The Ruger 10/22
Few firearms enjoy so much use as those chambered in the time-honored .22 long rifle. Inexpensive and fun shooting can be had, and every fundamental part of shooting can be applied and practiced save only perhaps recoil management. The Ruger 10/22 is one of the many firearms thus chambered, and over many decades it has become one a many stalwarts setting a bar for others to be measured against. The natural progression of design and advancement have created many different variants, and today’s subject is one of those.
The Ruger 10/22 Charger Pistol
The Ruger Charger pistol is a 10/22 variant, some of which incorporates Ruger’s takedown technology, among others. The Charger was designed as a pistol, likely to take advantage of the pistol brace craze that is determined to rewrite the SBR tenet held by everyone’s favorite three letter agency. The pistol utilizes a polymer chassis, much like the rifle versions of the 10/22. The differences include using a pic rail at the back for installing any kind of implement akin to, but without being a buttstock. It also has a sling stud up front for utilizing a bipod or other support device.
The model I tested is the 22 Charger Lite, I assume this is achieved with the lighter barrel contour and vented shroud. The muzzle of the ten-inch barrel is threaded 1/2-28 which is an excellent thing to do nowadays. The overall length of the pistol is nineteen-inches, and weighs in at 57 ounces. A picatinny scope mount is also included with the Charger for the bargain price of $719.00 MSRP.
Upon opening the case of the Charger, I started thinking and evaluating just what such a gun would be used for. The takedown feature made it extremely easy to store in a backpack, which would make it an obvious choice for a camping gun. The threaded barrel made it a good choice for a suppressor host, which I intended to do a few minutes later. I decided I would reserve my judgement until further experience with the Charger deemed it worthy of my praise.
The Charger came in a handy soft carrying case, which was handy for heading to the range, but I avoid that place like a TSA checkpoint. After mounting a scope on top of the rifle, I disassembled the rifle using the takedown feature. I was quite impressed with the simplicity of the mechanism, simply lock the bolt back and use the thumb of one hand to depress the takedown release, and twist the two halves of the gun a part. And just as quickly it went right back together, “pretty slick” I mumbled to myself as I finished prepping some ancillary equipment for my shooting trip.
With a few boxes of ammo, I made my way into the mountains above my house to see what the Charger could do. With a full magazine I set to zeroing the scope, which turned out to be a little tougher than I expected. This is likely due to using a riflescope on a pistol with no stock or brace to stabilize it with, something that would show up again later.
My initial impression of the gun was quite positive, it was easy to get on targets and functioned as good as one would expect with a 10/22. I installed my Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 22 suppressor, which is a must-have if you are a serious rimfire shooter. You can read more about the suppressor here.
With the report of the little Charger now suppressed, it became even more fun. Once I figured out how to hold it steady the Charger made for brilliant fun, plinking at targets all over the hillside. It chewed through a very expensive pile of cartridges, most of which seemed to work great. I did have a couple malfunctions using some Federal ammunition, but I’m not entirely sure that was the ammunitions fault. I believe it had more to do with the gun resting on magazine while shooting, it seemed to create additional friction that reduced bolt inertia and caused it to stovepipe or something similar. Obviously using a bipod will eliminate this issue, or using shorter magazines.