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An M1 Carbine Chambered in .22LR with 10/22 Mags: Review

A unique M1 Carbine chambered in .22LR by Ruger and exclusive through TALO Distributors that uses standard Ruger 10/22 magazines.

An M1 Carbine Chambered in .22LR with 10/22 Mags: Review

Commissioned by TALO Distributors Inc., Ruger’s M1 Carbine 10/22 is a limited-edition version of the proven semiauto. TALO is one of Ruger’s primary partners, and the two companies frequently collaborate on unique firearms. Although it’s named the M1 Carbine 10/22, this little rimfire is not a close copy of the original M1 Carbine used in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. And that’s completely OK. Let’s establish that right up front. M1 Carbine purists may run the gamut from dissatisfied with this retro military-esque 10/22 to completely affronted. But if you’re able to set aside your authenticity-driven prejudices and simply see the little Ruger for what it is, you’ll probably be impressed.

Historically Inaccurate

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No, it’s not feature-identical to the M1 Carbine. But it has a robust, practical ghost-ring rear sight and an ergonomic 15-round magazine. Wood is dense, straight-grain walnut with a non-glare, dark oil finish.

Me, I’m not a M1 Carbine enthusiast. I’ve owned one and shot many. They are a unique and cool part of America’s war history, to be sure. However, I’ve never found the love and affection for an M1 Carbine that I have for the M1 Garand, M1903 Springfield, Colt 1911, and so forth. As a result, I have no bone to pick with this little retro Ruger. In fact, taking it entirely for what it is and nothing more, I really like it. With one exception, the construction and look of the little Ruger is pure retro. That exception is the section of 1913 rail atop the receiver. It’s a concession to modern optics and provides shooters easy capability to install a scope or red dot atop their .22.

No, it’s not historically correct, but it has certain advantages. And I suspect that if our fathers and grandfathers had been given the option, most would have voted to have a rail and a capable optic atop their fighting guns. Features that reek history are the dense walnut and the dark, non-glare oil finish on it; the wood heatshield handguard encasing the rear half of the barrel; the winged front sight and ghost ring rear sight; the iron barrel band with front sling loop; and the stock milled for securing the rear of a web sling with an oiler.

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In addition to the superb precision, the little carbine proved to be 100 percent reliable.

Up front, my impression was that the little Ruger has personality, class, and a unique set of characteristics that make it a practical choice even for modern shooters with little interest in war history. It has a lively balance, mounts to the shoulder smoothly and easily, and points naturally. The sights are far better than on standard Ruger 10/22s. The 15-round magazine is easy to manipulate and offers increased capacity without being as bulky as the 25-rounders. And yes, the optic rail provides a way to get the best accuracy out of the little carbine.

Unique Features of the M1 Carbine 10/22

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Stocks have traditional sling slots milled through. This web sling is not original or correct; it was pirated from a vintage canteen for temporary use.

As far as I can tell, the action and barrel on this version of the 10/22 are standard Ruger parts. The bottom assembly — trigger, triggerguard, magazine release, and magwell — is Ruger’s updated version with the easy-access, slightly extended mag release. As a passing concession to the M1 Carbine, Ruger designed a 15-round magazine for this model. It has the same capacity as the original .30 Carbine stick magazines. No, it’s not straight, and it’s not made of steel, but it works every time. The rear aperture sight is robust, simple, and capable. It’s protected by wings on each side. A click-adjustable, premium-quality battle sight it is not. Windage adjustments are made by loosening a small hex-head screw on one side and tightening the other side, which drifts the aperture. Elevation is adjusted by screwing the aperture up or down — after loosening one side of the windage adjustment screws, which lock the aperture in place.

Forward, the front sight is a clean, serrated post protected by wings on each side. It is dovetailed into what appears to be a barrel band. On closer examination, I believe the barrel band and sight base are machined integral to the barrel, which makes it nearly indestructible. I’m a fan of straight, crisp stock lines, but the Ruger M1 Carbine 10/22’s forend has a distinct belly. In this case, it’s not just appropriate but adds to the look and feel of the firearm. It’s mated with a wood heatshield that’s so well fit I can’t help wondering if the two were finish-milled while fitted together. And the feel in the support hand is spectacular. There’s a wide groove milled down the top of the heatshield, which provides clearance so you can see the front sight. Up front, an iron barrel band with rectangular sling loop secures the forend and heat shield. Aft, a pair of hex-head screws fasten the two parts together.

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While not at all traditional, an optic rail atop the action makes it easy to mount a scope or red dot, helpful to those with fading eyesight.

My only gripe with the little Ruger is the barrel band. It’s slightly loose and can’t be screwed any tighter without removing the sling loop and filing the base narrower. I suspect that the wood shrunk a bit when it came from New Hampshire to Idaho’s arid climate. As for the buttstock, it’s unique too — not the profile or the drop at the heel, rather the fact that there’s a slot for a web-type military sling perforated through the stock from the left side and an appropriate slot for a steel oiler to secure the sling on the right side. I don’t have a correct sling and oiler, but I temporarily pressed a different web sling into service while testing and used a snug-fitting empty cartridge case to secure the web sling in the buttstock slot. The buttplate on the M1 Carbine 10/22 is also different from Ruger’s standard, curved-top carbine plate. It’s simple, clean-cut, and made of plastic but from a distance would pass as iron.

Range Testing

Although I love good iron sights and have won many a shooting match using them back when my eyes were young, I mounted a scope atop the M1 Carbine 10/22 for accuracy testing. PRS competitors will laugh, but I mounted a superb 3-18x50 KAHLES K318i on the M1 Carbine 10/22. It’s got a very good parallax adjustment system that focuses as close as 25 yards, so I can eliminate apparent reticle movement that could degrade accuracy. Ammo selection these days is slim, but I managed to scrape together six different loads representing a cross-section of useful types. Resting on sandbags under the forend and the toe of the stock, I fired three consecutive five-shot groups for average with each type of ammunition. My suspicion that the Carbine might not be particularly accurate was entirely wrong. Even with the rather stout 5-pound, 6-ounce trigger pull, bullets stacked atop each other. Eley’s 40-grain subsonic hollowpoint averaged a scant .38 inch at 25 yards. Two other loads pushed the half-inch mark. All six averaged less than an inch.

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Front sights are protected by wings and dovetail into an integral base machined into the barrel. The forend and heat shield are clamped together with a flat iron band mounted with a rectangular sling loop.

With clinical testing completed, I removed the Kahles scope and checked the zero with the iron sights. Impact was a couple inches high and a half-inch right. I’m a precision addict, so I took the time to adjust the ghost-ring rear sight until bullets impacted a half-inch above the point of aim at 25 yards. I couldn’t help shooting at a can. The little carbine leaps to the shoulder and finds the target like a homing device. Using the iron sights puts my face close to the stock, and the faint fragrance of the oil finish was like breathing happiness. Then I stepped back and let my boys William and Henry shoot. Offhand, rested, slow-fire, and fast, the Ruger M1 Carbine never hiccupped or even threatened to malfunction. But then, I didn’t expect it to. It’s a 10/22, after all. In addition to absolute reliability, it’s a bona fide shooter. I like it enough that I’m going to send Ruger a check rather than return the M1 Carbine 10/22. And because I’m a sucker for a bit of retro panache, I ordered a reproduction web sling and oiler. Now, if they only made a bayonet for it.

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M1 Carbine 10/22 Specs

  • Type: Blowback-operated, semiauto
  • Cartridge: .22LR
  • Capacity: 10, 15, 25 rds. 
  • Barrel: 18.5 in., 1:16-in. twist
  • Overall Length: 36.5 in. 
  • Weight: 5 lbs., 3 oz. 
  • Stock: Walnut
  • Finish: Blued
  • Trigger: 5 lbs., 6 oz., single stage
  • Sights: Post front/aperture rear, optic rail
  • Safety: Crossbolt
  • MSRP: $339
  • Manufacturer: Sturm, Ruger & Co.



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