Ruger 10/22 Takedown Review: “One To Go, Please!”

Ruger 10/22 Takedown Review: “One To Go, Please!”

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The Ruger 10/22 is one of the most successful rimfire rifles ever made. Depending upon which source you trust, they have sold either five, seven, or eight million rifles since the model was introduced in 1964. (At any rate, that’s a bunch!). I have accounted for exactly two of those sold. My first 10/22 was an older wooden-stocked, blued model. I recently bought a newer synthetic-stocked one that now sports a scope and a homemade camo paint job. I can’t tell you how many squirrels have been taken out of trees with that rifle. The 10/22 has been made in many versions, but I think one of the most useful ones is the takedown model. The Ruger 10/22 Takedown is the subject of this hands-on review.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown shown in its two halves

Quick Summary

Ruger 10/22 Takedown shown on its right hand side

The Ruger 10/22, vaguely reminiscent of the M1 Carbine, is the quintessential rimfire rifle. With millions sold and a very active aftermarket, this robust rimfire has carved a large, unique niche for itself in the pantheon of classic civilian rifles. The takedown version is yet another variation to come out of Ruger, and is popular with hikers, boaters, campers, and anyone else who needs a rifle “to go”. If you are looking for a very portable rimfire rifle, look no further.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It’s a 10/22, one of the most proven designs in recent firearms history.
  • The 10/22 aftermarket is one of the industry’s largest, with accessories for any use.
  • This gun takes down very easily into two sections for easy portability.
  • Sights are included, as is the famous 10-round rotary magazine. Extended mags are available.
  • The gun is very accurate, and its reliability is legendary.
  • The stainless barrel is excellent at resisting rust, important if you take the gun on a boat.
  • It comes drilled and tapped and includes a scope base adapter for a scope or other optic base.
Cons
  • The safety would be better on the tang than in the trigger guard.
  • Sling swivels are not included. They can be tricky to add to some synthetic stocks so they should come on the gun.
  • The last “con” concerns the price. $519 seems a bit salty for a 10/22.

Background

In 1964, Ruger rolled out its first 10/22. It had a hardwood stock, a blued barrel, and used a new-fangled 10-shot rotary magazine. The gun’s style is reminiscent of the ubiquitous M1 Carbine which endeared it to thousands of shooters who had had experience with that carbine. The 10/22 rifle is currently made in eight versions and many sub-models including custom Competition rifles put together by the Ruger Custom Shop.

Speaking of model variations, the current crop of 10/22 models (including distributor specials) include:

  • Carbine (includes 18 sub-models)
  • Takedown (15 sub-models)
  • Takedown Lite (2 sub-models)
  • Target (laminated thumbhole stock, 2 sub-models)
  • Compact (synthetic stock, one model)
  • Sporter (wooden stock, 11 sub-models)
  • Tactical (synthetic stock, flash hider, rail, 5 sub-models)
  • Competition (4 sub-models)

That’s 58 total model variations. You have a choice of stocks (wood, synthetic, laminate) and sights, finishes, etc. Variations abound. Want an American flag stock? Order a model 31154, $449. Fancy a nice thumbhole stock with a 30-minute Picatinny rail, muzzle brake, and BX trigger? Model 31127, $1029. Prices range from $359 for the Compact model to the one just listed at $1029.

Most rifles shown on the Ruger site list for around $400-$500. That does not include distributor specials – prices are not shown for those. I think I paid about $95 or so for my first one, but I also paid 50 cents a gallon for gas when I was in high school. It just proves that everything goes up in price sooner or later. If you are looking for a good rimfire semi-auto rifle, the 10/22 is definitely one to look at, whatever its price.

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Who is the Ruger 10/22 Takedown for?

Really, who isn’t this gun for? I believe that every gun owner should own at least one good rimfire rifle. Once upon a time, you could buy .22LR ammo pretty cheaply. Hopefully, we will return to some semblance of that scenario soon. But, even with the prices of today, the .22 is still a decent bet for some sustained target practice. You might as well have a decent rifle to shoot it in, and the Ruger 10/22 Takedown fills that role nicely. As I said above, the number of squirrels (and other game) that have fallen to the 10/22 is prodigious. (I don’t mean just by me, but by all who use this rifle in the woods or field).

The Takedown Model Opens Up Excellent Portability

This takedown model opens up many vistas for taking a rifle where it might not have gone before. It’s hard to fit a yardstick into a backpack, but break that stick in half and it fits a lot more easily. Substitute a rifle for the yardstick. Breaking one of those in half is something that you don’t want to do if it isn’t designed to do so on purpose, obviously. But, this Ruger will (when the halves are separated) fit handily into many types of bags and packs. Matter of fact, unless you need a specialized bag the case that comes with the gun is really nice.

That lends it to go with you on your upcoming camping trip, hike, boat outing, or other outdoor activity that allows you to carry a bag with you. Add in a couple of 25-round extended magazines in addition to the one in the gun and you are set. Stick the included scope base adapter on it, add a red dot, and then proceed to have all kinds of fun.

Excellent candidate for red dot sight lovers

Ruger 10/22 Takedown scope base adapter

The nice thing about that red dot is that you can get a small one that could stay on that base adapter without having to come off to carry the rifle in the bag. I have one I’d like to try if I didn’t have to move the rifle on.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown bolt

Two more groups of shooters who might benefit from a Ruger 10/22 Takedown are those who live in a small apartment and who may not have a lot of room to store weapons. Also, those who drive a lot could also benefit from the gun’s small footprint. It would fit in a car’s trunk or another compartment without taking up a lot of room. With the way it fits together, it’s literally a snap to get it into action. I think there are more who would benefit from a takedown 10/22 than there are who wouldn’t – they do sell a lot of them.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown Specs

Overall Length:37"
Barrel Length:18.5"
Weight:4.6 lb.
Capacity:10
Barrel Material:Stainless Steel
Twist:1:16" RH
Barrel Finish:Clear Matte
Stock:Black Synthetic
Front Sight:Gold Bead
Rear Sight:Adjustable
MSRP$519

Ruger 10/22 Takedown Review

I picked up our test takedown 10/22 from friend Duane’s gun shop and promptly took it home. The box included the rifle, a really nice zippered case, a lock, an owner’s manual, and a scope base adapter for either Weaver or tip-off bases. A word about the case – this is a really nice soft case. It’s nylon but padded very well with compartments for the two rifle sections, accessories, and Velcro strapping where needed.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown case zipped up
Ruger 10/22 Takedown unboxing

The case, and what comes in it. You have the gun, a lock, the scope base adapter, chamber flag, and owner’s manual. The “flaps” directly above open to reveal three zippered compartments where you can store all kinds of things.

Ergonomics

The synthetic stock really decreases the gun’s weight. The first 10/22 I owned had a wooden stock. You felt that wood every time you picked it up – that’s not a bad thing, it’s just the way it was. The one I have now has a synthetic stock and is lighter. The scope offsets the weight advantage but there is no doubt that the plastic-stocked rifle is easier to tote around in the woods than the wooden one is. If you leave the gun as it comes from the factory – don’t add sights/scope/red dot/sling, etc. – you will have one very handy .22 rifle package. Add in its takedown capability and you have an accurate, easily broken down .22 rifle that will probably go with you whenever you need a rimfire rifle. The sights are the traditional Ruger 10/22 sights – adjustable rear, front bead – but you can add a red dot.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown rear sight
Ruger 10/22 Takedown barrel

Above I said that if you keep the gun as it comes from the factory you’d have one handy package – that is true, by and large. But, I think there might be an argument made for a low-profile red dot sight to be mounted. I just received a TruGlo mini red dot that I’d like to stick on the rifle for the heck of to see if it still lives up to its portable nature. If I get a chance, I’ll try it.

Checkering

Ruger 10/22 Takedown wrist checkering
Ruger 10/22 Takedown forend checkering

The “checkering” is molded in but it works well.

Another great thing about the 10/22 is that it balances in your hand as you carry it. There is no box magazine hanging down to divide the gun into “fore” and “aft” sections which can throw off the balance. The flush bottom of the receiver makes for easy carrying.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown receiver bottom close up

My only kick about the Ruger 10/22 Takedown is the safety. Being left-handed, I truly do not like cross-bolt safeties. They always work backwards for me. I know plenty of right-handers who detest them, as well. To my way of thinking, the easiest safety to engage/disengage is a tang-mounted one. The safety on my old Mossberg 5500 semi-auto 12 gauge is perfect. It’s on the tang where it’s easily accessed by both lefties and righties. If Ruger would see fit to move the safety, the gun would be near perfect.

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Takedown of the Takedown

In terms of field-stripping, the 10/22 doesn’t really need that under normal conditions. You must keep the breech clean and the bolt lubed, of course, and the barrel should be cleaned regularly. That’s about it for normal maintenance. (If you are an expert on installing barrels and stocks on 10/22s then ignore what I just said. I’m talking to the casual shooter who shoots a box of ammo through his 10/22 once a month or so). Or, if you must take things apart, go to the owner’s manual link below and look at page 29.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown assembling halves

One advantage of a takedown rifle wasn’t immediately apparent but suggested itself to me after I shot the gun and had taken it apart…

Ruger 10/22 Takedown clean from breech

This access to the breech end of the barrel for cleaning means that the barrel might get cleaned more than once a blue moon. This is a good thing. As for what I’ve heard over the years about rimfire barrels not needing cleaning as often as centerfire tubes, I’m not so sure about that. Bullet lube and fouling are exactly that – lube and fouling and should be dealt with. You must also figure in powder residue. This rifle makes cleaning the barrel an easy task.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown both halves attached together

Field Strip?

So, opposite of taking the gun apart for field-stripping, we must put it together out of its case before shooting it. The gun is shipped disassembled in its short case – you must put it together before using it. It’s very simple.

First, make sure the bolt is locked back. Before you start plugging the barrel into the receiver, you need to understand that there is an adjustment that needs to be made the first time you put your new takedown together. It’s a one-time adjustment and it’s explained in the owner’s manual on page 17.

Insert the barrel into the receiver with the sights facing to the right. Insert the end of the barrel into the receiver and rotate it clockwise (when viewed from the front) until it clicks. That’s all.

To remove the barrel, slide the takedown lever in front of the magazine forward and rotate the barrel counterclockwise. Separate the two sections by pulling the barrel forward off the receiver. It takes longer to describe it than it takes to do it.

If you have questions, please see the above link to the owner’s manual and go to pages 16 – 18 for a detailed explanation. They’ve kept it simple, to be sure.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown forend bottom scaled

No doubt who made this rifle. Also, note the takedown latch above the magazine. Push it forward to remove the barrel.

Shooting the Takedown 10/22

Yesterday I put a couple of targets up at 25 yards and proceeded to shoot the rifle off my bench in 5-shot groups. I had looked at the rear sight’s elevation. The blade is adjustable, and it looked OK so I went ahead and shot. It was way off, as I soon found out. Rounds were going well over the target. So, I adapted – I affixed a lower aiming point and shot some more. I did not want to mess with trying to adjust the rear sight, as it would have taken a fair amount of both time and ammo – neither of which I have in great supply.

So, these targets are what I ended up with. I shot one of the targets with CCI 40-grain RN and one with the Federal version of that load. The results are obvious. Once I found an aiming point, the holes appeared on paper. They seem to be pretty close together – as a newbie shooter once asked me about holes close together, “that’s a good thing, right?”. Yessir, it sure is.

Shooting with CCI 40-grain RN

Ruger 10/22 Takedown Target CCI

Shooting with Federal 40-grain RN

Ruger Takedown 10/22 Federal 40-grain RN target

Let me be clear – the 10/22 has been one of the more accurate autoloading .22 rifles out there for over 50 years. With ammo in short supply, I’m not about to re-invent the wheel here by trying to prove just how accurate the 10/22 is, especially using the provided iron sights. My reason for shooting more than one target was to check zero and accuracy in terms of the removable barrel. Another factor that helps your takedown 10/22 keep its zero with a red dot or scope is that the sight is mounted on the receiver, not the barrel. This is sort of a given, but that hasn’t always been the case. Just remember that this shoots like every other accurate 10/22 out there so don’t be afraid of that aspect of the takedown question.

The Competition

I found three other .22 takedown-style rifles that I thought might be interesting for you to look at. The first two are considered survival guns.

Chiappa Little Badger

The Chiappa Little Badger is a skeleton-stocked single shot…

The Little Badger isn’t exactly a takedown, more of a folder, but it would suffice in the role of a rifle to carry with you in a survival role. It uses a 16.5” barrel and an “Adjustable M1 Military Style” rear sight with a matching front sight. Included are a backpack to tote it in and a threaded barrel. Not bad for an MSRP of $228.

Henry AR-7 .22 Rifle

Originally made by Armalite as a military survival weapon (I remember when the Air Force adopted it), the Henry AR-7 comes in three different “flavors”. The black one lists for $319 and has an 8-round magazine. Weighing 3.5 pounds and measuring 35” long, the gun breaks down into two sections – the barrel and the receiver/stock. The barrel fits into the stock, thereby making one very small package. Remove the buttpad and the barrel comes out. Uh-oh – I dropped my AR-7 out of the canoe! No worries, mate – if the barrel is inserted properly into the stock, the whole thing will float for a good while before it sinks. You also have the capability of carrying three magazines total in and on the gun. This represents a good value for its price.

Browning Semi-Auto .22, Grade I

With a 19 ⅜” barrel and a weight of 5 lbs, 3 oz., the Browning Semi-Auto 22, Grade I (SA22) might be a bit too fancy for some to take into rough country but the gun is up to the task. Made like a typical Browning – polished blued steel barrel, Grade I gloss black walnut stock, cut 20 lpi checkering, and 10-round capacity – this $740 takedown will certainly turn heads when you pull it out and put it together. Of course, all the “fancy” in the world doesn’t mean a thing if the gun won’t shoot, right? I mean, pretty is as pretty does? This thing will shoot. Other features include adjustable sights, a tubular magazine, and bottom ejection (finally!!). Other, fancier grades ranging in price up to $1700 are available should you desire one. Check out this Grade I rifle.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown Accessories

When we talk about accessories for a 10/22, we could literally write a book. From optics to triggers to scopes to stocks to… the assortment is practically endless. Without reinventing the wheel, let’s look at what fellow SniperCountry.com writer Beau has come up with. He looked at many 10/22 accessories for this website.

Here is a list of our related articles… each will show you the best range of products with a buying guide for each.

And, if you’re interested in an “abbreviated” 10/22, read my Ruger 22 Charger: More Handy Than A 10/22? reveiw.

As I said, there’s a wide world of accessories and aftermarket parts out there. Want your 10/22 to look like an M1 carbine? How about an AR-15? No problem. Need a replacement trigger? How about a flash hider for your threaded 10/22 barrel? Easily done. My personal 10/22 just wears (in addition to my camo paint job) a 3x9x40 scope and a sling. I prefer things simple, but if you don’t, you’re in luck with this takedown 10/22. One other accessory that we could examine for a takedown gun might be carry bags or backpacks – that’s something that you wouldn’t think about for a “regular” rifle.

Conclusion

The 10/22 surely needs no introduction or defense for that matter. The rifle has proven itself in its 57-year lifetime with millions of shooters attesting to its quality and usefulness. Add in the ability to carry it in a backpack, vehicle, boat, or canoe without it being in the way and you have a win-win situation. If you need an accurate, easily transported rifle with a proven track record, one of the Ruger 10/22 takedown models should pop to the head of your list. If you own a takedown 10/22, let’s hear from you. As always, stay safe but get out and shoot!

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Hi! I'm Mike, one of the oldest writer of Sniper Country! If you have any feedback or question about my articles, please submit it here, it's always appreciated!

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