Friday, May 12, 2023

Rossi New: RB 22 Compact with Threaded Muzzle at NRA Annual Meeting

The Rossi booth at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, 2023, had a new product this correspondent had been hoping to see. It is the RB 22 Compact, a bolt action .22LR with a 10 shot magazine, 16 1/2  inch barrel, with muzzle threaded to 1/2x28, and a composite stock. It is sized to be child friendly, has the very good fiber optic Rossi open sights, and is grooved for mounting optics.

It weighs (unloaded) 3 lbs, 4 ounces. It comes, as seen, in a variety of colors, with one magazine. The overall length is 31 1/2 inches.  Take down to minimum length for transport is easily done with the removal of the two action machine screws. This brings the minimum length to less than 25 inches, which will fit in most full sized luggage, without the tell-tale "gun case" look.

The trigger on the floor model felt very usable to this correspondent. Add a suppressor to this rifle, and it makes a nearly ideal rifle to start young shooters with. It would be a wonderful camp rifle for summer camp rifle introductory courses.

In the picture above, notice the stock has been changed to allow easier access to the crossbolt safety.  The manufacturer's (MSRP) suggested retail price is $185.99. The MSRP for the RS 22, the popular Rossi semi-auto, is $159.99. This correspondent has purchased RS 22 rifles on sale for as low as $97. If the new RB 22 compact eventually follows the trend, expect street prices to be in the neighborhood of $150, or less on sale.

The RB 22 practically begs for a lightweight red dot sight and a silencer/suppressor. It will be a wonderful lightweight hunting platform, and a great camp/woods-running gun. With the smooth bolt action, there is nearly no action noise to accompany a shot with sub-sonic ammunition. It would make a wonderful "truck" gun as well. It is small, easy to use, tough and inexpensive.

The RB 22 action has it's own magazines, which are not made to activate the hold-open feature of the RS 22. However, the RB 22 will work fine with the RS 22 magazines. The only difference is: the bolt will not close with an empty RS 22 magazine fully inserted into the magazine well. Some would say this is a feature, not a bug, which signals the operator - the rifle is empty!

This correspondent likes the option to go either way, and has several spare magazines for the RS 22.

The RB 22 Compact is a bolt action, light weight, compact, threaded muzzle rifle at a very reasonable price. It was difficult to find anything to complain about with the new RB 22 compact.

This correspondent's experience with the RS 22, is the trigger pull can be improved with a little gun plumbing. There are several videos online to show the tinkerer how to do so. The directions are not difficult to follow, and good results may be had with a little effort. As noted, the floor display model examined had a good trigger already.  Your mileage may vary.

Perhaps the most important feature to this correspondent is the inclusion of the threaded, accessory ready muzzle, with included thread protector.  Add a suppressor, flash hider, forward sound director, or reverse paradox tube. With a 20 inch reverse paradox tube, an easy to handle garden gun with .22 shot shells. The bolt action handles them with ease, the rifle is still easy to handle, and you have increased the effective range to at least 10 yards, over the usual range out of a rifle of 10 feet. 

This correspondent would like to see a manufacturer offer aluminum reverse paradox tubes for the price of an spare magazine. 

It is difficult to surpass the versatility, economy, and durability of a .22 LR bolt action. With minimal care, it is expected the RB 22 should give decades, perhaps centuries of service. This correspondent predicts several hundred thousand rounds would go downrange before mechanical wear becomes a problem. 


©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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