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Ruger 10/22 Target Barrel - Stainless?

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I recently purchased a Ruger 10/22 Target Barrel - Stainless.
10/22® Target Barrel - Stainless
It shined up very nicely. The external surface, on the flats, appeared to have the same appearance as a flat mill file, not as pronounced, but that is the pattern—was not shiny in the least, and covered with a thick wax-feeling substance. After denatured alcohol, Kroil finally removed this substance. Over the period of a few days, I installed the barrel with the following parts: Brownells BRN-22 railed receiver, Brownells 10/22 bolt assembly, Ruger standard charging handle, BX trigger group (do NOT put moly grease on the sear)(added trigger over-travel to the trigger return plunger-sounds nutty, but it works), Victor Titan22 stock with anchor spike. Fit between receiver and the barrel is an interference fit: anti-seize, heat receiver, freeze barrel—and it still needed encouragement from a rubber mallet on the receiver’s rear.

First day at the range, 50 yard groups with Federal Gold Medal Match, Eley Benchrest Outlaw, and CCI standard velocity (sorted) gave groups of 1.5 to 2 inches. 350 total rounds fired. I figured one of two things: the barrel is junk, or the scope stopped holding zero. The scope is first generation Nikon Buckmaster 6-18x with target dot reticle.

I borescoped the barrel with a (retired) medical endoscope. Good grief, what a mess (the bore, not the endoscope). The best that I can describe them: ‘rings’ throughout the length of the bore, with only two that appeared to match—through the entire length of the rifling. I could see ‘ledges’ after the ring (movement from chamber to muzzle). These ‘ledges’ were larger than most of the chatter I’ve seen in button-pulled barrels. The rifling (lands) have inconsistent height: the height of each land varies throughout the bore. The lands are sharp, regardless of height. The transition area from the chamber to the rifling was SHARP: no lead-in angle. The chamber just stopped, and the rifling started. I have Ruger American rifles and a Ruger American rimfire rifle, and these bores, though not as nice as I like to see them, have a much better internal finish than this stainless target barrel. In the past, I have had to lap or polish high-end after-market barrels to get them to shoot tighter.

I cleaned the bore (chamber to muzzle) using a bronze brush and Remington 40-X (or whatever it is called nowadays: Rem Clean?). Supposedly, it is a non-embedding compound that scrubs deposits from the bore. I have used this, rather extensively, on K98 and M91/30 rifles, as well as match-built Garands and M1A rifles, both chrome mole and stainless. I’ve watched 22LR benchrest shooters and centerfire benchrest shooters use it as well (along with Bon Ami cleanser—that is just a bit too much for me). After Remington 40-X, I used Kroil mixed with stainless steel/silver polish (without abrasives). I wore-out a new bronze brush: fit extremely loose when done. If you are still reading this, you have not passed-out, as this cleaning regiment is rather harsh.

Once spotless, after removing all cleaning agents, I borescoped again. The ‘rings’ were still present. The ‘ledges’ were much less pronounced. The rifling remained unchanged: still sharp and having inconsistent heights. The chamber is unchanged too, including the transition area. The bore’s color brightened from a dull grey to silver or steel in-the-white.

Next range trip, yesterday (and it was cold), I switched scopes to my Leupold M8 12x with target knobs and fine crosshair reticle: this is a known good scope to track appropriately and hold a zero. After 30 fouling rounds, groups appeared. Federal Gold Medal Match shot the best: best group = 0.458 inches, edge to edge, at 50 yards. All other ammunition shot tighter groups. Well, that shows that the barrel is not junk, and probably worth the $129 it cost. I changed back to the Nikon scope: groups were larger, as shooting with a half minute dot does not lend itself to real tight groups, due to not being able to see the target under the reticle dot. However, my Nikon scope has not gone bad either. (How I wish the Weaver T-24 was still in production—and the Leupold M8 for that matter!)

Now, here is my general question.
Is this customary of Ruger hammer forged stainless target barrels?
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the 3 Hammer Forged Target barrels (1blued, 2 SS) I have exhibited none of those issues...but they are older barrels, 1 of the SS barrels was purchased used off of the Trading Post, the other 2 were purchased new from Ruger during one of their 10/22 days sales several years ago
 

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I have a couple of 10/22T's. One is CPC'd, the other stock. Both shoot less than an inch at 50 yds with cci sv.

I sent the other to CPC to see if there would be a big improvenent in accuracy. It did get better a little. Not sure if it was money well spent, but for me it was more of an experiment.

BTW, all Ruger 10/22 barrels I've owned always showed perfect bores by visual examination only. Don't have a bore scope.
 

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I've got 4 ruger barrels 2 are normal and appear as good as my aftermarket barrel. 2 have excessive and deep tool markers in them. One of the latter has a really weird chamber to rifling transition. I examined them with a bore cam. However, for 75 to 125 what can you expect from them with the way things are now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
However, for 75 to 125 what can you expect from them with the way things are now.
That speaks volumes.

I sent the other to CPC to see if there would be a big improvenent in accuracy. It did get better a little. Not sure if it was money well spent, but for me it was more of an experiment.
Thank you for the information.
I have seen centerfire and rimfire barrels with huge chambers and minimum chambers, and I have seen both shoot poorly and excellently. It all comes down to the individual barrel.

I am going to deeply clean this bore again. Polish it a bit more. If I could lap it, I would.
I’ll put it on paper, with the same ammunition: need warmer weather and still air.
At least, it is not junk. I have enough tomato stakes.
I might get motivated and shorten it to 16.5 inches—nothing I need to do right now though.
 

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As an afterthought, my aftermarket barrel shoots around .75" with cci sv and the Ruger factory barrel with the weird chamber shot an average of 1.15 last summer with cci sv. 23,500 rds ago it shot about equal to the aftermarket barrel. Looking forward to spring thaw so I can change a few things and see if the groups shrink. Groups were shot at 50 yds.
 

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Yes , Ruger barrels are hit or miss. And I suspect more attention is paid to exterior appearance than bores and chambers. But , imho they arre a good design, and when manufactured properly produce good results, forr a gun that is designed to feed and fire bulk ammo.My first , blue 1022 18 1/2 carbine barrel was very good. Subsequent 20 inch , blue rifle barrels , not so good. I have a 18 1/2 SS carbine barrel that was ok in the carbine stock, but isvery good in the international stock where it now lives. The only RugerTarget barrel I ever had was a Target Lite Barrel, a tension barrel, and it was abysmal. If you get one that shoots MOA, 1/2 inch groups at 50 yards imho you're a winner.

One thing I do on most new to me barrels is I run a brick or 2 of HV ammo through them . Like 40 graine Blazer, or 40 graiin Aguila Blue Box,
Imho , the hv sand and glass in the powder seems to fire lap the bore. Or maybe just lead up the irregularities? But they seem t hoot the better ammo better after that.

Also , since im not shooting a hand cut 2 line custom barrel , I rarely clean the bore down to the shine. Just the chamber gets scrubbed everytime .
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Shot it again today: 50 yards, with 20 fouling shots for each ammunition type. CCI standard velocity, Eley semi-auto Benchrest Outlaw, Norma Tac22, Federal Medal (or is it Match?) lot 38D. Federal held the tightest groups, with flyers, which is odd, because my Shaw heavy 10/22 and Savage Mark 1 does not produce flyers with this ammunition.

I noted that the crown, while recessed, had a 45 degree angle (give or take) from the recessed flat surface, which filled unevenly with bullet lubricant after 30 rounds, at which point groups opened and more flyers noted. When I wiped the tiny recess clean, groups decreased about a quarter inch and flyers decreased: it was noticeable. I noted powder printing around the muzzle edge, with only 5 of the 6 grooves printing. That is a bad crown. I cut an 11 degree crown, removing the 45 degree angle recess. I like a sharp crown, the kind that cuts a finger when not careful. Next time at the range, I will see how it performs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cutting a sharp crown helped. Powder printing is very good. Groups slightly decreased with a good crown. Flyers still present: flyers ruin this barrel. This barrel does not like Lapua Center-X.
A friend of mine has a 10/22: same receiver, same bolt, same stock—and a Green Mountain chrome moly barrel. That thing is a hammer: impressive.
 

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Cutting a sharp crown helped. Powder printing is very good. Groups slightly decreased with a good crown. Flyers still present: flyers ruin this barrel. This barrel does not like Lapua Center-X.
A friend of mine has a 10/22: same receiver, same bolt, same stock—and a Green Mountain chrome moly barrel. That thing is a hammer: impressive.
the barrel is not always the only cause of flyers..the bolt and stock/bedding can cause them also
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I can change one thing at a time (bolt and stock) to see if flyers are reduced. It will take time and effort, but, for me, time and effort cost less than replacing the barrel. I’d like to get a definitive answer on the flyers—doesn’t mean it will happen though.

I’ve been impressed with the Titan22 stock and spike anchor. The BRN-22 railed receiver, Brownells bolt, and Ruger barrel has right at 950-1100 rounds. I noted extremely little wear inside the receiver, or on the bolt. I’ll clean the bore down to the metal and borescope again; I doubt that I will note any changes. I want to document locations of anomalies, especially the last 3.5 inches, since that can be removed.

Bolt headspace is a shade under 0.044 inches if I remember correctly. I was inspecting the bolt and charging handle, out of the rifle, a few days ago. I cannot push the firing pin ‘up’ hardly at all. Now…my Ruger 10/22 bolt is another story, but that rifle is a fairly solid shooter. This stuff is voodoo, black magic, and luck.
 

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I can change one thing at a time (bolt and stock) to see if flyers are reduced. It will take time and effort, but, for me, time and effort cost less than replacing the barrel. I’d like to get a definitive answer on the flyers—doesn’t mean it will happen though.

I’ve been impressed with the Titan22 stock and spike anchor. The BRN-22 railed receiver, Brownells bolt, and Ruger barrel has right at 950-1100 rounds. I noted extremely little wear inside the receiver, or on the bolt. I’ll clean the bore down to the metal and borescope again; I doubt that I will note any changes. I want to document locations of anomalies, especially the last 3.5 inches, since that can be removed.

Bolt headspace is a shade under 0.044 inches if I remember correctly. I was inspecting the bolt and charging handle, out of the rifle, a few days ago. I cannot push the firing pin ‘up’ hardly at all. Now…my Ruger 10/22 bolt is another story, but that rifle is a fairly solid shooter. This stuff is voodoo, black magic, and luck.
how does that Brownells bolt fit in the receiver? is it a nice tight fit, or does it rattle around?...a loose undersized bolt can cause issues too..which is why the KIDD bolts are really good replacements as they are a bit bigger/tighter

and CPC does wonders with the SS hammer forged .920's...including a very cool looking taper job and back boring
 

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When hammer forged barrels are made, they start out with a rod and drill a hole in the middle all the way from one end to the other for the mandrel to fit in.. What he is likely seeing are tool marks from that operation. Two of my ruger hammer forged barrels have a spiral tool mark with a 1 turn in 2" twist. The other 2 don't have any marks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
how does that Brownells bolt fit in the receiver? is it a nice tight fit, or does it rattle around?...a loose undersized bolt can cause issues too..
I was pleasantly surprised at the very tight fit, after I got through the assembly with a few ‘choice words’ of encouragement and a rubber mallet. I heated the receiver, and applied anti-seize to receiver and barrel. Assembly greatly reminded me of installing a valve guide into an aircraft cylinder head. Brownell’s bolt, at least the one I have, fits very nicely in the BRN-22 railed receiver. I inspected my Ruger 10/22 receiver and bolt: the Brownell’s receiver and bolt are a marked difference, much tighter.

With luck, I am heading to the club today. My friend is going to shoot this rifle, with somewhat accurate ammunition (Eley semi-auto benchrest outlaw).
 
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