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The Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire proves that you can never have too much of a good thing. There’s no shortage of fine rimfires on the market—everything from inexpensive single-shots to nostalgic lever-actions to spendy competition rigs—but that doesn’t prevent us from making room for this fun .22 LR bolt action.
One of the primary virtues of the Springfield Model 2020 Rimfire is its simplicity. The rifle isn’t attempting to break new ground. Instead, it consists of smart components, resulting in an affordable adult-sized .22 that performs well.
Six Different Springfield 2020 Rimfires
With the launch of this new platform, Springfield Armory has rolled out six variants. Two are Target Rifles with synthetic stocks—one that’s plain black for $434 and the one I tested in Sage Green for $499. There are also four wood-stocked versions, which are differentiated by the grade of wood used. The basic Satin Walnut 2020 Rimfire costs $529. You can upgrade from there with Grade A ($690), Grade AA ($839), or Grade AAA ($1,099) walnut.
Springfield Armory Model 2020 Target Rifle Specs and Key Features
Action: Two-lug bolt
Stock: Synthetic (tested)
Barrel: 20-inch Heavy Profile, Straight Taper Contour, 1:16, Matte Blued, Threaded 1/2×28
Chambering: .22 LR
Capacity: 10+1 (using Ruger 10/22 style rotary magazine)
Weight: 7 pounds, 12 ounces (measured)
Trigger: Single-stage, user-adjustable
Trigger Pull: 4 pounds, 3 ounces (measured)
Length: 43.6 inches
The SA Model 2020 Rimfire uses rotary magazines based on the ubiquitous Ruger 10/22. Scott Einsmann
Springfield Armory Model 2020 Target Rifle Highlights
There’s a lot to like about this rifle, starting with its price tag. There are less expensive bolt-action .22s out there, but none of them offer an equivalent set of features, or quality of build, for the price. With the two base synthetic target models at $434 and $499 depending on stock color, the rifle is within reach of most shooters.
What you get for that moderate price is a high-quality bolt action system that is smooth and utterly reliable. I’ve lost count of how many hundreds of rounds we’ve put through our sample, but it hasn’t had a single failure to feed, fire, extract, or eject.
It’s also accurate. The average 5-shot group size we recorded at 50 yards was 1.071 inches, which makes this a deadly adversary for tin cans, steel targets, ground squirrels, rabbits, and gophers.
One of the smartest decisions Springfield Armory’s engineers made was to design the 2020 Rimfire to run Ruger 10/22 pattern rotary magazines, which are abundant and known for their utter reliability. That alone will likely convince many shooters who’ve already heavily invested in the 10/22 ecosystem to give this new rifle a try.
Testing the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire Target Rifle In the Field
I’ve hinted at how well this rifle shot, functioned, and handled—but let’s augment that with some more detail.
I had a rimfire spinner and dueling-tree target set up at 50 yards and did a series of drills transitioning from one to the next. The rifle’s 7 ¾-pound weight is well balanced between the hands, though with the suppressor attached it was a bit muzzle heavy.
Nonetheless the rifle glided from one target to the next during rapid fire drills. The slick action ran in a surefooted fashion. The short bolt lift and well-designed internals of the action let the shooter work the rifle without hesitation.
The fact that we had zero issues with the rifle’s function over many hundreds of rounds speaks volumes about the Model 2020 Rimfire’s quality.
The empties always launched clear in an energetic manner, especially when the bolt was run with zeal. And the bolt face never failed to strip a round from the rotary magazine’s steel feed lips during its forward journey into battery.
Swapping magazines on the go is easy too. The short release tab in front of the trigger guard is easy to engage with your trigger finger, and when you do that the magazine drops free like poop from a seagull. Reloading the rifle is just as effortless.
The 10-round rotary magazines sit flush in the stock. Scott Einsmann
Model 2020 Rimfire Action
The Model 2020 Rimfire has a two-lug bolt with a compact 60-degree throw. Unlike a traditional centerfire two-lug action, this rifle’s lugs are located at the rear of the receiver and are integrated into the bolt handle.
The rear surface of the bolt handle is one lug, and a small, raised bump on the off-side of the bolt-handle assembly is the other. When the bolt is rotated into battery the lugs bear up against surfaces machined into the receiver to lock the action tight.
Sometimes a short bolt throw can cause an action to be more difficult to run because the motion required to cock the action has to be accomplished with a shorter movement.
Springfield Armory designed this action with dual cocking surfaces, spreading that effort over two cocking ramps rather than one. The result is a smooth bolt throw.
Hard Chrome Bolt
The bolt is a hefty piece of chromed steel that is naturally slick and glides easily in the receiver no matter how grimy the action gets.
Every now and then I’d wipe the bolt down with a paper towel or bit of cloth and it came away clean as a whistle. Based on my time with this rifle to date, it requires minimal maintenance to keep running.
The bolt incorporates two extractors for enhanced reliability with feeding, cycling, and ejection. Scott Einsmann
A feature on some rimfire bolt guns is the incorporation of two extractors on the bolt face. This helps ensure that the bolt gets a solid purchase on the rim of the .22 as it moves from the magazine’s feed lips into the chamber. Likewise, it doubles the surface area gripping the rim as the brass is pulled free from the chamber. This provides an extra measure of reliability given how oily and grimy some .22 LR ammo can be.
Just before the bolt completes its rearward travel in the action, the base of the brass runs into the fixed steel ejector, which is incorporated into the trigger guard assembly. The ejector on the Model 2020 Rimfire is stout, and unless someone were to intentionally get after it with a hammer, I don’t think there’s any way it would ever break or fail.
The action is topped with a Picatinny rail that runs the full length of the action. But to provide better access to the action, the rail is narrowed above the loading port. It attaches to the receiver with four Torx head fasteners, so it can be removed and replaced with other bases if desired.
The author used the Model 2020 Rimfire as a platform to evaluate numerous scopes at this year’s optics test. Scott Einsmann
Model 2020 Rimfire Trigger
Springfield Armory equipped the 2020 Rimfire with a Remington 700 pattern user-adjustable trigger. Now, the trigger that the rifle comes with is no great shakes. Springfield says it adjusts from 4 to 5.5 pounds, which is fairly heavy but has the benefit of minimizing the odds of a negligent discharge, albeit at the cost of superior trigger control.
Springfield says they are shipping the 2020 Rimfire rifles with the trigger set at or near the lightest pull weight. That was the case with mine, which averaged 4 pounds 3 ounces. Personally, I see no reason to mess with it and go heavier, but if you wanted to there’s an adjustment screw located on the front of the trigger housing. To get to it you need to remove the action from the stock by loosening the guard screws. Rotating the adjustment screw clockwise will increase the weight of the trigger pull.
Don’t attempt to lighten the trigger below a 4-pound break weight. Springfield says that might render the rifle unsafe to operate.
If you can’t tolerate shooting a trigger that heavy you can upgrade to something like a TriggerTech Primary or Timney Elite Hunter, since the stock trigger has a Remington 700 footprint. That’ll certainly up the rifle’s overall cost, but it would address what I consider the only shortcoming of the Model 2020 Rimfire.
Action Torque Specifications
One thing to be aware of with the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfires is that although they look and behave like full-sized centerfire rifles you shouldn’t screw them together like one.
Though it varies from one make of rifle to the next, the typical torque value on a centerfire rifle’s action screws is somewhere between 50 and 65 inch-pounds, with some manufacturers calling for even heftier figures.
Springfield Armory says when reassembling a 2020 Rimfire to tighten the action screw in front of the mag well first and not to exceed 35 inch-pounds. And when torquing the rear action screw apply no more than 15 inch-pounds.
Ruger 10/22 Compatible Magazine
By designing the action to run on 10/22 compatible magazines, Springfield Armory upped the appeal of this .22. The rifles ship with two of the 10-round rotary magazines. One pleasant surprise during my evaluation is how nice these magazines were to load.
If you’ve handled enough 10/22 mags, you know that they aren’t all created equal. Some definitely run better than others. These Springfield Armory-branded mags are among the best 10/22 magazines I’ve used. Filling one to capacity is a smooth and easy operation to perform.
The Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire has a two-position safety and user-adjustable Remington 700 pattern trigger. Scott Einsmann
Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire Target Rifle Stock
The stock on my rifle is finished in a sage colored coating featuring black webbing. Its geometry is similar to that of the Model 2020 Waypoint centerfire rifle. It has a fairly broad and flat-bottomed fore-end, like that found on the Waypoint. It also comes with a nearly vertical pistol grip with palm swells, which takes its cues from Waypoint too.
Positive Grip and Control
This gives the shooter a lot of useful real estate for the trigger hand and lead hand to grip. The grip’s vertical orientation places the trigger finger square to the trigger and allows the shooter to use the other fingers to press the rifle straight back into the shoulder.
Combined with the substantial fore-end, the Model 2020 Rimfire is easy to control when shooting off-hand, kneeling, sitting or prone. The flat fore-end also does a good job riding shooting bags, whether off the bench or other supports.
Springfield added panels on either side of the grip and the fore-end with mild stippling. The pattern isn’t aggressive, but it is comfortable and certainly adequate for a light-recoiling rimfire.
Butt Stock Configuration
The butt stock comes with a slightly raised flat comb. It doesn’t adjust, but in my case, I didn’t need it to. With a Meopta MeoPro 2-10×42 mounted in low profile rings, my eye aligned perfectly with the scope while getting a solid cheek weld.
Springfield added a nice rubber pad to the butt which anchors the stock in the shooter’s shoulder. I’m also guessing it would mitigate recoil, if recoil were an issue with .22s.
The underside of the stock from the toe to the grip has a flat bottom that does a good job riding a bag, too.
Most rifles have a 13.5-inch length of pull, which is basically identical to the 13.45-inch length of pull Springfield gave the 2020 Rimfire. Springfield also equipped the stock with two sling swivel studs to attach a sling or carrying strap.
The fore-end is hollowed out but is supported by a series of five ribs running athwartships, imparting a great deal of stiffness and stability. The amount of flex in the stock is minimal, adding to its grown-up feel.
Good Fit and Finish
You can see the seam where the two halves of the stock were joined together, but the line is faint. The sage-colored coating is evenly applied and looks good. Springfield is dishing out good quality for this rifle’s price point.
With a Silencer Central Banish 223 threaded on to the barrel, the report of the Model 2020 Rimfire is next to nothing. Scott Einsmann
The Target Rifle Model 2020 Rimfire comes with a 20-inch heavy-contour barrel with a straight taper. The muzzle is threaded ½-28, and I took advantage of that by running a Silencer Central Banish 223 during the evaluation, which dropped the rifle’s report to nearly nothing.
The rifling is cut with a 1:16 right-hand twist and delivered excellent accuracy during field drills on steel targets and while shooting groups.
1-inch Accuracy Guarantee
Springfield guarantees that the Model 2020 rimfire can shoot 1-inch 3-shot groups at 50 yards with good ammunition “in the hands of a skilled shooter.” I like that they threw in that last qualifier. I can only assume they got sick of arguing with the shaky-hand marksmanship brigade over whether their rifles could shoot well or not.
In any event, my rifle had no issues meeting that standard with 5-shot groups, which is a more demanding threshold than 3-shot groups.
Shooting CCI Green Tag ammo with 40-grain round nose bullets, my rifle averaged 1.071 inches over eight 5-shot groups. Among those were groups that measured .682, .778, .912, and .951 inches. I also put a 20-shot group on paper at 50 yards. That measured 1.603 inches, with 17 of the shots in a 1.079-inch cluster.
Safe to say that squirrels, cans, and any other legitimate target shouldn’t get too cozy when a “skilled shooter” gets within 50 yards with the 2020 Rimfire.
What the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire Target Rifle Does Well
This rifle accomplishes the most important thing any rimfire can do—turn little charges of gunpowder into smiles. It is an eminently fun rifle to shoot and is quite capable taking on any type of task you could ask of a gun that costs less than $500.
The quality of the rifle’s workmanship only adds to the notion that your money is well spent.
Where It Could Improve
My only beef with the rifle is the trigger. If the trigger could be turned down to 2.5 pounds, the 2020 Rimfire would be the complete package. But at least you have the ability to swap out the four-pound factory trigger with one of the common Remington 700 style aftermarket triggers, at which point you will have a truly superlative rig.
Read Next: Best .22 LR Rifles of 2023
Final Thoughts on the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire
There’s nothing revolutionary in this rifle’s design—but it doesn’t need that to be considered a homerun. The rifle combines a lot of good components and delivers a great shooting experience at a very reasonable price.
This rifle is an excellent plinker and, for someone who doesn’t find the 7.75-pound base weight cumbersome, a good choice for small game. (Though it should be noted that the walnut stocked Model 2020 Rimfire Classic at 6.3 pounds is a great option for someone whose main goal is to walk the hardwoods in search of bushytails and other critters.)
It isn’t the fanciest rimfire rifle that money can buy, but the desire to drop $1,000 (and often a lot more) on a .22 is limited to a fairly small set of shooters. For the rest of us, this sub-$500 rifle is something we can carry with pride while knowing that we got a great deal in the bargain.
The post Springfield Armory Model 2020 Rimfire Reviewed and Tested appeared first on Outdoor Life.
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