February 18, 2021
What’s the first thing almost everyone does when they buy a Ruger 10/22? Start customizing it, especially if you plan to use the rifle for a special task like competition. There are plenty of companies out there ready to sell you the components to maximize your 10/22’s potential, and for years Ruger left at least some money on the table by not selling purpose-built rifles with features advanced shooters want.
That’s changed in recent times, and the new 10/22 Competition is a good example. The rifle comes from Ruger’s relatively young Custom Shop, and the Green Mountain laminate-stock version I tested has a lot of the features competitors look for.
Right off you notice the proprietary stock, built in Ruger’s New Hampshire facility. It’s a skeletonized laminate, with the large open portion of the butt contributing to its light one-pound, 11-ounce weight. A natural rubber buttpad keeps the gun in the shoulder nicely.
The Monte Carlo comb will work only for righties, but it places your head in a good position to use optics. I accuracy-tested the rifle with the new Bushnell MatchPro 6-24X, which is a big scope, but I was able to get decent head position. With an Aimpoint red dot the comb height was just right.
The Competition’s pistol grip might be best described as “curved vertical” and keeps the wrist straight. It fills the hand nicely and flares slightly at the bottom to help keep your hand in position.
The stock is flat across the magazine well, then deepens. It tapers to a free-float fore-end. This configuration allows you to wrap your hand around it for quick target shifts.
Unlike the standard 10/22 carbine, the stock is affixed to the barreled action in two places, not one. Allen-head screws are located at the front of the action and the trigger guard.
The 161/8-inch, cold-hammer-forged barrel is a .920 bull style, and it’s fluted—which shaves a bit of weight and, with the black Cerakoted flutes, looks good, too. Its chamber is specially cut to deliver both accuracy and reliability.
The barrel is capped off with a matte black compensator. The comp has 16 ports in eight rows of two. They’re oriented forward at a slight angle. The threading is compatible with the company’s Silent-SR suppressor as well.
While there’s not much muzzle jump with a .22, there is some, and for serious action-shooting competitors, every little bit matters. Between the weight of the barrel and the compensator, the 10/22 Competition stays flat from shot to shot.
The receiver is 6061-T6511 aluminum, heat treated and stress relieved, and up top it features a 30-m.o.a. Picatinny rail. It houses a CNC-machined, heat-treated bolt, an upgrade over standard 10/22 models.
Other improvements include a nicely designed magazine release that’s contoured to the trigger guard. I found it fastest to press on the indented portion with just my trigger finger, allowing the supplied 10-round rotary magazine to drop free.
The 10/22 Competition also features a match bolt release/charging handle that’s oversize for easy and fast operation. The rest of the controls are pretty much standard fare: cross-bolt safety in the trigger guard and bolt-lock lever on the forward left side of the guard. The fire-control system is the BX-Trigger, offering a two-pound, five-ounce pull on average.
At the back of the receiver is a cleaning port so you can use a rod to clean the bore. I do prefer rods over pull-through cleaners, but in this case you have to pull the barreled action from the stock and then turn out a hex screw to remove the port cover—plus pull the bolt and bolt spring. Not that it’s hard; the 10/22’s simple disassembly is one of its charms. But I’m not sure it wouldn’t be more convenient just to remove the barrel if you want to do a judicious cleaning with a rod.
One minor complaint on the rifle. The pins that hold the fire-control unit in the receiver were really loose, especially the larger-diameter rear pin, which would readily fall out on its own. I find that annoying.
This particular rifle wasn’t a tackdriver, but it’s plenty accurate for action shooting. Average groups are found in the accompanying chart. In addition to these three loads, I also tested one of my favorites for action shooting—the CCI Mini Mag—but the rifle didn’t like it one bit.
As I mentioned, I think this rifle is set up for speed, and it excels at that. The weight, balance and stock design make target transitions lightning-fast, and while I didn’t shoot an action match with it, I did shoot plate racks and found the gun would do everything I wanted.
Hats off to Ruger for offering a gun that has advanced features right out of the box. Will you still customize it? Probably, because that’s what we shooters do. But the point is you don’t have to.
Ruger 10/22 Competition Rifle Accuracy Results:
Ruger 10/22 Competition Rifle Specs:
- Type: direct-blowback semiauto rimfire
- Caliber: .22 LR
- Capacity: 10-round rotary magazine supplied
- Barrel: 16 1/8 in., stainless, fluted bull
- Overall Length: 36.75 in.
- Weight: 5.5 lb.
- Stock: Green Mountain skeletonized laminate
- Receiver: 6061-T6511 aluminum
- Trigger: 2 lb., 5 oz. (measured)
- Sights: none; integral 30-m.o.a. Picatinny rail
- Safety: cross-bolt
- Price: $899
- Manufacturer: Ruger, ruger.com