July 10, 2020
By Joel J. Hutchcroft
I’ve had a soft spot for the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (a.k.a. .22 WMR, .22 Magnum) round ever since my dad bought a brand-new Ruger Single-Six revolver with interchangeable .22 LR and .22 WMR cylinders in 1972. My dad usually bought used guns, so the new revolver caused a lot of excitement in my family, especially with me. Anyway, I really took to the .22 WMR when I was a boy, and it is still one of my favorite cartridges. I’ve fired a lot of .22 WMR rifles and revolvers in the 48 years since then, and one new rifle I’ve been shooting lately is the bolt-action Rossi RB22M. It’s an accurate and inexpensive repeater.
The RB22M’s black synthetic stock is contoured and textured and has a Monte Carlo-style cheekrest. It has sling swivel studs and a grooved, hard, black synthetic buttplate.
The barreled action’s blued steel is softly polished, and the receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mount bases. In fact, the rifle comes with two Weaver-style scope mount bases already installed. The 21-inch-long tapered barrel has a 1:16 twist and measures 0.58 inch at the muzzle. The muzzle is recessed.
The RB22M’s bolt has a single extractor on the right side. The bolt handle serves as the action lock, and it has an oversize knob. The trigger does double-duty as the bolt release. A cocking indicator with a visible red band around the end of the striker sticks out the back of the bolt when the rifle is cocked.
My RB22M .22 WMR rifle’s average trigger pull was 3 pounds, 4 ounces over five measurements. The trigger broke crisply.
The metal detachable magazine holds five rounds. The magazine release is located forward of the trigger guard, and the crossbolt safety is positioned at the front of the trigger guard. When the safety is disengaged and in the “fire” position, a red band shows on the left side.
For test-firing the RB22M, I used a Trijicon 1-6X 24mm AccuPoint scope in Trijicon rings, and I fired five, five-shot groups each with four loads at 50 yards. The results are listed in the accompanying chart, but briefly, with an average of 0.79 inch, the best accuracy in the test rifle came with the CCI 40-grain Maxi Mag ammo. That load’s velocity averaged 1,888 fps. Overall average accuracy for all four loads was 1.04 inches.
Following up after a recent report on a different new rimfire rifle, a Shooting Times reader wrote in and suggested that we use higher-magnification riflescopes on such rifles to give a truer sense of a rifle’s accuracy potential. That concept has some merit, but I’m going to use my RB22M .22 WMR rifle for hunting small game in the woods on my family’s farm, and I prefer to use a more compact, lower-magnification scope like the Trijicon 1-6X AccuPoint for trekking through the timber. I realize this specific scope costs seven and half times as much as the rifle, but I plan on using this rig a lot, and I believe in using the best scope one can afford.
The RB22M functioned perfectly with all loads. I didn’t experience a single failure to feed, fire, extract, or eject with any of the ammunition I tried. The magazine loaded easily. And the rifle was accurate.
- Type: Bolt-action repeater
- Caliber: .22 WMR
- Magazine Capacity: 5 rounds
- Barrel: 21 in.
- Overall Length: 38.5 in.
- Weight, Empty: 4.3 lbs.
- Stock: Synthetic
- Length of Pull: 13.5 in.
- Finish: Blued steel, matte black stock
- Sights: None; receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounts
- Trigger: 3.25-lb. pull (as tested)
- Safety: Crossbolt
- MSRP: $185.53
- Manufacturer: Rossi, rossiusa.com