I’ll go out on a limb here because I’m sure there might be an exception or two, perhaps in the form of a yet-to-be-born child, I suppose, but I would imagine anyone who calls themselves a hunter and/or shooter has at one time or another owned a .22 rimfire. Probably more than one. And probably still do, along with thousands upon thousands of rounds of .22LR (Long Rifle) ammunition. Yeah, I feel pretty safe with that one.
It’s just no secret. The .22 rimfire is flat fun to shoot. She’s economical – well, economical in the grand scheme of things and when compared to most large-bore centerfire cartridges – and in many platforms, amazingly accurate. There’s little recoil to contend with, and that, along with the accuracy, makes the .22 rimfire the perfect rifle for the young or beginning shooter. Plain Jane is out there; so, too, are .22s that make the guns out of Star Wars look boring by comparison.
SHOT Show, it’s certain, will see a host of new .22 rimfires hit the shelves; however, here are some of the finest to be introduced in the past year.
Mossberg International 702 Plinkster
With a long list of features that are tough to beat at any price, the International 702 Plinkster from O.F. Mossberg & Sons might very well be the perfect “first gun.” Available in either an 18- or 22” barrel format, the M702 sports fully adjustable factory-mounted front/rear fiber optic sights; a 3/8” dovetailed receiver; synthetic stock with stippled grip and forearm; thick vented rubber recoil pad; and the shooter’s choice of either a 10- or 25-round magazine. Want it in pink? Well, you’re in luck, as the M702 Plinkster is available not only black synthetic, but a marbled pink pattern as well.
The B22 G from Savage blends the world’s most advanced rimfire technology with traditional and very classic looks. The B22’s walnut-stained hardwood stock offers the same ergonomics of the original B-Series rifles; however, the higher comb, top tang safety, and target-style vertical pistol grip allow shooters to hold the rifle more naturally, thus putting less accuracy-spoiling pressure on the wrist. The B22G uses a 10-round rotary magazine, and comes complete with Savage’s well-received fully adjustable Accu-Trigger.
The Tikka T1x rimfire is designed to handle a wide range of shooting tasks. It’s unique cold hammer-forged barrel, with its crossover profile, offers many of the benefits of a heavier barrel without the additional weight. The T1x comes with a 10-round magazine (.22LR and 17HMR), and sports a stainless steel bolt and ergonomic pistol grip, which allows the rimfire to accept most T3x accessories and be customized to the individual shooter’s needs, wishes, and circumstances. The Tikka T1x is a rimfire of unparalled quality and craftsmanship that performs equally as well in the field as it does on the competitive circuit.
Browning T-Bolt Target/Varmint
The legendary Browning T-Bolt is now available in a Target/Varmint version chambered for the lightning quick 17HMR. Groundhogs, foxes, prairie dogs, or paper; this one can do it all, and with the look and feel of a fine centerfire.Available currently in three different configurations – Target/Varmint, Composite Target/Varmint, and Gray Laminated Target/Varmint Stainless – this 17HMR comes with a 22” free-floating barrel, black walnut stock, Double Helix magazine, top tang safety, recessed crown, and fully adjustable trigger.
Ruger American Rimfire
Versatile. Dependable. Adaptable. Reliable. Affordable. That’s the American Rimfire from Ruger, fast becoming one of the country’s most popular rimfire rifles. The American Rimfire is available in four configurations – Standard, Compact, Wood Stock, and Target – and the shooter’s choice of three calibers - .22LR, .22 Magnum, and 17HMR. A patent-pending Power Bedding integral bedding block system positively locates the receiver and free-floats the barrel resulting in outstanding accuracy. The American comes standard with Ruger’s Marksman adjustable trigger, 3/8” rimfire scope base solidly machined into the receiver, 60 degree bolt throw, and tang safety.
Ruger Precision Rimfire
Feature-rich. That’s perhaps best how to describe the Precision Rimfire, the latest addition to Ruger’s long line of legendary rifles. The Precision Rimfire begins with a molded one-piece chassis crafted of glass-filled nylon for strength, stiffness, and stability. To this is mated a cold hammer-forged 1137 alloy steel 18” threaded barrel, Ruger Marksman Adjustable trigger, Picatinny scope base, 15” free-floating handguard, and an oversized bolt handle for positive bolt operation. Other features include Ruger’s Big-Gun bolt throw adjustment, AR-pattern pistol grip and safety selector, and Quick-Fit fully adjustable stock.
American Built Arms .22 Chassis
The .22 Chassis Rifle from American Built Arms (A*B Arms) is a lightweight ergonomic rimfire that combines the Keystone 722 .22LR bolt-action with A*B Arms’ MOD*X aluminum chassis system. This exciting new rimfire sports a 16-1/2” heavy bull barrel with a 1-in-16 twist; Urban Sniper Stock and P*Grip pistol grip, both from A*B Arms; and includes a 7-round Keystone 722 magazine. With a total weight of six pounds, and an overall length of between 30-3/4” (short) and 34” (long), the .22 Chassis Rifle is the perfect choice, whether it’s a morning in the squirrel woods or an afternoon on the range.
Ruger 10/22 Target Lite
If it’s an innovative .22 one wants, there are plenty to choose from. If it’s innovation, accuracy, dependability, and 21st Century looks a shooter wishes, then the 10/22 Target Lite from Ruger sits at the top of that wish list. Set in an adjustable LOP laminate thumbhole stock, the Target Lite’s foundation lies with Ruger’s tried-and-true blowback operating system. This reliability, along with features including the BX-Trigger, push-button crossbolt safety, extended magazine release, cold hammer-forged threaded barrel set in an aluminum alloy sleeve, and a heat-stabilized glass-filled polymer trigger housing, combine to create a .22 that can only be described with one word – Legendary.
Savage Rascal FV-SR
It’s true. Today, you can wring even more accuracy out of the industry’s safest micro-rimfire, courtesy of the Rascal FV-SR from Savage. The precision of the FV-SR comes thanks to a heavy barrel with a threaded (1/2-28) muzzle. Like the original Rascal, this single-shot rifle cocks by lifting the bolt and unloads easily, without pulling the trigger. Built around a tough synthetic stock, the FV-SR spotlights Savage’s user-adjustable Accu-Trigger System; all of which makes this the ideal little rifle for those new to the shooting sports.