As I mentioned in the last What Did You Prep This Month(ish) post, I picked up a Ruger American Rimfire chambered in .22 Long Rifle. This is a rimfire version of the Ruger American Predator in .308 that is my primary hunting rifle and the Ruger American Ranch in 7.62 Commie that is a fun rifle to shoot and could easily serve for hunting as well. The stock and trigger are the same between all three rifles. The action for the rimfire is (obviously) scaled down a bit but, for the most part, these rifles are almost interchangeable and time spent practicing with one translates directly to the other two.
This is one of the reasons I picked up this little guy. Even though 7.62 Commie is pretty cheap, .22 Long Rifle is still much cheaper. I can send 100 rounds of .22 downrange for the cost of 20 7.62×39 rounds and probably 250 rounds for the cost of 20 .308 Winchester rounds. The other reason is that there are times I may want to hunt smaller game. Squirrels and rabbits are not only plentiful but fairly tasty when properly prepared. This gives me a nice option for adding food to the pot or freezer. Plus .22 is much quieter than most centerfire rounds and that might just come in handy one day.
To keep the little Ruger rimfire as consistent with its bigger brothers I topped it with the rimfire version of the Vortex Crossfire II 2×7 I use on the other rifles. Mounting the scope required removing the rear peep sight that came installed on the gun. Which was pretty straightforward once I located my punch set (can’t find anything in the house these days). I will also add a sling at some point to make it more convenient for hunting.
I was able to sight the little Ruger in pretty quickly. In less that 10 shots I was zeroed at 25 yards. It took about the same to make sure it was on at 50 yards. That’s about as far out as I care to take it so I spent the next 90 or so rounds just getting a feel for the rifle and what it can do.
As I mentioned before, the rifle is more accurate than I am. At the 25 yard line I could chew a hole into the bullseye all day. Say 35 or 40 rounds into about an inch or so. At 50 yards my groups opened up a little and this is where I will probably spend a lot of time with this little rifle to improve my accuracy. I tested it out to 100 yards and once I worked out the hold over I was doing surprisingly well by my standards. Hitting the steel target at 200 yards was an exercise in futility. I am sure that in the right hands the rifle is capable but mine are not the right hands. To be honest I have no idea if I hit the steel or not. I doubt a lowly .22 hitting steel at that distance on an active range could even be heard.
Between the fact that this is a .22 and the contour of the barrel, I could send quite a few rounds downrange pretty quickly without heating up the barrel to any noticeable degree. Which means I can maintain a much higher rate of fire without affecting accuracy in any way. I can be more efficient with my practice time that way but, to be honest, I have to resist a tendency to just bang away at the target instead of taking my time with each shot.
The trigger on the American Rimfire is the same Ruger Marksman Adjustable™ trigger as on the centerfire rifles. It is crisp and light (remember it is adjustable if you want it lighter) that has me spoiled as far as rifle triggers go. The MilSpec triggers on my ARs that I used to love so much feel heavy and gritty now. One thins I have noticed is that there is a good bit of variability between these triggers from Ruger. The 7.62 Commie and the rimfire triggers are noticeably better than the one on my .308 Winchester. Even after adjusting the trigger on the .308 it doesn’t feel quite as nice as the other two. It seems a bit heavier and seems to stick a little on occasion. I wouldn’t think there should be that much variability between the same triggers. Maybe the trigger in the .308 is a lemon. If it is it is still nicer than pretty much any other trigger on any other rifle I own.
I love the weight and balance of these rifles. While it doesn’t make much of a difference at the range the lightweight and shorter barrels make them much easier in the woods. Even in the winter months the woods around this part of Texas are filled with vines and scrub that wants to grab, scratch and trip you up. Lugging a heavy rifle or a long barreled rifled through the local brush is a lot like work and not all that fun. These handy little rifles make it a little less so.
The one thing about the Ruger American Rimfire than annoyed me (sort of) was the sound of the firing pin. I wear noise cancelling headphones when shooting so the loud noises like the actual rifle shots are blocked. Noises at no hearing damaging levels are not so I can carry on a conversation while wearing them. I can also hear a clear “ping” everytime I pull the trigger on this little rifle. It is probably the same volume as a centerfire rounds hitting a steel target at 200 yards so not very loud but somewhat annoying.
Seriously, that’s my biggest complaint about this rifle.
The rifle cost me $235 including taxes, shipping and FFL fees. The scope and rings were close to another $100 on top of that. Depending on your financial situation this may be cheap or it may be expensive. For me it is a reasonable price for this piece of equipment and I am very pleased with it.
Take care and God bless!