Recommend a bolt-action .22lr

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Nov 16, 2003
I'm looking to pick up a decent bolt-action .22 in the future. I have a few criteria:

- cheap-ish (not looking to pick up a CZ or anything, looking more in the $200 price range)
- aftermarket aperture sights available
- 10 round magazines available
- comes with swivel studs to mount GI-style sling
- feels like an "adult" gun (length of pull, etc.)

There are lots of bolt-action .22lrs out there that I've been looking at, but it's hard to dig through and find what meets all these requirements, in addition to being decently accurate and well-made. I'm looking for general plinking, and perhaps some Appleseed shoots in the future.

With the requirements above, what would you recommend?
I loved my Marlin 925 and I *think* you can find a 10 round magazine for it. It was $200 new.

This is a photo of it with a Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 scope and an UTG (Harris) bipod. Everything here cost me $409 and I bought it all new. I should never have sold it.


To tell you the truth, I'm not sure it meets all your criteria. Sorry
I've been looking at the Marlin 918T it's a bolt action with the tube mag. I dislike detachable mags for rimfires as they are easy to lose or damage. I had an old Mossberg New Haven 8 shot semi, and finding replacement mags was almost impossible.

In new rifles, I like the Mossberg 802 Plinkster Bolt Action. I comes with 10-round mags in several different configurations for under $200. It's grooved for scope mounts, but I'm not sure if any od the current models are drilled and tapped for receiver sights like my old Model 340K. Sling swivels are an extra, too, but easy enough to add.
My son really likes his Marlin 981T. You might give the guys at Tech Sights a shout and see if their peep sight for the Model 60 will fit. May only need a taller front sight.
Also, if possible, I would like one that can be safely dry-fired. I don't know if that's too much to ask for a rimfire rifle, but I consider dry fire practice pretty important
aperture sights available

Get an old used Mossberg with the aperture sights already on it. With a little careful shopping you can get one for $200.00. I would look for a 140 series if possible.
>>I've been looking at the Marlin 918T it's a bolt action with the tube mag<<

That would be my choice as well. I too prefer tube feed over magazines. ;)
A whole bunch of 5xx series Remingtons out there used. The ones with 5xxT are Targetmasters and they will shoot. Some either take a full military style tight sling, or come with one and they are full sized rifles. Won't come with 10 round mag though.
I got a Savage MkII BV a couple of years ago. It has a sling and there are 10 rd magazines available. Very nice shooter.
I recommend you *not* get a bolt action for Appleseed. The Ruger 10/22 would be ideal for that.

Otherwise, I've had a lot of fun with my Henry lever action.
I have a cz452 and it is nice but frankly it is a "work in progress". I have already worked on the trigger to get it "reasonable". Worked on the bedding and played with the action to get more accuracy out of it.

If I were to do it over, I would buy either a cooper or a kimber and shoot it but not putz with it.

Consider if you want a shooter or a putzer and then buy appropriately.

Interesting comment about the putzer CZ 452.

I bought one last week and I am now putzing. The trigger creep, trigger grit and trigger inconsistency was the WORST, I have ever seen in any gun!

So far I will do this:
1. rebuilt trigger - using adjustible sear, smaller trigger springs
2. Install a bigger fire pin spring
3. Free float the barrel
4. Bed the action.

I'm sure I will get this gun right eventually, but it is interesting that I share your experience.

On I saw a post with a poll that said only 14% of owners leave their trigger stock. That to me says volumes.
>>I saw a post with a poll that said only 14% of owners leave their trigger stock<<

And I'm sure that's a very scientific poll!! :p
Strange because I bought my dad a CZ 452 for Christmas and right out of the box it was about the most accurate rifle I have ever seen...rimfire or otherwise.

Trigger is a whole lot better than his Savage .22 WMR.
The comments abut CZs are interesting.

It seems that most of the CZ owners who speak up on rimfirecentral enjoy modifying their rifles. They also seem to have quite a bit of knowledge about them. That might be the reason why many folks install aftermarket triggers.

They are the rifle equivalent of "gearheads". And that is intended as a compliment.

The stock triggers I have used have been wonderful. And they are adjustable.

The Marlin 981T and the Savage Mark II are among my favorite .22LR bolt actions. However, it is the Marlin that truly feels like an adult's rifle.

Second from the top is an Anshutz 1451. I've had it about twenty years and it has killed more critters than any other gun I own.

Better picture

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