Best .22 Rifles Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Buying a .22 is a great decision for a lot of reasons. This is the perfect weapon to buy if you have someone you would like to teach how to shoot. The recoil is a less than many higher caliber options so it won't be as intimidating. Another reason to use this is that it is a good choice for those who want to hunt small game.
.22's have spent a long time as one of the classics, in terms of guns. Many of the options on this list have been around for a long time. As they say, it's hard to beat a classic. This list has ten of the best .22s that you can currently find on the market. There's a mix of old and new, but you can be confident in knowing that these are the best around.
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Room for customization
Well-constructed and durable
10 Best .22 Rifles
1. Marlin Model 60
Room for customization
Well-constructed and durable
Might have to adjust it a little to get it how you like
The absolute, most classic, .22 , the Marlin Model 60 has been the most widely owned .22 for a long time, and there's no real reason for that to change.
The Model 60 still looks like it did when it was made years back, and still holds onto that same reliability. However, these days it can be made with the classic hardwood stock, or with a synthetic stock that makes it a little lighter. It holds a fourteen round magazine that remains open after you are finished so that it can be quickly reloaded.
This relishes in its own simplicity, but it is important that you can change it up if you think that it is time to move on. There are studs so that you can add a sling to make it easier to carry this one. The grip can have a pistol grip quickly molded onto it for extra comfort. There is even a groove so that you can attach a scope if you would like.
Cost and Value
The Model 60 is very cheap as well. It is easy to buy this gun for the same price that it would cost to buy a high-end BB gun. This is well-made and built to last. There are a few options when it comes to the one that you would like, as well as the customizables you might want to attach. This is the perfect option for anyone starting out, or otherwise.
2. Ruger 10/22
Easy to use safety
More expensive than Model 60
Here you have the other classic .22. The Ruger is not quite on the same level as the Model 60 as far as popularity goes, but it is close enough in terms of quality.
The Ruger is another classic option for those who remember just learning how to use their first gun, but the Ruger has spent more time modernizing for the times. This has been designed with a polymer grip that will give you the most comfortable feel, as well as an easy to use push button safety that makes it apparent when it is ready to use or not.
The Ruger has been designed to be long-lasting and reliable, so that you don't need to worry about if it will be ready to use when you need it. The Ruger's barrel is made of hammered steel that will retain its shape without warping, even after hundreds of uses. The other advantage to the Ruger is its world-renowned rotary magazine, that will never jam on you.
Cost and Value
This product is quite a bit more than the Model 60, but if you buy it you won't have to worry about buying another .22 ever again. These are built to last, and it can be seen in every aspect of its construction. These are great for any kind of target shooting, or small game hunting that you made need them for.
3. Marlin Model XT-22
Can change trigger weight
Strict safety setting
Comfortable grip and butt
Have to work in the bolt
Marlin makes another appearance on this list, mostly due to the consistent quality of all of their products. The XT-22 is a bolt-action .22 with some great features.
Bolt Action .22
The XT-22 is a bolt-action option, which makes for a very different experience than the previous .22s on this list. Bolt-action options have a satisfying hands-on feeling that lets you really experience the entire process of using a weapon. Marlin's bolt-action is well-designed to make the act of chambering a cartridge a smooth and easy experience.
The XT-22 is also cleverly designed so you can better choose the firing experience that you would like. This has an adjustable trigger pull so you can choose how easy it is to fire the gun. If you are teaching someone smaller to use this weapon then you can put the trigger pull at three pounds to make it a little easier on them, or put it to six pounds for someone larger.
Cost and Value
The XT-22 comes with a wealth of modern features that make it a great choice for anyone who needs a .22 . It is comfortable and easy-to-use. It is well-designed when it comes to making sure that this is safe to use. It is also not that much more than the Model 60. If you enjoy the feeling of using a bolt-action, then it is hard to find much better than this.
4. Mossberg 715T
Can use multiple sizes of magazine
Can be difficult to reload
The Mossberg 715T is a semi-automatic .22 that aims for a more modern military aesthetic. Beyond its great look, it is also a well-designed small caliber weapon.
The 715T is designed to look more like a modern military weapon, but designed with a smaller caliber to make it safer and more apt for training purposes. Many .22 favor the classic military style of World War Two weapons, but the 715T is better designed for those who enjoy the modern military. It has the heavy-duty look, but with a lighter touch for the kids.
However, it isn't just about the looks. The 715T is on this list because it is a very well-designed small arms optionthat does a great job for range shooting and small game hunting. It is made for durability, due to its blued barrel that won't let the finish become warped. It is also designed with an adjustable stock that lets you find the position that is most comfortable for you.
Cost and Value
This costs a bit more than the Marlin, and is more in the territory of the Ruger. This is mostly because it has a lot of modern polish that makes it reliable and durable in the face of heavy use. There are many ways that you can adjust this to make it more your own. It is also very easy to load and can be loaded with multiple kinds of magazines to better fit your style and budget.
5. Henry AR-7
Can be broken down
Not really for training, unique feel when held
This weapon is a very uniquely designed choice that is designed specifically for outdoor hunting of small game, and other survival situations.
Portable and Useful
The Henry was originally designed for pilots so that they would stand a chance in the outdoors if they ever crashed. This has a long history, just like the Marlin Model 60, but has a more specific use in mind. It is perfect for taking out on a hunting trip due to the very quick disassembly. This can be broken down into three parts so that it can easily fit into a backpack for easy travel.
Perfect for Hunting Trips
This won't take anything large down, but if you want to eat something fresh for dinner when you go out camping, then this is the weapon for you. It is very lightweight, as it weighs just under four pounds. All of the pieces can be fit into the stock for when it is not in use. The stock is waterproof so you don't have to worry about it getting warped or damaged when it is put away.
Cost and Value
This costs more than the Marlin, but it is a great choice for any sort of practical application. A lot of these are designed for training, but this one is more designed for its practical applications. You are not going to eat an entire deer when you go out on a long camping trip, but maybe a rabbit would be nice. This caters to that mindset perfectly.
6. Tikka T3X Lite
Resistant to weather
Adjustable trigger pull
Lightweight for travel
This weapon is another choice if you want that satisfying feeling of owning a bolt-action, but want something a little different than the obvious choice of a Marlin.
This is the perfect choice for someone who wants to keep their weapon lightweight and easy to use. Maybe just because you know you are going to have to walk it far into the bush, or perhaps you want to train someone who isn't quite as strong as you. This gun weighs an easy to carry six and a half pounds. It also has an adjustable trigger pull that can be set at either two or four pounds of pressure.
Reliable and Accurate
This is designed to be extra accurate and easy to use so that taking it out into the bush will be a positive experience for you. It will give you a tight grouping all the way up to one hundred yards, which is more than enough for anyone firing in the woods. It is also designed to withstand any kind of weather that you might have to deal with.
Cost and Value
The Tikka is more heavy-duty than the others on this list. This one is a great choice for anyone who wants to take their shooting out into the woods to tackle the real thing. This will give you a great hunting experience, but it does cost quite a bit more to match. It is much more than even the Ruger. However, this is a great choice if you have the money and the experience.
7. Savage Arms A22
High quality pieces
Choice of firing mode
Designed for high-quality magazines
Magazines that come with are not very good
The Savage Arms A22 is another bolt-action rifle that is designed to be as easy as to use as possible, while keeping the weight down, and the individual pieces durable.
The A22 is designed to have as easy to use a magazine as possible. It is easy to load in, as well as easy to fire. It is designed so that it will never jam, and you can be sure that you can fire at the rate that you need to. It is designed to take the most high-quality magazines and do the best that is possible with them.
High Quality Design
This rifle is designed with the highest quality parts for consistency and durability. It features a blued barrel that will never warp or have its finish discolored. The stock is made of a synthetic material that will keep the rifle very light and easy to lug around. The feed can also be controlled by the bolt, or just by using it as a semi-automatic.
Cost and Value
This costs closer to the Ruger than it does to the Marlin. This rifle is designed for those looking for something with all the more modern pieces that you would find in modern rifles. It is a great choice for anyone who wants the ability to switch between bolt-action and semi-automatic, depending on how you feel.
8. Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Sport
Well designed pieces
Can be used by both Right and Left-handed people
Can be fitted with multiple sizes of magazine
Smith & Wesson is one of the most well-known firearm companies around, and that is for a good reason. Look no further than this .22.
Sport Shooting by Smith & Wesson
This weapon has been designed to be as useful for sport shooting as possible, It has been designed after the classic AR-15 used by the military, but it is designed for being taken out into the woods for some small game hunting. It has a carbon-steel barrel that is easy to carry around, as well as a comfortable polymer grip that feels smooth in the hand.
Adjust to Your Fit
It is also designed to be able to be used by just about anyone. This is designed to be ambidextrous so you don't have to worry if you are a righty or a lefty. The stock can be adjusted into six different positions, depending on what feels comfortable. The sights are also able to be flipped down for the attachment of a scope, or just so that it is more comfortable when carried.
Cost and Value
This weapon is quite a bit more than the ones higher up on this list, but it is designed for comfort and adjustability. It is a great choice for anyone who wants to do some small game hunting, but also knows that the weapon will probably be switching hands often. It comes from Smith & Wesson so you know the pieces are well-made.
9. Mossberg Blaze
Easy to use
Strictly an entry-level product
The Blaze is an easy to use .22 from Mossberg that makes your shooting about as easy as it gets. This is a great choice for when you just want to relax and fire off a few rounds.
Easy to Use
The Blaze has been designed so that it is as easy to use as possible. There are no obstructions on the stock or barrel so that it is easy to carry around and aim. It is designed to be as lightweight as possible so that you won't get tired. On top of that, it has been designed to be a comfortable fit in both the grip and butt.
Durable and Accurate
The Mossberg Blaze is also designed to be as accurate as possible. It has a 1:16 twist so that it sends bullets flying with little distraction. There are also many pieces that make it exceptionally durable for long bouts of use. The barrel is blued so that it can last for long use. There is also the vented stock so that you won't get uncomfortable firing it for long stretches of time.
Cost and Value
This is the cheapest product on this list. The biggest selling point of this is that it keeps it as simple as possible. It has a magazine that is easy to detach and refill. It is also easy to take it for a long session on the range. This is good for just letting a little bit of steam off with not very much set-up or maintenance required.
10. Browning SA-22
High quality parts
Gold beads on sight
Made with additions in mind
Not a good first weapon
This is a high quality .22 that will stand the test of time just as well as its brand has. It is made of high-quality parts and is designed to last.
High Quality Construction
This is the weapon you want to buy if you need a cherry on top of your collection. This is an auto-loading semi-automatic that has some exquisite pieces of design. The sights have gold beads so that they help you aim, while adding a bit of class. The barrel is forged of iron, and feels expensive. On top of that, there is the walnut finish that gives a deep brown look to the product.
The design of this was chosen a long time ago, but it has withstood the test of time. The sights are adjustable so that you can better zero them to your taste. There have been holes drilled into the gun to make it easy for you to add a scope of your choice. This has also been designed with a blued barrel so that you don't have to be worried about warping or other damage.
Cost and Value
This product costs quite a bit more than others on this list, but that is because this is more of a luxury item. You shouldn't buy this to teach somebody how to shoot, or if it is your first weapon. This is for someone who has experience and just wants something built towards a higher standard. There are finishing touches here that prove the craftsmanship.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
.22's are considered very accurate, as long as you use them as the range that they are recommended for. .22s are not designed for large animals, due to their lack of stopping power, but they are also not recommended for bird hunting in most cases either. This is because they do not have the range to fire that far, unless you are confident that you can get close enough. Generally, .22's can shoot around one hundred yards without having to worry about the bullet falling or losing any power behind. In reality, this is more than far enough for most uses you could think of using a weapon for, be it hunting or just range shooting. The higher that the score is in this category, the more likely that the gun that you buy will reliably shoot a tight grouping at around one hundred yards.
One of the main reasons that a .22 is most people's first gun is that it is less intimidating than many of the larger caliber options. This makes it a great choice for teaching because it is easy to get frightened by the heavy recoil and loudness associated with many other kinds of weapons. This makes it important that the option that you buy is as comfortable as possible so that any newbies don't get scared off. The products on this list will all keep the volume down, as well as have a reasonable level of recoil so that you don't lose any potential shooting partners. Other things to look for when looking for a comfortable gun is one with a cushioned butt because many people aren't ready for the soreness that can develop in the shoulder after long periods of shooting, as well as a molded grip that lets people casually rest their hands on the weapon. It will help with confidence if it feels good in the hands.
Ease of Use
There are many little things that gun manufacturers can do to make the process of shooting, reloading, and using the gun as simple as possible. Luckily, the makers of the weapons on this list thought of all of that. Look for things in your .22 like being able to easily change the magazines. Some use different kinds of magazines that are specially designed to pop out immediately when they are empty. Others use a single button press. There are other great quality of life features such as adjustable trigger pulls which allow you to choose how heavy the trigger is for firing. This allows you to choose the strength of the pull depending on the person using the .22. Another great feature is finding an option with an adjustable stock. This allows you to adjust for individual shooters even more.
It is likely that the people using this .22 will be newbies sometimes. This means that it is especially important to make sure that the safety features of the weapon are geared towards people who might not be sure how the gun work. Due to this, look for .22's that have safeties that need to be pressed in for every shot. This makes it easier to feel confident in your shooting student or newbie. If this is not as important to you, there are other kinds of safeties on this list, such as the options that use a simple switch to turn it from safe to active. It all depends on the kind of safety that you are looking for when you are buying your weapon.
Just because a .22 isn't as powerful as other options, doesn't mean that it doesn't go through a real beating every time it is taken for a long session at the range. Luckily, every product on this list has been designed to survive the test of time, as well as very long sessions of shooting. Look for options that have been designed with blued steel so that there won't be any surface warping of the coloration of the metal. There is also the matter of what kind of material you would like your .22 to be made of. They all do a good job of keeping it in tip-top shape but make sure it is some kind machined steel or synthetic material that can withstand high amounts of heat and force being subjected to it. The higher the rating in this category, the more likely it is that your new .22 will last for the long haul.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
The .22 is a good choice to teach someone who is not used to handling firearms, such as children or other kinds of newbies, because it is a bit less heavy-duty than other options. If you gave a large caliber pistol to a child, they probably wouldn't even be able to pull the trigger, let alone be comfortable holding the weapon up. A .22 will make it easy for them to learn, because it is so simple, and so light. It is light in both weight, and in trigger pull, so the difficulty of shooting the .22 won't get in the way of the more important basics of firing a weapon. This, on top of the fact that it is a much less intimidating weapon than larger caliber firearms, makes it a great choice for those who aren't quite comfortable with using a firearm.
All of the .22's on this list take different amounts of bullets in their magazines. They are also only compatible with certain kinds of magazines. The rotary magazines that go into most .22s make it a bit more specific at the size of magazine that can fit in, seeing as how it becomes concealed within the .22. There are other options that use traditional magazines that jut out, and these have the advantage of giving you more options as to the size that you want. The size of the magazine will usually be from ten rounds to fourteen, which is more than enough. Many also come with their own magazines, which should save you some money in the long run, as well as ensure that you have the right size of magazine for your gun.
Other Factors to Consider
One of the biggest advantages to buying a .22 is that they are much lighter than other guns on the market. This is especially useful for things like hunting, where the only way that the gunis coming with you is if it strapped to your back. The weights of the .22s on this list do vary quite a bit. The range is from three and a half pounds to six and half. That is still quite light for any kind of weapon, and will make an hours long trip into the outdoors a much less intimidating thing. The makers of many of these .22s thought of this as well, and have made some products on this list foldable, so that they will take up less space in your pack for when you are going on a trip. This makes it much easier for you to take your .22 with you, and might even let you put it in your bag so you don;t have to awkwardly hang it off of one shoulder.
There are many extra pieces of custom equipment that you can add to your .22 to make it more to your liking. Many of the products on this list have thought of the fact that you might want to switch up the style of your .22, and have added notches and screws that make it easier for you to do so. One of the things many of these have added is the ability for a scope to be added onto the weapon. This is a simple matter of screwing it into the holes that the .22 makers have already put into place in the back. Other thoughtful things that the developers have done is added studs to the sides which makes it easier for you to add a strap to it to make it easier to carry into the bush, as well as made it so that the grips on the stock can be swapped out for one more to your liking.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why is a .22 a good learning weapon?
The .22 is a good choice to teach someone who is not used to handling firearms, such as children or other kinds of newbies, because it is a bit less heavy-duty than other options. If you gave a large caliber pistol to a child, they probably wouldn't even be able to pull the trigger, let alone be comfortable holding the weapon up. A .22 will make it easy for them to learn, because it is so simple, and so light. It is light in both weight, and in trigger pull, so the difficulty of shooting it won't get in the way of the more important basics of firing a weapon. This, on top of the fact that it is a much less intimidating weapon than larger caliber firearms, makes it a great choice for those who aren't quite comfortable with using a firearm.
q: Why is a .22 good for hunting if it isn't strong enough for larger animals?
It may seem backwards wehn people claim that the .22 is a good option for taking into the woods and hunting, but it really is a good choice. A .22 won't be able to take down a larger animal. In fact, it would be quite cruel to even try to take down a deer with a .22, you will only be maiming it and doing no favors to yourself, or the deer. However, a .22 is more useful for the more practical side of hunting. The .22 has been used as a survival weapon for many years, and this is because of how easy it is to handle and carry, for extended periods of time. Hunting a deer often means staking out a single location for hours before getting a single kill, but with a .22 you can hunt many kinds of smaller animals without damaging the flesh, or having to wait for hours on end. If you are in a survival situation, a .22 will be very useful in getting single meal animals, such as rabbits or squirrels, at a much more useful rate than any kind of larger game.
q: Why should I buy a bolt-action instead of a semi-auotmatic?
Semi-automatic options are convenient, and that has made them very popular. They are also being designed to be more and more dependable as time goes on. On the other hand, a bolt-action does still have a use beyond its aesthetic qualities, and the fact that it hearkens back to the good ol' days. A bolt-action means that you will have to chamber each round, one at a time. This is more time-consuming, but it also does have some advantages to the quick and simple firing of a semi-automatic. A bolt-action is actually more accurate than a semi-automatic. This is because the barrel, and the pieces that place the round in the chamber, can be tighter. Semi-automatics are built a little looser so that it is easier for the bullet to get where it needs to be quickly, and without jamming. This makes them a little less accurate. It isn't by a large margin, but this means that it is a matter of if you want the convenient and quick firing of the semi-automatic, or the accurate and dependable firing of the bolt-action.