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Ultimate Unpewfessional .22LR Rifle Shopper’s Guide: Because I Said So!



If you were to ask 10 shooters to create their list of “Best .22LR Rifles,” I guarantee each list would be different. Not all .22LR firearms are the same, or even built for the same purpose. It would be totally Unpewfessional of me to claim that my list is the definitive one … but wait! I am The Unpewfessional Himself, so here’s THE .22LR rifle shopper’s guide.

Most Popular: Ruger 10/22

The Ruger 10/22 is a popular semi-automatic rimfire rifle known for its reliability, accuracy, and customization options. It has been in production for decades and is favored by many shooters for target shooting, small game hunting, and plinking. The rifle is known for its user-friendly design, affordability, and a wide range of aftermarket accessories available to customize the rifle according to individual preferences.

Due to the fact that the 10/22 has been in continuous manufacture since 1964, it is one of the most popular and widespread .22LR firearms available. The popularity also means that there are hundreds of different 10/22 models, from pistol variants all the way to heavy-barrel ultra-accurate sniper rifles.

First Rifle: Savage Rascal

While most people’s experience with shooting comes in the form of a BB or pellet-style firearm, there comes a time when a child is ready to take the next step and move up to a real firearm. The Savage Rascal bolt-action .22LR is specifically sized for children. Everything about the Rascal, including the stock ,is downsized to fit a child’s physique. A bonus is that the capacity is only one round, so the kid will not be able to outrun “safety first”! Available in multiple kid-friendly colors and a starting MSRP of $169, it’s not hard to see why the Rascal makes a great starter rifle.

Most Tacticool: S&W M&P 15-22

Familiarity is the name of the game when it comes to the M&P 15-22. The AR-15 is the most popular modern sporting arm among Americans, and the M&P 15-22 mimics the look and feel of the AR-15. The M&P 15-22 offers customization options similar to an AR-15, allowing users to personalize their rifle with various accessories and upgrades. You can create a small caliber facsimile of your larger-caliber AR. The M&P 15-22 is known for its reliability, accuracy, and overall performance, which contributes to its popularity among shooters of all skill levels.

Survival AR-7

Designed in 1959 by Eugene Stoner for the U.S. Air Force as a compact weapon for pilots should they have to eject over remote areas and originally manufactured by Armalite, new versions of the AR-7 are manufactured by Henry firearms. They retain all of the original features that made it a fantastic survival rifle. The AR-7 is designed to be disassembled and stored in its own stock, making it ideal for backpacking, camping, or emergency situations. The AR-7 has a reputation for reliability and durability, and its ability to be easily stowed away in a backpack or emergency kit.

Lever Action: Henry Golden Boy .22LR

The first thing that come to my mind when I think of the Henry Golden Boy is quality craftsmanship, fit and finish, attention to detail, and beautiful aesthetics. It features a polished brass receiver, octagonal barrel, and American walnut stock, giving it a classic and elegant look. The lever-action mechanism of the Golden Boy is smooth and reliable, providing a satisfying shooting experience for enthusiasts and collectors alike. The rifle is known for its accuracy and reliability, making it a favorite among target shooters, plinkers, and small-game hunters. The Golden Boy is often sought-after by gun collectors due to its quality construction, aesthetics, and the iconic lever-action design. It is considered both a functional firearm and a piece of art.

Competition: Anschutz 1710

Shooters trust the brand for its consistency, performance, and innovation in the field of precision rifles. Anschutz has a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality firearms, and the 1710 rifles uphold this legacy. They are known for their exceptional accuracy, making them popular among competitive shooters, target shooters, and hunters who require precise shot placement. Anschutz rifles are so world renowned that they dominate elite, even Olympic, competitions. The 1710 rifles are finely crafted using quality materials, and typically feature a smooth bolt action that provides a seamless shooting experience. Anschutz 1710 rifles are available in various configurations and calibers.

Most Nostalgic: Remington Nylon 66

The Remington Nylon 66 was introduced in 1959 as one of the first rifles to feature a synthetic stock and handguard. The Nylon 66 was designed by Remington Arms Company and was named after the synthetic material used in its construction. It was one of the first rifles to be made extensively from synthetic materials, specifically DuPont’s “Zytel” nylon resin. This was a groundbreaking development in firearm manufacturing, as it was lightweight, durable, and resistant to corrosion. Marketed as an affordable rifle suitable for various shooting activities, the Nylon 66 was accessible to a wider range of shooters.

The synthetic construction of the Nylon 66 made it highly durable and resistant to wear and tear, which appealed to shooters looking for a reliable and low-maintenance firearm. The unique futuristic design of the Nylon 66, with its sleek lines and distinctive stock, made it stand out in the firearms market at the time and contributed to its popularity among shooters and collectors. The Nylon 66 remained in production for over two decades, with various models and configurations being introduced during its lifespan.

Known for its accuracy, smooth action, and distinctive appearance, the Nylon 66 left a lasting impact on the firearms industry as one of the first successful rifles to utilize synthetic materials extensively. It is remembered as an iconic and innovative firearm that helped pave the way for the use of synthetic polymers in firearm manufacturing.

Now it’s your turn! I am going to ask the readers, what is your list of rifles and why? Don’t be afraid to even come up with different categories … How about Worst .22LR Rifle Ever? (Oh boy, I want to see that list.) Sound off in the comments!

—James “the XDMAN” Nicholas Mr. UnPewFessional Himself!



  1. Pete

    April 9, 2024 at 6:23 pm

    “magainze” should’ve been “magazine”

  2. Peter

    April 9, 2024 at 6:22 pm


    I have a Winchester Wildcat which is 10/22 magainze compatible and has features that Ruger left out like a simple push button to remove the action and clean it, two different mag releases, a long picatinny rail and a weight of 4 lbs!

  3. George

    April 5, 2024 at 11:14 am

    Got to put in a word for my trusty old Remington 513T Match Maker. Found in a pawnshop for a real bargain price, it is as accurate as I have ever seen. Able to shoot the center out of the target at both 50 and 100 yards, it is a prize,

  4. Orion

    April 2, 2024 at 4:31 pm

    I grew up ruling the range(and winning many boxes of cci) with my dad’s old blonde maple stocked Glenfield model 25 bolt action(as Marlin Glenfield) and later with a remington 572 deluxe pump(old creepy trigger) before finally deciding a plain Henry .22 lever was what ended up standing guard out the back second story window over the garden.

  5. Shim

    April 2, 2024 at 10:31 am

    When I was a puppy, I had the Remington 572 bronze barrel pump .22. Really enjoyed it and was accurate. Unfortunately some assahola stole it out of my pickup. Serial number DE 35.

  6. Randel Schnebel

    April 2, 2024 at 8:07 am

    Thanks for the interesting article, like you said, this is YOUR list and I agree with some of them, as well a some of the ones mentioned by others.
    I would like to add a couple of my favorites to the list.
    1. Bergara BMR steel – by far the most accurate .22lr I have ever shot
    2. Winchester Wildcat – this is fairly new to the market, but an absolute blast to shoot
    Safe shooting to All

  7. David Dally

    April 1, 2024 at 6:08 pm

    How could you even write this with at least mentioning the Remington pump 22 with octagon barrel. I still own my grandfather’s gun and it shoots as well as any gun I have.

  8. Chance

    April 1, 2024 at 4:17 pm

    While the S&W M&P 15-22 is a fine weapon, the Tippmann M4-22 is HAND-DOWN the most tacticool rimfire rifle available.

    First, it’s metal upper and lower receiver, and metal fore guard blows the Smith away for quality and ruggedness.

    Second, it’s Mil-Spec, so replacement/upgrade parts (triggers, grips, stocks, sights, etc.) are everywhere.

    Third, the bolt release actually works.

    Fourth, the forward assist actually works.

    Fifth, the M4-22 is available in both pistol and rifle lengths.

    If you want a rimfire AR platform for training up to the real deal, the Tippmann is really the only choice!

  9. Pat Moore

    April 1, 2024 at 1:12 pm

    The author did an excellent job with the list and the article was fun to read. I love Henry rifles and have one for .357. However, my Browning lever action is amazingly accurate and has a very short lever throw which makes it as fast as semi-auto with a little practice. The entire lever and trigger moves so no worries pinching fingers. It is an amazing rifle and would give the Golden Boy a run for top spot.

    • Tug

      April 1, 2024 at 1:30 pm

      I fully agree with the Browning BL22 being the best and most accurate of the lever action rifles. I own one and it’s one that should be passed down to my grandkids

    • Nathan Ziegenfuss

      April 1, 2024 at 5:12 pm

      The Browning is certainly more expensive.. When I didn’t know any better, I shot the middle bolt out of an old reflector sign while resting on top of a car roof.. Maybe 30 yards open sights.. Later with a scope I shot thru an old bullet hole in a rusty old car at my brothers house without touching the sides.. maybe 50 yards give ir take a tad ….. bottom line, I think they can hold their own against most non professional rifles.. I gave it to my son and it’s his go to pest rifle..

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