Ruger 10/22


Since its 1964 introduction, Ruger’s amazingly successful 10/22 has been the undisputed champion of the aftermarket industry (rimfire division). This modest little .22 autoloader has been the recipient of more stock and barrel configurations, finishes and drop-in trigger units than you can count. There was simply no way Ruger was going to sit on the sidelines and simply provide the basic platform for all that custom sporting, competition and (yes) tactical tweaking, so the company jumped into the game itself and currently offers 10 cataloged variants under the general headings of Carbine, Target, Compact, Sporter and Tactical.
That and a staggering 35 variants (generally revolving around different stock material, color and configurations) that fall under the banner of Dealer Exclusives.

I recently got hold of a 10/22 variant that I wanted, the Model 1240. It’s a stainless/polymer number in the Carbine series. Having relocated to the Midwest, where humidity is an all-pervasive fact of life, I wanted something weather-resistant. Having long reached the downhill side of 50, I wanted something a bit more amenable to my aging eyes than the folding-leaf open rear sight and gold bead front that the 1240 comes with. Yet I didn’t want to hang a conventional scope on what is a trim, easy-to-handle five-pound .22. So I chose an Aimpoint Micro. I was interested in hitting small targets quickly (and repeatedly) at short to medium rimfire ranges. What I envisioned was a user-friendly plinker that would work well on small game and wouldn’t need obsessive wipe-downs and coddling. A utility rig? Yes. But not a beater.

After mounting the Aimpoint to the rifle, I followed a rather simple, but effective method for testing it at the range. I grabbed a single 50-round box of every brand/weight/bullet type of .22 Long Rifle ammo I could lay my hands on and a whole bunch of targets and headed out.


I planned on following a rather basic procedure: (1) Shoot several five-shot, 25-yard groups with everything; (2) determine what ammo delivered the tightest groups; (3) adjust the sights to put that particular ammo at the desired point of aim; and (4) get a whole bunch of the winning ammo and stay with it exclusively. Another important step, of course, is to select one or two runners-up in the accuracy department and make note of where they impacted—just in case you run out of, or can’t find, the winning stuff when you need it.

Windage and elevation adjustments on the Aimpoint are made with a pair of ingenious screw-on caps with two small prongs. Just reverse them, fit the prongs into the holes on the adjustment dial and turn—windage counterclockwise to move right, elevation counterclockwise to move up (and reverse the turning direction for left and down).

What sold me on the whole thing was how fast that red dot was to line up. I blew off an unconscionable amount of ammo busting clay target chips on a 50-yard berm, and it was a hoot once I figured out where to hold. Is this a precision (meaning on paper) 50- to 75-yard setup? No. Is it good enough for plinking and small game at those yardages? Yes. Once it’s cranked up or down to the most appropriate level of size and brightness, the red dot contrasts well with mottled shadow-and-light backgrounds.

As far as function goes, the 10/22 didn’t even stutter. The trigger, at a rather rough 51/2 pounds, could’ve been better. I’m debating whether to live with it or join the legions of 10/22 tweakers who’ve gone the drop-in-replacement route. I could, I suppose, stick a conventional rimfire scope on it. But I’d rather not. The Aimpoint-ed 10/22 is perfect for what I want a rimfire for—smacking stuff fast and having fun.

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10 thoughts on “Ruger 10/22

  1. Bill Ruger would roll over in his grave if he knew about all the crappy plastic on this firearm. Plastic trigger guard, barrel band and butt plate make this look and feel like a third world knock off. The may as well go ahead and make Ken and Barbie roll stamped figures on the receiver

    1. Totally agree with you…I’m 74 years old and have had the pleasure of shooting the old (original) 10/22. That was plenty good enough for me. Strapped a flashlight under the barrel and many a rat met their maker at the Dewitt dump.

  2. From another Old Phart,
    Go with the drop in trigger it is SWEET and Smooth. You won’t be disappointed.

  3. I love my take down Ruger – I’ve installed a Volquartson firefly bolt that allows me to shoot the CCI quiets at an MV of 710 fps – with a can on the muzzle it’s hollywood quiet ! Also a 8oz Trigger – this is a super fun rifle to shoot! Lightweight to boot!

  4. I have never used small caliber weapons like this one even though my Friends rave about them!
    I still prefer the .243 and .270. Rugers which are the best around!
    Soon I’ll be in the Market for a New one soon; if not a Ruger I won’t buy it!

  5. Their quality control could be a lot better, or at least testing before shipping. My first one two years ago was moel 21121, a takedown with stainless BBL, flash hider, stock with high or low comb, etc. The recoil spring rod was too high in the back causing the bolt to ride on the spring. Their service is great though. I called and explained the problem and they immediately requested that I send it back and they paid for the shipping. In less than a week I had another one, same model, works great!


  6. Still have my original bought in 66′. It was a nail driver then and still is. Have no idea how many shells it has fired but with careful cleaning it still does the job. Have Ruger pistols in .22 thru .44 and rifles up to and including .308 and never had a failure.

  7. I have a 10/22….serial # 500’s ….still going strong and reliable….I have 9 different 10/22’s …..incredible firearm…..all my children and Grandchildren have 10/22’s…..when I teach someone how to shoot…..that’s what I start out with… recoil or loud sound ( with proper ear protection)…. RUGER IS THE BEST for 22 rimfire…..Joe B. Bakersfield, Ca. 🙂

  8. When I took NRA RIFLE INSTR. over half the class had the basic 10/22. I passed the range test with a bolt action Stevens rifle. A large part of the enjoyment is the skill not the brand of rifle.

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