Sometimes, a rifle 'wants' to shoot. Picking it up and putting it to shoulder seems natural. Holding it steady on target, appears easy. Squeezing off a shot, only to see a hole almost magically happen exactly where it was pointed.... like it was meant to be.
It could be an ancient Mauser, bearing the ghosts of soldiers long marched away. Perhaps, a family hunting rifle, passed down from father to son, uncle to nephew, or mother to daughter. Rarely, it's a new piece, just removed from box or case.
This time, the rifle that 'wants to shoot', is a Ruger 10/22 target version. Its in satin stainless with a brown laminate stock and a spiral forged heavy barrel... this weapon simply shoots straight. Not a little straight, and not 'good groups', but straight. The bullets fly so true that 'groups' of one slightly wide hole could easily be the norm.
This rifle came to Carteach, pleased old man that he is, from a new local gun shop (To be featured in a later article... a fascinating place!). It's destined to be used at an upcoming Appleseed event, where I expect it to earn it's name.
Yes... name. Sometimes rifles get names.
Years of trigger time, match after match, earned my ancient Turkish Mauser the name 'Grand Old Turk'. It took only one match for my Garand, gifted to me by a true gentleman, to earn the name 'Liberty'.
This rifle, the Ruger 10/22 target model laying there on my sofa, after only a few days of shooting... it has a name now too. Soon it will be an earned name as well.
This one.... I call 'No Excuses'.
My overall impression, besides the almost disgusted and gushing happiness, is a pretty good one. I have been looking at Ruger 10/22 rifles ever since the last Appleseed seminar I attended. I like the idea of the rifle (I've owned them in the past, but have given them away over the years). As an Appleseed rifle, the 10/22 has much going for it.
On the other hand, to extract the best accuracy from one, it's almost like my daddy's axe. You know the one... the axe that's SO good it's had twelve new handles and three new heads since he's owned it. Ruger 10/22's have so many possible aftermarket options and accuracy upgrades, one can be left with nothing original but the receiver.... and those are available too.
As an accuracy rifle to be used in positions with a sling, I'd expect a standard 10/22 to need a bit of work. New Tech-sights to start with, and then a new Hornet Trigger Assembly as well. Good sights and a good trigger... must haves for truly accurate shooting. Next, since I'm a big guy, a new Stock would be needed.
One can see where this swapping out of parts towards an 'ideal' target rifle can rapidly get out of hand, and be VERY expensive.
With that idea in mind, I took a chance in handling the 10/22 target model at the store.... and very quickly discovered that it already had just about everything I could possible want in a .22 target rifle. Decent stock, excellent trigger, very heavy target grade bull barrel, sling swivels, and it even comes in low maintenance stainless steel.
The target model comes sans sights, and this is okay by me. My aging eyes really benefit from optics, and while I strive to master iron sights to the best of my ability, I've been forced to acknowledge I shoot better with some form of optics. The Target model comes with a drilled and tapped receiver, and a bolt on Weaver mounting rail. To this I attached an Eotech 512, as a sighting aid for the next Appleseed. That's what was used to shoot the target above.... shot at 40 feet from a simple rest on a porch railing.
One day soon I'll bolt on a big scope, and put this rifle on a solid rest... and see what it can really do.
I bought the this rifle, and to someone looking for a rifle of this type, I can heartily recommend it... with one caveat. There will be no more excuses for missing, as this thing is a bloody laser.