Which 22LR Rifle for plink, precision and possible competition?

C_ORR

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Hello! I’m looking at getting a 22LR for plinking, precision and possibly NRL22 base competition. I’m new to the NRL22 game, but it looks like they increased the base price to $1200… so that’s the budget I’m working with. I’m looking at CZ 457, Tikka, and Bergara. Based on MSRP I think I might have to exclude the Bergara. What are thoughts on best out of the box shooter and availability of aftermarket products, etc? Looking for as much advise as possible to help push me towards the best bang for my $.
 

Cardboard Assassin

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I can only speak to the CZ457 but it is an excellent out of the box rifle. I bought one in 2019 and have shot 6" plates at 300M with surprising accuracy (only using CCI standard).

From what I can tell there is good aftermarket support for them too (chassis / barrels etc).
 
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MarkCZ

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The Tikka T1X or CZ 457 will be the best to fit into base class (cost). But the Bergara B14R is the best of the 3. Bergara has the BMR now the is in the price range of the T1X and 457. Get the steel barrel in the Bergara's. Both Bergara's will take Remington triggers, big plus for the Bergara.
 
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Haney

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The Tikka T1X or CZ 457 will be the best to fit into base class (cost). But the Bergara B14R is the best of the 3. Bergara has the BMR now the is in the price range of the T1X and 457. Get the steel barrel in the Bergara's. Both Bergara's will take Remington triggers, big plus for the Bergara.
I agree with this , I have owned all three recently and the Bergara is the one I decided to keep . Tikka was OK , CZ did not thrill me . Just personal preferences I guess. Bergara is fine for the money and I am picky on my triggers so it makes sense for me .
 
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Maverick3009

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I've got a CZ 457 Pro Varmint that I use for plinking and NRL22 and I'm a big fan of it. Did a little load testing with some lots from Good Shooting Inc, found a lot that it liked and picked up half a case of that. Has no problem stacking holes within 100yrds (I haven't stretched it beyond that yet)
 

Hi-Lux Optics

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Can confirm all the CZ 457 news. It's an excellent rifle, even in its basic form. Mine has the peculiar habit of shooting the first shot (cold bore) high and to the right, but all following shots are right on the money.
 

Butterburger

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I think the Savage is a little higher quality than the cricket.

I’d go with the CZ if money wasn’t an issue.
 

Bucket

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I have a Tikka T1X in a KRG Bravo stock and mine has been excellent, but I know others have had feeding issues.
My only complaint is the barrel is a bit light for PRS comps. I could change it out for an IBI, but then I'm spending another $500 (Au).

I have a few mates with CZs and I really like the 457, their heavy barrel seems a good weight to me and they have been doing rimfires since god's dog was a pup, so they tend to be reliable and shoot well. I have a 1967 Brno Model 2 (same age as me) and it is more accurate than almost any .22 I've owned.
 

sam4886

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The cz won't leave much room for glass under $1200. That's all based on MSRP, remember.

The AT-one 457 msrp is $749, but there are a couple of the cheaper models.

I think the t1x msrp is more like $600, so you'd have better options for glass.

Just math it out.
 

FuhQ

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    Hello! I’m looking at getting a 22LR for plinking, precision and possibly NRL22 base competition. I’m new to the NRL22 game, but it looks like they increased the base price to $1200… so that’s the budget I’m working with. I’m looking at CZ 457, Tikka, and Bergara. Based on MSRP I think I might have to exclude the Bergara. What are thoughts on best out of the box shooter and availability of aftermarket products, etc? Looking for as much advise as possible to help push me towards the best bang for my $.
    Had really good luck with mine... I really enjoy it. Super lightweight and accurate to boot. 100 yard headshots on tree rats is not outside of it's capabilities. 👍🏼 And suppressed with CCI Subs and my Dead Air Mask HD is super nice! 👌🏼

    Oh, and it uses ANY regular old Ruger 10/22 magazines (even the 25-30 rounders), and Remington 700 triggers, and it comes with a TriggerTech Diamond already in it, AND most importantly, it has an adult size length-of-pull, and is built for adults to shoot, and it is NOT a youth rifle, like many other rimfire stocks.

     
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    Cowpokey

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    Putting something together to stay under the $$$ limit for "base class" is a fool's errand. If you just want to try out base class, use something you already have, and see if competition is something you want to pursue...or borrow a rifle from someone and give competition a try. Nobody cares what class you shoot, nobody cares how you score...except you.
     

    Maverick3009

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    The cz won't leave much room for glass under $1200. That's all based on MSRP, remember.

    The 457 Pro Varmint msrp's around $680 if I remember correctly, leaves $520 which should be plenty for solid short range glass. I'm using an Athlon Argos BTR gen1 6-24x50 and it's been fantastic scope for the price, especially if going through Doug @ CameraLandNY. Msrp is $450 on that scope so scrape by with room to spare.
     

    Haney

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    I think the Savage is a little higher quality than the cricket.

    I’d go with the CZ if money wasn’t an issue.
    Great idea , a Savage 93 FVSR would leave a lot of money for better quality glass . A have one and it stayed home while the Tikka and CZ went down the road . We are not talking Benchrest here , many variables in this sport it's not all about the rifle itself .
     

    flatland1

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    I love my CZ457s - all three of them - but accuracy with the factory barrels was a crap-shoot for mine, as I replaced 2 out of 3 barrels to get the accuracy I wanted. The one that shot well out of the box was a Varmint MTR with their tighter chamber. Don't know if NRL's rules allow you to swap a slightly sub-standard OEM barrel for another CZ bbl or what the cost of a MTR bbl is from CZ, but the rifles I bought had a S/N on the bbl that matches the action's S/N, so it'd be easy for a match official to spot a 457 with a barrel that's not factory original. I believe that CZ-USA had some MTR barrels in stock a few months ago, but all the MTRs that they currently show are out of stock, and they all cost over $300. I replaced the American & VPT bbls of my 457s with Shilen ratchet rifled select match barrels, but had to do all the machine work to fit & chamber them myself.
     

    adubeau

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    I love my CZ457s - all three of them - but accuracy with the factory barrels was a crap-shoot for mine, as I replaced 2 out of 3 barrels to get the accuracy I wanted. The one that shot well out of the box was a Varmint MTR with their tighter chamber. Don't know if NRL's rules allow you to swap a slightly sub-standard OEM barrel for another CZ bbl or what the cost of a MTR bbl is from CZ, but the rifles I bought had a S/N on the bbl that matches the action's S/N, so it'd be easy for a match official to spot a 457 with a barrel that's not factory original. I believe that CZ-USA had some MTR barrels in stock a few months ago, but all the MTRs that they currently show are out of stock, and they all cost over $300. I replaced the American & VPT bbls of my 457s with Shilen ratchet rifled select match barrels, but had to do all the machine work to fit & chamber them myself.
    Open class has no restrictions - rifle has to be chambered in 22LR - Not allowed for Base class
     

    Tortuga

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    All great info.
    One thing to keep in mind is there really is not a lot of benefit to purchasing new to stay in Base class. Base is great if you already have a rifle or a scope and have to buy the other, but from scratch it can actually be less economically sound. I say this because of MSRP vs. buying from sales, discounts, or used. Example: Tikka T1x ($622) + Bushnell Match Pro ($499) = $1121. For that same $1100 I can get much better used or pro deal glass on that Tikka, but because of MSRP, it will put me in Open class. Besides, there really is no reason to stick to Base class, just get the gear you want and shoot Open like the rest of the squad. It's not like you get bigger targets or shoot at shorter distances, you just wind up on a ranking list that 90% of the other shooters are not on.
    It's all personal preference, but I would rather spend $1500 on a great system that works for me than $1199 on whatever fits in the box so that I am graded differently than the majority of the other shooters.
     

    flatland1

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    Open class has no restrictions - rifle has to be chambered in 22LR - Not allowed for Base class
    But the OP is talking about buying a rifle to shoot in base class - that's why I mentioned the price of a replacement CZ MTR bbl....

    And I totally agree with Tortuga's point in not trying to buy new to comply with Base rules.
     

    300zx_tt

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    I love my 457 MTR, it shoots pretty good with CCI SV. I’ve gotten repetitive 1/4” groups at 50 yards with gold medal match, and RWS target sport and RWS 50. Haven’t tried any other match stuff yet.

    I couldn’t decide between the T1X, B14R and the CZ. The only thing that persuaded me was I found a used MTR in like new shape for $525. Pretty sure you can’t go wrong with any of them.
     

    8pointer

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    I can only speak to the CZ457 but it is an excellent out of the box rifle. I bought one in 2019 and have shot 6" plates at 300M with surprising accuracy (only using CCI standard).

    From what I can tell there is good aftermarket support for them too (chassis / barrels etc).
    My 457 ProVarmint is hilarious eats any ammo on the planet with great accuracy. Had an absolutely great day with it Tuesday shooting KYLs and various spinners out to 165. I can't say for competition b/c I've not done any PRS, but for fun and plinking this was the best $440 I've ever spent.
     

    fpgt72

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    If you can get lucky and find an old 453 they are just fantastic with the set trigger. Little push forward then you can set it to whatever weight you want....and they are fantastic.

    I have a couple CZ rifles that use this trigger and love them all.
     

    C_ORR

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    All great info.
    One thing to keep in mind is there really is not a lot of benefit to purchasing new to stay in Base class. Base is great if you already have a rifle or a scope and have to buy the other, but from scratch it can actually be less economically sound. I say this because of MSRP vs. buying from sales, discounts, or used. Example: Tikka T1x ($622) + Bushnell Match Pro ($499) = $1121. For that same $1100 I can get much better used or pro deal glass on that Tikka, but because of MSRP, it will put me in Open class. Besides, there really is no reason to stick to Base class, just get the gear you want and shoot Open like the rest of the squad. It's not like you get bigger targets or shoot at shorter distances, you just wind up on a ranking list that 90% of the other shooters are not on.
    It's all personal preference, but I would rather spend $1500 on a great system that works for me than $1199 on whatever fits in the box so that I am graded differently than the majority of the other shooters.
    So I might be better off finding something 2nd hand that’s nicer and more shootable than buying brand new and trying to stick with a limit for base class? Currently my only 22lr is an old lever action that was my grandfathers.
     
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    C_ORR

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    Had really good luck with mine... I really enjoy it. Super lightweight and accurate to boot. 100 yard headshots on tree rats is not outside of it's capabilities. 👍🏼 And suppressed with CCI Subs and my Dead Air Mask HD is super nice! 👌🏼

    Oh, and it uses ANY regular old Ruger 10/22 magazines (even the 25-30 rounders), and Remington 700 triggers, and it comes with a TriggerTech Diamond already in it, AND most importantly, it has an adult size length-of-pull, and is built for adults to shoot, and it is NOT a youth rifle, like many other rimfire stocks.

    Which rifle are you talking about?
     

    C_ORR

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    The Christensen Arms Ranger 22.
    Oh ok. I know when they first came out there were some issues with either cycling the bolt or extraction of the spent casing. Have you had any issues with yours or heard of any issues?
     

    Tortuga

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    So I might be better off finding something 2nd hand that’s nicer and more shootable than buying brand new and trying to stick with a limit for base class? Currently my only 22lr is an old lever action that was my grandfathers.
    YES! My philosophy about the whole thing is buy what fits, works, great deal falls in your lap, or whatever. Don't feel any need to stay in the $1200 MSRP base ceiling. Between used, sales, discounts and such, there is no reason to pay retail for optics unless it is top tier. Rifles are hit and miss, ergonomics come into play. Some people can have a out of the box __________(insert name of bolt gun) fit like a glove, others need spacers, risers, and pixie dust to get even a mediocre cheek weld. It's the MSRP that makes it tough. My wife's rig (PWS Summit, KRG Bravo, Athlon Midas Tac) total purchase price was just under $1200, but the MSRPs are close to double that.

    The short version is there is only a handful of rifle models and scopes you can run in base class, which no one cares about anyways.
    For the same or a little more, you can have a much nicer rig.

    I presume the intent of Base class is to encourage new shooters to bring what they have and not be intimidated, but I fear it has the wrong effect. Unlike IPSC and some other disciplines, you won't be left in the dust if you venture outside of new-guy Base territory. Every new shooter I have seen at a match is encouraged to mess with every rifle in the squad and get an idea of the gear and all of the what's and why's.

    Winning in Base class doesn't get you any more prizes than coming in last in Open. Unless you are top three, young, old, or a lady, it's all raffle. My first match was a large NRL22X match that I was about 2/3 down the Open rankings, I still came home with a 40% off a XLR chassis certificate. The dude just under me won a free TBAC 22 can.
     

    C_ORR

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    YES! My philosophy about the whole thing is buy what fits, works, great deal falls in your lap, or whatever. Don't feel any need to stay in the $1200 MSRP base ceiling. Between used, sales, discounts and such, there is no reason to pay retail for optics unless it is top tier. Rifles are hit and miss, ergonomics come into play. Some people can have a out of the box __________(insert name of bolt gun) fit like a glove, others need spacers, risers, and pixie dust to get even a mediocre cheek weld. It's the MSRP that makes it tough. My wife's rig (PWS Summit, KRG Bravo, Athlon Midas Tac) total purchase price was just under $1200, but the MSRPs are close to double that.

    The short version is there is only a handful of rifle models and scopes you can run in base class, which no one cares about anyways.
    For the same or a little more, you can have a much nicer rig.

    I presume the intent of Base class is to encourage new shooters to bring what they have and not be intimidated, but I fear it has the wrong effect. Unlike IPSC and some other disciplines, you won't be left in the dust if you venture outside of new-guy Base territory. Every new shooter I have seen at a match is encouraged to mess with every rifle in the squad and get an idea of the gear and all of the what's and why's.

    Winning in Base class doesn't get you any more prizes than coming in last in Open. Unless you are top three, young, old, or a lady, it's all raffle. My first match was a large NRL22X match that I was about 2/3 down the Open rankings, I still came home with a 40% off a XLR chassis certificate. The dude just under me won a free TBAC 22 can.
    Thanks for all the input! Any suggestions on where to search for a used rig?
     

    C_ORR

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    YES! My philosophy about the whole thing is buy what fits, works, great deal falls in your lap, or whatever. Don't feel any need to stay in the $1200 MSRP base ceiling. Between used, sales, discounts and such, there is no reason to pay retail for optics unless it is top tier. Rifles are hit and miss, ergonomics come into play. Some people can have a out of the box __________(insert name of bolt gun) fit like a glove, others need spacers, risers, and pixie dust to get even a mediocre cheek weld. It's the MSRP that makes it tough. My wife's rig (PWS Summit, KRG Bravo, Athlon Midas Tac) total purchase price was just under $1200, but the MSRPs are close to double that.

    The short version is there is only a handful of rifle models and scopes you can run in base class, which no one cares about anyways.
    For the same or a little more, you can have a much nicer rig.

    I presume the intent of Base class is to encourage new shooters to bring what they have and not be intimidated, but I fear it has the wrong effect. Unlike IPSC and some other disciplines, you won't be left in the dust if you venture outside of new-guy Base territory. Every new shooter I have seen at a match is encouraged to mess with every rifle in the squad and get an idea of the gear and all of the what's and why's.

    Winning in Base class doesn't get you any more prizes than coming in last in Open. Unless you are top three, young, old, or a lady, it's all raffle. My first match was a large NRL22X match that I was about 2/3 down the Open rankings, I still came home with a 40% off a XLR chassis certificate. The dude just under me won a free TBAC 22 can.
    Thanks for all the input! Any suggestions on where to search for a used rig?
     

    FuhQ

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    Oh ok. I know when they first came out there were some issues with either cycling the bolt or extraction of the spent casing. Have you had any issues with yours or heard of any issues?
    I’ve heard of issues, but not experienced any. I’m pretty sure they got those fixed sometime in the first production run. Mine is a B serial number, so I would wager to guess it’s from the 2nd production run. No issues here. 👍🏼

    And if you follow my thread I linked you a few posts up, in the last few pages we’ve been discussing this subject, and a couple guys are experimenting with different magazines to see if it’s primarily a magazine issue, or a rifle issue.
     

    kmckinnon

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    I went base class with a Ruger Precision for a while. It was fun but not fulfilling. Sold it and purchased a Bergara B14R. Much happier now. To me it was worth the extra cost and I wish I would have skipped base class and just went with a better rifle from the get go.
     
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    flyfisher117

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    Don't let base class drive your purchase decisions. I did, and I shouldn't have. Buy what you truly want.
     
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    MajorD

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    I shot base class for a few years ( back when I started the base class was even more restrictive) with an athlon and savage mark II. I have moved up to a Kidd and vortex strike eagle ( open) and is definitely more fun / fulfilling. I think the improved optic mean more than the rifle,though a semi does work well for me.