here?

April 9, 2008, 04:08 PM
I would say "I CAN tell you about Rugers because I've had both, and if you want quality, forget about the Ruger and go Marlin".

I second this. I ended up selling the Ruger.

April 9, 2008, 04:11 PM
My Mossberg 342, which belonged to my Dad, is still pristine and already belongs to my 3-year old son (but it is, of course, still in MY safe).


Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 9, 2008, 04:14 PM
Oh yeah, the 552 speedmaster will indeed shoot shorts, but it ain't overly pretty. The 597s with the laminated stocks aren't too shaby looking.

April 9, 2008, 04:27 PM
IMO, you have a contradiction in terms with "great .22" and semi-auto. You make concessions for the semi auto. THE best .22's are bolt actions. And as said, the cz 452 is a great value among the great ones. If you could spend a day with one you would see that the semi autos are all rather toy like compared to the cz 452.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 9, 2008, 04:33 PM
I agree to an extent, woof, and love 452s, but have you handled a T/C R55 or its predecessor, the semi-auto .22 (no model designation)? These are all-steel-receiver works of art. Good stuff, maynard. True that not as classic and not as accurate as a turnbolt like an Anschutz or Sako let's say, but as semi-autos go, the T/C is really nice. Not necessarily a contradiction - just *a* category of rifle - the "best semi-auto .22" is a valid question, I think. I'd reiterate the idea "forget it and get a CZ 452 or an Anschutz or Cooper" if he can be convinced, but at present, the man wants a semi-auto, and so man should get a semi-auto. :)

I think at 6'4", the main questions are:

1. What's the length of pull NOW, and

2. Is there gonna be any way to change the length of pull for the kiddos to shoot?

My take on that is this: If it was just for you only, at that height and arm's length, you'd want something in the 13.5"-14.0" range (LOP). BUT, since (a) you want the kiddos to be able to shoot it later, presumably starting at a fairly young age, and (b) since even having long arms, you ARE still able to shoot a .22 in a very short LOP config quite happily, due to there not being much recoil in a rimfire, so scope-eye is not an issue; or alternatively, if you shoot iron sights -- because of those two things, I'd lean heavily toward grabbing a SHORT LOP rifle, so that the kids can get after it at 10 or 11 instead of 13 or 14 years. That means I'd look for LOPs in the 12.0-12.5" range, or at the most 13.0". I do not know what LOP the T/C has - you'll want to research that and on other models, too.

Another thing - if you look at OLD semi-auto rimfires in the used markets - 1960s and older, or maybe up into the early 1970s even. Almost all of the old ones are very good rifles with STEEL receivers. Any number of old Remingtons, Mossbergs, Winchesters, Savages, and Stephens rifles. Some have dovetails for rings and some don't. There are a LOT of old semi-auto Mossberg models, which tend to be very good.

April 9, 2008, 04:33 PM
I love .22's. I've got a few guns, but the .22's get used the most. And the Model 60 is my favorite .22 rifle. For the money you can't beat it, and you will not be disappointed with the quality. The Marlin is accurate, inexpensive and well made.

The Browning is a terrific rifle, but for a man 6'4" it might be a bit small.

11 million sold since 1960.

April 9, 2008, 04:36 PM
+2 for Ruger 10/22. Stock are fun to shoot, with modifications are very competitive target rifles.

Caleb Longstreet
April 9, 2008, 04:41 PM
Keeeerist, you guys are making science out of this....guy wants a nice .22 to go plinking with....well, let's think....hmmmmmmmm

Model 60 FINE gun and you WON'T be sorry...ever....why you are paying 160 for it is beyond me.....

Marlin 795 is fine but it's a clip....the ruger 10/22...can't go wrong and the aftermarket accessories, should you ever choose to use them, is a cottage industry all by it's self....

If you are looking to simply enjoy shooting a box or so in an afternoon, go get yourself a bolt....perhaps even in .22 mag so you can do more with it but the ammo is considerably more....

Just go down to Wally Mart, pick out what's on sale (yes, even to include the Mossberg Plinkster) and plop yourself down between $90 and $150and do NOT look back....

Of all the guns I have owned and still own over the last 40 years I can honestly say I still enjoy plinking with my .22's quite a bit....for me, I have the Remington Nylon 66 (Brown stock) circa 1982, Marlin 795's (can't miss if I tried) Ruger 10/22 and the Ruger bolt 22 mag.....all are wonderful weapons with the exception of the Remington 597's...always jam...first time I ever owned a .22 that jams with little notice and sometimes entirely, without...clean it all you want, buy all the mags you want, it just keeps jamming and I own 4 of these things...what a dissappointment....

For Pistols" The Browning Buckmark (plain jane, all you need) or the Ruger Mark II or III is all you should ever, ever need...forget the Baretta and Smith...too damn goofy looking for anyone.....

Repeat.....Buckmark and/or .22 auto's ever made and probably for the forseeable future, ever will be made....all this Thompson this, jackwad that, skip it....these pistols can be had on sale for between $220 and $290 each....expensive? Kinda...but you will never regret the purchase....

I have been shooting the Ruger for over 25 years and can honestly say, I would put that thing up against almost any other caliber handgun for defense....that's right DEFENSE because I can dump 10 rounds, center mast, 20 yards faster than most folks can pull and aim a .38 or above at the same distance.....the spread won't exceed 5 inches with that kind of rapid fire...amazing....I use the hyper-velocity ammo....amazing stuff if your adrenaline ever got pumping that fast...

Skip all this nonsense about stopping power too....I have yet to meet a humanoid that will volunteer to stand in front of ANY .22 and take the's all bull****....shot placement, shot placement, shot placement......the rest is hype....

When I first did this feat in 82 I couldn't believe it either...but try can't believe how fast you can dump 4-6 rounds in a silhouette at you-pick-the-distance on the range.....amazing.....and don't think that hyper-velocity ammo won't penetrate will...fine....unless of course the guy is wearing body armor and I don't see that in today's society...we just call them fat people.....

buy will love it.....

April 9, 2008, 05:02 PM
In my opinion the greatest .22LR is the CZ 452. However, since you specified semi-auto, I'll go with the Thompson/Center Semi autos. Those rifles feel great in the hand, very much like a Marlin Model 60, but with out the cheap feeling. That's what I would get if it was my money.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 9, 2008, 05:09 PM
Keeeerist, you guys are making science out of this....guy wants a nice .22 to go plinking with

Well, not really, he doesn't. He wants, in his own words:

Something great, classic, reliable.

Not just something ok or just good or nice, but great - that's why most of us are not recommending marlin/savage/ruger/mossberg/henry. I did mention used ones because they are great compared to today's cheapened aluminum receivers and such.

April 9, 2008, 05:15 PM
My favorite .22 semiatuo, the most durable, reliable, simple, and precise semiauto rifle in .22 I have ever shot:
Stevens/Savage model 87 a .
Tube fed, 15-16 rounds.
If you want to put a scope on it, it's a good rifle to practice your drill and tapping skills on. Easy to clean, has both semiauto and single shot capability. The heavy barrel comes standard. (lighter than today's "heavyweights" but much heavier than factory barrels seen around.)

I love mine very much. maybe my favorite of all my rifles.

costs about $125 top of the range. and it'll probably be used. but it will also probably still be just as good as it was when it came out of the box.

(note- haven't shot the CZ452, but I want to.)

dagger dog
April 9, 2008, 05:26 PM
The Browning, is a very nice handy light accurate rifle, some come in take down models some are even engraved with extra fancy wood, but all, even the newer Japanese made are the type of rifle that says Family heirloom, these beg to be handed down. The quality is definitley there, of course accuracy comes with quality .

For a begining shooter the little Browning is a great rifle to learn on. It's small enough to suit a small frame and with the bottom ejection you don't have the brass being thrown about to distract the shooter.

As a hunting rifle for small game it excells because of it's lightness it's easy to get on the target and handles nicley.

The Browning is in a whole different class than the 10-22 Marlin 60 Savages etc. It is fast becoming popular with collectors, and if you could score on one the original Belgian models it would keep or exceed its purchase price over the years!

The Browning Buck Mark would make the companion pistol for the rifle.

April 9, 2008, 05:30 PM
Was wondering when the 10/22 crowd would chime in lol.

For the price, the marlin beats them hands down (if you prefer detachable magazine a marlin 795 is pretty much the same as a 60 'cept for the mag)

10/22 wins if you want to work on your basic gunsmith skills and have something to modify.

Steve H
April 9, 2008, 05:34 PM
I have the Rem. Nylon 66 my dad gave me around 1960 GREAT GUN. Another "classic" my grandkids love is the Henery Golden Boy

Caleb Longstreet
April 9, 2008, 05:35 PM
All those mentioned ARE great, reliable, and classic.....if he wants collectible, different story...all those other fine ones mentioned would fill that bill....just trying to point him to an enjoyable shooting experience without all the bluster and expense.

In THAT regard, all those mentioned would fit that bill nicely. Nicely indeed.

April 9, 2008, 05:36 PM
The Browning is in a whole different class than the 10-22 Marlin 60 Savages etc.

You can also buy all three of them and a bunch of ammo for the price of one base-model Japanese-made Browning.

Don't get me wrong; I appreciate well-machined steel, nice walnut, and takedowns. I've got a few .22's in the SA22 price class, acquired over time, though I don't have that particular Browning in the safe.

However, dollar for dollar, I still think the Marlin 60 is a damn nice rifle. It does the job well and feels good in the hand, without blowing your hobby budget. I wouldn't part with mine, even though I also have more expensive guns. If I had to sell some to pay the bills, I'd keep the Marlin 60, since it's worth more to shoot than it costs to buy or sell. That attests to its being a bargain for the buyer, IMO.

April 9, 2008, 05:44 PM
I don't really look at the .22's a whole lot, but from what I've seen and shot, I'd go with a 10/22 for several reasons. They are easy to take apart for cleaning and there is an abundance of knowlege on the internet, as well as a plethora of parts/upgrades. If it breaks or needs to be taken apart, you don't need a gunsmith. As far as the Marlin 60's and the cz's and the t/c's, I have no idea and no experience. My dad has two old marlins that are pretty good rifles when they are clean, but they are near impossible to detail strip (ping twang clang clang thump, $#!&) and have to be clear of any fouling or they don't run. I don't know how the internals are on the other marlins, but I figure that if I can't take it apart and put it back together again without risk of losing any parts/limbs it's not a good buy.

If you can afford a lil bit more, you could get an AR15 with a 22 conversion so you can swap out uppers to shoot 223 rem.

April 9, 2008, 05:50 PM

My 60 actually runs better dirty. Clean the bolt face and thats it. Anytime I clean more then that it takes a good 200 rounds to get it shooting as tight as it does lol.

April 9, 2008, 06:15 PM

If you indeed want the best, be prepared to pay for it. The best, the heirloom, the incredibly accurate semi-auto .22 is the Volquartsen. The price tag will be in the high hundreds to low thousands.

The Marlin 60 & the Ruger 10/22 are good guns, for the money. Either can be worn out. They're built to a price point, and ulitmately will confirm that fact.

I haven't had any experience with the Thompson. I do own a Volquartsen.


April 9, 2008, 06:26 PM
Browning for sure ...

Seldom flaky on quality or function, and feels just right.

After all, you did say "best".

April 9, 2008, 06:28 PM
Browning 22-Auto.

Either Belgian or Japan made. It makes not difference from a shooting standpoint, as the quality is the same.

There are other good rifles, and other accurate rifles, but none are such a joy to look at, fondle and shoot as the Browning .22-Auto.


April 9, 2008, 06:33 PM

Man, I've been trying to find people that have shot them enough to know how they are, let alone know what they are. I still vote for them. Superb balance, and durability. perfect thing to pass to the kids to teach them the skills of marksmanship, as opposed to the "don't touch that! it's a collector!!" gun.

April 9, 2008, 06:33 PM
The Winchester Model 06 pump action .22. More fun than anything this side of doffin' yer clothes. Sorry, you can't have mine. :neener:

April 9, 2008, 06:35 PM
My vote is for the 63 winchester or the browning. If you don't mind the looks a nylon 66 is very relaible.

April 9, 2008, 06:40 PM
The Winchester Model 06But he said semi-auto.

You bring old Winchester Pumps into the discussion, and I will have to start over!

You would have to pry my 1890, 06, 61, and 62A from my cold dead fingers!

As well as my 9422 and 9422M lever-actions!


April 9, 2008, 06:40 PM
I have both the Marlin (my first gun still got it) and the Ruger 10/22. Easier to reload the Ruger and it's got thousands of accessories available. Either will be great for you and the kids.

April 9, 2008, 06:49 PM
The thing is, I think one should save one's money for "the best" rifle that IS NOT a semiautomatic .22. I suppose that's why I've never ponied up for the Browning.

"The best" .22 is not a semiautomatic .22. It's also thousands of dollars and it's built, not bought, but be that as it may, semi's are always touchier than manual actions with that little tiny cartridge.

Yeah, the Volquartsen is a DAMN NICE .22! It's very expensive, and it's still a tad clunky. For less money, you can shoot smaller groups at 50 yards with a good bolt gun and you can have a gun that's a helluva lot prettier, or you can have a lot of classy yet down-home style fun with a classic 9422 or 39 lever gun. Anschutz makes some good .22 rifles, too.:)

A .22LR AR is a really fun, expensive toy, also. The Weatherby Mark XXII is another cool "retro" option, with a classic Weatherby stock in gloss checkered walnut, rosewood, with spacers, and an Anschutz barreled action. Not cheap, but still less than the Volquartsen.

But dollar for dollar, if you want a semiauto that you can let kids use but you'll still enjoy shooting as a grownup, the 60 is hard to beat. Frankly, I wouldn't give a kid the Browning, especially an upgraded variant. Let him/her learn about scratches and dents on something cheaper!

I guess what I'm saying is, tell us how much you want to spend, and what you REALLY want. "The BEST" is just not enough information.:)

And do you REALLY want a semiauto, when many of us do believe that the most fun, best quality, best accuracy, and best fondling, are found in other types of actions?

April 9, 2008, 06:52 PM
But he said semi-auto.

Well, if a man wants to settle for the best of the mediocre, that's his business. I just wanted to plant the seeds of a better way. ;)

April 9, 2008, 07:26 PM
I'm sure there are, and have been crappy 22's made, but I don't think I've ever seen one. Personally I happen to like the 10/22 in either the Delux Sporter, or the "Wally World Special" models, but that choice is only due to the looks of the rifles and has nothing to do with the performance. The standard carbines probably shoot just as well.

I've also got a Remington 597 that has worked just fine for me, althought I admit I haven't shot it a lot. It jammed once in the first magazine and hasn't bobbled since. It's a nice sized rifle too. The ones with the laminated stocks look nicer, but the plastic one works fine.

Marlin, Browning, T/C, Mossberg, and probably a half dozen or so other brands I can't think of off the top of my head all are good choices.

April 9, 2008, 07:39 PM
Get a bolt action.

Get a CZ.

Honestly. They are more fun than semi-autos. They don't jam either. (Got my girlfriend a marlin 99m1, shoots great but she doesn't know the best way to clear jams.)

This is advice from me, a very old fashioned 25 year old.

April 9, 2008, 07:49 PM
Mossberg Model 45A, Made in 1936-37.I picked mine up at a pawn shop real cheap. It is the absolute best shooting 22 I have ever had or shot. I put 15 round in 3/4" at 100 yards.

Any of the old wardson fields or mossbergs would be a great thin g to have.

April 9, 2008, 07:50 PM
I just gotta put in a vote for this rifle. I disagree that it ain't purty. It's reliable, it has a good trigger and it can hit a bottle cap all day long at 50 yards.

April 9, 2008, 09:48 PM
For a rifle that will last generation after generation and not break the bank too bad, there are a few excellent choices.

Marlin model 39, probably one of the best .22 rifles ever made. Has been in continuous production for over a century with only minor changes anda couple of model redesignations.

Browning BL-22, another very high quality .22 levergun

Remington 552 Speedmaster, one of the finest .22 Auto's available, and the only one I'm aware of that can handle shorts, longs and long rifles.

Browning Auto .22, nice, sleek rifle that is reminiscent of the classic Remington model 41/241.

Remington 572 Fieldmaster, a top-tier, pump-action .22 that handles short, long and long rifle.

Remington model 5, Solid Bolt action repeater with classic lines and nice wood, still priced competitively

Ruger 77/22, they're just nice

CZ, giving other bolt action rimfires a serious run for the money

Now, if you want to get fancy, there are the Kimber Super America, the Cooper 57-M and the Remington 547, all of which are well over the 4 figure mark.

April 9, 2008, 10:48 PM
I have three and I like them all:

Remington model 12C (1926) pump: Been in my family since new. Shoots beautifully. Classic octagonal barrel with Lyman peep sights. A great classic gun. Still amazingly accurate.

Remington model 241 Speedmaster (1935) auto: John Browning design. Less known than the "real" Browning, but a wonderful shooter nonetheless. I think a gun that is overlooked by collectors.

Ruger 10/22: What can you say? It's my "go to" .22 rifle. Inexpensive, accurate and with a little work has a trigger almost as good as my classic guns.

April 9, 2008, 10:51 PM
IMHO, you cant go wrong with the model 60. Now I am a huge Marlin fan and I am a huge Ruger fan but im going to betray ruger and say that I wouldn't buy a 10/22 like everyone would probably say. Ive had nothing but trouble with the different ones ive shot. For starters, the magazines never cycle properly for me (stock ones) and add that too the constant stove pipes I get even after cleaning the thing, they left a bad taste in my mouth. Tahts my .02, even though I love my MKIII I have to side with marlin on this one. Either that or a 39a for lever action fun.

April 9, 2008, 11:24 PM
My first and best 22 was a Mossberg Palamino. I bought it for $60 back in 64 when I was 12.

Shot shorts, longs, long-rifle in any combination, came to point extremely quick and was deadly accurate. Lost it to the ex-wife. Still looking for another...Palamino that is.

April 10, 2008, 12:59 AM
get you a ruger 10/22 and a browning buckmark pistol .22. I have both and no complaints for either.

April 10, 2008, 02:12 AM
My Dad gave me a 10/22 when I was about 11 or so. I will give my kid a 10/22.

April 10, 2008, 04:15 AM
I have two Marlin semi-autos and have had a TC semi- auto 22 and a Ruger 10-22T rifle. When shooting off a bench rest I get the smallest groups from the Ruger Mdl 10-22 T rifle. One can tune up the trigger pull on the Ruger .There are a lot of after market parts for the Ruger rifle. see For me the 22s other than the Ruger was a wast of money.

April 10, 2008, 05:07 AM
If you seek a classic .22 semi-auto rifle with legendary reliability, then purchase a Ruger 10/22. I once owned one that never jammed to the best of my memory. One additional benefit to owning the Ruger is the vast amount of accessories made for them. Quite literally, several businesses exist just to produce after market items for the 10/22s. These products can allow a person to replace many of the factory parts from barrels to stocks. This is perhaps one reason why the Ruger predominates the .22 rifle market.


April 10, 2008, 12:38 PM
Actually, while both have sold millions of units, Marlin has sold more than Ruger. The Ruger dominates the aftermarket.

April 10, 2008, 04:04 PM
I don't understand all the recommendations for a 10/22 as something to be passed down from generation to generation. Yes, they are solid, reliable and affordable little rifles that are great for kids and new shooters, or just to plink with and accessorize. But they are hardly heirloom material. They're just a run-of-the-mill, pug-ugly little autoloader with so-so ergonomics. They are solidly in the knock-around category of rimfires, right along with the Remington 597 and every other deuce-deuce you can find at Wal-Mart.

April 10, 2008, 04:51 PM
I agree... I have a 10/22. It was my father's, and now it's mine. They are rugged and reliable, and they're fun to shoot... and they CAN be passed down through generations, but they're not exactly the finest .22 on the market.

It wouldn't be my first choice in accuracy (unless you plan to modify it) or my first choice to purchase as an heirloom, though. My Glenfield/Marlin 60 was better in terms of accuracy the day I bought it used off the shelf than my 10/22 was when it was new. It's no fancy heirloom rifle either, and it's in the same cheap price range as the 10/22, but it'll probably hit squirrels with no modification a lot easier than a 10/22 will.

April 10, 2008, 04:56 PM
MachIV, I would not consider the Ruger an heirloom, but its reliability is one reason why many people consider it one of the best .22 rifles manufactured. Indeed, the virtues of the Ruger which you mentioned are reasons why many call it a classic. If you factor in the many accessories available for "tricking out" this design, then its popularity becomes understandable. I hope this explanation helps clearify the matter.

To be fair, I believe the Marlin Model 60 possesses better accuracy out of the box. But if someone wants to build a "tack driver", the 10/22 can be modified to this end at a cost. Indeed, there may be more accessories available for the Ruger 10/22 than any other rifle design. At least, this it how it seems to me.


April 10, 2008, 04:59 PM
its reliability is one reason why many people consider it one of the best .22 rifles manufactured

The reputed reliability of the 10/22 is why I bought it. The actual reliability of my 10/22 is why I sold it.

Now you take that design and build a handmade $1000 rifle with it like Volquartsen, and it works great. But that'd be true about damn near anything.

OTOH I've found my Marlin 60 to work fine out of the box, and it was cheap.

April 10, 2008, 05:08 PM
It's kind of like Ford's, Chevy's, and Lexus.

The Ruger 10/22 and Marlin 60 are the Ford & Chevy of the gun world.

The Browning 22-Auto is the Lexus.

Any of the three will get you where you want to go every time, without breaking down.

But the pride, ride, handling & paint job is much better on the Lexus!


April 10, 2008, 05:13 PM
I don't understand all the recommendations for a 10/22 as something to be passed down from generation to generation. Yes, they are solid, reliable and affordable little rifles that are great for kids and new shooters, or just to plink with and accessorize.

MachIV, your first two sentences contradict each other to me (although I do understand the idea.) If it's solid and reliable there's no reason not to pass it down from one generation to the next. No, it's not a Pre-64 Winchester Model 70 Super Grade but a 10/22 is reliable and well made. For some that's enough.

I'd have to say go for the Browning though. I just like them better.

April 10, 2008, 05:16 PM
ArmedBear, sorry you got a clunker. In my experience, the 10/22 seemed to possess the legendary reliability of the AK-47. This has been the experience of almost everyone else I know who has purchased one. Perhaps I am lucky because I know how to sweet talk my guns.:D

Now if I wanted to sink a fortune into a 10/22, I would want to improve its accuracy. I think many 10/22 owners would agree with me on this point. Otherwise, I have found it a good plinker.

The Marlin Model 60 is a good gun also, although I tend to prefer a clip to a tube design in a .22, but that is personal preference. Your Marlin should last a long time with proper care. I would like to hear some stories about the Marlins on either this thread or another. Once again, good luck with your Marlin.


Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 10, 2008, 05:45 PM
I don't understand all the recommendations for a 10/22 as something to be passed down from generation to generation. Yes, they are solid, reliable and affordable little rifles that are great for kids and new shooters, or just to plink with and accessorize. But they are hardly heirloom material. They're just a run-of-the-mill, pug-ugly little autoloader with so-so ergonomics.


Anyone come up with a semi-auto better than a T/C or the Browning SA-22? What have we missed here? Any Anschutz, Walther, Pardini, Steyr, Sako, or the like ever come in semi-auto rifle? How good is the CZ semi-auto which is sometimes shown on their website and sometimes not?

The Volquartsens are real nice, but are basically a factory-customized 10/22 - not necessarily a "classic" factory rifle:

April 10, 2008, 06:27 PM
Tim, either way, a cheap semiauto is just a plinkertoy. I'd rather get the one that works well and shoots straight right from the box.

As far as favorites, though, this is one of my favorites:

Note that it is not a semiauto.:) I really think they should bring back the straight grip and tapered octagon barrel, like they have with the centerfire "cowboy" series. They only made the 39 like that for one year, though. I can't help thinking that it would sell well now.

I'm having fun with the .22 AR, too, but it's not exactly a classic.

April 10, 2008, 07:06 PM
"Indeed, there may be more accessories available for the Ruger 10/22 than any other rifle design."

Very true. OTOH, maybe the other guns don't need improving.

Okay, I'll admit it again, I've never liked the 10/22. What's it been, 44 years since they introduced it? It felt clunky back then and it wasn't accurate compared to the competition. I suppose that's why the market for replacement parts started and flourished.

Here's an old joke... What's the easiest way to improve a 10/22? Grab the scope, remove the rifle, and insert a different rifle under your scope.

I like bolt guns, and my Mountie, so what do I know.

To each their own.


April 10, 2008, 08:52 PM
For the money the marlin 60 is the best rifle out there. I have shot better .22s but the price tag certainly reflected the difference. A model 60 will shoot with much more expensive guns and just keep going.

April 10, 2008, 10:33 PM
Ruger 10/22.

Or a Tarus Model 63... which is a remake of the original Winchester 63 that Henry Bowman used in Unintended Consequences.

I'd have one of 'em, but the goons stopped making them in .22 mag!

And I don't need another .22 lr

Savage Shooter
April 10, 2008, 10:45 PM
I have a model 60 one of the oldest made and it still performs flawlessly and it's not cheap it's inexpensive BIG:cuss: difference its accurate well made and reliable. It is famous for shooting almost any ammo accurately i have not found one yet that it won't shoot. Mine is not some show queen either that sees vey little use it is my coon gun and it gets beat up but still performs uder any conditions.

April 10, 2008, 10:47 PM
Remington Nylon 66...hands down. I used to have myself a small cottage industry going to pawn shops, picking up 66's that had been traded in because they "jammed". Well, it turns out that most folks never clean a .22 and after about 10,000 rounds these fine weapons started jamming. Guess what? Take about an hour and a little bit of elbow grease with some dental picks and a toothbrush, and that rifle is good for another 10,000 rounds! No metal to metal parts, bolt rides on nylon, virtually impervious stock and decently accurate. Super light, carry it all day. That little cutout in the ejection port? That's so you can load one round at a time as a training rifle for the kiddies. I can 't believe they stopped making this rifle! I have owned probably 20 of the guns, sold them all off for profit over the years, kept 2 nice ones for myself. Only problem nowadays is finding one for under $200. Stay away from the clip-fed models and stick with the stock tube feed 66. Durability? Show me a 10-22 that can match the record of over 100,000 wooden blocks shot and hit in the air over 3 days!

Blue Line
April 10, 2008, 10:52 PM
Today I'd go with the Marlin 39 / 39A because its a true tack driving classic 22. Its got size dimensions for a man sized shooter which makes it very comfortable for a tall person to shoot. It shoots shorts, longs, and long rifle shells.

But most of all I'd buy the Marlin because Marllin was just sold to Remington which surprised the @$#% out of me. Buy one you won't regret it and it will be a collectors item to shoot and hand down to your kids someday.

April 10, 2008, 11:23 PM
dewidmit,you are so right. Improper cleaning (or the lack of it) has "ruined" more .22 semi-autos than most anything else. On the Marlin Model 60,it has been my experience that the feed throat wears rapidly when bulk ammo is used without regular strip down cleaning. I have replaced a goodly number of them all traced back to poor maintainance practices. Earlier Model 60s did not have the bolt hold open feature of later models but this "ain't no biggy". I have found that Winchester Models 190 and 290 are also great little semis but also require proper maintainance to keep them running smoothly. My Ruger 10/22 was as accurate as anything I have ever shot. Consistantly pegging empty .22 long rifle cases at distances that required a 4x scope to even see. My choices would be, in order, (1) Marlin Model 60 (2) Ruger 10/22. I have no use for the little Browning,they're fine guns but I just don't like the looks or the feel.

April 11, 2008, 08:05 PM
Good question.

When I was a kid, my dad used to take us out and shoot at ponds in western Kentucky. The gun, I thik, was a Remington, and it discharged the empty cases from the bottom. Given that we kids wore shorts at that time, we were always coming back with red welts up and down our legs! Other than that, it was a great little rifle.

I like the stainless Ruger 10/22 rifles nowadays. Mine has a Ramline folding stock and it does me just fine. Rugers also are a bit short, which is better for many kids. I shoot left-handed and the brass doesn't cause any problems. One of the most trouble-free guns I've ever had.

April 12, 2008, 12:02 AM
I bought my Marlin 60 used. It's accurate, but it fails to feed maybe once out of every 30 or 40 rounds. It's pretty dirty when I look down at the end of the tube magazine closest to the breech. I should learn to take it apart and clean it fully.

April 12, 2008, 01:58 AM
Actually, while both have sold millions of units, Marlin has sold more than Ruger. The Ruger dominates the aftermarket.

Might the reason for this be that the Marlin is the better gun out of the box? I think that may be the case. Don't know if "King of the After-market" is a crown I would wear around town.:D

March 7, 2009, 05:49 PM
I like .22's that are older than I am trough I own two 10/22's an International and an older basic model. Lots of fun to shoot, serviceable, like the clip design and rugged. But not too accurate out of the box and trigger pulls certainly leave a lot to be desired.
My favs are the Browning semi-auto 22 and its bigger cousin the Remington 241. Have the 241 in short only and it is great to shoot. Both are very accurate and you can just feel the workmanship.
These can be expensive, but if you keep your eyes open and take your time
there are some good deals out there. Got one of the 241's for $215 at a gun show and the Browning on Gunbroker for $200. Neither are pristine but I don't have to worry about scratching them either. They will be worth as much or more if i ever need to sell.

Another great gun is the Stevens/Savage model87A. Accurate and reliable.

March 7, 2009, 07:27 PM
You mentioned the best, great, classic, reliable, then Marlin in the same paragraph. The Marlin is a good enough rifle, as are the CZ etc, but all very pedestrian. If you really want a "fine" .22 then it needs to be a Browning.

Mine has a lot of miles on it and still looks and shoots great.

March 7, 2009, 07:40 PM
Get a Brno/CZ 511. It is right on par with CZ/BRNO bolt rifles. They are a bit harder to find but they will be everything you ever wanted in a semi auto 22lr and will certainly be something to pass down. The Brownings are cool to and I don't have anything to say against them. I don't think you will have more fun with a semi auto than you will have with a 511.

March 7, 2009, 10:39 PM

There's absolutely nothing wrong, or even odd, about mentioning best, great, classic, reliable, and Marlin in the same breath. As long as we're talking about the model 39 variants. Those Marlins have a longer history than any other .22 in production for good reason, they're all of the above: ie, best, etc.


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