With nearly half a century of shooting history behind it, Ruger's 10/22 blowback-operated semi-auto rimfire rifle is arguably one of the most commercially successful firearms in modern American history. It’s a gun that is reasonably priced, compact, ruggedly reliable and accurate with a wide variety of .22 Long Rifle ammunition. In fact, the 10/22 is so popular it has spawned its own market for accessories, upgrades and magazines.
But no matter how spiffy a rifle might be, customers always seem to want something more. Wouldn’t it be nice if this handy little carbine could break into two parts so it could be stowed or carried in a much smaller space? In 2012, Ruger introduced the 10/22 Takedown model with a synthetic stock to fill this customer request.
But even when a gun company releases a revolutionary change in an already popular product, some shooters will look it over and want just one more feature. “Wouldn't it be even better if Ruger's Takedown rifle had a threaded muzzle for accessories like flash hiders and sound suppressors?” This year Ruger answered this just-a-little-more request with the Model 10/22-TDT, featuring a blued-steel threaded barrel.
This version of the 10/22 arrives with the same profile features as other synthetic-stock 10/22s. The stock shape, sights and controls are all familiar. One of the nice touches with this gun is the inclusion of a 25-round BX-25 magazine instead of the traditional 10-round version. The two primary differences in this model are found at the end of the barrel and in the forearm of the stock.
The 16-inch threaded barrel is fitted with a flash hider that looks like the same one found on the SR-556 .223 rifle. The barrel and forearm separate from the receiver and shoulder stock using a takedown lever located just in front of the magazine well. To break the rifle apart for storage, remove the magazine and lock the bolt in the open position. Then, press and hold the takedown lever, twist the barrel counterclockwise and pull it free of the receiver. The rifle is reassembled in reverse order. Just in case this seems like a confusing process, Ruger places a large sticker with instructions on the stock.
The 10/22 TDT arrives from the factory separated. So in addition to the usual inspection and lubrication one usually performs for factory-fresh guns, this rifle requires a little tuning before the first trip to the range. Once the barrel is installed, tighten the connection using the knurled adjustment ring in front of the receiver until it is finger tight. Then, remove the barrel and give it one or two more clicks. When the barrel is re-installed, it should feel nice and snug. Each time the rifle is separated and reassembled, the bolt should be manually cycled a few times against the empty chamber to help reseat the barrel. If over the course of shooting, it starts to have feeding or accuracy issues, double check the barrel tightness. It won't need adjusting often, but is something of which to be aware.
Ruger goes the extra mile by providing a well-designed custom carry case for 10/22-TDT. One side of the interior features two narrow pockets to hold the two halves of the gun. On the other side is a roomy single pocket to hold ammo, optics, cleaning supplies or whatever else can fit. The lower exterior pocket features pouches for 25-round magazines, and the upper pocket is padded so it can be used as a pistol case. The included shoulder strap allows the case to be carried over the shoulder or worn like a day pack. All in all, the case completes the whole takedown concept by allowing the rifle to be easily stored and transported without an obvious long-gun profile.
Of course, the 10/22 in any configuration begs to be accessorized, so the time at the shooting range was enhanced with a few useful add-ons. This rifle arrives with a scope mount. However, in order to take advantage of both an optic and the iron sights at the same time, an NcStar model MRUHB1022 see-through scope base with matching quick-release rings was used to mount an Alpen Optics’ Kodiak 3-9x32 Wide Angle riflescope. The value-priced Kodiak provided a wide, clear sight picture that was more comfortable to look through for extended shooting sessions than some of the .22-specific scopes on the market.
New for this year, Ruger and Lasermax have teamed up to produce a laser sight for 10/22 rifles fitted with factory-style stocks. The fiberglass-reinforced nylon laser housing replaces the factory barrel band and is contoured to look like a natural extension of the forearm. The bright 635-nanometer red laser is pre-aligned at the factory for use at 25 yards, but it can be adjusted for longer distances. Two 2-inch Picatinny rail mounts allow additional accessories to be attached. This sight system is available exclusively from Ruger.
Informal target shooting out to 25 yards was just as enjoyable with the 10/22-TDT as with other versions of this rifle. Any concerns about the Takedown's ability to feed different brands of .22 Long Rifle ammunition were allayed by its reliable function with a variety of loads using a mix of factory and aftermarket magazines. No soda can, steel plate or dirt clod was safe with the Lasermax sight to enhance aiming with the iron sights. As always, the light weight and low recoil of this rifle made for a long, enjoyable shooting session both on and off the bench.
Formal accuracy testing was conducted with the rifle scoped and set into a benchrest using targets posted at 50 yards. Although the factory trigger was a little heavy, requiring 5-pounds, 8-ounces of pull to cycle, it had a short, crisp break that supported solid accuracy. Groups ranged from 1.25 inches to 2 inches in size, depending on the ammunition used. Not bad at all for an out-of-the-box .22 carbine.
The 10/22-TDT Takedown represents a real innovation in the evolution of this shooting platform. Instead of another color option or different barrel length, Ruger's designers have made it possible for the 10/22 to boldly fit where it's never been stored before. And they did it while preserving the shootability, reliability and reasonable price that have made the 10/22 platform an American mainstay at the range.
Manufacturer: Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc.; www.ruger.com