I’ve received numerous requests from SurvivalBlog readers to review the new Ruger 10/22 Takedown .22 LR rifle. I literally lost count of the number of e-mails I got from SurvivalBlog readers, but it was probably close to a hundred requests. Now, I hate to admit this, but I never (personally) owned a standard Ruger 10/22 rifle of my own – my wife and youngest daughter owned them, and I shot them, but never owned one myself. So, this was a good time to lay claim to a sample for this article. I’ve recommended the Ruger 10/22 rifle to untold numbers of folks, based on the reliability and accuracy of this rifle.
Now, we can agree to disagree on this point, and I honestly don’t need hundreds of e-mails agreeing or disagreeing with me on this. A lot of folks don’t believe that the .22 LR cartridge makes a good survival or self-defense round – fine! We are all entitled to our opinions. However, my research shows, at least from many years ago, that back in Chicago, according to their crime lab stats (now it’s called CSI) that more people were killed with the lowly .22 LR than other, much bigger and powerful calibers. When it comes down to it, I’ll take a .22 LR firearm over throwing sticks or stones when it comes to survival. Besides, I’m not advocating that anyone arm themselves with just a .22 caliber firearm for their self-defense or survival needs. However, every survival firearms battery should have some kind of .22 caliber gun for taking small game for the pot. Additionally, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be within 150 yards on the receiving end of someone armed with a .22 caliber rifle, who knows how to use it. It may not kill someone at that distance with a single shot, but it would sure make that person wish they were some place else.
One of the great things about any .22 caliber firearm is the readily availability of ammo, the low cost (all things considered today) and the amount of ammo a person can pack with them. You can easily carry several thousand rounds of .22 LR ammo in a backpack, along with several spare magazines for your .22 rifle or pistol. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of lead a person can throw downrange at an attacker. Try carrying several thousand rounds of .223 Rem., 7.62×39 or .308 Winchester ammo in your pack. That simply isn’t going to happen!
The new Ruger Takedown 10/22 rifle that comes in a backpack carrying case. Just a quick over view of the 10/22 Takedown is in order. First of all, it is in .22 LR caliber. It has a stainless steel barrel, with a black synthetic stock and fore end. Adjustable rear sight, with a gold bead front sight. There is an extended magazine release (nice), and a 10-shot rotary magazine – but it also takes all after-market 25-30 round mags, as well as the new Ruger 25 round mag. There is a scope base on the receiver, too. Plus, the backpack carrying case deserves some mention. The backpack carrying case is made out of ballistic Nylon, and when you takedown the rifle, into the two sections, they fit nicely inside two of the three large inside pockets. The third pocket inside the case is for either a scope or extra magazines. On the outside we have a carrying strap and handle, plus two more pockets for carrying spare ammo or magazines, or whatever else you might want to haul. There is the big Ruger logo on the case, and this is my only source of contention. While we take pride in our firearms, and want folks to know what we are hauling, from a OPSEC point of view, I’d rather not have this logo on the backpack. A person could toss the Ruger 10/22 Takedown in the back of their rig, and anyone looking into the rig would just think it’s any other backpack and wouldn’t bother with it. However, anyone with any firearms knowledge would know that logo means there is possibly a firearm in that backpack. So, I’d like to see Ruger offer the option of not having a backpack with the red Ruger logo on it – just my druthers! [JWR Adds: It is easy to find a 2" diameter round embroidered patch on eBay or at a craft store that can be sewn over the top of the big red Ruger logo. I'd suggest selecting something innocuous like an environmentalist logo patch. Perhaps a recycling theme. After all, most of us shooters save our empty brass and reload our centerfire cartridges. So we're environmentally friendly. Or, humorously, perhaps a Buckaroo Banzai patch might be sufficiently obtuse and yet still deliver a double entendre. But seriously: The dimensions of the Ruger 10/22 backpack are very close to a soft trumpet case. So a trumpet patch or other music logo patch would be the best camouflage.]
I don’t know how many of the various Ruger 10/22 rifles models have been sold over the years, but I’m sure it has been well over a million. It is the most popular .22 rifle in this country to my knowledge. The 10/22 has an unmatched record for reliability, too – no other standard factory-made .22 LR rifle that I know of, is as reliable as the 10/22 is, period! As to accuracy – there’s plenty there. In my testing, with a huge variety of .22 LR ammo – I was able to get 1-1/2" to 2" groups all day long without trying that hard. And I didn’t have any malfunctions or misfires in more than a 1,000 rounds of shooting. It is noteworthy that some of my stored .22 LR ammo is 15 years old, but stored in US military ammo cans. The 10/22 rotary magazine is famous for reliability and it didn’t let me down, easy to load, too. I’d really like to see Ruger include one of their own 25 round magazines along with the standard 10 round mag – where allowed by law. Anyone into serious preparedness will immediately purchase a good quantity of 25 or 30 round mags for their 10/22. They are presently inexpensive and plentiful these days – get them while you can. I even tried some Eagle brand cheap all-plastic mags and they worked fine – I bought some of these many years ago for $6.99 each. Butler Creek brand 10/22 mags also worked without a hitch. [JWR Adds: My favorite full capacity (25 round) magazines for Ruger 10/22s are made by Tactical Innovations in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Their top of the line magazines are machined out of aluminum stock! They also make some less expensive polymer magazines. They all work flawlessly. We've put many thousands of rounds though ours, without a hiccup.]