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Old August 1, 2009, 10:13 PM   #1
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10/22 accuracy expectations?

My wife recently gave me a stock Ruger 10/22 (standard barrel) for my birthday. It has a run-of-the-mill 3x9x40 scope. I took it to the range and was somewhat disappointed by the accuracy. I was shooting bulk cheap ammo so maybe that was the problem. At 50 yards I could get about 1" 5 rnd groups. About 1 out of 20 rounds would be a "flyer" that was several inches out of the group. I guess I was expecting better than that - 0.5, maybe 0.25 inch groups at 50 yards. Were my expectations too high or does the rifle need more tuning?

And before anyone says "operator error", on the same day, same bench, I shot 0.5 inch groups at 50 yards with iron sights on my Inland M1 carbine with bulk Wolf ammo.
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Old August 1, 2009, 10:20 PM   #2
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that seems about right. i don't have one, but stock it isn't the most accurate rifle in the world. also keep in mind that the .22lr bullet isn't the most accurate in the world.

you can buy match barrels for the 10/22 if you want better accuracy, but at 150 feet a 1'' group from a .22lr is acceptable to me.
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Old August 1, 2009, 10:25 PM   #3
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I was shooting bulk cheap ammo so maybe that was the problem.
That's probably it. You mentioned "flyers" well I get them too, especially with the bulk ammo and my 30rd mags because it gets the gun dirty, quick.

Like it's been said, stock 10/22 is not the most accurate thing in the world either.

Keep it cleaned! Was it dirty and fouled when you got it or was it new?

I'm not sure about breaking in a 10|22 but with mine I ran a couple factory mags through it, then cleaned it, did it again, etc... until I used the large capacity mags. Broke it in fine, although I don't know if it was necessary. Better to do it and be okay than not and ruin a perfectly good bore.

Get a borelite and check it for crap also probably.
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Old August 1, 2009, 10:46 PM   #4
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At 50 yards I could get about 1" 5 rnd groups. About 1 out of 20 rounds would be a "flyer" that was several inches out of the group. I guess I was expecting better than that - 0.5, maybe 0.25 inch groups at 50 yards. Were my expectations too high or does the rifle need more tuning?
You should be getting around 1 MOA out of a stock 10/22 barrel - at least that's been my experience. Try the good stuff - some CCIs, for e.g. or match ammo - and watch those groups shrink. Want sub-moa? Upgrade the barrel and install a competition/target hammer. You can bed it too if you are so inclined...
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Old August 1, 2009, 10:57 PM   #5
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Somewhere between 1"-1 1/2" at 50 yards is about average for a stock 10-22. My CZ will shoot groups about 1/2 that size, but I still enjoy the 10-22 and 1" at 50 yards will do most of what I need a 22 to do. They are reliable, fun plinkers, not serious target rifles.
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Old August 1, 2009, 11:14 PM   #6
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I second what JMR said.
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Old August 1, 2009, 11:19 PM   #7
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since you say you are a good shoot go to you local gun smith and ask him to make your gun a free floating barrel it helps i saw a difference in my gun(cheap to for the most part), and it could be the ammo i have shot centurian (or something like that) it was the best .22 i have ever used but i can seem to find them anymore
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Old August 2, 2009, 12:28 AM   #8
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Ive built several custom 10/22s for myself and in my experience 1-2" at 50yds with cheap bulk ammo is about average for a box stock 10/22. The flyers will almost certainly be the ammo. Cheap bulk pack is very inconsistent. You won't start losing the flyers unless you switch to $4-8/50rd box match ammo. And I really wouldn't switch to match ammo without swapping the barrel for something better. Both Green Mountain and ER Shaw make barrels ($110-140) that will fit a factory stock. The 10/22 in the photo below has a fluted ER Shaw factory contour barrel. Even if you swap in a better barrel you'll have to find the brand and model of ammo that you rifle likes best. 22s are funny that way. Two identical rifles might like something completely different.

For now I'd just play with it as is or at most do/buy a trigger job. Clark Custom will reduce yours to a crisp 3lbs for $65.

The other option is to go nuts with it. I have a couple that produce 10rd groups at 50m that you can cover with a dime but you'll spend hundreds getting there.
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Old August 2, 2009, 01:25 AM   #9
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Yeah, you shouldn't expect too much from bulk .22 ammo. I burned through a box of Remington golden bulk today with a 10/22 and a MkIII. Probably 1 in 40 or 50 was a dud and 1 in 20 was a light charge, not the most consistent stuff. It's good for plinking but I don't waste time trying for groups with it.
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Old August 2, 2009, 09:59 PM   #10
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I got my Green Mountain match barreled 10/22 specifically for competition at 50' and was having a terrible time with any ammo including the most expensive match ammo I could order. Eventually I replaced the trigger, and I cleaned all of the flashing out of the stock, (it is synthetic), and it got better but was still getting my tail handed to me every week. Finally stopped shooting those matches and just used it as a plinker using cheap bulk ammo. I shot it often, put on a better scope and cleaned it often and vigorously.

5 years later I am again shooting matches with that same gun and even with cheap bulk ammo hold my own and with Winchester Super X at 100 and Remington Golden Bullet at 25 and 50 yards I am winning more than I lose. Apparently it just took that long for that barrel to get shot in and start shooting straight.

Before getting to discouraged with your gun know that I also have a 10/22 carbine with the stainless skinny barrel that I use for the iron sight matches and it is as accurate as my Marlin 60 or my Savage single shot. I have been told that the 10/22 would never shoot very good but they do now. You already got advice on floating the barrel, a good trigger job is a great way to make your shots consistent, my first trigger was just awful. A decent scope with good optics may seem like an expensive bite but oh what a difference. My eyes used to be fried after 25 shots, now a match of 100 rounds still is pretty tiring for these old eyes but I am not fried the way I used to be.

The last thing is just try a little better bullet, stay away from the soft lightweight super get up and go bullets and waxy lead bullets. I find most any 40 gr solids or 38 gr hp that is plated is more consistent. The Federal bulk I have left is now relegated to tin can shooting and the yellow jackets and stingers etc I shoot in my pistol not my rifles. When they are gone they will stay gone unless I can't find anything else.
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Old August 2, 2009, 10:46 PM   #11
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my 10/22 when it was stock had a 3-9x40 on it and i would get about 1.5 groups at 100 yds. with bulk ammo... both Federal and Winchester. cheaper match ammo closed down the group to about 1".
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Old August 2, 2009, 10:53 PM   #12
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Honestly, sounds like your 10/22 is a pretty good shooting one. One inch groups at 50 yds with bulk ammo is very good. My TC doesn't do much better than that (about 0.75" groups with bulk ammo and almost always a flyer but it's included in the group size). Don't expect too much from it and you should be happy. They are fun to shoot and are good for what they are. Makes a good quick pointing rifle for small game hunting.

You should be able to reduce the group size somewhat with better ammo, but I doubt it will do 0.5" groups at 50 yds. I'd be very happy with the way it shoots myself. Try some CCI mini mags (HV and standard velocity).

Last edited by 22-rimfire; August 2, 2009 at 11:03 PM.
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Old August 3, 2009, 10:22 PM   #13
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Posts: 831 out the forums: "22 Ammunition" and "10/22 Aftermarket Barrels"......

Careful !!!! your 10/22 can get expense real fast !.....or you can just "tune" it yourself for a lot less.

Good ammo makes a huge difference in these rifles, and that means....don't buy the cheapest 22 on the shelf. CCI MiniMaxs,Feds. 510 and Wolfs 22 LR, are great examples...FAR better ammo then the least expense.
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Old August 3, 2009, 10:32 PM   #14
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I think that the expectations are a bit high for an autoloading carbine. If autoloading carbines can shoot one hole groups than there would be no need for target versions or bolt actions.
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Old August 4, 2009, 08:58 AM   #15
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I'll second (third, forth) that a stock 10/22 is not the most accurate gun out there. But they are great guns. Ammo is definitely your problem. ALL .22's are ammo sensitive. What you need to do is go out and buy a box of every kind of .22 ammo you can find and sit down for a fun day of bench work. I recommend that you blow thru the rest of your bulk first to break in your gun. FYI, I've never seen a 10/22 that didn't shoot CCI Mini Mags acceptably well. If it was shooting "bulk" at 1.5" than good ammo should get you down to the 1" range. Expecting anything more from a production carbine is unrealistic.

Your scope is also an issue. Unless it had adjustable objective or is set "parallax free" for the range you are shooting your accuracy will suffer.

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Old August 4, 2009, 06:59 PM   #16
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The Ruger 10-22 is like a disease. People want them to shoot like a target gun, and they can do so, but with a lot of work and a little money or just a lot more money.

I did mine by reading about how to accurize them on Rimfire Central, then by experimentation and with lots of accurizing experience and trigger work on other guns.

I've written up my methods and they're published on Tips and Tricks forum.

I bought a quality Shilen heavy barrel and that was the only non-factory part. The result? Groups that made me grin so hard it hurt. I did only one "Prove-It" target, which is also on the web, averaging .37" for 10 consecutive 5-shot groups at 50 yards. The smallest was .09", as I remember!

Can you do it? Probably, but read up before spending a lot of money for items that look great, but don't improve accuracy as much as the sellers would like you to believe.

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Old August 7, 2009, 02:14 PM   #17
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Drop in a good trigger. Clean it properly and shoot the dog snot out of it.
You will be ipressed by what this does for it.

Be fore warned that this is how the 10/22 strain of the gun builders illness starts.
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Old August 7, 2009, 04:18 PM   #18
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That's about right

From a stock carbine using run of the mill bulk ammo that's great accuracy!! If you don't want those fliers don't use cheap ammo that is predictably inconsistent! The only way to tighten your groups is to get a match barrel but you will lose reliability as they have tight chambers. If you have a good trigger, enjoy shooting your 10/22. If you want tight little groups, get a CZ452 for the range. The 10/22 is a good hunting rifle and 1"groups at 50 yards is still good enough to connect at 100 yards a good percentage of the time. You'll need something flatter shooting to make hits at 100 routine. rc
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