First .22 - Few ideas... but confused!

Discussion in '.22 Rifle/Rimfire Discussion' started by _winer_, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. _winer_

    _winer_ New Member

    Hi all,

    Please be patient for the long post. :D
    Have been going to the local shooting range for a few months now and up until today have shot only a single shot, right handed bolt action carbine (and a handgun as part of firearms abilitation requirements we have over here). Shot from bench rest @50 yards. It's extremely accurate and with a very light trigger. Each time am not in the '10' I know it's because I did something wrong. Have also filed my request to own firearms and expect it to be ready by the end of the month.
    So, am now looking for my first gun and my ideas aren't exactly clear :rolleyes:

    Am a left eye dominant , left arm shooter. My preference goes to ambidextrous guns. Pure 'lefty' guns are rare to find here and may be very hard to sell in case I have to.
    I would like a rifle / carbine for general use. Bench rest is ok, but mostly I'd like to shoot offhand. Am not into matches, I just like to compete with myself, trying to get a bit better day by day.

    Offhand shooting makes me lean to a semiauto carbine rather than a bolt action. It just seems awkward and tiring to manipulate the bolt with the right while you try to keep the gun on target with the left (maybe a stock with a pistol grip would help? I like the Evolution by Boyds by the way).

    The purpose of this rifle in the end would be to learn and practice shooting before passing (well I guess I will always shoot .22 :) ) to higher calibers.
    The use would be target shooting only, mostly @50 meters (55 yards). Plinking is not an option here (not exactly forbidden but not easy / safe to find a place to practice).

    So far I have tracked down the following options (also based on availability):

    A) Marlin 60 (+ Boyds stock in the future?): a detachable magazine is not a high priority for me at this point. So the Marlin would seem like a good choice considering it's accuracy. I don't know if the tubular magazine makes any difference as the center of mass changes while you shoot. Also don't know if it's more or less reliable than a 10/22 or 15-22

    B) Ruger 10/22 (+ Boyds stock in the future?): actually they are not that common over here, also parts availability is limited and expensive. Still it's affordable and I value it's reliability a lot.

    C) S&W M&P 15-22: well, i do like how easy it is to take apart for cleaning. Dimensions and weight are also a plus. I also saw it has an effective deflector for ejected cases, nice touch for us lefties. The doubts are about accuracy. I have read around and am still not sure how good a trainer it would be for shooting offhand @50yards.
    By trainer I don't mean for the controls, am not sure I'll ever own an AR. Just a trainer for general shooting techniques.
    Still, considering I will not plink with it I can afford to use better ammunition rather than the federal 'el cheapo' :D
    (Side note: Sig 522 are not yet imported here, otherwise this post would not exist, love those Sigs)
    Also an option the Chiappa M 4-22 (awkward name aside :rolleyes:). Am still unsure about it's accuracy too.

    D) Remington 597 TVP: with its heavy barrel this looks more ideal for bench rest than offhand. From what I read it's extremely accurate, but how much will that matter when shot offhand? Would it's front heavy weight be so detrimental that results would actually be better with A-B-C? Or would the Boyds stock help keep it comfortably for long periods?

    Will try to actually see these guns in person but over here guns availability is somewhat limited, most dealers sell mostly hunting rifles.

    I deliberately left out prices as they are quite different over here. The options are actually in their expensive order. Still I would prefer to buy something that does the job at a higher price rather than spend less and have something not up to the task (Ruskin docet).

    So, what do you guys suggest? :)
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  2. Kdub

    Kdub New Member

    All good choices. All are reliable. The Marlin is probably most accurate. The tube does nothing to decrease accuracy. The m&p is the most fun. The ruger will never let you down. Don't have any experience with the Remington, but the first 3 are all reliable, accurate arms. If you have no desire to get into ar shooting I would say go with the Marlin. It is a simple design, user friendly and probably the most accurate. You won't be disappointed with either of the three. They all meet your criteria. Choose whatever you like the best.

  3. JosephMD

    JosephMD New Member

    Any would be a good choice. The model 60 is well known for reliability and accuracy, mine has had more than 10,000 rounds through it and it still works fine. Surprised to learn the 10/22 isn't that common there, its best feature is parts availability, at least in the USA, out of the box accuracy not quite what the 60 & 597 can do but still good. I'm not the biggest fan of the tactical 22's like the M&P 15-22, I suppose they make good trainers for AR-15 style rifles. The 597 is pretty good too, that is what my son is learning on, it is a great target shooter out of the box. Our 597 has just passed the 1,000 round mark with no real problems, it stove pipes every so often and for a while it seemed to have a problem chambering the 9th round, but that hasn't happened in a while.

  4. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

    I bought my Marlin 60 47 years ago and it still plants 40 grain bullets in the 10 ring out to 50m.


    I think you know what my recommendation will be.

  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

  6. MikeInVegas

    MikeInVegas New Member

    I have a Marlin Model 60 and a Ruger 10/22...both are excellent rifles, and plenty accurate. Can't speak to the other two, since I have no experience with them, although I have heard good things about both.
  7. _winer_

    _winer_ New Member

    Thank you guys. There is a gun show next week so hopefully I'll have the chance to actually handle at least some of these rifles.

    Right now am checking availability of parts and prices for the 10/22. Not many actually, also not many items can be bought from US due to restrictions on foreign shipping.

    For the meanwhile thank you... :)
  8. orangello

    orangello New Member

    Do they sell those Henry lever-action .22 rifles over there? It would seem the lever would be fairly ambidextrous, though ejection might need to be aimed away.

    Might be easier to resell later than a left-handed rifle. I don't own one, but I have not heard anything bad about them. There are other brands with similar rifles.

    I just sold a .22 magnum version of this rifle by Rossi: fairly ambidextrous and ejects the empties generally upward.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  9. rurak

    rurak New Member

    I have a ruger 10/22 takedown model and I love it. Shoot great and is reasonably accurate. I paid 320 $ at a gun shop
  10. RustyShackleford101

    RustyShackleford101 New Member

    I've been shooting 10/22s since I was twelve years old, and I have had nearly all awesome experiences. I haven't had any trigger time on the marlin and very limited time with the m&p, so I can't say which one is my favorite. I'm just saying that of you get a 10/22, you won't be disappointed.
  11. Curlyjoe_99

    Curlyjoe_99 New Member

    If you shop around, you may find an old Winchester lever action. while the one I am thinking of would be used, they eject up and not to the side, so are ambidextrous.

    I have shot all of the models that you mentioned. all are fine weapons in their own right and have their differences when compared to each other.

    as for a lefty version, most lefties I know buy from another lefty or special order the left handed version from the factory/suppliers. It's fairly normal where I grew up and also here in Texas

    good luck on your hunt
  12. _winer_

    _winer_ New Member

    Thank you again guys! The lever action rifles are also an interesting option. I found a Henry 1897 (made in 1914) on sale (900+ eur). I'll pass it but with regrets. The most common lever actions here are mainly Marlin 39A, but am reading horror stories on forums about the recent production. Older models seem to be much better. Not a surprise. They were made in a time when people put pride in their work.

    I've been at the gun show and it was really interesting. So as a way to thank you I'll post some pictures.
    Was able to handle the 'soon to come out' Arx 160 .22 by Beretta... uhmm no, by Umarex actually. :D

    (sorry for low quality, all the testable Beretta stuff was crammed together and was not easy to have room for a nice shot)
    It is much lighter then it would seem by its bulky shape, feels just right in your hand, easy to point and keep in position. The controls are exactly where they should be, even for a lefty. Also the trigger seemed (to my inexperienced fingers) not bad at all.
    But the overall feel is of a cheap airsoft toy. The extendable stock wobbled quite a bit, not a big deal as its fixable, but even the barrel would wobble a little :confused: Still may be the piece on display, it certainly went through a lot of abuse.
    I really like the design of this rifle and the folding stock make it really easy to store but it feels they did cut quite a few corners to come out at a low price (here will be out at under 600 eur, below the S&W M&P 15-22 MSP). I wouldn't mind paying more for a more reliable, solid weapon.

    In comparison the HK 416 looked like a real gun:
    (expected MSP 1100 EUR :eek:)

    Also there were the S&W M&P 15-22 (handling not allowed) and the Chiappa M4-22
    Awkward name aside seems a decent enough version of the AR. Still, most probably I would pick the S&W between the two. Too bad they are importing just the first version, the one without muzzle break. I know there are third party barrel rings to solve that.

    Also on display there was this Norinco M4 .223 (at a price lower than 1000 EUR is really cheap for an AR for us)
    First time i held an M4, feels good :D
    Was fitted with this very nice grip by FAB defense
    Of all the grips i ever tried is the one I felt better in my hand :)
    Quite surprisingly upper and lower receiver would show an hairthin distance between them... is this normal??? :confused:
  13. _winer_

    _winer_ New Member

    This is the interesting design of the 597 TVP
    It is lighter than I expected and the stock helps keeping it aimed when shooting offhand. The heavy barrel bring the center of mass about one inch in front of the magazine well, close to where the shooter's weak hand rests.
    Overall I like how it balances when holding it in the offhand pose.

    Close to it was the Marlin 60. Had no chance to hold it though.
    One question about it: in case of a problem on the range is common procedure to take the magazine out and open the action of your weapon, showing it to be unloaded. How do you do it with a tubular magazine? Is it enough to release the tube cap so that without spring tension the next round wont be possible to load?

    The show was in Brescia, which has been for centuries an important small arms production center (Beretta isn't far). This is one model of that tradition
    Circa 1700 - note the flint stones to ignite the powder :D

    I wonder if you guys over the pond have falconry. Here there are still groups that promote and rekindle that ancient tradition.
    me thinks they are doing the promotion well... :p
  14. big shrek

    big shrek Well-Known Member

    If I can get the redhead with the Falcon, I might take it up ;)

    I'll second that Old Winchester idea as well, top-eject will help a bit ;)

    The other option is a Calico 9mm carbine or pistol, which have Bottom Eject,
    but are illegal in NY and a few other states due to Magazine Capacity
  15. _winer_

    _winer_ New Member

    Hi, I don't think the Calico were ever imported. We have a small market and the documents for import are expensive and take a long time to do. So distributing Companies try to stick with the more traditional products i guess.

    The 'falcon girl' (actually she was with an eagle in that picture) was kind and seemed to know a bit of what she was talking about.

    Oddly enough even the Ruger 10/22 (which am sure it is imported) was impossible to find, no add on parts either :confused:
    Also lever guns are relatively scarce. The 39A i found was above 500€, still not sure about those jamming reports.

    In the end I went to my LGS and got 'an offer I could not refuse'.
    The choice was between a new Marlin 60 at 350€ and a (slightly used) Remington 597 at 220€ with an extra magazine.
    Yep, gun prices here are much higher!

    I picked up the remmy mainly due to the (bargain) cost. It seems to be a new model, at least the magazines have the '10' mark and are metal made. Hopefully it won't have the reliability problems of earlier versions. Even with an aftermarket hammer and extractor I would still spend less than I expected.

    If prices had been closer I would have got the Marlin but the 597 seems an ok shooter too. Certainly more accurate than I can be :D

    Thank you all!
  16. orangello

    orangello New Member

    I'm glad you found something you like. Post up some pictures when you get to perforate some targets.
  17. AleksiR

    AleksiR New Member

    Congrats winer! Give us a range report when you have time to take your new toy to the range :cool:
  18. _winer_

    _winer_ New Member

    Took my sweet time but am back from the range! :)

    Here is the 597. Well, you guys have seen tons of them
    It came with 2 magazines. Horray. It's good because it's simply impossible to find any other magazine. Why so few around? Are they made by dwarves on Christmas night only?

    As ammo I used these:


    No ammo shortage here... but before you get all jealous let me tell you is also due to our laws. We can't keep at home more than 200 rounds for handsguns (.22LR, 9mm, .45 etc) in TOTAL. Yes, .22 Long Rifle is considered a handgun round.. even if you don't have a handgun at all! Crazy lawmaking coots. :rolleyes:
    Centerfire rifle ammo limit is 1500 by the way... that is nice.

    Back to the range report! First of all I must mention that of the more than 200 rounds I shot I had zero FTF or FTE. I am greatly pleased by this. All I did before going to the range was untightening the rod screws. They WERE tight!

    The iron sights were off and I made no effort in sighting them in. I meant mostly to see how the gun would cycle with different ammo and how i would adapt to it. For this and other reasons (including lack of marksmanship skillz on my part... :rolleyes:) I have no reports on groups. The Eley did look more consistent, followed by CCI SV and Rem Thunderbolts.

    The magazines are both metal and with the '10' mark. They worked fine although they were quite stiff in the beginning. Most of the time I loaded them with 5 rounds only anyway. Do you suggest to put some spent cases in them and work them to make the spring less stiff on the 9th and 10th round?

    The Eley rounds clearly performed the best. They were the only ones that would consistently make the bolt hold open after the last round. All the other brands were rather random with about a 50% success. Excluding Federal which were probably the weakest and never managed to engage the hold open.

    Oddly enough one Eley round was canted
    the elders told me it was no problem but when i tried to chamber it it got stuck, didn't completely chamber and the bullet was dented. I just put it away.

    Federals were probably the poorest of the group (at least for this 597). While a bit more expensive than the CCI they were so weak one was struck by the bolt (but managed to eject nevertheless)
    Another case was bounced back in the chamber. Luckily it was the last round.

    All considered am completely satisfied with the cycling of the gun.
    On the negative side:
    - the trigger is HEAVY. Am used to the <1 pound trigger of the bolt action i usually rent so found it difficult to keep the rifle steady during the pull. The breaking is crisp though. Anyway a Volquartsen hammer is on the way, along with an extractor although I cannot complain about the remmy extractor so far.

    - had difficulties having a consistent cheekweld with the stock. No big deal. I have a Boyds stock here anyway, just have to make the spacers.

    - the iron sights were ok but am used to either the 'circle' sights or the fiber optic dots as on my air rifle. Sights upgrade coming soon (another reason why i didn't bother sighting in the standard sights). Also ordered a weaver rail beacuse i just can't wait to put my TRS-25 red dot on it and see how it performs.
    this AK is just an airsoft (Real Sword), but the Ultimak rail is genuine, just waiting to go on the real deal... the red dot works like a charm at plinking tin cans at 15 meters. :)

    Well, that's all for now. I just would like to say I appreciate all your suggestions, and yes I would like to have some of them in the future (especially one lever action), but for now this seems a very decent first step.

    Kind regards.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  19. Garadex

    Garadex New Member

    Looks nice, also sorry to hear about your ammo laws but at least you can find .22 right now. Have fun shooting but do it safely.
  20. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

    I'd say get a Marlin 60, but you can't have any of mine.