The Ruger 10/22 is a rifle that millions of American's have chosen for a wide variety of applications since its introduction in 1964. From target plinking and competition shooting to small game hunting, varmint removal, and even up to hunting larger game such as deer in the right conditions, these affordable rifles should be an asset in everyone's inventory. Shooting the .22lr cartridge makes it very easy to have plenty of ammunition on hand and not have to take out a second mortgage to do so. Over five million rifles have been sold over the course of production, and there are numerous other reviews online that attest to their reliability, this one being no exception.
I have ran several brands of ammunition through this rifle, and it has fired them all with a great track record. So far I have tested Federal Champion, CCI Minimag, Eley Sport, and Winchester white box. I have experienced the most failure to extracts with the Winchester, even though the number is only about four out of three hundred.
This particular model is the 10/22-RPF Carbine, with black synthetic stock and blued alloy steel barrel. I managed to find this one new at a local retailer for the amazing price of $218. It came with a chamber flag, action padlock, and one ten round rotary magazine. Luckily I picked up the two BX25 magazines at the same time, what with them being impossible to find at the moment for a fair price. All of the magazines have proven to load and feed very reliably, and I plan to stick with Ruger factory mags if possible.
|Ruger BX-25 magazines with custom made windows. The constant pressure spring is located on the right side of the follower, making the left side a better choice for the modification.|
As a quick google search will verify, there is a vast majority of options and upgrades that can be added to a 10/22 rifle. You can even order a custom receiver and build a complete gun from the ground up part by part. So far I've tweaked this rifle with practicality in mind, and have made a few modifications and additions to make it a flexible and valuable part of my survival gear.
I attached a Condor one-point sling onto the stock with a section of MOLLE strap that had a D-ring attached, which works well with the quick-detatch design of the sling. Many testify the importance of a sling on any rifle system, and I have found the one-point to be the best way to go about it as opposed to a two- or three-point sling. They are very easy to drop the weapon down and get it back up, and there is a lesser chance of getting something tangled up in the firearm's operating mechanisms.
Despite the fact that Ruger now includes an extended magazine release sold with the rifle, I wanted to find an option that worked better for me and my hands. The design that comes from the factory is similar to that of an AK or H&K style, where the release is pressed with the off-hand's thumb and the magazine is then removed. Other options include those in which the release follows the trigger guard back, allowing the user to engage the lever with the firing hand without the need to move it from fire control. This gives you the ability to depress the magazine release with either hand. An example of one of these designs is the product offering by Primary Weapon Systems, and is a great part to pick up for the 10/22. By pressing the lever with your trigger finger, the Ruger ten round magazines drop free, allowing you to already have grabbed another ammo source ready to be inserted. The longer, curved mags do not drop completely free from a stationary platform, but with slight movement of the rifle they can be dropped in the same manner.
With the stock pad removed, the stock's butt pad can be removed for storage which is used to hold a pocketknife, matches and strike pad, and a small first aid kit holding gauze pads, sterile gloves, bandaids, alcohol prep pads, and packets of anti-bacterial cream. A wide range of items can fit inside the stock, so why not utilize the space?
Even though it is entirely not necessary to replace the factory steel recoil buffer pin, I found the idea of a steel bolt hitting a steel pin in an aluminum frame to be not optimal. There are rare cases of the pin's holes in the receiver deviating into a more oval shape, and even more rare is the instance of the receiver itself cracking. Added to that there's the metallic clang sound upon every fired round. There are numerous options for replacements, and one of the best rated and reviewed are the Tuffer Buffers. I was able to find a package of three on an eBay store for $15 shipped, which is a great deal given that some stores sell them for $12 per each one. The urethane pin replaces the steel factory part, and provides several functions. It eliminates the metal-on-metal contact, reduces felt recoil, and makes the gun a little quieter while cycling.
Another part worth picking up is the Volquartsen Exact Edge Extractor. Totaling in at around $16 shipped from Brownell's, it's another example of a part that's so cheap it's hard to find a reason not to purchase. Made of A-2 tool steel and hardened to RC58-60, the sharp hook point provides a very precise grip on the case head and will last nearly forever. The extractor also includes a replacement spring for the assembly. Even though the factory extractor is made of steel, it is stamped steel and is not made of as hard a material as the aftermarket part, causing the hook point to wear down faster leading to more failure to extracts as time goes on.
The only other internal modification to the firearm is the auto bolt release modification. The standard operation of the bolt lock is to pull the bolt handle all the way to the rear, press up on the bolt lock lever, then release the bolt. At that point, the bolt is locked open. To close the bolt, pull the bolt to the rear again, and press forward on the bolt lock lever, allowing the bolt to slide home. You're right, that was complicated. By purchasing a new part, or modifying the existing bolt lock as I have with a dremel and file, the process can be greatly simplified for performance. The steps for locking the bolt open are the same, but after the mod the bolt is released by simply bringing the bold handle back to the rear and releasing it. The rifle was not designed to do this, and after modification it can release the open bolt by smacking the rifle hard on a surface, so be aware of this added level of safety awareness that needs to be tracked.