- November 8, 2017 at 9:47 am #47529
This question eludes me. I’ve got what I consider to be arguably the finest firearms in every slot I need except the 22lr, but the lowly 22 gets more trigger time at my place than anything. I cannot find a semi auto 22 that fits the bill for me. I’m willing to set a goal for something exceptional and plug that hole, but I’m having a hard time finding a mark to set my sights on.
My criteria for my firearms is as fellows:
No aluminum. No plastic. Reliable as a Timex. Tube fed. Overbuilt. Tough as nails. Precise shooter.
According to this criteria, my finest and most treasured firearms are such as the M1A, the Ruger Redhawk, Ruger Blackhawk, Zebala SXS, Sako AV, Mauser, Browning 1886, Marlin 336/1895 etc etc etc. These firearms share a few common traits, and it’s very hard to find a semi-auto 22 that fits the bill!
I’ll list the ones I have experiance with and the reasons I am displeased with them. I’m hoping one of you can throw something out there that I have not considered!
This firearm’s main advantages are A. reliability (Ruger, go figure) and B. it’s customization potential.
Other than that, I find it short, clunky, and relatively un-precise unless a significant expense is taken in gunsmithing and parts. My main beef with the 10-22 boils down to the clunky box magazine, the clunky/thick feel of it (feels like I’m pointing a chunk of 2X4) and the cast aluminum reciever (which I have shot one enough to break). I do not like this rifle.
Fantastic feel, natural pointing, and very accurate. This is my current rifle.
The problem is I believe it was custom designed specifically to keep crap in the receiver (which, again, is made of cast aluminum). As much as I like this rifle, it can only shoot about 100 rounds before it’s so choked up with residue that it must be stripped apart and cleaned (which is a royal PITA). The trigger is classic Remington, but it’s serviceable, and it’s tube fed, which I love. So, close but no cigar.
Winchester model 290.
Possibly one of the most precise SA 22s I’ve ever shot. Very reliable. Tube fed. Utterly delicious iron sights.
However, the receiver is made of cast aluminum, and it’s replete with plastic, cast, and stamped metal parts. Hardly what I would call a quality firearm. Also, since Winchester’s demise, it’s difficult to get parts for it.
Marlin model 60.
The answer is no. Hell no.
It’s not precise, it’s not reliable, it’s stamped, cast, plastic junk and the trigger stinks. It’s low price and parts availability are it’s only redeeming features.
<b>Remington Nylon 66</b>
This is not really an option. While I recognize the fact that it’s a very reliable tube fed rifle, the stamped, plastic, junky parts and atrocious trigger are a big turnoff, as well as the fact that parts are nearly impossible to find.
Very nice rifle, but very expensive, and it’s got…….a cast aluminum receiver!!!! Why is it so hard for people to make firearms out of steel?!?!?!
Other than that fact, I like the Weatherby very much, although I have not used one enough to report as to precision.
Browning Auto 22.
Ahhh!!!! Solid steel! Tube fed! Nice sights!
Yeah, there are some nice advantages to this rifle, however, I do not like the way it points or balances, but the main problem I have with it is the fact that the barrel takedown nut has a tendency to shoot loose. To me this is an example of a really janky design that was implemented with such superb workmanship that it works.
At the end of the day, it just doesn’t blow my skirt up very much.
One rifle I have used that really seemed like it was all that and a bag of chips was the Springfield 187A.
This rifle has it all. It points like a real rifle, it’s tube fed, it’s all steel, it’s very precise, and it can run dirty. The sights are junky, but that can be fixed. The main thing I hate about it is the heavy trigger, and the way it holds the bolt open till you release the trigger after every shot. I may go this rout, but when these guns quit working, there’s nothing you can do but replace the stamped steel parts, and parts are getting very hard to find.
So, having said all that, I’m hoping for suggestions! I did not list all the 22s I’ve experienced just the ones that have made it on my radar, but if you know of a quality, modern, tube fed, sweet triggered, natural pointing, solid steel constructed, semi-automatic 22lr firearm, I would love to hear about it.
If you know of the same thing that’s old design (I keep thinking that Winchester MUST have made SOMETHING back in the 30s-50s) that’s built so well that a sharp gunsmith such as myself could actually re-manufacture the parts if they break, then I’d love to hear about it.
Surely SOMEBODY made a 22 that reflects serious craftsmanship!
- November 8, 2017 at 9:50 am #47531
Does anybody know anything about the Winchester 77?
- November 8, 2017 at 11:39 am #47534
with so much aluminum receivers, you may have to go to a pump.
I have the Taurus pump, (yea I know, Taurus) but it is all stainless steel. it is quite nice though
- November 8, 2017 at 11:53 am #47536
Kens, I had the Rossi pump 22. Shot it till it broke. That particular rifle was atrociously inaccurate. I’d say it typically sprayed bullets into a 1.5″ group at 50 yards. I was very unimpressed.
- November 8, 2017 at 12:11 pm #47538
- November 8, 2017 at 3:02 pm #47540HeathydeeParticipant
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Speaking of pumps , I have a Winchester Model 61 made in 1956 I think . The only plastic in it is the buttplate . It is a man sized rifle yet slim and elegant .
- November 8, 2017 at 3:19 pm #47541
the Henry pump??
- November 8, 2017 at 3:22 pm #47544skeettxParticipant
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Reply To: What’s the best semi automatic 22lr?
- November 8, 2017 at 5:38 pm #47545GlennParticipant
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Leah says the Buckmark Challenger III. Easy to shoot, comfortable in the hand, just a fun gun 🙂
Leah says she’s really excited that she knew the answer to one of the topics!
“What’s the best semi automatic 22lr?” 🙂
- November 8, 2017 at 5:54 pm #47546
Where we going with this one?
Is this about rifles or pistols?
We went from semi auto, with no results; to pumps, hopefully with some answer, then veered to pistols ??
- November 8, 2017 at 7:01 pm #47548JRRParticipant
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I have not seen one in person. The Mossberg 151 series from mid 40s to mid 50s. Steel, tube, wood.
- November 8, 2017 at 10:51 pm #47552
My brother’s Mossberg 153 is very accurate. It’s been out of print for a while.
- November 9, 2017 at 6:15 am #47553GhostHawkParticipant
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Well my experience is directly opposite yours Goodsteel where Ruger 10/22’s are concerned.
But then I was lucky enough to own 2 of the old ones, with walnut stocks. Nephew ended up with the spare.
Mine was bought back in early 70 and is still going strong with virtually no work on it.
3 years ago I did discover on Youtube that they were selling extended mag releases.
And doing minor mods to the bolt hold open device. Which made it so you did not have to turn the rifle upside down, hold the little button AND pull the bolt. Just took 2 min worth of dremel work.
Now just pull the bolt and release and the bolt hold open slips off.
I also changed the steel pin in the back of the receiver that keeps the bolt forward in its slots for a copper and rubber shock absorbing pin. That does the same job but quieter.
Mine has given me decades of faithful service. In its heyday I shot 1-2 bricks of .22lr through it every 2 weeks. So it has not been a safe queen.
It will still shoot better than I can hold. If not under, at least right on the edge of 1 MOA, on a good day at least.
No other .22 I have tried has even come close to matching its ease of use, accuracy, and durability. It has defended my home, fed me in hard times, and not complained when it only got oil, love, attention once a decade.
It will do to ride the river with.
- November 9, 2017 at 9:10 am #47554Rattlesnake CharlieParticipant
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That old Springfield is a good one. My dad had one with a Weaver scope on it. He bought it not long after getting out of the Army following WWII. The rifle shoots great. The part about the bolt staying open until you release the trigger never bothered me, but my dad kept telling me I was messing up. My brother still has that rifle.
Since you require it to be tube fed, you have eliminated the Ruger which I enjoy. It seems like it is close to a M1 Carbine, which I also enjoy.
The Browning SA-22 is not exactly the tube fed you are thinking of. I still like that slim little thing.
I believe the Volquartsen would meet your requirements for quality, but it is fed from a box magazine as well as costing $1,200+ and is still pretty much a Ruger 10/22.
Other than the Marlin 60 and Remington 552 Speedmaster I can’t come up with a recommendation for one that is currently in production.
- November 9, 2017 at 10:25 am #47555
I know the 10-22 is popular, and everybody loves it. I myself ran one till I cracked the receiver (which is no small feat). I know how to tune one up, and I do it for profit on occasion. The simple fact is, I just don’t like that rifle. The gun is clunky, the magazine is clunky, it feels clunky, it looks clunky, and it shoots clunky.
It’s the difference between an M1A and an AK-47.
When I was growing up, we had two 22 rifles in the house. One was a Ruger 10-22 and the other was a Speedmaster, both made in the 70s. The Speedmaster will put ten shots into a group the size of a dime at 50 yards using the right ammo (I once shot a squirrel through the head at 75 yards). There is not a stock 10-22 that I have ever shot that will do that. They require a barrel change, and custom work to make them shoot straight, and when it’s all said and done, they just don’t point like a rifle. Feels like a 2X4 with a barrel strapped to it. I like my rifles long, slim, and elegant.
I may have to just bite the bullet, buy the 10-22 and rework it to look and feel like a real rifle. I can’t argue with the reliability, and a modicum of precision CAN be obtained.
- November 9, 2017 at 1:37 pm #47560
Well, I put this question to a fellow at work who is one of those guys who’s a quite aficionado of old firearms and a little off the beaten path. He can tell you the model history of the Winchester shotguns and rim fires by heart. Definitely a kindred spirit.
He told me without hesitation that the Remington 550-1 would be the one to look at. I’ve had one of these in my hands for cleaning, but I’ve never shot one. He said he has one that he would lend me to put through its paces and I’m going to take him up on it.
He knew exactly what I was talking about when I described the way the 552 chokes up with crap as it’s shot. He said the 550-1 is just as accurate, but that it will go a good 300 rounds before malfuncitons start to happen which sounds just about perfect for me.
We’ll see. I’ll post my thoughts.
- November 9, 2017 at 2:56 pm #47562
Winchester Model 63:
Now that looks like it’s all that and a bag of chips. Looks like I could land one for about $750. I’ll definitely be keeping that in mind!
- November 9, 2017 at 4:02 pm #47564HarterParticipant
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While it meets none of your requirements , ugly , poly , AL , box mag and completely soulless have you tried any of the AR22s ?
Appreciating that they meet zero requirements .
I agree about the Glenfield .
I have a scoped 190 , the plain Jane sister to the 290 . For target work it doesn’t come even close to the old Win single shots but ……..I guess I haven’t ever shot it enough to crude it up .
- November 10, 2017 at 4:59 am #47568
Back in the day, Remington Nylon 66s and 77s were very popular. The 66s were tube fed from the butt stock and the 77s had a magazine. My uncle had the model 66 that he shot forever. It was one of the first polymer stocks I’d ever seen, outside of the Nam era ARs. I wanted that gun and he sold it out from under me. A few years ago, I saw a 77 on the used gun rack, and it had a healthy price tag. The gun disappeared shortly afterward.
Nylon 77 owners manual link:
- November 10, 2017 at 5:14 am #47569
As far as after market accessories are concerned, the Ruger 10/22 has all others beat hands down. One can customize them until one runs out of funds. Lots of hot rodding tips out there too.
The stock Ruger 10/22 I’m acquainted with, has the tendency of shearing off part the the lead bullet in the magazine, as the bolt is recoiling back out of battery; which cannot be good for accuracy of the next shot.
I’m in agreement with Tim, and wouldn’t consider them the best 22LR auto loader.
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