Rossi 8122 review

Review: Rossi 8122 rimfire rifle


Rossi’s new Model 8122 rimfire rifle is lightweight, trim and handy, a top choice for hunting or an entry-level gun for youngsters.

Unlike many other .22 rimfire rifles, the Rossi 8122 bolt-action has small proportions, designed to cater to the size of children and small adults.

Rossi 8122 review
The Rossi 8122 is a slick looking little rifle that belies its low price tag

Kids deserve a good start and it appears to me that this handy little Rossi 8122 will fill this niche.

The Rossi is a good little rifle, simple in operation and light in weight. 

Construction is more or less standard: a tubular receiver made from forged steel with cutouts machined for the root of the bolt handle, ejection port and magazine. The receiver carries 10mm dovetail grooves which accept universal tip-off rings. 

The barrel is pressed and pinned into the receiver via a pair of hoIlow pins. The trigger mechanism, crossbolt safety and magazine release catch are contained in a modular polymer unit with an integral trigger guard and magazine well. 

The unit is attached to the bottom of the receiver with two screws and has two holes for the action screws.

Rossi 8122 review
The scaled-down Rossi 8122 is a perfect rifle for rabbit hunting, especially for the kids … even older kids!

The detachable 10-shot magazine of pressed metal has a green polymer follower. When the curved release catch is pushed forward, the clip drops out readily into your hand.

My test gun’s 457mm barrel was straight-tapered from 17.25mm at the receiver ring to 15.25mm behind the threaded muzz1e. Depending on stock levels, other barrels may also be available. A heavy barrel version is also made, and some models comes with open sights. 

Barrel length, like weight, is important primarily as it relates to projected use. Chronographs tell us that .22 Long Rifles, either standard or high velocity, develop about all the velocity they are going to from rifle barrels of 406 to 457mm (16-18 inches) in length. Some tests indicate that barrels longer than 508mm tend to slow the muzzle velocity somewhat. 

Rossi 8122 review
The 8122 has a very modern appearance. Some models come with open fibre-optic sights

For a fast-handling field rifle, get your youngster a Rossi with one of the shorter tubes.

The rifle cocks on the uplift of the bolt handle and the safety is a handy crossbolt through the front of the trigger guard. 

The Rossi is one of the lightest available rimfire rifles; the black textured synthetic stock is slim and streamlined with a rounded forend and is easy on the eye. The pistol grip slopes back gently and is ideally suited to a small hand. 

Rossi 8122 review
The modular unit houses trigger mechanism, crossbolt safety and magazine well. Barrel is pressed into receiver and pinned.

Many young shooters are handicapped by trying to use a stock that is too long and an abruptly-curved pistol grip only adds to their woes. This junior-class rifle has a length of pull of 340mm, ideal for a youngster.

The ambidextrous buttstock has a cheek-rest on each side and the front of the comb is generously grooved for the base of your thumb. The forend gets thinner ahead of the magazine, then sweIls out again to form a slight schnabel tip. 

Panels of stippling cast into the injection-moulded stock offer a secure grip. 

Rossi 8122 review
Design wise, the Rossi is a pretty standard rimfire rifle

In order to see what this rifle was capable of, I attached a Stirling Panamax Precision 4-12×40 scope, using a pair of Nikko Stirling Mount Match high rings. The scope was adjusted to hit point of aim at 50 yards. 

The groups were about what one might expect from such a light, economy-class youth’s rifle. The first five groups, with Hornady High Velocity Power Points, averaged 0.980 inches. 

With Winchester Laser, the average group size was .979”. This suits me just fine because the Laser is one of my favourite hunting loads and with this ammunition the Rossi is a sure-fire 75-metre rabbit rifle. 

A summary of accuracy data obtained using several different types of ammunition, including some of the high velocity hunting types, is shown in the following table. 

Rossi 8122 review

Many rimfire rifles now available will not match the performance of the Rossi.

The Rossi, being light, is not easy to hold steady on a rest and the heavy 2.72kg trigger pull didn’t help either. However, it makes the shooter concentrate on a steady squeeze and is safer than having too-easy a pull for youngsters. 

The little rifle never suffered from a malfunction and feed from the magazine was flawless.

The Rossi 8122 can be a lot of fun when used for informal target shooting and plinking at inanimate objects such as tin cans (please, no bottles!). Better still, the range of realistic targets, both steel and self-sealing rubber, can make it even more interesting. 

Rossi 8122 review
Panamax Precision 4-12×40 was attached using Nikko Stirling high ring set. Rossi has crossbolt safety in the trigger and magazine release in front of it

Youngsters will find this sort of shooting a challenge, as well as a lot of fun. There are no rules for any kind of plinking, other than those imposed by safe gun-handling techniques.

All things considered, the new Rossi 8122 may be a fun gun, but it can also be a valuable training rifle for all junior hunters.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Manufacturer: CBC Brazil for Rossi
  • Type: Bolt-action; dovetailed for scope
  • Calibre: .22 LR; .17 HMR (Model 8117); .22WMR (Model 8122M)
  • Barrel length: 406mm, 457mm, 533mm and 584mm. Heavy barrel optional
  • Stock: textured synthetic scaled for junior shooters; six colours
  • Length of pull: 340mm
  • Magazine: detachable 10-shot
  • Trigger: non-adjustable; set to 2.27kg let-off at factory
  • Safety: crossbolt in trigger guard
  • Sights: none; optional fibre optic rear and front sights
  • Weight: 2.5kg
  • Overall length: 900mm
  • Price: Typically $350-$400 (2022). Magnums a bit more
  • Distributor: Outdoor Sporting Agencies

 

 

 


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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.

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