After what seemed like months of getting pounded by
lightweight, big bore, high performance rifles, I was ready to work
on a project where recoil and muzzle blast weren't a gun's
most memorable features. The Ruger 10/22 rimfire seemed a likely
candidate, even if just for curiosity sake because so much conflicting information
about the gun has been published over the forty five or forty six
years of its existence. Sorting out fact from fiction is always fun,
and the rifle's design would permit significant parts changing
without the need for special tools or machine shop services. Always
good to be able to maintain control over a process and to be able to
measure the effect of each change.
Ruger 10/22 Target
|2 Stage Trigger
||2 lbs / 5lbs
||7 lbs 2 oz
The Ruger Model 10/22T, a more recent addition to the 10/22 line up
has been with us since 1996. Differentiating it from other 10/22
Models is an absence of metallic sights, a 0.920" diameter hammer
forged 20" barrel, a two stage target trigger shared with the Target
Tactical model, and a laminated target type stock.
The Ruger's barrel and securing V block are made of alloy steel. The
receiver is made of aluminum alloy. The housing for the trigger
guard assembly is made of fiber filled polymer. The target model, as
is the case with the target tactical model, is supplied with a
Weaver style scope base adapter, but no rings.
The barreled action accounts for 4 lbs 10 oz of the gun's overall
weight, which is only significant in the fact that the laminated
stock is actually quite light.
The gun's controls are laid out neatly and ergonomically. Current
Rugers include an extended magazine release which use to be a
popular aftermarket upgrade. The change from an aluminum to plastic
trigger guard came in early 2008.
Ruger includes sling swivels on the 10/22 Target. The
support for the barrel is at the end of the forearm with the barrel
floating in the rest of the forearm. The heavy barrel is pretty
spiffy looking with a spiral finish and a flat recessed target crown. The
fit and finish is good, inletting is clean and the stock is sealed
inside and out.
Change with a purpose...
Based on my many years of experience with firearms, when I
looked down the Ruger's barrel, I almost immediately noticed an
absence of sights. This condition led to Modification 1,
installation of a scope. Not a speculative modification of
improvement. nor a modification of modification of convenience, but
rather one of necessity.
The Ruger is supplied with a scope base adapter, I'll call it a
mount base, that is compatible with both Weaver style and rimfire
tip off mounts. This was installed on the rifle and topped with a
set of steel
Warne Maxima 30mm medium height rings from
The Ruger is a fifty yard gun, a hundred yard gun at the most, not
because of mechanical or quality limitations of the rifle, but
because it is chambered for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. Still, I
decided to mount a Bushnell 6500 Elite 2-5x16x42mm scope, complete
with the sunshade that was packed in its box. Why such a big scope?
The magnification range covers the entire range of the application,
the big 30mm tube contributes to a very bright image and a wide
field of view and the scope has parallax correction for more precise
adjustment. Additionally, the scope's relatively long eye relief
helps to provide a comfortable hold even with the gun's longish pull
I appreciate the fact that Ruger ships the 10/22 with sling swivels,
but I like quick detachable types because slings get swapped to
different guns and because I can only figure out how to thread a
shooting sling onto a set of swivels once. Also from Brownells, a
set of Michael's of Oregon quick detachable swivels with wood screw
studs, #1311-2. A
Latigo shooting sling was installed because it helps when I have to
carry the rifle and pull along a hand truck full of shooting rests,
targets, ammunition and sand bags. Additionally, a good shooting
sling really comes in handy when shooting for accuracy without the
aid of a rest. Collectively, Modification #2 was one of convenience,
but one that also provides measurable accuracy improvement.
Beyond what I've already mentioned, the only other thing that was
done to the Ruger was to take it down and clean it up to get all of
the factory preservative gunk out of the bore and action.
Ammo selection was for baseline.
Ammo selection was not of consequence, other than to say that I drew
from a supply of ammo that is five or six years old. It was selected
because it is middle of the road 40 grain standard velocity ammo,
the same that has gone through every .22 rifle and handgun I own,
have owned or shot for evaluation over the same period of time. It
was chosen because I know how it shoots and how it generally groups,
so it is easy to spot anomalies associated with firearms. It
is not match ammo, it is... frugal ammo, just what fun .22's are
suppose to shoot.
X marks the spot... or maybe slightly to the left
I wasn't worried so much about bullseyes as group size, so I didn't
make much of an effort until the last two groups to get on target.
The groups were shot left to right and top to bottom at 50 yards.
The best was 3/4", the biggest spread was 1 3/4"; still day, low
70ºF. Was that OK performance? Probably. I made no effort to check
for loose parts or torque values, nor did I do a check of incidental
contact in the barrel channel or around the action inletting. But I
had a starting point and that is all I was looking for, for now.