Buy a Dedicated .22 MSR
Most companies offer complete rifles in .22 LR. The best buy in a dedicated .22 MSR is the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22, which ranges from $520 to $560. The controls on these rifles are identical to those found on a regular MSR. The bolt release, magazine release, and safety are positioned in the same places and they all operate in the same manner. Training with a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 provides a seamless transition to a larger MSR. The throw on the charging handle is not the same (on the .22 it doesn't move very far back), but I don't consider that a serious limitation. Best of all, these rifles run like a cat on fire. I've shot numerous M&P 15-22s over the years and own one, and they all have functioned flawlessly. The only problem I have with mine is getting an opportunity to shoot it, because my children have an insatiable appetite for trigger time with this S&W. Of course, with a collapsible stock, the ergonomics couldn't be more kid friendly. Also the weight of the rifle, which is lighter than a typical .223, makes it simpler for a smaller person to wield.