What’s up Shooters,
After posting my article on the Ruger 10/22 Takedown Rifle, I received a suggestion from shooter and friend Greg F. He suggested that I try the rifle with a magnified optic and give the gun some better ammo to see what kind of accuracy you can squeeze out of the Takedown. He also suggested that I shoot 3 strings with 10 rounds, taking the barrel off between each string to see if there is any impact shift. I thought “damn, that’s a great idea.” Now if I only had a magnified optic. There to save the day, another shooter and friend, Vince S. volunteered a 3 -12 x Tasco scope and a variety of very accurate .22 ammo.
10/22 with scope and test ammo.
I headed to the range with scope mounted and zeroed the rifle before testing accuracy and impact shift. I had some Lapua Signum, and two different types of Federal ammo, Premium Gold Medal Target and just Gold Medal Target. Because of my time and ammo constraints, I did not re-zero with each different round, so please keep that in mind and focus on group size more so than proximity to the bullseye. The targets I used were three, six inch shoot-n-c targets set at 50 yards.
First up was the Lapua Signum. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the specs for the Signum and I don’t have a chrono to tell you how fast this round clocks in at. I disassembled, reassembled and cycled the bolt a couple times on the Takedown between each 10 shot string. What I noticed was that the first one or two shots were consistently low, then the group would tighten up. The two shots you see at the two o’clock position for the bottom right target are actually from the top center target group. Hmm… maybe the Takedown doesn’t like the Lapua?
Next up was the Federal Premium Gold Medal Target. 40 grain solid spec’d at 1200 FPS. The first shots were low and the groups weren’t very tight, the third group being a complete throwaway. I’m going to take the blame for the third group and say I was asleep at the trigger or something (horrendous).
Federal Premium Gold Medal Target
Third and last was the Federal Gold Medal Target. 40 grain solid spec’d at 1080 FPS. This seemed to have the best group of the three rounds tested, but I still noticed that the first shots of each group were typically the low shots of the groups.
Federal Gold Medal Target
This test really started to trouble me. In my mind, one of the intended uses for this rifle is to be able to quickly assemble the rifle and take down small game on the first shot. From my testing, it looks like the take down system is not capable of maintaining zero on the initial shots. This was a big red flag considering one of it’s intended uses. I can’t believe that Ruger didn’t catch this. After doing some searching and going back over the users manual, I decide to tighten up the adjustment knob for the take down mechanism. Now when I purchased the Takedown, the rifle seemed very snug when assembled. There was not any play between the barrel and receiver so I thought I was good to go.
I returned to the range after making the adjustments and the results were much improved. The groups were a little tighter and gone was the initial dropped shot. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the targets with the remaining Lapua and Federal rounds, but I was able to get some ELEY club ammo and shown below is the results from it. ELEY club is a 40 grain round nose coming in at 1085 FPS.
Author during testing
Conclusions and Lessons Learned
Sometimes, it pays to read the instruction manual. Doing so would have saved me a little frustration and coming to the wrong conclusion on the accuracy and repeatability of Ruger’s 10/22 Takedown rifle. I wouldn’t call my testing exhaustive by any measure, but for now, I’m satisfied that the 10/22 can hold zero and would meet most people’s needs for a .22 caliber rifle that can be stored in a small format and deployed rapidly. The best groups achieved in my testing with the Takedown were with 40 grain projectiles traveling around 1080 FPS (I believe the Lapua Signum has similar specs).
What have I learned from this experience?
- Bring a ruler or something to measure group sizes.
- Make sure your camera batteries are charged.
- Don’t forget the camera.
- Instructions are good for something.
I’d also like to thank Greg F. for the testing suggestion and Vince S. for loaning me the glass and ammo. Without their feedback and help, this article would not have been possible. I appreciate their support.
If you have any feedback, please leave it in the comments below and thanks for following Way of the Shooter. See you at the range.