Best Rimfire Rifle for the Money?

By Atticus James
Posted in #Guns
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Best Rimfire Rifle for the Money?

December 4th, 2023

6 minute read

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.

best rimfire rifle for the money bolt action 22lr takedown best lever centerfire waypoint 2020
Is the Springfield Armory Model 2020 the best rimfire rifle for the money today? That’s what the author investigates.

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.

Affordable and Accurate Alternative

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.

best 22lr bolt action rifle springfield armory 20 inch threaded barrel bipod hunting target shooting
Lightweight and reliable, the Waypoint 2020 in .22 LR is an excellent partner when heading into the field.

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.

Shooting the Model 2020 Suppressed

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.

author owned springfield waypoint model 2020 rimfire rifle in tripod mount rimfire sound suppressor in field for testing
Shown above is the author’s Springfield Model 2020 Rimfire rifle fitted with a Crimson Trace scope and a Resilient Suppressor.

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.

Model 2020 Rimfire Specifications

Let’s take a quick look at the specs.

Caliber.22 LR
ActionBolt Action 
ColorBlack or Sage w/ Black Webbing
Barrel20″ Heavy Profile, Straight Taper Contour, 1:16, Matte Blued, Threaded 1/2×28
ReceiverModel 2020 Rimfire, Round 1.14″ Diameter, Matte Blued
Optic MountingInterrupted Picatinny Mount, 8-40 Screws
Bolt4140 Steel, High Polish White Chrome Coating 
StockTarget, Reinforced Polymer Synthetic Stock
TriggerAdjustable Remington 700 Style Trigger Group w/ Hanger System for Compatibility
Muzzle DeviceThread Protector
Magazines(1) 10-Round SA Rotary (10/22 style)
Weight7 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. 

crimson trace rifle scope mount rimfire rifle 22 caliber shooting range test evaluation assessment rating appraisal analysis
The Crimson Trace 1-10x variable power scope is good for close ranges and offers the ability to reach out to moderate ranges with good accuracy.

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.

Range Testing the Springfield Rimfire 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. 

magazine well springfield armory 22 bolt action rifle synthetic stock mag release trigger guard
The magazine well on the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire is easy to access and use during target practice and while hunting.

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.

threaded muzzle of 22 lr gun firearm rifle springfield armory waypoint model 2020 best gun
On the Target models, Springfield Armory uses threaded barrels so the shooter can easily add a sound suppressor to protect his or her hearing.

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.

Choose the Best Rimfire Rifle

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. 

Editor’s Note: Please be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in and discuss this article and much more!

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Product prices mentioned in articles and videos are current as of the date of publication.

Atticus James

Atticus James

Atticus James has been involved in the firearm world for nearly 20 years.  He enjoyed firearms while a member of the Boy Scouts, with his family and friends, and then joined the firearm industry in 2011 by becoming a full-time blogger/YouTuber.  You can find his articles at and his videos @gearsofguns on YouTube.

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