(bolding added) I'm looking to get an American made .22LR bolt action rifle. I need this to be very accurate for small game hunting. I've read that CZs are very good, but I really want to invest in something made in America. How are Marlins? I want a really good rifle, so I'm willing to spend good money on it. I have a Ruger 10/22 and it is not all that great, and even after putting TechSights on it, it still doesn't perform where I'd like it to. I blame user error along with the semi-auto system being inferior to a bolt action's accuracy. I want it to be a wooden stock, bolt action, and have good iron sights on it. I'm looking to purchase a new rifle too, so all the older models are not an option for me. Thanks for any advice you can offer.
American made.... for normal people that means Remington, Savage, Marlin, Ruger, and I guess Cooper and Kimber if you are willing to spend those kind of bucks.
People are finding the newer Marlin's trigger better and the 22's well made. I would certainly look at the XT line. http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/xt/XT22.asp
Savage Mark II would be my primary recommendation but it is technically made in Canada. US/Canada... pretty much same thing to me as compared to German, Chinese, Japanese, or Czech made.
I don't have any experience with the Ruger 77/22. I doubt I will buy one since they are expensive and the stock just looks like a walnut 10/22 stock fashioned for a bolt action rifle. (I have a Ruger 10/22 Deluxe.) I hear mostly good things about them but I would rather spend more for a Remington 547 (or find an as new Remington 541-S or 541-T
). They are pretty easy to find.
If you are firm on the USA manufacture and no budget was stated but still keeping it "reasonable"... my suggestion is to find an as-new Remington 541-S or 541-T. They are fine rifles with an excellent reputation for accuracy and quality. They would make a great small game gun. I use mine for that.
If money is a big issue, I would look at Marlin. I would not get a Remington 504 in 22LR even if you find one new in the box. Too many were duds. I have a Marlin 983 (22 WMR) and it is a fine rifle but the trigger could stand some work. The XT series have adjustable triggers.
I love the Remington 547, but at $1000 it is expensive. But you can expect them to shoot pretty well.
Kimbers... yeah, always wanted one when the 22's were still made.
Cooper... would love to own one, but the cost is an issue for me.