The 10/22 Air Rifle Kit Part 3

The 10/22 Air Rifle Kit Part 3

Pushing it to 25 yards

By Dennis Adler

Normally, 25 yards is not a great distance for high-power air rifles, but for one that is running on a pair of 12 gr. CO2 cartridges it could be a push. Not that a pellet can’t travel that far, it certainly can and much further, but not accurately. What we are after here is proof that the Umarex Ruger 10/22 with its paired CO2 cartridges and the power of precision targeting with the Mantis 3-9×32 AO Mil-Dot scope can send a pellet 25 yards downrange and hit the target with consistent accuracy. With a scoped .22 LR Ruger 10/22 this would be a given, but with a CO2 version it is not.

I normally do not shoot rifles, other than lever actions, so for the Ruger test I took what I had on hand and set up a makeshift benchrest, which allowed me to stabilize the gun and hold my POA with the Mantis scope.

Setting up

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There are days I wish I had a 25 yard indoor range because today it is 55 degrees outside, not ideal for CO2 and it is mostly overcast. The good news is that it’s fairly clam with a slight crosswind. I have several ways to shoot from the bench on the outdoor range, the Millett rests, a Case Guard rest and sandbags. I’m taking all of them with me to see what works best. To get the most velocity I am going to use the Sig Sauer 5.25 gr. Match Ballistic alloy wadcutters. There are a lot of different pellet options in lead and alloy but I like Sig alloy and Meisterkugeln lead wadcutters for their consistency. I also like H&N Sport Match Green 5.25 gr. alloy wadcutters and RWS R10 Match 7.0 gr. lead wadcutters, along with a handful of other top brands, but for this gun, at 25 yards, I think I will get my best results with alloy wadcutters.

With the Ruger secure in the Case Guard and Millett rests combination I set the scope to 100 yards and magnification to 9X which gave me a full view of the target 25 yards downrange. The crosshairs were perfectly setting over the bullseye and my first shots with Sig Sauer 5.25 gr. Match Ballistic alloy wadcutters were just a little high but tightly grouped. I adjusted down and the next group was in the red.
To keep my accuracy as consistent as possible, rather than shooting with the double action trigger from the rest, I manually cocked the action for each shot with the charging handle.

The lightweight Sig Match Ballistic delivered a fairly consistent trajectory which I could watch through the scope from about a third of the way downrange until the point of impact. I didn’t take the chronograph with me but I would estimate the wadcutters were leaving the barrel at around 650 fps and they were slapping loudly into the target backboard. Shooting single action by cocking the trigger with the charging handle, it took a light press to send shots downrange and while I would have liked a tighter total spread I wasn’t unhappy with my targets, which averaged 1.75 inches for 10 shots. After sighting in the scope, which now had the objective set to 100 yards for best clarity, and the zoom all the way out to 9X so the target filled the scope and the crosshairs were right over the red bullseye, I shot the 1.75 inch group which had five hits in the red at 1.0625 inches.

My first test target (after sighting in) delivered a 1.75 inch group with five hits in the red at 1.0625 inches. Nothing remarkable but from 25 yards with a pellet rifle powered by CO2, I was happy to get consistent groups that tight.

My second target was shot as a slight crosswind came up and rounds began hitting left of POA but grouping tightly. In trying to correct I threw a couple of flyers, then the wind settled down and I put the last five shots in the red. I shot a total of 20 rounds (two magazines) giving me a total spread of 1.50 inches with five in the red at 1.44 inches. My best 5-shot group out of the 20 rounds fired, was in the tight pattern to the left of the bullseye surrounding the 10 ring at 9 o’clock and measuring 0.625 inches, roughly the circumference of a dime. Of course, that’s out of 20 shots. Still, at 25 yards I feel the Ruger 10/22 with Sig’s alloy pellets acquitted itself quite nicely.

Just when I felt I had things dialed in the wind came up, just a mild breeze crossing right to left and enough to push the lightweight pellets traveling 75 feet to the target a bit to the left. I adjusted POA right and sent the next two high. I finished out the 10 rounds with shots again going a little left, reloaded and put the next ten left and in the bullseye. For a total of 20 rounds from 25 yards my spread measured 1.50 inches. My best 5-shot group was left of the bullseye around 10 ring measuring 0.625 inches. If (I hate “ifs”) I had adjusted the windage to correct for the crosswind or even shifted my POA further right, that tight cluster would have been in the red. Still, I am not displeased with the Umarex Ruger 10/22’s ability to shoot accurately out to 25 yards with the Mantis 3-9×32 scope. It’s a darn good package that delivers plenty of potential for benchrest shooters.

8 thoughts on “The 10/22 Air Rifle Kit Part 3”

  1. This rifle is doing what is was meant to. It is a shoot anywhere plinker that can duplicate what a 22 lr can do at 22 range, going out to but not much beyond 25yards, obviating the need for a formal range and backstop. Airgun makers seem to be concentrating on break barrels and pcp airguns, but the bigger market should be co2 replicas of actual firearms , for training, familiarization and plinking as well as collecting. Long overdue are pellet versions of bolt action military rifles, Western rifles like the Sharps and Remington. The Ruger is a breath of fresh co2 in a not terribly exciting 2019 .

  2. Hi Denis
    Yer not done yet!!
    Any air rifle worth its salt should be able to do 25 yards with no problems. Your groups aren’t bad and might tighten up with a heavier pellet.
    I think a Part 4 at 50 yards with a heavier pellet should be next.
    I have an old Tau Senior bulker shooting at 590fps from the early 80’s that still puts CP’s or Pointed into 2½ inches or better at 60 yards on a perfectly calm evening. I’m sure if I were to change out the old 4X Bug Buster for a more powerful scope I could do much tighter groups.
    So if that 36 year old gun can shoot like that I’m sure you can get some nice groups out of the new 10/22 without too much trouble!

    • Red, sound like a fair weather project, I’ll put that on on the schedule. Do you think a CO2 model with twin 12 gr. cartridges pushing lead wadcutters at about 640 fps can hold accuracy out to 50 yards? I know your old Tau Senior single shot can for you, so this makes it worth trying with the 10/22’s rotary mag and the Mantis scope. Stay tuned.


      • Hi Denis
        I definately think you have a chance of some half decent groups. You might have to loose the wadcutters and go for a pointed, hollowpoint or domed pellet. With the Tau I have the best luck with the bulk pack 8gn Crosman Domes or Hollow Points – the ones that come in the cardboard milk container. Over 25 years of shooting Crosman’s I have sometimes strayed to other fancier pellets with better write ups. Always came back to the Crosman pellets though. They seem to hold up for distance!
        I also have a Beeman QB Chief .22 cal. PCP and the only pellets it shoots are Crosman Domes or HP’s. Same weight and no difference in POI. At 50 yards JawBreakers 8 or 9 out of 10 shots and rubber squash balls with every shot .
        I have one other gun, an underlever springer that’s almost as accurate as the Chief, a Browning Leverage in .22 cal. as well that needs a specific hold that I sometimes don’t get right hence the almost. Best pellet I could find for that gun was the Excite Hollow Point at 12.8gn/5.52mm.
        The Leverage shot the Crrosman pellets in shotgun sized groups.
        Your hardest job with the 10/22 might be finding the right pellet.

  3. Hi Denis
    Today I finished the trigger fileing on the G19X and it’s not pinching anymore. Almost a pleasure to shoot now and groups continually getting smaller.
    Earlier last summer I had made a blog entry when I had just recieved my new M1 carbine. Shortly after writing that blog all 3 of the mags self destructed and as I was fairly busy trying to get outside work finished before the end of summer I had to put it on the back burner. Not so busy now and I finally got to take a good look at things this weekend.
    It seems the followers on all three mags had become broken into three pieces and the springs on two of the mags had exploded out of the follower slot into a kind of rats nest.
    The bent and twisted up springs and broken followers were easy enough to remove – a single pin at the bottom of the mag was removed and everything just fell out!
    The springs took a little work but I was able to bend and twist them into almost original shape. I took the followers and cleaned up the breaks a little and then glued them back together with Gorilla Crazy Glue – my thinking was to try to copy the plastic follower in metal rod, fileing the shapes by hand.
    Then I thought to take one of them and try to load the mag and shoot the gun. It only took ½ second while loading to break the follower again – but I had my glasses on and saw exactly what happened. The follower slipped before locking into the locking slot and the spring slammed the follower into the top of the mag breaking it into three pieces again. I glued the pieces together and set them aside to cure properly overnight.
    This afternoon I assembled them and started playing with the mags and came up with a way to load the mags without breaking anything.
    As long as the follower does not get fired by the spring into the top of the follower slot there will be no damage. When locking the follower down use two thumbs – your left thumb nail to pull the follower down to the locking slot with the ball of your right thumb pressed into the slot and staying just on the top of the follower to stop the follower, if it slips, from being slammed into the top of the mag and breaking.
    I loaded all three mags per the above 6 times each (2 co2 cartridges each) – about 270 shots and had a great time shooting the M1 on my indoor range for the rest of the afternoon.
    Everything held together – there’s not much force on the follower when it moves only 1 BB diameter at a time and the Gorilla Crazy Glue, once it’s cured properly, seems to be strong enough.
    I guess time will tell.
    PS: I just found out the Gorilla Crazy Glue has a bit of ground up rubber in it which absorbs shock. Cool!!

    • Sounds like you have the fix if that happens. I managed not to have any issues with the M1 mags but rather with the XDM mags slicing off the plastic follower tab if it slips and slams up into the metal slot at the top. Lot’s of spring tension, too on the XDM magazines. An improved follower design will be coming out next year on spare mags for the XDM, but I don’t now about the M1 magazines. Will let you know.

    • I thought I was the only one who had two defective M1 Carbines and 4 defective mags. First Carbine stopped cycling and seating mags after around 15 shots each . Second one worse and original mag fired spring out of mag when depressed to load. Packed up second one and returned for a refund. Definitely not ready for prime time. There appears to be a design flaw in the mags.

      • Well, I have a new M1 wood stock that I set aside for a series on accessories for the centerfire models that work on the CO2 model, but I may bump it up in the schedule just to run a magazine test. Anyone else having this problem?

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