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Best .22 LR Precision Rifles for Competition & Precision Shooting

We walk you through some of the most popular and best options when it comes to .22 LR precision rifles for competition and precision shooting.

    When most people think of .22 long rifle, they think of plinking with a 10/22, learning as a kid, or just training with a lower-cost round.

    Most people do not associate .22 LR with precision rifle shooting or rifle competitions…but they should. 

    .22LR Round
    .22 LR Round

    With the rising cost of ammo and limited parts availability in the firearms industry, many are rediscovering the round and pushing it to its limits. 

    With a focus on competition, what are the rifles that people are running? The field varies a great deal, with some newer shooters jumping in with base model 10/22s and the like. 

    Ruger 10/22 Charger
    We love all kinds of .22 rifles around here.

    But to really narrow that down, we’ve collected some of the top precision guns chambered in .22 LR. So keep reading to learn more!

    Summary of Our Top Picks

    1. Great for Beginners

      Ruger American Rimfire Long Range Target

      Detachable rotary mags, compatible with 10/22 mags, easy to use

    2. Most Durable

      Tikka T1x MTR

      Great to shoot regardless of the elements, durable

    3. Best Trainer .22 LR

      Bergara B-14R

      Can work as a trainer, Rem 700 accessory compatible

    4. Most comfortable

      Ruger Precision Rimfire

      Uses pistol grip & safety that are mostly interchangeable with ARs

    5. Best High End Option

      CZ 457 Varmint Precision

      High quality, solid reputation, but pricey

    6. Best Barreled Action

      Vudoo Gun Works V-22 Barreled Action

      Smooth feeding and extracting, preserves the round when shooting

    Table of Contents


    Best Precision .22 LR Rifles

    1. Ruger American Rimfire Long-Range Target rifle.

    One of the things Ruger does very well is .22 LR platforms. Its Mark III and Mark IV pistols are hugely popular for a reason, and the 10/22 is an iconic rifle. 

    Ruger Mark IV
    Mark IV.

    So it should come as no surprise that Ruger starts our list off with the Ruger American Rimfire Long Range Target.

    This rifle features an adjustable length of pull and comb, making it easy to set up for almost any shooter. Its adjustable trigger allows for pull weights from 3 to 5 pounds, lending to even more versatility with varied shooters. 

    Ruger American Rimfire Long Range Target
    Ruger American Rimfire Long Range Target

    The threaded bull barrel sits snugly in an action with a 60-degree bolt, allowing for ample clearance of optics. 

    Detachable rotary magazines allow for a crossover with 10/22 mags, and the extended magazine release makes reloading smooth and effortless.

    All in all, this is a great starter rifle and a serious base class contender.

    Great for Beginners
    at Guns.com

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    2. Tikka T1x MTR

    Tikka rifles have long been synonymous with high-quality, and the T1x MTR embodies that. 

    Tikka T1x Build for NRL22 Base Class
    The Tikka T1x Build for NRL22 Base Class

    Based on the action of the T3x centerfire rifle platform, it will have a familiar feel when shooting the T1x. A bedded action and textured pistol grip highlight the factory stock nicely. 

    Tikka made the bolt on the T1x from stainless steel. This makes it extremely resistant to the elements, something often overlooked in outdoor competitions. 

    The real crown jewel of the T1x though is the barrel…something that is both a gift and a curse. 

    Tikka T1x in MDT ACC Chassis
    Tikka T1x in MDT ACC Chassis

    The crossover profile Tikka used allows for all the benefits of a heavier bull barrel without all the extra bulk and weight. This truly is a huge, often overlooked benefit, especially when moving between positions on stages. 

    The downside is that the barrel is currently hard to source, so in the event of damage, it may lead to a downed gun for prolonged periods. 

    Most Durable
    at Gunprime

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    3. Bergara B-14R

    Another familiar name in bolt-action rifles, Bergara offers up the B-14R as their entry into the precision .22 LR market.  

    B-14r Carbon Fiber
    B-14R Carbon Fiber

    Available with either a steel or carbon fiber barrel, the B-14R fills a niche that many other factory rifles may not: it can serve as a trainer for a shooter’s centerfire rifle. 

    This is accomplished by making the B-14R work within the dimension of a Remington 700 pattern. 

    Best Trainer .22 LR
    at GrabAGun

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    This allows shooters to utilize Rem 700 triggers, stocks, and bases, most of which can mimic their centerfire rifle setups.

    Shooters can even use many of the same scopes and mounts as the optic setup is Rem 700 compatible. 

    4. Ruger Precision Rimfire

    Ruger is back on the list again. This time with the Ruger Precision Rimfire.

    The Precision Rimfire sports a slightly different chassis than its sibling above — the American Rimfire.

    Length of pull and comb are still adjustable in this model, but the Precision boasts a molded chassis and adjustable buttstock. A rear Picatinny section allows you to attach a bag rider or monopod. 

    Ruger Precision Rimfire
    Ruger Precision Rimfire

    The front of the chassis features a free-floated M-LOK handguard allowing for direct attachments of bipods and other accessories. 

    The Precision Rimfire also has an adjustable trigger, with pull weights as low as 2.25 pounds up to 5 pounds as the shooter sees fit. 

    Most comfortable
    at GrabAGun

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Some shooters will find this rifle more familiar and comfortable as it uses a pistol grip and safety that are mostly interchangeable with the AR platform rifles. 

    Prices aren’t much different than the American Rimfire, which makes it another great choice for the base class.

    5. CZ 457 Varmint Precision

    CZ is another name in the firearms industry that is well regarded for its quality and attention to detail.

    CZ Pooh

    The 457 Varmint is proof that as a corporation, CZ listens to the feedback provided to them by their customer base. 

    The push-to-fire safety was a huge change that CZ said customers had been requesting for years. So, they implemented it into this system. 

    CZ 457 Varmint Precision
    CZ 457 Varmint Precision (Photo: Adelbridge)

    Additionally, CZ opted to change out their 90-degree bolts for 60 degrees, allowing shooters to use larger diameter scopes as well as possibly lowering the ring height while still clearing the bolt knob.

    Combine all of this into a chassis that utilizes a Luth-AR adjustable stock and AR-style grip, and you have a high-quality precision rifle with a familiar and comfortable feel to it.

    By no means is the CZ inexpensive, but for good quality, you do have to pay a premium sometimes.

    Best High End Option
    at Palmetto State Armory

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    6. Vudoo Actions

    The first barreled action that is worth a look at is the Vudoo. It’s available in two different offerings, the Three 60 and the V-22.

    These Vudoo actions are Rem 700 compatible for stocks and chassis and feature a 60-degree bolt and a double straight taper contour. 

    What truly sets them apart from many other competitors, though, is their attention to detail and implanting into action.

    Vudoo 22 Precision Rifle Setup
    Vudoo 22 Precision Rifle Setup (Photo: Jack Leuba from Knight’s Armament)

    A great example of this is the control-round-feed-protocol in all of their .22LR actions. 

    From the time the round leaves the magazine until the spent casing is ejected, the bolt has full control of the round. 

    You might ask why this matters. Well, the answer is two-fold. 

    First, it makes the feeding and extraction of the round smoother. More importantly, it won’t degrade the accuracy of the round.

    Vudoo 22 Precision Rifle Setup
    Vudoo 22 Precision Rifle Setup (Photo: Jack Leuba from Knight’s Armament)

    For those not familiar, .22 LR generally has a soft lead projectile that is easily marred. 

    With no feed ramps and an angle that prevents the round from touching anything while it is being inserted into the chamber, the Vudoo system does everything possible to ensure that the round you fire is the same as when it left the magazine. 

    For open-class shooters, the price of these barreled actions is easily justified. 

    Best Barreled Action
    at Brownells

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    7. Zermatt RimX

    Another barreled action that is hugely popular in the .22 LR precision scene is the RimX by Zermatt. 

    Made to order with each one allowing for customization by the customer on bolt head type, bolt knob style, and rail MOA height, the Zermatt actions are Rem 700 scale and compatible. 

    The action features a two-lug, 90 degrees bolt with a floating interchangeable bolt head. The bolts do offer a round control feed, though, in truth, there isn’t much information on how it works when compared to the Vudoo. 

    Zermatt is known for the precision machining work and has partnered with another name in precision shooting, Bighorn Arms, to bring a stellar action to the market. 

    As with Vudoo, the Zermatt is an easily justified purchase for those chasing the highest quality, most consistent products that are available. 

    at Zermatt Arms

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Tell Me More About Competing with a .22 LR

    NRL22 is a division of the National Rifle League designed to grow the love of competing with the .22. 

    Six classes within the division break it down into fairly matched groups. Think kids shooting a match against other kids instead of professional adults. 

    NRL22 Competition
    NRL22 Competition (Photo: NRL22 via Facebook)

    Every month, clubs across the country compete for top spots and prizes with a slew of sponsors attached.

    Each match has five stages. Some have barricades, and some may contain gear restrictions to challenge shooters. All are designed to be fun and build skills. 

    Low member fees and softer shooting guns also lend these events to being more kid-friendly and less intimidating to newer shooters. 

    Fully Upgraded 10/22 with Magpul Stock and Tandemkross Upgrades
    Fully Upgraded 10/22 with Magpul Stock and Tandemkross Upgrades

    The serious competitors, especially in the Open and Old Guns divisions, run rigs that are on par with PRS guns chambered in bigger calibers.

    Choosing a Gun for Competition

    If you’re thinking of competing and wondering which gun to buy, let me offer this.

    There are two ways to go about a competition gun…

    First, you can buy a factory complete gun, slap an optic on it and go to town. Some people do well with this, others prefer option two. 

    nrl22 shooting
    NRL22 shooting

    The second option is to get an actioned barrel, drop it in a chassis or stock, and that’s your gun.

    This seems to be the go-to for more serious competitors. It allows competitors more customization and control, but at the cost of, well, greater cost.

    What will work best for you?

    You know what I’m going to say…that depends. It all comes down to your budget and what you want to do with the gun.

    Final Thoughts

    Whether you are looking to shoot your first competition or a seasoned shooter looking for another match to tackle, NRL22 and PRS .22 matches present great opportunities. Once you set up your rifle, the cost of ammo is leaps and bounds less expensive than centerfire cartridges. 

    Fully Upgraded 10/22 with Magpul Stock and Tandemkross Upgrades
    Fully Upgraded 10/22 with Magpul Stock and Tandemkross Upgrades

    Depending on how far down the rabbit hole of accuracy and quality you want to go, an inexpensive factory rifle can get you in the door. More serious competitors do opt for barreled actions that are built to their preferences. 

    Find the gun that you’ll enjoy the most, can shoot well, and see where it leaves you. 

    What do you think of these .22 LR options? Have others? Drop them in the comments below. Need something to feed your favorite plinker? Check out our guide to the Best .22 LR Ammo.

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    20 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar

      I've grown rather found of my Vudoo V-22. As a point of clarification my V-22 is a two-lug 90 degree action, rather than the 3-60 configuration. I chose this to match my Model 700 hunting rifles. This Vudoo has a 20" MTU contour barrel and is mounted on an MDT ACC chassis. Completely fitted out with a machined aluminum bipod and 6-36x56 optic it weighs in at about 16-17 lbs.

      The Vudoo is a very precise and accurate tool with the optics, although if the wind isn't blowing variably at 3-5 mph or more it's a little too easy at less than a 100 yards to drill a single 0.50 cal. hole. Having to read the wind using a subsonic 40gr. match round is what makes it fun and challenging especially if your range has a little swirling action as it moves down range. It's not uncommon to score a ten round 100-8x or 9x on a NRA 100 yard small bore target in a light and variable wind, but 10x's can be elusive with a little swirling in play(plus the choke factor). We unusually just shoot at 2" or 3" stick on shoot-n-see targets. Shooting steel at 200-300 is also a lot of fun, as are the KYL style targets. For serious concentration the ARA 50 yard benchrest will keep your focussed.

      September 14, 2023 9:28 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      No shooting results. Lol. That was no test it was a press release.

      August 2, 2022 2:33 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      scott hannah

      looks more like a press release. I was hoping groups would be shot at target.

      July 28, 2022 8:19 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      John Shultz

      Curious, why has no one mentioned the Savage precision bolt action? I was looking at this one, but now am wondering if it is a good option.

      July 27, 2022 9:24 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jim Hovater

      What about the Christensen Arms Ranger?

      July 27, 2022 6:06 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jim Hovater

      The link to the Ruger Rimfire Long-range Target doesn't show THAT particular rifle.

      July 27, 2022 6:03 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Accuracy info seems to be missing, I assumed you shot these guns at targets?

      July 27, 2022 5:35 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Tom J

      How about the Volquartsen semi auto 10/22 ??
      It was was even used in the “Top Shot” TV series and is a big omission here.

      July 27, 2022 3:07 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      As far as high precision is of concern I'm astonished not to see any Anschutz in your comparison.

      July 27, 2022 2:54 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Olympics much?

      For an article about the Best 22 rifles for competition and precision shooting and having a High-End option I would have thought that an Anschutz would be it. At $3-4000 maybe needed an Even Higher End category.

      July 26, 2022 9:36 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Priya De Silva

      I am surprised not to find Anschutz Precision Rifles or the other German Brands not mentioned. They are streets ahead of the guns reviewed. Well the prices are much higher but that is what you have to pay to get the best and if you want to shoot for the Olympics.

      July 26, 2022 9:22 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Thanks for the write up on some of the 22lr guns & a taste of the types of competition one can find. Small bore is wildly challenging and has many different levels. You hit some of the good factory names but there are others in the bolt world and even a few that can make a 10/22 clone run pretty well. Good stuff to get a person searching for more information.

      July 26, 2022 7:43 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      The article lists the price for the Zermatt action at $100 - that's just the deposit. Their website says the total cost is $1150 and includes one 10rnd magazine.

      July 26, 2022 6:53 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      My family has participated in several NRL 22 matches. My oldest son has decided to use a Bergara. Another son uses a Remington 552. And still another son prefers a Mossberg LSA, yes a 60 year old target rifle. My wife likes her Beretta ARX160, and I use a Weatherby Mark XXII, an old one made in 1966 by Beretta. There's almost no end to the type of rifle that will do well at these matches.

      July 26, 2022 5:38 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Leland Keane

      Savage Mk II?

      July 26, 2022 5:36 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Nate H.

      Okay, now I have to say that I think you're missing one super duper uber sexy brand of precision options... Anschutz, makes absolutely phenomenal rifles! I used them in high school for rifle team and own a bolt action from the late 50's and it is still dead on!!

      July 26, 2022 4:41 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I have the Tikka and love it, but Volquartsen is a glaring omission from this list.

      July 26, 2022 4:41 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      For a true budget gun look into the Savage MK II. Great shooter for low cost.

      July 26, 2022 4:28 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Tactical Solutions X ring VR is a fantastic upgrade from a Ruger 10/22, that you left off your recommended list. Check out this sensational 22 rifle!

      July 26, 2022 4:24 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Shawn Wiegel

      Great write up on precision 22LR. I can see this being a lot of fun. I picked up a Henry AR7 last summer for plinking and it's really accurate for a rifle that stores away in the stock. I wonder though, how can you get really accurate rounds without reloading your own? I haven't seen a press for the rimfire but I'm sure there is one and a way to reload for precision rounds.

      July 26, 2022 3:23 pm
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