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Ruger American Bolt-Action .22 Magnum

Recently I tested one of the finest bolt-action rimfire rifles I have used. I purchased it, as I often do, based on looks.

The Ruger features a Go Wild camo stock and bronze cerakote finish.

It may not be any more accurate than a standard dull black Ruger American Rimfire, but it certainly has plenty of bling!

The rifle features excellent fit and finish, and a smooth action, all we may ask.

The rifle may cost a little more than price leaders, but it is affordable and certainly offers all of the performance I need for small game.

After an appraisal of the performance of the rifle and the newest .22 Magnum ammunition, I may move it from small-game to small-game and varmint category at modest range.

I liked the original well enough, but just did not see replacing my long-serving 10/22 rifles with the bolt-action Ruger American.

The new rifle is a different matter! The .22 Magnum is more accurate than the .22 Long Rifle Ruger I tested, and the .22 Magnum does things the .22 LR will not.

Bling aside, the action is very smooth, but also locks up tight. The fit of the stock to the action is good. Bedding is everything for accuracy.

The stock-to-action fit is ideal for accuracy, as my testing bore out. Humidity will not warp the synthetic stock. The barrel is free-floated.

The rifle weighs but six pounds, a useful weight for keeping a steady hold and carrying in the field.

The rifle also features the new Ruger Marksman trigger. I like being able to adjust the trigger action for my own ‘sweet spot’ in feel.

I set the trigger for a smooth 2.5 pounds. The Ruger American Rimfire rifle features a ‘big gun’ type of safety, with safe and off-safe positions.

The bolt may be manipulated with the safety in the on position.

Scope Options

The rifle, surprisingly enough, was delivered with a nice looking muzzle brake. The Ruger American Rimfire rifle has practically no perceived recoil.

The barrel is threaded for other devices as well.

My rifle wears an excellent optic for the type of shooting I envision, mostly fun stuff at 100 yards or a little more. The Burris Fullfield E1 is my choice.

The Fullfield E1 4.5-14x42mm is designed to slot into the lineup with a significant increase in magnification over the 3-9x, but still keeping a small lower end magnification of 4.5, which allows for a significantly wider field of view than the larger 6.5-20x. 

This model of Fullfield E1 features side-adjusting parallax focus.

There are two models available in this size, one with the Ballistic Plex E1 reticle and one with the Long Range MOA reticle.

I chose the Ballistic Plex. The Ballistic Plex E1 is a variation on the highly-engineered and extremely popular Burris hunting reticle.

The Long Range MOA reticle offers details and enough ultra-fine precision to get this scope into the long-range competition market.

It’s also very popular with folks sniping predators and varmints from significant distances.

This riflescope is resistant to a lifetime of field use, heavy recoil and harsh vibration. It is protected by the Burris Forever Warranty

Perhaps I did not need this much rifle scope on a rimfire rifle, but then perhaps I felt that the rifle’s accuracy justified this type of optic.

The .22 Magnum Load Advantage

A great benefit of the .22 Magnum is its versatility. The rifle has been tested with the CCI VNT 30-grain loading.

This load will vaporize pests at short range and is among the least likely of loads to ricochet.

There is simply very little left in ballistic testing, it simply flies apart. The CCI Maxi Mag 40-grain load is a staple for .22 Magnum fans.

Accurate and with good effect, this is a fine general-purpose load. For small-game hunting, you don’t need expansion.

Rabbit and squirrel are cleanly taken with the Winchester 40-grain FMJ load. This load is clean-burning, affordable and accurate.

An overlooked and useful load is the Hornady 45-grain Critical Defense loading.

Intended for personal defense in handguns, this isn’t a fast load at about 1,600 fps in the rifle.

But this load offers a good balance of expansion and penetration.

I would be hard-pressed to choose between this load and the traditional 40-grain JHP is I were to use the .22 Magnum for coyote or bobcat.

As for accuracy, the Ruger is far more accurate than I would have guessed.

A good standard for .22 rimfire accuracy is two inches at 50 yards for a three-shot group.

The Ruger American Rimfire .22 Magnum will beat this accuracy not at 50, but 100 yards. One group with the CCI Mini Mag averaged 1.5 inches.

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