Ruger 22/45 Lite Review
Part 6 - Range Test
September 9, 2012

Ruger 22/45 Lite Review

For the range test of the Ruger 22/45 Lite Pistol, I shot the pistol with both the iron sights and a red dot sight to checkout both configurations.  Also I shot the pistol with a variety of high, standard and subsonic velocity ammunition to get a feel for the reliability of the pistol with these different types of ammunition.


The ammunition used during the range tests is as follows. 

Figure 1
Ruger 22/45 Lite Review

I started out my range tests shooting the Ruger 22/45 Lite Pistol at 5 yards with iron sights to get a feel for how the sights were adjusted before I backed up to longer distances.  The sights were initially shooting high and to the right.  After making some adjustments, I moved back to 10 yards and continued to tweak the iron sights until I was happy with their adjustments.  One of the things I quickly noticed was the struggle to try to shoot tight groups freehand with the heavy trigger pull (6.8 pounds).  As I mentioned in Part 3, I decided to take the pistol apart and polish all critical surfaces and make sure they were properly lubricated.  Doing this got me down to a trigger pull of about 4.8 pounds which is in the range of what you would normally find for this pistol.

For the accuracy portion of my range tests, I mounted a Bushnell TSR-25 Red Dot Sight.  This sight has proven to be a great sight and I have used it on several reviews.  One thing I like most about this sight is that on it's lowest power intensity the dot has a very small and sharp appearance which I think is great for bench testing.

Figure 2
Ruger 22/45 Lite Review

During these range tests, I shot each type of ammunition from a bench at 13 yards.  I started out with the Federal Value Pack high velocity ammunition since I always have lots of it around.  I struggled with shooting what I would consider good groups.   I then switched to the CCI Mini-Mag high velocity ammunition and my group sizes seemed to get worse which you can see by the data below.  Next I started shooting the standard velocity and subsonic ammunition and my group sizes were nearly cut in half.  The only ammunition that seemed to be an issue was the Aquila which didn't always have enough pressure to fully cycle the bolt.

Ammunition Velocity
Advertised Velocity
(ft/sec) at Muzzle
Measured Velocity1 (ft/sec) Group Size2 (in)
Avg Std. Dev. Max Min Avg
Aguila SuperExtra 40gr LRN Subsonic ? 902 15 .79 .47 .66
CCI Mini-Mag Varmint 36gr CPHP High 1260 1058 32 1.49 1.19 1.32
CCI Standard Velocity Target 40gr LRN Standard 1070 876 13 .78 .63 .70
Federal Value Pack 36gr CPHP High 1260 1045 24 1.22 .81 .99
Wolf Match Target 40gr SRN Standard 1050 868 24 1.41 .74 .95
Total Average All Groups = .92
1 - Velocity measurements based on an average of 10 shots with the chronograph 10 feet in front of the muzzle.
2 - Group sizes based on four 5-shot groups shot from a bench at 13 yards.

These next photos show some of the better groups I shot during my range tests.  Since the Aguila seemed to have low chamber pressures I probably will not shoot this ammunition again, but I was happy with the 0.47" group.  The CCI Standard Velocity seemed to be an excellent candidate for future shooting sessions.

Figure 3 - Aguila SuperExtra Subsonic 40gr LRN
0.55"                                                                      0.47"
Ruger 22/45 Lite Review

Figure 4 - CCI Standard Velocity Target 40gr LRN
0.86"                                                                     0.69"
Ruger 22/45 Lite Review

Finally I installed a Tactical Solutions Pac-Lite Compensator.  I love the look of the compensator on this pistol and it along with the Bushnell sight makes for an extremely attractive shooting platform.  Separately I shot some groups with and without the compensator and couldn't see any noticeable change in group size.  The aluminum compensator adds about 1 once to the weight of the pistol and I feel the looks are well worth the weight.  I can't say that I could tell any significant recoil difference when shooting this rimfire pistol with the compensator so from my view the addition is primarily from a looks perspective.  Again, well worth it.

Figure 5
Ruger 22/45 Lite Review



One thing that is clear, this Ruger 22/45 Lite Pistol seems to prefer the standard or subsonic velocity ammunition.  Although I was able to achieve my best groups (0.66" average) shooting the Aguila subsonic ammunition, this ammunition didn't have enough pressure to fully cycle the bolt and I had several rounds that didn't eject.  The CCI Standard Velocity Target ammunition gave me my next best group size (0.70" average) and this ammo cycled every time.  The high velocity ammunition seemed to have a greater scatter and thus greater group size, so I will focus my future shooting efforts on finding a good economical standard velocity ammunition to shoot. 

Another thought is that all of the ammunition I used chronographed at subsonic velocities with this 4.40" barrel.  By choosing a good standard velocity ammunition I should be able to gain the accuracy and suppressed quietness desired. 

After doing a little trigger work to get this pistol to a pull weight range typical for other 22/45 Lite Pistols, I was able to feel good about my shooting efforts for range testing.  I am certain that with a better trigger (less pull weight and less creep), I could achieve even greater accuracy.  I shot around 890 rounds and feel the pistol is reliable with a variety of ammunition.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments on my Reader's Comments page.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 

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