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GUNS Magazine March 2010 - Page 8
RIMFIRES • HOLT BODINSON • RUGER FIELDS THEIR OwN .22 LR AR The old favorite 10/22 serves well as the platform. uger’s on steroids these days. Just weeks after they introduced R their centerfire SR-556 comes Ruger’s rimfire version, appropriately labeled the SR-22. Unlike Colt and Smith & Wesson, who had to design a rimfire AR from scratch, Ruger looked at their 10/22 action and yelled, “Eureka!” The rest was easy. I think Ruger finally realized everyone and their brother were making a fortune selling 10/22 barrels, stocks, fire control systems, magazines and other custom accessories, and they might as well enjoy the financial ride by offering some neat variations and accessories of their own. The end result is a classy, cool looking little AR-type heavy on styling and heavier still on performance. To achieve their end, Ruger has taken the 10/22 action and married it with an aluminum outer that pretty well disguises what we’ve come to know as a 10/22. There’s the new receiver box itself to which are attached a Picatinny rib, tubular ThesecrettotheSR-22isanaR-looking aluminumreceivershroudoverthe10/22 receiver.TheSR-22’sPicatinnyriboffers unlimitedoptionsformountingoptics. handguard, a telescoping buttstock, pistol grip and Ruger’s successful V-block mounting system for the barrel. The resulting receiver has some resemblance to that of the SR-556, but what’s missing is the deep magazine well of an AR which is so handy as a support for your leading hand when firing. The SR-22’s bottom receiver line is flat and flush with the bottom of a 10/22 magazine. I think the stylists at Ruger could have had a bit more fun with that line to give the SR rimfire more of an AR look. It would not have been hard to have incorporated a deep magazine well in the design that would accept an extended 10/22-type magazine. Colt and Smith & Wesson pulled it off. Of course, you can fit an after market 25- or 32-round magazine, even a 50-round drum magazine, to the SR-22, but it just won’t have that same AR panache or utility. On the other hand, the SR-22 does have a unique style of its own. Between the straight buttstock and tubular handguard, the high line-of-sight offered by the Picatinny rib, the pistol grip and the position of the trigger relative to the pistol grip, the SR-22 feels a lot like an AR when it’s mounted and fired. Ruger has incorporated some interesting components into the SR-22. The M4-type telescoping buttstock with TheSR-22willhold1"at50yardswithmost brandsofLongRifle. attached sling swivel offers the shooter 6-positions between fully folded and fully extended. The military design actually rides on a full diameter, Milspec tube. What’s particularly nice about a telescoping buttstock is that it permits shooters of all ages and physical size to adjust the rifle to their physique. Also, when the stock is fully collapsed, the SR-22 is a compact 32-1/2" package, easy to store and easy to handle in close quarters. The stock functioned perfectly. It slides smoothly and the locking pin engaged fully and held the stock firmly in position. The pistol grip, made by Hogue for Ruger, has a pebbly, tactile, rubber surface and is comfortable without being soft. The 8" Picatinny rib covers most of length of the receiver and offers 17 slots for the adjustment of optics. As an accessory, Ruger offers a full-length Picatinny rib for $39.95 that is screwed into the tubular handguard. Strictly for testing purposes, I mounted the SR-22 with a full-size 3-9x40mm Burris Ruger’sSR-22usesthevenerable,versatile10-22 forauniqueconversiontoanaR-15look-alike. 8 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • MARCH 2010