Range Report: Ruger’s 10/22 — One of the Greatest All-Around Rifles

By Bob Campbell published on in Firearms, Range Reports

The Ruger 10/22 is the .22 everyone wants, everyone keeps, and everyone can afford! Along with the Colt 1911 handgun, the Remington 700, and Browning A5 shotgun, the Ruger 10/22 has become an icon among American shooters. I am not certain it is Ruger’s bestseller, but I would not be surprised if it is. The 10/22 is among the most affordable quality firearms in the world and it chambers the Little Big Man of cartridges, the .22 LR. This means the 10/22 is ideal for training, practice, plinking and small game hunting.

8 different models of Ruger 10/22 rifles in current production.

Over 20 versions of the Ruger 10/22 are in current production.

A trained individual, armed with a .22 caliber self-loader is far from helpless in a personal defense situation as well. There are plenty of good quality aftermarket parts to be added to the rifle to make it more interesting. While my three 10/22 rifles currently wear iron sights, the rifle is accurate enough to warrant a good quality riflescope. Ruger rings make scope mounting simple and sturdy.

The primary advantage of the Ruger, over any other rifle, is its sterling reputation for reliability. The rifle just seems to always work, given an occasional cleaning and lubrication of course. The Ruger may also be a first gun for a teenager or a go anywhere do anything .22 for any outdoorsmen. You just cannot outgrow the Ruger 10/22 unless you intended to invest heavily in a bench rest rifle—and then the 10/22 is a good chassis.

The Ruger 10/22 has many good features. Among these is an easy takedown. Originally designed for ease of assembly, the easily removed barrel allows the fitting of any number of custom options. When the Ruger was introduced, .22 LR magazines were either long tubes or box magazines that protruded from the stock.

However, Ruger’s 10-round rotary magazine, modeled after the Savage 99 .300 Savage, features a flush fit into the stock. These magazines never seem to give trouble, needing only an occasional cleaning. Ruger now offers an equally reliable 25-round magazine for heavy-duty plinking.

The only caution that applies to any quality .22 Long Rifle firearm is ammunition selection. The Ruger isn’t finicky; far from it, but there are times when ammo isn’t ‘in spec.’ This usually occurs with the cheapest stuff. Ammo made in the good old USA is the best choice. Also, Match Grade loads are sometimes designed for Match chambers. This means the brass is slightly longer than standard. You do not have to get a magnifying glass out and check your .22 LR ammo, but if you do, you may find it interesting.

Ruger 10/22 Sporter with American Walnut Stock.

Ruger 10/22 Sporter with American Walnut Stock.

Winchester Super-X and other Winchester loads offer an excellent balance of economy and performance. The High Speed hollow points are excellent for use on small game such as rabbit, squirrel and even larger game with good shot placement. The .22 is a bit light for use on marauding coyote though.

I have been taught that a humane kill matters even with predators. At moderate range, the .22 will do the business with a minimum of well-placed shots. As for personal defense, if the .22 rifle is your only firearm you are well armed. Results with the rifle are much better than the pistol, largely due to the ease of shot placement. A Ruger with a Lasermax sight and 25-round magazine is great home defender.

To my mind, the single greatest pursuit with the .22 rifle is plinking. Introducing a young shooter to the joys of marksmanship, and firing a quality firearm in a safe manner, simply is one of the most enjoyable things about shooting. Shooting the .22 LR challenges the shooter when combined with small targets, limited range, report and power, and allows marksmanship to proceed unfettered by the high cost of centerfire ammunition.

The Ruger’s sights are excellent examples of a combination of practicality and precision. As for accuracy, the standard model Ruger will usually put three rounds of Winchester Super X into 2 inches at 50 yards from a solid benchrest. Firing off hand accuracy is less as the human factor is present, but the Ruger 10/22 exhibits a high degree of practical accuracy. This is the rifle that everyone should have, and the rifle that most of us own. But you can always use another!

Click Here to Start Shopping Online at Cheaper Than Dirt

Do you have one or more Ruger 10/22s? What configuration would you recommend to other readers? Share your best 10/22 story and recommendations in the comment section.

Tags: , , , , ,

Trackback from your site.

The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (49)

  • Thor

    |

    Ross–What was John talking about if it wasn’t a magnum version of the rifle. Read up above for details. Thor

    Reply

  • John

    |

    I have one of the 22 mag versions and it shoots like a champ. I bought a regular wood stocked 10-22 in 22LR from a guy for $35 back in 1978. I ended up giving that one to my son about 10 years ago. I missed it so much that I bought a new one with the black synthetic stock a couple of years ago. I don’t lIke the synthetic stock as much as the wood, but that is just personal preference. It is still an excellent shooting rifle.

    Reply

  • J. D. Smith

    |

    Oh yes they can hit long range with a decent scope- put a Tasco on mine and hitting a 16×16 inch piece of steel at a little over 200 yds consistantly with 40 grain Winchester M-22. Of course you have to aim about a foot high at that distance. It is interesting in that it seems to take a minute or two after a shot to hear the steel take the hit. Such fun.

    Reply

  • OLD AND GRUMPY

    |

    In states like California that limit mag size It is legal to connect mags with a TriMag connector. 3 10 round mags gives 30 rounds of quick reloads. I got 2 plus the clear mags so I see what is in them. A little practice at home with them unloaded and it becomes fast and easy,

    Don’t forget the dust covers for the mags. A good investment . http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/84674?td_source=search

    TriMag- http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/2-TSOLTRIMAG?td_source=search

    The only problem is that CTD would not ship them to CA even though I can buy them legal at my LGS.

    Reply

    • Don Hays

      |

      100% agree! The TriMag’s are great! I live in California and just bought 2 TriMag’s and intend to buy more. I also got the covers for the mags. That is a great investment. Oh, and the gun looks pretty sharp when loaded. :)

      Reply

    • OLD AND GRUMPY

      |

      Some after market mags my not work right with the TriMag. Some grinding and fitting needed. Stick with Ruger factory mags. Check out recoil buffers. http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/GNS-428-004?td_source=search They are a big improvement. Some guys use a nylon bolt shaft cut down.

      Don—-
      We should have 5 or 6 months of good range weather now that summer is over in CA. (sorry snow people). Range is empty mid week, not to full on weekends. Think I’ll make the run to Burro.

      Reply

  • Kennetth Lawson

    |

    I have a Ruger 10/22. Its from the early 80’s It still shoots like new, Over the years, I’ve had to replace several small parts that went missing. Even with them missing, It still worked. With the parts replaced, It can go though a 25 round mag, and never blink, It east pretty much anything I feed it. You can’t kill it. Definitely a go-to gun for small game hunting, Target practice, and in worst case situation , self-defense. 25 small rounds on tap, definitely beats nothing, .
    That’s not even counting, Their just plain FUN………..

    Reply

  • ss1

    |

    The 10/22 Compact model looks interesting to me.

    Reply

  • Bob

    |

    I have 4, two registered SBRs and 2 mannlichers. Things make tis rifle great- by far the best hi-cap magazines of any rimfire firearm, for 40 years at least. Real steel and hardwood construction; and a design that, while not mil-spec, is much closer than any of the other gussied-up look-alike rimfire “tactical” rifles out there. A .22 magnum version with hi-cap magazines is sorely needed; and why Ruger never made a 9mm version wit a quality hi-cap magazine I never understood. And, put one in the little wife’s hands and she will eat any intruder’s lunch.

    Reply

  • Larry

    |

    Jeeze- me and my brother each had one of these back when you could buy them for $60 or so at the local Western Auto. They were, and still are, the quintessential all-around .22 rifle. I really like the take-down model for its packability and neat design features. I can tell you that with a well-mounted good scope and rings, they are capable of some amazing groups. One time I had a Ruger 10-22 I already knew was accurate, but for some reason I “borrowed”an expensive 12X Leupold off a shot-out .220 Swift Model 700 my Dad had and mounted it on the Ruger. Holy mackinaw that thing was a tackdrivin’ bugger! You could virtually put a whole box of Super X’s in a dime-size hole at 50 yds from the bench. My brother promptly plucked his Weaver K4 off his Marlin 336 and proceeded to just tear the x-rings all to hell with his own 10-22. Those little Rugers were good enough to deserve good glass if you could afford it. Ours accounted for hundreds of head-shot fox squirrels, rabbits, and assorted other small game back in the 50’s.

    Reply

  • Ross

    |

    I know that long ago Ruger tried to make a .22 Magnum version of this gun, but it just never worked right. I have one in .22 LR, and I would LOVE to see a reliable model introduced in .22 Mag.

    Reply

    • Secundius

      |

      @ Ross.

      I think a Better Caliber, would be the .22TCM. More “Bang-For-the-Buck”…

      Reply

  • Secundius

    |

    I know that they make a 10/22 Bullpup version, that looks something like tge FNH PS90 Carbine. Does anyone KNOW it handles. Being Wheelchair Bound, Bullpups are easier to handle, at least for me that is…

    Reply

Leave a comment

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

%d bloggers like this: