The 10/22 Air Rifle Kit Part 1

The 10/22 Air Rifle Kit Part 1

Scoped and ready for the 10-meter range

By Dennis Adler

Sometimes there are real advantages to buying a kit when it has everything you need to upgrade an air rifle, including the air rifle itself. Since Umarex didn’t introduce the Ruger 10/22 with accessories, or even include a rail to mount a scope (like Ruger does with the 10/22 rimfire model), Pyramyd Air put the package together using a UTG low profile rail mount, UTG Accushot 1-inch scope rings with large easy to use hex thumb nuts, and a well made Mantis 3-9×32 AO Mil-Dot Scope.

One of the things I regret about the time I had a Ruger 10/22, back in the late 1960s, was not fitting it with a scope. Never being much of rifleman, (I have a few but they are western lever actions), and rather more of a shotgun and handgun guy, I’ve never had too many opportunities to shoot rifles with optics, except for a handful of modern guns I have tested for gun magazines over the years. To quote Quigley Down Under, only reversing Quigley’s use of a rifle, instead of a revolver, “I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn’t know how to use it.” So with that in mind, I am going to make up for my misgivings from years past and run a test with the new Pyramyd Air 10/22 Air Rifle Kit and see what the Ruger can do with a proper scope. Granted, I have to settle for shooting 4.5mm lead pellets at around 650 fps, rather than my old 10/22 with .22 LR rounds traveling down range at a much greater, and louder velocity, but from my perspective writing about airguns, this is a brand new experience. I could have had a 10/22 with a scope anytime in the last 50 years, but never a pellet model!

With everything unboxed you have the 10/22 rifle, scope, rail mount with five screws (one extra in case one gets lost, a nice touch), and 1-inch scope mounts with a hex head wrench and a spare hex head screw. If you have mounted rails and scopes before this is everything you need, except a small blade screwdriver to tighten the screws for the rail. If this is your first time, I’m going to take you through the steps.

First test of the 10/22 CO2 model

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I wrote my first series on the Umarex Ruger 10/22 this past July just as it was being introduced. After that first test I summarized the CO2 model as a very authentic gun compared to an original and current 10/22s with synthetic stocks. The internal CO2 system works the same as the Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action with the buttstock holding a pair of 12 gr. CO2 cartridges set back-to-back in a sealed air chamber.

Comparing the Umarex Ruger to the current black synthetic stock .22 LR Carbine model, the overall lengths are identical at 37 inches (the CO2 model is actually 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.

As I mentioned, Ruger copied the rimfire 10/22’s receiver exactly and it has the four drilled and tapped holes for mounting a rail. As you can see, there are already screws in the top of the receiver, but you do not remove them. The holes are threaded for the rail mount screws to tighten down over the receiver screws.
Just set the rail over the holes, put the screws into the holes and tighten them down. You’re one third done. If you read my original review of the Umarex Ruger 10/22 you will recall that I compared it with a current 10/22 rimfire model and I used the rail that came with the Ruger to mount a red dot sight on the Umarex model.

The Ruger surpasses the Legends Cowboy Lever Action by having a rifled steel barrel and shooting pellets rather than BBs down a smoothbore. When I tested the 10/22 I used RWS Meisterkugeln 7.0 gr. Professional Line lead wadcutters, which 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). The gun is rated at 700 fps but it doesn’t say with what pellets. Of course, that was a factory test gun made available to me before the production models went on sale, so this will be the first time I am testing an off-the-shelf 10/22 model.

This is not just for photos; it’s how I do things because I like to keep everything on a large flat surface since I have a tendency to drop small parts. The scope is sitting in the bottom half of the rings and the top halves are ready to set into place over the scope tube with the screws sitting in the holes.

The 4.5mm Ruger uses a 10-round magazine similar in shape to the famous 10/22 rotary magazine, and it fits into the receiver 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, a single action trigger re-cocked by the action on the .22 LR, vs. the air rifle’s DA/SA trigger. The CO2 action does not re-cock the trigger. Every shot is a double action pull unless you manually work the bolt and cock the action for each shot. That could have been better, but since the 10-shot rotary clip is like a cylinder in a revolver, only fitted into the 10/22 style magazine, it has to be rotated for each shot; the double action trigger on the rifle is working like the trigger on a double action revolver. And just like a wheelgun, if you cock the hammer, or with the 10/22, manually pull the bolt back, you cock the action and rotate the cylinder to the next round. It’s a little clumsy but it works well enough.

I tightened the set screws down part way and then finished by going from opposite corners, top left to bottom right and so on, checking to make sure the rings were evenly spaced on both halves as I tightened them the rest of the way. I also laid a ruler down to make sure the rings were on level with the centerline of the scope. The spacing was pretty much as it was shown in the photos on the Pyramyd Air website, with the rear ring having a little more space from the windage and elevation adjustments, than the front ring. This may not be the correct eye relief for everyone…
…in fact, I found that I needed less eye relief and had to loosen the screws on the rings and move the scope back about half an inch. Now the front ring has more space than the back, but the scope mounts are in the same place on the rail. I mention this because you could accomplish the same thing by moving the rings on the tube so they mount at the very front and rear of the rail, and then the scope might look more centered. I was more interested in getting the eye relief exactly where I wanted it.

The kit and what’s in it

Like the .22 LR model, which has a lightweight alloy receiver, the CO2 model follows the exact same design including the four drilled and threaded holes to mount a scope base. The 10/22 rimfire models come with a Weaver-style scope adapter. Pyramyd Air offers a version of the 10/22 Air Rifle complete with a UTG Picatinny rail adapter, a Mantis 3-9×32 AO Mil-Dot scope and a set of scope rings for a discounted price of $199.95 (retail is $229.95). The Umarex Ruger 10/22 alone is $129.95 discounted ($149.95 retail), so for the $70 difference you are getting a good quality Mantis scope, which sells for $69.95 on its own, plus the mounting rail and scope mounts, a value of around $20, at no charge.

In Part 2 we will see what the $70 amounts to in enhancing the 10/22’s performance.

We go from open sights to a telescopic sight with magnification adjustments from 10 to 100 feet, that should keep pellets in very tight groups at 10 meters, and hopefully out to 25 yards.


2 thoughts on “The 10/22 Air Rifle Kit Part 1”

  1. Umarex if you are reading this or if Mr Adler can carry a message, why is this gun not a real semi?

    Just cock the hammer and advance the clip via blowback! If you are doing a replica you should replicate!

    • Steven

      I think we were all taken aback by the DA/SA trigger, but I know from other guns with rotary pellet magazines, DA/SA is the most efficient way to make them work and this goes all the way back to the excellent German built Beretta 92FS and CP88 pellet models. This basic design is, internally, a double action revolver. I think a blowback action can be done but at what cost? The market would likely not sustain a CO2 model that cost as much as the actual .22 LR 10/22. With so much else going for this gun, at this price, especially the kit, I can live with using the charging handle to cock the action and fire single action. That’s not an answer to your question but I know from past experience new designs are a lot of work and I wouldn’t expect to see anything better in the near future.

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