The Modern Day Best 22LR Rifles

best 22lr rifle

Built in a variety of action types, easy to feed without breaking the bank, and an effective training, hunting, or pest-control system, the 22 Rimfire rifle has a solid place in American gun- building tradition.

Today with advanced designs ranging from Chassis rifles to small game sporters, the 22 rimfire rifle can duplicate larger center fire models or stay to the scale of the traditional 22 rimfire designs.

Most, if not all shooters, start out with a 22 rimfire rifle as a training system, and this was true in my case. I used an old Winchester 22 single shot from the 1890's era and a single round of ammunition. I put down meat with that shot, and I got another round from my dad. The old .22 Long Rifle cartridge and my dad s tight fisted style with ammunition taught me how to shoot in a hurry.

Name

​Barrel Length

​Capacity

Price

Ruger Chassis Rifle

​18"

​10+1-Round

Savage MK II FVT

​20.75"

​5+1-Round

Anschutz 54 Match

​23"

​5+1-Round

Ruger American 

​22"

​10+1-Round

Ruger 10-22 Semi-Auto

​20"

​10+1-Round

Ruger 10-22 Tactical

​16.12"

10+1-Round

Browning BL-22 Grade II

​20"

​14+1-Round

Henry 20 Lever Action Carbine

​16.125"

​12+1-Round

Remington 572 Field Master

​21"

​15-Round

1. Ruger Chassis Best 22 Rifle

Ruger Chasis Rifle

Designed along the lines of the full-size centerfire Ruger Chassis rifle, the 22 LR variant allows for rifle training at a reduced cost while staying with the Ruger centerfire chassis rifle system in the larger rifle. This is a “big rifle” in a 22 rimfire package.

bolt action 22

Mounting a “Quick- fit” fully adjustable chassis type stock, this Ruger 22 LR is a natural for use as a competition target rifle or to shoot from a bench or shooting matt against smaller varmint targets. Featuring an AR basic platform in a turn-bolt rifle, the Ruger 22 LR follows the development associated with early competition bench rest chassis rifle designs, and as such is a winner on paper or in the field.

Along with many unique features, the chassis rifle also incorporates the use of an adjustable throw-length bolt that can duplicate the travel of a big rifle or rimfire cartridge. I always wondered why 22 rifle makers tended to scale down the rifles just because the cartridge was a smaller rimfire round. Ruger is saying goodbye to all that with this new full-size rifle design.

Ruger Chassis Rifle

Barrel Lenth

18"

Capacity

10+1-Round

Length

38.6"

Weight

6.8 lbs

2. Savage MK II FVT - Best Bolt Action 22

savage bolt action

This Savage single shot is a great starter rifle for a young rifle team working without a heavy bankroll behind them. A single shot with a strong poly stock and adjustable receiver sights make this a best 22LR rifle for team events such as target paper punching. 

best 22 rifle

Without question, a great deal of attention is given over to training with small bore rifles. This leads to the advancement of a young shooter’s interest and moves them toward larger projects down the line. The Savage MK II meets a very basic need and an important one at that.

Savage MARK II FVT

Barrel Lenth

20.75"

Capacity

5+1-Round

Length

39.75"

Weight

6 lbs

3. Anschutz 54 Match Best 22 LR Rifle

System Match 54 Bolt action, standard single trigger, blued receiver with a 23” heavy barrel and classic walnut stock, this German-built 22 LR is a grade well beyond most but sought-after world-wide. I have included this rifle because some would believe that 22 rimfire rifles don't have a place in the game that large centerfire rifles tend to dominate.

most accurate .22 rifle

We have young shooters that come to our local range to practice who carry in rifles like this, and even far more in terms of added stock and action elements. These rifles end up costing double the price of this illustrated turn-bolt rifle.

Anschutz 54 Match

Barrel Lenth

23"

Capacity

5+1-Round

Length

42.34"

Weight

7.48 lbs

4. Ruger American 22 LR 10+1RD

22 bolt action rifle

This economy bolt-action 22 LR rifle is a general plinking and field work horse. All American made, the rifle was tested by my Research & Development program and results indicated that indeed this budget-priced rifle can hold up to the tasks at hand.

Mounting a 22” barrel with a front fiberoptic sight blade and receiver rear sight that is fully adjustable, this basic six-pound rifle is easy to store, and fast to get into action around the ranch, farm, or squirrel woods.

With a tough-as-nails polymer stock, the rifle can be subjected to every sort of nasty field condition imaginable. Two elements that are real advantages with this rifle are the trigger system which is one of the best ever set to a basic rimfire rifle, and the stock bedding system which is rock-solid and allows the rifle to retain zero for long periods of use.

In terms of testing individual rifles, I have run across some extractor issues with a few models, but these were minor and easily corrected.

Ruger American LR 22

Barrel Lenth

22"

Capacity

10+1-Round

Length

41"

Weight

6.1 lbs

5. Ruger 10-22 Semi Auto Rifle

22 semi auto rifle

The Ruger 10-22 is without question one of the most popular 22 rimfires offered to the American shooter today. Built tough and in a wide variety of stock styles, this rifle is a do-everything rimfire system. Making use of a rotary 10 round magazine, it is a great rifle for situations where fast reloading is necessary.

I have used this rifle on everything from gators taken by hook and line to dusting off barn rats in western South Dakota. The 10-22 is a get-it-done general purpose ranch rifle that comes with very high marks.

The Ruger 10-22 is available in 43 different variations depending on different distributers.

Ruger 10-22 Semi-Auto

Barrel Lenth

20"

Capacity

10+1-Round

Length

38.5"

Weight

5.1 lbs

6. Ruger 10-22 Tactical & SR 22

22 caliber rifle

The Ruger SR 22 (old style) or 10-22 Tactical (latest style) is a AR still-stocked rifle that carries the receiver of the basic Ruger 10 -22 rifle. As the old story goes, “if it ain't broke don't fix it”, and Ruger has seen fit to stay with the dependable 10-22 operating system even as applied to these different stock-styled rifles.

I currently shoot the early rifle in the SR 22 carbine, equipped with a Gemtech mil spec suppressor and 3X9 optics. This little rifle has returned some outstanding field performance results.

single shot 22 rifle

Ruger 10-22 Tactical

Barrel Lenth

16.12"

Capacity

10+1-Round

Length

35.25"

Weight

6.5 lbs

7. Browning BL-22 Grade II Lever Action

Without question, this is one of the most refined lever guns offered on the market today. Browning put detail into these rifles, and for the most part, they are too nice looking to shoot. However, that is what they are built to do, and to be sure, they will do the deed down range.

Browning BL-22

Barrel Lenth

20"

Capacity

14+1-Round

Length

36.75"

Weight

5 lbs

8. Henry 20 Lever Action Carbine

rimfire rifle

The Henry rifles in lever guns are all American made down to the last screw and piece of wood and will give the buyer a lifetime of trouble-free service. Henry rifles can be obtained in standard blue or bright brass receivers. The brand is known for its special limited-edition rifles and for the extensive line of working field rifles.

Henry rifles are among some of the best built 22 rimfire rifles in America today. 

Henry Lever Action

Barrel Lenth

16.125"

Capacity

12+1-Round

Length

34"

Weight

4.5 lbs

9. Remington 572 BDL Field Master Pump Gun

remington bolt action 22

The Remington 572 rimfire pump gun is among the best-selling rimfire “sliders” built today. This rifle is a classic and goes back well into the 1950's. Smooth fast handling and a reputation as a squirrel hunters friend, this rifle is a top choice among dedicated rimfire hunters and shooters. To my knowledge this rife was resurrected by Remington only two years ago as a move to bring back solid classic rifle designs into the current market place.

Remington 572

Barrel Lenth

21"

Capacity

15-Round

Length

40"

Weight

5.75 lbs

If you don't see your rifle on this list of possible rimfire options, please don't feel offended. The number of good solid .22 caliber rifles is endless like so many other firearms available to the buyer today. If you feel strongly about a specific rifle, let us know what it is and why you believe it should be recognized. In the future, I will do my best to include your ideas in my reviews.

References: 

L.P.Brezny has been writing and reviewing products as well as how to projects for the past 50 years. He has authored four books on shooting with three on long range, and one covering shotgunning.(Amazon) With 26 years in a metro police department as a street officer and the rank of SGT / training L.P. has covered all the bases regarding weapons and street survival.

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