Consumer Information

Review: Rossi Rio Bravo .22 Rifle

Rossi Rio Bravo Rifle with Scope

If there is anything more American and more enjoyable for shooters than a lever-action .22 rimfire rifle, I haven’t seen it!

The .22 rifle is useful for training shooters, small-game hunting and just plain and simple enjoyment.

For many years, Rossi has offered affordable lever-action rifles in a variety of calibers including .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and .45 Colt.

They now offer a neat, fast-handling rifle in .22 rimfire. The Rossi features a blue finish and German beechwood furniture.

The rifle is supplied with the classic buckhorn rear sight and post front sight.

If you understand the buckhorn sight, they are plenty accurate at normal hunting range.

For plinking at dirt clods and tin cans at the 100-yard berm, they are useful if you understand how to move the front sight up into the upper rear sight.

Rossi Rio Bravo with Scope
The Rossi/TRUGLO combination is a good one.

Features and Specifications

The rifle features a 15-round tube-fed magazine. This magazine accepts .22 Short, .22 Long and .22 Long Rifle cartridges.

An addition to the traditional rifle is a cross-bolt safety. Either use it or don’t, some wont like it, but it is a feature that some will appreciate.

The rifle weighs but 5.5 pounds, making carrying in the field easy. The rifle should not tax the strength of a pre-teen learning to fire a .22 rifle.

The finish is nice and evenly applied, and the fit of the wood to the metal is well done.

Another version is available with synthetic stocks and a fiber-optic sight setup. That should be a good shooter.

I obtained the first Rossi rifle available and I like the traditional look. Below are the specifications for my gun.

Rio Bravo Specs:

Caliber:.22 LR
Capacity:15 Rounds
Finish:Polished Black
Furniture:German Beechwood
Barrel Length:18 Inches
Overall Length:36 Inches
Weight:5.5 Pounds
Rossi Rio Bravo Lever-Action Rifle
As issued without optics, the rifle makes a fine all-around general-purpose .22 rimfire.

Accuracy and Function     

To make the rifle ready to fire, unscrew the magazine tube and move it toward the muzzle until the loading port in the magazine is exposed.

(Be certain you begin with a triple-checked unloaded firearm!)

Drop a cartridge at a time into the magazine, then plug the inner magazine tube back into place. The rifle is now loaded.

To load the chamber for firing, work the lever action forward. Don’t press downward, but forward as you operate the action.

You are then ready to fire with a press of the trigger. Fire, work the action, fire again.

If desired, you may carefully lower the hammer on a loaded chamber.

Control the hammer with your thumb and press the trigger. The hammer is lowered to the ready position.

Next, bring the hammer back just slightly until it clicks in the safety notch.

After lowering the hammer to fire the rifle, simply cock the hammer to fire.

When firing the rifle, the action proved smooth and reliable.

I fired the rifle primarily at small targets at 25 yards with some 50-yard work at larger targets.

Firing off-hand, the rifle is a dream, easy to use well, accurate and reliable.

I used primarily a mix of Fiocchi loads, including their high-speed hollowpoint.

I have a cache of carefully hoarded loads I use for small-game hunting.

The Fiocchi load is often match-grade accurate and provides excellent results.

lever-action rifle with safety
That is the cross-bolt safety in the fire position.

A Good Scope Option

I added a TRUGLO .22 rimfire rifle scope toward the end of the test. Things got a little more interesting.

The Fiocchi high-speed load put three rounds into 2.5 inches at a long 50 yards. This is an accurate combination well worth its price!

TRUGLO Rimfire Scope Specs:

Tube Diameter:1 Inch
Reticle Focal Plane:Second Focal Plane (SFP)
Weight:11.4 Ounces
Adjustment Type:MOA
Adjustment Click Value:0.25 MOA
Included Accessories:3/8″ Rings
Lever-action rifle open action
Lever throw is short and fast!

Conclusion: Rossi Rio Bravo Review

After using the Rossi Rio Bravo for several weeks, I find a versatile, accurate and useful firearm.

The fit and finish are good, accurate excellent, and reliability beyond any question. The modest price, in the $300 range, doesn’t hurt a thing!

What do you think of the Rossi Rio Bravo? Let us know in the comments section below!

About the Author:

Wilburn Roberts

When Wilburn Roberts was a young peace officer, he adopted his present pen name at the suggestion of his chief, as some of the brass was leery of what he might write. This was also adopted out of respect for families of both victims and criminals. The pen name is the same and the man remains an outspoken proponent of using enough gun for the job.

He has been on the hit list of a well-known hate group, traveled in a dozen countries and written on many subjects, including investigating hate crimes and adopting the patrol carbine. He graduated second in his class with a degree in Police Science. It took him 20 years to work himself from Lieutenant to Sergeant and he calls it as he sees it.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (5)

  1. Very accurate, sights are easy to adjust on the one with optic sights which I LOVE
    Worth the $$

  2. We own the plastic Rio Bravo…after putting a cheap scope on it we plink out to 100 yards using cheap bulk ammo…when we first got the rifle it was slightly out of joint, firing out of battery…we sent it to the manufacturer and two weeks later got it back…it has run flawlessly ever since…we like the gun…

  3. I like the idea, appearance, & history of the lever action rifles, and I’ve had a few 44 Magnum & 30/30 lever action rifles. 1 was a 1866/1966 Centennial Winchester in 30/30, 26” octagon barrel, brass receiver. But I just never quite got the feel for a lever gun. Awkward feeling action, in my opinion, & I pinched my big hand many times. Gloved operation in extreme cold was even more terrible. Just my opinion of lever action rifles, overall. So bolt action it is, for me. But I have shot a pump Rossi 22 rifle A LOT, a quick takedown gallery gun, & I will say… The Rossi 22’s are well made firearms.

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