The Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic .22LR rimfire rifle was first produced in 1964. It must have been good, because it is still available today in an amazing array of guises. It comes in sporter, target, synthetic, compact or laminated stock versions, so you can see why it appeals to a wide spectrum of shooting enthusiasts from stalkers to target shooters. It has always been a compact, durable and likeable semi-automatic, and is further enhanced by the large range of accessories available to modify your 10/22 to your own specifications — this is particularly appealing.
The rotary 10-shot magazine has always been a big draw for potential purchasers, too, and now Ruger has made another variant of this old stalwart for the vermin world in the form of the Takedown model that splits into two pieces. It looks like a 10/22 stainless synthetic rifle but if you look closer you can see the gap between the fore-end and the rest of the stock and barrel collar.
The same simple, reliable semi-automatic rimfire action measuring 6.25in remains, which reciprocates the bolt under recoil to move the assembly a short distance to feed or eject a case.
The Takedown model is stainless steel, which is wise considering its use for potential backwoods exploits. There is a single claw extractor and the case is ejected by a small metal eject spur sited to the rear left of the action when the bolt is at its rearmost.
The bolt itself is polished bright and the operating handle of 3/4in length has a smooth, curved face that protrudes through a 2.5in ejection port cut into the right side of the action. The receiver bridge is drilled and tapped for a scope mounting base, which is supplied. Beneath the action sits a small lever in front of the trigger-guard. When the bolt is in the rearmost position and this lever is depressed it holds the bolt open for cleaning.
Trigger, safety and magazine
At 7.25lb, the trigger is very heavy to release the trigger sear, but this is common on rimfire semi-automatics for safety reasons. It does affect accuracy, however.
The trigger has a single-stage operation, while the safety is a simple cross-bolt unit housed in the trigger-guard that blocks the trigger travel to make the rifle safe. It only works when the action is cocked, though.
In front of this lever is a spur that is the magazine release — when pushed forward and up it releases the magazine. This is the famous Ruger rotary design holding 10 shots. It does not project out from the bottom of the rifle as a single-stack magazine would. It’s recommended to keep the magazine clean to maintain best reliability.
This is a takedown system, which is simple to initiate. The plunger lever sited in the bottom of the fore-end is moved forward to the muzzle end to unlock. You then rotate the barrel anti-clockwise and slide out the barrel. It’s as simple as that.
The barrel has a slimmed down receiver/chamber end, which locates into the action face. The fore-end lever operates a plunger that locates into the block at the front of the action. To ensure the union is tight, there is a tightening/locking collar on the barrel. With the magazine removed and the bolt retracted, you insert the barrel and turn the collar anti-clockwise to tighten. Repeat to remove and insert the barrel while slightly adjusting this collar to get a firm but easy barrel removal.
The barrel is a sporter weight profile barrel of 1⁄2in at the muzzle, which is also factory threaded for a 1/2 UNF threaded sound moderator as standard. There is a set of open sights: the foresight has a fixed elevated bead coloured gold, while the rearsight has a small folding unit that has an adjustable leaf arrangement.
In terms of weather resistance, the injection-moulded two-piece synthetic stock certainly keeps the cost down as well as being hardwearing. It is black and features Ruger’s typical barrel band and cast-in chequering panels on the sides of the fore-end and grip. It is split in two at the receiver face to accommodate the takedown facility and looks typically American — it is plastered with large stickers telling you how to operate the rifle and outlining various safety procedures.
Zero and functioning
The whole point of a takedown rifle is the ease of storage or carriage, but it is worthless unless it returns to zero after disassembly, otherwise you need to re-zero all the time.
With regard to reliable functioning — for example, cycling the action — there are no problems, and once zeroed with RWS HV ammo at 30 yards I removed the barrel and replaced it and shot the Ruger again. The zero had shifted 0.75in right. Repeating this several times, the group size remained the same at 0.95in but zero shifted 0.5in to 1in — actually not that bad. So I retightened the barrel collar so it was a bit stiffer to remove the barrel. The result was only a 0.5in shift with the odd flier — much better.