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Best Small Caliber Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by rgs1975, Oct 2, 2005.

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  1. rgs1975

    rgs1975 Member

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    I'm going to be getting a small caliber rifle soon for hunting, mostly rabbit and squirrels. What do you guys recommend for the most accurate and reliable rifle for this purpose? I'm not looking for a tricked out tack driver and don't want anything very heavy as I will be using it primarily in the field. Would .22 even be the best caliber? I've heard some good things about .17 HMR but don't really know anything about it. The only readily available small caliber rifle I can think of off hand is the Ruger 10/22 but there has to be many out there. Semi Automatic is not a concern either...lever action would be just fine...basically anything except single shot.
     
  2. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Member

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    First check your local hunting laws. Some states won't allow anything over a .22 LR, so the .22 Magnum is out. Check ballistics on the .17's. Somewhere I read that the velocitys are so high that it does a lot of damage to small game animals that makes a lot of the meat unusable, but please, don't trust me, I'm just an "armchair quarterback" on the subject.
    My opinion, you cannot go wrong with a 10/22.
     
  3. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom member

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  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    In terms of ammunition costs, the .22 LR is the best choice -- you can get a carton of 550 rounds at Wal Mart for under $9.00, including tax.

    In terms of effectiveness, the .22LR is probably the best choice -- the .22 Magnum and .17 HMR are over-powered for small game. The .17 HM2 might be good with a solid bullet, but it's current polymer-tips are too explosive.

    The Marlin 60 has been recommended. The Marlin 39A -- a lever action rifle -- is also a very good choice. Both Savage and Remington make very good .22 rifles. The CZ 452 has an enviable reputation for accuracy and a very reasonable price.

    For squirrels, I like a scope -- my Kimber M82 wears a 4X Burris miniscope, and my Ruger 77/22M wears a Burris 3X9 miniscope.
     
  5. middy

    middy Member

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    Another vote for the model 60. Accurate, reliable, and cheap enough to keep a spare. The trigger could be better, but I've never heard complaints about anything else.
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    CZ 452 bolt action is the class act in popularly priced .22s.
     
  7. Essex County

    Essex County Member

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    No question about it......Go with the CZ

    Mine is more than I could ever expect.........Essex
     
  8. TheEgg

    TheEgg Member

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    Yup, go with the CZ. It is available in all the rimfire calibers.

    I like the American model, especially if you are going to scope it.

    .17 HMR (a 'better' .22 mag) is a hoot, but I might go with .17 Mach2 (a 'better .22lr') if you want to eat what you shoot.
     
  9. rgs1975

    rgs1975 Member

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    I'm trying to stay away from the bolt actions. I'm actually leaning towards the Marlin 717M2 at the moment. Seems like a pretty solid rifle and caliber as well, expecially for my needs. Good price too. Anyone have one or heard anthing about it?
     
  10. yorec

    yorec Member

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    Oooo. K. Then I'll just limit my recomendation to .22 lr over anything else out there...

    Sometimes ya just can't have it all. ;)
     
  11. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    If I could only have one .22 rifle, it would be a Marlin 39a.
     
  12. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Rgs1975;

    The only real problem with the CZ's is if you're left handed. If you're not, no problem. If you are, you'll be happier with either a good lever action or the 10/22 IMHO.

    900F
     
  13. kahr404life

    kahr404life Member

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    Me Like CZ 452 good gun. Very sturdy, I miss my fault. Does anyone have it in .17 (mag. version) and if so how does it shoot.
     
  14. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    I had a Marlin 60 for a while. Fun gun with 14rd capacity, but it had some FTE issues that I just didn't bother to figure out. I'd probably rather have a lever action with the same capacity.
     
  15. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    [​IMG]

    http://cz-usa.com/01.detail.php?id=1

    Now, that said, I like Winchester's 9422's, but they just discontinued those. :cuss: 10/22's are good, but need a better trigger than they come with to be accurate and the better trigger costs as much as the gun did. Oh well...

    Marlin 39A sounds good to me. I'd put a Williams Foolproof w/target knobs on it as, IIRC, it is drilled and tapped for it. :D
     
  16. cookekdjr

    cookekdjr Member

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    I like the Marlin 39a and the CZ 452.
    For me, the ideal set-up is a 39a with a tang sight. Shoots everything form colibris and shorts up to hyper-velocity long rifles, and has after-market accessories galore.
    There's a reason they've been made for > 100 years.
    -David
     
  17. rgs1975

    rgs1975 Member

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    Really? I was unaware of any aftermarket stuff for the 39A...what's out there?
     
  18. Oktagon

    Oktagon Member

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    For short to medium range smal game 22lr I don't think you can beat lever action gun. My personal favorite is Winchester 9422. some people put smal scopes on them (either on he reciver or forward mounted pistol scopes), but I prefer Williams sight. You don't need more then a 22short for a squarel and you can load 22 of them into the magazine of a winchester. The gun is relatively light, thinn, easy to carry and very accurate with 20" barrel. Is is a real joy to shoot.
     
  19. lotus

    lotus Member

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    I got a used Ruger 10/22 and added a Volquarsen Hammer, Green Mountain 16" fluted SS barrel, recoil buffer and a Hogue overmolded stock. Then I mounted a Weaver 2.5-7x scope on a VQ rail with Millet rings. Absolute tack driving, varmint smacking fun in a small, tough field rifle.
     
  20. jacobtowne

    jacobtowne Member

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    Sometimes there are good used rifles out there. I have a Remington M512 that is more than 50 years old. Bought it used abut 25 years ago. Bore is about a quarter shot out, but I can still hit woodchucks at 100 yards with no trouble. Bolt action, I know, but being a dinosaur I don't like autos. ;)
    JT
     
  21. cookekdjr

    cookekdjr Member

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    Quote:
    and has after-market accessories galore.

    Really? I was unaware of any aftermarket stuff for the 39A...what's out there?

    After-market sights is a biggie.
    An example:
    I have a Browning BL-22. Its a lovely gun, balances perfectly, very accurate, just a great gun overall. The stock iron sights are excellent, but my eyes aren't what they used to be, and they are hard to see now. I looked for after-market sights that were more user-friendly for older eyes.
    No luck. At all.

    Contrast that with the 39a. You can find:

    1. Fire sights
    2. Aperture receiver sights (fixed)
    3. Aperture receiver sights (adjustable)
    4. Dovetail aperture sights (fixed and adjustable)
    5. Ghost ring sights (like apertue, but larger with faster-aquired sight picture).
    6. Peep-tang sights (adjustable)
    7. Peep-tang sights (fixed)

    I seem to recall replacement stocks and other accessories were easy to find, too.
    So, I'm saving my money for a 39a....
     
  22. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    The biggest downside to the .17 HMR is you may not be able to find it in a small store. And, at Cabela's, 500 rounds is $59.99. 500 .22LR's is $21.99.
    Pop into your local gun shop and see what they have in .22LR. There are all kinds of 'em at all kinds of prices. I've always used a shotgun for rabbits and squirels though.
     
  23. rgs1975

    rgs1975 Member

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    My main reason for going with the .17Hm2 is how incredibly straight the round seems to shoot out to 100 yards. It Pretty much cancels out the "kentucy windage" factor of aiming a certain amount of inches over or under a target at range to hit it that you have with the 22LR. Nothing wrong with the 22LR as I do like it, heck I learned on my dad's 39A and love it.
     
  24. rgs1975

    rgs1975 Member

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    You're totally right Issac. Although I really like the 39A my dad has and hope to own his one day :) the rifle is just out of my price range for it's purpose. That's another reason I'm thinking of either the Marlin 717M2 or the Ruger 10/22, they are both much cheaper than the lever action Marlin.
     
  25. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    issac:
    :scrutiny: Any time somebody comes online hollering about how good a AR w/.22 upper is, I have this feeling I should ask if their's is canned. And do they own an assault wheelbarrow. :scrutiny:

    Seriously, not all of us are into AR-15's and other black tacticool toys. Some of us, myself included, prefer a dedicated .22LR blue-steel-n-wood hunting rifle- a tool of substantial quality and a very eye-pleasing style. In that case, a 39A or 9422 (or any number of bolts and semis) is the way to go. :cool:
     
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