Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fitting the Ruger 10/22 in the Bug Out Bag

The Ruger 10/22 is an all-time favorite among many rimfire enthusiasts, and for good reason.  It's a reasonably priced, lightweight, reliable and infinitely customizable auto-loading carbine chambered for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge.  The 10/22 has long been one of my personal favorites when it comes to semi-auto .22 rifles, but in its standard configuration, it's not often marketed as a "survival rifle" in the way that purpose-made take down rifles such as the Henry AR-7 and the Marline Papoose are.  I've owned all these various survival rifles at one time or another, and all have gone with me on some of my long wilderness trips. But given the choice, I would take a 10/22 over any of them.  It was never a problem to slide a standard, wood-stocked 10/22 into one of the long storage compartments of my sea kayak or into a duffel bag in the canoe, but how do you fit one in a backpack or bug-out bag?

In my book I make the case for having a take-down .22 survival rifle inside the bug-out bag and away from the prying eyes of the authorities or others who may take an interest in it, especially in an urban bug-out situation, where firearms may be confiscated as they were in New Orleans after Katrina.  There are folding stock options available for the 10/22 that can solve this problem, and I've used them many times, but never really warmed up to them.  I really like the handling of this great little carbine in the standard wooden stock.  And the folding stocks are much heavier and add the bulk of a pistol grip that is really not necessary in a survival .22 rifle.  Once such stock that is still available is the Butler Creek Folding Stock Butler Creek also made a take-down folding stock for the 10/22 that was much more practical, but is no longer in production. 

To keep the look and feel of the carbine stock, I decided to customize mine for my own requirements.  The main criteria regarding fitting it easily in the bug-out bag for me was that the longest part had to be 24-inches or less.  To that end, I took a Ruger 10/22 Compact model, which comes with a 16-inch barrel, and mated it with a cut-down carbine stock from another 10/22 I have that is currently residing in a Butler Creek folder.  The entire barrel and receiver assembly for the 10/22 Compact is just 21 1/2 inches long.  The overall length of the Compact in the factory stock is 34 inches and it weighs just 4.5 lbs. - a good place to start.  Here's what is looks like in factory configuration, the other stock pictured will be explained next:


I didn't want to mess up the nice new stock that came on my new 10/22 Compact, in case I want to sell the rifle later, and besides, I like the traditional buttplate style of the carbine stock anyway.  If you don't have a spare carbine stock like this, you can pick one up on Ebay all day long for about 25 bucks, as so many people take these off to install all sorts of "tactical" stocks on the 10/22, as well as target and precision hunting stocks.  In this photo you can see the difference in the stock lengths, and the piece I cut off the carbine stock.  I cut it to a total length of 23.5 inches, which meets my requirements and still leaves plenty of forearm to grip when shooting.  After all, remember the Marline Papoose and the AR-7 have no forearm forward of the receiver at all, forcing you to grip the front of the receiver or rest the barrel on your hand.  This cut-down carbine stock is comfortable for me and I'm 6'-2" tall.  It's also extremely lightweight. 



After cutting it down, I reshaped the fore end and sanded away all the fake walnut finish on the birch stock.  I then coated it with clear epoxy resin to make it impervious to the elements.


Although the naturally-finished wood looks better than the fake stain (did I ever say how much I hate stained wood - being a professional boatbuilder and yacht carpenter?) I decided to spray a coat of green Krylon Fusion over it to keep in the spirit of a "survival" rifle.  I now have a handy 10/22 that fits within the 24-inch package, which is plenty short enough to disappear inside a decent sized backpack. 

The 10/22 is not meant to be a "take-down" rifle, but the fact is that there is only one screw attaching the receiver to the stock (the Compact model does not have the barrel band).  You can assemble this by tightening down this one screw with a screwdriver blade on your multitool just as fast as you can put together a Papoose or AR-7.  Sure, you have to be careful not to lose the screw, or the take-down pins that hold in the trigger assembly, but for bug-out purposes, the rifle is going to stay disassembled until you get out of Dodge, and then will likely stay assembled and in use for the duration of whatever SHTF event sent you packing in the first place.  I simply slide the receiver end into one of my spare socks inside the pack, the take-down screw threaded in place.  The stock and barrel can be protected inside a sleeve or pants leg of your spare clothing - or you can get fancy and make a custom case for the two parts. 


The main thing is that when you do need it for survival hunting, you'll have a well-made, reliable rifle that is easy to carry and handle in the field.


I'll be posting more about this set-up in the future, as well as some of the other Ruger 10/22 options and other .22 rifles you may not have considered for the bug-out bag. 

30 comments:

  1. That looks great - the 10/22 is a great platform. I've read of some recent changes to the design that have us purists upset about, so consider buying a vintage 10/22 (which are pretty well shot with, so no collector damage here) if you have a choice.

    One of Len McDougall's books mentioned a metal finish that was great for guns designed to be outdoors constantly - bar-b-que paint. He applied it to his bolt action and reported its finish did not rust, even when exposed to rain. You would have to tape off the areas where paint would interfere with action and moving parts, of course.

    Something to think about anyway.

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  2. Nice. I like my Marlin model 60 myself, but I wouldn't turn away a 10/22 either!

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  3. Scott, Great article. I will show it to my brother, he has a 10/22. He has been wanting to modify it a bit. This might just give him the info he needed. I myself carry the Rem 597 with original stock. Its real light and shoots right where i point it. I use a camo gun case attached to the side of my bob. I then attached over it a couple of extra magazine pouched that I use to break up some of its shape and they also carry small items of need.

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  4. The 10/22 is a great platform for creating a good 'survival .22'. Fairly inexpensive but yet well made, there are lots of accessories and add on parts that make it very versatile.

    One of mine has an aftermarket 1:9 quick twist barrel for the Aquila SSS round, the ultra heavy 60 grain bullet that moves pretty slow, but has great penetration. Very dirty bullet lubricant and powder, but effective. For close up work, that might work for big game, given good bullet placement. The barrel can be switched out back to original configuration pretty quickly - hows that for versatile?

    I figure for hunting / pest control in Bad Times, the humble .22 is going to see a lot of service. The quieter, the better - loud rounds will sound like the dinner bell to hungry people around you.

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  5. Scott, I love my 10/22. I never thought about putting "in" my bob because I have a Henry AR-7 in a pocket of the BOB. However, for better accuracy and distance, this makes total sense.

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  6. Good post Scott. I love my 10/22. I've yet to put the Butler Creek folding stock on it, but might do that soon. Seems like it would stow away nicely in a tennis racket bag or folding chair bag too, for vehicle storage and a disguise.

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  7. Excellent post and great job shortening the stock. Hadn't thought of this.

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  8. Good post - but I think I would be parrtial to a Butler Creek folding stock or a folding Choate stock if you can find one.

    I agree - the 10/22is an awesome firearm - I am getting ready to buy another.

    Take care -
    Rourke
    WorldInfoCD.com
    ModernSurvivalOnline.com

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  9. Now I feel a bit like an idiot, passing on that Butler Creek 'Back Packer' kit you mentioned above. Priced at $150 in a shop, I thought the cost a bit high for a replacement stock / barrel - that as much as a used 10/22 can be found. But what price can you put on folding a rifle THAT small - you sometimes have to pay to gain that much.

    Having said that, your rifle up there looks like it'll do the job really handily.

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  10. Wow, that really looks sharp. Surprised how nice it turned out!

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  11. how many spare screws are you including in your kit? i would have multiple in different places just in case.

    also have you considered the ruger 22 charger? seems a good choice for a compact bug out bag gun.

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  12. Iv'e had the same idea in breaking my ruger 1022 down and packing it in a bug out bag. But i am having trouble in choosing a bug out bag that will actually fit the barrel and the stock at the same time can anybody help me on what backpack i should get?

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  13. Look at any of the internal frame backpacks designed for long-distance backpacking. These are not square-shaped like a daypack, but rather are tall and narrow to fit the contour of your back and most have a deep main compartment at least 24 inches deep. A broken down rifle will fit in one of these and be completely out of sight. Kelty, Mountain Hardware, Jansport, The North Face, and many others make these.

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  14. thank you Scott for the info that really helped

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  15. My Ruger 10-22 with EABco 20" 1:9 twist barrel shoots Aguila SSS 60 gr 22LR subsonic in 3/8" at 50 yards. It is quiet. Ear protection not necessary.
    A large knob on the one screw that holds stock to barreled action makes it quick and easy to take down.
    Barreled action is 25.5" OAL. Stock is 29" long. I may yet cut the stock to 25"
    Aguila SSS is a good round for small game (deer??)and effective selfdefence at close range.
    http://www.hickokfamilygenealogy.com/Lethality_of_the_22_LR.html
    If your wife were home alone with "only" a 10-22 with Aguila SSS she could make close range one shot kills (head shots) on invading AIDS- infected snickering street scum.
    Millions of large hogs are killed every year with one shot to the head.
    If I take to the piney woods (East Texas) they will be lucky if they do not catch me.
    BTW If you have fired Aguila SSS groups from a 1:16 twist barrel rifle (that's almost all of them), what size groups at 25 and 50 yards?

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  16. Vlad, your 60 gr. stablity results from standard rifling will likely vary. My CZs don't stabalize it worth a darn, but my TOZ 78 is noticeably better, inside 25 yards, I think it'll do okay. Man, is it ever dirty shooting ammo . . .

    I appreciate the review of EABco barrel, I have a Tactical Solutions 16" carbine w/ 1:9 barrel twist for my 10/22, but have so far not switched out my 10/22 barrel to see how it does. Your post may get me to try it this spring.

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  17. Scott, did your modifications affect the accuracy of the weapon at all?

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  18. No discernible effects on accuracy at all.

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  19. Well...a rossi pump breaks down,(20 in+-) you can mix shorts & longs , it's accurate and cheap and can fire multiple shots real fast if you need to burn some ass in a situation....

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  20. Thanks Rastus, the Rossi pump sounds like another good option. I like the ability to mix shorts and longs, LR, etc.

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  21. Great project! When broken down, how do you insure that the assembly pins don't fall out of the receiver when transporting? A knob or wing attached to the screw would make assembly and disassembly tool-less.

    Chris

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  22. Chris,

    Yes, a knobbed or knurled screw would make the operation tool-less, and that's certainly an option some may want.

    To answer your other question, I haven't had any issues with loosing the pins because I always wrap the receiver end tightly in a piece of cloth (bandana, sock or whatever that's going in my pack anyway). You could take the extra precaution of using some kind of bag secured around the receiver with a rubber band, duct tape, etc. In my newer rifle (pictured) the pins are quite tight and don't fall out. In an older one I have, they will fall out if it is turned sideways when out of the stock.

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  23. Chris,
    The receiver pin kit from KIDD should solve your problem:
    http://www.coolguyguns.com/Receiver-Pin-Kit_p_53.html

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  24. I've experienced quite a few naysayers about my 10/22 as a "survival" firearm. Survival as in FOOD. I have taken down a lot of squirrel and rabbit on weeklong excursions. Yes, we ate them. Ugh, I just realized that was almost 20 years ago that I started. Feeling old here. But I digress. A few ppl I have come into contact with insist an AR15 is better. Um, check on that, too. But seriously, do you really want to try and take down a squirrel with .223?? "Oh but we can get a deer with an AR". We live in Cali, 2 hours from LA! I lived in the Deep south and found it hard as heck to hunt deer and now they think it's easy in theory, post collapse with every other weekend warrior frolicking in the woods. "Well, I'll bring a shotgun. Check on that, too. Once I get to where I'm going. But a handgun and a take down 10/22 LR will get me what I need and when and if I DO make it to the BOL, the rest will (hopefully) be there. Never underestimate the usefulness of a 10/22. Ever. Or a good air rifle for that matter. I laugh to myself and just listen when I hear the urban experts insult a 10/22 when all they truly own is a semi auto handgun, a few boxes of ammo and some buckets of white rice. On second thought, these people scare me the most.

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  25. There is a Ruger 10/22 Takedown model out now. although I own a wooden stock rifle, I want one of these Takedowns. They come with a neat little bag that holds the gun (both barrel and receiver pieces), plus room for a few 25 round magazines. I also have an AR7 and Savage .22LR/20GA. When I get the 10/22 and a Rossi .45LC/.410GA, I'll have the "truck guns" ready for everyday travel.

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  26. Yes, I posted about the Ruger 10/22 Takedown here: http://www.bugoutsurvival.com/2012/05/ruger-1022-take-down-version.html I don't own one yet, but it does look like an interesting alternative.

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  27. Hi Scott,

    When you sprayed the Krylon Fusion over the clear epoxy resin, does the paint stick or did you have to prepare the clear epoxy resin (by scuffing) before hand?

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  28. Nevermind Scott, just read about Krylon fusion ans saw it sticks to practically anything without prep.

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  29. Hi Nick D,

    Krylon Fusion will stick to about anything, but epoxy resin can produce an amine blush upon curing, which will interfere. When working with epoxy-coated surfaces, I always sand the epoxy after curing and degrease the surface by wiping it with a rag soaked in denatured alcohol. This permits secondary bonding of paint or other finishes, as well as more epoxy, for example when laminating glass cloth over it.

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  30. WOW really nice work. What is the Length of pull on that stock?

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