10/22 Collectibles

A trilogy of Ruger specials

The year 2014 — the 50th Anniversary of the 10/22 — saw the launch of the Ruger Collector’s Series.

Introduced in 1964 at a retail price of $54.50, Ruger’s 10/22 Carbine has worn many faces. It has been stocked in walnut, birch, maple, colored wood laminates and synthetics. Produced initially in the familiar banded carbine style, it has been offered in a non-banded deluxe sporter stock, a heavy target/competition stock and a svelte Mannlicher style, often cataloged as the “International Carbine.” It has also been featured in take-down and solid-frame formats featuring sporter barrels, target barrels and integrally suppressed barrels.

There have been numerous “special and commemorative editions” offered, particularly through the large firearms wholesaler, Davidson’s, which offers a smorgasbord of “exclusive” editions throughout the entire spectrum of our well-known gunmakers.

The limited editions are identified by their inscribed bolts. Holt prefers Gru-Bee’s Wolf Pup scope on all his 10/22s.

50th Anniversary

Beginning in 2014, Davidson’s and Ruger teamed up to produce a themed series under the “Ruger Collector’s Series 10/22 Carbine Rifle” label. The year 2014 marked the 50th Anniversary of the Model 10/22. The Davidson’s exclusive 50th Anniversary model was limited to 25,000 units and offered only through their extensive network of local dealers. It was a black, synthetic stocked 10/22 carbine carrying the unique receiver marking: “The Ruger 10/22 Rifle — 22 LR — Fifty Years — 1964-2014” and a 50th Anniversary marking on the bolt. It was packaged in a commemorative box containing a 50th Anniversary bumper sticker, a Collector’s Series pin, a replica of the original 1964 10/22 magazine ad, a limited-edition Ruger Collector’s Series street sign and one BX-25 and one BX-1 magazine. The MSRP was $329.

The Second Edition, released in 2015, picked the theme of “A Father’s Advice.”

Second Edition

The 50th Anniversary release was such a hit Davidson’s commissioned a Second Edition of the Ruger Collector’s Series 10/22 Carbine Rifle in 2015. The theme was “A Father’s Advice” taken from another popular magazine ad, showing a father instructing his young son in the proper handling of a firearm and saying, “If a sportsman true you’d be. Listen carefully to me …” — a quotation also carried on an accompanying street sign.

It featured a dark gray modular stock based on the Ruger American Rimfire stock, a Picatinny rail, a ghost ring adjustable rear aperture sight and a “Collector’s Series” marked bolt. It was shipped in a Collector’s Series carton along with a Collector’s Series pin, a reprint of the “Father’s Advice” magazine ad and the limited-edition street sign. The MSRP was $379.

This year’s Third Edition — “Man’s Best Friend” — incorporates famous 10/22
reliability, accuracy, style and ease of handling.

Third Edition

If you missed out on the first two editions of the Collector’s Series 10/22, the Third Edition has just been released and is currently available through Davidson’s. The theme this year is “Man’s Best Friend” and depicts a black Labrador puppy on a commemorative street sign along with a dog tag and a $25 Ruger gift certificate packaged in a commemorative box. Fortunately, we were able to snag one at an MSRP of $362 before collectors gobbled them all up.

Design-wise, the Third Edition is similar to the Second Edition. With an 18.5″ barrel and an overall length of 37″, Man’s Best Friend features a “grippy” olive drab synthetic modular stock fitted with a black, low-comb unit, well suited to the rifle’s adjustable ghost-ring aperture sight. Fitted with a 6″ Picatinny rail, Man’s Best Friend begs for an optic.

I chose Gru-Bee’s svelte, 3/4″ tubed, 4x24mm Wolf Pup scope and rings, bringing the overall weight to 5 lbs. 6 oz. I favor the proportions of the Wolf Pup scope on small rimfire rifles. It simply balances the rifle better and adds minimal weight while providing all the performance a rimfire requires

Shooting Results, Loading Tips

Man’s Best Friend is not only an immediate collectible, but it shoots! The best five-shot groups at 35 yards were with Federal Auto-Match (0.4″), Federal Hunter Match (0.4), CCI Standard Velocity (0.5), Winchester Power Point (0.7) and Remington Golden Bullet (0.7).

A couple of points came to mind as I worked with the Ruger. When loading the 10/22 magazine, place it down on a solid surface as you thumb the rounds into the rotary carrier. With a solid support, the magazine is much easier to load rather than when you simply hold it in your off hand. Secondly, when discharging an empty or partially loaded magazine, draw the bolt back and lock it. Not only will the magazine drop out more easily, with the bolt locked back it gives you a clear view of the chamber.

From its introduction in 1964, Ruger 10/22s in all their variations and special editions have kept the collecting fraternity busy. The watering holes for the Ruger collectors are the Ruger Collectors’ Association, the Ruger Owners and Collectors Society and the Ruger Forum. Even corporate Ruger offers invaluable year/serial number data on all its models, past and present, plus providing official “Letters of Authenticity” for individual specimens.

I’m sure Ruger will keep collectors happy for millennia. Just keep watching for Davidson’s Ruger exclusives.







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