Springfield’s 2020 Rimfire Rifles

Springfield's 2020 Rimfire Rifles: Accuracy & Quality, Budget & Heirloom

Estimated reading time: 16 minutes

Every shooter deserves a great bolt-action .22. I have several classic 1960s bolt actions in my safe and they are shot more than all my other rifles combined. That’s why Springfield’s new 2020 Rimfire rifles are intriguing. They fill the void left since (what seems like) the 1960s for a quality bolt-action .22 that brings out the best in your shooting skills. They are accurate, high quality, and available on a budget or with a heirloom-quality walnut stock.

Let me introduce you to the 2020 Rimfire and you’ll understand why I think you deserve to have this heirloom-quality rifle in your quiver.

Springfield's 2020 Rimfire Rifles: Accuracy & Quality, Budget & Heirloom
The 2020 Rimfire Rifles come with 5 stock options, including this sage-colored synthetic stock.

2020 Rimfire

At a glance, the 2020 Rimfire comes with either a synthetic stock or a walnut stock with a satin finish. Its bolt-action receiver melds into a 20″ barrel with a Picatinny rail. The rotary magazine is a standout feature, and it includes a generously sized carry bag.

Looking closer, though, the features are surprising. I’ll start with the barrel and work back through the firearm.

Springfield rimfire with Ruger rotary mags
This rifle uses flush-fitting Ruger 10/22-style rotary mags

20″ Matte-Blued Barrel

I was surprised to read that the barrel is 20 inches long because it handles like a shorter gun. I have the Classic model, which is fitted with a walnut stock, and it balances so well that I thought the barrel must be more like 18″. Many rimfires with longer barrels are forward-heavy, which makes it hard for youths to hold them. But my daughter easily shot this gun handheld.

Woman shooting Springfield's 2020 Rimfire Rifle
The 20″ barrel is well balanced with the stock; even my young daughter could shoulder and shoot without bending backward to balance it.

The Classic model has a #1 sporter-contoured barrel, while the 2020 Rimfire Target model has a straight heavy barrel. Both are chrome steel and button rifled. The barrel has 6 grooves with a 1:16″ right-hand twist. It’s also free-floated in the stock and has a matte-blued finish.

The Target model comes with a 1/2″-28 threaded barrel. One improvement I’d like to see is a threaded barrel on the Classic model.

Springfield's 2020 Rimfire Rifle with optic
The bolt is plated with white chrome for smoothness and easy cleaning.

Chromed Bolt-Action

The bolt is the perfect upgrade to the rimfire rifles of the last century. It’s crafted from 4140 steel and coated with high-polished white chrome. The chrome is terrific because fouling practically falls off it and it is highly corrosion-resistant.

Its chrome plating makes it slide smoothly in the matte-blued receiver, and the bolt’s tailend is also matte-blued. The bolt release button is in the expected place, on the rear left, and is low-profile. The bolt handle tapers with a ball on the end and has a short 60° throw. The ball looks great with the Classic, but it can also be unscrewed and upgraded. It comes standard with an “interrupted” Picatinny rail over the action. The rail is cut away above the receiver to allow shells to eject freely.

Springfield's 2020 Rimfire Rifle with warm light shining on wood
The bolt release button is found in the customary place on the left side.

Currently, the 2020 Rimfire is only available with right-handed actions, though the interrupted pic rail is cut away on both the left and right sides. Maybe we’ll see a left-handed option in the near future.

An “interrupted” Picatinny rail is included with the 2020 Rimfire, and it’s cutaway on both the right and left sides.

Mine is fit with Talley scope rings, and Springfield offers very low-profile Picatinny-compatible rings on the 2020 Rimfire webpage, as well.

Springfield's 2020 Rimfire Rifle with Leupold optic
Talley makes compatible low-profile scope rings.

2020 Rimfire Rifle: Modern Safety

A two-position cross-bolt safety switch is situated on the bolt’s right side, and is “push-to-fire”. Unlike many .22 rifles, this safety switch makes the 2020 Rimfire a good trainer for center-fire rifles which mostly have this style of safety. When the safety is engaged, you see a white dot, or a red dot when the safety is disengaged.

As with many modern centerfire rifles, the action can be opened with the safety engaged to empty the chamber more safely.

Springfield's 2020 Rimfire Rifle two-position bolt safety
The two-position crossbolt safety can be engaged even when opening the bolt.

10/22-style Rotary Magazine

Unlike all the bolt-action .22s I’ve owned and fired, the 2020 Rimfire works from a rotary magazine that is flush with the stock’s base. It holds ten rounds and is cross-compatible with Ruger 10/22 mags. This is a really cool design choice. My other classic .22s use stick magazines that hang down from the receiver and are easily snagged, or they have a tube magazine that is slow to reload.

Cross-compatible with the Ruger 10/22, these 10-round mags offer fast reloads.

Also, flush with the stock and receiver, the magazine release is just in front of the trigger guard. There is no chance of pressing it mistakenly, and the mag drops away smoothly when it’s time to reload.

The included Springfield-brand rotary mag works flawlessly. I found that Ruger-brand 10/22 mags work fine in the 2020 Rimfire, though your mileage may vary with other brands. I have a 25-round 10/22 Pro-Mag that fits but only cycles if I push it forward as I work the action. Winchester also uses 10/22 mags in their bolt-action Xpert .22 and Wildcat semi-auto .22. I tried using the Wildcat mags in the 2020 Rimfire, and they fit and cycled fine, but they are difficult to remove from the 2020.

Remington 700-style Trigger

A single-stage and adjustable trigger is a fine feature for any bolt-action gun, and mine is crisp, and releases reliably at just over 4 lbs out of the box. It can be set as low as 3lbs, however, and up to about 7lbs. For my hunting and plinking, it’s really a good trigger.

Close up of the trigger on the 2020 Rimfire Rifle with a walnut stock.
The trigger is adjustable and compatible with Remington 700 after-market triggers.

What’s more, it’s styled after the Remington 700 with the same hanger system. That means you can drop in any of the myriad after-market triggers for the 700. Coupled with the target model’s free-floated bull barrel, this trigger system could make a formidable setup for long-range rimfire shooting.

Remington Triggers and Ruger Mags? Is anything original here?

The bolt seems original, but it’s probably a derivative of something else, too. And that’s great! Why reinvent the wheel? And the option to use an excellent trigger from another manufacturer is awesome. There are so many Ruger 10/22 mags out there, why should this rifle use anything else? This rifle’s universal compatibility, like AR-15s, is its greatest feature.

Stock Options For the 2020 Rimfire Rifle

Above, I said the 2020 Rimfire comes with a synthetic stock or a walnut stock, but that was a gross simplification. The Target model is styled after Springfield’s Model 2020 Waypoint rifle and comes with a reinforced polymer stock with a vertical grip and tall comb in your choice of black or speckled sage. Remember, it has a free-floated bull barrel and includes sling studs fore and aft with a thin rubber butt pad. The black version starts at just $434 with the Sage ringing up at $499 (though I bet both will be less on the street).

The most basic version includes this well-appointed black synthetic stock.

The 2020 Rimfire Classic sports a variety of Turkish Walnut stocks. They all have a satin finish, but you get to choose the grade of walnut used to make your gun. This is another feature of the last century that we rarely see from an American manufacturer these days. You may have chosen the grade of wood for your fancy Italian over-under shotgun, and now you can match it with your .22 LR bolt-action rifle.

Each walnut stock has a satin finish. This one appears to be the basic Select wood.

Grades include Select, Grade A, Grade AA, and Grade AAA, starting at $640 and topping out at $1099 MSRP. My old bolt guns from the 60’s fit firmly in the Select class. The unit I’ve been shooting appears to be Grade AAA and features beautifully figured contrasting grain structure — much like I see on high-end shotguns.

This is the highly figured AAA-grade Turkish walnut stock.

Checkering on the pistol grip and fore-end truly enhances the gripability. It’s the style that feels soft under your palm rather than abrasive like that on many cheaper American guns. Springfield manufactures this rifle in Turkey.

Profile of the butt stock with highly figured walnut wood grain.
The highly figured AAA stock in real life. The butt pad is comfortably sticky.

The rubber butt pad is appropriately thin. The Classic weighs 6lbs 3oz plus optics (7lbs 7oz for the Target), so there isn’t much recoil from shooting .22 long rifle cartridges. The pad serves well, though, to keep the gun in place on your shoulder.

Checkering on forend of Springfield's 2020 Rimfire Rifle
It’s got checkering on the forend and under the palm.


Springfield offers “a rock-solid 1″ accuracy guarantee — for a three-shot group at 50 yards with quality match-grade factory ammunition, in the hands of a skilled shooter.” For me, the 2020 Rimfire didn’t disappoint. I favor CCI Mini-Mag ammo and out of the box the rifle performed better than 1″ at 50 yards. Mine came mounted with a Leupold VX Freedom 3-9×40 scope in Talley rings and it was on target out of the box.

Springfield's 2020 Rimfire Rifle on the range
This gun was on-target out of the box with a Leupold scope. Here it is on the Vortex Switchback tripod.

More impressive to me than the 1″-at-50-yards-guarantee is its headshot-only performance on tiny pine squirrels. I’ve hunted with this rifle several times for birds, bunnies, and squirrels, and it makes bulls-eyes every time (thus preserving the most meat on a tiny critter).

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Springfield's 2020 Rimfire Rifle on grass with bird
The checkering and balance add to this rifle’s precision, allowing me to make off-hand shots on roughed grouse far off in the woods.
Springfield's 2020 Rimfire Rifle on ground with squirrel
Headshots on pine squirrels are better than holes in paper, and this gun delivered every time.

And again, the balance is great for walking through the woods. It sits well with the receiver in my hand and it balances and swings so well I thought for sure it was shorter than the listed 20″. That balance was clutch for off-hand headshots to the tops of fir trees from the meadows below.

Shooter with gun and dog
We brought home a lot of squirrels with this rifle.

Also, I carried it in the rain more often than not. The walnut stock remains in perfect condition and I dried the metal components with a rag and wiped it all with oil. The blueing remains flawless without showing any rust. I love the quick-release bolt for cleaning and drying, too.

Springfield's 2020 Rimfire Rifle in warm light with closeup on matte-blued finish
Besides the chromed bolt, all the hardware sports a matte-blued finish.

Overall, I like this rifle a whole lot and it just goes to show that performance isn’t the only thing that makes a gun great. I love hunting with it, and I love watching my kids shoot it. They know it’s new, which makes it better in their minds than my old ’60s guns, but they also get to see the classic styling and fine wood and learn more about what makes a great gun.

roughed grouse closeup
This is a crazy closeup of the roughed grouse above. Maybe proof that birds are dinosaurs?

What Could Be Better?

First thing, right out of the box, I was disappointed that the barrel on the classic model isn’t threaded for a suppressor. I’m hard-pressed to buy a non-suppressable gun these days. Still, the 20″ barrel puts the report from standard .22 ammo far enough away that my ears don’t feel any effect…but maybe that speaks more about my hearing damage than the characteristics of the gun.

The 2020 Rimfire rifles each come with a spacious soft case with interior pockets for mags and ammo.

I’d also like to see QD sling studs — especially on the Target model. I like that QD mounts are flush with the stock of the gun and that they are easier to use. I also like the sling options with QD mounts. These would put this gun firmly in the 21st century.

profile view of the left side of the entire rifle with a scope. It is sitting atop a red pole with a grassy hillside behind.
The Classic model does not include iron sights, but it deserves a scope anyway.

I’m on the fence about the lack of iron sites on the Classic model. Using a scope for hunting is optimal, but on long walks, I miss the iron sites on my ’60s guns. But, including the pic rail is a huge plus, and I definitely love shooting it with optics, so I really can’t complain. Plus, a scope looks good and balances the wider body around the rotary magazine.

Who Is The 2020 Rimfire For?

I love that I can get this gun with a terrific trigger, free-floated barrel, and excellent action anywhere from $434 to $1099. That makes it less costly than comparable CZ rimfire rifles that don’t even come with a Picatinny rail, let alone drop-in triggers and rotary mags. So it’s really ideal for anyone who needs an adult-level .22 rifle. Semi-autos are fine, but if you’re serious about shooting and hunting, this rifle will perform better out-of-the-box than semi-autos which may be less costly but require upgrades to perform.

Checker pattern on palm swell of Springfield's 2020 Rimfire Rifle
Checkering under the palm swell. Since you can change the scope bases, it’d be a great option for long-range shooting.

With a 13.45-inch length of pull, it’d be a great lifetime gun for a maturing youth. My 12-year-old handles it well, but my 7-year-old needs a couple of years, and it fits me comfortably, too. I expect my grandkids to be looking for these at estate sales and pawn shops like I do with the ’60s guns now.

It’d also be a good gun for a long-range shooter. It’s got the features and the stock with room to grow in trigger upgrades and optics. Using the same tools on your rimfire that you use on your centerfire makes sense to me — especially if you’re using Springfield’s Model 2020 Waypoint as your centerfire.

Everyone Should Own A Good .22

This may be the right rimfire for you. Its exceptional trigger, compatibility, and out-of-the-box accuracy are hard to beat. Springfield’s 2020 Rimfire“>Springfield’s 2020 Rimfire could be the gun you shoot for a lifetime and pass on to a young shooter afterward. It’s certainly built to be used and to endure.

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  • Neil J April 14, 2024, 4:11 pm

    Great rifles, I own one. Just a shame what the YouTube ninjas are reporting.

  • Beckaroo April 8, 2024, 11:13 am

    It’s a rebranded Turkish made rifle with a made in America price attached to it that according to other testers has unacceptable accuracy issues. These are a hard pass for me.

  • CPL_HARDCORPS April 8, 2024, 8:41 am

    Great article, Levi, and I agree with your assessment. Since the sixties, though, there have been a few options for quality bolt action rimfires. Marlin and Savage have covered the affordable end of the spectrum, while Ruger’s 77/22 and CZ 457 series filled the mid-to-upper tier. At the top were Kimber’s and Cooper’s offerings.

    Most are now out of production, making Springfield’s offerings most welcome. There is just one glaring deficiency: sights. Rimfires should have sights, period. Nothing against optics, but a rifle with open sights is a complete tool. Once sighted in, it is usable without having to add another, separate piece of equipment. Springfield, if you’re listening, please, PLEASE offer sights on these rimfires!

  • Tyler April 8, 2024, 7:46 am

    I was excited when this was announced. I have a Ruger 77/22 in 22lr, and with the value of those continuing to creep up, I was considering retiring it and replacing with one of these.
    I finally laid hands on one a few months ago. From across the counter, it looked GOOD. In hands, I rolled it over and on the left side, plain as day, the words “MADE IN TURKEY” jumped out at me. I promptly handed it back to the shop employee. Won’t buy one. End of story.
    SAI used to be a fantastic arms manufacturer. Nowadays they are prettymuch just an importer. I do appreciate their affordable (in this context) M14 clones, but just about the only part they don’t outsource or import is the receiver.
    Their 1911’s are no longer a practical choice, given the imports that are built using the same manufacturing methods and materials, and for less money.
    The hellion is imported.
    The entire XD lineup is imported.
    The Echelon is imported.
    What was once one of the largest firearms manufacturers in the US is now not much more than CAI in a tuxedo. Sad.

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