GCMA Review On The Rossi .22LR

I prefer the simplicity and reliability of revolvers over semi-autos. I was looking for a reliable .22 revolver after some disappointing performance from a .22 semi-auto. I was mainly looking for something to punch tin cans with, for a reasonable price, and settled on the Rossi R98106.

The Rossi .22LR

The .22 LR is a rimfire cartridge. The primer is spun into the circumference of the base of the casing, rather than in a centrally placed cup as is the case for a centerfire round. The .22 LR has been in use since the 1800’s,  and is arguably the most popular and widely used caliber, due to its wide availability, what until recently was low cost, and its low report and recoil. It is was most people learned to shoot on, and what many shooters still bring to the range for fun, or for hunting small game, or pest control.  The .22 LR has an average MV (Muzzle Velocity) of 1061 fps, and average bullet weight of 40 grains, delivering an average of 99 ft. lbs. of ME (Muzzle Energy) (Gundata.org, 2015). It is an idea round for plinking, more formal target shooting, teaching a new shooter, practice, and small game hunting and eliminating rodents. While a .22 is certainly not the first choice as a defensive gun, (Ellifritz, 2013), there are those who make strong arguments for its use as a self-defense round. A valid point is that a shooter who is healing from an injury, has a degree of permanent disability, a small woman, or is elderly and less capable may not be able to confidently handle the weight and recoil of a larger caliber gun. .22’s are also an option for self-defense as their small size and light weight equally comfort and ease of carrying, as if you don’t have it with you, it can’t protect you (Johnson, 2012).  Of course it will not have the stopping power of a .357 or .45, but let me ask a silly question: would you care to be shot in the face or groin with a high velocity, .22 hollow point such as a yellow jacket or a stinger?

The Rossi R98106:


The Rossi R98106 is a steel construction, double action/single action revolver chambered for the .22 LR, with an eight round cylinder (Braztech International, 2016). It retails for about $400 (2016 price). It has a black finish, striated rubber handgrip, six inch vent-rib barrel, adjustable rear sights, and a red fiber optic front site. Its overall length is 10.5 inches, and it weighs 1.84 lbs. (29.4 oz.) (Gearsuite, 2016).   The hammer is wide, and the cylinder swings open freely when the thumb release is pressed. There is a keyhole safety feature under the hammer, which is an option which will enable/disable the gun from firing, when the included key is inserted and turned. This is standard on Rossi/Taurus revolvers.


The great thing about any .22 revolver is that you can run any kind of ammo through it without a malfunction. The aforementioned .22 semi-auto I had was so temperamental I spent more time clearing feed jams then I did shooting. I could only use one or two specific brands of ammo for anything close to reliability; the majority just did not have enough power to cycle the action. I put about 500 rounds of various types of ammo through my Rossi 98106, including Federal American Eagle, Remington yellow jackets, Remington Golden bullet, Winchester plated lead hollow point, and CCI stingers with no problems. The fiber optic front site facilitates easy target acquisition; the trigger pull is crisp when fired in double action, and feather light in single action. It shot tight patterns right out of the case without any tweaking of the sights. Recoil was negligible of course, but the report is loud enough where hearing protection is a good idea.


Although it didn’t present any real problems, the handgrip is a little too small for my hands, but will be fine for men with smaller hands, youths, and women. One difficulty was encountered trying to eject casings. I had to push very hard on the ejector rod in order to empty the spent rounds. I applied some WD-40, but it didn’t seem to help much. It may just need breaking in.


Overall, I like my Rossi 98106. My only real complaint is the difficulty with ejecting spent rounds. It is fun to take to the range and punch tin cans, it would do the job collecting the main ingredient for Brunswick squirrel stew, or Hasenpfeffer stew, and when loaded with hollow points, shouldn’t be dismissed as an option for a defensive gun, at least for certain shooters.

Stay Safe.  – DAP



Braztech International (2016). R98106. Rossi. Retrieved February 18, 2016 from http://www.rossiusa.com/product-details.cfm?id=231&category=1&toggle=&breadcrumbseries=

Ellifritz, G. (2013). Using the .22 for Self Defense. Buckeye Firearms Association. Retrieved February 20, 2016 from http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/using-22-self-defense

Gearsuite. (2016). Rossi R98106.22 LR Double-Action/Single-Action Revolver. Gearsuite. Retrieved February 20, 2016 from http://guns.gearsuite.com/l/6997/Rossi-R98106-22-LR

Gundata.com. (2015). 22 LR Ballistics. Gundata.org. Retrieved February 20, 2016 from http://gundata.org/cartridge/171/.22-lr/

Johnson, R.L. (2012). Mighty Roar of the mousy .22. Bearing Arms. Retrieved February 20, 2016 from http://bearingarms.com/mighty-rar-of-the-mousy-22/


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