If you want to put the WOW! into your 10/22 rifle, check out this low-cost, do-it-yourself upgrade.
by the HuntDaily staff
We’ll admit it—we’ve become spoiled with the improved accuracy, looks, and ergonomics of our .270 Remington ever since we ditched the OE synthetic stock and installed a Boyds Gunstock Industries Featherweight Thumbhole stock. That was last fall, a week before deer season, and the new combination helped us drop the largest 8-point whitetail we’ve ever taken. Now it’s early summer, and steel targets and furry varmints are on the menu. Reaching for our favorite Ruger 10/22, however, just hasn’t been the same now that we’ve come to appreciate the significantly improved handling and performance a custom stock delivers.
In order to bring our 10/22 up to our new standard of expectations, we decided to see if lightning could, indeed, strike twice. Our Boyds Featherweight Thumbhole stock made a huge difference in on-the-bench and in-the-field accuracy by virtue of its pistol grip configuration and “shooter-centric” design. The grip better aligned our wrist and trigger finger placement to give us a straighter, more natural trigger pull. That, of course, translated into improved downrange accuracy. We figured that the same concept would help with our small-caliber target shooting and hunting endeavors. Throw in a new rifle barrel and quality scope, and our Plain Jane semi-auto would be destined for greatness.
Since this will be our go-to squirrel rifle this coming fall, and since we chose the Boyds Forest Camo pattern for our .270 stock, we decided to go with the Forest Camo pattern once again. The difference this time, however, would be the style of the stock.
Boyds makes several different custom stock profiles that work across numerous rifle manufacturer platforms, including several for the Ruger 10/22 carbine and 10/22 Charger pistol. We decided to go with the Boyds SS Evolution stock for our 10/22 for several reasons. First, it would give us the pistol grip we desired. Second, the shortened forend does not touch the barrel, so it will accommodate any fee-float barrel profile we may choose now or in the future. Third, it has a robust palm swell that, combined with an ergonomic grip angle, provides a positive, natural grip that works comfortably on the bench or in the field.
One of the several options Boyds offers whenever you purchase a stock is custom laser engraving. Since we’re all about function, we chose stipling patches on the grip and forend. These are amazingly “grippy” for having been formed on wood, and their black hue works well visually with the Forest Camo pattern (or any color pattern, for that matter). In a nod to stylistic “bling,” we also opted for a coyote head engraving.
Additional customizations we chose included a Boyds buttstock pad (not necessary for recoil mitigation in a rimfire, but it does keep things comfortable for long days at the range) and sling swivel studs. For the final finish, we chose the standard satin instead of high gloss in order to reduce our visual footprint while in the woods.
As mentioned earlier, we wanted to replace our factory barrel with a lighter weight, accurized model and add a quality scope while we had our rifle apart for the stock swap. We’re showing you the overview of the entire process here, but if all you want to do with your 10/22 is replace the old stock with your new Boyds stock, the process could not be more simple. Two screws are all that secures the barreled action to the stock. Loosen the action screw, remove the barrel band, and then separate the stock from the barreled action. To install the Boyds stock, simply seat the barreled action into the new stock and secure with the action screw (the new stock does not use the barrel band unless you purchase a Boyds replacement stock instead of a custom stock).
And that’s all there is to it.
We had a blast on the range, shooting our upgraded 10/22. After the serious work of breaking in the barrel and sighting in the new scope, we got down to some fun shooting. As expected from our experience with the Boyds Featherweight Thumbhole stock, the SS Evolution stock’s profile and intelligently contoured grip gives the shooter more confident and stable control of this lightweight carbine platform than does the conventional stock. The direct trigger pull offered by the pistol grip configuration, in particular, lends itself to tighter groups in both bench rest and free-hand shooting.
Now we can’t wait until squirrel season get here in few months!
article copyright ©2016 HuntDailycom; promoted by Boyds Gunstock Industries, Inc.
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