Ruger Amer­i­can Rim­fire Tar­get Ri­fle

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions • Cal­iber: .22 Long Ri­fle, .22 Long, .22 Short • Bar­rel length: 18 inches • Twist: 1:16 inches RH (six grooves) • Over­all length: 37 inches • Stock: Black lam­i­nate • Length of pull: 13.75 inches • Ca­pac­ity: 10 • Weight: 6.7 pounds MSR

American Survival Guide - - LAUNCH FAMILY -

Marks­man Ad­justable Trig­ger that the 10/22 does not of­fer. The Ruger Amer­i­can Rim­fire Tar­get is a very dif­fer­ent of­fer­ing than its semi­au­to­matic brother, mak­ing it a true ap­ples-to-or­anges com­par­i­son.


The Ruger Amer­i­can Rim­fire Tar­get is equipped with a .860-inch-di­am­e­ter, cold­forged bar­rel with a ½x28 threaded end. It is free floated to pre­vent any dis­rup­tion in the bar­rel’s har­mon­ics and, at 18 inches long, it is long enough to al­low the gun­pow­der to fully burn be­fore the pro­jec­tile leaves the bar­rel; this will max­i­mize the ve­loc­ity of the am­mu­ni­tion used.

Its trig­ger breaks be­tween 3 and 5 pounds and be­comes no­tice­ably cleaner and smoother as it is worked in with use. This trig­ger is far from those found on sim­i­larly priced ri­fles and more like those on pricier tar­get firearms. The safety pro­tru­sion on the front of the trig­ger is rem­i­nis­cent of Glock trig­gers, but it has far less travel be­fore it breaks. If the user wants to in­crease or de­crease the trig­ger pull, all that is nec­es­sary is to ad­just a small screw at the front of the trig­ger face.

The Ruger Amer­i­can Rim­fire Tar­get stock fea­tures the same lam­i­nated wood found on its big­ger brothers, such as the Gun­site Scout and Guide Gun. This stock is un­af­fected by the el­e­ments and works well with a Harris bi­pod for bench shoot­ing, be­cause the forend is con­toured for ac­cept­ing one. On the op­po­site end, the stock has a gen­er­ous rub­ber re­coil pad ca­pa­ble of ab­sorb­ing the force of larger cal­ibers. Nev­er­the­less, it is used more for lock­ing the ri­fle into place in the shooter’s shoul­der pocket.


Ev­ery round counts, and ev­ery round has your life at­tached to it. It’s easy to

turn gun­pow­der into noise with a semi­auto, and I won’t deny that rapid fire from that ac­tion or full-auto isn’t fun. How­ever, be­cause ev­ery round counts—espe­cially in a sur­vival or ex­tended liv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in the out­doors—a bolt-ac­tion ri­fle forces the shooter to slow down and aim. Any trig­ger-happy per­son can sit be­hind a ri­fle and spray, but not ev­ery­one can learn the pa­tience and skill to stack rounds on top of rounds on a sin­gle tar­get or learn how rounds are af­fected by dis­tance, wind and other en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions. It is sad that the marks­men of yes­ter­year—those from Brad­ford Angier’s time—are few and far be­tween, un­like the In­ter­net spray-and-pray range mon­keys of to­day.

The Ruger Amer­i­can Rim­fire Tar­get is an ex­cel­lent gun for work­ing on de­lib­er­ate ac­cu­racy. It teaches the user to pre­pare each shot with cor­rect body po­si­tion, breath­ing, sight pic­ture, trig­ger con­trol and dis­ci­pline. This ri­fle re­minds us what it takes to be ac­cu­rate, and we can ap­ply the lessons learned on it to our other firearms plat­forms. We can also use it for what it is: an ac­cu­rate range or varmint .22 ri­fle. With larger-cal­iber am­mu­ni­tion prices show­ing very lit­tle down­ward move­ment, the .22 ri­fle is the one we will need

to fall back on if we feel we are priced out of good train­ing.


The Ruger Amer­i­can Rim­fire Tar­get is af­ford­able, re­li­able and ac­cu­rate. To eval­u­ate it, a scope with match­ing at­tributes was nec­es­sary. The Bur­ris 2-7x Drop­tine is the per­fect match for a ri­fle-and-op­tic com­bi­na­tion that won’t break the bank and still pro­vide the shooter with the fea­tures of op­tics nor­mally found mounted on larger-cal­iber cen­ter­fire ri­fles.

The Drop­tine 2-7x is con­structed with pre­ci­sion glass that is fin­ished to re­duce glare, and the wa­ter­proof scope body is ni­tro­gen filled. The rear fo­cal plane in the Drop­tine 2-7x fea­tures the Bur­ris Bal­lis­tic Plex ret­i­cle with ½-inch MOA steel-on­steel ad­just­ments, pro­vid­ing the user with dis­tinct tac­tile feed­back in­stead of cheap plas­tic al­ter­na­tives. The fo­cus of the op­tic is set at 50 yards, and it is meant for the 22 Long Ri­fle car­tridge. The 11.4-inch, over­all-matte-fin­ished, 1-inch tube has a 35mm ob­jec­tive lens and a 39mm oc­u­lar lens—at a to­tal weight of only 12 ounces.

Dur­ing the ini­tial out­ing with this ri­fle, it was bore­sighted the old-fash­ioned way. Un­like mod­ern semi­au­to­mat­ics, the de­sign of the Ruger Amer­i­can al­lowed one shooter to re­move the bolt and steady the ri­fle aimed down­range at a tar­get. One ex­cel­lent fea­ture of this ri­fle is the abil­ity to re­move the bolt with­out hav­ing to squeeze the trig­ger. That fea­ture will likely pre­vent neg­li­gent dis­charges as­so­ci­ated with other bolt-re­moval de­signs.

The shooter aligned the im­age of the tar­get through the bore with the im­age of the tar­get through the op­tic. Changes in the windage and el­e­va­tion were made, and the first shot reg­is­tered about 3 inches, right at the 3 o’clock po­si­tion. This method of bore­sight­ing has been lost on gen­er­a­tions who never han­dled a bolt gun and who fa­vored mod­ern sport­ing ri­fles in­stead.



I had the op­por­tu­nity to try out the Ruger Amer­i­can with a va­ri­ety of am­mu­ni­tion in a few dif­fer­ent range set­tings. From CCI Stan­dard am­mu­ni­tion to Rem­ing­ton Golden Bul­lets to the new CCI Cop­per and even some nasty Russian ammo I found in the deep­est and dark­est cor­ner of my ran­dom ammo box, the re­li­able bolt-ac­tion fed, fired and ejected ev­ery­thing. This ri­fle will op­er­ate am­mu­ni­tion that re­peat­edly fails to ex­tract and feed in oth­ers.

The short, 60-de­gree bolt throw was at first un­fa­mil­iar to me, as well as to other

shoot­ers ac­cus­tomed to cen­ter­fire short and long ac­tions. There were mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions when we visu­ally checked the cham­ber to see if the bolt cleared the magazine and that we had achieved a com­plete cy­cle of the ac­tion.

Once we trusted the feel of a short .22LR ac­tion, we im­me­di­ately fo­cused on the ac­cu­racy the lit­tle ri­fle could pro­duce and that we were able to cy­cle the bolt in a fluid mo­tion.

Shoot­ing from a stan­dard Harris bi­pod with­out a rear stock bag, dime-sized group­ings were com­mon with all shoot­ers from 25 yards. Shoot­ing from from a back­pack, groups were slightly larger—at­trib­ut­able to the less-sta­ble base. The trig­ger ini­tially felt grainy, but with use, it cleaned up some and was re­spectably crisp for a ri­fle with a mod­er­ate price tag.

The Ruger Amer­i­can mag­a­zines re­lease in the same man­ner as a Ruger 10/22 and are eas­ily ma­nip­u­lated with some prac­tice. Larger, 25-round mag­a­zines fit and won’t bot­tom out when used with the legs ex­tended on a stan­dard Harris bi­pod.

While eval­u­at­ing the Ruger Amer­i­can, I trav­eled to the Yan­kee Hill Ma­chine fac­tory and had the op­por­tu­nity to use its Stinger .22LR sup­pres­sor. Be­cause the .22 round has very lit­tle es­cap­ing gas, .22 sup­pres­sors can of­fer ex­cel­lent noise re­duc­tion.

To test the lim­its of the ri­fle equipped with that sup­pres­sor, var­i­ous am­mu­ni­tion with ve­loc­i­ties of 1,200 to 1850 fps were used. The am­mu­ni­tion with the high­est ve­loc­ity cre­ated a dis­tinct crack! sim­i­lar to a cap gun or primer ex­plod­ing; but it didn’t bother our ears. Lower ve­loc­i­ties were no­tice­ably qui­eter and sim­i­lar to a hand clap. We didn’t have any sub­sonic am­mu­ni­tion that day (which would have been ideal), but I was as­sured by the YHM crew that us­ing it in con­junc­tion with the Stinger is even qui­eter. It is no­table that the ri­fle per­formed slightly bet­ter with the sup­pres­sor than with­out it.

All in all, the shoot­ers who had a chance to use this ri­fle found it in­cred­i­bly fun—and chal­leng­ing—to shoot. In­stead of fo­cus­ing on speed shoot­ing or sloppy plink­ing, sit­ting or sprawl­ing out be­hind the lit­tle, scoped .22 forced shoot­ers to take more-care­ful aim. Each shooter who tried it re­marked how en­joy­able it was to use.

In an age when “big­ger” is of­ten as­so­ci­ated with “bet­ter,” a lit­tle .22 ri­fle can still hold its own. There is no doubt that this ri­fle can pro­vide hours of fun at the range, put meat on the ta­ble or clear out a field of varmints.

The Ruger Amer­i­can is an ex­cel­lent ri­fle that packs a lot of per­for­mance into a bud­get pack­age. It is well made, re­spect­fully ac­cu­rate and easy to use for shoot­ers of all sizes. Per­haps the only down­side is its weight—which, if ac­cepted as a trade-off for ac­cu­racy and sta­bil­ity in a tar­get ri­fle, isn’t an is­sue at all. It is slightly heav­ier than its brother, the 10/22, but not an im­pos­si­ble bur­den to carry around the woods.

This ri­fle isn’t the ri­fle you will shoot off hand for ex­tended ses­sions; it is the ri­fle that will de­liver re­peat­able ac­cu­racy, shot after shot, when ev­ery shot mat­ters.

Whether that is on the fir­ing line or out in a sur­vival sit­u­a­tion that Brad­ford Angier en­vi­sioned, this ri­fle is an ex­cel­lent choice for the mod­ern Amer­i­can.


Ac­cu­racy was fan­tas­tic, and groups such as this one from 25 yards were not un­com­mon. Each grid on the tar­get is ½ inch.

Twenty-fiver­ound mag­a­zines can be used with the Ruger Amer­i­can Tar­get and won’t bot­tom out when used with a Harris bi­pod.

The au­thor takes aim be­hind the Ruger Amer­i­can Rim­fire Tar­get ri­fle at the Yan­kee Hill Ma­chine range.

The Ruger Amer­i­can Rim­fire Tar­get ri­fle comes stan­dard with a nicely fin­ished lam­i­nate wood stock.

Left: The ri­fle was used with a Harris bi­pod dur­ing eval­u­a­tion for this ar­ti­cle.

Far left: A closeup of the Ruger Amer­i­can Rim­fire Tar­get bolt re­moved from the re­ceiver. The de­sign al­lows it to be re­moved with­out squeez­ing the trig­ger.

Far left: The Ruger Amer­i­can Rim­fire Tar­get ri­fle is equipped with a gen­er­ous buttpad that helps the shooter lock it into the shoul­der pocket.

Right: The Ruger Amer­i­can ri­fle comes equipped with a threaded bar­rel and a knurled thread pro­tec­tor.

Far right: The trig­ger fea­tures a small pro­tru­sion that serves as a safety. As the ri­fle was fired more and more, the trig­ger break cleaned up a bit.

The Harris bi­pod used has ad­justable legs, which al­lowed the au­thor and the other shoot­ers to test the 25-round magazine with­out bot­tom­ing out.

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