Ruger provided a Precision Rimfire in .22 Long Rifle and a Custom Shop 10/22 Competition for Evaluation
By Joe W. Gorman
Shooter's Report has a long-standing tradition of deploying riflemen to the wide-open prairie of South Dakota to rid the land of prairie dogs. We do this as a community service to help our rancher friends who have the native grasses of their grazing land eaten out from under them. Historically, the rifles we took prairie dog hunting in South Dakota were centerfire. This year, we decided to try precision rimfire rifles for serious hunting and not just close-range engagements.
Ruger's Precision Rimfire was released in December of 2017 as their Ruger Precision Rifles were selling like crazy. It was a logical evolution. Rifle guys like accurate rifles, and there is a place in every arsenal for an accurate .22 Long Rifle rimfire. The Ruger Precision Rimfire has a free-floated barrel, an excellent factory trigger, an adjustable cheekpiece, and a 30 M.O.A. scope base. Based on the American bolt action, the Ruger Precision Rimfire is range ready out of the box (once you add a scope and a bipod) The Ruger Custom Shop 10/22 Competition outwardly resembles the humble Standard 10/22. Upon closer inspection, it quickly becomes apparent this isn't your daddy's 10/22! The Custom Shop 10/22 Competition has been on the market since October of 2018. It has a laminated stock that features a unique bedding and mounting system permitting a free-floated and fluted barrel. The Custom Shop 10/22 Competition also features a special factory trigger, an adjustable cheekpiece, an extended mag release and bolt handle, and a 30 M.O.A. scope base. The trigger on our test gun was superb.
Burris provided an RT-15 3-15X50mm scope with an SC-2 MIL reticle and a P.E.P.R. 30mm mount. This is a new long-range scope with a first focal plane reticle, and the vertical stadia provide 20 M.I.L. elevation. When securely mounted in the P.E.P.R., the Burris RT15 is a perfect match for a super accurate rimfire. I typically use the reticle for elevation and wind correction as opposed to dialing in dope into the scope for precision centerfires. The Burris RT glass is very clear at this price point, and I loved the SC-2 MIL. Since both rifles had a 30 M.O.A. scope base, I hoped I could swap the scope and be close to P.O.I. on both rifles. No such luck, but with a few clicks, it could be zeroed at 100 yards no matter which rifle it was mounted.
Harris Bipods sent us a swivel, bench-rest bipod to try out. We were able to swap the bipod onto both rifles. We have trusted Harris' excellent bipods and accessories for many years. The Harris swivel bipod is a must-have for bench and field shooting. The long-range shots were done laying prone with the Harris bipod affixed.
Testing the rifles on our 100-yard range, I was amazed by the consistency of both rifles with a variety of .22 Long Rifle ammunition. From the ten or so flavors of .22 rimfire I had on hand, I found the humble Eley Force round to be the most accurate in both rifles. I could get both Ruger rifles to shoot 5-shot groups into 1 inch at 100 yards. The old-school CCI Mini-Mag 40 grain round nose ammo was not far behind as both rifles liked this ammo. The Mini-Mag ammunition could group 5-shots at an average of 1.25" at 100 yards. I could even get the humble Armscor 36 gr H.P. ammunition to shoot 1.7" 5-shot groups with both the R.P.R. and the Custom Shop 10/22. I had thousands of rounds of the Armscor in the basement, and I loaded it up when we went out to South Dakota. I did note that neither rifle allowed loading CCI Stinger ammunition due to the overall length of those rounds.
As we shot the rifles in South Dakota, it quickly became clear that I had underestimated the potential of the humble .22 Long Rifle cartridge. We had the good fortune to wake up to a zero-wind-value day and start testing the rifles. The close targets were quickly and easily dispatched. Shots out to 150 yards were almost gimmies (sic) with both these Ruger rifles. As we engaged targets out to 200 yards, it was incredible to see that we could reliably score hits, and even when we missed, the miss was tiny. I scored a 360-yard kill with the Ruger Precision Rimfire and a 305-yard kill with the Custom Shop 10/22 Competition. I would say these rifles are roughly even in terms of accuracy, but the 10/22 allows for much quicker follow-up shots. The reason I scored the longest confirmed hit of the day with the R.P.R. and not the 10/22 was merely down to chance. I had a shot when I was shooting the R.P.R.
As the day progressed, the wind picked up and became a significant factor in our shooting. We ended the day with our shots limited to about 150 yards. All in all, this was a very eye-opening test of some excellent gear. I can't adequately express how gratifying it was to reliably make 200-yard shots with a .22 Long Rifle rimfire. Either of these rifles, set up with excellent optics like the Burris RT15 3-15X50mm scope, will make a world-class target rifle that will be a pleasure to take afield.
|Specifications:||Ruger Precision Rimfire||Ruger Custom Shop 10/22 Competition|
|Caliber||.22 long rifle||.22 long rifle|
|Overall Length||35.13 to 38.6-inches||36-inches|