Ruger has made some major moves within the past year and the new SR-22 should take the gun world by storm. This basically a Ruger 10/22 dressed in an AR-15-style frame with the barrel system of a much larger rifle. The new Ruger SR-22 came to me for review a few months back, and after some initial shooting, and basic field work against grass rats out here in the Dakota's I decided that it was the best candidate yet to be equipped with a full suppressor system. In this case the best of the best, I went with a GemTech quick-change suppressor that was seeing service on another of my rifles.
The question of suppressors?
The mere mention of a suppressor or silencer turns some thoughts to this dark and edgy world created by the movies and television. First of all let's get one thing straight right off the bat. Suppressors are not evil at all, and when used correctly tend to make shooting a whole lot more pleasant experience regardless of the cartridge type. That stated, getting down to using a suppressed system on the SR-22 returned an experience in shooting that has to be seen to be appreciated.
The GemTech suppressor is a " can" system that allows the suppressor to be removed with a twist of the unit and remounted on any rifle that has the GemTech suppressor flash hider mount attached. The only draw back to the system is that the rifle needs to be a single caliber, in this case a .223 bore diameter, and the barrel must be large enough to allow threading for the flash hinder. The SR-22's have the correct thread pattern factory installed already. These rifles come with the flash hinder used on the Ruger Mini 14. Remove that unit and screw in the GemTech. Make sure you enlist the aid of a competent gunsmith that knows suppressed systems. The " can" needs to be mounted according to GemTech instructions, and pre tested by the gun smith prior to general service.
In terms of the .22 caliber rifle a suppressed system is nothing but outstanding when standard-velocity ammo is used. Even though my suppressed .223 Remington gives a great account of itself out here in the Dakota's when hunting both game and varmints, the 22 long rifle suppressed is something else again. Because a good suppressed system will actually increase a rifle's accuracy, the already accurate SR-22 can be an even better shooter when the GemTech "can" is attached. The gun is already capable of shooting MOA groups at 100 yards.
Here are some of the measured group sizes I shot during testing of the SR-22. While some were shot without the suppressor system, some of the best were with it and all the 100-yard work illustrated below was all mounting the GemTech suppressor.
After shooting what appeared to me to be very accurate 50-yard groups via the Ruger SR-22, I set the suppressed rifle into a sandbag rest and proceeded to send CCI Velocitor 40-grain bullets 100 yards down range. My first three-shot group measured 1.215, which was prairie dog accuracy With a five-round group I pulled one flyer, but at the 22 Long Rifle level who was counting. After all, this is not expensive ammo, and a missed dog here and there is not going to cause a world panic either.
Moving to Federal Ultra Match target in a 40-grain bullet the accuracy dropped at 100 yards, but still held to within a workable dog shooting performance level. At 100 yards the Federal target fodder that was not ever designed for this range cut a 1.082 group which fell into the target a full 2.6 inches low. With holdover, this lightweight in 22 rimfire fodder could still slap a dog with a high between the ears hold. In effect, with a third target group printing a group that measured only .624" based on CCI Stingers that shot as flat as a board to 100 yards the SR-22 was showing that it was clearly quite capable of doing some short- and medium-range work on a dog town. Or for that matter, anyplace general pests were to be dispatched around the farm or ranch.
Because the SR-22 is a 10/ 22 blow-back semi-auto system when suppressed, standard Long Rifle ammunition tends to create a sound that is so quiet that the bolt return spring can be heard pushing the bolt. The sound is a slight ringing of the spring with the soft thud of the bullet going down range. At the target the bullet can always be heard sending a return slap not generally noticed without the suppressor.
Ruger SR-22 Nomenclature
As for the SR-22, Ruger has hit a real homerun on this platform. The 10/22 receiver guts are installed around an aircraft aluminum outer shell. This makes for a rock-sold core system mounting a very accurate barrel. This rifle makes use of all the AR system's bells and whistles down to the last detail Grip, six-position stock, tube forend, and flat-top rail are all here. Ruger also uses signature parts that are all Ruger on the rifle, and after comparing it to several others in 22 caliber on the market I believe it to be the best of the breed, bar none.
Takedown is a bit more complicated than the AR-15 because screws must be removed to drop out the receiver group. Since 10/22 systems are known for their toughness, I have found that a washing out with Liquid Wrench seems to keep the rifle up and running for long periods of field use. Running the SR-22 only requires the knowledge of using the standard Ruger 10/22. The right side push-button safety, under-side mag release, and charging handle on the right side at the ejection port are all the same.
This is one solid little rifle with a lot to offer shooters of all ages.
IF YOU WANT TO GO SUPPRESSED.
Turning to a suppressed firearm is perfectly legal, at least in states or cities that still allow folks to own guns, if you follow the letter of the law. What is required here is buying a suppressor system through a gun dealer with the proper federal firearms license. (It is a Class III, by the way) When you find that dealer you buy the suppressor, make out the paperwork as supplied by the dealer and visit to your local police department for a background check, and approval by the top cop in the area. Then, a second set of paper work is required that your gun dealer also puts together four you and sends to the BATF. After that you sit and wait for what seems like forever. In several months the paperwork comes back and you are issued your suppressor. It, of course must be a serial numbered like a firearm.
Owning that suppressor requires some attention as to where and how it is used. States have different rules and you need to check them out with care. Transporting that suppressor across state lines from the state in which it has been registered is a major problem. You need the written permission of the BATF to remove the system from the state. Suppressors are treated like machine guns, and under the same type of federal stamp. Yes a stamp, like at the post office. What your doing is paying $ 200 for a real stamp that is attached to your government documents. Be advised, if you go the route of a suppressed firearm keep that paper work and stamp in a very safe place. Also make an extra copy of that material. I carry the full deal in my truck at all times. The BATF also allows the buyer to have multiple suppressors under a one time $500 stamp. Dealers use this, but most folks are not going to go this route. In most cases a good suppressor is going to run you about $800 to $1000.
During the varmint season, which is anytime after the game season, turkey season, and even small game hunting, I carry the SR-22 in my truck. Using the suppressed shooting system allows worry free hunting by permission near some major housing developments.
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