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10 of the Best .22 Rifles for Plinking, Hunting, and More

Ruger/Marlin

These are the best .22 rifles on the market right now.

When it comes to classic firearm calibers, .22 long rifle never seems to go out of style. Countless people have learned basic firearms safety and shooting skills using a simple rimfire rifle. It makes total sense, .22 is cheap, plentiful and has almost no noise and even less recoil. It is the perfect round to start a first-time shooter with.

However, it is not just newer shooters who appreciate 22 rifles. They are terrific small game guns. A day out plinking, or target shooting can be just as enjoyable. This is one caliber where you can burn through hundreds of rounds of ammo in an afternoon without feeling guilty or breaking the bank like with a centerfire rifle.

Today, we have some recommendations for some of the best 22 rifles on the market right now that you will want to add to your wishlist regardless of your experience in firearms. After all, one can never have too many .22 rifles!

Ruger 10/22

22 Rifles
Ruger

We will start things off with an American classic. The 10/22 is a reliable semi-automatic available in multiple different variations including sporter, carbine, tactical, takedown and more. All feature the same smooth cycling action that the gun is famous for. This gun is detachable magazine-fed and you can get capacities varying from a simple 10 round magazine all the way up to 100 rounds or more! Ruger includes a scope mount adapter system for tip-off mounts and Weaver-style included standard. As if that wasn't enough, all the different rifle variants are infinitely customizable thanks to a plethora of aftermarket stocks, triggers, sights, bipods and picatinny rails designed specifically with this semi-auto rifle in mind.

Savage 64F

22 Rifles
Savage Arms

Most people know Savage firearms for their big game hunting rifles, but the 64F is a solid semi-automatic rifle available for a bargain basement price. The Savage goes for only about $130. It takes detachable box magazines. It has a 21-inch barrel length with a 1:16 rate of twist for maximum accuracy. The barrel and receiver are made of carbon steel and it has a black synthetic stock. There are also tons of aftermarket parts to make it even better including folding stocks, larger magazines and upgraded triggers. If you're a newer hunter looking to get into small game or varmints to start, this is a good option, especially if you are on a budget. Savage also sells a takedown model for slightly more if you are looking for a good brush/survival gun that can be easily stashed into a backpack or float plane.

Savage Arms Mark II

22 Rifles
Savage Arms

Another solid option in the Savage Arms line, the Mark II offers a little more precision at a price point that is still great. The Mark II is fitted with Savage's safe and crisp Accutrigger system that is so beloved on their centerfire hunting rifles. This gun features either a 21 or 16-inch carbon steel barrel with a 1:16 rate of twist. The rifle has a one-piece scope rail, but Savage also sells this gun with a 3x9x40mm Bushnell scope already attached and boresighted for more value. These guns use a detachable box magazine that holds either five or 10 rounds. Savage offers the gun with different precision synthetic stocks, but also a laminate or wood stock too. They also sell a few with camo finishes for the serious rimfire hunters out there.

Henry Golden Boy Lever-Action

22 Rifles
Henry Rifles

Maybe you always wanted a classic old-west style lever-action rifle but were scared off by the $1,000+ price tag that often accompanies such guns. That is where the Henry Golden Boy comes into play. This rifle is just $449, but has the same classic octagonal barrel, brass receiver and walnut stock that come on Henry rifles in larger calibers. The .22LR version has a tubular magazine and holds 16+1 rounds. The 20-inch barrel has a 1:16 rate of twist. A classic lever action rifle design in a fun and affordable caliber like .22? Sign us up. This gun should provide hours of fun plinking or on the target range with friends.

Tikka M1x MTR

22 Rifles
Tikka

This is another firearms manufacturer who is better known for high-end big game hunting and precision rifles. However, they also make a solid line of bolt action rifles chambered for rimfire rounds. Tikka makes two variants of the T1x MTR in .22LR. One has a 20-inch barrel while the other has a 16-inch barrel. Both have a 1:16.5 rate of twist. These are precision rimfire rifles. They are fitted with a single stage trigger and the muzzle is threaded. The receiver is pre-drilled and tapped for a picatinny rail and accessories. This is the gun to consider if you are looking for superior accuracy.

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Sport

22 Rifles
Smith & Wesson

Why an AR-style platform chambered in .22LR? We think the better question is: "Why not?" This rifle has many of the same features you would find on a larger rifle, but in a much more affordable platform. The rifle weighs just five pounds and has a capacity of 25+1 straight out of the box. The 16.5-inch barrel has a 1:15 rate of twist. The front and rear sights are folding Magpul MBUS. This gun quickly adjusts to all shooters with a 6-position CAR stock. The handguard features M-LOK accessory slots for even more customization. This is not an average old, single-shot wood stock .22, like your grandfather may have owned. However, it would be a ton of fun on the range and could be an excellent training tool for teaching someone new how to handle larger sporting rifles.

Marlin Model 60

22 Rifles
Marlin

I admit, I have a soft spot for this one. Mostly because I still have one of my grandfather's old Model 60s. (He had at least two.) The classic Model 60 semi-auto design has not changed much over the years. It still has a tubular magazine that can hold up to 14 rounds. It still has the classic walnut stock. Marlin has introduced a few new variations over the years though like the 60sn. That gun has a synthetic stock in black while the 60c has one finished with Realtree Hardwoods. These guns have a 19-inch rifled barrel with a 1:16 rate of twist. Marlin sells one variant, the 60sn with a 4x20mm scope and mounts already attached. The Model 60 is a great gun for fun target shooting, but also for hunting and pest control around the home. The fact that it starts at under $200 is a great selling point too.

Browning SA-22

22 Rifles
Browning

When it comes to nice-looking semi-auto .22s, the Browning stands out with the beautiful, checkered Walnut stock. It is hard to go wrong with a gun that was designed by the legendary John Moses Browning. These guns were ambidextrous before their time with the bottom ejection port. The 19-inch, polished and blued barrel has a 1:16 rate of twist. This rifle has a unique design in that the 10-round magazine loads through a port in the stock. It helps give this rifle a slim design that is easy to handle. The varmints and other small game won't know what hit them.

Winchester Wildcat

22 Rifles
Winchester

For anyone who wants a rifle that is light as a feather, the Winchester is worth a second look. This rifle weighs only four pounds thanks in large part to the molded polymer stock that cuts out all unnecessary weight. This gun has a fascinating design because the entire lower receiver can be pulled from the stock with the press of a single button. Inside, it holds two Allen wrenches at all times to help make sight adjustments in the field. A slide lock button adds an additional degree of safety, important for newer shooters. The front sight is a ramped post while the rear is a ghost ring. As an additional bit of versatility, this gun can take aftermarket magazines intended for the 10/22. This is one of the more interesting recent additions to the semi-auto rimfire market and we're betting it's going to be a popular one for only $229.

Ruger American Rifle Rimfire

22 Rifles
Ruger

We already mentioned the 10/22, but Ruger offers another solid rimfire rifle in their ever-popular "American Rifle" line. While the 10/22 is more of a fast-shooting plinker, the American Rifle is a precision bolt-action tool with the looks of a classic hunting rifle. These guns use a rotary magazine and the Ruger Marksman adjustable trigger. The stocks are a big selling point here with Ruger offering a laminate thumbhole or standard design. Either way, it gives these guns a nice look. The .22 has an 18-inch barrel with a 1:16 rate of twist. This rifle gets high marks from users for accuracy right out of the box.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels

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10 of the Best .22 Rifles for Plinking, Hunting, and More