Most people who like to shoot know what a Ruger 10/22 is. It’s that cool, semi-auto workhorse of the rimfire world. Have you heard about the Ruger 10/22 Takedown? Or better yet, how about a custom Volquartsen 10/22 Takedown? What is the difference, and is it worth the price? Follow along with me, and I’ll get you all those answers and more.
The Build: Custom Volquartsen 10/22 Takedown
The Ruger 10/22 Takedown is basically a standard 10/22 that easily breaks down into two pieces—the stock and receiver groups and the barrel assembly. Breaking it down is as easy as locking the bolt to the rear for visual chamber inspection (empty), depressing a recessed lever on the bottom of the handguard, and finally, twisting apart the two sections. It’s that easy. This makes it ideal for a backpack rifle. The Jacknife Pack from Elberlestock provides a perfect fit. Tons of room for cargo and your Takedown 10/22. There’s nothing wrong with a factory 10/22 Takedown model, but who doesn’t like to tinker and make things better? Especially where every shot counts while hunting protein critters in the woods. That’s what happened here, a good rifle made into a lightweight, rimfire tack driver.
The only way to squeeze more power would be to move up to a .22 WMR chambering. Thankfully, Tactical Solutions recently released the “Owyhee,” its .22 WMR Bolt-Action Takedown rifle. But this custom Volquartsen could prove the finest 10/22 Takedown yet.
Putting It All Together
This all started with a factory Ruger 10/22 Takedown in an aftermarket stock and forgotten about in the back of my safe. It’s literally never been broken in. So, it was completely stripped down to the factory receiver, and everything leftover was placed into a spare parts pile. A quick trip to the Volquartsen company website, and we’re in business! If you’ve never heard of Volquartsen before, I recommend checking them out. They are the Maserati of the rimfire world.
For this project, we mated the stripped factory Ruger receiver to all Volquartsen parts and a Magpul Backpcker chassis. Inside the receiver is what Volquartsen calls the “Competition Bolt” for the 10/22. This bolt includes the same “improved” firing pin and extractor as Volquartsen’s full-size competition 10/22 rifles. Next, the build added the Volquartsen TG2000 Trigger Group. This is a true drop-in trigger pack—as easy as pushing out a couple of pins, dropping the old trigger out, inserting the new TG2000 and replacing the pins. Volquartsen CNC-machines the TG2000 Trigger Pack from billet aluminum. The build includes an automatic bolt release and extended magazine release. The TG2000 trigger breaks at 2.25 pounds. The pre-travel and over-travel adjusts to the shooter’s preference.
Volquartsen Lightweight Barrel Assembly
The last Volquartsen piece to this varmint catcher is their Lightweight Barrel Assembly for the Takedown 10/22. No joke, it’s a .92-inch lightweight carbon-fiber bull barrel with 1/2×28 threads, perfect for your muzzle brake or suppressor. The breach is laser hardened for added durability as well. The Picatinny rail is factory attached to the top of the barrel and cantilevered back towards the shooter’s eye for mounting optics.
Once all those Volquartsen parts were installed, it was time to drop everything into place in its new chassis—the Magpul X-22 Backpacker. Why this chassis? Well, that is simple. It’s Magpul, so we know the quality is there, and it is VERY lightweight, which is what one wants in a rifle they plan to tote around in the woods. Plus, when you break the Takedown into its two pieces, the Magpul X-22 Backpacker allows both pieces to mate together for storage in a compact package. That is a win-win in my book.
It also comes with interchangeable standard and “optic height” cheek risers. The 60-degree grip angle from the bore axis is nice as well. A real extra for this Backpacker stock chassis is in the stock end itself. Once the user pops the top, there is storage inside for three Ruger factory 10-round rotary magazines. This is a great feature, especially if you want to keep different loads in there from what is in your pack. Lastly, the Backpacker incorporates two different sling swivel socket holes on each side. Unfortunately, you must purchase the swivel pieces separately.
To Better See With
Optics, well, we don’t want to weigh it down, and your standard LPVO (low-powered variable optic), when installed, won’t allow the two sections to mate together as designed by Magpul. In that case, and because it’s meant for rapid sight acquisition, a Primary Arms SLx 1x MicroPrism scope was chosen. Getting the optic in FDE was a lucky break, as now it just looks like it belongs.
If you’ve never used one of these MicroPrisms before, you don’t know what you’re missing. I’ve torture tested these optics previously for Tactical Life, and they held up better than any other optic I’ve beaten on yet. So much so, that they have received the NTOA (National Tactical Officers Association) recommendation. Those are not given out lightly, as many police agencies decide what equipment their officers can carry based on these recommendations.
The best part about these is the ACSS (Advanced Combined Sighting System) Cyclops G2 reticle inside. The ACSS reticle system is my personal favorite, as it makes utilizing optics simple and straightforward. The optic features 13 illumination settings, including night vision and true daylight brightness, and boasts up to a 50K-hour battery life from a single CR2032 3V lithium coin battery. The ACSS Cyclops G2 reticle is etched, perfect for those who have an astigmatism, and it also works without illumination. The Primary Arms SLx 1x Prism Scope comes with a lifetime warranty. I’ve got this optic on several firearms. You can spend north of a grand cash on a big-name optic or you can snatch one of these bad boys up for $269, plus get yourself a bunch of ammo and still have dinner money in your pocket.
The Volquartsen Difference
To be completely fair about this, I grabbed a cherry, brand-new Ruger factory Takedown 10/22 from a buddy and compared their accuracy side-by-side. To be completely transparent, for accuracy’s sake, I used a Primary Arms SLx 1-6×24 SFP (second focal plane) LPVO for this test on both Takedown rifles from a benchrest at 50 yards.
Using Winchester SuperX 40-grain .22 LR, the factory Takedown 10/22 shot a 1.1-inch grouping at 50 yards. And using CCI Mini-Mag 36-grain copper plated HP MeatEater loads, it shot a hair shy of 1 inch at 50 yards.
NOW, the custom Volquartsen Takedown 10/22 using that same Winchester SuperX shot a 0.4-inch grouping, while the CCI MeatEater from the Volquartsen Takedown scored a 0.6-inch grouping at 50 yards. That’s a pretty substantial difference! Well, one can expect that and more from Volquartsen. Add in that Primary Arms reticle, and then all that’s left to do is clean and cook your rabbit stew.
Both rifles shot well, but this custom Volquartsen Takedown is worth every penny. It’s literally a simple conversion of parts, and you’re out shooting. The TG2000 trigger breaks nice and crisp, as the Volquartsen reputation for top-shelf quality proves once again. Paired with Volquartsen’s Competition Bolt and their carbon-fiber bull barrel, you get a sure winner. Going to be out and about in the woods and need a nice pack? Keep the Jacknife pack from Elberlestock in mind, as it fits great and leaves plenty of room for whatever you may need on your day or night trip. With 1,000 cubic inches of storage space, the pack only weighs 2 pounds, 12 ounces.
This is one light rifle at 4 pounds, 11 ounces (w/ PA SLx Cyclops MicroPrism). The total cost for all the Volquartsen parts with the Magpul stock totaled $1,161. Then add in the $100 for a stripped receiver and $270 for the optic, and your grand total comes to roughly $1,531 before the tax man gets his. It’s twice the price of a factory-base model Ruger 10/22 Takedown, but the devil is in the details. This custom Volquartsen 10/22 is lighter, just about twice as accurate, and it’s a much superior rifle to the Ruger factory base model 10/22 Takedown. And nothing says that you must get everything all at once. You can piece it together over time or just splurge like I did and have the nicest rimfire on the block.
This is a rifle that your grandkids will enjoy one day. Whatever you decide, just make sure that you stop over at the Volquartsen website and check out all their cool, custom rimfire goodness. You will be glad that you did, as it’s well worth the time.
In the Build
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