First introduced in 1964, the Ruger 10/22 rimfire rifle has been produced in the millions and is still going strong.
Bill Ruger’s semi-automatic .22LR rifle was light, weighing in at just 5-pounds with an American walnut stock, and had a layout similar to the M1 Carbine. Billed as the “ultimate in logical design” when it was first introduced, the gun’s unique 10-shot detachable rotary magazine fits flush in the stock, a feature that competitor’s plinkers did not offer. The 18.5-inch barrel produced a handy carbine-length rifle that went just 37-inches overall.
The 10/22 was an instant hit and has never been out of production since it was introduced 55 years ago, including versions chambered in .22 WMR and .17HMR. An upscaled carbine chambered in .44 Magnum was pitched as a country brush gun. A pistol version of the gun, the Charger, was released.
When first introduced during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson, the 10/22 retailed for $54.50, which, when adjusted for inflation, is about $450 smackers in today’s dollar. The neat thing about that is brand new basic model 10/22s can be had for just $199 today.
Available in a plethora of stock options and finishes, the 10/22 makes a perfect rifle for plinking or small-game hunting. Today’s versions include Carbine, Takedown, Sporter, Tactical, and Competition models. Some packages include spinning targets or are guns saluting America’s farmers or come with International-style full-length wooden stocks.
As varied as the country from sea to shining sea, you could say. Give the people what they want.