Does the New Ruger American Rimfire Target Rifle Score a Bull’s Eye?

Does the New Ruger American Rimfire Target Rifle Score a Bull’s Eye?
Picattiny Rail, adjustable trigger and over-sized bolt handle all come standard on the new Target model.

The Ruger American Rifle series has earned its place in shooters' hearts. The short time the line has been around, it has grown to include nearly every popularly caliber and has been configured to meet nearly every shooter’s need. Best of all, Ruger has found the sweet spot between features, performance and price point. It’s an everyman’s rifle at an everyman’s price.

And Ruger is still finding new niches for the series to fill. The latest target the company has laid its crosshairs on is precision plinking with the introduction of the American Rimfire Target Model. The new iteration of the rimfire wing of the American family is available in three calibers — .17 HMR, .22 LR, .22 WMR— and comes with a load of features that should grab the attention of the precision minded.

Chief among these is the bolt-action rifle's .860-inch diameter target barrel. The bull barrel on the rifle should make it a tack tapper at the range, especially during those long shot strings, where inaccuracy from heat can come into play. The heavier barrel should also make recoil on these calibers non-existent, making the Target model all the more pleasurable to shoot.

American Rimfire Target Rifle
The threaded bull barrel and Alexander Henry forend aren't just functional, but give the rifle a slick look

As is common in the American Rifle family, the barrel is threaded and comes with a factory installed knurled thread protector. This is a feature that is becoming more typical industry wide as more and more shooters employ suppressors. And like the rest of the line, the Rimfire Target employs Ruger’s Power Bedding system, blocks that free-floats the barrel, thus ensuring proper harmonics.

Another interesting addition to the American Rimfire Target model is its Alexander Henry forend. Typically seen on Ruger No. 1 rifles, the groove not only adds a dash of character to the black laminate stock, but also makes it more functional, steadying a shot made off of sticks or a bipod.

The rifles come outfitted with a one-piece Picatinny rail situated above the receiver for the quick addition of an optic. And it comes standard with the company’s Marksman Adjustable trigger, which allows shooters to tweak the pull weight between 3 and 5 pounds.

American Rimfire Target Rifle
Picattiny Rail, adjustable trigger and over-sized bolt handle all come standard on the new Target model.

Giving the rifles a touch of the tactical is the over-sized bolt handle. But it’s more than just for looks, allowing for fast cycling, and thus, quick follow-up shots. As a nice touch, the bolt itself can be completely removed without pulling the trigger, making the rifle a bit safer.

The American Target Rimfire .22 LR comes with a 10/22 BX-1 10-round rotary magazine but accepts all 10/22 magazines across the board. The .17 HMR and .22 WMR both use the 9-round JMX-1 rotary magazine. The rifles have a tang safety for intuitive engagement and come with pre-mounted sling swivels. And like the rest of the American Rifles, the price is right on the Rimfire Target model, with all three calibers' MSRPs at $499.

American Rimfire Target Spec:
Calibers: .17 HMR, .22 LR, .22 WMR
Stock: Black Laminate
Capacity: .22 LR 10 rounds, .17 HMR 9 rounds, .22 WMR 9 rounds
Overall Length: 37 inches
Barrel Length: 18 inches
Thread Pattern:1/2″-28
Length of Pull: 13.75 inches
Weight: 6.8 pounds
Twist Rate: .17 HMR 1:9″, .22 LR 1:16″, .22 WMR 1:14″


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Elwood Shelton is the Digital Editor for Gun Digest. He lives in Colorado and has provided coverage on a vast spectrum of topics for GD for more than a decade. Before that, he was an award-winning sports and outdoors reporter for a number of newspapers across the Rocky Mountains. His experience has consisted of covering the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Western Slope of Colorado to the state’s ranching for wildlife programs. His passion for shooting began at a young age, fostered on pheasant hunts with his father. Since then, he has become an accomplished handloader, long-range shooter and avid hunter—particularly mule deer and any low-down, dirty varmint that comes into his crosshairs. He is a regular contributor to Gun Digest Magazine and has contributed to various books on guns and shooting, most recently Lever-Actions: A Tribute to the All-American Rifle.


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