Looking for my first rifle: .22lr vs .22mag

Discussion in 'Shooting Sports and Firearms' started by Teflon_Synapses, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Hey guys,

    Im looking into getting my first rifle and I'm leaning towards a 22. My question is: what are the performance differences between the .22lr and .22mag rounds.

    Thanks for the help
  2. are you after a round to plink mostly and hunt not as often get a 22lr
    if you want a nice rabbit/small vermin round go the mag its shoots flatter if noise is not a problem. you can get subsonic lr's thats what i use but not in mags as far as i know.

    dont count out the 22 LR though
  3. Second vote for a 22lr. The low cost of ammo will more than offset the slightly heaver punch of the mag cart. Face it, you're not going to be doing any "hunting" with a 22 anyway so get something that is less expensive to shoot so that you will enjoy it more. You can shoot 22lr and 22 shorts in a mag but why pay the premium price for a mag rifle. Spend the additional $$$ and get a better quality 22lr instead

    Look into a bolt action 22 or single shot (older rolling block or falling block Winchester or Remington). Nothing nicer than a single shot for having a good time :yesnod:

    If you are looking for a nice utility rifle, try to find an older savage 22/410 over under break breach. Now that is one rifle that is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

    Here is a 22 ballistics table if you want numbers:

    http://proszak.sasktelwebsite.net/Rimfire Ballistics.html
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  4. Definitely the 22LR. You'll mostly be plinking, regardless what you think now. The price difference for ammo between the LR and the magnums is substantial. Besides, small game that is .22 worthy (squirrels, rabbits) will drop just as fast to a 22LR as to anything larger. Get the 22LR and be able to afford all the ammo you want. Thank us later.:balloon:
  5. http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/index.php
    Your best resource.:001_smile(I'm not over there as much anymore, but have the same handle) Most people won't have needs justifying the higher cost of the .22 Mag. Its an entry-level varmint round, a decent hiking/pack rifle round(you can shoot solid slugs, HPs or Hornady game rounds), but for general use, within 100 yards, the .22LR is probably your best investment.

    Bottom line: you can reach a little farther with the .22Mag, and you can buy specialized hunting rounds. .22LR will *probably* do most of what you want to do at less cost and more quietly.

    If you reeeeaaally get into .22 shooting, you'll want one of these: http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/vbclassified.php?do=ad&id=40815 I have the older version, and they do work as advertised.
  6. Great advice and posts from all. I can add to what others are saying in getting the LR over the Magnum. Other than substantial price difference in ammo and rifles, the Long Rifle not only has cheap ammo for plinking, but you can load the LR with CCI Mini-Mags, which is a hyper velocity 22 LR round. While not a Magnum load, it will give you all the punch you would need to hunt small game and varmints up to the size of fox with no worries.
  7. Thanks for the info guys.

    Another question: what's the reliability like on the AR style .22's compared to something like the Ruger 10/22?
  8. There is a big performance difference. The Mag throws a heavier jacketed bullet whereas the LR uses a lubricated lead bullet.

    The LR is for most people a 75 yard gun, where the Mag can hit much harder out to around 150. This is considering an experienced shooter.

    For the cost of good guns and ammo go the LR, you can get some really good guns for reasonable prices and ammo is much much less expensive.

    I started my shooting "career" with a Marlin 39a, a lever action backi in 1952 when my dad bought me one. I still have the gun and wil put it up against anything made today.

    Your best bet for real accuracy is one of the little bolt actions, followed by something like the lever action. A lot of folks like the Ruger 10-22 a popular semi auto, but I think quality as dropped severely over the years along with accuracy and reliability. I have two and they do not function as reliabily as I like. A good bolt or lever action will generally be extremely reliable.
  9. It's really hard to predict, some 10/22's are jam-O-matics, some of the AR type .22s are as well. The only words of encouragement I might offer are that the 10/22 has been around for ever and there are a number of competent smiths who can make any 10/22 function properly no matter how bad the QC on the factory parts is. Some of the new tactical designs might not have had all the bugs smoked out yet, there's a chance you might get a rifle that doesn't shoot well and can't be repaired or tuned. You can get all kinds of aftermarket accessories to dress up a 10/22 just like you can an AR.
  10. My 10/22 had performed flawlessly for years. Most malfunctions of which I have seen first hand in similar rifles is due to sub-standard ammunition. Another cause for the rifle's failure to feed is aftermarket magazines sometimes are not so hot. Never had ANY problem with a Ruger OEM magazine.
  11. For your first (of many--they're like Lays potato chips) rifle, a bolt action 22lr is the way to go. I learned to shoot on an old Remington with a tube magazine, it was great for learning the fundamentals of shooting. Accurate, reliable, cheap to feed.

    Old P.
  12. Get the .22LR. Run a couple thousand rounds through it, have some fun, and use the time to get better at fundamentals. After a little while you'll get a better idea of what you want next. I started with an old Marlin Model 60 which I just love.

    The .22 Mag is more of a specialized round and likely not what you need right now. Ammo is much cheaper with .22LR and should suit your needs well. Later you'l likely want to step up to something a bit larger (and centerfire), and the money you'll save on shooting .22LR will help with that too.
  13. I would have to agree with everyone here get the 22LR. I own several ruger, marlin, and savage. I have to say when I was younger I enjoyed the semi automatic much more and kinda feel like im glad I had it first it gave me a chance to blow off rounds fast and cheap. Its pretty fun loading up the magazines and seeing how fast you can burn through them. As Ive gotten older Ive really enjoyed my savage bolt action, I guess as ive gotten older I like to slow down a bit. I would say for your first one get the semi auto just because its fun as hell. I do believe the bolt action has made me a better shot though, but nothing can beat trying to see how fast you can knock targets down sometimes. Hope this helps lol.
  14. Hard to beat a CZ 452 in 22lr. I believe CZ has phased them out, but they are still available and a very nice value , imho.
  15. Actually that is incorrect. The Mini-Mag is still in the "high velocity" category. If you want "hyper", use their Stingers or Velocitors. In my opinion CCI makes the best hunting ammo available for 22lr. I use Stingers exclusively in my CZ rifle, but Mini-Mags in my Ruger Mk III just for less wear and tear.
  16. rearviewmirror

    rearviewmirror Moderator Emeritus

    the 10/22 is a great rifle, and you can upgrade every single piece on it to make it a cheap plinker or a competition shooter.
    I have a Remington 597 that i got for a STEAL at dicks a few years ago, $130 and it came with a scope.

    if you go with either of those, the ammo is going to cause most of your jams. a lot of 22 ammo is cheap and dirty. you'll have to clean your gun a lot more often with the cheaper ammo. but still, it's nice to be able to pick up a few thousand rounds of GOOD stuff for under $100!
  17. What would be considered "top quality" .22lr ammo?
  18. .22LR rifle, and a pistol too. A .22 with a 4x scope is a fun squirrel getter. Later on, get a .45 and a .22LR conversion kit. You will enjoy shooting .22 by the brick and it won't cost much to do it. The LR has a softer report which can be nice in a semi urban area. For even quieter, feed it shorts.
  19. For bulk, I like Federal Auto Match. CCI makes good and consistent ammo that is modestly priced. For accuracy RMS, Lapua, Eley, Wolf and others. In my limited experience, you have to try quite a few types to see which your gun likes, and decide your price point and application requirements. Each 22lr that I have has a particular ammo that it likes. YMMV. Bradley
  20. Oh, and do NOT, do NOT experiment with homemade suppressors with the subsonic .22 rounds. First of all it is illegal, and second, anything that much fun must be immoral, too. With a lever or bolt gun, it is REALLY quiet. From 100 yards away, you might not even be able to hear it. Too sneaky for me. Who wants to have an indoor basement firing range, anyway? It's just WRONG. Don't do it. Even though it is fun and fascinating and all. Resist the urge. You will go to hell for doing anything that cool, I would imagine. The washers and welding rods and steel wool and pipe will cost you an arm and a leg. I don't know how to do it and I don't want to know and you shouldn't even be the slightest bit curious if you know what's good for you. Steer clear of websites that show you how to do it, and never ever read books from Palladin Press and other publishers on how to make a .22 silencer. It will corrupt your morals and use up all your free time that you could be spending mowing the lawn or painting the kitchen or fixing the roof or cleaning out your sewer line. Just sayin.

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