how accurate are .22LR at farther distance


April 1, 2010, 10:24 PM
I am toying with the idea of getting a .22LR to start doing some distance shooting. I am a handgun guy.

How far can an average guy accurately shoot a scoped .22LR with higher grade ammo? I am toying with the idea of a 10/22 or marlin 60. Don't know much about scopes but I spend enough for a decent one. I am not interested (at this point) at sinking $100s into tricking it out.

So at what distance can they be accurately shot? 100 yards, 200 yards, 3 light years? ;)

If you enjoyed reading about "how accurate are .22LR at farther distance" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
April 1, 2010, 10:47 PM
We used to shoot a 'sniper match out to 150 yards with our .22s. Targets were 3"x5" man shaped steel. Targets were set at unknown distances from 75 yards to 150. [As long a range as we had] It was not uncommon for someone to clean the match as long as the wind was fairly calm.

I spotted for a buddy of mine as he shot at an IDPA target at 270 yards. He hit on the third shot, then put three out of the next four on target.

That said , it's rare to find a gun/ammo combination that will shoot one inch at 100 yards consistently. When you do find them, they generally cost several times what you want to spend.

It's still fun. I set up a 10" steel plate at 200 today but the wind was 20mph and gusting. Can't wait to try my .22 on it.

April 1, 2010, 11:08 PM
well, don't expect accuracy from a 10/22 or a marlin 60. watch out for 10/22's people will tell you about all the accessories you can buy for them, they're pretty much a money trap, you end up putting a bunch of stuff on them when you could have gotten a better rifle to begin with for less money.

April 1, 2010, 11:11 PM
Just for info sake....

I shoot a 10/22. Hi-Desert Dog 16.5 barrel. Factory stock simply glass bedded by me following directions on Cheap BSA Sweet 22 scope sitting on a Volquartsen 15 MOA base. I can shoot 3-4 inch groups with this gun at 200 yards easily with any ammo, Under 50 yards I can shoot 10 round groups inder a half inch ragged hole.. Even the crap Remington Subsonics from wal mart. Key is finding an ammo that your barrel likes. I got lucky and mine shoot everything about the same. The only ammo I have shot that the gun didnt like ws Federal Match 22. Go figure.

It isnt about buying the best of everything and spending a ton of money. Its about practice. Learning to judge wind and estimate hold over for bullet drop at longer ranges. Learning your rifle and its behaviors in different winds and temps.
Ive got less than $150 into my rifle on top of the 200 I spent on the gun its self.

Its actually really good training for guesstimating hold over to compensate for bullet drop. Learning to gauge elevation compared to trajectory is a good skill to have and with .22 you can practice this without having to stretch 400 yards plus and spending a ton of money on expensive centerfire ammo. Allthough all cartridges have very different ballistics, understanding how the trajectory affects the flight path can be applied to any gun.
Plus you can also practice breathing exercises and follow through.

Go check out rimfirecentral for all your rimfire questions. Look at the Super Stock guns and you will be amazed at what a few DIY modifications to a stock 22 can do to improve accuracy.

April 1, 2010, 11:11 PM
...I am open to another lower price .22LR as well.

Texas Gun Person
April 1, 2010, 11:12 PM
I have a friend who can take a TOZ-78 and hit a 12x12 bullet trap at 300 yards. He has a highly modified Ruger 10/22 that can do it as well. But the TOZ was much cheaper than it right from the factory.

Can I do that? Noooo :D at least not shot after shot like he can.

April 1, 2010, 11:13 PM
They are awfully wind sensitive. Any of my bull barreled 10/22s will shoot a 1" or less group at 100 yards in dead still air. I shoot in dead still air maybe once a year. On a windy, gusty day like today, I would call a 3" group a triumph of skill.

Me, I sight in .22 rifles for the point blank hunting range, about 55 yards for subsonic, and about 65 yards for high velocity, and seldom shoot much farther. That's what the .222 is for.

April 1, 2010, 11:36 PM
the first thing you need to consider is getting away from semi-autos for consistent accuracy at ranges over 100 yards. in a .22lr, the barrel, and it's fit to the receiver, is everything.

you don't need a Anschutz to start out with...but you might very well end up there...but a good starting point , in current production, is the CZ 452...for your intended purpose, maybe the 453 Varmint

if you don't mind looking for an out of production rifle that is very affordable and accurate...look for a Romanian M69

April 1, 2010, 11:42 PM
you don't need a Anschutz to start out with...but you might very well end up there...but a good starting point , in current production, is the CZ 452...for your intended purpose, maybe the 453 Varmint

Single set trigger?:evil:

The last two times that I bought a .22 I cheaped out and bought Savages. They do well (never tried them past 50 yards though), but I've wondered what a CZ453 would have done for me.

April 1, 2010, 11:43 PM
My club has an ongoing rimfire competition at 200 yards (just shoot the target when you can and fill in your score). You get 20 shots, and they are either in or out of the 5 inch (I think) scoring ring. Shooting a Savage Mark II with SK standard ammo, I've gotten 16 or so in on my best target so far.

Wind obviously is an issue, as is the consistency of your ammo. Any velocity variation yields VERY large vertical discrepancies.

April 1, 2010, 11:50 PM
First, you need to define accuracy... Shot in a no wind environment, a .22 LR will be extremely accurate out to 200 yards or further though you will be "lobbing" the bullets at some point.. Problem with the 22LR is its lack of mass and energy. ANY amount of wind will greatly effect your POI. Nearly any rifle platform in any caliber can be made to be accurate (predictably put your projectile in the same small area consistently,) but whether or not you can do it or you can find a calm enough range to do it is another issue altogether.... If one were to get technical, taking wind out of the equation, your only issue is "holdover," therefore, if you can figure out the wind and its effect on your bullet, even a .22 will be accurate out to a much greater distance than most will ever try.

All of that said, I would look into something along the lines of a Kimber 82 Gov. They are incredibly accurate and relatively cheap. They are capable of putting shot after shot through the same .22 caliber hole at 50 yards.

edit- Another factor for consideration is the consistency of your ammunition...

April 2, 2010, 12:14 AM
The best group I have seen is held from a walther 22lr with 5/8" for 5 shots at 300yds. Any wind at all and you are done.

April 2, 2010, 12:41 AM
at that range wouldn't a bolt action be better? Id think it would give more power to the bullet and allow it to go further

*edit* I should have said "Id think it wouldn't take any power away from the bullet"


April 2, 2010, 12:49 AM
Least expensive; Marlin 795 ($129.00-149.00)With good ammo (mine likes American Eagle) With a second to the even cheaper Mossberg 702 plinkster($99.00- 129.00) (mine likes Blazer 40 grain ammo)

Mid-priced; CZ-45X( sorry no price) (x is for shooters preference in barrel and stock) The one that I shoot is very consistent with a wide variety of ammo.

More expensive; A CMP Anshutz....(about $1100.00 Including a nice sight system).
You will be at it a while before you can out shoot this one......and then,,,,,,,

You can spend an enormous amount of dough going up from there....

I will caution; No semi-auto will be as accurate as a good bolt action(despite what the 10-22 folks say) ...In fact, there is good argument that no box magazine fed .22 will be as accurate as a single shot...The rim of the feeding round will drag across the heel of the next round in line..Changing the bullet dynamic ever so slightly....More so with a stiff mag spring ....

April 2, 2010, 01:44 AM
Take a look at a mossberg 44. Shouldn't be more than 150, and when you find one with a good barrel on it you will be surprised at what it can do.

Col. Plink
April 2, 2010, 01:46 AM
hear me now, believe me later, I have had some great fun plinking clays at 100 yds with a Marlin 60. Nothing like taking 'em out and then kicking around the shards for awhile.

BTW, 'shards' is not a politically incorrect term for the intellectually challenged clay pigeons out there . . . ;)

Ignition Override
April 2, 2010, 03:04 AM
Today in one of the very long racks there was a Ruger 10/22 with what appeared to be a longer than normal barrel.

This was at Whittakers, the giant gun store a short bit west of Owensboro, KY.
The store is not so from Evansville and has a large number of .22s, among many other types.

Deus Machina
April 2, 2010, 04:20 AM
For all-around fun, I'm happy with my Marlin 60. Plant the stock firmly on a padded rest, and on a good day when my eyes agree with me, within 5/8" at 50 or 60 yards isn't uncommon.

That's with Winchester Dynapoint GT. It can shoot 1" at 100 if I'm lucky, but drops and gets a little inconsistent for my tastes there.

If I felt like paying for a better scope, and got a proper rest under the back of the stock, I bet I could cut that in half.

I'd think the Marlin bolt-actions could do better. Myself, I'm keeping my eyes open for a cheap, insanely accurate rifle, too. Stupid-accurate. Like, shave the hair off a fly accurate.

Wish I knew what happened to my grandpa's old .22. Or even whether it was that rifle or him or his familiarity with it. Had so many pennies with dents in 'em...

April 2, 2010, 04:39 AM
My Savage MkII is pretty accurate and was about 120 bucks. I have never put any sort of a decent scope on the thing to really try it out. But with the irons I can bust rocks at the 100 yard berm pretty regularly.

April 2, 2010, 11:29 AM
I bought a Marlin 881 (tube-fed, bolt gun, no longer in production) for my son. Paid $175.00
It is more accurate than my match barrel on my Contender carbine.

The Marlin model 60's I have shot over the years were more accurate than the factory barreled 10/22's.

That said, if you don't mind putting the money into aftermarket parts, 10/22's are the way to go if you have to have an autoloader.

I am VERY partial to Marlin .22's, just because of the accuracy. Even the lower end single shots are accurate.

My Contender carbine with the Match barrel is capable of 1.25" groups at 100yds, and I have busted pop cans at 200 yds regularly. This is with CCI Subsonic HP, the Federal AutoMatch, Aguila Match Rifle, Wolf Match Target, and Winchester Dynapoints.

As noted above, wind plays a BIG part in long range .22lr shooting and it is my favorite way of getting tuned back up for long range shooting with centerfires. Thus the title of my reply.

Just my $0.02


April 2, 2010, 03:09 PM
thanks for all the replies. I decided to stay cheap and get a marlin.

I'm gonna keep my extra money I had slated for this and save up for a bigger bore rifle.

I had $100 in gift cards, and with the marlin rebate I almost got it for no $$ out of pocket (once I get my rebate $$ back).

April 2, 2010, 03:12 PM
WHAT!!!!! No picks of the new rifle.....


April 2, 2010, 03:50 PM
well, don't expect accuracy from...a marlin 60.


Granted, this 3/4" target was only 20 yards away while I was zeroing in the scope, but I'd say that's accurate enough when not using a good rest. I'll see what she does with a good rest just to see if I may be wrong, but I doubt it. Then I'll try some 100 yard shooting again and see what happens.

BTW, this is after 500 trouble-free rounds. No FTF, no FTE, nothing but consistent, easy bang, bang, bang.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 2, 2010, 04:45 PM
The answer is, "not very", in the grand scheme of things. As has been said, past 75-100 yards, the wind drifts them a lot, and the drop becomes precipitous after 150 or so, so your holdover and range knowledge has to be immaculate. So the answer is really - it depends on the skill level of the shooter, both in range estimation and windage adjustment, the amount of wind and its direction, and what you consider to be "accurate". Don't expect teensy weensy groups much past 50-75 yards from the average to above-average shooter, with an average amount of wind, even from a really good rifle.'s "all relative", of course - as they say. You said you're a handgun guy. Some "handgun guys" only shoot at 3, 5, and 7 yards. Some shoot at 10. Many shoot at 15 yards (45 feet). A few shoot at 25 yards (75 feet). Some shoot at all of the above. If you're one of those guys, like quite a few of the 'handgun guys' I see, who ordinarily MAX out at 15 yards / 45 feet (which incidentally is around twice the distance at which one would normally justified in using a handgun for self-defense rather than running away), then 50 yards (150 feet) is a long, LONG ways!! Well over 3 times the distance.

Even if you're one of those guys (like me) who like to self-induce head-banging and cursing by shooting 'standard' self-defense handguns at 25 yards, 50 yards is still a long ways (twice as much). And 75 yards is 3 times as much as a very, very long handgun shot! (Now granted that you're ordinarily gonna have a rested shot from the rimfire rifle vs a freehold shot from a handgun, of course).

So to my way of thinking, 75 yards (225 feet!) IS in fact "long distance shooting" for a 'handgun guy' (and/or, for that matter, for a .22 rimfire, for any guy or gal), in the relative scheme of things (as opposed to the grand scheme of things). And yes, a .22 rimfire can make reasonably good groups at that range - enough to put a smile on your face. With a good rifle and good shooter (knowing your drop and a little kentucky windage), you ought to be able to get 10 shots inside of 4 inches at 75 yards - good enough to take out a cottontail consistently.

April 2, 2010, 08:09 PM
I actually shoot two .22 rifles at 200 yard targets as a way of training myself to better judge wind and the effects of distance on trajectory. The first rifle is a Sako Quad with a 3-9X Burris Quad scope. With that rifle, decent conditions, and some practice, I can shoot some, for me, small groups. My best five-shot groups with that rifle and the ammo it likes have been about three inches at 200 yards. I have also shot groups (or patterns) five times that size. It is a challenge for me. Standard velocity ammo is a requirement for any decent accuracy as the high velocity ammo drifts a lot more when it becomes transonic.

The other rifle is a Volquartsen version of a 10/22. That rifle wears a Leupold M8 6X fixed scope for that shooting and the groups are comparable to the Sako. An autoloader can do a decent job but it will be more costly. The bolt-action Sako was a lot cheaper as the rifle was $450.

I am sure better shooters can better my performance.

Jim K
April 2, 2010, 08:22 PM
"It isnt about buying the best of everything and spending a ton of money. Its about practice."

True to a point, but if the gun/ammo won't shoot, all practice will do is prove the gun/ammo won't shoot. As for the "best of everything", no the price of the gun won't make up for a poor shooter, but a good shooter can take advantage of high quality.

There is sort of a myth that "every gun shoots well, it is just the shooter who can't." That sounds good, but just isn't true. High price guns are high priced because they really do shoot better than that Stevens Favorite with the rusted out barrel.


April 2, 2010, 08:22 PM
don't expect accuracy from a marlin 60. The biggest problem with the 60 is the stock sights. I bought a set of tech sights for mine for ~$60 and I can get 2'' groups at 100 yards without trying very hard (I wouldn't be using 22lr past that far anyway). For a total investment of $170 I wouldn't say that was half bad.

If you enjoyed reading about "how accurate are .22LR at farther distance" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!