When we talk of sniper rifles that were used in precision long range shots. We conjure up images of the Barrett .50 Cal or the iconic .308 rifle. However, there are .22 rifles that are used in the gun community for recreation and survival purpose.
Debates have come across stating that the .22 rifle is not a serious caliber for those into guns. The .22 caliber doesn’t have the knock down power to take down a medium size game or let alone stop an attacker inside your home.
From a survivalist needs, the .22 caliber is one of the many invaluable source to have when feeding yourself and family. For small game like rabbits and squirrels, the .22 caliber is perfect. Using a larger caliber is just a poor choice of tools for this task. The availability and pricing for the .22 caliber is on the cheap side.
On the recreational side of the house, the .22 caliber serves many things to a wide variety. Beginner shooters will find starting with this caliber helps build a solid foundation in marksmanship.
For the target shooter and plinker you can have lots of fun shooting many rounds at a lower cost.
There are many good .22 caliber rifle out on the market. Getting one would be based on what you are going to use it for. Here are some key features to look out for:
Magazine Capacity – A good magazine section to look for is the rotary type under the stock of the gun. The magazine can hold 5 to 35 rounds. For hunting you probably don’t need a high capacity magazine, but for plinking and target shooting the more the merrier. Be sure to follow your state legal limitations on this.
Sights – Most plinking are probably done without any special scopes. Not to say that using an optical system isn’t worth it – its your preferences. Getting a specific type for plinking and hunting is beyond the scope of this article.
Ruger makes some really top notch rifles in big calibers and the .22 is no exception. Its great to see Ruger invest its time into our American classic. (since 1964)
The 10/22 historically is a favorite among hunters, this was design with practicality in mind and able to maintain under field conditions.
The Ruger 10/22 is fed with a ten-round rotary magazine which sits under the main action. You can get a 5 round or 25 round magazine. Another cool factor about the Ruger 10/22 is the modification. Every parts of the rifle can be replace. The rifle can be suped up for short-range rapid fire for controlling varmints. Or, as a .22 sniping rifle with a big 4–16 scope to drop gophers from a 100 hundred yard.
Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle
Originally designed in 1959 for use by the United States Air Force but is now a favorite among civilians for all the same reasons it was popular with military pilots.
The AR-7 Survival Rifle is lightweight (only 3.5 lbs.), reliable, and compact. It’s also highly portable thanks to its ability to be disassembled and has all parts of the rifle stored in the impact resistant and water resistant stock.
Marlin is another big name in the gun industry which is synonymous with Ruger. The quality of this .22 rifle is excellent and it may be the least expensive. (under $200)
The model60 comes with a 15 round tubular magazine that sits under the barrel. The reload is considered slow for rapid firing, but its unlikely that you would need it. The magazine is corrosion resistant. One of the big wow factor in accuracy is its 16-groove micro rifling, usually found in more expensive rifle.
Marlin Golden 39-A
This rifle is known as the old-timer, its distinctive western-style is very popular. This is a lever action rifle design based on after the iconic Winchester 1873. The tubular magazine of the 39A holds 19 rounds. The barrel is 24 inches which may be why its so accurate. There is something most people don’t know, you can take the 39A rifle with a coin.
If you want a good looking .22 cal tactical rifle but don’t want it an AR platform. KelTec has the answers in its SU-22.
The SU-22 comes with all sorts of great tactical features. The muzzle is threaded for a silencer. AR-15 lookalike magazines comes in 26 rounds or 10 rounds. An AR style handguard, top Picatinny rail for optics, and a folding stock round out the package. Uncommon, practical, tactical and easy to modify to suit your needs, this is a marvelous all around gun that is sure to be a hit at the range, and easy to dress up as tactical as you want to.
Henry Classic Lever Action .22
Henry boasts of selling over a million of these rifles, making it without a doubt the best .22 lever action rifle today. Priced right at well under $300, these no frills, no gimmicks rifles are the true spiritual successor to the lever actions that helped shape America.
Featuring a genuine walnut stock, hooded front sight, grooved receiver for scope rings, incredibly smooth action, a large loop lever, and an unbeatable lifetime warranty, you will be hard pressed to find a better lever action .22 for the money.
BSA Sweet 22
Optics can be very pricey or worthless to use at the lower end. The cheaper .22 scopes are a little more than 3/4″ tubular with minimal magnification. Only good for a sunny day. With some diggin you might find something like a BSA Sweet, it is affordable. The 3-9 magnification is good at close or long range sniping with a .22. The 40mm ojective lenses delivers exceptional sight picture.
Backed by a limited lifetime warranty, this scope mimics the configuration of many popular centerfire scopes, making it easy to transition between your favorite .22 and your hunting rifle.