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  1. #1
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    Default Modifications to the Ruger 10/22

    There was some interest in modifications to the ruger 10/22 in another thread so I thought I would put something together.

    Please note that I am not a gunsmith by trade, just a tinkerer.

    The first and probably easiest modification is one that may or may not need done, you simply have to unscrew your action/barrel from the stock and see if the threaded portion of the takedown screw is at all shiny. If it is, then by design of the 10/22 it is going through the threads in the action and touching the barrel. This will change the POI if you don't get the action tightened up the same every time. Simply grind about a thread off of the length of the takedown screw. Also in this picture you can see what a "bolt buffer" looks like. I highly recommend them, they are cheap and will save your reciever holes from loosening up over the years. They also take care of what "whack!" sound you hear when the bolt cycles.

    Like this:

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    One popular modification is the replacement of the bolt stop for one that allows you to have it drop (release the bolt), when you pull back on the bolt handle. Many companies make a replacement bolt stop that you can buy, but you can also modify the one that came in your Ruger to do the same thing. I am going to show you a picture of a Voquartsen part (I bought one before I knew how to modify my Ruger part) so you get an idea of the shape of the hole you have to enlarge. Your stock part is going to have a cutout that looks more like a "heart" (cupid not anatomical), you need to open up the pointy part of the heart and radius some of the hole so that when you pull back on the bolt handle the bolt release can ride down the pin with the pressure of the spring that is coiled around the hammer:



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    Also in this ^ picture, you can see at the back of the trigger there is a flat pad that the trigger plunger rides on. Now with a dremel tool or something similar you want to polish this surface. It is coated with paint from Ruger is not exactly friction free. At the same time, go ahead and radius the plunger and polish it as well. When Ruger makes the 10/22, they drill the hole at an angle in relation to the pad on the back of the trigger. I think it is done this way because it is a blind hole from the factory so they have to come throught from the trigger guard.

    If your up for it, you need to drill using this hole as a guide till you get through to the other side of the trigger group so you can tap out the hole (the end away from the trigger) to accept a setscrew. When you get your trigger work done, you use the setscrew to adjust for overtravel. You may have to cut a few coils off of the plunger screw to account for the setscrew so the coils don't bind before your trigger stop, also the shorter spring will enhance trigger feel.

    As seen from the drill:

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    This is the picture of the back of my reciever, the setscrew ends up being near the hole for the hammer mainspring:

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    Something that is relativly easy is to polish all the surfaces that slide or twist on each other. You will need to be very carefull if you are going to chang anything about where the hammer and sear engage!!! If your not up for that, there is plenty more that you can smooth out to make things better. Polishing the surface of the hammer that rides on the bolt will help a lot to smooth out the action. In this picture you can see the surface I am talking about. You can also see the area of the mainspring that you want to polish, this goes into a cutout in the hammer and will help with the smoothing of the action. You can also see my (I know, I know they arent very pretty) shims made from shim stock found at the local machine shop. These are used to shim the hammer to frame(shims go between the hammer and the bushings, not between the bushing and the frame), the sear to trigger saddle, dissconnector to trigger saddle, and trigger saddle to frame. A word about the shims, you want enough in there to minimize the side to side play, but not so many that there is friction to the moving parts. Keep the number and thickness of the shims the same on both sides to keep the parts on center:



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    The above picture shows some of the areas you can polish, the sides of the dissconnector and sear, and the sides of the trigger saddle. Be carefull around the sear since this is what holds the hammer and you don't want to mess with the angles of those surfaces unless you know what your doing. The picture also shows the "false" pin that will hold everything together in the trigger saddle so you can get everything lined up for reassembly. I used a broken off que-tip, you may want to make one out of an old drill bit or something nicer, (I lost my nice one so go figure).

    Along with polishing the hammer to bolt surface, you can contour the lower rear of the bolt so that it will have a smoother engagement on the hammer as well as more mechanical advantage over the hammer. This is the meat and potatoes of making the 10/22 more reliable with lower powered ammo.

    looking at the top view of the bolt, there is a radius that starts near the back of the bolt, this is where your new radius (on the bottom) will start. You want to have a smooth ramp for the bolt to push back on the hammer. With the ramp ending about 1/16th from the cutout in the bolt where it hits the reciever pin, or the bolt buffer you just installed. Also notice the top of the bolt, and the bolt handle "pad" (that becomes one with the top surface of the bolt) has been polished. You also want to polish the guide rod for the bolt handle. All this polishing will give a noticeable improvement in the action of your 10/22. Polish the underside of your bolt where it rides on the trigger group.



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    Last edited by YBNORMAL; July 21st, 2010 at 10:37 AM.
    The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Modifications to the Ruger 10/22

    Ok, the next thing I want to talk about is about how the 10/22 design puts the ejector into the trigger group, but the bolt (which has the upposing surface to the ejector machined in) rides in the reciever. Unreliable ejection can be a problem with the 10/22 and the answer is to drill (I used the same drill/tap/setscrew that I did with the trigger overtravel adjustment) a hole on each side of the reciever. You can see in the picture that the hole is in line with the trigger group pins (note my scribe mark) and if you look at where the trigger group sits in the receiver, you will see a part of the casting (trigger group) that has some more meat to it than the rest. That is your target area for the hole. Also in the picture, you can see that I have, after drilling through the reciever, just started to drill the trigger group, so as to make only a dimple so the setscrew has some traction on the trigger group.

    What this will do is hold the trigger group tightly side to side and front to back so the alignment of the bolt and ejector stays much more constant. When tightening these setscrews, take care not to over tighten, you could warp the reciever. I used blue locktight to ensure they stay snug without having to really wrench on them. If you realy want to be precise, I suppose you could use a set of feeler guages to ensure that the gap is the same on both sides, I just used my eyeball. If you grab your 10/22 trigger guard before doing this modification, you will most likely notice some wiggle, any wear in the pins and you might feel some front to back wiggle, you will definately feel side to side wiggle. Even in a brand new gun, It's just the way it is.

    This procedure will go a looooong way toward tightening up the feel of the trigger. The last step in this mod is to take the ejector, the part that has its rear end on the top most pin in the trigger group, and its front resting in a channel cut into the front of the trigger group. You want put a slight bend in the tip of it (only the part that sticks out past the trigger group, or it wont want to rest in the channel. You want to bend it so that leans into the vertical machined part of the bolt that slides next to the ejector. The way to describe this is to look at your trigger group from the right side and imagine a vertical axis bend right where the ejector tip leaves the trigger group casting. From the top view (trigger pull like you would shoot the rifle) the ejector would bend to the right. Not much, just enough so that it rides against the bolt when your setscrews and trigger group are centered in the reciever.



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    Last edited by YBNORMAL; July 21st, 2010 at 10:36 AM.
    The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
    Ayn Rand

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Modifications to the Ruger 10/22

    Same thing.
    The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
    Ayn Rand

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Modifications to the Ruger 10/22

    Can I just send you my 10/22 and pay you to trick her out for me.
    The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control....
    The day they want my guns, they'll have to bring theirs!!!
    Proud to be One of the 3%

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Modifications to the Ruger 10/22

    Ha, no way man. I am happy I did all this to mine, and it made a world of difference. I even did a few family members and friends rifles, but it does take a lot of time and probably would mean I would have to charge an arm and a leg just for the labor involved.
    The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
    Ayn Rand

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Modifications to the Ruger 10/22

    Very detailed post. Thank you for the very detailed pictures and explanations.

    I just got my first 10/22 and have been looking for some ideas on how to improve upon it's design.

    If you still live in York, we will have to get together and go to the range for some 22 plinking.

    I'm a member at Windsor Fish and Game.

    Thanks again,
    James

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Modifications to the Ruger 10/22

    Very nice posting. Rep to you for good explanations and clear photos. I appreciate the time you spent putting all that together.

    On the subject of Trigger/Sear modifications: There are some videos out there such as the ones from AGI that discuss how to do your own trigger job.
    Note: You don't have to purchase them, they can be rented from www.smartflix.com if you prefer.
    If one chooses to go that route, proceed slowly and with caution, always taking into account any and all safety considerations. Go slowly and test often. It is embarrassing to have your rifle suddenly go full auto on you because you took too much metal off a critical engagement surface .

    On the subject of a bolt stop buffer: One way to save a little money is to replace the rear bolt stop, not with a commercially purchased buffer, but with a cut length of .25 inch automotive tubing. Much less expensive and it really does hold up. Slides in with enough friction to keep it there... costs next to nothing.

    Caveat: The following is not something I can prove, but have been told any number of times, and it makes sense to me.

    The bolt stop buffer, although an easy mod, is supposedly relatively important, especially if you are shooting higher velocity ammo, because the receiver is made out of aluminum, whilst the original bolt stop pin is made of steel. Over time, the action of the steel bolt stop against the sides of the aluminum receiver could possibly distort the holes so they are out of round making the bolt stop pin loose and creating play. Using a softer material should absorb some of the impact energy. It also reduces felt recoil (admittedly not too important for .22LR), cushioning and slowing the transfer of momentum/energy from the bolt to the receiver and the rest of the rifle.


    Cheers,


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Modifications to the Ruger 10/22

    You are quite correct about the bolt buffer keeping the reciever from getting beaten by the bolt. An added benifit is that you will not hear that annoying 10/22 "klack" when shooting.

    One thing I forgot to mention in the post above is that if you use purchased buffers and not homemade (excellent tip BTW) ones. It is recommended that you trim any excess off so it doesnt hang out of the reciever. With changes in the weather, supposedly the buffer can expand and contract and might crack the stock if it is too tight. Or so I have heard.

    YB
    Last edited by YBNORMAL; March 22nd, 2011 at 04:37 PM.
    The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
    Ayn Rand

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Modifications to the Ruger 10/22

    Just picked up a 10/22 from Walmart for 217.00

    Open to any of your suggestions!

    Here is my first "mod", obvious necessity for a sling unless you want to depend on the plastic ring that comes standard with the rifles.



    Next

    1. ruger branded sling and case




  10. #10
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    Default Re: Modifications to the Ruger 10/22

    Quote Originally Posted by EandGWZ View Post
    Just picked up a 10/22 from Walmart for 217.00

    Open to any of your suggestions!

    Here is my first "mod", obvious necessity for a sling unless you want to depend on the plastic ring that comes standard with the rifles.



    Next

    1. ruger branded sling and case



    Hi, just saw your post. I haven't owned one the barrel banded 10/22s, I have heard though, that if you are planning to float the barrel in the stock, make sure that barrel band is not putting any pressure on the barrel. It may have to be relieved.
    The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
    Ayn Rand

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