Monday, March 7, 2016

Ruger 10/22 Cheap Tricks

As part of our month long dedication to the 10/22 rifle, I put together some cheap tricks for modifying your 10/22 rifle without spending beaucoup quatloos.

This first one is one of those ones that will make you slap your forehead and exclaim..."why didn't I think of that". Some genius on the Rimfire Central forum figured out that the amount of space needed to insert the bolt while holding the charging handle back was the exact same size as a credit card....

Alternately you can purchase the tool below that serve two purposes.
In addition to assisting with installing the bolt, the Gunsmither 10/22 Bolt Bar helps with holding the spring and plunger on the extractor for assembly/dis-assembly. The cost is only $12.95.

This seems to be a popular modification, drilling a hole in the back of your receiver, in line with the bore, to facilitate cleaning from the breach forward.

This next one was the subject of a post a while back, I have since performed this action job on my daughter's Girly Rifle, my new Ruger Charger as well as some other 10/22s owned by friends and family.

Rather than repost all the pictures and instructions, I'll just provide the link: 10/22 Action Job

In addition to the action job you can easily improve your sear engagement angle (and thus the trigger pull) by using this method I found on Rimfire Central:

To improve feel and lighten your trigger pull, grinding/Stoning the the angle on the area of engagement of the hammer is one way to achieve a smoother - crisper trigger. Best of all it can be done yourself for free (if you already have the tools). The tools you will need are stones, vise and a 1/8" drill bit.

In short:
Slide the .125" (1/8") drill bit through the pivot hole of the hammer then set the hammer in a vise so that the drill rod is sitting on both of the vise jaws. When tightening the vise set the bottom of the sear notch in the hammer level with the top of the jaws. Then remove any material of the engagement area that rises above the the vise by stoning or grinding.

A word of caution, if you do this wrong it could make the rifle dangerous. To check if your sear engagement is still safe, make sure the gun is unloaded, next check to make sure it is unloaded, then pull the charging handle back, cocking the hammer. Then bounce the butt of the rifle on the floor (not too hard, just like it has fallen from a few feet) and see if the hammer stays cocked.
If it passes this test you are probably good to go. If you screw it up, new hammers are easy to find on ebay, Brownells, Midway USA or from Ruger.

If you don't feel confident enough to tackle the action job or sear stoning yourself, there is another option that is affordable. Ruger now offers a custom tuned trigger assembly for sale. The price is right and it is a factory Ruger part that drops right in.

If you like shooting subsonic ammo and are having trouble with FTF or FTEs you may want to consider chamfering the back of the bolt. This mod combined with the action job listed above might just do the trick without resorting to lighter weight springs:

This modification is quite popular. On a factory stock 10/22 to release the bolt you need to take pressure off the charging handle while pushing up on the bolt release. This mod will allow you to simply pull back on the charging handle and let it slam forward.

If you some how screw it up, you can buy one from Volquartsen for under $20.00

Another cheap mod, that may not be worth the effort is making your own bolt buffer. You can buy bolt buffers made from urethane, nylon, plastic, vitron, delrin and other materials for under $10, so this may not make sense, but I'll provide the details anyway.
A 1/4" nylon bolt can be used, although I am not sure how much cushion nylon would provide.
Make sure to find one that has a shoulder that is 1 1/4" long. These are available at most hardware stores. Simply cut off the threaded end and the bolt head, cut the shoulder down to 1 1/4" and you're good to go.
You could also use chain saw fuel line and a 1/8" stainless steel pin (again 1 1/4" long). Make sure to get the fuel line that is 1/4" OD and 1/8" ID. Both should be available at your local hardware store.

It occurred to someone that for smaller caliber rifles you could use the material from a flip flop to make a nice recoil/butt pad. I have also heard of people using mouse pads for the material. Simply trace the rifle's butt profile, cut with exacto knife, glue on with wood glue and trim to fit. I did this on my son's Marlin .22 bolt action rifle.
You can make them in a variety of colors as well...
 You can dye clear BX-1 magazines just about any color you like using RIT powdered dye, boiling water and some salt, click here for instructions 

If the scope mounting holes on the top of your receiver get stripped out, never fear. 

Besides sending it back to Ruger, you can make the repair yourself. There are two options: One is a ".146 x 48 Scope Base Shop Kit" from Brownell's The kit includes four new screws that have a slightly larger diameter than the factory  #6-48 threads
The second option is to buy an #8-40 tap, I am told you don't even need to drill out the holes, just re-tap them for the larger size and get new 8-40 screws (be sure to check the length and shorten them if necessary). Natchez Shooters Supplies has them:

Here is another easy DIY mod. Instead of buying a longer bolt handle, make one yourself. All you need is a 45 ACP cartridge case and some epoxy or JB Weld.

If you have ever had trouble separating barrel from a receiver, this one is for you. You could buy one of these tools specially designed for the job (available from Volquartsen):
But if you only plan on doing this job once, you might not be inclined to spend the $50 for a tool that will just collect dust after you're done. Here is a tip for building your own barrel pusher that I found on the Rimfire Central forum.:

Here is what you will need:
  • two 1x1 pieces of wood, one about 2" long and the other about a foot
  • a short length of 5/8" dowel
  • a flat piece of wood - I used a 1x4, a 2x4 would work too
  • a 1/4" x 2" plank
  • a 5" C-clamp
First thing to do is drill a 1" hole in the 1x4. This is for the barrel. You'll need to elongate the hole so the receiver block can fit through it as well. Position the 1/4" thick piece next to the hole so the receiver "foot" is supported, and fasten it down so it doesn't move. It ends up looking like this:

Here you can see how the barreled action fits, and how the 1/4" thick piece supports the "foot" of the receiver

Next step is to cut a piece of 5/8" dowel to about 1 1/2". This is the part that contacts the breech and pushes the barrel out. Set it on top of the breech. Make sure it's centered pretty well, otherwise it will catch on the receiver as the barrel pushes out. If you wanted to get fancy you could put a pilot on the dowel to keep it centered on the barrel.

Now you need two pieces of 1x1, a long one and a short one. The long one is the lever of the press, and the short one is the fulcrum. The lengths aren't really critical. Arrange them as shown here:
Now, you can crank down with the C-clamp and as you do, the lever will put pressure on the dowel, which will in turn push the barrel out. Just be careful not to let the barrel hit the floor when it comes out!

Installing the safety on a 10/22 can be a real pain, here is a trick that makes it easy. Drill a 1/4" hole in a pencil, about 1" or so from the end (you should use a new pencil or square off an old one). 

Then insert the pencil into the safety pocket and line up the hole in the pencil with the hole for the detent spring and plunger. Install the spring and plunger and push them down using a 1/4" punch. Then slowly slide the pencil out as you follow it with the safety.
 This video shows you how it is done

This guy hinged the butt plate on his synthetic stock for storage, see his youtube video here

Another one from Rimfire Central, this enterprising owner made his own extended magazine releases from old silverware

My friend who helps me with some of my builds came up with this one: He uses a stainless steel 10-32 or 8-32 screw, one with a shaft that has 3/4" unthreaded. Drill and tap the factory mag release, cut the head off the screw, polish and thread into the new hole, add some loctite and viola

This one comes from Kinetic Concepts Tactical, adding plastic windows to your Ruger BX-25 10-22 Magazines. They even added numbers so you can see just how many boolits are left inside.

A firing pin that walks up in the bolt can cause miss-fires. The charging handle is supposed to prevent this from happening, but in some guns, things don't go as planned.

The solution is to insert a pin in the bolt to prevent the firing pin from moving, like this one below (performed by 3ME)

Drilling the bolt can be difficult as it is case hardened steel,  So you may need a machinist to help you with this.
Alternatively you can insert a roll pin lengthwise

or pound a .177 caliber BB into the slot

Many of the aftermarket 10/22 bolt makers pin their firing pins as well, this one is from KIDD
This guy wanted a side mounted sling so he could carry the rifle with the longer "banana" magazines in the gun, so he purchased a sling swivel kit that had a stud long enough to go through the front barrel band, then filed away some clearance and Eureka...

Wanna make your own low budget receiver? this guy shows you how to do it.

This guy had a great idea for carrying ammo in your 10-22 take-down carry bag. These are paint ball gun ammo containers, they hold just over 500 rounds of .22LR and fit perfectly in the take down bags extra pouch.
You want a tactical lightweight stock, but don't want to spend the duckets to buy one? You could modify your factory birch stock (please don't do this to an older walnut stock, the birch/maple ones are available everywhere for cheap).

Alternatively you could drill holes, hot rod style

Many have complained that the lack of support a the rear of the receiver on a 10/22 can lead to problems with accuracy. One solution is to add an anchor to the rear of the receiver like this one from KIDD.
 As a cheap alternative, you could drill your rear trigger group pins out to 1/4", tap the trigger group hole to 1/4 x 20 and after drilling a corresponding holes in the stock, thread some of these connector bolts (often used on IKEA furniture) in through the receiver and into the trigger group. This will anchor the back of the receiver to the stock and prevent the trigger group from moving. See more detail here
A cheap & easy solution for wobbly trigger pins comes from a guy that goes by the appropriate screen name "gunsmither". This involves drilling the back of the receiver and taping for a 6/32 Allen head set screw, see more here

Although not really a problem on 10/22s (and many modern rimfire guns) dry firing your rimfire gun could lead to damage.
You can use a #4-6 sheet rock anchor to absorb the firing pins impact.
 photo courtesy of the Forum
 photo courtesy of the The Real Revo