column By: Stan Trzoniec | November, 17
The Ruger American Rimfire rifle has been in the Ruger stable for several years, but the wood stock version is fairly new. Profiled from hardwood, it has a stain finish, unique checkering pattern and a rubber recoil pad. There is a slight palm swell for both right- and left-hand shooters, but the stock is otherwise classic in design.
The sweep of the pistol grip is right for both offhand and prone shooting, and the Ruger logo is nicely laser engraved on the cap. The forearm has finger grooves just below the barrel and, combined with the checkering, makes for a secure hold. Sling swivel studs are included. The inletting is next to perfect around the trigger guard, magazine, barrel, receiver and especially around the tang.
The receiver features a flush-mounted 10-round 10/22 magazine so familiar on other Ruger rifles, including one of my favorites, the discontinued Model 77/22. In concert with the magazine, there is an extended magazine release forward of the trigger guard that allows the magazine to drop down into the shooter’s hand with minimal effort.
The rifle’s cold hammer-forged, free-floated barrel is 22 inches long with a target crown and open sights as standard. There are no rings included with the rifle; rings are available separately. Ruger includes a Williams fiber optic front sight with a luminous green color and a “V” slot rear sight adjustable for elevation. Sportsmen needing (or wanting) a scope will find the rifle has 3⁄8-inch dovetails machined into the receiver, and a pair of Bushnell rings were installed for scope mounting. An option is to purchase a pair of Weaver No. 12 bases and mount your own set of rings. A Leupold 2-7x Rimfire scope was added atop the Bushnell rings but required folding the rear sight down.
The receiver itself has a modern appearance with straight-walled sides. Like the barrel, the receiver is well polished and blued to a rich satin. Under the front receiver bridge, a gas relief port is located on both sides, and at the rear is a bolt release lever. One distinctive feature found on this rifle series is the ability to remove the bolt when the safety is “on.” On the other hand, the safety only locks the sear and related parts, not the bolt. The safety is mounted on the tang so is accessible for both right- and left-hand shooters. Easy to use even with gloves on, it moves “on” and “off” with a resounding click.
The bolt is 6 inches long, and the back half is polished and blued to match the receiver and includes a nicely shaped bolt shroud. Up front, there are dual prong extractors. The bolt handle has a nice sweep to it, is finished off with a polished bolt knob and offers a 60-degree bolt lift. The metal trigger guard is attached to the stock with two stock screws.
Interestingly, after all these years of being overly cautious with triggers, Ruger has finally provided a rimfire rifle with an adjustable trigger. The American Rimfire’s trigger is adjustable from 3 to 5 pounds of pull. From the factory, the trigger was set right at 4 pounds, but the feel was so crisp, I decided to leave it that way for testing.
Ruger’s Power Bedding system incorporates twin-angled grooves on a steel bedding block within the stock that mate with twin lugs on the receiver. This is an innovative way to ensure securing both the stock and action for the best accuracy potential. In addition, the barrel is free-floated from the receiver forward to end of the stock.
At the range, the Ruger American was fun to shoot, and at 50 yards, groups were right in line for a rimfire rifle listing for $459.