Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! In this weekly series we discuss, explore, and review various firearms, ammunition, and trends within the rimfire firearm world. This week we’re going to take a gaze into the past and look up 5 of the best rimfire firearms of 2020. These will be the top 5 rimfire firearms that I remember from 2020 but to be honest, there were many more that could have made it to this list.
1. Volquartsen Summit Rifle – .17 Mach 2
Way back at the beginning of 2020, Volquartsen arrived to SHOT Show with a fresh new offering in a largely underrepresented caliber. The Summit Rifle was made available last year in .17 Mach 2 and in a straight pull configuration. Since the rifle is not a semi-auto, it is legal in more states than a semi-auto would normally be allowed in. Additionally, the .17 Mach 2 cartridge shoots nice and flat and has enough range and velocity behind it to make use of the 20 MOA Picatinny rail integrated into the receiver.
The Summit rifle I think was one of the best rimfire firearms of 2020 not just because it comes from a company that puts effort into its aesthetics but also because it perfectly combined form with function in a way that few companies do these days. Straight pull technology has been around for a long time and so few rifles use it that I think it’s a shame, especially considering there are many shooters in states that rely on firearms that aren’t semi-auto.
2. Patriot Ordnance Factory Rebel .22 Pistol – .22LR
About halfway through the year, we were treated to the release of the Patriot Ordnance Factory Rebel .22. The Rebel I think was one of the best .22LR pistols to come out that year because of the number of unique features it held over other semi-auto pistols that were already on the market at the time. The Rebel featured a monolithic upper, 1/2×28 threaded 8″ barrel, tactical pistol blade, and was also compatible with the widely available Ruger 10/22 magazines.
The Rebel was very lightweight compared to other AR pistol patterned 22s since it featured an injection-molded lower instead of a standard aluminum one. That combined with its fairly competitive price when compared with other AR pistol options made it a hot item. Better yet, the Rebel was made available to people in ban states like California and Colorado since it was considered a featureless rifle.
3. CMMG Banshee 300 MK4 – .22LR
The CMMG Banshee has always been a popular pistol ever since its introduction. Even though the Banshee already existed in a .22LR format earlier in the year, on the tail end of 2020 we were given the 300 series MK4 which featured an end cap making it the shortest .22LR banshee in existence.
Where this really helped out is in the area of controversy surrounding pistol braces or buffer extensions/tubes which were and still are under heavy scrutiny by a particular government agency. The 300 series MK4 banshee removed all doubt by adding a QD end cap and offering the pistol in several hot Cerakote colors to suit your tastes. From the end cap to the muzzle the .22LR QD Banshee measures in at just under 15-inches and weighs just 3 lbs 9 oz unloaded.
4. Vudoo Gun Works Single Shot Target – .22LR
While this was a controversial release for many, I feel like the Vudoo Gun Works Single Shot Target offered the United States Precision Rimfire scene a unique and competitive offering compared to other options that were available before Vudoo released it.
If you can get past the fact that you can’t afford it because you drink and smoke your money away, you can easily see that the concept of a short action Remmington 700 footprint gun has a lot of potential and that is putting aside the fact that the gun comes with the venerated V-22S action which is both smooth and accurate. Is the gun up everyone’s alley? No, but it sure as hell does a great job within its specific niche.
5. Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Pistol – .22LR
Last on our list is another pistol that was released mid-December 2020 as an early Christmas gift from Smith & Wesson to the gun community. I considered the release to be quite ballsy considering all the drama surrounding pistol braces at the time and since they went through with the release during an uncertain time I have to admire and respect that.
The M&P 15-22 pistol wasn’t exactly “new” but it was previously released without an arm brace and it was eventually discontinued. The shame here is that I wanted one when they first introduced it even without the brace but I wasn’t able to get my hands on one. Now that it’s been re-released, I think it will stick around for a while and give all of us who didn’t get a shot at it the first time around to finally have some of that 8″ .22LR goodness.
That’s it for my top 5 rimfires for 2020. I know most of them are .22LR but to be quite frank, not much happened in 2020 with many other rimfire calibers, and like I said in my hopes for 2021, I really hope someone does something this year with other rimfire calibers like .17WSM and 17HMR. So what were your best rimfire firearms that were released in 2020? We appreciate your comments down below and as always thanks for stopping by to read The Rimfire Report!