For all those needs to include punching .22LR holes in paper, training, plinking, and hunting small game, these semi-auto rifles deliver while being light on the wallet.
Marlin Model 60
Perhaps the distinguished gentleman of the group, Marlin’s Model 60 has been in continuous production since President Eisenhower was in office. This tube-fed .22LR includes a micro-groove barrel, a cross-bolt safety, and Monte Carlo style stock in both wood and synthetic variants. Often made under the Glenfield banner, these were popular in big box department stores such as Sears and Montgomery Ward back in the day, which has contributed to more than 11 million of these light and compact plinkers being cranked out over the years.
Currently produced in Remington’s Huntsville, Alabama plant, new examples start at about $158 while, for those with an eye towards a classic Glenfield or Connecticut-made JM gun, check out the Guns.com Vault and get ready to be happy. Also, for those who prefer the same proven action but with a detachable mag, check out the Model 60’s half-brother, the similarly priced Model 795.
First fielded in 1964, William B. Ruger’s Model 10/22 has been popular ever since it hit the market. Handy carbine-length guns with a 10-round flush-fit rotary magazine, Ruger’s .22LR zapper has a huge range of after-market parts and accessories available for those who can’t find the exact production gun they desire from the company’s extensive catalog which includes Takedown, Sporter, and Carbine variants that promises something for every taste. With prices starting at the $199 mark, they are tough to beat for the money, with more than 5 million examples in circulation.
Savage Arms has been in the semi-auto .22 rifle game since the 1930s, when they marketed their Model 6 through mail-order catalogs. A more advanced design, the Model 64, has been around for a few decades and it can be said to be the people’s champ among plinking rifles as it is priced starting at just $114 in the Guns.com vault– new. Using a 10-shot detachable box magazine, it is available in several variants across different stocks and furniture options, some including optics.
Mossberg 702 Plinkster
With a name like “Plinkster,” how could we not include the Mossberg 702 series. First introduced in 2006, the 702 may not have the lineage that some of the other models on this list has, but it shares many of the same attributes such as being lightweight and easy to use. Produced in a number of different finishes and barrel lengths, the Plinkster comes standard with a 10-round magazine. Price? Starting at $134.
You can’t put out a “Top 5” list of any sort of current production .22LR semi-auto rifles without mentioning the Remington Model 597. Since its debut in 1997, this more modern entry from Big Green runs synthetic furniture but has several variants in production, all of which include tip-off mounts on the receiver. Using a 10-round detachable magazine, you can add one to your collection for as little as $131.
Check out Guns.com for these rifle models and others, often in both Certified pre-owned and new condition.