The Mossberg 702 Plinkster is a semi automatic 22LR rifle made by CBC in Brazil and imported/branded by Mossberg. It’s one of, if not THE cheapest semi auto 22’s you can buy, but is it any good? Prices vary in Canada and the US. I picked mine up on a black Friday sale at Tundra Supply.
Mossberg 702 Plinkster Specifications
- 1.7kg (3.75 lbs) on my scale
- Last shot bolt hold open (kinda)
- Charging handle bolt lock
- Cross bolt safety
- Rear sight adjustable for elevation and windage
- Receiver dovetailed for scope mounts
The first thing you notice when you pick up the Plinkster is how light it is. At just 3.75 lbs, it’s 3/4 of a lb lighter than the already light Marlin 795, and much lighter than the 5lb Ruger 10/22 or 5.5 lbs Remington 597. While the stock is similar to a Marlin stock, the barrel on the Mossberg Plinkster is quite a bit lighter than the Marlin’s. Plus, practically everything is made of plastic on the Plinkster.
The Plinkster is extremely cheap feeling. Everything is made to a low price, low material cost. That’s OK for a cheap rifle, but there are a few parts that may not survive long. The front sight is a fiber optic, which is really cool, but it’s protected by an incredibly thin, flimsy sight protector. The rear sight is also plastic, and I don’t think it’d take a hard sideways hit before breaking.
The magazine & release aren’t fantastic, but they’re still better than a lot of other rimfire rifles. For some reason, rimfires use the cheapest, shittiest magazines and magazine retention mechanisms possible. At least you can take the Mossberg Plinkster’s mag out with one hand instead of needing two. The big fat extended mags have a mag release built-in that depresses the factory mag release, which is kind of an interesting concept.
The magazine follower juts up into the action and prevents the bolt from going forward on the last shot, which is kind of interesting. The bolt slams forward if you remove the magazine in this state.
Some of the other components on the Mossberg Plinkster are a bit out of place. The buttpad is a real buttpad like you’d see on a centerfire rifle instead of a plastic or thin rubber buttpad. The bolt hold open is a pull back, push in, and release affair that I think would be prone to failure if it was jammed full of crud.
Mossberg Plinkster Disassembly
Disassembly/reassembly for cleaning is a real pain in the ass. 2 action screws from the bottom, sure, but then you need to drift out 2 pins to remove the trigger group from the receiver. Reassembly is worse as you have to fit a plastic bolt stop piece as well as wedge the bolt and trigger group in at the same time. Don’t bend the recoil spring on the way in, or it’ll never be the same, and don’t forget that bolt stop or it’ll start beating the rear of the receiver up with the bolt. There are systems that are worse than this (Savage 64, I’m looking at you), but it’s pretty bad compared with rifles like the Ruger 10/22 or the Savage A22, which is a dream to clean.
Reliability from my Mossberg Plinkster has been excellent so far. Reliability issues that other report with them online seem to be related to fit/finish of some parts not being up to snuff causing malfunctions. A buddy of mine has had his fire out of battery a few times, which is not super confidence inspiring either.
The Plinkster is a good deal at a certain price point only. Against the Remington 597, Marlin 795, or Ruger 10/22, it’s far cheaper in build and objectively not as good. If you find one that’s $50-75 cheaper than a Marlin 795, which would be the Plinkster’s closest competition, it’s worth it to look at.