With its classic barrel band, squarish flattop receiver, and blocky rotary magazine, the 10/22 is one of those rare gun designs that came out of the factory oven fully baked.
Ruger 10/22 Takedown, The Ultimate Survival Rifle?
This review addresses one particular .22 long rifle model from a family of semiauto 10/22 rifles that is more than six categories deep including several variations-on-a-theme called Distributor Exclusives. And each of the categories has two, or three or even four individual 10/22 options. In the Takedown variety, or what I call the TD (as in both Takedown and a winning Touchdown for Ruger), there are two main choices; one is the type of barrel steel (alloy or stainless) and the other is the muzzle option (standard or threaded with flash hider). A couple of stock colors have entered the mix as well. Due to the uniform action, magazines, sight platform, and barrel clamp that the TD has in common with its fixed action brethren, the combination of additional aftermarket bells and whistles provides an ever-growing list of options to pimp your Takedown ride far beyond conventional appropriateness. And as a fan of innovation, I hope the the after-marketeers will embrace the Takedown’s break-apart design and offer some tactical stock options in the near future.
The stock of the Takedown is, in my opinion, a massive upgrade in materials and design over the ultra-bland 10/22 wood carbine stock that’s been around relatively unchanged since it first appeared in 1964. The synthetic molding process allows the manufacturer to produce a more refined and detailed product compared to the labor-intensive, heavy, temperamental, and non-uniform attributes of wood. In fact, one of the most overt features of a basic 10/22 wood stock is its utter lack of anything but smooth untextured wood from for-end to heel. The only vegetation on this barren desert of a stock is an equally uneventful black plastic butt cap.
I’ve long since lost count of the number of 10/22s that have moved into and out of my gun safe. My current inventory is two, a basic Takedown model and another tricked out stainless non-TD model that has been lightly tactified with a Blackhawk adjustable stock, scope, and a few action upgrades.
The Humble .22
With estimates of the annual global production of .22 LR cartridges at north of two billion rounds, humble might not be the best word todescribe it. The diminutive size and ubiquitous proliferation of both .22 LR guns and ammo makes it rather easy to forget just how formidable a force the little plinker really is.
A sizable portion of the shooting public around the world cut their teeth on a .22 long rifle. Since its inception in 1887, the .22LR has grown to be the most versatile cartridge across almost all gun platforms from single shot derringers, through all manner of revolvers, autopistols and a dozen different actions in long guns. Even .22 LR machine guns are common. Well, not common, but you know what I mean.
Retrofitting kits are popular conversion options to turn AR-15s, 1911s, and even Glocks into .22 LR firearms for a low-cost training alternative. On a good day you can buy a thousand rounds of .22 LR for less than $50, and there are also plenty of bullet choices from #12 shot shells to subsonic to tracer rounds.
Bullet weights range from 20 grains to 60 grains leading to a wide range of velocities from a muted 575 feet per second (175 meters/second) to a squirrel vaporizing 1750 f/s (533 m/s).
Although the defensive carry crowd collectively turns up their nose at the .22 LR as being wildly inadequate for self-protection, there is a long list of dead people who would beg to differ. While human death from a .22 LR slug is not usually as swift as by larger calibers, it is certainly a very real possibility. In fact, the military in Israel used the .22 LR back in the 1990s for non-lethal crowd control, but unfortunately the .22 LR proved it did not play well with others and quickly shrugged off its non-lethal status.
As a hunting round, the .22 LR is an excellent choice for smaller game. However, more than a few North American charismatic megafauna have met their doom through three grams of twenty-two caliber lead.