Ruger has been in the
.22 Long Rifle pistol business since 1949, and they have
achieved the status of top dog in the rimfire pistol pack. Other
good designs have come and gone over the past six decades, but
the Ruger pistol is pretty much like the first ones that rolled
out of the factory way back then, with a few refinements made
along the way. While Ruger introduced a model called the 22/45
several years ago, I have always favored the original
steel-framed design. It just looked and felt better to me. The
22/45 had a grip angle that was made to replicate the feel of
the 1911 style .45 Auto. The 22/45 has always been a reliable,
accurate, and affordable .22 rimfire, but I just never warmed up
the look of the grip frame, until now.
The day before the
SHOT Show in Las Vegas last month, we were shooting some
pistols and rifles out in the desert with some of the folks from
Ruger, when one pulled out a 22/45 that wore a set of really
nice checkered cocobolo wooden grips. These grips were attached
with screws, just like on a 1911 pistol, and I fell in love!
I had only seen one 22/45 pistol with such
grips before. It is a one-off custom pistol that was worked over
by my friend and fellow Shootist,
John Killebrew. John put a lot of work into customizing his
22/45 to give it that genuine 1911 look and feel. Now, Ruger is
manufacturing a 22/45 with replaceable grip panels. The supplied
grips feel perfect in my hand, and are of the thin style. Most
any grip that is made to fit a full-sized 1911 will work, but
depending upon the grip thickness, longer screws might be
required to reach the short grip bushings. Also, if a grip panel
is large enough that it has a cutout for the magazine release,
it will not align with the mag release button on the 22/45.
However, to me, the thin grip panels that Ruger has chosen for
this pistol are perfect. They look great, and feel even better.
The wooden grip panels are a welcome addition to the 22/45. They
should have been there from the inception.
Like the other pistols in the 22/45 line, the
grip frame is polymer, with the receiver/barrel and bolt made of
steel. This gives the 22/45 a decidedly muzzle-heavy feel, which
makes the gun very easy to shoot well. The barrel weight helps
to steady the hold, and the overall weight of the weapon is just
thirty-four ounces, making it easy to carry afield in a holster.
The barrel length measures five and one-half inches, and the
barrel is seven-eighths (.875) of an inch in diameter its entire
length. The 22/45 wears a vertical post front sight, somewhat of
a modified Patridge style, but without the undercut. The rear
sight is fully adjustable for both windage and elevation
correction, and is easy to see well for precision shooting.
In addition to the excellent sights, the 22/45 is drilled for a
scope base, which is included with the pistol. Nice touch.
The 22/45RP has all of the Mark III series
features, including the empty-magazine hold-open feature, with
the bolt release on the left side, just above the magazine
release button. The thumb safety is on the left side, just under
the rear sight, and works very well for right-handed shooters.
After taking up the slack, the trigger releases crisply on the
sample pistol with three and three-quarters pounds of pressure.
The crisp trigger pull makes the 22/45RP a delight to shoot. The
22/45 has a magazine safety, so the pistol will not fire with
the magazine removed. There is also a very easy to see and easy
to feel loaded-chamber indicator on the left side of the
receiver. The 22/45 has an internal key lock which renders the
pistol inoperable for those who wish to, or are required by law
to, use such a feature.
Disassembly of the 22/45 for cleaning follows
the procedure that has been used on Ruger rimfire pistols since
1949. Some find it difficult to take apart and reassemble the
Ruger autos, but if the instructions are followed, it is no
problem at all.
The 22/45 comes supplied with two ten-shot
steel magazines, and they are easy to load, as the follower has
a button attached that allows it to be pushed down manually as
the magazine is loaded.
Shooting the 22/45RP was a pleasure. I have
fired many Ruger rimfire autos over the past several years, and
I own a few of them already. I have one very early pistol,
shipped out the first week of production back in 1949. It still
shoots very well today. This new 22/45RP proved to be extremely
accurate. Functioning was perfect, as expected. The only
failures were traced to bad ammo. I have always shot up more
than my fair share of Federal bulk-pack hollowpoints. This stuff
is usually very good, but the last batch that I bought has had
several cartridges that will not fire, even after receiving a
solid hit or two from a firing pin. Many, many times, a gun gets
the blame for bad ammunition. Whenever I get an email about a
pistol that has functioning problems, I always suggest trying a
different brand of ammo before condemning the weapon, and this
usually fixes any problems. Such was the case with this
Ruger pistol. The Federal ammo shot very accurately in the
pistol, but some of it was just bad ammo. As to accuracy, this
Ruger pistol is more accurate than many pistols costing several
times as much money. For accuracy testing, I secured the 22/45
into my Ransom Master rest and
tried several brands and types of .22 Long Rifle ammunition.
Everything that I fed the Ruger grouped into less than an inch
at twenty-five yards, with a few types of ammo grouping into
half that size! Even the inexpensive Federal bulk hollowpoints,
Winchester bulk DynaPoints, and CCI MiniMags grouped
exceptionally well. The Wolf and PMC match ammo grouped into the
one-half inch range as well. Again, the Ruger fed, fired, and
ejected everything perfectly, except for that bad batch of ammo.
The new Ruger 22/45 RP is a dandy pistol. It
is just one of many variations of the Ruger rimfire auto that is
available, but is a welcome addition to the line. The grip
accurately replicates the angle and feel of the popular 1911
style auto. The pistol is very reliable and match accurate. It
is also one of the lowest-priced pistols in the Ruger auto line,
and is priced competitively against its competition. Like with
most Ruger products, you get a lot of gun for the money, and
this new 22/45RP can hold its own against many target-grade
rimfire pistols. It is easy to shoot, and shoot well. Scoped or
not, it would make a dandy pistol for hunting small game and
vermin, and is a superb pistol with which anyone can learn to
Like all Ruger firearms, the new 22/45RP is
built right, and built in the USA.
Check out the full line of Ruger products
For the location of a Ruger dealer near you,
click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the 22/45 online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
|For a list of dealers where you can
buy this gun, go to:
||To buy this gun online, go to:
The 22/45 comes with a hard plastic case, two
magazines, padlock, scope base, internal lock keys, and
The 22/45 proved to be very accurate with a
variety of ammunition.
As mentioned in the text of the article, Jeff
encountered some bad ammunition that would not fire
after repeated positive firing pin strikes. This is not
the fault of the pistol!
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