The 10/22 Air Rifle Kit Part 1
Scoped and ready for the 10-meter range
By Dennis Adler
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!
First test of the 10/22 CO2 model
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.
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.
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.
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.