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My last American made 22's I kept : a Marlin golden 39A, my Dad's Winchester 67, My father-in-laws Savage 3 which all sufficed until I found CZ. ..452 455 457...I won't consider anything else.
 

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There have always been cheap .22 rifles (I'm thinking of various Winchester, Remington and Stevens, to name a few). I even had a Winchester thumb-trigger single shot (before I sold it too cheap:mad:), which sold new for under $5 in its heyday. But nowadays, they sport plastic stocks instead of mystery wood.

I've never read naysayers re: Ruger rotary magazines until this thread (I know, I need to get out more). I and my sage rat hunter friends, have put, literally, thousands of rounds through Ruger and various copies with only one magazine failure (failure to feed). Even the 25 round after-market magazines have worked well.

I bought both daughters Remington 514 rifles as their first (one was left-hand....again, sold too cheap :( ). I think they were originally under $100. Now I see them north of $200 on auction sites. Sigh.
 

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The Wildcat does have some novel features. You gotta understand the gun companies are chasing bucks in the Market Place. That's what people want. There are wood stocked decent 22's by Marlin and Savage. We are talking more money than entry level 22's. It's all in what you want in this world. Wonder what the aftermarket world will look like for this Wildcat 22 three or four years down the road. What ever it is, somebody will sell something to change it. For me it was pre-owned CZ 452 and Savage bolt actions with wood stocks.
 

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The Wildcat does have some novel features. You gotta understand the gun companies are chasing bucks in the Market Place. That's what people want. There are wood stocked decent 22's by Marlin and Savage. We are talking more money than entry level 22's. It's all in what you want in this world. Wonder what the aftermarket world will look like for this Wildcat 22 three or four years down the road. What ever it is, somebody will sell something to change it. For me it was pre-owned CZ 452 and Savage bolt actions with wood stocks.
Looking through various websites Gun Stores, the new type rifles: .22 or High Powered all look weird, with their strange shaped stocks, and all the plastic parts. I like the old classics like they were building back some 40 years ago, as these had Walnut Stocks, and very little plastic parts except on a few low priced rifles. Today's .22 rifles have mostly plastic trigger guards, strange triggers, magazines, and even front sight, if the have open sights at all. The Stocks are also synthetic plastic and even their wood stocks are poorly fitted. CZ and a few other imports, and high end rifles, are much better built.
 

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There’s more 22’s in my household then anyone really needs. That new Winchester has some new features that are kind of interesting. However you couldn’t give me a truck load of them for dad’s old Winchester 62A that I got when he passed away last year. Or my Winchester 9422. (First gun I bought with my Money) Or even the old Remington 552 that I bought in college used, and killed 1000’s of Montana ground squirrels with it to the point it won’t feed right anymore. I haven’t heard a whole lot of love for the Browning Buckmark. We have 3 pistols and I have the Buckmark rifle that quickly became one of my favorites. So many of my favorite memories from long ago and not so long ago are tied into a good quality 22. I just don’t necessarily think inexpensive is the way to go. I don’t want entry level. I want family heirloom.
 

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I missed out on the Winchester 52's when I finally got money enough for a good new .22. But back in the late 70's I bought a brand new beautifully polished and blued Remington 541T, nice A grade walnut, steel trigger guard, thumb safety where a safety should be on a rifle, and some tasteful REAL engraving on the action and trigger guard. Trigger is user adjustable down to a tad less than 2 lbs. Zero creep, zero overtravel. $260.00 out the door. It shoots T22's into 3/4" on a calm day at 100 yards. I gave away the 10-22 I acquired later in a trade due to the worst trigger in the world syndrome, plus it wouldn't hit a tennis ball half the time at 50 yards. I swear the manufacturers have forgotten how to make a nice .22 a fellow can be proud to hand down to his children. I've got hammers with better finishes than any of these new breed of rifles. As to the Nylon 66...at least Remington made an effort to make it LOOK nice from a distance. Most are now making rifles to spray ammunition as fast as possible, accuracy and aesthetics are purely an afterthought or happy accident, the money is in the ammunition.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I missed out on the Winchester 52's when I finally got money enough for a good new .22. But back in the late 70's I bought a brand new beautifully polished and blued Remington 541T, nice A grade walnut, steel trigger guard, thumb safety where a safety should be on a rifle, and some tasteful REAL engraving on the action and trigger guard. Trigger is user adjustable down to a tad less than 2 lbs. Zero creep, zero overtravel. $260.00 out the door. It shoots T22's into 3/4" on a calm day at 100 yards. I gave away the 10-22 I acquired later in a trade due to the worst trigger in the world syndrome, plus it wouldn't hit a tennis ball half the time at 50 yards. I swear the manufacturers have forgotten how to make a nice .22 a fellow can be proud to hand down to his children. I've got hammers with better finishes than any of these new breed of rifles. As to the Nylon 66...at least Remington made an effort to make it LOOK nice from a distance. Most are now making rifles to spray ammunition as fast as possible, accuracy and aesthetics are purely an afterthought or happy accident, the money is in the ammunition.
You can tell if you bought a decent gun by how much it's worth 50 years later, 541-S's typically sell for over 1200. on gunbroker, sometimes much more.
Back in the 80's that was the rifle of choice for smallbore silhouette because they were accurate and had great adjustable triggers{miniature version of the 788}, I bought a used one and shot it for about 5 years then sold it to another silhouette shooter. When the barrel finally wore out on it after 15 years total he estimated it had something crazy like 250,000 rounds through it between the 3 of us. I bought 4 541-T's two sporters and two heavy barrel's for my wife and I to shoot. We later got the Anschutz bug and sold them, regret that just from the collector aspect.
I was very disappointed when Remington discontinued that series, they had some trouble with barrels and heat treating but when they did them right they were heirlooms, even those guns sell for 600. to 1000. these days.
My mindset when starting this thread was it would be great if one of the US manufacturers would make a heirloom quality sporter for a reasonable price again not another throwaway gun.
Imagine a 541-U in 3 grades, an entry level synthetic stock gun, a birch stock model and a walnut stock gun and make all 3 stocks available as a aftermarket option. Price them at 450. 550. and 700 respectively, if they were made to 541-S standards there would be waiting lists to buy them. People could buy the lesser stocked models if they wished and later upgrade to the walnut stock or buy the wood stock guns and get the synthetic stock for rainy weather.
Congratulations Steve on hanging on to the 541-S for all these years, those are nice 22's.
 

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"Cheap" guns don't have to be made cheap.... a friend has a 10/22 he inherited, no idea how old it is but it has a stunning piece of walnut, and the best, deepest bluing I've ever seen on a Ruger product. Got to be an oldie! Wish I had a picture of it.

I found a beat-up stock at a gun show and chopped a couple inches off the beater stock for his son. The original stock will go back on it in a few years. The kid will have no idea what he has!
 

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Personal use and experience: If I want a quality traditional 22 Rifle it will be a CZ without a second thought. The exception would be one of the Savage guns. My BSEV Savage 22 has to be one of the uglier guns on the market. Also, got very good service from the Savage 93R17 with wood stock. That rifle is not a thing of beauty but shoots great. Both rifles are genuinely accurate have smoothed nicely out after some use. If you want the old time quality it's about forking out some money. There are some excellent accurate metal and wood 22's that shoot very well. Hand fitting is not there but plenty accurate. I enjoy shooting these Savages and my CZ452 warts and all.
 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
Personal use and experience: If I want a quality traditional 22 Rifle it will be a CZ without a second thought. The exception would be one of the Savage guns. My BSEV Savage 22 has to be one of the uglier guns on the market. Also, got very good service from the Savage 93R17 with wood stock. That rifle is not a thing of beauty but shoots great. Both rifles are genuinely accurate have smoothed nicely out after some use. If you want the old time quality it's about forking out some money. There are some excellent accurate metal and wood 22's that shoot very well. Hand fitting is not there but plenty accurate. I enjoy shooting these Savages and my CZ452 warts and all.
I would agree that if you want a new traditional blued steel walnut gun your looking at imported guns, I don't like tool marks on guns even 22's,machine cut or stamped checkering is also cheap looking so it's either Anschutz 54's or Sako's, I have several of each. When you get into that price range your almost in Cooper territory, I included one just for comparison in 3rd place, nicely made American gun but pricey.

Number 1 choice, unusual looking piece of walnut on this one, you'll never have to make any excuses.
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/855928304

2nd, great rifle if your on a budget, plain wood but you won't find any tool marks and accuracy is remarkable.
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/851683464

3rd, pricey, the test targets look fantastic.
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/853784280
 

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Apples and Oranges?

KB: No doubt the rifles on GB are excellent. As you cold probably tell I was speaking of ordinary day to day 22 rifles. The CZ's are wonderment. The Savages are a good value. Some of the fancier Mark II's can get pricey on my fixed income. I have on hands experience with these guns as you do yours. We are talking about two different worlds. If you want something with first class workmanship and history check a 1922 M2 Springfield:). Always appreciate your comments.
 

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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
KB: No doubt the rifles on GB are excellent. As you cold probably tell I was speaking of ordinary day to day 22 rifles. The CZ's are wonderment. The Savages are a good value. Some of the fancier Mark II's can get pricey on my fixed income. I have on hands experience with these guns as you do yours. We are talking about two different worlds. If you want something with first class workmanship and history check a 1922 M2 Springfield:). Always appreciate your comments.
Those Springfields were neat guns although they were pretty utilitarian from the factory, every once in while you'll see one on GB that's been restocked that is fantastic.
If you want to talk about that genre of American guns nothing beats the high grade 40xr's from the Remington custom shop, the repeaters rarely come up for sale and if your worried about how much one costs you can't afford it.
There's one on GB right now but I believe it's a fake, I don't recall them ever having a stock like this one and in the text it says it appears to be converted to a single shot. Considering the rarity and price difference between a single shot and repeater no one in their right mind would ever make that conversion.
The last time I seen a real high grade repeater sell was nearly 10 years ago and it went for 7K. I bought my 40x back in the 80's, at the time it was a couple of hundred dollars more to order a repeater putting it just over 1k so I settled on the single shot, makes me a little sick to think about that now but who would have thought they would increase in value that much.
I believe this gun is a fake.
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/845554606
 

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One can plenty of good use out the rifles in next higher grades than the entry level guns. Weather allowing, we shoot thumb tack matches at fifty yards. I use a CZ452 and the crazy Savage. My Shooting partner uses a Remington 541 or CZ of one sort or another. He tends to the fancier rifles. There is a world of good shooting in this class of 22 rifle.


I don't know anything about match rifles. One of the successful regional silhouette shooters was on a rant how his CZ rifle was besting his Anschutz. Point being there are some giant killers out there.


 

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Discussion Starter #35
I haven't been to the silhouette nationals in a couple of years but usually go when there at the Whittington center just south of Raton in NM. Been going since the mid 80's, out of probably 150 rifles 97% of them are Anschutz, there's usually a few CZ's, guys who are just getting started in the game.
There sort of hit or miss on accuracy and the bad ones get out of the factory because they're not tested for accuracy before leaving like, Anschutz, Sako, Tikka and Cooper does, even my Remington 40x came with a test target. The 457 is really a step up from their previous models, now if they would start testing them before shipping you could buy with confidence.
I'm sure there are some real tack driving CZ's out there, sounds like you got a good one.
 

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I have the earlier version of the Winchester Wildcat .22 bolt action rifle with wooden stock and I believe was made in Russia and introduced around 2010. I found it on the used gun rack at a decent price. It shoots well and is not fussy about what I feed it. Guess it is a matter of personal preference. I just like the older .22 rifles that I found on the used gun racks in the gun shops that I visit. All the best...
Gil
Nobody is talking about the old Wildcat. Those were inexpensive guns... not "cheap". I am actually keeping a casual eye out for the bolt action "old" Wildcat. Looked them up and then was disappointed quickly when I saw the Wildcat semi auto.

Old used guns are usually a great value when compared to new plastic junk.

I am kind of amazed that a highly regarded gun being sold today has so many cheap features, such as plastic trigger guard, plastic magazine, plastic bolt sleeve (IIRC), screwed on bolt handle, and one action length! IMO priced way too high for that kind of junk, regardless of them actually being good shooters. People walk right past older Remingtons, Rugers, and Model 70 Winchesters on the rack for half the price! Some of the same people might grumble that most of the 70 M aren't CRF any longer. :rolleyes:
 

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Regarding the advertisement of being able to use Ruger mags; I don't really consider it so much a nod to Ruger, but rather an acknowledgement that the bigger Butler Creek mags, and drums available will work fine.
 

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the entry level concept is a joke.... really it is. cut so many corners that it basically becomes a Jennings version of a 22lr rifle

THAT idea should make you take genuine consideration of the whole entry level concept.

since CZ modified their rimfire guns with the newest version, I have no interest in rimfire guns. Sure it could be tempting to go do a custom build with say a cricket action and a real barrel but if I cant get what I want factory made why bother
 

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Affordability.

Today’s dirt cheap .22s may allow families of meager means to buy them. This is a very good thing for the health of today’s shooting and hunting pass-times.
 

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That new "Winny" is way too futuristic for my taste. I had to sell my Nylon 66 a couple years back and it still bothers me.
 
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