Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ruger 10/22 rifle with Mannlicher stock

Recently I decided to treat myself, so I purchased this Ruger 10/22 rifle in what today is called a Mannlicher stock, which I'm guessing is named after German weapons designer Ferdinand Mannlicher from the 19th Century. I used to have a 10/22 very similar to this one, but the stock was then known as an "International," and I've kicked myself for getting rid of that rifle because it was always a favorite. My original didn't have the checkered pattern of this one, and I admit I didn't like that pattern at first though it has grown on me.

10/22s are a great rifle to have for a lot of reasons. They are solid firearms, which is especially pleasing for a .22, which often enough have kind of a cheap feel to them, at least in my opinion. The price is great, usually about $300 give or take, depending upon lots of variables, the type of barrel, the stock, other bells and whistles, etc.

Another great thing about a 10/22 is that it is one of the most customizable firearms on the market. If there is something you don't like about the rifle, you can always change it. Or if you simply want to jazz up your 10/22 with a fancy stock or some bright colors or what-have-you, there's probably an option available out there somewhere.

Also, though it barely needs to be said, the .22 ammo is easy to find and usually costs less than other types.

I've put about 200 rounds through my new Mannlicher so far, and I've been pretty happy with it for the most part. I usually don't shoot further than about 50 yards, though I probably could except the longer areas of open land on my property leave questionable what is beyond; I'm mostly surrounded by woods, so I'd likely be safe to shoot out to 100 yards, but there is a road that runs fairly close to my place and I'd rather not risk it. So, at 50 yards and less, my groupings are pretty tight, which is especially nice considering my eyesight ain't what it used to be. This particular Ruger shoots a little high and to the left, but I'm sure I can make some minor adjustments to the sites to compensate.

All that being said, there are a number of things I've not cared for with this firearm.

First, quite a few of the parts are made of polymer instead of metal. My original 10/22 had all metal parts, having been purchased about 15 years ago. I realize manufacturers are turning to more and more polymers to keep costs down and to lessen the weight of firearms, but I personally think this is mistake. As evidence I'll bring up the auto industry. Years ago cars were made of almost all metal parts and those parts lasted seemingly forever. The last few decades, more and more parts have been made of some kind of plastic, and in my opinion that has simply lead to more and more cars breaking down all the damn time. But maybe that's what the auto industry wanted so you'd have to spend more money.

The magazine release is that small black lever hanging
down in front of the trigger assembly at bottom.
Another thing I don't care for is the magazine release on the 10/22. This is somewhat of a contentious situation for 10/22 fans because Ruger has changed the release lever a couple of times over the years, some people liking older style releases, others liking the newer ones. I hate to say it, but I've never been a fan of any of the magazine release switches on the 10/22. In fact, it's probably been my least favorite aspect of this firearm. At least there are some after-market modifications that can be made with purchase of some specialized releases levers, but even those haven't done much to please me. If I had any suggestion to make to Ruger concerning the 10/22, it would be to come up with a completely new and simplified release mechanism.

Related to this, another problem here is that the release lever doesn't "pop out" or any such the actual magazines, simply making it possible for the magazines to be pulled out. This isn't much of a problem for extended magazines, but the originals that come with the gun are small and flush with the stock, making it no easy task to pull those babies free, at least for me. And with my big fingers, it's not a lot of fun to have to try and stick my fingers into the little notch in front of the magazine to try and pull it out. Extended magazines are practically a necessity for me. Now, in all fairness, when an original magazine is loaded down with ammo, it will drop out just fine on its own. But come on. Usually when you're changing magazines, it's because the one is empty. Right? Right.

Okay, I've bitched enough. Despite my grousing, this is an excellent gun, one any collector or enthusiast should have in their arsenal. I've even known shooters who have owned five or six of these Rugers, and I can understand why, especially if you're someone who likes to tinker with their guns. This is a great firearm for the experienced and the beginner alike. Shoots clean, great quality, and ignore my petty gripes, for this is a solid product.


Charles Gramlich said...

I've got a 357 lever action rifle that I haven't even shot once yet. Too many kids in the houses around us. And if they were in the woods. I worry about that.

Ty said...

Ooooo. I'm jealous. I love lever actions, and my favorite round is the .357 magnum. I used to have one made by Marlin. You need to get yours out and break it in somewhere.