BUILD A CUSTOM 10/22® STEP BY STEP
Table of Contents
- Things to Consider
- Making a Decision
- The Receiver
- The Bolt
- The Barrel
- The Trigger
- The Stock
- Putting it Together
- The Magazine
- Sights and Optics
- Serial Numbers
I purchased my first 10/22® carbine in 1973. I have owned many 22-caliber rifles over the years but I am still fascinated by the 10/22®. The continued interests of this rifle lead me to create this book.
Your interest in building a custom 10/22® type rifle will have two outcomes. First, you will have the immense satisfaction of building your own rifle. You can tell your friends and family you did yourself. Second, you will get goosebumps when you take it out to the range and see the results of your efforts. The personal satisfaction is priceless.
Building a custom 10/22® type rifle is not rocket science, but it does require some knowledge to build a reliable and accurate rifle. Due to the 10/22®’s design, it is possible to build a rifle without special skills or specialized tools. This book will cover the information needed to get you started. The 10/22® has the reputation of being a tough dependable rifle. Without a doubt, it is the most customizable .22 LR rifle on the planet. Ruger® introduced their first 10/22® carbine rifle in 1964 and at the time sold for a whopping $54.50.
The intent of this book is to provide you with information and instructions on how to build, upgrade, or customize a 10/22® type rifle. To clarify, I say type because you can build a complete rifle with aftermarket components. It may look and function like a Ruger® 10/22® but it is not. I have dedicated a chapter to each of the components needed to build a rifle. The step-by step approach is simple and informative. It is impossible to list or talk about all the aftermarkets accessories there are just too many. I decided to mention the ones I have used and the ones that are popular with many 10/22® builders. If you are handy with your hands and have a few basic tools, you can build your very own rifle.
Many people have picked up building 10/22® rifles as a hobby. Consider yourself warned because building your personal custom rifle can get addictive and expensive. Once you build one, you will most likely build one or two more. It is funny the things we consider expensive. As a rule, everything in life is relative. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. What is expensive for someone is cheap to someone else and vice versa. In the end let your budge guide you.
If you are a 10/22® aficionado consider joining the following two forums.
Things to Consider
In the 70s and 80s, my first builds were Frankenstein carbines. I bought abused rifles, spare parts, stocks, and barrels to build rifles. Back then there was no online shopping. Gun shops and pawnshops are where I bought the used 10/22®s and parts. If you have never built a 10/22®, you can build an inexpensive Franken-build with used spare parts as I did. I learned a lot with my first builds.
Before, you build your rifle, think about what you want to accomplish. You can build a Charger (pistol), a Takedown model, or a traditional rifle. The three major categories are the following.
- Target Shooting
Besides these three categories, there are also a few subcategories in each one. There are people that have built rifles by buying used, take-off parts. There is a classified section at www.rimfirecental.com where people sell everything you need to put a rifle together. With a little patience, you can eventually find all the components you need to put a rifle together from the forum members.
What is plinking? Generally, it means a rifle used for causal shooting, like spending an afternoon at the farm shooting cans, clay pigeons, or whatever. Normally any rifle can be used for plinking. Some people also call it a truck gun. A rifle kept in the truck in case a rabbit or squirrel attacks you. You can build your very own personal dedicated plinking rifle. You don’t need anything fancy for plinking or for a truck gun. In fact, the plain stock Ruger® 10/22® will do just fine. For a plinking rifle, you don’t need optics, an expensive stock, or an aftermarket barrel.
I considered my first Franken-build rifles “custom plinkers.” These rifles were put together with parts from rifles spanning ten or more years.
A hunting rifle is a few notches up from a plinking rifle. The .22 LR is a good critter caliber. I have never shot a rabbit or squirrel beyond 50-yards. In fact, 45-yards have been my extreme long-range shots. I have shot rabbits and squirrel as close as 7-yards. The shooting distance depends on the terrain and vegetation where you live, but most likely you will not be shooting rabbits or squirrels beyond 40-yards.
These days many people like using red dot optics for critter hunting. A red dot optic or a 4x scope is more than adequate for the task; and, the factory barrel is plenty accurate for hunting. You can build a cool-looking dedicated lightweight rabbit slayer.
A target rifle can mean two things. Target rifles fall into two categories, standard/traditional or a dedicated bench rest rifle. They are very different. A standard/traditional target rifle can be an ultimate looking or tactical style. A dedicated bench rest rifle is a whole new type of rifle. They are heavy, bulky, and have long heavy barrels. Bench rifles are not something you walk around the woods with or keep in your truck. This book will not talk much about dedicated bench rifles, but there will be some things mentioned in case you have an interest.
If you want a target rifle that will produce small groups at 50-yards, you will have to spend some money. To get those tiny groups, you will have to buy a target grade barrel, a better trigger, high-powered optics, and a better stock.
We are all different and we all have a different set of priorities in our lives. As I said earlier, what is expensive for someone is a bargain to someone else. This chart lists all the components you will need for your custom 10/22® type rifle. This will give you an idea of the cost of your dream rifle. Keep in mind that the following example is not a high-end build. I will discuss the individual components throughout the book about their cost.
For example, the receiver: if you already have a factory Ruger® receiver, you are a few dollars ahead. New aftermarket receivers start at $80 and go on up to $545. The stock can also get pricey depending on what you want. A rifle stock can set you back anywhere from $75 up to $695. The trigger is another category that can add up quickly. A complete new trigger group can start at $49 and go all the way up to $375.
|Itemized Build Components|
|Barrel block||16.00||Gunsmith Barrel Block|
|Receiver pins||9.00||Kidd receiver pins|
|Receiver buffer||6.00||Kidd bolt buffer|
|Bolt||OEM Bolt Assembly||0|
|Aftermarket Bolt Assembly||89.00||JWH Bolt assembly|
|Bolt Charging Handle||34.00||Kidd Charging Handle w/spring/rod|
|Trigger||Factory trigger assembly||49.00||factory trigger group|
|Aftermarket trigger assembly||0|
|Trigger kit||59.00||Power Custom hammer sear kit|
|Extended Magazine Release||19.00||Crossfire magazine release|
|Barrel||Barrel||212.00||Whistle Pig 20 inch lightweight bull barrel|
|Custom stock||84.00||BLACKHAWK Knoxx Stock|
|Stock accessories||11.00||New swivel stud|
|Sights/Optics||Scope/Red dot||220.00||Vortex Crossfire II 6-18x44mm AO|
|Scope rings||17.00||Weaver Quad Lock High Rings|
|Accessories||Bipod||50.00||BLACKHAWK Pivot Bipod|
|Sling||16.00||Allen nylon sling|
|Case||29.95||Allen short AR tactical case|
|Magazines 4 each||60.00||Ruger BX-1 Magazines|
I use this rifle for critter hunting and target shooting. It is a lightweight rifle and handles well. When critter hunting, I set the scope to 6x power; but when target shooting, I set it to 18x. This is too nice a rifle for a truck gun.