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
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.
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
||22 Long Rifle
|Barrel / Cylinder Gap
|Trigger Pull DA
||9 pounds, 3 ounces
|Trigger Pull SA
||3 pounds, 6 ounces
||Red Fiber Optic
|MSRP as of March 2016
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.
|Federal Bulk HP
|Winchester DynaPoint HP
|PMC Match Solid
|Wolf Match Solid
|CCI Mini-Mag HP
|CCI Mini-Mag Solid
|CCI Velocitor HP
|Remington Yellow Jacket HP
|Remington Hi-Speed Solid
|American Eagle HP
|PMC Zapper HP
|Aguila Super Maximum HP
|Winchester Wildcat Solid
|CCI Blazer Solid
|Remington Subsonic HP
|Aguila Subsonic Solid
|CCI Quiet Solid
|Remington Bulk HP
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 www.rossiusa.com.
For the location of a Rossi dealer near you,
click on the DEALER LOCATOR at www.lipseys.com.
To order the Rossi 22 online, click on the
GUN GENIE at www.galleryofguns.com.
quality 22 rimfire ammunition, go to www.luckygunner.com
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