Firearm Accessories - Fun Stuff for the Ruger 10 22
The .22LR is quite possibly the most popular cartridge in the United States and Ruger's 10/22 carbine is arguably one of the most popular firearms in that caliber. In fact, Ruger claims that it is "America's favorite .22LR rifle." One of the reasons for this is the adaptability of the design. Offered in several configurations by the manufacturer, it can be altered, adapted, added on to, and otherwise "accessorized" more than almost any other .22LR firearm on the market. Let’s take a look at some of the more ‘entertaining’ options.
Let's keep the lawyers happy.
Always check to make sure any given firearm or accessory is legal to own/use in your area. I know, I know. That kinda puts a damper on the 'fun' right from the get-go for some. But, how much 'fun' are you going to have if you get caught knowingly or unknowingly owning/using an 'illegal in your locale' firearm or accessory?
There is no way to cover every local, state, or federal ordinance permutation in this Guide. My intention is to simply make you aware that accessories exist. It is up to the individual consumer to determine the legality and suitability for their area. It's always been expressed as a simple equation; i.e., if you can't do the time, don't do the crime.
When it says "can't do the time," the expression not only refers to 'jail time,' but to the time spent making sure a part, configuration, or accessory is legal where you live. For instance, some areas ban magazines with greater than 10 round capacity. Others don't allow folding stocks. The list goes on. Just bear in mind that State law doesn't always trump local ordinance/enforcement and whatever your personal feelings are regarding Second Amendment rights, those don't trump a law enforcement officers', local D.A.'s, State Attorney General's or judge's interpretation of the law without considerable inconvenience, effort, and expense on your part.
Now that we've made that clear...
Everyone has their own definition of "fun." When it comes to plinking and target shooting with a .22LR, it doesn't have to be more complicated than the rifle, a box of ammo, and something to shoot - be it an 'official' target, a soda can, pine cone, plastic bottle, bottle caps, burnt-out light bulbs, etc. - for most of us to have 'fun.' But, for many, it's not so much the act of shooting as it is the way they shoot.
This is where accessories come into play. Maybe it's a different, better-for-your-eyes, or 'tacticool' set of sights. Maybe it's a bull barrel with a scope capable of 24X or 36X magnification. It could be a 'Gatling Gun' conversion tickles your 'fun' nerve or just the ability to burn through 50 or 100 rounds without changing magazines. For some, it's the ability to practice 'tactical' or 'practical' scenarios without the expense of centerfire ammunition.
Bottom line, "fun" in the context of this Guide is found in accessories which alter, sometimes substantially, the variations available from the 'factory.' The motiviation can be as simple as making the weapon length smaller (such as with a folding stock) so that it can more easily fit in/on a vehicle; thus, making it more readily available for use. The rationale can be as sophisticated as trying to wring the most technical potential out of the basic design as possible.
There's been a recent spate of "assualt rifle clones" in .22LR hitting the market; e.g., GSG-5, SIG 522, M&P 15-22, G22, et al. However, it has long been possible to give the Ruger 10/22 a 'tactical' feel. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that the various conversions available over the years for the 10/22 and the popularity thereof are what led, at least in substantial part, to the marketing of these new firearms. Yes, there is a certain "cool" factor in the "military-esque" ergonomics of the 'clones;' but, the niche itself has long been one where the Ruger has dominated due to its ready adaptability to such configuration.
Pistol Grip Stocks
For years, the 'simple' way to convert the 10/22 into a 'tactical rifle' was to seat it in a folding or non-folding, synthetic, pistol grip stock. Two companies which have been producing such stocks for the 10/22 for a long time are Choate and Ram-Line. (I know the two Ram-Line stocks look the same at first glance, but there is a difference in that the folding version has a release/lock, see arrow.)
Choate Pistol Grip Stock, non-folding
Choate Pistol Grip Stock, folding
Ram-Line Pistol Grip Stock, non-folding
Ram-Line Pistol Grip Stock, folding
Naturally, there are also a plethora of other manufacturers with various offerings such as Butler Creek, Tapco, ATI, and Blackhawk.
Butler Creek, folding stock
Tapco Standard Stock System
ATI Ultimate Professional Stock
Blackhawk Axiom RF
These newer, .22LR "assault weapon clones" tend to come with a pretty hefty MSRP. For instance, the SIG 522 and M&P 15-22 can run between $500 - $700 depending on the configuration. There's also the fact that, as with many 'new' firearms, there have proven to be some 'teething problems' and 'pecularities' consumers are still discovering.
On the flip side, a Ruger 10/22 can still be had for just over $200 brand new. The rifle has been around since 1964 and has long been a proven design. With the folding stocks running between $70 - $150, those were certainly economical options by comparison. Even with the higher cost of the full-on conversion kits, which start around $160 and climb to around $500, one can still start with the basic rifle and configure it the way they wish for around the same price as one of the newer, 'tactical' rifles. Even more significantly, the basic, functional components are from a design which has been continuously on the market for almost 50 years; with all that implies when it comes to parts availability, knowledge regarding function, etc.
A few of the more sophisticated (and potentially expensive) conversion kits available come from Nordic Components, Muzzelite (though technically listed as a 'stock' rather than a 'kit,' it's more of a conversion than a simple stock replacement), and ProMag...
Nordic Components AR22 Conversion Kit
Muzzelite Bullpup Stock
Gatling Gun Conversion Kit
Though not exactly what many think of in terms of an "assault weapon clone," the Gatling Gun conversion kit takes two Ruger 10/22's and allows you to mate them so they can be fired using a crank. This is more of a 'bench' gun than a 'carbine' or similar. Still, it can be a 'fun' conversion.
Speaking of 'historical' conversions that are also 'fun,' one of the newest players in the 10/22 conversion kit game brings back the feel of Elliot Ness and Sergeant Saunders. (Those are references to Robert Stack and Vic Morrow in The Untouchables and Combat! for those of you under a certain age.)
SCOTTWERX offers two conversion kits that allow you to make your 10/22 look like a Thompson submachine gun or "Tommy Gun." A local shop happens to have both in stock and while I'm not personally rushing down to buy either, I can say that they do handle well in the store. (Why not? Because I'm currently having too much 'fun' myself with a certain bolt action .22LR I'm experimenting with for hunting squirrels.)
SCOTTWERX Chicago-Style Conversion
SCOTTWERX Squad Leader Conversion
Ruger 10/22's come standard with a 10 rd. magazine and, once again, that is all that may be legal to own/use in certain regions. However, for those who wish to 'properly' complement the concept of an 'assault rifle' or simply don't wish to have to continually swap magazines or want more capacity for plinking, there exist a number of options.
For instance, Shooters Ridge and ProMag offer a 25-round magazine, as does Butler Creek in both their "Hot Lips" and "Steel Lips" versions.
Shooters Ridge 25-round magazine
Butler Creek Hot Lips 25-round magazine
Butler Creek Steel Lips 25-round magazine
ProMag 25-round magazine
ProMag 50 rd. Drum Magazine
Of course, ProMag also offers a 50-round drum magazine for the 10/22 that would go nicely with the SCOTTWERX conversion kits.
For those of you who were "into" the 10/22 a generation ago and remember the 50-round, 'teardrop' magazines, MWG Company offers a reincarnation.
Ram-Line also offers 25, 30, and 50 round 'banana clip' magazines.
Then again, if all that 'plastic' doesn't fit your pistol, Tactical Innovations, Inc. of Idaho offers an aluminum-bodied, steel lip, 25-round magazine in a variety of fashionable colors; including matte black, aluminum (silver), satin black, satin blue, satin purple, satin green, satin red, and satin gold.
MWG Company 50-round magazine
Ram-Line 50-round magazine
Tactical Innovations, Inc. 25-round magazine
If your definition of 'fun' is based in precision shooting, that would require a whole different Guide which addresses optics, parts, bipods, barrels, thumbhole stocks, etc.; with a seemingly endless variety of 'custom' options available. Likewise, there were a number of 'fun' items, from folding stocks to high-capacity magazines to some that are better forgotten, which have long since been discontinued; but, can sometimes be found at gun shows or online auctions that would form a book unto themselves. (Remember, the firearm was originally introduced to the market in 1964 and a considerable number of ‘solutions’ to real or imagined ‘problems’ have been proffered since.)
Alangator LLC Trimag
I mean, we haven't even touched on accessories such as the Alangator LLC "Trimag." This little gizmo allows you to link 3 factory, 10-rd. magazines together. The company even offers a magazine pouch which allows you to carry the 3 linked magazines together. (An interesting alternative for those who live in areas where "high-capacity" magazines are considered illegal.)
The point is that while there's nothing wrong or even 'boring' about having a fairly stock Ruger 10/22 for general plinking, the design lends itself well to customization and manufacturers as well as the market have responded accordingly. While I wouldn't necessarily 'alter' my only 10/22, given their retail price and ready availability, it wouldn't take much of a commitment to pick up a second one and experiment a bit. After all, there can be a whole lot of 'fun' in experimentation for its own sake.
Joined:Oct 9, 2004
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