Ruger 10/22

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The 10/22 has been one of America’s favorite rimfire rifles for more than five decades, and it’s easy to understand why. Bill Ruger perfected the blowback semi-auto design here, and the 10/22 will run for years and years without a hiccup. Early in the 10/22’s life, when there was an anything goes-attitude about rimfire triggers, this gun had a very good one. The 10/22 also comes equipped with an excellent factory barrel, which makes these rifles accurate right out of the box. If good accuracy isn’t good enough for you, though, there are plenty of aftermarket accessories, everything from expensive target stocks to bull barrels. The real genius of this gun, though, is in its rotary magazine, which was compact yet ultra-reliable. With MSRPs starting at $309 these guns are also affordable. If you don’t have a 10/22 in your gun safe, then you’ve been missing out, so clear some space for one of these modern classics. (Ruger.com)

Shooters have a long-standing love affair with accurate, affordable rimfire rifles. Here’s a closer look at 10 of our favorite models.

Best Rimfire Rifles - Savage A17Like so many other kids, I started my shooting career behind a .22 rimfire rifle. Empty Pepsi cans doubled as targets, and with a little practice even walnuts and hickory nuts were fair game. Just after Halloween, as other kids were digging through piles of dime-store candy, I was busy setting up my annual “pumpkin safari,” a rimfire shooting course through the woods where overripe jack-o-lanterns and gourds were the quarry. Later, I hunted squirrels, rabbits, and woodchucks with rimfire rifles by day and, if one of the neighbors had a good hound at the time, raccoons at night.

Those early days carrying rimfire rifles were fun, but they also taught me lessons that would prove valuable later in my shooting career. I learned trigger control, sight alignment, proper stance, and—most importantly—gun safety, skills that would become the framework for hunting, competitive, and tactical shooting down the line. So I have a soft spot for rimfires, and maybe you do too. I went through a magnum phase, like I think all shooters do, when I only liked guns that kicked hard, shot flat, and cost a lot to shoot. That ended pretty quickly. I dabbled in competitive shooting and trained with AR rifles as well, but more and more I’m compelled to pull out those light-recoiling, fun-to-shoot rimfires from the safe when I’m headed for the range.

There have been many great rimfire rifles throughout history, but here’s a look at some of our favorite modern rimfires.


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Gun Digest Book of .22 Rimfire, Second Edition thrills shooters and collectors alike with comprehensive coverage of new and vintage firearms. It uncovers technical secrets to the caliber, such as how headspace, rim thickness and other factors affect performance. And it covers all the accessories and gear needed to enhance a rimfire for a day of target shooting, hunting or plinking around. Get Your Copy Now

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