Home » The Best .22 Long Rifles That Won’t Break the Bank

The Best .22 Long Rifles That Won’t Break the Bank

For a lot of shooters, the .22lr is the round that we learn to shoot with, and many of us have fond memories of doing some target shooting with a .22lr rifle. The round is an excellent one to train new shooters on thanks to the low recoil that makes it fun to shoot, as well as the low cost of the ammo. But, many people overlook rimfire rifles for accuracy in target shooting and hunting later on. An accurate 22 is one of the more fun rifles to shoot, and we hope you find one you like.

So, in this piece, we’re going to cover five .22 rifles that can be had at a reasonable price range that are focused on accuracy. For each one, we’ll make the case as to why we think it deserves a place in this list, as well as some of the features that we like about the rifle. Often, 22 rifles are fun to shoot, accurate, and models are available in all kinds of form factors. Here, we’re going to look at a selection that represents a wide range, from single-shot rifles to bolt actions, semi-automatics, and even 22 rifles made in the style of old west cowboy guns.

Most accurate 22lr rifle for under $400

Marlin 60SS Long Rifle 22

Marlin 60SS

First up, we have the Marlin Model 60. We included this one because Marlin has been making absolute tack drivers for decades, and at this price, it will be hard to beat in terms of looks. This one, a semi-automatic, comes with a stainless steel barrel and wooden laminate stock that give it a modern, sleek appearance that we find attractive.

In terms of features, there are several that help the Marlin Model 60 make it to our list of these affordable .22lr rifles. First is that it comes with sling mounts: this may seem like a small thing, but it makes the model 60 a lot easier to kit out as a hunting rifle. Second, the adjustable sights on this make it possible to fine-tune the point of impact with the particular .22lr you’re going to be shooting, as well as to the tendencies of the shooter. With a blowback-operated, semi-automatic action, the Marlin won’t be the most accurate rifle on the planet, but since the trigger is excellent on these, we expect that the rifle will be as least as accurate as the shooter and the ammo you’re going to be putting through it. When considering an accurate 22 rifle, you have to keep in mind that you’ll likely be shooting at around 50 yards, so the loss in accuracy you might get from a bolt action model is likely not going to affect you.

Savage Arms Rascal 22lr

Savage Arms Rascal

If accurate target shooting and value are the things you care about, the Savage Arms Rascal is an option more than worth considering. This is a bolt-action rifle that only holds the round it has in the chamber. That cuts down on both cost and complexity, the latter of which adds to accuracy. Additionally, the peep style sight, the same kind used on, for example, the M16, makes sense for an accurate 22 rifle. As a more bare-bones rifle that is really just a barrel, and action, and a  synthetic stock with some sights, this gun likely to be accurate because it is so simple.  A single-shot 22 is a great training aid and target gun in its own right that allows you to focus on accuracy first and foremost.

This firearm would be an awesome target rifle to practice on, and it will certainly hold up with time thanks to the synthetic stock. One thing that makes it stand out, especially at this price range, is that the trigger is user-adjustable, meaning that you can play with the weight of the trigger until you like it. This rifle would be an ideal candidate for a scope to be mounted on it, but the built-in sights are more than adequate at the distances people usually shoot .22lr at. Overall, this bolt action rimfire rifle is a tack-driving training tool that would make for an interesting part of your collection.

Henry Repeating Arms Lever Action Youth Model 22 Long Rifle Gun

Henry Repeating Arms Lever Action Youth Model

One of the things I like most about rimfire rifles is that an accurate .22lr rifle can come in about any shape or size you can imagine. So far we’ve looked at a semi-auto and a bolt action rifle. Now for a lever-action! Henry has been making this action in all sorts of sizes and calibers for over a century, and this handsome rifle is part of that legacy.

This rifle has some features that make it stand out to us. First is that it is, in fact, a lever-action: these are gaining in popularity again and we think they’re a ton of fun to shoot while remaining accurate target rifles. Second, thanks to that action, it can take both .22lr and .22 short ammunition. The latter is much less common than the former, but the flexibility is nice, especially these days when ammo can be hard to find. Additionally, the wood stock with blued steel metal receive and barrel makes for an excellent-looking gun that we’d be proud to own. 

Ruger American 22lr

Ruger American

In the rimfire market, Ruger is one of the top manufacturers, so we’re including a few of their rifles on this list as well. This one, their bolt-action offering, is the Ruger American. This particular model, which would be great for both target shooting and hunting, comes with a synthetic stock, a ten-round magazine, and excellent iron sights.

On the American, there are three things that we love about the rifle. The first is the extended magazine release: because .22lr magazines tend to be small, they can get finicky to get out of the gun, but Ruger’s large magazine paddle makes that process a lot easier on the shooter. Second is the trigger, which is adjustable by the user: this and the barrel make it a great shooting rifle, even with the iron sights, and you can expect good groups at 50 yards with no problem. Finally, the tang safety. Because the safety is on the back of the receiver, it’s a lot easier for left-handed people to use. Overall, the American is an awesome value at this price point if you want an accurate .22lr rifle.

Ruger 10/22 Long Rifle

Ruger 10/22

Any list about affordable .22lr rifles has to include the 10/22, a classic in the rimfire space. This one comes with the same magazines as the American, and people commonly get 25 round versions as well. In this case, we’re going with a classic model with a wood stock, though these can be found in all sorts of configurations, including pistols!

This 10/22 comes with a hammer-forged barrel that promises accuracy and has some nice touches to make it an excellent target rifle. The included iron sights have the front post painted gold: this helps get on target faster if you’re in a competition. Second, there’s an included scope-base adapter for those who want to add a scope. Lastly, the stock 10/22 triggers are typically excellent and make for a good overall rifle shooting experience.

On this list, we’ve recommended five .22lr rifles that we think are a great value at this price point. Even without a massive budget, it is more than possible to get a rimfire rifle in the action type that you want, that will perform well in target shooting, hunting, or plinking.

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