Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > The .22 Caliber Rifle: An Essential Homestead Firearm

10/22 Upgrade - Cheap and Easy (with pics)

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Read all instructions before working on your gun. Do so at your own risk. I am not responsible for anything you do, EVER

NOTE: Sorry for the crappy image quality of my iPhone

Now that that junk is out of the way.  ;D I began with a Ruger 10/22 on a black synthetic stock with a stainless steel barrel. Here are the Specs for those interested.  I made some simple upgrades; a scope, a bipod and a 25 round banana clip. It makes an already accurate rifle into a true small game harvesting machine.


This is what I started with.


Here it is pictured with the upgrades still in the box.


Upgrades Include:

1) Bushnell .22 Rimfire 4x32 Riflescope Matte Multi-X Reticle which is usually $43 at Opticsplanet, but was (and is at the time of me writing this) on sale for 30% off, also here is a coupon for an additional 5% off your entire order there. So, it came to $25. Thanks Goatdog for finding this one. If it is good enough for Goat then I guess I can live with it  ;)


2) BARSKA Universal Barrel Mount Bipod which usually costs $60, but was (and is at the time of me writing this) on sale for $30 which means it qualifies for free shipping.  UTG also makes one for much cheaper, although it is built from aluminum rather than steel. I am sure it is durable and I know it is light but I would rather have the steel. The UTG also uses spring loaded clamps on it whereas the Barska is locked on with the allen wrench it comes with. Besides the other wouldn't qualify for free shipping so the price is pretty close. In addition, the Barska came with 2 sets of screws for various barrels. This will be very useful if I decide to move it to a mosin or something. Be warned, it may scratch the barrel a little if you are taking it on and off. I don't buy guns to resell them though so, I am ok with that.


3) Butler Creek 10/22 25-Round Magazine Cabela's has it for $20, but you might could find it for half that online. I have actually had major issues with this clip. It has never fed properly. However, I am planning on sending it back to the manufacturer. I am sure they will replace it. (if not get ready for a nasty review)

So, that is $75

tools needed:

two small screw drivers ( a flathead and a phillips) - You can use the screwdrivers from an eyeglass repair kit

possibly a pair of needle nose pliers (unnecessary if your screwdriver has a good handle, but it helps big time if using an eyeglass screwdriver)


On to the Project!


This may be easier with a gun rest, but I didn't have one and did fine. Also, while I have some serious experience with guns, especially .22s I am no gunsmith and I found this project to be very easy.


Since I didn't have a gunrest I decided that it would be best to put the bipod on first and that would give me a more stable platform to install the scope on. The bipod came with directions, an allen wrench and 2 sets of screws (one long set and one short one). Obviously, read the directions first, but it was very easy to install. I used the small screws, but kept the large ones as the bipod can be put on a mosin or even a shotgun for some slug action. I put it on, left it a little loose, looked down the sights to make sure I had it straight and then tightened down the screws.

Here it is fitted with the bipod

Next, it was time for the scope. This is a multi stage process. First came the rail. I believe the 10/22 comes with one of two different styles of rails in the package. Mine came with the weaver style rail. The installation of the rail is covered in the directions that came with the rifle. The hardest part of the whole thing is trying to remove the 4 screws on top of the action (make sure the gun is EMPTY). You will need a very sturdy screwdriver ( I used pliers to turn the screwdriver-not on the gun). The screws in the gun from the factory are tough! After you get those 4 screws out, position the rail in place, then screw it down with the screws that came with it.

Here is the rail and screws I forgot to put in the picture earlier, doh!

here are a couple pictures of the gun with the rail on it

The scope comes with its own directions, scope rings, lens cloth and a lens cover. I loosely slipped the rings onto the rail. Then I put the scope in the rings and loosely tightened the rings to it. I then positioned the gun in my shoulder and moved the scope back and forth. You want the crosshairs to be straight. You also want to make sure the scope is as far forward as possible while still providing you with the clearest view and the largest eye relief to allow for the largest field of view. Then when you have that just right tighten it all down. Not too tight that stuff breaks!

There it is with the scope on it.

Then just throw in a banana clip it is ready to rock! All for only $75!


You can buy clear scope rings that allow you to use your iron sights if you need to which is pretty awesome. I may upgrade

You may also want to put a small drop of blue Loctite in each screw hole to hold everything extra tight.

I am more than likely getting a sling, probably just a nylon rig so I don't have to install any swivels.

Another Tip: If you would add a set of sling swivels, of which the front one fits in the barrel band, you can use a Harris bipod or equivalent, and have full adjustability of the legs, etc. Some even swivel (if you need that).

+1 on the see thru scope mounts and the high cap mags. I have a pair of 30 rounders that I have had since I was in jr. high. I bought them at Walmart if that tells you how long ago that was. I love them rabbit hunting, as I dont have to mess with reloading and taking off my gloves.


Great writeup - nice mods that are typical first adds to a 10/22.

All of my long guns get a sling. For the average, offhand field positions a sling offers more stability than just about anything else.

I do not use see-through rings. Typically, they are too tall for a good repeatable cheek weld and do not offer the speed of iron sites.

I have a Bushnell scope and have been very happy - great cost / value products. I used the Ruger base, which is okay and Weaver rings, which I will likely replace.

I recommend using factory Ruger mags - most reliable option I have used. Can be carried in speedloader pouches.

For the 10/22 - the newer already include the extended mag release. I also recommend getting or modifying the bolt release to allow you to pull it back to release. Finally, I like to install a bolt buffer. This is a plastic rod that replaces the steel rod in the back of the action. Reduces steel on steel contact and quiets the cyclic noise of the weapon.

I also like to do a little trigger work, I can recommend the VQ bolt handle and recoil rod, and either mod or buy an auto bolt release. Yours look to be the newer version, which has the extended mag release - otherwise, this is a needed add-on. I have the B&C polymer version.


Great post +1.  Isn't it amazing what another $75 will do to a 10/22! 


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