It’s rough being a lefty in the gun world. I mean, you get used to it, but still. Gas in your face, the controls of 90% of guns are on the wrong side, and don’t even get me started on the price of ambidextrous accessories. So when Ruger approached TFB and asked if anyone wanted to review a left-handed 10/22 from the Ruger custom shop, I jumped at the offer.
Lefty Guns @ TFB:
- Christensen Arms Introduces Left Handed Versions of Mesa and Ridgeline Rifles
- [SHOT 2018] Accuracy International’s Left Handed AX Rifle
- Tikka T3x TAC A1 for left handers, and more T3x news
- Left Handed Shotgun Combat Reloads
- Savage Arms 110 Elite Precision Available as Left-Handed Version
Ruger Custom Shop Left-Handed 10/22
Technically, the official name of this gun is the Ruger Custom Shop® 10/22® Competition Rifle Left-Handed Model. I think we can all agree that’s a bit of a mouthful, and that we’re definitely not calling it the RCS10/22CRLHM. The Lefty 10/22 Comp Rifle has a bit of a nice ring to it, even if it’s still a mouthful, but that’s what I’ll call it for brevity’s sake.
Anyways, the Lefty 10/22 Comp Rifle is everything you could ever want from a 10/22 as a left-hander. It’s completely and wildly overkill for backyard plinking, but it’s not really for backyard plinking. The original Ruger Custom Shop 10/22 Competition Rifle was made as Ruger’s entry into the precision semi-automatic rimfire world. Its many features include:
- Hard–coat anodized, CNC-machined receiver made from heat-treated and stress relieved 6061–T6511 aluminum allows for optimal receiver-to–bolt interaction and a match-grade feel.
- BX–Trigger® with a light, crisp 2.5 – 3 pound trigger pull weight with minimal overtravel and a positive reset.
- Dual bedding system incorporates a second bedding lug, ensuring the receiver is securely bedded to the stock.
- Easy-to-use, prominent magazine release provides smooth, no-fuss removal of flush-mounted magazine.
- 16–1/8” cold hammer-forged bull barrel is fluted to reduce weight and dissipate heat and is also threaded with a 1/2“–28 pattern to accommodate the included muzzle brake or other barrel accessories
- Integral, optics-ready 30 MOA Picatinny rail for increased long-range
The gun is even compatible with the Silent-SR sound suppressor for you silencer fans out there.
I’m going to pause here for people to get angry in the comments that I used the word “silencer”. Go ahead. It’s okay. Make the comment, I know you want to. Just scroll on back up once you’re done.
Out of the Box
Right of the box, you can tell this is not your granddad’s 10/22. Personally, I have gone to some extraordinary lengths to obtain a 10/22. So believe me when I say that I think I drooled a little bit when I opened her up. The first thing you notice is the weight. Almost all rimfire guns are lightweight, but the Ruger is just 6lbs, barely one pound more than the original wood stock 10/22. That extra weight is likely coming from the barrel, which while fluted, is still bigger and heavier than the stock 10/22 barrel. This extra barrel weight is incredibly useful for precision shooting. Despite the weight, the gun is very well balanced, and not muzzle-heavy in any meaningful way.
The rifle comes with a single 10-round left-handed magazine, which is not compatible with any other model of Ruger rifle. I understand the necessity for a non-compatible magazine. That said, I have to admit I was hoping Ruger would offer the gun with at least two. Ruger 10/22 magazines aren’t super expensive, but if you’re dropping custom shop money on a gun you would hope to get one spare mag.
Atop the receiver is a 30 MOA Picatinny rail, which I immediately started playing with to see if there was any wiggle out of the box. I’m happy to say there wasn’t any. For a gun of this quality that should be a given of course, but you’d be surprised at some of the guns out there that need hand adjustments right out the gate. The Lefty 10/22 Comp Rifle also comes with a small goody bag. This includes a challenge coin, a certificate of authenticity, a sticker, and a cleaning cloth.
The first thing I did at the range was adjust the cheek-rest on the buttstock. It really did make for a more pleasant cheek weld. It was easy to place my line of sight directly in the eye box of the optic. After that, I started playing around with the mag release and bolt catch. One of the biggest complaints about the original 10/22 is the bolt release does not have a pull-to-release if it is locked open. Happily, Ruger includes their upgraded bolt release in the Custom Shop 10/22s, which combined with the extended magazine release makes mag swaps a breeze.
The trigger as well is really nice. I didn’t have a trigger pull gauge on hand, so I don’t have the exact weight. Bearing that in mind, I have enough trigger time on my 3.5lb CMC trigger that I can safely say this was in that ballpark (as advertised), and a pleasure to pull. A nice clean break, minimal uptake, and a tactile reset.
At the range, I put about 500 rounds of various .22LR through the gun. Not an exhaustive torture test by any means, but enough to get a feel for the rifle. The gun runs incredibly smoothly. I had zero failure-to-ejects or failure-to-feeds, which I admit was surprising. Rimfire ammo is notoriously finicky, and my boring plain jane 10/22 has these issues every now and again. I did encounter a few failures to fire, but I chalk that up to my ammo. I was shooting some truly ancient .22LR for a while (1997 vintage American Eagle 38gr), which likely caused the issue. After swapping to modern production ammo (Winchester White Box 36gr HP), these failures stopped. To put that American Eagle ammo in perspective, and make some of my readers feel old, I was born in 1996.
I’ll lay my cards out on the table. I’m not much of a precision shooter. I’m not inaccurate, but if you want someone to put 5 rounds into a quarter at a mile, talk to Rusty. That having been said, I was easily getting 1-2″ groups out of this gun at 50 yards. Don’t take that as a ding on the gun, I have no trouble imagining a better shooter using match-grade ammo getting MOA or sub-MOA accuracy out of this gun. Considering the intended purpose of this rifle (Practical Rimfire Challenge, NRL22, etc), that’s not surprising, but it is welcome.
The Ruger Custom Shop® 10/22® Competition Rifle Left-Handed Model (say that three times fast) was an absolute pleasure to shoot. It’s accurate, reliable, and includes those small quality-of-life adjustments that a precision .22LR gun should have.
Ruger is releasing the Lefty 10/22 Comp Rifle on International Left-Handers day (which I did not know existed), August 13th, 2021. It has an MSRP of $899, and if you’re a left-handed rimfire precision shooter, you should give it some consideration as your next competition gun.