I didn’t notice we’d burned up a hundred rounds until I found myself standing there with an empty plastic cartridge box. That’s when Dick observed, “You’re gonna find this thing to be a lead hose” — and he was right.

Whatever else one might think about Ruger’s little rimfire gem, or any self-loading rimfire, they’re just a hell of a hoot to shoot. At least mine sure is. And once you start, it’s hard to stop until there are no more rounds to burn up.

This was two pickup trucks ago, but ever since I’ve endeavored to have at least a spare 100 rounds of .22 Long Rifle ammunition aboard, just in case the Ruger was along for the ride.

Introduced way back in 1964, the Ruger 10/22 has been offered over the years in .22 Long Rifle, .22 Magnum and .17 HMR. I have no idea how many are in circulation today, but about five years ago when I was doing a little research for a story, one of the guys at Ruger said something like 7 or 8 million had been sold. By now, I’d have estimate another million or so are out there, at the very least.