Rossi "Plinker" Double-Action 22 Long Rifle Eight-Shot Revolver

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

March 11th, 2016


Click pictures for a larger version.







Excellent set of adjustable rear / fiber-optic front sights.





Wide target-style hammer and trigger.





Cylinder release.





The world needs more 22 revolvers. There are very few sidearms that are more useful than a good 22, and I am happy to see that Rossi finally has their new 22 revolver in production, as choices are not plentiful when it comes to buying a compact double-action 22 revolver.

The Rossi "plinker" is available chambered for both the 22 Long Rifle cartridge and the 22 Magnum cartridge. Of course, the 22 LR version will also fire 22 Long and 22 Short ammunition, as well as 22 CB caps and shot cartridges, making for a very versatile and useful revolver. The Plinker is available in barrel lengths of two, four, and six inches, though as of the date of this review, the two inch version shown here does not appear on the Rossi USA website, but it does show up on distributor websites. I have also seen a picture of a three-inch version, but have found out no info at all on that one. The Plinker is built of steel, both frame and cylinder, in a choice of blued carbon steel or polished stainless.

The Rossi revolvers are built for Rossi by Taurus in Brazil, which now owns the Rossi brand. They are well-made revolvers, being a modified Smith & Wesson design, and the fit and finish are excellent on all of the samples that I have seen, including the matte-blued version shown here.  The Rossi incorporates the Taurus Security System key lock, which prevents the hammer from movement, as well as an internal transfer bar safety and a frame-mounted firing pin. The fit of the sideplate to the frame is as good as I have seen on any revolver, of any brand.

The Rossi is fitted with an excellent adjustable rear sight matched to a red fiber optic front, which offers a good sight picture in various lighting conditions. The red fiber optic is set into a steel square-post sight, which gives a good square profile for shooting paper targets as well. The hammer and trigger are of the wide target style, with the former having positive checkering and the latter being polished smooth for easy double-action shooting. The Plinker wears a one-piece barrel which incorporates the ejector rod housing and a heavy top rib. The rib is solid on the short-barreled Rossi, but ventilated on the four and six inch versions.

Specifications for the Plinker are listed in the chart below. Weight is listed in ounces. Trigger pull is listed as pounds of resistance. Linear measurements are listed in inches. The cylinder length does not include the cylinder ratchet. Height includes the sights.

Chambering 22 Long Rifle
Overall Length 6.625 inches
Overall Height 5.022 inches
Weight, Unloaded 25 ounces
Barrel Length 2.032 inches
Barrel Diameter 0.621 inch
Cylinder Length 1.548 inches
Cylinder Diameter 1.238 inches
Cylinder Capacity 8 cartridges
Barrel / Cylinder Gap 0.004 inch
Trigger Pull DA 9 pounds, 3 ounces
Trigger Pull SA 3 pounds, 6 ounces
Front Sight Red Fiber Optic
Rear Sight Fully Adjustable
MSRP as of March 2016 $407.57 US

I tested the Plinker 22 with several brands of 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. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature of 56 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity in the 52 percent range. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (FPS), and were recorded ten feet from the muzzle of the Rossi. Bullet weights are listed in grains.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Federal Bulk HP 36 860
Winchester DynaPoint HP 40 896
PMC Match Solid 40 776
Wolf Match Solid 40 847
CCI Mini-Mag HP 36 939
CCI Mini-Mag Solid 40 972
CCI Velocitor HP 40 940
Remington Yellow Jacket HP 33 984
Remington Hi-Speed Solid 40 873
American Eagle HP 36 913
PMC Zapper HP 38 939
Olin Solid 40 863
Aguila Super Maximum HP 30 1096
Winchester Wildcat Solid 40 881
CCI Blazer Solid 40 957
Armscor HP 38 892
Hanson Solid 40 880
Remington Subsonic HP 36 749
Aguila Subsonic Solid 60 672
CCI Quiet Solid 40 499
Remington Bulk HP 36 966

The little Rossi was a pleasure to shoot. The synthetic rubber grip is very comfortable, and as expected, recoil is almost nonexistent. The double-action trigger pull is very smooth, and the single-action pull is crisp. The double-action pull weight measured slightly over nine pounds on the test gun, which is lighter than on most of its competitors. Unless a person has hand strength problems or arthritis, firing the Rossi should present no difficulties at all.

Every cartridge loaded and fired easily, and ejection was smooth and effortless with all but the Wolf brand ammo, which exhibited slightly sticky extraction. The ejection stroke is short, but pointing the muzzle towards the sky resulted in every cartridge case ejecting positively. There were no failures to fire any cartridge, even when firing ammo that is older than I am and of many different varieties and brands. Accuracy was excellent, especially for a short-barreled revolver. The barrel/cylinder gap is consistent and tight, and the Rossi exhibited no tendency to spit from the barrel/cylinder gap. A short barrel can be just as accurate as a long barrel, but the short distance between the front and rear sights exaggerate any slight aiming error. Still, the Rossi fired many groups that were well under two inches at twenty-five yards, hand-held over a solid rest from the bench.

Holding eight rounds of 22 Long Rifle hollowpoints, or maybe loading the first couple of chambers with shot loads if in venomous snake territory, the little Rossi makes for a very handy trail gun. Often called a "kit gun" in years past, such a revolver is very efficient and useful on a hunting, camping, or fishing trip, having enough power and accuracy to dispatch a snake if necessary, or to put small game in the pot. Such a firearm is also useful for cleanly dispatching vermin and small predators around the farm, and for running a trap line. A 22 revolver, while it will never be as powerful as a 357 or 44, can also serve for social work, if necessary. There is no such thing as handgun "knockdown power" in a weapon which can be comfortably carried every day, and a fast-shooting 22 Long Rifle can make extra holes in people if called upon to do so. CCI 40 grain solids penetrated in excess of thirteen inches in ballistic gel when fired from this short-barreled Rossi, and while this revolver would not be my first choice for self defense, I certainly would not feel helpless if it was the only gun within reach. A 22 is easy to learn to shoot well, as ammo is relatively inexpensive and low on recoil and report, making for lots of comfortable practice. The Plinker is an excellent training gun, serving well for a quality revolver with which to teach new shooters how to shoot both double-action and single action with a revolver, before moving up to a more-powerful cartridge.

To me, the name "Plinker" implies that this revolver is good only for informal target shooting, but this little Rossi is capable of much more. It is an excellent little trail gun, capable of superb accuracy and built right. It is a solid gun, built with quality materials, smooth to operate, and absolutely reliable, while costing half as much as most of its competition. The Rossi Plinker is one of the better values in the double-action revolver market today, and it fills a niche which needed filling.

Check out the Rossi Plinker 22 online at

For the location of a Rossi dealer near you, click on the DEALER LOCATOR at

To order the Rossi 22 online, click on the GUN GENIE at

For quality 22 rimfire ammunition, go to and

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.





Very comfortable synthetic rubber grip.





Taurus Security System key lock (top) and transfer bar safety (bottom).



The little Rossi is capable of superb accuracy, as shown by these groups fired at 25 yards from a rested position.



Some of the various brands and types of ammunition used for testing.



Author's supply of Remington Yellow Jacket ammo is getting old.



Even decades-old ammunition fired perfectly in the Rossi.