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Build a Custom Ruger 10/22
by Dino Longueira of Majestic Arms LTD.
The Ruger 10/22 in its basic form is a simple, reliable .22 carbine. With the advent of aftermarket components the 10/22 has evolved into far more than anyone would have originally thought. There are so many components on the market today that the only limitation is your own imagination and budget. Everything from a mini tactical black rifle to a highly sophisticated, tack driving target/varmint rifle can be assembled by anyone with basic hand tool skills right at home. In this article I will take you step by step from the “out of the box” carbine to a basic target rifle. This whole project will take the average person about two hours and provide you with many more hours of shooting fun.
The first step will be to disassemble the rifle down to its receiver. Start by checking to make sure the rifle is unloaded and remove the magazine. Next, using a flat bladed screwdriver, remove the barrel band, then using the same screwdriver remove the action screw holding the barreled action to the stock. (See Photo 1).
At this point place the safety button in the half way position between safe and fire, this will allow the safety button to clear the stock and the barreled action to be removed from the stock. Once the barreled action is removed from the stock you can remove the trigger group from the receiver. Using a suitable punch, drive out the two pins that hold the trigger group to the receiver. (See Photo 2) Next, using the punch, remove the cross pin from the upper rear of the receiver. Now you can remove the bolt assembly and recoil spring guide from the receiver. Start by laying the barreled action on your table or work bench upside down.
Draw the cocking handle all the way to the rear, at that point reach into the receiver and lift the bolt assembly up and out of the receiver. (See Photo 3) You are now ready to remove the factory barrel from the receiver.
I recommend the use of a vise with padded jaws. Another precaution is to apply masking tape to the sides of the receiver to prevent scratching the finish. Using a 5/32 allen key remove the two bolts securing the barrel clamp. When the two bolts and barrel clamp are removed the factory barrel will usually lift right off, if not, a few light taps with a mallet on the front of the receiver should do the trick. At this point you will have the empty receiver in your hand.
Now lets get started building that custom 10/22. Here at Majestic Arms we would start by drilling a hole in the rear of the receiver to serve as a rear cleaning port. This modification will allow you to properly clean the barrel from the breech end. (See Photo 4) This work should be performed with a milling machine or heavy duty drill press. If this work is beyond your capabilities then leave this to a professional gunsmith.
Now you are ready to install the new custom Aluma-Lite barrel from Majestic Arms LTD. Aluma-Lite barrels are supplied with the shank .003 oversized. Due to variations in factory manufacturing the very best results will be achieved by hand fitting the barrel. Don’t get nervous, this is a simple procedure and with these instructions very easy to accomplish professional results.
Aluma-Lite barrels come wrapped in clear plastic, peel away enough to expose the breech end, about 3 or 4 inches, leave the remainder on the barrel to protect the finish during the fitting process. Now try the receiver on the barrel shank. Due to factory variations the barrel may fit right on, if this is the case you may proceed to the next step. If not, hold the barrel in a vise with padded jaws and carefully sand the barrel shank in a shoeshine motion with 240 grit sand paper or emery cloth. Sand one side then rotate the barrel 180 degrees and repeat. (See Photo 5)
With each complete sanding check the receiver fit. The receiver should fit onto the barrel shank with a gentle push. (See Photo 6) You should not have to pound the receiver onto the barrel shank. The receiver and barrel should go together after just a few tries.
Once you have accomplished this, install the barrel onto the receiver, making sure the clamp cut on the barrel and the receiver are parallel and even. Now replace the barrel clamp and two bolts. Using the 5/32 allen key tighten the bolts evenly. Do not tighten one all the way first, go back and forth between the two until both are evenly tightened. (See Photo 7)
Now you can replace the bolt assembly and recoil spring guide rod assembly. Install the guide rod into the receiver and draw the cocking handle to the rear, at this point replace the bolt assembly on the cocking handle. Once you have done this, check the motion of the bolt. Now replace the receiver cross pin at the rear of the receiver. Place the trigger group into the receiver and pin into place.
You are now ready to get stocked. Most aftermarket stocks are a complete drop fit and require no work, we're using the Bell & Carlson A032-Anschutz Style Target stock today.
Because they are so light, Aluma-Lite barrels perform best when free floated. Heavier barrels should have some support at the forend tip. Many stocks allow the barrel to free float but some do not. If the barrel contacts the stock this is easily corrected with either scraping or sanding. You can sand open the barrel channel on the stock by wrapping a piece of coarse sand paper around a wood dowel or piece of broom stick, carefully sand away any contact points in the barrel channel. (See Photo 8) When assembled you should be able to slide a piece of paper around the barrel and between the stock. The only last check is the screw that secures the barreled action.
Quite often, with after market stocks the screw protrudes too far into the receiver. If this happens the screw will contact the barrel and prevent good bedding. You can check this by assembling the rifle then disassembling. Look through the hole in the receiver and see if the screw made a mark on the barrel. If this occurs, shorten the screw by about 1/16 inch and try it again. By now you should have a complete rifle built (See Photos 11 & 12)
The only thing left to do is mount a scope. Start by degreasing the mount, screws, rings, and the receiver holes. Any alcohol works well for this. Apply some lock tite to the mount screws and tighten evenly. (See Photos 9, 10,11)
Then install the rings and scope and tighten all screws evenly. Do not apply lock tite to the ring screws. Once the scope is mounted with the crosshairs square and the eye relief adjusted you are ready for the range with your new custom creation.
Last but not least be sure to check the mounting of new stock to your 10/22 - just snug is fine! This requires the turn of but a single screw (See Photo 11).
All new barrels perform best after a break in period. To break in an Aluma-Lite barrel, fire about 300 rounds, then swab the bore with a solvent soaked patch and then a dry patch. Although a brush won’t hurt an Aluma-Lite barrel you probably won’t need one, unless heavy leading is occurring. If this is the case try a different brand ammo.
Aluma-Lite barrels are manufactured using a match grade sporting dimension chamber. This chamber allows you to shoot the widest variety of ammo with the very best of results. Aluma-Lite barrels will even shoot CCI Stingers with excellent results.
I hope your new rifle gives you many hours of fun at the range and in the field!
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