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This gun is said to have been inspired by the old M-1 Carbine, though the styling seems to be more western in it's influence. Still, like the old M-1, we have a short, lightweight, handy little rifle, with a detachable magazine, and capable of rapid fire. This is one of the few 22 rifles designed for adults --- the vast majority being made as first guns for boys or youths. Though the 10/22 was not the first 22 semi to feature a detachable magazine, it was the first to design a high quality, well designed magazine. Most other 22 rifles feature tubular, built in magazines. The few which offered the detachable types, tended to feature cheap, stamped out mags of sheet metal, with simple clips or tabs holding them in place. This was perfectly fine, in a rifle designed to be a twelve year old boy's pride and joy; but for a grown man, used to shooting a high quality bolt, lever, or semi-auto rifle, it was a bit unseemly. Still, there were times when a grown man might wish to go out, and have a bit of fun, shooting at cans, paper targets, or whatever, and found his hunting rifle a bit too much gun, for such recreation. For such tasks, a 22 rifle is ideal; but who made a 22 rifle which was not designed like a toy? Well, eventually, Bill Ruger did. The fact that the 10/22 has become a favorite of younger shooters is beside the point. This is a grown up 22 rifle.
My particular gun has a 3-9x32mm scope mounted on it, which makes an already easy shooting gun ridiculously easy. At the 25 yard pistol range, I can get all of the bullets to go through one ragged hole, at 100 yards, with the scope, I can group into less than two inches, typical groups are about an inch and a half. With lower quality ammunition this drops down to about three inches, still plenty good enough. This is one of the few guns that I own that I can not reload for, so I am pretty much at the mercy of the ammunition manufacturers. The cheap stuff shoots larger groups, and the good stuff, at $3 a box costs as much as what I can load .45 autos for, and a bit more than what it cost's me to load .38 Specials. This gun is the ideal plinker, accompanied by a nice .22 pistol, and a case of .22LR ammunition, this makes a great recreational shooting set. As I have several .22 pistols, this can be considered a part of one of my pistol/carbine combos.
The ultimate reward, and recognition, of the quality and usability of the 10/22 is that it is one of the few 22 rifles to be banned, in some places, as an assault weapon. The Ruger qualifies, under several provisions of various state statutes, as an assault weapon, because of it's semi auto method of operation, compact size, and light weight, and the fact that it can take a detachable magazine. The standard magazine is a flush fitting ten round rotary type; but external mags of up to fifty rounds are available. In my own case, I picked up a brace of four, 30 round magazines, which are curved to kind of look like old style M-1 Carbine bananna clip magazines. They can even be snapped together, jungle clip, style, to offer faster magazine change.