Last Spring, our church had a range day in conjunction with our Mission Conference. We knew our missionary speaker liked to hunt and shoot. We created an opportunity for people in our church family who also like to hunt and shoot to hang out with the missionary in an informal setting. There they could enjoy some shooting together prior to a short message from God’s word.
My friend “Welly” brought his Ruger Precision Rimfire in .22 WMR to the range day. I was really impressed by some of his shooting. It seemed like Welly just could not miss.
A few months later, Welly offered me the chance to borrow the rifle to review it. I eagerly took him up on his kind offer.
When I took Welly’s Ruger Precision Rimfire out of its case, the first thing that impressed me was how substantial it is. At 6.8 pounds, it is relatively heavy for a rimfire rifle. There is a lot of well-machined, nicely-fitted, solid steel in this design. The pistol grip and the adjustable comb were just about the only synthetic parts that I noticed at first glance. Fit and finish were excellent, with good materials, quality assembly, and no blemishes or tool marks.
The next major impression I had of the rifle was that it looks like a cross between an AR and a bolt action target rifle. The pistol grip, the design of the safety, the shape of the frame around the magazine, and the style of the handguard surrounding the barrel all reflect common AR design elements. The bolt action and the Quick-Fit Precision Rimfire Adjustable Stock both reflect common target rifle design elements. It looks like an AR and a target rifle got married and started a family. The Ruger Precision Rimfire is their firstborn.
That adjustable stock is easily altered for a length of pull anywhere between 12 and 15.5 inches. The comb can also be adjusted to give the ideal height for a consistent cheek weld.
The Ruger BX-15 Magnum Rimfire magazines will feel very familiar to anyone who has used BX-25 magazines in a 10/22. The BX-15 magazines are even easier to insert and detach than the BX-24 magazines.
Welly’s rifle has the burnt bronze Cerakote finish of the Model 8407 Iron Valley Distributor Exclusive. It is equipped with a Vortex Crossfire II 3-9X40 scope and a Champion Adjustable Bipod 9″-13″ #40853. It does not come equipped with iron sights.
The 18-inch free-floated, cold hammer forged barrel is threaded for flash hiders, suppressors, and similar accessories.
The trigger can be externally adjusted from 2.25 to 5 pounds. The wrench to make the adjustment is stowed in a compartment in the buttstock.
I downloaded and read most of the 56-page manual on my Kindle. I skipped the State by State warnings, since I have previously read all of them more times than I care to remember.
The technical writers at Ruger did an excellent job of providing an extremely thorough and clear manual filled with helpful detail, most of which is beyond the scope of this review. The helpful detail that they provided included clear instructions for things like loading, unloading, and clearing jams; adjusting L.O.P., comb height, trigger pull weight, and length of bolt pull; disassembly, cleaning, reassembly, and function testing; and nice exploded diagrams and parts lists.
One way in which the manual could be improved is by moving the rules of safe firearms handling from the end of the manual to the beginning. With the current placement at the end of the manual, the average reader’s eyes are likely to be glazed over by the time they get to the safe handling rules. It is even more likely that they will not read that far.
I was interested to note that Ruger does not offer any warranty beyond the minimum legal requirements of the various jurisdictions in which they market their products. In practical terms, I don’t think this is much of a drawback. Based upon the comments I have heard from friends who have had occasion to contact Ruger Customer Service, they provide a more helpful response than many of their competitors who theoretically have a better warranty.
The First Range Session
On a warm day in late autumn, I raced the coming dusk to squeeze in a range session.
I started the range session by firing a single round of CCI V-Max 30-grain polymer-tipped varmint from 25 yards. I started with this ammo because Welly recommended it. I hit the target dead center, which was an encouraging start. The spent casing then failed to eject properly, which was not so encouraging. I did not have any other failures to eject in my remaining range sessions. Continued testing with the 30-grain ammo resulted in three-shot groups that averaged about .75 inches at 25 yards.
I then switched over to CCI Maxi-Mag 40-grain total metal jacket target ammo. Testing with this ammo resulted in three-shot groups that averaged about .41 inches at 25 yards.
I was disappointed in my shooting, because it was significantly less impressive then Welly’s performance during the Mission Conference Range Session. I could not blame the inaccuracy on the rifle. I knew it was an operator problem.
I did find the trigger to be excellent, and the magazines extremely easy to change. I would have like time to shoot some more, but the coming of dusk drew my first range session to a close.
The Second Range Session
For the next range session, I utilized the indoor range at my local rod and gun club. Throughout that session, I felt that the rifle and I were somehow at odds with each other. The buttstock just felt like it would not shoulder quite right, and I felt like I was struggling to achieve a consistent cheek weld.
I fired one three-shot group with the 30 grain ammo, and then switched to the 40 grain ammo. The 30 grain ammo grouped at 1.78 inches at 100 yards, while most of the three-shot 40 grain groups measured around 1.03 inches at 100 yards. So the rifle did a pretty good job in spite of the quirks and limitations of the operator.
The scope was adequate, but not great. I felt that the rifle demonstrated enough potential to deserve something a little bit better.
I felt that with enough time I could grow more comfortable with the rifle, but it was not a case of love at first sight.
A Guitar Case
After I was finished testing the rifle, I needed to return it to Welly. I decided that the most convenient way to return the rifle would to take it along to church Sunday morning and give it to Welly there.
I was a little concerned about what the neighbors might think if they saw me carrying a rifle case into church. I have a soft guitar case that I bought at a garage sale for $5 a number of years ago. I use it as my stealth case when I don’t want to advertise that I am carrying a rifle.
With that in mind, I put the rifle in the main compartment of the guitar case, and the ammo and magazines in an outer compartment. I rolled up Welly’s rifle case, and put it in a plastic grocery bag. I then loaded everything into the car along with my Bible, and headed for church.
When I arrived at church, I took the guitar case, grocery bag and Bible out of the car, and headed for the church door. On my way into the church, my imagination took a flight of fancy.
I imagined walking into the church carrying the case. In my daydream, the worship team looked up, started screaming, and scattered in panic. I cried out, “Don’t be afraid! The rifle isn’t loaded.”
The worship team stopped running and screaming. They sat down shaken and trembling on the front pew, and tried to recover. The pale and haggard-looking worship leader glared at me and said, “A rifle you say? What a relief! We were afraid that you were going to play the guitar!”
The Ruger Precision Rimfire in .22 WMR seems to offer a good option for pest and varmint control. With the right ammo and a capable operator, it should be able to neutralize even smaller pests at reasonable ranges. It would probably be especially attractive to people who enjoy the AR platform but desire the accuracy of a bolt action.
I prefer a more traditional layout in a bolt-action rifle, so the rifle just did not feel quite right to me. In spite of that awkward feeling, the rifle shot better than I deserved. I recommend that Survivalblog readers don’t let my prejudices and preferences turn them away from a fine rifle.
I did not receive any financial or other inducement from any manufacturer, vendor, or supplier in return for mentioning their products in this article. This is a simple factual account of my own experiences: good, bad, or indifferent.