Photos by Michael Anschuetz
Generally, people are not content — especially shooters — which is why there are so many variations of certain popular firearms. Consider the ubiquitous Ruger 10/22 and Model 1911. How many ways can you have either?
The problem with variations is that they usually require more of an upfront investment, and gun makers constantly juggle what’s on the feature list as they try and guess how much their customers are willing to pay. If you want a gun customized to your needs and wants, then you expect to pay more for the skills of a gunsmith or shop.
Then there are enthusiasts who fall in between. They want something more than a base model, but they don’t like the price for personalization either. Ruger has recognized these individuals among its expansive fanbase.Ruger Custom Shop
Many brands have custom shops to offer loyalists the expensive and the unique. Most custom shops are rooms separate of the production line that function as quiet spaces for senior artists to work. Ruger is taking a different approach without cutting the usual corners.
In contrast, Ruger’s Custom Shop guns are being made within the production process. It’s not an assembly line. Almost 10 years ago, Ruger developed modular cells for its builders. The difference in Ruger’s production guns and its Custom Shop models starts with those same employees who spend a little more time on the details and use Custom Shop-only components. As a result, the savings for a unique and enhanced firearm is passed on to us. Ruger has told G&A that it will not be customizing its older guns or offering personalization services through its Custom Shop — at least for now.
To start, there are two models, one a 10/22 and the other an SR1911, which are going to be offered through the TALO distribution network. There are plans in the works to develop Custom Shop models for other Ruger platforms, as well. Until then, these first two examples serve as indicators for the type of products we can expect out of the Ruger Custom Shop.The 10/22
There’s no doubt that this first 10/22 Custom Shop model was designed for those who like to shoot. Though it doesn’t come with sights, the receiver is machined with an integral 51/2-inch, 30-MOA Picatinny rail. That means no searching for screw-in bases or mounts. The rail extends over the barrel 3/4 of an inch, which allows us to move a scope farther forward, if necessary, to optimize eye relief. It also covers a second clamp underneath to improve consistency and maintain free-float.
The bull barrel is shy of an inch thick, which guards accuracy from the effects of heat. The barrel also has four shallow flutes, which help lighten the barrel. It’s complete with a removable, dual-purpose flash hider/muzzlebrake that’s incredibly effective without being unusually noisy. (You could suppress that audible crack by attaching any rimfire suppressor.)
The trigger is Ruger’s popular BX-Trigger for all 10/22 rifles. Ours measured just less than 3 pounds and was superb to feel.
The stock is a wood laminate that’s painted gray and splattered with black for texture and appearance. Not only does it have a comfortable recoil pad, but Ruger incorporated a height- and longitudinal-adjustable comb.
There’s a tension screw on the left and a quick-release lever on the right. It’s a robust design that helps anyone get their eye properly positioned behind an optic.
If you've been thinking about getting into the Rimfire Challenge competition scene, the Ruger Custom Shop 10/22 model is a winner.