February 05, 2021
By David Johnson
Rimfire rifles are not the product that first comes to mind when most people think about technological improvements in the 21st Century.
But while phones and other computerized devices and services take the headlines, for years rifles, including rimfire rifles, have seen incredible improvements thanks to computer design and manufacturing.
Today's rimfires are more accurate and better designed than ever before, and frequently those design elements are targeted at the different ways customers use those rifles without the high costs of hand customization.
Here are three of the newest examples in this trend:
CZ 457 MTR
The CZ 457 MTR provides a match-grade chamber with extremely tight tolerances in a .22 LR Bolt rifle that is competition grade without the cost of a customized rifle.
The MTR is a variant of CZ’s popular VPT (Varmint Precision Trainer) and comes with a 16.2-inch barrel that has 1/2x28 threads at the muzzle for a suppressor or muzzle device. The trigger is fully adjustable and integrated 11mm dovetails allow for scope installation. Stock is Manners carbon fiber with an orange-accented camo pattern.
MSRP $1,499 | cz-usa.com
WINCHESTER WILDCAT SR
Winchester’s new Wildcat SR combines a suppressor-ready threaded barrel with a truly budget price that .22 LR enthusiasts will love: $279. The 16 1/6-inch chromoly barrel is threaded at the muzzle with ½x28 threads. The SR carries forward several practical features from earlier the version of the Wildcat, such as an integral Picatinny rail, sling eyelets and an adjustable ghost-ring rear sight. The skeleton polymer stock keeps rifle weight down to 4 pounds.
MSRP: $279 | winchesterguns.com
SAVAGE RASCAL MINIMALIST
Though the Savage Rascal has been a popular youth rifle, it's now offered with a modern Minimalist laminate stock, and deserves serious consideration from anyone looking for a safe, reliable .22 to introduce young hunters to shooting and squirrel hunting.
The new stock is available in teal-and-gray or pink-and-purple color patterns. The stock has a youth-friendly 11.5-inch length of pull, and the rifle itself is a single-shot, which is a handy feature for a youth gun, both for safety reasons and because taking one shot at a time helps young hunters focus on the best shooting mechanics. Fans of Savage’s AccuTrigger will also find it on this rifle. The black matte barrel is 16 1/8-inches long and has ½x28 threads.
MSRP $279 | savagearms.com