For just about any guns out there, including a Ruger 10/22, is its barrel. Having a top of the line barrel is really important if you want to have a top notch rifle. Here in this article, we are to help and guide you through on your buying journey of buying a new custom barrel.
Barrel Length: How Long Is Needed?
The quick answer to that question is: it depends. Typically, length can be a personal preference. However, keep in mind that you may have something that will improve the accuracy and velocity of your Ruger 10/22 rifle.
However, if you are in the United States, there are restrictions on how long a barrel has to be for a rifle in some states. For example, in New York state, a barrel will have to be no shorter than 16 inches.
If you live in a gun restrictive jurisdiction, you will have to consult your laws as to which length minimum will meet the compliance laws.
Criteria: What To Look For When Buying a Ruger 10/22 Barrel
When you are looking for a Ruger 10/22 barrel, it is always a great idea to know which features and characteristics will stand out will stand out on the deciding factors for purchasing one.
It is crucial for you to choose a barrel wisely so you can meet your intended goals when it comes to improving your rifle. Here are some of the criteria you should look out for.
The price is certainly one of the possible concerns if you are someone on a budget. However, it should not be that much of a great deal.
What should matter most to you is the quality and performance of the barrel. Even if let’s say you are on a budget, you should never under any circumstances compromise the quality of a barrel because of its affordability.
Instead, get the best quality that fits your budget so that you can keep it for longer periods of time. Rather than just keep switching out barrels ever so often.
Most barrels (if not all) will be made from a type of high-quality steel or aluminum. It is important to find the right kind of material that is not only durable, but also able to resist all kinds of heat due to extended use.
For obvious reasons, the stronger the material is, the better the chance that the barrel can last for longer.
Installing a barrel will obviously come at a later stage. However, it is always a great idea to consider purchasing a barrel that will be easy to install – one what is known as a drop-in design.
A drop in design will take minutes and almost 0 gunsmithing skills to have it installed. That will definitely save you a lot of time and money.
Features of a Rifle Barrel
A lot of rifles listed on the market come with great barrels. However, not all of them are right for every situation. Have a look at the features below to help you pick the best Ruger 10/22 barrel for your needs.
A barrel contour is the shape of the outer part of the barrel. They come in different kinds. A barrel contour can be shaped to make it lighter and also to disburse the heat better.
In some cases, the contour can be designed to provide a certain look also. A well-balanced barrel is also contoured well. Or the rifle becomes difficult to hold, which can cause poor precision.
Here are some common contour choices you can find available on the market:
- Heavy Bull
Rifle barrels can come in many types of materials. Generally, stainless steel is considered as the standard material. It is considered durable, resistant to corrosion, and has a long barrel life. However, it will definitely cost more.
More affordable alternatives are blued steel and chrome-moly steel. Those can still last a long time and resist corrosion. However, they do not fire as accurately.
Aluminum is an interesting choice that some manufacturer chooses. It is lighter and, when used correctly, can still disburse heat well. Aluminum is a softer metal, though. Thus, that means it can be easily deformed.
The length of a rifle impacts the bullet’s velocity when leaving the gun. Longer rifles have a longer range and more powerful shot.
The disadvantage is that they are heavier and more awkward to use quickly.
If you are changing your barrel because the old one has worn out, you won’t really want to have to change it again quickly. You may probably want to have one with a long barrel life. It’s the same if you practice at the range a lot or shoot competitively.
If you are someone who only practice shooting occasionally, and use your rifle mostly for hunting, then this isn’t really top priority for you. However, this may be a feature you can give a little on for a lower price.
Barrel Characteristics and Important Information to Know
Rifle barrels that contain spiraled cuts in the bore are also known as lands and grooves that make up rifling. The degree of the rifling is known as its twist rate and represents a complete revolution in its denominator.
For example, a rifle with a 1 in 10” twist means that the bullet makes a complete rotation for every 10 inches of barrel length or 2 complete rotations for a 20” barrel.
This rate is based on the projectile of the round in question. In that case, a 55 grain 223 bullet will remain stable in flight when fired through a barrel with a 1 in 12” twist. However, a longer barrel such as a 70 grain projectile may require a much tighter twist rate – one such as 1 in 7”.
Most rifles chambered in 22 long rifle caliber are best suited for a 1 in 16” twist.
Another important characteristic of a barrel is its external diameter or profile. The act of firing a round may cause the barrel to vibrate like a tuning fork and heat up rapidly.
The rapid firing of a heavy-caliber through thin barrels will cause these harmonics to alter the strike of the round. Whereas a thicker barrel will conduct less heat and less vibration.
The disadvantage of using a heavy barrel is that the excessive weight it gives the rifle. This particular factor makes most target rifles unsuitable for most hunting purposes if the rifle is to be carried for long distances.
We should also mention how silencers (or sound suppressors) are now legal in 43 of the 52 American States. That means another consideration for you to look for (if you are staying in the States) is a threaded muzzle to attach a silencer. That can reduce the rifle’s sound signature to make shooting safer and more pleasant.
Most rimfire silencers in the United States are designed to be used with threads cut to ½ X28 TPI (threads per inch). For states that do not allow silencers, those happen to be the same thread patterns for the most common flash suppressors or muzzle brakes.
To put it simply, when you are looking for a Ruger 10/22 replacement barrel, the shooter wants a contour of no greater than 1”, with a twist of 1 in 16”. If a silencer or other muzzle device is to be used, muzzle threads of ½ X28” and a weight to not exceed 3lbs.
How to Install a Ruger 10/22 Barrel
Before we start on the list of the best barrels for your Ruger 10/22 guns, let’s have a look at how to install one. Installing a barrel requires you to completely strip your rifle down to bolts and screws. Changing the barrel on your Ruger 10/22 can be an easy job if you follow some steps.
Make sure to keep some essential tools near you before you start the job. You will basically need the essential tools such as a screwdriver, a punch, a 3/8 hex key near you before starting it.
Now let’s go through the steps on how to install a barrel on your Ruger 10/22 rifle.
Step 1 – The very 1st step is to separate the action from the stock. You will need a screwdriver to remove the barrel band and stock retaining screw.
Step 2 – Up next, you will need to disassemble the action. Remove the takedown pins, separate the trigger assembly from the receiver. As soon as you are done with it, remove the bolt, charging handle, and the recoil spring. At this stage, you should be only left with the barrel and the receiver.
Step 3 – Now, you should use the hex key to remove the barrel retaining screws from the front end of the receiver. You may also want to inspect the clamp here – which may have some cracks. Keep in mind that this is a good point for you to clean up your rifle.
Step 4 – Now pull the barrel out of the receiver and seat the new barrel here. It may require some tapping and thumping.
Step 5 – Once you are done, put the clamp screws back and assemble your rifle by re-visiting the above steps in reverse. Make sure to check the rifle’s functionality after the full assembly.
If you are a visual person, we have provided a quick video tutorial on how to install a barrel on your Ruger 10/22 gun. Refer to the video below for more visual assistance:
Best Ruger 10/22 Barrels: Our Reviews
The following list of barrels for Ruger 10/22 guns are what are on the market currently. Take your time to carefully consider while looking at each barrel. That way you will know what to expect and possibly find any features and characteristics that may stand out to you as interesting.
Keep the features and criteria in mind as we break down the barrels on the list below. We will point out any important design elements the manufacturers made, and how it can impact your user experience.
1. ER Shaw Ruger 10/22 Target Barrels
ER Shaw is a brand that offers a line of barrels to match the Ruger 10/22 that is in the low to medium price range. Each barrel offers some different benefits than the others.
All of ER Shaw’s barrels are Bentz chambered. That simply means the barrel is tighter for the .22 ammo, which gives the bullet more velocity and power.
It is said that ER Shaw also makes their barrels with a heavy contour. That means there is a lot more material on the end of the barrel and not much is taken off. While this may make the rifle heavier, it also keeps them steady for better accuracy. Furthermore, it takes the barrels longer to heat up – which lengthens the barrel life.
Just in case you need to know – all the barrels also come with a 1:16” twist rate, which is quite a common rate for Ruger 10/22 guns and rifles.
The 4 different options it has come down to 2 matters: the size and the material. The 2 more affordable options are the blued steel. The blued finish 2 does a decent job of protecting the barrel from corrosion, albeit it being made from a cheaper material. Those are available in 18” for standard heavy target contour, and 16.5” for the nicer threaded contour.
The stainless steel options, however, cost a bit more as the material is more resistant to corrosion and much more durable and heat resistant. Those come in the 18” length and in the standard and fluted contours.
The fluted contour is pleasant as it offers more air contact to diffuse the heat much quicker. At the same time, it makes the barrel just a little tighter. However, the user experiences all boils down to this:
According to some users, they have expected the barrel to a bit heavier in weight. However, the same group of people are caught completely surprised by the time they installed this – as it did not add on any additional and unnecessary weight to their rifles.
One of the users mentioned that he is still able to quickly swing his rifle around – just in case he heard some noises of an approaching animal. Furthermore, the same user mentioned that his shooting groups were consistently tight after 100 rounds too.
If you are a Ruger 10/22 rifle shooter, then this will be perfect for you. You may be a hunter, or you may be a target shooters. Or you may be both. If you are someone who is serious about getting a barrel that is strong, lightweight, and will provide all kinds of consistency tight shooting groups. Then you will be hard-pressed to find a barrel like this one anywhere else.
This ER Shaw Ruger Target barrel is one of the most reasonably priced solution for increasing accuracy. It makes every shot as its pinpoint and razor-sharp as possible. The barrel is lightweight, super sturdy, and a force to be reckoned with by the time you have it installed onto your rifle.
If this does not impress you in more ways than 1, we do not know what else will.
- Bentz chamber improves the accuracy by a lot
- It is easy to fit with other stocks
- The materials are made with great construction
- It is affordable and offers choices
- No consistent complaints are found for this product, hence making it hard for gun owners to have a fair discernment of the barrel
2. Beyer Barrels Ruger 10/22 Ultralight Target Barrels
Beyer Barrels offer 4 different barrel options for the Ruger 10/22 gun – all in the medium price range. The key in these barrels is its ultralight quality.
Bull barrels tend to be full-sized barrels with almost nothing contoured on the outside of the part. Generally, those are considered as the best for accuracy and longevity of the barrel. However, they are very heavy in weight.
Beyer Barrels tried to fix this by making the barrel out of strong alloy aluminum. The aluminum is lighter, while still allow the heat to be evenly distributed from firing. Each barrel comes with a 1:16” twist and matte black finish.
Each and every barrel is matched to a specific cartridge size, whether if it is a .22 long rifle or 17 Mach 2. The .22 long rifle options are 165.5” inches in length. The 17 Mach 2, on the other hand, is 18” – which reflects its purpose as a longer range ammo.
Gun owners and users reported back some of the positives and negatives of this product. Among them are:
- It improves your gun’s accuracy at range
- It is lightweight and well-balanced
- Aluminum still handles heat quite well
- Its specific chambers are nice
- It can be difficult to install sometimes
3. Green Mountain Ruger 10/22 Replacement Barrels
Green Mountain’s replacement barrels for Ruger 10/22s are said to aim to provide easy-to-install and affordable replacements for the Ruger 10/22. Having 3 options to choose from, they come in at 20” long and are made for the .22 LR.
It is said that Green Mountain made all the barrels with the Bull contour. That means they weigh more, but then it also can handle the heat from repeated firing. It is chambered for at the Bentz specification, which offers a tight fit to the cartridge and more velocity coming from the bullet.
At the same time, the affordable barrels with 1:16” twist is made of either blued or stainless steel. As mentioned before, blued steel is the cheaper alternative. However, it still has a decent reputation for resisting corrosion.
Green Mountain has a standard Bull contour, but they also offer fluted contour. When a barrel is fluted, there will be grooves going down the length of the barrel. The grooves are said to bring more air into contact with the barrel, which keeps it cooler and lighter than the standard option.
However, users have some opinions and feedback regarding Green Mountain’s barrels. They have mentioned:
- Green Mountain having really affordable prices for their barrels.
- Their barrels are said to be easy to fit on the Ruger 10/22.
- Made of durable steel alloys.
- Its barrels helps with improving accuracy.
It tends to get really heavy, unfortunately.
4. Tactical Solutions Ruger 10/22 X-Ring Barrels
Tactical Solutions came up with this more expensive line of 5 different barrels for the Ruger 10/22 owners who want a specific set of features in their barrels. Aside all of those many options, this barrel is meant to be a drop-in barrel. That simply means it is easy to install.
It is made to chamber for the .22 LR cartridge. The button rifling gives the Ruger 10/22 rifle a stable 1:16” twist for a mid-range accuracy. It comes with a Chrome liner for the aluminum shell and Tactical Solutions aims to make a lightweight, but durable barrel.
In order to make it even more lightweight, Tactical Solutions contour the rifle for an even lighter use. The barrels at or under 1lbs even with a 16-16.5” length – all depending on your choice.
It is said that there are so many options to pick from in those barrels. Here are some of the examples that Tactical Solutions have in their barrel options:
- Gloss black
- Matte black
- Matte silver
- OD Green
- Flat Dark Earth
- Standard Lightweight
All those are priced around the same, which is a bit more than some Ruger 10/22 barrels. If you are interested, don’t forget to check and compare the prices.
Gun owners and gun users gave feedback telling of their experiences of using the gun.
- It improves accuracy
- A lot of different options and great looking designs and styles
- Very lightweight
- It is very well-designed for the Ruger 10/22
- May require a lot of adjustment to fit properly
- Aluminum is not as tough as steel
5. Tactical Solutions SB-X Barrel
Although this is another barrel from Tactical Solution, we can say that this SB-X barrel was a huge hit with a lot of gun owners. They were very intrigued by the overall design, first and foremost. However, they are more impressed with the overall performance it provides.
They have reported how installation takes just a few minutes and it quickly reduces a lot of recoil. One of the users said because of this reduction, he was able to get a bit more control over his rifle than ever.
Also, this barrel is the only 10/22 barrel that will be useful for anyone interested in customizing their rifle to the best of their abilities. It may be the case for accuracy, reducing recoil and eliminating muzzle jump. Or even allowing shooters to gain maximum control over their rifles.
The better control you have, the better your shots will perform. For obvious reasons, it can take a barrel that will measure at a reasonable length. That and the fact that the barrel has to be made from materials that are very tough and will not overheat after extended use.
One of the downsides of mounting a suppressor or silencer to a firearm is that it can increase the overall length by as much as 8 inches. It turns a lightweight and handy rifle like the Ruger 10/22 to a piece that becomes rather unwieldable.
One of the solutions is to decrease the length to less than 16”. The other is to use Tactical Solutions’ SB-X barrel.
The rifled portion of the SB-X measures 12.5”. An expansion chamber 4.25” long extends beyond the muzzle and has internal threads to accept and encapsulate a rimfire silencer as a protective shroud. Tactical Solutions offer those barrels for the standard Ruger 10/22 and its newest popular takedown model.
If you want nothing more than a customized rifle from 1 end to another, then this one will be a good option for you. You will be in for quite a surprise if you are expecting a regular barrel for a Ruger 10/22 rifle. It allows you the opportunity to install a suppressor, muzzle brake, or any other accessory that is intended to reduce noise, recoil, or anything that may hinder your shots or overall control.
This Tactical Solutions SB-X barrel will exceed so many expectations and will be a great choice for people who are considering the idea of reducing their rifle’s recoil. There is no secret in wanting more control and better accuracy in the process. Hence, a barrel like this one can be right up your alley if you are wanting your rifle to stand out among the pack.
Hopefully you are able to look for something from this article to your liking or that fits your gun needs. We rate the top barrels that are currently on the market, so if you have decided to choose any of the barrels we have mentioned here, then it’s less likely you will go wrong with your choice. On a side note, you may even consider getting a barrel band when you are shopping for your upgrade.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) by gun owners.
Q: Does Ruger 10/22 have threaded barrels?
Yes, the Ruger 10/22 have threaded barrels. The factory ½-28 thread barrel offers Ruger 10/22 owners the convenience and cost effectiveness of a threaded barrel necessary for many custom built firearms.
Q: What is the most accurate barrel for a Ruger 10/22?
There are quite a few accurate barrels for your Ruger 10/22 guns and rifles. Beyer, Tactical Solutions, and Green Mountain are some of the brands that provide accurate barrels for Ruger 10/22 guns and rifles.