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  4. The 6 Best .22 Magnum Rifles [2023]: A Comprehensive List
The 6 Best .22 Magnum Rifles [2023]: A Comprehensive List preview image
Jul 30 2023
13 min read

The 6 Best .22 Magnum Rifles [2023]: A Comprehensive List


.22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR) is the cartridge of choice for many varmint hunters. A high velocity .22 caliber cartridge, the .22 Magnum is a souped-up version of .22lr and is an excellent hunting round for small game and varmints.

22 wmr cartridge
Photo Credit: Gun Digest

Picking the right rifle when selecting your .22 Magnum rifle can be challenging. Many manufacturers sell .22 Magnum rifles and have multiple rifles that shoot .22 WMR.

We are here to help. Check out our buyer’s guide and see our selections for the best .22 Magnum rifles.

Buyers Guide: Factors to Consider


The first thing you need to consider when deciding which .22 WMR is the rifle’s purpose. 

How will the rifle be used? Will it primarily be a hunting rifle? Or will it primarily be for target shooting? Both? Knowing your rifle’s purpose will help narrow down the options and help you find the best rifle.


The next thing you need to do is consider the amount of money you are willing or able to spend.

Set yourself a budget and stick to it. Many people will want to add some type of optic to their rifle, and if you blow your whole budget on the rifle, you might be left without enough money for your optic.

Rimfire rifles vary in price. Finding a rifle that fits your budget while meeting your needs is essential.


The action is an important consideration when selecting a .22 Magnum rifle. The most common actions are rotating bolt-action rifles. But there are also semi-automatic and straight-pull bolt-action rifles available.

Bolt action rifles are generally considered more accurate, but semi-automatic rifles also can be very accurate and allow for rapid firing.

Barrels, Stocks, and Magazines

Each of these factors also play a role in selecting your .22 Magnum rifle. Heavy barrels are more accurate but also add to the gun’s weight.

Wood and laminate stocks are popular and frequently considered more visually appealing than synthetic ones. On the other hand, synthetic stocks are usually lighter and more durable.

The rifle you choose may require proprietary magazines. Consider the price of replacement magazines, the availability of replacements, and how easily those magazines are loaded.

Best Overall – CZ 457 American Suppressor-Ready

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Weight6.17 pounds
Barrel Length20.5 inches
Overall Length38.5 inches
ActionRotating Bolt

Pros & Cons

  • High build quality
  • Accurate
  • Available in multiple configurations
  • Feature rich
  • 5 round magazine capacity

The CZ 457 American Suppressor-Ready is our top overall choice for .22 Magnum Rifle. 

The 457 was released in 2019 by CZ as a placement for their popular 452 & 455 rifles. The CZ 457 takes everything these rifles did right and changes what users said they wanted. These changes created a very accurate, very fun rifle to shoot.

CZ 457 american
Photo Credit: Sportsman Gun Centre

One of the changes to the CZ 457 is the angle of the bolt throw. Now 60 degrees instead of 90 degrees, this change allows the 457 greater compatibility with available scopes. This compatibility is crucial since the 457 American does not include any sights. The CZ 457 American is a rifle specifically made to use optics.

The CZ 457 American has a user-adjustable trigger. The trigger allows you, the shooter, to fine-tune the trigger pull to your preferences. A quality trigger is vital for both accuracy and precision.

Another change to the CZ 457 compared to earlier CZ models is the safety. CZ has changed from a wing-style safety to a pivoting safety on the side of the receiver. This is a more common safety design in the United States and suits the American market.

The action on the CZ 457 American is very smooth. It is a cock on open bolt and features a cocking indicator. The rifle comes with a five-round magazine like the 452 and 455.

The suppressor-ready version comes with a synthetic stock and a twenty-inch barrel. Other configurations are available. If you want a more traditional look, a walnut-stocked CZ 457 American is available, which has a 24.8-inch barrel. The CZ 457 ProVarmint Suppressor-Ready provides a shorter 16.5-inch barrel and a black painted laminate stock.

The CZ 457 American Suppressor-Ready is a well-built and accurate rimfire rifle. It is suitable for both hunting and target shooting. The features and quality of the CZ 457 American Suppressor-Ready make it our top overall pick for the .22 Magnum Rifle. Check out our review of the CZ 457 Varmint Precision in .22LR.

Honorable Mention – Browning T-Bolt Target/Varmint



Weight5 pounds, 5 ounces
Barrel Length22 inches
Overall Length40.25 inches
ActionStraight-Pull Bolt

Pros & Cons

  • Straight-pull bolt
  • Accurate
  • Available in multiple configurations
  • Feature rich
  • More expensive than alternatives

One of the best .22 Magnum rifles available is the Browning T-Bolt. 

The Browning T-Bolt Target/Varmint is designed to be equally effective in target shooting and varmint hunting.

The field of bolt action .22 Magnum rifles is a crowded one.  The Brown T-Bolt needed a feature that would set itself about from other bolt action rifles, and it has one. The Browning T-Bolt is a straight-pull bolt action rifle. Most bolt action rifles feature a rotating bolt. 

The rotating bolt design of most bolt action rifles can lead to issues with the speed of the action or interference with mounted scopes. The straight-pull action on the Browning T-Bolt allows for fast, easy cycling of the action enabling the shooter to put their rounds on target both rapidly and accurately.

browning t-bolt target varmint rifle
Photo Credit: Browning

The Browning T-Bolt Target/Varmint is machined from steel bar stock. This makes the receiver rock solid and prevents issues seen with other well-built rifles.

The Browning T-Bolt also benefits from it’s 22” heavy, target-contour barrel. It has been designed to provide high-level accuracy and precision. The barrel is also free-floating, which helps eliminate variables affecting the rifle’s accuracy.

The Double Helix Magazine of the Browning T-Bolt allows you to put ten rounds into the rifle.  This ammunition capacity advantage over other rifles allows the shooter to have flexibility with their shooting.

The Browning T-Bolt Target/Varmint features a user-adjustable trigger, a free-floating heavy target barrel, a ten-round magazine, and a top tang safety. All of these features combine to create a feature-rich rifle.

The Browning T-Bolt has multiple configurations that provide different barrel lengths and stock types. The T-Bolt also is available in cartridges besides the .22 Magnum. It comes at a higher price than the other rifles on our list.

Looking at the Browning T-Bolt, it is easy to see how it made our list. The rifle is accurate with solid construction. The rifle’s features justify the price, but the same features that make the Browning T-Bolt an excellent rifle can be had at a lower price point from the CZ 457 American.

Honorable Mention – Ruger American Rimfire

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Weight5.3 pounds
Barrel Length18 inches
Overall Length35.75 inches
ActionRotating Bolt

Pros & Cons

  • High build quality
  • Accurate
  • Available in multiple configurations
  • It’s not free

The Ruger American Rimfire Compact is another excellent .22 Magnum rifle. 

Designed to be used both as a hunting rifle and a target rifle, it provides plenty of functionality in a compact size.

ruger american rimfire compact rifle
Photo Credit: The Box o’ Truth

A feature that Ruger is proud of with the American Rimfire Compact is their patented Power Bedding integral bedding block system. This system positively locates the receiver and free-floats the barrel. The Power Bedding system translates into excellent accuracy.

The Ruger American Rimfire Compact sports the Ruger Marksman Adjustable trigger. You can adjust the Ruger Marksman trigger on your American Rimfire Compact to between three and five pounds. The quality of the trigger, coupled with the Power Bedding system, allows you to accurately and precisely hit your target.

The bolt on the Ruger American Compact has a 60-degree bolt throw. This provides extra clearance for your scope and allows faster follow-up shots.

The Ruger American Rimfire is available in a variety of configurations. The Compact features a black synthetic stock, but other models are available with wood and laminate. Twenty-two-inch barrels are also available with some models.

Overall, the Ruger American Rimfire Compact is a very solid rifle. Accurate, versatile, and well-made, the Ruger American Rimfire is a solid buy option for those looking to grab a .22 Magnum rifle.

Best Value – Savage 93 Minimal

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Weight5.48 pounds
Barrel Length18 inches
Overall Length37 inches
ActionRotating Bolt

Pros & Cons

  • Price
  • Accurate
  • Durable
  • Fewer features than more expensive options

The Savage 93 Minimalist is our top choice for a value .22 Magnum rifle. 

The Savage 93 Minimalist is exactly that.  The 93 Minimalist has been designed to be simple to use and maintain. Combine the 93 Minimalist’s simplicity with the lightweight design and durability you would expect from a more expensive rifle, and you see why this is our top-value choice.

This rifle is ideal for those wanting a .22 Magnum rifle for hunting, plinking, or target shooting but who don’t want to break the bank.

savage 93 minimalist rifle
Photo Credit: Savage Arms

One of the best features of the Savage 93 Minimalist is the trigger. Like most Savage rifles, the 93 Minimalist sports a user-adjustable AccuTrigger. This lets the shooter adjust the trigger pull weight to their preferences. A quality trigger is essential for shooting accurately, and the AccuTrigger gives the Savage 93 Minimalist this vital feature.

The stock on the Savage 93 Minimalist is a laminate stock that is durable and easy to maintain. This makes it an excellent rifle for use in less-than-pristine environments. 

As with many .22 Magnum rifles, different guns have different ammo preferences. One Savage 93 Minimalist might not shoot as well as another 93 Minimalist with the same ammunition. Try out different loads from various manufacturers and find the one that shoots best from your specific rifle.

The Savage 93 Minimalist is a minimalist design that is an excellent option for those looking for a simple and reliable rifle without the extra bells and whistles.

Best Lever-Action – Henry Classic Lever Action

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Weight5.5 pounds
Barrel Length19.25 inches
Overall Length37.5 inches
ActionLever Action

Pros & Cons

  • Rugged and proven design
  • Gorgeous 
  • Solid performer
  • Reasonably priced
  • Not as accurate as other rifles on this list

The Henry Classic Lever Action is our choice for the best Lever-Action .22 Magnum.

Featuring the iconic lever action design, the Henry Classic Lever Action is a fun rifle that makes excellent use of the .22 WMR cartridge.

The Classic Lever Action sports a classic look. Featuring an American walnut stock, a barrel, and a receiver that is blued, plus hooded front sight and fully adjustable rear sight, the Henry Classic Lever Action is gorgeous. This is a rifle that will turn heads.

henry classic lever action rifle
Photo Credit: Industry Outsider

It isn’t only a looker, either. The Henry Classic Lever Action’s lever action allows the rifle to cycle new rounds quickly and easily. If you don’t want to get a semi-automatic but want a faster action, then lever action is the way to go.

The rifle is plenty accurate. The rifle has a solid action and is well-balanced. Couple these attributes with the .22 Magnum, and the Henry Classic Lever Action is a solid 2 MOA performer with iron sights.

The Henry Classic Lever Action is a well-built and reliable rifle.

Is the Henry Classic Level Action suitable for hunting? The answer is yes. Is it a good choice for plinking or target shooting? The answer is yes again.

Will the rifle’s aesthetics get attention at the range? One hundred percent yes!

The traditional lever-action design and classic look make this an excellent option for anyone looking for a rifle that combines modern performance with a traditional look.

Best Semi-Automatic .22 Magnum – Savage A22 Magnum

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Weight5.63 pounds
Barrel Length22 inches
Overall Length41.5 inches

Pros & Cons

  • Affordable for Semi-Automatic
  • Accurate
  • Durable
  • Delayed-blowback action
  • Magazine can be finicky

Our choice for the best semi-automatic .22 Magnum rifle is the Savage A22 Magnum. 

The Savage A22 Magnum is a good rifle for small game and varmint hunting. The semi-automatic action makes it a good option for quickly putting lots of rounds down range. This is essential when targeting small, fast-moving game. 

The Savage A22 Magnum is also a good choice for target shooting. It is an inherently accurate rifle. Combined with .22 Magnum’s attribute, you have a good option for target shooting.

savage a22 magnum rifle scoped in
Photo Credit: American Hunter

The Savage A22 Magnum is a full-featured rifle. It has a ten-round magazine, adjustable trigger, synthetic stock, and quality barrel. All of these combine to make a very neat package.

One of the key features of the Savage A22 Magnum is the user-adjustable AccuTrigger. The AccuTrigger allows users to adjust the trigger pull to fit their preferences. This makes it easy to get a crisp, clean trigger pull, improving accuracy and precision.

The A22 features a delayed blowback system. Delayed-blowback systems keep the bolt closed fractionally longer than traditional blowback systems. This allows peak pressure to pass and the bullet to make its way down range. This leads to both a more accurate and safer experience for the shooter.

The A22 Magnum is a very accurate rifle. It is capable of shooting at or near a five-shot 1 MOA group. This performance is more than adequate for a .22 Magnum rifle. 

There are some who have reported issues with the magazine. It needs to be firmly inserted into the mag-well and latched, or you might experience issues picking up the first round.

Overall the Savage 22 Magnum is a versatile rifle that has a place in every shooter’s inventory.

How We Chose our Top Picks

There were many high-quality contenders to be on our list for the best .22 WMR rifle. If a rifle did not make our list, that does not mean it isn’t a good choice. We wanted to private a curated list to help you, the buyer, pick a rifle that would be a valuable addition to your firearms collection.

When selecting the rifles on our list, we considered multiple factors.

  1. The first factor was the price. We avoided any rifle where the cost would exceed the value for most .22 Magnum users.
  2. The second factor was versatility. .22 Magnum is a versatile cartridge; having a rifle capable of taking advantage of that versatility is essential
  3. Performance was the third factor we considered. The rifle must be able to hit targets accurately for hunting or target shooting. The rifle needs to be durable enough that you, the shooter, would not worry; it would break as soon as it left your safe.


What is the difference between .22lr and .22 WMR

The most significant difference between .22LR (Long Rifle) and .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rifle) is the power of each cartridge.

.22 Magnum has a much higher velocity which translates into higher energy, flatter trajectory, and longer effective range.

Is .22 Magnum good for hunting?

Yes. .22 Magnum, .22 WMR, is an excellent cartridge for hunting varmints and small game. Hunters should not use .22 Magnum to hunt large game animals like deer; it cannot humanely harvest the animal in most circumstances.

What is the maximum effective range for .22 WMR?

The maximum effective range varies depending on the shooter, load, and rifle, but generally, .22 WMR has a maximum effective range of 150-200 yards.

Last Words

.22 Magnum is a versatile cartridge. To match this versatility, selecting the appropriate rifle is essential. The CZ 457 American is our top choice because it can use the cartridge effectively and matches the cartridge in versatility.

Whether you are planning to hunt, target shoot, or just plink for good clean fun, there is a rifle on this list that can meet your needs and ensure your shooting experience goes well.

If you’re a fan of .22 WMR, go check out our list of the best .22 Magnum pistols as well!

Chris Fortenberry photo Chris is a firearms enthusiast and collector located in Texas. Chris’ passion for firearms started at a young age and was fueled by his passion for history. Chris used that passion to become a historian and feels that spreading the understanding of firearms functionally, socially, and politically is one of the paramount jobs of the 2nd Amendment community. He seeks to share his knowledge with those around him.


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