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Is a .22lr rifle good practice, or is it a whole different ballgame?

Discussion in 'GATE Long-Range Shooting' started by wrx04, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. wrx04


    Sep 25, 2008
    Ive been wanting to get into some precision rifle shooting, and was considering picking up a high end .22 rifle as my first. Is this a good way to learn to shoot, or are the big guns a completely different beast?

    My thought process was that a quality .22 is extremely accurate, as well as cheap to shoot. It would allow me to have much more trigger time to develop my skills. I was looking at either a volquartsen or anschutz bolt gun. I would put a quality scope on either of these (think Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x44).

    My dilemma is spending that much for a .22. Im sure i could get a pretty decent gun/scope for ~$2500 (but maybe not). Part of me would like to just get a .308 and learn on that, but i fear i wont shoot it as much as i would a .22lr. Let me know what you think.
  2. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith 3Gunner Millennium Member

    Aug 25, 1999
    Fort Collins, CO, USA
    A .22 trainer is a good way to practice marksmanship fundamentals for a much reduced cost. However, there is no substitute for real long-range practice.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012

  3. FireCaptain


    Apr 24, 2004
    You do not need to spend that much on a 22. I run a 10/22 with a carbon fiber barrel and can shoot decent out to 100 and ok to 125 yds. Look at the Mueller brand of scopes, good quality and reasonable. Not a Nightforce but good quality.
  4. PhotoFeller


    Nov 18, 2010
    SW Florida
    Do big bore rifles have adjustable triggers? Are .22 rifles available with similar adjustable triggers? I'm just thinking that developing transferable marksmanship skills with a .22 would be ideal if the triggers are very similar.
  5. Current Resident

    Current Resident

    Dec 15, 2012
    Motor City
    My .02 is this. I am assuming you are speaking about bolt action rifles. You don't have to have a real high dollar .22 to get quality practice. My favorite bolt action rimfire currently is my Marlin XT22YR, which cost me under 200 dollars. Savage makes a great bolt action as well with an adjustable trigger for under 400 dollars, plus your favorite optic. For my next bucket list option would be a CZ model, walnut stock version.

    I do believe that my 16" barrel Marlin would keep up with any high end CZ or Kimber if I do my part.
    I also have bought many BSA scopes on sale at the Sportsman Guide when they are on sale, but I have purchased the centerfire scopes. They have held up very well and have had zero problems with loosing their zero.

    Zero your rifle at 25, 50, and 100 yards. Practice at ranges give or take 100 yards and that helps me to keep keen on uneven distances at plus or minus ranges. I taught my son to do everything in steps/paces versus yards. My thought is this, in the field I am going to do everything in steps/paces and this helps me to keep track much better than having to measure everything. It helps me to keep everything real world.

    Any trigger time with bolt action rifles will be good practice for centerfire rifles.

    Best of luck to you, please remember to post how you did with us.

  6. First shot

    First shot

    Mar 7, 2015
    Heck, a pellet rifle is good practice. Seriously, IMO, a .22 is great to start with. Didn't we all? First shot.
    Jim1911 likes this.
  7. Jason D

    Jason D INFRINGED Silver Member Millennium Member

    Jun 16, 1999
    Mivonks, MI
    Shooting fundamentals are the same whether you are using a 250 dollar 10/22, 2000 dollar Anschütz, or a 1500 dollar service rifle.

    If you work on the fundamentals, and your positions. It transfers no matter what gun you use.
    janice6 likes this.
  8. Hntbambi


    Jul 19, 2015
    Las Cruces, NM
    Yes, a .22 LR traner is indeed good practice. Doping the wind at 300 with a .22 is not unlike a .308 Win with 175 gr SMK at 1000 yard line. Once you figure it out, it will help you learn to look at the details and make a clean shot. I have a few trainers ranging from a 60+ year old Remington 510 Target Master, a Rem 40x 22 military trainer, a Kimber 82G trainer. When you start getting decent groups at 300 yards, it is a hoot.
    janice6 likes this.
  9. Turn4811


    Jan 31, 2014
    NE Atlanta
    I have three 22LR rifles. The Ruger 10/22 is the least accurate but it is bone stock SS with a 3-9x35 Leupold scope and I am hitting 3-4 MOA with it on a good day.

    The second is a single shot that the firing pin has to be manually pulled back to fire it - this is a family heirloom from my wife's side of the family that is open sites only and there is no way to mount a scope without drilling it. There was a time I could hit a bottle cap at 50 yards with it - I haven't shot it about 8 or 9 years.

    My favorite is a JC Higgins (Savage 78) bolt action magazine fed 22LR that belonged to my grandfather. This is an early 1950's gun and I currently have a cheapie 3-7 x20 Tasco scope on it but I can shoot it 1.5-2 MOA. If I was to put it in the gun vice on a windless day I am sure I could get it to 1 MOA or less.

    My suggestion would be to find a bolt action rifle made in the 50's or 60's that does not have any rust or pitting in the barrel. There were numerous manufacturers that produced these guns and the metal they used during that era made the barrels extremely accurate and durable and they can be found for less than $200. Put your money in the scope and ammunition.
    janice6 likes this.
  10. Jim1911


    Jul 2, 2015

    Don't spend too much to see if you like it or not. Get your self a Ruger 10/22 rifle and if interested in hand guns try a Ruger Mark 3. Very accurate dependble 22 guns. Both also hold there value and a ton of assories can be had.
  11. JesseWA


    Feb 7, 2013
    SE WA
    Ive seen a few people talk about getting a 10/22 for long range stuff, hate to break someones bubble but without dropping some extra coin to clean up the trigger and get a target barrel your better off buying a nicer rifle to start. Ruger makes an incredible .22, i have 3 currently but not one is the way it came from the factory.

    If you want a 10/22 get the LVT or target then all you need is to clean up trigger/replace it.
    For a bolt 22, cheaper choice savage svfr or trr; higher end a cz

    dont blow your wad on an anschutz out the gate, price difference is a nice scope AND lots of high end ammo.

    just my .02
  12. rds95991


    Aug 21, 2011
    Practice with a 22LR is helpful because it helps develop trigger control, sight picture, and breathing control.

    Once you've mastered these, this skills should transfer over to another other rifle you may shoot.
  13. Current Resident

    Current Resident

    Dec 15, 2012
    Motor City
    Her are two of my favorites. This one is a Marlin XT22YR that i added a piece if mahogany to. The next is a Marlin 795. Both of these platforms use of he same magazines. IMG_20151004_223204586.jpg IMG_20151004_222658206.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  14. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

    Dec 16, 1999
    I have a old Glenfield (IIRC model 60) I got in early 70s @ $55. Bolt action with mag.
    Dang thing still outshoots what I can do with 10/22 and other standard guns. Now I got to try some $$$ .22lr those beat it. Its my go to for skunks, coons, other vermin.