Which semi-auto 22lr rifle?


April 17, 2012, 12:49 PM
Hi guys,
I've decided I "need" a nice semi-auto rifle in 22lr as a little graduation present for myself. I've been thinking about getting something nice in centerfire, but since I only have access to a 100 yard range I feel as if shooting centerfire would be a waste of money. So I decided to go for a nice 22lr that I can toss a nice piece of glass on to practice shooting from field positions with a sling and bipod. I know bolt guns tend to be more accurate, and I have a few bolt 22s, but I just find semi-autos more fun. However, I really don't know what to get. I've been looking at everything from building an AR lower and getting a 22lr upper, to a Kidd supergrade 10-22, to the semi-auto offerings from CZ, Savage, and Marlin.
So, if you wanted to get an accurate 22 rifle to shoot with a sling or bipod and had a budget of around $1200 for the rifle, what would you get?

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April 17, 2012, 12:54 PM
I'd have to seriously consider Volquartsen for a few dollars more.



April 17, 2012, 01:01 PM
...since I only have access to a 100 yard range I feel as if shooting centerfire would be a waste of money.
I feel differently... especially given your budget.
(emphasis added by me)
So, if you wanted to get an accurate 22 rifle ... a budget of around $1200 for the rifle, what would you get?
Since you're asking me... I'd buy myself a Colt 6724: http://www.gunforall.com/shopcart/mcartfree/product.asp?intprodid=136004

April 17, 2012, 02:07 PM
Coromo, might I ask why you feel differently? I felt as if 22lr would be perfect because I can shoot it at a fraction of the cost of centerfire so i'll get a lot more trigger time and it will make me much better at factoring for wind and drop than .223 at 100 yards. Also, the reason I'm willing to spend so much on a 22 is because I'll be able to afford to shoot it. I just bought a few cases of 22lr at 2.3 cents per round and I can't even buy a decent .224 bullet (not loaded ammo) for 5x that cost. I figure the gun will end up being "free" after I factor in the ammo savings after a few thousand rounds.

RC, why do you suggest Volquartsen over Kidd? I had kind of thought Kidd's supergrade receiver would be better than the Volquartsen since it uses a threaded barrel instead of a V-block, and that it would be stiffer due to the integral scope rail. That, and I know Kidd's products have a few nice touches, like tapered cut outs in the bolt where the bolt handle goes for easier assembly, and the countersunk receiver pin holes.


April 17, 2012, 03:41 PM
Coromo, might I ask why you feel differently?
I shoot a lot of centerfire rifles at 100 yards and never considered any of that money wasted. I feel that it is well worth it.


April 17, 2012, 04:27 PM
Demos, I know that many will disagree, but I'm a big fan of 10/22 type actions. If you want an accurate 10/22, you should add Clark to the list of Kidd and Volquartsen. I shoot a 10/22 made up of Kidd parts, a buddy of mine shoots a Volquartsen and another friend of mine has a Clark built rifle. At the range in practical shooting conditions, the performance of the rifle is more dependent upon how well the shooter is doing that day and the ammunition.

I personally prefer the Kidd trigger. The two stage is second to none.

On another note, I hope that ammunition you bought is either sub sonic or standard velocity. Trying to shoot at 100 yards with high velocity ammunition is almost an exercise in futility. Hi vel ammo goes transonic at around 75 yards or so.

April 17, 2012, 06:26 PM
AR platform with a dedicated upper/barrel for each of a centerfire caliber and .22LR. You may be able to get in under $1200 depending on the features you want.

April 17, 2012, 07:01 PM
So many choices. An alternative is the Appleseed route with Model 60/795 or 10/22. Tech Sights. Slings. Lots of options and tweaking available, especially for the Ruger. If you're of a practical bent, this might be more appealing than the more expensive route, although the Volquartsen, etc., are heartstoppinly nice.

April 17, 2012, 07:11 PM
What about the Browning semi auto 22 rifles. they look nice and they shoot very good otherwise I would say a 10/22 and spend the money left over on a nice scope bipod and ammo

April 17, 2012, 07:12 PM
I would suggest a bolt action super 22. Probably a 22-250.

April 17, 2012, 07:13 PM
Coromo, Yeah, I'll give you that. I still love shooting my Garand at 100 yards and don't feel like its money wasted. Is "I feel that shooting 22lr at 100 yards is better value than centerfire because it is good way to focus on the fundamentals of shooting and allows for more practice because of the reduced cost" better?

Thanks for the advice Tony, especially on the trigger. Most of my shooting has been with mil surps and I've gotten used to two stage triggers. Between that and your experience with several 10/22 type rifles, I'm starting to lean towards that supergrade since all other things between them seem equal. Do you happen to have a ballpark weight on your Kidd 10/22 or the Volquartsen? I can't seem to find anything with that and I would rather not try to shoot a 10lb rifle standing offhand. And yes, its all subsonic 40gr lead round nose.

Pseudonymity, I do really like that idea, but I haven't really been able to find any 22lr uppers that get really good accuracy reviews. Do you know of one that I must have missed?

Thanks everyone,

Odd Job
April 17, 2012, 07:23 PM
It's a shame that S&W/Thompson Center don't make or carry spares for the Thompson Center R55 Benchmark anymore, otherwise that rifle would suit your needs perfectly.
I guess you could take a chance and buy a little-used or unused second hand one (somewhere around $700) and then spend the rest on mounts and glass.
That is a very accurate semi-auto, it is great off a bipod but heavy if you want to use it off-hand.

April 17, 2012, 07:56 PM
The Brownings are just great rifles, beautifully made and such. But, I could never get with the muzzle down loading of them. Put the muzzle on your toe, in the dirt, or dangle it (need three hands for that) when reloading. No good options there.

April 17, 2012, 08:02 PM
Buy a Ruger 10/22, customize it to your hearts content. Then take $70 of the remaining $500 you saved and go to an Appleseed to learn how to shot it.

Or just buy a 10/22, good sights or scope, lots of ammo and shoot the heck out of it.

I was at an Appleseed a couple weekends ago shooting a 30 year old $100 pawn shop 10/22 beater with Tech Sights and GI web sling. The guy next to me was shooting a custom 10/22 with expensive scope. While we were preparing our mags for the next stage he says, "jeez, I have about a grand in that rifle, not counting the scope and you're shooting that POS with iron sights, and out shooting me." "I practice a lot" is all I could say. He shot a 234, and yeah I beat him. ;)

April 17, 2012, 08:18 PM
I agree with mac66, buy a ruger 10/22. See how it shoots stock and if you feel the need order some customized parts.

April 17, 2012, 08:30 PM
Take one of these as your starting point:


April 17, 2012, 08:36 PM
Mac 66 and GI Jared, I've used a few 10/22s and I must say I do kind of like how they shoot, except when I was at my appleseed and it had ftf every time I was trying to get my patch.
The main reason I am looking at a custom 10/22 or any other accurate semi auto 22 instead of a stock 10/22 is because I want to know for a fact that if I miss, it was all me. The few 22s I have now are nothing special and I never know if that flier that messes up an otherwise good group was me or the gun. This time though, I want to cry once, buy something nice that I know can shoot and be done with it instead of tinkering for months and always having a little bit of doubt in the back of my mind that the gun is letting me down when I get a flier that messes up a group, or I miss a piece of broken clay bird on the 100 yard berm. I want have complete confidence in this gun and have it for years to practice my technique in the hopes I'll have the chance to put those skills to use on a nice long range one day, and even if I don't get to do any long range shooting, I'll have loads of fun practicing.

April 17, 2012, 08:55 PM
I like the 10/22's so much I have 2 of 'em. ( Well OK, I inherited the 2nd one.)


April 17, 2012, 08:57 PM
What about the Browning semi auto 22 rifles.A truly great classic rifle for sure!

But they do not fit the OP's criteria for a sling and bi-pod by any means.

But, I could never get with the muzzle down loading of them. Put the muzzle on your toe, in the dirt, or dangle itWell, mine is easily loaded by holding it in my left hand just slightly muzzle down in a safe direction, pulling out the mag tube where it stays, and dropping 10 rounds nose down in the big oval cut-out in the side of the stock.

If you dangle, use your toe, or stick it in the dirt, you aren't doing it right.


April 17, 2012, 09:15 PM
$1200 is a mighty large chunk of change to spend.

Since it sounds like you already have a respectable collection (several bolt .22's and a 10/22?) I'm going to suggest a .22LR upper for an AR15. I would build it as a CMP service rifle / NRA high power trainer. Get a match grade barrel, CMP float tube and a lower with an A2 stock and Giselle service rifle trigger. Build with an A3 upper so you can swap glass on when you feel like it, and there are bipod adapters for A2 handguards as well. Add a Turner Saddlery sling, then spend the rest of the money on a spotting scope, spare mags and match grade ammo (figure 10-20c per round, but it does shoot better)

As far as your luck on the AQT, sorry to hear that. What brand of ammo are you using?

April 18, 2012, 11:52 AM
Rugers are not hard to make reliable other than ammo, old fireing pins andextractors not much left to replace to cause problems. Ammo can be the biggest hold back to runnig 100%. If a match that supply's ammo if its cci your rifle should run fine. I don't think we have had a single fulure to fire or cycle in the last 2 years. But i don't shot bulk ammo ether.

April 18, 2012, 12:00 PM
Remington 552

April 18, 2012, 04:25 PM
One of these ( http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=655041)its a complete AR style all metal, and they shoot great. Then if you want dead on nuts accurate buy a good bolt gun too..

April 18, 2012, 05:38 PM
I'm one of those guys that like to be different so I would get a Thompson Center R55 Classic for $500 add a nice 4x16 scope for around $300 a Harris Bi-pod and a couple of bricks of quality target grade ammunition like RWS or Lapua.



stan rose
April 18, 2012, 06:15 PM
I would have to second the TC, I bought one for my girl friend a few years ago. I use it almost exclusively, unless she is shooting with me. Extremely accurate and reliable.

April 18, 2012, 06:26 PM
Demos, for the .22LR upper, I guess that depends on what you call accurate. The Tactical Solutions seems to group ~2MOA with most ammo. Not great, but I guess that I just do not think about .22LR autoloaders as the best choice for accuracy, I prefer bolts for that.

Any reason you want just one rifle? Even at 100 yards max, both centerfire and rimfire can be entertaining. $1200 can buy both a decent .22LR and a bargain centerfire. If cost is an issue, feeding a rimfire match grade ammo can get expensive really quick. An accurate rimfire is generally really only very accurate with match grade ammo, and even then it may only like one brand.

I just have a hard time imagining having just one rifle - one shotgun with multiple barrels maybe, but one rifle or pistol is a hard choice. My centerfires are like a suit - I only have a couple, but at least one is decent quality. My rimfires are like shoes - some are beaters, some get treated with much more respect.

April 19, 2012, 12:46 PM
Perhaps you should check out the for sale ads at rimfirecentral.com. There's some good used equipment over there.

Anyway, I rattled off a little bit about the Kidd in my last post, but how much accuracy are you looking for? I've been shooting rimfire competitively for a little while now and have run a lot of different rifles and ammunition through the wringer. Just to say that you want an accurate .22 is a bit vague to me.

Are you looking for match grade accuracy/consistency or practical accuracy?

I will say this, though. I believe that I own at least a dozen or so .22s, one of which is an AR/22. I didn't get it to use as a trainer to mimic a "real" AR. I got it because I like .22s and as it turned out, it's the one that I use the least. It's just plain heavier, bigger and bulkier than a .22 needs to be.

I have three .22 rifles that are my go to's. I have a tube fed Marlin, which I like because all I need is the rifle and a pouch of ammo. I have a little Nikon 4X on top of this rifle. No mags to worry about and it is trim. My second rifle is a Henry lever action that I use to take on hikes in the woods. It goes well with my wheel gun and again, no mags to worry about with very little chance of failure. My third is the 10/22 with all Kidd parts. This is my prone rifle and I run it with a Vortex PST 6-24X scope. I use this to shoot at very small things that are pretty far away. I've shot this one out to 200 yards so far and it does pretty well.

For competitive shooting, both 50 yard bench rest and 100 yard prone, I shoot a Remington 40X with a Shilen barrel and Jewel trigger in a McMillan stock. This is by far my most accurate and consistent rimfire rifle, but it weighs something around 14lbs, is long and not very practical.

For what it's worth, my 10/22 will hit a golf ball at 100 yards 7 or 8 out of ten times with Wolf Match Target ammunition in field conditions, provided that I have some method available to me to read the wind.

April 19, 2012, 03:34 PM
Some people don't realize that good.22lr in a 10/22 custom or cz or savage mkII can shot inside 1" with quality ammo and good shooter and enought scope.

April 19, 2012, 05:37 PM
I personally love my smith and wesson m&p 15-22 it has a quad rail system and you can even buy a 100 round drum for it i got mine for around $500 giving you 700 to tac the hell out of your gun it is accurate as hell staight out of the box.

April 20, 2012, 09:28 PM
Tony, I want it to be able to be able to do a 1/2 inch 5 shot group at 50 yards every time. I know its easier to find that in a bolt gun, but I don't find them as fun.

April 21, 2012, 12:22 PM
Since nobody else has said it I will throw in a classic. Marlin 60. Just a suggestion.

April 21, 2012, 12:40 PM
I suggested the Model 60 back in post #8.

April 21, 2012, 01:48 PM
I really like the Browning sa-22 and would top it off with a nice 1.5-5 powered Leupold scope.

April 21, 2012, 02:53 PM
Demos, I really didn't want to open this can of worms, but you said what you want, so....

I don't care what anyone says about their CZ, Savage, Marlin, whatever, you're not going to get a production gun to shoot 1/2" at 50 yards most of the time, much less every time. I have found precision rimfire shooting to be the most challenging shooting sport that I've ever encountered. What sets rimfire aside from centerfire is that in rimfire the equipment truly makes a big difference, and what that means is that what you are asking for costs money.

In order to be able to even think about what you want, you're going to need to be shooting the best ammunition that you can get out of some flavor of single shot bolt action rifle. Remington 40X, Anschutz 54 action, Turbo, Hall or something of that nature is what you're going to need to get into. Once you have the equipment, you're going to need to spend LOTS of time learning to read the wind at your shooting spot, because a little 10 mph gust of wind can cause 1" of wind drift at 50 yards with a .22.

Believe me, I wish that what you are asking for was easier to attain. Now, if you can live with, say, 1" groups at 50 yards most of the time, your options open up and things get cheaper. Heck, my 10/22 will hold 1" at 50 most of the time, provided that I'm doing my job.

If a semi auto is just what you want, I say go for it. I know that I won't let mine go. Take a good long look at the Kidd rifle. Once you get it, go out and buy yourself maybe 20 10/22 magazines and ten different types of high end ammo and get to the range. What I did was shoot groups with each type of ammo using one magazine and recording the results. Over time, you'll find that some ammo performs better than others and that some magazines perform better than others. Of the 20 magazines, odds are that you'll find two or three that do what you want. Either keep the others for plinking or sell them.

Like I said, it wish it was easier, but it is what it is. There's a reason why you don't go to ARA type matches and see serious competitors lined up with CZs, Savages and Marlins.

April 21, 2012, 09:24 PM
Don't forget the nice little Marlin 60. Big advantage ... tube fed, no mag to lose.

And for $1200 you could buy a case of 'em.

April 21, 2012, 10:57 PM
I have a 795. Nice gun, accurate as all heck. Got a $50 Bushnell scope on it and it drives nails. But the shortage of OEM mags, lack of reliable hi-cap mags, and limited aftermarket may be discouraging to some. The 60 is essentially the same thing, and a great rifle...I almost wish I bought one of those instead of the 795. 10/22s are great too, but...I like the Marlin 60s myself. Can't be the price, anyways.

April 22, 2012, 08:23 AM
If you want to get into a thread that's been going on for 5 or 6 days, take the time to go back and read all the posts, especially the first one. It's not helpful to make comments, however well intended, that have already been made several times before.

April 22, 2012, 09:37 AM
Talking classic's I have a '41 Remington 510 that is a joy to shoot. The bolt action just makes it more fun. Cant wait for it to come back from the 'smith. I spent double its value on it to have it spuced up. Money well spent in my opinion. Only draw back is no scope mounts.

My other .22LR Rifle is a '82 (I think) Marlin Glenfield 60. I have a cheap BSA scope on it and it works great once I zero'd it in. I also shoot my AR .223 at my local WMA range, the range is only a 100yds but hey shootings fun no matter the range. Its personal challenge to get that pesky bulls eye no matter the range no matter the caliber.

But .22LR is cheap! And both of these rifles can be had for less than $300 in tip top condition.

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