Ruger 22/45 Lite Pistol

Ruger sent me their new 22/45 Lite pistol for T&E review.  It is an autoloading pistol chambered for the .22 Long Rifle rimfire cartridge.

Included in the box:  2 magazines, a locking device, 2 internal lock keys, Weaver style rail, an Allen wrench and a padded pistol case.

First things noticed were the gold finish and the muzzle cap.  The finish is gold anodized because this 22/45 model has a stainless steel barrel sleeved into an aircraft-grade aluminum receiver for light weight.  The barrel is threaded to receive muzzle devices.


Pistol specs:

Manufacturer:  Sturm, Ruger & Co.
Model:  22/45 Lite
Caliber:  .22 LR
Capacity:  10 + 1 rounds
Weight:  22.7 oz. (w/mag.)
Length:  8  13/32 in.
Height:  5  9/16 in.
Width:  1.15 in.
Barrel:  4  13/32 in.
Twist:  1:16″ RH (mfr)
Grooves:  6 (mfr)
Trigger pull: 4 lbs. 5.5 oz.


The upper receiver appears to have slides serrations, which would be useless; they’re serrated cuts to further lighten the weight.

Removal of the protective muzzle cap reveals a wave washer and the 1/2-28 TPI threaded barrel.

The pistol features a loaded chamber indicator.  –  Bolt locked open.

Elevation and windage adjustable rear sight.  –  Fixed front.

The receiver is drilled and tapped for the included 4.625″ Weaver-style scope base.

Left sided bolt stop, manual safety, and magazine release.  –  Internal lock.

The Zytel polymer frame features replaceable Hogue black rubber grips.

Mainspring housing  –  Mag well  –  Grooved frontstrap

Serrated trigger.  –  Trigger pull average of 4 lbs. 5.5 oz. (Lyman digital gauge)

Disassembled for familiarization.

Frame innards  –  Receiver bottom

Ejection port  –  bolt


When I first opened the box and revealed the pistol I was somewhat skeptical about the gold color.  Then it dawned on me that this handgun was not going to be a defensive weapon – nor was it designed to be.  The gold anodized finish is not gaudy, just a little flashy and not in a bling sort of way, but more of a customized look.  Along with the manual safety, internal safety, locking device (padlock), and loaded chamber indicator, the pistol also is equipped with a magazine disconnect.  The grip has the feel of a 1911 with the manual safety, bolt stop and mag release located similarly.  At 10+ ounces lighter than the other 22/45 models it should prove to be a handy light-weight pistol.


Range report:

Temperature was 73° F.  No wind.  Boxes of CCI and Federal ammunition were accumulated for the test.

Velocity results were first priority.

Shooting Chrony F-1 Master set at 10 ft.

Firing pin strikes appear sufficient.

Velocity results:

Federal .22 LR 36 gr. CPHP………….988 fps.
CCI Mini-Mag 22 LR 36 gr. CPHP…..1041 fps.
CCI Stinger .22 LR 32 gr. CPHP…….1144 fps.


Shelby (12yrs) had a go with the new 22/45 on multiple steel targets.

After she shot some I put some rounds on paper.

15 yds:

5 round groups were fired supported at 15 yards.

Federal CPHP      –    CCI Mini-Mag    –      CCI Stinger

Note:  Targets’ Bullseye – 2″ dia.; outer – 4.5″ dia.

Admittedly, before now I have never shot a 22/45, but after firing approximately 165 rounds through it I can now appreciate why there is such a following for these pistols.  Besides not having a reciprocating slide and the small caliber the 1911 familiarity is there.  We did have two stovepipes with the Federal value pack ammo but all CCI ran without a hiccup.  The trigger has a small amount of slack before a very clean break.  The blacked-out sights made for a sharp sight picture while punching paper or steel and should work well for plinking.  It would make an excellent training tool for the novice and youth.  Its light weight and accuracy potential has me anticipating the next range visit.  Until this model the weight of the 22/45 series has kept me from considering one for purchase – the Lite has definitely changed my mind.