The Rimfire Report: Gun Digest’s “Rimfire Revolution” Book Review

    The Rimfire Report: Reviewing Gun Digest's Rimfire Revolution

    No matter if it is hunting, plinking, competition shooting, or just plain old fun, there is no doubt in my mind that .22LR is by far the most popular cartridge on the planet. The .22LR rimfire cartridges have been effectively used nearly everywhere on the planet for a variety of reasons and for many, the rimfire rifle is the centerpiece of the shooting community. Rimfire has more recently taken on a more prominent role in the firearms community both as a useful caliber as well as a training implement. Michael R. Shea in tandem with Gun Digest has just released their latest book Rimfire Revolution: A Complete Guide to Modern .22 RiflesI was given a review copy of the book and today on The Rimfire Report we’ll take a look at a few key items inside of this book that I thought stood out to my inner rimfire junkie.

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    The Rimfire Report: Reviewing Gun Digest's Rimfire Revolution

    The Rimfire Report: Gun Digest’s “Rimfire Revolution” Book Review

    Gun Digest Presents Rimfire Revolution: A Complete Guide to Modern.22 Rifles

    The Rimfire Report: Reviewing Gun Digest's Rimfire Revolution

    AJ Stewart’s rifle that he hit at 1,200 yards with. Note the Charlie forward of the optic.

    If the subject matter of the book wasn’t clear enough by its name, the description available directly from the Gun Digest website should set things straight for you:

    Mike Shea, editor for Black Rifle Coffee Company and Field & Stream, takes you on a deep dive into the world of Anschütz, Bergara, CZ, Ruger, Sako, Tikka, Savage, Volquartsen, Vudoo, RimX and more!

    The Rimfire Report: Reviewing Gun Digest's Rimfire Revolution

    Michael squirrel hunting in Kentucky with a Volquartsen Summit in .17 HM2, which he thinks is arguably the best modern small game rifle in production.

    First Impressions: Rimfire Revolution

    I received a review copy of the book in PDF format and as such, I can’t speak to the book’s physical print quality or its readability on Kindle e-reader. However, what I can say is that there are a metric ton of both original and stock photos contained within the book so this is the type of book that I could see myself leaving on the coffee table for interested parties. The foreword by Field and Stream editor Dave Petzal presents the reader with a strong sense of why this book was written.

    The Rimfire Report: Reviewing Gun Digest's Rimfire Revolution

    This is a peppered IPSC with clear .22 splashes from my first 500 yard .22LR outing. Two Vudoos, a RimX and a Bergara all made easy work of it.

    As he says in the second paragraph of the book, rimfires are no longer the rimfires that we were raised with. Like us, they’ve grown up and there is a whole new library of knowledge and experience to be gleaned from when it comes to rimfire rifles. Dave also speaks to the importance of rimfire firearms saying that “The ammo is cheap (comparatively), and it’s all scaled modestly – making all sorts of shooting available to all kinds of people.” I think this is something I can get on board with.

    The Rimfire Report: Reviewing Gun Digest's Rimfire Revolution

    Author Michael R. Shea at a centerfire sniper school in Catskill, NY. Photo by Cosmo Genova

    Upon the first inspection of the chapter list, it certainly seems like an overwhelming amount of information but upon closer examination, I found the book’s structure to be more of a reference guide rather than a straight read-through like some other books. However, understandably and I think logically the very first chapter is “An Introduction to rimfires” which is then naturally followed up by “Rimfire History.” All in all, if you’re scared of getting sucked into a time-sink of a book, this isn’t it and I’ll explain more about that aspect of it shortly.

    Luke Johnson of Lapua tests rimfire cartridges at their test center in Ohio.

    Colorfully Crafted Curation: Rimfire Revolution

    As I said above, the book presents itself more like a hand reference book on rimfire rather than something you need to read chapter by chapter. Since I have a long history with rimfire firearms, I was instantly drawn to Chapter 4: Precision Rimfire Rifles. However, after completing this chapter I was quickly drawn back to Chapter 3: Modern Rimfire Ammunition. For me, this seemed quite an easy and natural path to take through the book as I’ve recently become obsessed with Rimfire Precision Shooting and its associated ammunition.

    The Rimfire Report: Reviewing Gun Digest's Rimfire Revolution

    From Left to Right: RWS50, Center-X, and Tenex

    For me, this was a great way to get through the book as I was able to get sucked into the immense amount of detail Michael goes through in regards to both his own observations and interviews he’s done with people like Ginny Thrasher who was the United States’ very own 2016 Rio Olympics Gold Medalist shooter, and more familiar personalities like Steve Nash a.k.a 22Plinkster. These interviews serve as a great sendoff to the book as Michael asks these ambassadors of the rimfire community questions that we’ve all sought answers to like “Where do you see the rimfire space going? What’s the next chapter?” or “How did the idea of necking down a .22 Magnum to a .17 come about?”

    The Rimfire Report: Reviewing Gun Digest's Rimfire Revolution

    The Squirrel gun Michael built and talks about in the book: Lilja .17 HM2, floated, trigger job, Maven.

    Overall, the book is chock-full of beautifully presented information that is simple to understand as well as great photos, tables and even hand-sketched diagrams. While it may not be a “one and done” read, this is definitely a book I know I’ll find myself coming back to quite often to pick up those bits of information I just hadn’t picked up on my first run or missed entirely due to the erratic nature of my read through.

    Even for you small game hunters, there is an entire chapter dedicated to hunting with rimfire firearms and loads of information on what works well and what type of game can be taken with the various calibers available to rimfire hunters.

    Is this book for you?

    I found the price of Gun Digest’s Rimfire Revolution to be quite palatable. For as much researching, interviewing, photo work, and anecdotes that are included in the book, I think the price is entirely justified for both the print and Kindle editions. If you’re like me and you want to use it as a reference book or just something to browse through on a long flight then you’ll be more than pleased with the amount of quality information there is to be had inside of the book. If you’re not the reading type then 1. I don’t know why you’re on TFB and 2. I’m sorry that there aren’t any indications of an Audiobook version.

    The Rimfire Report: Reviewing Gun Digest's Rimfire Revolution

    Every rimfire round currently in production or for sale.

    The book does a good job of balancing out both the main subject as well as giving those who are new to firearms a healthy understanding of rimfire cartridge history and how it has paved the way for a lot of modern implementations in the firearms world. At the end of the day, Rimfire Revolution is a book for rimfire junkies by rimfire junkies and I’d highly recommend it to just about any firearms enthusiast out there who has a passion for the world’s most popular style of the cartridge.

    The Rimfire Report: Reviewing Gun Digest's Rimfire Revolution

    The patent file of the Gen. 1 Vudoo repeater, that helped kick off this current rimfire revolution.

    All Photos and annotations Courtesy of “Rimfire Revolution” Author Michael R. Shea. 

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