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Old 11-29-2016, 12:50 PM   #1
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From: Central Arkansas

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Ruger 10-22's

Finally – after 18 years of quietly despising ruger 10-22 rifles – I finally ‘get it’. For seemingly forever, people on the internet and at gunshops have praised the ruger 10-22 as a great little rimfire rifle, and I never understood. I bought a 10-22 in 1998 or ’99, and it was the most horrible .22 rifle I’d ever owned. Period. Ever. Worst. In 40+ years of owning .22 rifles. I’d always owned & shot marlins ever since getting my first model 20 (or maybe model 15) in the late 60’s or early 70’s, and so never had a truly “bad” .22 rifle before the 10-22 followed me home from walmart one day.

When I finally broke down and drank the 10-22 kool-aid, I was appalled. Its trigger was at least 12-15 pounds, and accuracy-wise “it couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn from the inside” as the saying goes. Experimenting with two different scopes, I still couldn’t hit things with it, that I could hit easily with my kid’s iron-sighted, youth-sized .22 rifle. It was pathetic.

I worked on the trigger and got it down from “horrific” to just “pretty bad”; which was sadly a huge improvement. Never did find a way to make it anywhere near accurate enough for anything truly useful, so it pretty much ended up relegated to nothing more demanding than dueling tree use. Horrible, horrible, crappy gun. Still is. I often wondered if it was due to having been bought at walmart, as I’ve read more than once that “walmart guns” were made to lower specs than the same models shipped to other vendors. I had no way to confirm or allay that claim, but I often wondered about it.

Then about 7-8 years ago, I bought another ‘walmart’ gun, a Mossberg 500, for my other son. Nice gun with full rib, porting, interchangeable chokes, etc. Got it to the range and once again – piece of crap. Around 95% of the time, it would dump the incoming shell during recoil; you could actually see it fall out of the bottom of the gun. I’ve had my own 500 for around 30 years and it’s a great gun for what it is; a simple, reliable, 12-gauge pump. But this newer, nicer, 500 was crap and sat pretty much unused for several years. Saw it in the safe one time too many and took it to a local gunsmith who found that it actually had a wrong cartridge stop in it from the factory. Instead of being marked with a “12” (or “20”, etc), it was marked with an “F”; which frankly struck me as ironic, based on my opinion of the gun at the time. He popped in a “12” marked cartridge stop, and the gun has run 100% ever since. Two or three years now with not one problem of any kind. That second incident cemented my thoughts on walmart guns – simply summed up as “not again”.

Anyway… I recently picked up another 10-22; this one for myself, from a local Ace Hardware. It’s got a black synthetic stock and threaded barrel (the main reason it caught my eye), and after using it for the last couple weekends, I now understand the 10-22 love. I’ve had very good marlin .22 semiautos since the 70’s and was perfectly happy with them. Think I still have four at this point. But this 10-22 is simply better. It’s accurate, it has a very good trigger, and it’s totally reliable with almost every load I’ve put in it. (It’s only 95% or so reliable with American Eagle HP stuff, but 100% with everything else I’ve put in it, from mini-mags, to winchester’s “black copper” stuff, to Federal bulk stuff to Remington thunderbolts.) The fact that it’s reliable even with ruger’s extended BX-25 magazines just adds to its goodness. It did start having a few functional issues when I was out shooting this past Sunday, but I have to give it a pass on that – besides the initial cleaning before I fired it, it’s had no cleaning or maintenance other than a couple squirts of break-free during the last shooting session, and now has a little over a thousand rounds of numerous kinds of ammo thru it. I can live with that kind of reliability, especially for a non-broken-in rimfire gun.

Since I really just bought it to play with, to use on hanging plates and the rimfire plate rack and such, I just put a TRS-25 dot sight on it initially. But I’ve been so impressed with it that I have a Leupold 1-4X coming for it.

To all the 10-22 guys out there, I now understand you. I’m thinking that for Christmas, a takedown version may be in order…
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Old 11-29-2016, 01:19 PM   #2
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Joined: Jun 2015
From: North

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Early this Spring I found a mannlicker stocked one NIB in box dated 1995, a few swipes with a stone made the trigger perfect. Put a 3x9 scope on an was very pleased. Ruger has out a 15 round mag that don't hang down so far.
Go to Rimfire Central for a lot of good infro. Even step by step on doing trigger pull without spending a bunch on new trigger,
dcombest likes this.
Old 11-29-2016, 01:56 PM   #3
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 Terry G's Avatar
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I bought my first 10/22 used, in 1974, I still have it. I bought a second one with a composite stock and mounted a 'scope on it for Squirrel's. Neither rifle has ever given me a bit of trouble. The Wal-Mart thing is said to be on the order of an Urban legend, but who knows?
Old 11-29-2016, 03:26 PM   #4
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From: Central Arkansas

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Originally Posted by Terry G View Post
...The Wal-Mart thing is said to be on the order of an Urban legend, but who knows?
That was large in my mind initially, but after going two-for-two with turd guns from walmart, I'm not planning to experiment anymore. Even a lab rat eventually learns, and I've reached the "fooled me twice" stage.

I do know the ammo is different; at least some of it. My savage 10FP-LE's favorite load is federal's 308B 180-grain softpoint, which I used to buy at walmart all the time. Last time I went to buy some there, the box looked the same but the part number was now "WM308B" or maybe it was "308B-WM". Don't know how different it is functionally, as I'm not a gambler and chose to buy it elsewhere.
Old 11-29-2016, 03:43 PM   #5
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 Terry G's Avatar
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Well, I was warned about Wal-Mart tires from a mechanic who has serviced my cars and trucks for twenty years. Where theres this much smoke....
Old 04-19-2017, 12:54 AM   #6
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I tend to agree you can't go wrong with the Ruger 10/22. It's got over a half-century of aftermarket support - you can virtually build a custom version literally from an 80% receiver!
When Ruger finally came out with the BX-25 magazines, the little 10/22 gained what it had been needing all along (and only available at high cost in the aftermarket), and that is a reliable, high-capacity magazine.

I was "into" the 10/22 way back when it was still legal to do FA conversions on them and it is one SWEET FA with the right touch applied!

A bone stock 10/22 fitted with a high-powered, large objective, parallax adjustable rifle scope is also an outstanding urban resistance choice...even more so when fitted with a suppressor.

Having said all that, I do think one company is giving Ruger some competition...that's S&W with their M&P 15-22. The 15-22 is reliable, uses and accepts all AR aftermarket do-dads, and is highly accurate as well as customizable. With the prices of 10/22's creeping up, and the prices on 15-22's easing down....I tend to favor the 15-22. IF I were in the mood and the circumstances required, every single part need to remake a 15-22 into FA is available OTC, as well as suppressor options. I'm not advocating breaking the law, just pointing out that if and when that law gets changed, the 15-22 is the better starting point.

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