The 22-250 rifle is preferred by many small game, varmint hunters. One reason is the 22-250 rifle is extremely lightweight and easy to carry. Another reason that hunters prefer the 22-250 is that it has very little recoil. If you’ve been looking for the best 22-250 rifle, then you are in the right place.
We’ve put together a list of the best 22-250 rifles available right now for 2019. After you’ve looked through all the information, we’re sure you’ll be able to find the exact 22-250 rifle that is best for you and your budget.
Here’s The Lineup
From the start, these are not sorted in preferential order. So, don’t get too tied up with where they fall in the list. Instead, these are just what we’ve found to be the best 22-250 rifles for 2019. We’ve also listed where you can find them online at the best possible prices. Basically, we did all the work so you can pick the best 22-250 rifle for you and your budget.
When we look at all the different 22-250 rifles, we tried to consider a lot of different factors. We looked at the price of the rifle, the durability of the rifle, the quality of the rifle, the weight of the rifle, the performance of the rifle, the branding of the rifle, previous history of the brand, and the innovations that are being incorporated into the rifle. And, after looking at all that, this is what we were able to narrow it down to. There are some other rifles that didn’t make this list, that will probably have their “following”, but we aren’t followers – we are leaders, and we aren’t sold to one brand. So, what you will get here is a list of the best 22-250 rifles without any type of hype – just solid information.
Best 22-250 Rifles
Starting out our list of the best 22-250 rifles is the Kimber Varmint. The Kimber Varmint is built to withstand just about anything you can throw it at. It is built STRONG and it built to perform.
This is a beautiful rifle, but it’s also more than pretty looks. The 24-inch stainless steel barrel which is mated to a blued receiver just draws your eyes to it. But, looks aren’t everything. In fact, the Kimber Varmint is one of the best 22-250 rifles we’ve tested so far.
The Kimber Varmint is extremely lightweight, weighing in at only seven pounds. Next, you have a match grade, single-stage, externally adjustable trigger for fine tuning your pulls. And if the adjustable trigger wasn’t enough, you can also adjust the rear mount for windage. Which is why the Kimber Varmint is ACCURATE! Kimber is not known for putting out “just enough”; instead, they are known for putting out high-quality hunting equipment and the Kimber Varmint is no exception.
If you want one of the best 22-250 rifles, then you really need to consider the Kimber Varmint.
- Looks Great
- Built Well
- A Little Pricey
Remington Model 700 VLS
For someone looking for accuracy day-in and day-out, look no further than the Remington Model 700 VLS. The U.S. Army used some of the same technology that the Remington 700 VLS uses in their M24 weapons.
The VLS in the name stands for Varmint Laminated Stock. The VLS looks great but performs even better. The barrel checks in at 26 inches, which lends to the accuracy the 700 VLS is known for. Additionally, it has a fully adjustable trigger for even better pulls/accuracy. These are so accurate, Remington touts that on their brand website.
Out of the box, the Remington Model 700 VLS will shoot more accurate than most “sighted-in” guns. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find another gun that’s more on target out of the box than the 700 VLS. For a beginner, this would be the absolute perfect gift for them. And for the experienced, they’ll love the fact that they done have to do much to get it just like they like it.
The Remington Model 700 VLS could very well be the best 22-250 rifle on the market today.
- Accurate Out Of The Box
- Great Value
- Easy To Use
- Perfect For Beginners
- Some View Remington As Too “Basic”
Ruger Hawkeye Varmint Target
Ruger has proven themselves to be at the top of their game, and the gun market, for good reason. They’ve built some of the finest guns for personal defense and hunting, period. So, it doesn’t surprise us that they have two guns, built on the same platform (M77), that make the cut.
The Ruger Hawkeye Varmint Target is an upgrade of its older predecessor. With an upgraded barrel, which is 24 inches in length, an easy-to-grip bolt, and a 3-way lever safety, it’s ready for those varmints. But what sets this apart is the trigger and stock features of the M77 platform. At this price point, you’ll be hard pressed to find another 22-250 rifle that will perform as accurately as this Hawkeye Varmint Target.
Unfortunately, this rifle does check in with a weight of ten pounds, which is fairly heavy for a varmint rifle. On long treks, you’ll probably find yourself wishing you had a lighter rifle. But, Ruger does make up for it with a great grip and well-balanced rifle. Ultimately, the Ruger Hawkeye Varmint Target is ready to make mincemeat of those “rascally” varmints.
- Built To Last
- Considered Heavy
Ruger M77 Mark II Target
Again, Ruger is well known for great rifles, at great prices, with a durability that is unmatched by other competitors, especially at the prices that they sell them for. So, the fact that the Ruger M77 Mark II Target also made the list (along with the Ruger Hawkeye Varmint Target) doesn’t surprise us.
The M77 Mark II Target is one of the most balanced 22-250 rifles on the market today. It may not win the award for most accurate, or the award for the pretties, or the award for being the most expensive, but it will please any varmint hunter. It still weighs in at 9 pounds and 6 ounces, which is kind of hefty (not as hefty as the Ruger Hawkeye Varmint Target).
But, this gone wasn’t designed to win awards, it was designed to kill varmints, and it works no matter what. In fact, that is what make this one of the most desired 22-250 rifles on the market. Not to mention, it’s built like a freakin’ tank! It’s designed to take abuse like nothing else, and it’ll surely end up in your family hand-me-downs/heirlooms.
The Ruger M77 Mark II Target is a great gun, at a great price, with enough heft to weigh you down at times but last forever, and it works just as good as some of the more expensive rifles too.
- Well Balanced
- Great In All Scenarios
- Fairly Hefty
- Might Be Expensive For Some
Savage Arms Model 12BTCSS
Here’s another brand that managed to sneak two models into the best 22-250 rifles of 2019. Savage has proven to be one of the most accurate rifles on the market today, and they always manage to incorporate several innovations other rifles don’t.
The Savage Arms Model 12BTCSS is built using a laminated wood thumbhole stock and a vented, free-floating forearm. Additionally, they included a stainless-steel receiver and heaved contoured 26-inch barrel. The wrap it up with their Accutrigger system which is unmatched by any other rifle on the market. The Accutrigger system, in brief, allows for easy adjustments by the shooter, with a light, clean trigger pull without any creep. And, if the gun is dropped or jarred suddenly, it will not accidentally discharge.
If what you want is a rifle that never fails, has unmatched accuracy for the price, and almost guarantees that you hit your target every time, then the Savage Arms Model 12BTCSS is the rifle for you. Out of the box, there’s almost no comparison. Savage builds some of the most accurate rifles on the market, which is why they have two on this list.
- Extremely Accurate
- Well Balanced
- Fairly Inexpensive
- 10lb Weight
Savage Axis XP Camo Series
So, the camouflage actually deters us a bit, but that’s all that stops up on this rifle. The Savage Axis XP Camo Series is a great gun for anyone, but especially a newbie looking to get their first kill.
The Savage Axis XP Camo Series comes wrapped in a Camo pattern, which is kind of gimmicky, but still doesn’t look that bad. But, what’s really nice about this rifle is the fact that it weighs in at ONLY 6.5 pounds. This is one easy to carry gun!
Some users have claimed that this isn’t near as accurate as the Savage Arms Model 12BTCSS, and they would be right. But, it wasn’t built for that. It was built to be a great budget rifle that can still kill (and it will). The barrel is 22 inches and built out of carbon steel. It comes with a Weaver 3-9x400mm scope so you can get a nice, clean, sight image of your target.
It’s very strong and durable, using a synthetic stock instead of the heaver wood stocks of other rifles. If you need to put a sling on it, it comes pre-built with swivel studs and a very thick recoil pad to reduce that nasty recoil. Again, this is great for someone looking to get started in varmint hunting.
If you are looking for an affordable rifle with good quality and enough features to be worth it, then the Savage Axis XP Camo is perfect for you. If you are an experienced hunter, you might want to look to another rifle on this list.
- 6.5 Pounds
- Fairly Inexpensive
- Not As Accurate As Some Other Rifles
Weatherby Vanguard Sporter
And, wrapping it all up is the Weatherby Vanguard Sporter. Weatherby has proven themselves as one of the highest quality rifle manufacturers, period. And the Vanguard Sporter continues in that tradition from Weatherby.
The rifle has a 24-inch, contoured, heavy barrel for superior accuracy. The trigger takes it a step further by being a match grade, two-stage trigger system. And, you can mount a scope on this if you would like. And if that wasn’t enough, Weatherby guarantees the accuracy of their gun so much that they claim it will shoot sub-minute of angle groups (as long as you use Weatherby ammunition).
But, accuracy is only one aspect of this gun. This has to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing guns we’ve ever seen. The stock is Turkish Walnut Monte Carlo and the forend cap is a diamond checkering pattern that is gorgeous. There aren’t many guns that will look as good as this one – in the rack or on the trail.
Ultimately, if you want one of the best 22-250 rifles on the market, you have to give Weatherby a look. Of course, Ruger and Savage both have great competing rifles, so your choice might come down to look, weight, and price. Even then, it would be hard to walk away from the Weatherby Vanguard Sporter.
What To Look For When Buying A Rifle
When considering a new 22-250 rifles, there are some things that you need to consider beforehand. These considerations are perfect for anyone new to 22-250 rifles. Using this small guide, you should be able to narrow down the perfect 22-250 rifle for you.
Consider The Cost
First and foremost, your budget will determine what type of 22-250 rifle you buy. If your budget is only $500, then there’s really no point in looking at a $1,500 rifle. Of course, there are good rifles, even at the $500 range, you just have to know which ones perform the best. For many, there is a myth floating around that you have to “pay more to get more”. In some cases, this simply is not true.
Some manufacturers have built the price of their brand into their name, whereas some manufacturers have decided that they want more hands on their rifles. These “budget” rifles are not cheap, but rather they are affordable. Ultimately, the brand understands that there is a line between customer satisfaction and profit and they err on the side of customer satisfaction.
Don’t get suckered in to believing the myth that you have to “pay more to get more”. Instead, just know which guns are worth your hard-earned money and which ones aren’t.
Consider The Durabilty
The next factor to consider is how durable a gun in. Most guns are made using steel, aluminum, plastic, and wood. Each material affects the appearance of the gun, the accuracy of the gun, the weight of the gun, and the durability of the gun.
In most instances, a gun that is made from wood stocks and/or plastic stocks, combined with a stainless-steel barrel is far more likely to last than a gun that is made using softer materials and/or cheap quality materials. Generally speaking, you can feel the difference when you hold a gun. No, the gun does not have to weight twenty pounds to be durable, but a three-pound gun might blow itself apart (probably not) within a few weeks of heavy use.
If you intend to use any rifle for more than a year, you need to consider the durability of the materials used. It’s impossible to pass along a family heirloom/gun when it falls apart all of the time.
Consider The Weight
There’s nothing worse than lugging around a heavy gun, especially when your hunt has gone the way you planned. And while it may feel good in the moment, it may be too much when hanging on your back and/or being carried on a long trek.
Sure, there is a slight credibility to the heavier the gun, the better it will last; but too much, and let’s just say it’ll end up staying in the case and/or on the rack more often than not. There’s no reason to buy a gun that is too much for you. This is not a sign that you are weak, but rather a sign that you know what you want, and you won’t sacrifice. There will always be a gun that will perform just as well as a heavier gun. And, there will always be a gun that will last as long, if not longer, as a heavier gun.
Don’t get fixated on a heavy gun because of myths that don’t have any truth to them whatsoever.
Consider The Performance
And finally, you have to consider the performance of the rifle. This is much more than just how well it shoots, but ultimately, shooting in the point. So, find a gun that is accurate first and foremost. Then, find a gun that you can hold comfortably. Each person is different; we are taller/shorter, lighter/heavier, prettier/uglier (ha), and so on. So, find a rifle that fits YOU. Just because your buddy who is 6’2”, tipping the scales at 250lbs, and powerlifts can tote around a 15lb rifle doesn’t mean you can. You don’t have to have the same gun to get the same performance.
Again, durability matters on this part. Don’t buy a gun that feels too light or cheaply put together. You’ll end up paying so much later that you would have been better off buying a more expensive gun to begin with. Remember, there is a balance between a “budget buy” and a “budget killer”; don’t be the guy that gets suckered in with pretty advertising and claims that are almost impossible to back up. A great performing gun will make those long hunts worth it all.
Finding the best 22-250 rifle is not hard, but you have to know what to look for. Using the guide above, you should always focus on these four things:
If you justify all of your 22-250 rifle purchases based on these four criteriums, you’ll always end up with a great gun. And, we’ve considered all of these criteriums for you, which is how we came up with this list of the best 22-250 rifles for 2019.
So, there you have it. We’ve given you seven 22-250 rifles that we know are sure to leave you happy. Some are great “budget” buys whereas some are close to the “budget killers” that we discussed in the buyers guide section. But, what we do know is that all of these will fall into a safe budget, last for a long time, be easy to carry on most hunts, and perform as expected every time you go out.
You will enjoy every hunt, even when you don’t bag one. After reading through all of this, this only question we have for now is … which 22-250 rifle are you interested in?