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Old April 19, 2020, 02:34 PM   #1
Peter R
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Match grade 22 under $500

Hear is a loaded question that I’m sure has no correct answer. My club has several 22 caliber rimfire matches a year. I’ve never been interested in these shoots. That said my 14-year-old daughter is interested in giving it a go. She is a good shooter, I have a couple of different Ruger 1022s that she enjoys plinking with.
So my question would be, is there a decent 22 cal in the $500 or under Range that would be a decent platform to start with, or am I better off build up one of the Rugers that I already own with a decent trigger and possible match barrel ?
I already have a decent glass to put on it for the time being.
Most of the shoots they do are 50 yards.
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Old April 19, 2020, 02:38 PM   #2
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What type of competition? Since you mention the 10/22, are we to assume this is rifle competition?
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Old April 19, 2020, 02:42 PM   #3
Peter R
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Yes. Rifle 50 yards and typically front support only. They shoot match sticks , egg shoots lollipops etc.
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Old April 19, 2020, 03:00 PM   #4
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I've owned some very expensive custom match grade Ruger platform .22's, two Anschutz target guns, a Browning T-Bolt Varmint, and a number of run of the mill Savage, Marlin, etc. For the money, there simply isn't anything that even comes close to a match/target rifle than a CZ rimfire. I own an out of the box CZ455 that is easily 95-98% as accurate as either Anschutz I owned. It cost just under five hundred brand new. I have shot some perfect scores indoors off hand with it and shoot in the high 30's with it at our clubs smallbore silhouette matches shooting off hand. It has a walnut stock and a really decent trigger right out of the box.
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Old April 19, 2020, 04:08 PM   #5
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What size test groups at 50 yards are the biggest you'll accept?

1/3 inch? 2/3 inch? Something else?
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Old April 19, 2020, 07:04 PM   #6
Peter R
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Match sticks at 50 yards. Just looking for the best or most accurate for the money.
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Old April 19, 2020, 08:34 PM   #7
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Hitting a match stick at 50 yards with a 10/22 is more luck than skill. Take a look at the CZ that NoSecondBest suggested.
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Old April 19, 2020, 10:23 PM   #8
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Match grade 22 under $500

In that price range it would be a CZ. Most CZ’s will out perform their test targets. I haven’t shot this one yet, but I doubt it’ll outshoot my 455V.

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Old April 20, 2020, 06:24 AM   #9
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As mentioned above- the CZ 452 American or its successor, the CZ 455, is the best bang for the buck rifle
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Old April 20, 2020, 07:19 AM   #10
Bart B.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stangbangr View Post
In that price range it would be a CZ. Most CZ’s will out perform their test targets. I haven’t shot this one yet, but I doubt it’ll outshoot my 455V.
I think it would be nice to see how other 5-shot groups are. There's usually a 3X to 4X spread across several.
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Old April 20, 2020, 09:12 AM   #11
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If she want's to shoot match you might consider a Win mod 52. I think it was a mod 52. Used them for shooting match while in the service. If not that I'd look for a good single shot 22 rifle or even better bolt action with a clip magazine. I think what you'll find is to be competitive the rifle may well need bedding. I'd also only be interested in a wood stock rifle. My son has two Savage bolt action rim fire's and both needed bedding to shoot well. I might mention that every match grade 22 I've ever seen has been a single shot!

Last edited by Don Fischer; April 20, 2020 at 09:27 AM.
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Old April 20, 2020, 10:04 AM   #12
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The reason 22 rimfire match rifles producing best accuracy are single shots is repeaters and semiautomatic ones inconsistently mar bullets as they cycle. That makes them leave the barrel unbalanced to some degree.
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Old May 9, 2020, 07:02 AM   #13
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buy a used high standard citation 5.5" bull and clean everyones clocks.
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Old May 10, 2020, 06:01 AM   #14
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The Ruger PR in 22lr is under $400 last time I looked at Rural King, may or may not be up for match sticks at 50yds, but a barrel swap is possible for this model.
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Old May 10, 2020, 08:41 AM   #15
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To hit match heads repeatedly at 50 yards, you'll need accuracy of 3/8ths inch maximum extreme spread. I doubt you'll find a 22 rimfire rifle retailing 500 bucks or less that'll do that. I doubt rebarreling would help.

Few lots of 22 LR match ammo shoots that well in high dollar match rifles.

Last edited by Bart B.; May 10, 2020 at 04:21 PM.
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Old May 25, 2020, 08:20 AM   #16
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I'm a precision pistol shooter but on the side I've played with rifles some. I own a Ruger 10/22, a CZ 452 Special Military Trainer model, and my great grandfathers Winchester Model 52B (target stock).

The 10/22 out of the box either iron sighted or scoped will not be very competitive. Even if the gun did shoot pretty good stock, the trigger leaves a lot to be desired. It's one thing to have an accurate gun but if the shooter can't interface with the gun then it's pointless. I modified mine with a new target type barrel from Green Mountain Barrel company. I bought it on sale several years ago from MidwayUSA. It's a pretty accurate gun now for only another $100 or so I think it was. I put a scope on it. The barrel however needs a different stock to fit. So theres more money.. I was fortunate and was gifted a stock. That's why I bought the barrel lol. The trigger still needs to be modified. I've had friends let me try their Ruger aftermarket trigger group and it's a huge upgrade and worth it's cost. Anything else is great too but will cost much more I think. So in short: The Ruger 10/22 is a usable platform but not without modifications. Find one used cheap maybe $200 or less and you'll hopefully have room to set it up to do what you want with it and stay at that $500 mark.

The CZ is your best bet in my opinion. My model 452 trainer is very accurate out of the box. If you get one and find that it's not as accurate as some people report them to be then try different ammunition. You'll need to see what your gun shoots the best. This goes for any rifle make or model. Not all ammunition in your a specific gun will shoot the same. I've done a lot of bench shooting to see what mine will do and it's certainly capable of the accuracy you seek. I fitted mine with olympic style peep sights. A rear adjustable aperture and a front globe type with interchangeable front sight inserts. Look for one on gun broker or see if your local shop can order one. Great rifles. Not just the 452 but most of their 22 models are all fantastic shooting rifles. The triggers are heavy enough for new shooters to learn on and yet light enough to be semi-target or hunting quality and are clean feeling and breaking. These rifles are a great starting point for any youth shooter entering competitive shooting or wanting to master the fundamentals and likewise for adults. There are some modifications that can be done to these guns down the road but they are not necessary. They would be preference only in my opinion.

Now the Winchester model 52B (or any letter variation).. it's an antique. They are fantastic rifles. Very accurate. Sweet triggers. Would be great because they are built to be a target rifle. But they are sought after as collectors pieces now. The people I notice that have them typically collect several other target 22 rifles like the Remington 513T and others. Great guns but pricey. Not a gun in the $500 range. If you found one then awesome but they are more pricey than what you're suggested budget is.

So I highly recommend the CZ rifles. Hunt one down on gun broker. You won't be disappointed. Good luck.
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Old May 25, 2020, 09:07 AM   #17
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+1 on the CZ.
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Old May 25, 2020, 12:51 PM   #18
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There is a reason that the Anshutz costs double the CZ and the CZ costs double the Ruger!

Here’s my opinions-

-ask around and find out what the other competitors are using and ask around for those selling old equipment
-hang out at Rimfire Central to talk to the guys that bench rest .22s and/or drop $1000 on their 10/22s.
-no matter what you do to a 10/22 it resells for $300 while CZ, Anshutz and Walther appreciate as desired rifles. No one wants your upgraded 10/22 as the fun is in the build. You can sell off your upgrade parts for a better price than the whole rifle.
-buy once, cry once

When I talk about group sizes I mean 10 shot groups, outside edge to outside edge, no elimination of any shots unless called before seeing them. Like if your buddy bumps you. From sandbags off a rock steady bench, outdoors.

I have built up two 10/22s now. The second time I was a lot smarter and had excellent info from Rimfire central. I took a stock $200 new rifle. It grouped about 4” with stock iron sights. About 2.5” with a scope. About 2” finding the preferred “budget” (not bulk) ammo. In this case it was Aguila standard.

I dropped a Ruger BX trigger upgrade in. No increase in accuracy but much less fatigue in getting clean trigger pulls. It’s a good value for $50

Swapping several barrels I found that the mounting was not stable and settled in, so I pillar bedded and free floated the barrel and used a rubber shim moved fore and aft to tune best groups. Group size down to 1 1/8 inch at 50 yards, still using budget ammo. While I was at it, I drilled the receiver to take a cleaning rod from the back without removing the barrel from receiver.

Match grade ammo did not result in better groups immediately so I stopped. Here is why:
The next step is to send the best stock barrel I had to Randy to have the chamber re-cut and let him do magic on the build. $250... but may as well drop a match barrel while paying the gunsmith... so drop another $750 on my $200 Ruger? No. Here is why:

Pull my CZ 455 American out of the box. $510 but with .22 and .17 barrels. Toss a scope on it and try budget ammo. Sub-One inch at 50 yards all day with Blazer. Measurement of group size is an issue so move to 100 yards. Visibly shrink the group with RWS Match ammo on sale for $12 a box. It’s cheaper to shoot 30-06 cast handloads for me. Stop.

The Ruger is a nice rifle, I put a bit of time cleaning mold line creases, breaking edges cleanly, fitting to wood... when I pulled it out of the safe last I thought “this is a nice little rifle!”

Then I pulled out the CZ. “Whoa. This is a beauty.” Suddenly the Ruger shaping looks crude and the wood looks bland. I keep it because I seem to be collecting Rugers subconsciously by process of selling off firearms I don’t really love. That 10/22 is an awesome squirrel and rabbit gun. I would not grieve if it got scratches from blackberry brambles or got rain or snow on it and it’s more than accurate enough for small game.

The CZ is twice the price and as I can afford it, a luxury and status item. For strolling in the woods on a crisp Autumn day, I feel special owning such a nice bit of walnut and it’s fun at the range, too.

The CZ accuracy is still not match grade, but then neither am I. Next step would be recutting the chamber and hoping, or putting a match barrel on it. But after adding that price, may as well buy an Anshutz. Which is also worth the money, just richer than I am comfortable with.

My strongest advice is to ask around the club you compete with. You might find some old guy that will sell you the competition rifle someone sold to them at a break even price that’s a real bargain for you and they can show you how it shoots.
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Old May 25, 2020, 01:47 PM   #19
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You might get lucky finding a used (bore in good condition) BSA Martini Model 12/15 for sale under $500 --- Though they do not have a mechanical safety.
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Old May 26, 2020, 03:12 PM   #20
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A Green Mountain Barrel and a BRN-22 trigger will get you where you need to be for less than $300

but if you want a bolt gun either a CZ, Ruger, or Savage will work.

go over to here and do a bit of reading on various rifles, lots of good info

https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/index.php
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Old June 18, 2020, 06:26 PM   #21
Double K
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New guy throws a wrench into the gears!

Tikka T1x is made by Sako, best rifle made under 500.00, Sako accuracy, adjustable trigger that's excellent and no tool marks anywhere.
Mine is on the left with the tan grip.


Some 10 shot groups at 50yds, it's my practice gun for silhouette so I limited the tests to mid-grade target ammunition, it would group much better with Tenex or Master.



Last edited by Double K; June 18, 2020 at 07:35 PM.
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Old June 19, 2020, 07:36 AM   #22
Don P
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To hit match heads repeatedly at 50 yards, you'll need accuracy of 3/8ths inch maximum extreme spread. I doubt you'll find a 22 rimfire rifle retailing 500 bucks or less that'll do that. I doubt rebarreling would help
I have to ask what do you do when the breeze picks up and pushes that little 22 off course?
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Old June 19, 2020, 08:22 AM   #23
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I have to ask what do you do when the breeze picks up and pushes that little 22 off course?
See how far it misses your call, then check the wind after reloading. If the wind is the same, make a full windage and elevation correction on the sight for the next shot.
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Old June 20, 2020, 06:16 PM   #24
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I shot a horsefly off of the target board at my range at 50 yards with a cheap Marlin bolt action. It sounds like BS, but I kid you not. It took a few shots as it was moving across(walking) the board, but I got it on the 3rd or 4th shot leaving just the wings and a little juice around the hole. A horsefly is a little bigger than a matchstick, but I was using a $100 rifle with a $25 Simmons scope. It was a Marlin 981t.

I've never had a CZ, but their rimfire rifles are right around your budget and are spoken very highly of.
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Old June 20, 2020, 07:48 PM   #25
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You should shoot some 50yd groups with it and post them, always interested to see one of those benchrest Marlins.
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