The Ruger 10/22 is an industry leader in the world of semi-automatic .22LR rifles. However compared to the AR-15 and all its clones, there are very few alternatives to the venerable Ruger 10/22. Sure you can get a Volquartsen or a TacSol X-Ring but they are both near the $1,000 price range. Affordable 10/22 clones don’t really seem to exist except in the past like the AMT Lightning or the RIA M22. Well Thompson Center has their own 10/22 clone, the T/CR22 and it is not only affordable it is better than your stock 10/22.
Feature Packed T/CR22
At the heart of the T/CR22 is a 10/22. I am sure you are all intimately familiar with your average stock Ruger 10/22, so here are the features that sets the T/CR22 apart. You typically find these features in aftermarket parts like TacSol and Volquartesen.
The charging handle has been changed to a knurled cyinder. The receiver has a picatinny rail that was machined as part of the receiver and the rear sight is an adjustable peep at the very back of the receiver.
With the rear peep sight at the back of the receiver, Thompson Center has increased the sight radius making it easier to shoot with irons and for greater accuracy.
Want a picatinny rail on your 10/22? You would have to buy an aftermarket rail and bolt it on or buy a TacSol X-Ring receiver. Which costs more than the T/CR22.
At the front of the barrel sits a green fiber optic front sight. The T/CR22 barrels all come threaded 1/2×28 so you can suppress them or add any muzzle device of your choosing.
Take Stock Of What You Have
The TCR/22 comes with a polymer stock. Does it remind you of anything? They collaborated with Magpul and this was the result. You can see my modified 10/22 with Magpul X-Hunter stock just above the TCR/22.
The TCR/22 stock is a simplified version of the X-22 stock. You can see it does not have the sling loops in the side of the stock, nor does it have side MLOK slots. Just like a factory 10/22 stock, it does not have LOP adjustment nor cheek risers. It has the same style of grip texture but it is less aggressive than the X-22.
The bottom of the stock has two MLOK slots to add accessories. I added a small picatinny rail so I could add my Atlas bipod. However once Magpul comes out with their bipod, I will direct mount it to the T/CR22.
The T/CR22 stock has an insert similar to the X-22 stock however you cannot flip it around for bull barrels like you can with the X-22 stock.
So if you want to run a bull barrel, you will have to remove the insert which also results in losing your MLOK slots.
The T/CR22 is compatible with 10/22 stocks and you can use the OD green stock on a 10/22
Magazine With Last Round Bolt Hold Open?
The T/CR22 uses Ruger 10/22 style magazines or even Ruger factory magazines. But Thompson Center made their own magazine and it has a last round bolt hold open. They also made the rear of the magazine transparent so you can see how many rounds you have. Only downside is that the last four rounds are obscured. Here is the magazine fully loaded with 10 rounds.
See the tab that sticks up? You only have to push that down to insert the first round into the magazine. After you get the first round into the magazine, loading it is the same as loading a regular 10/22 magazine. Once the magazine is emptied, the tab pushes upwards.
How does the last round bolt hold open work? Well it only works in the T/CR22. There is a small plate that pivots when the magazine tab pushes up.
So while you can use Ruger 10/22 magazines or aftermarket magazines, they won’t have the last round bolt hold tab. Yes, you can use the T/CR22 magazine in a 10/22 but the tab has nothing to push so it wont do anything for you.
How does it shoot?
I will be the first to admit that I am not that great of a shot. A lot of it is due to my lack of patience. I don’t like waiting for the right conditions to fire my round just to get tight groups. So I am sure the group size has more to do with me than the gun. With that out of the way, here are two targets both shot at 50 yards. The first was shot with my 10/22, which has an ER Shaw bull barrel, and the other target was shot with the T/CR22. I used the same scope and same bipod when shooting from a bench. I used Federal bulk .22lr ammo when I shot these two guns. I am pleased with these groups. I do not expect these guns to be tack drivers.
While I took fewer shots with the T/CR22, I was pleased with its out of the box accuracy. You could upgrade it with an aftermarket 10/22 barrel if you so desired.
So when I got the T/CR22 in for review I immediately checked out the sights. Do you see what I see? The front sight is canted. To show you this, I placed a bubble level and leveled the gun then took a photo of the front sight.
It is really noticeable when you look down from above the gun. Due to the way the barrel is installed, it is not really possible for the barrel to rotate. Which makes me think they installed the front sight wrong? I am sure if I sent the gun back they would fix this issue however I did not want to send it back which would delay the review.
I only shot this gun less than a handful of trips to the range and it is already rusting.
Another issue is the lack of adjustment in the stock. While it certainly beats a factory 10/22 stock, the cheek rest and LOP is not adjustable like the Magpul X-22 stock. With a scope mounted on top, I have to raise my head a bit to get a proper sight picture. It is not a big deal as I am not shooting the T/CR22 long distance but it is a bit annoying.
While the front sight and rust are minor inconveniences, they are not deal breakers. I don’t shoot irons if I can help it but the stock seems suited for shooting with irons. A taller cheek rest or an interchangeable one would be great. The rust could be prevented with a course of cleaning and preventative maintenance. These issues may be a one off with the sample gun they sent me but keep an eye out if you shop for one.
The price is very attractive. As I said earlier, there are not really any affordable 10/22 clones that match the price point of your bog standard 10/22. The T/CR22 retails for $399.99 MSRP but you can find it for less at your local gun store. While a standard 10/22 is under $300 you will have to spend more for one that somewhat resembles the T/CR22. The Tactical 10/22 with threaded barrel is $359.99 MSRP and while it comes with the factory Ruger weaver optic rail, it still doesn’t have the features of the T/CR22. Fiber optic front sight, rear peep sight, built in picatinny optic rail, MLOK compatible Magpul stock, and last round bolt hold magazine. It is definitely a better version of the 10/22 and worth the price point. For more information, check out their website.