Looking to add some sizzle to your Ruger 10/22? Green Mountain Rifle Barrel has the solution.
by the ShootingDaily staff
No serious rimfire rifle discussion takes place among firearm enthusiasts that isn’t dominated by the Ruger 10/22. The 10/22 is, hands down, the most popular .22 rifle in America, and has been since its introduction in the mid-1960s.This lightweight carbine quickly became known for its out-of-the-box accuracy, ingeniously simple design, and reliability, and it still holds that distinction today in spite of the many model variations that have come and gone over the years.
One of the great things about the Ruger 10/22 platform that appeals to rimfire fans is that it’s “customizer-friendly.” With only one action screw securing it to the stock, a barrel that simply unbolts from the receiver, and a trigger assembly that literally drops out with the removal of a couple of pins, the 10/22 practically begs for fine-tuning upgrades. One of the best upgrades you can make is to replace the stock barrel with high-quality aftermarket steel. In that arena, Green Mountain Rifle Barrel (GMRB) leads the pack.
GMRB, known as a leading manufacturer of precision, competition-grade rifle barrels covering everything from muzzleloaders to M16s and AKs, offers several options for the Ruger 10/22 fan. GMRB’s 10/22 barrel lineup includes stainless steel .920 target bull barrels, military-style replacements, weighted target barrels, fluted barrels, and sporter barrels in lengths ranging from 16 to 28 inches. Muzzle threading is also an available option for those looking to add a custom compensator, flash hider, or suppressor.
We had a Ruger 10/22 50th Anniversary model on hand that was begging for a facelift and a little “punch” in the accuracy department. Its black synthetic stock and LaserMax sight seemed cool at the time we bought it, but after perusing the many GMRB options available, we knew we could do better.
The slickest option was the 16-inch blued Classic Military Finned barrel with sights. This barrel comes with a 1:16 twist, a machined Cutts compensator, and Williams military-style sights (hooded front post and adjustable rear aperture). In addition to this unusual barrel profile, GMRB also offers a natural walnut stock designed specifically for their military themed 10/22 barrels. Now this combination would certainly transform our rifle both in looks and in function.
The problem was, GMRB also offers 16-inch M4-style barrel that is fluted to reduced weight and to promote heat dissipation, and it comes with a threaded muzzle ready to accept a 1/2×28-inch compensator.
Well, the heck with decisions. When you can’t choose between Cookies & Cream and Rocky Road…get both! And that’s exactly what we did.
REPLACING THE RUGER 10/22 BARREL & STOCK
The Ruger 10/22 is one of the simplest, easy-to-work-on rimfire rifle platforms there are: two screws secure the barrel to the action, and one screw secures the barreled action to the stock. Factory models come with a barrel band at the end of the foregrip, but serious shooters often remove the band to prevent interference with the barrel’s harmonics.
Here’s how it’s done…
With the barrel and stock swap complete, our Ruger 10/22 had an entirely new personality with its “military-inspired” theme. The rifle is surprisingly light at 4.5 pounds, with an overall length of only 34.75 inches. With the addition of a sling, this will be our go-to rifle for summer varmint hunting this summer and small-game hunting this fall.
Green Mountain Rifle Barrel recommends a specific 100-round break-in process for their barrels. This involves shooting five rounds, cleaning the barrel, then shooting another five rounds and so on for a total of six five-round strings. Next comes seven 10-round shoot-and-clean strings for a total of 100 rounds. After this, the barrel is sufficiently seasoned to begin ammo testing and final sight-in.
If you like the military look for your 10/22, another option offered by Green Mountain Rifle Barrel is their 16-inch M4-Type Fluted barrel with a matte blue finish. This barrel combines the M4 barrel profile, but with the forward portion of the barrel fluted for reduced weight and improved cooling (compared to a conventional round profile barrel). It also comes with a 1/2×28 threaded muzzle to accommodate a compensator, flash hider (such as the A2), or a suppressor. This barrel does not come with an open front sight, but if open sights are your thing, it’s an easy matter to install a Picatinny rail gas block (since the barrel has the same .750 diameter as a standard M4-cut barrel) and add a front sight to it. You’ll just need an appropriate-sized riser block for the rear sight to correctly align with the front.
After installing and breaking in the GMRB ribbed barrel, we took it all apart and dropped in the fluted barrel. We opted for a Tactical Solutions compensator, as this presented an easy screw-on fix for our naked muzzle and didn’t require any indexing (but we did have to fill about a 1/8-inch gap with shims). To top it all off, we added an Aimpoint T-1 optic, which will be a good dual-service optic for both small-game hunting and plinking.
Now, how’s that for SIZZLE?
Article copyright 2016 by ShootingDaily.com; promoted by Green Mountain Rifle Barrel Co.