Rossi RS22 Semi-Automatic Rifle Chambered for the 22 Long Rifle Cartridge

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

August 3rd, 2018

 

Click pictures for a larger version.

 

 

 

 

The Rossi RS22 comes with a 10-round steel magazine, but can also use the 25-round Model 702 magazines available from Mossberg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crossbolt safety (top), magazine latch (bottom).

 

 

 

 

Bolt locks open on an empty magazine.

 

 

A handy little 22 Long Rifle is one gun that everyone should own. At least one. I have lots of rifles in my vault, but if I had to pare down to just one, it would be chambered for the 22 Long rifle cartridge. There is no other cartridge that is quite as versatile, and has killing power all out of proportion to its diminutive size. A good 22 also serves as a recreational plinker, allowing a whole day of fun for not much money expended on ammunition. A good twenty-two is one of the most under-appreciated firearms in existence, because most folks just take them for granted. The 22 Long Rifle cartridge is the most-popular cartridge in the world, and paired with a good rifle, can fill many roles as a fine hunting, camping, and just all-around fun gun.

These days there are many good 22 rifles from which to choose and a person can spend very little or a lot of money on that rifle. I recently received in here for review one of the most-affordable 22 rifles on the market; the Rossi RS22.  This rifle is very similar to the recently-reviewed Mossberg 702 Plinkster. Both rifles are built by the same manufacturer in Brazil, and both a are very affordable. The sights are the same set of excellent adjustable fiber-optic sights, and the magazines will interchange, so this Rossi will work perfectly with the Mossberg twenty-five round magazine that they sell for the 702 Plinkster.

The stock is a black synthetic material, and the steel parts have a blued metal finish. The tapered barrel measures eighteen inches in length, and the rifle has an overall length of 36.25 inches. The magazine holds ten rounds, and is made of blued steel. The magazine follower serves to hold the bolt open when the magazine is empty. The bolt can also be locked into the open position by pressing inward on the retracted charging handle. The safety is a crossbolt trigger-blocking style, pushing from right-to-left to fire. The trigger pull is surprisingly good on this inexpensive rifle, weighing in at just four and one-half pounds resistance on my digital scale.

I tested the RS22 rifle with several brands of 22 Long Rifle ammunition for velocity and function. The results with each brand and type of ammunition are listed in the chart below. HP is a lead hollowpoint bullet. Solid is a lead roundnose bullet. TC is a truncated cone solid. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity in the eighty-seven percent range. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (FPS) and were recorded twelve feet from the muzzle of the rifle. Bullet weights are listed in grains.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Federal Bulk HP 36 1224
Winchester DynaPoint HP 40 1183
PMC Match Solid 40 1054
Wolf Match Solid 40 1047
CCI Mini-Mag HP 36 1262
CCI Mini-Mag Solid 40 1234
CCI Velocitor HP 40 1387
Remington Yellow Jacket HP 33 1402
Remington Hi-Speed Solid 40 1234
Remington Bulk HP 36 1187
Remington Viper TC 36 1265
Norma Tac-22 Solid 40 937
American Eagle HP 36 1114
PMC Zapper HP 38 1231
Olin Solid 40 1034
Winchester XPert HP 36 1165
Hansen Solid 40 1098
CCI Blazer Solid 40 1239
CCI Stinger HP 32 1567
CCI Sub-Sonic 40 726

The first round chambered and fired in the RS22 failed to eject. Other than that one cartridge, the little Rossi functioned flawlessly thereafter, firing hundreds of rounds without fail. Every cartridge, using the many types listed in the chart above, fed, fired, and ejected perfectly. The bolt always locked open on an empty magazine.

Accuracy testing was conducted at twenty-five yards using several types of 22 LR ammo. Accuracy was outstanding; much better than expected from such an inexpensive rifle. I fired five-shot groups on target, with the aid of a Burris 6 to 18 power target scope and a Target Shooting, Inc. Model 500 rifle rest. The top of the receiver is grooved for tip-off style rimfire rings, making the mounting of a scope quick and easy. Groups measured from one-half to one and one-half inches, center-to-center of the widest-apart shots in each group. The little rifle did almost as well at fifty yards. Very good performance, especially considering that this little RS22 has a suggested retail price of only $139 US, as of the date of this review.

Removing the scope, I also fired many mags full of ammo through the rifle using the excellent open sights, which consist of an adjustable fiber-optic rear with a hooded fiber-optic front. The rear sight has windage and elevation knobs, for easy adjustments without tools. A welcome feature, and certainly not expected on a rifle in this price range.  The trigger functioned well, with only slight travel before releasing. This is a fun little plinker. The RS22 weighs exactly four pounds on my scale and is a delight to carry and shoot.

The Rossi RS22 is lightweight, handy, reliable, and accurate. It is also one of the most-affordable rifles on the market, and is made in America. South America, but still America.

Check out the RS22 and other Rossi products online at www.rossiusa.com.

For the location of a Rossi dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.

To order the RS22 online, click on the GUN GENIE at www.galleryofguns.com.

To order quality 22 Long Rifle ammunition, go to www.luckygunner.com and www.midsouthshooterssupply.com.

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent set of fiber-optic adjustable sights.

 

 

Burris Target Scope was used for accuracy testing.

 

 

Five-shot groups, fired at twenty-five yards, varied from 1/2 to 1-1/4 inches.