Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle
Ruger 10/22.

This report covers:

  • First try
  • Cartridge failed to pierce
  • Second try
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • RWS Hobby
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • Shooting characteristics
  • The second time
  • After the first four strings
  • Velocity with bolt cocked versus just trigger pulled?
  • Magazine worked easy
  • Trigger pull
  • Next
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity and power of the new Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle. The rifle takes two 12-gram CO2 cartridges, so they went in first.

First try

On my first try I got a total of about 22 powerful shots before the velocity started dropping linearly. I won’t give the velocities, because they aren’t representative. But I will tell you that I got velocities that were just as high on this try as on the next one.

Cartridge failed to pierce

With a shot count that low I knew what had happened. One of the two cartridges had failed to pierce. The rifle was running on a single cartridge. In the beginning that doesn’t make any difference, as CO2 is a self-regulating gas, But you do run out of gas sooner, which is exactly what happened.

Ruger 10/22 piercing plug wrench
The butt plate has the Allen wrench you need for piercing built right in!

Ruger 10/22 piercing plug
Here you can see the size of the piercing plug.

Sure enough, when I exhausted the gas and removed both cartridges, the top one hadn’t been pierced. No problem. Just screw the piercing plug in deeper next time. I could even reuse the cartridge that hadn’t pierced!

Second try

This time I screwed the piercing plug in as far as it would go. The shot count this time rose to 50+ shots, and I will tell you more about them as we go.

H&N Finale Match Light

The first pellet to be tested was the H&N Finale Match Light with 4.5mm head. These averaged 609 f.p.s. with a high of 618 and a low of 598 f.p.s. The spread was 20 f.p.s. On the first try with a single CO2 cartridge this same pellet averaged 604 f.p.s., so the difference isn’t that great.

At the average velocity the Finale Match Light produced 6.23 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. On the first try it produced 6.13 foot-pounds.

RWS Hobby

Next up was the 7-grain RWS Hobby. They averaged 627 f.p.s. with a high of 651 and a low of 610 f.p.s. There’s your 650 f.p.s. claimed by Umarex.

The spread was 41 f.p.s. At the average velocity Hobbys produced 6.11 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Air Arms Falcon

The last pellet I tried was the Air Arms Falcon dome. They averaged 608 f.p.s. with a high of 633 and a low of 596 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 37 f.p.s. At the average velocity they produced 6.02 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Shooting characteristics

The first time I shot the rifle with just a single cartridge pierced the velocity spreads were very large, and the velocity dropped off with each shot. I had to wait 30 second between shots to get the velocity to stabilize.

The second time

The second time I did pierce both cartridges, and when I said I got 50 shots on them, that wasn’t actually the case. The piercing plug was still under too much pressure to release the remaining gas, so I loaded another 10 Hobby pellets and shot as fast as I could and still record the velocities. The first shot went out at 464 f.p.s. and shot number 10 was going 327 f.p.s. So, when you are outside plinking you can count on 6 full magazines from fresh cartridges.

After the first four strings

I wanted to see where the velocity was after the first 40 shots, so the last “official” string I fired was with 10 Finale Match Light pellets that averaged 609 f.p.s. on the first string. This time the average was 528 f.p.s. with a spread that went from 479 to 567 f.p.s. That spread is 88 f.p.s. and the average power is 4.68 foot-pounds. So the power has dropped off and the spread has become much larger toward the end of the gas.

Velocity with bolt cocked versus just trigger pulled?

If this was a single and double action handgun I would check the velocity both ways, so I checked it by just pulling the trigger and also by cocking the bolt first. There was no difference in velocity either way.

Magazine worked easy

I was pleasantly surprized how easy the magazine removes and installs in the rifle. Once out, it’s also quick and easy to remove the 10-round rotary clip. Removing the mag on a 10/22 firearm can be a challenge, but with the air rifle it’s easy.

Trigger pull

The specs say the double action trigger pull is 10 pounds. I have no good way to test it. It’s all of that and maybe a little more, but it is smooth, once the magazine is advanced and the striker starts moving. But the single action trigger pull is quite nice. The specs say 3 pounds. When I tested the rifle I’m writing about the pull registered between 5 lbs. 3 oz and 5 lbs. 4 oz. I guessed it was a pound lighter. It is a single-stage pull that way and you can feel the trigger moving but there is no creep.

Next

Accuracy testing comes next. I’ll start with the open sights, then I’ll install an Axeon R47 dot sight that Umarex sent to jazz up the rifle and test with that.

Summary

The Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle is a realistic lookalike that shoots 17 .177 caliber pellets as fast as the trigger is pulled. It also has the ability to have a lighter trigger when the bolt is cocked. I’m really hoping it is as accurate as it looks. If so, it may be the one to get!

50 thoughts on “Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle: Part 3


    • Edw,
      I hear you, and for most people, I agree that would be the case.
      However, for those of us who are stuck working in the confines of a city, with only one firearm range, and that one being 30 miles away…although I hate to admit it, for me in particular, this gun would get way more use than the firearm version. For every shot I put through a “real” .22 rimfire, I put 100, no more like 200, through my HW30S and Crosman 38T. I can shoot those .22s in the backyard, or in the house at 2 AM. Yes, it’s kind of sad, but till I can retire, that’s the way things are likely to stay.
      But for the lucky rest of you that have the land to shoot, get the rimfire…heck, get them both, hahaha, and shoot to your heart’s content…and I shall try not to be too jealous (just a bit perhaps…a large bit! =>).
      take care all,
      dave


      • Dave,
        I hear you. But counterpoint- why not get a Springer? It will be much quieter than the co2, no upkeep like carts, and this is in the 6-7 fpe range so no hunting… cocking a r7 is as easy as cocking a rifle bolt.


        • Edw,
          Oh, I totally agree with you on that; I just meant if my heart was set on a 10/22, I would get the CO2 one instead of the firearm. But yes, that’s why I got my current springer, an HW30S in .22 caliber. It’s basically the R7 with a European-styled stock, and is does have the Rekord trigger. This gun is SWEET! IT’s an awesome backyard plinker; I don’t hunt with it, but those big pellets make cans and bottle caps fly. =>
          take care,
          dave





          • Henry_TX,
            I had an R7, but got stupid and sold it to “buy a more powerful springer.” #_#
            Now, older and a little bit wiser, I listened to B.B. talk about his Diana model 27, and saw that an HW30S (while not the same, of course) would be a nice, friendly, everyone-can-come-over-and-shoot-it plinker. Yes, it is my go-to gun for in-house and backyard lpinking. =>
            Thank you,
            take care,
            dave


        • Yogi,
          Please see above comment to Edw; but yes, I am in full agreement with you; my HW30 is awesome! Just like B.B.’s Diana 27 (and about the same power level), it’s a gun with which I hope never part! =>
          Thanks for the commentary,
          take care,
          dave


        • Yogi,

          I just noticed a major issue with your comparison. Both vehicles are Government Motors. What you should have said was “Why drive a Chevy when you can drive a Ford?” 😉



          • RR,

            I had several new Ford pickups and cars when I was younger. Unfortunately, I was never able to get a good one…though I hear others speak of them, so they much make a good one occassoinally. My last Ford product was an ’85 Mercrury Marquis, the smaller one. That was the most troublesome vehicle I had ever owned and left such a bad taste that I was never able to consider another Ford product again. Fix or repair daily is not for me. 😉

            Geo


            • Geo,

              Found On Road Dead. 😉

              I on the other hand have had three Ford pick’emup trucks over the years, my present being a ’04 Ranger and have had good experiences with such. The truth is I have done fairly well with Chevy products and superbly with Suzuki and Subaru. Chrysler/Dodge on the other hand…


              • RR,

                Yes, you can get a bad one in anything. I just happen to have gotten too many bad Ford products. Suzuki is no longer being imported into the US. You can’t go wrong with a Toyota, Honda, or Subaru. Go to Clark Howard’s web site and look up cars most likely to go 200k miles. Toyota and Honda are at the top of the list. Of course, proper maintenance is also a big factor.

                Geo


    • Edw,

      The truth is I personally would rather have the replica, which I do not want, than the real thing. I am not much for CO2 or the 10/22. I vote for the HW30.


    • Edw
      One thing though for me anyway between getting the firearm verses the air gun is also cost of ammo. The pellet version would be cheaper to shoot than the firearm version.

      And in this case this gun BB is reporting on is about having a realistic gun to shoot with so that is a bit of the difference between getting it or a spring gun.


      • GF1,

        Define realistic. If you mean it looks like a firearm, then it is realistic. I have airguns that perform more like real firearms, yet are not made to look like firearms.

        I guess it is where I live, but I see this in the hands of some good ol’ boy who lives in a run down trailer ,yet drives a brand new four wheel drive pick’em up truck, has a beautiful bass boat, a powerful atv, 17 AR15’s, 4 tactical shotguns, numerous handguns and 3 10/22’s, one of which is in a tactical stock with a banana clip. He looks at his wife and says “Look honey, it looks like my squirrel gun. I can shoot it down the hall on rainy days and it won’t blow a hole out the back that you will have to patch up later.”


        • R.R.,

          “…it won’t blow a hole out the back that you will have to patch up later.”

          Why have her patch the hole? That be the replacement for the A/C that broke down last week!

          shootski


          • Shootski,

            Duh, never thought about that. She will have to staple one of her panty hoses over it to keep the bugs out though. At least the ones that the bug zapper doesn’t get.


          • Shootski,

            I knew a guy that lived in a trailer. Yes, a bit rundown. At any rate, he had a leak at an interior door way (from the roof). Solution? Drill hole in floor,… affix string at leak,….. pull and affix string to new hole in floor,…. water followed the string all the way down and out the hole in the floor.

            One of many stories from a rather extreme gun nut. He would clean his carry gun in our Q.C. office on a regular basis,…. constantly inventing “moderators”,…. etc. Since passed. He was an interesting fellow to say the least.

            Chris



              • Shootski,

                He was smart and very knowledgeable with regards to shooting and firearms. Quite the marksman, as were his 2 shooting buddies that also worked there. More than a few holes in the trailer floor from shots, on purpose. Saturday afternoon fun? Load the Jeep up with all of his “evil” looking guns, butt down in the back seat, muzzles tied to roll bar, top off, 2 big American flags flying from the rear on poles and drive around town to see how many police reports he could generate. He was never disappointed. Very knowledgeable on gun laws and took full advantage of every last inch. First name basis with 3/4 of the police force.

                Home alarm/defense system? A homemade device that held a 12 ga. shell (active), above any door,… that when the door opened,…. boom. Blew off the corner of his kitchen table (leg and all) when hitting a glob of his latest batch of homemade, stove top explosive goo with a hammer. “I guess I used too much” was a typical reply.

                Like I said, he was quite the character. He could have shown MacGyver a thing or two no doubt.

                Chris



                  • GF1,

                    I have forgotten more stories than I could tell. Him and the other two would do VERY long range shooting at ground hogs. Seen plenty of pics of the days harvest. All 3 very knowledgeable and all 3 no BS. When I got the .25 M-rod, I impressed them with airguns. None ever got any that I am aware of, but the 3 were a good source of learning. Most of the time I would just sit and listen when the 3 of them got to talking at the shop. All 3 had top end stuff like range finders and scopes and all hand loaded. A lot of it at the time went over my head, but I still asked questions.

                    As I recall, they rolled off a measured mile on the Jeep. I forget the details now, but my QC mate won the contest. At a target, of course,…. not a ground hog. The one guy still works where I work. I may ask him about that event.

                    Chris


                    • Chris
                      And just like air guni ang but in a little different perspective.

                      And yep you and that guy should be talking for sure. That would be a big benefit for the both of you I believe.


        • Ridge Runner
          Living below your means has lots of rewards and financial peace of mind is right there at the top.
          Not too many people have the gumption to stick with it and achieve success.


          • Bob M,

            The sad part is my example is of someone who is living WAY above their means and is in hoc over their heads. Their priorities are discombobulated.

            If you have to help your rich relative remove the wheels from his new home, you just might be a redneck.


            • RidgeRunner
              At first glance I would be considered white trash. Way beyond a redneck. The wheels are still under my old home. It took a long time to transition from a NY city slicker. 😉

              A woman who turned out to be a social worker walked up to me and my friends sitting outside having a few cold ones and was trying to find out if I qualified for any government assistance. My friends kind of looked at me and snickered.
              I think she was embarrassed when she realized she rushed to judgement when she found out I paid cash for the property, owned everything in sight and was debt free, made three times her salary in retirement and had to spread my savings over a few banks.

              I originally purchased the acreage to build a house on. The old mobile home was on it already and I moved in when I retired. Figured out I could save a ton of money fixing up the place and keeping all the utilities in place.
              Being single I eventually fell into a carefree redneck country lifestyle and ran out of round-toits and stopped worrying what people may have thought about me. I wouldn’t change a thing now, being in total control of my stress-free life.
              But, I may have to replace the old place with a new modular home one day and I will probably remove the wheels on that one and settle into being an official redneck.

              Country living got me back into Airguns and if it shoots something I’ll probably enjoy owning it. Fact is I have to fight off the urge to buy a lot of them. Perhaps my only stress?
              Bob M


              • Bob,

                Good story. 😉 You make it sound quite attractive actually. 🙂 I live pretty simple myself. My house layout is definitely “bachelor-ized” with everything at convenient access. Not a whole lot of “this belongs there” and “that goes there”. Fluff the pillows? Huh? 😉

                Chris


                • Chris
                  It’s easy to go there when you have a lot of Spatial Recognition, or should I say Situational Awareness, perhaps both.
                  It’s a quality that allowed a woman involved a plane crash to climb over seat tops and reach an over wing exit and survive while everyone else who stood in the isle retrieving their luggage burned to death.
                  It’s easy to remember where everything is. OK, most of the time … can’t remember where I put some Airguns sometimes.


              • Bob M,

                LOL! You are one of the true exceptions to the rule. My apologies if I have offended you.

                Though I have not yet retired, we are debt free living in a smallish log home where we cannot see our neighbors. It is quite stressful to not have a large collection of airguns. Of course, having a wife helps to insure the collection does not get too large. And yes, everything has it’s place and everything in it’s place.

                Being redneck really isn’t that bad. Some people just don’t understand what it is. Do you want me to come by and help you take the wheels off?


        • RR
          In this case it’s a air gun that has features like the firearm and operates similar. No simpler way than that to say it.

          And this is for comment above about realistic. It posted down here.


    • Where do you get your 10/22 rifles for $130? I never see one for less than $190. The other more salient reason to own the air rifle is to use it where a firearm can’t be used. It also makes for a good trainer for new shooters. I have over a half dozen 10/22 rifles and I will be buying one . A smart move would be to offer a takedown model.


  1. Most everyone,
    I think you guys are off on this one. You say why this and not a springer? That is apples to oranges. The HW 30s is (from what I read from you guys) a very nice gun. Yes better built and all. Is it a repeater or single shot? Does it look like my rimfire gun? You can not compare a Caddy to a Honda Fit. Each has it’s on use and customer base. If someone has a 10/22 and wants a airgun to match, bingo. Or is they want a fast and fun plinker, this is it. @ $129, it’s still cheaper than the powder burner. But, again, you can’t compare the two. If you are doing that, then why in the world would anyone want a big bore air rifle when you can spend a whole lot less for a powder burner that will have more power? I say, to each his own. Don’t get me wrong, it’s ok not to like it, but apples to apples.

    Doc


    • Doc,

      Totally concur! But most of B.B.s Readership looks on every Airgun from their own personal perspective. That way they can decide if they will drop some coin to buy one or two and also to answer the question of clearing out some or making room for yet another one or two new ones; even if only temporarily.

      Since we may have new readers or infrequent readers read this blog I’ll repeat some of the reasons for buying a Big Bore Airgun while I’m at this posting:

      Because shooting/harvesting Prey/game with a powderburner has become way to easy from 400+ yard away.
      You want to stalk your game to 50-150 yards before taking the 99.99% one shot.
      You want to target shoot with an air rifle beyond 100 yards or with an air pistol beyond 50 yards and be able to see the holes in the paper or hear the steel ring!

      shootski


      • Shootski,
        I see your point. I’m not a hunter per say, but I like the idea of stalking the game. Around here (Arkansas/Oklahoma) everyone deer hunts from a deer stand. I read a article years back in Field & Stream magazine about people who stalk the deer. It’s much more challenging and harder.

        Doc



  2. B.B.,

    What was the ambient air temperature range during your test?
    I think when you review a CO2 powered gun that should be part of the velocity write-up.
    Enjoyed the reporting.

    shootski


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