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Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

So, my next gun project will be a rimfire. I have to remind myself to stay focused and stop getting lured away from my goal by pesky things like 36G's and such! ;D

I love my Model 60 and 795 but I like to set up my guns in different way and with different intents in mind. While either of the aforementioned rifles could fill the bill of this intent they are not ideal for it either. At least not for what I'm thinking.

What am I thinking? Everything from plinking to the world has gone mad rifle. See, for me, the last two guns that would leave my possession are my Ruger Blackhawk and a rimfire rifle. It is a combination I feel very confident in if I could only have two guns. The BH would handle personal defense from two and four legged undesirables and the rimfire would provide protein and in a pinch might have to ward off them undeseriables as well. I don't want this to turn into some post-Apocalyptic debate but some discussion of it is warranted, at least some level of the scenario. I don't worry too much about a complete societal meltdown. There is just too many variables in that for me to contend with, not to mention the extremely high improbabality of it but I there is no question bad stuff can happen, significant natural disasters lets say. I'm a guy who is not likely to leave town in such a circumstance if I can help it. I would prefer to hunker down and make do, but I also would "bug out" if you will if I had to.

I'm not so much into shooting deer and elk and bears in such circumstances, even if the world turned upside and I headed out to the woods. I don't have the skills or know-how for drying meat and such. No, I'll be shooting cats, dogs, pigeons, crows, megpies, carp, turkey, squirrels (little guys here), and what ever other source of protein comes my way.

So, I want to put together my "one gun" rimfire rifle. Again, it isn't all about survival, it is still about plinking, camping, and general enjoyment.

The first question is what caliber?

The obvious choices are .22LR, .22WMR, and .17HMR. I know there are others but I'm keeping it down to these three.

I'll be honest and say the .17 doesn't really float my boat. Maybe you folks can convince me otherwise though. I know it is very accurate but I see it as a compromise between the .22LR and WMR. And maybe that is a good thing in this context but I'm just not sure I'm that warm to it. Ammo variety is that great I don't think and other than accuracy, I'm not sure what it brings to the table. ???

The .22LR doesn't need a whole of defense, it is obviously a proven round and arguably the greatest round of all time. The key strengths in it's favor are availability, cost, and the ability to carry a lot of shots for little space and weight. But, it does lack oomph.

The .22WMR costs more, is not nearly as widespread, and has less variety. But, it does bring more smack to the table. But, then I have to ask if that is too much? Will it destroy pot-meat game? If ti is going to blow a crow apart then am I really gaining anything? But then again, will a .22LR put down a 40lb stray dog on the move quickly enough for an easy harvest?


Next up would be the rifle itself.


Obviously I'm a Marlin man but it doesn't have to be a Marlin product. Cost IS A CONSIDERATION. Sorry folks, but I'm just not going to drop $400-600 on a 39. For me to spend that kind of money on the base rifle, it is going to need to do more than be a fun project for me and hang around camp and come along to the range. We don't have squirrels and such worth hunting here. I very much like the 39 but it is impractical for this project. But more than that, I think a rotary bolt action platform is a better fit for this type of gun. Simple and dependable.

A word on accuracy here...Yes, rotary bolts are moreover inclined to better accuracy but my 60 and 795 are pretty darned accurate. With iron sights, with a front rest, at 25yrds sub-one inch 10 round groups are common and at 50yrds three inch groups are also common. But, is that good enough? If I am dependent on eating and likely shooting off hand at small game, accuracy is going to be a big factor. And I may not have the luxury of getting within 25yrds. I need this rifle to be repeatedly "accurate" at 50 yards.

But what I really like about the rotary bolt action is the ability to use a wide variety of ammo. From subsonic to hyper-velocity and everything in between it can handle it all. The other nice thing about most of the rotary bolt actions, at least later models, is they are D&T for scope mounting.

I like the idea of a detachable magazine fed rifle for this application but it is by no means a requirement. Some people make arguments that tube fed magazines are subject to damage (see this often in the lever gun for defense topics) and I reckon there is some truth to it but I've never bought into it. I mean, how long has the tube fed shotgun been a staple of police and military work? For me, the only downside to the tube magazine is just more parts to break and more maintenance required. But those are pretty thin margins I think so again, not a deal breaker by any means.

I very much like the 25/925 series but again, it doesn't have to even be a Marlin. But, remember cost is a factor. And there won't be any fancy stocks or anything. Wood or synthetic is okay but this rifle won't be getting a Boyds or similar stock. It will be a working rifle and one I want anyone, regardless of hand-preference to be able to use.

As much as I love peeps, I think this rifle needs to wear a scope. With the idea being to gather meat at various ranges under various conditions on small targets, I don't think there is any doubt that glass is the way to go.

Right now, here is what I'm thinking:

- .22LR rotary bolt action, detachable magazine. I'm really torn between the LR and WMR but I'm thinking (guessing) that with stout rounds the LR could pull off what I need it to do or at least be a better compromise than the WMR blowing apart smaller birds and such. What say you?

- Cut it down to a 16" barrel with factory iron sights left on the gun. It will wear a scope but I want a back-up plan should it ever fail or get damaged. A short barrel will be handier and somewhat lighter but should still be plenty long enough to utilize all of the rimfire's powder burn. Right?

- A fixed 4x scope with a "moderate" sized bell, say in the 30-33mm range so that it can still sit fairly low but yet have room for the barrel mounted rear sight. QD rings is a nice idea but probably an unecessary expense. The scope would be the primary sighting platform, hence the fixed 4x. It should serve well from 10yards to 100yrds if need be and should it break, I'm quite certain I can find a way to unscrew it the rings. :)

- Simple strap for carrying, preferably the gun will already have studs installed

- Stainless or blued or "aftermarket" finish? I'm not sure on that yet. I like the idea of all of them. Maybe Parkerize it? What say you?

My biggest question to myself right now is the caliber. As I said, the LR and WMR are at the top of my list but maybe I can be convinced the .17 deserves more consideration. And if not, which to choose between the LR and WMR? Remember now, this is the ONLY rifle you can have. It has to fulfill a variety of needs.

So talk to me, tell me what you would do. You can counter anything I said above. What would you build for this purpose?
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

I need some dinner here @ 8:25PM MT time.

I would go with a 22LR.

The 17 does not interest me at all - NO offense to anyone.

The 22WMR only fits my Ruger Super Single Six (22LR/22WMR) and I never really thought that the WMR could do that much more for MY use in my past or present guns than the 22LR. It is a personal thing to me and everyone's outlook and needs are different! Whatever trips your trigger!

Finding 22LR is easier, the COST of it is a big factor since I shoot so much of it plus I rotate and stock my ammunition like I do some OTHER supplies, we have some bulk ammunition supplies and MM has some special 22LR ammunition too. His, hers and ours. I always keep 10 unopened, FEDERAL bulk boxes, bare minimum on hand just for My Own Use.

I shall return, Eli! Take care.

Catherine
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

I've never seen one on a dealers shelf since mine but 3 years ago I bought a Winchester Wildcat 22 Rimfire. I've got a Ruger customized 10/22 that will shoot 1/2 inch groups at 50 yards all day but this little Wildcat gives no ground to the Ruger and this is stock right out of the box. The Wildcat comes with a 21" sporter-weight barrel that has a polished bore and target crown. The fixed-sight setup includes a micro adjustable rear sight that folds down for clearance should you decide to mount a scope. The hardwood stock has a checkered butt plate with the Winchester crest and checkering through the pistol-style grip of the Featherweight-class stock although the checkering is nothing to brag about. The gun's overall length is just over 38" with a length-of-pull at 13.5" and weighs in at 4.5 lbs. The trigger has a longer take up than I like but breaks smoothly at 4 pounds. The gun is equipped with swivel studs and comes with 4 magazines, a 5 round and three 10 round magazines. Winchester advertises this gun to shoot groups that can be covered with a dime at 25 yards and a quarter at 50 yards. This is one time Winchester told the truth. Just about everything I put through it is less than 3/4 inch at 50 yards and just barely over a inch at 100 yards.

The gun though wearing the Winchester logo is made at the TULA factory in Russia. I paid $210 for mine in 2008 but I don't know what they go for today. this little gun really doesn't need any modifications made to it except putting a scope on it.
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

Eli, you don't know what you're in for, posting this topic... ;D

1. Caliber: 5.6x15mmR, also known as .22LR
2. Rifle: CZ452FS
Add'l mods to rifle:
A. DIP Inc. milled steel trigger guard
B. DIP Inc. aluminum magwell
C. DIP Inc. trigger kit
D. Turnbull Restoration case-hardening job on bolt, receiver, trigger guard, sights, forearm cap
3. Scope: Leupold VX-3 1-4x20mm w/German #4 reticle
4. Rings: CZ steel 1"
Mods to rings: Send them to Turnbull and get them case-hardened, too
5. Sling: Get a custom-made, military sling embossed with your name and SSN

Voila! The perfect gun! Sure, it'll cost you, but who cares (other than you)? ;D
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

Well, I'd go with the WMR. Specifically, I'd go with the Marlin XT-22MTW. Bolt action, tube fed, genuine black walnut stock. The .22WMD would give me that "reach out and touch them" ability, plus with my Ruger Single Six can fire the WMR or the .22LR. I'd add a 4-9x40 scope, not sure I'd be satisfied with standard 4X at 100yrds.

Just scroll down about half the page and click on the "XT-22MTW
http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/xt/XT22.asp

But in a "event of natural or man made catastrophe", I'm taking a third weapon, my 12ga pump.
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

+1 on the Winchester Wildcat sporter version. Extremely accurate, light, fast handling rifle that would be my first choice for a rifle I had to carry all day. Of course it now has been discontinued. It is a rebadged TOZ 78 and these sometimes show up on the auction sites. I bought my Wildcat when I decided to get back into shooting and I was amazed at how good such an economy (mine cost $140.00) rifle could be. Of all my .22s it would be between this one and my Henry Frontier if I had to pick just one for the use you envision.
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

I think you are really limiting yourself to only using a bolt action. I prefer the semi auto action for the senario you are stating.

I was given as a Christmas present a Sears Ted Williams .22 semi auto made by Winchester back in 1978 by my parents. That rifle has taken 2 alligators, numerous snakes, rabbits, squirrels, racoons, possums, groundhogs, nutrias, muskrats and a lot of wild dogs here in TN and back in LA when I lived there. I have killed hogs we raised to slaughter and put down goats that were too sick and we didn't want to let them suffer. My brother also got one at the same time and used his to kill a deer. I have passed mine down to my son and he still uses it for small game hunting. I have never had a FTF or FTE with any type of .22LR ammo used during all those years. Cleaning was very simple and the rifle is the definition of reliability. I think the Marlin Model 60 would also be just as rugged and reliable which is why I bought one for my daughter.

The ability of the fast followup shot is the reason I would want a semi auto. The wild dogs I referred to earlier ran in packs here in TN in the winter and would maim and kill our goats. Some of them would take more than one shot to dispatch and sometimes we killed 2 or more before they ran off. A person can really lay down a high rate of fire with no recoil when he had to.
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

Lonnie said:
I think you are really limiting yourself to only using a bolt action. I prefer the semi auto action for the senario you are stating.

I was given as a Christmas present a Sears Ted Williams .22 semi auto made by Winchester back in 1978 by my parents. That rifle has taken 2 alligators, numerous snakes, rabbits, squirrels, racoons, possums, groundhogs, nutrias, muskrats and a lot of wild dogs here in TN and back in LA when I lived there. I have killed hogs we raised to slaughter and put down goats that were too sick and we didn't want to let them suffer. My brother also got one at the same time and used his to kill a deer. I have passed mine down to my son and he still uses it for small game hunting. I have never had a FTF or FTE with any type of .22LR ammo used during all those years. Cleaning was very simple and the rifle is the definition of reliability. I think the Marlin Model 60 would also be just as rugged and reliable which is why I bought one for my daughter.

The ability of the fast followup shot is the reason I would want a semi auto. The wild dogs I referred to earlier ran in packs here in TN in the winter and would maim and kill our goats. Some of them would take more than one shot to dispatch and sometimes we killed 2 or more before they ran off. A person can really lay down a high rate of fire with no recoil when he had to.
Lonnie,

I agree the decision to make this a bolt action project is limiting. As I said above, my 60 and 795 are very accurate rifles and my 60 never scoffs at anything I feed it. The 795 will have some failure to fire issues with bulk ammo on ocassion but nothing to be overly concerned about and seems to clear up with quality ammo. I also very much like the idea of emptying a full magazine into something unfriendly. However, life is a world of compromises... :-\

My choice for it being a bolt action is for the simplicity. Fewer parts equals more mechanical reliability. There are just flat less things to break, maintain, or replace. Now, I could argue against myself and remind myself that I've got thousands and thousands of rounds through my 60 with no issues and rare cleanings. Maybe I should listen to my own argument a bit closer huh? Certainly a consideration and not one I'm opposed to by any means. It won't take much looking around the forum to discover I am huge fan of the Marlin Model 60. ;D

But another point is that I would have my BH for dispatching dogs that want to snarl at me, especially if they come in multiples.

Good stuff to think on for sure. :)


Voila! The perfect gun! Sure, it'll cost you, but who cares (other than you)?
Funny thing about perfection, it is relative. ;D

But more importantly, I'm not looking for a perfect gun, especially not in aesthetics. I'm looking for a rugged, reliable, performance oriented gun on a budget. :)
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

You posed a good head scratcher. I'm with Lonnie on the Model 60, quick follow ups, after all there should be 13 more rounds in the tube if needed. BUT on the other hand the 22 magnum you speak of..it has the potential to get out there quicker, faster, possibly more accurate and if you're carrying a sidearm capable of shooting the magnum round I'd say you'd have things covered. The only drawback though to the magnum is as you pondered....What kind of meat damage are you going to have, one would think HEAD shots are the priority and sometimes you're not going to get that shot on them smaller critters. This is what I see as important, depending on what scenario you're in will dictate what you do to the rifle, paint, parkerize etc. I would sling it but have a couple of small pouches attached to the sling in an out of the way spot for carrying another 14 rounds in each pouch and a good quality scope in the power of your preferred range. That's my .02 worth! Mr fixit
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

mr fixit said:
You posed a good head scratcher. I'm with Lonnie on the Model 60, quick follow ups, after all there should be 13 more rounds in the tube if needed. BUT on the other hand the 22 magnum you speak of..it has the potential to get out there quicker, faster, possibly more accurate and if you're carrying a sidearm capable of shooting the magnum round I'd say you'd have things covered. The only drawback though to the magnum is as you pondered....What kind of meat damage are you going to have, one would think HEAD shots are the priority and sometimes you're not going to get that shot on them smaller critters. This is what I see as important, depending on what scenario you're in will dictate what you do to the rifle, paint, parkerize etc. I would sling it but have a couple of small pouches attached to the sling in an out of the way spot for carrying another 14 rounds in each pouch and a good quality scope in the power of your preferred range. That's my .02 worth! Mr fixit
Yeah so...LR or WMR? ;D

It's a tough choice really. You wouldn't think it would be so difficult but it sure seems to be for me on this one. :)
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

My choice for it being a bolt action is for the simplicity. Fewer parts equals more mechanical reliability. There are just flat less things to break, maintain, or replace. Now, I could argue against myself and remind myself that I've got thousands and thousands of rounds through my 60 with no issues and rare cleanings. Maybe I should listen to my own argument a bit closer huh? Certainly a consideration and not one I'm opposed to by any means. It won't take much looking around the forum to discover I am huge fan of the Marlin Model 60.
Eli, I know you're a fan of the Model 60's :), I've read a number of your posts ;) which is why I'm wondering why you are going in this direction ??? Please don't think I'm knocking your choice of a bolt action because like you I like the idea of fewer moving parts. It's just that the design of .22 semi's are so simple they are almost foolproof, as much as bolt actions in many cases. I read the posts for the Winchester Wildcat but they aren't made anymore. Parts availibilty may be an issue. The numerous Model 60's out there make it very easy to find parts for the rifle. The barrel length is an issue, you would have to do some machine work to the barrel and mag tube to get it to 16". Maybe the rotary mag Ruger 10/22 would be better for that in a semi?

As far as caliber, I think the .22LR will do everything you need to do. Ammo is cheap, readily available, and a wide selection from subsonics to hyper velocity. The only thing you gain from the .22 WMR is more distance and slightly more power but with more cost and noise. I shoot the .22 WMR in my single six and I like it but I like the .22LR in a rifle.

I also agree with the fixed 4X scope on a .22. That's what me and my children use on our .22's. I find it has all the magnification I need at the distances the round is used for. It would be easy to remove in the field with the regular slotted knobbed Weaver rings found a Wallyworld if you had to use open sights.

No matter what you go with, it will be informative to read your latest project as it goes along :). Please keep us posted.
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

Eli, given your parameters I'd go for:

1) .22 LR
2) Semi-auto (my choice would be the ubiquitous 10/22). As somebody said, with a .22LR multiple shots may be necessary in a pinch, and the bolt gun will prove slower.
3) Magazine fed. Tube fed are more prone to damage, particularly on .22 vs. shotguns. Thinner tube, another thin tube inside the first one. A fairly small dent, easy enough to do going to prone over a rock, log, whatever, may make it impossible to remove the inner tube for reloading. Not an scenario with the shotgun. Also, magazines are much faster to reload with, and the 10/22 in particular has very tough and small, for their capacity, magazines. The standard mag also fits flush on the 10/22, thus being less prone to damage vs. one that sticks down.
4) The 4X fixed scope is OK, with maybe fixed back up iron sights, firesight front and peep rear. this I'm sure can be fitted to almost any gun you choose, so it shouldn't be an issue.

5) The sad part is that the 10/22's seem to be less accurate than your model 60 out of the box. I think better to spend some money accurizing the 10/22, (this is fixable) than buy a more accurate rifle to begin with, but with out the other benefits of the 10/22 platform.

That said, I STILL need a bolt action 22 in my lineup!
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

1: gun marlin bolt action
2: ammo 22 mag
3: choped and threaded barrel.
4: tax stamp and surpressor.
5: 2-7-32 scope of quality

You could take deer with the 22mag and if it will shoot the 50 grain federal rounds well you don't have to worry about blowing away meat on the smaller game. The silencer is most likely better with sub sonic rounds in a 22 lr. But is fairly neat in 22 mag also.

A silent stalker weapon. IN 22 mag it is a dog remover.
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

I'm trying to give an opinion Erik but I'm being pulled in different directions. I have owned plenty of .22's and a Marlin .17HMR but I am starting to lean toward a .22 mag for a "One Gun" rimfire. I'll continue to ponder ...


bjm
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

have you considered Marlin xty single shot, light,has barrel you want and is simple.
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

Erik this question for me is a fairly easy one since I already own the gun you're looking for...smile. Get a Ruger 77/22 All Weather in 22LR, but 4 extra rotary mags, add a good scope and a sling and don't look back. I've had mine for about 20 years now and it's all of the things you're looking for. If you just have to have the 22Mag they make in that too but the 22LR is the obvious choice. You'll always be able to scrape up more 22LR ammo, 22Mag, not so much...smile. Hope this helps buddy.

Jesse
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

MarlinXL7 said:
Eli, you don't know what you're in for, posting this topic... ;D

1. Caliber: 5.6x15mmR, also known as .22LR
2. Rifle: CZ452FS
Add'l mods to rifle:
A. DIP Inc. milled steel trigger guard
B. DIP Inc. aluminum magwell
C. DIP Inc. trigger kit
D. Turnbull Restoration case-hardening job on bolt, receiver, trigger guard, sights, forearm cap
3. Scope: Leupold VX-3 1-4x20mm w/German #4 reticle
4. Rings: CZ steel 1"
Mods to rings: Send them to Turnbull and get them case-hardened, too
5. Sling: Get a custom-made, military sling embossed with your name and SSN

Voila! The perfect gun! Sure, it'll cost you, but who cares (other than you)? ;D
I have a cz452 that is topped with a Bushnell 5-15x40 tactical scope. Is an excellent rifle and is accurate out to 100 yards. Have not hunted with it other than squirrels so can't say much about how it would do on larger game, however it is a fine choice. When heading to the range for target shooting, I always bring the 22LR. Is cheap to shoot and allows one to fine tune one's skills. Just my $.02.
 

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Re: Give Your Input...Building A "One Gun" Rimfire Rifle

Eli Chaps said:
Yeah so...LR or WMR? ;D

It's a tough choice really. You wouldn't think it would be so difficult but it sure seems to be for me on this one. :)
22lr, period. You want ammo that is more common than dirt - especially for the situations you described. Plus, 22lr is cheaper (remember cost is a concern), and I would think parts to build and maintain the rifle would be more easily found as well. I'm not knocking the other rounds, but the 22lr is just the king of this hill. :)

Ike
 
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