Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report. In this ongoing weekly series we discuss rimfire firearms and related subjects surrounding ammunition, sports, targets, practices and trends that are found within the rimfire world. This week we’ll be talking about suppressing your 10/22 and developing it into an improved suppressor host.
The Rimfire Report: Making Your 10/22 a Better Suppressor Host
I am going to assume for the remainder of this article that you’ve already selected the type of suppressor you want your 10/22 to be a host for. There are a lot of options out there specifically geared towards rimfire firearms like the OSS RAD22, Dead Air Mask, SilencerCo Sparrow, and TiOn Inc Minuteman. If none of these options seem appealing to you or you want to really make the project your own, you can always start with an ATF Form 1 Suppressor build – for information on how to do that, check out a great article Pete M did awhile back on that very subject. Link below:
1. Ammunition Selection
A large part of the sound generated by a round going off comes from the supersonic crack of the round as it exits the barrel and breaks through the sound barrier. Most bulk .22LR loadings usually clock in at around the 1,200 FPS mark meaning that even out of 16-inch barrels they will often be pushing more than 1,100 FPS.
This is why I would recommend either using dedicated subsonic ammunition like CCI Quiet, or CCI Subsonic. I have found great success with both types of ammunition out of my 8” 10/22 suppressor host although I have tried other ammunitions as well. CCI Quiet does not tend to cycle reliably without the use of a bolt specifically designed for the sub 1000fps ammunition so as an added small point here I would also suggest running a Volquartsen Firefly bolt which is designed to allow your 10/22 to cycle with rounds that consistently run below 1,000 fps.
One other option is to simply use CCI Standard Velocity. Since most rimfire ammunition reaches its maximum stated velocity at around 16 to 18-inches, CCI Standard will never reach over its stated 1070 fps outside of a non-standard loading which I have had happen to me before on a few occasions. This can be counteracted by our next category.
2. Shorten Your Barrel
As stated above, most .22LR ammunition tends to reach its maximum velocity and powder burn at around the 16 to 18-inch barrel length mark. If you’re planning on turning your 10/22 into a suppressor host, I’d recommend either taking the time and cash to turn your 16″ carbine into an SBR, or taking the much easier route of using a Ruger 10/22 charger with a brace.
A barrel length of about 8-inches seems to bring most bulk ammunition down from its supersonic velocity to a subsonic velocity meaning you will have a lot more options for ammunition besides dedicated subsonic or CCI quiet ammo. Aside from CCI Stingers, MiniMags, Remington Yellow Jackets and CCI Velociters, most anything out there will lose a significant portion of its advertised velocity in the shorter barrel meaning you’ll have a much more quiet platform overall
As an added bonus, a shorter barrel also means that your rig could be slightly lighter and compensate for the extra weight of the suppressor at the end of the rifle or pistol. I have seen barrels as short as 4-inches being used on Ruger 10/22 suppressed guns and accuracy seems to be just fine at shorter distances and I know from experience that Rimfire PRS shooters often choose to use subsonic ammunition anyway to improve accuracy.
3. USe a Bolt Lock
My final suggestion for turning your 10/22 into a better suppressor host is to make use of a bolt lock. Aside from the supersonic crack of a fast round leaving the barrel, and the report of the localized explosion inside of the chamber, a lot of the noise that a semi-auto firearm makes comes from the action ejecting a spent round and cycling in a new one. Even on something as small as a 10/22, the noise is significant enough to make a huge difference.
I have seen 3D printed versions of this concept that can be removed and replaced at will, but the bolt locks themselves to not stay attached to the gun. However, a company called Colossic that has been around for quite some time has affordable replacement bolt handles that feature an integrated bolt lock that can be switched on and off without having to uninstall the unit.
I bought myself a Colossic bolt lock and replaced my stock Ruger 10/22 bolt handle/spring and have been pleased so far with the performance of it. Upon closer inspection, the Colossic bolt lock is actually a stock 10/22 bolt handle that has been machined and drilled/tapped to accept a small swinging lock that firmly locks the bolt forward when firing making it much more quiet.
At first I was worried that this bolt lock might accidentally work itself into place but after running several magazines through my 10/22 (even in binary mode), I was pleasantly surprised to find that this won’t happen. You can pick up one of these Colossic bolt locks for just $85 here.
The 10/22 makes for a great suppressor host no matter how you cut it. As much fun as blasting a 200-round belt of 7.62×51 in full-auto is, the times dictate that our sport must adapt to be a bit less expensive if we want to keep doing it. I’ve found that I’ve been refining a lot of the guns I already own into more precise, more functional or more fun pieces rather than shelling out my hard earned dollars for the latest pistol or rifle that has just hit the market. Building out this 10/22 to find out what works the best for me has been a rewarding adventure in and of itself and I’m sure I haven’t stopped modifying it yet.
Hopefully this short guide on improving the suppressor performance of your 10/22 has been informative and helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and thanks as always for stopping by to read The Rimfire Report!
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.