Mossberg 22 Long Rifle Model 702 “Plinkster” Semi-Automatic Rifle

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

March 9th, 2018


Click pictures for a larger version.







Excellent set of fiber-optic adjustable sights.





Crossbolt safety.



Bolt locks open on an empty magazine.



Everyone needs a good 22 rifle. This has been true since the beginning of time, even centuries before rifle were invented. The need was there, realized or not. A good twenty-two is one of the most under-appreciated firearms in existence, because most folks just take them for granted. The 22 Long Rifle cartridge is the most-popular cartridge in the world, and paired with a good rifle, can fill many roles as a fine hunting, camping, and just all-around fun gun.

Shooters today have a wealth of dandy 22 rifles from which to choose, and can spend very little or a lot of money on that rifle, but a rifle which I recently discovered, but that has been around for a while, falls into the first category, and is the subject of this review; The Mossberg 702 Plinkster. Mossberg has used the name Plinkster for various rifles over the past few decades, but this new 702 is one of the most-affordable and enjoyable 22 semi-automatic rifles on the market.

I recently acquired two identical 702 Plinkster rifles. This is the version with the black synthetic stock, and the reason I decided to give them a try was because of the low price. As mentioned above, a person can spend a lot of money on a good 22 rifle, if desired, but for some people, many rifles are just priced out of their budget. The Mossberg Plinkster shown here has a suggested retail price of only $133 US, as of the date of this review, but they usually sell from between $100 and $120 retail. That is cheap! For that reason, I wanted to see just how good of a rifle could be had for a hundred bucks, and not being one to pass up a good deal, I ordered two of them.

The 702 falls under the Mossberg International banner, and is made in brazil for Mossberg. It is available in a Bantam model for youngsters and smaller shooters with a thirteen-inch length-of-pull, or full-sized with a fourteen and one-quarter inch length-of-pull. Both models are listed as weighing in at four pounds, but the one shown here weighed only three and three-quarters pounds on my scale, making for an exceptionally lightweight, handy rifle that is comfortable to carry all day.

The 702 is available with a wood stock, or synthetic stocks in a choice of black or pink finish. I opted for the black, and all variations have a blued metal finish. The tapered barrel measures eighteen inches in length, and the rifle has an overall length of thirty-seven inches. The magazine holds ten rounds, and is made of blued steel. A twenty-five-round magazine is also available, but I prefer the compact size of the ten-round version. The magazine follower serves to hold the bolt open when the magazine is empty. The bolt can also be locked into the open position by pressing inward on the retracted charging handle. The safety is a crossbolt trigger-blocking style, pushing from right-to-left to fire. The trigger pull is surprisingly good on this inexpensive rifle, weighing in at just under four pounds resistance on my digital scale.

I tested the 702 with several brands of 22 Long Rifle ammunition for velocity and function. The results with each brand and type of ammunition are listed in the chart below. HP is a lead hollowpoint bullet. Solid is a lead roundnose bullet. TC is a truncated cone solid. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature of 47 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity in the sixty-five percent range. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (FPS), and were recorded twelve feet from the muzzle of the rifle. Bullet weights are listed in grains.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Federal Bulk HP 36 1254
Winchester DynaPoint HP 40 1179
PMC Match Solid 40 1045
Wolf Match Solid 40 1051
CCI Mini-Mag HP 36 1257
CCI Mini-Mag Solid 40 1245
CCI Velocitor HP 40 1391
Remington Yellow Jacket HP 33 1414
Remington Hi-Speed Solid 40 1222
Remington Bulk HP 36 1217
Remington Viper TC 36 1271
Norma Tac-22 Solid 40 917
American Eagle HP 36 1136
PMC Zapper HP 38 1223
Olin Solid 40 1029
Winchester XPert HP 36 1167
Hansen Solid 40 1097
CCI Blazer Solid 40 1256
CCI Stinger HP 32 1555
CCI Sub-Sonic 40 710

Right from the start, I experienced several failures-to-fire. The firing pin dents were light on the cartridges, but this cleared up after two magazines full of ammo. Looks like there was an excessive amount of oil around the firing pin, effectively cushioning the blow. Within twenty rounds, this was gone, and the 702 Plinkster functioned flawlessly thereafter, firing hundreds of rounds without fail. Every cartridge, using the many types listed in the chart above, fed, fired, and ejected perfectly. The bolt always locked open on an empty magazine.

Accuracy testing was conducted at fifty yards using several types of 22 LR ammo. Accuracy was outstanding; much better than expected from such an inexpensive rifle. I fired five-shot groups on target, with the aid of a Burris 6 to 18 power target scope and a Target Shooting, Inc. Model 500 rifle rest. The top of the receiver is grooved for tip-off style rimfire rings, making the mounting of a scope quick and easy. Groups measured from one-half to one and three-quarters inches, center-to-center of the widest-apart shots in each group. Some of the best-performing loads are pictured here. No group fired all day exceeded 1.75 inches. Perfect.

Removing the scope, I also fired many mags full of ammo through the rifle using the excellent open sights, which consist of an adjustable fiber-optic rear with a hooded fiber-optic front. The rear sight has windage and elevation knobs, for easy adjustments without tools. A welcome feature, and certainly not expected on a rifle in this price range.  The trigger, while light in resistance, had a bit of travel before releasing, but was easy to use and effective for realizing the accuracy potential of the Plinkster.

The Mossberg 702 Plinkster is a dandy 22 rifle at an exceptional price. It is lightweight, handy, reliable, and accurate. The 702 would be a bargain at twice the price, but instead, I just bought two rifles.

Check out the extensive selection of rifles, shotguns, pistols, and accessories online at

To find a Mossberg dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order the Mossberg 702 Plinkster Online, click on the GUN GENIE at

To order quality 22 Long Rifle ammunition, go to and

Burris Optics:

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.





Five-shot fifty-yard groups are representative of the 702 Plinkster's fine accuracy.





10-round magazine.



25-round magazines are available from Mossberg, and come with a loading tool.