If you want a .22 semi-automatic rifle modeled after the AR-15, the Mossberg 715T is one of the best choices available.
Shooters familiar with the Mossberg 702 Plinkster line appreciate the accuracy and reliability of Mossberg’s rival to the sleek, classic Ruger 10/22.
The Mossberg 715T, however, provides you with an impressive AR-15 style gun that goes beyond Plinkster status and into series competition for the best police training gun or high-end .22 LR varmint shooter.
Why Buy a .22 LR
A .22 rifle remains the most popular rifle used daily by shooters everywhere. Rimfire .22 ammunition outsells by number of rounds all other types by many multiples, although .9mm, from a percentage-of-revenue standpoint, controls the market.
The reason for a .22’s popularity varies. People frequently cite the low-cost of the ammunition as the primary reason people buy so much of it.
Cost certainly is one of the primary reasons, but the gun’s versatility also adds significantly as to why the weapon remains popular.
A .22 rifle is light and, with the ammunition so cost effective, you quickly can put in a lot of practice traipsing through the woods without tiring and improve your effectiveness using larger caliber hunting rifles.
For killing game, you may not be able to humanely kill larger prey, but for rabbits, squirrels, and other small game you have plenty of power.
This small-game killing power is precisely why survivalists and preppers always have .22 rifles around. Personal protection may require a larger caliber, but for feeding your family or yourself every day, a .22 makes a great way to do so.
Finally, a .22 remains the best weapon to use when teaching your child to shoot. Hunters everywhere remember their first rifles, almost inevitably a .22 given to them by their dad.
A .22 with its light recoil, make it perfect for learning how to maintain an excellent site picture, breathe properly, trigger pull, and all the other little nuances of becoming a good shot.
Shooting inexpensive .22 rounds at cans and other home-made targets all day can’t help but develop a young shooter’s firearm proficiency.
Types of actions available for .22 Rifles
You can find four types of actions available for .22 rifles:
The bolt, lever, break, and pump actions date back to the late 1800s.
The first semi-automatic .22 rifle dates back almost as long.
In 1914 Fabrique Nationale (FN) Herstal used John Browning’s patent to manufacture the first semi-automatic .22 rifle.
Fabrique Nationale exported the first FN .22 semi-automatic to the United States in 1956.
The factory in Belgium continued making what was called the SA-22 until 1973 and Browning, under license, still makes the gun.
American manufacturer Remington made a lighter version under license of substantially the same gun, the Remington Model 24, from 1919-1934.
Since the SA-22 and Remington Model 24, many other companies the world over have made and continue to make semi-automatic .22 rifles.
What to look for in a .22 Semi-Automatic
If you want a .22 rifle, there are certain key features that you want to check for before making your final decision in addition to accuracy, durability, and ease of operation.
Magazine capacity is important. Most semi-automatics carry at least 5-15. The Mossberg 715T has a 10 or 25 round magazine as standard.
Larger magazines save you time reloading whether you want to take the gun hunting or plinking at targets in the woods.
Sights are another vital feature to consider in a .22 semi-auto. Iron sights remain the most popular type of sight, especially for .22s, but having a proper scope improves accuracy immensely.
The 715T comes with a factory-installed red dot sight along with a Picatinny Quad-Rail forend so you can add whatever optical device or another accessory you might want.