On appreciating the Ruger 10/22

For those who don’t know what one is, here you go. .

I got mine from my dad for my birthday when I was 13. It started out as he was getting me a scope for my pellet rifle, a nice cheap Tasco 5x. Turns out that the scope mount that came with my pellet rifle was shite, so the scope was a no go. Not being one to surrender so easily, he decided that the correct course of action was to drive over to Service Merchandise and buy something that the scope would fit on (Go Dad!). A mere $99 and 3 days later I had my 10/22.

Now, 15 years later I’ve got the same gun, but now outfitted with a synthetic stock and fluted bull barrel from Cabelas. It stands ever ready to help save the world from the dreaded Empty Coke Cans and Prestone Jugs Filled With Water, and the occasional squirrel hunt to get tails to mail to Mepps for free spinners.

So fellow 10/22 owners, tell me about your own “Prince of Plinking”.

I have 2 of them, a regular blued model and a SS one. The blued one is a tack driver for a semi auto .22. It has several thousand rounds through it and still shoots like a dream. I bought it second hand, but it hadn’t seen much use before I got it. The SS model is almost new, has a lot nicer wood in the stock, but isn’t nearly as accurate.

Good old Ruger. Design something that works perfectly, then get out of the way so people can play with it. I’ve refrained from tweaking my 10/22 too much. I like it stock. About the only mod I’ve made is the acquisition of a number of 25 and 50 round magazines and a loader.

Every Thanksgiving for the last 23 years, some buddies and I have headed out into the desert for a few days of guns, explosives and “being a guy” nonsense. One of our favorite games is shooting clay pigeons with the 22s. We will cover the rocks on a hill with clays, then settle into our chairs about 50 yards away and take turns sniping at certain targets. Whoever breaks one gets to call the next one. No scopes, firing from the seated position. We’ve gotten pretty good at it. For a surprise factor, we will hide an explosive target behind the random pigeon. “Boom!”

I love my 10/22.

I got my first used one when I was 18 and proceeded to put 1000’s of rounds through it. I got quite good at shooting long distances with it too - like from the top of a table mesa down to an oil rig plug. “Bang!” {wait 2 seconds} “Ping!”

We used to go rabbit hunting with about 20 guys out in the fields - over half of which had 10/22s. We’d walk in a line and shoot them as they ran away. Not the safest thing I have ever done, I admit. Whenever you would stumble accross the carcass, we would toss it down the line to the last person on the road. Then a pickup would drive buy and put all of the rabbits in the back. After a couple hours of this we would then load up mouthfuls of chewing tobacco, whip out our Buck knives and get to skinning and gutting. Then all rabbits would be divided and off we would go to various BBQs.

I now own a SS that I switched out with a carbon fiber stock and a 7x scope. I don’t hunt with it here much, because most hunting days for fox and rabbit overlap with boar, so I just take the over-under 12ga/7.65 Merkel my FIL loans me. But occasionally a box of .22s disappears along with a few beers while plinking away at targets that just look like their given me the eye…


I’d seen the “10/22” referenced in a couple of recent threads but wasn’t familiar with it. Thanks for the link.

I’m trying to remember just what my plinker is, a Remmington “Something Master” I believe with a good scope. What an inexpensive, wonderful joy these things can be.

I do like the Ruger though. Have a 22-250 in the M77 model with a Leopold 3x9 that’s the most accurate gun I’ve ever owned and a 7 mag in a Ruger #1 with a Leupold VX III 4.5x14x50.

Ruger and Leupold combos will put meat on the table.

I had sold my old 10/22 back in 1996 when I decided to move to Milwaukee to follow the girl that is now my wife.

I bought myself another one, secondhand, last month as a present to myself for having reached 5 years cigarette-free. It has a cheapy Tasco scope on it but it does the job. My first outing with it I shot a .28 inch 5 shot group, not bad! It has successfully defended the garden from rabbits and will defend my turkeys and ducks from a feral cat that has been slinking around if I see it again.

I’m not looking to modify it in any major way, wouldn’t mind a few 25 round magazines for it though. It’s a proven design and is worth every penny.