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Ruger 10/22 Tactical VLEH Review

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Today I want to talk about the Ruger Tactical 10/22 VLEH. I picked one up the other day from Johnsons Sporting Goods in Adrian MI for a tad over 400$ This is the bull barreled 10/22 rifle. It comes with a 16 inch hammer forged fluted .920 heavy barrel.The action seems to have a better trigger than what I remember from the last stock 10/22 I fired but that was a long time ago. The trigger is pretty good. The action comes in a Hogue rubber stock similar to the one that Remington 700 SPS’s come in. This one though is not free floating. I couldn’t get a piece of paper between the barrel and stock at all. You also get a knock off Harris style short bi-pod with adjustable legs and it comes with a scope mount rail for the top of the receiver. I was unhappy with the tapping for this scope mount. The front screw hole stripped out WAY to easy :( So I will have to take it in and have it re-tapped. It just stripped right out immediately, so be careful. The finish is a textured flat black and quite nice looking and seemingly tough.

Ruger

 

I took it right out with my test scope, a 3×9 Leupold, (not the one I won) with Federal Bulk pack it was grouping not so good (1 1/2-2plus inches at 60 yards) and I don’t blame the stripped screw, the mount is still solid. I read CCI mini mags are the way to go. I ordered a bunch of junk for it so I’m going to shoot for record when I get all the goodies in. After doing some further research my expectations of this rifle may have been a bit too high. I had a custom job I rarely fired and sold off. I swear that thing would shoot out a dime at the same range with most ammo but it wasn’t very good as far as reliability goes, jammed a lot. This is due to a match chamber mostly. This Ruger bull barrel does not have a match chamber but feeds everything perfectly, so it’s a give and take for accuracy vs. reliability. We’ll see what she’ll do with some match ammo, some CCI’s and a different stock.

So I ordered a Tapco Intrafuse pistol grip stock with a quad-rail up front. I want to “tacti-cool” this thing up. If you do this make sure you get the stock for the heavy barrel as there are 2 models of the stock. I need to stop at a buddy’s shop and get some rings yet but I ordered a Weaver KASPA 3×12 scope. It seemed promising in the dealers, solid and nice bright glass and I found one for $172 which was pretty cheap on eBay so I picked it up. I figure it will be a good 22 scope. It’s a “tactical” scope. With an illuminated BDC reticle for a 5.56. I’ll review the scope separately so more on that later. I plan to pick up 8-10 Ruger factory 25 round mags too but I am waiting till they go back on sale. So for now I just bought 2, I was getting really tired of reloading the 10 round it came with.

Ruger

On another note, thinking about my recommendation for this as a budget survival/defense rifle in Pt. 1 of my Food for thought Series. I think it’s a great choice so far. Going a bit further though than a stock, optics and hi-cap magazines. I was looking at a bolt hold open trigger group. After consideration I decided to pass on this option for a couple reasons. 1. I don’t believe you’ll even know it locked open, with an M4 you can feel it, FN Fal, the same thing, M1 Garand you can feel and hear it. With this I doubt there’s enough inertia for you to know the bolt locked back. You should be trying to count your shots anyway, my “internal shot counter” works pretty darn good. I generally even know roughly what shooters around me have left. The second reason is seeing’s how you have to reach over the top or remove your firing hand to release the bolt anyways you may as well just rack the bolt again, it’s like an extra inch of movement, not worth the $$ spent or the fact that you will NOT, SAY AGAIN NOT, be able to use magazines that have not been modified to work with the new hold open trigger group. So you would be limited to the magazines you had converted, just not worth the trade for something I don’t think you’d even feel when it worked.

Well it’s a week later now and my stock is back ordered, the scope rail is fixed and my rings aren’t here yet for the Weaver scope. I will just review the Weaver by itself some other day. I did get in a batch of CCI ammo, Mini-mags and Stingers both. So back out with the Leupold and the stock rifle I went. MUCH MUCH!!! better groups. I traced some quarters onto paper plates and set them up at 70 yards. I only fired maybe 2-3 shots out of 70-80 rounds that didn’t end up hitting my quarter size circles. Probably me. It shot WORLDS better with CCI ammo. Incidentally while the mini-mags were good, the Stingers were even tighter. Often times with 5 shot groups that could be covered with dimes and nickels. So the CCI does seem to be the way to go. Reliability was 100%. I had zero malfunctions of any kind. For a 22 those Stingers are moving out of that barrel too. Good power round for a 22lr. 1640 fps. I am going to order a 5000 round case of them. Great round.

So I guess that about wraps it up, really nice rifle. A tried and proven action and a good barrel offering excellent accuracy while maintaining reliability. You should have no problem shooting squirrels heads off or punching nice groups in paper. I said before I thought this was an excellent budget defensive rifle, I still think it. Accurate, reliable and a ton of aftermarket stuff and for less than the price of 1 good M-4 carbine you can have a 10/22 fully decked out with 5000 rounds of ammo and magazines. It beats wishing you had a gun. All in all I give it 2 thumbs up. As the rest of my stuff gets here I’ll update the pics too. Maybe re-shoot with the new stock.

As always thanks for reading and happy shooting.

By: Cary Kieffer

 

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Cary Kieffer

USMC Infantry/Combat Veteran - Current LEO.

Latest posts by Cary Kieffer (see all)

12 Responses to Ruger 10/22 Tactical VLEH Review

  1. Arkanjel says:

    For the record, it says right in the Ruger 10/22 manual to NOT use Stinger type ammo in the ‘Target’ models.

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      Yes, it does but also for the record mine has run flawlessly with them. There is no danger I talked with Ruger myself about this. She said they may not extract/eject is all due to cartridge length. In my personal rifles they run perfectly. Can’t hurt to try them though, you won’t hurt a thing by doing so. I get very good groups with them, at least I did when you could still find them. Thanks for stopping by TGR. C.

  2. Steven says:

    I ran across one of these today. I was not planning on getting a 22, but after seeing this beauty, I was hooked. I got it for around $430. I also added a Bushnell 3×9 x40 on it. After approx 10 rounds to zero scope ( got a bore site at the store, and it was close) it was hitting dead on (at 50yrds & 100yrds ). I had forgot how much fun and cheap 22′s are to shoot. The fellow at the gun shop said this was the first one they had seen in a year. I highly recommend this rifle. It looks good, it shoots good and it just plain feels good. I have a savage 110 tactical 308 with heavy barrel and this gun looks like its little brother. I ran federal 40gn thru it with no problems, and they were very accurate. So far, I give this rifle an A+. Oh yea, the 50yrd shots were almost in the same hole.

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      Steven, yeah your right. They have been off the racks longer than they were on them. Long delay. Sounds like you got a good price. They haven’t gone up much either if at all. Congrats. If somebody is in the market for one I’d tell them to grab the one they see. They are tough to come by it seems. Enjoy!

  3. Joe says:

    Stingers are great rounds but I’d be curious to see your review using CCI Velocitors. About the hottest 40 grain around. CCI developed it as a heavier round, better penetration than the Stinger, and it has just a touch shorter case which might work a little more reliably in the long run. And the stinger does seem to come apart without penetrating because of the lighter bullet. The Velocitor won’t.

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      Joe, never bought that particular ammo before…give me 2 weeks and check back. I’ll get a few hundred and check them for function and groups. As soon as I’m done I’ll post the results.

  4. steve says:

    Just as a heads up for anyone looking at picking one of these up, you may be in for a wait. I read some where possibly Rugers site, That Ruger is suspending taking new orders from dealers due to their backlog of existing orders ( they apparently can’t keep up with the demand on some of their more popular models.)Good luck finding one, I just happened to get lucky with mine, their supplier just happened to have one left in stock that wasn’t spoken for yet so I snagged it and ran.

  5. steve says:

    Just picked one up in early March, mounted a 3-12×40 leapers AO scope. The bi-pod is a Shooters Ridge Rock Mount. One exception to the review is that this model does in fact have a match chamber, and Ruger states in the owners manual not to use CCI Stingers. These can cause malfunction’s and also damage the barrel. Mine will shoot dime size groups at 50yds. using cheap Winchester bulk ammo and at 100yds. things open up to around 1 1/2″ or less If I do what I’m supposed to. The only mod I have made is to replace the bolt hold open latch with a Powers extended auto release model.

    • Cary Kieffer says:

      Hi Steve, Mine didnt have a manual in the box…so I called Ruger just now and “Lousie” in customer service says they do not recommend stingers due to them sticking in the tighter “target” chamber” (were her exact words) but she didnt say anything about possible damage…and I cant see how anyway…unless you roughly removed a stuck casing with a 22cal rusty rod of metal. So I think we’re probably splitting hairs there with “target” or “match” chambers….I had a “match” chamber barrel and it would shoot circles around this what Ruger just told me is a “target barrel” gun but wouldnt cycle worth a darn. I do acknowledge that the chamber is tighter than a “regular” chamber:) I do appreciate your comment and if you have some more info on the possible damage due to CCI use I’d love to hear about it as I would probably discontinue use of that shell but I think it sounds more like a possible reliability/cycling issue and of those I have had zero. Thanks for stopping by. Cary

      • steve says:

        Cary, Haven’t talked to Ruger myself, but the only damage I can think would happen would be possible chamber erosion (maybe)from the longer shell and as you stated FTF’s or FTE’s due to the longer case. As for me I’ll probably just stick with standard loads just to be on the safe side. I have my 22mag that I use for vermints (grd. hogs and such) so I really don’t need the stingers much anyway. By the way, if you haven’t tried or installed a auto bolt release you should really give it a try. Much nicer than having to mess with the bolt latch to release the bolt, I also installed the Powers Custom bolt stop, no more clack clack clack while shooting, nice and quite now. Other than these two things I don’t plan on restocking or anything, I like the Hogue stock just fine. When I first picked up the gun I noticed the stock fit was just touching the barrel at the very front. I opened it up a bit with some sandpaper and a dowel rod, now its completely free floated. So far it shoots great and really like it.

  6. Cary Kieffer says:

    Thanks Greg, I have some more pics coming of her in the new stock. The Tapco intrafuse. It has plenty of rail space and is free floated. The SAW style pistol grip really is comfortable too! I like the stock. It came with a top handguard and more rail but I didnt use it because it forced the barrel down and was no longer free floating. Groups suffered because of it. You dont need it so I left it off. The forward grip is a bipod and really handy too. I put a redot off to the side of the scope for close fast shots and zero’d the scope at 50 yards. I then checked it at 100 and 25 yards so I knew the exact number of clicks to adjust to be dead on. All in all a GREAT rifle and still zero malfunctions of any kind. I am very pleased and I bet you will be too. Make sure you try the CCI Stingers…it has been by far the best ammo for this rifle. take care. Cary

  7. Greg says:

    Great review! I am trying to get my hand on one in Southern California. I am obsessed with this rifle :)

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