Ruger 10/22 Review: Perfect Plinker For Beginners & Survival

When you think about the Ruger 10/22 rifle what comes to mind?  For me it was growing up outdoors at age 13 plinking cans out next to the miles and miles of national forest next to my folks cabin up in the mountains.  I think about green trees, fresh air and clear blue skies.  Perhaps it’s a little bit of nostalgia that gets my blood pumping every time I go pick up this little rifle that I’ve had for almost 20 years, and perhaps it’s the sheer fact that in 20 years, I’ve only had 2 failures to eject after shooting thousands of rounds of the absolute cheapest ammunition possible through this stout rifle.

Types of Ruger 10/22

  • Carbine
  • Takedown
  • Tactical

Quite frankly, the Ruger 10/22 is like a Ford Mustang in terms of options.  There is about a billion different customization options out there.  From custom stocks, optics and about a million accessories, the Ruger 10/22 is one of the accessorized rifles in the market today.  You can FIND just about anything you want for this .22 rifle, and you can DO just about anything you want to this rifle.  You can find items that make it look like an AR-15 by swapping it out with an Archangel stock.  You can make it look like a desert warrior by swapping it out for a Tapco adjustable stock, or you can flat out make it a gun that’s on the “go” by picking up a Butler Creek folding pistol grip stock.

Generally speaking, most .22 rifles can be split into two categories. Sporting rifles and target rifles. The Ruger 10/22 carbine falls into the sporting rifle category. It can handle both regular and high velocity bullets. It comes stock with a 10 round magazine but Ruger sells a larger version (I personally own 3 of these) called the BX-25 which hold 25 rounds each. 25 round magazines are legal in my state, which made them a no brainer for me, and after about 5000 rounds worth of use, I have never had any failure to eject or failure to load issues. The magazines are easily removed by depressing the magazine release lever near the front of the trigger guard. Safety is paramount with the trigger guard mounted safety and exposed red line when the rifle is in firing position.

Bottom line is that with this rifle, you can do just about anything you want.  While my favorite pastimes tend to be plinking cans in the desert these days, yours might be taking it squirrel hunting in the mountains.  It’s versatile, flexible and serves just about any purpose you can think of.  This will more than likely be the rifle I pass down to my sons when the time comes for them to start shooting like my Dad passed his down to me.

The best part of the Ruger 10/22 carbine is its’ simplicity.  It’s a simple rifle out of the box and if you are planning on customizing a rifle, this is the one to get.  With all the aftermarket parts, you can make it the best gun you own.  The birch hardwood stock is durable, and will last for years in storage if you decide to swap it out for a custom stock.  That being said, the birch stock is no slouch and can stand up to a heavy beating.

One of my favorite items you can buy for this rifle is the after-market magazines.  Ruger sells a magazine called the BX-25 that holds 25 rounds of .22 ammunition.  That makes this rifle hands down one of the most customizable rifles out there.  Add a custom stock and you have something that not only holds more round capacity than most of its’ competitors, but looks sharp too.  Yes the Mossberg and Smith & Wesson both carry 25 round magazines as well, but neither of them have the freedom to customize your rifle in the best possible fashion like the Ruger does.

Lastly, strictly from a survival standpoint, this gun is hard to beat.  EVERYONE seems to have one.  If anything bad were to ever come down the road, this is one of the models you will be glad you have in your safe.  Parts will be cheap and plentiful for repairs making this one of your best survival options.  It’s also one of the easiest rifles you can carry with you if you needed to head into the wilderness for whatever reason.  If you aren’t someone planning for tougher times ahead, then at least look at the practicality of owning one of these and enjoy some cheap shooting at the range (if you can find .22 ammo).

RUGER 10/22 TAKEDOWN REVIEW

The 10-22 Takedown functions like it’s older brother, the Ruger 10/22 Carbine. This rifle was designed to function in the same fashion as the standard rifle, but breakdown into two pieces for ease of storage and to make it easier to carry. The takedown model does both and does a fine job. You can put this gun in your bag and head to the range without your neighbors knowing what you are carrying out the door with you. One of the main purposes of the creation of the Ruger 10/22 takedown was so that you could carry something that didn’t look like a true rifle while heading out the door. You can shove this rifle in your backpack and throw it in your car to head down to the range and nobody would know the difference. Pretty handy for folks that live in the city or someplace in close quarters where their neighbors may be keeping a close eye on what they are doing on a daily basis.

The Ruger 10/22 takedown is that it’s fun to shoot. It’s just as accurate as my trusty 10/22 carbine and groups at 4 inches 100 yards out. I tested a good friend of mine’s at the range, and first time out of the box for me and I was happy with the results. The benefit of having such an accurate rifle in a takedown model is that it also has a dual purpose as one of the survival rifles as well. The ability to break the rifle down and remove the barrel also makes it a survival option because it becomes much easier to clean than the standard carbine version. It makes cleaning your rifle a lot less of a chore and would be optimal in a situation where you were out in the wilderness for an extended period of time.

Comparing accuracy and performance, the 10/22 takedown is on the same wavelength as the 10/22 carbine. The trigger is a little softer and not as “crisp” as some of the other models I have had a chance to shoot. The fact that it is a takedown model also limits the customization options, at least for now. I am sure we will see some aftermarket stocks hit the shelves over the next year that provide the option of being used with the takedown model instead of the standard model. One question I initially had was if the takedown would impact any optics that were sighted in on this rifle. Normally a separated barrel would mess up your bearings and impact your ability to drive down some tacks. Fortunately for us the good folks over at Ruger thought about this and added an adjustable ring that keeps the barrel and receiver held together tightly every time you break it down. This helps limit any variations when you reassemble the rifle and makes you feel a lot more comfortable knowing it’s going to shoot within an inch of where you want it to every time you put it back together.

Overall after having the ability to test one of these out, I would put it on par with my 10/22 carbine as far as handling, accuracy and reliability. Unfortunately the customization options aren’t quite there yet, but I still plan on purchasing one for myself in the future purely for survival reasons. I like the standard Ruger 10/22 takedown stock enough that this could be a valuable asset in any survival situation and allow me to ignore my obsession with customizing my rifles.

Ed Hawkins is a long time recreational firearms owner, having owned many different firearms over his lifetime. While his trusty CZ 75B is his favorite, Ed also enjoys frequent trips to the range with his AR-15. Ed is part-owner and managing editor at ArmsBearingCitizen.

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