Cheap semi-auto .22LR


April 12, 2010, 12:24 PM
Hi all. I'm a new shooter (24-y-o... later than a lot of people, I know), and I have a nice 20-gauge Mossberg 185D bolt shotgun, and I'm looking for a cheap semi-auto .22LR for plinking and for small game.

I was thinking either a MArlin Model 60, but then in the last couple gun shop[s I was in I've seen AR-7 "survival rifles" that look interesting. I do a lot of hiking and such, so would that be a good alternative?

Any other cheap (less than $150) guns that would be good?


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April 12, 2010, 12:29 PM
The Marlin 60 is accurate, reliable and cheap. The AR-7 is neat, but not known for reliability. Personally, I don't enjoy shooting a rifle that makes me wonder whether the next round will feed.:)

The Marlin 795 is a magazine-fed version of the 60 if you need to be able to unload and reload quickly (sometimes a big plus in the field, particularly for legal reasons).

The Marlin 70PSS costs a bit more, but it's a lightweight takedown stainless version of the above. For stashing in a pack, I'd choose that (or a Marlin 39, but that's a lot more expensive).

April 12, 2010, 07:45 PM
I believe Marlin has a rebate on the 795 right now. It is a good economical rifle for general 22 purposes if you prefer the detachable magazine. I prefer the underbarrel tubular magazine on the Model 60.

The AR-7 is very inaccurate and are often jamamatics. I know they look cool, but get yourself a regular rifle or one of the more expensive black 22 rifles if you prefer. I have read few good things about the AR-7 other than it is a easily packable rifle. I honestly would prefer a handgun over the AR-7 for survival purposes.

April 12, 2010, 07:51 PM
My favorite semi auto .22s are:
1.Ruger 10/22 Lots of upgradable options
2.Sig Sauer 522 comes in tactial form and looks cool, great for training as well if you own a sig sauer 556
3. S&W M&P 15/22 everything operational ar-15 look alike including the bolt lockback.

Allof these are reasonably priced of course the second 2 look tactical and might not be what your looking for. The Ruger is cheap and fun and good quality.

April 12, 2010, 10:21 PM
My AR7 is reliable. They're kinda quirky, though. The feed ramp is in the magazine and can sometime need attention if it's bent. Some folks find they need to chamfer the mouth of the chamber, but I never needed to do that. I've had a couple of 'em and they both ran/run fine. One of 'em got ripped off and I bought another from a friend.

The AR7 is a specialty, gun, though. I would recommend the Marlin first. The AR7 makes a great back pack gun, canoe trip gun, but the trigger is pretty aweful and the accuracy is about 2" at 50 yards. The Marlin will have a better trigger and will be quite a bit more accurate. You might consider a Papoose if you want a camping rifle that breaks down, too. I have a little stainless 10/22 I like a lot, among my other rimfires. It's a decent shooter, very reliable, small and handy, and quite rugged. I really like the rotary magazine over the Marlin 60's tube mag, too. They offer the M60 in stainless with a laminate stock, too. That's a VERY nice lookin' gun, quite rugged, and a lot of gun for the money IMHO.

Lots of choices out there. I also have a Remington 597 magnum that runs great and the .22 mag is pretty awesome accurate at 100 yards. Ammo's steeper, but they offer it in a .22 LR, too. It's a very accurate gun and they now come with the metal magazines which has solved some issues they had when they came out. The .22 mag I have has the plastic mags and they don't give me any problems, though. I've only read about these problems from the internet experts, never experienced any problems with MY 597. That gun is fantastically accurate, that's all I know. I also like its size, big rifle fit and feel. I practice with it at the range, mostly. It feels more like one of my hunting rifles. The 10/22 feels more like a daisy red rider.

Doc Savage
April 12, 2010, 10:36 PM
Marlin's are accurate and last forever. Mine range from 30-20 years old and still run like a champ.


April 12, 2010, 10:41 PM
I have a Marlin 795 and it's a good rifle once you find the ammo it likes.
You can get one for around $100 or so with the rebate and then 4 or 5 boxes of different ammo brands/types to see what it likes. Then you'll be good to go. Mine likes CCI mini mag and Cyclone's, and it hates Thunderbolts.

April 12, 2010, 10:43 PM
If you have pawn shops in your area, Marlins are so ubiquitous, they usually show up cheap in pawn shops. I have an old Mossberg M152 I got when I was a kid, peep sight, fold down front stock, some may remember it. It was built in the fifties. It still runs fine. I gave it to my daughter/son in law. It was given to me by my step dad. .22s are hard to wear out, last forever. That makes 'em great for the pawn shop hunters. :D I'd love to pick up an old Marlin, but the pawn shops around here are a joke. One day I'll happen upon one, though. Ain't like I need it now, not .22 poor. Ain't even mentioned my old Remington bolt gun, either. :D

April 12, 2010, 10:45 PM
Then you'll be good to go. Mine likes CCI mini mag and Cyclone's, and it hates Thunderbolts.

Thunderbolts suck in about any thing, pretty much always have. :D

April 18, 2010, 07:44 PM
Check out a Mossberg Plinkster. They sell them at some Wal-Mart stores and Dicks Sporting Goods. 99 bucks for a super lightweight synthetic stock semi-auto. Pretty simple.

Sorry about the small pic. I have no idea how to add them correctly.

Best of luck!


April 18, 2010, 08:02 PM
savage model 64F

Hani Pasha
April 18, 2010, 08:42 PM
Many swear by 10/22s. You certainly won't be disappointed with one.

April 18, 2010, 09:15 PM
+1 for the Mossberg Plinkster. Great gun and never given me any trouble. The trigger is a PITA to take apart if you wanna do some trigger work but that's no big deal.

April 18, 2010, 09:41 PM
10/22 of the old stainless variety shiny not dark ss... no lie mine will digest anything and everything...musta got lucky

ol' scratch
April 18, 2010, 09:46 PM
Wait for a deal to pop up. I got mine for $80 new right after Christmas. I have seen them as low as $100. Mine had a $20 rebate tacked on to that. Great rifle for a great price.

April 18, 2010, 11:09 PM
I hear loads and loads on the marlin 60's. May have to look into one someday.

Arkansas Paul
April 18, 2010, 11:15 PM
Marlin model 60. It's not cheap. It's inexpensive. Big difference. Cheap stuff sucks. Marlin 60s are great.

April 18, 2010, 11:41 PM
used Remington Nylon 66

April 18, 2010, 11:51 PM
Love my 60. :o


April 19, 2010, 12:34 AM
Marlin Papoose is my favorite foir a cheap, durable .22
The GSG - 5 is nice too as well as all the other rifles mentioned excepted the AR7 haven't heared much about it
Just givin ya moe options

April 19, 2010, 12:47 AM
I am a 10/22 fan when it comes to semi-automatics in large part because I believe the rotary mag is about perfection. I have owned the same 10/22 for close to 30 years now, and it still functions like a brand new rifle. In a lot of ways, that rifle is like an extension of my arm.

However, I am shooting my 10/22 a whole lot less now that I own a Marlin model 39A lever action. I know you want a semi, and I am not trying to sway you as much as present a option you might not have thought about. That lever action is awful fun to shoot, and the rifle is very accurate to boot. I love my 10/22 and still shoot and enjoy it on a regular basis, but the 39a has become my go-to .22 rifle for small-game hunting, and I shoot it at least as much as my 10/22 for fun.

April 19, 2010, 02:52 AM
the mod 795; for accuracy, beatup-ability, ease of use, and so superlight, you just can't beat it. Also a few places have them on sale for 100 to 110 bucks right now; combine that with a 20 dollar marlin rebate, and you could very well spend under 100 bucks, for a brannew rifle- that will never happen again in our lifetimes. And if you have not fired the little tackdriving 795, you don't know what you are missing.
Now then, if tube fed is okay, then you cannot beat a mod 60, not a wood one, a stainless one, or a synth stock blued or stainless. 14 rounds plus 1, and if you can find one made between 85 and 89, they had 17 or 18 round feed tubes, 22 inch bbls, and still had the last shot bho lever.
THE ABSOLUTE BEST TUBE FED 22 EVER MADE, but just in those years only.

April 19, 2010, 12:26 PM
I also have to give a thumbs up on the Marlin 60 (or 795 if you want a box magazine). Got my Marlin Glenfield M60 in 1971 and a slightly shorter version a couple years ago at Walmart. Both rifles are excellent and the price was right. The rebate on the 795 doesn't hurt either, I'm tempted to get one of those too.

April 19, 2010, 01:44 PM
I prefer the Marlin 60 personally, but I don't think there is anything wrong with Marlin 795, Remington 597, or Savage 64f. They are all pretty cheap, reliable, and reasonably accurate rifles. I would have included the 10/22 but it may be hard to find one for $150.

I do a lot of hiking and such, so would that be a good alternative?

I would not go with the AR 7, as mentioned earlier is a specialty gun. Even if it is was reliable they are cheap feeling, clunky, inaccurate rifles that are in my opinion a niche gun. I know that sounds harsh but the only one I dealt with in person was an older AR 7 and was a total POS. Things may be different now that Henry makes them, or at least has something to do with them. Either way I think there are much better options out there.

If I were looking for a hiking gun and size and weight were a big factor I would honestly just open carry a decent lightweight .22 pistol in a holster. Something like a Ruger 22/45.

If your set on a small lightweight semi .22 rifle you can take down to fit in a pack for a camp rifle or something, I'm thinking Marlin Papoose.

But honestly for a cheap, all purpose, all weather .22 semi rifle I would go with any of the ones I mentioned first preferable in stainless with a synthetic stock, iron sights, and a decent comfortable nylon sling.

April 19, 2010, 02:09 PM
Nylon 66 or Browning SA 22.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 19, 2010, 02:17 PM
It's really hard, if not impossible, to beat a Marlin 60 or other Marlin for a good cheap semi-auto. Having said that, the Mossberg 702 Plinkster is a bit less $$, and seems to enjoy a good reputation. The Savage semi-autos are likewise a good value.

April 19, 2010, 02:26 PM
It's hard to beat the price of a good used model 60 from a pawnshop for $60-70. Most of them (in my experience) were sold because they were so dirty they jammed. After a good cleaning they shot very well.

April 19, 2010, 02:29 PM
marlin model 60!!!!!!!

April 19, 2010, 02:55 PM
+1 for The model 795 (I just purchased one), the 10/22, and the model 60/60s. I hav shot all three and each seem to be pretty consistent. Model 795, Dick's $129.99 and Basspro $149.99. Ruger 10/22 Walmart $197.00, and marlin 60, Walmart $147.00. At least those are the prices in my area. I use to use federal lr rounds, but I have found that for $2 more I can get 500rd bulk packs of CCI standard velocity, at Dick's sporting goods.

April 19, 2010, 02:57 PM
I have only heard good things about the 702 plinkster, never have fired one though. (Walmart $107.00)

ol' scratch
April 20, 2010, 07:20 PM
Just got my Bass Pro Flyer. The Marlin 795 is $99.94 after rebate. Great rifle-not even taking price into account. The only real difference between the 795 and the model 60 is that the 795 has a detactable magazine, while as the model 60 has a tube magazine.

April 20, 2010, 07:31 PM
+1 more for the Plinkster. You can find better .22 semi auto's, but not at $110 brand new, before any silly rebates or sales. I bet you could nab one for $50 on black friday.

Mine is an absolute tack driver with Federal AutoMatch .22lr. Way more accurate than it has any right to be for its price. Extra mags are cheap and plentiful, though you wont find any of higher capacity than 10, or at least not yet.

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