Every shooter needs a good rimfire gun. The ammo is cheap and easy to find in bulk, which makes it the best option for people who shoot frequently, while the guns themselves tend to be reliable and fairly affordable. Taking the time to find the best rimfire rifle will give you a gun that offers enough accuracy for target shooting and enough power for hunting. Nearly every gun company makes a rimfire rifle, so we took the time to narrow the options down to ten great guns based on their value, reliability, and effectiveness in a variety of shooting tasks.
10. Savage A17
The A17 from Savage Arms is one of the most reliable semiautomatic rifles in the .17 HMR caliber. It works well with stock ammunition, but there are loads that were designed specifically for this rifle that offer even better performance. It is also fairly accurate, especially for people who take advantage of the adjustable trigger to optimize its pull. Give it a try if you want to have a good general performance with unusually high reliability in this caliber, but opt for something else if you are open to other calibers.
9. Ruger 10/22 Carbine
The 10/22 carbine is a light and fairly maneuverable design, so it’s a good choice for people who need to take their gun into the wilderness. It features a respectably large magazine that sits flush with the gun and this makes it a little easier to handle, but it also has an enlarged release to make it easier to remove. It takes scopes easily due to an adapter that can take either Weaver-style or .22 tip-off scope mounts. Try this gun if you want something that is easy to handle and provides balanced performance in the field.
8. Henry Golden Boy
|Manufacturer||Henry Repeating Arms|
The Golden Boy from Henry is one of the few lever action options that are still available. It offers excellent aesthetics in the Western style, complete with a Brasslite receiver that gives it its name. The gun is fairly heavy but balanced well enough that the weight isn’t a problem. It operates quite smoothly and has low recoil, so it’s a great introduction to lever action guns. Consider using it if you like lever actions or value its unique appearance.
7. Browning T-Bolt Sporter
The T-Bolt Sporter from Browning is a highly accurate, bolt-action sporting rifle. The bolt-action mechanism both boosts this gun’s reliability and cuts down on weight. Those traits, along with its high accuracy, make it great for use in the field. Somewhat unusually, this rifle uses a straight-pull design, which makes it much faster to operate than most bolt-action guns. It is an expensive weapon, but it combines the best aspects of a bolt-action with speed that is more in line with that of a semiautomatic gun, so it is a great choice for experienced hunters and sport shooters who want to invest in it.
6. Ruger Precision Rifle
The Precision Rifle has a unique design that is ideal for people who like customization. The gun is largely made from just a few pieces of molded glass-filled nylon, which makes it quite sturdy. The stock is fully adjustable and designed to take a rear monopod. The barrel is threaded for a suppressor, and the top of the gun has a rail for adding a scope. Most other parts of the gun are also easy to adjust. This is a great choice for people who want to adjust their gun, but it has relatively little to offer to those who change things regularly.
5. Sako Finnfire II
The Finnfire II from Sako is a premium rimfire from Finland. It offers incredible accuracy compared to most other rimfire guns, and it even has a raised comb on the stock to make proper scope alignment easier. That stock is made from quality walnut and checkered for an improved grip and for aesthetic reasons. While this is an excellent gun in most regards, it is also hugely expensive compared to most rifles of its caliber. It’s the best rimfire rifle for people with a high budget, but too expensive for casual shooters.
4. Mossberg Blaze
The Blaze from Mossberg is a cheap and effective rifle. The stock is a durable synthetic model, which keeps the cost low and boosts durability, but some people will find that it hurts the gun’s aesthetics. It shoots reasonably accurately in spite of the low price, and it is reliable enough for normal use at the range. The gun’s low weight can be an asset when carrying it in the field, but it otherwise stands out only for its low price and high value. It’s the best rimfire rifle for people who need to minimize their costs, but people who don’t need that can look at other models.
3. Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22
|Manufacturer||Smith & Wesson|
The 15-22 rifle is the best rimfire rifle for shooters that want a rimfire variant on the AR-15. This model is chambered in .22 LR, which keeps the cost low, but means that it isn’t nearly as powerful as most other AR variants. It can still take most AR accessories, and it is designed to do so easily with plenty of space for rails and the M-LOK system that allows customization without removing the handguard. Try this if you like the AR-15, or already have compatible accessories for the gun.
2. Marlin XT-17R
Marlin’s XT-17R is the best rimfire rifle for new shooters who want to learn to use a bolt-action gun. It is exceptionally reliable, both due to the bolt-action design and sound construction. This model comes with an adjustable trigger and is drilled and tapped to accept scope bases, so it can take a reasonable amount of tweaking. The gun’s use of .17 HMR ammo gives it respectable range and a flat trajectory that is useful for hunting small game at longer distances. Try this gun if you want a cheap bolt-action rifle, or if you value that caliber. You can also check out other great hunting rifle brands available on the market today.
1. Marlin Model 60
The Model 60 is an old design, but it has remained a contender for being the best rimfire rifle on the market for more than half a century. It’s a cheap gun, but it has an excellent barrel that gives it plenty of accuracy, and the materials are sturdy enough to last for decades. It can be a little bit slow and awkward to reload, but it holds more than enough ammo for the average hunting trip, and slow reloading isn’t a problem at the range. All shooters should try this gun, especially those on a budget.
Making The Right Choice
Rimfire guns can earn a place in any collection due to their cost-effectiveness, ease of use, and high general performance. Naturally, some of them are better than others, so you should take the time to find the best rimfire rifle for your needs. If you find another good one that we missed, be sure to tell other shooters about it in the comments in case they want to give it a try.