Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ruger American Rimfire - My Review **I made a oops**

**In the below I note that I have the 18 inch barrel model, however, after actually measuring I ACTUALLY do have the 22 inch barrel model. I thought the one I got was the 18 inch model. The LGS was incorrect. I feel dumb. lol**

It's finally time to talk about the Ruger American Rimfire. Basically, it's a good gun for a good price but there are some things you need to watch out for. I got the standard model with the 18 inch barrel from an LGS. I mounted a 3-9x40 BSA Sweet .22 scope off of Amazon and used Weaver high rings from Wal-mart. For a budget gun, the Ruger American Rimfire is a good buy.


I like the gun for the most part. It shoots pretty accurately with the right ammo at 100 yards. I can usually get sub 4 inch groups with most mid range ammo and less than 2 inch groups with the higher quality ammo. The best I ever shot was less than .9 inch at 100 yards with Eley Club Xtra (I got lucky) but I usually get around 1.7 to 2.5 inch groups with the Eley. The trigger is possibly the best feature about the gun. It's crisp and adjustable down to around 3.5 lbs. I really like that it uses the same rotary magazine from the Ruger 10/22. If you had one of the BX-25 mags, you could use those as well. Removing the magazine is easy. Simply push on the tab in front of the trigger guard and the empty mag should fall right out. The action seems smooth and the tang safety is easily manipulated. Removing the bolt is also very easy. Open the action then press and hold the button on the left rear of the receiver, then just pull the bolt out of the receiver. The receiver has a dovetail type rimfire scope mount directly milled in but it also has holes drilled and tapped for a scope base. I ended up using the Weaver #12 mounts from Shopruger.com. The gun comes with 2 comb adapters for the stock. By unscrewing the rear sling mount you can remove the plastic insert. If you plan on using a scope you can use the high comb. If you want to shoot with the open sights you can use the standard comb. Speaking of the sights, we NEED to talk about them.

My biggest issue with this gun is likely particular to my gun but you should be wary of the one you are buying. My sights are messed up! The front sight's mounting hole was bored off axis to the right in addition to having been rotated clock-wise to the barrel axis. The screw hole also had severe burring that needed to be filed off but wasn't while at the factory. These burs kept the front sight from resting on the barrel and allowed the front sight to rotate with pressure. The dovetail cut for the rear sight was also cut clock-wise to the bore axis and the horizontal perpendicular cut wasn't cut correctly either. Basically, the factory screwed up in just about every way you could, on an open sight install. Thankfully, the scope mounts appear to have been cut correctly so using the scope hasn't been an issue. I only use the scope so I wasn't worried about sending it back but you NEED to be aware of this issue.

Other things to talk are the length of pull is too short for me and they don't make a comb to increase it (the gun has a 13.75 inch length of pull) so a custom replacement stock will be a thing. Swapping out the stock though isn't necessarily all that easy. The gun uses these 2 V-shaped bedding blocks that mate up with cut outs in the bottom of the receiver. The stock will need to have slots cut out for those blocks. Thankfully, Boys stocks already has an option for this rifle with those cut outs so it shouldn't be a big issue. The original stock isn't bad but the front is a little flimsy and will flex but for the most part, it's free floated. Another thing I don't like is that the barrel isn't replaceable. Maybe in the future it could be replaced but I have no idea. A bull barrel option would be totally awesome. However, you should note something important. When I use Remington Golden Bullet, sometimes I get gas leaking around the bolt and back into my face. When I extract the cartridge case, you can see where the burning powder left a sooty spot on the outer case wall as it vented. This is likely due to the case not expanding properly creating a sufficient seal with the chamber. I don't have this issue with any other ammo. It could be specific to the batch that I bought but I haven't found any other runs of RGB yet to see if the issue continues.

For the most part, the Ruger American Rimfire is a good gun for a good price. The other versions have threaded muzzles for devices, different barrel lengths, different stock options and can come in .22 Magnum and .17 HMR. My biggest suggestion for the gun is either they need to make a version with a bull barrel or make it so we can replace the barrel. I would totally buy another RAR if I could get a 22 inch bull barrel and maybe in .17 HMR. Otherwise I would likely purchase a Savage MKII or highly customized 10/22. If you want to know how the gun does over time, check back periodically as I work my way through my long range project. The RAR is the gun I'm starting with and will be used for other activities as well. I intend to shoot this gun for some time.

Pros -
  • The adjustable TRIGGER! I really like it
  • Uses 10/22 mags which are available just about everywhere
  • Comes with replaceable combs
  • Comes in .22 Long Rifle, .22 Magnum and .17 HMR
  • Street price is good at sub-$350
  • Reasonably accurate

Cons -
  • Watch out for QC issues like incorrectly installed sights
  •  Barrel not replaceable
  •  No bull barrel option (maybe they will have one in the future)

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