Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Racing the Snow...

"Evil 1" Ruger Charger 10/22

I gotta do a morning run to Boulder ahead of tonight's predicted upslope snowstorm, which is supposed to dump as much as a foot of snow on us. I figure that if I make a special trip, it guarantees that the storm will pass us by. That is, at least, my theory, and I'm sticking to it.

I really liked the little Ruger SR-22, but it's hard not to like a new .22 rifle. Here's the key points I'm going to be covering in tomorrow's podcast, and they go back to the whole issue of "what is a rifle?" that we talked about in the whole AR-15 imbroglio. For young people today and for so many of our veterans of Iraq 1 and 2 and the current conflicts in the Middle East, "rifle" means "M-4," rather than a traditional walnut and steel bolt gun. Their — and now our — whole paradigm for what a rifle is has changed...NSSF has a great video making the rounds on YouTube on this very subject, titled "The Modern Sporting Rifle."




Paradigm shifts tend to echo through a lot of levels, and the SR-22 is positioned to take advantage of that shift. There are more 10/22s out there than any other .22 rifle in history, and they sell at a brisk level for all the same reasons they originally did — simple to operate, inexpensive, capable of extreme accuracy and a huge aftermarket parts selection. Now there's a 10/22 option for the new paradigm. I have a friend who recently bought a .22 for his young son...the father wanted classic blued steel and polished walnut; guess what the son wanted?

The AR-15 platform is also one of the most versatile and ergonomic platforms ever created...as we've said repeatedly, it was designed for young men with no firearms experience who needed to be ramped up very quickly. The 10 years of the Clinton Gun Ban had an interesting unintended consequence...since the big players were effectively out of the black rifle market, it opened the door for literally hundreds of small innovators, inventors and AR-15 enthusiasts to create and sell their products through the growing power of the Internet. we're all repeating the benefits of that explosion of creativity.

Likewise, the 10/22 has evolved in all sorts of directions Ruger didn't necessarily anticipate when they introduced the gun in 1964, a .22 rifle "designed to avoid all the usual banalities," as Bill Ruger said to Jack O'Conner at the time. The 10/22 quickly became one of the first "kit guns" in the sense that users started immediately customizing the little rifle, a path that was later followed by 1911 enthusiasts (by necessity) and later the hordes of AR-15 fans. Events like the 1990's Chevy Truck Team Challenge (which became the Sportsmen's Team Challenge) and later the ESPN Great Outdoors Games bumped the 10/22 into an elite (and sometimes quite exotic) target rifle, capable of breathtaking accuracy in the hands of masters like Lones Wigger and Jerry Miculek.

The 10/22 has been morphed into everything from a very strange pistol (the Charger, with a suppressor the coolest pest elimination device ever!) to a hand-cranked twin-barreled Gatling gun. Visit the Custom Ruger 10/22 gallery site to get your mind blown. I especially like the "Evil 1" Charger on a Nordic Components frame, pictured at the top of the blogpost. In short, the 10/22 became a palette for people's custom gun dreams long before the AR-15 followed suit. The SR-22 brings the two together, and I'm interested in seeing where it all goes from here.

The big hit for the SR-22 will be, I believe, if the Ruger Rimfire Challenge series really takes off the way Ruger (and I) hopes it will. Their shooting this year's championships in Morro Bay, CA, this weekend, and Ruger hopes to have 10 matches up around the country in 2010.

14 comments:

ericire12 said...

But my question is this.....

Why would they launch this rifle as a "SR-22" and not as a "10/22 Tactical"? Putting a collapsible stock and some rails on a Mini 14 no more makes it an AR then dressing up a 10/22 makes it an AR-22.

The problem that I see is from a business standpoint..... they really dropped the ball by designating this rifle as "SR-22" and using it to stake their place in the AR-22 segment of the market. Expanding their line of 10/22s.... not a bad idea.... but they really punted by designating this gun as an AR-22. It does not meet consumers' needs for this particular market segment... It does not replicate practicing with an AR. It replicates shooting a 10/22 with a pistol grip.

IMO, they should have put in the R&D time and dollars to develop a true dedicated AR-22 or an upper in .22lr and saved the "SR-22" designation for that.

Anonymous said...

I would never say the 10/22 wasn't a nice rifle but the first "express your inner gunsmith" rifle???

Growing up in PA every deer camp was full of 03 Springfield’s and Mauser 98's that had been sporterized to the nth degree. Some were works of art; some looked like they were picked up in the Khyber Pass Flea Market.

Yes, the M16/AR 15 silhouette is "sexy" to youngsters and nostalgic to veterans the way an M-14 was to me or a Garand was to my dad. Hopefully the friendly competition will help assure the next generation of shooters and lower the black rifle stigma among non-shooters.

Ratcatcher55

Dave S. said...

What's the MSRP? I figure the parts themselves will add about $200 (generously), so how much is the "tactical tax"?

gullyborg said...

I thought I wanted an SR-22 until I saw the price tag. I am guessing that with the usual "black rifle markup" that actual price for buyers will be close to $800. For that, I can assemble a top-line tack-driving rifle with the best aftermarket parts and STILL afford a Leupold scope on top.

There is no reason why this model should cost 3-4 times more than a basic 10/22.

nj_larry said...

Ruger didn't "invent" this offering. Two years ago I spoke to the guys at the NRA annual meeting who did the engineering on the 10/22 action wrapping. All it is, is a 10/22 with a casting that goes around the action etc. Inventive but not Ruger. So give credit where credit is due...

http://buy.nordiccomp.com/

Michael Bane said...

The president of Nordic Components is a friend of mine...I talked to him this AM and he is a VERY HAPPY CAMPER, as he makes the custom "shell" for the SR-22...

mb

George said...

I think this is a good offering from Ruger. The price is very reasonable and I believe it will be lower given the current conditions in the market.

I have a 10/22 and I noticed early on that it would shoot just about anything. This rifle is built off of that platform, so reliability should be excellent.

I also have .22 lr conversion kit for my AR and it does not perform nearly as well as my 10/22.

Therefore, all of the nonsense about how it is not really an is just that.

Good on you, Ruger!

Middle Man said...

The SR-22 will probably sell on the street between 500 & 600...cheaper than you can buy a 10-22, the Nordic shell, a barrel, handguard, grip, and stock.

Flash Powder Hal said...

I saw a web site that showed a price of $650-ish for the SR-22.
My 10/22 with Tapco stock and a few other accesories (including red-dot sight) cost a whole lot less than $400, but looks as much like an AR to most folks as the SR-22.

Clark Kent said...

Trick one out to look like a Garand and I'll be first in line, bubba!

chris said...

I think this will be a huge hit for Ruger. And now that the 4 largest gun makers in the country are all making evil black rifles, there is no way that a new AWB will stand any chance of passing.

gullyborg said...

I can get a used 10/22 for $50.

With FFL discount from Brownells, I can get barrel, trigger group, custom stock, and a few other nice custom parts for about $400 total. Kick in another $250 and I can add quality glass and rings.

After a few hours of work I will have a final product that will shoot circles around any stock gun.

Why, other than "ooooh it looks like an AR," would I *EVER* consider shelling out the price for this?

Anonymous said...

Armchair thought on the whole "AR-15 type as popular image of rifle"... I think that post-9/11 images of SOF carrying customized "M4A1-types" really helped push this along as well.

polo shirts said...

History of polo ralph lauren. Polo fashions had its humble beginnings in 1968 when tie salesman Ralph Lauren gave it a kick start. By 1969 he had a boutique polo ralph lauren factory stores within the Manhattan department store Bloomingdale's. ... Brands and luxury standard. Since Ralph Lauren's first brand, Polo Ralph Lauren, was launched, the company has expanded to include a variety of luxury brands such as Polo Golf, Polo Denim, Polo Sport. You can buy cheap Ralph Lauren Clothing at Ralph Lauren outlet.Also We provide polo shirts
Ralph Lauren polo shirt, 50% OFF! polo ralph lauren outlet online is your best choice!In 2006, polo ralph lauren outlet became the first designer in Wimbledon's 133-year history to create official uniforms for the tournament. As part of this year's event, which starts next week, polo ralph lauren sale will introduces the first ... determination to maintain and enhance the values for which our two brands are famous throughout the world. The rugby ralph lauren brand brings to Wimbledon the look of timeless elegance, drawing on our rich history and traditions