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Ruger 10/22 Competition: it all comes together with this rifle

A good trigger, great accuracy and balanced handling all come together in this semi-automatic .22LR rimfire, writes Bruce Potts

Shooting Ruger 10/22 Competition rifle

Ruger 10/22 Competition

Overall Rating: 89%

Manufacturer: Ruger

Price as reviewed: £1,110

Rabbits are absolutely everywhere at the moment, feeding on the abundance of verdant green foliage and crops that have shot up — just like the rabbit population. Normally I am a bolt-action rimfire shooter for vermin, but an accurate, reliable and semi-automatic .22LR makes a lot of sense in these circumstances.

The Ruger 10/22 has been almost mainstream in the British shooter’s psyche since 1965 — can you believe that? — and still endures as one of the best semi rimfires ever designed, with this new Ruger 10/22 Competition model offering us sporting shooters everything one needs for ‘clinical’ pest control. New features now include a very handy ambidextrous quick-release magazine catch, a machined action block from aluminium, adjustable cheekpiece with easy height and lateral movement, extended Picatinny rails for universal fitment and an easy exchange of scope for night vision or thermal kit.

Ruger 10/22 Competition

There are twin-groove fore-end ridges for grip, though the stock’s finish is grippy enough without them

The short 16in blued fluted barrel achieves great balance and accuracy and is threaded for ½in UNEF. The extended bolt handle is very handy for reassured grip when lamping or for those wet days in the field. This is also reflected in the very sturdy and ambidextrous synthetic stock, although true left-hand models are also available. All this costs £1,110, but the gun requires no upgrades or aftermarket accessories so it is cheaper than many custom units.

This model is a very different beast from predecessors and feels like a far more rounded and complete rifle. The machined aluminium action now features an integral extended 5.25in Picatinny rail, so there are no loose screws destroying accuracy. You also have an additional rear securing screw to the action for more consistent bedding, and the black anodised finish is mimicked on the bolt, so there are no reflections to spook wary quarry. Although smooth, the extended bolt handle does a masterful control job on cocking the single claw extractor bolt. The whole cycling process feels very slick indeed. A small bolt hold open lever by the magazine well is useful to access the barrel for cleaning.

Ruger 10/22

The stock has a great feel to it, grey in colour with a black speckled overtone

Ambidextrous use

The trigger is the new BX model and, as such, has a very small amount of creep from its single-stage pull that broke on the scales at a light 2lb 6oz. The safety remains the cross-bolt system; it’s simple but works well. The magazine release lever has now been extended and folded down to encapsulate the trigger-guard, with tabs either side for swift ambidextrous use. The magazine remains the 10-shot rotary with 5, 15, 20 or 25-shot options and is reliable if kept clean.

I like the target quality blued barrel too. It is short — just 16in long — but stout and rigid with a 0.921in girth aiding consistent accuracy. It has a ½in UNEF thread and muzzle brake (if you like), and the four flutes mean the rifle only weighs a tad over 6lb.

Ruger 10/22 Competition

The trigger is the new BX model, with a single-stage pull that broke on the scales at 2lb 6oz

The best of the bunch has to be the stock, which has a really good feel to it. It’s solid but not heavy with a fully floated barrel channel to maintain accuracy. It wears a grey overall colour with back speckled overtone. There are twin groove fore-end ridges for grip, though the stock’s finish is grippy enough without them. The stock is eminently ambidextrous, and its beauty lies not in its 13.75in length of pull but its cheekpiece height adjustability. Inset in the stock is a lateral groove so the moulded plastic cheekpiece can move 1.75in back and forth with a height adjustment too of 1.25in — so a perfect cheek/eye to scope position is assured via a lift-and-lock lever system.

rifle trigger and magazine

The 10-shot magazine is easily removed with the ambidextrous quick-release magazine catch


This is the best incarnation of the brand so far. It’s a semi that shoots like a bolt action. Because I was not moving my hands operating a bolt for the next shot, the rabbits were less spooked, culminating in doubles and one triple hits. This Ruger has a good trigger, great accuracy and, when kept clean, is very reliable. The adjustable stock design and features like the quick-release mag and universal Picatinny rail are a winner.

  • Accuracy 18/20 Good 50-yard accuracy, especially for a semi-auto
  • Handling 18/20 Perfectly balanced and all controls in the right place
  • Trigger 17/20 Better than most semis on the market right now
  • Stock 18/20 Well thought out and well executed stock design
  • Value 18/20 Worth the money as no upgrades are necessary
  • Overall score 89/100 A great rimfire with all the attributes a pest controller needs

Field testing the Ruger 10/22 Competition

The cycling of the action has been designed for subsonic to high velocity (HV) ammunition usage, so a broad spectrum of ammo can be shot through the Comp. We started with the subs, firstly the Norma that shot 0.5in five-shot 50-yard groups at 1,043fps for 97ft/lb.

Eleys were not far behind with accuracy hovering around the ¾in mark at a higher than normal 1,120fps for 106ft/lb due to the 30°C weather. All were subsonic at this velocity interestingly.

Winchester Max 42-gr did not cycle the action reliably with many failures to eject; they needed assistance due to their tight and long truncated cone head design. The heavier CCI Suppressor rounds with its 45-gr bullet is a great vermin round, and as such shot lovely 0.55in groups at 1,038fps for 108ft/lb, a nice rabbit round.

A great HV round is the RWS 40-gr HV, as accuracy and 0.55in groups at 50 yards with a velocity of 1,308fps for a healthy 152ft/lb stretch the legs of this rifle.

Rabbits were more than abundant, so stalking down the hedgerows, lying up in wait and shooting from sticks or bipod were all easily deployed due to the compact and lightweight nature of the Comp. I can take or leave elevating cheekpieces, but I do like the ability to adjust for differing scope sizes, night vision and thermal units. The lateral movement helps get a proper cheek-weld. (Read more on rabbiting here.)

It’s a bit plastic-feeling but works very well, and swapping out a magazine with the extended mag release saves all that fumbling of old. The machined action with its tighter tolerances feels good.

Accuracy from that stout-fluted barrel accounted for six rabbits the first evening and then eight and 14 the next, so the Ruger 10/22 Competition was earning its money back and the landowner was more than happy. Win win.

The landowner is happy as the Comp easily tallies up a good number of rabbits in the bag

Need to know

  • Manufacturer Ruger
  • Model Ruger 10/22 Competition
  • Calibre .22LR
  • Overall length 35.75in
  • Weight 2.79 kg (6.1lb)
  • Barrel 16in (1/2in UNEF thread)
  • Stock Sporter polymer with adjustable cheekpiece
  • Magazine 10-shot rotary
  • Trigger BX Ruger model
  • Safety Cross bolt
  • Price £1,110
  • Importer Viking Arms Ltd 01423 780810