All the guns I’ve loved before, Ruger 10/22 Edition
A good .22 LR rifle is a very useful tool to have around. For varmint control, developing future riflemen, or recreational plinking, they have a place. Ruger has virtually everyone covered in the 22LR department, with a rifle that’s not only reliable, but also suited to your style: the 10/22.
The 10/22 repeater first appeared in 1964. Since then, Ruger released several renditions of the rifle. This proved a successful strategy. At a gun writers’ conference this year, Ruger representatives said customers should expect to see more and more new interpretations of existing platforms for years to come. This is their way of responding to changing consumer preferences while continuing to embrace a proven design.
This tidy semi-auto comes standard with Ruger’s patented 10-round rotary magazine, which sets flush inside the frame, yet drops free easily with a push of the ambidextrous mag release lever. A typical toggle safety is placed behind the trigger guard.
Furniture is available in virtually any color and style. A basic wood stock is one option, as is striking tiger-stripe grain wood. There’s a rubberized model, a plethora of camo patterns, and a lightweight polymer model with a barrel shroud that makes it look kind of like an Ithaca trench gun. There are models that look like AR-style tactical rifles and a version modeled after precision sniper rifles. Aftermarket kits like the ones from Archangel add even more options for making this little-bore rifle look big.
If backcountry survival or camping is more your style, there are a couple varieties of the Takedown 10/22, which quickly disassembles to fit in a narrow backpack that’s included with purchase.
Prefer shooting suppressed? No problem; the 10/22 is being offered in several existing renditions of the Takedown model … and surely others will follow.
Barrels are made in three lengths–16.12, 18, and 20 inches. Folks wanting ready accuracy at short ranges from the truck, or at longer distances from the shooting bench, can both have their way. Most models come with a flip-up rear sight and an adjustable dovetailed front sight.
In an age when many gun companies’ owner manuals have become so non-specific as to be worthless and send the owner running to YouTube for questionable advice, Ruger has leapfrogged ahead and made its own disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly instructional videos for the 10/22. And they should—it’s a perfect rifle for people just learning, as well as being slightly complicated to disassemble.
I have used the 10/22 for fun, for teaching beginners, and have used and helped people use them during Appleseed program shoots, weekend-long occasions that burn through several hundred rounds. At the end of a long set of drills, the 10/22s are ready for more. Appleseed events are a good test of rifle reliability and durability. In addition to repeated, timed 40-round courses of fire, strict safety protocols require that actions be open to the elements during breaks and lunchtime. In my part of the world, that usually means returning to find the chamber full of dust and whatnot.
By performing well under these conditions, my own 10/22s and the many others I’ve seen on the line have convinced me these rifles are worth far more than the base price of $200 to 550, depending on features.
Do you own a 10/22? Let us know in the comments below.
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