Village Praxis: Building the Liberty Training Rifle (Updated) by Bill Buppert

Publisher’s Note: Skip is one of my best friends and he is our Village

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.

The main platform we use is the Ruger 10/22 and modify it fairly substantially to better replicate the handling and characteristics of a Main Battle Rifle or Carbine much like the purpose-built rifles that festooned colonial mantles in the 18th century here in America. 
It is an implied task that once you build the rifle, you go out and practice and become proficient.  While the primer below is by no means exhaustive, it will give you a terrific head start. You will notice some tabs above which speak to the Appleseed program.  I would urge you to explore the RWVA and Appleseed pages and sign up for an event near you. -BB

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:


8 thoughts on “Village Praxis: Building the Liberty Training Rifle (Updated) by Bill Buppert”

  1. “I just keep them in a drawer for anyone that wants an extended magazine release.”

    Wish you were my neighbor haha. I don’t have the magpul stock, I have one with a side folder that I love. And a little Nikon prostaff rimfire 3-9x. Its a good little rifle. I’d like to second your statement about only using Ruger magazines. The ONLY time that little rifle has given me any trouble was using those Butler creek mags with the plastic feed lips. I’ve thrown all of those away, no point in having them in the house if they aren’t reliable. The metal lipped Butler Creek ones haven’t given me any problems, and I did keep the two I had, but I don’t use them. Just the Rugers.

    That is a great little rifle though. I confess I don’t clean it as thoroughly or as often a I should either, and its still never let me down. Never found a type of ammo it doesn’t like either, it eats it all. It’s also a favorite when I go to the range with friends, especially newer shooters. Just about everyone that’s ever fired it has said they want one.

    1. Cleaning a .22? Maybe it’s necessary for a semiautomatic (which I don’t have) but all my bolt action.22‘s remain uncleaned except for the first 500 rounds.
      After that they all became more accurate the less I cleaned them.

  2. You can teach basic rifleman skills with a $39 BB gun. That was what we used in boot camp to teach rapid target engagement. Muscle memory skills for shouldering a weapon, establishing a cheek weld, and engaging a target do NOT require facsimiles of the weapon you may ultimately be called up on to employ.

  3. I put an aftermarket fast-twist barrel on my 10-22 just so I could use Aguila 60 grain subsonic ammo out of it. Out to 200 yard minute of man (and beyond) is easy once you establish the holdovers. So quiet you don’t really need a suppressor, but the barrel is threaded for a can if you have one. The 60-grainers function perfectly from 10-round factory mags, not from extended mags, I don’t know why, but it’s my experience. And if you don’t get the fast-twist barrel, the 60 grainers won’t work, they’ll keyhole right out of the muzzle.

    Video to demonstrate:

    Fast-twist barrel link. It shows out of stock, but they’ll make more, it’s a big seller.

    1. Note: In the video you’ll see a white strip of paper taped on the stock. That’s the ballistic dope for the 60 grain rounds, because the holdover is critical to getting shots on target out past 100 yards. I think it’s a good idea to do this with rainbow trajectory rifles, instead of relying on your memory.

  4. We went a different route: the S&W 15-22. Functions identically to the AR15 so “muscle memory” is the same. One can even use the OEM magazine as a monopod without inducing malfunctions as we had experienced with early Black Dog Machine magazines and Ceiner .22LR conversions.

    All my crew had previously trained with Pat Rogers, RIP, before we discovered Max Velocity, so we used the 15-22s for six days with Max in the Summer of ’15 to enable us to cut costs enough to afford training for four. We used Aimpoints from the armory and even did the night shoot. The .22 LRs worked effectively on Max’s Tactical ranges. We have used them for applying what we learned there ever since. BTW, stock up on bulk .22LR now that it is once again available at your local WalMart. Ours, anyway…

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