If you’re like me, you got your teeth on a rimfire rifle. The rimfire rifle is an American tradition, and no gun collection is complete without one. The good news is you have options. Options galore. To help you choose your next, or even first, rimfire rifle–we’ve gathered what we consider to be the top seven best 22 rifles and put them together in this handy little list.
What are the best 22 rifles for 2018?
CZ 455 Ultra Lux
I included this rifle on our best 22 rifle list because it’s one I’ve lusted after for so long, and is easily one of the best 22 bolt action rifles out there. This rifle wasn’t built as an afterthought. From the ground up it’s designed to be an accurate, precise, and ergonomic 22 LR rifle. There are several different versions of the CZ 455, but I chose the Ultra Lux to be on this list for what I believe to be obvious reasons.
The Ultra Lux sports a 28.6-inch barrel that’s swappable for a 17 HMR barrel if you want to swing that route. This long barrel gives you an ultra long sight radius, making it easier to take those longer range shots with iron sights. It features an excellent set of sights, including a tangent rear sight adjustable for elevation. The stock is a beautiful beech wood with a raised cheekpiece for a sure and comfortable cheek rest.
The Ultra Lux has a beautiful action that’s as smooth as butter and just cycling the bolt gives me goosebumps. There is just something about bolt action rifles with iron sights that excites me. The ultra Lux isn’t cheap, but it’s worth every penny.
Henry Lever Action 22 Magnum
Who doesn’t love feeling like a cowboy? The Henry Lever Action 22 Magnum gives you that classic western design in a powerful, but still relatively affordable cartridge. The Henry is a great little game getter and makes short work of rabbits, coyotes, and more. These rifles are made in America and are one of the best rifles to own, to help you scratch that lever action itch.
The Henry Lever Action 22 Magnum uses a tubular magazine that holds 11 rounds, with the ability to mount an optic on top to help you push the 22 mag to its limits. It is complete with robust, but simple, iron sights. The dark wood forend and stock on top of the dark black finish give it a subtle, but noteworthy appearance.
The Henry Lever Action is a smooth shooting little rifle that gives you the power of a 22 Magnum in a reliable and easy operating platform. There are a lot of ways Henry could sell this gun to you but in my opinion, the first time you run that lever you’re either sold or your not.
Marlin Model 60
The first gun I ever fired was a Marlin Model 60 semi-auto 22 LR rifle. This specific Model 60 was a gun my dad had since he was a teenager and it still ran like a champ. This simple semi-auto 22 feeds from a tubular magazine and packs 14 rounds of 22 LR.
These days there are half a dozen different variants of the Model 60 rimfire rifle, but the classic wood stock model is always my go to. The bright blonde wood feels excellent in hand and gives a simple rifle an old school look.
The gun is perfect for new shooters, and still fun for us older, more experienced gunners. It’s so simple and so reliable it’s tough to beat. When you take the fact that you can find a Model 60 for under 200 bucks, it’s clear to see why I think it’s one of the best 22 rifles.
The Kel-Tec CMR-30 is easily the most modern 22 Magnum in the world. Is it the best 22 mag semi-auto rifle? That’s hard to say because it has stiff competition. But it is undoubtedly unique. This little guy is based on the Kel-Tec PMR 30 and incorporates several of that handgun’s features.
It looks more like an SMG than a 22 rifle. It packs 30 rounds of 22 Magnum in its pistol grip and gives users a collapsing stock, a threaded barrel and plenty of Picatinny rails for accessory accommodation.
The CMR-30 is a rifle that will capture your rimfire space gun fantasies well and give you a modern platform for all your 22 Magnum needs.
You can check out Terry’s Review on the CMR-30, by clicking on that link.
There is no way we could make this list without a single 22 LR AR-15. The S&W M&P 15-22 takes the cake as the best 22 rifle in this space for many reasons. First, it’s proven to be a reliable and fun little rimfire platform. It’s easy to find, and affordable.
As an added bonus, it also replicates the controls on an actual AR-15 to a “T.” This makes it not only a fun little rifle, but also an excellent tool for low-cost training and practice. The gun uses the same charging handle, magazine release, safety, and more. They also feature M4 style collapsible stocks and several models now feature M-LOK handguards.
Magazines are easy to find, reliable, and affordable. These guns are perfect for the younger crowd who wants to handle a gun like Dad’s or for the budget shooter who wants to keep their skills sharp.
Chiappa Little Badger
This one is a little bit of a wildcard. It’s a single shot, folding 22 LR gun designed to be lightweight and straightforward. The Chiappa Little Badger is my choice for the best SHTF rifle on the list. It can quickly fold up and fit in a pack and weighs only 2.9 pounds.
The sights are surprisingly robust, and the gun is outfitted with rails to add accessories or even a red dot optic. The barrel is threaded, and with a suppressor, this little gun could be exceptionally quiet with subsonic rounds.
The Chiappa Little Badger is a small rimfire gun that’s also great for teaching kids to shoot. The single shot nature ensures they take their time for shot after shot, and its small size makes it plenty comfortable for smaller shooters. As an added bonus, The Little Badger’s little price tag makes it an affordable option as well.
The number 1 spot on this “best 22 rifle” list goes to the Ruger 10/22. I couldn’t give it to any other gun. The Ruger 10/22 is the 22 to buy if you only ever want/need one rifle. To me, this is the best 22lr rifle out there. It’s been made in dozens of different configurations including takedown models, target models, and even a pistol known as the Charger.
The Ruger 10/22 is a superbly reliable gun that feeds from a unique rotary-style magazine. Due to the 10/22’s popularity, you can upgrade it a dozen different ways with new triggers, new magazines, magazine releases, stocks, barrels, and more.
The Ruger 10/22 ranks up there with the Glock 19 and AR-15 regarding popularity, modularity, and universal appreciation. It’s not the fanciest gun, but it’s a reliable, well respected, and much-beloved rimfire rifle.
22 rifles are so much fun. They can be used for so many different tasks, and are economical to shoot. What’s not to love? Now we turn it over to you, what is your favorite 22 rifle? Do you agree with our list? Why, or why not?