The Best Takedown Rimfire Rifles

Gear We Use
The Best Takedown Rimfire Rifles
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Takedown rifles are seriously underrated. A small, versatile rifle on hand at all times, whether you’re in the backcountry or scouting from your truck, is perfect for an opportunistic hunt on a rabbit, grouse, or squirrel. But picking the perfect rifle out of all the options can be overwhelming. This article breaks down the best rimfire takedowns available, and the situations they’re best suited to.

Why Purchase a Takedown Rifle?

Takedown rifles allow the user to detach the barrel from the stock for transport and then reattach it when it needs to be used, usually without having to use any tools. At their best, takedown rimfire rifles have all the aspects of their larger counterparts, just in a smaller, more portable package.

Whether you’re hunting in the backcountry, floating down the river in a boat, or getting flown into the wilderness for weeks at a time, it’s the gun you can depend on to put food on the table while larger game eludes you. They’re equally at home slipped away under the seat of your truck, and they’re also perfect for the owner who doesn’t have a lot of space at home and wants to store their rifle safely away from children or guests.

What We Look for in a Takedown Rifle

A takedown rifle should be a gun for every person and every situation. It should be a joy to use, and ideally just as effective as its larger counterpart, within reason. Hence, when picking your perfect takedown rimfire rifle, consider the following:

  1. Size & Weight
  2. Cost
  3. Versatility
  4. Accuracy & Range

We’re looking for a rifle that’s relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and can be deployed with limited skill and time. The last thing you want is to be fumbling around, putting your gun together while the target hops away. Once assembled, it should be reliable enough to hit the target. It can be a difficult balance to strike, but here are our best picks.

Takedown Rifles We Recommend

What Makes a Good Takedown Rifle?

  1. Size & Weight

  2. If you’re going to spend the money on a takedown rifle, you might as well go for the smallest, most compact one out there. Ideally, aim for a rifle that is a pound or two lighter than a regular rimfire with a total length of less than 40 inches. Anything beyond that compromises its utility. Modified stocks can also help achieve this.

    For instance, take the Magpul X-22 Backpacker designed for the 10/22 takedown. I’ve used this stock for years, and it significantly reduces the size of the folded rifle without compromising functionality. Additionally, it has space for an additional 10-round magazine, meaning that there isn’t often the need to carry heaps of extra ammo in your pack, which saves weight and space.

  3. Cost

  4. Takedown rifles do not need to be expensive. Personally, I wouldn’t spend more than $600 for a brand-new model and significantly less for second-hand. Second-hand takedowns tend to be highly reliable, especially if they only have iron sights, so a bit of bargain hunting can really pay off. I’d recommend using sites such as GunBroker and Drury’s Guns for used rifles but do be aware of scams. For more details on purchasing a used firearm, click here.

  5. Versatility

  6. Ideally, you want a gun that can take any small game animal out there, from small gophers and squirrels to bigger jackrabbits, pheasants, and possibly even raccoons or beavers. For the most part, a .22 LR can do the job, but something bigger can really help.

    If you’re in an area where larger targets are abundant, opting for a takedown chambered in .17 HMR or .22 WMR can be helpful. Even more versatile are the combination rifles, often with a rimfire cartridge in one barrel and a .410 shotgun on the bottom. This gives the hunter the option to pursue both flushed game and stationary animals at close range.

  7. Accuracy & Range

  8. Takedown rifles aren’t going to be winning any awards for accuracy and range, but they don’t need to. As per their intended use, the longest range that you’re going to shoot at is around 50 yards, with most shots between 20 and 35 yards. Being able to shoot a one-inch group at this distance is imperative, with anything more accurate just a bonus. Playing around with different ammo and investing in a small red-dot sight can significantly improve accuracy with minimal impact on size and weight.

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