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Looking for the best rimfire rifle that offers a blend of affordability and accuracy with a heavy seasoning of fun? In today’s article, Atticus James tests the Model 2020 Rimfire on the range and discovers that it is a real standout in the .22 rifle market.
For years, I’ve been admiring the higher-end market of .22 LR rifles priced at over $3,000, longing to own one. These firearms are far from your typical plinking rifles; they’re meticulously crafted for dedicated marksmen seeking a competition-grade bolt-action rifle chambered for the .22 LR cartridge.
The dilemma, however, lies in my reluctance to invest such a sizable sum of money on the rifle — especially considering what the aftermarket accessories would also cost. A rifle of this caliber would need thousands of additional dollars for a high-end scope and mount, bipod, and additional detachable magazines — all essential accessories for this firearm.
On the flip side, there’s the newly introduced Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire chambered for .22 LR ammo. It’s one of the amazing new rifles of 2023 that has been introduced — and it might be the best 22 rifle introduced in a very long time.
One of the things that sets this rifle apart is its affordability. Cheap rifles are not shocking, but one that promised the accuracy that this does is quite an attention getter.
Put simply, the Springfield bolt action rimfire doesn’t drain your wallet for a precision shooting experience that you would expect with the higher-end models. With an MSRP of less than $500 for the Target model (there are also “Classic” models with walnut stocks available), you can allocate your budget towards purchasing ammunition, a quality bipod, an exceptional optic and even stock up on as many rifle magazines as you desire.
I decided to take the savings and add a suppressor into the mix.
Few things are as fun to shoot as a rimfire rifle fitted with a sound suppressor. Knowing this, Springfield Armory uses threaded barrels on the Target models. Using the common 1/2×28 threading, virtually any suppressors designed for the 22 LR rifle will work.
Speaking of suppressors, I opted for the Resilient Suppressor Jessie’s Girl, which comes at a reasonable $450 price point and is rated for chamberings up to 5.7x28mm. This versatility makes it an excellent choice if you’re in search of a suppressor that can be used on multiple firearms.
For target shooting and pest control, few things are as fun to shoot as a .22 with a good quality suppressor. And this Model 2020 is a shooter!
Now, let’s talk about the rifle’s specifications.
Let’s take a quick look at the specs.
|Black or Sage w/ Black Webbing
|20″ Heavy Profile, Straight Taper Contour, 1:16, Matte Blued, Threaded 1/2×28
|Model 2020 Rimfire, Round 1.14″ Diameter, Matte Blued
|Interrupted Picatinny Mount, 8-40 Screws
|4140 Steel, High Polish White Chrome Coating
|Target, Reinforced Polymer Synthetic Stock
|Adjustable Remington 700 Style Trigger Group w/ Hanger System for Compatibility
|(1) 10-Round SA Rotary (10/22 style)
|7 lbs 7 oz
Given that this rifle boasts a 20” barrel with a threaded muzzle, weighing in at 7 pounds and 7 ounces, and featuring an “adult-sized” stock, it doesn’t give off the impression of an unserious firearm. It genuinely feels like a rifle tailored for those who appreciate shooting with a .22 caliber, yet desire precision. In other words — shooters.
One notable advantage is its adjustable trigger. If it doesn’t suit your preferences, rest easy knowing you can easily replace it. This rifle provides a plethora of customization options, ensuring you’re not limited in any way.
One thing I would like to see on the rifle is that they knurl the muzzle cap included with the rifle. It is great having the option of a threaded muzzle, and giving the cap this treatment would make it easier to remove it from the barrel. However, in the grand scheme of things, this remains my solitary request with an otherwise exceptional rifle.
Let’s discuss my experience with the Model 2020 Rimfire rifle and marksmanship. I’ve used all of my 10-round 10/22 rifle magazines with this firearm, and I encountered no problems with any of them when loaded with any ammo. Simply speaking, it appears 100% compatible with 10/22 magazines.
As this is a bolt-action rifle, I prefer to engage targets at longer distances. My shooter sweet spot starts at 200 yards, where I truly relish the shooting experience. Bolt-action rifles, in my opinion, are designed for precision. They allow you to take your time, carefully aim, take a single shot and achieve that satisfying feeling when you hear the steel target ring after hitting it. In many ways, they are superior to semi-auto rifles.
Yes, I know that pushing a .22 LR rifle to this distance is a bit extreme, but I also enjoy a challenge.
Semi-automatic firearms are excellent for rapid-fire shooting, but bolt-action rifles are all about taking your time and savoring each shot. That’s precisely what I did with this rifle. I spent most of my review time at the 200-yard range because each time I heard the steel target ring, it brought an exhilarating rush, indicating that I had achieved pinpoint accuracy.
The ammunition I primarily used was Gemtech 42-gr. subsonics and Federal 36-gr. supersonics. All of this ammunition performed flawlessly, without any hiccups, in this rifle. That’s what you would expect from a well-made bolt-action rifle, and Springfield Armory delivered. In essence, it follows the “aim small, miss small” philosophy, ensuring precise and consistent rifle shots.
I must emphasize the excellence of this firearm, especially when paired with my Crimson Trace 1-10x rifle scope. Its performance extends seamlessly from 25 yards to the 200-yard mark, a testament to its prowess. In my estimation, this firearm stands as a true champion, justifying every dollar spent.
When I search for a .22 caliber gun, I’m not looking for merely a cheap “plinker”, I’m in pursuit of a tool that precisely matches my requirements in a rifle. And I can honestly say this new addition to my collection will undoubtedly experience frequent use.
As a side note, I’d like to mention that I opted for the sage with black webbing finish, primarily for its aesthetic appeal, which, I must admit, is even more impressive in person. Of course, there are other options available, including a black composite stock or a walnut stock. There’s something for everyone who is buying a 22 rifle.
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