A good quality, .22 caliber bolt-action rifle, such as the Zastava MP22, is among the best firearms available for all shooters and those who love the outdoors. It is suitable for training, recreational shooting, small game hunting, and general outdoors duty. The .22 caliber rifle is easy to use well, and practice is cheap. There is no harsh recoil to intimidate young shooters.
Most .22 caliber rifles demand very little maintenance. Occasional shooters, and those who have little time for training and maintenance, will appreciate the manually operated repeater. The Zastava rifle illustrated is a quality rifle with good features. Zastava is a European maker of many types of firearms including Tokarev and AK-47 variants. The rifle is well made with excellent final fit and finish. The stock is nicely finished with machine checkering to aid in abrasion.
The rifle is similar in finish to the Howa line, which is very good. The rifle uses a detachable box magazine. The bolt is smooth enough, and the rifle cocks on closing. The rifle is well balanced with a pleasant heft. This balance and heft results in very little motion as the rifle fires.
While recoil and .22 LR do not fit together in the same sentence, there is some motion when the rifle fires. The trigger action isn’t adjustable, and just OK at about four pounds. However, it is a good trigger for beginners and by the same token those who know how to master a trigger will be able to exhibit good work with this trigger. It could be dangerous to perform a trigger job as most .22 rifles have only a hard outer coating on the trigger and sear. If this is removed, the metal is rather soft.
The trigger is best managed by carefully pressing the trigger to a point, and then, continuing the press smoothly. The sights are well designed. The rear sight may be folded down if needed. The aiming point is a square notch and the sights offer adjustment for elevation. The front sight is a shrouded bold post.
The rifle isn’t difficult to mount a scope, but I have left the Zastava as issued and probably will continue to do so. The sights set up well and offer excellent accuracy potential. As far as accuracy goes, the rifle is a tack driver or match lighter to 25 yards or so. I mean this in the literal sense. The rifle will be spot on for those who practice and understand sight picture and trigger press.
A five-round magazine is supplied with the rifle. The pushbutton magazine release works better than the usual toggle release. I like this set up better than the Ruger 10/22 in general, and it seems rugged enough for long-term reliability. The rifle has been used often when I need to maintain minimum noise, there is a need for a single-shot rifle for training, when training the next step up from the single shot, and when expense is an important consideration in training numbers of students.
|.22 Long Rifle
As for absolute accuracy, the rifle has been fired at 50 yards to test its potential. Using Federal .22 Long Rifle, CCI Standard Velocity, and the CCI Velocitor, results have been good to excellent. The Velocitor would be the first choice as a hunting load. The CCI Standard Velocity loading cut the smallest groups. The best groups have been less than two inches with a single group of 1.25 inches. The rifle may be counted on for two inches at 50 yards from a solid bench rest firing position in the hands of a marksman. The Zastava rifle is well worth its modest price.
Do you own or have you fired the Zastava MP22? What is your favorite rifle for plinking or small game. Share your answers in the comment section.
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