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first .22LR rifle for a lefty -- multi-part question

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by DouglasW, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. DouglasW

    DouglasW Well-Known Member

    I want to work on rifle fundamentals -- so I'm shopping for my first .22lr rifle. My main reasons for choosing .22lr are: cheap ammo, low recoil, and the nearby indoor range allows .22lr rifles...which is nice in the winter.

    I've been reading through the archives and it sounds like the consensus is that a manual action (lever* or bolt) is preferable to a semi-auto (e.g. 10/22) for teaching, with regards to ammo conservation and accuracy.


    Among bolt-actions, the CZ 452 gets lots of nods. I am very pleased with my CZ pistols and would be happy to add a CZ rifle to my small collection. So I'm leaning towards a CZ 452 Lux, which comes with well-regarded iron sights. Any other brands/models I should consider?

    Now the big question: I am left-handed, left-eye dominant and shoot pistols and shotguns lefty. Having never shot a bolt-action...would I really benefit from a left-hand specific model, or should I just learn to manipulate the much more common standard righty bolt with my left hand? We lefties are used to figuring out how to get by in a right-handed world. ;)

    Also, any CZ gurus know which 452s or 453s are available Left-Handed? I know the Lux is/was, but wanted to hear if there are other options, too. Do standard scope rings and other accessories fit the LH models, if I decide to add a scope later? I am guessing that only the bolt and the ejection port is flipped, but everything else (stock cut-outs, scope mounts, etc.) is the same for righty and lefty models. Am I correct?


    * Among lever actions, I'd love to pick up a Marlin 39a (mountie) to keep my 1894c company, and am keeping my eyes out for a reasonably priced one for sale locally. Yes, I realize I'll have to be mighty patient to find one that meets those criteria. :eek:
  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    I shoot right-handed bolt guns lefty all the time. The only thing that bothers me is if the safety is a push-button type designed for a righty. 22s are generally light and it's easy to keep your rifle held up with your left hand on the grip while throwing the bolt with your right. It may actually be beneficial as you don't have to move your trigger hand.

    I like the Browning BL-22 lever action.
  3. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Well-Known Member

    Don't rule out the semi-auto. One range session with some competent help should be all you need. Lever guns are good for leftys as would be a Browning takedown 22 that ejects from the bottom.

    You should be able to find someone to let you shoot a 10-22 or a Marlin 60 to see if the ejection is a distraction. If it isn't the sky is wide open for you.

    The CZ is the only bolt lefty model i can think of. That should be a gun to last a lifetime.

    I bought my first 22 on a whim from K-Mart. I had never shot a 22 before. I had shot my dads 8mm deer rifle and colt 1917 .45 and several shotguns. I just read the instructions (yes i'm one of those wierdos that reads the manual first) and never had a problem.
  4. tc300mag1

    tc300mag1 Well-Known Member

    Buy the lefty CZ you wont regret it i love mine
  5. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Well-Known Member

    The Marlin Model 60 and Ruger 10/22 an be shot by a lefty just fine (I am right handed but shoot left due to eye sight). If you are wanting a bolt action then IMO, buy a CZ or Savage lefty.
  6. Ian

    Ian Well-Known Member

    Speaking as a lefty myself, I believe the only time a left-handed rifle is of any utility is if you plan to use a shooting sling (ie, with a loop tightened around your bicep). In that case, you want to leave your support hand in position and work the bolt with your firing hand, so a lefty rifle is useful. In all other situations, I find it much easier to keep my firing hand in place and use my support (right) hand to work the action.
  7. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    The Marlin 39A will shoot as well as a bolt, it's more fun than a semiauto, and it's 100% leftie-compatible. If you don't mind dropping the cash, it will become a favorite, guaranteed.

    The Marlin 60 is accurate, cheap and reliable; it has a stock that works very well with a scope (unlike the basic Ruger's), and a semiauto is also leftie-compatible. Ammo conservation is just not a concern with a .22LR. You get more practice when you shoot more rounds, plain and simple.:)

    CZ bolt guns are nice, but lever guns are more fun.
  8. toivo

    toivo Well-Known Member

    I shoot .22 target matches with three guys who are lefties. Only one of them uses a lefty rifle--a Savage. The others use regular right-handed bolt guns--Marlin and Charles Daly (Zastava). That said, I think a CZ or Savage lefty would be fine for you, but if availability is a problem, you won't be greatly handicapped by using a righty rifle.
  9. TooTech

    TooTech Well-Known Member

    When was the last time you heard a righty say they bought a left-handed gun because they liked it and could figure out how to use it? NEVER!

    Suggest you do likewise and buy the left-handed CZ. I love mine.
  10. Wolfgang2000

    Wolfgang2000 Well-Known Member

    Lefty bolts are OK, but I prefer the lever action. I've had 1 left hand bolt gun, Remmy 700, sold it.

    The AR is the only semi / full auto that I've had a problem with. I don't own a left handed weapon now. BAR, SKS, AK, BLR, 10-22 etc., They all work well for me. The hardest gun I've ever sold was the lefty Remmy. I bet I had it for sale for a year.
  11. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    I am left hand, left eye shooter. I actually find it easier to manipulate the rifle, with my cheek still on the stock, my eye still on the rear site, and my finger still on the trigger or guard, with my right hand doing nothing but moving the bolt. I have 4 cz's now, and they are the best shooters for the money going, hands down, but since you have cz pistols, you allready know that by now...
    and yes, bolt shooting does not let you get crazy like a semi auto will from time to time, no matter how disciplined you think you are.
  12. JonB

    JonB Well-Known Member

    I shoot lefty and use a Marlin mod 60. Never an issue with it. Also, as others have mentioned, don't be too quick to rule out a semi-auto. My dad taught me using an old Nylon 66. Marlin 60 is accurate out of the box and you can pick them up for 200 or less.

    But if you are set on a bolt, CZ is a great choice. I've been wanting one of those for a while, but my Mod 60 is damn accurate and I haven't been able to justify a different .22 just for because. (although my son is now 3 months old and perhaps 'needs' one.....)
  13. eliphalet

    eliphalet Well-Known Member

    Be smart, your left handed get a left handed rifle, or another action that works for either, pump, lever or auto. These guys that keep their hand on the trigger must only shoot off a bench, I'd like to see em do that for a second shot in a awkward position standing on a hill side deer hunting. Who knows as time goes on you may do that, learn on and buy what is correct for you.

    You wouldn't buy a LH baseball mitt would you? So buy a LH bolt if you choose a bolt.

    Some other actions such a the Marlin 39 are as much fun as any but in a bolt buy LH.

    I finally switched to LH over 25 years ago after about that many shooting right hand stuff, believe me I have not been sorry.

    All your rings and scopes work on a LH gun, just a different mount is needed and maybe not different then if buying a two piece mount.

    Go to Savages and CZ's web sites, the CZ is available in two or three models. I have an American452 and love it but it needs a scope as iron sights don't come on the gun.
  14. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Scratching my head trying to figure out why I care about shooting more rounds in an hour, when they cost pennies...

    With a semiauto, I can get in some accuracy paper-punching practice with 100 rounds, and plink at steel swinger plates for another 100 rounds, in the same time it might take to shoot 50 with a bolt. Which one will make me a better shooter? More practice or less?

    That said, I do really think the 39 is the most fun. Faster than a bolt, more fun and perhaps more conducive to "discipline" than a semiauto, but great for getting a lot of practice, too.
  15. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    That's mostly a mental game. You have to be able to force yourself to take your time and make each shot count, no matter what the action.

    As for the left/right hand thing, the Browning .22 autos eject out the bottom :)
  16. Radagast

    Radagast Well-Known Member

    I'm left handed, left master eye with a left rotator cuff injury. I shoot my righthanded CZ rifles right handed and use a home made single point sling around the left bicep. I have no problems shooting this way.

    My BIL is right handed, left master eye with bad astigmatism in his right eye. He has a left handed CZ and shoots it left handed. he simply can't shoot right handed/right eyed and see the target clearly.
  17. hksw

    hksw Well-Known Member

    IMO, you might also want to check out an Anschütz sporter.


    (Click Anschütz on the left, choose Anschütz Sporting Rifle. The 1416L D left hand is on sale.)

    As good as the CZs are in terms of quality for the price, the Anschützes are of even higher quality but you do pay for it though.
  18. Joshua M. Smith

    Joshua M. Smith Well-Known Member

    I am left handed and it really doesn't matter to me.

    I work the bolt on a bolt action like that sniper on Saving Private Ryan. I don't like referencing movies, but there you go.

    I can shoot, recover, shoot almost as fast as with a semi auto.

    The reason I do this is because I realize that I will not find the majority of the rifles I want to eventually own in left handed configuration. These include the Springfield and Eddystone rifles from the world wars, and I currently own an M44 Soviet carbine, and you know that everyone in the People's Republic were righties :rolleyes:

    That said, I'm going to build a custom rifle on a lefty Remmy 700 action.

    I just think it's good to learn to operate a right handed bolt first, then go to a left handed bolt if you feel like it later. Just more selections out there in the righty configurations.

    Josh <><
  19. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    For me it's really no game at all.

    If I'm shooting at a little orange dot with my Marlin 60, I breathe out, aim, squeeze. Next shot, I do it again. I do the same thing with a lever gun or a bolt action, but I work the bolt or lever in between.

    The only thing a semiauto does is reload the next round using some of the energy of the last one instead of a manually-operated system. It doesn't make you shoot faster or slower, better or worse. The mindset you're in when you take each shot determines how you take that shot, nothing else.

    Now if you are, say, shooting a dueling steel plate tree, or a cottontail, the semiauto saves a little time between each shot (not much vs. a lever). But it doesn't change your shooting technique; you do. And you can take sloppy shots with a lever gun, too.

    Anti-gunners think a semiauto is a "bullet hose." Those of us who can hit a target know that it's just a gun that feeds the next round without our having to operate a manual control. And a bigger PITA to clean.:)
  20. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    the two mfgrs that made lefties regularly are cz and Savage, if you cannot find a cz, don't hesitate to get a lefty Savage.

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