Is there any benefit to the 10/22 Bull Barrel?


October 11, 2003, 01:40 PM
I'm looking at a Ruger 10/22 SS Bull Barrel model. Is there any benefit to the bull barrel setup in this gun? I wonder what effect the heavy barrel has on the aluminum receiver?

Would it be better to get the 77/22 in bull barrel, since it has a steel reciever?


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October 11, 2003, 02:24 PM
What you really need in an accurate 22 is a match-grade chamber, regardless of the barrel profile. Standard 10/22 chambers are quite loose inside so that they may work reliably with many types of ammo. However, a match, or "Bentz", chamber is much tighter, and doen't feed all cheap ammo well. This of course means that the bullet doesn't have room to wiggle and it presses more tightly into the rifling, and thus performs better. The problem with a tight chamber is that if you chamber a standard hi-velocity round in it, often the only way to remove the round is by firing the gun, whereas in a standard chamber, you could just manually work the bolt and eject it yourself. Most heavy barrels come standard with match chambers, which is a major part of why heavy barrels are accurate. There are, BTW, some companies making standard weight barrels for the 10/22 with match chambers. Also, there are some heavy barrels designed with non-match barrels so that people can use popular ammo like CCI Stingers. In fact, Green Mountain makes a standard barrel available with either a specially cut Stinger chamber, or Bentz chamber, and you make your choice when ordering. The chamber is one of the most important aspects of accuracy -- far moreso than barrel weight

As for the heavy profile, some people say that the heavy barrel is stiffer and more accurate, but many of the worlds most accurate 22s use non-heavy barrels including CZ, Remington 541T, Anschutz, Cooper, Sako, etc.

As for using a heavy barrel with an alluminum action, yes it does stress the action due to its weight, so many people don't free-float heavy-barrelled 10/22s. Futhermore, since the 10/22 uses a press-fit barrel, you are always going to fight barrel alignment, especially with a heavy barrel. For that reason, many companies make 10/22 actions out of steel, and include a threaded barrel hole instead of the press-fit layout.

If you are really looking for an accurate 22, the Ruger 10/22 needs so much work, whereas many others, like a CZ Lux for example, provides competition-grade accuracy out of the box, even with its very thin barrel. Likewise, a Thompson Center 22 Classic often outshoots even heavy-barrelled 10/22s using its sporter-weight barrel.

This is all first hand information. I own or have owned countless 22s, including several 10/22s complete with heavy barrels. I hope this helps!

Nero Steptoe
October 11, 2003, 02:29 PM
Maybe your semantics are just confusing me a little, but how is a 10-22 barrel a "press fit"? Looks to me like it's held in place by a couple of setscrews. Now a Remmy 710, p.o.s., that's a press-fit barrel.

October 11, 2003, 02:36 PM
The barrel has no threads, and the action has no threads, You merely press the barrel into the action, then screw down an angled clamp that secures it. It is a fairly tight fit, but nothing like that of a screwed-in barrel. To my knowledge, none of the high-end 22 makers use press-fit barrels, rather they use screwed-in threaded barrels. Press fitting is fine for lightweight barrels, but combing an alum. receiver with a pressed in barrel that weighs several pounds, is not optimal. Again, this is why there are numerous companies making threaded, steel, 10/22 replacement receivers.

October 11, 2003, 02:41 PM
To answer your question more directly, even having said what I already posted, yes a heavy barrel 10/22 almost always shoots much better than a standard (factory) barrelled on. I have put severl heavy barrels on several 10/22s, always replacing the standard barrel, and in all cases, the heavy barrelled ones have shot vastly better, even without worrying about press fitting, alignment, flexing receivers, etc.

So yes, get the heavy barrelled version.

October 11, 2003, 07:20 PM
In most cases, what Molly said is true, IMO. There are a number of bull barrel makers out there that make a more accurate barrel than stock, even a stock bull barrel. However, there are gun manufacturers out there who make (or buy) an accurate barrel to put on their products right out of the box regardless of contour. You'll hardly ever see a bull barrel on a free pistol (at least I've never seen one).

IMO, where the bull barrel shines is when you are shooting long strings where the barrel is a little warm. With more material, the bull barrel will warp less than a skinny. For something like a free pistol, there is plenty of time for the barrel to cool between shots.

October 11, 2003, 08:08 PM
Some people have gone as far as full length bedding the heavy barrel and free floating the aluminum receiver, with good results from what I have seen.

October 11, 2003, 09:02 PM
Welcome aboard, Molly !!


Nero Steptoe
October 11, 2003, 10:53 PM
Thanks for the info, Molly. I'm just playing around with a stainless 10-22 in a B.C. folding stock; Volquartsen hammer/springs. Lots of fun. I have absolutely no interest in "serious" rimfire shooting.

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