Why I chose the Mossberg 702 Plinkster over the Ruger 10/22

“Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of a trigger.” Sun Tsu

Among survival blog and book writers as well as an inordinate amount of American hunters the Ruger 10/22 has gained a large following. As a result there is an entire industry dedicated to parts, additions and specialty items for this firearm. Many of us grew up shooting this .22 at backyard vermin, and all of us have experienced the famous 10/22 stoppages, magazine failures, ammunition dislikes and more importantly the regular need to rack the slide and keep shooting. After shooting hundreds of thousands of .22 long rifle from dozens of platforms I have come to some valuable conclusions and recommendations.IMG_00005428

Over the years I have come to understand, test everything extensively and only settle when I find something that works with 99% of what I feed it, maintains solid accuracy out of the box and is a reliable inexpensive piece. I found the Made in Brasil, imported by Mossberg firearms, Model 702 .22 semiautomatic firearm. With 10 shot stick magazines that sell from the factory for $12 apiece and weigh approximately ¼ of what a Ruger 10/22 magazine weighs this is truly a solid firearm. Overall in my experience with these firearms I would suggest that people spend less on the Mossberg 702 Plinkster and add a few dollars for Tech Sights (found here) a $12 sling some inexpensive mounting hardware and a Hoppes bore snake to end up with a firearm that will last virtually forever, is easy to clean, reliable, comparatively weightless and accurate.IMG_00005430

Which ammunitions do they both prefer, for the Ruger 10/22 premium high power .22 long rifle is your best bet as big box ammunition will almost always end up fouling the action and within 100 rounds or so you will be consistently clearing action related issues. And do not even consider using subsonics in the 10/22, it wont cycle them without changing the springs. For the Mossberg 702 Plinkster with the exception of big box remington flat tips I have yet to find a round it wont shoot. Even with those rounds the failures were well within normal Ruger failures making it more reliable on crappy ammunition then the standard Ruger 10/22 on premium. I was also able to feed it subsonics from Remington, Aguila and Winchester with ease. Accuracy was maintained with all rounds fired though it did prefer the Aguila Semi Auto Rifle Ely primed maintaining an average bagged group at 25 yards of a little under .5”. 20130203-075140.jpg

Lets look at the statistics for each firearm…

Mossberg 702 Plinkster

  • .22 long rifle
  • 10 round magazine 1 in chamber
  • 18” barrel
  • Adjustable sights (replace with Tech Sights )
  • 1:16 twist
  • Synthetic Stock
  • 4lb’s
  • 37” overall length
  • Suggested price 176.00IMG_00005435_edit




Ruger 10/22

  • .22 long rifle
  • 10 round cyclical magazine
  • gold bead front sight (replace with Tech Sights)
  • 1:16 twist
  • 18.5” barrel
  • 5.75lb’s
  • 37” overall length
  • Suggested price 379.00  wpid-15-1-3.jpg.jpeg

I have used both in Appleseed shoots and found that there was no real difference in accuracy, both grouped around an inch at 25 yards offhanded. The reliability differences were extreme however, having to stop at least four times during the day to unjam a feed problem or fix a magazine issue with factory magazines the 10/22 is a source of much foul language and depression by shooters. Especially when my under $200 for the package .22 shot similar groups and did so without a single failure.

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10)

This is why I will use the Brasilian made Mossberg .22 Plinkster from here on out as my go to .22 gun and why I have a couple just in case. Make informed decisions based on extensive testing.


Free the mind and the body will follow.





About Jesse Mathewson

Jesse Mathewson is the author of the popular blog, jessetalksback.com and provides commentary to many varied places based on a background that includes education in criminal justice, history, religion and even insurgency tactics and tactical training. His current role in his community is as an organizer of sorts and a preacher of community solidarity and agorism. He also runs Liberty Practical Training, a self defense school specializing in the practical applications of defensive approaches versus the theoretical. As an agorist, voluntaryist and atheist his life is seen as crazy and wild by many, though once they get to know him most realize he is a bluntly honest individual who will give you the shirt off his back if he believes it is necessary to help you. Very simple, "That which is voluntary between all individuals involved is always right, if it is not voluntary, it is always wrong."
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16 Responses to Why I chose the Mossberg 702 Plinkster over the Ruger 10/22

  1. kr says:

    hey about your ammo i have the same gun and it will not cycle shot shell type ammo known as rat or snake shot, not enough pressure to cycle the slide

    Liked by 1 person

    • From experience, shotshell is probably the most useless round out there. I have never used that round in it and also have not used colibre, however, all other subsonics through hypersonics have worked great!

      As an aside, you wont find an unmodified semi auto .22 that will cycle snake shot or colibre 🙂 use it in roller guns, single shots and call it good

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Woody Clagg says:

    Jesse, Can you tell us how easy the 702 is to clean? I read that the 10/22 is difficult and the newer model better, and the Marlin 795 and Remington 597 much easier. Wonder where the 702 fits in that lineup. Is the 702 easy enough to clean in the field if you have a heavy shooting day?


    • Extremely easy, large flat head screw holding action to stock. I would suggest NOT using solvents on outside, or testing before use. The coating gums up, and while it doesnt affect the action it can make things just feel wrong.

      Make sure you carefully remove action and bolt as the main spring can jump a bit. Dont jam it together when you replace parts.

      I should do a blog with specific pictures breaking it down. And maybe a video, if you would like that. Here is a very good specific video…

      It is much easier than the 10/22 however, the barrel is pinned. So what you get is what you get as parts are scarce or factory direct, mossberg usa is very good about sending parts when needed for small or even no fees. I am searching for 702 number 4 now however, and have never had an issue with any of them.

      Take it apart at home at least twice to understand it and with a simple field kit you can fix any issue. If you are like myself you carry minor components that are most likely to break in your standard kit. For instance my ar/glock kit has spare mag springs, followers, base plates and pins/springs. This only adds a couple ounces and has on more than one occassion helped when doing long matches. I also carry extended manipulation hardware which tends to gain me a box of ammo per each match when people see how nice they work and just have to have one 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    Nice review. I purchased a 702 a few months ago, and am very satisfied. A great value. Exceeded my expectations even after I read very good reviews of it. I shoot cci blazers and various .22 shorts through it, when I want to be quiet.


  4. Scott says:

    I planned to get a 10/22 but in no hurry with the current .22LR shortage. Then I saw the 702 on salwe for $99 (delivered) from PSA and went for it. I haven’t shot it much yet (again the .22 shortage) but so far it’s 100%. I find the mags a little annoying to remove (need to hold release all the way fwd until mag clears completely) but I think a little breaking-in and smoothing will take care of that. Also the flat 702 mags fit nicely into a pocket. Bottom line is I agree with Jesse.


  5. Mark says:

    Thanks for your insight on the 10/22 and the 702 as I have both as well. While I find both units of near equal accuracy I have to agree that the ruger is very much over priced as it seems much of the justification for the added cost comes from being able to purchase modifications & unnecessary add on items, after which you are still shooting 22lr.


  6. Kyle says:

    I don’t know why so many people hate the 10/22. I have one my dad bought in the ’60s and I never have any of the reliability issues I’ve read about. My girlfriend’s Plinkster on the other hand has been plagued with feed issues since she bought it.


    • I grew up with one, and while it worked great with factory parts, it has always been ammo specific. The 702’s I have got the post purchase fluff and buff- (every gun gets it) and have never had a problem.

      Not sure, I guess like cars there are simply lemons and cherries 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  10. TheHabman says:

    Thanks Jesse, I have been looking for a option for a mag feed .22 that was not the stupidly overpriced 10/22. I love Ruger’s quality, however the 10/22 is stupid expensive for a .22.


    • My pleasure, I would say look at local walmarts first, they run 107.00 to 130.00 there. If not there check davidsons guns for local distributors and see what they will charge to get a couple, magazines can be had directly for 12.00 plus small shipping from mossberg int. The only ammunition I have had any issues with is the remington flat tip stuff, and I have yet to find a single semi auto that runs that well. Also get tech sights right away as well, and a cheap nylon sling from walmart- etc., you wont regret it.

      I tested the following rounds through mine, and by test I mean 500+ rounds of each.

      1. CCI Stinger – accuracy was decent not exceptional (grouped at a little under 1 inch at 25), no issues feeding or firing
      2. CCI standard velocity – accuracy was better then the stinger (grouped at 5/8″ at 25)- no issues feeding or firing
      3. Federal big box – accuracy was good (3/”‘ at 25) , fed fine, had approximately 2 failures to fire (bad priming) in a box of 550
      4. Federal Automatch- accuracy was great (1/2″ at 25) – fed great- dirty – no failures to fire in 600+ rounds
      5. Aguila subsonic – accuracy was superb (held 1/2″ higher then other rounds, grouped under half inch at 25 yards)no failures cycled great!
      6. Aguila Rifle Match Ely primed – under 1/2″ at 25, best residue traces, no malfunctions in over 2000 rounds fired so far (this is my current choice and what I stocked up on pre ammo craze-hard to find)
      7. Remington subsonic round nose – grouped just over 3/4″ at 25, no malfunctions – again held a little higher but cycled flawlessly and can shoot without ears- I keep a brick around because!
      8. Remington big box flat tip_ accuracy was average just over 1″ at 25 however, had multiple failures to feed per 100 rounds 😦
      9. Wolf .22 standard velocity- grouped nicely just under 3/4″ at 25 no failures to feed, one failure to fire in 500+ rounds
      10. Wolf Match .22 – grouped right above 1/2″ at 25 – no failures in any way in over 500 rounds

      I have no problem spending .25 per round on .22 simply because I dont just shoot it any more, every round has a purpose, always training always working on accuracy always testing weather, wind, etc.

      Anyhow- glad you got some good from my article and hope to see you still reading in the future!

      Liked by 1 person

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