Reviews & articles for shooting sport enthusiasts.

Posts tagged “ruger

Racking your .22 pistol – Making it effortless…

As a person whom has introduced scores of individuals to shooting, the author’s favourite handgun is his workhorse Ruger Mk II. Crude, reliable and other than the incredibly annoying disassembly lever, this handgun has delivered over 100kg (220lbs) of lead downrange by this author’s hands alone. With over 45,000 rounds through it, it has been cleaned, repaired, rebuilt a few times but is a great tool in an instructors arsenal to bring the shooting experience to those whom otherwise have never shot a firearm. There are many different models and makes of handguns that are just as reliable and long  lived as the aforementioned Ruger, it just happens to be the firearm most used by the author for introducing shooting virgins to our passion.

Now over the decades, hundreds of people have shot this handgun whose ages range from attendees of junior high-school, to great grand parents of those kids. In general they are able to manipulate the firearm very well with proper coaching and instruction, however in some cases, they are physically unable or have difficulty performing certain operations on the handgun. The number one issue? Racking the slide back to chamber/clear a round into/from the chamber. Now some of you are doing a double take and thinking how can you not be able to rack a .22 rimfire pistol! The author has seen dozens of people lack the finger/grip strength to pull the recessed bolt tabs and do just that. It usually occurs with younger children and those of very slight build, usually female, but not always.

The bolt ears of a Ruger MK II

While many say, “But it is just a rimfire!?!” The bolt design requires some finger strength to initially charge

This past SHOT Show, the author came across a company called Tandemkross. Founded in 2012 by a pair of software developers. Yes. Software developers. Bryan Haaker and co-worker Jake Wyman went out to try Wyman’s brand new Ruger Mk III 22/45 to unwind from their software programming work. Functional issues and subsequent difficulties in acquiring performance part upgrades for this handgun ensued. The resultant firearm performance improvements once these upgrades were installed started the duo on the path of manufacturing these upgrades and making them far more common, affordable and available. Tandemkross manufactures accessories and markets other aftermarket products that span nearly all areas of a rimfire pistols. This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Triggers
  • Charging Handles
  • Magazine Bumpers
  • Magazine Releases
  • Grips
The package

Tandemkross’ Halo

Coming back around to the occasional inability of some to pull the charging handle back, TPF-Online was able to aquire one of Tandemkross’ “Halo” charging rings, specifically for the Ruger Mk II. These handles are currently available for the various Ruger MK II’s, Mk III’s, and Mk IV’s; as well as the S&W SW22 Victory and the Browning Buckmark. The “Halo” is quite simply a ring machined from aluminum which clamps onto the specific serrations that are used for chambering/clearing rounds. The contoured inner fingers are machined for the specific model of firearm. In the case of the Ruger Mk II, the fingers have a dished internal seat that corresponds perfectly with the bolt’s racking tabs. The Halo ring is secured into place with a recessed #5-40 socket head cap screw that draws the fingers of the Halo together through tension and creates a solid lockup with the Mk II’s bolt ears. On the inside flap of the product package for the Halo, Tandemkross states the following:

This product is protected by the TANDEMKROSS lifetime guarantee. If the product at any time does not perform as advertised, TANDEMKROSS will provide a replacement part of equal or greater value.

Product Contents:

The header card style of package contains the CNC machined Halo pull ring, a #5-40 x 3/4″ socket head cap screw and a 3/32″ allen wrench.

Simple

Halo follows a KISS principle

Installation:

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A small addition of Loctite to the screw threads is recommended for this model, and a warning to only torque the screw via the short end of the allen key. This makes it easier to not over tighten the tension screw. The material is only aluminum and a #5 thread is not what TPF-Online would call a robust bolt for reefing upon. If you can, try and keep the torque less than 0.6 Nm (5.3 lbf-in).

Function:

The Halo unit is meant as an aid for racking a handgun, and in the case of this review, the bolt of the Ruger Mark II. It is not a leverage multiplier, nor does it claim to reduce the required force to actuate the bolt/slide. It does allow for an enhanced ability to grip the bolt, even with gloves and in less than ideal conditions. However, the perceived decrease in required effort has more to do with the ability to use greater grip on the bolt to apply force through. Instead of using one’s fingertips to grip the raised bolt wings of the Mark II, being able to hook an entire finger through the Halo, means a much larger area to directly pull against. The perceived effect is that of an easier ability to charge the handgun.

Appearance:

The gloss black anodized aluminum Halo, adds a definite increase in length to any attached firearm.  The visual appearance of the attached unit is very sleek and, in the author’s opinion, compliments the profile and look of the handgun.  Obviously the Halo shown in this review’s images has next to no wear marks and as of this review has only a couple boxes of ammunition through it. The author promises to increase that to several bricks worth over the 2017 year.

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First Impressions:

The addition of the Halo to the author’s handgun was a very simple endeavour. The added mass was negligible and did not affect bolt performance, nor cycle times to any level that could be detected through usage. As the focus is through the sights of the firearm, the reciprocating Halo ring did not distract from the user’s sight picture. What was very apparent was that during the brief evaluation, the ring allowed the author to perform jam clearing at a much faster speed than with the “Halo-Free” configuration.

Halo-5

The Tandemkross Halo is available for a selection of popular .22LR handguns, but the reviewed component was specifically for the Ruger Mk II. The model number is TK01N0167BLK1 and has an MSRP of $44.99 USD. Brick and mortar stores such as Select Shooting Supplies, in Cambridge, ON, stock Tandemkross products and can order them if you require a specific model. The Halo is a light weight accessory that is designed to improve the ease of manipulating one’s .22LR handgun, but which category does it fall into for you? Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Feeding the hungry 10/22…. HCMag provides the buffet!

The most common .22 semi-auto rifle in the world; the Ruger 10/22 is a fully customizable firearm which can be modified nearly as much as the AR-15 platform. Relatively cheap to shoot, and fun to shoot, the biggest chore of owning this popular little rifle is feeding it. The .22 long rifle cartridges are notorious for being hard on the fingers for manually loading in past the 10th round, and unless you have a loading tool, the owners of all of these 10/22 magazines likely will not enjoy shooting off a brick (500 rounds) of cheap rim-fire.

So if TPF were to tell readers that there is a new magazine for the 10/22 which has a 25 round capacity, metal feed lips, an easily controlled follower for loading, they may say that is a good thing! Now, on that same magazine, add in a 20 round pocket and a built-in stripper clip to speed load those extra rounds in just a few seconds. The answer is “TAKE MY MONEY!”. There is good news as such a magazine exists in the form of the HC3R magazine from HC Mags. The HC3R is a short form from HC Rapid Rifle Reload, and just from that title the designed product’s end abilities are fairly obvious.

The HC3R Magazine

HC Mag’s High Capacity Rapid Rifle Reload magazine

The HC3R magazine actually has several features which have been desired over the years in a 10/22 magazine, and while many aftermarket magazines have one or more of these features, very few, if any have all of them.

  1. Larger round capacity than factory magazines
  2. Steel feed lips for enhanced durability and increased lifespan of the magazine for feeding ammunition
  3. A means of dis-assembly for cleaning the magazine
  4. A follower retraction stud, large and lockable into retracted position for spring free loading

Loaded with 25 rounds of .22LR…. But is that it?

Point number one. More rounds readily loaded equals more fun and less time between shots for extended periods and the HC3R has an increased capacity over the original ten (10) round Ruger rotary magazines. While its twenty-five (25) rounds is not among largest capacity magazines available for the 10/22, with one hundred and ten (110) round drum magazines topping those available, it is in line with the majority of aftermarket magazines. The author finds that even a couple dozen rounds can go downrange extremely quickly… What joy!

Steel Lips

Stainless steel feed lips

Feed lips are essential for two reasons, they align the cartridge into proper feed positions and ensure a smooth extraction from the magazine into the firearm’s chamber. Older plastic/polymer feed lips have a history of wearing out after a few thousand rounds. Current generations of polymer are improved in durability but steel, or alloy, feed lips are a heavily desired feature as it greatly enhances the lifetime of a magazine before extraction issues become noticeable. HC Mags knew this and incorporated stainless steel feed lips into the HC3R magazine design.

As anyone who shoots thousands of rounds of .22LR will attest, it is a very dirty round which leaves soot and carbon all over, and if left to build up over time, can cause malfunctions and possibly damage to the firearm itself. Magazines are no exception to this and it is a problem that many 10/22 aftermarket magazines fail to address. With extended usage and hundreds, even thousands, of rounds cause magazines to accumulate crud and can even trap water and dirt and it becomes nearly impossible to clean if the magazine is manufactured by fusion processes, such as sonic welding two plastic halves together. The HC3R is a fully bolted together magazine which allows for unparalleled access to clean every nook and cranny from dirt, carbon, and water. A great plus

A well-known feature in most if not all .22LR magazine fed handguns due to the small component manipulation. In this respect the HC3R shines ever so brightly. The huge thumb stud allows for easy tension control as you load ammunition the common method of through the feed lips. You can easily hold it slightly back to allow for the next round to be loaded without worry of misalignment, or lock it completely back at a fully collapsed position. Be aware that rounds, if not inserted properly, can experience misalignment and stack incorrectly with the cartridge perpendicular to the feed lips instead of parallel.

With all of these features, readers may think that these magazines by themselves are very desirable due to the comprehensive features included in the magazine. So here comes the additional bonus. On the side of the magazine is a slot which stores twenty (20) rounds of ammunition. The back component of the HC3R magazine is a speed stripper clip which has two features. The first is as a cover to retain the side stored ammunition when mounted onto the magazine. The second feature is that in addition to aligning loaded rounds in the magazine, it functions as the speed loading strip for quick reloads. So on a fully loaded magazine you will have a total of forty-five (45) rounds available from a single magazine.

More ammo

Look! An extra 20 rounds in a side pocket!

Spring loaded base for securing the Speed Clip

Notched top for locking the Speed Clip in place

HOW?
Lets start with how to fully load the magazine to maximum capacity by following these steps:

  1. Take a quantity of your preferred .22LR ammunition, at least 45 rounds obviously and have them readily available. Have the empty HC3R magazine present.
  2. Using the thumb stud on the magazine, retract the spring and follower completely and rotate the stud a quarter turn to lock it into position.
  3. Take hold of the speed stripper on the HC3R magazine and pull it away from the magazine. The bottom edge is retained by a spring-loaded guide.
  4. Load up 20 rounds into the clip. The speed stripper clip has a pair of guide channels on the inside of its curved profile. The indicator for a total of twenty rounds is easily visible on the inside of the clip. Loading the clip to 20 rounds is very easy and fast with no need to use force or leverage, as the rim of the .22LR round simply slides into the clip’s aforementioned channels. Loaded rounds can only enter and exit the clip on one edge. Ensure that the clip is oriented such to prevent rounds from falling out of the clip due to gravity and movement.
  5. Ensuring that the rounds do not fall out of the clip, place the rounds into the side storage pocket of the magazine and slide the clip down and away. Now ensure that the orientation of the magazine is such that rounds do not fall out of the magazine.
  6. Load up another 20 rounds into the clip as per step 4.
  7. With the magazine positioned to not drop any of the side storage rounds, and so that rounds do not fall out of the clip, insert the clip into the magazine by pushing the bottom end into the spring-loaded guide, and snap the clip into the retaining notch. That is forty (40) rounds so far!
  8. Turn the magazine over to ensure rounds in magazine are aligned and release the thumb stud. This is the hardest part to ensure that the rounds sit properly in the feed lips. It is due to the rim overlap and position in the magazine. It took TPF several attempts to get it to work properly every time, by practice makes perfect.
  9. Use the thumb stud to relieve tension and load the remaining five (5) rounds to maximum capacity. Total time for the author to load up with practice? Under 90 seconds.

Side pocket rounds retained by the edge of the installed speed clip

Now that the magazine is loaded to full capacity with reserve twenty rounds:

  1. Install the magazine, and shoot the first 25 rounds. FUN!
  2. Remove the magazine. Why? Spinning the 10/22 around to ensure magazine orientation is sure to give you many funny looks if not yelled at for unsafe firearm manipulation.
  3. Using the thumb stud on the magazine, retract the spring and follower completely and rotate the stud a quarter turn to lock it into position.
  4. With the magazine held with the stripper on top, take hold of the now empty speed stripper on the HC3R magazine and pull it away from the magazine
  5. The side storage has twenty rounds waiting for the clip to slide over. Remember the channels holding the rims of the cartridges? It is that easy.
  6. Retract the loaded stripper clip, then with the magazine positioned so that rounds do not fall out of the clip, insert the clip into the magazine by pushing the bottom end into the spring-loaded guide, and snap the clip into the retaining notch.
  7. Turn the magazine over to ensure rounds in magazine are aligned and release the thumb stud. Voila! 20 seconds and another twenty rounds ready to shoot.
  8. Install the magazine, and shoot the remaining rounds. MORE FUN!

Loading forty-five rounds took 90 seconds. Reloading to use all 45 rounds extended that to under two minutes. How long would it take to load two typical 25 round magazines? Longer than a couple of minutes without any tools or loading accessories. Plus the ten seconds to reload. The HC3R is all about time and thumbs saved in loading magazines so that 10/22 users can enjoy more time putting rounds downrange with the least amount of effort loading. The only negative possible is the width of the magazine with the side pocket which may limit the fit up of some aftermarket 10/22 rifle stocks such as the previously looked at Archangel Stock.

But wait! There’s even MORE!

HCMAG's Tactical Pack

The Tactical Pack

If your 10/22 is an extremely hungry rifle like the author’s, chewing through a brick of ammunition per session is not unheard of. The balance of buying multiple magazines versus loading them to go through several hundred rounds in a session of rimfire therapy is an eternal dilemma. Or rather was… HC Mag’s understands the need to feed the rimfire hunger, and released the Tactical Pack for the HC3R magazine.

Space for ammunition galore!

Inside the Tactical Pack

The case itself is thermo-formed with a robust zipper and has both a flexible carry handle as well as a pair of shoulder strap rings on its exterior. The internals are two-fold, with the base filled with EVA foam that is pre-cut to hold all its contents securely. The battle pack contains one complete HC3R magazine, 5 extra speed loader clips with retaining caps, and a quick strip loading box for fast loading of the speed loader clips. Plus multiple pocket cutouts for typical small boxes of .22LR ammunition and a small cutout arrangement for the included set of hex keys for magazine dis-assembly. The upper portion of the case has a zipper closed mesh pocket that encompasses the entire case cover in size, and can be used for targets, bore snakes, and other items that you may wish to include.

The Speed Loading Block – Waiting patiently

The loading box for fast speed strip loading takes couple minutes to fully load up with 100 rounds, five rows of twenty, and setup for usage. Once setup, it takes less than a half minute to load up the five speed loading clips.

Buffet of .22LR ready to load

If fully loaded up with ammunition, the entire case securely holds 545 rounds of .22LR, which makes the Tactical Pack heavy enough to warrant the usage of the shoulder strap included in the package. Of those rounds 245 are ready to use, with an additional 300 rounds in reserve. Unfortunately the reserve ammunition box cut outs are designed for use with paper boxed ammunition, not plastic boxes which are larger and may not fit properly if at all.

The Tactical Pack when fully kitted delivers:

  • One fully loaded magazine with side pocket filled. 45 rounds ready to use
  • Five fully charged speed loading clips. 5 x 20 = 100 rounds ready to use
  • One filled loading box. 100 rounds ready to use
  • Six 50 round factory boxes of .22LR. 300 rounds of reserve

That should keep those hungry 10/22 rifles satiated for the meantime, and with the Tactical Pack having an MSRP of $89.00 USD, and available from Canadian vendors such as Wanstalls Online. What do you, the readers think? Is the HC3R magazine and the corresponding Tactical Pack by HC Mags Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?


The heart and soul of a 10/22, the skin of G-36.

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The Ruger 10-22 is the most widely sold rifle in North America

The Ruger 10/22 is perhaps the most popular .22 LR calibre rifle ever invented. Yes, Canada happens to have scads of no longer produced Canadian manufactured Cooey .22 rifles, but overall with sales volumes and sheer commonness, Ruger Firearms’ nearly iconic 10/22 has sold more units, spawned off more accessories, and has been the mainstay of nearly all shooters with a .22 rifle. In today’s instalment of Tactical, Practical and Fantastical, we take a look a one of the myriad of aftermarket accessories for the 10/22. TPF will cover the Nomad stock, manufactured by Pro-Mag Industries under the Archangel line of stock replacements. For those readers who are unaware of Pro-Mag Industries, the company initially started as an aftermarket magazine supplier for numerous makes and models of firearms. Pro-Mag has since evolved into one of the leading aftermarket stock and firearm accessory manufacturers in North America. The Archangel product-line is the newest addition to Pro-Mag’s repertoire and encompasses a variety of rifle makes and models with these alternate stock chassis’. In this specific case this aftermarket stock transforms any 10/22 into a near clone, visually, of the Heckler & Koch G-36K Carbine.

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ProMag Industries has created a very interesting stock kit for the 10-22

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Sights are not optional and must be removed to install the kit properly

Due to the widespread availability and popularity of the iconic Ruger 10/22, it is the focus of multitudes of aftermarket accessories and gear. The Archangel Nomad conversion kit is just one of the many offered for 10/22’s but this kit does completely change the silhouette and physical size of the firearm by fully encapsulating the 10/22 in a shroud manufacturered from reinforced polymer. In order to mount the kit you do need to do some alterations to the standard 10/22 rifle. These include the following steps:

  1. Removal of the original stock from the action (retain the screw). This includes barrel bands.
  2. Removal of the rear dovetail sight (With muzzle pointed away from you drift punch right to left).
  3. Removal of the front dovetail sight (With muzzle pointed away from you drift punch right to left).
  4. Removal of the scope mounting rail
  5. Replacing trigger assembly components (Magazine release and bolt hold-open lever)
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Other than the main Nomad chassis/stock, there are several additional pieces that are required for a complete build

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With the new magazine release and bolt hold-open lever installed in the trigger group, assembly is ready to commence

TPF would like to recommend that if you do decide to install this kit, that you take some time prior to installation to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny of your 10-22 rifle. The installation of the Archangel Nomad stock is pretty straight forwards other than the trigger assembly rework. The barrelled receiver is installed into the lower stock portion with the cross-bolt safety put into a middle position. The fit may require some inner material removal to accomodate larger barrel blocks used on some 10/22’s. but once installed, the receiver is secured via the original stock retaining screw.

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The 10/22 receiver is held into place by the standard retaining screw just in front of the magazine well.

The upper portion of the stock kit has three attachment points which consist of seven (7) socket head cap screws. A single large button head screw secures the rear portion to the top of the lower Pro-Mag stock component with a pair of screws securing at the front of the lower component. Four small bolts are then used to secure the upper stock portion to the 10/22 recieiver (in place of the previously removed scope rail). That was the difficult installation areas, which is telling as it is very straight forward to assemble. Slide on and secure the forearm and the upper rail with the remaining bolts and associated hardware provided and the your 10/22 now has the facade of a Heckler & Koch G-36K Carbine, with a slightly extended barrel.

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The secondary piece uses four small bolts (via the receiver’s scope rail mounting holes) and a trio of larger bolts to affix the top half of the G-36K shell

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Drift punch the sights to the left (away in the image) to remove

The final component for mounting onto the 10/22 is the barrel attachment. Pro-Mag includes two options for the Nomad, both which require the removal of the front sight as mentioned earlier. The first option is an aluminum four prong flash hider for the more aggressive look and the second option is the fake silencer sleeve. Both are a tight fit over the barrel and corresponding front sight, but the included roll pin firmly secures the respective sight into position with nary a wobble or wiggle. This is the ONLY true issue that TPF had however with this installation. The four prong flashhider has a blind hole for the retaining roll pin, which means that removal is impossible without some form of metalworking involved.

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Snugly fitted over the front sight mount and kept in place with a roll pin, this flash hider is one of the two included options for the barrel aesthetics

The completed installation of the Nomad does indeed make a 10/22 into a formidable looking G-36K clone, and the included 25 round magazines have a full sized shroud which makes them complete the appearance. There are some additional included features which are most likely overlooked on cursory glances. The attached upper picatinny mount, while primarily manufactured from polymer has an integral aluminum stiffener moulded inside for very good rigidity and minimal flexing. The included iron sites are surprisingly robust and working with the rear sight being adjustable for both windage and elevation, and incorporating two aperatures of different sizes and a shrouded fixed front post. Both front and rear sights are removable but should not interfere with most optics. The front underside picatinny rail is much the same as the upper one and comes with an aluminum sling clip mount which is removable/adjustable. The stock itself masses only 1.4kg (3.0 lbs) and has numerous quick detach sling swivel mounting points on both left and right sides.

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The G-36 skin completely installed. Note the pair of Pro-Mag 25 round magazines, one which has the shroud to complete the G-36 imagery

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Just like the original it copies, the Nomad includes a folding stock

What kind of G-36K would be complete without a folding stock, and this conversion kit does just that. The completed Nomad 10/22 is fully functional with the stock in extended or collapsed position. The Pro-Mag Nomad magazines, with and without the shrouds, functioned very well with no feed issues that were not ammunition releated (misfires). Original Ruger ten (10) round capacity magazines feed and were removed from the gun without issues and some aftermarket 25 round magazines were successfully tested as well. With that being said it is unlikely, due to the G-36K magwell shape that any teardrop shaped magazines or drum magazines for the 10/22 will have enough clearance to be installed fully, however TPF did not have the opportunity to test these hypotheses.

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Hidden compartments in the body and in the handle

Like the old TV commercials, there is more! The Nomad does not waste any unused space as it incorporates a pair of storage areas in the lower half of the reciever. The compartment in the grip is accessible all the time and is typical in size for an optic’s batteries or a small cleaning kit. The larger compartment is only accessible when the stock is folded and has nearly enough room to hold a small container of .22LR ammunition (nearly 50 rounds). The entire process of taking your existing Ruger 10/22 and fully installing this kit will take less than two hours if you have the proper tools onhand.

The Archangel Nomad Conversion Stock Kit by Pro-Mag Industries, Model # AAM1022, as reviewed has an MSRP of $204.00 USD, and is available from the fine Canadian establishment,  High Caliber Services Corp. which is located in Mission, British Columbia. The kit contains the stock, one 25 round shrouded magazine and the pair of barrel end attachments. As always however it is a question of if you, the reader, feel this product is Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical.
 
 
P.S.: in the next day or two TPF will be adding video of an installed Archangel Nomad and checking functionality. Thanks for reading and enjoying TPF-Online!