Best New Rimfire Rifles and Handguns of the 2020 SHOT Show

With a major surge in top-quality new rimfire guns, there’s never been a better time to buy a new .22.

This is the year of the rimfire. Thanks to the exploding popularity of NRL22, and the growing number of PRS shooters who want to train with small-bores, the quality and quantity of match-level rimfires has never been higher. Virtually every gun listed below is designed for precision shooting, or as a trainer for centerfire competition or handgun fundamentals. Whether you need a new competition iron, a handgun trainer, or you just want an insanely accurate new squirrel hunting rifle—there’s never been a better time to be in the market for a new .22.

Bergara B14R22

Bergara B14R22 bolt-action rimfire rifle.
Built on a Remington 700 footprint, the new B14R22 is Bergara’s first bolt-action rimfire rifle. Bergara

Bergara’s first bolt-action rimfire, the B14R22 is built on a full-sized Remington 700 footprint, so it’s compatible with other Model 700 stocks, bases, and triggers. The rifle sits in the company’s excellent, fully adjustable, Bergara HMR stock with an integral aluminum bedding rail and takes a Bergara-designed ACIS mag converted to .22 LR. The first-class Spanish-made barrels are cut with what Bergara calls a “proprietary match chamber.” At the range, I loaded and removed an Eley Match OSP, and saw that the lands were engraved on the soft lead bullet—a sure sign of a quality chamber. The two-lug floating bolt head can be spaced with a soon-to-come kit from Bergara, so shooters will be able to effectively headspace their rifle, something that normally requires barrel shims or custom gunsmith work with rimfires. The B14R22 comes in two models, one with a 4140-steel barrel, the other with a carbon-wrapped tube. The real-world price will run around $1,000, which may sound high for a .22 LR for some, but it’s a fraction of what others charge for Remington 700 actions alone (see Vudoo and Zermatt, below). And unlike those custom builds, these Bergaras will be on gun store shelves across the country—bringing the rising tide of precision rimfire rifles to a whole new world of shooters. Starts at $1,150; bergarausa.com

Bergara BXR

Bergara BXR
The new Bergara BXR promises to be a highly accurate 10/22 clone.Bergara

One of the best custom 10/22 builders in the country once told me that making Ruger’s famous design accurate comes down to three things: the barrel, the barrel, and the barrel. That’s one of the many reasons you should be excited about Bergara’s second new rimfire for 2020, the BXR—a 10/22 from a company whose reputation is built on famously accurate barrels. The BXR comes in two configurations. The base model sports a 4140 fluted steel barrel with a black Cerakote finish. The upgraded model has a carbon-fiber barrel. Both are 16.5-inches long and threaded, with match chambers. The BXR’s receiver comes with an integral 30 MOA pic rail, which is a very nice touch, and is compatible with Ruger 10/22 magazines. $565 and $659; bergarausa.com

CZ 457 Varmint Precision Chassis

CZ’s latest 457 Varmint
CZ’s latest 457 Varmint features a solid-aluminum-billet chassis stock.CZ USA

How hot is rimfire right now? CZ typically debuts a host of rifles each year, yet for 2020, the company’s only new models are variations on their ultra-popular 457 rimfire. There’s an American Combo that ships with both .22 LR and 17 HMR barrels. There are three new Lux-style models with high-end walnut in various profiles and barrel lengths—the Jaguar, Premium, and Royal. But the 457 that has most people talking here in Vegas is the new Varmint Precision Chassis—a .22 aimed squarely at NRL22 competition. The 457 is one of the most popular rifles in the game, and the first thing many competitors do is plop the barreled action into an aftermarket chassis. So, this new 457 sits in—you guessed it—a solid-aluminum-billet chassis, with QD sling sockets and M-LOK slots. It’s available in two different barrel lengths, 16.5 and 24 inches, with the former geared to suppressor shooters. Both models come with a very good Luth-AR adjustable buttstock and CZ’s great fully adjustable 457 single-stage trigger. The company isn’t bluffing when they say that this one is ready for competition right out of the box. $999; cz-usa.com

Escort 22 LR

Hatasn The Escort 22LR is the first rimfire rifle from Turkish maker Hatsan.
The affordable Escort 22LR is the first rimfire rifle from Turkish maker Hatsan. Hatsan

Turkish gun builder Hatsan is jumping into the rimfire game with this handy, affordable plinker. The Escort is a departure for a company known mainly in North America for their shotguns and air guns, but they look to be off to a good start. The rifle comes with either a synthetic or walnut stock, and the threaded barrel and receiver are hard-chrome plated. There’s a push-to-fire safety and heavy-ish, kid-friendly trigger. The synthetic-stocked model has a pic rail on the fore-end for a bipod and a slot in the buttstock for storing a loaded mag. At 6.1 pounds, and a real-world price of under $200, it could make a great first rifle or a spare backyard plinker. Comes with both a 5- and a 10-round magazine. $250 in synthetic, $300 in walnut; hatsanusa.com

Glock 44

The new Glock G44 handgun.
Ideal for training, the new rimfire Glock 44 is nearly identical in dimensions to the popular G19.Glock

How many handguns has Glock made since its founding in 1963? Tons and tons. How many rimfires? Zero, until now. The Glock 44 is the company’s first .22 LR, and they’re bound to sell a pile of them as trainers for its big brother, the 9mm G19. The G44 is nearly identical in dimensions to the G19, but weighs about a pound less, fully loaded. That lighter weight comes mostly from the slide, which is a hybrid of steel and polymer and needed to slim down in order to straight-blowback cycle the diminutive .22 LR. The G44 field strips just like any other Glock, and ships with 10-round single stack magazines. For training new shooters on a no-recoil pistol or just for plinking, it’s a winner. Real-world price will be around $360. $430; us.glock.com

Kriss Vector .22 LR

.22lr Kriss Vector
The new .22 LR Kriss Vector comes in carbine rifle and pistol models.Kriss USA

A suppressed Vector with a 30-round magazine in .22 LR? “Hell yes,” said just about everyone who saw it at the SHOT Show’s Range Day yesterday. The Vector .22 LR is available in a carbine rifle model, the Vector CRB, and a stabilizing-brace pistol configuration, the Vector SDP-SB. Both come in three colors—black, flat dark earth, and alpine white—and feature a low bore axis and a linear blowback action, fed with a proprietary 10-round or 30-round extended magazine. The carbine has a 16-inch threaded barrel wrapped in an M-LOK modular fore-end. Standard features include a pic rail with low-profile front and rear flip sights, ambidextrous safety, and a 6-position M4 stock. The pistol features a 6.5-inch threaded barrel, a Picatinny top rail with low-profile front and rear flip sights, ambidextrous safety, and an SB Tactical Stabilizing Brace. It’s designed as a trainer for departments running full-sized Vectors in 9mm and .45 ACP, but .22 nuts and international markets like the U.K. and New Zealand where centerfire is effectively banned, are pretty excited for this one. Then there’s the price, which is low for anything made by Kriss. I see a Stormtrooper-like alpine white carbine in my future. $650; kriss-usa.com

Thompson/Center Performance Center T/CR22 Carbon Fiber

Thompson Center Performance Center T/CR22
Thompson Center has expanded their Performance Center T/CR22 lineup with several lightweight carbon-barreled options.Thompson/Center

Two years ago, Thompson/Center released their 10/22 clone, the Performance Center T/CR22. T/C took the basic Ruger design and incorporated features that most 10/22 shooters either wished they had—like an integral pic rail and a last-shot-hold-open bolt/magazine tweak—or added to their basic Ruger’s with aftermarket parts—like an extended charging handle, good irons, a better trigger, and a nice aftermarket stock. And T/C did all this at a very attractive price point. This year, they’ve extended the T/CR22 lineup with a several lightweight carbon-barreled models, available in three laminated-thumbhole stock options from Altamont, or a synthetic version in a Hogue Overmolded stock. Any one of these new models would make a great lightweight hunter, or a race piece for a Rimfire or Steel Challenge. $523 in the Hogue; $642 in the Altamont Laminated Thumbhole; tcarms.com

Ruger Lite Rack LCP II .22 LR

Ruger Lite Pack LCP II .22lr
The pint-sized Ruger Lite Pack LCP II .22lr is a perfect trainer and a fun plinker.Ruger

The LCP has been a hit for Ruger in .380 as an easy-to-shoot, affordable concealed-carry pistol. This year, the company is offering it in a tiny .22 LR version. This little plinker comes in at just over 5-inches long, 4-inches tall, less than an inch wide, and around 1 pound fully loaded with 10+1 rounds. There are much larger, and heavier, .22 pistols out there that don’t hold 10 rounds, so that’s a big win for this little pocket pistol. The operation is blow-back, and Ruger recommends high-velocity loads like CCI Mini Mags, but many early testers have gotten the pistol to run fine with standard and match-velocity loads. If you carry an LCP in a bigger caliber, having this littler trainer could be great, but I see it more as just a fun backyard plinker—small, light, easy to shoot, and affordable. $350; ruger.com

Savage B Series Precision

Savage Arms chassis-stocked B Series Precision
The chassis-stocked B Series Precision is a competition-level rimfire at a killer price.Savage Arms

This year Savage launched an impressive new line of rimfires based around their Mark II, 93, A22, and B22 actions, but one particular rifle is stealing all the chatter: the B Series Precision. With a price tag of under $600, it’s poised to dominate the NRL22 base class, in which rifle and scope can’t exceed $1,050 MSRP. The B Series Precision ships with a one-piece MDT chassis—buttstock to forend is one solid billet of aluminum—along with a heavy, threaded 18-inch Savage barrel, a B22 action, and very nice AccuTrigger. Shooting CCI Standards, it was nothing to break clay pigeons with this gun at 108 yards during Range Day at SHOT. The Mark II and B22 have long been favorites of winning NRL22 base-class shooters, and this new model is only going to cement Savage’s standing in that arena. $599; savagearms.com

Volquartsen Summit 17WSM

Volquartsen Summit rimfire in 17WSM.
For 2020, Volquartsen is chambering their excellent Summit rimfire in 17WSM.Volquartsen

This year Volquartsen is chambering their innovative Summit action in the world’s fastest rimfire cartridge, the 17WSM. The Summit features a toggle-bolt receiver on a 10/22 footprint. So, 10/22 compatible stocks, triggers, barrels, and magazines work with this one. For suppressed shooting in subsonic .22 LR, this makes for a virtually silent package, as there’s no blow-back semi-auto bolt slamming home with every shot. The Summit 17WSM also comes with a long list of excellent features that cement Volquartsen as one of the very best rimfire builders, including a super clean 1.75-pound trigger, a baked-in 20 MOA pic rail, and a laser-beam-accurate carbon-wrapped barrel. For rimfire obsessives, this will be a fun gun for long-range plinking, and for rimfire hunters, it will be absolute hell on prairie dogs and ground squirrels. $1,550 and up, depending on stock option; volquartsen.com

Christensen Arms Ranger 22

Christensen Arms Ranger 22
The new Christensen Arms Ranger Ranger 22 is a high-quality hunter and plinker for well under $800.Christensen Arms

Now just about anyone can own a Christensen rifle. The new Ranger 22 brings a rimfire back to the high-end rifle builder’s lineup, and the gun goes for less than $800. It’s an interesting rifle. The Ranger takes 10/22 mags, but has a TriggerTech Remington-700-style trigger. It is not, however, built on a Remington-700 footprint, nor is it a full-sized rimfire trainer, like so many other builders are racing to make. Instead, the Ranger is a high-quality small-game rifle and plinker, with a high-quality, carbon-fiber stock and a carbon-fiber tension barrel. It’s light, handy, and because it’s a Christensen you can reckon it drives tacks. Hunting rifle or not, you can bet a case of .22s that with this price tag it’ll make a strong showing in this year’s NRL22 base-class events. $729; christensenarms.com

Patriot Ordnance Factory Rebel 22LR

Patriot Ordnance Factory Rebel 22LR
The Patriot Ordnance Factory Rebel 22LR features AR-style controls and accepts Ruger 10/22 magazines.Patriot Ordnance

There’s a fringe group among 10/22 builders who focus on Ruger’s 10/22 pistol, the Charger, and convert them to short-barreled-rifle styled tactical shooters, typically with a chassis and AR-type pistol brace. Well, POF has made their own version of a .22 LR SBR, and they’ve done it better than any Charger build I’ve ever seen. The Rebel .22 LR sub-gun takes 10/22 magazines, has an 8-inch threaded barrel, and weighs a scant 3 ¼ pounds. The monolithic upper and forend are anodized aluminum and the lower is injection molded plastic. It ships with a Battlelink Minimalist brace, and accepts AR-15 compatible stocks, selectors, and triggers. And you get all that for less than the cost of a nice Charger conversion. They’re going to sell a pile of these little plinkers. $650; pof-usa.com

Ruger American Rimfire LRT

Ruger American Rimfire LRT
New from Ruger, the American Rimfire LRT leans into the world of NRL22 competition shooting.Ruger

The Ruger American Rimfire bolt-action rifle is an excellent shooting iron that can be found for less than $200. There’s a trigger job that can be done for the price of Bic pen, and Boyd’s makes a laminated stock that tightens up both the bedding and the downrange groups. My dad has one that will shoot clover-leaf groups with CCI Mini-Mags at 50 yards. This year at SHOT Show, Ruger is building off that success with the American Rimfire Long-Range Target. It’s the same affordable, accurate action and trigger but with a pic-rail and heavy threaded barrel minus the iron sights. It sits in a very nice adjustable synthetic stock with bedding rail—a design of which calls to mind the famous USMC A4. Aimed squarely at NRL22 base class, it will likely retail for less than $500, and if it’s as accurate as my old man’s original American rimfire, it’ll perform well enough to win. $600; ruger.com

TacSol Owyhee Takedown

TacSol Owyhee Takedown
This take-down bolt action .22 from TacSol is suppressor-ready and built for the backcountry.TacSol

Meet the Owyhee. It’s named for a mountain range in Idaho and made for a mountain range near you. This is a backpacker’s .22 LR and among the most innovative takedown rifles I’ve seen. The design centers on Magpul’s excellent X-22 Backpacker stock, created for the first 10/22 takedown. With this rifle, TacSol takes it up a notch with a striker-fired bolt-action that accepts 10/22 magazines. Why bolt action? When you run a suppressor and subsonic ammo through a bolt action, the report is virtually silent. When suppressing a regular 10/22 takedown, that slam of the bolt blowing back and forth is more than noticeable. TacSol has a reputation for innovative designs and accurate barrels. Now you can have both in one clean, backpack-ready package. $1,065; tacticalsol.com

Ultimatum Precision Deuce

Ultimatum Precision Deuce
The Ultimatum Precision Deuce is set to be a serious contender in NRL22 open class matches. Ultimatum

What Remington 700 footprint .22 LR action will win over shooters, and open-class NRL22? British Columbia builder Ultimatum Precision is betting on a pair of 2s with the Deuce, their slick new contender in the rapidly expanding world of custom rimfire bolt actions. The Deuce is a three-lug design, with a 60-degree bolt throw, integrated recoil lug, and it takes Vudoo magazines. The action will sell alone, or with an IBI Olympic match barrel—and that’s where things get interesting. The extractor is designed for an inverted cone breech. Metal in the barrel breach has been spherically removed around the chamber, so the firing pin will never strike barrel steel. The lack of extractor cuts in the barrel, plus the action’s Savage-style barrel nut means a shooter can headspace their rifle to whatever it likes best. It’s sort of like a three-way lovechild between CZ, Vudoo, and Savage. Based on the sum of shooters surrounding their booth at SHOT Show—and their vocal fans online—this could be a big winner. $1,200 action only, $1,600 with barrel; ultimatumprecision.com

New Barreled Actions and Receivers

Azimuth Technology AZTP-22

Azimuth Technology’s new AZTP-22-BZ-035 10/22 Matched Barreled Receiver
Azimuth Technology’s new AZTP-22-BZ-035 10/22 Matched Barreled Receiver.Azimuth Technology

Naples-based CNC shop Azimuth Technology has manufactured high-end billet parts for the aerospace, defense, medical, and gun industries for 30 years. Now, they’re making 10/22 components. Making their first appearance at the SHOT Show, Azimuth has a lineup of receivers, barrels, and a custom bolts, which all come together in the very nice looking AZTP-22-BZ-035 Matched Barreled Receiver. The receiver is 7075 billet—the only 7-series aluminum receiver on the market. This series retains the lightness of 6-series aluminum, but with strength and pressure tolerance that’s closer to the 1.5-times heavier stainless steel. So, you have a lightweight but remarkably stronger receiver. The barrel on this piece is 416R stainless steel in .920 diameter, button rifled, with a Bentz chamber, fluted and threaded, with an 11-degree target crown. Azimuth’s first batch of limited-release barrels didn’t set the world on fire accuracy-wise, but they tell me now that they’ve identified the hiccup in their production run, and the new crop are shooters. I’m looking forward to testing them. The top-end 10/22 market isn’t huge, so it’s encouraging to see a company with so much precision machining history jumping in the game. I have high hopes. $625; azimuthprecision22.com

Vudoo V22M Action

Vudoo’s new V22M action
Vudoo’s new V22M action is a magnum version of their excellent V22.Vudoo Gun Works

St. George, Utah-based Vudoo Gun Works set the rimfire world on fire with the V22 action—a .22 LR receiver loosely based on the venerable Remington 40x. The company’s rifles have become the go-to choice in open-class NRL22 and in the burgeoning game of ELR 22, where targets sometimes exceed 700 yards. This year at SHOT, Vudoo is showing off their second action, the V22M—where M stands for “magnum.” This 22WMR/17HMR receiver has a Remington 700 footprint, just like the original, so it’s compatible with Rem-700 stocks, triggers, barrels, and the rest. This “Gen 2” Vudoo action, as they’re calling it, has a new fire-control system with a redesigned cocking pin and crescent-shaped firing pin. The bolt shroud on this one isn’t threaded, which Vudoo says makes for better alignment between the shroud, bolt body, and bolt nose. Vudoo has built their reputation on peak .22 LR accuracy with bleeding-edge feed-control and magazine design, among other innovations. No doubt this new magnum action will do for varmint rifles what it did for match .22s—make them better. Price not yet available; vudoogunworks.com

Zermatt RimX Rimfire Action

Zermatt’s new RimX action
Zermatt’s new RimX action, built on the Remington 700 footprint, will be a hot item on the NRL22 competition circuit this year.Zermatt Arms

This time last year, there was only one bolt-action rimfire rifle action on the Remington 700 footprint that took full-sized magazines. Now there’s three, including this one from Zermatt Arms, which could be the new choice of custom rifle builders working up specialist rigs for open-class NRL22 or for rimfire benchrest matches. For the uninitiated, AJ Goddard of Bighorn Arms has long been making some of the hottest custom actions in PRS. He paired up with precision machine shop Zermatt Arms mainly to churn out more of his sought-after designs. This year at SHOT, the pair announced their first rimfire action, the RimX, and it has NRL22 nerds frothing at the mouth. Based off of the Bighorn Origin and TL3/SR3 actions, the Zermatt RimX is built to a Remington 700 footprint for easy fitment to the wide world of Rem-700 stocks, chassis, and triggers. The RimX action has a unique interchangeable bolt head system, so shooters can swap parts and use the same action for .22 LR/17hm2, .22WMR/17HMR, or 17WSM. The innovative extractor system does not require notches in the breech face, so shooters can spin on new barrels in different calibers without having to worry about timing for the extractor cuts. Proof Research, Shilen, and a few other elite barrel builders are already making tubes for this action too. RimX actions come with proprietary 7075 aluminum magazines that have a tension screw, which means they’ll likely fit in other Remington 700 footprint .22lr actions. They also include an integrated recoil lug; nitride receiver and bolt body; a DLC coated bolt head; non-protruding, integrated feed ramp; fixed extractor; 6 o’clock position firing pin (paging Bill Calfee); and integral pic rail inclined zero, 20, 30, or 40 MOA. Yes, it’s expensive, but if you’re looking for the very best in .22 LR, this might be it. $1,150; rimxaction.com