Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ruger 10/22 Project Gun

Last year, when Girlie Bear started getting better at using the Rossi .22 single shot I bought for teaching her to shoot, I decided I needed a repeating .22 rifle with iron sights.  I have a Savage Mark II, but that's scoped with no iron sights on it.  Since I already had a bolt gun to teach her with when the time comes to introduce her to optics, I decided to get a semi-auto.  Yes, she can burn up the ammunition going through a magazine, but all it takes is a touch on her shoulder to slow her down.

I decided to get a bare bones Ruger 10/22 and upgrade it as I found necessary. The rifle was small enough that Girlie Bear wouldn't be intimidated by it, but not so small that I couldn't comfortably spend an afternoon shooting it.

After a few trips to the range, I knew why so many upgraded models were available.  The stock iron sights, not to put too fine a point on it, sucked.  After a little research, including advice from the Gunblogger Conspiracy, I bought and installed a set of TechSights TR100 sights.  These are similar to the peep sights that you find on American service rifles, including the current M-4 rifles.  Installation was easy, and zero-ing was as easy as zero-ing an M-16 on the range at Fort Leonard Wood.  Since I already knew how the sight picture on these should look, there wasn't much re-training to know how things should look when I line up a shot.  I could also easily describe how to use the sights to Girlie Bear, so she got better advice when learning how to use them.

Next came the stock, and I had to do a lot more digging on this one.  I wanted a stock that was a bit longer than the original polymer stock, but not so long that it would be uncomfortable for someone smaller than me.  Remember, my primary use of this gun is as a training aide for Girlie Bear and her brothers.  I found a lot of different styles of stocks, including some gorgeous wood and laminate stocks, but since this is going to be a plinker/truck gun, I didn't want to put something that pretty on it, and I started leaning heavily towards an adjustable stock.  I finally settled on this one from Blackhawk!, mainly because of the adjustable stock, the price, and the brand's reputation for ruggedness and quality.  I'm not taking this to war, but neither do I want something that I have to worry about scratching or denting at the range or out in a pasture.

Butt stock fully extended

Butt stock fully compressed
With the stock fully extended, I have the sights and the trigger where it's comfortable for me without scrunching up, and it compresses pretty well for a smaller shooter.  The Blackhawk! stock falls away from the barrel almost immediately after the chamber, but I don't know how much difference that's going to make on how the rifle shoots.  I added a cheap sling that came with its own swivels so that I can use and teach how to use a hasty sling.  When the time comes, I'll swap in a pair of swivels and put on either one of my M-1 Garand slings or a dedicated National Match type sling.  

Costs were pretty good.  I got the rifle on sale for $180, the TechSights were $60, the stock was another sale price for $62, and the sling was $15.  Total cost for this project was about $300 plus my time to research and install the sights and stock.  That's about what the higher end 10/22's were running at the gun store, and I got just what I wanted instead of getting an upgraded sight or stock that wasn't exactly right.  I'm still using the stock magazine release and trigger, but I can't complain about those, so I probably won't mess with those.


45er said...

I've got a girl coming up pretty soon that I'll be training with airsoft. I plan on using my Ruger when it comes to that level and that's pretty close to exactly what I was planning on doing. My 10/22 has the factory polymer stock which is really way to short for me, but it was great in the hunting jeep. I still fear it will be too long for her and that's where the collapsible will come in.

WS4E said...

I was just looking at the Henry Lever Youth .22 today and thinking that I would have loved one of those to shoot when I was young.

They are about the same price, and just look more fun than a bolt.

Come to think of it, I still want one for myself now.

DaddyBear said...

Honestly, I'm ashamed to say that I never considered a lever action when I was looking for a repeater .22. It should have been a natural since my introductory gun for teaching kids to shoot is a Daisy Red Rider lever action BB gun.

That being said, around here, you pay a premium for a Henry, so unless I had found one that was used, it probably would have been out of my price range. I will be putting one on my list o' guns.


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