Friday = Guns, so……..
It’s a personal preference, to be sure, but for me and a lot of other folks that keep an eye on the uncertain future the .22 rifle of choice is the ubiquitous Ruger 10/22. While Ruger makes a few variants of the 10/22 that are a bit more…desirable…for our specialized needs, none has all the features I figured I’d want. Fortunately, and this is one of the strengths of the 10/22 platform, there are enough aftermarket accessories out there that I can tweak the 10/22 into exactly what I want. Oh, it may not be cheap, but it’s possible. In retrospect, what I was after was essentially a Ruger 10/22 that had all the features and styling of the M1 Carbine – Protected aperature sights, side mounted sling, etc.
First step was the sights. Optics are nice but for the average effective range of a .22 LR, which I figure to about 100 yards and not much further, I figured a good set of open sights was the way to go. The standard sights with the Ruger are all right, I suppose, but I wanted a few special features. First, I wanted a longer sight radius. This meant a rear sight that was mounted back on the receiver, not on the barrel. I tried an aperature sight from Williams, which was my first choice, but found that it just did not have the range of elevation adjustment I needed. I wound up going with the TechSights and I’m quite pleased with them. Easy to install, protected rear and front sight, same sight picture as one my AR and PTR-91, accurate, and plenty of adjustment. Only thing I didnt like (other than the price) was that the sights weren’t made in the US. Can’t have everything, but when I buy gun stuff I like to buy American….firearms ownership is uniquely American, I feel the accessories on my gun should be too. Or, at least, not made in China (or Taiwan, although Taiwan is a bit more acceptable to me, but not much more.) (Two posts on the Tech Sights)
Some fitting may be is required. For me, it was easier to trim wood than metal.
After the sights, I wanted better options for the sling. I don’t really like traditional sling mounts that put the sling on the bottom of the gun. I much prefer the side mounted slings since they let the rifle lay comfortably flat against the back. There were a few options but most were replacement stocks, which I didnt really feel was necessary, or plastic replacement barrel bands for the front of the gun. I don’t mind some plastic parts, but a part that was going to take the stress of a sling should not, in my opinion, be made of plastic. Fortunately, this ProMag Ruger Barrel Band caught my eye. I ordered one up and it arrived last week. The reviews mentioned that one of the rail segments would probably butt up against the stock in such a manner that some fitting might be required. Indeed, that was the case. Options are: remove metal from the band or remove wood from the stock. Wood cuts easier than metal so I removed some wood. Didn’t bother me, I have a bunch spare old 10/22 stocks sitting around. Once mounted, the barrel band took a SureFire Scout just fine.(Although in reality, I have no need for a light on a .22 rifle, I just wanted the side sling mount….but I suppose if you’re heading out to the chicken coop at 2am to see what the fuss is about, it might make good sense to have a light on the end of your Chicken Defense Carbine.) Now I just need a sling bar on the back end of the gun to go with the side-mount sling at the front. (There’s a company selling an M1 Carbine-style stock for the 10/22 that would be perfect but Im just not ready to spend that much coin.)
Once sights and a sling mount were taken care of, all that was left was to swap out the standard magazine release for an extended AK-style release and we were done. A solid little 10/22 that was a bit easier to carry, had a better set of sights, and could field a a couple tacticool accessories like a light and bipod in case the gophers ever decided to get their act together and go Zulu on me.
Total outlay is around $120~ but the majority of that is in the sights, and I don’t mind popping the money for sights if theyre good, durable, and do what I want them to. I doubt I’ll be tweaking out all my 10/22′s like this one, but the one that I did tweak out a bit has been fun and accurate to shoot. If I had the money, I’d probably swap out the barrel for a threaded version to add a suppressor to, but thats a buncha money that is way down the line for right now.