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  • Ruger 10/22 Design Contest-VOTE NOW

    Posted By on October 23, 2013

    Ruger has chosen 10 finalist for their 50th Anniversary Design Contest and my design was chosen. The Grand Prize Winner is chosen by popular vote so go to http://ruger.com/micros/1022_50/index.html and vote for Gary-Michigan

    Ruger cut most of my description but here is the concept behind this design…

    I wanted to design something that Ruger would and could actually make using existing Ruger parts.

    Basically it is a stainless using a distributor exclusive they make for AcuSport which has a 18″ threaded barrel (or a cut down 16″ bbl for the compact version). It includes the mud guard (to protect the muzzle/crown from dirt, cement etc while in prone. And of course the threaded barrel allows the use of any other kind of muzzle device (comps, flash hider, suppressor)

    Peep and post sights are off a Mini 14/30 in order to utilize existing Ruger design. Though Tech Sights or the Nodak rear with rail is a preferred option.

    A pictinny rail is added for optic mounting.

    Stock is directly from the American Rimfire and gives the option of standard or compact, iron or optic sights and a sling

    By using Ruger parts/existing designs it might just be affordable.

    ruger 5


    Adjustable Stocks for the Appleseed

    Posted By on July 31, 2013

    My involvement in Appleseed keeps me pretty busy helping both kids and adults learn to properly shoot a rifle.  One of the common issues we face during this process is a properly fitting stock. Typically that means the length of pull from the trigger to the end of the stock is too long for kids. Often the stock is too wide for them to hold comfortably.

    Morgan adjustable recoil pad components. Typically cut or ground down the end with the flair.

    Morgan adjustable recoil pad components. Typically cut or ground down the end with the flair.

    The too long and too thick stock issue can be solved by simply replacing the full size factory stock with a compact stock (in terms of the Ruger 10/22) or cutting down the stock on other rifles, (the Marlin 795 and the Remington 597 are also very popular).  Since the Ruger 10/22 is the most popular .22 rifle we find on the line other instructors and an I have gathered up replacement stocks, cut them down to various sized and swap out the factory size stocks for ones that fit fo kids and small women. I also have a couple factory compact stocks which I loan out.

    Butt plate ground down to fit the compact stock next to a factory compact.

    Butt plate ground down to fit the compact stock next to a factory compact I use as a loaner for kids.

    Recently one of our instructors was digging around in his parts box and came up with an adjustable stock pad typically used on shotguns. The pad is made by Morgan and consists of two metal aluminum plates and a thick rubber pad. He adapted it for the Ruger 10/22 compact stock by filing and fitting. The end result is that you can use the compact stock for kids and simply add the pad to bring the stock up to the full length of pull for adults. Original installation allows the pad to be moved up and down. This 22 conversion does not need or have that option.

    Pad attaches by one screw to bring it up to normal length.

    Pad attaches by one screw to bring it up to normal length.

    Needles to say this would also work on other rifles.  The Morgan Adjustable Recoil pad with the metal plates costs about $60 new but there is a plastic plate version for about $40. The plastic version would work fine for a .22 rifle. These are sometimes found used on Ebay cheaper or look around at gun shows.   Having a swappable recoil pad is a lot easier than dragging a bunch of different stocks around.

    Full size stock on top, compact on bottom. Adjustable pad is either full size or compact as needed.

    Full size stock on top, compact on bottom. Adjustable pad is either full size or compact as needed.

    Making Loop Slings from Belts

    Posted By on July 28, 2013

    Being involved in Appleseed we use USGI web slings on our rifles for teaching purposes. If you’ve never used one as a loop or hasty sling as a shooting support you would be amazed how much stability they bring to your shooting.  The  GI web slings are not expensive at $15 or so plus shipping plus  another $12 or so for swivels. However, I liked them so much I started putting them on hunting rifles, shotguns, plinkers etc. It got to be expensive to put one on every rifle.  If however one could find a less expensive way to do it, it would save a few bucks.  Basically a GI web sling is just a cotton or nylon strap 1.25″ wide with an “H” buckle sewn on one end. Add the swivels and an adjustable buckle on the other end and you are good to go. It stands to reason therefore that any strap equipped with the proper hardware would work.

    USGI web sling

    USGI web sling

    Recently while going through some stuff in the basement I ran across a box that had some stuff from my youngest sons room after he moved out. Included in the box were a couple nylon belts with metal buckles on them from his skateboarding days. One of the buckles is the type you insert the belt tail through and then is held in place by friction. The back of the buckle has teeth on it. It clamps down on the material and holds it in place. It essentially works the same way as the sling keeper. Another of the belts had a clamp on both ides of the buckle.   In my own closet I found another OD green cotton belt. It had the same type of friction buckle that had a clamp on the back. It was too ratty looking to use as belt anymore but certainly would serve as a sling if needed.

    Cool blue belt with friction buckle

    Cool blue belt with friction buckle

    The belts were long enough but could I use the buckles as adjustable buckles?  Could I find enough hardware to not have to buy anything except for sling swivel?  The quest was on. I started looking through boxes of old slings and holsters, nylon straps, bags etc. I found about half a dozen “H” buckles both in plastic and metal, some were 1″, some 1.25″. I also found a yellow nylon strap that came from a broken tie down rachet strap. Hmmm, another sling perhaps?. In the end I found enough “H” buckles to put 4 slings together.

    OD green web belt

    OD green web belt

    The first thing was taking the buckles apart. Two were simply held together with metal tabs. Prying the tabs out separated the front and back. The black buckle was cut in half. The front side became one keeper while the back became another. I had to file the teeth on all of them so that the double thickness of the strap would pass through. A little tweaking here and there got them so they would clamp down on the straps without slipping.

    This belt buckle has clamps on both sides. Not sure what the design is supposed to be.

    This belt buckle has clamps on both sides. Not sure what the design is supposed to be.

    The next step was sewing on the H buckle.  I showed up at my wife’s sewing machine with straps in hand.  I begged (I mean asked) “honey, while you’re at it, could you sew these for me, please?” A couple quick passes through the machine with what she happened to have loaded (red thread) and the buckles were in place. To put the swivel on you simply slip it on the strap and then pass the strap back through the “H” buckle for the bottom. For the top you put the strap up through the keeper, slip the swivel on and then back through the keeper.

    Boy scout buckle back side.

    Back side of one of the buckles

    Belt buckle taken apart to make sling keeper

    Belt buckle taken apart to make sling keeper

    H buckle loop

    H buckle loop. Sew here.

    A plethora of  slings made from 3 belt buckles.

    A plethora of slings made from 3 belt buckles.

    These slings won’t likely make it on to line at Appleseed but they will free up some of the GI slings I already had that were on other rifle. I did take the green one to an Appleseed and had a student use it. Nobody noticed that it was different. The blue and yellow one might get some attention on the line.  A couple of notes…the thickness of material varies widely. Some of the buckles were too tight on some slings and too loose on others.  If you try making your own sling this way you will have to match and/or adjust the buckle to the sling.

    One last note: I’ve  learned since I wrote this article that the buckles are called cam lock buckles AKA jam lever buckles. If you don’t want to make your own you can find sources for them by searching using those terms.


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