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Ruger 10/22 RB rimfire rifle

Ruger 10/22 RB rimfire rifle

Overall Rating: 68%

Manufacturer: Ruger

Price as reviewed: £486

When Ruger brought out the 10/22 rimfire semi automatic rifle in 1964, little did the company know how popular it would become. The Ruger 10/22 RB rimfire is the rimfire repeater of choice for many shooters and it is available in a wide variety of models including: Sporter, target, synthetic, compact or laminated stock versions. It is an excellent vermin gun. (Read more on ammunition for vermin.)

The basic model is the 10/22 RB, which is compact in stature, with an overall length of only 37.25in and a weight of 5lb without scope or sound moderator.

Ruger 10/22 RB rimfire rifle

10/22 RB rimfire

The model on test might be a bit basic, but it still has Ruger’s unique rotary 10-shot magazine and the ability to get the job done with no fuss.

Ruger 10/22 RB rimfire – action, trigger and safety

Beneath the dull-black painted crinkle finish lays a simple yet reliable semi-automatic rimfire action of about 6.25in in length.

The recoil-activated bolt travels a small distance to eject a spent case from a single claw extractor through a 2.5in ejection port.

The receiver is drilled and tapped for a scope mounting base, which is supplied and, thanks to its dual platform arrangement, allows the use of Weaver-style or dovetail rings, a very clever idea.

A small lever in front of the trigger-guard sits beneath the action. When the bolt is in the rearmost position and this lever is depressed, it holds open the bolt, which is a good safety feature and is handy for cleaning the bolt face. In front of this lever is the magazine release.

Ruger 10/22 RB rimfire rifle mag

When pushed forward and up, it drops the magazine into your hand. Best of all is the fact that it has a 10-shot capacity but with a rotary design, meaning that the body of the magazine is all kept within the profile of the action and does not stick out of the bottom like most single column-feed magazines do.

It has a plastic body, with hardwearing metal lips where the bolt picks up the cartridge. If it is kept clean, the magazine will function well. The trigger is a single-stage affair that is very heavy,  nearly 8lb was needed to release the sear on firing but once you get used to it, you can achieve good accuracy.

The safety is a simple cross-bolt unit housed in the trigger guard, which blocks the trigger travel to make the rifle safe.


Accuracy and gargets

Given that the 10/22 is suited to vermin, I chose some subsonic rimfire ammunition for testing and a Brügger & Thomet sound moderator.

At 30 yards all but the PMC ammunition was achieving groups of less than 1in.

The best three brands are recorded in the chronograph section below.

Ruger 10/22 RB rimfire rifle accuracy

The RWS produced 947fps and shot neat average groups of 0.90in with some vertical stringing.

The Eley was the most consistent load, at 1,011fps from 30 yards it achieved groups of 0.75in.

Often three would go into a nice group and the other two stray out, but the rifle showed good accuracy for rabbits and was very reliable.

Non-reflecting barrel

This model sports a typical Sporter profile barrel starting out with a diameter of 0.922in at the receiver ring and tapering down to 0.662in just in front of the fore-end tip, and 0.498in at the muzzle.

This is factory threaded for a 1/2 UNF sound moderator. The overall subdued matt blued/black finish is very practical on this type of rifle.

Typically, this gun will find its way into the field as a rabbit gun, so a non-reflecting surface is certainly beneficial.

There are open sights, and the foresight has a fixed elevated gold bead with windage adjustment.

The rear sight is a small folding unit that has an adjustable leaf arrangement.

Ruger 10/22 RB rimfire rifle chronograph

Windage adjustment is via a dovetail mount. This basic model has the barrel securely clamped to the fore-end using a black split-ring barrel band, which harks back to more traditional designs but does little for the small Ruger’s accuracy potential.


Utilitarian sounds better than basic, I suppose. However, this is the basic model and it’s designed to take plenty of knocks. Fashioned from hardwood, there is a light walnut staining to the pale wood beneath and a smooth matt lacquer has been liberally applied.

This seals the stock from the elements, but without chequering it is a bit slippery in the hands.

The black plastic butt-pad with its smooth finish doesn’t help the grip. Only its curved design gives it some adhesion to the shoulder. There is no cheekpiece and the comb is quite low, with little or no cast, so try to mount your scopes in low rings so that you are not craning your neck upward too much.

The fore-end is slender and rounded and grip comes from clasping the barrel band at the front which together with a single screw secures the stock to the rifle.

The length of pull is short at 13.25in, so it would suit a smaller framed person.

Accuracy 15/20
Combined with the right ammunition, the 10/22 is accurate for rabbits at up to 75 yards.

Handling 15/20
A good light and compact design but the lack of cheekpiece and chequering lets it down.

Trigger 10/20
The trigger is very heavy, which doesn’t help accuracy, but it is safe to use.

Stock 12/20
The design is basic, so you will not mind scratching or denting it. The butt-plate is cheap plastic.

Value 16/20
Despite lacking some features, the 10/22 is good value and hardwearing if cleaned regularly. (Read these tips on cleaning a rifle.)

TOTAL 68/100


The standard 10/22 is an entry-level rimfire rifle designed to be well used. For beginners who like its lightweight and 10-shot capacity, the Ruger is a good rifle for rabbiting. (Read more on rabbiting with rimfires.)

It would be equally suitable for a keeper who wants a rifle to earn its living. The rotary magazine makes it a good lamping rifle. (Read more on lamping here.)

This article was originally published in 2009 and has been updated. 


The standard 10/22 is an entry-level rimfire rifle designed to be well used