Home Product Reviews The Best Tactical Rimfires By: Travis Pike

The Best Tactical Rimfires By: Travis Pike

The Best Tactical Rimfires   By: Travis Pike

Rimfire calibers like .22LR, .22 Magnum, and .17 HMR are great for small game hunting, plinking, and even competing. Traditionally these are simple weapons like the Ruger Mk series or the Ruger 10/22. Recently there has been a rise of what I call tactical rimfires. These guns implement modern designs and features and often have that tactical appearance. Wood stocks be gone! 

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Tactical rimfires can be used for a variety of tasks. Like all rimfires, they can be very fun plinkers. Some represent classic-looking tactical firearms that allow you to experience the weapon, its controls, and its features at penny prices. Others can be stand-ins for centerfire weapons and be used for training. Alas, they can even be used for competitions like Steel Challenge, where rimfires are quite common. 

In an age of rising ammo costs, the rimfire remains an attractive choice, and the modern tactical rimfire might scratch an itch no wood stocked 10/22 can touch. Here are the best tactical rimfires on the market. 

The P322 

The Sig Sauer P322 hit the market with a short and a scream, and we are here for it. Sig imbued this gun with all the technology necessary to make it a modern rimfire pistol. This includes a bottom rail, an optic cut, and the option to attach a threaded adapter. You could spin up a rimfire Roland’s special quickly or toss a can on for discreet plinking. 

SIG p322 black
The P322 is a very modern option for .22LR shooters. (Photo Credit: Sig Sauer)

What’s even cooler is the 20-round magazine. There are even some extended 25-round magazines available in case you need more ammo, and don’t mind the mag not sitting flush with the grip. The P322 is roughly Glock 19-sized but lithe and comfy in anyone’s hand. My own has been taken over by my son, who has become quite precise with the little gun. 

The P322 can be set up for numerous things. It can be a pest killer, a plinker, or even a steel challenge gun. Heck, if you have poor hand strength, the P322 would make a great home defense option. 

HK MP5 .22LR 

I think the MP5 is a cool gun, but I have a hard time paying the prices asked, even for the Turkish clones. Let’s face it. The MP5 is neat but outdated. It’s got crap ergonomics, lacks LRBHO, and only survives because of its former glory. If you want the MP5 experience without paying the MP5 price, then look no further than the HK MP .22LR.

The MP5 in 22lr
This is a much cheaper way to experience 1964. (Photo Credit: HK)

This gun is made by Walther/Umarex under license from HK and provides you with an MP5 experience at a rimfire price. It’s a proper rifle, and the 16-inch barrel is present. It looks a lot less goofy because a fake suppressor is mounted over the extended barrel. If you don’t want that setup, there is a pistol variant with a more appropriate barrel length. 

These little guns are a ton of fun. They are somewhat silly, but they do mimic the MP5 well. This includes the bad ergos and the ability to do the old HK slap. It’s a ton of fun to shoot and perfect for shooters that are both young and old. 

S&W M&P 15-22

There have been and continue to be lots of AR-15s, chambered in .22LR. They’ve come and gone, and to my knowledge, the most consistent AR-15 in .22LR has been the M&P 15-22. S&W released the gun in 2009 and has been producing it ever since. It’s affordable, mocks up an AR well, and can be a great plinker or training gun. 

The M&P 15 22
This is the classic AR 15 in 22LR. (Photo Credit: Smith & Wesson)

Of course, with a .22LR, they had to ditch the direct impingement system and rely on a fairly standard direct blowback design. The gun is also simplified and made with a lightweight polymer upper and lower receiver. While they are quite different from a standard AR-15, they replicate the guns accurately. This includes the controls and sights, as well as the magazine.  While the magazine is proprietary, it is the same rough dimensions as a standard magazine. As such, the magazine fits into normal mag pouches to train reloads with the same gear they use for 5.56 AR-15s.

The M&P 15-22 is an affordable, reliable option that’s fun to shoot and easy to use. It’s also available in a few different configurations varying rails, stocks, etc. 

Ruger Precision Rimfire 

Ruger’s own precision rifle was one of the first affordable entries into precision rifles. For many shooters, it represented a plug-and-play option for precision rifles. Ruger also conquered the .22 market decades ago with the 10/22. At one point, they decided to combine their precision rifle with their knowledge of .22LRs and produce the Ruger Precision Rimfire. 

Ruger Precision rifle fde
Take your rimfire shooting to new levels. (Photo Credit: Ruger)

The Ruger Precision Rimfire is a bolt action rifle that chambers the famed .22LR cartridge and even uses 10/22 magazines. The barrel is 18 inches long and threaded, so it’s perfect for a suppressor. The length of pull can be adjusted from 12 to 15.5 inches so it can fit shooters both big and small. We also get an adjustable cheekpiece and Ruger Marksman trigger. 

Up front is a long M–LOK rail that allows you to mount bipods, cup holders, and the kitchen sink if you so choose. The rifle is fairly lightweight and features a ton of modern features and controls that separate it from other .22LR rifles. It’s most certainly a very modern weapon that fits in well with our junior rimfire snipers. 

KelTec CMR-30 

“Mom, can we have an MP7?” 

“We have MP7 at Home!” 

(The MP7 At Home) 

The CMR 30
It’s the Mp7 we have at home. (Photo Credit: KelTec)

I joke, but not really—kind of. Sure, the 4.6 is more capable than a .22, but HK isn’t tossing us an MP7 anytime soon. The CMR-30 is the rifle variant of the PMR 30, complete with its massive 30-round magazine that just sits flush in the pistol grip. The gun delivers subcompact firepower with the magazine in grip design and collapsing PDW-type wire stock. 

The CMR-30 delivers a massive top rail for optics and a bottom rail for lights, lasers, and grips of all kinds. A quick barrel chop and an ATF Tax Stamp, and you can have an even shorter gun for whatever trailer park terrorists need eliminating. 

The CMR-30 could be a fun gun, or it could be a very low recoil selection for home defense. Admittedly it’s not an optimal choice for home defense, but the .22 Magnum can penetrate quite deep and can reach the vitals. Load it up with some Speer self-defense rounds, and you have a zero recoil option. Or you can just hunt squirrels and rabbits with it and play a poor man’s SEAL Team 6 operator. 

CMMG Conversion 

Last but not least, we can’t forget about the famed CMMG conversion kit. This kit allows you to shoot .22LR through your standard 5.56 rifle. This kit consists of a drop-in bolt and a magazine. It’s a self-contained system that allows you to use the AR-15 you know and love as a rimfire plinker. 

CMMG 22LR conversion kit
This thing drops in your 5.56 AR and turns it into a .22LR. (Photo Credit: CMMG)

You will get an accuracy and zero shift, but it’s still a cheap way to train with your actual AR-15 cheaply. The CMMG conversion system is one of the most cost-effective ways to train with your AR, and as a system, it’s fairly cheap, often selling for less than 200 dollars. 

Rimfired Out 

A good rimfire can take you a long way. Who doesn’t love cheap ammo and cheap guns, which equal cheap range time? I sure as heck do. I also like modern guns that can be fitted with modern accessories, and tactical rimfires provide me with that experience. They are great plinkers and trainers, and you need at least one to complete any collection. 

P322 sig
The P322 turned out to be the perfect gun for these challenges