If you’re in the market for .22 LR rifles, you’re in luck. The .22 caliber is one of the most versatile and widely used cartridges, making it suitable for various applications such as hunting, target shooting, and plinking.
With numerous options available, it’s essential to make an informed decision to ensure you choose the best rifle that meets your needs.
In this article, we will explore the best.22 LR rifles, highlighting their key features, pros, and cons. Additionally, we’ll discuss the important factors to consider when purchasing a .22 LR rifle. So, let’s dive in and find the perfect rifle for you.
1. Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle
The Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle is a truly innovative and reliable firearm. Designed to meet the needs of outdoor enthusiasts and survivalists, this rifle shines in its lightweight and compact build. The AR-7 Survival Rifle can be easily disassembled and stored within its waterproof stock, making it a perfect companion for backpacking or emergency situations.
Don’t let its portable design fool you; this rifle delivers exceptional accuracy and performance. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking a dependable firearm during their outdoor adventures.
Disassembly and Storage
One of the most notable features of the Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle is its ability to be disassembled and stored within its stock. The barrel, receiver, and magazine can be easily broken down and stored inside the waterproof reserve, creating a compact package for transport and storage.
The rifle is constructed with lightweight materials, making it easy to carry during outdoor adventures or emergencies. It weighs around 3.5 pounds when assembled, which is remarkably light for a rifle.
The Henry AR-7 operates on a semi-automatic action, providing quick and efficient follow-up shots without manual cycling. This feature is beneficial for self-defense and survival scenarios.
.22 LR Caliber
Chambered in .22 LR, the Henry AR-7 is designed to use widely available and affordable ammunition, making it practical for prolonged use in survival situations.
Adjustable Rear Sight
The rifle is equipped with an adjustable rear sight, allowing shooters to dial in their aim for different distances and shooting conditions.
The Henry AR-7 features a durable Teflon finish on the receiver and barrel, providing resistance to weather conditions and corrosion.
- Lightweight and compact design
- Easy takedown and assembly
- Waterproof stock for storage
- Excellent choice for outdoor survival and backpacking
- Reliable and accurate
- Convenient takedown feature for easy transport
- Limited magazine capacity
- Limited customization options
2. Ruger 10/22 Takedown
The Ruger 10/22 Takedown is a tried-and-true classic that has remained a favorite among shooters for decades. What sets this rifle apart is its convenient and practical design. The detachable barrel and stock allow for easy transportation and storage, making it a versatile option for various shooting activities.
One of the best features of the Ruger 10/22 is its abundant aftermarket accessories and customization options. Shooters can easily personalize this rifle to suit their individual preferences. With its semi-automatic action, reliability, and exceptional accuracy, the Ruger 10/22 Takedown is a top choice for target shooting, plinking, and small game hunting.
Modular Takedown Design
One of the most distinctive features of the Ruger 10/22 Takedown is its modular design. The rifle can be quickly separated into two major components: the barrel and the receiver. This takedown feature makes it incredibly portable and convenient for storage or transportation, making it an ideal choice for those on the go or needing a compact firearm.
Quick and Easy Assembly
The takedown process of the Ruger 10/22 is swift and straightforward, requiring no additional tools. This user-friendly assembly allows shooters to quickly reassemble the rifle and get back into action, whether for target shooting, hunting, or self-defense purposes.
Stainless Steel Barrel
The Ruger 10/22 Takedown has a durable stainless steel barrel with excellent corrosion resistance and longevity. The 16.4-inch barrel length balances maneuverability and accuracy, making it suitable for various shooting scenarios.
Equipped with adjustable rear sights and a gold bead front sight, the Ruger 10/22 Takedown provides shooters with enhanced accuracy and precision. The sights can be easily adjusted to accommodate different shooting distances, ensuring consistent and reliable performance.
One of the reasons the Ruger 10/22 is so popular is its vast range of aftermarket accessories. Shooters can customize their 10/22 Takedown to suit their preferences and shooting needs, from stocks and barrels to trigger upgrades and optics.
- Detachable barrel and stock for easy transportation
- Compatible with various accessories and aftermarket parts
- Reliable and durable construction
- Versatile platform with abundant customization options
- Excellent accuracy and reliability
- Easy to disassemble and reassemble
- May require additional investment for desired upgrades
- Can be slightly heavier compared to other models
3. Browning SA-22
For those who appreciate the blend of classic craftsmanship and modern performance, the Browning SA-22 is a sight to behold. This semi-automatic rifle boasts a sleek and elegant design, a testament to the artistry behind its creation.
One of the standout features of the Browning SA-22 is its bottom ejection, allowing for ambidextrous use without compromising aesthetics. Beyond its captivating appearance, this rifle offers exceptional accuracy and reliability. Though it may come at a higher price point, the Browning SA-22 is an investment in a firearm that is sure to bring joy to shooters and collectors alike.
One of the most notable features of the Browning SA-22 is its takedown design. The rifle can be easily disassembled into two main components, the barrel, and the receiver, without needing additional tools. This makes it remarkably portable and convenient for storage or transportation, allowing users to pack it in a compact form for their outdoor adventures.
Premium Materials and Craftsmanship
The Browning SA-22 is renowned for its high-quality materials and impeccable craftsmanship. The receiver is machined from solid steel, ensuring durability and reliability, while the stock is often crafted from select walnut wood, adding to its elegant appearance and comfortable grip.
Sleek and Timeless Design
The rifle’s aesthetics are timeless, with clean lines and classic styling. John M. Browning’s genius in firearm design is evident in the SA-22’s elegant appearance, making it a practical firearm and a work of art.
The Browning SA-22 operates semi-automatic, allowing for quick and efficient follow-up shots. Its simple blowback operation is reliable and easy to maintain, making it an excellent choice for shooters of all skill levels.
Barrel Length and Sights
The SA-22 features a 19.25-inch barrel length, providing excellent accuracy and velocity for a rimfire rifle. Additionally, it is equipped with adjustable sights, allowing shooters to fine-tune their aim for different distances and shooting scenarios.
The Browning SA-22 typically comes with a tubular magazine in the buttstock, providing a standard capacity of 10 rounds. This design maintains the rifle’s sleek profile and contributes to its overall balance.
- Sleek and classic design
- Semi-automatic action
- Bottom ejection for ambidextrous use
- Exceptionally accurate and reliable
- Lightweight and well-balanced
- Beautiful craftsmanship
- Higher price point
- Limited capacity compared to some other models
4. Savage Rascal Target
When introducing young shooters to the world of firearms, the Savage Rascal Target stands out as an excellent choice. This single-shot bolt-action rifle is purpose-built with young enthusiasts in mind. Its compact and ergonomic design makes it easy for small hands to handle, promoting proper shooting fundamentals from the start.
An adjustable AccuTrigger ensures enhanced accuracy and safety, an essential feature for young learners. The Savage Rascal Target may be a rifle designed for beginners, but its performance and quality make it a well-rounded option for shooters of all ages.
Compact and Lightweight Build
The Savage Rascal Target boasts a compact, lightweight build, ideally suited for smaller shooters, including children and youth. With a total weight of just 2.66 pounds (1.21 kg), this rifle is easy to handle and maneuver, making it comfortable for extended shooting sessions.
The bolt-action operation of the Savage Rascal Target ensures safe and deliberate shooting. This action requires shooters to manually operate the bolt to load and fire each round, promoting a disciplined shooting approach.
One of the standout features of the Savage Rascal Target is its adjustable AccuTrigger. This user-adjustable trigger offers a crisp and light pull, making it easier for young shooters to achieve accurate and consistent shots while maintaining safety.
The rifle comes equipped with a precision button-rifled carbon steel barrel. This barrel design enhances accuracy, allowing young shooters to develop their marksmanship skills and gain confidence in their shooting abilities.
The Savage Rascal Target is fitted with adjustable peep sights, enhancing sight picture alignment for more precise shooting. These sights are ideal for teaching young shooters the fundamentals of aiming and sight alignment.
The rifle features a durable synthetic stock, contributing to its lightweight design and providing resistance to weather conditions, making it suitable for shooting in various environments.
- Compact and ergonomic design for young shooters
- Adjustable AccuTrigger for enhanced accuracy
- Single-shot bolt-action
- Ideal for beginners and young shooters
- Great accuracy and safety features
- Adjustable stock length to accommodate growing shooters
- Single-shot design may require frequent reloading
- Limited customization options
5. Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Sport
If you prefer a more tactical and modern design, the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Sport won’t disappoint. This AR-style .22 LR rifle offers familiar controls and lightweight polymer construction, providing a fun and comfortable shooting experience. While it may not be designed for long-range precision shooting, the M&P 15-22 Sport excels in close to mid-range engagements. It’s an ideal training and plinking option for those who enjoy the familiarity of the AR platform.
Adjustable Stock and Handguard
The M&P 15-22 Sport comes equipped with an adjustable six-position stock, allowing shooters to customize the length of pull to fit their preferences. Additionally, the rifle features a quad rail handguard, providing ample space for accessories like optics, lights, and grips.
Smith & Wesson designed the M&P 15-22 Sport with full-size controls, mirroring those found on traditional AR-15 rifles. This includes the magazine release, bolt catch, and safety selector, making it intuitive for AR-15 users to transition to this .22 LR variant.
The barrel is threaded, allowing users to attach muzzle devices or suppressors if desired. This feature adds to the versatility of the M&P 15-22 Sport and enhances the shooting experience.
AR-15 Style Platform
The M&P 15-22 Sport is built on a familiar AR-15 style platform, offering shooters the experience of handling an AR-15 without the recoil and cost associated with centerfire ammunition. This friendly layout makes it an excellent choice for those who want to practice and improve their skills with a similar platform.
The rifle comes with flip-up front and rear sights, providing shooters with a solid sight picture and the option to use them as backup sights if an optic is mounted.
Lightweight Polymer Construction
The rifle’s upper and lower receivers are constructed from lightweight polymer, reducing the overall weight without sacrificing durability. This polymer construction makes it comfortable for extended shooting sessions, especially for younger or newer shooters.
- AR-style design and controls
- Lightweight polymer construction
- Ambidextrous features
- Familiar AR-style platform for easy transition
- Reliable and durable build
- Excellent for plinking and training
- May require occasional maintenance for optimal performance
- Limited long-range accuracy
6. Winchester Wildcat Sporter SR
For shooters seeking a contemporary design with practical features, the Winchester Wildcat Sporter SR is worth considering. This rifle boasts a modern aesthetic, complemented by a Picatinny rail for easy accessory attachment.
The Wildcat Sporter SR features ambidextrous controls, making it accessible for both right- and left-handed shooters. While not as well-known as some other models, this rifle offers impressive accuracy and reliability, making it suitable for both plinking and target shooting.
The Winchester Wildcat Sporter SR boasts an ergonomic design, ensuring a comfortable shooting experience for users of all ages and sizes. Its well-designed stock and controls allow for easy handling and precise shooting.
The rifle operates on a semi-automatic action, providing rapid follow-up shots with minimal recoil. This feature is particularly advantageous for recreational shooting and target practice.
The Wildcat Sporter SR is built with a lightweight aluminum receiver and synthetic stock, making it easy to carry during extended shooting sessions or outdoor adventures.
The rifle features a detachable box magazine, allowing for quick and convenient reloading. The standard magazine capacity ensures shooters have enough rounds to enjoy continuous shooting without frequent reloading.
Full-Length Picatinny Rail
Equipped with a full-length Picatinny rail on top of the receiver, the Wildcat Sporter SR offers ample space for mounting optics, scopes, red dot sights, or other accessories to enhance accuracy and shooting performance.
The rifle is equipped with an adjustable AccuTrigger, allowing shooters to tailor the trigger pull to their preference. This adjustable trigger enhances accuracy and ensures a consistent and crisp trigger break.
- Modern design with a Picatinny rail
- Ambidextrous controls
- User-friendly magazine release
- Good accuracy and reliability
- Comfortable and ergonomic grip
- Easy magazine reloading
- Limited aftermarket support
- Stock may require additional customization for personal preferences
7. Rossi RS 22
If budget-friendliness is a priority, the Rossi RS 22 is an affordable semi-automatic option that won’t break the bank. This rifle may come at a lower price point, but it doesn’t compromise on reliability and performance.
The Rossi RS 22 is an ideal choice for recreational shooting, plinking, and small game hunting. Its fiber optic front sight aids in quick target acquisition, and its lightweight build ensures easy handling and comfort during extended shooting sessions.
The Rossi RS 22 operates on a semi-automatic action, allowing for quick and efficient follow-up shots without manually cycling the bolt. This feature is advantageous for target shooting and small-game hunting.
The rifle comes with a detachable magazine, facilitating convenient reloading. The standard magazine capacity ensures shooters have sufficient rounds for extended shooting sessions.
The Rossi RS 22 is built with a durable black synthetic stock and a stainless steel barrel, providing resistance to the elements and ensuring longevity.
Fiber Optic Front Sight
Equipped with a fiber optic front sight, the Rossi RS 22 offers enhanced visibility and quick target acquisition, particularly in low-light conditions.
Manual Cross-Bolt Safety
The rifle features a manual cross-bolt safety, allowing shooters to engage and disengage the safety quickly for added security during handling and transport.
Weaver-Style Scope Mount
The Rossi RS 22 is equipped with a Weaver-style scope mount, providing the option to mount various optics and scopes for improved accuracy and precision.
- Affordable option
- Semi-automatic action
- Fiber optic front sight
- Budget-friendly choice
- Reliable and lightweight
- Suitable for plinking and small game hunting
- Limited customization options
- May have occasional reliability issues
Now that we have explored the top 7 .22 LR rifles on the market let’s delve into the essential factors to consider when purchasing the best .22 LR rifle.
Things to Consider When Buying the Best .22 LR Rifles
Quality of Construction:
The build quality of a .22 LR rifle is crucial for its longevity and performance. Look for rifles made from durable materials and with solid craftsmanship.
Accurate shooting is essential, especially for target shooting and small game hunting. Consider rifles with features like adjustable triggers and barrels to enhance precision.
Determine your primary use for the rifle, whether it’s hunting, plinking, or target shooting. This will help you choose a rifle optimized for your specific needs.
The action and style of the rifle can greatly impact your shooting experience. Bolt-action rifles offer precision, while semi-automatic rifles provide rapid-fire capabilities.
Look for rifles that offer consistent accuracy and have features such as adjustable sights or rails for adding optics.
Reliability is essential for any firearm. Consider rifles with a proven track record of reliability and minimal malfunctions.
Set a budget for your .22 LR rifle purchase. Remember to consider not only the initial cost but also any additional accessories or upgrades you may need.
After considering these factors, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and find the best .22 LR rifle that suits your requirements.
What is the best .22 LR bolt-action rifle for hunting?
The Savage Rascal Target stands out as an excellent bolt-action rifle for hunting. It’s compact size and adjustable AccuTrigger make it a great choice for both young and seasoned hunters.
What is a .22 LR rifle best used for?
A .22 LR rifle is best used for recreational shooting, target practice, plinking, and small game hunting.
Is a .22 LR rifle good for beginners?
Yes, a .22 LR rifle is an ideal choice for beginners and young shooters due to its low recoil and manageable shooting experience.
How much does a .22 LR rifle cost?
The cost of a .22 LR rifle varies depending on the brand, model, and features. On average, you can find budget-friendly options starting from around $200, while more premium models can go up to $800 or more.
What is the most accurate .22 rifle in the world?
While many .22 rifles offer exceptional accuracy, the CZ 457 Varmint Precision Trainer has gained a reputation for being one of the most accurate .22 rifles available. Its heavy barrel and precise design make it a popular choice among precision shooters.
Final Thoughts on the Best .22 LR Rifles
The .22 LR rifles mentioned above offer a wide range of options for shooters of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced shooter, there’s a rifle that will fit your needs. Remember to consider your preferences, shooting style, and intended use when selecting the perfect rifle. Investing in a high-quality .22 LR rifle will provide you with years of enjoyment and reliable performance.