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Old November 21, 2008, 11:37 PM   #1
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22 LR vs 22 Mag for accuracy

First, let me say that I am new to your forum. I have been reading posts here from time to time. My thanks to you, as I have found valuable info on topics I have been researching.
I find myself looking at a new 22 Mag vs a 22 LR in a combo target small varmint rifle.
I read a thread awhile back on this forum that addressed this same issue, 22 mag or 22 LR. With some info and facts found in that thread and a few others, I have narrowed my choices down to the CZ 452 or the Savage 93BTVS in the 22 magnum and the CZ 452 22 LR or the Savage MARK II-BTVS 22 LR.
I plan to use this rifle as a target trainer for myself, as I have been away from firearms since my youth.
In the earlier thread I mentioned several members stated that the cost of ammo was far less for the 22 LR vs the 22 Mag. Looking at the current ammo cost their seems to be little difference these days. Let's put cost asside for now, because my main question is more on accuracy between the 2 calibers out to 100 yards or more.
Also any recommendations on which of these 2 rifles would be my best choice. I will also be putting a scope on this rifle and could use some input in that area. My total budget on the rifle and scope is $500 max.
Any help that any of you forum members may offer will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!

Last edited by blacksky; November 22, 2008 at 12:28 AM.
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Old November 21, 2008, 11:46 PM   #2
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I'd say that there is really not as much difference in the round as in the rifle.

One day at the range there were a couple of kids from the local high school shooting team practicing with a .22M. They were alternating one shooting and one spotting @100 yds. I didn't notice the rifle(fancy) as much as I did the targets. I could have easily out-scored them with my .22LR target rifle.
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Old November 22, 2008, 01:22 AM   #3
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CZ 452 is the better of the 3 rifles, IMHO. And 22LR is definitely more accurate than a 22WMR. 22LR match rifles routinely are among the most accurate rifles on the planet. As far as I know, no one makes a match rifle in 22WMR. There are literally dozens of types of match ammo available for the 22LR, and none for the 22WMR. This is due to the fact that International Match is fired with 22LR, Biathlon is fired with 22 LR, NRA Smallbore Match is fired with 22LR, and they all specify the 22LR as the only rifle suitable under their rules. If you want to shoot a 22WMR in target competitions, you pretty much have to shoot Rimfire Silhouette, and it is not really all about rules, it is pretty much informal and a good way to get out and shoot with your buddies. Besides, I can do 90% of everything my 22WMR does with my 22LR, and cheaper. When I need to step up, I can step up to my 223.
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Old November 22, 2008, 01:46 AM   #4
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You mention shooting varmints not paper targets. I have a Bruno ZKM-611 take down .22 Mag. I have shot P.Dogs , Badgers, Crows Etc. with it. There is no question a good .22Mag does more damage than a .22 Lr on critters.
I have a number of varmint rifles centerfire from .17 thru .25. But I have found a quality .22 Mag. to be very handy here in the Rocky Mtns. The little take down rifle with full metal jacket ammo for edible game and hollow points for varmints makes a much more effective rifle for a hunter than a .22lr. Good Luck with what ever you choose.
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Old November 22, 2008, 03:57 AM   #5
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For shooting paper I think you'll find that standard velocity 22lr is more accurate than either hyper velocity 22lr or 22mag. After that it's a matter of finding what brand/model of ammo that your particular barrel likes best and that's all trial and error. Two identical rifles coming off the same production line will likely like something different. And don't expect to get consistent 1/2" 50yd groups with $15/550rd bricks. The ammo itself isn't consistent enough until you get into the better stuff.

22lr is going to peter out much past 100yds and the 22mag isn't going much further accurately unless you like lobing rounds. And any wind at all becomes a big issue much past 25 yards. Let me suggest that you pick 50yds and work on fine precision at that range. The skills required directly translate when switching to longer range centerfire. That's also why Appleseed trains at 25m. And hey it's fun. If you've been away a bit I strongly recommend atteneding a two day Appleseed event.

The last I read the 22LR 452 American uses standard 3/8 dovetail rings, while the 22LR version of the 452 Varmint needs pricey 11mm dovetail rings. But this varies by caliber so I suggest you research it further. Either will need a $15 brooks trigger kit installed. I've fired the Savage and like it and the trigger. Both the CZ and Savage are very accurate hunting rifles and should suit your needs. Neither are match rifles but by luck of the draw some buyers wind up with examples that shoot like match rifles.

As far as your rifles choices go, neither the CZ 452 or the Savage BTVS are going to leave you room for a decent scope. The only thing that might fit your budget is the $120 Muller APV 4.5-14x40 or the Simmons ProHunter 6-24x44 - which was on sale at Natchez for $135. Both are far better than average Chinese scopes but are scraping the bottom of acceptability. Better than both is the HUGE Philippines made Simmons 6.5-20x50 Whitetail Classic that SWFA has for $99. Avoid ATN, Barska, BSA, most Simmons, and Tasco. If I were you I'd either step down a notch on the rifle (MKII F or BV?), or save a bit longer for a Weaver RV9 or V16, you'll be glad that you did.
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Last edited by sholling; November 22, 2008 at 11:06 AM.
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Old November 22, 2008, 05:19 AM   #6
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If you want to get tight groups on paper, the 22LR beats the 22 mag. As has been mentioned there are dozens of match cartridges for the 22LR but I'm not familiar with any for the .22 mag. However, if your wanting to shoot varmints, then the .22 mag is the way to go because of its increased energy and thus killing potential. My suggestion would be (if you don't own a 22LR) to purchase a 22LR. I personally lean towards the Savage because I own one and it shoots such tight groups with SK Standard Plus ammo. I routinely out shoot my buddies in our informal target matches. It is the most accurate 22LR I've ever owned.
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Old November 22, 2008, 07:08 AM   #7
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"at the current ammo cost their seems to be little difference these days"

That struck me as curious. I just checked with Midwayusa. Using Federal .22LR SV target ammo, which I shoot regularly in matches, as a guide and comparing it to Federal .22 Magnum, I found that the Magnum ammo is more than twice the price of the .22LR. ($10.29/50 vs. $4.59/50).
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Old November 22, 2008, 08:15 AM   #8
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I will say that there is one loading in particular that I have had great accuracy with in all of my 22 magnum rifles, which is Federals 50gr HP. This round is deadly accurate. I have shot a lot of SUB MOA at 100 yards with this round. The drawback is that it drops fairly quickly when compared to the other higher velocity lower weight ammunition.

That being said it kills critters very well. I have taken many fox out to 125 yards without so much as a few kicks. Usually they drop stone dead. I have taken groundhogs out to about 150 yards where the little round still has 131fpe.

If you are looking for primarily a target rifle with occasional varmint hunting, CZ 452, or 453 in 22LR, if you are looking at a dual purpose rifle for targets as well as a good bit of varmint hunting CZ 452 22 Magnum. You will be surprised at the accuracy with these rifles in both Long Rifle and Magnum.

I own a CZ 452 22LR and the accuracy is amazing.


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Old November 22, 2008, 02:39 PM   #9
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I am also contemplating on buying a 22 bolt action rifle & considered the 22 magnum. With all the reports that I've read & people that I've spoken to, together with my own experience, I have settled on a CZ 452 in 22lr. I have generally found that the 22lr is more accurate than the 22 magnum.I also decided on the 22lr as it is quieter & cheaper to shoot than the 22magnum. If I need any more power than what the 22lr offers, I'll take my 22-250 or 308.
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Old November 22, 2008, 03:30 PM   #10
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My Thanks!!! to all of you for your input and the help you have offered me here. To be honest I have been looking hard at the CZ line because everything that I have read says they are nothing but accurate out of the box.
But as a 'Proud American', I am leaning towards the Savage line. I know that they are manufactured in Canada, but that's still in 'North America', and Savage is an America company.

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