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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for a .22lr for plinking and target only, not hunting. I was thinking about the 10/22 semi-auto but a friend says the bolt action as on the American would be more accurate for target.
Are bolt actions more accurate and why?
 

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Danw, Typically, bolt action rifles are more accurate than semi autos. Part of the reason is the feeding mechanism in semi autos tend to damage bullets plus their chambers are enlarged for easier feeding. 10/22s typically have excessive headspace to prevent "slam firing". All these issues affect accuracy and often make the rifle "ammo fussy". Yes, there are factory 10/22s that are exceptionally accurate but that's not the norm. Bolt action rifles have virtually zero headspace, tight chambers, and bullets rarely suffer from feeding damage. This helps accuracy a lot!

With any semi-auto, you have two issues with ammo .... finding a brand that will feed and function properly plus be accurate. With bolt action rifles, feeding is very rarely an issue so you can concentrate on finding accurate ammo.

For target rifles, mounting a scope on a bolt action is a lot more stable than on a 10/22 where the barrel and receiver are just clamped together. Additionally, most bolt action rifles have full sized stocks so you can get a better body-to-gun fit versus the smallish stock on a 10/22.

10/22s are fun ... there's just something about running a magazine full of ammo full blast that puts a smile on your face. However for accuracy, I would highly recommend a bolt action ... still fun and you don't burn up as much ammo.
 

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I completely agree with Iowegan, and I own both rifles. If I had to let one go I would keep the American. I have become a bit of an accuracy junkie and it fits that very nicely. And for plinking it is lightweight and works well for just shooting for fun.
But there would have to be a real good reason to get me to give up the 10/22. It is just a ton of fun to shoot and I can squeeze enough accuracy out of it to keep me happy.
I am betting that if you get one of the two you will get the other one down the road.
 

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Another vote of agreement. I have a 10/22 and American, and for just burning ammo, the 10/22 is a blast. But there is just something about a bolt action rifle. Or a lever for that matter. Love my Henry Frontier .22 lever also. With the bolt and lever, there is something appealing about the methodical rythm of shooting.

Whatever you decide, remember to have fun.
 

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I do not have a 22lr bolt action both my 10/22 and Marlin 60 are more accurate than I am. I do have a 22 wmr bolt action. The 22 mag will reach out there where I need a solid scope mount and a good scope. People say they shoot accurately with a 22lr at 100 yards. But a 22 lr drops about 6" in 100 yards. It is hard to shoot anything accurately with a tiny bullet that is dropping that much. Everyone has a lucky day. I shot a crow with my LCP about 40 yards away but that doesn't mean I am going crow hunting with my LCP tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies guys. Guess I'll be looking at a bolt action, but from what you say I probably see a 10/22 sometime in my future also.
 

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I have both the RAR and the 10/22. Each has it's very strong qualities. I look at it like my Dad gave me advice on tools: "Buy the right tool for the job and it will do it's job correctly". Each rifle does some things very very well, and it's nice to have both in the safe. The 10/22 is a whole lot more fun modifying/fooling with but when it comes to hunting or long range plinking, the RAR does the job. I love both and will never part with either.
 

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I went with the RAR Compact. The older I get, the more I like to take my time at the range. I had a 10/22 and traded it off. I could really blaze through some ammo with that thing.
I have all revolvers, a Henry lever, and a single shot 45-70. Guess I'm just getting lazy when it comes to picking up brass!
 

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Thanks for the replies guys. Guess I'll be looking at a bolt action, but from what you say I probably see a 10/22 sometime in my future also.
Dan, Iowegan has forgotten more about guns than I will ever know. He gives excellent advice.

A couple of observations: 1. .22 rifles are cheap, so you can probably afford to have more than one before long. 2. The kind of shooting you will actually be doing should play a very important part in your decision. For plinking at targets at up to 100 yards, I'm not sure you would notice much of any practical difference in accuracy between a bolt action and a semi-auto. For target shooting? If you're going to bench rest it and measure groups on paper, Iowegan is certainly correct. It's unlikely a 10/22 will do nearly as well for that as will an American Rimfire.

Both are excellent rifles. I'd start with one and plan on getting the other as soon as your budget allows.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I went with the Ruger American .22lr. Decided to go with the bolt action for now, and maybe check in to the 10/22 at another time. Thanks for everyone's input. Been out to the range twice and do like the gun.
 

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Can't argue with the decision, but now you have the next dilemma.
Get a 10/22 or a lever action, or maybe a pump.
It never ends.
Enjoy shooting the American and be sure to post a range report on it.
 

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I have both, as does a friend of mine who I go shooting with. 10/22s have Kidd triggers with Tech Sights, and the Americans (22lr) have Nikon 3x9 Rimfire scopes.

We shoot outside, and we mainly head to the 200 yard range with the Americans, off a bench. Shooting 8in plates and steel silhouettes at that distance is pretty fun.

We both shoot that gun more than any other we own.

The 10/22 is great, and you could probably do pretty good with it if you had a scope on it as well as a nice trigger. So really, it's hard to go wrong. But if you'll be doing more slow target shooting, I'd go with the American and a scope. Although you really should have both!
 
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