With A Twist.
If you could have only one gun is a question I, and probably most other gun writers, hear very often. Skeeter Skelton, who not only wrote captivating articles on firearms, was also an exceptional writer of fiction, often fact-based fiction. One of his characters was Dobe Grant a former law officer and World War II vet who was a composite of several friends of Skeeter’s most notably Bill Jordan and Evan Quiros. Skeeter wrote several articles detailing his visits to the fictional Turkey Track Ranch of Dobe Grant. Thirty years ago he answered the one gun query by asking Dobe the same thing. After going through a long list of guns and what they were good for Dobe finally answered if he could have only one gun “it would be a .22… rifle.”
If all of us really think about it, no matter how many exquisite handguns, long-range rifles, and superb shotguns we may have, when it comes right down to it, the most useful firearm possible is a .22 rifle. My first firearm was a .22 rifle and today I just wrote a check to Ruger for my latest firearm, which also happens to be a .22 rifle. There have been a great number of firearms of every type, sixguns, semi-automatics, leverguns, single-shots, and several hundred others in between, however right now my Alpha and Omega is the basic .22 rifle. Ruger has been making what is definitely America’s favorite .22 rifle for right at 50 years now. When you produce and sell somewhere between 6 and 7 million .22 rifles you must be doing something right. And that “right” is the Ruger 10/22.
The first 10-shot, semi-automatic Ruger 10/22 arrived in 1964. Unlike other .22 rifles on the scene at the time this one used a rotary magazine proven to be totally reliable over the last half-century. That first rifle retailed for less than $55 and over the years was often used as a the low-cost leader in many department stores. Yes, there was a time when just about every department store had a gun department.
I don’t have the slightest idea how many different versions of Ruger 10/22s have been offered over the past 50 years, however they have been many and varied. The 10/22 is also the most customized .22 rifle out there and is only behind the AR-15 and 1911 Government Model in the number of aftermarket items offered for making it our own personalized firearm.
In recent years Ruger has offered the 10/22 in a Compact Version, Target Model, Tactical Model, and an All-Weather Model with stainless steel barrel, satin-finished alloy receiver, and black synthetic stock. The latest Ruger 10/22 is the All-Weather with a twist—a twist that allows it to be taken apart easily. That is, it is a Takedown Model that comes with a Ruger high-quality zippered storage/carrying bag. Pressing a locking lever under the forearm allows the barrel to be twisted and then removed from the receiver/butt stock.
By John Taffin
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