Ruger 10/22 Carbine with LaserMax Laser Review
Part 3 - External & Operational Features
July 17, 2013

Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

In this part of my Ruger 10/22 Carbine with LaserMax Laser review, I cover the external and operational features of both the Ruger rifle and LaserMax laser.  Although the 10/22 rifle has been around since 1964 and the subject of many reviews,  I still want to show the rifle in detail to give those consumers familiar with this platform an idea of what to expect from current models.  For those new to the 10/22 platform, hopefully this review will answer all your questions about the 10/22 carbine.  Keep in mind that clicking on any photo will bring up a higher resolution photo allowing you to see the finer details within the photo.

 

Ruger decided to introduce this new LaserMax Laser on their Black Synthetic Stock Carbine Rifle, but my guess is you may see it offered as a package on other rifles in the future such as their Takedown rifles.  Ruger currently makes several model styles of their 10/22 rifles such as the Carbine, Compact, Sporter, Tactical, Takedown and Target.  Ruger states "The 10/22 Carbine is identified by its curved carbine-style butt plate and barrel band."  When you compare these different models, the most significant differences would be when it comes to barrel profile, barrel length and stock design/materials.  Since the LaserMax Laser replaces the barrel band, this laser could be installed on either the Carbine, Takedown and Tactical models which include the barrel band feature.

Since the addition of the LaserMax adds Picatinny rails on each side of the forend, the widest part of the rifle becomes across the LaserMax housing which measures 2.31" in width.

Figure 1
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The height and length of the rifle are unchanged and measure 7.4" and 37.0" respectively.  The length of pull also remains the same at 13.5".

Figure 2
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

Figure 3
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

Overall, I think the black synthetic stock and black LaserMax housing create a sleek and simple integrated look for this rifle.

Figure 4
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The rifle and laser together weighed in at 4.56 pounds which is nearly 1/2 pound lighter than the specification weight of 5.0 pounds.  I believe the specification weight is in error and may reflect the weight of the wooden stock carbine model.

Figure 5
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

This rifle comes ready to shoot with two sighting systems; iron sights and the LaserMax laser sight.  The LaserMax Laser is the new addition to this Ruger 10/22 rifle and the iron sights are standard on most 10/22 rifles.

Figure 6
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The LaserMax Laser replaces the barrel ban and slips in front of the stock to make a seamless installation and gives the appearance that the laser is actually part of the stock on this black synthetic stock model.

Figure 7
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

I was impressed at how well the LaserMax body fit around the barrel to create an absolute zero freeplay installation.

Figure 8
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The LaserMax laser is attached to the rifle with a single screw shown below.  This screw is in line with the normal barrel band.

Figure 9
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

As you can see, the LaserMax polymer body has short 2-slot Picatinny rails on each side with "RUGER 10/22" and the Ruger logo molded into rail surfaces.  The front of each rail has a slight taper giving the LaserMax body a streamlined appearance.  Each side of the laser has the "LaserMax" name molded into the body.  On the right side is the windage adjustment screw along with the on switch.  This switch can actually be pressed from either side and the center position of the switch is the "off" position for the laser.

Figure 10
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The bottom of the laser has the elevation adjustment screw and you can also see the rails are hollow to reduce the total weight of the laser assembly.

Figure 11
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

On the left side of the laser you can see that the front part of the body has two screws that hold the battery access cover in place.  You must remove this cover to remove the laser from the rifle because the assembly will not slip over the front sight while the cover is installed.  The LaserMax Laser comes with a 1/3N Lithium cell battery installed for approximately two hours of continuous run time.  These batteries cost between $3 and $4 each and I suggest you go ahead and purchase extra to have in your shooting bag or case, along with a small screwdriver to replace the battery when needed.

Figure 12
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

I installed a weapons light on the rail to get an idea on how the beam of light aligns with the barrel.  Overall, there is good alignment.  There is a very slight inward taper on the rails that shift the center of the light beam toward the point of aim.  If you plan to use the iron sights, this light is located rearward enough to cast just the right amount of light on the gold bead which becomes very visible to the shooter at night.

Figure 13
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The front sight is dovetailed into the barrel and has a gold bead for high visibility.

Figure 14
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The barrel diameter measured 0.62" just behind the front sight.

Figure 15
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

Although the front of the barrel doesn't have any type of normal crown, it does have a chamfer which will help to maintain the integrity of the rifling.  The barrel rifling comes in a six groove 1:16" right hand twist which is fairly standard for many rimfire rifles.

Figure 16
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The flip-down rear sight has a blade that can be adjusted if needed to zero your elevation at your desired distance.  This sight can also be drifted side to side to make windage adjustments.  No change in the rear sight was required on this review rifle.

Figure 17
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

Figure 18
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

This carbine rifle comes with a standard profile alloy steel hammer forged 18.5" barrel with a satin black finish.

Figure 19
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The forend of the polymer stock has checkering on both sides to provide a slip free gripping surface.

Figure20
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

Figure 21
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

Figure 22
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The top of the barrel has Ruger's standard warning "BEFORE USING GUN - READ WARNINGS IN INSTRUCTION MANUAL AVAILABLE FREE FROM RUGER, NEWPORT, NH USA"

Figure 23
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The receiver is made from A380 Aluminum Alloy and has a black satin finish.  This aluminum alloy offers the best combination of casting, mechanical and thermal properties and is one of the most commonly specified aluminum alloys for die casting.  The surface finish appears to be painted because of the way it coated over the edges of the plugs in the drilled and tapped holes for mounting a scope rail.

Figure 24
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

Inside the ejection port you can see that the bolt is polished to a mirror finish.  There are no markings on the right side of the receiver.

Figure 25
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The Ruger 10/22 rifle comes with the standard rotary 10-shot magazine.  On the lower surface you can see the single take-down screws in front of the magazine.

Figure 26
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The left side of the receiver is marked with serial number plus "RUGER®", "MODEL 10/22®" and ".22LR CALIBER".  This 10/22 carbine is "chambered for, and designed to properly function with, only 22 caliber Long Rifle rimfire cartridge, standard, high velocity or hyper-velocity, manufactured to U.S. industry standards."

Figure 27
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

These next two photos show the cross-button safety, located in the front portion of the trigger guard, positioned in the "safe" and "fire" positions.  The safety can be operated only when the hammer is cocked.  This means that after the magazine is empty and you fire your last shot, the safety will remain in the "fire" position until you manually cycle the bolt.   You can see that the "fire" position has a red band exposed to give you a visible indication of the safety's position.

Figure 28 - Safe Position
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

Figure 29 - Fire Position
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

This next photo gives you a look inside the magazine well at the magazine latch plunger which holds the magazine locked in place.  Pushing the magazine release forward pulls the plunger back into the housing allowing the magazine to drop free.

Figure 30
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The trigger housing, trigger, safety button and magazine release are all made from a glass-filled polymer material (most likely nylon) and Ruger claims them to be "impact and abrasion-resistance, and unmatched ability to withstand the elements."  The trigger pull on this rifle measured an average 6.25 pounds based on ten pulls using a Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Scale.  The trigger did have some creep and overtravel but based on my range test results, I was able to keep it under control and shot some great 5-shot groups at 50 yards.

Figure 31
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The 10/22 comes with a bolt lock behind the magazine release.  These next two photos show the bolt lock in the "unlocked, bolt closed" position and the "locked, bolt open" position.  To lock the bolt open, pull the bolt to the rear and push up on the bolt lock.  To release the bolt, pull back on the bolt and push the top of the bolt lock to the rear.

Figure 32 - Unlocked                                                Figure 33 - Locked
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review   Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

This next photo gives you a look through the ejection port at the chamber face.

Figure 34
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

This Carbine version comes with a black synthetic stock which has a curved butt plate with checkering to prevent it from slipping on your shoulder.

Figure 35
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The stock has matching checkering on the grip area and the stock's length of pull measured 13.5".

Figure 36
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

Figure 37
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

Figure 38
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The rifle comes with an aluminum Weaver-style Scope Base Adapter.  The adapter is also painted black to match the receiver.

Figure 39
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

Figure 40
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

Figure 41
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

To install the adapter, you must first remove the four filler screws.  Since the slots in the head of the screws were full of paint, it took more force than normal to hold the screwdriver in the slot to untighten the screws.  A slight amount of paint was removed from around the holes when removing the screws.  Since this is an aluminum receiver, I don't consider this to cause any corrosion issue.

Figure 42
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

This next photo shows the adapter installed.  It is critical to not over tighten the screws.  The receiver is aluminum and the screws steel.  If you strip any threads, they will be stripped inside the receiver which will cause problems.  Ruger states a maximum torque of 12-15 in-lbs and I would not deviate.  Although Ruger states not to use thread locker because it may drip into the bolt or receiver, for my installation, I tried to be very careful and installed these screws with a Purple thread locking compound which is intended specifically for smaller screws and allows removal of the screws without the need for heat.

Figure 43
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

The Ruger 10/22 comes with their standard 10-shot rotary magazine which has proven itself for years as the most reliable 10/22 magazine I have ever owned.  Ruger recently came out with their new Ruger BX-25 magazine and so far it has also proven to be reliable, but it will take many years of putting it to the test to see if equals the reliability of their standard 10-shot rotary magazine.

Figure 44
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

Figure 45                                      Figure 46                                    Figure 47
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review   Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review   Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

Figure 48                                      Figure 49                                    Figure 50
Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review   Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review   Ruger 10/22 Rifle with LaserMax Review

 

Thoughts

Ruger has come a long way over the years with the use of polymer materials and this seems to be the new standard with other firearms manufacturers.  The LaserMax Laser alone is nearly an all polymer product.  As long a the firearms and accessories are durable and can last, these new materials provide for reduced costs and weight which is typically a good thing.  With what I have seen with this Ruger 10/22 Carbine with LaserMax Laser, they appear to be quality products that fit together nicely and function properly.  I think LaserMax and Ruger did a great job with the sleek and functional integration of this laser on the 10/22 platform.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments on my Reader's Comments page.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 


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