Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle Part 2

Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle Part 2

Measurements and velocity

By Dennis Adler

Overlooking the shorter barrel on the latest Ruger 10/22 Compact, the classic lines of the 1960’s Ruger design still come through even with modern black synthetic stocks. The new CO2 model not only captures the look but the fundamental handling, as well, making this an ideal first gun for anyone working their way up to a rimfire semi-auto rifle. The 10/22 has been that gun for over half a century.

The Ruger 10/22 is an iconic design that has been copied by others and inspired similar designs, (even in CO2 by Crosman) but as executed by Umarex, it is almost a 1:1 version of the modern Carbine with black synthetic stock. And I have to thank Ruger and Umarex for bringing the 10/22 back into my life because it really is a touchstone to my past, as I am sure it is to many of you who may have had, or still own, a Ruger 10/22. As a CO2 model it sizes up as a very authentic gun and with the internal buttstock CO2 loading design, taken from the Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action, the 10/22’s exterior lines are superbly duplicated. In fact, measuring the CO2 model against the current black synthetic stock Carbine model, the overall lengths are identical at 37 inches (the CO2 model is 37.1 inches), barrel lengths are 18.5 inches (external length), and weight with the synthetic stock is 5 pounds. The CO2 version tips the scale at 4.5 pounds, a difference you can feel when you pick up the air rifle and compare it to the .22 LR model. The Compact .22 caliber model Ruger sent is 2-inches shorter in overall length with the 16.12 inch barrel. There are a few other minor differences between the Compact and the Carbine including sights, but the standard Carbine in .22 LR has the same folding, windage adjustable rear and bead front sight as the 10/22 Air Rifle (in the comparison photo).

Comparing the current Ruger 10/22 Carbine with black synthetic stock to the new 10/22 CO2 Carbine is pretty easy. They look the same, have the same measurements, and handle identically. There is an 8-ounce difference in weight with the 10/22 Air Rifle weighing in at 4.5 pounds and the .22 LR at 5 pounds even (with the same stock).


Find a Hawke Scope

Loading CO2 into the 10/22 is identical to the Cowboy Lever Action model, which means you have two 12 gr. cartridges loading back-to-back into a sealed air chamber within the stock. Once you turn down the piercing screw the forward facing CO2 is pierced by a pin in the front of the chamber and the rear facing cartridge is pierced by the long seating screw that is turned down with the hex head tool built into the removable buttplate. With twin 12 gr. cartridges, the gun is rated at a factory spec velocity of up to 650 fps.

Receiver designs are the same and both use a Ruger 10-shot rotary magazine, the CO2 model with a 10-round rotary magazine insert that is removable for quick reloading. The same design magazine release is used, as well as crossbolt trigger safety. The main difference is the DA/SA trigger system on the CO2 model. To fire SA you pull the bolt to the rear for each round to cock the trigger and rotate the magazine.
Loaded magazines are easy to insert and remove from both the .22 and the CO2 models.

The .22 LR and 4.5mm 10-round magazines share similar shapes and fit into the respective receivers the same exact way, so when handling the CO2 model it is essentially a pellet-firing trainer for the .22 LR. Loading, sights, and the crossbolt safety in front of the triggerguard, are all identical, only the triggers are different in operation, SAO vs. DA/SA for the Air Rifle. From a youth shooting perspective, beginning with the 10/22 Air Rifle, and progressing to the rimfire model, is the most logical training system there is for beginning shooters, especially if they are interested in target shooting, but more about that in Part 3.

The Ruger 10/22 uses the same design CO2 system as the Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action, although I found the buttplate release design on the Ruger far easier to use with only finger pressure to press it in and rotate to remove.
The hex head tool is built into the buttplate and easily turns down the long seating screw to simultaneously pierce both CO2 cartridges. Again, I found this easier to do with the Ruger than with the first examples of the Cowboy Lever Action.

Umarex supplied their High Grade CO2 with the test gun as well as RWS Meisterkugeln 7.0 gr. Professional Line lead wadcutters. The Meisterkugeln clocked an average velocity for 10 rounds of 630 fps, with a high of 651 fps and a low of 618 fps. The majority of shots passed through the chronograph’s screens between 629 fps and 633 fps (six out of 10). To find the high end of the 10/22’s velocity, I switched to lightweight H&N Sport Match Green alloy wadcutters, which added another 50 plus fps to average velocity. Every shot was over 700 fps, with an average of 710 fps and a high of 718 fps.

The chronograph test target was used for both Meisterkugeln and H&N Sport velocity tests, and shows all 20 rounds in tight patterns, with at least five rounds inside of 0.437 inches at 21 feet fired from the shoulder. The rear sight windage was left as it came from the factory and the gun was hitting a little left. I’ll make adjustments for the accuracy tests in Parts 3 and 4.

Since chronograph tests are shot at 21 feet, accuracy with a rifle shooting through the chronograph is going to be pretty tight and for 20 total shots (10 Meisterkugeln, 10 H&N Sport) the spread on a 10-meter pistol target measured 1.12 inches with multiple overlapping hits and a best group of at least 5-rounds measuring 0.437 inches. All remaining tests will be shot at 10 meters, plus a special test in Part 4 against the .22 LR model at 25 yards.

Editor’s Note:

Due to the late Thursday evening publication of Part 2, Part 3 will be published on Sunday, instead of Saturday.

A word about safety

Blowback action airguns provide the look, feel and operation of their cartridge-firing counterparts and this is one reason why they have become so popular. Airguns in general all look like guns, blowback action models more so, and it is important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t tell an airgun from a cartridge gun. Never brandish an airgun in public. Always, and I can never stress this enough, always treat an airgun as you would a cartridge gun. The same manual of operation and safety should always apply.

7 thoughts on “Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle Part 2”

  1. I wonder how difficult it could be for Ruger, and other firearm companies, to follow the “Russian” example. That is to use most of a real steel platform, making only the necessary adjustments for the co2 use. Just look at the Baikal Mp654 and all the Ak 47/74/105 co2 versions.
    (Colt executives with the 1860 ownership rights, are you reading this?)

  2. I just received the new Springfield Armory XDM 4.5 Bi-Color and the Crosman Triple Threat.

    The XDM is impressive, and I like that it came in a sturdy box.

    The Crosman Triple Threat will make a good companion to my Crosman 357-6 revolver. Even though this revolver came in a blister pack, I must applaud Crosman for improving on the design of the blister pack. Unlike other blister packs, this one is easy to open; no cutting required. Just slide your finger inside from the edge push apart at the center post; the two halves then pop open. Because no cutting is required, this is one blister pack that could be re-used for storing the revolver because the center post easily snaps back together to re-close the package.

  3. Hi Denis
    Nice article so far on the 10/22. They’re a nice rifle and I’ve shot them a lot. Never owned one though.
    When I was a kid in the early fifties 10/22’s didn’t exist yet! My first gun was a Daisy 25. At 9 years old it took me most of the summer to develope the strength to cock that beast. Shooting it was the easy part and I guess I proved with that gun that I was a responsible shooter because at 11 years old I got my first .22.
    It was a Cooey Sure Shot sold by Sears Canada. A bolt action rifle with an 11L or LR or 15 Short tubeular magazine that could handle S, L, LR and the newer High Velocity rounds with no problems.
    It was very basic in that the rear sight was screwed into a dovetail nut and for windage you loosened off the screw and adjusted by thumb and for elevation you bent the sight up or down and then did the Kentucky thing!
    The gun also had a very heavy barrel – way heavier than a standard .22 barrel today and was always accurate for me. Back in the nineties I discovered that the dovetail ⅜” scope mount made for the Beretta FS92 8 shot pellet pistol fit perfectly into the rear sight dovetail of the Cooey.
    With a Bushnell 3x9x30 AO scope that old rifle just came into its own and even today I have a hard time deciding which is more accurate – that old Cooey or my more modern Savage Heavy Barrel bolt action target .22 with 24x scope!
    This afternoon UPS delivered my new M1. I put 60 shots through it with groups way under an inch at 11 metres and nearly the same at 15 yards. Pretty amazing for me and a BB gun shooting off hand at those ranges. It is just as accurate as my Mosin Nagant M1944 BB carbine.
    Your reviews were the reason I bought the gun. Very well done and covered all aspects even the looseness of the upper fore grip which is an easy fix with a couple of ½” or ¾” clear tape dots. Of all the reviews for the M1 yours was the only mention of that looseness. Not a big deal but I would have been a little dissapointed had I not known. The only other thing was after those first 2 cartridges I pulled a couple of patches soaked in lighter fluid through the barrel and they came out really dirty and oily. BB barrells should be clean and dry for best accuracy. This evening I mounted an AK sling on the gun. Perfect install although I used a 7mm metal dowel in place of the oiler which would not have fit.
    I’m looking forward to a lot of shooting with this gun this summer.

    • Red: Sounds like you are having a lot of fun. The M1 is a really well made air rifle. For me, the wood stocked version will be a keeper. I plan on looking into optics mounts later this year and will do another article on what I find. Same for accessories.



    • Hey Lawman67
      Sorry for taking so long to get back to you.
      As per your remark I checked online and found in an instruction video on how to mount an M1 sling. As I had mentioned I used a cotton canvas type AK sling which according to that video looked to be about twice as thick as the M1 sling. That extra thickness would definately explain why the oiler wouldn’t fit properly. I think with an original thin webbing M1 sling/Oiler kit there would be no problem.

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