Well, Ruger has finally done it. The company has introduced a takedown 10/22. And it sure is a neat little number!
The 10/22 has to be one of the all-time most popular .22 autoloaders, and it's been offered in some pretty cool configurations since its introduction back in 1964. I've enjoyed a whole bunch of those different versions for about the last 35 years or so, but I have to say I'm more excited about this brand-new takedown model than any of the others.
Well, I just like takedown .22s. It probably stems from my growing up shooting a Winchester Model 1890 pump .22, which, of course, is a takedown gun. I have just always thought that takedown rifles and carbines are way cool. I presently own about a half-dozen takedown .22s, and I'd be happy to add the new 10/22 to my battery.
The 10/22 TD features a two-piece, black, synthetic stock; a flip-up, adjustable rear sight; a gold-bead front sight; an 18.5-inch, stainless-steel barrel; and a silver-colored, aluminum-alloy receiver that's drilled and tapped for a Weaver-style scope mount base (included). It utilizes the famous Ruger 10-round rotary magazine, and it comes with a ballistic-nylon backpack-style bag that features internal pockets for each subassembly.
The barrel/fore-end subassembly of the Ruger 10/22 TD is easily separated from the receiver/buttstock subassembly by pushing a recessed lever located underneath the barrel, twisting the subassemblies, and pulling them apart. When assembled, a friction fit lockup holds the subassemblies together, and it requires a bit of adjustment the first time you put the subassemblies together. After that, though, you shouldn't need to adjust it again.
First-time assembly is as follows: Remove the magazine, lock the bolt open, make sure the gun is unloaded, loosen the takedown adjustment ring by turning it clockwise as far as possible, insert the barrel assembly and turn it clockwise until it locks (approximately a quarter-turn), tighten the adjustment ring by turning it counterclockwise as far as possible with finger pressure. The system is similar to but not exactly like that of the takedown Browning Model SA-22 for anyone who is familiar with that setup. (The Browning system uses interrupted barrel threads that mate with the receiver, but it, too, uses an adjustment ring for keeping the receiver and barrel assemblies tight.) Once the 10/22 TD has been assembled and then taken apart, some resistance should be encountered when reassembling, but it shouldn't be difficult. If adjustment is needed, remove the barrel subassembly and tighten or loosen the adjustment ring.
Before actually firing the 10/22 TD, Ruger recommends dry-cycling the action two or three times to ensure the barrel assembly is seated properly. This provides the best accuracy according to the company and is accomplished by making certain it is unloaded, pointing it in a safe direction, pulling the bolt handle all the way to the rear while holding the bolt lock up, releasing the bolt handle, and allowing the action to "slingshot" forward.
There's more to please shooters with this new 10/22 than just its cool configuration. Like just about every other 10/22 I've shot, this new one performs exceptionally well.
Thinking that a nice little, compact optic would be the way to go on the takedown 10/22, I mounted a 1X Aimpoint Micro red-dot optic for my shooting session. A truer test for the 10/22 TD's accuracy would have been to install my old BSA 6-24X 44mm Platinum riflescope with fine crosshairs and 1/8-MOA dot reticle and variable parallax adjustment, but it is almost 16 inches long and weighs 24 ounces, and I thought it would defeat the purposes of the compact takedown concept. So I chose the Micro, and I fired 10 different .22 LR loads through the carbine. My best 50-yard group average came with Federal Gold Medal ammo (the old #711 for those who are familiar with that number), and it was 0.97 inch. Several of the other loadings averaged slightly more than 1 inch. Winds were 7 mph with gusts of 13 mph on the day that I did my shooting.
Just for fun, after I finished my shooting-for-accuracy session, I took the most accurate load and loaded one round in the rotary magazine. I fired the round and took the 10/22 apart. Then I put the carbine back together, loaded another round in the magazine, and fired it to see how repeatable the system is. I did that for five rounds, being careful to make sure the 10/22 was not loaded each and every time I broke it down and reassembled it. The results were very good, with those five rounds producing a group that was typical for the same load as fired during my accuracy-shooting session. I think it's a good indication of how repeatable the 10/22 TD is.
The takedown .22 concept has been around for ages, so it's not a new idea, but Ruger's takedown 10/22 is new, and it's definitely going to please a lot of outdoorsmen.