A black Ruger .22/45, barrel pointed down, with 2 boxes of ammunition against a wooden background.

Why Buy the .22 Long Rifle Cartridge?

A proven resource in creating a marksman is the use of inexpensive .22 caliber ammunition and .22 caliber firearms. The rimfire offers little or no recoil, minimal report and good accuracy. It is recognized that the rimfire is a good training aid for pure marksmanship, that is trigger control and learning sight alignment and sight picture. In today’s tight economy, we see both .22 caliber conversions and dedicated .22 caliber firearms pressed into service in training. With the high, and increasing, costs of training, .22 caliber conversion units and .22 caliber firearms appear to be a good buy.

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Top 10 .22-Caliber Posts as of June 8, 2013

Most shooters say they like more power in their rifles and handguns, but their buying habits show they overwhelmingly prefer less power — that is, in total rounds sold, .22-caliber firearms and ammunition dominate cartridge sales figures.

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Top 10 Most-Read Posts of 2012

Chronicle staff writers pay attention to stories the Cheaper Than Dirt community enjoys—how information is delivered and what topics our readers prefer in The Shooter’s Log. Based on what customers actually clicked-on and read in 2012, lists are a favorite kind of article—the top-five most-read items over the past year were compilations of some sort.

Aim Small Miss Small, the .22 is Still as Big as Ever

The .22 Long Rifle cartridge is one of the most useful cartridges in production. When it comes to raw number of cartridges sold, the .22 LR is by far the most common type of round ever sold. Gun manufacturers make the .22 cartridge compatible with various rifles, pistols, and revolvers. Since it is one of the most common cartridges, almost every firearm manufacturer makes at least one model chambered for .22 LR. The .22 LR has a feature that is common with much older cartridges. The projectile has a heeled design, which means the bullet is the same diameter as the case. The narrower heel portion fits into the cartridge, which results in an odd-shaped, but effective projectile.

22 LR Cartridge

22 LR Cartridge

So why is the .22 so darn popular? This may not surprise you, but the relatively low-cost of the ammunition is what really drives sales. A shooter can put rounds through a .22 all day long and not feel a strain on their wallet, or their shoulder for that matter. The .22 is also a fairly quiet round, which makes it ideal for recreational shooting, initial firearms training, small-game hunting, and pest control. Many of us old shooters probably remember the first gun we shot being a .22. Even among professional and expert shooters, the .22 is a low-cost option for practicing fundamentals and keeping yourself in tune with your skills. Shooting, much like many other sport requires constant practice to truly excel, and without practice skills can diminish or perish entirely. The low recoil and noise of the .22 helps novice shooters avoid the bad habit of flinching while pulling the trigger. Novice shooters often have difficulty shedding this habit once it presents itself.

.22 Long Rifle – Subsonic Hollow point (left). Standard Velocity (center), Hyper-Velocity "Stinger" Hollow point (right).

.22 Long Rifle – Subsonic Hollow point (left). Standard Velocity (center), Hyper-Velocity "Stinger" Hollow point (right).

Despite its low recoil, the .22 LR performs remarkably well at distances inside of 150 yards. Subsonic .22 LR rounds have become popular among shooters as well. A high-velocity supersonic round tends to be less than ideal for accuracy. The reason for this inaccuracy is the shock wave created by supersonic travel can overtake the projectile, causing minor fluctuations in accuracy. For hunting, the .22 is perfect for small game such as squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, and small foxes. At shorter ranges, the .22 can take down larger animals such as coyotes and small deer, but head and chest shots fair much better at with these animals. However, it is generally inadvisable to hunt deer with a .22.

Some shooters do not give the .22 the respect they give other cartridges in regards to safety. The low noise and recoil tend to make some shooters treat is as though it were a small BB gun, or pellet gun. A .22 can travel up to a mile and a half, and is more than capable of killing a human being. Like all firearms, a .22 is a deadly weapon, and only pointed in a safe direction at all times. Due to the design of the .22 bullet, the projectile tends to ricochet, rather than penetrate or disintegrate. This makes it more dangerous to shoot in some areas as the projectile will bounce around through thick woods and brush.

The .22 rifle has been around a long time, and will most likely continue to be. As a hunting or target round, the .22 has a legacy that is unlike any other, and remains the mainstay of the range, and the hunting lodge. Happy shooting everyone!

Customizing the Ruger 10/22 .22 Long Rifle

The Ruger 10/22, in its standard form, has remained mostly unchanged since Ruger introduced it in 1964. It has remained the most popular .22 Long Rifle over the past 40 years. For learning basic rifle marksmanship, it’s hard to beat a Ruger 10/22. It’s one of the more common rifles found at Appleseed shoots. But not everyone is satisfied with their rifle as it comes from the factory. Not to worry, there is an abundance of aftermarket accessories available for the owner to personalize his/her rifle. Let’s take a look at some of the options you have when to customizing your Ruger 10/22.

Stocks
One of the most popular ways to customize your 10/22 is to replace the stock. Aftermarket manufactures have risen to the occasion by supplying Ruger owners with a variety of stock options. The most popular aftermarket stock, the TAPCO Intrafuse, gives the 10/22 an adjustable M-4 style buttstock and a SAW-style pistol grip, as well as rails on the bottom of the forearm and top barrel cover. It is available in several popular colors. Ram-Line and Butler Creek both offer synthetic folding stocks for easy storage of your rifle. Ram-Line and Hogue both have synthetic Monte Carlo stocks for a classic look. For those that need the adjustability of the M-4 type stock with a folding capability, ATI offers a folding 6-position stock for the Ruger 10/22. It has the added feature of a removable, adjustable cheekrest. This is just a small sample of the stocks available. There are a number of manufactures that produce custom wooden stocks in any imaginable configuration and style for the 10/22 owner, including Ruger manufactured factory replacements.

Barrel And Receiver Upgrades
With the Ruger 10/22, the ease of changing out the barrel has made barrel swaps a very popular upgrade. Usually the stock barrel is replaced with a barrel that has a heavier contour. There are as many options for barrels as there are stocks for this rifle. Some of the more popular choices are the target barrels from Butler Creek, available in 20″ length, smooth or fluted, with 416 stainless steel or 4150 carbon-blued steel finishes. They are even available ported. Magnum Research and others offer carbon-fiber barrels for the ultimate in weight savings and cooling performance. Other companies offer aluminum sleeved barrels, threaded barrels, shorter barrels and even barrels with special twist rates for stabilizing 60-grain subsonic bullets or hyper-velocity loads. For those that want a one-step, quick and easy upgrade, Butler Creek packages its heavy barrel with its synthetic Monte Carlo stock.

When wearing gloves or if you’re in a hurry, a handy item to have on your Ruger 10/22 is an oversized cocking handle. The oversized cocking handle gives you more area to grip. An oversize magazine release extends further than the Ruger factory magazine release making it more easily accessible for magazine changes or clearing malfunctions. The Auto Bolt Release eliminates the need for two-handed bolt release required with the factory bolt release. It is an instant, no-fumble way to release the bolt in your gun. When the bolt is held open, just a slight pull on the bolt handle will release the bolt. A Recoil Buffer will cushion the shock of the bolt hitting a metal surface on recoil. It does away with that annoying clunking sound and can add years of life to your gun’s action. As with the stock and barrel combos all these items are available in one convenient package.

Optics
Many 10/22 owners put a scope on the rimfire, but for some, iron sights are the only way to go. As with everything else on the 10/22, there are upgrades for the factory sights. Williams offers its rear Peep sight in combination with a front FireSight as well as their FireSight front and rear set. TruGlo has a red front and green rear fiber optic sight set that increases visibility and accuracy in low-light shooting conditions for the Ruger 10/22. The HiViz front and rear combo sight set features a folding leaf-style rear sight and a front dovetail sight that has interchangeable fiber optics in green and red colors with different bead sizes.

Magazines
Magazines are the lifeline of any semi-automatic firearm. For your Ruger, the factory magazines are always a good bet. Still, larger capacity magazines are almost a must for a good plinking session. The Ruger factory magazines are reliable and easy to find, but for some, are lacking in capacity. For extra-capacity magazines, the standard for years has been the 25-round Butler Creek Hot Lips or Steel Lips model magazines, also available in 10-round capacity. Black Dog Machine offers a 25-round magazine that is also an excellent choice. Whichever type of magazine you choose, be sure to stock up on them for easy plinking fun.

Rail Systems
Picatinny or MIL-STD-1913 rails have recently become more and more popular for all gun types, including the Ruger 10/22. Leapers/UTG offers a rail system for the Ruger that utilizes the factory stock or your favorite after-market stock. The .22 Commando Tactical Quad Rail is an affordable tactical solution, offering endless options of scopes, flashlights, lasers, bipods or foregrips on your 10/22.

For those who want more customization than replacing the stock or adding a rail system can give you, there are several companies offering conversions for your 10/22. Magnum Research and others have conversion kits allowing you to change your .22 LR to a .17 Mach 2 caliber. Based on the .22 Long Rifle rimfire case, the .17 Mach 2 (.17M2) is necked down to a 17-grain, .17-caliber Hornady V-Max bullet and is powered to a nominal 2100 fps velocity, nearly 70 percent faster than a standard-velocity .22 LR. At 175 yards, the .17M2 is still going faster than a .22 LR at the muzzle. The .17M2 will turn your little plinker into a screamer.

Conversion Kits
C&S Metall-Werks is one company that offers a conversion that completely changes your 10/22. Their Krinker-Plinker is a complete conversion kit for your Ruger 10/22 to turn it into a miniature AKS-74U “Krinkov.” The Krinker-Plinker is a true transformation, using original military AK-74 parts and stamped, molded, cast and CNC-machined pieces. It’s easy to install in just 20 minutes. The Krinker-Plinker is a great way to differentiate your 10/22 from the all the others.

For those who lean more towards the M16 than the AK-47, the Nordic Components AR-22 stock kit makes the 10/22 ergonomically identical to the AR-15 and works by simply bolting on to the barreled-action of your standard Ruger 10/22. The stock kit accepts standard AR-15 components (butt stock, grip, and hand guard) to complete the conversion process. This is a great idea for training that effectively mimics your AR, but using the less expensive .22 LR ammunition.

Learn More About the 10/22
As a final word, if you want to get to know your Ruger better, On-Target Productions has created affordable DVD’s for all gun owners. These informative DVD’s feature Larry Shields, who is a renowned firearms expert. Larry shows you the intricate details of the Ruger 10/22 and teaches you the proper ways to disassemble and reassemble them in less than an hour.