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Updated Dec 26, 2022 11:34 AM

A rimfire rifle is what all shooters should be started on. They’re the most fun and affordable guns to shoot, and a house without one is as desolate as a Monday is long. You can buy a .22 rifle for survival, hunting, plinking, or precision accuracy. They can shoot squirrels at 25 yards and ring steel at 300 yards. The ammo cost cents, even at today’s ammo prices.

The Best Rimfire Rifles

Here’s our list of the best rimfire rifles. Whether you’re in the market to buy a rimfire rifle or not (you should be), these models will help you make your decision.

Best Survival .22 Rifle: Henry US Survival AR 7

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Engineered by the man who designed the AR 15, this takedown rimfire rifle was conceptualized as a survival gun for Air Force pilots. They’re reliable, accurate, and the ideal behind-the-truck-seat rifle. The AR 7 is also offered in a survival kit for $550 with a bunch of good-day-gone-bad goodies including a Buck knife, food bars, and a space blanket.

Best Classic Rimfire: Ruger 10/22

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Now more than 50 years old, this little semi-automatic rimfire has become the gold standard by which all 22 rifles are judged. A tremendous value for the dollar, the 10/22 is available in a multitude of configurations including takedown and target models. It is also one of the most customizable rimfire rifles ever created. Any boy with designs on becoming a real man should grow up with one, and every father should spend his money on one.

Best Affordable Rimfire: Ruger American

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These rifles might be the best example of modern American gun making. They are reliable, accurate, and affordable. They’re also available chambered in the 22 LR, 22 Magnum, and 17 HMR. And, you can choose between compact or standard length models, with or without sights, and with either a synthetic, wood, or laminated target style stock. The 22 LR rifle models feed from Ruger 10/22 magazines and the trigger is user adjustable from 3 to 5 pounds.

Best Rimfire for Everyday Hunters: CZ 455 American

For the money you’ll not find a rimfire rifle that shoots with more precision. The 457 American features a Turkish walnut stock and bluing as deep as the iris of an Irish maiden. A match grade adjustable trigger is standard, and the 457 comes chambered in the three most popular rimfire cartridges: 22 LR, 22 Magnum, and 17 HMR. There’s even combo package that includes two barrels—one for the 22 LR and one for 17 HMR—that the end user can change on their own.

Best AR-Style: Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Sport

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If fun is what you seek, look no further. Configured to mimic the feel and function of America’s most popular rifle—the AR 15—the M&P 15-22 Sport is a rifle that will help transform your range into a shooting gallery. With 13 variants to choose from, you’re bound to find one everyone in the family will enjoy. And, at less than five pounds, this rifle is light enough everyone in the family can handle it.

Best Fancy Wood Stock: Steyr Zephyr II

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The Zephyr II is a grown man’s rimfire rifle. Intended for the field, it shoots well enough to win a bench rest match. It comes standard with a European walnut stock fitted with a Bavarian cheek piece. It has a five-round detachable magazine, and elegantly simple but practical and beautiful fish-scale checkering. It is available in 22 LR, 22 Magnum, and 17 HMR. You’ll brag about its accuracy in the squirrel woods, and about its loveliness around the campfire.

Read Next: Top 10 Best Lever Action Rifles

Best Lever-Gun: Henry Golden Boy

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The Henry Golden Boy is the type of rifle that’s pure fun to shoot no matter your age. It’s available in 22 LR, .22 Magnum, and .17 HMR. There is even a shortened youth model for a dedicated youth plinker. It has an adjustable buckhorn-type rear sight and has a 20-inch octagonal barrel. The .22 LR version holds 16 rounds. The .22 Mag can carry 12 rounds and the .17 HMR holds 11.

Best Budget NRL .22 Rifle: Tikka T1X MTR

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NRL .22 is one of the fastest growing shooting sports. One of the appeals is that the rifles and the ammo is much cheaper than the centerfire NRL and PRS competitions. The Base Class in NRL .22 is for shooters with a rifle and scope, that combined, have less than a $1200 MSRP. Zane Hermann won the 2022 NRL .22 Championship in Base Class with the Tikka T1X MTR and proved that it’s a great option for competitions.

FAQs

Q: What is the best .22 lr rifle for target shooting?

Vudoo Gun Works and the CZ 457 are two of the best all-around .22 rifles for target shooting. But, the best rifle for target shooting depends on the type of target shooting. A great rifle for NRL 22 isn’t a great rifle for bull’s-eye. For a complete list of the best precision .22 rifles, click here.

Q: Who makes the best .22 rifle?

The Ruger 10/22 is the most popular .22 rifle. It’s an excellent rifle for hunting and plinking.

Q: What is the best 10/22 rifle?

There are eight main 10/22 variations to choose from. The most well-rounded rifle is the Ruger 10/22 Sporter.

It’s tricked out with 0 MOA picatinny rail, and a match grade Rem 700 style trigger and is backed by Christensen Arms’ Sub-MOA at 50 yards guarantee. It utilizes a 10/22 compatible magazine. All these features aren’t going to cost you as much as you might expect, the MSRP is $795, which makes it very competitive in this line up of quality rimfires.

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