Introduction: my Ruger 10/22 projects

A while back, pre-9/11, I went shopping for a .22 rifle. Everyone I asked recommended the Ruger 10/22, and each of them had a different reason. That made it easy to choose the Ruger. All the recommendations were truthful and accurate. After I bought one, I found I didn’t like it. The trigger pull was heavy, long, and gritty. The factory sights were utterly awful, with a sight picture sort of like peeking over the top of your neighbor’s fence.

I’m not a machinist or a gunsmith, just a farm boy, although a bit older than that, and I’ve done more than farming. I think things should function right, I don’t always take people’s word for things, I don’t give up easily, and I’m willing to tinker.

It took me literally years to get that rifle right. An hour at a time here and there searching online, installing and discarding parts. Many parts came from sources most people wouldn’t look at, and some things required researching some obscure topics. The results so far: (1) a rifle I really, finally like; (2) the only Ruger 10/22 of its kind; (3) amazement at how hard it is to find the right aftermarket parts for world’s most popular .22 autoloader; and (4) a chance to make it even nicer to shoot than I first intended.

#4 is a big one. After a couple early successes, I got carried away and did all sorts of things I hadn’t originally planned. I began with one Ruger 10/22, now I have four of them, and I’m not done yet.

I mention specific parts and manufacturers in these articles. I found these parts myself, and installed them myself. These parts were not recommended to me (too bad, it would have saved me lots of time) and I received no payments of any sort for my recommendations.

The point of these articles is to save you the excess time I spent looking for what should be easy to find, and isn’t. I’ve written here everything about the 10/22 and shooting that I learned in the course of working on the rifles, so there will be a few things you’ve heard before. I hope that you, like I, will find a few surprises. Some of the info may be useful for other rifles.

You might wonder why I don’t have my name on this. Simple. I’m a professional in a field where not everyone likes people who ‘cling to guns and Bibles’ (I like the Bible, too) and I don’t need the trouble. But there’s only one bottom line. Either these articles help you, or they don’t. I’m happy with my results, and that’s the story in these pages.

Here’s a quick outline of what you can find here:

  • Target hammer and springs to lighten the trigger
  • Classical target sights (three sets: Lyman + Williams, Lyman + Millet, and Lyman + LPA)
  • Globe sights and reticles
  • Stock modification for shooting with both eyes
  • Finding the rifle’s ‘natural zero’ and dialing in sights
  • Using an offset scope mount for spotting
  • Muzzle adapter, muzzle brake/recoil compensator, and muzzle dynamics
  • Sling mounting points and materials
  • Bedding the stock

… plus explanations and personal musings about how things work, and why.

Be well, shoot straight, and remember: the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution is ultimately guaranteed by the Second Amendment. If you pray, pray that you won’t ever need to make good on that guarantee.


Rugers in flight – 10/22s at the ready (but safetied & not chambered), hanging below a high bookshelf. They’re handy, but way out of the reach of children — who’d really like to play with them. The kids’ll be old enough, soon enough, but first they have to get good with BB guns.