Ruger’s 10/22 is one of the most popular .22 caliber rifles in America, and according to Ruger, it’s been America’s favorite .22 for over 50 years. If you’re in the market for a great little gun, the 10/22 is an excellent option. Before you purchase one, you’d probably like to know what rail comes with the Ruger 10/22 (or maybe you want to know what in the world a rail is!) so you can pick out some accessories to go with it.
In this article, we’ll describe the Ruger rail and how you can use it to customize your firearm.
WHAT RAIL COMES WITH A RUGER 10/22?
First of all, a rail is a metal or polymer bracket system you mount to a gun’s receiver (the part of the rifle that houses internal components like the hammer, action, and firing mechanism) or the fore-end of the stock. You can attach accessories like flashlights, bipods, laser sights, slings, and many other things to a rail. Many 10/22 owners use the rail to attach a scope.
The 10/22 comes with a combination rail that works with Weaver-style and .22 tip-off scope mounts. A Weaver-style rail has parallel rails and round slots where you attach your accessories. Sometimes Weaver-rails come in two pieces, but the rail on the Ruger 10/22 is a one-piece mount.
If you decide to add a scope to your 10/22, you can use the included .22 tip-off scope mount rings. To use, slide the bottom half of the rings onto the front and back end of the Weaver rail, set the scope inside, and attach the top half of the rings to secure it.
This video gives a detailed description of how to use scope mount rings to attach a scope to the Ruger 10/22.
RUGER 10/22 OVERVIEW
Ruger cleverly named the 10/22 based on its ammunition. The gun comes with a 10-round rotary magazine, and it shoots .22 caliber bullets. The rotary magazine separates the bullet cartridges, so they feed into the chamber more reliably. Any shooter can appreciate fewer jams and misfires!
Rifles chambered for .22 ammunition are excellent for hunting small game. The 10/22 is also a great first rifle because it’s accurate and reliable, making it easier for young or new shooters to be successful.
If you’d like to see the 10/22 in action, check out this video:
PROS OF THE RUGER RAIL
Since the 10/22 comes with a Weaver-style rail, any accessory designed to work with Weaver rails will work with your Ruger. Weaver is a common rail, so lots of manufacturers make their accessories compatible with it.
One of the advantages of a Weaver rail over Picatinny rails, another popular type of rail, is that the Weavers are more low-profile and lightweight. A .22 isn’t a very large gun, so adding heavy rails and heavy accessories can weight it down. You may even notice that the balance is off and it’s harder to shoot accurately.
Using a lightweight Weaver rail will help keep your rifle balanced and easy to use.
CONS OF THE RUGER RAIL
Weaver rails usually only have a few places where you can attach accessories. If you attach your scope and its either too close or too far from your eye for you to see clearly, you may have to purchase a rail extender or a different rail altogether. Picatinny rails, on the other hand, have many slots so you can easily move the scope a little closer or a little further to get it set just right.
If you have an accessory designed for Picatinny rails, it won’t work with the Ruger rail system. Interestingly, Weaver accessories often fit Picatinny rails, but Picatinny accessories don’t usually fit Weaver rails.
The Weaver was invented first, and the Picatinny was the US military’s adaptation of it. The military prefers standardization in their gear so that it’s simple to swap out accessories, so the Picatinny rail is a simpler design that features a long line of evenly spaced rails. Weaver rails can often have different spaces on the rail depending on the accessory you’ll use with it.
Common guns are much easier to upgrade than old or unique guns. It’s much more lucrative for a company to make accessories for a gun that tens of thousands of people own, compared to a gun that only ten people own. The Ruger 10/22 benefits from this economy of scale, so your accessory options are plentiful.
One smart upgrade you can make if you’re not content with the factory rail is to switch it out for a Picatinny rail. As we mentioned, Weaver-compatible accessories usually work fine on Picatinny rails, but Picatinny accessories don’t usually fit Weaver rails. If you want more freedom in your accessory choice, you may prefer to have a Picatinny rail.
Virtually any scope or other accessories will work on a Picatinny rail. If you find a scope that you love that’s compatible with a Weaver rail, don’t worry about upgrading. However, if you fall in love with a Picatinny-compatible scope, don’t fret about it not fitting your factory rail. Swapping out the rail is one of the most affordable rifle customizations you can make.
Customizing your Ruger 10/22 doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with the factory version. A lot of people enjoy designing their ideal rifle, or just enjoy trying out different accessories. The Weaver rail and .22 tip-off scope mounts that come with the 10/22 are good, quality pieces, but there’s a wide world of accessories out there that you can explore.
Some people will never be content with the factory version of a gun and will want to change and upgrade everything they can, while others will be perfectly content with the rifle as it comes from the manufacturer. Whichever camp you fall into, you know now what rail comes with the Ruger 10/22, so you can determine whether it’s a keeper or the first thing that you’ll upgrade.
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