A Look at the Ruger American Rimfire in .22lr


It’s time to take a look at the Ruger American Rimfire in 22lr.

With the popularity, reliability, and affordability of the 10/22, it only seems natural that Ruger would want to make a bolt action of the same quality as the 10/22.

Aside from the .22lr that I will be reviewing, the Ruger American is also available in 22wmr and 17hmr. They also offer both wood and synthetic stock versions and there are even several with custom engravings. There is a compact version that has a shortened barrel along with several that have threaded barrels and recently a bull barrel version that’s threaded. If you want to look at all the different variants click the link below.


Out of the box quality. 

Whew, that was a mouthful. Now let’s focus on the one I own. I went with the wood stock variant since I really liked the look of the wood and feel of the rifle. Out of the box, it comes with a single 10 round detachable rotary magazine, a manual, and one of those dumb child locks. The finish of both the wood and the bluing of the gun itself are very well done and they deserve bonus points for the well-protected box it’s shipped in.


The manual of arms for this gun is pretty straight forward for a bolt action while also adding a few little touches I can appreciate. The safety is a tank safety that is slightly recessed into the receiver to prevent you from accidentally flipping the safety on or off, with a visual aid in the form of a red indent letting you know the safety of the rifle is off. The mag release is that of a 10/22: same angle, same length, same function.

If you aren’t familiar with 10/22 mag releases this is more comparable to that of a Kalashnikov style paddle.

The other cool thing is if you already own a 10/22 is that magazines are interchangeable between the two, which is nice since it keeps me from having to find more mags to hoard.

The mags are a straight insert compared to having to rock them in like an AK. As a side note, don’t try and do a tactical AK reload by hitting the magazine on the release. It doesn’t work well and damages the magazines.

Sights and optics.

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Out of the box, the gun is sighted in for about 25 yards but can easily be adjusted for 50 yards. The barrel is free floating but it seems to be the same profile as the stock 10/22 barrels. I am currently hoping someone comes out with a bull-barrel as it will make a world of difference in accuracy.

The trigger has zero take up and is fairly crisp with a 2.5-3lb trigger pull, making it very forgiving. I was able to get the trigger to drop down to about the 1lb range with a very very simple modification that takes no time at all, but do this at your own risk (please see minor tweaks/attachments section).

If you are a decent shooter you will have no issues whatsoever. The gallery below has eleven of some of the more commonly found 22.lr in your local stores shot in 5 shot groups at 50 yards at the dots. their sizes for reference are 1 2/8″ outer circle is 2 2/8″.

I just wrote down what was on the box, sue me.

1. Winchester 333rnd box/36gr/1280fps

2. Aguila super extra/40gr/copper plated

3. Federal target load 325rnd box/40gr/lead

4. Winchester super x/40gr/1435fps/hollow point copper plate

5. Fiocchi standard velocity/40gr/lead

6. CCI select 22lr/40gr/1200fps/lead

7. CCI mini-mag/36gr/1260fps/hollow point copper plated

8. CCI standard velocity/40gr/lead

9. Remington Yellow Jacket/33gr/1500fps/hollow point copper plate

10. Federal American Eagle high velocity/38gr/hollow point copper plate.

11. Federal Lightning/40gr/lead.

Minor tweaks/ attachments. 

After getting acquainted with the gun over several months I decided to get a few things. I first bought a Vortex Crossfire II Vplex optic for $119 and some $20 scope mounts from Amazon. A week later I found a cheap little bipod from Caldwell for $20.

Scope mounts: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003GSOI1K/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Scope: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00794LKHW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Caldwell bipod bought from a gun show for $20.

Now I was able to lighten the trigger up a significant amount by watching this man’s video.

For the love of god do this at your own risk, follow the rules of firearm safety, clear the gun make it safe and follow the manufacturers manual


I got this gun for about $260 from my LGS with a 10rnd mag. Depending on the model and caliber you get, the prices will vary. On Gunbroker I don’t see them going for more than $400 for the higher end models with laminate/synthetic stocks, threaded barrels, and scope combos while the basic models run around the $250 mark.

I see them every now and then on the used market for about $150-$200, but they aren’t as prevalent as a 10/22 yet.

Final thoughts.

I have both a Ruger 10/22 and this rifle. I absolutely love that I can use the same magazines in both. The price point for both rifles are very similar so the only thing that I could see people choose one or the other is if they want a semi-auto plinker with a large aftermarket or a bolt action plinker with a smaller aftermarket, but that is slowly changing.

All in all this gun has earned its place in my safe among my other 22. guns.

Comments? Questions? Concerns? feedback? Leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

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1 Response

  1. Jessi says:

    Great pics

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