22 LR Accuracy, pumps, semis, bolts & levers...


Harve Curry
December 6, 2008, 03:40 PM
I been reading alot here and others, thought I'd ask this question on THR to, copied this info from rimfirecentral site:

.22LR Chamber Dimensions:

Type______Length__Mouth Dia._Throat Dia._Taper @ Throat
Bentz______0.6900"____0.2270"____0.2255"_____1.5 Taper
Match _____0.6876"____0.2267"____0.2248"
Win 52-D___0.5800"____0.2278"____0.2248"_____2.0 Taper

The "Ruger" 10/22 factory chamber is the "Sporting" chamber above.
The "Bentz" chamber is the 'match' chamber for semi-autos.
The "Match" chamber is for bolt actions.
The "Win M52-D" is a bolt action target rifle.

.22 Long Rifle Headspace: .0425" GO // .045" NO-GO


I'm planning on going to the Albuquerque gun show looking to buy a accurate 22. Questions that are bugging me is :

Why would Marlin 39A(s) shoot so good, MOA or less? What kind of chambers are used on them?

Why would a semi auto like the Thompson Center R55 shoot MOA ? What chamber and rifling do these have?

Rifling type; button, micro goove, hammer forged?

What is the best twist rate for a 22LR?

Military surplus Romanian M69. By all counts they are accurate shooters, and mass produced!

CZ rimfire rifles.

Ruger 10-22's

Winchester model 52 or a 69?

Steel recievers vs. Aluminum?
Pinned or set screw barrels vs threaded?

Why don't pumps shoot as well as semi auto's, like a model '06 Winchester or can a copy (Rossi 62 or Tauras) be made to shoot as well as a set up 10-22?

It seems to me that even if you don't have a match grade chamber, match grade rifling and floated barrel there are lots of 22's of every description defying everything and getting match grade accuracy.

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December 6, 2008, 04:15 PM
I think that extreme good accuracy out of a firearm is luck or money. I have had 2 or 3 of the same weapon over the years with varing degrees of accuracy. Once in a while I run accross a really good one. You can buy accuracy but who has that kind of money, i know I dont. That all being said, I have found that all the marlin 22s shoot well consistantly. My romanian is a great shooter, my ithaca
single shot is very accurate and my 10/22 is also very good. I have always found the Smith wesson semi pistols quite accurate but the revolvers are iffiy unless they have a long barrel. My most accurate pistol is my smith 2213 that standing off hand will consistantly shoot 2" groups at 25 yards. My longer barrel 422 cant shoot under 3 inches.
My taurus revolver 4" barrel always has a chamber or 2 that ruins a group. Shoots 3 or 4 into 1 inch and then throws 1 an inch or so farther out. I guess the anser is shoot what you can hit with and if your are shooting for money then spend it!

December 6, 2008, 06:32 PM
Marlins have "micro grove barrels" which is what i have been told is what make tehm so accurate. In general, it is easy to make .22s very accurate, my $100 savage MKII base model shoots just as good as my brothers 39A. His is four times as much too. With bulk ammo we were weeding out all the dandilions from the target area, one shot, one weed down.

As for chambers, i don't really think that with the very low pressure .22 it matters much. Just the barrel, and the ammo....

December 6, 2008, 06:52 PM
my $100 savage MKII base model shoots just as good as my brothers 39A. His is four times as much too.

If accuracy is all you care about, then you don't "get" the Marlin 39A.:)

I just put 300 rounds through one yesterday, shooting standing offhand with iron sights at a buffalo gong target at 95 yards per my laser. (Leather lever wrap is a requirement.)

Bang, gong, cachunk, bang, gong, cachunk, etc.

If I'd had a bolt gun, I would have quit after 50 rounds out of boredom. That might have been a good thing, because my shoulder blade is sore from tensing up for unsupported, no-sling offhand rifle shooting for so long with that 24" heavy barrel. But the 39A was so damned FUN I couldn't stop...

Marlin's 60 is also nice and accurate, for cheap. Beats the snot out of a stock Ruger any day, for a lot less cash -- at least any stock Ruger I've tried.

If you want to blow a lot of money, a .22LR AR upper is a wonderful thing, available with varmint barrels, too.

As for me, I have a current-issue 24" 39A, an old 39M with a tapered octagon barrel, a 60, and the .22 AR.

Sold my 10/22, and have never had the desire to get another one. I can shoot better groups with my Ruger pistol (which I absolutely love), offhand.

Accuracy is important to me, but it's not everything. If you want a REALLY accurate .22, skip all those and get a really accurate match-grade boltie, which will set you back a minimum of $1000 before you put a scope on it. But without expensive match ammo, I doubt it will outshoot a 39A -- and even the $3000 match rigs are ammo-sensitive, among the various expensive match ammo brands and types.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, it depends on what you really want from this gun...

December 6, 2008, 06:56 PM
I'd start with a CZ-452.
When I had mine scoped I was able to literally shoot one round into a target and then use the bullet hole as my target.
It's like a freakin' laser!

December 6, 2008, 07:01 PM
i recently purchased a cz452fs, this is what she shoots outa the box

50 yards, upper right best 5shot groups

my best at 100 yards, windy day though

@ 100yards frustrated at thats all she can do, but i just keep tellin myself no worrys its a rimfire, so its all good. anymore accurate i will invest in a center fire bolt action tack driver

Harve Curry
December 6, 2008, 07:03 PM
Thanks for the reply and pictures.
A penny is 3/4" wide, so 50 yards about 1/2" to 3/4" groups .
A dime is about 11/16" so at 100 yards best group approximately 1" , then up to 2" groups, add the wind factor to.

For 22 rifles I think the proof of the pudding is at 100 yards, most likely using 40gr std. velocity and target ammo.

Harve Curry
December 7, 2008, 10:32 AM
That is some good shooting and a family that shoots together.

I can hit a ground squirrel that we have around here with tang peep sights on a Rossi 62 about 1 out of 7 shots at 130 yards. This is from the hay barn to where they think they're safe in a arroyo. I would like to do better, the Rossi 22 is fun, but I need something more accurate.

rust collector
December 7, 2008, 11:02 AM
Perhaps the factor missing from those you have analyzed is the skill of the shooter. This may be skill at shooting, resulting from many shots taken, experience doping wind and familiarity with trigger and sights. Or it may be skill at telling stories that we love to hear. Mind you, none of your fellow shooters would ever be tempted to embellish the truth!

There is plenty of variation between individual specimens of the same model, and of course there is the well-known preference of each gun for certain types of ammunition. What I'm trying to tell you is that the sum of the chamber configuration, twist rate, barrel steel, aiming equipment, name on the receiver and stock type doesn't equal or predict the accuracy you seek. The nut behind the butt is still the biggest variable.

Don't worry, you'll find one or more rifles that really speak to you. My only predictions: it'll be more than you want to pay, and it won't be as accurate as you desire. With time, its value to you and accuracy in your hands will increase, but then you'll find something that looks just a wee bit better...

December 7, 2008, 11:14 AM
Love my 39as (late 1990's vintage). Fun gun to shoot great balance but a trigger pull that goes roughly 32lbs(at least it feels that heavy) so not very accurate.

I wanted an accurate .22 so I went with a Savage MKII BV with the Accutrigger. Out of the box with a 2-7X Leupold (I want more magnification but the 2-7X was already on hand) it shoots like this at 50yds. Gun cost $280 out the door. Will a $1k+ rifle shoot better, you bet, 4 times better, NOPE. I'm not a competition shooter so I basically just try to shoot better than I did the last time I shot.

On semi-accurate (like my Savage) to competition accurate rifles I really think the quality of the ammo is going to be one of the biggest factors. For me, $7 Wolf Match = half the size groups of $3 Aguila Match and Rem Target. $5 Fed Gold Medal is almost as good at the Wolf.

December 7, 2008, 11:20 AM
I have to echo some of the others - with .22 rimfires I've seen very accurate and very inaccurate rifles in every action type. I've also seen many rifles that were very accurate with one brand of ammo be very inaccurate with some other ammo brand.

Seems to me the best approach is to buy the rifle I like using and try hard (and patiently) to find the ammo it likes best. I may ultimately have to sell it to get another of the same model and start all over again - but at least I'll always be using a rifle that I enjoy using.

It's true a person usually gets what they pay for but, with .22 rimfires, that rule seems to be pretty lax. Plenty of "everyday" .22s will shoot very, very accurately and it isn't too unusual to find an expensive .22 that id disappointing. Ditto the ammo. Match ammo is almost always very good but bargain-basement ammo might do well for your gun too.

The Good News is that most .22s just need to be mated with the right ammo and trying many brands of ammo is cheaper than continually trading rifles. With .22s, Patience is a major virtue.

If you start with a rifle modele you really like using and find ammo it shoots well, it will be so much fun you'll probably keep it for life. The only gun I've had longer than my .22 rifle is my .22 revolver. :)


December 7, 2008, 11:43 AM
Shawnee hit the nail on the head with trying all the ammo you can to find what the gun likes best. First time to the range with the Savage I took: CCI Green Tag, Aguila Match, Eley Target, Rem Target, Fed Gold Medal, and Wolf Match. That first time the Fed actually out shot the Wolf but since then the Wolf has slightly out performed it. I've since bought a brick of each. Today it's off to the range again with six different loads to tally them up again. I'll shoot 150 rounds and spend like $3.75 doing it, including the pricey stuff. Gotta love the .22!

December 7, 2008, 11:46 AM
If you start with a rifle modele you really like using and find ammo it shoots well, it will be so much fun you'll probably keep it for life. The only gun I've had longer than my .22 rifle is my .22 revolver.

I agree completely, excellent advice.

Plus one.

December 7, 2008, 12:22 PM
For the last few weeks I've been testing ammo in my .22 rifles (Savage 29/Marlin 80/ Browning bl22/Marlin 60). Pumps, bolts, levers, auto, all shoot better with the better ammo. The better ammo in my case is CCI Green Tag (CCI Blazer was a close 2nd), the green tag is the best avail to me without mail order. The 79 year old Savage was able to shoot better groups with a wider selection. The Marlin 80 and the BL22 shot the best groups with the best ammo. Off a rest at 50 yards. I have a range at home, I shoot .22 mostly and I'd like to get a really accurate rifle and move out to 100 yds. I've toyed with buying a Win 52 or an Anshutz but these really are meant for club shooters and match shooters. Price range $800 and up. There are several Older Mossberg Target .22's that will go about $150-200. For in the middle (~300-600$)the Savage and the CZ are the two on my short list.

December 7, 2008, 01:13 PM
Bolt action types:
One of the most accurate .22's I've ever owned was a pawn shop Marlin/Glenfield Model 25. I paid like $59 for it, and it was incredibly accurate for the money spent. I now have two of them.

Another surprise for me, was the Remington Model Five (european walnut model). This rifle is easily on par with the CZ 452's.

There are quite few affordable .22 options out there, some are sleepers, and some are pretty well known.

Semi-auto types:
The Remington Nylon 66, Remington 597, Marlin model 60 - (all of the Marlin and Glenfield variants)

I've had a bad experience with the Rugers, so my opinion about it would be heavily biased, and would not be constructive to the thread...


December 7, 2008, 01:25 PM
I've had a bad experience with the Rugers, so my opinion about it would be heavily biased, and would not be constructive to the thread...

In the best tradition of the high road. Well done! :)

December 7, 2008, 01:30 PM
ok, from the accurate .22's in my family here they are from worst to best, all shot by my grandfather, who is a ridiculously accurate shooter and very consistent. He shoots with sling, jacket, and mat when he is shooting competition. I think his best was a 7-8 x ring score of 97 at 100y on an 8 inch target. He mostly used the Winchester, but that was personal preference and I don't think he liked messing with the annie's sights as his vision got worse. He didn't use anything but Redfield olympic or international irons on these.

Mossberg Mod. 44(us)a
Marlin (I don't know the model, but it is more accurate than the 44, its a bolt)
Mossberg Mod 144
Winchester 52D
Anschutz (not sure of the model, the action has taken an olympic gold, it's been rebarreled at the factory since).

I couldn't tell you what type of chambers they all have. Another accurate (talking competition level) shooter is the Kimber Mod. 82. I hear great things about the CZ's, Suhl's if you can find them are up there with the Anschutz if not better, and the Marlin model 60 which is a semi but also very accurate.

I learned to shoot on the Marlin, but I never got to shoot his match ammo. It was always thunderbolts when I was shooting. He said his match ammo was russian (I think, this was 21 years ago) and had a teflon coating on it. Thats about all I remember. I will have to ask what he used when I go back for Christmas.

December 7, 2008, 04:28 PM
guys check it out, went to the range yesterday shooting 50yards. each target 5 shots, this is by far my best 5 shot groups next to the dime



December 7, 2008, 06:04 PM
Best 22lr for the money if you come across one is Remington models 580,581,582 bolt action. When testing ammo, i found different coating/lubes on the bullet can affect accuracy. Clean the barrel between different lots/brands of ammo.

December 7, 2008, 09:40 PM
I think it is the trigger that makes an accurate .22 easy to shoot accurately. Bolt actions generally have the best triggers (or can be made that way rather easily compared to other actions). My two most accurate .22s are a Kimber with a trigger set at two pounds and a Sako Finnfire with a 2 oz. Jewell trigger (yes, 2 oz.). A good crisp 3 pound trigger with no creep or overtavel can make all the difference in the world in accurate field or informal target shooting shooting. You rarely find these pulls on guns other that bolt actions. Pulls lighter that 3 pounds should be reserved for target and bench shooting.

The CZs have a great reputation for affordable bolt action .22s with triggers that have great potential.

Harve Curry
December 8, 2008, 12:01 AM
If I had a CZ or the like I could hit them almost everytime. As it is I watch them with 10X binocualrs, see what branch they're on and then hold at the top of the thicker-fuzzy spot on the branch. It's a fun challenge. I was using Federal bulk ammo the $13.47 stuff from Walmart. I use a rest, the trigger is good and the Marbles tang sight makes the difference.

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