Best Rimfire .22LR Rifles – 2018 Reviews

For someone just starting out as a hunter, my advice is that they first check out the best rimfire .22lr (Long Rifle) rifle. This is an attractive rifle for many novice shooters due to its simplicity for practice, or even hunting, before graduating to the larger caliber rifles such as the 308. Many find the .22 manageable and lightweight, and ammunition for this rifle is quite cheap.

There are many practical uses for this rifle making it quite popular among gun lovers. Whether the rifle enthusiast is a novice or professional, the .22 is an excellent choice. The .22 has gained traction in the field of hunting as this rifle allows the hunter to deliver a humane kill, no matter what the small game target. Once the game is down, the hunter’s dog can now easily fetch the game. The .22 Long Rifle rimfire makes for a versatile weapon for hunting small animals and pests.

Best .22LR Rifles On The Market Today

RUGER 10/22Hardwood18.50"105 lb.Bolt-actionF*: Gold Bead
R**: Adj
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Model 60
Hardwood19"145.5 lbs.Bolt-actionF: ramp
R: Adj
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Editors' Choice
Turkish Walnut20.5''55.85 lbsBolt-actionNo SightsCheck Price
Hardwood22"76 lbs.Bolt-actionF: ramp
R: Adj
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Mossberg 715
Synthetic16.25"115.5Semi-autoF: Mounted
R: Adj
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AR-7 Henry
ABS Plastic16.5"83.5 lbs.Semi-autoR: Adj
F: Blade
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*: Front
**: Rear

.22LR Rifle is The Best Choice for Beginners & Kids

What is the Best .22LR for Squirrel hunting

22LR Rifle vs 22LR Pistol Source:

The market today has a number of options when it comes to the .22lr pistols or rifles. Most people who are looking to start out as hunters, they would always opt for such a model. They understand what these weapons can deliver in terms of hunting, accuracy, and reliability. If you are keen to get one, it can get confusing if you have to choose between the rifle and pistol.

Starting with the rifles, they are the most common choice of weapon when it comes to hunting. It does not just have to be the .22lr, but other models, you will always get more people hunting with their rifles rather than the pistols. The rifles for a long time are known for having more power and can propel the bullet to a longer distance. If you are a person looking to take a shot from a long distance, the rifle would always serve you better. Even when you check out several hunting forums, the veterans in the field of hunting would advise that you get yourself the best rifle rather than the pistol.

Squirrel with a pistol.

Squirrel with a pistol. Source:

With all those advantages, it does not mean that the pistols are not great for hunting. You should be able to be a versatile person who can handle the different hunting weapons available. The pistols are great for someone who is looking for the compact weapons. The compact size is what will often act as a backup weapon for most hunters who are looking to experience some hunting activities outdoors. See 5 best 22lr pistols on this post.

The pistols too are often loved as they will fit easily in your hand. With such a fitting size of the pistols, then you will have an easier time shooting the squirrels outdoors. The pistols would often have a great grip too based on the design. Different manufacturers would try to attract more users to use their weapons by making them feel comfortable and with enough grip. The right grip should always help with the recoil too.

Making the decision of whether choosing a rifle or a pistol is often based on personal preference. However, the best choice in this case would be opting for the rifle. As much as the pistols would be compact for portability, they cannot match up to the power delivered by the different rifles on the market.

Some Important Considerations For Best .22 Rifle

1. 22lr Semi Auto vs. Bolt-Action Rifles

These weapons would both deliver the performance you have always wanted when hunting, but there always has to be a way of knowing which one is better. Let us get to learn the different aspects of the two rifles for you to have an easy time making the decision.

  • The price

    Comparing the price, it is easy to see that the semiauto will be cheaper as compared to the Bolt-Action. A great example would be when you buy a Marlin model 60, which would just cost you around $180. For such a price, you can now have your gun for hunting with ease. The price has also had the company selling the guns to many users because of its price. The same price affordability cannot be said when using the bolt-action rifle. They often start at an average of $225 and go into thousands of dollars depending on the model.

  • Magazines

    Depending on the model, you might be able to find that the 22lr semi auto and bolt-action rifle would have the detachable magazine. This is quite a standard feature in most rifles. The difference normally comes to the semi-autos, which would sometimes have two magazines one being internal. In general, the loading or reloading of the semi-automatic would be faster than when just using the bolt-action rifle.

  • Speed

    In terms of speed, it is obvious that the semi auto will be faster than the Bolt-Action. The design of the semi-auto 22lr is that it can fire as fast as you can pull the trigger. The Bolt-Action would only fire at a slower speed. So, if you are looking for a gun that can be easy to reload and fire, then the semi-auto should be fine for your case.

  • Accuracy

    If you are going hunting, the accuracy of a gun would always be important. It is crucial that you end up with the best gun at all times. Whenever you get to understand about the accuracy, then it should be easy for you to find the right gun. The bolt-action rifles, in this case, take the day as they have a better accuracy as compared to the semi-auto. Even if you have to take one shot at a time, it always has to be on point.

    The semi auto 22lr does not have the best accuracy as it relies on delivering several shots at once. The semi-automatic mechanism has to repeat itself to help with firing. In such a case, there will always be tolerance to be watched too. It is the tolerance of this mechanism that could lead to issues.

  • Ballistics

    The Bolt-Action rifles over the years have proven to be quite impressive in terms of long range ballistics. This should be quite advantageous for someone who is looking to use the gun for hunting from a longer distance probably in his blind setup.

  • Which one is the best?

    Now that you know some of the differences between Bolt-Action and semi-auto 22lr rifles, you would want to choose the best. It always comes to the needs of a person. The bolt-action model would always take less ammunition as compared to the semi auto. This could be important now that there is scarce ammunition. Also, the bolt-action has proven to be more accurate, thus it will always tend to get more attention than the semi-auto.

2. Rifle type and style

There are quite a number of different rifles you can get marked as .22lr. These rifles and pistols might always make you sometimes be confused as which model to buy for your hunting expeditions. Well, that should not be a problem when you know what to choose from the many available. Each person would have a personal style that he would want in a gun. It all comes down to the design and functionality of the rifles and pistols. If the design offers the best grip, better accuracy and many more features, then it should be what to get.

3. Ammunition

Bullets 22lr
The common question most people would have about the best gun for hunting would be if it has the best power for hunting. Well, it all comes down to the type of ammunition that you will models, they would have a cheaper for the ammunitions. The cheaper ammunitions don’t always mean more power and accuracy. It is always better to check out several models of ammunitions suitable for your gun before making a decision.

4. Sights and scopes

If you are going to come back with a great hunt from the game, then having the best aids should be a priority. You need the best sights and scopes to help in focusing so that you can easily take the shot with ease. Most of the .22LR rifles and models would come with the sights and scopes, but each different. Having the higher magnification will always make the scope serve you better when it comes to taking out the target. It is advisable that you stay away from the models with heavy centerfire. The heavyweight might just throw off the balance of the rifle.

Read more: 5 Best Scope For 22LR Rifle
22 LR carbine Bolt action rifle

Adjustable Objective vs. Set Parallax Scopes

The sight and scope of your gun come in handy when you are looking to make a clean shot easily. That will not happen if you are relying on a model that cannot deliver the best view. The major scopes you would find on the market today would be either adjustable objective or set parallax scope. These two have their own merits and demerits; we get to look at that today.

  • The issue of parallax error

    The set parallax scopes would often have this parallax error whenever you are using them. The error is as a result of changing of your eyepiece. This will then affect the target location. The error is not always predominant, as it may seem, as most manufacturers claim it will show up after the first 100 yards. This means that you will have no parallax error from 100 yards or less to the target. This would often make someone to move close to the target just to get a clear shot.

  • Adjustable scope

    To help minimize the parallax error when shooting, you would want to go for the adjustable objective scopes for your 22lr rifle. The use of adjustable objective scope will always help in setting a distance that does not have issues such as the parallax error.

    Sometimes you might get people confusing between adjustment and focusing, but what you are doing really with the adjustable objective is to correct the parallax. You would start by setting the parallax and then proceed to focus the eyepiece now.

  • Which one should you choose?

    It should be easy to know that the Adjustable Objective scope will help you with correcting the issue of parallax, thus it is the reason more people would want to get one today. The adjustable objective scope will always deliver the best accuracy that most people would look in the scopes. Having better accuracy always mean you can take your shot with ease knowing it is perfect. Thanks to its accuracy, you can now even use it on a high caliber rifle.

5. Accuracy

Shooting is something that cannot be controlled once the bullet leaves the barrel. You always have to be sure that the gun is highly accurate to help you with taking the shot. Most people who have opted for the best guns, they will have an advantage over those who might not always have the best guns. Accuracy has a lot to do with the gun design. Depending on the gun design, you should be able to easily make the shot and kill the squirrel for your hunt.

6. Reliability

If you are going to buy a gun for hunting, the things such as reliability can never miss crossing your mind. It would be crucial that you get to find the best ways to learn more about the gun reliability first. One of the ways would be checking out the reviews about such a gun. The reliability will always tell you more about what to expect from the gun and the manufacturer would not tell you.

From the reviews about the gun, you can also learn about the durability of a gun. You will be hunting mostly outdoors where the conditions are harsh, so it is important to have a highly durable model.

Top 6 .22LR Rifles Reviews 2018 – Editor’s Choice

It is now time to learn about the top .22LR rifles that are on the market right now. Check out the following models to understand which one would be the best for you.

The Legendary Ruger 10/22

The Ruger could easily pass as an American icon right now. The model has been in production since 1964 and the popularity has not stopped growing since then. People love it as it is reliable, easy to maintain and quite well made. With a few simple tools, you can easily take it apart, clean it and put it back together.

The Ruger 10/22 can be fed with a ten-round magazine. The magazine tucks in nicely keeping the gun looking great. You can still get different capacities depending on what you would love to see in the Ruger. Depending on where you buy the model, you can get different styling and barrel lengths. For those who have used it, they can agree it is easy to mount it anywhere and still have a clean shot of the squirrel several yards away.

Read more: What’s is the best scope for Ruger 10/22?

The Marlin Model 60

The company Marlin has kept the Model 60 in production for over 50 years now. If you are looking for something affordable and can still deliver on performance, then this is the model to go for. The model has kept on showing impressive robustness and accuracy whenever used for hunting. With such features, the 60 is now an ideal weapon most hunters would use for small game hunting.

It is semi-automatic with a capacity of 15 rounds. The tubular magazine easily slides into the gun under the barrel. Some of the older models would have around 18 rounds. As much as the system might feel slow in terms of reloading, it still carries enough rounds for hunting. Since the magazine tube is built with brass, it sure gives you excellent corrosion resistance purposes.

The CZ-455 American

This is an upgrade from the design of the Czech firm Brno. If you are familiar with such a model, you could easily see the resemblance. The long-running bolt type of gun has been redesigned to ensure it meets the tastes of many Americans who love hunting. This model incorporates the impressive receiver designed and a quick change for the barrel system. With such versatility, it is easy to see why people would want to have one.

The CZ-455 model comes made of high-quality materials that should last for a long time even with regular hunting. With an adjustable trigger, you can have it where you want. The five-round magazine could serve you well when just hunting for small game such as squirrels. The model has a tapped and grooved receiver so that you can easily have scopes mounted.

The Marlin XT-22

It is a fairly new .22LR model that has been on sale since 2011. If you compare that to the others, it is a new kid on the block. The manufacturer gave it different variations in terms of design so that you can choose the one that works great for your case. The .22LR model is commonly the high seller with a seven-round magazine. It might be a conventional bolt gun, but it is for sure reliable according to several owners today.

If you would want to have a scope on the receiver, then it is an easy task of just mounting. The receiver is grooved to make the mounting of the scope quite easy. The groove’s micro rifling makes the gun quite accurate for just hunting the squirrels. This means that its applications keep on growing each day.

Mossberg 715 Tactical

For a modern look, the Mossberg 715 model joins our list too. The model might look expensive, but you will be surprised when you hear the price. The model is an accurate weapon that many people would enjoy having today. Many would use it for hunting the small game and still not hurt their wallet at all.

On the first look of the gun, you might think it is an M16 rifle, but that is not the case. For those who just want to have more confidence on the hunting grounds, this could be a nice way to do so. The military style of the gun might just intimidate other people who are looking to hunt with you too.

The model comes with an easy to carry handle and iron sights too. Its military design for sure makes it quite easy for mounting it on various tripods and take your shot with a lot of ease.

The AR-7 Henry Survival Rifle

It is one of the most unusual rifles that you will ever see out there. Its design might make it look weird, but it is quite an impressive rifle you can use today. If you are looking to spend more time outdoors hunting, then this rifle could be just what you have always wanted.

Starting with the designed, it is easy to see why people would want it. The compact design means that carrying it around should not be a problem at all. With an eight-round magazine, it should be enough for hunting the squirrels with ease. The waterproof seals should make it a great gun for you to use it outdoors. You get various models from the manufacturer, always choose the one that will deliver the best hunting shot you need.

Some .22LR Pistols For Your Bucks

Then if you want to pick .22lr pistol, I will show you some choices below.

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Bersa Thunder

It is not just called thunder for nothing, you can be sure that it can deliver the right performance you need in a .22LR. Starting with size, it is just a perfect fit for many people. You can now go outdoors hunting knowing that you can easily hit the target with a gun that is easy to handle and shoot too. Its construction is another thing to look at. From the exterior, it sure feels like the manufacturer gave it a lot of thought to ensure the user has the best end product. You can check detail review here from LuckyGunner

Walther P22 Series Semiautomatic Rimfire Pistols

Checking it out you would think it is something straight from a James Bond movie. Sometimes people think that is a shrunk version of another Walther weapon, but that is not the case always. It comes with an ultra-modern look that should make you feel confident about your shooting skills.

When it comes to reliability, that should not be an issue at all. You can opt for the double action or single action depending on your needs. The grip on the other hand should keep you easily grabbing the gun and shooting with ease.

The Sig Mosquito

This is a relative new type of rimfire that you can use for squirrel hunting. It features as a double or sings action model with a complete Sig decoker. Its design makes the model to be highly accurate. Taking the shots next time at the squirrels should be something easy to do. It is not just popular among the hunters, it is also often seen by the law enforcement officers too. It is now being used as an alternative weapon for training for the officers. The best part is its durability, as it will maintain its ergonomics for a long time.

Being small, you can easily have it in your safe or carry it around in the range bag when going hunting. It is easy to shoot, so you should have no problem with it at all.

Browning Buck Mark Semiautomatic Rimfire Pistols

This could easily be described as both classic and reliable pistol. The reason is that it is designed to be a sports pistol. The model could easily help you with better accuracy when hunting outdoors for some squirrels. Most people who have used it because can agree that it is the most accurate and easy to shoot from the many other .22LR models available.

You can easily add a scope on the mount so that the accuracy can be improved. You could still adjust the sights even if you do not have the scope. The gun has a forgiving recoil making the best for those just starting out as a new shooter.


The 22LR rifles and pistols are all fun whenever using them for hunting. From the information above, it should be reason enough for you to end up owning one today. The weapons mentioned have an outstanding record when it comes to delivering the best shots for hunting outdoors. These guns are still known for being the best when shooting in the wilderness. They are still reliable and accurate as compared to some other entry level guns for hunting. Get one today to experience more of hunting.

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