Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Busted 10/22 (Did Ruger just do me Like That?)

The 10/22 is pretty much my favorite rifle platform available to consumers. Show me another gun almost as modular as an AR15 at a fraction of the cost that performs even close to the rate with which Ruger's .22LR standard does, and I'll tell you I'm impressed... so imagine my disappointment with my newest Ruger 10/22 (of which I have written a bit about on here some time back) pretty much failing on every level imaginable. Okay, granted I embellish a bit; it's not failing on every level, as the receiver appears to work all right. Primarily the problem is with the barrel, a Butler Creek feather-weight carbon fiber bull barrel. It's hella pretty to look at but won't chamber ammunition for shit, and I have tried everything from cheapo Walmart Xpert 22 bulk, to expensive as hell Wolf, Eley, and SK. The barrel chamber is just too friggin tight, which results in me have to slam the bolt forward with every shot I try to take.

The problem above is actually not a problem with Ruger, since the only part of the gun that's stock at this point is the receiver and it's internals, rather with Butler Creek. Now owned by Bushnell, I can say that I have nothing but disgust for their customer service. Upon calling their 800 number, the representative's first response was that I take it to a gunsmith and foot the bill myself. I restated the fact that the problem was with the barrel and how it had been manufactured, so he began to detail their warranty process. Basically I pay shipping and a flat $10 fee for the to take it into their repair center, then give them 6-8 weeks turnaround time at which point, if they found anything wromng with the barrel they either ship it back, or replace it... AKA a fancy way for them to tell customers to fuck right off.

So, as impatient as I am, and not wanting to have a gun sitting around collecting dust, I decided to take it upon myself to fix the issue and put together a rifle that isn't jacked up. Being somewhat unhappy with the .920 diameter Butler Creek stock that the gun came with, I looked into more tactical interpretations of the 10/22 stock. Tapco makes one that's sweet, but suited only for factory contoured barrels. Christie & Christie makes one for both factory contoured barrels as well as the .920 bull barrels, but they're expensive as hell and a little bit bulky. Choate makes a sick Dragunov styled stock for both barrel dimensions as well as a folding stock for only the factory contoured dimension. However none of those were really up to spec as far as what I was looking for. But after browsing Cabela's website I came across what I wanted by complete mistake...
Not only does it feature a tacticool 6 position adjustable stock, but there is no barrel channel, making the entire setup fully free-floating which means that it is compatible with any size barrel the user chooses to pair with the receiver. It's modeled after the more expensive Knoxx stocks for large bore rifles and shotguns, and is designed to absorb all feedback the weapon experiences upon firing. Not a lot given the weapon in question is firing .22LR, but it's sick as hell looking, will support a bipod, and allow me to utilize whichever barrel I choose.

Given that the barrel was the original source of the problem, I scoured the web for various after-market accessories sellers to find a new barrel. While MidwayUSA has a huge amount of supplies for the 10/22 is my usual go-to source, nothing they were offering jived with what I was looking for, either in appearance or in price. CheaperThanDirt also had nothing too stellar looking, so I branched out to some more obscure sights. Tactical Inc has a nice finned barrel but is a little pricy for what it is, and their shipping times are currently extended due to being bogged down with orders. I ended up coming across Gunkings, who have a fairly great selection, though at least half of what they offer was listed as sold out. However, give that I want this build to look fairly outstanding, I found this:
This is a modified 10/22 barrel tricked out with a 5.5 inch flash suppressor and .720 diameter sleeve, making it a bit fatter than the factory taper, but not as bulky as the .920 diamter bull barrels. It's modeled after an AR15 varmint barrel and because it's a modification of the original factory barrel will fire anything you put in it, from crummy Winchester Xpert ammunition to CCI Stingers. Even fancy-pants rounds like Wolf/SK, Eley, or Fiocchi should be no problem out of the final build, which if shipping all goes well, I should have put together by Friday or Saturday. I'll keep you all posted on the final build with details and photos, and until then happy cappin y'all.


bigmick said...

You might want to check with your 'smith, he should be able to ream out the chamber a tad and fix the feeding. Shouldn't cost more than a few bucks and take him 10 minutes.

Aaron said...

Wow. Crazy shit. you are becoming quite the modsman