.22 Rimfire Options (Updated)

Both of you, I need your opinions.

As I said previously, the fam and I would like to go to an Appleseed shoot this Summer *insert drum cadence*. It looks like the boy will be using his Ruger 10/22 which we will fit with Tech Sights. I think I can get a discount on the sights now that we are officially NRA members. It’s starting to look like we’re also going to take Mom’s Winchester 69A Match. This is a sweet little bolt-action .22 with a match-grade, 25-inch, bull barrel, and a micrometer-adjustable rear aperture sight from Lyman. I’m probably going to buy several extra mags for the thing, and give them to Mom when I return the gun. That sounds like a good deal for all parties involved to me. So, that brings us to two rifles and three shooters. At this point, I’m deliberating how to get the third .22 rifle for us. The fact of the matter is that to shoot two AR15’s at Appleseed would cost about $500.00 just in ammo. If we could replace those with a couple of .22’s for less than $450.00, we could buy the best .22 ammo available and still come out cheaper – and get a gun out of the deal! And so, the search is on.

The idea of a high-quality, dedicated .22LR upper receiver that we could use on one of our AR’s sounds like a wonderful option. I particularly like the Spike’s Tactical with the A-frame front sight. These things will run the Black Dog magazines, and are reviewed very well from all that I can tell. Between the upper and three magazines, it commands a stately $700.00 price tag. OUCH! With the addition of a quality rear sight, I’m looking at around $800.00 – and that’s only if I’m lucky enough to be able to get my hands on the stuff prior to the shoot. It would be pretty sweet to be shooting the defensive rifle in question for this course, but that’s a lot of scratch to simply shoot cheap ammo out of the definitive EBR.

Then of course, there is the bolt conversion option for an AR15. I’ve read great things about the CMMG unit. These things come down to a far less lofty ~$200.00, and also operate with the Black Dog mags. Between the bolt conversion and a few magazines, that brings the cost to about $300.00. That’s not too bad, if you ask me. The pros are that I would retain the sight system already on the gun, the price is far more palatable than the full upper, and they look very simple and easy to use. The cons are increased fouling of the action due to running dirty rimfire through a centerfire-designed action, and using the 9:1 twist of the 5.56 NATO barrel with .22LR that does best through a 1:16 twist will yield slightly less accurate targeting. Bummer. Probably adequate for putting shots into a 1-inch circle at 25-yards for Appleseed, but I’m not going to be reliably knocking holes in Coke cans at 100-yards with the thing.

It has occurred to me that we could simply purchase another Ruger 10/22, extra mags for it, and install Tech Sights on it. The 10/22 platform is such a wonderful machine! I love the one that we bought for the kiddo. Heck, Jen and I love it as well! It really wouldn’t hurt to have another one like it. I’d probably get the cheapest one I could find, new or used. From what I’ve seen in my area, that amounts to $150.00 to $200.00. We can count on $50.00 for the sight system, and probably another $60.00 for extra magazines. That puts the cost somewhere in the $285.00-range. That’s really not all that bad, actually.

Then, of course there’s the thought that I could simply grab the first, cheap, pawn-shop, .22 I can find with a bull-barrel that still has a decent bore – especially if it has an aperture sight on it. I imagine that I could score something for the $100.00 range if I looked hard enough. Magazines be damned! This gun would go as-is, or I would improvise for mags, as I wouldn’t specifically be looking for a particular brand or action type. I know there are a billion high-quality .22’s out there that have no home. I could consider adopting one.

One way or another, I would really like some input from my readers. Please see below. Thanks!

*cheesy telegraph beeping sound* UPDATE:

I would like to thank both my readers for weighing in on this, and getting all your friends to do the same. I received an unprecedented FOUR votes that unanimously pointed the direction that I’ve been leaning anyway.

The choice is clear that The Evyl Robot Empyre will procure another Ruger 10/22. This gun will be fitted with Tech Sights and sling swivels, just like the one that belongs to the boy. After much thought an deliberation, the 10/22 option turns out to be a very economical one, and the option of getting another gun is always more exciting than the option of accessorizing an existing gun.

So, I’m going to be on the lookout for a Ruger. Hopefully, I can find one for <$100.00, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. If I can't find a good used one before too long, I'll just buy the base-line new model. Anybody out there have one they want to donate to the cause? *hee hee!* I have recently become aware of the carbon fiber accessories available for these beasties. EXAMPLE. Of course, the rice-rodder, mall-ninja in my head loves the idea of building a rifle that is nearly complete in shimmery, black carbon fiber, complete from stock butt-plate to muzzle. Chances are, we’ll just leave it a beater-gun – simply a functional piece for target practice.

Yesterday, we had Rimfire Saturday. The only think I shot that wasn’t a .22 was my 12-gauge. Even then, I only put 29-rounds through my scattergun. I had some extraction issues with some of the Fiocci #4 buck shells that I’ve had rolling around the house, so I was unsure whether the 00 Fiocci’s could be trusted in a TSHTF scenario. The 00’s that I ran through yesterday did so flawlessly, so I’m thinking that I must have gotten a bad box of #4’s. No biggie. They are gone now.

But, I digress. Shooting for a couple hours, nearly completely rimfire, was a unique and satisfying experience. The boy’s 10/22 ran flawlessly with all ammo fed with the stock, rotary magazines. The plastic-lipped Butler Creek ran fine with the ‘expensive’ CCI ammunition. It seems that the stovepiping, ejection issues that he experienced were due to a combination of crappy ammunition and a crappy magazine. Lesson learned – steel feed lips are good on 10/22 magazines, and even the more expensive .22LR is a fraction of the cost of the cheapest centerfire available.

Also, the Winchester 69A was an incredible shooter. I need to spend a little more time with the gun, but it performed really well. The action is flawless, the sights are easy, and it is a tack-driver supreme. With .22 Shorts, it is still as accurate as anything else to 30-yards, and the report from the 25-inch bull barrel is like an air-gun if even that. I’m thinking Red Ryder report. I was fascinated at how smoothly the gun would cycle either .22LR or .22Short, seamlessly with the same box mag. I’ve been tempted to tell my mom that the gun is dangerous and unfit to shoot, but I could find the kindness in my heart to dispose of the errant weapon so she wouldn’t have to go to the trouble.

Another lesson learned yesterday is that I didn’t have the frugal part of my brain tormenting me every time I pulled the trigger. The frugal part of my brain was stroking my ego and telling me that I was a good Evyl Robot with every trigger pull. I LIKE target practice with rimfire. It is really clear that we need some .22’s for target practice.

I’m not going to shoot the boy’s rifle without him because that’s just not cool. Jen and I need a rifle for our own usage. Furthermore, we need a few handguns. I see us having some kind of target semi-auto pistol, like a Sig Mosquito, or a Ruger Mark III. We’ll need a couple of wheelguns as well, including a long-barreled, steel, mid-size revolver like a S&W 617 10-shot and a small-frame, lightweight snubby like a S&W 317. We do still need a Sloth, afterall.

Conversion kits be damned! What we need is more guns! I do realize that I’ve just detailed some $2,000-worth of hardware that we can’t afford right now, but the stuff would pay for itself in ammunition costs and skill gained – that’s how I would justify it, anyway…

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One thought on “.22 Rimfire Options (Updated)

  1. LOL! Always go with another complete rifle. It’s always better in the long run that way. Marlin also makes so nice .22 rifles for under $200. I got myself a 981T, which is a bolt action, tube-fed .22 Short, Long and Long Rifle rifle for $180. Then I fitted it with a Bushnell rimfire scope. It’s a pretty good shooter. Will have to run another brick of ammo through it before the barrel settles in, but so far, at 100 yds, the groups are about 1-1/2″.

    I made the mistake of buying a .22LR conversion kit for my 1911 pistol. Now I wish I’d just saved that money and spent it on the Browning Buck Mark I bought a few months later.

    I need to build a 1911 lower for the conversion kit so I’ll have another dedicated .22LR pistol. Money is tight right now since I’ve been unemployed for 3-1/2 months now, so those plans will have to wait.

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