Review: Back to the Classics – The Ruger 10/22 Sporter

There’s just something reminiscent of a simpler time, something classic, about a basic rifle with a rich-toned, smooth feeling, wooden stock. It’s been a while since I shot something other than a modern sporting rifle, so when I had the chance to review the Ruger 10/22 Sporter, I looked forward to putting my hands on that smooth wood again.

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I couldn’t help it, when I opened the box, the first thing I had to do was caress that smooth, gorgeous stock. Who could resist?

Ruger 10_22 Sporter with lock and scope attachment

The rifle is as described on the Ruger website: “A gold bead front sight, adjustable rear sight, alloy steel barrel, satin black barrel finish, 10 round rotary magazine, 5.2 pounds, 37” overall length, a scope base adapter for both Weaver style and tip-off scope, sling swivels, and an 18.50” barrel length.” The Sporter also has the flat buttplate.

Watching the short Ruger videos for disassembling, cleaning and reassembling showed how simple and easy it is. It’s not the least bit intimidating, no worries about so many little parts that you might lose them or forget where they go in the process. 

Remington Ammunition Tested

I used three different brands of .22 ammunition for testing:

  • Remington Subsonic 40 gr. Plated HP, 1050 FPS
  • CCI 40 gr 1235 FPS Polymer-coated in red and green that I won as a Christmas prize
  • Federal Target Grade 40 gr, 1200 FPS 
Federal Ammunition Tested

They all ran through flawlessly without a single malfunction. The groupings appeared similar, with the Remington grouping best overall within one inch. 

Freehand with the Ruger 10_22

I took the Sporter to a very nice local indoor gun range nearby and utilized the state-of-the-art system in the 100-yard bay. Right out of the box, the rifle shot high and to the left, whether I shot free-handed or used the rifle rest. I adjusted the rear sight and still hit the same general area. I had my husband shoot it and the range safety officer shoot it and they both had hits in the same area. The groupings were quite decent, but we struggled to get it centered. We had the range gunsmith come in and adjust the rear sight vertically and got the shots lower, but still hitting to the left. He quickly made a couple of taps on the rear sight to move it to the right and then my shots were hitting more centered. After just a couple of practice shots and working on my breathing and trigger control, I hit that sweet spot.

CCI Christmas Ammunition Tested

I then decided just to plink and have fun with it at 25 yards because I would likely not be hunting or competing with it, and that’s when I really relaxed and enjoyed myself. It’s lightweight with so little recoil, so simple to operate, and so little noise. And sometimes that’s all we want to do – just play and have fun without stress.

Ruger 10:22 sporter stock

The Ruger 10/22 Sporter is a great rifle for a woman, especially one new to shooting, because there is no intimidation factor with this classic rifle. It would also work well for teaching children for the same reasons, and for someone who simply just wants to enjoy plinking with a simple, dependable, easy to operate rifle. The Ruger 10/22 is like the little black dress of the rifle world – it’ll never go out of style and every gun safe should have one in it.

Find more information about the Ruger 10/22 Sporter here.

  • About Nancy Keaton

    Nancy Keaton is a retired college administrator, president of her local gun club, competitive shooter and freelance writer whose work has appeared in A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League, "American Shooting Journal," "American Concealed," "Northwest Meetings + Events," and other publications. She enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics and interviewing ordinary people doing amazing things. To see a compilation of her writing, check out her website at