Ruger American Rimfire™ Review
Part 6 - Range Test
September 2, 2013

Ruger American Rimfire Review

In this part of the review I range test the Ruger American Rimfire™ bolt-action rifle.  One of the first things I like to do is verify that the iron sights are zeroed on any rifle prior to installing a scope.  A quick check of the iron sights on this rifle indicated that I needed to drift the rear sight to the left slightly.  After making the adjustment, it was time to install my scope.


As I mentioned in Part 3, I had to do some searching to find a set of rings that worked on the high radius 3/8" dovetail mount on this rifle.  I was finally able to locate these Millett rings shown below.  These rings are Millett's Angle-Loc™ 30mm Medium Height Tip Off Matte rings (model TP00708).

Figure 1
Ruger American Rimfire Review

I used these rings to mount my Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x50mm Scope.  I have found this scope to be a solid performer and thought it would be a good one to use during my range testing.  You can see that the large 50mm objective diameter barely cleared the flip down sight while using the medium height rings.  I would have preferred to slide the scope back about another 1/2" for a better head position based on the scopes eye relief, but I didn't want to remove the rear sight.

Figure 2
Ruger American Rimfire Review

One thing that was odd with this setup is that I was only able to find 30mm rings at my local stores and the scope tube is 1".  Luckily I had a set of adapter bushings which allow you to use a 1" tube with 30mm rings.  Once I decide on my final scope, I will order the proper size Millett rings for my scope.  Also note that the rings are a matte finish.  If you get these Millett rings, I think the "smooth" finish from Millett would do a better job at matching the finish on the rifle.

Figure 3
Ruger American Rimfire Review

With the American Rimfire™ bolt-action rifle setup as shown below, I performed an initial zero in my basement using my 13 yard range and then was off to do some real shooting.

Figure 4
Ruger American Rimfire Review

Figure 5
Ruger American Rimfire Review

For accuracy testing, I tried to select some ammunition in a range of velocities and different common bullet weights.  I shot eight 5-shot groups and took the best four out of five shots in each group for my group size measurements.  The temperature was 93 degrees, humidity felt about 80% and there was a variable breeze up to about 3 miles per hour coming from the 4 to 5 o'clock directions.  Needless to say, sweat was pouring off me and the breeze was welcomed, but I felt I had to handicap  my groups (best 4 out of 5) based on the shooting conditions, and it seemed that I got a regular flyer which I'm sure was due to me and not the rifle.  The photo below shows my bench setup.

Figure 6
Ruger American Rimfire Review

I shot all groups from 50 yards and measured velocity with a chronograph setup about 10 feet from the muzzle.

Figure 7
Ruger American Rimfire Review

The table below summarizes my range test results.  Clearly the American Rimfire™ seemed to perform better with subsonic ammunition, but the CCI high velocity was not too shabby be any means.  I was not impressed with how the Remington 22 Viper ammunition performed, and I don't plan to use it in this rifle in the future.

Ammunition Velocity
Measured Velocity1 (ft/sec) Group Size2 (in)
Average Std. Dev Maximum Minimum Average
CCI Mini-Mag 36 gr CPHP (0031) 1260 1296 13 1.25 0.54 0.97
CCI Mini-Mag 40 gr CPHP (0030) 1235 1231 31 1.02 0.57 0.74
Aguila Super Extra 38 gr HP (1B222268) 1025 977 19 0.86 0.37 0.65
Wolf Match Target 40 gr Solid 1050 1044 19 0.91 0.39 0.61
Remington 22 Viper 36 gr TC (21288) 1410 1320 61 2.39 0.82 1.44
1 - Velocity measured using a chronograph approximately 10 feet from muzzle
2 - Group size based on a total of eight 5-shot groups where I took the best 4 out of 5 shots in each group.  All groups shot from a bench at 50 yards.

These next two targets give you examples of my best groups using the subsonic ammunition and a good idea on why I felt I should use a 4-shot group instead of all five shots.  Clearly, there was a definable group by the four shots, and I felt the outlying shot was due to the shooter and not rifle or ammunition.

Figure 8 - Wolf Match Target                               Figure 9 - Aguila Super Extra
4-shots = 0.39"                                                      4-shots = 0.37"
Ruger American Rimfire Review   Ruger American Rimfire Review



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.  Reliability was 100% just as you would expect from a bolt action rifle and it was a pleasure using the 10-shot rotary magazine during the range tests.

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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