Ruger’s ultra-popular 10/22 is fun, reliable, handy, fairly accurate and one of the most easy to customize platforms in the gun world. I’ve owned three over the years and always regret selling them. But as I became a more proficient shooter I eventually grew out of the standard 10/22 carbine.

While the standard 10/22 models are certainly accurate enough for training and plinking, it’s far from the kind of hyper accurate rifles that I desire as an adult. So I went without a 10/22 for several years and frequently found myself wishing I still had one. Every time I introduce a new shooter to the sport I find myself wanting a 10/22 I can pull out of the safe.

While browsing the racks of one of my local gun stores a gorgeous wood-stocked rifle with a 20-inch barrel caught my wandering eye. I instantly recognized the iconic 10/22 receiver, but the rest of the rifle looked customized. Upon closer inspection I read “10/22 Target” on the barrel. A quick Google session revealed that, among its many variants, Ruger does, in fact, make a Target model. It’s basically a grown-up version of one of the favorite rifles from my youth.

Without spending the time to delve into the specifics I took the rifle home. It was a true “shut up and take my money” situation.

Despite its modest price (MSRP is $579), the 10/22 Target is a gorgeous rifle.

Its 20-inch heavy, cold hammer-forged barrel with recessed target crown has a unique spiral design and the laminate stock is nicely figured.

I expect a long gun designated as a target rifle to have a barrel that’s free-floated. But according to Jeremy’s sophisticated Hammermill Freefloatometer, the 10/22 Target is in full contact with its stock.

Ruger equipped the 10/22 Target with…wait for it…a target trigger. With a light pull and little creep or over-travel, it’s a much better trigger than ships with a standard 10/22 carbine. That said, I’m not sure it deserves to be called a target trigger.

When I think “target trigger” I think glass rod. The 10/22 Target’s switch breaks more like dry spaghetti. Not bad, but nothing exceptional. The whole unit is housed in a heat-stabilized, glass-filled, polymer housing.

The rubber buttpad provides a firm mount (not that a .22 long gun needs much of one) without being too grippy. The laminate stock is solid, nicely finished and includes two swivel studs. A third stud for attaching a bipod would have been ideal but not a big deal at this price point. The stock’s comfortable, but some checkering on the palm swell would have been appreciated.

Unlike the standard carbine the Target model ships without iron sights. Instead, you get a Weaver-style scope base that will also accommodate a tip off mount.

With that bull barrel, the 10/22 target is relatively heavy for a .22 rifle, weighing in at 7.5 lbs. That’s 2.5 lbs more than the carbine model, a 50% increase. As virtually all of that added weight is in the barrel, the 10/22 Target has a distinctly front-heavy feel.

Being a target rifle, the most important aspect of the gun is its accuracy. Here the 10/22 Target is a decidedly average performer. The best group I could coax out of it was 1.125-inch at 50 yards using Federal Premium Gold Medal ammunition.

In all, I shot five different types of .22 ammo and the group sizes were virtually the same. CCI Mini Mags were almost as good as the Federal Premium stuff.

In the end, the Ruger 10/22 Target looks great, but with 2+ MOA group sizes I’m not sure it deserves the Target designation. Most shooters who are truly interested in accuracy will gravitate to a bolt gun rather than a semi-auto anyway.

In my mind, a Ruger 10/22 should be light weight, handy and reliable. It’s the ideal learning and plinking gun. The 10/22 Target is too heavy to be handy and not really accurate enough to be a target rifle. In the end, this version left me missing the standard 10/22 carbines I’ve owned, which is why I’ll be buying one soon.

Specifications: Ruger 10/22

Sights: None
Twist: 1:16” RH
Weight: 7.5 lb.
OAL: 38.50”
Barrel Length: 20”
Grooves: 6
Msrp: $579.00 (street price $445)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Fit and Finish * * * * *
In a word, perfect. The finish is even and tough. Everything feels very well put together.

Accuracy * * *
With 2+ MOA groups, it’s accurate enough for a semi auto .22. I just expect better from a “target” rifle, something a free-floated barrel might help.

Reliability * * * * *
As with all 10/22’s it functioned perfectly no matter what type of ammo I fed it. Keep it clean and it just works.

Customization * * * * *
The variety of aftermarket accessories for the 10/22 is huge. If you want better triggers, scope mounts, stocks or magazines, someone — or a lot of someones — makes them. Be aware that some aftermarket stocks might not accommodate the Target model’s heavy profile barrel.

Overall * * * *
It’s reliable, comfortable and easy to accessorize. But it really needs to be more accurate. I’ll probably replace it with a standard 10/22 and put the money saved into a better aftermarket stock.

48 Responses to Gun Review: Ruger 10/22 Target Rifle

  1. Any time a complaint is accuracy I think the author should post a target they shot at the same time with a different more accurate gun to prove its the gun and not the shooter. Not saying that its necessarily the shooter in this case it would just be nice to have proof.

    • good point, but the 10/22 is inherently mildly accurate. I’ve got a stable of 10/22s but my one 77/22 can shoot the pants off all the semi autos. Heck even my Savage drives tacks compared to the 10/22.

      but in reality we are talking about hitting a squirrel in the eye instead of the forehead level of accuracy.

      • …Or your aim could be a tad off and it could be the difference between the forehead and a miss. Accuracy is always beneficial even if you are not a great shot. Even if you can only aim 3MOA its better to have a 1MOA rifle than a 2MOA rifle. Its a myth that rifle accuracy doesn’t matter as long as “its more accurate than I am”.

  2. I bought one when they first came out, it was a turd. I took the barrel off and slowly tightened the Allen bolts half turn at a time back and fourth . This greatly improved the gun…. I do this with every new one I get… It has helped them all even my charger pistol.

    • In my limited experience with .22 rifles it seems like right around 25 – 30 inch pounds tends to be good.25 – 30 inch pounds by the way is really not tight.

    • That is an interesting idea…I bought a Barrel/stock combo from Midway awhile back, for $99, that looks exactly like the one in the photo. Shoots great, but the OEM trigger still kinda sucks. I will have to try the allen screw adjustment.

  3. the 10/22 carbine is the ideal .22 auto loader. accurate enough, light, handy, cheap to feed and buy.

    If you want 2 upgrades, you get a hammer upgrade with polished sear surface for huge upgrade in trigger feel. A polymer bolt stop will take the clack smack out of the bolt cycling.

    also expect to replace/upgrade the extractor after about 10k rounds, mine wore down severely.

  4. Interesting.

    Did you try Wolf ammo? Mine shoots into 3/4″ at 50 yard pretty easily with Wolf. I agree the groups you got are crappy.

    • You got the correct answer, but you didn’t phrase it in the form of a question. That’s going to cost you. Let’s see how much you wagered…

    • Those are sweet little guns. I wrote a review based on my own Model 60 for one of the first TTAG content contests a couple/three years ago.

      I don’t know if it’d outshoot my Henry .22 for accuracy (I don’t usually shoot for groups, just plinking, and both will hit anything I aim at if I do my job right), but it beats this “Target” 10-22, no contest.

      When I shot it on-record for the review, it averaged about 3/4″ groups at 50 yd, if I remember right, and I was disappointed in myself because I’m sure it can do better, even if I couldn’t on that particular day.

    • I remember repeatedly shooting soda-pop cans, at 80 to 90 yards, with iron sights, shooting off-hand, with my Marlin model 60 in college. Oh, and that was using who-knows what inexpensive .22 LR ammunition.

      I expect more inherent accuracy from any rifle chambered in .22 LR, much less something labelled a “target” model.

    • Have shot Marlin & Mossberg 22s in the past and both were very accurate. I get the same accuracy from my Rugers, which I like better.

  5. I bought a 10/22 collector’s series 2 shortly after Ruger quit making them. If Ruger management is reading this, please make the RCS2 a standard model.

    It’s got a plastic stock, picatinny rail with qhost ring sight, an 18.5″ barrel, and weighs in at 5 lbs. I bought a Bushnell TRS-25 red-dot and a Nikon Target EFR scope to go with it.

    I put in a plastic bolt stop, a BX trigger, and a quick release bolt catch. I had a few fail-to-fires with MiniMag ammo after the trigger swap, so I put the original hammer spring into the replacement BX and have not had a problem since.

    I usually shoot 10 round groups and can get about 1.25″ groups at 50 yds. except for 1 flyer. Good but not fabulous. The stock is hard against the barrel just like the above review model.

    The ghost ring aperture is a bit large, though I’ve discovered that I tend to cock my neck forward. If I move my head back a bit, the viewed ghost ring shrinks quite a bit and definitely helps with accuracy.

      • maybe, under deep cover.
        i think having a c&r license helps to some degree.
        it may also allow me to cut down a shotty that has “never” had anything other than a pistol grip attached…

  6. Does it still have the box magazine like the older ones? I hate those seriously. Most of the malfunctions for the regular 10/22 I have is with these magazines, which are hard to get in and out besides. I have not use my 10/22 in a long time, simply because of that. I did buy a 30 round “banana” magazine, but it is very awkward to use and suffers as many malfunctions as the little 10 round boxes.

    • Ruger makes 15 and 25 rd. mags. I like the 15; they are much easier to get in and out, and aren’t bulky like the 25’s.

      • The newer 10/22s have an extended mag release that works very well and can be aftermarket retrofitted. Mags drop right out.

  7. “i think the takedown is the way to go.”

    Yup.

    And I agree with Mark – no irons is a deal-killer.

    (No irons is a deal-killer – I must have irons…) Dune mode /off

  8. my 10/22 takedown was terrible. bought it new. did not feed reliably more than 3 rounds out of the magazine. tried 3 different kinds. one would fail to feed every single round. thorough cleaning, nothing changed. total piece of JUNK!

    • 1. 10/22’s can be finicky about magazines. I would try at least 3 Ruger OEM magazines before giving up on the rifle.
      2. 22’s can be extremely picky about ammo. 3 Types of ammo isn’t really enough, especially if it’s 3 types of low-quality/cleap 22lr. Buy 1 box of CCI mini-mags and run that through the gun.

      3. Finally, Ruger will stand behind their guns. If the rifle still won’t feed after 1 or 2, then I’d reach out to Ruger support and they’ll get it fixed up.

      • 3 different mag types. 4 ruger 10 round. 2 ruger 25, and a butler creek. all ammo was high quaility over 1200 and 1400 fps. all rounds jammed would catch on the inside of the barrel and shear off part of the nose and then jam. total POS

    • I’ve had the same problem. Sent it to a gunsmith who polished the bore which was either rough or tight. Feeds like a champ now with decent ammo (super-x, mini-mag’s).

  9. Those are crappy groups. For the first few years of the RIMFIRE CHALLENGE, I shot a Ruger Target 10/22 fitted with a Volquartsen trigger and a Burris Speed Dot. On all my RIMFIRE CHALLENGE rifles, the only acceptable group is 5-shots touching at 50 yards.

    The 10/22s are less sketchy about ammo than any of the pistols, but they still want what they want.

    I never had all that much luck with Federal Gold Metal ammo, though I tried with it. Ultimately, I ended up with CCI SV for the bread and butter load, either Eley (God bless its expensive little hearts) or Gemtech subsonic when I really really needed a long shot.

    I still have *pieces* of that Target 10/22, now fitted into a Boyd stock with a Clark barrel. Running CCI SV exclusively.

    mb

  10. My 10/22 Mannlicher style bone-stock is at least that accurate with a mixed bag of ammo. If I shoot CCI standard, I can hit every bottle cap I shoot at at 50 yards. Trigger is stiff, but breaks clean after the several thousand rounds I’ve put through it…

    • a reference to placing the short charger barrel on the full sized 10/ 22 stock and/ or the full length barrel onto the charger’s pistol grip.
      due to some oversight ruger did not prevent this melding from taking place.

  11. A few years ago I got the bug to make an accurate 10/22. I got the least expensive 10/22 I could find at Walmart, then I stripped it and started replacing parts. The barrel is a Green Mountain heavy stainless one, the bolt has been polished and headspaced, the trigger is a Kidd two stage, and the stock is a Hogue. I put a Bushnell 2×7 scope on it. It would probably shoot better with a solid stock, but it shoots well enough now to get ½” to ¾” groups at 50 yds. That seems to be significantly better than the reports I see on the factory HB 10/22, but then the money invested is also higher.

    • Can we really call your rifle a Ruger 10/22 when you have replaced everything except for the receiver and the bolt?

      Note: the barrel has to be a MAJOR factor in a rifle’s inherent accuracy.

  12. I bought a 22 magnum polymer stock for my 10/22 in 22lr in order to free float the Factory carbine barrel. It made all the difference in the world.

  13. I got a 10-22 in the late ’70s at a sporting goods chain grand opening sale.
    Also bought a slick little Bushnell 2-7X ringless scope and a sling (rifle did not have sling studs), and a couple of spare mags.
    Dialed in the scope and started bangin’ away,
    Group size? Don’t know, never bothered to check. It’s a plinker, man.
    Still bangin’ after all these years.
    Package came to about $135.00. Worth every nickel!

  14. You might have gotten a lemon, but maybe that’s the state of the art in 10/22T rifles these days. Mine is 15 years old, and the only thing I did to it was to install the Volquartzen bedding kit. Its a bit finicky as to the ammo it likes, but using Federal Automatch gives me 10 rounds inside of a dime at 50 yards. It also likes green tag CCI. 22 rimfires can sometimes be touchy about the ammo they prefer. My buddies 10/22 sporter does well with just about everything. My other 10/22 I frankenguned together with a whistle pig barrel, laminated stock from Boyds, power custom trigger kit and the Volq bedding kit does better with more types of ammo-especially the generic stuff, but it won’t beat the 10/22T for grouping with the ammo I’ve tried so far. Not even Eley stuff. Bedding torque for both is 20 in/lbs.

  15. +2 MOA means either you can’t shoot, you haven’t found an ammo it likes or you got a lemon there. I can get dime size groups at 50 yards each and every time with either eley target or cci green tags. Only upgrade to my target 10/22 is a kidd trigger.

  16. I have a 10/22 Target that looks just like the one in the article. I picked it up at a pawn shop roughly 12 years ago and it was barely used.
    My rifle is a tack driver. It easily shoots 3/8″ groups at 50 yards and within a MOA at 100 yards off the bench.
    I tuned the trigger to a crisp, clean 1-3/4 lb break which certainly helps achieve good groups.
    I sometime use it as a heavy rifle for NRA Silhouette small bore shooting and can routinely score in AA rankings shooing off-hand with this rifle.
    Perhaps the author’s rifle is in need of some tuning or it is indeed a lemon.

  17. I still like a .22, remember when they were just rifles, .22 LR hollow points, bolt action or semi auto. Iron sights. Squirrels, rabbits, varmints did not care. I always preferred bolt action for this cal., no scope. Left handed shooting right handed rifle. My neighbor in SC was a county LEO, first time we went shooting and he saw me use that .22 left handed, he just said, “damn”.

  18. I have my Dad’s old 10/22 that he got back in 1974. Originally he outfitted it with a few accoutrements including a fiberoptic non-electronic red dot (yeah, way back then). It was a fun little rifle and what I learned to plink with.

    Now, 30+ years later I’ve given it new life as my training rifle for the Project Appleseed courses.

    The first course I just ran the gun as is minus the red dot (wanted to run irons for the challenge). Learned quickly what I needed for the Appleseed courses. . .

    1) Tech Sights
    HUGE improvement over stock irons. Longer sight radius and the M16-style peep sights make it so much easier to see the target. To say nothing of ease of sight adjustment.

    2) Modified Bolt Release Plate
    This was a very simple and free DIY project. Just grind down the “v” on the release plate with a dremel too. This makes it so you simply pull back on the charging lever to release the bolt.

    3) Paddle Mag Release
    My 10/22 was so old that it had a flush mag release button which was made it tougher to swap mag. Which was particularly bothersome on the timed courses of fire. So in went a paddle release.

    4) More Holes In The Sling
    Punched a few more holes i the original, 40+ year old leather sling my dad got for the rifle. It allowed for a better, proper adjustment for me.

    Other than that, the rifle needed a $9 extractor and it’s been running like a champ for 43 years.

  19. Typical Ruger. I used to be a huge Ruger fanboy. Had a safe full of Bill’s long guns. The more I got into rifle shooting and reloading, I realized that the design of the M77 is terribly flawed from and accuracy standpoint. That 45 degree angle recoil lug with an action screw going thru it is for s#it. I don’t own any M77’s anymore. The 10/22 is pretty good platform to tinker with. I have a Chief AJ gun with somebody’s aftermarket bbl on it and with the old FGMM ammo with the dimple in the case head it will shoot the same hole all day long at 50 yds. I’m down to 4 boxes of that ammo. Nothing else I have tried comes close. I bought their “target” model 1911. I have tried at least a dozen bullet and powder combinations and it will shoot good groups with 4.1grs of Titewad and a 200gr LSWC but that is the only load it will shoot. For comparison I have a admittedly much more expensive “match” custom made 1911 that will shoot virtually any load into a tight group at 25yds. The old Rugers were the best Rugers except for the Mini14 and Mini30 which sucked in the accuracy department. Supposedly they are redesigned. Bought my last Ruger last year. 77/44. It is a $800 piece of junk. Still trying to talk my gunsmith into rebarrelling it. He is afraid he would have to go into therapy afterwards. He has built many national and world title holder F class rifles and he holds an F class record himself but he will not touch a Ruger rifle.

  20. If you can spare the money, get a 10/22 action based Volksquartzen rifle. It looks like a space gun and it is a truly target weapon with the accuracy craved by shooters that want competition precision in a semi auto that rivals high quality bolt action rifles. Other wise, buy a good bolt action sporter from Anschutz or similar brand from European origin.Remember, accuracy that gives you 1/4 inch at 50 yards and 1 inch at 100 yards from a 22 LR costs money. CZ sells nice and very accurate 22’s for the same money or less. In this department, the USA is still behind the Europeans for whatever reason. Also, shoot precision subsonic target ammo (Wolf, SK Fed Gold Medal) and see it it is better. Some rifles are very particular as to what shoots well in them while others can shoot anything well. Good luck with your rifle.

  21. Fairly accurate??? I have 3 10/22’s… 1 standard with a Riflebasics trigger that I got in late 80’s, 1 stainless with after market bull barrel and Ramline stock with standard trigger, and 1 10/22T with factory Ruger trigger, the newest one being about 10 years old. I have shot 1/2″ patterns with cheap Winchester Wildcats with everyone of them. All of them came from the factory with free floated barrels, even the WalMart special that was bought in the late 80’s (I can slip a dollar bill between barrel and stock all the way down to where connected to the stock) I don’t know what your problem may be, but my 10/22’s have never disappointed me.

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