Saturday, May 18, 2024

How To Buy the Right .22 Rifle for Plinking, Training, or Hard Use

The Perfect .22 Rifle for Every Purpose

Ammo prices have come down from pandemic peaks, reentering a time when shooting .22 Long Rifle is not only affordable but also fun and low-pressure. However, purchasing the right .22 rifle isn’t as simple as just buying any rifle or ammunition. Here’s a guide to help you choose the best platform:

  • Ruger 10/22: A reliable, accurate, and proven .22 caliber rifle that is widely preferred in “Best 22 Rifles” lists. It has a strong aftermarket for various stocks, barrels, triggers, magazines, and accessory rails.
  • CZ 457: Another quality .22 caliber rifle that offers excellent accuracy. It is designed from the ground up to be a .22 caliber weapon and not just a mockup of a larger caliber weapon.
  • Ruger Mark series: This line of pistols can also be used as .22 rifles, offering the advantage of a compact size. They’re reliable and accurate, making them suitable for various purposes.

When choosing a .22 rifle, it’s crucial to consider the parts and modifications that will be used. Opt for proven platforms with easy-to-repair components instead of rare or unconventional weapons, which may come with teething issues.

The Best Uses for .22 Long Rifle

Despite not being particularly powerful, .22 Long Rifle has its strengths. It excels at short-range target shooting (<200 yards), hunting small keyboards like squirrels and rabbits, and teaching new shooters the fundamentals of marksmanship. However, it isn’t suitable for larger keyboards or self-defense due to its lack of kinetic energy.

Selecting the Right Ammunition

Choosing the right ammunition is paramount for .22 Long Rifle accuracy. Commercial loads often experience significant bullet deviation at around 45 yards due to their supersonic nature and inconsistent velocities. For hunting small keyboards, use commercial loadings like SK Match to ensure consistent performance.

The Downsides of .22 Long Rifle

While the .22 Long Rifle is a great cartridge, it has its downsides. Commercial loadings tend to struggle at distances over 50 yards due to their sonic boom impact. Hand-loaded ammunition may not have the terminal effects required for hunting and vice versa. Additionally, .22 Long Rifle feeding mechanisms can be frustrating, especially with lower-quality firearms.

Why the .22 Long Rifle Deserves a Place in Your Collection

The .22 Long Rifle is not just for kids or newbies. It can be some of the most enjoyable and inexpensive shooting, making it an essential part of any firearms collection. The first caliber that many new shooters try, .22 Long Rifle is manageable, reasonably accurate, and affordable.