Best 22LR Rifle

Growing up a 22 LR Rifle was my best friend and my love for firearms directly came from the 22LR round. If you are considering buying a 22 rifle, you probably want to know what the Best 22LR rifle for you is.

First, everyone is different, and it’s extremely important to know that. So one size definitely does not fit all. But I will do my best to cover a full spectrum of 22 LR rifles so you can find one that suits you or the person you are shopping for best.

8 Best 22 LR Rifles

Here is our list of the 8 of the Best 22LR rifles of 2023!

best 22lr rifles bag

Ruger 10/22

ruger 1022 compact

The Ruger 10/22 is a great 22LR rifle because of its superbly reliable action, outstanding durability, and extensive range of models available.

Its action can eat through the cheapest of ammo types with little issue, making it the perfect choice for hunters, survivalists and plinkers alike.

The Ruger 10/22 takes its place as the best overall because it can be used for essentially every purpose under the sun – from hunting to plinking to target shooting – while offering an affordable option for any shooter looking for a reliable semi-automatic 22LR rifle.

Additionally, it offers an array of ergonomic enhancements that improve accuracy and overall function.

The Ruger 10/22 is also the 22 rifle with the most available accessories on the market.

Pros

  • Price
  • Semi-Auto
  • Accessory Availability

Cons

  • Number of Available Models
  • Availability

Ruger 10/22

• Capacity: 10 Round Magazine
Many Model Options
Weight: 5.00 lbs

ruger 1022 compact

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Stockphoto

The Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 is a great 22LR rifle for shooters who want an AR-style platform to practice their skills.

It offers the same features and similar functionality as an AR, making it perfect for training with a direct translation to your main AR.

The M&P 15-22 has an M-Lok handguard that allows you to attach any standard AR accessories, plus it has a threaded barrel for adding on a suppressor or flash hider.

Furthermore, the lightweight polymer receivers make this rifle easy to carry around without sacrificing durability or accuracy.

Additionally, its appearance stands out from other 22lr rifles due to its AR styling, which makes it appealing to those who like tactical designs.

Pros

  • Price
  • Semi-Auto
  • Similar to AR-15

Cons

  • Different Weight
  • Not all parts are interchangeable

S&W M&P 15-22

• Capacity: 25 Round Magazine
Various Configuration Options
Weight: 76.8 oz

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Stockphoto

Savage Mark II FV SR

Savage Mark II FV SR

The Savage Mark II FV SR is an excellent choice for a 22lr rifle due to its features and performance.

It comes with a 16.5-inch heavy-profile fluted barrel which provides accurate shots round after round.

The threaded muzzle is a nice feature that allows for suppressor mounting. The detachable box magazine holds five rounds of .22 Long Rifle ammunition.

Additionally, the rifle has an adjustable Savage AccuTrigger that allows shooters to fine-tune their trigger pull for a crisp and clean break.

Overall, this rifle offers great value for its price point while providing all of the features needed for effective small-game hunting or target shooting purposes.

Pros

  • Price
  • Threaded Barrel
  • Optics Rail Built-in

Cons

  • Low Magazine Capacity
  • Aftermarket Parts

Savage Mark II FV SR

• Capacity: 5 Round Magazine
Length: 35.25″
Weight: 5.5 lbs

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Stockphoto

Henry Golden Boy

Henry Golden Boy 22LR Stock Photo

The Henry Golden Boy is a great 22lr rifle due to its reliability, aesthetics, and affordability. It is built with high-quality components that ensure smooth operation and longevity.

The Henry Repeating Arms Golden Boy also features a classic lever action design that adds a touch of nostalgia to your shooting experience.

It comes in several different configurations, including a complete walnut stock or one trimmed with gold for added elegance.

The Henry Golden Boy is very affordable compared to other lever action rifles on the market, making it an attractive option for those looking for value without sacrificing quality or aesthetics.

Pros

  • Classic Look and Feel
  • 20″ blued octagonal barrel

Cons

  • Weight
  • Lack of aftermarket Parts

Henry Golden Boy

• Capacity: 16 Round Tubular Mag
Length: 38.5″
Weight: 6.75 lbs

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Stockphoto

Browning BL-22

Browning BL-22

The Browning BL-22 is a great 22LR rifle due to its high-quality design and features.

It is built as a tribute to John Browning’s gun-making mind and features scroll engraving on the receiver, a polished blued finish, and a takedown design for ease of cleaning and storage.

The SA-22 also has an ambidextrous bottom ejection port which was ahead of its time.

The 19-inch barrel has a 1:16 rate of twist for accuracy when shooting small game or varmints.

Furthermore, the 10-round magazine loads through a port in the stock, which gives it a slim design that is easy to handle overall – making it an excellent choice for those looking for an attractive yet reliable rifle at an affordable price point.

Pros

  • Build Quality
  • True Classic Feel
  • Smoothest Action

Cons

  • Price
  • Aftermarket Parts

Browning BL-22

• Capacity: 16 Round Tubular Mag
Length: 38.5″
Weight: 6.75 lbs

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Stockphoto

Check in stock availability at these online retailers:
Palmetto State Armory | Guns.com | Cabelas | Scheels | Sportsmans

Ruger Charger

ruger pc charger

The Ruger 10/22 Charger is a compact and lightweight pistol version of the popular 10/22 rifle. It also inspired the 9mm version the Ruger PC Charger.

It measures just under 20 inches long and features a folding pistol brace for easy storage and transport.

The Charger also comes with an open front sight and grooves in the receiver for mounting a scope, making it ideal for plinking or target shooting.

It offers great value for money with its affordable price tag of just under $300. The Ruger 10/22 sets the standard for what a 22LR rifle should be with its reliable performance, durable construction, ergonomic design, and high-quality components that ensure accuracy and reliability over time.

Pros

  • Price
  • Ruger Build Quality
  • Accessory Availability
  • Built-in 1913 Optics Rail

Cons

  • No 1913 Rail for Brace on some models
  • Not practical for all use cases

Ruger Charger

• Capacity: 15 Round +
Length: 19″
Weight: 3.13 lbs

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Stockphoto

Tikka T1x MTR

Tikka T1x Stock Photo

The Tikka T1x MTR is a great 22lr rifle due to its high-quality construction, accuracy, and versatility.

It is built using many of the same features as Tikka’s popular T3x centerfire rifles, which ensures that it has high-performance bedding footing, a single-stage trigger mechanism and a synthetic stock that can withstand temperature variations.

The semi-heavy barrel keeps everything cooler and steadier than a thin barrel while also contributing to increased accuracy.

The modular design of the rifle allows users to swap out components depending on their needs or preferences.

Overall, the Tikka T1x MTR offers outstanding quality at an affordable price point with plenty of options for any shooter looking for accuracy in their rimfire rifle.

Pros

  • Build Quality
  • Accurate
  • Threaded Barrel
  • Adjustable Trigger Weight

Cons

  • Price
  • Lack of Accessories

Tikka T1x MTR

• Capacity: 10 Round
Length: 37.3″
Weight: 5.3 lbs

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Stockphoto

What are the benefits of owning a 22LR rifle?

They are cheap to buy and shoot

22LR rifles are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of firearms, with prices ranging from $100 to $500.

Furthermore, .22LR ammunition is also relatively cheap compared to other calibers, such as 9mm or 5.56mm.

This makes 22LR rifles an attractive choice for shooters who want a quality firearm without breaking the bank.

Not only are they cheaper than most other types of guns on the market, but they also tend to have less recoil which helps people train and avoid flinching before shooting.

The low cost of ammunition means you can put a lot more rounds down range for your dollar than with other calibers.

They are accurate

22LR rifles are accurate but only effective to roughly 150 yards, with some gun models capable of achieving sub-inch groupings at 100 yards.

This level of accuracy is comparable to more expensive rifles such as those chambered in .308 or .30-06 but 22LR is not effective at the ranges those rounds are.

The key factor that contributes to the accuracy of a 22LR rifle is its barrel length. Longer barrels typically produce higher levels of accuracy than shorter ones due to their increased dwell time and the twist rate of the barrel.

Other features that can influence accuracy include the fit and finish of the rifle, as well as its stock design which can help reduce recoil and improve stability during shooting sessions.

They are suitable for shooting small game and pests

The 22LR rifle is capable of shooting a variety of small game and pests.

It is especially effective at taking small game such as squirrels, rabbits, ground birds and other similar animals.

It can also be used for pest removal tasks such as snake defense or eliminating other nuisance animals.

The 22LR cartridge works well for these types of tasks due to its low recoil and noise level, which makes it ideal for close-quarter situations.

There are even “pest control” rounds, often called rat shot which doesn’t damage property but can kill mice and rats at close range indoors.

On several occasions I have dispatched a mouse caught on a glue trap before discarding him to stop the mouse from suffering.

They are available in a wide range of styles and sizes

There are a variety of 22LR rifles available, including bolt action, semi-automatic, and lever action rifles. These rifles offer different features depending on the type, such as:

Bolt action rifles offer precision shooting capabilities with a smooth operation and easy loading of rounds.

Semi-automatic rifles are more modern versions of rifles that allow for faster firing rates.

Lever action rifles provide an old-school cowboy look and feel while still being modern enough to use modern ammunition like 22LR rounds.

They are easy to handle and shoot

An easy-to-handle and shoot 22LR rifle should have the following characteristics:

  1. Superbly accurate – The rifle should be able to accurately hit targets at various distances.
  2. Lightweight – The rifle should be lightweight so that it is easy to carry around and handle during shooting sessions.
  3. Excellent trigger – The trigger should be smooth and responsive, allowing for precise shots every time. Typically a low-poundage trigger pull is desired.
  4. Comb height – The comb height should be adjustable so that shooters of all heights can comfortably use the rifle without strain or discomfort in their neck or shoulders while aiming down the sights or scope.
  5. Fun to shoot – Shooting with any type of 22LR rifle should be enjoyable due to its accuracy, lightweight design, and fun features like a bipod or scope with adjustable magnification level if applicable in this particular model you’re considering purchasing (just make sure it’s legal where you live!).

They are quiet

22LR rifles benefit from being quiet because they use less powder and are typically shot from longer barrels.

By using a 22LR rifle that is quiet, hunters can reduce the risk of spooking their prey and increase their chances of success.

A quiet rifle is also beneficial for those who wish to practice shooting without disturbing their neighbors or damaging their hearing. However, you should always wearing hearing protection while shooting.

They are good for target shooting practice

Yes, 22LR rifles are great for target shooting practice.

The lack of recoil and relatively inexpensive ammunition makes the .22 LR cartridge ideal for beginners who want to learn how to shoot properly.

The lack of recoil also helps experienced shooters train to avoid flinching before pulling the trigger.

With the low cost of ammo that means that you can put more rounds down range for your dollar than with other calibers.

They are fun to shoot

Yes, 22LR rifles are fun to shoot. They are accurate, reliable, and offer a great range of uses.

They can be used for target practice, pest removal, or even for hunting rabbits in the fall.

Plus, they are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of ammunition and you don’t have to worry about them being scarce due to their popularity. Overall 22LR rifles provide an enjoyable shooting experience without financial burden.

What to consider when buying a 22LR rifle?

There is plenty to consider when buying a 22LR rifle for yourself or a loved one. From the brand to action, to any number of things. Here is a comprehensive list of things to consider when buying your rifle.

Action type

You probably already know what kind of action you’d like but here are the three most popular.

Lever Action

These .22 LR rifles are cycled by hand, but instead of a handle at the back of the bolt, there is a lever by the trigger that must be actuated to load another round.

A lever action rifle uses a manually operated system that feeds cartridges into the chamber by means of pulling back on the lever, which operates an internal mechanism that moves ammunition into position before cocking it ready to fire again when pulled back again by hand.

They are often recreations of guns from the Old West and are popular with those who are interested in that time period.

Semi-Auto

Semi-Auto rifles are typically magazine feed and often have a higher magazine capacity of 10-25 rounds and beyond.

These guns fire and reload with a single trigger pull and release. This allows for much higher rates of fire.

Single Shot

Single shot rifles only have one shot capacity as indicated by their name; after firing one round, you will need to manually reload before firing again.

These types of 22LR rifles are typically used for hunting small game since they don’t offer much firepower compared to other types of action firearms, such as semi-automatic or bolt action models.

Bolt Action

A bolt action rifle uses a manual mechanism to eject the spent cartridge and chamber a new one. This type of rifle typically has a longer barrel for increased accuracy and a larger capacity than other types of 22LR rifles.

Bolt action rifles are similar to single shot in that you have to chamber a new round manually; unlike single-shot rifles, you have an easy way to do that with a lever on the bolt.

Bolt actions are a classic rifle and are used for better accuracy and precision. They typically have smaller magazine capacities and even sometimes have internal magazines inside of the gun.

Caliber

When choosing a 22LR rifle, it is important to consider the caliber of the rifle.

You are probably saying 22LR, Duh.

You’re right. However, be sure to make sure it’s a 22 Long Rifle; there are a few flavors of .22 caliber rounds.

22LR, 22 Long, and 22 Short are all popular 22 caliber rounds. The most popular is by far the 22 Long Rifle (.22LR). But some rifles can shoot only one or all three rounds.

One thing is certain the 22 Longs and 22 Shorts in 22LR magazines are a recipe for disaster if they are not compatible.

There are four different types of 22 caliber rounds available: 22 Long Rifle (LR), 22 Long (L), 22 Short (S), and 22 Magnum (M).

22 LR: This is the most common type of rimfire cartridge and is compatible with most rifles and magazines.

It can be chambered safely in both tube-fed and detachable magazines.

It offers high accuracy, low recoil, and high velocity for long-range shooting. The standard muzzle energy is around 35 to 40-foot pounds which makes it suitable for small game hunting or target practice at short ranges.

22 Long: This round is not compatible with most 22LR rifles as it does not fit in most detachable magazines.

However, it can be fired safely in some rifles that are designed for both types of cartridges.

The muzzle energy for this round tends to be higher than the LR version at around 45 to 50 foot pounds which makes it more suitable for larger game such as varmint or small deer species up to 100 yards away from the shooter’s position.

22 Short: Like its longer counterpart, this cartridge also has limited compatibility with certain rifles that can handle both types of cartridges without any issues. The short is shorter than both the 22LR and 22 Long

Barrel length

When buying a 22LR rifle, it is important to consider the barrel length.

Longer barrels offer better accuracy and muzzle velocity, which can make a significant difference in terms of accuracy.

Additionally, longer barrels are more suitable for hunting as they can provide more power and range than shorter barrels.

Note that shorter barrels are typically lighter and easier to maneuver around obstacles in the field or at the range.

While there may be some tradeoffs with shorter barrels such as reduced accuracy or decreased muzzle velocity compared to longer ones, they still provide excellent performance in most situations and are an ideal choice for many shooters looking for a compact, fun rifle.

Trigger

The trigger pull for a 22LR rifle is typically smooth and reliable. The Ruger 10/22 features a tapered cold hammer-forged barrel that uses the two screw V lock system for a tight fit to the receiver.

Trigger pull and weight varies from rifle to rifle so finding one that is your preferred weight is important. You can also purchase rifles with adjustable trigger weights.

When buying a 22LR rifle, it is important to consider the features of the trigger group. Many modern rifles come with a push-to-fire safety that helps train younger shooters in proper rifle safety habits and can be found on both large and small caliber rifles.

On the other hand, some older 22LR rifles do not have a push-to-fire safety or any type of safety mechanism at all so it is important to know what type of trigger you are getting before making a purchase decision.

Safety features

When buying a 22LR rifle, safety features to consider include the following:

  • Bolt action – A bolt action rifle uses a manual mechanism to load and unload ammunition. It has a handle or lever that you pull back to open the chamber, then push forward to close it again. These typically have a push button safety
  • Semi-automatic – Typically, all have a push-button safety and can usually be found near the trigger or trigger guard.
  • Lever-Action – Traditional lever-action rifles do not have a push button safety. However, some .22LR rifles like the Rossi Rio Bravo have push button safeties.

Stock options

A variety of stock options are available for 22LR rifles, including:

Synthetic

Synthetic stocks are one of the most popular modern-day options for .22LR stocks. The Synthetic stock is available on nearly any rifle configuration offered today.

The synthetic stock is typically a plastic or resin that makes the gun light and extremely durable to wear and tear and the elements.

Wooden

Wood stocks are the classic look you remember from your favorite western movie. These stocks are often coated to resist wear and tear and moisture.

Many lever-action rifles and bolt-action rifles have wooden stock options.

Chassis

Drop-in chassis are extremely popular for precision shooters as they allow the barrel to free float, which improves accuracy. There are many different brands and options depending on which gun you purchase.

Some chassis even make the guns look more “tactical” or transform your rifle to look like an entirely different gun.

8. 22LR Rifles: Scope mounting options

For 22LR rifles, scope mounting options include: Picatinny rail, dovetail mount, Weaver rail mount, ring mount and integral scope mounts.

Picatinny rails are typically found on newer models of 22LR rifles and provide an easy way to attach optics.

Dovetail mounts are more common on older models of 22LR rifles and can sometimes require the services of a gunsmith to install.

Weaver rails offer another option for attaching optics but may require drilling into the firearm’s receiver if it doesn’t already have a rail installed.

Ring mounts can be used with both Picatinny and Weaver rails or directly onto the barrel without any additional hardware required.

Integral scope mounts are built into some older models of 22LR rifles but may not be compatible with modern optics due to changes in design over time.

For 22LR rifles, there are a variety of scope options available. These include:

Magazine capacity

The magazine capacity for a 22LR rifle is the maximum number of rounds the rifle can hold in its magazine.

Most detachable magazines range from 10-25 rounds. You can find aftermarket magazines that get higher round counts but loading them may be a challenge.

Bolt action rifles often have a 5-10 round internal magazine. If it does have a detachable magazine it is typically a small single stack style magazine, think 1911 single stack magazine scaled down.

Bolt design

When buying a bolt action 22LR rifle, considerations should be made for the bolt design.

Bolt Actions are manually cycled from a handle at the back of the bolt and typically feed from a magazine.

They are reliable weapons that work well and are great hosts for suppressors if that’s something that interests you.

The bolt design should focus on a smooth action and a throw knob that lives up to your standards in size and style.

Weight and Balance

It is important to consider the weight and balance of the rifle. Ruger’s Precision Rifle in .22 LR offers a good balance between weight and accuracy, with a 6.8 lb weight and 35.13″-38.6″ length.

The Ruger Precision Rifle in .22 LR has an AR-style pistol grip, fiberglass chassis, heavy barrel, massive bolt handle which makes it look like most tactical rifles you’d see at the range.

The Ruger Carbine 10/22 Rifle also offers good weight balance with its 5 lb weight and 33″-34″ length.

The Ruger 10/22 Carbine Rifle comes with a wood stock which gives it an aesthetic advantage over other models in its class but it does not have any additional features that would make it stand out from other rifles of its caliber or type (such as AR-15s).

Customization Options

Customization options for 22LR rifles include:

  • Adjustable sights – Most .22LR rifles have adjustable sights to allow for precise aim and accuracy.
  • Long-range scope – A long-range scope can be added to increase the range at which a rifle can be accurately fired.
  • Trigger adjustment – Some models of .22LR rifles come with a built-in trigger adjustment feature that allows users to fine-tune their pull weight.
  • Stock adjustment – Some models of 22LR rifles allow users to adjust the stock for better fit and comfort.
  • Aftermarket Accessories – Some guns have far more aftermarket options than others. Typically the volume sellers like the Ruger 10/22 will have a ton of aftermarket accessory options.

Value for money

When evaluating the value for money of a 22LR rifle, it is important to consider the type of action and features that are offered and everything in the list above.

Depending on your needs, you can find rifles with different actions such as bolt action, lever action, semi-automatic and more. Additionally, some rifles offer features such as adjustable sights or rubberized grips for comfort and accuracy.

When comparing value for money between different 22LR rifles, it is important to consider the quality of the components used in each model.

High-quality components such as a steel barrel or synthetic stock will provide better performance over time than lower-quality parts like plastic stocks or aluminum barrels which may be less durable or accurate over time.

FAQ

What is the best 22LR rifle?

When it comes to the best .22 LR rifles, there are many options available. Some of the top models include:

What are the advantages of a bolt action rifle compared to other types of rifles?

The main advantage of a bolt action rifle is its mechanical accuracy, which is the maximum potential accuracy of a firearm without any human inputs.

Bolt actions can be built to tighter tolerances than semi-autos, which increases accuracy and repeatability. Additionally, they are also great hosts for suppressors and are generally quieter than semi-auto-suppressed guns due to no moving action.

On the other hand, semi-automatic rifles such as 10/22s can be just as accurate in practice if they are fitted with custom parts or properly cared of by their owners. Ultimately it comes down to the shooter rather than the gun itself regarding practical accuracy in field conditions.

What type of ammunition is used in a 22LR rifle?

22LR rifles utilize rimfire ammunition, which is loaded with a primer and a bullet and the primer is in the rim of the cartridge, hence the name “rimfire.”

The rimfire system dates back to the 19th century and uses a small explosive charge located in the perimeter of the cartridge case around which the rest of the components are assembled.

22LR ammo can be prone to duds due to the primer being in the rim of the cartridge it can lead to poor performance in semi-auto rifles or other issues such as poor cartridge seating or decreased accuracy potentials.

Higher quality brands like CCI offer better performance at minimal recoil additions, while subsonic rounds keep projectiles below supersonic speeds for quieter shooting experiences coupled with suppressors.

Copper jacketed hollow point bullets provide for humane kills on small game hunts while providing reliable operation even in cheaper bulk offerings that often present more duds than centerfire cartridges do in similar situations.

What type of scope is best for 22LR rifles?

When choosing a scope for 22LR rifle scope, it is important to consider the shooting distance and the appropriate magnification.

A good scope will have the right magnification for your particular uses, such as squirrel hunting, bench rest competitions, or long range shooting.

For most types of 22LR rifle use, a variable-powered scope with low-powered magnification is ideal.

This allows you to use more than one magnification setting without buying multiple scopes.

Additionally, a variable powered scope allows you to adjust quickly between different ranges without having to change out lenses or adjust settings on fixed power scopes.

What is the best trigger for a 22LR rifle?

The best trigger for a .22 LR rifle is one that is smooth, lightweight, and has little to no grit. It should be easy to pull with no grit or delay in firing.

The Savage AccuTrigger is one of the best affordable triggers available for a .22 LR rifle due to its adjustable design that allows you to customize your pull weight from 2 lbs all the way down to 0 lbs.

It also features an ergonomic shape that makes it comfortable and easy to use while still providing precise control over your shots.

Manticore makes an extremely adjustable Ruger 10/22 trigger.

What are the best accessories for a 22LR rifle?

When it comes to accessories for a 22LR rifle, there are many options available. Here is a list of some of the best accessories:

  • Bipods – These provide stability and balance when shooting and can be used with most 22LR rifles. We cover a number of them in our best bipod guide.
  • Scope or Optic – A scope or optic will allow you to accurately aim at your target and is essential if you plan on using your rifle for hunting or competition shooting purposes.
  • Hearing Protection – While not a direct accessory to the gun ear protection is important when shooting any type of firearm as it helps reduce damage caused by exposure to loud noises while also preventing hearing loss over time if worn regularly while shooting .
  • Magazine Loader – This tool makes loading magazines easier so that you can quickly reload without taking too much time away from the range or hunt .
  • Gun Case – To ensure that your rifle stays in good condition during transport, it’s important to invest in a good gun case that protects it from dust, moisture, and other potential damage sources during travel.

What type of rifle is best for squirrel hunting?

For squirrel hunting, the best 22 LR rifle would be one that is accurate, lightweight and easy to use.

Options such as the Ruger 10/22, Savage A22, and Christensen Arms Ranger 22 are good choices for this purpose due to their accuracy and ease of use.

For maximum effectiveness when hunting squirrels with a 22 LR rifle, it is recommended that you use high-quality ammunition such as copper-plated hollow points or full metal jacket rounds that have been optimized for small game hunting.

It is important to practice shooting from different angles before going out in the field so that you can become more familiar with your rifle’s range and accuracy capabilities.

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