View Full Version : Lookin' for a semi-auto .22

April 27, 2010, 06:09 PM
Hi all,

New guy here. Lookin' for some info on purchasing a semi-auto .22.

I'm about to turn 18, and want to get more active in range shooting. I currently have a Ruger 10/22 that I've had for years now, but would like something with a different feel to it. With the current state of California's gun laws (and my budget), I don't want to do anything more than a .22, but I would like something a bit more than my Ruger.

I just started my search a few days ago, and have found the following possible candidates to try out:

Colt / Umarex .22LR M-4 / M-16

Sig Sauer 522

Smith & Wesson 15-22

My only intent for this rifle is cheap target shooting, with a different feel than my Ruger. Can anyone provide any opinions on these, or suggestions to similar rifles I left out?


Onward Allusion
April 27, 2010, 06:20 PM
Everyone should have a Ruger 10/22 AND a Marlin 60. The Marlin is a tad more accurate out of the box and it is really affordable.

Lookin' for a semi-auto .22

April 27, 2010, 08:18 PM
Get another 10/22 and fix it up the way you want it.

Or, will they let you buy a Ruger SR22 in California?

April 27, 2010, 08:34 PM
I understand you are tired of your 10/22...but...have you considered a more accurate barrel? I put on a Rimfire Technologies and that transformed my 10/22 into a real tackdriver ! Even with cheap Fed. 510 ammo !

http://www.shootersdiscount.com/cart/index.php?_a=viewCat&catId=2...the barrels aren't cheap, but man is that rifle pure joy to shoot!

Terry A
April 27, 2010, 08:39 PM
Another vote to take a look at the Marlin 60. Super gun!!

April 27, 2010, 10:02 PM
I have 2 Marlin 60's, one Stainless and one blue, I prefer shooting both of them over my 10-22, although the Ruger holds a few more rounds...

April 28, 2010, 05:48 AM
explain what 'a different feel' is. That may help us out with suggestions.

April 28, 2010, 06:04 AM
Thompson Center makes a very nice semi-auto, though the pistol grip area seems small to me. They are solid and shoot very well, but a bit more expensive than the Ruger.

April 28, 2010, 07:55 AM
I'd personally get the S&W M&P-22, but I would get the one with the threaded barrel and A1-Style Compensator .



April 28, 2010, 03:13 PM
Marlin 60 or Thompson Center. If you are set on an AR type .22, I believe the S&W is the best

April 28, 2010, 05:27 PM
I used to have a Marlin Model 60 and adored it. I had to sell it about 9 years ago :((sniffle) but this time around I think I'm going with a Marlin 795, wich is pretty much the same gun with a 10 rnd box mag instead of a tube, wich you pretty much have already. Since yer lookin' for somethin' with a different feel, give the Model 60 a shot, it's got a 14 rnd tube mag, and you can get a blued one with a synthetic stock and a scope even through Walmart for around $175, though I'd just get one without the scope, I haven't used the one that comes with it but my buddy did and didn't care for it, the scope that is.

April 28, 2010, 06:43 PM
Look at the Remington 597 - it's accurate, has some weight to it so it feels better in the hand (IMHO), better iron sights. I like it so much that after I got my first one, I sold my 10/22 to get another one.

Jack O'Conner
April 28, 2010, 06:56 PM

This Glenfield version of Marlin's best selling model 60 is rugged, accurate, and less than $120.

Looking for a big game feel and fine walnut? Take a look at Thompson Center Classic.



I copied these photos from Gunbroker. Good shooting to you.


April 29, 2010, 07:34 AM
WOW!! I've never seen one of those T/Cs before. Are they in production still or am I gonna need to start trolling the used gun racks at the local dealer?

April 29, 2010, 09:29 AM
TC rimfire rifles:



April 29, 2010, 03:37 PM
Take a look at the Browning SA22. There's nothing quite like it out there. Very slim, light weight, accurate and a takedown design to boot. It makes a really great little ground squirrel rifle. I don't think you's regret getting your mitts on one. :D

James R. Burke
April 29, 2010, 03:47 PM
JACK O'CONNER seems good if you want a nice rifle and save a few bucks. If you want to spend more the Browning auto and lever's are nice. The lines and looks of both of them I think are real nice. The auto has bottom eject so it's pretty small in the reciever. The only thing about bottom eject is if your lying down they can bounch the emptys around, but I never had a problem. But that Glenfield looks good but never tryed one, but dollor wise you could not go wrong. Or like some folks suggested get one more 10/22 and build it up a bit. This is a great site for ideas, and help. So welcome. There are some great folks on here that really know there stuff, and are always willing to help out. I learned alot just reading posts.

Te Anau
April 29, 2010, 05:17 PM
Colt / Umarex .22LR M-4 / M-16

Sig Sauer 522

Smith & Wesson 15-22

Of these 3 choices,the Sig seems to be the most substantial.The S&W and Colt just seem like toys to me.

April 29, 2010, 06:46 PM
The Thompson Centers are still made. Check out their web site. The wood stocked one above is the classic. The current model name is the R-55 Classic. I have the all weather model with the stainless barrel. It is a full sized rifle and accurate. It is often as accurate as many of the better bolt action 22 rifles. It will definitely give you a different feel from the Ruger 10/22.

April 29, 2010, 06:55 PM
Gun Broker had a few T/C used posted lately. Really a nice looking gun.


May 1, 2010, 11:04 AM
The Weatherby Mark XXll is the best i've seen, you have to find a preowned one though. they are no longer made. Cabelas has one for $599. If you look hard you can find one a little less. Not to be confused with the new Weatherby XXll which is a bolt action.

May 1, 2010, 07:51 PM
I just recently purchased the Sig 522 and if you want a different feel to a .22 this is the way to go! it comes with a 25 round magazine in some states but yours i believe you can only get a low capacity one but you can buy more for about $20. 10/22's are great but if you want that tactical feel the sig is a lot of fun and it is also a very accurate little .22, I have been using mine with a cheap simmons scope for shooting prairie dogs. It has been very reliable with the 2,000 rounds that I put through it. Hope that helps if you have questions let me know!

May 1, 2010, 09:06 PM
Lots of good choices listed. I like the sig the best of that first group. The tc is great too. Can't go wrong with the marlin 60. I will also suggest a cz 511. Another great gun.

May 2, 2010, 05:32 PM
Ah, a subject I know one or two things about. Here's a pictoral of my .22 Caliber Tactical Rifles, then a short discussion of pros and cons.

Colt M4 .22
S&W M&P .22
Armi Jager AR-22
Iver Johnson/ErmaWerke M1 Carbine .22
Sig 522
Professional Ordnance Carbon 15-22

Gee, I must have an addiction for these practical tactical guns.

Of all the AR styles I own the most complicated mechanically is the Colt M4 .22; in order to field strip it you need to loosen the flash hider with a supplied wrench (2-3 turns). Several parts may fall out when you seperate the upper and lower. Other then that however it is a good shooting gun.

The Sig and the S&W are in a tie for best made in my opinion; the Smith is lighter (more plastic) but both field strip like an AR (the Smith) and a SIG556 - the 522's older and bigger brother.

The M1 Carbine .22 is probably the best quality gun of the bunch; it was made at a time that gun makers took their time, used quality parts, and had craftsmen doing the work. Its interesting that it, the GSG5, and the Colt M4 .22 were made in Germany.

From a shooting stand point, they all are fairly close in performance; the Armi Jager is the cheapest, made with some cast aluminum/pot metal; its old enough that the springs are weak and I had 4 light primer strikes out of 20 rounds.

Other then that I really do like my tactical .22s....

May 2, 2010, 05:33 PM
GSG-5 to another post due to a 6 image per post rule...

German Sport Gun Pistol (GSG-5)

May 26, 2010, 07:38 PM
Hi again,

Sorry for not commin' back -- some stuff came up since I posted, and I totally forgot about this. I've been thinking about this since then, and have decided to forego the tactical .22 idea right now, in favor of a bolt action .22.

I was able to try out a few, and among what I used, I took a liking to the Marlin 981T (stainless model). I was told that these are fairly cheap, and I think they're pretty sharp lookin' rifles. Unless anyone has any major objections to this idea, I think that's what I'm set on.

My only problem now is how do I go about locating one and purchasing it? I've only got one other rifle (as mentioned), and this wasn't something I specifically went looking for -- my dad picked it up for me years back on my birthday. I checked the two Marlin dealers here in San Diego, and they don't have any in stock. Do dealers only sell what they have in stock, or can they order them for you? Or is that up to the specific shop? (Sorry to sound like a noob, but for all purposes, I am.)


May 26, 2010, 08:49 PM
I personally don't like the micro groove rifling, but other than that sounds like a nice gun for the money

May 26, 2010, 09:11 PM
you can't go wrong with a marlin bolt or semi they are great guns....or a ruger 10/22. i have 3 marlins, a mod 25, mod 25m and a mod 60. the 22 mod 25 bolt was my first gun purchased 40 years ago and still shoots 1" groups at 100 yds. yes i still have my first gun it is that good.

May 26, 2010, 09:17 PM
Not to persuade you differently, but why don't you take a look at the .17HMR? It's a little more expensive, but much more accurate and more powerful, even at range.

I personally love this package (93R17 FXP) from Savage that includes the great Savage AccuTrigger, a 3-9x40mm scope that is mounted and bore-sighted, and the option of a synthetic or wooden stock from prices of $305 with the synthetic, to $338 for the wooden stock.

Picture of a Savage 93R17 FXP. (http://www.savagearms.com/images/firearms/finder/ginormous/93r17fxp.png)
(Picture in URL because it's HUGE)

And, these are the .17HMR, side by side with the .22LR.


And, a little TFL discussion about the .17HMR vs the .22mag, which kinda give you an idea of the .17HMR.
.22mag vs .17 HMR (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=234814)

If you decide that a .22 is still what you want, then I am going to go with the others and advise that you accurize your Ruger. Otherwise, I suggest the Savage MarkII series. Very nice rifles.

May 26, 2010, 09:28 PM
I'll have to check out the Savages -- but due to simplicity, I want to stick with a .22. I'll venture into bigger and better things when I'm out on my own in a year or two. This'll be enough to satisfy my gun craving for a bit.

May 26, 2010, 09:32 PM
Happy gun finding!!

Not to be all persistent and annoying, but I highly suggest you try the .17HMR before you think it might be a little much. They really aren't much different to the shooter than a simple .22, just a tiny bit more punch, and a whole lot more accurate.

Anyways, hope we could have been use to you here on TFL. Oh, by the way, WELCOME to TFL!! Hope to see you 'round!

May 26, 2010, 09:35 PM
It's the price I'm mainly worried about - but I'll definitely check into it. As I said, I'm still trying to figure out the proper procedure for locating and purchasing the specific rifle (if I can hold out for 6 more days, I can do it on my own -- viva 18!).

Once I leave Commiefornia in a few years, I'm extremely excited to start lookin' into ARs/AKs, and the like, as well as the possible NFA item (when 21 rolls around).... *drool (This is assuming, the POTUS doesn't flat out ban anything in that time span, but that's for another topic.)

Thanks for the input, everyone!

May 26, 2010, 10:13 PM
I've been thinking about this since then, and have decided to forego the tactical .22 idea right now, in favor of a bolt action .22.

CZ 452!

You might thank me in 10~20 years.. it's being phased out for a new cheaper-cost higher-profit model. 452 is proven for many years.. it will only go up in price... and your off-springs will probably thank you more than you thanking me ... :D

Buy now before they are all gone....

If you can find them, some LGS might have old stock for cheap .. might even be cheaper than on-line stores...

American series: 380~400
Scout: $250
FullStock or Lux: $450
Trainer: low 300

May 26, 2010, 10:51 PM
I like the Marlin 60. They're cheap and reliable. I like the heavier wood stock instead of the plastic stock.

May 27, 2010, 03:50 AM
Look at a Browning SA22. It is the cleanest little .22LR you'll ever lay your eyes on and is drop dead accurate out of the box. It is an excellent John Moses Browning design and a real looker to boot.

May 27, 2010, 03:09 PM
+1+ on the CZ 452 rifles. They are superbly accurate, well made and good looking too. They also have an excellent re-sale value should your ever wish to sell it. What's more to ask for in a .22 rifle.



May 27, 2010, 03:15 PM
His is an awesome little performer,,,
And it comes in standard stock versions,,,
Or tacti-cool versions, as well as wood or synthetic.

Remington 597 (http://www.remington.com/product-families/firearms/rimfire-families/autoloading-model-597.aspx)

May 27, 2010, 03:15 PM
I put over 350 rounds though my CZ 452 yesterday.

Wonderful, still more accurate than me :D

I did not know I could get the barrel warm with a bolt action until now (in a 22lr that is).

James R. Burke
May 27, 2010, 03:53 PM
I aways like the Browning 22 auto. Small, and sleek. But thats just me. There are alot of real nice ones out there, and you sure did get some good suggestions. I always liked there short throw lever also.

May 27, 2010, 04:12 PM
I like Marlins a lot but if you're looking for something different but still in a .22, I'd look at the Remington 597. I have a 597VTR, It gives it an AR style look and feel but reliably shoots the .22LR. Remington has 30rd clips for it. I picked one up and put a red dot scope on it. Lots of fun to shoot! Another option is to buy a stock 597 or 10/22 and then buy an AR kit for it.

May 27, 2010, 05:17 PM
Thanks everyone! I'll have to check into all these. I like the looks of the 597, but I'd have to stick with a plain rifle, unless their tactical versions meetin CA laws....

May 28, 2010, 10:57 AM
In MN, although it looks like an AR, I didn't need to show my permit to buy it, it sold as a regular rifle. So far it's been a real nice gun. Good luck!

22 rifle
May 28, 2010, 11:05 AM
My favorite 22 rifle is mavage mark 2

May 28, 2010, 12:22 PM
For CA laws...

Go get yourself a S&W M&P 15-22. They have a CALIFORNIA COMPLIANT one. It is the CA specific one, not the 'generally' compliant one used for other states (like NJ).

The CA compliant one gets away with a few things, since apparently, rimfire rifles aren't subject to the same rules as their centerfire brethren in California. For example, you get to keep an adjustable stock. I think (not sure) you get a decent magazine.

I have the multi-state compliant one (for NJ), and I love it. From every review I've read/viewed (on youtube) comparing it to the Colt 22LR, there is no comparison for me. I don't like all the fake, do nothing parts on the Colt that are there just to 'look' like an AR, but which don't actually do anything. Performance-wise, I have yet to see anything definitive that suggest one is substantially better than the other. [The S&W does have a thicker barrel, though, which may mean something if you shoot a lot.]

I also have a Walther G22 rifle, which is about the same price as the 15-22, but you can get it fully loaded up from the factory with a form fitting laser & scope for around $500. Everytime I bring the Walther to the range, people come over to me to check it out -- every single time. Both are a ton of fun to shoot and more accurate than I am.

I thought about all the other 22LR choices over and over again, but in the end, if you want to toss a LOT of lead, you'll NOT want to be limited by a 5 round mag or by the time wasted cycling a bolt. The ammo is so cheap, it is impossible to "waste".

May 28, 2010, 01:55 PM
Thanks for the input on the S&W .22. I'll be headin' off to a few shops soon to check some stuff out.

May 29, 2010, 08:53 AM
Don't forget the Marlin Stainless bolt-action. They're not sophisticated, but accurate and will last you a long time.

A lot of people try to sway you to buy something more expensive, but you can always trade later if you wish to try something different, but for now, you want something that will help you learn more about shooting, gun handling, and gun care.

Even a used .22 LR bolt action is a pretty good deal. Bores on .22LRs don't rust out or wear out very often. The bullet wax on all .22LR ammo protects the bore from corrosion. You don't even have to clean those bores, but anything else requires cleaning and rust preventative to prevent corrosion.

If you really want a semi-auto, get a stainless 10-22T if you can. Another good one is the TC. I can't say much good about a Rem 597, except they shoot pretty well out of the box. The innards of those I've seen looked like the insides of a cave, but they may be better (or worse) now.

May 31, 2010, 06:44 PM
I REALLY am happy with the Colt/Umarex .22 OPS, rock solid. Absolutely NO issues.

May 31, 2010, 07:02 PM
Browning 22 semi auto. Great 22.
Look at the new Savage autos also. If you have not looked at them lately, they have lots of choices and the quality just keeps going up while the others goes down. They have some beautiful stocks also.

John K

May 31, 2010, 07:11 PM
I just got two Marlin 795's, one for me and one for she-beast. I took them out of the box and gave a good cleaning. I then polished the feed ramps and bolts to a mirror shine.

We took several kinds of ammo out for a test drive and found them scary accurate out of the box and not one FTF or FTE (even on full mag dumps). Trigger sucks, but we can live with it for the time being.

At $100.00 from Bass Pro you'll not find a better shooter. The ammo is cheap too. The .17HMR is a better round, but both guns and ammo are considerably more expensive at this time in your life.

My next gun will be the Marlin 917VR w/ some kind of scope.

Best of luck with your search.... Shoes

May 31, 2010, 09:04 PM
If you are price shoping and I would be at 18, I would be looking hard at both the Marlin and Savage bolt action 22 rifles. I have the Savage Mark II Classic which is the most expensive of the Mark II models, but they have lesser priced ones. They are very good. The CZ's are very good but cost a bit more. I am looking at buying another 452 very soon simply because they are being phased out for the 455 model that just came out. In fact, I am thinking about the 452 trainer in 22LR. It is less expensive; mostly because it has a hardwood stock versus walnut.

June 1, 2010, 02:33 AM
I will suggest you trick out your 10/22. You can go the black rifle route, OR heavy bbl tack driver route. Likely for less than the cost of a new rifle.

June 2, 2010, 03:27 PM
Regarding purchasing... I can tell you this, every single gun that I've bought, the local gun dealer had to order. Most little shops don't carry a whole lot, but can get in a day or two just about anything that's available in the country.