Turn A Ruger 10/22 into a Survival Rifle

The Ruger 10/22 is the perfect start for a survival or foraging rifle.  It has a lot of manufacturers who provide anything you need to personalize this
 rifle for your specific needs.

 The above picture is how NOT to make a survival rifle.  The aftermarket barrel is too heavy, no iron sights, the scope is too big and the bipod is not needed.  The stock is a good

An overview of the steps we will take are as follows: 

  • Fine tune the trigger
  • select a stock
  • select a sighting system
  • attach sling
  • add convenience accessories

The Ruger 10/22 is notorious for having a poor trigger pull.  This will of course vary from gun to gun but a heavy, creepy pull is the norm.  This does not allow accurate shooting which is a must for small targets such as a squirrel's head.  Head shots also minimize meat damage.  The easiest way to remedy this situation is to install a target hammer.  These kits usually include a new spring set also. 

Volquaratsen Target Hammer

i would also add an extended magazine release and a modified bolt stop release at the same time.  Both of these are inexpensive additions and will take virtually no extra time to install when the trigger group is out for installation of the target hammer.  The extended magazine release is great for when you are wearing gloves.  The modified bolt release permits you to close the bolt with one hand which is way better than having to use two hands with the stock setup.

Volquartsen Auto Bolt Release

We are able to install these parts if you would prefer.  Cost is $20 + parts cost + return shipping.

The next thing is to choose a stock.  The factory stock is a choice if the weight does not bother you.  For a lighter choice there are plenty of aftermarket stocks  from Blackhawk, ProMag, Choate, ATI and Butler.  Some of these are folding so that you can tie your rifle to your pack.  Boyd's Stocks are another option but they are about the same weight as the factory stock.  They are great if you must have a wood thumbhole stock. 

Pick a stock by weight, compactness, utility and durability.

A question that often comes up is why do I not recommend an aftermarket barrel.  The answer is simple.  They do not have the capability of adding backup iron sights and most are extremely heavy.  Neither of these qualities make for a good survival rifle.

The sighting system is the next option.  At the very least keep the factory sights.  If money allows, update to a high visibility iron sight that will fit the factory dovetail.

A scope is the weakest and most breakable part of a rifle.  If the scope breaks and you are in a survival situation, you would be without a rifle unless it had backup iron sights.  It is better to keep the factory barrel and replace the stock iron sights with some high visibility/low light ones.

A scope is a usefull addition, especially in low light and for those of us whose eyesight is not what it used to be.  A scope is usalble far later in the evening than are plain iron sights.  Tritium sights are another option for use at dusk.

A high power scope is not needed.  Anything over 4X is overkill.  The important thing is that it is light, compact and dependable.  I do not recommend a cheap variable power scope.  They have a tendency to change point of impact when changing powers.  if you choose a variable power scope, testing is needed to determine that point of impact does not change when scope magnification is changed. 

Small scopes are hard to find.  Quality small scopes are even harder to find.  We use a 4X scope that was made for the SKS.  They are short, light and dependable.  For variable power one of the .22 scopes made by leupold, or one of the other better known brands would be a good choice.  The .22 scopes made by these companies are 1" diameter scopes, just like on a larger rifle.  Under no circumstances use one of those small diameter .22 scopes that sometimes come on "package" guns at the local big box store.  They are worhtless.

Most stocks come with attachment points for a sling.  Choose a sling that is weight distributing and comfortable to carry.  One that has some type of non-skid is nice so that the sling does not constantly sliding off of your shoulder.

I would advise you not to add any of the useless, undependable "tactical" accessories.  If it does not decrease weight, enhance reliability or useability, do not buy it. 

I would include most electronic lights in this category.  Depending on batteries is not prudent for a survival rifle.  Most electronic sights  (red dot, halographic, etc.) have to be turned on before you use them.  Turning them on when you see game adds another step plus more movement at a time you should be concentrating on sight picture. 

The only exception to this is the ND-3 green laser.  It operates in conjunction with your scope to allow visibility at night for a couple of hundred yards.  If it fails you still have the scope and the iron sights.  Remember, utility and duplication is essential.  Carry extra batteries.