Review: Ruger Rimfire Precision Rifle

Ruger Rimfire Precision rifle right profile

Among the most exciting rifles to come down the pike this year is the Ruger Rimfire Precision Rifle. This is a bolt-action rimfire rifle chambered for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge.

The rifle is based on the full-size Ruger Precision Rifle. The rifle would make a great understudy for the .308 rifle, but it is also a fine choice for anyone interested in using an accurate rifle for recreational shooting or small game hunting.

This scaled-down rifle features the same ergonomics as the full-size version, and the same manual of arms and trigger action as the Ruger Precision Rifle.

The rifle may be the ideal trainer for those interested in learning the art of long-range shooting. As a stand-alone rifle—for any pursuit that the .22 Long Rifle cartridge is suitable for—the Ruger Rimfire Precision Rifle is a great choice.

The rifle is well-made of good materials with a business-like appearance. The rifle features a molded stock that is actually a chassis, not a stock in the true precision-rifle mold.

This assembly is constructed from glass-filled nylon. This material offers rigidity and resistance to weather warpage or heat. The chassis does not shift and offers a stable firing platform.

Ruger Rimfire Precision Rifle Features:

UTG Gen 2 Light and Laser Combo
The UTG Gen 2 Light and Laser Combo is a great option for the Ruger Precision Rimfire.

The stock is also adjustable for drop and cheek weld. The stock proved one of the more popular features among those who participated in the initial shooting session I conducted.

The shooters, ranging in size from small to well over six feet tall, found the Ruger Rimfire Precision Rifle offered a good fit. The adjustment isn’t difficult at all.

A bonus is that the chassis features witness marks to allow the stock to be moved back to a previous position. The chassis is more advanced than I expected from a .22 rimfire design.

The development of the chassis for the centerfire rifle crossed over to the rimfire well.

The rifle has several innovative features including an adjustable bolt throw. It took a while for me to get the hang of this and understand its usefulness.

The bolt is designed to allow the bolt throw to be adjustable by the removal of a spring clip. The bolt throw may be changed from the standard .22 Long Rifle-type bolt movement of 1.5 inches to the centerfire action 3-inch bolt throw.

This makes the rifle less susceptible to short stroking the action. The bolt handle is a competition type that offers excellent control.

The rifle features an 18-inch target-grade barrel that is forged from 4140 steel. The rifling is precisely cut and offers excellent accuracy.

The barrel is threaded at the muzzle for a sound suppressor. (That would be a neat setup!) The rifle features a free-floating handguard that features M-Lok attachments for lights or lasers.

The Ruger’s adjustable trigger is designed to allow adjustment from 2.25 to 5.0 pounds. This is a crisp, light trigger with no creep or backlash. This trigger is very controllable and is ideal for precision work.

The rifle features an AR-15-type pistol grip. The rifle’s grip is similar to the Ruger AR-556 rifle. The safety is reversible and is very similar to an AR-15 type, at least similar enough for easy familiarity.

Another nice touch is that the wrench for trigger adjustment is stored in the buttstock.

The rifle features a rail for easy scope mounting. The Ruger is supplied with a single 15-round X magazine. Ruger introduced a 25-round magazine some time ago and then the 15-round magazine with the M1 carbine-type Ruger 10/22.

The 15-round magazine is a good compromise between the 10- and 25-round magazines when firing off the bench rest.


Leupold 3-9x40 Riflescope
The Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 Riflescope is a great platform for .22LR target shooting or hunting.

I mounted an inexpensive, but useful, riflescope. The Centerpointe scope was easily mounted and only required a few shots to sight in at 25 yards. This is a useful distance to begin the sight-in process for precision shooting.

I had a good supply of Federal .22 Long Rifle high-velocity hollow points, Fiocchi HV loading and Wolf Match loads on hand.

It is great fun to fire off a few boxes of ammunition from the bench rest. The Ruger Rimfire Precision Rifle is a joy to fire and use.

After sighting the rifle in at 25 yards, I moved to 50 yards, a standard distance for testing the .22 Long Rifle. The results were excellent. The Federal and Fiocchi loads traded for top honors, with good strings from each.

The best groups were around .8 inch at 50 yards. A good solid chassis and excellent trigger added up to good results.

The Ruger Rimfire Precision Rifle is an excellent all-around rifle and a good buy. It is well suited to target shooting, practice for larger rifles and small game hunting.

There is really nothing like it and for under $400, Ruger has a winner with this rifle.

Are you a small game hunter? Do you shoot a .22 Long Rifle for target? Share your tips in the comment section below.


About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
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 (10)

  1. It may be a nice rifle, but it ain’t $1200 nice.

    Of course, better ammo choices may– probably would have– given better results at 100 yds, so I can’t fault the rifle’s accuracy. Adjustable stock– great! Ruger makes a wonderful, accurate weapon in every respect, and they have mine. Except the price.

  2. I did testing with my Ruger 10/22 with 23 different 22lr loads. I tested 5, 5 shot groups per load at 40 yards, 48°F with a slight crosswind; a total of 25 rounds tested per load. I had 5 shot group sizes ranging from 2.17″ to 0.28″ and 5 group averages ranging from 0.53″ to 1.70″. After I shot all 115 groups (575 shots) and logged all the data, I picked the 4 loads that performed the best and retested them with 3 groups out of the same Ruger 10/22 and 2 groups out of a different Ruger 10/22. The second Ruger 10/22 had very similar groups to the first. The groups with the second rifle we’re close enough to the first rifle that it seemed changing the rifle had no effect on group size. After all the testing the best 4 loads a second time the best group was 0.24″ and the worst was 1.12. After combining all 10 groups of the 4 best loads, the group size data is as follows.
    Group sizes we’re very consistent with all of these loads with a standard deviation in group sizes from 0.122 to 0.245.
    **SV= standard velocity
    1.Aguila pistol match: hi-0.72, lo-0.34, avg-0.528
    2.CCI standard velocity: hi-0.99, lo-0.24, avg-0.60
    3.Aguila super extra SV: hi-1.12, lo-0.29, avg-0.647
    4.Aguila super extra: hi-0.8, lo-0.41, avg-0.641
    After all the testing I really wasn’t find any trends to determine precision. Bullet wt, type and plating seemed to make absolutely no difference. There was a slight trend that high velocity ammo seemed to do a little worse than slower ammo but not enough to really matter. Also aguila seemed to occupy several top positions. Hope this helps anyone looking at rimfires to maybe see that ammo matters many more times than the gun to help determine if they want a Ruger precision rimfire or if they can get the precision they are looking for out of a Ruger 10/22 with the proper ammo. In my opinion ammo matters most. Thanks, and hope this helps.

  3. .8 inches is not too impressive. I get .5 inches or less with my Savage MKII, and closer to .3 and .4 inches with my CZs and CZ99s. I have found Aguila SE SV 40 gr. RN to be very accurate and consistent. The Aguila SE 40 gr. RN also perform as well in my CZ99 M22s.

    I will add I was shooting with a bipod. If you were shooting as your picture indicates, you might do better from a bench with bags or a bipod.

  4. I read the article about the new Ruger precision .22 rifle modeled after Ruger’s 308 precision rifle. I looked carefully at the groups shot with target ammo off of a bench. I was a gun dealer for 35 years and still shoot a lot of targets. I was frankly disappointed with the group shot by Mr Campbell.

    I have 10/22 standard rifles that will out shoot this precision rifle. Now if the stated yardage was 100 yards, I would be impressed. It would never make a silhouette rifle. with groups that are exhibited here. Sorry, I’m not going to run out and buy this rifle because of the accuracy.

  5. I have a stainless Marlin model 60 .22 with a Simmons .22 magnum 4×32 scope that shoots under 1″ groups at 50 yards, but mostly it’s used for groundhogs and other annoying critters. A blued Marlin model 60 was my first squirrel rifle when I was 13, purchased in 1958 for around $35. Equipped with a Weaver scope, it was rare that I didn’t hit a squirrel in the head at 25 yards.

  6. That thing looks like it came from a toy store. Ruger sure has taken a different course since dumping the 77/22. I wonder how the CZ 455 Thumbhole Varmint with fluted barrel stacks up against the Ruger. One thing for sure, the CZ certainly looks a heck of a lot nicer and will probable hold its value over the years. I will stick with CZ 452 &455’s, Sako Finnfire II’s, and Steyr Mannlicher Zephry II’s, and of course my 77/22’s. Classic design is my choice.

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