is generally defined as "a lightweight rifle with a short barrel, originally for use by cavalry".
So if we cut the Ruger 10/22 carbine down, do we still have a carbine? I believe that it's still a carbine, and certainly more akin to the classic carbines of a bygone era than the present day Ruger offering.
If you study the profile of the Ruger 10/22 carbine, you begin to see that closely contained within its lines are the designs of several classic carbines of the Civil War and The Old West. Specifically, the 1865 Spencer Carbine, the Sharps New Model 1869 Carbine, and the Springfield Trapdoor Carbine come to my mind. These are all straight grip stocks with short forearms and a barrel band. These were my inspiration to pay tribute to the legacy of these fine old rifles and to the era in which they served.
I utilized the factory barrel in order to retain the front sight so the length of the Classic remains the same as the original Ruger 10/22. The forearm was shortened 2-1/2" and the barrel band moved back to create a 3" barrel band knob. Here is a composite picture comparing the original Ruger 10/22 carbine with my Classic version. The Classic as pictured, including the sling and an empty magazine, weighed 5# 3 oz. on my Lyman digital trigger pull gauge.
Here is a profile shot of each side.
I opened up the top of the barrel band enough to accomodate the slightly increased diameter of the barrel. I also cut down a detachable sling swivel and mounted it directly to the barrel band for a little more authenticity. This picture also shows the lengthened barrel band knob and the new rear sight.
Here are a couple of perspective views of the rifle.
That little fold down rear sight on the original barrel was a real turn off for me, so I mounted another sight which had been floating around in my parts bin for about 25 years. This did require cutting a new dovetail notch and filling in the old one with JB Weld (Talk about kitchen gun smithing). I'm sure not making any claim that it's a true "period" sight but I think it does add a little more feeling of authenticity.
.....AND a closeup shot of the forearm.
The birch (beech?) stock was sanded down thoroughly. Even after a pre-stain conditioner and two coats of Minwax Dark Walnut stain, it turned out to be rather blotchy. I then sealed it with one coat of shellac and applied a glaze coat of Minwax Jacobean using an airbrush. I let it cure for four days and applied six coats of Minwax satin polyurethane.
I should make the disclaimer that no attempt was made to create an accurate replica of any of these old carbines. In fact, I just used material and parts that I had on hand. My total out of pocket outlay for this project is exactly ZERO. I used leftovers from prior projects and take off parts of long forgotten origin. I will confess, however, that I have ordered a Tactical Solutions lever style magazine release. I'll post a revised picture after it gets here.
To the memory of The Old West