View Full Version : First Semi-Auto for Target/Plinking

September 15, 2012, 10:56 AM
I am looking for a semi-auto (preferably .22LR) for target shooting for my wife and myself. I had a lot of guns growing up for hunting but it's been decades. What would you all recommend? I want to keep the price low, less then $300.00 preferably, although I might go as high as the mid $400's since this is a first time/training weapon.

Favorite manufacturers and ones to avoid are are greatly appreciated. The gun world has changed a lot since the 70's and 80's when I last owned a rifle.

September 15, 2012, 11:18 AM
You can probably find a nice used Browning Buckmark in that price range if you do some searching. I've got the 'Hunter' model and have nothing but positive things to say about it as a target pistol and sometime critter picker-offer. :)

September 15, 2012, 06:09 PM
Can't go wrong with a Ruger 10/22. Great first gun. Well under $300, incredibly reliable, and an aftermarket accessory market you wouldn't believe.

They now have a Ruger "take down" model.http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/09/16/ve7ygaqa.jpg

September 15, 2012, 06:56 PM
I heartily recommend a Ruger 10/22 but NOT the takedown model. Lots of problems showing up in that variation.

September 15, 2012, 07:09 PM
I think the marlin 60 is a very nice semi auto 22. I have one and love it. pretty darn accurate out the box.You can find them used for $100-150 give or take. In fact there is one here on alabama arms list in stainless steel looks real nice for $165. This is mine.


September 15, 2012, 08:07 PM
I had a .22 Mag as a kid that was similar looking to the Marlin. It had the end loading second barrel where you put the bullets in the end of the gun. It was really nice to shoot. I have no idea who the manufacturer was.

We (my wife and I) had rented what I think might have been a S&W AR22 or something like that. She liked it. It felt small and short in my hands. That said, it shot very nice. The fact it was Pink Cameo may have made me not like it as much. LOL.

So many of the ones I see for sale, look like imitations of machine guns. I even saw a Citadel M1. Now I had an M1 .30 when I was a teen and I loved it. If they made a good version of that, that would be nice but the reviews I have seen of it have not been flattering.

The browning I am sure is a good gun, as they have always had top notch rep that I know of. I tend to prefer wood stocks, etc.

September 15, 2012, 08:12 PM
Another vote for the Ruger 1022 I think every gun owner should have one

September 15, 2012, 08:25 PM
I would have to vote for the Ruger 10/22 also for all the good reasons already written about.

My second choice if you were to want something that not everyone has would be a Browning 22 Rifle. I forget the model number but it is a tube fed 22 LR with bottom eject. The sides of the receiver are smooth and good looking. My friend has one and it's a nice little rifle. I wish I had one.

September 15, 2012, 08:32 PM
Another vote for the 10/22. Find a used one for 200ish and spend around $100 for a single stage trigger drop-in kidd and have a blast!! You will get addicted to these rifles however. I started with one and now i'm up to 6 lol.

September 15, 2012, 08:37 PM
Remington 597 and get a Volquartsen extractor.
My Remington just seems to feel nicer to handle and more ergonomic than my mates Ruger.

September 15, 2012, 09:09 PM
I agree with plumbernator. I paid $110 for my Marlin model 60 12 or 13 years ago. It is accurate and a nice looking gun. Over 11,000,000 can't all be wrong. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlin_Model_60

September 15, 2012, 09:58 PM
cant you fix up a ruger 10/22 to look like a ar-15? if i were looking for a .22 for me that is what i would get!

now if i was looking into getting started doing the target practice thing and the wife was going to be my shooting mate which means spending our money on us not spending our money on me that means twice the money.
i would think inexpensive .22's x2 would be in order...i have a Winchester 290 .22 that shoots just fine for killing paper:eek: i am not recommending one manufacture over an other that is just what i have,and you can get two guns for under 400bucks. would be a good start but warning start saving your money because it will not stop there!!:confused:

September 16, 2012, 01:48 AM
I don't currently own any .22s, but have been contemplating a Ruger 10/22, and only because it just make sense. The reviews are too glowing and (mostly) everyone knows that Ruger makes a solid gun. I have enough bolt guns, and would only get a lever gun in a centerfire. The price can't be beat, either.

September 16, 2012, 06:34 AM
Rugers are nice but unless you spend a bunch on upgrades, the Marlin 60 will be more accurate. About $100 less than the Ruger also which will buy a bunch of .22LR ammo or a scope.

The thing about the Ruger is that most people can't leave them alone and sink a bunch of money into aftermarket parts and accessories.

September 16, 2012, 11:12 AM
I got a Marlin 60 to avoid any temptation for aftermarket "upgrades". That said, it shoots very nicely, but is picky on ammo brand and that tube mag annoys the heck out of me. If they made a box mag mod kit, I would be all over it.

September 16, 2012, 05:39 PM
10/22 no doubt. I was in this exact situation a week ago. I had owned other deer rifles and such, but never a .22. I bought a 10/22 and I love it. I cant say about other .22s, but this one is a beauty :D My advice is to plan on getting a scope when you buy it, because the iron sights are not the best. I got mine for way under 300 with a scope mounted and multiple mags. I love it!

September 16, 2012, 07:27 PM

I picked up the M&P 15-22 above for $380 and it's awesome. With the ammo recommended it's never had a malfunction (other than failure to fire--it's rimfire after all...). It's the only 22 AR I know of that actually functions like a real one. Great little gun.

chris in va
September 16, 2012, 08:31 PM
I hear great reviews about the M&P 22. I'd go that route.

September 16, 2012, 09:02 PM
We held the S&W and the Ruger today at a gun show. Both felt really good. The S&W is little more then I want to spend right off the bat because we are also looking at a couple of pistols.

That said, I think we will end up with the Marlin or the Ruger. I am leaning towards the Ruger because of the clip instead of it being barrel loaded.

As far as aftermarket stuff.... I will have to worry about my wife in that respect, she likes to tinker <wink>. The only thing I would really like would be the bigger clips and a couple spares.

I saw on their web site, they have what I guess is an AR model of the 10/22, but like the S&W, its a bit pricey to start off with.

I really appreciate all the recommendations.

September 16, 2012, 09:12 PM
The Ruger 10/22 has got to be one of the .22LR that has the greatest number of sales. There is a good reason so many people buy that rifle and the word that comes to mind for me is perfection. You will be pleased with a Ruger and you can get all kinds of goodies for it if that is what you want later. We are all glad you have decided to join in this wonderful hobby, be safe and enjoy.:)

Nine the Ranger
September 17, 2012, 09:10 AM
I'd say a 10/22 but I have no experience with one.

My Mossberg 702 Plinkster has not failed me at all though, and was only $120

September 18, 2012, 12:34 AM
Our forum right here is a great place to get information but you might also want to check out:


There's lots and lots of information about all things rimfire there too including separate areas dedicated to the major brands and even models within the brand...e.g. Remington has an area and inside that is an area devoted to the 597.

September 18, 2012, 05:32 AM
For basic rifle practice, Ruger 10/22. It's a WILDLY popular rifle for a reason. They are easy to work, reliable, accurate, not bad to clean, and just about endlessly "tinkerable" if that's your thing.

...although those little S&W M&P-22s look very attractive if you plan on also learning the AR-15.

September 18, 2012, 08:12 AM
Ruger 10/22 is an American classic!


September 19, 2012, 08:31 PM
Plouffedaddy- where did you find your 15-22 for $380? I cant find one anywhere near that price.

OP- I have a old marlin model 60, I like it but the 15-22 looks like it woud be a blast.

September 19, 2012, 08:37 PM
Buds. I think they're going for around $400 now.

September 19, 2012, 09:05 PM
Ruger 10/22, Smith and Wesson M&P15-22 comes to mind. Both good rifles backed by American manufacturers

September 19, 2012, 09:25 PM
The Remington 552 speedmaster is a really nice 22 semi auto. They're still offered new but pretty expensive. they like all other 22s can be found for good prices used though.

September 20, 2012, 09:03 PM
Current Bud's price for the Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 is $423.00 We saw one at a local Gun Show for $250.00, but it was used. We didn't take $$ to buy anything, being newbies we were just getting a feel for things. Those prices though almost make me wish we had bought it.

September 21, 2012, 10:25 PM
We purchased the 10/22 tonight. We got the Carbine wood stock version for $199.00. We can't wait to take it to the range.