Everyone wants to shoot precision long-range until it’s time to pay for precision long-range. As the interest in precision long-range shooting grows more and more people are discovering it can be an expensive venture. The solution in many cases has been the use of .22LR rifles to give us a training tool without burning through our precious and expensive match ammo. In some cases this works but running a 22 plinker with an off-the-shelf stock is not exactly optimal. Along comes Ruger with a real-world answer. Following on the success of their full-size centerfire precision rifles, they have released a .22LR rifle from the same cut of cloth. Their offering to the precision long-range-shooting crowd is the Ruger 22 Precision Rimfire.
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The Ruger 22 Precision Rimfire is designed to be a training rifle for those who shoot long-range precision. While the list of interesting features on this gun is lengthy, the most intriguing is the bolt design. On a standard 22-bolt gun, the bolt throw is only 1 ½”. This is less than helpful if you want your bolt manipulations to transfer over to your full-size gun. Ruger saw this and built the bolt so that it could be changed to a 3″ throw that matches centerfire precision rifles. This allows us to practice a full-size bolt run which in the end helps us on our regular rifles — this is the heart of the gun designed to emulate its centerfire cousins. While it has been scaled down obviously in size, it still retains the function of the precision rifle.
The next interesting point is the chassis. While it is not as large as those found on their full-size rifles, the glass-filled molded nylon chassis still provides a nice stiff base enabling it to be a very accurate rifle. An added benefit is that it comes in at a mild 6.8 lbs. which makes range days a little more enjoyable. It has an adjustable buttstock with a flat Picatinny bag rider making it easy to affix a rear monopod. It also has a molded-in window that provides a tether point for your squeeze bag, and a metal QD pocket makes it easy to secure a sling. The design allows the shooter to adjust not only the length of pull but comb height as well.
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Staying with the precision theme, the rifle includes the Ruger Marksman Adjustable trigger, which has a pull weight range of 2 ¼ to 5 lbs. The adjusting wrench is easily stored in the buttstock compartment for fine-tuning on the range. The grip is Ruger’s own AR-pattern pistol grip which makes access to the 45° safety selector a breeze. The safety is also reversible for left-handed shooters. Topping the rifle off is an anodized Picatinny rail with a 30 MOA elevation giving it plenty of room for some long-range work.
The oversized bolt handle is a copy of the one used on the Ruger Precision Rifle and makes for fantastic bolt manipulations. The handguard is a 15″ free-float design made of hard black anodized aluminum featuring Magpul® M-LOK® slots on all four sides, for improved scope clearance and easy mounting of M-LOK-compatible rails and accessories.
Knowing the barrel is one of the most critical parts of the gun, Ruger has taken great care to do it right. The barrel is an 18″ cold hammer-forged 4140 alloy steel barrel with a 1:16 twist and 1/2″ 28 thread pattern for pairing with muzzle devices or suppressors. The gun uses a larger capacity BX-15 magazine but can use 10-22 mags or aftermarket magazines as well.
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Range day with this lightweight sniper was very enjoyable. I topped off the rifle with a Vortex Viper optic, bipod, and an Innovative Arms Apex suppressor. Ammo for the day was Remington/Eley Match EPS 22LR and a small batch of Aquila / Eley Prime .22 SSS Sniper SubSonic. First impressions of the rifle were very positive. I changed the bolt to the 3″ throw to match my centerfire rifles. I tuned the trigger to around 3 lbs. and shot groups at 50 yards.
The Remington/Eley Match EPS gave me a very nice ½” group with not much effort. The trigger was as smooth as silk and made life pretty easy. The bolt required a committed motion. Nothing heavy-handed, but a casual manipulation failed to extract the round — a reminder you should always run your bolt like you mean it. The Aquila/Eley Prime .22 SSS Sniper SubSonic performed very nicely as well with a ¾” group.
So yes, the gun is a serious shooter. It had the feel of a nice centerfire bolt gun with no recoil. In the end, I really feel like Ruger hit a home run with this rifle. It is a great tool to help work on many of the skills required for competition shooting. Trigger press, bolt manipulation, and many other critical skills can be honed on this lightweight shooter. With an MSRP of $529, it’s an affordable tool to sharpen your precision long-range shooting!
- Ruger Precision Rimfire
- Caliber: .22 LR
- Stock: Quick-Fit Precision Rimfire Adjustable
- Capacity: 15, 10
- Barrel Length: 18″
- Overall Length: 35.13″—38.63″
- Grip: AR-Pattern
- Handguard: Free-Float M-LOK Aluminum Handguard Finish Hard Black Anodized
- Thread Pattern: 1/2-28
- Length of Pull: 12-15.50″
- Sights: None-Rail Installed
- Barrel: Threaded Cold Hammer-Forged 4140 Alloy Steel
- Weight: 6.8 lbs.
- Twist: 1:16″ RH
- Grooves: 6
- Suggested Retail: $529
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For more information, visit: www.ruger.com