After the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting in Indianapolis in 2023, this writer desired to play with the Rossi RB22 Compact Rifle. The RB22 compact is rugged, lightweight, and chambered in .22 LR – perfect for plinking, pest/varmint control, and educating new shooters. The new version of the RB22 is designed for the youth market. It also works well for those who want an extremely compact, lightweight bolt-action suppressor platform. This writer purchased one of the rifles from Kygunco and had it delivered to 5 Shot Firearms in Yuma.
Rossi RB 22 Compact Rifle
As seen in the above image, the rifle is imported to Braztech, better known as Rossi USA. The rifles are made in Brazil. The rifle is only 32.25 inches long. When taken down, the two parts, stock and barreled action, are slightly less than 22.5 inches each, making transport of the rifle easy in most luggage.
According to the scale, the rifle with an empty magazine weighs 3 lbs, 5 ounces. The sights are the usual adjustable open sights from Rossi, with light-gathering fiber optics and click adjustments. The Rossi RB 22 22LR Rifle sports a threaded muzzle with a thread protector, a major plus in this writer’s opinion.
The Rossi RB 22 Rifle comes with a ten-round magazine. It has a green follower, shaped so the bolt will close on an empty chamber. There are also five RS22 magazines with red followers. The red followers are shaped to hold open the action when the last shot is fired. All worked well. Some will see this as a feature instead of a bug. It is nice to know when you have expended the last round in a magazine.
The RB 22 Compact this writer purchased had a couple of relatively minor bugs. Because of the sharp rear edge of the chamber, the first two or three rounds from a full magazine often shaved a bit of lead from the soft lead bullets or failed to chamber immediately. When the magazine held seven or fewer cartridges, this did not occur. As a bit of a gun plumber, the writer carefully chamfered 20 thousand of an inch on the bottom of the chamber edge with a small, rounded diamond file.
The Rossi RB 22 Compact Rifle’s initial feeding problems stopped completely, and the function was 100% for six different magazines. Many .22 firearms have a small chamfer to act as a feed ramp on the bottom of the chamber.
Most of the shooting with the RB 22 Compact was accomplished with CCI Standard Velocity cartridges. Off of Caldwell Sandbags at 50 feet, it was not difficult to achieve half-inch groups, which is reasonable hunting accuracy. Looking at other people’s experience online, it is expected the rifle is capable of 1/2 inch groups at 50 yards, with excellent optics, a bench rest, and a careful search to match the rifle with the ammunition it likes the best.
The rifle has a tight chamber. Extraction and ejection were excellent with CCI Standard Velocity, Remington Golden Bullets, and Federal 36-grain bulk pack ammunition. With 45-grain Winchester Super Suppressed ammunition, rounds that had not been fired tended to stick in the chamber. If fired, they extracted normally.
The trigger on my Rossi RB 22 Compact Rifle was adequate but not stellar. It is what you expect from an inexpensive, stock .22 rimfire. The average pull, according to my Lyman digital trigger pull gauge, was between 4 and 4 1/2 lbs. There was a bit of creep. As expected, the trigger improved with use.
This writer likes the concept of a small, lightweight, inexpensive .22 rifle. Today, we call them boys’ and girls rifles. Bolt action guns allow easy training as single shots. Such rifles make excellent woodsrunning and hunting guns as well. They make a good truck gun. They can be disassembled into stock and barreled action, with a scope or without, in a minute. They are a joy to carry and adequate for most small game hunting and rural chores. A threaded barrel allows easy addition of a flash hider, suppressor, or reverse paradox tube. With the low cost of the Rossi RB 22 Compact Rifle and a couple of thousand rounds of ammunition, anyone can have a utility firearm for most occasions.
This writer expects the RB22 Compact to be a hit with grandchildren.
Live Inventory Price Checker
|ROSSI RS22 22 WMR 21" 10rd Semi-Auto Rifle - Black||KYGUNCO||$ 270.99||
|ROSSI RB22 22 WMR 21" 5rd Bolt Rifle - Blue / Black Synthetic||KYGUNCO||$ 178.99||
|ROSSI RS22 22 WMR 21" 10rd Semi-Auto Rifle - Black / Grey||KYGUNCO||$ 270.99||
|ROSSI RS22 22 WMR 21" 10rd Semi-Auto Rifle - OD Green / Black||KYGUNCO||$ 279.51||
RB 22 Compact Rifle Specs:
- Item Number: RB22L1611FDE
- UPC: 7-54908-32120-9
- Caliber: 22 LR
- Capacity: 10 Rounds
- Front Sight: Fiber Optic
- Rear Sight: Fully Adjustable
- Magazines Included: 1
- Action Type: Bolt Action
- MSRP: $185.99
- Barrel Length: 16.50 In.
- Overall Length: 31.20 In.
- Overall Height: 7.30 In.
- Overall Width: 1.70 In.
- Overall Weight: 52.00 Oz. (Unloaded)
- Twist Rate: 1:16″ RH Twist
- Grooves: 6
- Stock Material: Polymer FDE
- Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy
- Frame Finish: Matte Black
- Barrel Material: Alloy Steel
- Barrel Finish: Matte Black
- Safety: Cross bolt
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer and military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.