Changing the 10/22 Takedown

Jun 1, 2015
Since the first time I've shot it, I've liked the Ruger 10/22 Takedown rifle. Mine has been shot a considerable amount at everything from paper targets to small varmints with pretty good results. The accuracy has been OK, but I've always wondered if my rifle was holding its accuracy when I broke it down into its very convenient (and discrete) travel bag.
Before: When Ruger's 10/22 Takedown is disassembled (above), the scope separates from the barrel . With the Volquartzen barrel and stock assembly (photo#2, below) the scope and barrel remain together - and you have the option to use either the original irons (bottom) or step up (top) to the Volquartsen with an optic.

No reason to doubt the iron sights, they're mounted to the barrel and when the rifle's apart, they're still a single unit. But the takedown model has the same mounting position for a rail as the standard 10/22- on the top of the receiver. When separated, the scope stays on the action the barrel moves. That's why I got excited when I read that Scott Volquartzen had come up with a new kit for the Ruger 10/22 takedown ( The new kit comes in two configurations: a lightweight carbon fiber barrel ($315) and a complete assembly that includes the barrel and stock with an all new forend ($370). With no confidence in my gunsmithing, I opted for the complete assembly. When it arrived, I was again impressed with Volquartzen's workmanship. Fit, finish and the components look terrific, and I would have been surprised by anything less. It is a fully integrated unit that is more "high tech" looking than the original barrel and forend, but they don't look mismatched as a shooting unit. The rail assembly extending over the receiver helps blend the two together nicely - and it guarantees that your scope and barrel aren't nearly as likely to get out of whack. The new carbon fiber barrel, FYI, is 16.5 inches long, and the assembly weighs in at a feathery two pounds. With the pre threaded (1/2 x28) barrel (thread protector included), a small muffler added to the end of the 10/22 wouldn't be a big deal, weight wise. And it would make an already practical gun even more. With the Volquartsen barrel and stock, I've essentially turned an already useful little all-purpose rifle into a dual-purpose one. If I'm looking for the smallest, lightest package, I simply use the standard barrel and iron sights. They're plenty accurate for most walking around in the woods activities -and offer the option of a sling. If it's time for more accurate plinking, the scoped Volquartsen unit offers the ability to more precisely place longer shots. And its short undermount rail gives the option for attaching a bipod while the flat forend rests well on any stable surface. Feeling satisfied with the results, I remembered another 10/22 part I'd been too-busy to take time and install- Ruger's BX-Trigger. Ruger announced them just before Christmas ( and I'd gotten one which I promptly forgot in the holiday frenzy and subsequent industry activities that make the first part of any year a blur. A good trigger makes an all-round gun like the 10/22 better. So I decided, why not give myself a pop quiz on gunsmithing. After all, Ruger promised the BX was a "light, crisp 'drop-in' replacement trigger" that would work with all Ruger 10/22s as well as their Charger pistols. And with an MSRP of $89.95 it isn't a budget breaker for anyone who wants to smooth out a factory trigger. Reading the instructions, I realized that the 10/22 Takedown would actually be even simpler than the standard 10/22 "drop-in".
Ruger bills the BX trigger as a simple, drop-in process. They're not kidding. The entire process can be done with only a screwdriver. OWDN photo.
So, I went for it. And other than dropping one of the pins that hold the one-piece trigger unit in place (the instructions say "be careful not to lose the pins), it really was a simple process. And when I finished, I was genuinely impressed with the difference. My stock trigger required just over six pounds of pressure. The new BX broke cleanly well under three pounds. For a pistol, that's really too light for anything except competition. But in a rifle, that's a nice clean break that allows you to make a far cleaner shot under virtually all circumstances. The Ruger 10/22 is one of those guns that it seems is spread across the entire spectrum of gun enthusiasts, "plinkers" (I hate that description) to professionals, so there's no shortage of them in one form or another. Regardless of whether you have a "legacy" model that's been around almost a half-century, or you have a brand new 10/22 in the standard or takedown models, or one of the Charger pistols, you might want to consider doing your own BX trigger swap. If you have one of the 10/22 Takedowns and like the idea of adding an improvement that will cut the overall weight while adding an additional level of stability between your barrel and optics, you should consider adding one of the Volquartsen options. In only a few minutes, you can make a good gun that's fun to shoot even better. --Jim Shepherd