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The Gun Safe

Ruger 10/22: The Best Rimfire Rifle Ever?

Ruger 10/22. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Ruger 10/22. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

In the world of modern firearms, certain guns have stood the test of time. Not only have these firearms stayed in production for years, but they offer an array of different options, special features, and customizations. In handguns, you have the M1911 .45 ACP and the Browning Hi-Power 9mm pistols. In centerfire rifles, there’s the AR-15/M16/M4 5.56mm/.223 Remington series.

And in the arena of rimfire rifles, there is little if any doubt about which make & model and caliber reign supreme. Say hello to the venerable Ruger 10/22 .22 autoloading rifle.

Ruger 10/22 Early History and Specifications

The Ruger 10/22 has been in continuous production by Sturn, Ruger, & Co. since 1964. It was designed by William Batterman “Bill” Ruger (1916-2002) and Harry H. Sefried II. Since then, over 7 million have been produced.

To put that production figure in perspective, a mere 2 million Colt AR-15s have been produced, 2.7 million M1911 and M1911A1 pistols were produced for the U.S. Armed Forces during their official U.S. Government service life, and the Browning Hi-Power — despite spending several decades as  the most widely issued military and counterterrorist pistol in the world — only saw a production tally of 1.5 million. 

In its most basic configuration, a Standard 10/22 carbine comes with a barrel length of 18.5 inches, an overall length of 37 inches, a weight of 5 pounds, and a 10-round rotary magazine. Fifteen- and 25-round aftermarket box magazines are readily available.

From small-game hunting to paper punching to plinking and home self-defense, the versatile Ruger 10/22 can do it all.  As the manufacturer’s official info page states, “Built in our American factories by American workers, every 10/22® rifle that comes off the line is a quality firearm. With millions sold over a span of more than half a century, the Ruger® 10/22® has long been America’s favorite rimfire rifle. When it comes to choosing your next .22 rifle, don’t settle for an imitation, make it an original.”

Ruger 10/22: Personal Shooting Impressions

As my loyal readers know, I am a big fan of Ruger firearms — their centerfire semiautomatic pistols and double-action revolvers alike. Although I shockingly don’t yet own their original and most famous product, the Standard .22 LR semiauto pistol, I’ve fired it enough to believe that the 10/22 would make a perfect long gun companion piece to it. Heck, the 10/22 would make a great companion piece to any quality .22 LR pistol

I purchased my own 10/22 rifle back in 2008, from a sadly now-defunct shop in my then-hometown of San Pedro, part of L.A. Harbor in California. Living as I was in a salty-aired environment, I wanted a specimen built to stand up to the elements and avoid rust and corrosion, so I went with the “Takedown” version (Model Number 11100) with a stainless steel barrel and a black synthetic stock. 

It’s been a few years since I’ve fired mine. It has been in storage in Texas for the better part of a decade. But I have quite a few fond memories of range sessions with it at the LAX Firing Range in Inglewood, California, and over the course of approximately 1,000 rounds fired, it was consistently pleasing in terms of accuracy, reliability, and ease of handling. It was also a terrific piece for teaching long gun fundamentals to newbie shooters. 

A Buddy’s Shooting Impressions

My friend and fellow lifelong gun enthusiast Dan Webster — author of the slam-bang sci-fi action-adventure novel Decimation – is a fellow Ruger 10/22 owner. As a sidebar, he’s a gun owner living in the UK, which probably qualifies him for the Endangered Species List. Anyway, here’s what Dan has to say about the riflel:

“My take on an ‘IDF kneecapper.’ Trigger time with it tonight, I keep trying to make it work with the red dot, but think I’ll need to swap it out for a low power optic. My eyes are failing, lol…Ruger 10/22 with integrally suppressed 12.5” barrel with carbon fibre shroud. Got some go-faster internals and the trigger is very nice. With subsonic ammo, it is VERY quiet…The 10/22, given sheer volume of units sold, is probably one of the most popular recreational firearms on the planet. Highly customizable, it’s ideal for new and experienced shooters alike. With so many people starting their shooting career with a 10/22, it’s hard to think of another firearm that is looked upon so fondly.”

Want Your Own?

Where to begin? According to True Gun Value, “A RUGER 10 22 rifle is currently worth an average price of $411.41 new and $328.34 used. The 12-month average price is $397.23 new and $342.47 used.” 

MSRP for a basic no-frills carbine version with a hardwood stock and alloy steel barrel is listed on the Ruger website at $389, while the Takedown version is currently listed with an MSRP of $559. Cabela’s is currently selling a Takedown for $449.99.  

Christian D. Orr has 33 years of shooting experience, starting at the tender age of 14. His marksmanship accomplishments include: the Air Force Small Arms Ribbon w/one device (for M16A2 rifle and M9 pistol); Pistol Expert Ratings from U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP); multiple medals and trophies via the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) and the Nevada Police & Fires Games (NPAF). Chris has been an NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor since 2011.

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Written By

Christian D. Orr is a former Air Force officer, Federal law enforcement officer, and private military contractor (with assignments worked in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Japan, Germany, and the Pentagon).