Skip is our Village Armorer. He is quite expert in the technical and arcane aspects of building and maintaining the teeth of Liberty. He helped compile this brief but detailed primer on building one of these handy little rifles. I was an Appleseed Instructor in the state of Arizona (on sabbatical) and we urge those who wish to husband their ammunition with the prices they command now to maintain their skill set with modified .22 rifles to ensure the edge does not dull for the Riflemen standing up across America. Much has changed in the six years since I wrote the first primer and this is completely updated to reflect the improvement available.
Yes… we call it a Liberty Training Rifle (LTR)
Start with a stock Ruger 10/22.
I would get a Magpul Hunter X-22… my kids could shoot with spacers removed, like most things Magpul it is carefully thought out and well executed in form and function.
The sights are the most important modification you can make to the 10-22. I am a firm believer everyone should learn to shoot iron sights first, and I’m certain I’m preaching to the choir on this. But you must also train to use the red dot with it and this is a convenient combination.
If you don’t fancy the red dot option just get the regular Tech-Sights which mimic the finest iron sights made by man from the M1 Garand. I also recommend you consider putting a dedicated Picatinny rail on the receiver of the 10/22.
I prefer an automatic bolt release, but I don’t like paying the extra cost… here’s were you can learn to modify it using a dremel tool, which is what I do for all my friends that have the 10-22.
I recommend using the OEM magazines… here’s a cheap place to start, you need at least two per rifle for an Appleseed.
You need an adjustable sling. Don’t be cheap and buy the Magpul MS4 using the sling etiquette I described in a previous post. If you mate it to the Magpul Hunter stock, you’ll have to buy the appropriate Magpul QD attachments. The Type 1 fits the rear of the Magpul stock and be sure to mount it to the strong side of the stock, counter-intuitive but very effective.
I even mount the low profile M-LOK AFG on the 10/22 but this is optional.
Lastly, I like an extended magazine release… the newer rifles come with it, but here is an option.
I made my own extended mag release using the hardware that comes with cheap furniture… and screw it into the OEM mag release. I think they are called camming bolts or screws and they look like a bolt, at the tip, then a solid cylinder with a screw head matched to a camming surface. (H/T to Skip)
Every time I buy cheap furniture, they always pack extra and I just keep them in a drawer for anyone that wants an extended magazine release. I drill them into the OEM mag release (cast metal) flat surface until I am through the bolt entirely. The hole needs to be slightly smaller than the bolt threads (doh!) so the bolt can thread into the mag release, but not too small or the screw head will twist off before you have it threaded in. Once in, cut it down to about .60″ to .75″ using a hacksaw and then dress it up using a belt sander. Then cut off the excess threads coming through the mag release until it is flush. If you don’t, or the bolt is left too long, it will not cam far enough to release the mag.
The availability of a Magpul bipod this summer is a great option if they turn out to be effective kit.
Once you’ve mastered the irons and the red dot, I would advise fitting a proper optic to the rail you so fortuitously installed.
Now, I found this interesting… unnecessary, but cool: https://www.eabco.com/m1_carbine_ruger_1022_tribute.htm