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Ruger 22/45 Target and 22/45 Pistol Review
Author: J.C. Bartle Posted: 5/26/2012 9:25:00 AM

Wexford State Game Lands Range - 05/26/2012

My girlfriend and I each picked up a Ruger pistol at the last Monroeville Gun Show, and, after putting several hundred rounds through each, I thought I’d share my thoughts. She purchased a Ruger 22/45, Model # 10119 (very similar to this, but it has a 4.5 inch barrel and fixed sights). I purchased a Ruger 22/45 Target (Model # 10140). These are both .22 LR pistols. Each came with two 10-round magazines, an owner's manual, two safety-lock keys, a padlock for Ruger's gun locking system, and a plastic case to carry it all in.

Disclaimer: I’ve never reviewed a firearm before; I’m not a professional; I’m probably not even a good shot. These are just a man’s thoughts on his purchase.

Before today, we had probably put three hundred rounds through each pistol. The first time we shot them, we went to Anthony Arms indoor shooting range (I recommend it, but it’s a bit expensive and a little too far away for me). You’re forced to purchase their ammunition, and they supplied us with basic Federal rounds. The Target model did not like these at all. I had many FTEs. The "base" model fared better but still had issues. Our two subsequent trips were to a state game lands range, where we used Remington Cyclone ammunition. I believe the only issue either pistol experienced was one dud round in the "base" model; – obviously no fault of the firearm.

For this review, I decided to go out this morning and fire multiple brands and types of ammunition through the pistols to see which performed the best (I even decided to give the questionable Federal a second chance). All shots today were taken at fifty feet from a sitting position with elbows resting on the table. I took six shots with each ammunition type at different targets. See the accuracy results in the tables below. Obviously, since I was not using a pistol holder, these results are probably more reflective of my skills as a marksman than as a conclusive ruling on the accuracy of any of the ammunition.

NOTE: If there was an obvious flier in the group, it was removed from the calculation.

Ruger 22/45 Target

Ruger 22/45 Target
Ammunition Gr. Vel. Group Size Failures
CCI Mini-Mag 40 1235 1.875  
Blazer 40 1235 2.750  
Remington Subsonic 38 1050 2.250 1 FTE
Remington Cyclone 36 1280 3.000  
Remington Thunderbolt 40 1255 4.250  
Remington Golden Bullet 36 1280 3.000  
Federal 40 1240 3.500  
Winchester Wildcat 40 1255 2.125 1 FTE
Average Group Size: 2.843 inches

Ruger 22/45

Ruger 22/45 "Base" Model
Ammunition Gr. Vel. Group Size Failures
CCI Mini-Mag 40 1235 4.625  
Blazer 40 1235 3.000  
Remington Subsonic 38 1050 4.750 1 FTE
Remington Cyclone 36 1280 4.750  
Remington Thunderbolt 40 1255 3.750  
Remington Golden Bullet 36 1280 3.750  
Federal 40 1240 1.875  
Winchester Wildcat 40 1255 2.625  
Average Group Size: 3.640 inches

From the above, you’re probably thinking I’m a terrible shot. That may be. After I did the testing, I decided to stand up and fire at a separate target with the 22/45 Target model. I loaded six rounds (the maximum allowed in a handgun at the range) of CCI and fired. From fifty feet while standing, three of the six shots hit within a 1-1/2” bullseye. The other two were in the ring outside the bullseye, and the other was a low flier. So apparently I’m a better shot standing than sitting. Go figure.

Back to the guns. The Target model fires very nicely. The adjustable sights are easy to line up, and I feel the gun shoots where I point it. The trigger is a little stiff, but I feel it’s loosening up as the gun gets broken in. The 22/45 is a different story. The sights on this gun are not adjustable, and that’s a big problem, as the gun shoots to the left. Two of the six shots with the Cyclone ammunition didn’t even hit the target. After playing around for a bit, it became clear this gun is consistently shooting three inches to the left at fifty feet. Since the sights are fixed, the only solution seems to be purchasing an adjustable sight kit, which runs around $65.00. That would put the price of the base model above the price of the Target model. The base model does have a very noticeable advantage over the Target – the trigger. It’s much smoother and lighter than the Target (which is actually the opposite of what one would imagine).

Ammunition

The only real item of note regarding the ammunition is with the Remington Subsonic. All the other ammunition (including the Federal) fired just fine. The Subsonic, while producing a very respectable group in the Target model, caused a very nasty jam in both pistols. These occurred because the casing split, jamming the empty casing in the barrel. This required a lot of force with a small pick to remove. If I didn’t keep a set of picks in my range bag, these jams would most-likely have sent me home early. I see no reason to purchase the Subsonic again, even without the failures, as its price is high, and I didn’t notice a reduction in noise level. When taking into account that two out of twelve shots (in two different pistols) resulted in very annoying failures, I must strongly urge people to avoid Remington Subsonic ammunition.

Remington Subsonic Split Casings

Conclusion

So the ultimate test of every decision is whether or not we would make the same choice, knowing the consequences. I would purchase the Ruger 22/45 Target again in an instant. It’s reasonably priced, fun to shoot, and accurate. After my experiences with my girlfriend’s Ruger 22/45 "Base" model, I will never purchase a gun which does not have adjustable sights (and I imagine she won’t either).

Ammunition Update 05-29-2012: Yesterday morning we went out to the range again, and we finished off the remaining 38 Remington Subsonic rounds. After firing them back-to-back with other ammunition, we both agreed it is a little quieter than regular 22LR ammunition. However, we had another jam in which the casing split, again requiring removal with a pick. So, quieter or not, I will be avoiding Remington Subsonic ammunition in the future.