Originally published by AmmoLand.com.
USA – ‘Tis the season for elections and campaign promises. Unlike most, my campaign promises are practical. If elected President, I’ll actually stick to them. Here’s my primary platform message:
A Ruger 10/22 Rifle, or maybe two, in every home.
What do you think?
If you don’t already own a Ruger 10/22 Rifle, then vote for me as a write-in candidate because everyone should have a Ruger 10/22.
They’re not only fun but useful. That’s why Ruger has sold somewhere more than six million of them over the past 51 years.
Way back in 1964, Ruger released this gun, and from a quick look at the exterior, it appears almost identical to the current 10/22 Carbine model. Back then, it seems Bill Ruger considered this a little brother companion gun to the Ruger .44 Magnum Carbine, which Ruger billed as “The Perfect Brush Country Deer Rifle.” In fact, if you look at the original ads for the 10/22, Ruger describes it like this:
If you like fine rifles you can now have the satisfaction of owning a .22 Rimfire that is built to big game rifle standards.
The mechanical perfection of the 10/22 makes it a worthy companion to the dynamic Ruger .44 Magnum Carbine.
Back then, retail price on this fun little plinker was just $54.50. It was priced to sell, usually significantly less than competing models.
Even if Bill Ruger (read more about the history of Bill Ruger) really did view this as some type of afterthought to the .44 Magnum Carbine, it couldn’t help but to succeed. After all, who can resist a sweet-handling .22 rifle? Yeah, they’re great for beginners, but experienced shooters also get plenty of joy from shooting a .22LR. And this particular one had an irresistible set of features. With an 18 1/2-inch barrel, an overall length of just 37-inches, and highly portable five-pound weight it’s supremely convenient to carry and shoot.
I think there’s more to the Ruger 10/22 Rifle success story, however. The rotary magazine is certainly cool, easy to load, and reliable, but it’s the indirect impacts that make it so powerful. Unlike most other .22 rifles, there is no box magazine to get in the way of shooting offhand or from a rested position. Certainly lever-action .22s avoid the box magazine issues, but the cost is an extra magazine tube under the barrel that adds bulk and weight. The 10/22 is smooth underneath, which keeps things out of the way while shooting and carrying.
The classic sights are hard to beat for this compact rifle. While plenty of variations of Ruger 10/22 Rifle sights are available, the “original” front post with brass bead and rear flip-up Lyman sight is fast and intuitive. Newer shooters can pick up sight alignment instantly while those more experienced can get on target with lightning speed. They’re also perfect for tracking moving targets.
Interesting Ruger 10/22 Rifle Variants
Ruger 10/22 Magnum Rifle
Between 1998 and 2004, Ruger made a beefed-up variant called the 10/22 Magnum. As the name implies, this one ate the bigger and more powerful .22 Magnum round.
Ruger 10/17 Magnum Rifle
For a short two-year stint, Ruger offered a 10/22 that wasn’t really a .22. The Ruger 10/17 Magnum Rifle took advantage of all the hoopla around the flat-shooting .17 HMR rimfire cartridge. There were a few differences other than caliber. The receiver was made of steel, not aluminum and the 10/17 sported a 17-inch barrel. This variant never really caught on in comparable volume to the 10/22. it was discontinued after two years and is now considered a rare find.
50th Anniversary Ruger 10/22 Rifle Customer Design
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 10/22, Ruger offered fans the opportunity to design the perfect 10/22 rifle. Gary from Michigan submitted the winning design. In his words, “utilizing various Ruger parts and designs, my concept seeks to introduce a practical field rifle that can be used for various rimfire sporting disciplines, such as Project Appleseed and CMP Competitions, as well as informal hunting and shooting.”
Ruger 22 Charger Pistol
Technically a pistol, you’ll want to use the bipod configuration for this one. Offered in a variety of configurations including a new takedown model, the Ruger 22 Charger Pistol is pure range fun.
Ruger SR-22 Rifle
While the SR-22 may look like an AR-pattern rifle, it’s really a souped-up 10/22 action with snazzy furniture. A careful look shows the classic receiver, bolt and magazine release controls. With all the extra gear, it weighs almost two pounds more than the basic carbine model at 6.9 pounds. But, can you say “fun?”
Ruger 10/22 Rifle Aftermarket Success
There is a chicken and egg type situation that has contributed to the longevity and popularity of the 10/22. As a million or so were sold over the early years, the shooting accessories and parts industries woke up and said “Hey! We need to get in on this action!” As a result, dozens of manufacturers started building parts, enhancements, and accessories. With the broad array of stuff available, you can actually build a “10/22” that doesn’t include any Ruger parts, including the receiver.
Of course, technically speaking, it’s not then a 10/22, but you get the idea.
Want to equip your 10/22 with a laser sight to make the ultimate low-light pest control gun? Add a Lasermax CP-1022 Laser. ( tiny.cc/01vr4x ) It takes the place of the standard barrel band. Activated by an ambidextrous slide switch, it’ll help you burn through plenty of .22LR ammo.
If you’ve ever thought about really learning how to shoot with iron sights, check out Project Appleseed. This course is continuously offered all over the country and will teach you and your family a solid dose of American History while equipping you to become a bonafide rifleman.
The perfect gun for this weekend training program is, you guessed it, a Ruger 10/22 Rifle.
If you want to do it up, add a set of Tech-Sights aperture sights. ( tiny.cc/x9vr4x )
They’ll make your basic 10/22 sight just like the classic military M1 Garand and M1 Carbine semi-auto rifles.
Ruger 10/22 Rifle & Home Gunsmithing
Usually, putting the words “home” and “gunsmithing” in the same sentence is a crime punishable by not less than a $10,000 fine and two years in prison, at least under our current Administration... Not so with the 10/22. Even if you’re one of those folks who believes that anything short of the space shuttle’s guidance system can be fixed with pliers, a hammer, and duct tape, you can do serious customization on the Ruger 10/22 Rifle.
For example, the Ruger 10/22 Rifle barrel is mounted using an ingenious v-block system. The barrel itself slips right into the receiver. Rather than rely on threads that need to be timed for perfect headspace adjustment, a v-block, and two screws connect the receiver and a dovetail cut in the barrel itself.
To replace the entire barrel with any aftermarket barrel option, ( goo.gl/wGvNNN ) remove the two screws, pull out the barrel, pop the new one in, and replace the screws. That’s it.
Of course, you can do the simpler things too. The entire stock comes off via one flat-head screw. An aluminum rail segment comes in the box so you can add optics or other tactical stuff on top of the receiver. The trigger assembly and magazine release pop out in seconds. Want an extended bolt handle? No problem. That’s a piece of cake too.
Part of the reason that the 10/22 is approaching the 10 million sold mark is that one can buy a basic model for a little over two hundred bucks, then gradually customize and upgrade over time. It’s a tinkerer’s delight for sure.
Just check out the enormous selection of Ruger 10/22 Rifle parts at Brownells ( http://goo.gl/cDlMXS ) and you can only imagine the tacticool possibilities.
A Ruger 10/22 Rifle in Every Home
As you can probably surmise, multiple books have be written about the wide variety of Ruger 10/22 rifles (and pistols) along with the seemingly infinite number of aftermarket customization options. The way I see it, there’s a configuration for just about everybody, regardless of their personal tastes and preferences. If you want a new one, there are currently seven product “families” offered by Ruger. I say “family” because each model type has variants within.
Current (2015) Ruger 10/22 Models
- 10/22 Carbine
- 10/22 Target
- 10/22 Takedown
- 10/22 Compact
- 10/22 Sporter
- 10/22 Tactical
- 10/22 Collector’s Series
Ruger 10/22 Rifle Resources
- Ruger 10/22 Rifles Home Page at Ruger : http://www.ruger.com/products/1022/index.html
- Books on the Ruger 10-22 Rifle : http://tiny.cc/71wr4x
- Ruger 10-22 Rifle Serial Number & Production Info : http://tiny.cc/r8wr4x
- Ruger 10/22 Rifle Aftermarket Parts : http://goo.gl/cDlMXS
- Ruger 10/22 Rifle Videos : http://tiny.cc/bmxr4x
- 22LR Ammo for the Ruger 10/22 Rifle : http://goo.gl/bLcTUH
- Used Ruger 10/22 Rifles for Sale on GunBroker : http://tiny.cc/psxr4x
Ruger 10/22 Rifle Instruction Manual
Reprinted with permission from AmmoLand.com.