The .22 rifle is a great weapon for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. It’s also an excellent way to introduce new shooters to the sport. The best part about this caliber? You can practice with it all day long without spending much money!
People are often confused by which type of gun they should buy for hunting or target shooting purposes because there are so many choices in different calibers available out there. The .22 is known for its accuracy, affordability, and availability.
If you are just starting or looking for a fun day of shooting at the range with your friends, then consider one of these best .22 LR rifles to get started! Not to mention, the .22 is the most versatile caliber on this list because it can be used for almost any purpose.
Let’s jump into why the .22 is a good option and look at 8 excellent .22 caliber rifles for you to get your hands on!
Best .22 LR Rifles
- Ruger 10/22
- Browning .22 Rifle
- Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22
- Henry U.S. Survival AR-7 .22
- Ruger Tactical .22 Rifle
- Marlin Model 60
- Winchester Wildcat .22
- Henry Lever Action .22
The Ruger .22 is a great rifle for new shooters and hunters. It’s accurate, reliable, and comes in a variety of configurations to suit your needs. The Ruger is an iconic rifle that has been around for over 50 years because it works well without breaking the bank! The .22 LR cartridge makes this weapon very popular with enthusiasts all over the world due to its low cost per round which can be found at most shooting ranges or stores where they sell ammo.
This makes it a popular choice for survivalists because it can serve as a primary weapon to hunt small game or be used in tandem with larger weapons. With so many different variations available it’s easy to find one that suits your needs whether they include hunting, target practice, plinking cans, or just general fun at the shooting range!
Its solid construction ensures that this gun will last through years of use while maintaining its accuracy over time due to the rigid barrel and its reliable design. Plus, the Ruger 10/22 is one of the few .22s available in a semi-auto. It’s great for people who want to shoot rapidly and accurately without reloading or switching out magazines which can be tedious at times!
The Ruger is also plentiful for hunting small game. This makes it a popular choice for survivalists because it can serve as a primary weapon to hunt small game or be used in tandem with larger weapons.
With so many different variations available it’s easy to find one that suits your needs whether they include hunting, target practice, plinking cans, or just general fun at the shooting range! Its solid construction ensures that this gun will last through years of use while maintaining its accuracy over time due to the rigid barrel and its reliable design.
- Satin Black
- Weight5 lb.
- Overall Length – 37″
- Barrel Length – 18.50″
Browning .22 Rifle
The Browning .22 is a good rifle especially for new shooters who want to get their feet wet in the .22 world. The rifle is accurate and comes with many different sight options available. It’s very accurate so it would be great for small game hunting.
If you’re looking at learning how to shoot this weapon would be perfect because of its low recoil feel along with having several sight options available which makes it easier when trying to target smaller animals or objects. It also works well in close quarters like a shooting house where you can see out of windows easily due to the short length (approx 36 inches).
It’s also perfect to learn how to shoot because of the low recoil feel along with having several sight options available which makes it easier when trying to target smaller animals or objects. What’s more, it is also best for things such as pest control, target practice, and plinking. While it may not be the best for deer hunting, it is a great rifle for smaller animals.
The other thing that makes this gun so popular among hunters alike is its ease to shoot as well as its affordability. It’s also perfect to learn how to shoot because of the low recoil feel along with having several sight options available which makes it easier when trying to target smaller animals or objects.
- Short 33° lever throw
- Tubular magazine
- Straight grip
- Adjustable sights
Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22
The Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 is yet another great rifle that has a great .22LR conversion kit. It can be used as an AR-15 or as a standalone weapon which makes it easier to carry around due to its smaller size and lighter weight.
The action on this gun is smooth, however, the charging handle feels like plastic so I’m not sure how well you would want to push on it if shooting in close quarters situations where fast reloading may be needed.
If using for self-defense purposes there are also several sight options available here too but double-check with your local laws because some states have restrictions on certain types of sights being legal, while others require dot sighting only etc.
The compact size of the gun is one of its biggest draws as it can be concealed very easily, which makes it a perfect option for those who want to carry but not have their weapon drawing too much attention from people around them.
This manufacturer is one of the best, so you can expect a high-quality product that performs excellently. The gun will need a sharp bore for optimum accuracy, but this is common with any .22LR weapon so you should not be surprised when the rifle doesn’t shoot exactly how it was intended to right out of the box.
- Capacity 25
- Barrel Twist 1 in 15″
- Barrel Length 16.5″
- Stock 6-Position CAR
Henry U.S. Survival AR-7 .22
The Henry U.S. Survival AR-7 brings a good experience for the cost. This rifle is very light with its polymer exterior, making it easy to pack up and carry into remote areas or keep in an emergency bag for bug-out situations. The action on this gun also feels smooth while shooting despite being a bit stiffer than some of the other rifles on this list so far but still not difficult by any means to operate either.
The Henry U.S Survival AR-22 has several different stock color options available which do add a nice touch if you are someone who likes that kind of aesthetic detail however I would probably recommend leaving them plain black just because they will get scratched up over time no matter how careful you are especially when out hunting etc.
It shoots slightly slower than other models in terms of speed loaders these days which makes them useful if you need fast follow-up shots without needing to reload your gun manually each time.
This also means they will last longer since the bullets have less strain being put on them during use so, in my opinion, they are well worth their higher price tag especially in survival situations where every advantage helps even just a little bit.
You’ll also notice that the weight of these magazines is considerably lower than other models and while this might not seem like a big deal, it can actually be helpful when you’re trying to shoot especially if your arms get tired.
- 8 round magazine
- ABS plastic stock
- Teflon coated receiver and coated steel barrel
Ruger Tactical .22 Rifle
The Ruger Tactical .22 is a good rifle and a great option for someone who is looking for something solid. The gun itself shoots well and the price point makes it affordable which is nice to have especially if you are just getting into shooting or want something that can practice with more frequently than some of the other rifles on this list might allow.
The only complaint about this rifle is that there aren’t any iron sights available so you will need to purchase an aftermarket set, however, they do seem pretty easy to install as far as optics go because all Ruger SR22 models come equipped with Picatinny rails included in their design.
It features a polymer frame with interchangeable rubberized grips, which makes for easy customization depending on your hand size or personal preferences.
We think the Ruger Ruger Tactical might be our favorite .22 caliber rifle so far and even though many people assume that this gun would just be good for beginners who have found themselves enjoying shooting more than expected! With all said, the Ruger Tactical is a great .22 rifle and we think your experience with it will be more than memorable.
- Twist1:16″ RH
- Capacity- 10
- Barrel MaterialAlloy Steel
- High-quality material
Marlin Model 60
The Marlin Model 60 is incredible for a rifle of this price point. It is incredibly accurate which makes this an excellent gun to take down targets at the range or small varmints out in a field somewhere because its .22 caliber allows you to practice shooting without worrying about over-penetration as much as some other calibers might allow.
Another thing that owners enjoy about the Marlin Model 60 is its incredible ease of use so even those who are new shooters can pick up this rifle, load the magazine, pull back on the bolt arm, and fire away with little trouble compared to other rifles because they lack auto-loaders.
The Marlin Model 60 is best for people looking for a small rifle that is easy to use, accurate, and holds enough rounds in the magazine so you can practice without having to reload too often. The gun is incredible for plinking, small game hunting, and target practice.
It’s a .22LR rifle so it does not have as much power or penetration capacity as some rifles might but this can be a benefit for those who do not want to deal with the over-penetration. It’s a great rifle for beginners and is one of the best .22LR rifles on the market.
The Marlin Model 60 is the best .22LR rifle for beginners because it is not expensive, easy to use and maintain, and can be used for many different purposes.
- Micro-Groove rifling
- 14-shot tubular magazine
- 1-piece hardwood stock
- Adjustable open sights
Winchester Wildcat .22
The Winchester Wildcat .22 is another rifle that is often recommended because it provides excellent accuracy at 100 yards. This rifle can be used for long-range shooting, varmint hunting or just to have fun with the family on a day out practicing your target-shooting skills.
Not only does it come in several different styles and color options but every model features special receiver grooves that are designed to make holding onto the Wildcat .22 while wearing gloves easier which further adds versatility to its use since many shooters who enjoy using this particular firearm like doing so during colder months.
This Wildcat .22 is a great choice for hunters who are looking to use their favorite rifle for both short-range and long-distance shooting. It has a 16.5-inch blued steel barrel which is designed to provide accuracy at 100 yards or more, making it the perfect choice when hunting small game with precision shots in mind.
This gun also comes equipped with an adjustable rear sight that you can easily fine-tune depending on your preferences if you decide not to upgrade this part of the firearm down the road once you get used to its factory settings.
- 10-round rotary magazine
- Threaded, Chromoly steel barrel
- Fully-adjustable ghost ring rear sight
- 2 molded sling mounts
Henry Lever Action .22
The .22 Henry Lever Action is a great choice for those who are looking to own an heirloom rifle that can be passed down from one generation of shooting enthusiasts to the next. It is modeled after Winchester’s original 1866 lever action but features a few modern improvements.
These include everything such as being capable of holding two rounds at once instead of just one and having its magazine tube loaded through the front which allows you to keep your eyes on target rather than trying not to stare directly into the barrel opening when reloading. Henry is known for its highly accurate rifles and the .22 LR is no exception to this rule.
The Henry Lever Action rifle shoots with great accuracy, but it does have some setbacks. For example, its wooden stock has a tendency of getting scratched up rather quickly if not taken care of properly which can make the gun look less aesthetically pleasing over time even though that shouldn’t be something noticeable during your average day at the range or hunting trip.
We think you’ll love this rifle though, its price is more than reasonable for a rifle made in America and the quality of the product speaks volumes on itself.
This small caliber gun has been around since the 1800s when it was invented by Benjamin Tyler Henry who had worked on perfecting his design for years before making it available to the public. While some rifles have their fair share of issues even after all that work, this one holds true to what many people expect from .22 LR’s which is accuracy, especially at long-range shots!
- Round Blued Steel
- Hooded Blade
- 3/8″ Grooved Receiver
- Barrel Length – 18.5″
What Is So Special About The .22?
If you are just starting or looking for a fun day of shooting at the range with your friends, then consider one of these best .22 LR rifles to get started! .22s are famous for having very reliable performance and all with great consistency without every other shot being randomly off target.
In addition to it being reliable, .22 caliber rifles are also very lightweight and easy to handle. This is an excellent rifle caliber for those who aren’t as familiar with guns or don’t want something heavy on the shoulder! One other benefit that makes this such a popular hunting round is its low noise levels when fired – making it great for varmint hunters!
Another reason why the .22 LR has been so successful over time is because of how accurate you can shoot it. You may have noticed that some people at your local range love their 22s- they know exactly what they’re doing and hitting targets on the red dot almost every time.
.22s are also very easy to reload thanks to the rifle rounds being so small! Handgun cartridges can be a bit of a pain to load up but .22 LR bullets are easy enough to make.
Lastly, its price is another reason why it’s been such incredible success over time. It’s no secret that 22s tend to be cheaper than most other rifle calibers- some people even say they’re too cheap and don’t do much damage when shot at an animal!
Are There Any Downsides To Buying A .22?
Not Great For Large Game
Unfortunately, .22s are not the best for large games such as deer. This is because the bullet does not produce enough damage to bring down a large animal with a single shot, especially if it’s only slightly injured or far away.
Not great at range
If you’re looking for a long-range rifle, the .22 may not be for you. While they’re great at close range, it’s hard to get a good shot due to the fact that .22 bullets are so light in weight. This can cause the bullets to get pushed around while flying through the air, messing up the shot.
Needs Lots of practice
While .22s are usually very accurate at closer ranges, the bullet is very small and does not do much damage when compared to a 30-06, for example. Because of this, you’ll need to practice a lot more with the .22 in order to shoot it accurately and do the damage the bullet should do.
Ammo quality for the .22 can sometimes suffer, likely due to the fact that .22s are mostly used for small game or practice. Cheap, low-quality ammo can be dangerous so make sure to choose a reputable brand when buying your ammunition if you want an effective shot at range or during hunting.
The .22 LR caliber has been around for over 100 years and is still one of the most popular calibers in the United States. For those who are new to shooting or want a less expensive option, this may be an excellent choice for you!
We hope that our review was informative and helped clear up some questions about these rifles. Not to mention, they are all pretty fun to shoot! Plus, the .22 is excellent for hunting small game like squirrels and rabbits. It is also great for those who cannot carry heavy rifles.
If you’re looking to buy your first firearm or just want to explore different options before making a purchase decision, we encourage you to read more about how they work here on our blog. And don’t forget–if there’s anything else we can do for you please let us know!