Ins and Outs of the Ruger 10/22 Rifle For Survival Preparedness

ruger_compactThe number designation 10-22 has universally become synonymous with America’s most popular rimfire rifle.  It is perhaps the most prolific semi-auto rifle firing the venerable .22 long rifle rimmed cartridge ever to be manufactured in this country.  There is little doubt this very capable .22 rifle is a perennial favorite among shooters.  This admiration, too, is carried on by many preppers and survivalists as a most basic firearm for a SHTF arsenal.

The gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger and Company first introduced the 10-22 Ruger rifle in 1964.  Since then, it has sold literally millions in its same basic configuration, though it has seen some upgrade modifications, and has been offered in a wide variety of models and versions.

The 10-22 is ideal for every rimfire application including informal plinking at tin cans, safe targets of opportunity, small game hunting, and even formal rimfire-related action shooting events.  Survivalists even argue its use for close quarters’ defensive work if needed.

Ruger and the 10/22 Rifle

Sturm, Ruger & CO. introduced the first Ruger 10/22 rimfire semi-automatic rifle in 1964. The innovative rotary magazine and this little rimfire rifle’s simple bolt action were an immediate hit.

Currently, Ruger lists 8 Ruger 10/22 rimfire rifle variations on their website. These variations include the following models.

1. Carbine

The carbine model is the current incarnation of the first Ruger 1022 rimfire rifle. The carbine has evolved over time. Enhancements and upgrades have continually improved the Ruger 10/22 carbine. Ruger now offers 18 variants of the Ruger 10/22 carbine. Some of these variants are special editions available only from specific distributors or dealers.

2. Takedown

The takedown model of the Ruger 10/22 was introduced in 2012. Many backpackers and trekkers have long asked for a takedown Ruger 10/22 that was easily backpackable and stowable. Ruger answered with the Takedown model.

Fifteen variants of the basic Ruger 1-/22 takedown are available. Like the carbine variants, many or specific to certain dealers and retailers. If weight is critical, the takedown model is also available in a LITE version.

3. Target

If target shooting is your thing, Ruger offers a 10/22 rifle just for you. The target version comes with a 20” precision bull barrel and no iron sights. Add your choice of scope, and you have a range-ready target rifle.

4. Compact

The compact Ruger 10/22 model features a 16.12-inch barrel. This shorter version of the standard 20-inch barrel is handy for those who need a more compact rifle but don’t want the extra expense of a Takedown model.

5. Tactical

Everyone wants to look cool when they shoot. If tacti-cool is where you want to be, the Ruger 10/22 tactical version should fit the bill. This model of the Ruger 10/22 features the shorter 16.12-inch barrel and includes a flash hider. You can also get a factory-installed Hogue over-molded stock with a bipod installed.

6. Sporter

If the traditional look is what you seek, the Sporter model of the Ruger 10/22 is for you. This model of the 10/22 can be had with an 18.5-inch, 10-inch, 03 22-inch barrel. The wooden stock is checkered and comes with sling swivels installed.

7. Competition

Ruger has met the challenge for the hardcore competitive rimfire rifle shooter. The Competition model of the Ruger 10/22 features a hard-coated anodized CNC-machined receiver made from heat-treated and stress relieved 6061-T6511 aluminum.

A rear cleaning port on the receiver and an integral Picatinny rail are just a few factory enhancements included with this Ruger 10/22 rimfire rifle version.

From the basic carbine-style rifle to a highly customized competition model, Ruger has created one of the most popular rimfire rifles in history. The Ruger 10/22 has spawned an entire aftermarket accessory industry that continues to thrive and expand.

What Makes the Ruger 10/22 So Popular?

The Ruger 10/22 is undeniably the most popular semi-automatic rifle on the market. Since its debut in 1964, Ruger has sold more than 6 million Ruger 10/22 riles. There are many reasons that the Ruger 10/22 has gained this status with shooters worldwide.

Ask shooters who own a Ruger 10/22 why they chose to own this rifle, and you get a wide variety of answers. In general, the remarks and comments will fall into one of these categories.


Most Ruger 10/22 owners mention the cost of this rifle. Many believe that the Ruger 10/22 offers the best value for the dollar when buying a semi-automatic rimfire rifle. A basic Ruger 10/22 carbine with a wooden stock can be found for under $300 from many retailers. For a high-quality semi-automatic rimfire rifle, this is almost a bargain.


No matter your skill level, needs and expectations, or personal preferences, Ruger probably makes a version of the 10/22 to meet your wishes. From tactical models to full-blown competition-grade rifles, there is a Ruger 10/22 rifle to fit your needs.


For a semi-automatic rifle, the Ruger 10/22 system is about as simple as you can get. This simplicity makes cleaning, maintenance, and operation easy. Ruger 10/22 rifles are perfect teaching platforms. The easy operation and simple mechanics let a new shooter concentrate on the basics rather than learning a complicated set of steps.


Nothing takes away from a day of shooting than constant mechanical problems with your rifle. The dependability and performance of the Ruger 10/22 are legendary. I have put thousands of rounds down my Ruger 10/22 without a single problem. I clean and lubricate my Ruger 10/22 after each shooting session. Any responsible and careful gun owner would do no less.

Ruger 10/22 Down Sides

Nothing is perfect. Consequently, you should expect the Ruger 10/22 rimfire rifle to have its quirks as well. Fortunately, these shortcomings are few and relatively minor. Most are easily addressable by the average shooter using readily available aftermarket parts.

The Trigger

The trigger that comes standard on the Ruger 10/22 is dependable and rugged. It will work well for most shooters, but the trigger pull is a little sloppy. If you want to make a big difference in the shooting characteristics of your Ruger 10/22, investing in a better aftermarket trigger assembly is almost a must.

The Bolt Release and the Mag Release

Don’t expect to make fast tactical mag changes when shooting the Ruger 10/22. Shooters soon learn that the bolt and magazine releases are not the easiest or quickest to operate. In theory, the bolt release and safety should be easy to operate with one hand without changing your shooting position. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Stock Iron Sights

The stock iron sights on the Ruger 10/22 are adequate. The sights are reasonably accurate, but adjustments can be tedious and time-consuming. Anyone who wants to do serious target shooting or varmint hunting should invest in a good variable magnification scope for their rifle.

So, You Have Your New Ruger 10/22, What Now?

The very first thing you should do with your new Ruger 10/22 is to take it to the range and have some fun.

The Ruger 10/22 is one of the most enjoyable and fun rimfire rifles I have ever owned. There is nothing more enjoyable than watching a ground target jump or hearing the ting of a metal target. Don’t worry too much about upgrades to your Ruger 10/22 for a while.

Get accustomed to your rifle, get the feel of how it shoots, and then start thinking about adding bells and whistles. When it is time to think about upgrades and enhancements for your Ruger 10/22, these are some that I recommend.

Sights and Scope

Read the detailed guide on Ruger 10/22 sights.

The first addition I made to my Ruger 10/22 was a good scope. There are several options to consider. Before choosing a scope or optic for your Ruger 10/22, think a bit about your shooting style and how you intend to use your rifle. Here are my recommendations for some different scopes and optics for your Ruger 10/22

You needn’t spend your shooting budget to get a reasonably priced scope or optic for your Ruger 10/22 rifle. Many much less expensive scopes on the market offer performance that will enhance your Ruger 10/22 shooting experience.

Upgrade Triggers for you Ruger 10/22

After scopes and optics, the most often performed upgrade is the trigger. The stock factory trigger on a Ruger 10/22 is functional and durable. However, the trigger pull can be stiff, and the action is often a little sloppy. Many Ruger 10/22 owners opt for a drop-in trigger system to improve the functions of their rifles.

My personal preference is the Ruger BX Trigger kit of the hundreds of trigger upgrade options. The Ruger BX trigger offers the best bang for the buck for the average shooter. Unfortunately, many Ruger 10/22 trigger kits cost more than $200. The Ruger BX trigger offers many of the same features and upgrades as these more expensive options for less than $100.

If you are a competitive shooter, there are more options to consider. Some more expensive drop-in trigger kits offer a wider range of adjustments and options than the Ruger BX. Volquartsen and Timney both offer highly regarded drop-in triggers for the Ruger 10/22.


The unique and innovative ten-round rotary magazine that comes standard with the Ruger 10/22 rimfire rifle is known for its reliability. However, most Ruger 10/22 shooters soon find that reloading ten-round magazines cuts into their shooting time. Fortunately, there are several options for greater magazine capacity to keep reloading time to a minimum.

My personal choice for extended magazines for my Ruger 10/22 is the Ruger BX-25 high-capacity rifle magazines. These magazines feature the features and quality you would expect from Ruger. Each magazine includes a constant-force stainless steel spring, anti-tilt follower and steel magazine feed lips.

If 25 rounds are not enough, you can get the Ruger BX25S magazine with a 50 round capacity. We have shot these 50 round magazines but don’t recommend them under most circumstances. The quality of the magazines is good, and they work reliably. The downside for me is the extra weight hanging from the rifle, which changes the balance and feel of my Ruger 10/22.

Going All Out on Upgrades and Enhancements

There is no limit on the changes you can make to your Ruger 10/22 or the amount of money you can spend on upgrades. It is possible to build a custom Ruger 10/22 rifle without a single Ruger part. The popularity of these rimfire rifles has created one of the largest aftermarket parts and accessories businesses in the shooting world.

Here are our favorite accessories:

Ruger 10/22 Hunter Stock review
  • Favorite Stock for Ruger 10/22
  • Quick and simple to install
  • Compatible with all Ruger 10/22 and accessories
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Vortex crossfire 2 for ruger 10/22
  • Favorite Scope for Ruger 10/22
  • Anti-reflective, bright and clear views
  • Waterproof and fogproof performance
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No products found.
  • Favorite Sling for Ruger 10/22
  • Made with lightweight foam. No slip.
  • Swivel test to 300 pounds
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Truglo Rifle sight for Ruger 10/22
  • Favorite Sight for Ruger 10/22
  • CNC machined. Not for carbine barrels.
  • Front diameter is .060" and rear diameter is .035".
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Handle for Ruger 10/22 review
  • Favorite Bolt Handle for 10/22
  • Ready-to-go. No gunsmithing needed.
  • Made in USA
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What Else Do You Need for the Best Ruger 10/22 Experience?

Don’t forget to outfit yourself with the other needed accessories to make your shooting experience a great one. Hearing protection is a necessity for everyone who participates. Eye protection should also be a priority during any shooting activity.

I always like to take an ample supply of different targets to the range. If your range allows them, rimfire-style metal targets can be fun and exciting to shoot. If you routinely plink on private property, reactive ground targets are a great way to practice your shooting skills.

You will also need a rimfire cleaning kit to keep your Ruger 10/22 in good working order. The major cause of problems with any rimfire semi-automatic rifle is carbon fouling. Keeping your rifle’s action clean and lubricated means hours of frustration-free shooting.

Our Final Words on the Ruger 10/22

Our overall recommendation is to put a Ruger 10/22 in your gun safe and shoot it often. For most shooters, the classic Ruger 10/22 carbine is the best option. It offers great value to most shooters and will deliver years of flawless operation if maintained properly. Your Ruger 10/22 may even become a family heirloom.

My personal choice is the Ruger 10/22 takedown. I like the ability to back my Ruger 10/22 into a small package that is easy to transport and backpack. The Takedown model offers the same reliability and accuracy as the standard models. The cost is a bit more, but the convenience is an asset.

In any case, investing in a Ruger 10/22 is a wise investment for almost any shooter. The versatility, performance, and value of the Ruger 10/22 are unsurpassed.

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