Saturday, January 3, 2009

Building a Custom Ruger 10/22: PART 3 of 4 - Putting it Together (Lots of Photos)

Putting the Parts Together
(This is one of the most thorough "Build Your Own" 10/22 tutorials on the web)

(Click on most of the photos for a larger view)

First off I had to get the goods in hand. I received the KID delivery first. Note to you: read the instructions before playing with your new toys. I know. So unmanly. But some times it’s a good rule.

All of the parts are just something you can take out of the packaging and admire. But the trigger works out of the box. It’s adjustable, right? Yes. You can do things with it…… like pulling the trigger, right? Yes. But…. maybe if you read the instructions that came with the trigger, you’d know that they highly discourage pulling the trigger without being mated to all the gun parts. Why? They say it could damage the hammer by not having a bolt to hit. Good to know after pulling the trigger twice. “Oh crap! Did I just mess up my expensive trigger group???” Another note to you: when you DO read the instructions and decide to put you finger where the bolt would be (you know… to NOT mess up you trigger hammer), it’s gonna hurt…. so do it 3-4 times. Not that I would do that, of course.

So what can I do with my new toys while I wait on the others to arrive? Well, lay them out on the table and admire them. Oh, admiration be your KID parts.

I couldn’t help thinking that the barrel looked so short. Well, it was a 16.5” barrel. It’s a nice and study looking (short) barrel though.

So why not wait until the whole gun is put together to mess with the trigger adjustments? Because I can even now. I messed around with the two trigger stage setting screws. I also noticed, of course after reading the instructions (Dooh!), that I could also adjust the trigger position forward or back. Nice to know it’s possible to tweak that based on hand size and finger length. But, be warned when you adjust the trigger position back and do not adjust the two stage trigger adjustments. All of the sudden, the trigger wouldn’t go for anything (of course with a finger taking a pounding if it worked). I was thinking I had indeed screwed up the trigger like the instructions warned. But it turned out that I had just tighted up the trigger pull when I moved the trigger away from the safty switch. I adjusted it back and all was good. My finger still hurt though. But I was relieved.

Scalloped edging. Just for bling. The KID site has a better pic than mine but you get the idea; $10 but a nice touch.

The FFL process slowed the building process way down. Shooters Discount was nice enough to send the non-receiver goods to me though. So one day I knew via UPS tracking that I was getting the stock and bolt handle. I left work early, got home just in time to receive the package. Shortly after, I was surprised by the FedEx guy with my scope. That was a nice day. Two+ weeks after my original order, I was able to get my receiver via FFL. I went straight to pick up some rings and head home to start building. Of course, I took the afternoon off work to get going.

First things first. Unpack all the goods and lay them out. This pic shows you everything you need to build a 10/22. Well, except for forgetting to put the magazine in the picture.

Just another layout pic of the heart of the gun.

Now part of my process in building was to see how things fit first. Sure, first time to do something like this. And, of course, this is fun stuff. Was I really going to get this built in time to get to the range? Take your time and get it right. Have a question, google it before you mess something up. So let’s see how the receiver fits in the stock.

Small gaps around. I couldn’t tell if that was good or bad. But it fit and I really couldn’t expect a perfect fit. So now I wanted to check out the receiver parts. Before buying all of this stuff, I had read online about someone having an issue with their receiver when mounting the barrel with the V-block. The suggestion was to alternate tightening the V-block receiver screws a bit at a time. This avoids over tightening one side and causing a slight bend of the barrel to the right or left.

After putting the barrel in the receiver and putting the V-block on, I could notice that slightly twisting the barrel would change how the V-block sat (or fit) the receiver.

What I did was to put my thumb over the receiver pin hole and along the line between the receiver and V-block. As I twisted the barrel, I’d run my thumb over that line to make sure the two parts were flat across the top. To add to this, I had the receiver screws mostly tightened but not all the way. Do visual and feel checks. And don’t skip loosening and tightening the screws to get it right. For the little I know, getting this part right helps you avoid feed issues down the road.

To check to see if my ring size was the right size, I put the barrel/receiver into the stock. I mounted the lower part of the ring. Then I put the scope onto the lower rings to check the clearance from the scope to the barrel.

What I had been told was that having your pinky fit between the scope and barrel was a good distance. Being the engineering/computer/math nerd, I drew out a scematic of height/widths of parts based on the info I could get from vendor/company sites. There just seemed to be many ring height options and I didn’t want to play trial and error. I geeked out and decided on a .25” ring height (the space from where the ring base touched the scope mount to the part of the ring mount where the lowest part of the scope touches the ring mount). And this worked out well enough. My pinky wouldn’t fit but this pic shows a KID bolt buffer spaced between the scope and barrel.

Putting the KID receiver pins in was a step that had me concerned going into this build. A couple posts on RimFireCentral stated that the countersink work was done by hand. The KID site noted RPM info if using a drill press. DO IT BY HAND PEOPLE. It works and you can (and should) do it little bit by bit. The pic below one pin in while I’m working on the second one. The aluminum receiver is soft enough to do the countersink work by hand. And just like the barrel and V-block screws, do a little bit on each side. Just alternate and test the pins until you have the screws going in far enough to clear the receiver into the stock. Fears overcome? Check!

What I didn’t know when buying the Volquartsen receiver was that it came with a bolt buffer. It’s the clear, hard rubber one shown. The KID bolt buffer is the black one with a pin in the middle.

A quirky thing with the KID bolt buffer was that the pin would slide out. So their receiver pin solution resolves the issue of standard receiver pins slipping out when removing the barreled action from the stock. But their bolt buffer pin slides out. I don’t get it. SOLUTION: I took some of my wife’s hair spray, sprayed it on the pin and slid the pin into the rubber buffer. A few seconds and the pin wasn’t sliding any more. Small issue overcome? Check!

I was unsure if having different brands for the bolt and bolt

handle would make any difference. There was a little wiggle room. Here you see them apart and together.

Now putting the bolt/handle into the receiver turned out to be a bit of a chore. You have to put the handle though the side receiver slot first. But then you find that the bolt doesn’t just drop in. I had read about others having grief during this step as well. I found it hard to deal with three parts with two hands. After a few tries, I sought a work around. I used a Spin Doctor hex wrench (used on my road bike), poked through the barrel hole, to push the bolt handle down which allowed the bolt to drop in without a problem. Another issue resolved? Check!

Here are a few pics after the bolt/handle were in place.

So now I reattach the barrel/V-block back on the receiver, attach the trigger group onto the receiver and put the barreled action into the stock. BAM!!! I’m in business now.

This shows the fit in the stock looking from the bottom of the trigger/magazine. The magazine went in and out without issue.

Now I just needed to put the scope on and I’d be done. I did find myself wondering how I would keep the gun steady while putting the scope on. Small head pillows to the rescue. Soft and wouldn’t scratch the stock.

The rings and scope go on and I have a finished 10/22. Day light is gone and I’m not getting out to the range at this point. What do I do? I call Kennard and tell him I’m headed over.

Change anything looking back? Once over at Kennard’s house, he put some lube in the bolt chamber. It helped after pulling the handle many times. After I got back home, I took it apart to give the barrel an initial cleaning and oiled the bolt chamber. It’s not a bad oversight. It’s good practice to take things apart and put back together. Now I’ve got to shoot this thing.
Next Step: Shooting