75 Years Of Ruger - An American Firearm And Business Success Story Is transcendental rifle cleaning a... thing?

The meditation properties of rifle cleaning

When I once again became aware of my surroundings, Jackson Browne’s lyrical “The Pretender” was playing through the shop’s scratchy computer speakers. Standing ankle deep in thousands of bore residue covered cleaning patches, a multitude of gun cleaning solvents and lubricating oil were open on the bench before me. My sweatshirt sleeves wreaked of Kroil and Hoppe’s #9. There was a perfectly cleaned and lubricated 22 rimfire rifle sitting in the maintenance cradle.

Where was I? Who was I? Why was I? All, no doubt important questions to answer, but something kept saying, “First have two Walmart hot dogs, served in a 6″ zero carbs tortillas, topped with chili sauce, spicy mustard, and melted shredded cheddar/Jack cheese”. And so I complied.

The experience could have been worse. I could have transformed into a werewolf, or awakened standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door and a a small mailbox. I am pretty sure, that thoroughly cleaning a firearm can reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 10 points or more, and settle the mind on an unsettling day. Worked for me.

Seventy five years old and still going strong… No, not me. Ruger

There are a number of good books documenting Ruger’s history, personal and professional, as well as the business entity and individual products. Mt favorite is “Ruger and His Guns: A History of the Man, the Company & Their Firearms”. The 717 page hardcover is currently priced at $60, but it is available on Kindle for $7.

The reason I like this particular book is that the writer did it in cooperation with Sturm, Ruger, and Co., Inc., and had access to original documents and conducted interviews with Ruger personnel. So much work on the internet is based on opinions, rumors and thinly veiled, reinterpreted, plagiarism. So let’s skip the history and go to one of the 75th Anniversary celebration firearms.

The current state of the Ruger 10/22

Ruger 10/22 Sporter 75th Anniversary Model

Manufacturer Ruger
Point of Origin Newport, NH
Model 31275
Type Action Auto Loader
Caliber* 22 LR
Magazine Capacity 10
Barrel Length 18.5″
Twist  1:16″ RH
Receiver Material Anodized Aluminum
Barrel Material Alloy Steel Satin Blue
Metallic Sights Adjustable Rear
Scope Mount Weaver Base/Scope Mounts Included
Stocks Walnut Stained Hardwood
Pull Length 13.75″
Overall Length 37.0“
Weight 5.4 Lbs
Safety Cross Bolt
MSRP $399

Perhaps not as long ago as the 1949 founding of the company, the design of the Ruger 10/22 began in the late 1950’s. It was a collaborative design from Harry Sefried, Bill Ruger and Doug McClenahan. Commercially introduced in 1964, production began in Ruger’s Southport, Connecticut factory, not far from the original Ruger Corporation’s Station Street Red Barn.

In 1970, 10/22 production was moved to the then new Ruger Newport, New Hampshire operation. Since that time, multiple millions of Ruger Model 10/22 firearms have been produced in many configurations and grades of finish for civilian and special military and law enforcement applications.

Custom build versus factory standard

Over the years, I have built a good number of Ruger 10/22’s for myself, children, grandchildren and friends. Beginning with the least expensive model for a donor action, essentially everything else was changed from barrel and fire control assembly, to stock and bedding. They were very accurate firearms, often finished to the colorful tastes of young shooters in training.

Ruger 10/22 rifles aren’t particularly fussy about ammo. They are reliable and accurate, but non barrel band models seem to yield the greatest accuracy. The best of the customs I put together shot 3/8″ to 1/2″ at 50 yards. The best untouched factory versions in those days, shot 1 1/2″-2 1/2″ at 50 yards, depending on model type.

The subject rifle shot 1″ and a bit less at 50 yards with Winchester bulk and Remington Match ammo. Subsequently, today I would elect to shoot a lot more and build a lot less. For any foreseeable application. Ruger has incorporated most of the pieces and modifications that once went into a custom 10/22.

Ever since Ruger introduced the upgraded BX trigger, target models and finessed the assembly, most third party pieces differentiate one 10/22 from another by appearance and provide substance for range conversation. Ultimately, they offer little practical accuracy or reliability improvement over factory firearms. I would rather sort a factory gun using minor tweaks and best ammo selection, than drop $500-$1,000 on third party solutions in search of problems.

It isn’t like customers need to compromise with limited choices of factory firearms. There are nine broad categories of Ruger 10/22, from basic carbine, to more exotic target and competition models, to AR15 and M1 Carbine look-a-likes. Under those nine categories, there are seventy variations.

Is it a-LU-mi-num or al-lu-MI-ni-um

While the barrel on the subject gun is stainless steel, the stainless look on the receiver is hard anodized, heat-treated and stress relieved 6061-T6511 aluminum. The 75th Anniversary bolt carries a photo engraved Ruger 75th Anniversary 1949 -2024 logo.

The Sporter ships with a 10 round rotary magazine, however, compatible BX magazines of 15 (pictured) and 25 round capacity can be used when not restricted by locale.

“Sleek” if you are in search of a good descriptive adjective…

The Ruger 10/22 Sporter is a full size firearm. It has an adult size length of pull and the forearm is hand filling. I can live with a recoil pad on a 22 LR, even if one writer said very recently, “Recoil is light”. No, it is not light. Even at 5.4 lbs, recoil is non existent.

I do not like photographing firearms. The effort involves setting up and moving lights, breaking out meters, scratching my head, standing on ladders and, sometimes wearing a beret for artistic inspiration. So if there are more than two pictures within an article, that means I liked its appearance. Which is the case here.

The rear sight is adjustable, and it folds forward for scope objective bell clearance. The front sight is fitted with a flat brass bead and the post face is covered with striations. Yes, exactly! That does make the front sight a black, non reflective oasis of black, on a sea of glistening satin finished stainless steel. Yes, that is an example of why no one allows me to write product copy.

I need to stop, but I don’t know how..

OK, I did not build to a crescendo of information, let the story of the Ruger 10/22 Sporter unfold in logical order. I hope I made the point that the Ruger 10/22 is a quality firearm. It is accurate, reliable, good looking, inexpensive to shoot, and more fun then Jello Tuesday.

Comments appearing below are posted by individuals in a free exchange, not associated with Real Guns. Therefore RGI Media takes no responsibility for information appearing in the comments section. Reader judgement is essential.

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  1. Nice article. Not just a drone of statistics. Even funny some time.

  2. I have that very rifle , my first semi . I did add a BX trigger and just recently had the barrel threaded. It favors CCI Subsonic & Fiocchi HV ammo.


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