Sweet spot for .22LR rifle value?


May 15, 2012
Puget Sound Convergence Zone
If you were not poor but cheap, and looking to buy a bolt-action .22 for target shooting that hit your sweet spot for the trade-off between accuracy and price, what would it be? Not a project gun (no changing the stock, trigger, barrel or anything like that) but as a turn-key that just needs a scope slapped on it?

I guess I was thinking new, but something commonly available used on Gunbroker *might* be acceptable.
Define TGT shooting?

Matches, plinking, "informal" ?

In prep for NRL 22 matches I put together a Bergara B14R with a Vortex PST 5-25x50, probably about middle of the road and the cost for base rifle, scope and rings was around $1900, before I started modding it.
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My CZ455 did half inch at 50 yards, sporter hunting rifle w SK Rifle Match ammo.
Hated the safety so got a 457, but in .22 magnum.

Now am looking for an older Anschutz 64 for a hunter in .22 lr.

Was gonna try NRL22 so picked up a Savage MKII TR. Only tried it w Fiocchi HV, new gun had a box of ammo, break it in.
It too did under .5 at 50 w that stuff. Of course thats the only box I had LOL

The 457 sporter and the MKII TR both had MSRP at 600.
The Savage to me is a clunker, but it shoots good enough to warrant further evaluation.
I got a DiP trigger guard, EGW base and rings, and slapped a 6-18X Freedom VX on it
A little chunk of money in ugly setup.

Id say scope and rifle, medium price/value..........runs $1-2K

SK Standard Plus is avilable here and its 90 bucks a brick.
Trying for a little better accuracy proly means more expensive ammo, better triggers and optics.
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If you were not poor but cheap, and looking to buy a bolt-action .22 for target shooting that hit your sweet spot for the trade-off between accuracy and price, what would it be? Not a project gun (no changing the stock, trigger, barrel or anything like that) but as a turn-key that just needs a scope slapped on it?

Not poor, but cheap . . . informal target shootin' . . . I'd probably get a Ruger American Rimfire of some sort.

If I could spend double the money, I'd probably get a CZ or Tikka.
I killed a lot of squirrels w a $20 dollar refinished Marlin, back as a kid.
A new walnut 10/22 standard was 50 bucks then.
I preferred my Marlin (had that new 1022 too).

It liked Federal solids over Remington or Winchester.
Even as a kid I recognized some 22 rifles had a favorite ammo.
I got a used 10/22, a new Victor stock and GM barrel and got sub .5" for 5 shots at 50 yards w SK rifle match ammo.
Had less than 500 bucks in that gun.
Was a few years back though.
Wanted .5 for under 500 (not counting scope).
Got it and was bored, as the Victor stock grip angle was NOT comfortable for me off the bench...........and I wanted the gun as a hunter.

My CZ457 is just the American model. And its .22 mag. Trigger is heavy. Haven't done anything to it but put on a scope and shoot maybe a dozen shots to zero it
at 50 yards. It shot well. On the way back from the range I stopped at a bean field, walked to corner and shot a big boar groundhog standing, in the neck.
Shot was 60 yards, offhand, scope set at 6X. Bullet hit right where aimed.

Yeah, guess I gotta keep it. LOL

Ive thought about another CZ sporter in .22lr, get rid of my big heavy Savage.
But I really want an Anschutz 64 as I rarely hunt w .22 lr and had a couple 64s back in the day.
A better than average .22 lr collecting dust is still a better than average .22 lr :)
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I looked around last year, narrowed my choices down to RPR, Tikka, CZ457, and Savage mkII, then I found a deal on a Bergara B14r, I've shot the RPR, Tikka (in a chassis) and the Savage mkII, I think the Bergara feels more like a big rifle and I have added more weight to move the CG forward, it takes accessories for a Rem700 so extras are easily found. The Tikka is a good shooter, the RPR shoots well but I liked the Tikka better, the Savage is cheaper (1/2) and I've seen some that shoots great also with a little work.
All them shoot great with ammo they like and they seem to like the better ammo (Eley, SK match, Lapua, etc) the Bergara likes Eley and Norma (sub .50 vs .50)
When it comes to bargain priced bolt action target rifles I'd be looking at a nice used Mossberg 144 trainer. They are very cheap to buy, but well known for excellent accuracy. The 44 US and 144 were both used as military training rifles, and can shoot as accurately as rifles costing 3x-4x as much.
Tikka or CZ. Lower price option Savage of some flavor. My best is a CZ 452, I have a 457 Lux but I haven't figured out what it likes yet. In my experience the varmint and target models do better.
Buy once, cry once. Once you get used to shooting tiny groups nothing else will be acceptable to you. Save your pennies and get a decent rifle to start with. I've had the CZ-452 American and Tikka T1x. I'd recommend either. My brother has the Bergara. None of those are really cheap, but within reach of someone who really wants accuracy.
I bought one of the early Savage MK II rifles as soon as I found one. It is the early one with the accu-trigger and the longer action that has a recoil lug. It shot pretty well in the cheesy plastic stock it came with so I build a wood stock and epoxy bedded it. I have shot some 50 yards groups of less than .4 " with this gun and Wolf match Target ammo. Back then the thinking of the local rimfire chicken shooters was that Savage and CZ were equal. One might out shoot the other and vice versa so take your choice. A few years ago i bough one of the redesigned MK II's and was really disappointed in it. It was not nearly as accurate as the older one and I finally sold it after becoming seriously disgusted with it. The change was only to make it less expensive to manufacture, not better, and I have written MK IIs off my list of 22 rifles to play with except for my older one.

Ruger seems to have a wide variety of quality of their 22 barrels so that takes anything except the 10/22 off the table for me, not that I would consider keeping one as it comes out of the box. The fix adds a lot to the cost plus I have no interest in building another. If I were in the 22 market today I would look closely at what CZ offers. I see good things said about Tikkas but quite a few negatives also.
Often the Savage Mark II gets disparaged because somebody got beat by one with their expensive rifle. My early Mark II is annoyingly accurate, and is not clunky at all.

I would like a CZ or that new Summit side lever 1022 spin off. Or just a nicely modded 1022 semi. Is the 1022 America's favorite rimfire?
144lsa. Mine shoots $.10 stuff as good as rws, lapua, or eley financial embarrassment stuff. .4” at 75yds average.

Since you’re not competing, darn near anything will work. If it hits bottle caps at 50yds, golf balls at 100yds, no tree rat will escape you.
This thread needs a dictionary….

I count at least three definitions of “cheap” and “trade-off”..lol

(OP-it would be great to know your budget.)

My definition was a Ruger American Rimfire with a Hawkeye scope. Price was right for me, more accurate than my bone-stock 1975 10/22 and takes the same magazines.