Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ruger 10/22-TD Take-Down Rifle Review

Ruger 10/22-TD Take-Down Rifle Review

For many, the Ruger 10/22 is the epitome of .22 semi-auto rifle perfection.  It works flawlessly with both cheap and expensive ammo, is inexpensive, it is phenomenally reliable, easy to shoot, fun to upgrade, and accurate right out of the box. What could make it better? A take-down packable Ruger 10/22-TD version of course.

FIT, FINISH, & FEEL
The Ruger remains a top value in the market, however because of a few gripes this is actually my second draft of the review.  On the first draft, I found myself generally sprialing down a darker review obsessed and and a little pissed off that Ruger seems to be recreating the famed Ruger 10/22 in polymer... I was thinking enough already. First the trigger frame assembly, then the magazine release, the trigger itself, and now the barrel band is also polymer on some models.  

Then the reality of polymer set in. The Ruger 10/22-TD shoots wonderfully, is lighter, the polymer is tighter and more precise than the original aluminum designs, has proven to be more durable in Ruger's tests, and use of that polymer probably reduced the price by about $50. This is not a showpiece but a working gun with proven polymer materials, so I decided to stop the whining.  
In reality the polymer trigger is about 200% better than my vintage 10/22 ever was and the fit of the rest of the polymer trigger group does not allow what I term as self-disassembly; which is a state when all the pins fall out every time the action is removed from the stock. The polymer will not show scratches like my old aluminum trigger group has, so a polymer version is not a horrible thing after all.
There is one issue which I will raise my hand on and ask “what was Ruger thinking?” The 18.5” barrel is the standard barrel length, however on a rifle whose sole purpose is to be as compact and stowable as possible, why oh why did they put a 18.5” barrel on the Ruger 10/22-TD take-down model vs a 16.1” barrel?   A minimum length 16.1” barrel would fit the purpose far better than the 18.5” barrel, shave 2.5” from the overall length and .5lb from the overall weight. 
After all Ruger already has a 16.12” barrel in their Compact model.  The 18.5” barrel will not conceal completely in most 3-day packs.  That said, I bought the rifle anyway and will either run it down to my local gunsmith for a chop and thread or will wait for someone to introduce a lightweight aftermarket 16” barrel.  I have already seen one innovative person post pictures of a cropped 16.1” threaded barrel and a folding receiver stock.

Those issues noted, the Ruger 10/22-TD is a very well thought out design which feels just as solid and well finished once assembled as any standard Ruger 10/22 Carbine.  It shoulders, weights, and shoots for hours-on-end the same as any Ruger 10/22, except this model can be quickly broken down into a compact package is less than a second.

FEATURES
The Ruger 10/22-TD Take-Down model is in essence an exact duplicate take-down version of the top selling Ruger 10/22 Stainless Carbine model.  The only distinctive features being that It can be disassembled quickly and easily and that it comes with a very nice quality case/pack.

For those survival types, the pack provides ample room for a light get home bag, the receiver section is stored in one side with plenty of room left even if a standard sized scope is attached.  The barrel section is stowed in one of the two slots (yes expect other barrel options - my bet is a .17 Rimfire barrel).  Standard MOLLE straps also adorn the front of the lower pockets for added flexibility.  The front pockets of the pack provide plenty of room for ammo, magazines, pistol, and/or other necessities.  The pack is set up to function as a single sling pack with four d-rings on the back of the pack and one of the front for a lot of flexibility in strap placement. With an extra strap the pack could be easily converted to a backpack. Personally the grab handle seemed to be the most used carry method for me as the 10/22-TD moved in and out of my truck.  

As the entire design of the rifle and pack from a marketing perspective screams “prepper”, I would have preferred Ruger go with a hook and loop Velcro patch field for their logo, versus the giant bight freaking red “hey over here I am carrying a Ruger firearm” logo on the bag, which could certainly draw unwanted attention to yourself in the wrong environment or even if legally carrying the rifle while camping or hiking.  Then again subtlety has not been in Ruger’s vocabulary. My case’s giant Ruger logo will most likely have a field of velcro sewn across it instead.

Ruger has constructed some panels in the case with closed cell foam and does claim the case will float with the rifle in it for a short time.  I will take their word for it. The case is well thought out, opens up in a clam shell style, and seems to be around 650 cu/in of space which allows for the creation of a nice little survival pack and has lockable dual zippers.

All the other standard 10/22 features are there as found on the Ruger 10/22 Stainless Carbine model including synthetic carbine stock, included scope base, folding rear leaf sight, front brass bead sight, 10-shot rotary magazine, and extended magazine release. Ruger has also included an action locking collar for use with the included Ruger lock.

The 10/22-TD receiver is a different part than your standard receiver.  The manual notes that the receiver and take-down insert must be factory installed and from what I can tell may be a factory threaded insert as I cannot find any retaining screws to hold in the insert. The rest of the receiver looks very similar with the exception of the take-down clamp bolted on where the v-block would normally reside. The barrel also has a few extra notches and do-dads which form the barrel mounted locking lever and the barrel mounted forend.  


FUNCTIONS
The coupler system is brilliantly simple, secure and should be nearly infallible long-term.  To break the rifle down, all that is required it to clear the 10/22-TD of any ammo, pull back the bolt about ¼”, pull back on the barrel release, and twist the barrel 45 degrees counterclockwise.  
Ruger recommends locking the bolt back during assembly and disassembly, however all that is required is to pull the bolt back a little only to break down the 10/22-TD.  Assembly requires no attention to the bolt what-so-ever.  In fact I even tested leaving a loaded magazine in the receiver and just twisting on the barrel, cycle the action and shooting. Probably not the best on the extractor long-term, but worked just fine throughout testing.  If I was carrying this in a pack you can bet your backside, I would be carrying it in this manner to bring the rifle into service quickly.

From the factory the coupler is pre-set with the proper barrel tension, however if desired the couple can be tightened or loosened as required for optimal fit as wear occurs.  The instructions note that you should abruptly cycle the action by hand a couple times after assembly to seat the barrel and prevent first round fliers. Using this method, the 10/22-TD delivered consistent 25 yard zero’ed groups even when disassembled and reassembled between groups.

Generally take-down models can be picky and can loosen over time, however I experienced neither of these issues.  The Ruger 10/22-TD feed and fired everything just like a good 10/22 should.  Although the Ruger Take-Down adjustment can be tightened to accommodate for wear over time and I must have taken it apart and reassembled it a couple hundred times in the process of the review, I have yet to see a reason to tinker with the factory tension setting.
ACCURACY
The 10/22-TD was definitely more accurate than my vintage 10/22 was and it arrived perfectly zero'ed at 25 yards.  It should be noted that the Ruger 10/22-TD has shown to have quite excellent accuracy for people and my testing was no exception.  In fact most information points to the fact that the TD model exceeds the standard capabilities of the standard carbine versions in most cases.  Looking at the 10/22-TD model you cannot help but notice that the barrel is in effect a modified free floated barrel. Whatever the reason, this take-down rifle was significantly more accurate than the 1” groups I have been used to from a standard 10/22.

As I recall, with a 1.5-5X scope my best rested 25 yard groups were just over 1”, however with the 10/22-TD I managed a standing 10 shot 1” group with the stock iron sights and from the bench pulled that into a .65” group with CCI Mini-Mags.  As it seems every Ruger 10/22 does, CCI  Mini-Mags were the clear performance winner for non-match ammo.  Scoped with a Nikon P-22 2-7X scope, the 10/22-TD stunned me with a couple .3” 5-shot groups at 25 yards with CCI Mini-Mags.  On the 50 yards line with the P-22 2-7 Nikon Scope, I was able to produce more than a few .75” groups with the Mini-Mags and one .5” group. The 10/22-TD is an excellent general purpose .22LR, survival rifle, a very fine plinker and definitely the most accurate take down rifle I have tested.
FINAL THOUGHTS
The 10/22-TD is a great little take down rifle for around $350 on the street. 


My wish list would be replacing the logo with velcro and a Ruger patch, the barrel should be a chopped 16.1” version preferably threaded, and it would be quite handy if the buttstock could have been hollow for storage or set up to hold 2 extra 10-round magazines.

These points the Ruger 10/22-TD is a winner of a gun even without an aftermarket barrel swap.  

In my opinion, the Ruger 10/22-TD is the best factory take-down .22 survival rifle available. The take-down action is innovative, rugged, fast, simple, light, reliable and even provides the ability to tighten any slop as wear occurs.  The 10/22-TD’s case also had a fair amount of thought put into it as well. . Great job Ruger, now get busy on that 16.1” barreled version that will fit in my 3-day pack.

SPECS RUGER 10/22-TD


Catalog Number: K10/22-TD
Model Number: 11100
Caliber: .22 LR
Stock: Black Synthetic
Finish: Clear Matte
Rear Sight: Adjustable
Front Sight: Gold Bead
Barrel Length: 18.50"
Overall Length: 37.00"
Material: Stainless Steel
Length of Pull: 13.50"
Weight: 4.67 lbs.
Capacity: 10
Grooves: 6
Twist: 1:16" RH
Backpack-Style Bag Included
MSRP: $389
Street: $350

SOURCES
Ruger Firearms
http://www.ruger.com

2 comments:

diver2M said...

Interesting and informative, have been trying to have a shorter accuracy barrel made and the story goes that Ruger has let leak a shorter full free floated barrel is coming around November. Hmm a show?, well caliber is in the air, stock change etc. So all the shops are hanging on Ruger's move.

Christopher R. Britt said...

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