Gun Test: Ruger 10/22 Takedown
By Brian Sheetz, American Hunter
With more than 5 million produced since 1964, Sturm, Ruger & Co.’s blowback-operated, semi-automatic 10/22 rimfire rifle is one of the world’s most successful commercial firearms. Reasons include its unfailing reliability, excellent accuracy and modest price. In addition, the 10/22’s basic design is adaptable: Barrels can be changed by simply removing two Allen-head screws—and there is a broad selection of aftermarket parts and magazines available, which has spawned innumerable configurations. But, until recently, a factory takedown version of the 10/22 was little more than a wish.
That wish is now a reality in the form of the 10/22 Takedown evaluated here—a synthetic and stainless carbine that separates into two major sections quickly and easily without tools. The new gun has 19 unique parts, including the receiver, which cannot be retrofitted to a non-takedown model.
Its two-piece carbine-style polymer stock features a curved, checkered butt and molded-in checkering on the pistol grip and fore-end. The 181/2-inch stainless steel barrel has a dovetail slot at its rear that mounts a fully adjustable folding leaf sight while an integral band-style boss near the muzzle mounts a blade topped with a brass bead. A silver-anodized aluminum scope rail that accepts both Weaver-style and 3/8-inch dovetail rings is included and mounts to the receiver with four slotted machine screws.
The Takedown accepts standard 10/22 magazines and comes with one flush-fitting 10-round rotary unit. Controls are the familiar crossbolt safety, an extended paddle-style polymer magazine release and a steel blade located between the two that locks and releases the bolt.
Also unique to the 10/22 Takedown is an included black nylon zippered carry bag with interior sleeves that accommodate the rifle’s sections along with two exterior pockets. The case’s size and shape allow for discreet transport of the rifle along with spare magazines, ammunition, tools and other supplies.
Separating the 10/22 Takedown’s sections is a simple matter of retracting the bolt and locking it back then pressing forward on the locking lever and simultaneously rotating that section 45 degrees toward the receiver/buttstock section’s left side. To remove play from the assembly, an adjusting knob on an insert in the receiver’s barrel channel moves a floating spacer that abuts the barrel’s shoulder forward and rearward. A spring-loaded detent provides audible and tactile confirmation of the knob’s position. When assembling the rifle, best results with regard to fit and accuracy came from backing off the adjusting knob, connecting the gun’s sections, running the adjusting knob and spacer forward against the barrel’s shoulder, then separating the sections and moving the knob two or three clicks farther forward. Once that setting is determined, it can be left alone for future assembly/disassembly of the rifle.
My initial concerns regarding the rifle’s accuracy potential—whether it would exhibit shifts in point of impact when the sections were separated and reattached and whether it would group as tightly as a non-takedown model—were quickly allayed after I followed the factory-recommended assembly procedure. Still, users must remember to follow the instruction sheet addendum in the owner’s manual, which advises that, following reassembly, the action be cycled manually a few times, with the bolt being allowed to fly forward unimpeded, to “seat” the barrel assembly before firing. Function-firing with a variety of loads produced no malfunctions. For accuracy testing, I mounted a Redfield Revolution 2X-7X-33mm Accu-Range riflescope in Weaver-style rings to the factory rail. I also shot the gun with its irons. Accuracy was surprisingly good, especially with the better grades of ammunition.
The 10/22 Takedown is quite literally a new twist on a proven firearm design. Campers, boaters and preppers will find its compactness quite appealing. For that matter anyone looking for an accurate, reliable and economical .22 rimfire rifle that also happens to break down quickly and easily will find that the 10/22
Takedown is hard to beat.
Type: blowback-operated semi-automatic rimfire rifle
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Receiver: aluminum investment casting
Barrel: 18½” stainless steel
Magazine: detachable, 10-round rotary
Sights: brass bead front; dovetailed, fully adjustable folding rear leaf
Trigger: 6-lb., 8-oz. pull
Stock: black injection-molded polymer
Overall Length: 37″ assembled; 20” receiver/buttstock section; 18½” barrel/fore-end section taken down
Weight: 4 lbs., 11 ozs.
Accessories: nylon carry bag, scope base, owner’s manual, lock
Source: NRA’s American Hunter magazine