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Old August 21, 2023, 10:42 PM   #1
Aguila Blanca
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Affordable (okay -- CHEAP) .22LR bolt action?

Looking for an adult-size, inexpensive, bolt-action .22 LR rifle for some experimenting. Armscor used to sell one, but it seems to be discontinued. What else is out there other than the Mossberg Plinkster?

Thank you.
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Old August 22, 2023, 01:55 AM   #2
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With deference to Claude Rains in the movie, Casablanca, we can "round up the usual suspects": There's Rossi (cheaper), Savage mark II (MSRP 270$), and Winchester Xpert (MSRP 320$).

Moving up, there are CZ 455/457, Ruger American, Bergara, and Tikka. But this group is getting beyond inexpensive. Howa and Springfield Armory have bolt action .22's, but I don't know if they have hit the stores yet.

In any case my pick would be your suggestion: the mossberg plinkster. I'm not acquainted with the current plinkster, but I've always had a fondness for mossbergs from a decades ago, happy experience with a chuckster (.22WMR).

I don't want to completely go off topic and bash savage, but the fit and finish of savage rifles (excepting the model 99) have never been what you would call superb. The aesthetics were easy to overlook because the "out of the box" performance of savage rifles was so good. However, in the last few years, the performance of savage rifles coming into our family has been disappointing. We've acquired a .223 hog hunter, a .17 HMR, and savage's version of a precision rifle chambered for 6.5 creedmoor. The creedmoor is okay, but we just expected better for what it is supposed to be. The accu-trigger on the hog hunter would occasionally (not often) lock up. Not a big deal, because I hate "blade" triggers, and planned to replace the accu-trigger with a timney. The lock-up just hastened that replacement process. However, I'm not sure if savage has declined in quality, or it is simply that the other manufacturers have just got better.

Last edited by hammie; August 23, 2023 at 01:17 PM.
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Old August 22, 2023, 04:56 AM   #3
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I picked up a heavy barrel Savage B22 a couple years ago and it’s an absolute tack driver out to 100yds. I did have some extraction issues, I removed the extractor and dressed it up with a file and it works great. Then after that I got a Savage in 17HMR that had the same extractor issues. So I contacted Savage and they sent me replacements including the springs for both rifles. The replacements were much better quality than the originals, go figure. So I replaced them both and no more issues whatsoever and very easy to replace.
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Old August 22, 2023, 05:49 AM   #4
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What kind of "experimenting?"
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Old August 22, 2023, 08:03 AM   #5
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i bought a nice winchester 72 (tube fed bolt action .22 in very nice shape) for 225.00 at a local flea market. they are out there, it just takes looking and jumping on it when you find one.
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Old August 22, 2023, 08:40 AM   #6
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Define "inexpensive," please. My idea of inexpensive is quite different from some fellers' ideas of it.

Personally, I like the Ruger American Rimfire line. I've got 2 that I like a lot. One's your basic squirrel rifle, with a 22" barrel, a fiber optic front sight, and the polymer stock. The other is the Target model with the bull barrel and a laminate stock. The latter, obviously, is more expensive, but it's also more accurate. RARs accept 10/22 magazines, which I find tremendously useful, as I had about a half a dozen 10/22 magazines when I bought the first one. Also, note that the black stock module at the butt of the first one can be swapped for one with a lower cheek rest, if you prefer that. All you have to do is unscrew the rear sling swivel stud and out it comes.



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Old August 22, 2023, 09:46 AM   #7
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I'd hunt the pawnshops.

I like my Remington 513T There are a lot of old 22's out there.

Bolt guns don't have much to get finnicky.

Those Rugers do look interesting,Spats,
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Old August 22, 2023, 02:26 PM   #8
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New or used?
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Old August 22, 2023, 04:53 PM   #9
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Since you said, “cheap”, I would agree that prowling pawn shops/ gun stores would be a good start. Make them a low ball offer, they probably only gave 25 - 50% of the value of whatever they’re selling.
That said, you can’t go wrong with a Ruger American, they are economical, not cheap.
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Old August 22, 2023, 05:18 PM   #10
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22 bolt action

Rossi, CZ, Savage, Mossberg, Marlin, Howa, etc.

How cheap is cheap?
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Old August 22, 2023, 05:42 PM   #11
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Ruger american.
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Old August 22, 2023, 05:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagpanther
What kind of "experimenting?"
Playing with reloading .22LR


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spats McGee
Define "inexpensive," please.
Under $250, if possible.
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Old August 22, 2023, 07:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca View Post
Playing with reloading .22LR




Under $250, if possible.
Maybe a used RAR, or a Savage?
https://www.savagearms.com/content?a...rearms&s=28702
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Old August 22, 2023, 07:54 PM   #14
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Citadel Trakr is about as cheap as you'll find.
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Old August 22, 2023, 11:31 PM   #15
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Playing with reloading .22LR
Having been down that road--precision of components with minimal tolerances is essential if your goal is anything beyond casual plinking. Have fun and keep us posted.
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Old August 23, 2023, 12:45 AM   #16
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Having been down that road--precision of components with minimal tolerances is essential if your goal is anything beyond casual plinking. Have fun and keep us posted.
I believe your goal was long-range accuracy/precision. My goal is ammunition that goes BANG. Nothing more.

I don't **NEED** another rifle, particularly not another rimfire. Except ... I expect most of my experimental loads to be sufficiently under-powered that they won't cycle a semi-auto action. So I'm looking for an el cheapo bolt-action .22 to use as a test bed. I might even consider a Crickett, but for some reason they want 100 bucks more for the "adult" model, which seems rather steep for 2 inches longer in the pull length. (Plus the Crickett is strictly a single shot, which obviously means it would be useless for evaluating feeding.)
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Old August 23, 2023, 05:34 AM   #17
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Lot of work to meet parity of bulk-grade ammo, which is why I was interested in performance improvement.
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Old August 23, 2023, 03:00 PM   #18
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I don't **NEED** another rifle, particularly not another rimfire. Except ... I expect most of my experimental loads to be sufficiently under-powered that they won't cycle a semi-auto action.
You can turn a 10/22 into a straight pull bolt action by blocking the bolt handle with a thumb or index finger.

If feeding of weak rounds is a goal, a 22lr AR15 conversion bolt is pretty under weight and in conjunction with a reduced power hammer spring will cycle anemic rounds. I'd bet you could find a conversion bolt with a magazine for $150. Some people don't like the idea of sending 22lr down their 5.56 barrels.
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Old August 24, 2023, 05:36 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by stagpanther
Lot of work to meet parity of bulk-grade ammo, which is why I was interested in performance improvement.
Sometimes it's about the journey!
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Old August 24, 2023, 07:07 AM   #20
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Sometimes it's about the journey!
True dat. The number one thing I found in reloading 22lr is that tolerances are so minute--whether you're talking headspacing in the action and dimensions of cases to very small weight charges that range from min to max in just hundredths of grs.--precision is everything.
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Old August 24, 2023, 05:27 PM   #21
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I agree with hitting the pawn shops. Find some weird and interesting to match the project.
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Old August 24, 2023, 05:37 PM   #22
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I just picked up one of the new Springfield 2020 Rimfire Target rifles.
Seems like a shooter. Just needs a few tweaks to meet my (high) standards.

I could go over some pros and cons, but you aren't going to get one for under $250.
And most people here would probably turn their noses if I mentioned that they're Turkish, made by Retay.
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Old August 25, 2023, 10:56 AM   #23
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Cheap bolt action 22lr are rare. There is reason for that. Better chance to pick up an old semi auto with locked bolt. My local gun shop has a bargain rack full of those.

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Old August 26, 2023, 07:44 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangolima
Cheap bolt action 22lr are rare.
There are a lot of bolt action .22 LR that'll cost the OP less than his $250 even after shipping and FFL fees. So I wouldn't say they are rare.

Rock Island 14Y

Citadel Trakr

Savage Mark II OD Green

Rossi RB22

Mossberg 802 Plinkster

Savage Mark II Wood Stock (might go a little over $250)

Rossi Gallery (pump for variety)
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Old August 26, 2023, 02:09 PM   #25
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I had not heard of the Rock Island M14. I was intrigued.
Clicked the link, and was not surprised by the appearance of the rifle.
Then I saw the magazine. "Oh my god. They're still using that horrible ArmsCor magazine design from the sixties."


*Mossberg Plinkster 802 and Rossi RB22 are the same gun; just as the Plinkster 702 and RS22 are the same gun. Made by Rossi, since Mossberg sold them the rights to the 702 and 802 a while back.
Fun oddity: Precision rimfire guys have found that the Rossi parts are often upgrades to original Mossberg-made 802 parts. Somehow, that collection of Rossi garbage, that feels unfinished and barely works in its original form, ends up often being superior as individual components, when swapped into an older Mossberg.
We have several local and regional shooters that have rebuilt their Mossberg 702s with Rossi parts and swear by them, and I have heard of quite a few 702 shooters doing the same, nationally.


Anyway...
In my opinion, the best bang for your buck is going to be found on a used rack.
My personal preference would be for a Marlin 780/880/980/XT-22. The 980 and XT-22 will have better triggers, but overall quality may be diminished, as they were mostly made by Remington in Mayfield, KY. For any of them, you'd need to pick up magazines quickly. They are only available used or as NOS items, and the supply is dwindling. They are not likely to be produced again. Repair parts are easy to get, but magazine supplies will dry up (as stainless sight hoods [for 880SS/882SS] have already).

If willing to go "old", you can find a million Savage/Stevens/Springfield/Revelation bolt guns from the '20s to '60s for under $150; often under $100. Detachable mag, tube mag, single-shot, they made them all. I haven't found one with a half-decent-looking bore, yet, that doesn't still shoot great. Obtaining magazines for certain models can take time, but all are obtainable - or can be modified from later styles.
Some models are easily scoped. Some require drilling and tapping. Some really can't be reasonably scoped, at all. Shooter's preference drives the decision.

In June, I fired a 3/8" 10-shot group at 50 yards with iron sights on an a Stevens 66 (estimated to be ~1930-34 production, based on original sight option and changes noted in catalogs from 1929 to 1935).
It seems like every Savage/Stevens rimfire barrel was just so much better in the '20s, '30s, and '40s; and still superior to modern barrels through the '60s.
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