Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report. In this weekly series, we explore, discuss, and review the various firearms, ammunition, and topics surrounding the rimfire firearm world. This week we’re going to have a little fun and poke at some of the most overhyped firearms that exist in the rimfire firearm world. While most if not all of these firearms deserve their haughty status as popular firearms, sometimes I think their reputation occludes other firearms from getting some well-deserved credit. So what are my 3 most overrated rimfire guns? Let’s find out.
The Rimfire Report: The 3 Most Overrated Rimfire Guns
1. The Ruger 10/22
I think most of you will agree with me that when you hear the word “rimfire”, this is probably the first gun that comes to mind. Most of us either own one, have shot one, or maybe even own multiple. I’ve owned several throughout the years and with so much aftermarket support, it has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most popular rimfire firearms in history.
However, I have a few bones to pick with it. First off, after over 65 years of being produced the rifle still doesn’t have a last round bolt hold open from the factory which turns out to be one of my biggest pet peeves when shooting the damn thing. Ruger has done a lot to help “modernize” the design a bit by adding the option for factory threaded barrels, integrated Picatinny rail sections, and modern synthetic stocks but I feel like they are just slightly behind the curve when it comes to keeping pace with more modern rimfire semi-auto rifles.
A few other things I think the Ruger 10/22 falls short on are its factory triggers which aren’t the greatest out of the box and often end up being the first upgrade shooters will dish out money for. The stiff trigger combined with its modest “beer can accuracy” is what I think makes the Ruger 10/22 just a bit overhyped for what it is before $350 in aftermarket upgrades. That being said, I still swear by the Ruger 10/22 and you can’t stop me from continuing to buy them like the gun addict I am.
2. The American 180
At the top of most rimfire junkies’ lists of pre-86 guns they wish they could own is the venerated American 180 rimfire submachine gun. The gun has a blistering 1,200 round per minute cyclic rate and the option for up to a 275 round pan magazine. Sounds great right? Well yes, who wouldn’t want to own a machine gun that dispenses two pounds of hot lead at 1,200 rounds per minute?
Well to put it bluntly, what else are you going to use it for besides burning through old ammunition? I love wasting lead as much as the next guy but the American 180 is pushing 11 pounds when fully loaded. For a submachine gun that is quite heavy and last time I checked, we stopped using pan magazines about the same time rimmed cartridge firearms stopped being popular.
The hype surrounding the American 180 I think stems from just how unique the firearm is. The American 180 is possibly overrated just because of how rare it is (less than 10,000 units being made). I like to compare the popularity of the American 180 with the venerated Desert Eagle chambered in .50 AE. It’s heavy, puts a lot of lead downrange and everyone wants to own one but at the end of the day, they are going to end up as safe queens only to be let out on occasion so you can flex on your friends. Now please, someone show me where I can buy one!
3. The Kriss Vector 22LR
The Kriss Vector has been a hotly debated firearm for mainly one reason – its unique recoil system. The delayed blowback operating system serves the purpose of mitigating perceived recoil when fired in full auto and in my personal opinion becomes kind of useless when used in tandem with the semi-auto only version.
The 22LR Kriss Vector dispenses with the Super V delayed blowback system and operates on a more traditional straight blowback system like many other semi-auto rimfire rifles. While the rifle looks cool, looks and feels like a 9mm or 45 ACP Vector, the 22LR version of the rifle (or pistol) doesn’t carry any of the advantages that you would have when the weapon is with centerfire ammunition.
The Kris Vector 22LR runs for an MSRP of just around $650 which isn’t bad considering another Kriss offering the DMK22C LOVA is about $150 more and is basically just a 22LR version of an AR-15. Both rifles are made for one thing it seems – realistic training at a reduced cost. That or maybe larping as a space marine. Fellow Writer Nicolas C wrote up a full review of the 22LR Kriss Vector if you’re interested in his thoughts and experiences with the rig.
All of these guns are pretty popular and for good reason but with so many options out there in the rimfire firearm world I think that these three tend to get a lot of attention when there are a few other underrated rimfire guns out there that don’t get the attention they deserve.
The 10/22 is the most popular and usually the first on people’s minds, the American 180 is likely the only rimfire machinegun anyone knows about, and the Vector 22LR is the hot chick that just moved in next door during SHOT Show 2020. What are your thoughts? Are there any overrated rimfire firearms that come to mind for you? Let us know down in the comments and thanks again for stopping by to read The Rimfire Report.