What Is The Best 22 Rifle? We Look At 5 Top .22 Rifle Options

What is the best 22 rifle? A lot of people tend to believe the bigger the caliber, the better! However there is a place for smaller calibers such as the .22 Long Rifle (LR) round.

The 22 Long Rifle rimfire is the most widely sold caliber of ammunition sold today in the world! The reason for that is simple. It is cheap ammunition to manufacture, it has low recoil and does not make a lot of noise. This all makes it a great choice for folks who want to do a lot of target practise shooting, or who just want to go out plinking for fun.

If you are just starting out and learning how to shoot, the .22 LR is probably the ideal caliber to start on. Even the Boy Scouts like using the .22 LR, as they use it to earn their rifle shooting badge. The low recoil helps new shooters to establish the correct shooting posture and technique. If they were to start from using a larger caliber, they would probably struggle and learn some bad shooting habits. This can be critical things, such as flinching in anticipation of the recoil or developing the wrong follow-through technique.

Of course it is not the perfect ammunition. The low recoil, low cost and low noise levels are a definite plus. But the low power it has is its biggest disadvantage. For larger game hunting or even self-defense, it is not the best choice.

5 Top .22 LR Rifles

Whenever we have a “the best” type of list, it tends to kick off a lot of debate. That is simply because everyone has their own likes, dislikes and requirements. So below we list 5 rifles that we believe deserve to be on the list of the best 22 rifle options, but realise that some folks might have differing opinions.

If you do want to share your thoughts on what the best 22 rifle is, please do so! We appreciate any input from our readers. Simply comment in the comments section below and tell us which rifle you think is the best 22 rifle and why.

RifleBarrel Length (In)Weight (Lbs)
Ruger 10/22 Takedown18.54.67
Browning Semiauto .2219.255.2
Anschutz 1700 Series237.5
Marlin Model 60195.5

Ruger 10/22 Takedown

Ruger 10/22 TakedownThe Ruger 10/22 is probably one of the better know and more popular modern .22 LR rifles around. It is a semi-automatic rifle with a 10-round rotary magazine. A nice design features is that the magazine fits flush with the bottom of the rifle’s stock. If you want a higher capacity magazine though, they are also available.

In March 2012 Ruger introduced the 10/22 Takedown model. What makes it unique from the other rifles on our list, this rifle dissembles into into its barrel and buttstock. You also get a “backpack style” case with it, which has room for your rifle, some ammo and various accessories.

The Takedown’s standard model comes with a brushed aluminum receiver, along with a 18.5″ barrel with a black synthetic stock.

The MSRP of the Takedown is higher than the basic Ruger 10/22 carbine (~$439 for the Takedown vs ~$309 for the basic model).

The overall simple and rugged design of this rifle makes it reliable and versatile. As it is also a smaller rifle than the basic model and comes packed in a backpack style storage bag, it becomes an option as a survival type of weapon that you can keep stored away without it taking up too much space. The ability to remove the barrel  makes the Takedown very easy to clean and maintain.

If you want a reliable, accurate and light weight rifle, which has a lot of after-market accessories available, then the Takedown might just be the best 22 rifle option for your needs.

Check out this practical review from HICKOK45 below.

Browning Semiauto .22

Browning-Semi-Auto-22

The Browning 22 Semi-Auto rifle is actually produced by Belgian gun manufacturer FN Herstel. But is called a Browning as it is based on a John Browning patent. You might have also come across this rifle when it is known as the Semi Automatic 22 or SA-22. The rifle is actually considered to be a classic, as it was the first production semi-automatic rifle chambered in .22 LR caliber.

It certainly has the classic look, with its walnut and blued steel. A nice little feature of this rifle is the fact that it ejects spent cartridges downward, in stead of up. The idea is that your face will be protected from gasses or flying debris when firing. The reality might be though that the sizzling hot cartridge ends up going down your shirt sleeve!

If you are looking for a rifle that you can mount a scope on and that is very precise, then this is probably not the best 22 rifle for you. It is a bit pricey and is more for folks that want a “classical” gun.

Anschutz 1700 Series

Anschutz-1710The Germans know how to make solid pieces of engineering wonder, and the Anschutz rifles are no exception.

The1700 series sporting rifles are based on the Anschutz Model 54 Match Action, which are famous as being the rifle of choice at shooting competitions around the world. Apparently the Anschutz Model 54 Match Action have captured more shooting competitions around the world than all the other brands combined!

Anschutz promises in their marketing materials that they make each 1700 series rifle to the same level of engineering and quality as that of the Olympic target rifles.

This is a top quality rifle, that comes with a price tag to match it. You probably will need to fork over approximately $1300 or more! In fact, at the time of this article being written, Anschutz 1710 rifles were being listed on GunBroker.com for well over $2000!

So if you just want a .22 rifle for general shooting and a bit of small game hunting, then this is perhaps not the best 22 rifle option for your needs. However if you want a top of the line rifle that is well made and extremely accurate, then you should have a look into this rifle.

You can check out an in depth review of the Anschutz 171o here:

Marlin Model 60

Marlin Model 60

If you want a US made rifle, the Marlin Model 60 might just be the best 22 rifle option for you, as it is made by the legendary Remington Arms in Kentucky. While Remington is not quite as old as Beretta (which is the world’s oldest existing arms manufacturer), it is America’s oldest arms manufacturer, having been founded in 1816!

Remington says that the Marlin Model 60 is the most popular rifle of its kind in the world! It certainly has been around long enough for that statement to be true, as the rifle was first produced in 1960.

Features that you can expect on this rifle include a cross-bolt safety, a micro-grooved barrel, a brass inner magazine and a hardwood stock with Monte Carlo comb.

What is really good about this specific rifle is its accuracy. The Micro-Groove rifling in the rifle helps to improve the accuracy of the rifle by reducing deformation of fired bullets traveling down the barrel.

Even thought the Model 60 is not a very expensive rifle, it has a reputation of being one of the most accurate .22 LR rifles out there. You do not have to do any modifications to it out of the box.

If you want something that is reliable, accurate and cheap then this is the rifle you should be looking. You will struggle to find something that can beat this rifle at this price.

Wrapping Up

Clearly picking one rifle as the BEST 22 rifle out there is not that simple. There are different folks with different requirements and preferences when it comes to a 22 rifle. If you want a really affordable rifle for starting out then the Marlin Model 60 might be the best 22 rifle for you. However if you are looking for something more elite that is well made and extremely accurate, then the Anschutz is the option you will probably be drawn to. For the folks that wants something in between that is affordable but still well made and accurate, the Ruger and the CZ is probably two great contenders to be called the best 22 rifle.

What Do You  Think – What Is The Best 22 Rifle?

Above we looked at 5 great .22 rifle options. However there are more rifles out there that are solid rifles and that other folks would be able to argue should be considered as the best 22 rifle. So if you have some thoughts on the subject, please feel free to post it in the comments section below.