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The .22 rifle isn’t what it used to be. For a long time, your average .22 rifle was more serious than an air rifle, but not that much more serious. That’s all changed now. With the growing popularity of long-range rimfire competition and rising ammo costs leading people to shoot more training guns, the standard for an affordable rimfire rifle has been raised, and there’s perhaps no better example of what you can now get in a .22 for under $500 than the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire Rifle.

This 22 isn’t brand new (aside from a few new colors available this year), but we didn’t really get a good look at it until recently—and it’s just too good not to now. The 2020 Rimfire model comes in a Classic variant with a wood stock and a Target model with a polymer stock. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been shooting and testing the latter. Overall, it’s an extremely well-designed rimfire weapon that you can use to train, compete, or just put meat on the table. Here’s a closer look at the gun’s features and how it performed in my testing.

Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire Target Specifications

  • Caliber: 22 LR
  • Color: Black, sage green, OD green with black weave or coyote with black weave
  • Barrel: 20 inch heavy profile, 1:16 turn, thread 1/2×28
  • Share: Target-style reinforced polymer
  • Trigger: Remington 700 style adjustable trigger
  • Magazines: (1) 10-shot 10/22 style rotary
  • Weight: 7 pounds, 7 ounces
  • Overall length: 38 inches
  • Price: $434-499, depending on color

Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire Target Specifications

A close-up of the slide, trigger and grip of the Springfield Armory Model 2020 rimfire rifle.
The 2020 Rimfire Target features a rugged polymer hammer, double extractor bolt, and Remington Model 700 style trigger. Matthew Every

The 2020 Rimfire comes with everything you need to shoot except ammo and optics, and Springfield includes a high-quality soft zippered case, which is a nice touch. The first thing you’ll notice about the rifle is a very sturdy polymer stock. It’s the kind of stock that would put some polymer centerfire stocks to shame. I’ve shot with a Model 2020 Waypoint Centerfire, and the stock feels very similar. It has a slight palm curve and overall feels like a grown-up rifle.

The rifle is matte blued, which is sturdy enough for its purpose, and it has a 4140 mirror polished steel bolt. The bolt features dual extractors and runs smoothly. The entire rifle, including the trigger, is built on a Remington 700 floor plan, so you can swap out parts like the stock and trigger should you want to upgrade. An extended magazine release is standard, and the rifle accepts Ruger 10/22 style magazines, which are very easy to find. Finally, the muzzle is threaded for a suppressor or other muzzle device.

Related: The Best 22 LR Rifles of 2024

This is how we tested the Rimfire 2020

A shooter test fires the Springfield Armory Model 2020 rimfire rifle from a bench.
The author photographed the 2020 Rimfire from the bench and various field positions. Matthew Every

After giving the rifle one more check and putting a little oil on the slide, I mounted a Maven RS.1 scope. The 15x first focal plane scope may be a bit much for squirrel hunting and plinking, but I decided to use it for two reasons. First, I could adjust the parallax, which makes close shots easier and more accurate. Second, more and more smallbore competition shooters are using first focal plane scopes and adjustment turrets for competition. With sealed turrets, the RS.1 doesn’t quite fit that category, but it comes pretty darn close.

Next, I zeroed the rifle before shooting five 5-shot groups at 50 yards using five different types of ammunition. I also fired the rifle from various positions and from barricades and took it on a walk in the woods to see how it felt to carry around while hunting. During testing, I evaluated things like fit and finish, durability and reliability, and noted any jams or failures.

First impressions of the 2020 Rimfire model

In the hand, this rifle feels more like a centerfire rifle than a rimfire rifle. And that’s a good thing. For target shooting, which is obviously what this Target model is for, the extra weight is helpful. And for training purposes, it really is helpful, as it simulates shooting with a larger rifle. The RS.1 made it even heavier, though, and while it didn’t make it impossible to carry around, it did weigh me down a bit when walking in the woods. Ultimately, the weight of the rifle is just right for a target rifle or training rifle, and not too heavy for the woods, but if you’re using it primarily for hunting, you’ll want to opt for a lighter scope.

A hand holds the removed cap to the threaded muzzle of the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire.
The 2020 Rimfire’s barrel is threaded in case you want to add a suppressor. Matthew Every

Handling the rifle was extremely easy and intuitive. The magazine release works perfectly, the bolt is smooth, the safety snaps back and forth securely, and the trigger – although a little heavy – is reliable. The stock feels extremely solid even when shooting from a barricade and the flat surface on the bottom of the forend is really comfortable for shooting from a pocket. Everything about this rifle is user friendly and solid with excellent fit and finish and a lot of quality for the money.

Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire: Shooting Test Results

I used five different ammo varieties to test the 2020 Rimfire: Augila Subsonic, CCI Standard Velocity, CCI Mini Mag, American Eagle, and CCI Clean. Springfield guarantees their rifle to shoot three-shot groups of 1 inch or less at 50 yards. I took five-shot groups because that’s a more demanding accuracy test. Even with the five-shot groups, Springfield can stand behind its guarantee. My largest group measured 0.99 inches with the American Eagle ammo, while the best groups measured 0.56 inches with Aguila Subsonic and 0.59 inches with CCI Standard. I even did a 10-shot group with the Aguila where I emptied an entire magazine, and it came in at just 0.79 inches. Whether it’s ringing steel or headshots on squirrels, this rifle will get the job done.

A test shooter fires a Springfield Armory Model 2020 rimfire rifle from a barricade.
The author shoots with the 2020 Rimfire from a barricade. Matthew Every

I did have a few feeding issues with my test rifle, but that was mostly due to the ammo. Overall, the double-extractor design of the bolt and the well-made magazine work very well together. If you do experience a jam, it’s fairly easy to fix with the extended magazine release. You can also experiment with different magazines, as there are many to choose from in the 10/22 world. However, the Springfield magazine that comes with the rifle is very well made.

The Waypoint’s trigger is a little stiff, but reliable. Once I got used to it, it was very easy to shoot. I once put the rifle in the hands of an inexperienced shooter and she hit 2-inch steel plates at 50 yards almost every time. If you really have a problem with the trigger, you can upgrade it with a number of Remington 700 triggers on the market. That said, I would have no problem taking this rifle to a precision rimfire competition right out of the box.

Final Thoughts on the 2020 Rimfire Model

A Springfield Model 2020 rimfire rifle rests on a target rack at a shooting range.
The 2020 Rimfire model offers excellent value for money for plinkers, competition shooters and hunters alike. Matthew Every

Bottom line: This rifle is a hell of a deal. For under $500, you get a 22 that anyone would be proud to own. For the competitive shooter, it’s a huge value and would be a great base to build a clone of any Remington 700 centerfire rifle. Best of all, you don’t have to. This rifle is so well built from the factory that it can hold its own against a number of more expensive rifles in a competition.

For the hunter, the Target version of the 2020 Rimfire is a little heavy. But that’s OK. Springfield makes a walnut version that weighs more than a pound less and looks really good doing it. Combine that with a lightweight rimfire scope and you have a hunting rifle that you can take anywhere and that should last you a lifetime. If you have your eye on a rimfire training rifle or just want a really accurate .22 shooting gun, I highly recommend the 2020 Rimfire model.