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Bolt Action G&A TV Rifles Rim Fire

Ruger American Rimfire Review

by G&A Staff   |  February 5th, 2014 13

The 10/22, one of William B. Ruger’s most successful firearms designs, is 50 years old in 2014. Coincidentally, Ruger is launching another soon-to-be-classic on this occassion. Meet the Ruger American Rimfire, a .22-caliber line extension from the overwhelmingly successful Ruger American centerfire rifle.

Like its centerfire counterpart, it’s a synthetic-stocked bolt-action stainless rifle with an MSRP of $329. Early indications are that street price could be in the $280 to $290 range. That’s an entry-level price for many .22s on the market, but this is much more than your typical economy-grade gun. And the good news keeps coming: It is also available in .22 Magnum.

Features include a Marksman trigger adjustable from three to five pounds; a hammer-forged, free-floated stainless steel barrel; a Power-Bedding integral bedding block system; and a synthetic stock with two interchangeable insert modules to provide a low- or high-comb height option for using iron sights or a scope. It also sports scope-ring dovetail grooves machined into the drilled-and-tapped receiver.

The interchangeable insert modular stock-system options can be changed out in seconds by simply removing the rear sling swivel stud. Comb height and long length-of-pull (13¾ inches) options are available for the 22-inch Standard model, and a short length of pull for the Compact version is 12½ inches. All four stock modules are available for $20 at

The Marksman trigger, which was adjusted down to 3½ pounds before checking accuracy with the .22LR model, locks and blocks the sear, compared with other designs that block the trigger bar. This system apparently contributes to the crisp, clean-finishing trigger pull. And a conveniently placed tang safety offers familiarity with other sporting rifles.

The push-lever bolt release located on the left side of the receiver allows one to remove the bolt without pulling the trigger, which is a smart safety feature.

Its Power Bedding integral bedding system has only one bedding block, unlike the centerfire Ruger American, which has two. Two are unnecessary with a rimfire-chambered rifle.

The bore of the free-floating barrel is crowned to protect accuracy, and for those who mount a scope to extract the most from its potential, the receiver is drilled and tapped. Weaver No. 12 rings will work and are available separately. With a scope mounted, users may appreciate that this rimfire has a short, 60-degree bolt throw to help with bolt-scope clearance.

The one-piece molded polymer stock has palmswells, and the forend has a molded, no-slip grip for complete control when transitioning between multiple targets.

Ruger is so serious about building rimfires, they’ve decided to dedicate a new plant in Mayodan, North Carolina. The official launch date didn’t come until September 2013, and as with any new product, it only took a few weeks for Guns & Ammo to acquire three samples for everyone’s tests and evaluation.

Upon running a cross section of .22LR and .22 Magnum loads over Oehler’s Skyscreens to check velocities (ranging from a low of 1,045 fps with Eley 40-grain FN Edge to 1,324 with CCI 40-grain GDHP Velocitor), the G&A staff settled into the shooting bags and zeroed in with the .22LR version first.

We’ll let the targets accompanying this article tell the story, but it can be simply said that we were impressed. To randomly select and fire an assortment of .22-caliber ammo and get these-size groups with not one failure to feed, well, that sums it up. The Ruger American Rimfire may also be just the boost in interest that the .22 Magnum has been looking for.

Groups hover an inch at 50 yards, and, amazingly, some of the smaller groups came from some of the least expensive ammo.

If you’re in the market for a .22-caliber rimfire repeater, take a close look at this package before spending more money on something less. If you already own a Ruger centerfire American, so much the better. You’re just keeping it all in the family.

Check out how the Ruger American Rimfire performed at the range in this segment of Guns & Ammo TV:

  • Joe

    Where did yoy get the 22 ammo to test these?

    • Lightning Bolt

      WE can get 22 ammo at cabalas online.

    • CELT1

      It’s out there but you really have to look for it and sometimes stand in line for it if you are buying at a retailer.

  • Verlon Peavy

    Hey Ruger how about a handy little pump based on the 1022

  • David

    How about a better accuracy test? If this such an accurate rifle, I want to know just how good it is. 3 shot groups don’t say much. I know ammo is hard to come by, but certainly G&A can do better than this.

    • Joel

      What three shot group did you see ? I saw 5 shot groups.

  • The Scoad

    I think you should get your facts straight …. I don’t see any stainless steel used in these new guns! They should however be offering stainless features for youth usage!

  • CELT1

    I just bought one for my grandson and right out of the box it was dead on at 50 yards without a scope. Had a realtively low-cost Bushnell scope put on it and it was great at 100 yards. A real value for the price. Nice action on the bolt and love to ability to change the stock.

  • RTBA

    Have a compact with threaded barrel. Shot this rifle out to 50 yards with 5 shot groups smaller than 1/2 inch using CCI standard velosity ammo, 1070 fps. Great shooter for the money!

  • Alex GottmitUns

    How about a Selective-Action 22LR rifle designed around the 10/22 magazine and a threaded barrel? Like the old 1920’s Walther Nitro 22LR model 1 rifle. Semi-auto and you can also select bolt action as well on the same rifle. Now that would serve multiple roles.
    Ruger would be rich beyond the dreams of avarice if they pull that one off.

  • whiskeypickles

    I just got a Ruger American, 22lr,and it WILL NOT feed from the mag( CCI, Aguila or any other round nose bullet or one with a shoulder on it. Even the Manual says it Will Not feed round nose or shouldered ammo without forcing it which will shave lead when entering the chamber.

  • MichiganMike

    I bought the Ruger American .22 at Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare, MI. I chose the 18″ barrel. I don’t believe the extra barrel length makes that significant a difference in a .22. And it is a very nice handling rifle. I switched out the butts on the stocks after getting it home.

    Since I can no longer use open sights, I mounted a Bushnell .22 scope that I had on an air rifle. Sighting in was done at a friend’s house in the country. He has a 40 paces long range in his back yard.

    Using 10 year old, mixed ammunition I was able to sight it in and get a 1 1/2″ group with 10 shots. I have since been able to obtain a couple boxes of .22 ammunition (Blazer and Thunderbolt). It will be interesting to see the accuracy it produces with a new ammunition of the same manufacture.

    I like this rifle. Though a .22, it has the weight and feel of a high power center fire rifle. Balance is excellent. The action is smooth. The trigger is adjustable, and I plan to lighten it.

    The Ruger American .22 is well worth the money. I can be purchased for a youth, and serve him or her the rest of his or her life. A very well made rifle.

    The real surprise is the cost of .22 ammunition. Stores can’t keep it on the shelf. One store owner said that there is a LOT of hoarding and speculation buying – grabbing in up off the shelf and reselling it on eBay, etc. at outrageous prices.

    He had one brick of Thunderbolt on his shelf and wanted $75 for it. I found a 10 year old Thunderbolt box in my ammo drawer – 88 cents!

  • cody

    in 22 wmr is the 18 or the 22 inch barrel more accurate?

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