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Hot Topic (More than 30 Replies) Your favourite rimfires - and why? (Read 6862 times)
mudgripz
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Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Jul 31st, 2021 at 8:37pm
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In the 'rabbit problem' thread above headcase asks the question 'what's your favourite rimfire?'  I thought this deserved its own thread. There may be a variety of personal preferences, and PS there are no wrong answers, except where a shooter may have bought into one make/model/caliber, never trialled other options, and from deep internet 'experience' decided all else aside from his is crap.. It happens!!

Favourite rimfires these days actually covers two categories - all things 22LR, and then 22LR through to 223 (centrefire of course). This latter 22lr-223 category includes many interesting calibers - 22WMR, 17HMR, 17WSM, 17 Hornet etc thru to 223. Each of these variants has its place, and its adherents.

22LRs first and for me its years now since competition days and I'm no longer focussed on heavy barrel, more expensive, big name makes/models. The last 20 years has been intensive field shooting - mostly in Canterbury - and almost all with 22LRs.  I will not carry a beautifully wooded Annie, or Weihrauch, or my gorgeous Annniversary model black walnut Marlin 60, or my Winchester 9422 XTRs (in 22lr and 22wmr) etc for dozens of trips walking farms, round rocks, thru matagouri, shooting from the truck etc. They WILL be marked and scratched up - so they're out for me. Lovely to own but they've remained in the closet until sold. Instead, my own criterion is functionality first, and I look for a short, light, very accurate, reliable, easy to manoevre and durable little 22LR. Have owned and tested a heap of makes and models to arrive at my own preferences - they may not be yours and that's fine  Smiley

Excellent worker 22s include the Norinco EM332  - nicely engineered action and super accurate with 0.7" average for 4 consecutive groups at 100m, but I sold my two as they always required 1-2 warmers before shooting accurately - shooting up and to left at first which is not ideal for quick rabbit shooting. CZ/Brno always good. Toz 78 a good nz option. Marlins a real surprise - entry level rifles with good barrels posting around 0.5" averages at 50m (standard barrel). I really like JW15s after a Mudz/Neal barrel chop to 16" and action/trigger polish. Done around 20 of them now and they make excellent wee worker hunters - almost all very accurate with sub 0.5" at best.  Deadly little buggers. Marlin semis are capable of astonishing accuracy - one averaging 0.29" for 4 groups at 50m, and another 0.39"   Shocked

If I'm picking a hunter 22LR today I'd take a 16" polished JW, or a Marlin 925/980 bolt, or a Marlin 795 semiauto - all of them comfortably under the benchmark 0.5" at 50m - and it don't matter if you scratch them. Sounds crazy but there it is..  It is 100% valid for others to choose a nice Annie or Bergara or Weihrauch etc - we all enjoy a nice piece of timber and/or a beautifully machined action. But for me its deadly and efficient little workers first.

Be good to hear your rimfire experiences, your preferences (with pics if poss).  Doesn't have to be a long intro blah like this... We can talk more about the next category 22lr to 223 a bit later perhaps.

Smiley



  
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Radar
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Re: Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Reply #1 - Jul 31st, 2021 at 8:47pm
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I had to hand in my Sterling 20P semi for Cindy, got $1025 for that, a magazine and suppressor so went out and bought a CZ 445 in .22lr - frikken awesome gun 5 shot groups all touching at 50M and within 30mm at 100M - now center fire ammo and components is getting harder to find Im only shooting rim fire until the big stuff comes back. Now Ive put a mildot scope on it and Im going to stretch it out to 200 and build up a decent range chart. I had the old Sterling good as wood out to 100M but the better weapon is already a top shooter
  

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Micky Duck
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Re: Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Reply #2 - Jul 31st, 2021 at 9:06pm
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bruno model 2 found its way into my cabinet...lovely wee rifle and will be my only rimfire...the norinco jw15 already in there is promised to mate as soon as his FAL arrives (18mths and counting) that norinco has the most wonderful trigger Ive ever seen on a rimfire,a short 1mm of travel then breaks like glass...unless shooting paper you dont notice the first bit...its like a 2 stage trigger in miniture but SMOOTHER than a cat pissing on velvet.
Ive owned 3 norincos over the years and the one Im selling Ive owned twice....good mate has my last one,its suppressed ,after shooting subsonics through long barrel un suppresssed I decided to run bare barrel,its quiet enough as it is.
  
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mudgripz
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Re: Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Reply #3 - Jul 31st, 2021 at 9:32pm
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CZ/Brno always good. 

Geez Radar - $1025 from cindy for an old Stirling!!!    Shocked   I've got some bitcoin shares in a Nigerian bank I think you should sell for me...
  
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Re: Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Reply #4 - Jul 31st, 2021 at 9:51pm
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My first rifle was a Brno model 2E. It' was a 16th birthday present from my Great Grandmother.
Bought from Andy Tannocks Hunting and Fishing in Palmerston North for $325. Put a Nikko Stirling 4 x 32 on it and shot a whole bunch of small game with it. The pinnacle was a fallow hind. Out rabbit shooting, saw a Fallow Hind eyeballing me at 40 metres or so. Slowly raised the rifle and shot her between the eyes. I can still picture it in my mind. Her legs just collapsed beneath her and I had my first Deer.  Cool Cool.
So for me it will always be a Brno model 2E.
A few years ago I got a Blueing and Stock job done by TJ.  It looks better than the day I bought it. I will never sell it.
  

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Re: Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Reply #5 - Aug 1st, 2021 at 5:39am
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My 13th birthday present was a Stirling 14p. great little gun and I thrashed it for 4 or 5 years until I decided I needed a Brno. My uncles all used Brno 1's or 5's, and I would still love to get my hands on one of those, but for me it was the 2e and I cant complain. I have had that gun ever since and have shot 25-30,000 dollars worth of possum fur with it in that time. A great investment at 3 or 400 dollars I payed for it.
  
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Re: Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Reply #6 - Aug 1st, 2021 at 9:16am
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My guns are a bit like my wife, I seem to be stuck with them for life (so far anyway)

Only ever owned one, a Ruger 10/22. Bought it second hand in 1986 and I still have it.

Have fond memories of shooting rats in the dump at night in Waipawa. used to love it when we would get a 'runner' going across a bit of a puddle Grin
It always amazed me that no many how many rats we shot, the next morning you couldn't find one body.

Anyway I have put thousands of rounds through that little gun and although it wasn't overly accurate it did everything I wanted and more.

It got parked up in the safe for twenty odd years as I dealt with life's responsibilities.

Hunting has since leaped up the priority list with the afore mentioned wife consenting to adding a dog to the family.

The little Ruger started enjoying a bit of time out of the safe dispatching stray cats, tree'd possums and exposure to gunfire drills.

I was very surprised to find that not only can I still get parts for it but the list of accessories now available is extensive.

I am not as financially challenged as I was as a teenager so I replaced the shitty cheap rings for a decent pair, put a suppressor on it and experimented with different ammo and now it's a little tack driver and a quiet one at that.

I've no doubt there are better .22's out there but that little gun has done nearly 40 years of service and I see no need to change now Smiley

  
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Re: Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Reply #7 - Aug 1st, 2021 at 11:31am
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Got a BRNO 1 from the fifties and a '2' from 1967 - and I probably prefer the '2' cos it's got a slightly longer barrel.
Accuracy wise they're about the same with the right ammo - which is pretty good ......... and I like them because they're the only .22's I've got.

My mate had a Husqvarna bolt magazine .22 I really liked, heavier and longer than the BRNO's - more like a 'centerfire'. I'd swap my BRNO's for that, but he was never interested in dickering ..................  Cry

  
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Re: Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Reply #8 - Aug 1st, 2021 at 11:36am
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mudgripz wrote on Jul 31st, 2021 at 9:32pm:
CZ/Brno always good.

Geez Radar - $1025 from cindy for an old Stirling!!! Shocked I've got some bitcoin shares in a Nigerian bank I think you should sell for me...

Have got a suspicion Stirling's are worth a bit - I had a bloke do some welding work for me and payed him with a 1892 Winchester lever gun in 32-20 he fancied.
Didn't fancy it for long though, he swapped it for a Stirling semi .22 he fancied even more  Smiley
  
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Re: Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Reply #9 - Aug 1st, 2021 at 2:22pm
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My favorite lately has been my Ruger 77/22 Bolt action wooden stock, using subs. Nice and quiet with the subs. Had an aftermarket trigger put into it set at about 1lb. Great for accuracy. When I used to shoot rabbits off a quad left the barrel original but now use it more out of a truck so had it chopped for easy handing. Accuracy seems about the same.

My original .22 was a cheap Norinco. The whole rifle was rough as guts in the finish, as a brno copy im told?, but it shot well. Good barrel, which was the most important thing. Was all I could afford at the time. They were under $300 new. Dont seem to see any advertised these days. Do they still import them into NZ
  

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Re: Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Reply #10 - Aug 1st, 2021 at 2:29pm
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Have just resurrected a 10/22 also caveman. The sloppy magazine and jamming sorted out, put a different stock on it to better accommodate the heavier new Kidd Barrel. Its all so new havnt put it to the real test yet.. Only then will I really know it the Jamming problem is sorted.
  

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Re: Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Reply #11 - Aug 1st, 2021 at 2:52pm
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Interesting that of these favourites - most kept for a long time - none are expensive makes/models.  The Brno model 1 is climbing up in price some.
I like the Brno/CZs - no real faults with these rifles - but they do have nice woodwork on the Euro hogback style Brno and on the straight stock American style CZs.  For that reason I've avoided them as our varmint shooting included untold hours spotlighting over thousands of acres of north canterbury terrain in the truck - and everything gets marked sooner or later. Absolutely loved a brace of Winchester 9422s in 22LR and 22WMR but they never really left the closet.

Most deadly of my hunters was a Marlin 60 semiautomatic. Stunning accuracy, and if you kept it clean and ran it near dry of oil it was extremely reliable. Shot in at 75m (our average shot was 70m), it was very quick off the truck and a precision shooter out to 110m. Paid $200 for it with a scope!  Gave it to one of my boys on getting his licence, and on his first solo outing he popped 172 bunnies!!  Beat his old man that night..

Another excellent wee hunter was the Ruger lever action model 96 22LR. This 10-22 lookalike was more accurate than all our standard barrel Ruger semis, and an ideal safe action to teach the boys. Youngster could put 10 shots into a 1" black dot at 50m. No weaknesses - excellent wee rifle but rare now.  Our own Rugers semis didn't make the cut for our 70-100m shooting. Good to 60m but none of them near repeatable 0.5" averages on the range.  Some 10/22s were fine shooters however - my gunsmith tells me ruger sourced barrels at times from other manufacturers, including good makers like Shilen. Caveman you might have got one.  Lad did buy a heavily modded 10/22 with Hogue, Volquartsen parts, Green Mountain barrel etc and that was a fine range shooter, but he did not like the heavy barrel imbalance in the field and sold it. Some excellent new aftermarket barrels available which solve that problem - Canadian Acculite aluminium, and carbon barrels - over steel inserts.
  
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Re: Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Reply #12 - Aug 1st, 2021 at 4:55pm
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Have got a suspicion that rabbit shooting for the casual hunter is moderately genteel, had my two down the range today and while I've had them for ..... ever, they are almost unmarked.
Even the bluing is good which makes me wonder if I carried them on the sling.

My 7x57 BRNO on the other hand got it's sling taken off and has lost almost all it's bluing, but the most visible damage that ever occurred to that gun was carrying it in a scabbard on my mates quad bike while chasing farm deer over three days.
That scabbard more than wore off 'finish' it seemed to have abraded away metal and wood - quite an eye-opener.
I used that gun quite seriously too and made a new stock for it when I broke the old one. It travelled with me from Taupo to the South Island and I shot it for over fifty years with no idea how many animals it shot - and that scabbard put 200 years of wear on it in three days.

Might even be 300  Huh

  
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Re: Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Reply #13 - Aug 1st, 2021 at 6:49pm
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The worst culprit for marking up rifles I've experienced over the years where those old steel framed packs used in conjunction with a sling. My 7x57 still bears the scars.
These days it travels safely snuggled into the side of my internal framed macpac courtesy of the side compression straps and a stoney creek mini scabbard thingy.
You would think with all the mod cons available climbing up to Middle hill hut would be easier than ever but for some reason it just gets harder and harder Embarrassed
  
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Re: Your favourite rimfires - and why?
Reply #14 - Aug 1st, 2021 at 7:06pm
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Caveman2 wrote on Aug 1st, 2021 at 6:49pm:
The worst culprit for marking up rifles I've experienced over the years where those old steel framed packs used in conjunction with a sling. My 7x57 still bears the scars.
These days it travels safely snuggled into the side of my internal framed macpac courtesy of the side compression straps and a stoney creek mini scabbard thingy.
You would think with all the mod cons available climbing up to Middle hill hut would be easier than ever but for some reason it just gets harder and harder Embarrassed

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We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
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