Easiest to clean .22lr semi auto?


December 23, 2009, 10:16 AM
Im in the market for a new .22lr semi. I have a marlin 60 and although its a good gun, cleaning it is such a pain in the arse in my opinion. Its gets absolutely filthy inside after a few hundred rounds and I always have trouble taking out the bolt or putting it back in. I keep kinking the recoil spring or bending the spring guide.

So the marlin is getting traded in for something else. I was considering the Ruger 10/22, Remington 597, or Savage 64. Im interested in your opinions on which of the 3 is easiest to take down and clean.

Thanks for the help.

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Art Eatman
December 23, 2009, 10:27 AM
I can't recall ever bothering to remove the bolt from a .22 semi-auto rifle. Take it out of the stock, splash in some sort of solvent, and blow it clean via the air compressor. Then a little gun oil.

Don't have a compressor? Hey, that's why God invented Harbor Freight and Northern Tool. They sell little jobber-dos for much less than the cost of a new gun. Buy online and the Brown Truck delivers. :D

December 23, 2009, 10:31 AM
i know what you mean ive had my 60 apart probly 5 times the last time when i kinked the spring badly and had to buy a new one now i just use brake cleaner or birchwood casey gun scrubber once the barreld action is off the stock, it does pretty good. now the ruger is easier to put back in, but still just use brake cleaner but dont get it on any plastic or wood

December 23, 2009, 10:34 AM
Most are pricey (and would require you to already have an AR lower) but the easiest I have seen are the dedicated .22 uppers for ARs. The bolt group easily slides right out and everything is super easy to clean.

I don't clean my .22s with much more than a bore snake, but having owned Brownings and Rugers and Marlins and Remingtons the AR upper seems the easiest to clean to me. No experience with the Savages.

ETA: sorry, just saw you were asking about those 3 in particular. No opinion on that one. The 2 out of 3 I've used were both similar in their complexity for taking down.

December 23, 2009, 11:38 AM
Other than a dedicated .22 upper, the 10/22 is not too bad. You pull the action out of the stock (1 screw), push two pins out (easy), remove and separate trigger guard, push bolt stop pin or buffer out (easy), then pull the bolt back and lift it out along with the recoil spring assembly.

The trickiest part of the 10/22 is reassembling it, especially keeping the recoil spring assembly compressed enough and aligned properly so you can drop the bolt back in. Once that's done, and the bolt is back forward, your problem is solved and it's a 5 minute job to continue the reassemble.

Taking the trigger group apart is trickier but not too bad.

December 23, 2009, 11:45 AM
Good God, I am so glad we got a tacticool 22LR now! All I have to do is push out two takedown pins, take the upper off, and pop the charging handle and bolt carrier out. (CMMG 22LR upper on a Rock River AR-15 lower)

Uncle Mike
December 23, 2009, 11:50 AM
Hey, all 22 auto's have a bunch of parts in them...
Fashion yourself a container that will allow you to submerse the action while keeping the scope dry...(action removed from stock) and once in a while soak that thing in some kerosene or diesel fuel...blow out, lube, re-assemble.

The kerosene or the diesel will dissolve all the nasty, leave behind a oily film and is cheap to use.

As some of the guys have mentioned, hosing the action out with solvent works well too, just be careful as to the 'solvent' you use...wouldn't want to weaken plastic parts or lift any paint! Some types of 'Brake Clean' work, and one of the best solvents is 'Electramotive' by CRC, used to clean the innards of electric motors.

While your soaking in the kerosene, work the action a few times, gets all the powder, carbon, lead and wax out...works like a charm!

As for your question...I think the 10/22 would be a good candidate for your desires.

December 23, 2009, 12:03 PM
Good idea about the Diesel as I drive one...

I took the bolt out of my 10/22 ONCE and after spending an hour getting it back together, I decided not todo that again.

I just remove the stock, Take out the trigger group, open the bolt and spray the thing down real well with Break Free Powder Blast. It even smells good :-)

I work the bolt a few times to get the cleaner around the receiver. Then I hit the whole thing with Rem oil or BF BLP. I use the powder lase and Hobbes #9 on the barrel. Then hit the bore with the BLP until it foams out the end.

It takes me maybe 10 minutes to clean the gun, start to finish. Not much more time than my bolt actions...

December 23, 2009, 12:10 PM
My .22LR AR upper is far and away the easiest I've ever cleaned. No tools, everything is easy to get to, and the bolt assembly just drops out, like a standard AR.

Second would be an old Mossberg I have, because the rear of the receiver is a big plug with a fine thread. Unscrew it, pull out the cocking handle kind of like on a semi shotgun, and you can remove the whole bolt, clean it, clean the barrel from the breech, and put it all back together. No wrestling with springs like on a 10/22 or Marlin 60. To clean the lockwork, you do have to unscrew the barreled action from the stock, though.

I've never tried a Browning SA22, but I'm not sure I want to. Even in the Black Powder era, JMB didn't consider cleaning the gun to be his concern as a designer. It shocks me that the 1911 was his design, because it's certainly the exception that proves the rule.:)

Bill B
December 23, 2009, 12:19 PM
I also had that problem but i found that if you push the spring and pin into the bolt and hold it with your index finger it will slide in with no problems.I put the bolt in my right hand palm and push the spring in with my left hand until the pin is about half way in the bolt.Then I us my right index finger to hold the pin by pinching it toward the bottom of the bolt.I then put it in the notch,hold pressure with my palm and kind of roll it off the bottom of my palm up and in.
I would give this a try before you get rid of your marlin.Unless this is just a reason to buy another toy.If thats the case then i can totally see your point and support you 100%.:evil:

December 23, 2009, 12:23 PM
Yeah, Bill B's method, or something like it, works for me, too.

I wouldn't sell the Marlin, for three reasons: the things are accurate as all get-out for what they are, you won't get much for it because brand-new ones are still bargain priced, and you'll find that few other .22 semiautos are any easier to clean. The 10/22's mainspring is no better.

That said, if I had to keep only one .22 rifle, it would be a Marlin 39. VERY easy to clean, doesn't require cleaning all that often, and fun as all get-out.

December 23, 2009, 02:35 PM
For a 10/22 all you need to dissassemble it is really tough fingernails or a key:D

December 23, 2009, 03:34 PM
The Smith & Wesson M&P 15 is great. The bolt slides right out and doesn't have to be taken apart to be kept clean.

I gave up on taking apart my Marlin 60 bolt; too easy to bend or break the internal pieces. I do scrub the bolt face and try to keep barrel clean, but that's it. Shoots just fine.

December 23, 2009, 03:37 PM
Yep, the 10/22 is easy.

dagger dog
December 23, 2009, 04:10 PM
It is a pain to remove the barrel, and having to reindex the extractor ,if you want to clean your 10-22 from the breech.

But the 10-22 can be cleaned from the breech if you drill a hole in the rear of the receiver,about .22 cal. diameter, in line with the chamber, there are drilling jigs available from sources such as Brownell,to make sure the hole lines up with the chamber.

If you are the cheap skate as I am you can insert a cleaning rod with a patch jag attached ,through the muzzle and let the small pointed end of the jag rest against the inside rear of the receiver, then use a caliper to measure the distance from the jag tip, transfer that measurement to the out side, mark ,centerpunch, put the receiver in the drill press vice and bore the hole.

I use a Volquartsen recoil buffer pin and have shot thousands of rounds with no problems.

But you do have to remove the action from the stock push out 2 pins and remove the bolt.

December 23, 2009, 04:35 PM
Thanks for the help. I did look on youtube for takedown and reassembly videos and the 10/22 doesn't seem too bad.

December 23, 2009, 04:38 PM
+1 for the 10/22. VERY easy to clean.

December 23, 2009, 04:45 PM
It shocks me that the 1911 was his design, because it's certainly the exception that proves the ruleAnother of his designs has to be the easiest to clean .22 semi-auto ever devised.

The Browning .22 Auto is a take-down to start with. The barrel comes off with a simple 90 degree twist.

And the bolt & trigger group comes out just by squeezing the trigger guard forward with your thumb & index finger.

At that point, it slips up out of the receiver dovetail and you got it in your hand so you can have your way with it.

Page #7 & #9 here:


December 23, 2009, 05:16 PM
I stand corrected, then, rcmodel. Maybe I WILL have to get one of those things.:)

I don't really understand people on this thread that think a 10/22 is easy to clean. It wasn't a bit easier than the Marlin 60 (and there's no reason to disassemble the bolt on either gun).

December 23, 2009, 06:33 PM
The Ruger 10/22...... so easy a Caveman could do it! ;) Also Kerosene does work excellent for cleaning semi auto 22s been doing it for decades.

December 23, 2009, 06:39 PM
The Browning SA-22 is very designed to be very easy to clean and maintain.

December 23, 2009, 07:10 PM
+3 on a 10/22, great gun- hard to clean? heck no!
BTW the last criteria I would use to choose a gun to buy would be ease of cleaning!

December 23, 2009, 07:21 PM
BTW the last criteria I would use to choose a gun to buy would be ease of cleaning!

Actually, it's very important to me. Seems to be, with modern guns, the only "hard to clean" firearms are .22s. Which tend to be the dirtiest.

The hardest to clean firearm in my possession is a Ruger 22/45 Mk III. Once you get the "secret handshake" down pat, it's not too bad.

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