Mouse monoclonal antibodies to rat IgG were obtained by fusion of immune SJL mouse spleen cells to NSI myeloma cells. Seven monoclonal antibodies have been labeled with 125I and studied as to specificity and avidity by using a panel of rat monoclonal antibodies both as inhibitors and target antigens in soft well plate and indirect cell binding assays. All MAb were selected for high avidity of 4 X 10(7) to greater than or equal to 2 X 10(9) M-1. Four MAb were subclass-specific. RG11/39, RG7/1, and RG7/11 were absolutely specific for the Fc' region of IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b, respectively. RG9/6 showed specificity for the Fab' region of IgG2a but crossreacted with lower avidity with IgG2c. Three MAb reacted with rat kappa chains. RG7/9 defined a monotypic (common) kappa chain determinant. RG11/15 and RG7/7 were specific for allelic kappa 1a and kappa 1b determinants, respectively. The monotypic and kappa 1a allotypic determinants are topographically separated. The antibodies can be used as screening reagents in indirect cell binding assays. They have sensitivity similar to affinity-purified rabbit anti-rat IgG and more defined specificity. They do not crossreact with mouse or human IgG, making them particularly suitable companion reagents for rat anti-mouse or anti-human MAb. One Mab, RG7/7, strongly crossreacts with Syrian hamster IgG.