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March 20th, 2022

Sunday GunDay: $98 Ruger 10/22 Transformed into Tack-Driver

Ruger 10/22 benchrest project rifle Les

Take a good look at this black-stocked, rimfire benchrest rifle. This just might be the most sophisticated (and accurate) Ruger 10/22 on the planet. This 10/22 was originally acquired as a used “donor gun” for just $98.00. Then its owner Les (aka “Scasa” in our Forum) completely upgraded the rifle from stem to stern. He added a rear lug to the receiver, threaded the receiver, installed a new barrel, and upgraded the trigger. Then he crafted the handsome benchrest stock from wood. He even designed and crafted the barrel tuner AND built the sophisticated shooting rest himself.

Overall, Les imagines he has over 1000 hours of design, fabrication, and fitting in this project. But the hard work paid off — this one-of-a-kind Ruger 10/22 shoots tiny groups. Is this the most accurate 10/22 on the planet? Possibly. But without question, it is the most sophisticated, do-it-yourself Ruger 10/22 project gun ever created.

$98 Ruger 10/22 Transformed into Tack-Driving Bench Gun

Report from Les E. (aka “Scasa” in our Forum)
I long thought I’d someday put an upgraded Ruger 10/22 together but the big hold-up was the receiver. I really wanted a threaded barrel/receiver and a rear lug for two-point mounting. They do make a rear lug that attaches to the rear of some aftermarket receivers but it’s just a little tab that attaches to the back, not what I would call really solid. So one day while hanging out at the local gun store I saw a Ruger 10/22 on the used gun rack for just $98.00. I latched onto it and I had my donor gun. This was an early gun that had the two guide rails for the bolt, walnut stock, and metal (not plastic) furniture.

Ruger 10/22 benchrest project rifle Les
Finished 10/22 rifle with rifle stock, tuner, and aluminum shooting rest all built by Les.

I then began a complete transformation of the rifle. Little did I know that, by the end of the project, I would put in about 1000 hours of labor. There were several things I wanted to make quite different than Ruger’s original design. First was to add the rear lug. Then get rid of the trigger pins. I also threaded the barrel hole in the receiver to get rid of the wedge. I also wanted to fix the bolt release. Of course that all required a new stock too.

In this video, Les explains the major upgrades he did to the Ruger 10/22:

Interested in this rifle build? Talk about it in our Shooter’s Forum. Rifle owner/builder Les can answer your questions about this Ruger 10/22 in this Forum Thread.

Ruger 10/22 benchrest project rifle Les

The Ruger 10/22 receiver was threaded to accept a more traditional barrel installation. Below is a conventional 10/22 drop-in barrel. Note that normal barrel is NOT threaded at receiver end, but slides in and then is held in place with a “wedge” locking block.

Ruger 10/22 benchrest project rifle Les

Ruger 10/22 benchrest project rifle Les

I made a rear lug that attaches to the back of the Ruger receiver with four, 6-32 screws and glued with JB Weld and filed to match the receiver contour.

Ruger 10/22 benchrest project rifle Les

Shown above is the completed gun before stock painting. The stock is made from nine pieces of Poplar 1x2s, with lots of sanding and black satin paint. Above is a photo of the stock before painting. As you can see, the laminations were stacked vertically. The rifle sits on a one-piece shooting rest I also built.

Editor: Les designed and crafted this sophisticated shooting rest himself. That’s right — this is a DIY rest! Les told us: “I built the rest from scrap aluminum. The design came from looking at rimfire rests online. Probably the Pappas Rest was the greatest influence. That Pappas rest cost about $1100.00 at the time for a polished one. I have less than a hundred dollars in mine now, but I’ve got a couple WEEKS of work in it. I’ve made two of them, one for my rifles and one for my benchrest pistol. It’s a lot of work to sand and polish, but in the end you have a solid shooting platform. Keep it waxed to preserve the shine.”

Watch Les shoot his fully-transformed and upgraded Ruger 10/22 with rest he built:

Editor: In the above video Les shoots his fully-upgraded Ruger 10/22 from a sophisticated one-piece rest he built himself. You can see how well the rest handles his upgraded Ruger 10/22. Below are the two 5-shot groups shot at 25 yards with this rig in the video. Very impressive! The ammo used was Wolf Match Extra.

Ruger 10/22 benchrest project rifle Les

More Upgrades — Trigger Pins, Bolt Release and More…
The trigger pins were replaced with 10-32 socket head screws which required threaded bushings to be put in the left side of the receiver and access holes in the right side of the stock. Now the trigger group and bolt can be removed without taking the action out of the stock. This also pulls the receiver sides together reducing bolt clearance. The trigger is shimmed with a piece of shim stock so it can’t be too tight.

Ruger 10/22 benchrest project rifle Les

There are several “How-Tos” which cover conversion of the manual bolt release to an auto bolt release, but it still requires a little fiddling with the darn thing. So instead of having it pivot on a slot, I welded up the slot and now it’s just a hole. I also welded on some more length and put a little knurled knob on it. With those modifications, it now works perfect.

Ruger 10/22 benchrest project rifle Les

The trigger housing is factory Ruger acquired at a gun show 25 years ago with Volquartsen hammer and sear. The barrel is a Green Mountain blank turned, threaded, and with a Bentz chamber. I made the barrel tuner. The rifle is fitted with a BSA 36-power scope I bought for $125.00 from the AccurateShooter Forum classifieds. There may be another $250.00 or so in parts and accessories I bought.

Editor’s Commentary — This project started with an old, used $98.00 Ruger 10/22 rifle. Now the transformation is complete. It took Les countless hours, and lots of effort, but he is deservedly proud of the end result. The excellence of the upgraded 10/22 is matched by the sophisticated, unitized aluminum shooting rest Les built. Very impressive design and execution.

So How Does it Shoot? Very Nicely Indeed!

Ruger 10/22 benchrest project rifle Les

Les reports: “Above is a target with some 3-shot groups while playing with the tuner. Those groups were shot at 25 yards. I figure at that distance I’m testing what the gun will do, not how well I can read the wind, not well and its been really windy. If I can get one clean hole 5 shots I’m pretty happy.”

Ruger 10/22 benchrest project rifle Les
Les electro-etched the caliber on the barrel. Les told us: “The machine was easy to make and works really well. It’s just a pain getting stencils.”

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March 20th, 2022

Gobble, Gobble — Spring Turkey Hunting Videos + Free Target

Turkey hunting video Get Zone
Photo courtesy Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Springtime is turkey hunting season throughout the USA. The official spring wild turkey hunting season is set regionally by each state. In a few states, turkey season has already commenced, while most other states open their turkey seasons in early April, with the spring seasons running for 3-5 weeks. CLICK HERE to read Outdoor Life Magazine’s 2022 Turkey Hunting Forecast for spring 2022.

Turkey hunting video Get Zone has a vast video library for hunters, with hundreds of helpful videos on all types of hunting. In time for spring turkey season, GetZoneHunting offers a big collection of turkey hunting videos: At the Ranch – Turkey. On that page you’ll find 13 turkey hunting “how-to” videos. Here are links to five GetZone Turkey Hunting videos with valuable information from skilled, experienced hunters.

At the Ranch Turkey Hunting Videos

At the Ranch – Turkey offers solid advice for turkey hunters. These five videos will help you better understand turkey behavior and have success on your hunt. Click any photo to watch the particular video on the GetZone website. (Work Warning — When each GetZone video opens, it may immediately launch an annoying commercial with loud AUDIO!). There are eight more turkey hunting videos on GetZone’s Turkey Hunting HQ Page.

At the Ranch: Shot Placement for Turkeys — CLICK PHOTO to Watch Video

At the Ranch: Turkey Hunting Essentials — CLICK PHOTO to Watch Video
turkey hunting video

At the Ranch: The Difference Between a Jake and a Tom — CLICK PHOTO to Watch Video
turkey season hunting

At the Ranch: Early vs. Late Spring Turkey Hunt — CLICK PHOTO to Watch Video
turkey hunting

At the Ranch: How to Plan a Turkey Hunt — CLICK PHOTO to Watch Video
turkey hunting video

Free Printable Turkey Target from

As a special bonus for our readers, here is a free, printable Turkey Target, so you can practice for your turkey hunting adventure, This special Turkey Bullseye Target was created by our friend and Forum member Pascal (aka “DesertFrog”). CLICK HERE for FREE Turkey Target.

printable turkey gobler target thanksgiving fun paper

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills No Comments »