November 08, 2022
By J. Scott Rupp
Few things in the shooting world are more fun than a .22 pump. That’s just one man’s opinion, and judging from the dearth of such guns on the market, it’s a lonely one. Regardless, hats off to Rossi for offering up the new Gallery 22, a 15-round pump that is one of only two such guns currently being manufactured, the other coming from Henry.
Gallery shooting—recreational shooting with firearms in homes and businesses, as opposed to on formal indoor ranges—was popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and manufacturers produced guns specifically for this activity. They were commonly pumps, usually in .22 Short. I’ve been a fan of pump .22s since I shot my first gun at age 10, Mom’s Winchester 61. Years later, my second-ever gun purchase was a Remington 572 ADL that was my squirrel and groundhog gun in high school. Regrettably, I sold it and never replaced it, so I was looking forward to shooting the new Rossi.
A year or so ago I reviewed the company’s Rio Bravo lever-action .22, and the Gallery 22 layout is basically the same, save the action itself. The Gallery 22 features a nicely blued 18-inch barrel with a full-length magazine tube underneath. A barrel band secures tube to barrel, and the band sports a hole in the bottom for attaching a sling. The magazine tube is brass, and under the knurled magazine cap you’ll find an O-ring that keeps things snug and rattle-free. Sights include a gold bead front and a sliding-elevator buckhorn rear.
There’s a dovetail groove in the top of the receiver, and it’s designed to fit 3/8-inch Weaver tip-off mounts. In fact, Rossi sells a Viridian EON scope with the correct rings on its website store, and of course, Weaver and others offer 3/8 rings if you’ve already got a scope you want to slap on the Rossi Gallery 22. It’s a hammer-fired gun, and the hammer does feature a “half-cock” position. I put that in quotes because you need only to draw back the hammer an eighth-inch or less to place it in the safety position. There’s also a crossbolt safety at the rear of the receiver. The receiver sides are fastened with Phillips screws, which isn’t a great look but is serviceable.
I’ll get my only real criticisms out of the way here. One, I think the polymer trigger guard is overly large and has a shape that is not in keeping with the gun’s otherwise traditional styling. The scalloped bolt release in the front of the guard accentuates this. Two, the trigger pull is heavy. The Rio Bravo I tested had a decent trigger pull of four pounds, 10 ounces, but the Gallery 22’s is six pounds, 10 ounces.
The German beechwood stock has a reddish cast, and the buttstock showed a nice straight grain. Wood-to-metal fit was good, slightly proud but overall nicely done. There’s a sling swivel stud in the toe, and the hard plastic buttpad is grooved so it won’t slip in the shoulder. The fore-end pump is round and grooved, and it does not travel over the receiver on the rearward stroke. It’s fastened with Phillips screws, and the right-side screw did work loose during testing, so it’s something to keep an eye on.
I bench-tested the Gallery 22 at 25 yards because that’s the limit for my eyesight and this type of sight setup. The gun initially shot high-right, which was easily corrected by moving the rear sight one step and drifting the front sight with a plastic tap hammer. Bench accuracy was only fair, and I attribute that to the heavy trigger pull. Still, the CCI Clean showed the rifle does have potential to shoot pretty well if you are able to experiment with various loads. These were all high-velocity rounds, and standard-velocity ammo might be the ticket. There was one failure to fire: a light primer strike with Winchester Wildcat.
Shooting the rifle offhand brought all the fun I expected. The action works smoothly enough, and the balance is great. Even with the heavy trigger and rapping out rounds as fast as I could shoot, I was able to keep almost all my shots within two inches at 25 yards.
Overall, the Rossi Gallery 22 is a cool little rifle. It’s certainly the most economical choice for pump .22 lovers. Its suggested retail is a couple of hundred bucks less than the Henry and ditto for used Remington 572s in good condition. Winchester 61s? You’re talking four figures. And good luck finding a Browning BPR, which was discontinued about 40 years ago. I doubt we’ll ever see the .22 pump return to any degree of popularity. But for those who appreciate them, they’re great rifles to have in your collection, and the Rossi Gallery 22 is certainly worth considering.
Rossi Gallery 22 Pump-Action Rimfire Rifle Specs
- Type: Pump-action, rimfire
- Caliber: .22LR
- Capacity: 15+1 rds.
- Barrel: 18 in.
- Overall Length: 36 in.
- Weight: 5.25 lbs.
- Stock: German Beechwood
- Trigger: 6 lbs., 10 oz. (measured)
- Safeties: Half-cock notch, crossbolt
- Sights: elevation-adjustable buck- horn rear, drift-adjustable gold bead front; receiver grooved for 3/8 mounts
- MSRP: $394
- Manufacturer: Rossi