‘Tis the season for elections and campaign promises. Unlike most, my campaign promises are practical. If elected President, I’ll actually stick to them. Here’s my primary platform message:
A 10/22, or maybe two, in every home.
What do you think?
If you don’t already own a Ruger 10/22, then vote for me as a write-in candidate because everyone should have a Ruger 10/22. They’re not only fun but useful. That’s why Ruger has sold somewhere more than six million of them over the past 51 years.
Way back in 1964, Ruger released this gun, and from a quick look at the exterior, it appears almost identical to the current 10/22 Carbine model. Back then, it seems Bill Ruger considered this a little brother companion gun to the Ruger .44 Magnum Carbine, which Ruger billed as “The Perfect Brush Country Deer Rifle.” In fact, if you look at the original ads for the 10/22, Ruger describes it like this:
If you like fine rifles you can now have the satisfaction of owning a .22 Rimfire that is built to big game rifle standards.
The mechanical perfection of the 10/22 makes it a worthy companion to the dynamic Ruger .44 Magnum Carbine.
Back then, retail price on this fun little plinker was just $54.50. It was priced to sell, usually significantly less than competing models.
Even if Bill Ruger really did view this as some type of afterthought to the .44 Magnum Carbine, it couldn’t help but to succeed. After all, who can resist a sweet-handling .22 rifle? Yeah, they’re great for beginners, but experienced shooters also get plenty of joy from shooting a .22LR. And this particular one had an irresistible set of features. With an 18 1/2-inch barrel, an overall length of just 37-inches, and highly portable five-pound weight it’s supremely convenient to carry and shoot.
I think there’s more to the success story, however. The rotary magazine is certainly cool, easy to load, and reliable, but it’s the indirect impacts that make it so powerful. Unlike most other .22 rifles, there is no box magazine to get in the way of shooting offhand or from a rested position. Certainly lever-action .22s avoid the box magazine issues, but the cost is an extra magazine tube under the barrel that adds bulk and weight. The 10/22 is smooth underneath, which keeps things out of the way while shooting and carrying.