Over the last 50 years almost everyone who has been introduced to shooting has eventually owned a Ruger 10/22. The curse of having the same product line that has largely unchanged over the last 50 years is that the market has been extremely saturated. The executives and design team at Ruger noticed this and over the last few years has worked hard to reinvent their rimfire line up in order to make the 10/22 family of rifles attractive to a new generation of shooters.
New Offerings & New Concepts
There are several new designs that have been released and can be broken down into five new categories. They are the Take Down and Take Down Lite which feature the Ruger easy takedown system that allows the rifle to break down in half in a matter of seconds. The cousin to the Take Down rifles is the Takedown Charger a pistol based on the 10/22 rifle. Shooters who enjoy a more tacitcal look to their rifles can get the 10/22 Tactical. The .22 Tactical features a synthetic stock along with a mounted weaver style rail and AR15 style flash suppressor. One thing to note on the .22 Tactical is that this model lacks both front and rear sights. The last new 10/22 model is the one we have been lucky enough to acquire the 10/22 Target Lite.
Ruger 10/22 Target Lite
I will say that it has been years since I bought and kept a Ruger 10/22 mostly because they were just sorta plain and uninteresting. The 10/22 rifle over the years was just one that I knew I would own again but it wasn’t truly looking for one when I stumbled onto the Target Lite. It’s important to note also with the selection of the Target Lite is that I generally dislike thumbhole stocks and avoid them like the plague. Having said that I am slowly having a change of heart on that, but before we dig into why I’m such a fan of the Ruger Target Lite lets look at the specifications of this rifle.
Manufacturer: Sturm Ruger & Co.
Model: 10/22 Target Lite
Barrel Length: 16.13″
Overall Length: 35.25″
Magazine Capacity: 10 Round Standard
Stock: Laminate Wood (Gray only color available at time of press)
Weight: Approximately 5 lbs
Trigger Pull: 2.5-3 lbs
The Ruger 10/22 Target Lite sports a decent list of features not normally found on the run of the mill 10/22 rifle. I’m no expert on the 10/22 or its history but I know I haven’t seen many 10/22’s coming form the factory with thumbhole stocks that aren’t produced as part of a USA Shooting Series or some other run. Added to the thumbhole stock is the adjustable stock shown above. It’s not a quick change style adjustable stock but using a few simple hand tools the shooter can adjust the length of pull on the rifle a good amount. This will make the rifle more desirable to younger shooters who are still growing and their parents who won’t have to buy another rifle as they grow up.
Another idea that Ruger has been evolving is making their guns suppressor ready without modifications. We have seen this come along with several of their pistols and other rifles but this is the first time I’ve seen it with a 10/22. This continues to mark a shift in public perception and support from Ruger in the realm of suppressors and gun rights. Many of us remember when Ruger was one of the first manufacturers to cave under the pressure from anti gun activists in Congress and push the 10 round magazine limits in their rifle. This hurt the company’s bottom line for a few years. Luckily it seems those days are long gone.
Fit & Feel of the Rifle
At the end of the day how the weapon fits together, feels and operates is the thing most of us are thinking about, a gun that looks gun and doesn’t work belongs in the trash or a museum. The Ruger 10/22 Target Lite that I picked up is a fun little gun that’s for sure. The fit and feel of the gray laminate thumbhole stock is pleasing to the eye but still lets you know that this gun is made to be used. All the lines, swells, and cuts in the stock are clean and uniform without rough edges or defects.
The 16.13″ long barrel features a two toned flat black that is cold hammer forged and sleeved in aluminum alloy. Topped with the previously mentioned 1/2″-28 threads and cap. What this means is that you get a great combination of lightweight materials that allows for accuracy, durability and the ability to host a suppressor on it. This will make for a very bad day for squirrels, birds, rabbits and other critters that are commonly taken with the 10/22. The fit and finish on the barrel is amazing and it’s hard to actually see the manufacturers mark on the barrel. High marks to Ruger for labeling a barrel but not doing it in an overly obnoxious way like some manufacturers.
The trigger that comes standard with the rifle is Ruger’s BX-25 trigger, a newer idea that the company has been incorporating. The trigger comes as a factory sealed unit that has a roughly 2.5-3lb trigger and is comparable with all models of 10/22. I wasn’t sure how I would like this factory drop in unit but it worked well during testing. I’m not entirely sure why the company developed this trigger to be honest, unless it was to prevent people from modifying the trigger packs themselves. There are some thoughts that Ruger did this to give it a higher protective level against accidental discharge if the weapon was dropped while loaded. Im not overly worried, the trigger is clean and audible and works well
This rifle isn’t your stock 10/22 and it isn’t an Anschutz 22, it honestly somewhere in between the two. The folks in Newport New Hampshire where this rifle is made managed to take a rifle we all love and respect and spruce it up bit to appeal to a new generation of shooters. It’s simple, well designed and the quality control at the factory is amazing based on the rifle I received. It may cost a little more than the stock 10/22 we all grew up on but in my opinion its worth it, not something I say very often about any spruced up guns especially .22 caliber ones.
In my opinion if you want a fun .22 and happen to own a suppressor than this rifle is perfect for you. In this rifle you get all that made the 10/22 great, ease of use, availability of higher capacity magazines, availability of replacement parts and a cheap to shoot caliber. I almost forgot to mention the rifle comes with a rail that will allow you to add a low powered optic to it or slap that extra red dot you have in the gun safe from china and blast away. Im very surprised by this rifle and glad I stumbled onto it when my gun fund was full of cash and ready to be spent.
We want to know do you have a 10/22 that you have worked on or customized and want to show it off ? Post pictures and a description in the comments section below. We are always looking for ideas or if you have a replacement part that you added to your rifle and it makes shooting your 10/22 more fun let us know.