Firearms

Review: Ruger 10/22 M1 Carbine

US M1 .30 Carbine rifle over a Ruger 10/22 M1 rifle

Among the most useful, reliable, and practically accurate .22 caliber rifles made is the Ruger 10/22. Introduced in 1964, the Ruger 10/22 has become the most popular .22 rimfire rifle in America.

My experience with the rifle goes back some 40 years. I have enjoyed excellent results with every Ruger .22 I have owned. I have never seen a malfunction with the rifle when the 10 22 is fed the proper high velocity .22 Long Rifle ammunition.

US M1 .30 Carbine rifle over a Ruger 10/22 M1 rifle
The Ruger .22, lower, mimics the look and outline of the US M1 Carbine, above.

Variations include rifles designed for long-range target work, hunting, and even tactical versions for personal defense. It is difficult to choose a favorite among the many variations, but a new version of the rifle has my attention. Ruger has introduced a version of the rifle that is similar in appearance to the M1 Carbine.

The M1 .30 Carbine was used in World II, Korea, and Vietnam and is a highly collectable firearm. Light, handy, and firing a mid range cartridge, the M1 carbine was the first low-maintenance military rifle and the first issued with non-corrosive ammunition. The Ruger 10/22 M1 version isn’t a reproduction as it is chambered in .22 Long Rifle, but it is fittingly called a tribute to the M1. For performance, appearance, and fun factor, the Ruger makes the grade. The look is classic but the performance is all 10/22.

Ruger 10/22 magazines side
Ruger magazines with steel inserts are famously reliable.

The heart of the rifle is the proven 10/22 action. This is the most proven .22 caliber self-loading rifle ever manufactured. The rifle will use any accessory designed for the Ruger 10/22 including the X series magazines. Previously, Ruger’s 10/22 featured the famously reliable 10-round rotary magazine. This design is among the standouts of all Ruger products for engineering success.

The magazine is trouble free and very reliable. The X series magazines, introduced a few years ago, give the rifle a 25-round capacity. Unlike the many aftermarket magazines offered for the Ruger 10/22, Ruger magazines are reliable, well made of good material, and rugged.

The Ruger 10/22 M1 is provided with a new version of the X magazine, the X 15, with a 15-round capacity. This mimics the original M1 .30 carbine’s 15-round box magazine. The action is the same as any other 10/22 with a cocking handle on the right side, push button safety in the trigger guard, and magazine release in front of the trigger guard.

Ruger 10/22 front blade sight with brush guards
The protected front sight is a good feature.

The Ruger 10/22 M1 features a protected front sight in keeping with the military appearance theme. A most interesting modification to the original Ruger 10/22 is the rear sight. The rear sight is an aperture type that while not identical to the M1 carbine is used in the same manner.

The rear sight should offer real speed and excellent practical accuracy. It is smaller than some apertures, which should complement the 10/22’s accuracy. The rifle also incorporates a Picatinny type rail on the receiver. This will allow easy mounting of optics. I see the rifle as well suited to an affordable Red Dot sight for fast work at moderate range.

I have seen both original and reproduction .30 carbines fitted with optics, and they are formidable rifles. After all, the original was used in the Pacific with a night vision scope! The wooden stock is what sets this rifle apart from every other Ruger 10/22. The stock features a forend that closely mimics the design of the M1 carbine. The outlines, dimensions and style of the stock are similar to the M1 carbine including a slot in the rear of the stock that allows the use of a sling in the original M1 carbine manner. Overall, the design and execution of the wooden stock and furniture leave nothing to be desired.

It may seem redundant to extensively test fire a new variant of the Ruger 10/22. After all, the rifle is proven in many years of hard use. But the handling and practical accuracy of the new version invited shooting.

Sight picture from the Ruger 10/22 Rifle
The rear sight proved very precise in accuracy testing.

The Ruger 10/22 in its many variations is among the fun guns of the last 50 years, and this rifle would prove no different. The original M1 carbine was among the fastest handling military rifles ever designed. The new Ruger mimics that speed in handling and makes for a valid choice as a go anywhere do anything .22 rifle.

Many recommend the .22 caliber rifle as a personal defense and survival type rifle. There is much merit in this recommendation. The rifle is light, ammunition weight a trifle, and accuracy is excellent. You can get a shooter up to speed on the .22 caliber rifle much faster than a centerfire rifle. But the .22 isn’t a center fire rifle and the power of the cartridge simply isn’t sufficient for personal defense or hunting medium-size game.

The .22 has been used in personal defense and has served well on occasion. The accuracy of the rifle and cartridge combination lends itself well to fast hits to the arterial region. But light cover or heavy clothing will defeat the .22.

The rifle is a great small game getter. Rabbit, squirrel and other animals to perhaps the 35-pound class may be taken cleanly with the .22 Long Rifle and a well-designed load such as the Fiocchi CPHP (Copper plated hollow point) or Winchester Super X. A good shot with a steady hand might find the piece effective against predators such as coyote, varmints, and ground hogs.

When the overall performance of the rifle and cartridge are considered, the Ruger 10/22 and .22 Long Rifle cartridge combination is among the most attractive, ounce for ounce, of all modern firearms. This Ruger gave excellent results. At 25 yards, groups were centered into an inch. The average 10/22 is good for 2 inches at 50 yards. The 10/22 M1 is a winner.

Ruger 10/22 M1 Carbine
Barrel length 18.5 in.
Barrel Twist 1 in 16 inches
Magazine Capacity 10/15/25
Overall length 36 inches
Weight 5.2 pounds

Celebrate October 22—10/22 day—with your Ruger 10/22 story. Even if it’s not October 22nd, do you really need a reason to brag about your 10/22? Share your story in the comment section.

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 (37)

  1. So I was thinking of using this for a base and throw a skeleton stock and red dot. Any thoughts suggestions advice?

  2. Great idea, but that funky rail/peep sight combo part looks like the crappy unit Ruger was pushing on some of their low budget “special edition” 10/22s a couple of years ago. Cheap and crudely built, nowhere near functional. And, unlike the author, I think a 10/22 with a 25 rd magazine is a fabulous self defense combo; better than a handgun for 99% of people in a high stress situation.

  3. Check out the Iver Johnson EM1Carbine .22 LR & .22 WMR.
    I still have mine but I’m 75 now. No it’s not for sale.
    Yes Shame on Ruger.

  4. As I QUICKLY went to look at the 10/22 M1 Carbine I was just as QUICKLY disappointed. I know Ruger can do better, something happened in the design or marketing Department and it wasn’t good. Looks more like something JC Higgins would market. OH…..top it off with a rotary magazine to boot! Well you can set it right next to the Nylon 66
    ARRRG!

  5. Well, I guess that the writer was lucky because I had exactly the opposite experience with my 10-22. I purchased it used from a co-worker. Mine had a Leopold 4x telescopic sight affixed to it. Since it shot lousy even with the scope, i took the wooden stock off and replaced it witn a plastic one, bought a bunch of 50 rd mags and a steel lined nylon barrel to make it lighter. Then I had the chance to purchase a Henry AR-7 With a piece of hardened steel with a small hole drilled therein for a peep sight. That gun was more accurate than Ruger’s so i sold the 10-22 with all of the paraphenalia that I’d bought for it for $100 ‘just to get shut of it’!

  6. I have to agree with you that the curved magazine and top rail really don’t belong on it. I know, I know…that top Picatinny rail is a concession to those who MUST have some form of optical sight mounted on every firearm they own. For me, I don’t really see a need for optics mounted atop a .22, The .22 is all about inexpensive plinking (or very small game hunting) just for fun, as well as sharpening up our shooting skills which I believe starts with becoming proficient using iron sights.

  7. I have always been a huge fan of the rear peep sight. I’ve always found it to be much easier for me to get a proper sight picture using one than with a standard open rear sight. One other thing I’d love to see is the availability of a hooded front sight. I got hooked on the rear peep/front hooded sight combination many,. many years ago at Boy Scout camp.

    1. I totally agree with you there. The first rifle I ever learned to shoot when I was about 5 years old was my grandfather’s bolt action Remington .22 with Williams competition peep sights. I still haven’t found a better sight since. While they’re not the best choice for fast target acquisition, nothing beats a good peep sight for punching holes in paper or squirrels.

  8. Am I the only one that doesn’t think that this new rifle really looks anything like an M1, except for the fact that it has a wood stock only vaguely reminiscent of an actual M1? For me, the curved mag and the rail on top really ruin the look completely, among the other inconsistencies in detail when compared to the real deal. For me, it’s like they changed the stock, sights, added a rail where it didn’t belong, charged a premium, and called it a day and an M1 copy. Don’t get me wrong; I still really like the Ruger 10/22, but this doesn’t nearly mimic the M1 Carbine nearly as well, as say my GSG mimics the STG44 in .22lr.

  9. I’ve owned many Ruger firearms over the years, still do, but the most versatile one is the 10/22. I own two one is a completely custom with an over molded stock, carbon fiber barrel, and E-O tech halo sight on it. It’ll shoot quarter size groups all day at 50 yards with any ammo you can think of. The second one is a little different. It started out life as a standard carbine. with a little work and the help from 22fungun.com out of California, I turned it into a 1927 version of a Thompson sub machine gun. It looks cool and operates just as well as in its natural state. I get quite a few looks and lots of people drooling on it at the range.

  10. They sell kits so anyone can build these themselves using a basic low-cost 10/22 out of the box. Just do a Google image search for “10/22 mods” (modifications) and treat yourself to some of the most awesome eye candy 10/22 builds you will ever see.

    From there you will also find low priced kits and parts to make your 10/22 look like just about any rifle style you like. There are unlimited options, including replacement stocks (including folding type), heavy barrels (chrome and fluted), flash suppressors, rail systems, and magazines which can emulate anything you want your rifle to look like. Some examples include ARs, AKs, M1s, Dragunov snipers, or even a Barrett M82. There is no limit.

    I built a really nice looking two-tone (black and desert) Dragunov Sniper Rifle with adjustable cheek weld, bipod, and scope. I topped it off with a really nice looking Barrett style flash suppressor that mounts easily with no machining and looks fantastic. One of my daughters loves shooting this and is quite accurate.

    Also there are YouTube tutorials for do-it-yourself Dremel mods to easily convert your 10/22 to have a quick release for the Bolt Hold Open Lever like other rifles. I did this mod and love it. You can watch the tutorial I followed at this URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdHEsSK_d0I

    So, if you consider yourself any sort of gun enthusiast you need to own at least 1 Ruger 10/22. If you are just getting started in shooting, you need to own at least 1 Ruger 10/22. This is the simplest, least expensive, dependable, well built, highly customizable, and lowest cost-per-ammo round of any rifle one could ever own.

  11. I didn’t have a 10/22 until 1997, but I always wanted one, having fired several over the years. I decided to get the stainless steel full length stock model because it looked good an felt like an adult sized rifle. i think this model is fairly uncommon with the european styling, and it is very accurate at 75 yards it shoots a quarter size group, with iron sights, I see they’ve started making this rifle again, but the trigger group housing is plastic instead of aluminum like mine.

  12. I purchased my first Ruger 1022 somewhere around 1971 or 72. Great gun back then. Got the Mannlicher stock. Traded it in for God knows what. But two years ago I bought a brand-new one. Still one of the greatest guns I ever owned! Not necessarily drawn to an M1 style, but might consider getting one just for Collection purposes. Always loved the 1022!

  13. While no one I know would recommend the .22LR caliber as adequate for self defense, given a choice, the Semi-auto 10/22 is fast handling, low recoil and fast firing. I can easily empty a ten round magazine in a 4″ circle or smaller as fast as I can manipulate the trigger at defensive distances.
    That makes it an effective self defense firearm for smaller, younger and older folks who can’t handle the weight, recoil, muzzle blast or other potential problems.
    I’d be surprised to see many not on drugs sustain multiple wounds to the chest or head for long, especially when using the newer personal protection ammunition from Speer, Hornady, etc.
    I like it.

  14. Yep its hard to beat a good 10-22
    Got mine with standard bsa 3x9x40
    Scope sighted in with cci mini mag 36 grain hollow points.
    Killed a many a squirrel and every deer i shot at with it using head and behind shoulder shots.

    Like the look of the mini m1 carbine but it can do without the rail for better look
    And i like to see a regular 10-22 with front rear sight option or at least with the flip peep where regular rear goes.

    They should make one in the 30 cal carbine round and bring back the 44 mag which is a awesome gun

  15. I have a conversion kit on my Ruger 10-22 Looks and feels just like an M1 carbine. Shoot it every chance I get. Got the kit from EABrown. Plus the upgraded sights. Everyone at my rod and gun club compliment the look and feel of it.

  16. I recently bought the bx-25 double mag and with it in my very old 10/22, I was thinking just how much it looks like an m1. Now I find ruger has had the same thought. Wild!

  17. Another gimmic that only performs as the original 10/22 but cost more.
    I began my gun life with an. Tack and wired well used crack shot from an oldbtrapper to use on my own trap lines 60 years ago that shot under 2″ at over 25 yards een with gallery rounds.
    Many an old Remington and yes Mossburg or winchestrr or foreign 22t single shots. Through the years were even more accurate than 2″ groupings.
    of course back then we shot to eat and not until grown with three sons did plinking become sed down range until you hit it fun.
    Expensive toys.

  18. I have 3 M1 carbines and 2 10/22s. It looks like I’ll be evening those numbers with Ruger’s new 10/22 M1. I would like to know the availability and if the price is similar to the standard 10/22. Can anyone help me with that info?

    1. I forgot to mention that I thoroughly enjoy shooting the carbines and 10/22s that I own…they will be with me for a lonnnnnnng time.Accuracy is quite good on my 10/22s too….1 to 1 1/4 inch at 50 yards is common.

  19. I recently bought an aftermarket M1 Carbine stock for my 10/22 added an original sling and oiler and it matches my real M1 Carbine perfectly. I have a BX-25 magazine on it and it all works great.

  20. I have more 22 cal pistols and rifles than I will ever know what to do with, but the Ruger M1 makes me believe that there is one more that I must own.

  21. Growing up, my dad had a scoped .22LR semi auto rifle. I got so good with it, I once shot and killed two monitor lizards fully 100 yards away, across a river from our property. My dad had the dealer bring a Thompson smg lookalike in .22 LR that was small enough for my small frame. I don’t remember the make of that one, but I remember how well it shouldered and the accuracy at 25 yards. I already own a 4x scoped 10/22. This new 10/22 M1 looks very attractive too, but how do I justify another 10/22? Decisions, decisions…

    1. I have a Thompson smg, and I would not say they shoulder well at all. Try an 11 1/2″ M-16/AR-15 for user friendly ergonomics.

  22. Very few things we buy nowadays can carry the description of truly reliable and well made. I often find myself putting items back on the shelf that say “Made in China” on them. Even the items we put trust in are not the same as they once were (think American cars, for example). Not so with Ruger firearms, However! I bought my first 10/22 back in 1985, and it is still one of my top two favorites.
    I can`t count the thousands of rounds that have passed through this gun, but it is remarkable. When the ammo was too expensive for me to take out my other guns for a day of plinking, a brick of .22LR never broke the bank. It digested any crappy ammo I fed it, and I am hard pressed to remember any time it failed. It is simple to take down and clean, and I`m still impressed at how easy it is to remove and change out the barrel due to the clever locking lug with the beefy Allen screws. I know of no other .22 rimfire that comes close to this clever design. Over the years I have taught many friends and relatives how to shoot a rifle with my 10/22, and I look forward to the day when my nephew is old enough to learn the joy of plinking with this trusty gun. If all goes well I hope he will be it`s next owner one day. My 10/22 started me on the path to owning many Ruger firearms. I can say the same for my Mini-14 Ranch Rifle, and all of my “P” series pistols. My wish list now has top slots for the GP 100, the Ruger American Rifle, and the new AR 556 (ah, so many great guns, and so little cash!). Thank God there are still products in America which you can purchase sight unseen at a fair price, and know you are getting a lot more than expected for your hard earned money. Many thanks, Mr. Ruger, and keep them coming!

  23. 2″ @ 50 yards? Accurate?
    With “accuracy” like that, I think I’ll stick with my 50 year old Mossberg bolt action. At least I can reliably obtain sub-1″ accuracy at 50 yards, irregardless of what ammo I feed it.
    Cool looking rifle, though, and I’m sure it’s a blast to handle, but accuracy?
    If I need accuracy, I’ll stick with what I have.

  24. I purchased my first Ruger 10/22 the year they were introduced…..1964. Oddly enough, my original intent was to purchase a Marlin M1 Carbine. The Marlin M1 was a deliberate copy of the US M1 Carbine, but in .22LR chambering. Marlin did a pretty good job of mimicking the M1 Carbine, but I just couldn’t find one in Anniston, Alabama…..the gate town of my first Army duty station at Fort McClellan. The storekeeper who tried to order a Marlin for me came up dry, and he suggested “this new gun from Ruger…..the 10/22”. I looked at it and handled it, finding that it was a handy and well made little piece, so I bought it. That was the beginning of my ownership of many of the little 10/22s. They have all been good little guns that have accompanied me through 21 years of commissioned Army service as well as 22 years of being a public school educator. Now retired for the past ten years, I continue to appreciate the good looks, the reliability, and the handy features of the 10/22.

  25. I have the M-1 (original), although I carried the M-2 in 1968 when our AF M-16s were taken away to be refurbished for the buildup in Vietnam.

    I do own a standard 10/22 as well. The M-1 10/22 looks nice but I have no use for one. I’d rather get a 10/22 takedown.

    I wonder how much flack Ruger will have to contend with from the gun control morons who seem to think that looking military will make it far more powerful, faster shooting, and more lethal than the stock 10/22.

    Get ’em while you can in the Socialist Union of Commie Counties (CA).

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