Which 22lr?


January 19, 2004, 09:12 PM
I'm shopping for a 22cal rifle (my first!). I'll be using it for plinking, target shooting, and hunting. When my daughter is old enough, it'll be her first rifle.

I have handled and like:

Marlin 25N ($135 around here), feels like a real gun
Remington 597 (SS consignment model for $150)

I've probably shot a Marlin Model 60 before, but I don't recall. I can get them locally for $99, but they look like kiddy rifles to me. I know they're accurate and reliable, but I'm not sure they "suit" me.

Dick's has a Savage MKII SS with Simmons 3-9x40 scope for $170. How good are these?

So far, I like the Marlin 25N the best, but I have no experience with it.

I'm not crazy abou the Ruger 10/22. No particular reason, it just doesn't appeal to me.

What do you guys recommend? My budget is $150 but I can stretch a little for something special.


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January 19, 2004, 09:24 PM
I have a marlin 81TS its really solid and reliable, pretty much maintenance free too just wipe it down with oil on occasion. It would be hard to go wrong with one.
I have had some issue with mine shooting at longer ranges, but I've been told that I just haven't found the right brand of ammo for it and that pretty much goes along with everything I've read.
Out to 35 yards its dead on, groups less than an inch with just about any ammo. At 100 yards it wasn't shooting too good but I only tried one type of ammo and only about 20 shots.
I guess that may not sound like too good of a recommendation, but all .22's are ammo sensitive. My marlin will shoot any of them with more than enough accuracy at the ranges you would use it for hunting most of the time, and I'm sure its only a matter of time(and ammo) till I can get it to shoot well at 100 yards.

The Remington and Savage both carry good reputations too, and I'm sure someone will chime in to vote for the CZ452 also. Of the ones you listed, you should get a quality gun with any of them, so I'd just pick the one that feels best to you.

January 19, 2004, 09:57 PM
it seems as though you're not averse to the autoloaders.:) If you don't go with the nice Marlin bolt-gun, choose one of their 795s in either stainless or blue(cheapest).

They're reliable, with thee best, all-steel, mags extant. Accuracy is right their with the competitor's, which I've had one or more of over the years. They also have more features.:) I've just recently discovered how easily the triggers clean-up, so the lack of aftermarket support in that arena is no longer a concern.:D

rust collector
January 20, 2004, 01:48 AM
If you intend to have the rifle for a long time and hand it down to offspring, please consider the CZ 452 in one of its many permutations. It's well made, responds well to limited tinkering if you're so inclined, and very accurate.

The Thompson Center Classic is a semi auto that seems to live up to its name, with solid construction that should last ages with a bit of care.

I've worn out a marlin M-60 in short order, but they may make them better now, I suppose. Although I've gotten good service out of an old Remington Nylon 77, it's tough to enjoy a toylike gun as much as a sturdy and time-tested model. I don't think you'll regret a few more dollars at the front end to insure a lifetime of reliable, enjoyable shooting.

Whatever you get, just be sure to use it a lot! Enjoy.

January 20, 2004, 02:57 AM
I LOVE my 10/22, had it for almost 30 years. You can make it into whatever you like with aftermarket parts.:D

January 20, 2004, 10:24 AM

Several years ago, when still maried to my first wife, I had a 597. It was a good rifle, but I had to sell it (needed the money). $150 for a stainless 597 in good condition is a good deal.

I also have a Marlin 25MN that's pretty good. Whichever one you decide upon will serve you well.

January 20, 2004, 10:49 AM
Take a good look at the Browning BL-22, a lever action, tube magazine 18" barrel very handy rifle. Very well made, and designed.

You'll have to stretch that $150 rather far. But this is my most used plinker and squirrel getter. Excellent iron sights, no safety, holds 15 rounds of .22lr, 22 rounds of .22 shorts, and 18 rounds of Super Colibri (a completely silent round in this rifle -- no ear protection at all).

This rifle is much lighter and handier than the Marlin 39, or the Winchester 9422, and it has a short throw lever. Did I say his thing is handy?

Take a look. Don't bother with the pimped-up engraved models.

Tropical Z
January 20, 2004, 07:33 PM
I have several .22lr's and i truly believe the best deal going for a reliable,accurate, tough .22lr rifle is the $99.00 (varies a bit) model 64 Savage that Wal-Mart sells.

January 20, 2004, 07:47 PM
I think the CZ 452 is the best value by far. I have a 452 lux in .22 mag that is exellent. They have the best open sights of any rimfire out there. If you want to teach your kids, an open sighted .22 bolt action is ideal. The 452 is very well built with nice wood and exellent ergonomics. Top notch steel magazines as well.

January 20, 2004, 07:54 PM
Semi - prefer the Marlin 60
Lever-Marlin , Winchester or Browning
Bolt- Marlin ,CZ,

Sleepers to keep an eye out for. Rem. 514 single shot bolt, Nylon 66 semi , Winchester 52 "the classic" by gawd.

January 20, 2004, 08:24 PM
I really liked the CZ as well. I like bolt actions. I considered buying it, and would have, but my birthday occurred and my Dad bought me a nice Ruger 77/22. A lot more expensive, but a really nice rifle. :)


January 21, 2004, 01:07 PM
Thanks for the responses.

I haven't seen the CZ, but I'll keep an eye out at the show this weekend. A shop I plan on visiting carries CZ rifles, I'll see if they have the rimfire models.

So far, out of all the rifles I've been able to handle (Marlin 25N, Savage MK II, Ruger 10/22, Remington 597), the Marlin 25N still feels like a better fit for me. I'm scared of the 10/22. There are too many options and accessories. I don't need another money pit. :D

As far as semi vs bolt action, what are the pros and cons of each? I grew up shooting cheap semis, I don't think I ever shot a 22lr bolt action rifle.

Edit to add: Redneck mentioned the 881 as a tube fed alternative to the 25n. I noticed on Marlin's website that the 881 handles shorts, cb, etc, while the 25n is lr only. Why can't the 25n handle shorts? Other than ammo flexiblity, is there any benefit of the tube feed over box magazine?


January 21, 2004, 01:14 PM
Semiauto rimfire rifles will have feeding problems. Not all the time, not with all ammo, but they will give you some grief sometimes.

Bolt actions and lever actions will feed what you put in them -- all the time.

Semiautos are fun, but bolt and levers are fun as well. I like the ability to shoot silent Colibri ammo, or CBShorts. These will not work in a semiauto rifle. This is an example of what I'm talking about. I'm not even getting into a malfunctioning semiauto. What I mean is in a perfectly functioning semiauto, some ammo will not feed or cycle the gun.

January 21, 2004, 01:35 PM
The 881 (used to be 81TS) is tube fed. Same idea as a centerfire lever rifle, the shells go in a tube under the barrel rather than stacked up in magazine. That makes it possibly for you to use any length shell in the magazine.
If you have a rifle with a stacked/removable magazine it will only feed one length of shells subsequently its LR only unless you want to single feed them by hand.

I wanted the tube feed so I could shoot different length shells, and because it has a much higher capacity (18LR as opposed to 7). CB's are fun once in awhile. They aren't really accurate beyond 20 yards but they're almost silent and they're cheap. It makes it like shooting an air rifle (quieter though, literally louder when the bullet hits the target than when the gun goes off)
The CB's have very limited use though, mainly plinking. Shorts are generally high velocity any more and act like a light LR round. It will hold about 25 of them.

January 21, 2004, 02:21 PM
I have 3 .22's that I have bought over the last 5 years. I have a savage 10shot I bought at walmart for about $100, a ruger 10/22 and a marlin 7000. If you want to trick out a .22 the ruger is the best choice, but out of the box I like the marlin best. It has a nylon stock and comes with a bull barrel. The bolt locks back after the last round and it has a release that works just like on a semi-auto handgun. Pop in a mag hit the release and you are ready to go. It has a good trigger and it isreally accurate. They run around $150 or so. Here it is: http://www.marlinfirearms.com/firearms/selfLoading22wClipMag/7000.htm#


January 21, 2004, 02:58 PM
I'd go with the Marlin 25N. I've got one and for the price it can't be beat.

I can't do it but my oldest daughter repeatedly shoots 3 shot nickel sized groups at 50 and 75 yards on a regular basis (note: that's with a $25 BSA 4X scope mounted on it). That's pretty darned good accuracy for a $145 gun (the $135 you quote is a pretty good deal).

The wood that comes on a 25N isn't all that great but with some steel wool, some tru-oil, a little elbow grease and 20 or 30 minutes an evening for 4 or 5 days you can have wood that rivals the look of the wood on a $1000 Kimber .22LR (that's how long it took me to fix up the stock).

It's a great little 22 and I highly recommend it.

January 21, 2004, 06:57 PM
Here's another vote for the CZ452. I got one just before Christmas and absolutely love it. I'm a big guy so some of the other .22s just didn't fit me well. I was able to shoot a couple of groups that were as good or better than the test target that was supplied with the gun.

Feels like a "real" gun to me:)

January 21, 2004, 09:04 PM
After the probs ive had with remingtons and poor service from marlin .. i have to say 10/22

January 22, 2004, 01:02 AM
I *used* to own a 10/22. Don't really miss it too much.

Have 2 CZ-452's one is the long barreled special model. Great guns.

Also have a Biathlon Basic .22 with the toggle bolt. It is really fun and very accurate. Local dealer has them for $239. CDNN recently lowered the price on them.

Also keep an eye out for old Mossberg .22's. I think they are great guns too. Have 146B, 44US and 151. All will put most modern guns to shame in terms of workmanship. All were under $150

You can never have too many .22's. PS. I will probably buy another Ruger when they go on sale again for $139, but they are just a plinker compared to the CZ's.

January 22, 2004, 11:43 AM
The model 25 Marlin .22 was my first .22 rifle at a young age. When I was real young I could take all kinds of squirrels with it (on ocassion I could hit one while it was running.) For the money it seemed like a no thrills rifle that would get the job done. As i got older I graduated to the 10/22's and the Remingtons. I like the 10/22's for their compact and light weight feel. All of my 10/22's shoot real accurate. The choice is yours ...

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