Digging Up the Dragon: a Fire-Breathing Ruger 10/22?

    The Ruger 10/22 we aren't sure anyone was asking for: the Red Dragon!

    The Ruger 10/22 we aren't sure anyone was asking for: the Red Dragon!

    Ruger’s 10/22 rifle is fondly considered by many to be a much-beloved classic. In his ode to the legend published in the “Rimfire Report” series last year, TFB writer Luke C. said, “The first rifle experience many of us probably had was the Ruger 10/22. This rifle often holds a special place in our hearts.” Since its inception in 1964, more than five million of these iconic Ruger plinkers have been produced, earning this friendly little .22 the distinction of being the best-selling individual civilian rifle model ever made.

    In its 56-year history, numerous different configurations and variants have been proffered by Ruger. Today’s article brings you perhaps one of the most interesting, eyebrow-raising – dare I say maybe even one of the strangest – of all the 10/22’s historical versions. If you’ve ever wished that the wood stock of your plinker featured an intricately-carved dragon (yes, you read that correctly), you’re in luck! No doubt there are literally several of you, and Ruger has answered your call with the “Red Dragon” edition 10/22.

    Talo's ad from the original Red Dragon Ruger release in 2014.

    Talo’s ad from the original Red Dragon Ruger released in 2014.

    First off, beyond the glaringly obvious oddities, this rifle is everything you’ve come to expect from more than a half-century of .22LR goodness from the Southport, Connecticut-based Sturm, Ruger, and Co. Based on the Sporter configuration, the gun measures 37 inches overall and tips the scales (the weight scales, not to be confused with dragon scales) at 4.9 pounds. The 18.5-inch barrel is finished in black satin, featuring 1:16 inch right-hand twist. Gold bead front and adjustable rear sights top it off, while an included scope base adapter for Weaver-style and .22 tip-off mounts makes it easy to add some glass if you prefer.


    Note the claw marks on the handguard, a subtle reminder on the rifle's cleaner side.

    Note the claw marks on the handguard, a subtle reminder on the rifle’s cleaner side.

    That is where the normalcy ends. The stock, as you have clearly seen pictured above, is emblazoned with the toothy visage of a fire-breathing reptilian beast taken right out of the pages of fantasy. The forend even shows accent marks that appear to be intended to replicate the dragon’s claw marks. Initially unleashing the dragon as a Talo distributor exclusive in 2014, the reptile joined an unusual Ruger menagerie including two different gators, a tiger, an eagle, a shark, and then as a further curveball – a farmer on a tractor. Because… sure, why not?

    Well the dragon plinker is still available so if you’re a massive Tolkein fan as well as a rimfire shooter, but have never been able to quite find the perfect way to marry these two passions, all I can say is you’re welcome. Enjoy your serpentine monster-engraved Ruger! See you at the range.


    We weren't kidding about the tractor.

    We weren’t kidding about the tractor, either.


    Photos courtesy of Sturm, Ruger, and Co. and Talo, Inc.
    Will P

    Lifelong hobby/sport shooter and hunter, former US Army infantryman, perpetual firearms student. Always seeking to become better and learn more. Interested in a wide variety of shooting disciplines, and passionate about all kinds of guns. Contact on Instagram: @WillTFB