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Best .22 cal rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by CTGunner, Sep 15, 2012.

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  1. CTGunner

    CTGunner Member

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    What's the best all around .22 caliber rifle? I don't have any rifles and I would like to pick up a 'handy' .22 for practice and general utility. I also want to keep the cost under $400 if possible.
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    If you want the best accuracy 400 bucks will buy, a CZ bolt action is tough to beat.
     
  3. Naybor

    Naybor Member

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    I hate to sound like a broken record, but you just can't beat a Marlin Model 60. I got one when they first came out and it's still going strong.

    The original held 17 rounds in it's tubular magazine, but I think it's down to 14 or so now. Semi Automatic, micro-groove rifling, reliable, not bad looking....... And, for $400 you should be able to get two of them with money left over for a couple boxes of shells.
     
  4. CTGunner

    CTGunner Member

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    Both interesting suggestions.
     
  5. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    There is no "best" gun. Too many variables, individual preferences, and situations to pick one all around best gun.

    Buy quality and you seldom go wrong.
     
  6. walker944

    walker944 Member

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    I agree with Naybor about the Marlin model 60. I picked another one up just today for my wife. It was in like new condition...paid $100 for it from a local seller. So, you may actually be able to get FOUR of them for your $400!!! LOL
     
  7. sgtstryker

    sgtstryker Member

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    I'll go ahead and throw the 1022 into the mix. Can't beat the price, durability and shootability. Just a good .22 rifle. But I do like the Remington 552, if you can find one at a good price, it's nice also..but everyone has their duthers.
     
  8. tsudduth

    tsudduth Member

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    I bought my grandson a marlin model 60 last year. Its a nice gun and he loves shooting it the silhouette range. Brand new it was under $200.

    I put a red dot scope on it. He can plink all day withit and it is very accurate.
     
  9. tsudduth

    tsudduth Member

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    I bought my grandson a marlin model 60 last year. Its a nice gun and he loves shooting it the silhouette range. Brand new it was under $200.

    I put a red dot scope on it. He can plink all day withit and it is very accurate.
     
  10. Presto

    Presto Member

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    If you don't mind a bolt action, a Savage Mark II is a great shooter for very little money. You should be able to get the rifle, a nice scope and a brick of shells for your $400.

    I have never seen one that wouldn't shoot circles around most of the auto rifles on the market.
     
  11. back40

    back40 Member

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    with that budget, i would look real hard at the cz455 lux. they are fantastic quality, known for superb accuracy, and with the irons, would do well as a general purpose .22.

    for less money, take your pick. just about any .22 will serve as a handy general purpose gun and will teach you plenty about being a rifleman.
     
  12. Sako Shooter

    Sako Shooter Member

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    I would get a CZ 452 Trainer. Great open sights, can be scoped, super accurate, and within your budget.
     
  13. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Member

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    Per SaxonPig there is no best .22 caliber rifle. Go buy what fits you and works for you. Oh wait, go to a gun show and buy a Remington 511P, that is the best .22 rifle. That or a Marlin as mentioned or maybe a Ruger 10/22. How can anyone here possibly know what is "best" as it pertains to you?

    Just My Take
    Ron
     
  14. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Without knowing more about what is important to you in terms of how you think you'd like to shoot it's impossible to suggest much of anything. What we enjoy you might find to be extremely boring within moments of picking it up.

    For myself though I find that a big part of rifle plinking is my interacting with the gun. So for me lever, pump, bolt and single shot options are the way I like to go. And the accent is on the pump, lever and single shot options over even bolt action rifles.

    If you want something that is decently accurate to shoot free style and that is great fun then a lever Henry is one option. Another is the out of production pump guns such as the Rossi 62 and Remington Model 12. I've got one of each and they quickly won my heart.

    On the other hand if you fancy yourself a bench rest and scope sort of accuracy shooter then I second the suggestions for Savage and CZ with a suitable scope. Both are excellent brands which deliver lots of performance for the dollar.
     
  15. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    One question with many answers. Here is my outlook.

    Starting with bolt action rifles:

    In the budget line you have a few nice contenders. Marlin just updated their bolt action line to the new XT line. Looks about the same and I would expect similar performance. Shoot well, compact, and handy rifles. Magazines feel cheap and hopefully the trigger is better than the old T900 trigger (which was horrible). It competes price wise with the base model Savage Mk II. This is another accurate, light, handy rifle for very little money. I believe Mossberg makes a budget bolt rifle too, but I haven't heard much about it and with the others in the class doing so well it's hard to take the chance.

    If you step up in price point, to say the $200-$400 range you get yourself into some quite nice bolt rifles. The go to choice for many is the CZ line. They are one of my favorite for the price. I've owned 5 different CZ firearms from rimfire rifles to centerfire rifles to centerfire pistols, all being firearms I've enjoyed. You also get into some of the fancier optioned Savage models. I'm not sure on average if CZ out shoots Savage or not, but having both I enjoy the CZ's a little more when using them. I'm perfectly happy shooting the Savage and have no desire to sell it either. At this price range you also add in Ruger and their 77/22. This is a fine rifle with a beefy action. Older models weren't known to always be the most accurate rifle out of the box but they seem to shoot pretty well today and respond well to aftermarket work.

    The used market is loaded with $400 rifles. You can occasionally find a used Anschutz 64 action at $400 which would be a fantastic rifle. You can find many Remington models in that price range. The 504 was a quality rifle with a few bad barrels that ruined the name. Some have been rebarreled and some decent from the factory. They would be a setup I'd take a gamble on. Then there are the older 513, 540, 541, etc lines that all shot darn good and were crafted very well. Some of the old Savage models were built well too. You can find old BRNO rifles in this price range which are similar to the CZ line. Great values. Some of the older Mossberg rifles were very well built as well. Winchester made many high quality rimfires as well. The used market may hold the best deals going to be honest. Many of those older rifles shot great and were built with a level of craftsmanship that can't be found on most of today's market, especially at $400.

    The semi-auto market is flush full of good options too. The two big names are the 10-22 and the Marlin Model 60. Both are tried and true and have stood the test of time. The 10-22 can be more easily upgraded by the home user and the Model 60 is a rifle that asks for no upgrades. Remington has the 597 line in which most users seem to really enjoy them also. While the box mag of the Ruger is a very good system I feel it makes the rifle too wide. I like the slimmer lines of some of the other systems. Marlin makes a mag fed version of the Model 60 called the 795 which also has a good following, especially among those that attend Appleseed shoots. CZ has brought back and "updated" version of their semi-auto, now labeled a model 512. The old model 511 is my most desired auto-loader though the new 512 does not do quite as much for me. Thompson Center has discontinued their semi-auto rimfire line though they were known to shoot very well and be reliable. If one came by at a decent price I'd have it in my collection.

    Then there are the lever action rifles. The 39A is the gold standard in this segment. You will be pushing the upper range of your price limit but they are well worth the cost. The Browning BL-22 is another quality lever gun. Henry makes a nice shooter. Not as well built or with the quality materials of the Browning or Marlin, but quite a bit less cost as well. I do believe Mossberg is making a rimfire lever rifle too but I have not experience with them.

    There is also two classes of trainer rifles, one being the more recent semi-auto battle rifle clones and the other being the old Russian military trainer bolt rifles. The Russian imports are typically well built with a few quirks here and there. Great rifles to learn and build shooting skills with but not the most compatible with many non-Russian current production parts (sights, mounts, etc). There are semi-auto AR, AK, MP5, Sig 552, SCAR, and eventually STG-44 clones out there (may be forgetting some like MAC 11 and some others too). These typically have similar control layout and are a ton of fun. Most aren't overly accurate and are more about fast shooting plinking or up close speed drills than trying to shoot bug holes at 50 yards. I have a couple of S&W M&P 15's and they are a blast. If I had to pick the most fun rifles to shoot they are at the top.

    In the end, most of today's current production firearms are decent to great. A very few are bad all around but the big names are all in tough competition and are putting out quality firearms. More money spent often buys more features and a slight increase in accuracy. The budget models should end up being good shooters and would be all that was needed to learn the fundamentals and beyond. The more expensive models add bells and whistles that makes use and ownership more enjoyable. The use market, especially from the 50's and 60's is full of well built, good shooting rifles at a bargain price. If you find an interest in any specific category you can narrow your search down. I'd head to the nearest large gun shop with a variety of new and used rifles, shoulder a few, and see what calls to you. That is probably going to be a bigger difference than anything else.
     
  16. skywalkrNCSU

    skywalkrNCSU Member

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    One I don't see mentioned often is the Nylon 66. My dad has one and that is one sweet shooting rifle. I really like my Marlin 60 too. I think I paid $75 for it a few years ago, definitely a good buy.
     
  17. WoodchuckAssassin

    WoodchuckAssassin Member

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    It's all what you make of it. What works for one, won't work for another. Personally, I have a hard time beating the Ruger 10/22. It shoulders quick, manuvers well in brush, and accurate to a fault. I also like the Ithaca Single Shot .22 Saddlegun (I think it's a model 79). It's CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP, and if you can find one, buy it. One of my favorite childhood memories is my father and I walking through the woods, seeing an "apple drunk" partridge 20 yards away, and my father blowing its head off with the open sights of an ithaca saddle gun.

    For your own personal .22, pick a brand you respect, see how it feels, and act accordingly. Best of luck to you. Happy hunting!
     
  18. MrDig

    MrDig Member

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    I would second the Marlin Model 60. add a scope with peep through scope mounts and a bucket of 22 lr you would have lots of fun and the accuracy on them is outstanding. Every Marlin 22 I ever shot was a tack driver, the cost vs performance is exceptional.
     
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I have an older Marlin model 25 bolt action .22 that's a great shooter.

    Savage is making great rifles right now that include the AccuTrigger. Their Mark II rifles are great and run from a basic model (Mark II F or G series) up to a heavy barrel target model. (Mark II B series) I have 2 Mark II Savage rifles and I would not sell either. (or the Marlin for that matter)
     
  20. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    "Best" can mean a lot of things. For what you describe (practical and general utility) it's hard to beat a Marlin 60 but that's because it is a semi-auto which will do things a bolt action rifle can't. For what you mention I would get a 60 because it will perform about any duty you want it to do and it will be cheap to buy compared to other rifles.

    I think Ruger 10/22's are ok but straight out of the box the Marlins are better pretty much every time. I've done many side by side comparisons of brand new 60's vs. brand new 10/22's. The Marlins won every time. They were considerably more accurate and they were less likely to jam. But neither is a bad rifle. If you want to build your rifle into a tack driving semi-auto then by all means get the Ruger. For a general purpose rifle by all means get the Marlin.

    If you want the very best rifle you can get for $400 I'd get a Savage MkII BV or a BTV. I have a BTV and I have a CZ 453. The Savage is more accurate but they are very close. Which one will be more accurate is a matter of which rifle happened to be made on a better run. They are very close. The CZ is certainly a better looking rifle and more durable. In fact they are a lot better looking. Both rifles are excellent choices though. A 452 American isn't much over $400 or it wasn't when I last looked. Personally I like the 453 because the trigger is much, much better. Yes people can make stock 452 triggers better but they can't make them as good as a 453 trigger or at least I've never seen one that was as good.

    Just don't let anyone talk you into an AR type .22. They aren't nearly as accurate, reliable or durable as Marlins, Rugers, Savages or CZ's. What they are is expensive for what you get. They don't help you practice to use a real AR either. They are fun guns basically. There's nothing wrong with wanting a fun gun but that isn't what you said you wanted.

    When I was in your position and wanted one gun to do all the jobs a .22 should do without spending a fortune I bought a Marlin 60. I've shot it many thousands of rounds. Hundreds of thousands of rounds actually. For at least 15 years it was the only .22 I used for anything. I had another .22 but dad gave it to me and I didn't want to tear it up. The 60 still works after about 24 years. It's still accurate and it still accepts about any ammo I want to feed it. They are the epitome of the "practical and general utility" rifle IMO. And you can get one for a lot less than $400. I see them for about $170 at Walmart or you can get a stainless version for about another $100. Stainless is nice of course but a blued version isn't likely to rust for a very long time.

    Other good choices would be the Marlin XT series. They have a new trigger design that is much better than their old triggers. Henry makes fine rifles. Remington does too. Mossberg makes some decent rifles. But the Marlin 60 is the most popular .22 of all time for a reason. That reason is it's the "practical and general utility" rifle of choice for 50 years plus. I'm serious. That's the exact reason they are so popular.
     
  21. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    +1 on the 60. Light, in-expensive, accurate, tube fed so no mags to loose/buy.
     
  22. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    Nothing more boring than a bolt action 22 rifle. Plan to buy a Henry and you'll have much fun. They're amazingly accurate, too!

    TR

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  23. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    Very objectve to say the least. You`d have to include old along with new.
     
  24. ACP

    ACP Member

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    Savage Mk II BV or CZ; I have a CZ 453 with the varmint barrel.

    I've had Ruger 10/22s, Marlin 39A's, etc. -- they cannot hold a candle to the accuracy of the Savages and the CZs.
     
  25. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    Or 6 Model 60s in my case. Found mine in a pawn shop a few years ago for $65. Bought a $75 one at the same time for my father. Pawn shop Marlin and Glenfield Model 60s are an excellent value, as you can often find them for about a C Note.

    That said, I do love my CZ-452 (sporting an M1907 style sling) and H&R Reising Model 65 as well, and I'd like pick up a Henry lever or Marlin 39 at some point in addition to getting an upper for my AR. Did I mention I love .22 rifles?
     
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