Ruger 10/22 Long Rifle Review

Published by the LearnAboutGuns.com Author on May 16, 2008 at 4:14 pm
LearnAboutGuns.com > Gun and Accessory Reviews > Ruger 10/22 Long Rifle Review

The Ruger 10/22 is a great gun for target practice. It is inexpensive but of high quality, and the ammunition it fires, .22 long rifle (.22LR), is just a few cents per cartridge. My review of the Ruger 10/22 is below.

Ruger 10/22

Basics
The Ruger 10/22 is a semiautomatic rifle chambered for the .22 long rifle (.22LR) cartridge. It comes with a 10 round rotary magazine which sits completely inside the rifle, just forward of the trigger and underneath the action. Aftermarket 50 round magazines are available for about $20, although the factory magazines tend to be more durable and reliable. There is a massive after market for this gun, with everything from target barrels, scope mounts, replacement stocks, trigger groups, etc. available online. A base model 10/22 will run about $200 online or $300 in your local store, but unlike most guns in this price range, the quality is excellent.

Build Quality
The Ruger 10/22 is built like other Ruger firearms, meaning that the quality is excellent. Don’t let the low price throw you off, this a good rifle. I have put at least 10,000 rounds through my Ruger 10/22 in the approximately one year I have owned it, and not experienced any problems. Since I dismantle it for transportation to and from the range, I have thoroughly tested the durability of the screws and other parts, and all have held up very well. Short of using this gun as a hammer, to drive nail into cement, I don’t see it breaking any time soon.

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Reliability
Of the approximately 10,000 rounds which have gone through my 10/22, exactly 1 has failed to fire, and 1 other has failed to properly feed. In both cases it appeared to be caused by problems with the ammunition (both rounds came out of the same box), rather than a problem with the 10/22.

Ammunition
Unlike most other cartridges these days, the .22LR is a rimfire cartridge, meaning that the primer is placed around the rim of the cartridge, rather than being placed in the center. That is not terribly important; what matter is the amazingly low price of the .22 LR ammunition, which can be as low as $0.03 per cartridge, for high quality ammunition. That means you can spend an hour shooting the Ruger 10/22 for about $10. Compare that with the $0.85 to $3.50 it can cost for each shotgun shell I fire from my Reminton 870, and you’ll see why I find this .22 LR is so fun (and cheap) to shoot. My Ruger 10/22is pretty tolerant when it comes to the ammunition I use, which is mainly the .22LR CCI Stinger. I also fire a good deal of Winchester’s .22LR high velocity copper coated round nose ammunition.

Accessories
The Ruger 10/22 has a huge aftermarket, with every every imaginable accessory available. These include barrels, stocks, magazines, triggers, magazine release levers, scope mounts, laser sights, muzzle compensator, sound suppressors, flash suppressors, bullpup conversion kits, etc. They are all available online, and at amazingly low prices.

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Fun
The reason I bought the Ruger 10/22 is because I was told that it was a fun gun. That proved to be truer than I could have imagined. It is fun to shoot due to the nearly non-existent recoil, low noise, cheap ammo, and abundant, inexpensive accessories. I currently have a scope on my Ruger 10/22 but I have used the included rifle sights and a laser too. Customizing, changing, and re-customizing this gun can be a hobby in and of itself.

Self/Home Defense Use
The one area that the Ruger 10/22 is not well suited for is that of home or self defense. While the Ruger 10/22 is still a firearm that must be handled with the utmost care, the .22LR bullets that it fires are not adequate for self/home defense. If you are looking for a self defense firearm, this article may help. Enjoy the Ruger 10/22 as a great target practice gun, or a good way to become more familiar and comfortable with guns, rather than as a home defense tool.

The Ruger 10/22 can be purchased online here.

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  • Krey Layne

    I’m in the market for a 10/22
    While looking around at gun dealers, I have been told on several occasions tha the newer productin models are more accurate than the older ones.
    I like the look of the old style stainless steel rather than the weatherized dull stainless finish of today.
    Has Ruger changed something to make the new ones more accurate?
    I saw a Walmart “distributer limeted” model in what I would consider excellant condition at a gun show yesterday for $350 that I liked; but, it’s $100 more than a new one and the accuracy issue lingers in my mind.
    Whatever I buy, I plan to get an aftermarket laminated walnut stock ($150) cause I realy like stainless and wood look. That would put the gun at about $400 to $500 without a scope (simmons 4X32, stainless look).
    This gun could wind up getting expensive; I wonder why Ruger does not offer a factory laminated Walnut stock with the other laminates they have available?

    I’m thinking of going back to the gun show tody and purchasing the “Walmart” used rifle today, if it is still there. I sure would feel better about it knowing that the newer models arent any better.

    thanks for any input
    Krey
    Little Rock, AR

  • BasinBictory

    I concur on the Ruger 10/22 being fun, accurate, durable, and just all around excellent. I bought mine about a year ago from Big 5 Sporting Goods. It's the stainless model with the black synthetic stock. While I didn't care too much for the stock (you can tell it's hollow, etc.) it actually has good gripping surfaces, and I don't have any particular desire to customize it. I put a fixed power 4×32 bushnell scope on it and it is a tack driver – even compared to my much more expensive and higher-quality Marlin M39a.

    The only complaint I have with my Ruger 10/22 is that the grey paint that Ruger put on the receiver parts is flaking/peeling off in parts, which makes for a very ugly gun. Mind you, this doesn't affect accuracy or function, and since I lightly oil even exterior parts, I don't think it'll be a corrosion issue, but it's mildly irritating.

  • John C.

    why is not suitable for self-defense? a few rounds to the body would surely hurt or stop someone right?

  • http://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com

    John,

    The problem is that the .22 LR bullets that the Ruger 10/22 fires are just too small and underpowered for self defense. .22 LR bullets will certainly hurt and kill, but they are too small to reliably stop an attacker before that attacker can complete their attack. Self defense guns need to be able to stop the bad guy right away, not 5 minutes or 5 hours later.

  • Don Bell

    About .22LR stop-ability, you load up with some CCI Segmented Hollow Point, you would do some immediate severe damage.

  • http://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com

    Don,

    I would especially recommend against segmented hollow point bullets in a .22 for self defense. Those segmented hollowpoints are designed to fragment, and are therefore very effective against squirrel-sized animials, but don't penetrate deeply enough to stop a human attacker.

  • Chris

    .22LR might not have the immediate stopping power of something bigger, but unless you are up against a crazed animal or a human attacker that is on some sort of drugs, all you need to do to stop an attack is take away the attacker's will to continue.

    10 rounds of .22LR to the belly, I think, would definitely convince someone to leave my house.

  • http://www.learnaboutguns.com LearnAboutGuns.com

    Chris,

    That is the exact opposite of what I've been told by pretty much every gun instructor, cop, or fellow gun enthusiast with whom I've discussed self defense. In other words, the goal is to *physically* stop the attacker, not to just hope that you can break their will to continue fighting.

    Firstly, drug users (who seem to make up a significant percentage of home invaders) may be in an altered state of mind where you just can't break their will or reason with them.

    Secondly, even non drug users will have adrenaline rushing through their bodies, and may not feel pain from being shot right away.

    Thirdly, even if you do manage to hurt the home invader and "break their will" to continue the home invasion, that just means you'll trigger their "fight or flight" instinct. They may decide that attacking you is the best way to preserve their own life, meaning that they will continue to attack.

    One of the most telling stories about why bullets need to physically stop the attacker came from the instructor of my NRA basic pistol course (which I needed to take in order to get my Iowa concealed carry permit). He told me about a cop who had shot a PCP using criminal multiple times, inflicting wounds that would eventually kill the criminal. However the criminal, even with half his face and lower jaw blown off, was still able to continue fighting, and inflicted fatal wounds on the cop.

    I'm not saying that a .22 will never work for self defense. Instead, I'm saying that while it is better than a pointy stick, it is just no where near as effective as just about any other firearm. Unless a .22 is all you can handle, it seems prudent to select a more effective self defense gun.

  • Tyler

    Still, regardless of its size the .22LR needs to be recognized as a bullet that can do damage. Ten shots of it definitely can take down a person. Were talking about a piece of metal traveling at 1400 fps and only going 5 meters if its in a house.

    • jay

      I agree, some kid in texas took out a bruglar with one shot of a .22 round nose to the chest july 2009. It killed the guy, and its said that in 22 the round nose is more effective than then hollwo pts. as the round nose penetrates and does funny things in the body.

  • BasinBictory

    Tyler,

    There's no doubt that any person shot ten times with a .22LR is in a world of hurt and in serious trouble. However, as mentioned in previous posts (and documented in many cases) a person hopped-up on drugs, or adrenaline, or just plain angry that you shot him ten times with a .22LR can still fight long enough and hard enough to hurt or kill you.

    Besides, if you can wield a Ruger 10/22, why not a shotgun?

  • John

    The main problem with using 22lr for self defense is that you will have to shoot alot of times. Everyone here is alluding to shooting the intruder 10 times. To a firearms user this is easily understandable considering the balastics. To a over zealous anti gun prosecuting attorny, and jury of your peers shooting some one over 10 times may not be viewed as self defense. It is better to use something bigger that will stop someone in 1-2 shots for your lives safety, and legal safety.

  • jaydee

    I would not worry about all the "drop dead in their tracks" comments. This is not a weapon for pros but..if you own a .22 and use it to protect your life..well believe me, someone shot with a .22 is not going to just be distracted. Use what you have and don't worry about getting a .50 caliber weapon so the perp won't move 2 inches. Be confident..practise..think about what you may need to do and be ready to do it! This is the best weapon.

  • BasinBictory

    Bigger isn't always better – as you mentioned, having a .50 caliber rifle for home defense is a bit of overkill, but you should use the proper tool for the job.

    Most states will not allow you to hunt medium-sized game with a .22LR, because it is considered inhumane to simply wound an animal. Larger calibers are mandated in order to ensure clean, quick kills on game animals larger than say, javelina. Given that a grown man averages 170 lbs (and many are much, much larger), and the largest reasonable game you could hunt with a .22LR would likely be a rodent, why would you use that on a man?

    • Jim

      Because that is the weapon at my disposal at the moment. A .22lr is better than nothing. If my .22 is closer to me than my .45, I am going to use it in a life or death situation.

  • T. Garrison

    I WOULD NOT recommend using this firearm or ANY rifle for home self defense. Regardless of caliber the rifle's overall length makes inept for close range use. Remember that 5' is self defense and 50' is murder. If you feel you need a home defense weapon look closely at a 9mm or a 40 s&w caliber pistol. These handguns have a light enough recoil that they can be fired from the hip by even my wife. You do not want your weapon turned on you when you need it.

  • Squib

    I know this is a few months old, but I simply want to throw in my 2 cents on home defense. The .22 can do the job, if you have worked on shot placement, most favored being the throat or the crotch. You have to be very good to deliver that in daylight; nearly impossible at night, while you are amped up over a home invasion.

    That being the case, I'll go for the 9mm carbine or the 20 ga. Mossburg pump. Remember, the 9mm slugs are going to go thru walls, the buck shot should not.

  • John

    Any thoughts on the CCI Stinger ammo? The author indicates he uses it, however I have read elsewhere ( as well as the owners manual) not to use any Stinger ammo.

    Also, any thoughts on Hollow Points?
    I mostly use lead round nose but want to try another type.

    • Jim

      CCI Stinger ammo is great. Just don't use it in your ruger 10/22 if you have the target model. This does not apply to you if you have the carbine or any other model. If you have a barrel band you have the carbine and it eats Stingers up.

  • William Peterson

    You guys are turning this into a "when did you stop beating your wife" type argument in that no matter how he responds, you have a situation where he's wrong. It's a given that a person shot with any modern ammo will probably suffer and may even die, but his contention that the .22 is not THE BEST CHOICE for self defense is supported by not only a ton of credible data, but real world experience. Look it up for yourself.

    To the author; good article.

  • jin

    Any .cal is enough for defense. That said lets consider the merits of .22lr. most important will be shot placement. Training with your gun is paramount to defense. At $12 for a box of 500 rnds. after about $120 (or 5000 rnds) of ammo shot you can say you know your weapon and have pretty decent aim. No matter what the .cal a hand gun is NOT a death ray. people are shot all the time and live. something like 7 out of 10 hand gun victims live. Look it up. Google is great. a 50cal does no good if you hit them in the arm or other non vital area. And just a little on basic physics : for every action there is an equal reaction. If a handgun had the kinetic force to knock someone down you would get a similar recoil. It's the reason a shotgun will dislocate your shoulder. since handguns don't have the power regardless of cal to drop someone with sheer kinetic force they rely on disruption of the vital organs or central nervous system. Before you say a 22 doesn't have the penetration power, take some time to ask the families of the people who have died from 22s. (See Below) a single well placed .22lr can drop trained cops and secret service agents. dont' believe me? Look (youtube) at the attempt on Reagan. John Hinkley dropped a SSA with one shot to the lower stomach. The agent didn't even attempt to get up, nevermind his JOB of protecting the POTUS. James Brady (brady bill) took one in the head. Did not get up (Nor was he moving at all or smiling, taking a smoke break etc.) His result :Wheelchair and the loss of function on the left half of his body. Reagan himself took a ricochet of the limo through the left arm into the lung stopping about 2" from his heart. All of that from crappy german revolvers and mom and pop dime store ammo. not the 40 grain hyper velocity 1400fps and above hi tech stuff we shoot today (CCI VELOCITORS)

    V. Tech shooting was committed with a Glock 9mm. and a Walther p22. 30 victims.

    I have the advantage of having this debate often and my point is always the same. More people are killed from .22lr each year than any other .cal PERIOD. For every case anyone can give me of someone killed with another .cal I will give you TWO cases of someone dropped with a .22. I can do this for two main reasons.

    #1 humans are not built to have holes put in them. so any .cal can and has killed.

    #2 the reason I can do a two for one deal is because 22lr is the most produced Round (not gun) in the world. and the guns that fire them are made by every major gun maker and a whole lot of minor players. thus the cost to obtain is cheap and nearly everyone has one (be it rifle or gun) Even glock and ar15 have kits so you may shoot 22s out of them.

  • Bill H

    I did look it up, here ya go. http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/2

    Personally, I'll take the largest caliber that I can control and hit with consistently and reliably. Which means that my Colt Woodsman, Ruger Mark III, 10/22, and Single Six are my last choices. If a .22 is all you have, it's better than nothing. Just make sure that you have fired enough rounds through your firearm to make sure that your choice of ammo will cycle reliably. Hate it when the weapon jams when you need it, or, it just goes "click" when the hammer drops or firing pin strikes. That can happen quite a bit with rimfire. Good luck.

  • Bill H

    One more comment, please. Trying to be helpful on a question that is several months old, but might be of assistance to other readers. John had a question on CCI Stingers. The Stingers are just a bit longer than most .22 long rifle cartridges. They work fine in my standard 10/22, but will not function well in a 10/22 target, which is built to tigher tolerances.

    CCI says to use the Stingers "only in firearms having standard ANSI sporting barrel/chamber dimensions".

    Ruger specifically states not to use the Stingers in the target model. See their owners manual (pages 13 and 14) here: http://www.ruger.com/products/_manuals/1022.pdf

    Bottomline, keep the Stingers out of the target 10/22. The other models should accept them just fine.

    Hope this has been helpful.

  • anthony

    Who cares what you shoot a home invader with as long as you still have the ability to defend yourself. If they are in your house aiming shouldn't be very difficult as long as you konw your firearm and respect it.So a 22lr may not take off massive amounts of meat it will still do the job. I wouldn't be affraid to use mine and shouldn't have to worry about fixing any holes in the drywall.

  • Ron Q

    All i have to say is IT'S BETTER TO HAVE A GUN AND NOT NEED IT THAN IT IS TO NEED A GUN AND NOT HAVE IT ya know it

  • Andrew

    Most gun fights that ensue in a home invasion are up close and personal. (maybe 3 feet or less). Would it be a good idea to try to shoot an intruder 10 times with a .22 like everyone on here wants to do? No it wouldn't. Also..the intruder can grab a long rifle out of your hands, and use it as a club on you if they don't shoot you with it first. I would stick with a 12 gauge shotgun with 00 buck. Now that will cut someone in half.

    • 12 Gauge Pump

      Three feet may not be enough time to locate the weapon and then point and shoot. Even a 12-Gauge might be a little slow to bring into action if an intruder is standing right there. An intrusion alarm might provide enough time to become orientated to the threat.

      "For more than 20 years now, a concept called the 21-Foot Rule has been a core component in training officers to defend themselves against edged weapons."
      http://www.usadojo.com/articles/21-feet-valid.htm

  • scott

    Are you kidding me, you will be lucky to get off a shot much less aim. Shooting targets and practicing against an invader are two different things

  • big john

    oh come on!!!!!!! why in the heck would you shoot an intruder in the stomach or anywhere other than in the head????? even with a 22 a decently placed shot will drop the biggest intruder. not to mention some little 90 pound crackhead. And you don't have to worry about the sorry piece of trash sueing you for everything you have, wich has happened in the past in this country.

    • Gut Shot

      In a surprise attack, a gut-shot might be all one gets. Know when it's over, keep pulling the trigger until it's empty, and hopefully the attack is over by then.

  • http://kirisutospachyderm.yolasite.com J.F.

    Why isn't there an African American Shooters Association? I mean I am not trying to rock the boat, but I did read in a book by Massad Ayoob that gun laws still in force today were made to persecute and intimidate responsible Black Americans from owning guns. And this was before the gangs existed.

    There are many responsible African Americans that need protection from these roving thugs today. And the gun laws do nothing to stop the thugs from getting guns, but instead keeps the black community helpless. It is obvious.

    I mean fa6,"ahem" uh I mean, even homosexuals got their rights now in the military. But the peaceful CHRISTIAN Black man still is oppressed gun wise.

    WHY IS THIS? And again WHY IS THERE NO AFRICAN AMERICAN SHOOTERS ASSOCIATION?

    • Shooters Association

      I guess there could be an African American Shooters Association if there could also be a Caucasian American Shooters Association. What about a a Hispanic Shooters Association, Mexican American Shooters Association, Cuban Shooters Association, German American Shooters Association, Irish American Shooters Association, Italian American Shooters Association, French American Shooters Association, Polish American Shooters Association, Scottish American Shooters Association, Dutch American Shooters Association, Norwegian American Shooters Association, and Swedish American Shooters Association.