Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Building a Custom Ruger 10/22: PART 4 of 4 - Shooting it!

Kennard’s Comments:
I’d like to thank Bruce for his in-depth, step-by-step article on building your own Ruger 10/22. I know people that talk about doing it but don’t know where to begin. Well, this is a good place. 

Folks, this rifle looks and shoots like a dream. The trigger is a finger-breaking 2 lbs. The scope has a wide zoom range and an adjustable parallax. I bought an off the rack, Walnut Ruger 10/22 and next to Bruce’s custom 10/22, mine feels like...well, a Lexus and mine feels like a 1979 AMC Pacer. We will have a side-by-side comparison soon. 

Well, some have noted that this 4 part series has taken a bit to finish and it has.  Right before the cold weekends started to hit on a regular basis, Kennard and I did manage to get out to the range and shoot the 10/22.  Being new at the gun thing, I couldn’t be expected to prove much for how good (or not) the gun was.
While shooting, Kennard got the scope dialed in for me.  If I recall, we didn’t have to deal with wind that day.  We started at 50 yards and then moved it out to the 100 yard distance.  We were shooting Federal brand, the 550 count .22 LR box for $14.  Kennard shot a nice group and followed it up with an even better group.  Then another nice group.  Then he told me that the last two groups were using the Federal target ammo (325 count for $14).  Quite a difference that made.
Kennard did pull off a bench rest 1-inch 10-shot group.  We were using the Caldwell Green/Black rest bags.  Now what I can’t recall was whether or not that was a group at 100 or 50 yrds.  As much as I’d like to show you what was done and more details on that day, we both needed to be somewhere so we packed up and left and forgot to bring the target stand back in.  And, of course, we didn’t take pictures of the target were discussing here.  Sorry all.
About a week later, during a cold afternoon, I met Kennard and a few others at the range.  I shot some with the 10/22 at the plinking range.  Once I figured out what range we had dialed the scope into, I started popping spent 22 gauge cases on a ridge @ 75 yards.  Maybe that’s no big deal to experienced shooters but it sure seemed cool to me.  I also shot a couple golf balls off that ridge.  I followed that up by shooting some spent clay targets up against the far 100 yard hill.  I was consistently shooting broken parts and blowing them into even smaller pieces and had a great time.
So here we are some weeks later and we get a weekend day that was going to be above 45 and not too windy.  Kennard wasn’t feeling great but I decided I’d see what I could do to finish up this series even though I’m new at this and can’t pull off much amazement at this point.  The temp even got up to 60 right before plunging back down the next day for some scattered snow.  But I’ll take it.
Crazy me, I started out at 100 yards.  I was all over the place (about a 3-4” radius).  The scope didn’t seem to be dialed in.  The target ammo didn’t seem to make a difference and it was a bit windy.  So what could I prove?  I shot some targets I had up and eventually took a couple shots at the Caldwell Orange Peel target.  Note the two shots on the pic provided here.  And I was only shooting the Federal Target ammo from here out.
After those two shots, I moved the target up to 50 yards in hopes of having something that could be called a group and not look like buck shot.  In the accompanying photo, Group 1 shows a few shots after I hit a few good ones on another target.  Then I moved over to Group 2.  I started feeling better.  Then Group 3.  Holy smoke! That was me???  The one shot out of the group was the third one.  Stupid third bullet going off and messing up a nice group.  But wow!  Group 4 was so sweet until the 10th shot which decided not to be a “me to” bullet and went out on it’s own at 10 O’clock.  Group 5 told me the joy might be over and that it was time to quit for the day.
I then went over to the plinking range to shoot my XD9 with my new LaserMax internal laser.  That will be a post for another time.  All in all, I’m happy with my 50 yard groups.  I’ll need to get Kennard out there and we can update this post.  I’d like to have some experienced people shoot it to really gauge how good it is.  So an update will be in store.



    Although I've been in the shooting sports for years, it's been only 3-4 years that i've taken up precision shooting seriously.
    I compete in bench rest and only shoot a match chambered AR15.(.223) And this is against all the boys with their blinged out 6 mm bolt rifles!
    Although I can't claim any 1st places, I hold my own against these jewelled bolt "computers'
    with my semi auto "assault" rifle.
    After spending hours on the bench, I missed off hand ARs are very muzzle heavy, not what you want shooting upright.
    This lead me to do exactly what you have done.. build a custom 10-22.
    Although not the most accurate rifle, they are fun to shoot, look great, can be customized without breaking the bank and can be fairly precise with store bought ammo. (I've been loading my own for so long, I forgot which stores sell ammo!)
    As I am waiting for my stock to be delivered
    (F and A enterprises) all my components patiently wait om ny work desk:

    Ruger 10-22 receiver - new brushed aluminum
    Volq THM CF barrel
    Hornet bolt with Volq bolt handle
    Hornet S type 2 stage trigger - silver housing
    Mueller APV scope
    Dead nutz rail and rings (medium)

    Only concern is the trigger housing is not's a light grey. And the finish and hue of the components are different.
    Hey, when you spend the big bucks you want it to match, right?

    Anyway, you built a beautiful rifle - and it shoots fine - especially this early in the break in. Most barrels need several hundred rounds down before she starts humming!
    Don't worry about the size of the groups...enjoy shooting and your gpoups will get smaller - i garantee that!
    On a good day, I can consistantly get under 0.5 MOA from my AR. That's under 1/2 inch, 5 shot groups at 100 yds. But the most fun I have is when it's sunny, I'm hitting what I'm aiming at and I'm enjoying the day!

    Good luck!


  2. Please email me some pictures of your rifle and I'll post them here. I'd love to see it.

  3. Did you use any torque values when putting the gun together? Any particular torque for barrel to receiver? Stock to action? Scope rings to ramp?

  4. Im aware it's not the regular one. Such a high value.