Brian asked WAY back in April:

I’m in the market for an inexpensive but reliable .22 plinker to help cut down ammo costs at the range as cash it tight these days. In my research one name that came up over and over again was the Phoenix Arms Rangemaster (5″ barrel) which tends to list under $200. The various gun store owners I’ve spoken too in my research have been all over the place in their opinions on this piece. Help!

I have to admit, I’ve never heard of a Phoenix Arms Rangemaster. But if cheap shooting is what you’re looking for, I have some suggestions . . .

First and foremost on my list is the Beretta U22 Neos. Here’s Brett’s review. I know more than a few people who have bought one and loved it. The thing clocks in at about $275 MSRP, but Bud’s has them for closer to $240. Besides the futuristic shape and very nice integrated rail along the top, it also has a modular design that allows you to turn it into a rifle later if the mood strikes you.

If you’re willing to spend a little more cash then a GSG 1911 might be in your future. Joe Grine did a fantastic write-up of this handgun not too long ago and gave it four stars. Since then I’ve had a number of people telling me how much they enjoy their GSG handgun.

But if you want the ultimate plinking tool, then a Ruger 10/22 is that you want. MSRP on these puppies is $277, but I would be surprised if you couldn’t pick one up used for $100. Accurate and fast firing with tons of accessories available it really is the best plinker out there.

I’m sure our readers have some other ideas about what is best, but that’s my opinion on the matter.

[Email your firearms-related questions to “Ask Foghorn” via guntruth@me.com. Click here to browse previous posts]

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92 Responses to Ask Foghorn: The Best .22LR Plinker?

  1. I have a Phoenix HP22 I have found it to be a fun, reliable, and inexpensive gun. My 5 year old grand son loves to take the Phoenix to the range. It is American made, has a lifetime warranty, and after 3 years mine has never had a problem.

      • I think you may be right. I’ve seen images of them where they had some finish problems (seams quite visible & raised, what could be called flashing that needed to be removed) and then I’ve also heard how great they are.

        Also, the warranty is good for the ORIGINAL owner only. second-hand or any other than first-hand purchasers must pay $50.00 for servicing it.

    • Agreed–the Phoenix HP22 is the most affordable .22lr handgun I am aware of and it’s a GREAT value for the dollar! This is not to suggest it’s in the same league as say the Ruger MK series but more like a “Chevy” than a “BMW.”

      • have an phoenix hp22—-had trouble with it—–destroyed the barrel—-figured out in was my grip and magazine——phoenix replace the barrel for free–every after I explained that I destroyed it—-that was the 3 inch barrel—bought the 5 inch barrel previously direct from phoenix—-buffed the feed ramp on both–abused the gun—-still shots good——great price——–by the way –I prefer chevy—–who wants a car that drives it—-I rather save some money and hire a driver ————-

  2. Used 10/22 for sale? That’s a rare creature for me to find. Nobody in my neighborhood wants to part with theirs 😉

    • I tried to find one used but I ended up buying a new one. I was at a decent sized store and they had two, but they were almost 40 years old (not that there is anything wrong with that) and close to $200.

    • Very rare is the 10/22 for less than $175. If you want a great plinker in the $100-$125 range look for a Marlin 60 or the Glenfield branded model of the same. Tube fed, but other than that the equal of a 10/22.

  3. I’ll +1 Nick’s Beretta Neos suggestion. Love mine. Tiny grip though. Great trainer for kids because of that. Hard to find a good leather holster for it. Seen these more than once from Bass Pro for $215 on sale.

    Mine has been a good shooter for my family.

  4. Used 10/22s, if available, aren’t much cheaper than new. They are great rifles and there are a million ways to cutomize them. But if you want cheap plinking, a Marlin 795 is a better option. Much cheaper (about $129, before rebate), very accurate, and you won’t go crazy with the custom parts.

  5. My favorite plinker is my Ruger Mark III. Despite costing a little more that the Neos ($300 or so for the base model) and being a pain to field strip, I love it for it’s all-metal construction, it’s looks (it resembals a Luger, but was actually designed after a Japanese WWII Nambu) but most of all I love it because it’s a sweet shooter that eats anything I feed it, from bulk pack ammo that regularly chokes my 10/22 to expensive target rounds.

      • Matt in fl, the only thing my 10/22 won’t run is that 60 grain aquila subsonic ammo. I have to feed that stuff 1 round at a time through my winchester bolt gun.

      • Maybe my 10/22 needs some attention – maybe that’s why it was on the used rack. I just took it for granted that most 22s were finicky eaters.

        • CinSC, go on youtube for the how to on taking the 10/22 mags apart and cleaning them. Also do a good take down and deep clean on the rifle. I suspect that a lot of 22’s get less than premium maintenance.

  6. I will put a +1 on the GSG. Love it and since 85% of its parts are direct swap with a real 1911 you can make many mode to it in the future. I love it and use it as part of the practical portion of the pistol safety course I teach. Over 10K rounds and it keeps running.

  7. If you’re willing to double-down on your $200 budget and are looking for an AR training alternative in .22lr I strongly recommend the S&W M&P15-22. The manual of arms is identical to it’s bigger brother and it’s performance is excellent. Nothing like chewing through 25 round magazines for a pittance of the cost of .223/5.56.

    As an added bonus, some carbine classes are allowing these type of .22s to help offset the cost of training.

    • Don’t bother what that plastic wanna-be gun. Either go all the way to a CMMG Revolution, or stick with a 10/22.

    • Love, love, LOVE my M&P 15-22. And, on the forums, I dare say that 100% of those who OWN one, LOVE it. Just a great rifle in all respects.

  8. I saw a 10/22 Carbine in a pawn shop last week for $175. I would have made the impulse buy, except that I had just paid the water bill.

    I inherited a Remington Nylon 66 from my dad. He bought it from a friend who needed money, then never fired it. It sat in the closet for years. I took it to the back of the property, loaded it up and ran like a champ for about a thousand rounds before it started locking up. A little oil and she kept running. The read sight is messed up, but its still fun to plink away with. Last winter I finally figured out (thanks to YouTube) how to strip it down. Manufactured in 1973, hadn’t been cleaned since, looked like a coal miner. There was even a spider egg sack in the space between the stock and the barrel. And it is by far the most complicated weapon I’ve ever disassembled or reassembled. But it’s my favorite long gun (except for my Enfield)

    • Ditto on the nylon66. Bought new in 1969, ran around in the trunk of my step-Dads car for years. NEVER cleaned until 2010 when I inherited it. Never failed to fire. Rear sight had been buggered, when I told the wife I wanted a cheap scope for it, she bought me an $8 BB gun scope from WalMart. 🙂
      To my shame I can shoot this gun better than my target triggered, bull barrel 10/22.

  9. I love my Savage Mark II bolt-action… paid roughly $200… action is super smooth after thousands of rounds and it’s unbelievably accurate.
    Also love my Ruger Mark II – used, they should be pretty inexpensive. I lucked out and got one with a bull barrel and Volquartsen performance package for a really good price, although I did pay more than for a standard model.

      • Actually my Ruger DOES do well with just about any ammo… but oddly the Federal Game-Shok hollow point didn’t do so well, and Winchester White Box hollowpoint was a bit better.
        Game Shok Round Nose FTW!

  10. Remington 597. Much more accurate than the 10/22 out of the box. All feed issues have been fixed with the “Circle 10” magazines and it just feels like a true full size rifle. 10/22 is a great rifle but you have to sink some serious coin into it if you want to do more than just shoot soup cans at 25 yards.

    • Just got back from the range with my 597. Ruger’s the standard, but this particular Remmy, with a recessed muzzle and scope, was the deal of 2011: $75 used!

    • I had a 22A and a NEOS. I liked them both. The 22A had a much better trigger, but the NEOS had far fewer FTF and FTEs.

  11. Favorite plinker? Handgun or long gun? My favorite plinking long gun is my Ruger 10/22. Easy to use, easy to find, and easy to maintain. My favorite plinking handgun is my Ruger Single six revolver, although I also enjoy VERY much shooting my brother’s S & W model 17 Masterpiece revolver with 8 3/8″ barrel. But asking ANYONE what the “best” .22 LR plinker is, is like asking where can I get the “best” hamburger, or who makes the “best” sneakers, it’s a VERY subjective thing. What may be best for me, may stink for you, because your hands are smaller, or you are left handed, or you prefer semi-autos over revolvers, etc. What you should be looking for is a firearm that is easy and fun to use, comes from a manufacturer with a reputation for quality and that supports with parts and service, and fits your needs and budget.

    • +2 Same combination I have , I also have an Ivers-Johnson sealed 8 which is an excellent plinker and the top break is easy and fast to unload.

  12. Ruger’s .22 self-loading pistols are great guns and usually cheap. Cleaning them is challenging–the manual on mine actually says, “At this point, you may need a hammer.” I picked up a Marlin 60 with a scope for under $200 at a gun show–oooh, an assault rifle, at a gun show, OMG!–and love it.

    If a plinker is what you want, go to gun shows, pawn shops, and the like. As far as I can tell, a .22 is a .22 is a .22–within reasonable standards. If you’re looking to put a box of ammo through one hole at way-out-there distances, you want something else.

  13. Check for conversion kits for guns you already own, or guns you may want to own. I have a Sig P226 in 9mm with a 22lr slide. Its great cause I don’t have to learn any new manual of arms. The same is available for Glocks, AR’s, and even my concealed carry Keltec PF-9 has one, I just haven’t bought it yet. I would also +1 a 10/22, those things are sooo much fun!

    • I’d like to second that emotion.

      I have the Advantage Arms .22LR conversion for my G19 and… now that’s my favorite plinker. It has the added advantage of letting me get plenty of trigger time behind my actual carry weapon’s trigger without the ammo cost.

      Plus, an additional benefit (well, I guess) is that no matter what, a .22 semi pistol conversion will jam or stovepipe at some point just from all the crud buildup. It’s a GREAT way to practice clearing drills, again, with your actual defensive weapon.

      At a typical range session, I probably put 400 rounds downrange using the .22 conversion kit, focusing on trigger control, sight picture, etc. (and if my range would allow it, drawing from holster, movement, etc.), and then finish up the day with maybe 100 rounds of 9mm. I’m finding that my 9mm shots improve quite a bit.

      Think of it this way: using a .22 conv kit is somewhat like dry firing, except more fun, and there is some minimal recoil to help with keeping sight picture, and it jams periodically, forcing you to do clearance drills. All for dirt cheap.

  14. Im looking at getting the little brother to my favorite 9mm, the S&W M&P 22. Anybody have any first hand experience with one? Ive heard good things on the ‘net about it, but havent fired one myself yet.

    • Hopefully someone will respond. I’ve also been thinking about getting one as a cheap training aid to my full-size M&P 9.

    • I have the m&p22 pistol- fun gun but its back at s&w after 200 rounds (in four months) because the slide comes off without manipulating the disassembly lever. Also, ont time in ten it stovepipes if you insert a mag from slidelock and let the slide snap shut – you have to ride the slide forward to get it to go into battery on the first round.

      Probably a one in a million thing tho. Sucks it only comes with one mag and replacements are hard to fInd and expnsive.

      If i did it over, id probably get the m&p 22 again- threaded barrel, 12 round mags (rare in22 pistols for some reason), cheapish, good looking, rarely jams (until the slide issue).

      I love it even though it broke.

      • I own a S&W M&P22 and I haven’t had any of the above issues. I’ve fired at least 2000 rounds since I bought the gun about 3 months ago and have yet to have any significant mechanical issues that were gun-centric.

        The only ammo trouble I had was with some .22LR Armscor Precision that was recommended at the gun store. That stuff had consistent FTF and all sorts of feed issues. Turns out it was the ammo that was the problem, not the gun.

        Now I use Federal (tried Automatch and Champion) and on occasion I go with Remington, Blaze, or Winchester. Smooth sailing ever since. Once in a blue moon I come across a FTF, but that’s just 22LR ammo for you — it’s not the gun’s fault. I also noticed that copper tipped rounds seem to also fire cleaner which means more time shooting rather than cleaning (though I clean my gun after every range outing).

        I personally like my S&W M&P22 and would recommend it to anyone that asked. It’s a great training pistol for my XDm 9mmc.

        Tomorrow my Laserlyte Training System comes in, so now I can get more time on my 9mm at home and save even more $$$. Can’t wait.

        Just my 2 cents.

  15. Butler Creek’s Hot Lips Loader is a necessity if you get a Ruger 10/22. You turn a crank to load the magazines.

    • Heard from a couple friends (and nutnfancy as well) that you’re better off going with the steel lips. More reliable, last longer, and only like 8-10 bucks more.

      • Yeah, steel lips are the way to go for 10/22 magazines. Plastic lips definitely wear out faster than you want them to.

        But Levi was specifically referring to the loader. I have the Shooter’s Ridge 10/22 mag loader, not the Butler Creek, and I really like it. It took me a little practice to learn, but it’s pretty handy piece of kit. For me, the practice comes from the fact that on a couple of my 10/22 magazines, the follower doesn’t come quite as far up into the magazine throat as it should when the mag is empty, so there’s room for two rounds to “fall” in at the very beginning, thus allowing the loader to attempt to double feed. The fix is simply to lessen the angle at which I hold it until that first round is in. Hold it almost level for the first round, and then tilt it up so the rounds slide down the ramp properly for the rest of the magazine. I have zero problems with it locking up after that first round, even on the big 25 round magazines.

        Based on the videos I’ve seen, it looks like the Butler Creek loader wouldn’t have my issue with the double feed first round, but it also appears (from the four videos I watched) that it has a larger tendency to lock up mid-magazine. Infinitely larger actually, since mine never locks up mid-magazine, and the Butler Creek locked up at least once in every video I watched.

  16. For handguns, I’d say Ruger Single-Six (old school), or Ruger SR-22 (new school). For rifles, I’d say Savage Mark II (bolt action) and Marlin 60 (tubular magazine).
    For ammo, I’d say Federal Premium.
    For all, I’d say “have fun!”

    • +1 on the model 60.

      Mine was given to me a few years ago. I didn’t like the feel of the wood furniture, so I ordered a sks style polymer stock kit. I have abused this poor rifle and it never disappoints. 2″ groups at 100yds all day. When I am feeling froggy, I pick up spent 20ga and 410 shells and stand them up on the berm at our local DnR range. For it’s age and lack of maintenance, this rifle has yet to let me down.

      I have a GSG 1911 .22 I bought recently, but out of the box (after cleaning and lube) it shot 6″ low and 5″ to the right at 20ft. Highly disappointed. I swapped to the shorter front sight and will work on zeroing on my next range trip.

  17. The Ruger Single Six is a classic inexpensive plinker. They sell them as convertibles with two cylinders, one for .22 LR and one for .22 WMR. First handgun I ever bought was a Single Six.

    Also there are a variety of .22 LR DA revolvers out there, usually with between 8 and 10 shot cylinders. It is a little on the pricey side but after agonizing over a good .22 LR DA option with which I could keep up with the 10 shot autoloader guys at the club, I got a model 617. The thing was a dream out of the box.

    After three 550 packs of federals, I couldn’t resist due to OCD (not due to ‘need’) taking it apart, polishing it up, swapping in a Wolff power-rib mainspring, reduced return spring, and replaced the strain screw with a SS 8-32 x 0.5″ set screw. (got rid of that damned lock too). Now it’s simply perfection.

    • @ Don

      My Ruger single-six is the convertible and I love it. I also shoot an S&W 617 a lot as a companion piece to my S&W 686 plus. Thanks for the tips on the work you did on the 617; I’ll do the same.

      • Cool! I found the 13 lb trigger rebound spring to feel too mushy and opted for the 14lb one. The reduced power mainspring will not work well in the 617 because .22LR primers take a little more force to touch off. The standard power mainspring however is still lighter and smoother than the stock spring! The 8-32 x 0.5″ set screw is important because the Wolff mainsprings have a indented rib in the center which the stock set screw will protrude into, effectively shortening it. (The rib is there because it makes for a REALLY smooth spring!) A stock strain screw when you buy it comes a little longer so you can file/fit it, but the stainless steel set screw (from home depot) also does the job without having to file it, and gives you more adjustment without having it protrude from the front of the grip frame. My adjustment procedure was to put in the 14lb trigger return spring and after getting a rough measurement from the front of the grip frame to the stock spring with a caliper (with the stock strain screw turned all the way in flush, as it is supposed to be), I replaced it with the Wolff mainspring and the set screw, and then turned in the set screw so the spring was pushed to the same position as the stock one. Then go to the range with your allen wrenches and a selection of .22 LR ammo. Shoot the different ammo, particularly that which you will use most often and that which you know to have harder primer rims. Tighten your new strain screw until you don’t get any light strikes. Once you are happy, turn it another 1/4 to half turn in for “fun” and blue loctite it in place!

        -D

        • @Don,

          Many thanks, this kind of in-depth advice is invaluable.

          Stay safe & happy shooting!

  18. My favorite 22LR plinker is the Ruger SR22 semi-auto pistol. Less than $300, and eats any brank ammunition.

  19. I would ditto the marlin 795, I have an older model 7000, and every new shooter I have had shoot it loves it. I never see 10/22’s cheap used, so they must be good too.

  20. A Ruger 10/22 for a rifle and a Ruger MK II with 5″ bull barrel (used) should provide you years of fun.

    I have fed every brand of .22 lr I could find over the years through both firearms and have never had an issue. The 10/22 I clean every 500 rds. and the MKII every 1000.

  21. Love the GSG 1911-22 (I got the SIG branded version because I got tired of trying to score a GSG marked one) and it is the gun that goes to the range every time I do. It makes an excellent low cost trainer for it’s .45 big brothers.
    The other gun that goes every time is the M&P 15-22, again, an excellent trainer for the real thing. Have it set up to mimic it’s big brother, except for getting a BAD lever to fit.

  22. Not the cheapest:

    For my next .22(s) I’m considering a Henry lever-action carbine and/or either a semi-auto handgun built by Browning or Ruger. Henry also offers a classic pump-action .22 carbine that intrigues me yet I have read that the model has given Henry owners some problems.

    • Have you considered the Marlin 39A? Mine took a little judicious filing on the extractor to get it to work 100% but it is an heirloom quality rifle with a long history behind it.

      • Peter,

        I have considered it and it does have a reputation as a great American classic. My concern is the current quality of Marlin under the Freedom Group and since Marlin’s move to NY. Unfortunately, I keep hearing lots of criticism about the drop in the quality.

        I would also have liked to have bought the Marlin lever action 357 and again quality is my concern even if Marlin was producing the 357 carbine.

        My hope is that Ruger jumps into the lever-action market.

        • A ruger levergun would be AWESOME.

          Slightly off topic, but I got a Marlin .44 mag carbine about 5 years ago and have shot the crap out of it with no problems. It has Ballard rifling so you can play a lot with handloads and cast bullets for it. I have an XS sight set on it (post front, windage and elevation adjustable low profile ghost ring on the back). I put a threaded ring in the back which takes Williams apertures, and a target aperture. It’s pretty fast and accurate in decent light. I have a wider aperture for if I want to use it in a more “tactical” role. The rifle fits well in this small golf club bag I have. It’s about as omni-legal as a gun can get too which is nice if you travel a lot and do a lot of hotels. I find it to be quite superb, and I don’t know if I got lucky or if it was made before Marlin started having issues. (P.S. another awesome sight option is to get a custom one from Dr. Skinner of Skinner’s Sights).

          I have an older 39A and it is pretty much everything everyone says it is.

  23. The Neos is cool looking, but the controls are bass-ackward: The magazine release is right where a right handed shooter rests the trigger finger along the trigger guard, rather than where John Moses Browning and every other semi-auto designer intended.

    I’d spring the extra couple of bucks for a Ruger MK III or (my favorite because of maintenance) a Browning Buckmark.

  24. OK, Brian, there is a basic error in your premise:
    “I’m in the market for AN inexpensive but reliable .22 plinker …”

    The false premise is that you will have only ONE plinker. Bad thoughts. Bad, bad thoughts. Repeat to yourself 500 times: “I will have many plinkers. It is the quest for the perfect plinker which motivates me, not the final outcome. MANY PLINKERS!!”

    That said, the Ruger 10/22 is a great place to start. Start, mind you.

  25. Dad left me a 10/22, I bought a new Marlin 60 and a well used but great Marlin 25. Love ’em all! My 10-year-old’s favorite shocked me… The bolt action 25! Great shooter for $110.

  26. Not mentioned but also a CLASSIC plinker is a good old .22LR lever gun.

    The Marlin 39A is smooth as butter, takes down, and mine of choice.

    Henry makes a nice one for around $250 which has a round barrel and another around 350 which has an octagon barrel.

    -D

  27. People, people… Where’s the CZ love? No one’s recommended a Kadet 2 for some .22 plinking enjoyment?

    Sure it’s a little salty but hey, you get what you pay for. I’ve only shot a couple of .22 caliber handguns over the years but my CZ is the only one that has the same fit, feel and (for the most part) function as a regular 9mm handgun.

    If you’re in the market for this genre then at least go handle a Kadet at your LGS and see what you think before you buy something else.

  28. The Phoenix HP22 is great. The 3″ version can be had for like $140. Just don’t use “high-powered” ammo in it. It’s far more reliable than something like a Sig Mosquito POS.

    For rifles, Marlin 795 or 60. 10/22 is overpriced and overrated unless you like modifying it.

  29. I have to go with the poster who mentioned the Marlin. I have an old no-name model similar to the Marlin that is also tube-fed and holds 18 rounds of .22 LR with one in the chamber. I doubt it’s worth a hundred bucks but its a great rifle. It will jam up if you use cheap ammo though. I use nothing but CCI.

  30. I’m surprised (unless I missed it) that nobody recommended the Ruger SR22 Pistol. By the question posted about a pistol, I assume he was interested in a handgun for plinking. My Ruger SR22 Pistol has been nearly flawless. The only thing it choked on was Winchester bulk ammo…. which choked my other .22 semi-autos, too. I have a very low opinion of Winchester bulk .22LR. Crapola!

    I got my Ruger SR22 for about $330.

  31. I used to be a 10/22 freak, but one day I bought that damn SW MP 15/22 and It has been more reliable and fun than any 22 I have ever owned. I love that damn thing and my black fingertips from loading about 10K of them dirty little 22lr rounds prove it.

  32. Oh heck, I forgot to mention the most classic rifle of all .22 lr semi-auto classics!!!!

    The Browning Semi-Auto 22, or SA-22 for short. That’s what it’s called, It’s been around forever, it’s beautiful, it is a veritable tack driver, and it takes down in half.

    -D

  33. My used 10-22 ($125 30 years ago) now has a trigger kit in it. I wore out the barrel and spent a whopping $35 for a new Ruger barrel. it will drop a rodent at 135 paces using my big scope or I can run it as Tacticle Trainer w/red dot thanks to the P-rail I have mounted. I have probably saved $1000 in ammo costs by using a 22RF over the past 3 years, which I sunk into my 2nd AR.
    Those are the numbers you should be looking at, not $200 for a plastic plinker that Will Break.
    There is way too much false economy flaunted on this site.

  34. I just got a all weather stainless/polymer Ruger 10/22. Easy to work on, fun to shoot. I did put in a recoil buffer to reduce ware and the triggers need some love. Light as a feather. But as far as finding a shoot-able used one, good luck. Any 10/22 is suspect unless you know the original owner or you are proficient in identifying a good used gun. I had an 8 1/2 week wait for mine. I heard that the wait for a take down model is even longer. Well worth the 250.00 and time. These guns can modify into tack drivers for a few hundred bucks. A basic must have long gun.

  35. I don’t don’t think you can beat a 10/22, tat was the first weapon I ever owned. With that said, I am now 6-3, 310 lbs. Shooting the 10/22 now is like shooting a Daisy Red Ryder. For a small/young person they are great.
    I am also kind of partial to the Mark II/III.

  36. If you’re in the market for a .22 rifle, you really should look beyond the Ruger 10/22. Nothing against them — they’re great guns — but if you’re not planning to buy lots of aftermarket doodads, you’ll get just as much fun and probably more bang for your buck elsewhere.

    I’ve got two recommendations:

    #1.
    The Henry lever-action. If you look around and price-shop, you should be able to get a basic model, new, for $250 or less. Maybe a bit over the $200 budget, but well worth it. They look great, feel great, will eat any ammo you feed them, and are reliable and incredibly accurate (with factory open sights, mine will put holes in spent 9mm brass at 25 yds and in spent 12ga shells at 50). Not to mention the bad-ass Old West feeling you get when you’re working the lever and making a tin can bounce around in the dust. (I like to picture Emmett and Mal making the bad guys pay in Silverado; your mental imagery may vary.)

    #2
    Marlin model 60 semi-auto. These can be found at just about any gun counter for less than $150 — best bang for the buck you’re likely to get. They too are as accurate as you could ever wish a plinker to be; my model 60 can match the Henry bullseye for bullseye, and you’d probably have to spend $1k+ to get very much more accuracy out of a .22 rifle. The only complaint I have about mine is that it won’t feed hollow-points (from what I’ve heard, my experience is an exception; most model 60’s aren’t that finicky). Oh, and it tends to get dirty quickly…though any semiauto would probably gunk up with the cheap ammo I feed it. Scrape the buildup off the bolt face every couple hundred rounds, and you’re good to go.

    Pistols? I’m asking for suggestions there myself.

    • Yup…the Marlin 60… that’s the model. Again, I’ve got a knock-off no name clone, and it’s a great rifle….I looked on gunbroker.com and Marlin 60’s are dirt cheap.

    • My Marlin 60 had trouble feeding when the feed ramp got gunked up. I sprayed some Hoppes #9 on a cotton swab and cleaned it out. Now the rifle’s back in working order.

    • and my Marlin knock-off takes CCI mini-mag hollow points all day, try those…as far as a Henry for a couple hundred bucks? I’ve never seen it…..not even for the .22…I rarely see a used one for under 400.00

    • I stand corrected…looked at gunbroker again, and there are Henry .22’s out there for under $300.00… I like your list….

  37. My Marlin Glenfield Model 80 came from a pawn shop in `86 for $24 and it still shoots great. It’s light, quite, almost idiot proof and has tight groups after being purchased in POS condition. Tube feed is 18 + 1. I’ve thought about a Ruger 10/22 for years but haven’t ever needed to replace the Model 80.

  38. I have a Neos, and it is a nice gun. But, when I go to the range to plink, I find myself shooting the Bersa Thunder .22 more. It feels more like a real gun, what with a full length slide, decocker safety, exposed hammer, mag release in the normal place, etc. The shape and controls mimic a Walther, but unlike most .22’s that mimic larger guns, the slide on this one is all steel, not a zinc alloy.

    I don’t think you could go wrong with either one, and I thought the Neos was nice until I got the Bersa. The best part is, if you decide later to carry a Bersa Thunder .32 or .380, you have the perfect training tool. Heck, it will work for training to use a Walther too.

    One caveat…it does only shoot high velocity ammo…I’ve tried bulk ammo with it and experienced multiple failures. Even so, still cheap to shoot. If you want to shoot only bulk, get the Neos. But, if you’re willing to pay just a little more for high velocity and have a nice piece for practicing to use a larger gun, you can’t go wrong with the Bersa.

    $267 here: http://grabagun.com/bersa-thunder-22-22lr-10rd-matte.html

  39. I have a Marlin 881 that I bought off Armslist for $100. It’s a bolt action, tube fed 22 that takes anything and holds 18 rounds of .22 LR in the tube, and Lord only knows how many rounds of 22 short. Everyone loves shooting it.

  40. I got a Neos and its awesome! Shot maybe 5000 rounds threw it with a few FTF. It hated Winchester white box (too many spurred tips on their 22lr ammo) It likes Federal Bulk Packs and LOVES CCI Stingers! Put a pistol scope on mine and can hit a 18″ metal gong target at 153yrds 8 out of 10 times! I did have the trigger reduced by a smith to 3.5lbs and I Flitzed the ramp and contact points to gets a butter like action and loading. I own a 10/22 and it is my favorite of all time. Tricked out with bull barrel and all the goodies, best addition that no 10/22 owner should be without. . . . . The PWS T3 Magazine Release Lever, you be happy you listened to me 🙂

    • I too have a Beretta Neos U22. I LOVE this gun. I have owned numerous firearms through the years and my favorite was always my trusty Ruger MkII w/bull barrel. I purchased the Beretta Neos because this thing just laid in my hand like it was a part of me! The grips and the pitch of this gun are a bit different from most guns of the .22 family, it is a unique gun. I read several reviews and got mine new for $250 from a local dealer. I have put about 2,000 rounds through her and have only had a few hangups, this was due to bad ammo. I shoot a lot of bulk ammo and just like the post above I have found Federal to be the best bulk ammo for my Neos. In my opinion, dollar for dollar the Beretta Neos is very hard to beat. Beretta is the oldest firearms company in the world and it is no secret to their longevity. . . most of their products are quality. If you enjoy target shooting as much as I do but your budget doesn’t allow for much, do yourself a favor and at least give the Neos a close look. A quality gun, one of the easiest to fieldstrip, good looks and a heck of a lot of fun!! Oh and you will get looks from others when you whip this thing out at the range. Fun fun FUN!!

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