The popularity of the .22 rimfire is at an all-time high. According to Wikipedia, annual production of .22 rimfire ammunition is estimated at 2–2.5 billion rounds − far greater than any other caliber.

Every manufacturer of rifles or carbines offers at least one model of rimfire rifle and some, such as Remington and Marlin, offer dozens. With so many of these rifles out there, we thought there might be some opinion as to which is the best. Here’s your chance to vote for your favorite, and maybe win a copy of the Gun Digest Book of the .22 Rifle, by C. Rodney James.

In this book, popular Gun Digest author C. Rodney James provides a starting point for the beginner, as well as a summary of the state of small-bore rifles, ammunition and shooting for the intermediate rifleman/woman. He also points the way for those who wish to venture into the more rarefied regions of upper-level competitive shooting, bench-rest shooting, long-range varmint shooting and that eternal search for the perfect rifle.

Rodney makes it clear that he is not shilling for any particular product, and that what he has to say about various arms, ammunition and other items is based on personal experience, research and analysis. According to Editor Dan Shideler, Rodney does so in an insightful and entertaining way.

What’s your choice for greatest .22 rifle of all time? Post your pick in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of the Gun Digest Book of the .22 Rifle.

Good luck! We’ll announce the winner next Tuesday (March 1).

To get a your own copy of Gun Digest Book of the .22 Rifle from the Gun Digest Store, click here.

THE RULES
One entry per person, please.
Entries accepted until 12:00 noon Central Time Monday, Feb. 28, 2011.
Winner will be selected at random and announced Tuesday, Mar. 1, 2011.

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Call me a contrarian, but my vote goes to the Stevens Favorite. It was the .22 for countless working stiffs, and how many boys and others owned one as their first or only gun? Maybe my fondness/bias for single shots is showing with this vote.

  2. Sorry to go against the grain, but my vote is for the Winchester Model 69A. It’s a great shooting bolt action that came with a 5 shot magazine. I was able to obtain a couple of 10 shot magazines to reduce the number of reloads. The rifle was dead on accurate at 25 yards with iron sights. It did a great job at 100 yards with iron sights when I was a bit youger.

  3. While great fun, no semi-auto 22 can qualify as “greatest 22 of all time” as they do not instill the marksmanship of a manual action. No single-shot can qualify, for altho’ they make fine target & teaching tools, they are not practical for hunting w/ the 22. So the greatest 22 of all time will be a manually operated repeater of some sort by default. While I’m inordinately fond of the Remington 521T that I learned on, I must admit that the Marlin model 39 take down lever action 22 must be a front runner for the best 22 ever.

  4. While you can’t beat the customability of the 10/22, I guess I’ll be the contrarian here and go with my all time favorite, the Marlin 60. I can fill the same hole all day long with my beloved 60 and she shoots shorts, longs, and long rifles. I’m sentimental I guess. (or just mental) 🙂

  5. I would also have to go with the 10/22. Both of my daughters learned to shoot with a 10/22. They are easy to use, accurate and most importantly fun! When I go out squirrel hunting I always take a 10/22 even though I have 4 other 22 options available.

  6. The Ruger 10/22 is my choice for greatest .22 rifle of all time. A rifle so versatile, it can readily adapt to owners’ needs and interests as they change. The 10/22’s modular design has allowed shooters to easily customize their rifles without much fuss or necessarily great expense. I find it to be the most “involving” rifle of any I possess.

  7. My grandfather intruduced me to guns in my youth, the 60’s. His vavorite rifle and mine was and is, the Remington Nylon 66. Way ahead of its time, stylish, accurate, large magazine (14 rounds) allmost indestructable stock, action never needs lubes so it won’t freeze up in cold weather. Holds world record for accuracy and functioning on hand thrown wood blocks. Used by Eskimos to despatch seals. I still have his rifle to this day. Still looks and functions as well as ever.

  8. Winchester 1890 .22 pump
    One of Browning’s designs. Winchester’s first slide-action rifle, and chambered for the .22 caliber rim fire in Short, Long, or Long Rifle..
    Solid frame and take down configuration. Some models had case hardened receivers. You could get one with a pistol grip or straight grip and a fancy checkered walnut stock. I did a lot of trick shooting with my first one, splitting playing cards, trying to light wooden matches, shot more heads off than I lit though. Great boy’s first rifle. Would make a great old man’s rifle now.

  9. For what you get for your money, it has to be Rugers 10/22. Great quality, good accuracy out of the box, and last but surely not least are the sheer amount of custom parts that are available. Such as, Stocks, Barrels, triggers etc… Also, since its been made since 1964, it probably won’t be going away any time soon.

  10. Browning SA-22 is by far the best .22 ever made. Was John Browning’s final design in 1914. Nearly 100 years later this little breakdown rifle is still in production. I remember admiring this gun back in the 70’s at WalMart with my dad. 40 years later, I bought one. By far my favorite gun in my collection. John Browning was a genius and his genius shines through in the SA-22. Great first gun for your youngster.