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which target shooting bolt action?

8890 Views 23 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  rondo
I am looking for a nice bolt action 22 for target shooting and practice. I'm looking to refine my shooting skills in all different positions, and with peep sights, in preparation for next year's hunting seasons. I've been using my brother's Stevens 416, which shoots really well, but it has a very long and fat barrel on it, is heavy, and will eventually move back to his house.

what I want is an accurate, clip fed bolt action, that I can put peep sights on, with a barrel around 22". I want it to be heavy enough to be accurate, but not so nose heavy that it is a pain to shoot standing.

I've been looking with interest at the CZ 452, but as near as I can tell, the American, which has the right barrel length and the stock I like, doesn't come with iron sights, only the trainer and the scout do. Traner too long, scout too small.

I've also been looking at the mid-range Anschutz models(1415-1416). They cost more than I want to spend, but they sure seem like nice rifles, and they pop up on GB every now and then with prices that I could almost justify. I also see the Marlin 2000L every now and then on GB for prices that I could almost afford. These higher end rifles seem to be way more likely to come set up like I want.

More easily in my price range are things like the savage 93 and mark ii. I have been looking for a Marlin 880SQ, but without success. All of those would require me adding the peep sights to, and maybe changing the stock, as well.

It's unlikely that I will get into competition shooting, since I live out the sticks, far from any official ranges, but I do want something nice and solid that I can practice skills on and get used to iron sights with. If I could get the CZ452 with all the things that I want, I would just snap one up, but none of the models seem to have everything I am looking for.

Are the Anschutz and other "proper" target rifles worth the extra dough?
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Kimber has one that I would really like to have. Check them out.
I looked at Kimber's website, but it didn't look like any of their rifles currently come in 22 LR. I've seen some nice, older "kimber of oregon" 22s on the auction sites, though. Is that what you're talking about?
Yes, but I wasn't aware that they didn't make them anymore. I suppose they priced themselves right out of the 22 market.
some reading I did about the older "kimber of oregon" guns indicates that the model 82 is the best and by the time they got up to model 89s, there were QC problems. There's some really nice model 82s on GB, but mostly priced just out of reach, or only single shots.

how feasible is it to have the front of a barrel machined to accept peep sights? So many of the rifles that I am seeing and liking are only set up for scopes.
That's not the first time I heard rumor of QC problems with Kimber.
Question #2 is out of my realm of knowledge.
I've got a CZ452 with iron sights, but I honestly don't have any idea which model it is. Keep looking, they are out there......
I was wrong, there is also the Lux and FS that have iron sights, but the lux is also a long barrel, and the FS has the full length Mannlicher style stock. I went to a pawn shop and local sporting goods store today to look at what is out there. The pawn shop had almost solely auto 22s, and pretty beat up looking ones at that. The SG store had only savage mk IIs. Nothing else in 22LR. There is a pretty good gun store not far away that I haven't checked out yet, though.

what I want in a CZ is the American, it has the 22" barrel, but I want it with provision for mounting peep sights. sigh....
I must have the Lux, then. Bought it used and no idea. Has a more European-looking buttstock.

Just a hint, a peep sight will look fine on a Marlin 39A... :D Yeah, I know, you want a bolt gun!
yeah, looking for a bolt gun... I know, I'm being difficult. :)

I did find that savage actually makes what I am looking for, the mkII-FVT, which is already set up with peep sights from the factory. hmmmm.....
I have a Lux also, and I don't really find the barrel overly long. If you haven't held one, you may want to try to do so. The sights that come on it are arguably the best available OE, and are easily converted to a peep style with an inexpensive rear sight blade change.
I have to go to the city this week, I'll see if I can find a shop that carries them.

the stevens 416 that I have been using has a 25" barrel, 45.5" overall and it weighs 10#, and it is not very easy to hold steady in the standing position.
Between my sons and I we have a Ruger 77/22 Varmint/Target, a CZ 452 American, and a Browning T-bolt varmint. All three are well made and quite accurate, with man-sized stocks that fit us well. Very few modern bolt action .22's, especially with heavy barrels, come with iron sights or aperture sights, unless they are true target rifles. You can, however, always have such sights installed by a gunsmith.
If you want a clip-fed rifle with iron sights, I'd look into a CZ 452 Lux (with the long barrel) and would put aperture sights on it.

Otherwise, another option would be a Suhl 150-1. They're in the same price range, as some can be found around $450-500. They are, however, big and heavy target rifles- they've got a thick single-shot action and 27" bull barrels. They also have fantastic triggers that can easily be adjusted down to 2 oz. and are incredibly accurate rifles.
If you want to shoot all positions, get the Anschutz 64 MPR.
I have the 452 Lux. Best .22 I've owned so far. You can buy aperture sights for them that clamp to the dovetails on the reciever. One of the guys over at Rimfire Central added a globe front that he clamped onto the slots for the front sight hood. Thats the next thing I'm going to do to mine for smallbore competition.
Target rifle

Are the Anschutz and other "proper" target rifles worth the extra dough?
Yes. Whether they are worth the expense for your purposes is another matter.
A "proper" target rifle that suits your needs is an Anschutz Biathlon rifle. It is robust, clip fed, iron sighted, useful in a variety of weather conditions, magically accurate.....and very expensive.
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I ended up running across a really clean Mossberg model 44 US (c) for $260 out the door. It was way more in line with my budget for now, than the good Anschutz and other biathlon type guns. One of these days I will be able to afford one of the really nice ones, but the Mossberg will do what I need it to do for now.

I looked pretty hard at the CZs, and probably would have bought one of those if I hadn't come across the Mossberg. I couldn't find any 64 based Anschutzs that I could afford.

Thanks for the feedback!
my cz452 american ,,came with iron sights..i thought they all came with them..i still have the rear sight in my gun drawer..its very accurate to me but i don t shoot competition.. slim
edit correction on further inquiry mine is the zkm special w 24 inch barrel.. now my tape says its longer than 24 but
24 to the bullet chamber..i don t remember other rifles being like that.. but this cz452 zkm special is.i don t read cz writing very well an thats all thats on the box or in the directions that i can see..
The CZ 452 Lux with the European style hogback stock is a very, very good way to go. Im looking at a new .22LR bolt gun for the same reason and the fact that I gave my son my Romanian M1969 Trainer for Xmas. It shot great but he fell in love with it year before last and shoots it well so now it's his. Now Im without a .22LR bolt action and needing to refill that niche myself. The CZ Lux looks about perfect but maybe I'll go with the full stocked Lux instead. Add the peep and it's perfect.
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