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)
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.