If you’re someone who’s familiar with rifles, then it will come as no surprise that the Ruger 10/22 has been serving Americans with quality and loyalty since 1964. If you’re not so familiar, have no fear and keep reading! This article is an in-depth Ruger 10 22 review on all the important details and factors you need to know when deciding if this gun is the one for you. Let’s get right into it.

Some Background

Sturm, Ruger & Company was founded by William B. Ruger and Alexander McCormick Sturm in 1949 in Southport, Connecticut. Before the two men became partners, Bill Ruger had successfully replicated two Japanese “baby” Nambu pistols from WWII in his garage. When it came to designing their first auto pistol, Ruger decided to combine the looks of the German 9mm Luger and the American Colt Woodsman into their first commercially produced .22 caliber pistol, which instantly became so popular and such a success that it launched the entire company.

William B. Ruger
William B. Ruger

Ruger is a dominant manufacturer in the .22 LR rimfire rifle market in the U.S., mainly due to its sales of the Ruger 10/22 semiautomatic rifle.  A main reason why this rifle is so popular is due to its low price and amazing quality. As a result, a wealth of after-market accessories and parts were made available for it, which has further increased its popularity. The availability and variety of after-market parts makes it possible to build a 10/22 Ruger using only these parts, most of which are marketed to target shooters and hunters.

The Ruger 10/22 first came out in 1964. Introduced as a rim fire companion to the then-new .44 Magnum Carbine, 50 years later the 10/22 remains one of the most popular – if not “the one” – in regards to .22 rifles. Its proven its loyalty over the years and became known as accurate and extremely reliable. The detachable 10-shot rotary magazine is awesome and works extremely well. Today, they offer the 10/22 Ruger in a number of configurations, including Carbine, Compact, Sporter, Tactical, Takedown, and Target models. Over its lifetime, its been offered in other configurations, too. I know of at least 20 different versions, but regardless of the configuration, the shooter experiences autoloader perfection when they choose the 10/22 Ruger.

Think about the 10/22’s place in history. 1964 was a raging time for the introduction of a new firearm. The murder of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963 had given rise to a politically- inspired and media-sustained anti-gun movement in the United States. The Ruger 22, introduced early in 1964, came into that environment.

Ruger has been used in the military for different purposes. For example, one gun that’s made by Ruger is the AWC Ultra 2. Beginning in 1987, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) used this gun for a number of years as a riot control method. Even today, the gun is still used by the IDF for a number of different applications, as well as by other militaries around the world, due to the gun’s mobility.

Ruger Casting has plants in Newport, New Hampshire and Prescott, Arizona, making ferrous, ductile iron and commercial titanium castings.

Building It Up

One of the best features about this gun is its versatility. The Ruger 10/22 is the best selling rifle in America. It is so popular due to the fact that it’s the most customizable rifle in the world. It is mind-boggling how many options you have in regards to the number of different accessories and things you can do to customize this rifle.  For starters, Ruger itself puts out 5 different versions of this rifle.  Many others have come and gone over the years. They have made it in a 22 Magnum and the 17 HMR; however, the 22 rifles are the only ones currently in production.

Ruger 17 HMR
Ruger 17 HMR

You can truly make it your own! You’re able to customize easily. If you do choose to customize it, all you need is a screwdriver, a hex key, and some punches and you can pretty much do anything. (This can include removing the barrel and putting on different types of barrels.)

One of the reasons the 10/22 Ruger became so popular is because it’s super balanced. The rifle has great weight distribution, along with the magazine being flush. It makes it really nice to be able to hold with one hand in the center spot of the rifle.  The magazine release pulls out with no difficulty at all.

Rifle Specs

MODEL10/22 Carbine
TYPERimfire Rifle
WEIGHT5.0 Lbs.
SIGHTSGold Bead Front/Adj. Rear
FINISH: STOCKOil-Finished Hardwood
SAFETY2-Position Thumb

Different Ruger 10/22 Models

  • 10/22 Carbine
  • 10/22 Target
  • 10/22 Takedown
  • 10/22 Compact
  • 10/22 Sporter
  • 10/22 Tactical
  • 10/22 Collector’s Series
Ruger 10/22 Target
Ruger 10/22 Target

As it is, the .22 Long Rifle versions are so well and widely known that little description is necessary. The basic design employs Ruger’s trademark integrated modular sub-assembly design features throughout. The trigger housing contains the entire firing mechanism, which features a short-throw, high-speed swinging hammer for rapid locktime. The one-piece .22 LR receiver is milled from a solid block of cast aluminum and is drilled and tapped for a tip-off scope mount adaptor supplied with the gun. The barrel-mounted open sights feature a fold-down adjustable rear leaf and gold bead front blade. The safety is a sliding crossbolt in the front of the trigger guard (easy to use for right- and left-handers alike). A manual latch just in front of the trigger guard can be used to manually lock open the bolt. The magazine is the compact rotary 10-shot unit introduced 35 years ago with the original 10/22, which has since become basic to many other rimfire and centerfire Ruger rifles as well.


The 10/22 happens to be extremely successful due to its magazine system. It uses a tin round-boxed magazine. It is a rotary, which the bullets actually rotate around in. This makes the rifle extremely reliable and it streamlines the rifle as well.  The magazine well is dead in the center bottom and it just snaps right in. You’ll notice that it looks like a pretty natural fit. When removing it, you just grab the magazine, push and pull.

Depending on what kind of rifles you’re comfortable with, the magazine may take some getting used to. Once you get the hang of it, it’s not too bad .With the factory magazine, you can blow through 10 rounds just as fast as you can pull the trigger. And with virtually no recoil, that can be pretty dam fast.

The standard 10/22 has a 10 round only; however, Ruger does in fact make a 25 round magazine and they are pretty reasonable. There are a lot of after market magazines, so it’s really all about your preference.

Safety First

The Ruger model 10/22 Magnum has a cross-button safety which is located in the forward portion of the trigger guard. The safety can be operated only when the hammer is cocked. The safety is “on” when it protrudes fully from the right side (the bolt handle side) of the trigger guard assembly. In this position the sear is blocked, and the gun cannot be fired from a normal pull on the trigger. The safety should always be in the “on” (safe) position except when the shooter is actually firing the gun. The safety should be moved to the “on” position whenever the shooter ceases firing, even temporarily. All models include the following features with which the gun user should be thoroughly familiar.

Note that the safety is protruding fully from the right side of the trigger guard and is therefore in its “on” (safe) position. The safety is “off” (fire) when it protrudes from the left side of the trigger guard assembly. When the safety is off, the red band shows on the safety button, but do not totally rely on the appearance of the red band to indicate that the safety is off. In poor light or if dirt is covering it, the red band may not be so visible. If the safety is “off” and the trigger is pulled, the rifle will fire.

Ruger 10/22
Ruger 10/22

The position of the safety and red band indicate the safety is “off”. It should be in this position only when you are actually firing at your target. The safety is held in its “on” or “off” position by a plunger that is under spring tension. When the safety is moved to either the “on” or “off” position, a distinct “click” should be heard. Frequently check the position of the safety to be certain the safety has not been unintentionally moved. If the safety seems to move too easily, or if the click is not heard when the safety is moved, stop using the gun and get it checked out because that means there is something wrong.

The barrel is chambered really tight to reduce blowback of powder gases and burning powder grains around the side of the cartridge case in extraction. This can definitely be annoying in blowback-operated arms, especially when the ejection port is on the right side of the receiver and the shooter fires from the left shoulder. Barrel and action assembly is secured in the stock by a barrel band and a screw-entering bottom of the receiver. The receiver is bedded full-length in the stock. There is no recoil lug, but rear face of the receiver abuts the stock mortise. The trigger guard tang has a firm bearing against the stock. Barrel is bedded in the stock at the fore-end tip.

The stock is dense-grained, oil-finished American walnut with full fore-end and pistol grip. The curved, rifle-style steel buttplate is secured to the stock by large screws in toe and upper tang. The proportions of the stock are excellent.

There have been some pretty intense ‘test runs’ if you will,  that have been done showing the accuracy of this 10/22 rifle. For instance, a total of 1200 rounds were fired in the main series of tests. Six makes and 15 brands of standard-velocity and high-velocity ammunition were used for this. There were absolutely no malfunctions. This is exemplary performance considering that neither the gun nor its magazine were cleaned or lubricated during test.

Accuracy firing was done from machine rest at 50 ft. with both match grade and high-velocity ammunition. Results were as follows:

Ammunition TypeSmallest GroupLargest GroupAverage Extreme SpreadM.O.A. Equiv.

The Bottom Line: Over 50 Years and Still Going Strong!

Ruger 50th Anniversary Rifle
Ruger 50th Anniversary Rifle

To sum it all up, the famous Ruger 22 genuinely speaks for itself.  For over 50 years, Ruger has been the single most popular rifle due to all the aspects mentioned above. The key word that everyone recognizes the most here is flexibility. This 10/22 most certainly has it. It’s the perfect rifle for someone who likes to switch between optics and iron sights depending on the task at hand or whatever kind of mood they’re in.

One thing that I personally find great is that it also offers options for a beginning shooter who might not be sure exactly what they want, and might appreciate having the ability to try it both ways. With the shorter stock inserts that are available from Ruger, the length of pull can be adjusted for younger shooters, making it not only an “all purpose” rifle but also an “all ages” rifle.  I would definitely recommend this gun to a beginner and a person that enjoys hunting small game. But in all, it was a great gun to shoot with. The truth and bottom line about this gun is that it’s got an impressive set of features at a great value.

Every time Ruger comes out with a new model, it always seems to break new ground. The way I see it, there’s a configuration for just about everybody, regardless of his or her personal tastes and preferences.

Looking for some more great gun material? How about reviews of the Glock 17, 19, 30, or SIG P228? It’s all here at Gunivore – home of all things guns!

Nate M.


  1. The last rifle you ever sell.

    Great for teaching newbies, especially with an appropriate scope a bag full of mags.

    The theory that Bill got the idea for the rotary mag from the Savage 99 is interesting.

  2. What is the SHORTEST Barrel length I can get for the 10/22?

    1. The shortest barrel that most manufacturers make for the 10/22 is a 16.5″, but some custom shops may offer smaller ones.

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