The 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.
By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache
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 quarter’s defensive work if needed.
The Basic Specifications
The initial model 10-22 for which the base model remains essentially the same includes Ruger’s legendary semi-auto rifle action. Fed from a detachable 10-round rotary magazine that drops from below the action out of the stock, its reliability in feeding is renowned. The rifle just simply, rarely, ever fails to feed and function when using quality ammunition. It can function virtually indefinitely even when black dirty with powder and bullet fowling. The cold hammer-forged barrel comes standard in an 18.5 inch length with a gold bead front sight and a simple adjustable rear in the base model. The barrel is locked into the receiver via a Ruger designed 2-screw V-block system. The rifle’s overall length is 37-inches with a weight of only 5 pounds.
It is indeed lightweight, easy to handle, and shoulder for firing. The length of pull from trigger to buttstock end is 13.5 inches, so the rifle fits nearly every shooter from adult veterans to youth shooters, and lady’s alike. It is a highly adaptable rifle, easy to tote and quick into action.
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The standard stock is hardwood finished in a handsome walnut color. Black synthetic stocks are now available as well. Ruger 10-22’s come in either alloy steel in a black satin finish or stainless steel with a clear satin finish. The rifle’s safety is a positive push-button cross bolt manual safety positioned just ahead of the trigger guard. Also ahead of the trigger guard is a bolt hold open slide lever as well as an extended magazine release for easy removal of the flush mounted rotary magazine. Many “banana” type 25-round magazines are available as well including Ruger’s own fine BX-25 magazine.
Ruger 10-22 rifles come standard with an included scope base adapter that handles both Weaver-type and .22 tip-off scope mounts. The Ruger can handle a wide variety of conventional optics from glass scopes to battery powered red dot sights, to more sophisticated electronic tactical type sights. This makes the 10-22 very adaptable to a variety of missions.
The standard hardwood stocked model with blued steel retails for about $210. The stainless version with a black synthetic stock goes for roughly $260. They could be less when sales are shopped a various outlets and used ones occasionally come up for sale at gun shows.
Ruger 10-22 Model Variations
The Ruger factory now produces 11 model variations of the 10-22 rifle. By model name these include the Carbine, Sporter, Compact, Tactical with flash suppressor, Tactical with target trigger, heavy contour barrel and bipod, Target with target trigger and heavy contour barrel, and the Takedown. Several sub-models exist within these main model categories. For full details, model variations and exact specifications, consult Ruger’s web site www.ruger.com.
The Ruger 10-22 Charger
Newly designed in 2015 from the original 2007 model, Ruger re-introduced a very unique 10-22 model trade named the Charger. This is a short-barreled pistol version using the same 10-22 action with a new BX-15 magazine with 15 round capacity. This pistol version has a 10-inch barrel. The rear of the pistol sports an AR-15 type A-2 pistol grip. The overall length of the Charger is 19.25 inches and weighs just over three pounds.
The receiver top comes standard with a factory installed Picatinny rail for optics mounting. The barrel’s muzzle is pre-threaded and security capped for the simple screw on installation of a suppressor. The cap serves as a thread protector. The stock of this model is a brown laminate.
Brand new for 2015 came the takedown version of the Charger. This makes for a super compact and concealable pistol package with the Ruger quick take apart design that permits the pistol sections to be quickly taken apart or as quickly assembled. The laminate stock of the takedown version is a handsome, cool, green mountain coloration. Both the regular and takedown Chargers come supplied with a bipod that affixes to the front sling swivel stud. The bipod legs are adjustable for height. This permits steady shooting off the bench or other stationary platforms. The Charger comes with either a soft carry case or a hard plastic carry case.
The Ruger SR-22
I have only seen one of these and the dealer sold it in fifteen minutes before I could secure it. Eventually the supply lines with fill up, I hope. The SR-22 is an AR-15 type configured rifle, but built on the 10-22 receiver action. At a distance you would swear or think this rifle was truly an AR-15.
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Specs on the SR-22 include a 36-inch overall length, 6.9 pounds, matte black (Or other colors. I have seen coyote tan.), a flash hider, M-4 type collapsible stock, and front and rear flip up adjustable open sights atop a short front Picatinny rail riser, and a rear Picatinny rail riser. The rifle retails for roughly $550 if or when you can find one at a gun shop dealer.
A Plethora of 10- 22 Aftermarket Accessories
If you thought the world of accessories and goodies was crazy for the AR-15 breed of rifles, just check into what is available for the Ruger 10-22s. If you’re curious, then check out Cheaper Than Dirt as just one example.
The list of add-ons is long but it includes for the standard rifles many types of replacement stocks including popular pistol grip tactical type black synthetic stocks as well as the new Magpul Hunter stock. All kinds of replacement stocks of wood, colored laminates, thumbhole stocks and other configurations are available.
Other accessories for the 10-22 includes laser sights, all kinds of magazines including 50-round drums, butt pad extensions, extended magazine releases, hard and soft cases, custom barrels, muzzle brakes, flash hiders, triggers, recoil buffers, magazine speed loaders, scope mounts, rings, and armorers component bench mats. For example CTD lists 273 separate items for the 10-22. Let the shopping begin. One other minor sidebar here. It has been reported, but perhaps just a rumor, that the Takedown standard rifle, and the Takedown Charger’s components can be interchanged creating an impromptu SBR or short barreled rifle, but it could be just a rumor.
The Ruger 10-22 in any configuration demands to be included in any prepper or survivalist weapons cache. There are few other firearms so universally adaptable to multi-tasking for SHTF purposes. It may just be a meager .22 long rifle shooter, but its applications are just too suitable to be passed over. In fact, a prepper ought to have several of them.