Ruger American Rimfire™ Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
September 2, 2013

Ruger American Rimfire Review

Back in June of 2012, I performed a review on the Ruger American Rifle® and was extremely pleased with the value from this new rifle platform from Ruger.  The rifle I reviewed proved it's quality, reliability and accuracy, at a great price.  Since Ruger's original release of the Ruger American Rifle®, they have added two additional calibers to the Standard version which brings it to a total of 6 calibers, plus they added a Compact version that comes in three different calibers.  This is proof that Ruger knows how to build on success.  Their SR line of pistols is also proof that Ruger knows how to leverage their manufacturing process and commonality of parts to expand their offerings within a firearms platform.  Building on success and leveraging commonality is exactly what they have done with their new release of the Ruger American Rimfire™ bolt-action rifle.

The new Ruger American Rimfire™ bolt-action rifle blends some of the best features of multiple proven platforms to produce a superb rimfire bolt action rifle.  Ruger has taken significant features such as the ergonomic lightweight stock with Power Bedding® Integral Bedding Block System and Ruger Marksman Adjustable™ Trigger from their American Rifle platform and blended them with features from their Ruger 10/22 platform such as the reliable 10-shot rotary magazine, magazine latch system and fold down rear sight.  They then combined these features with a hammer forged barrel, down-scaled American Rifle receiver and new rimfire bolt to create their American Rimfire™ bolt-action rifle.  With the initial release of this new rifle platform, Ruger also gives you a choice of two popular rimfire calibers such as the .22LR and .22WMRF.  Based on studying the parts list in the Instruction Manual, I see that at some point in the future, Ruger plans to expand this line with a model chambered in .17HMR.  Since one size doesn't fit all when it comes to people's preferences and length of pull, Ruger is also offering the American Rimfire™ in a Standard and Compact model which have removable recoil pads that allow you to adjust the comb height for use with or without a scope.  The table below lists the American Rimfire™ rifles currently available from Ruger and shows a suggested retail price of $329 which will probably translate into a range of $270 to $300 for a retail price.

In this review, I take a close look at the .22LR caliber Standard model rifle, but this review should still give you a good idea on what to expect if you choose one of the other calibers or models.  For those of you who may have short attention spans, you can use this page as an overall summary of the review because it lists the key features and specifications, along with my pros, cons, comments and bottom line thoughts on the American Rimfire™.  To sum the review up in a few words, "I like the American Rimfire™ and think you will to."

 

During my reviews I like to compare my results to the manufacturer's claims where possible so the following text in colored italics was taken directly from the Ruger Spec Sheet on 8/27/13 and gives the Key Features and Specifications for the Ruger American Rimfire™ bolt-action rifle.  The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.

Key Features

  • Each Ruger American Rimfire™ rifle includes two interchangeable stock modules that provide comb height options for scope or iron sight use. Standard models come with long length of pull modules, while compact models come with short length of pull modules. By simply removing the rear sling swivel stud, stock modules can be changed in seconds. All four stock modules are completely interchangeable across all models and are available at ShopRuger.com.
  • Models chambered in .22 LR feature the detachable, flush-mounted 10/22® BX-1 10-round rotary magazine. Accepts all 10/22® magazines, including the BX-25® and BX-25®x2.
  • Models chambered in .22 Magnum use the detachable, flush-mounted JMX-1 9-round rotary magazine.
  • Easy-to-use 10/22®-style extended magazine release provides smooth, no-fuss magazine removal.
  • Patent-pending Power Bedding® integral bedding block system positively locates the receiver and free-floats the barrel for outstanding accuracy.
  • Ruger Marksman Adjustable™ trigger offers a crisp release with a pull weight that is user adjustable between 3 and 5 pounds.
  • Ergonomic, lightweight black composite stock (designed for quick, easy handling) blends a classic look with modern forend contouring and grip serrations.
  • Features a visible, accessible and easy-to-actuate tang safety.
  • Satin blued, target-crowned, hammer-forged barrel results in ultra-precise rifling that provides exceptional accuracy, longevity and easy cleaning.
  • A 3/8'' rimfire scope base is machined into the receiver, which is also drilled and tapped for Weaver® #12 bases (not included).
  • A 60˚ bolt provides ample scope clearance, while an easy-to-use, receiver-mounted bolt release allows the bolt to be readily removed without requiring a pull of the trigger, a unique safety feature among rimfire, bolt-action rifles.
  • Also Includes: Williams™ fiber optic front sight and 10/22®-style adjustable, "V" slot, folding-leaf rear sight; sling swivel studs.

Specifications

  • Catalog Number: AMER-RF
  • Model Number: 8301
  • Caliber: 22LR
  • Stock: Black Composite
  • Finish: Satin Blued
  • Front Sight: Williams™ Fiber Optic
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable
  • Weight: 6.00 5.89 pounds with an empty 10-shot magazine and low height comb recoil pad
  • Barrel Length: 22.0"
  • Overall Length: 41.0"
  • Material: Alloy Steel 4140 Alloy Steel
  • Length of Pull: 13.75 measured 13.88"
  • Twist: 1:16" RH
  • Grooves: 6
  • Capacity: 10 +1 using standard Ruger 10/22® 10-Shot rotary magazine
  • Suggested Retail: $329

This review is broken down into multiple parts with this page providing links to each part along with an overall summary of the specifications, pros and cons, and my final "bottom line" comments.  Make sure you take time to checkout the other parts of the review because they contain many photos and lots of commentary.  Also, there is an extreme amount of detail in those parts which may not be covered on this page.

As you read these Pros and Cons below, keep in mind that it is hard to keep my particular preferences from creeping into the equation.  Therefore, it is important that you take the time to look at the other parts of this review so you can decide yourself on items which may be more of a personal preference.

Pros:

  • The "as received" trigger pull on this rifle measured 4.3 pounds.  Using the adjustable trigger feature, I was able to adjust the trigger down to 3.3 pounds and the trigger was extremely crisp with no perceivable creep or overtravel.
  • The rifle comes with both adjustable iron sights and two different options for mounting optics.
  • I see the interchangeable recoil pads which change the comb height to match that for iron sights or optics as a big plus.  My personal preference for this rifle will be utilizing a scope and the high height comb gives a great cheek weld for this configuration.
  • The American Rimfire™ utilizes a standard 10/22 magazine on the .22LR version rifle.  For those of you who already own a 10/22 platform firearm, this means that your spare magazines will already fit this new rifle.
  • The short 60 degree bolt throw and long bolt handle keeps your hand away from scope when cycling the bolt.
  • Like most bolt action rifles, disassembly is quick and easy and there is no good reason why you shouldn't be able to keep this rifle in excellent condition.
  • Overall, I feel the American Rimfire™ bolt-action rifle has some real accuracy potential and taking the time to figure out which type of ammunition (velocity & weight) will pay off at the range and in the field.  By taking a quick look at some of my 50 yard minimum group sizes (0.54", 0.57", 0.37", 0.39", 0.82) for each type of ammunition used during the range test, you can see that this rifle can be sub-MOA with the right ammunition and the right shooter.

Pro/Con/Comment (you decide)?:

  • If you are planning to use the 3/8" dovetail mount, then be warned that all 3/8" dovetails or mounts are not the same.  It seems there are flat 3/8" dovetails and curved 3/8" dovetails.  In addition, there are also slight differences in width between these two style mounts.  The combination of these differences made it hard to locally find 3/8" tip-off mounts that properly fit the American Rimfire™.  Ruger has plans to setup a web page to identify which ones work on this rifle so that you don't have to go through multiple rings before you find the right ones.
  • The rifle I received for review had a slightly different surface texture around the front sight area than the rest of the barrel (see Part 3, Figure 12).  When cleaning the outside surface of the barrel, I was also able to feel that the barrel was not completely blended into a perfectly smooth taper.  I have made Ruger aware of this and I know they will be looking out for this condition in the future.  My guess is that many people would have never noticed these, but since this is a review, I tend to nit-pick details. Overall the rifle looked in great condition.  One last comment on things like this; I have said it before and I will say it again, always look at every detail possible on any firearm before you take it out of the store.  If it doesn't measure up, ask the dealer to bring you another one for your inspection before you make the purchase.  If you purchase online, then always give the manufacturer the opportunity to make any issues right.

Cons:

  • Although the receiver comes integrally machined with 3/8" dovetail mounts, I feel a significant number of people will choose to use the Weaver #12 mounts (not included) for scope installations due to the large availability of rings for standard Weaver or Picatinny style mounts.  Based on my recent search at gun stores in my local area, none had the Weaver #12 mounts available in their stores.  This is not a huge issue because they are available online and I'm sure a store can order you a pair if needed, but lack of quick availability may delay your first trip to the range with your scope installed.

 

Bottom Line:

The Ruger American Rimfire™ bolt-action rifle represents a great value considering its price versus features and performance.  I consider the replaceable recoil pad inserts which have different comb heights a big plus, and I was able adjust the crisp trigger to 3.3 pounds.  After range testing, I'm convinced it has sub-MOA capability with the right shooter and right ammunition.  This rifle would make a great platform to train young or new shooters about firearms and would be a good off-season trainer for the experienced shooters and hunters wanting to save some money on ammunition.  I'm sure there are more reasons for wanting a good bolt-action rimfire rifle, and if you are in the market for a new rifle, make sure you checkout the Ruger American Rimfire™.


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