Rossi Rimfire Rifle RS22L1811-TH 22 LR

The stylish stock, good reliability, useful accuracy, good sights, and an attractive price are important features. If you like a magazine-fed gun with a single-column magazine, the Rossi is among a few available.


A blowback-operated rifle needs a heavy bolt, an appropriate recoil spring, a stock, a barrel, and a feed device, and you have an affordable firearm. They are among the most uncomplicated firearms. Since Winchester introduced the Model 1903, Americans have enjoyed the 22 LR self-loading design. For plinking, marksmanship training, small-game hunting, and some types of competition, the 22 rifle is a great choice. The 22 rifle is a staple of American life. Many have successfully been pressed into service as defensive firearms, and the new rifles are better than ever in this role. Winchester, for instance, introduced the Wildcat rifle recently, and we have to admit it is a thoroughly modern rifle with a host of innovations. We wanted to test the Wildcat against some likely competitors, so we chose the Rossi Rimfire Rifle RS22L1811-TH 22 LR, $159; and the stalwart Ruger 10/22 Carbine 1151 22 LR, $235; to go up against a Winchester Wildcat 521100102 22 LR, $245.

We elected to fire each rifle with 200 cartridges plus the loads chosen for accuracy testing. We chose the Remington Thunderbolt and Winchester Wildcat ammunition for most of the range work. Each is a high-velocity 40-grain LRN loading.  We also used the Fiocchi 38-grain HV for accuracy work. We began by firing the rifle at small targets at 25 yards and using the Winchester Wildcat ammo in rapid fire at silhouette targets. Here’s what we found:

Gun Tests Grade: B (BEST BUY)


A couple of years ago, it wasn’t unusual to see the RS22 for sale for $110, and we think the record for low price was $99. With supply coming back, we think you will be able to find this rifle for $139 or so, as one of our raters recently did. This gun is manufactured for Rossi by Braztech of Brazil. The rifle features an 18-inch free-floating barrel. We detected the free-float advantage when we discovered there is no barrel band. The rifle is very similar to the Mossberg Blazer, but with more features. It is based on the venerable Marlin 60, we believe, but in simplified form. The stock is a simple black synthetic stock stylish with nicely grooved area on the pistol grip and around the fore end. It isn’t any trouble to hang onto this rifle.

ActionSemi-auto blowback
Overall Length38.0 in.
Barrel Length18.0 in.
Overall Height3.1 in.
Weight Unloaded4.0 lbs.
Weight Loaded4.2 lbs.
Magazine Capacity10
ActionMatte black
BarrelMatte black steel, threaded muzzle
Stock Length of Pull14.2 in.
Trigger Pull Weight5.4 lbs.
Front SightFiber optic
Rear SightAdjustable fiber optic
Warranty1 year
Telephone(800) 948-8029
Made InBrazil
Much of the test was conducted at an indoor range. The difference in sights was most evident indoors, where we saw that the Rossi’s bright front sight is an advantage.

The Rossi RS22 features a slim 10-round magazine. The magazine isn’t difficult to load, despite the greater leverage needed compared to the rotary style magazine used with the other rifles. As with all other feed devices, load two or three cartridges, bump the rear of the magazine, and finish loading in the same manner. The magazine latch is positive in operation. The bolt holds open on the last shot. The safety is a crossbolt type. The Gun Tests shooters did not find the trigger placement of the safety in front or behind to be a plus or minus among the three rifles.

The Rossi’s greatest advantage over the other rifles is the sights. The rear sight features two green fiber-optic inserts. The front sight features a red fiber-optic insert. The rear sight features a dial for windage and elevation adjustment.  No tools are required to adjust the sights. The front sight is covered by a sheet-metal shroud that is easily removed. Some find a sight shroud distracting in rapid fire and occasionally confuse a side of the shroud with the front sight. If you don’t like the shroud, it slides away easily. Two of the three raters preferred the shroud, the other didn’t care. The three bars across aiming point with a red center worked well for us in rapid fire and precision fire as well. As it happened, the sights were properly adjusted out of the box for the 6 o’clock hold at 25 yards and were not adjusted by our shooters. The trigger was good at 5.4 pounds of pull effort. There is a small amount of creep before the sear breaks, but no backlash. Overall, the Rossi had a good trigger for a rimfire rifle and better than its price might indicate.

The Rossi’s wheel-and-dial rear-sight adjustment is excellent and easy to use without the aid of tools.

The Rossi RS22 is operated in the same manner as the other rifles — slap the magazine home and rack the bolt to load the chamber. Flip the safety off and fire. The RS22 was a lot of fun on the firing range. The sights were the big advantage in rapid offhand fire. The rifle choked twice. We loaded a 10-round magazine, and the first round did not fully chamber, so we racked the bolt, cleared the cartridge, and found the second round did not chamber either. We removed the magazine, reinserted the magazine, and started over. This time there were no failures. We believe we failed to slap the magazine home because the problem did not repeat, and there were no other failures to feed, chamber, fire, or eject.

The Rossi features an easy-to-use magazine release (arrow). The crossbolt safety is positive in operation.

The trigger and sights are well suited to small-game hunting and informal target practice. In accuracy testing, we settled into a firing position with the MTM K Zone shooting rest. Firing at 25 yards and taking every advantage in time and trigger press, the best group was 1.65 inches.

Our Team Said: The Rossi RS22 was the least accurate rifle tested, but it is accurate enough for most chores and is certainly accurate enough to take a squirrel out of a tree at the distance you can get a clear sight picture. A drawback of the Rossi RS22 is that there is little to no aftermarket support in parts and upgrades. Just the same, for the price, this is a great all-round rifle and is the Best Buy.

22 LR Range Data

We fired groups from an MTM K Zone gun rest from a braced benchrest firing position at 25 yards. We fired strings of three five-shot groups for each load in each gun. We measured velocities by firing over a RCBS Ammomaster Chrono-graph at 10 yards.
Fiocchi PSD 38-grain High VelocityRossi RS22Ruger 10/22Winchester Wildcat
Muzzle Velocity1269 fps1244 fps1258 fps
Muzzle Energy136 ft.-lbs.131 ft.-lbs.133 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group1.65 in.1.25 in.0.90 in
Average Group2.20 in.1.60 in.1.30 in.
Winchester Wildcat 40-grain CPRNRossi RS22Ruger 10/22Winchester Wildcat
Muzzle Velocity1211 fps1238 fps1222 fps
Muzzle Energy130 ft.-lbs.136 ft.-lbs.133 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group2.0 in.1.40 in.1.50 in.
Average Group2.4 in.1.80 in.1.80 in.
Remington Thunderbolt 40-grain LRNRossi RS22Ruger 10/22Winchester Wildcat
Muzzle Velocity1221 fps1248 fps1253 fps
Muzzle Energy132 ft.-lbs.138 ft.-lbs.139 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group2.30 in.1.65 in.1.25 in.
Average Group2.60 in.1.85 in.1.60 in.

Value Guide 22 Rifle Rankings (Various Actions)

Gun NameIssueGradeComments
Henry Pump Action Octagon H003T 22 S/L/LR, $500Jul. 2022AOur Pick. Most accurate rifle of the trio. Smooth in operation and felt substantial in hand.
Taurus Pump Action Rifle M62R 22 LR, $400Jul. 2022AA Winchester Model 62 knockoff that is fun to shoot. Worth owning if you can find one in good condition.
Rossi Gallery 22 RP22181SY 22 LR, $270Jul. 2022A-Best Buy. We liked the updated look of the Gallery and found its accuracy to be good. Fun rifle for plinking.
Bergara B14R 22 LR, $950Jun. 2022AOur Pick. The Bergara was ready to perform right out of the box. Heaviest, most accurate, most expensive.
Christensen Ranger 22 22 LR, $830Jun. 2022AWere we to grade this quartet strictly for hunting, the Christensen would win running away.
Tikka T1X 22 LR, $519Jun. 2022B+Best Buy. The most pedestrian of the rifles tested in this group, the Tikka would be suited for hunting afield.
Ruger Precision Rimfire 8401 22 LR, $480Jun. 2022BLots of features that should bring a smile to the face of competitive shooters. Would like to see more accuracy.
Henry Golden Boy Model H004 22 S/L/LR, $500Feb. 2022AOur Pick. The Golden Boy Henry shines. It is heavy and has a very smooth operating lever.
Rossi Rio Bravo RL22181WD 22 LR, $300Feb. 2022ABest Buy. Bravo to the Rio Bravo. The test rifle was accurate, lightweight, and had a smooth-cycling lever.
Chiappa LA322 Standard Carbine 920.383 22 LR, $290Feb. 2022DThe LA322 had several failures to feed and showed some soft firing-pin hits.
Browning BL-22 Grade I 024100103 22 S/L/LR, $700Sep. 2021A-Our Pick. The fit and finish were superb, and that is reflected in the cost. Accuracy was the best of the three.
Henry Classic Lever Action 22 H001 22 S/L/LR, $386Sep. 2021A-Best Buy. The Classic 22 Lever Henry is well made, fun to shoot and inexpensive. Accuracy was good.
Taylor’s & Co. Scout RIF/2045 22 LR, $594Sep. 2021A-Styled after a resized Winchester Model 1873. We liked the option of adding an optic. Silver finish is striking.
Savage Model 64 Takedown 40207 22 LR, $212Sep. 2020ABest Buy. Basically a Model 64 barrel and action attached to an abbreviated polymer stock.
Ruger 10/22 Takedown 11100 22 LR, $372Sep. 2020AOur Pick. This has all the performance the iconic 10/22 is known for in a compact package.
KelTec Model SU22CA 22 LR, $373Sep. 2020A-While not a true takedown rifle, the folding stock on the SU-22CA makes it easy to stow and go.
Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 22 LR, $500Mar. 2020ABest Buy. The Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 operated as we wanted and shot well. It won’t break the bank.
Walther Arms HK416 D145RS 578.03.01 22 LR, $583Mar. 2020BIf you’re looking for an M27 clone, this one is worth thinking about.
Anschütz MSR RX22 22 LR, $900Mar. 2020CThe Anschütz RX22’s trigger wasn’t the best, its buttpad fell off repeatedly, and no one liked its open sights.
ISSC MK22 ISSC211000 22 LR, $270Mar. 2020FShowed ongoing failures to feed and extract. The blems on the sides of the receiver put us off.
German Sport Guns GSG-StG44 GERGSTG44 22 LR, $330Feb. 2020AOur Pick. The action had very similar stampings to what you would find on the historical firearm.
Walther Arms Colt M4 Carbine 5760300 22 LR, $350Feb. 2020BThe Walther Arms Colt 22 LR M4 looks almost identical to the standard-issue Colt centerfire rifle.


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