September 08, 2023
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Ruger opened the door to the long-range shooting world for many shooters when they introduced their centerfire Precision Rifle in 2015. Out of the box, it was accurate, ergonomic, affordable, and proof that Ruger had perfected advanced manufacturing techniques with tight tolerances. Using those same processes and design cues, Ruger released a Precision Rimfire. This .22LR is a heavy barreled, fully-adjustable shooting platform that is astonishingly accurate and affordable. If the definition of fun is hitting your target, the Ruger Precision Rimfire (RPR) is as good as it gets.
Action and Barrel
Ruger offers the RPR in two sizes for three cartridges: a .22LR version and the larger action for .17 HMR and .22 Magnum. The RPR’s steel action is a solid foundation that is loaded with features for accurate shooting. With the round bar stock action, full-body bolt diameter, and well-placed bolt release, it’s easy to see the RPR’s heritage. Ruger designed the RPR’s bolt with modern features that tactical and target shooters appreciate. The large bolt knob is easy to grasp and manipulate. It’s threaded for easy removal for customization. The bolt handle itself is extra long to clear scope objectives and allows for quick and smooth cycling.
An interesting feature of the RPR is the bolt-throw adjustment. It can be set for 1.5-inch length of travel like traditional .22LR actions or a 3-inch bolt throw to mimic the cycling of a short-action centerfire like a 6.5 Creedmoor or .308. The longer setting is designed to keep you from short stroking your full-size centerfire after rimfire training with the RPR. The bolt’s single extractor and ejector fed and functioned perfectly throughout testing. A heavy barrel provides distinct shooting advantages, the RPR has the heaviest barrel of all the rimfires in the rack at my local gun store. Simple physics means a barrel with more mass will be more stable and steadier on target, so they’re easier to shoot accurately. But the RPR’s barrel isn’t clunky, and the rifle still weighs under 7 pounds. It’s not such a heavy barrel as to be confined to the range and impossible to carry around in the field.
Ruger builds their centerfire barrels with a process called cold-hammer forging, in which a steel blank is hammered around a precision mandrel. It’s a technique that produces barrels with hard steel and tight tolerances. Interestingly, the RPR’s barrel attaches to the action with an AR-style barrel nut, so it’s easy to replace. Lilja, Shaw, and PROOF Research make aftermarket barrels that fit the RPR if you want to go full-blown custom.
A good trigger is essential to extracting accuracy, and Ruger’s Marksman Trigger is one of the best out there. It’s a blade-style trigger that is externally adjustable from 2.25 to 5 pounds. It’s the same trigger Ruger installs on their award-winning centerfire Precision Rifle. The break is consistent, crisp, clean, and one of the reasons the Precision Rimfire is so easy to shoot well. Like its centerfire big brother, the RPR uses an AR-style safety that is easy to reach and engage with the firing hand’s thumb. It’s a 45-degree safety that is quick to use and snaps on and off with authority. It’s reversible and easily swapped out for your favorite AR safety.
In one of the best examples of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” the Ruger Precision Rimfire uses tried-and-true Ruger 10/22-pattern magazines. The .22LR RPR that I tested comes with a 15-round mag that protrudes far enough from the action that it is easy to grasp and handle when performing reloads. Flush-fitting, 10-round magazines are a good choice when shooting from the bench and you want the rifle as low as possible. When the range is saturated with reactive targets like soda cans, clay pigeons, or steel spinners, 25-round magazines are a lot of fun. The magazine release is a short tab smartly tucked into the chassis where it is protected from accidental release. Long-range shooting is all the rage these days. Ruger ships the RPR with an anodized aluminum 30-MOA scope rail. This allows a competent shooter to mount good glass and take the .22LR out beyond 300 yards.
The RPR’s polymer chassis is built with functional geometry that looks cool and includes a barrage of features to aid the competitive shooter. These include a barricade stop and beveled mag well. Ruger ships rifles in several color options from FDE to eye-catching red. The chassis’ durable construction serves as a stable shooting platform. The RPR’s grip is standard AR-15. There are dozens of options for customization. The buttstock is easily adjustable with a camlock for length of pull, cheek riser height, and location. It incorporates a short section of rail on the toe for a monopod attachment and a QD sling swivel cup.
The RPR’s chassis is comfortable to shoot. The barrel is heavy enough to settle and stay on target when shooting from standing, sitting, or resting over a log or the seat of an ATV. You would be hard pressed to find a better rifle for rimfire applications. Putting in reps with the RPR will make a seasoned or novice shooter better. Every part on the RPR is designed for accuracy, and it delivered amazing results at the range. CCI’s Green Tag Competition rounds drilled several one-hole, five-shot groups at 50 yards. The rifle produced groups under an inch with all four loads tested, including the subsonic rounds. Each part of the build, from the trigger to the adjustable stock, combined to make accurate shooting from the bench a breeze.
Ruger’s Precision Rimfire Rifle is the combination of comfortable ergonomics, solid construction, a quality barrel, and a great trigger. These all contribute to its match-winning shootability. With the low cost of rimfire ammo, this is a gun that you shoot a lot. Practice makes perfect, and training with this rifle will make you better at putting bullets on target. The $619 MSRP is a great value, as the RPR performs as well as rifles costing many times that amount.
Ruger Precision Rimfire Specs
- Type: Bolt-action, repeater
- Cartridge: .22LR (tested), .17 HMR, .22WMR
- Capacity: 10, 15, 25 rds.
- Magazine: Ruger 10/22
- Barrel: 18 in., cold-hammer-forged
- Handguard: 15 in., free-float
- Chassis: Reinforced polymer
- Weight: 6.8 lbs.
- MSRP: $619
- Contact: Ruger
The article was originally posted in Precision Rimfire magazine. You can purchase an original copy at OSGnewsstand.com. If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.