You can go to the CMP and get yourself one bad ass 22lr the Mossberg M44US
with a peepsight or put a scope on it and have a $200 22lr that shoots better than anything on the market today in your price range. If you really want to get into it step it up a notch and get the Kimber M82 for $600
this is a very accurate 22lr. that will shoot like a laser.
The catch is you have to belong to a club and meet the Eligibilty Requirements for Purchase
which is not hard.
Now both of these rifles come with peep sights. I HATE peep sights but other love them. PALMA shooters use them to shoot 1,000 yards. So they have their place. Me I would get the mossberg m44. This is $175 +22.95 shipping. That is not even $200 for your rifle. That leaves you $400 for optics and mounts
. A Weaver Classic V-16 4-16x40mm
Put that in some Burris Signature z-rings
then spend the rest on some federal 22lr match ammo 711B
is what 99% of the Mossberg guys I know shoot.
There I just spent your $600 and you now have one crazy accurate 22lr. Now after you shoot that for a while you can take and strip the stock down and refinish it. Many of them mossberg m44 US rifles had some very good looking wood on them.
Check out the mossberg forum
I love rimfire rifles and pistols. My rimfire collection is bigger than my centerfire by 1 gun but that is soon changing. I need to add a Ruger Charger to my stash.