Precision 22LR Rifles

Quickdraw

"Ho'old on there"
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#1
With the popularity of the Precision Rifle discipline over the past decade there has been a expected expansion into the 22 caliber trader and recently @@ Tactical Precision Rifle matches.

Bo northern and southern Nevada have matches of this type. The National Rifle League last moth started an entirely new match series for this caliber, NRL22. The NRL22 league started last month with 22 clubs across the country participating. In the 2nd month that number is expected to grow to over 45 clubs. What's not to like about a tactical rifle match with a 10lb rifle.

With these matches up and running it is time to start discussing what makes up a 22lr tactical precision rifle. What makes up a good starter rifle, scope and accessories? What upgrades are available and at what cost? Where is the most bang for the buck.
 

Quickdraw

"Ho'old on there"
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#2
I started with what I had that I figured was the most practical 22lr rifle I had. My old Remington Target Master was limited by options for scope mounts so it was out. I did have a Ruger 10/22 target rifle though with a .920 bull barrel that looked like my best option.

So 10/22 target rifle it is. I know from shooting precision rifle that this was only the beginning. Next up was looking for the right kind of scope. One with tactical turrets and reticle. As with shooting small at distance the shooter needs to know where the bullet will impact at various changing distances. The proper scope is the tool to determine this. I had a BSA Sweet 22 scope on this rifle. While being a nice scope for plinking the adjustable turrets weren't what I was looking for. A little research took me to a company named Athalon. This company is a lot like Vortex was a few years ago in that they build full featured scopes for people on a budget. Like Vortex they also carry a lifetime warranty. Gotta like that. I went with the Athlon Argos BTR 6-25x50mm FFP Milrad turrets and reticle. Now that is full featured and at a price of $369. OK scope handled.

Next up was trigger because the factory Ruger 5.5lb trigger is :( to say the least. I decided to try the new Ruger BX trigger for a few reasons mainly cost though because $60 seemed like a good option. Once mounted this trigger felt clean and broke at a consistent 2lbs.

I then went out to start testing various types of ammo. 22lr is a blessing and a curse. Blessing is that it is relatively cheap. Curse is that because it can't be reloaded I was stuck with what the factories offered. Very quickly I discovered that factory match ammo was almost always subsonic. Reason being is that the best way to avoid the effects of a bullet going trans-sonic and becoming unstable is to never go supersonic in the first place. So together with several other shooters we bought 7 or 8 types of rounds and tested to find what our rifles liked best. They all liked the Lapua Center X but at 18 cents a round that wasn't my 1st choice. I found that CCI Standard Velocity worked well at 7 cents and SK Rifle match did even better at 13 cents. All of this testing was done off of a bench which leads me to the next issue.

To be continued...
 

YoungGun

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#3
When I heard “Tactical Precision”, I have an image of run and gun with precision accuracy as opposed to bench rest shooting. I am assuming that most “Tactical shooters” already have an AR setup for the situation (or three guns style). With that, one can just build a more precision AR Upper in 22lr and using it with their familiar “match” lower. They also need to find acceptable accurate and reliable ammo for their setup.

Yg
 

Kinoons

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#4
I’ve been playing with the thrifty persons at DSRPC before I left town. I always felt that my mossberg M44 was far more accurate than I. Limiting myself to iron diopter sights I found I could usually place smack dead in the middle of the competition with everyone else using optics.

It’s bolt action and does have a 7rd mag. I’m not sure of the competition you have in mind but an old M44 — especially if you Can find one tapped for a scope, may be a good relatively inexpensive option. I have looked lately; I got mine for $200. I think they’re around $400 now and still pretty worth it.
 

Quickdraw

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#6
The local match at DSRPC consists of a COF put together by the National Rifle League. We shoot stages from the prone position, various positions and off of various props/barricades. Target sizes range from 1-3moa. Distances have ranged from 25 to 166 yards so far.

Much like a high power precision rifle needs to shoot sub-moa and a 1/2moa rifle is becoming the norm, the 22lr tactical match is something where a 2moa will get the job done but you really need to work to get an moa rifle to excel. With that type of requirement for accuracy it can be challenging to put together a complete system of rifle and optics to be consistent.

This is a totally different animal than your basic 22 plinking.
 

LongRange

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#7
Most 22s are or can be accurate like QD said you just need to find the ammo the rifle likes.

Personally I prefer a bolt gun as it’s a better trainer for my 6mm and IMHO they are more consistent than the 10/22s are...and yes I had a 10/22...it was a Kidd super grade barreled action in a titan stock...I sold it and kept my CZ455 after I shot about 1000 rounds through it.

As far as glass goes...I started with the same athlon scope QD is running...they are pretty decent scopes for what you pay and what you get...personally I’m use to shooting higher end glass and after spending a long practice day looking through the Argos I decided it wasn’t for me.

Next was a 3-15x42 SWFA...that scope had fantastic clear bright glass but not enough magnification and the reticle was to thick.

I ended up with a Gen2 PST and IMHO is a perfect scope for a 22 and if your on a budget you could run it on your 6mm 6.5mm 308 etc as well as the 22.

Our cold bore shots have been out at 170yds and I think they are trying to move them out to 200-300yds...I’d like to see them at 300 myself.

I’ve shot a few of these matches and they are a blast...every bit(if not more)fun then a high power match.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Quickdraw

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#8
I find it interesting how similar the thought process has been. I started with a Ruger 10/22 Target. I have since gone to a Kidd Supergrade barreled action in a Titan stock.

I also started with the Athlon Argos. I had a PST II on my precision 6.5 till I upgraded to a Vortex AMG. I was getting ready to put the PST II on the 22 until my wife stole it for her KIDD 22. After another month behind the AMG I couldn't take it any longer and bought another PST ii.

So far I'm very happy with this rig but I've already decided on my next 22 rifle and it will be a bolt as well but if I go that route I'll be stepping way up. In the 22 precision world everything affects everything else. Ammo selection is a big deal but there are so many other factors that come into play. This is a lot like centerfire precision rifle was 10 years ago. I also imagine like that technology and manufacturer commitment will bring the lowly 22 into the precision world in a big way over the next few years. A few companies are already leading the way.

Just need Ruger to come out with a 22 Precision Rifle for $750....:chair:
 

Quickdraw

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#9
The world of Precision 22lr Rifles is jumping forward by leaps and bounds over the past year and especially the past 4 months. Many ranges had some sort of a long range 22 rifle match but with the NRL jumping into the mix with a nationwide and beyond series of matches things have really popped.

With the big spike in interest in a 22 long range small target match format the manufacturers on the custom accessory side of the industry are starting to step up in a big way. There are many great options for about every style of rifle and their main components. Complete rifles from high end bolt guns to complete accurized small factory semi autos. Every component to upgrade your current rifle is starting to become available also. Match grade barrels, triggers, bolts/actions and chassis/stocks.

Build a custom bolt gun or upgrade your current Ruger 10/22. Everything is coming out quickly. Buy an already purpose custom bolt gun or semi-auto. Have the same factory send you one of their prepackaged custom rifle or have them build it to your specs.

The cool thing about most of this is it gives people with an interest in getting into this type of shooting a half price or less option for a rifle and ammo at 15% of the cost of the high power guys.
 
#10
The Ruger 10/22 seems to be one of the most popular 22LR platforms to customize.

I purchased a used stock 10/22 with the heavy target barrel and optics thinking it would be a decent rifle; I was very disappointed with accuracy / groups.

I ended up customizing that same rifle; in the end the only original part left was the receiver. There are so many great options available to choose from to met your needs.

I purchased a two-stage KIDD trigger group; absolutely love the crisp distinct and consistent breaks. I also installed a new match barrel, bolt with springs, adjustable stock, WEAVER T36 scope and Harris bipod.

The rifle now shoots like what I had hoped it originally would (of course I shoot match grade 22LR ammunition). Be careful to set the barrel locking set screws within specs as overtightening adversely affected accuracy.
 
#11
Quickdraw.

Your wish was granted in just 2 months. Maybe it was Santa.

A Ruger Precision 22lr and street price will probably be ~$450.
 

Quickdraw

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#12
Quickdraw.

Your wish was granted in just 2 months. Maybe it was Santa.

A Ruger Precision 22lr and street price will probably be ~$450.
I just learned about this yesterday. Pre-order at $389 and $399 so far. It looks like an interesting rifle. If it can produce the same relative results as the current RPR then I'm in for one. I've been looking for a bolt gun as I've taken my 10/22's about as far as I can for the purposes I have.

In the world of 22lr a gun that shoots around MOA or a tad below is a success. Of course all of that is relative to distance and environment as usual. My current 10/22 are a tad over MOA. I've been using my Ruger Target rifle as a test platform and just changed a barrel yesterday so still need to test this one. Kidd rifles seem to be the standard for excellence in this model rifle.

Start with a stock 10/22 and put $450 worth of upgrades into it. A complete Kidd gun starts at around $1,100'ish for a complete turnkey rifle.The new 22 RPR is $400'ish. Go to the new Vudoo 22 but that is $1750 for a barreled action and probably end up around around $3k. A wide variety of choices are growing rapidly as well as pricing.

Then all you need is a scope, bipod, bags and mags and you're good to go.
 

Dusty

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#13
I just learned about this yesterday. Pre-order at $389 and $399 so far. It looks like an interesting rifle. If it can produce the same relative results as the current RPR then I'm in for one. I've been looking for a bolt gun as I've taken my 10/22's about as far as I can for the purposes I have.

In the world of 22lr a gun that shoots around MOA or a tad below is a success. Of course all of that is relative to distance and environment as usual. My current 10/22 are a tad over MOA. I've been using my Ruger Target rifle as a test platform and just changed a barrel yesterday so still need to test this one. Kidd rifles seem to be the standard for excellence in this model rifle.

Start with a stock 10/22 and put $450 worth of upgrades into it. A complete Kidd gun starts at around $1,100'ish for a complete turnkey rifle.The new 22 RPR is $400'ish. Go to the new Vudoo 22 but that is $1750 for a barreled action and probably end up around around $3k. A wide variety of choices are growing rapidly as well as pricing.

Then all you need is a scope, bipod, bags and mags and you're good to go.
So this is where all of the gun guys have been hiding out on this forum. Good read QD thanks for posting it. That new Ruger Precision Rimfire looks awesome. I might just have to get one.
 
#14
I just learned about this yesterday. Pre-order at $389 and $399 so far. It looks like an interesting rifle. If it can produce the same relative results as the current RPR then I'm in for one. I've been looking for a bolt gun as I've taken my 10/22's about as far as I can for the purposes I have.

In the world of 22lr a gun that shoots around MOA or a tad below is a success. Of course all of that is relative to distance and environment as usual. My current 10/22 are a tad over MOA. I've been using my Ruger Target rifle as a test platform and just changed a barrel yesterday so still need to test this one. Kidd rifles seem to be the standard for excellence in this model rifle.

Start with a stock 10/22 and put $450 worth of upgrades into it. A complete Kidd gun starts at around $1,100'ish for a complete turnkey rifle.The new 22 RPR is $400'ish. Go to the new Vudoo 22 but that is $1750 for a barreled action and probably end up around around $3k. A wide variety of choices are growing rapidly as well as pricing.

Then all you need is a scope, bipod, bags and mags and you're good to go.
I have one on pre-order now. Hopefully there will be some reviews that come out of SHOT.
 

Quickdraw

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#15
I've had it in my Pre-order cart 3 times over the past day but just didn't pull the trigger.

I love shooting X-small steel with a 22. Positional is even fun, not because I can do it well but a 10lb rifle is more enjoyable than a 16lb'er when your in some twisted position.
 

Quickdraw

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#18
At $400 I would expect there to be the use more inexpensive materials. If the stock is rigid and comfortable then that is really all it needs to do. Setting it up to fit different shooters seems to be easy. With an aluminum action and handguard the barrel should solid and free floated. I am interested to see how the action is mounted to the chassis though. I wouldn't expect any type of bedding or action block at that price. Probably similar to a10/22 or RAR. If it is a barreled action in a chassis then I would expect after market options as soon as enough of them sell. Probably the same with barrels.

It seems like this rifle was built to primarily be a trainer for it's big brother. The feature to set the to a short (22lr) or long (RPR) length stroke is a nice feature. If it will shoot 1.5moa or better then it will find a place in the tactical competition match world as an entry level competitor. We'll have other 4-6 weeks before these get into the real world and people can shot and test different types of ammo to get accuracy results. I'll definitely stop by the Ruger booth at SHOT to handle one though.

The main reason that I even give this rifle a 2nd look is because of the way that I love my RPR. Best value on the market for a 1/2moa rifle.
 
#19
I’m glad Ruger upped the ante a little bit with this. I’d love to see a bunch of brands focusing on their 22lr lines and offering great bolt action 22s that can get more new shooters into the sport.


Still anxiously waiting on the call for my Vudoo to be done.
 

Quickdraw

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#20
I’m glad Ruger upped the ante a little bit with this. I’d love to see a bunch of brands focusing on their 22lr lines and offering great bolt action 22s that can get more new shooters into the sport.


Still anxiously waiting on the call for my Vudoo to be done.
That is really both of the ends of the 22 Tactical spectrum. Ruger is going for the entry level rifle that will give people an inexpensive option to dip a toe into the water. Vudoo Gun Works has entered the market with a very sophisticated high end rifle with pricing in the same area as a custom built centerfire rifle.

Then there is a plethora of options in the middle.The 22lr tactical matches are a young but very fun sport. It is very encouraging how quickly the manufacturers are jumping in to support it.