The Rimfire Report: Uncle Fudd's Wild Forward Charging 10/22

Luke C.
by Luke C.

Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! This ongoing series is all about the rimfire firearm world and its many different types of guns, ammo, history, and shooting sports. Last week we talked about a complex gun from the past – the BSA Ralock 22LR takedown rifle. This week we’re setting our sights on something that Uncle Fudd is working on in his garage right now. Uncle Fudd isn’t a derogatory term in this case but rather the name of a man who has a normal day job and kids just like the rest of you, but who just loves tinkering around with his firearms in ways that often turn heads, but probably also turn stomachs for some of you out there. This time Uncle Fudd is working on a new Forward Charging 10/22 rifle. Why? Just because! The 10/22 in all but a rare handful of cases has always ejected and charged from the right-hand side. Uncle Fudd is going to fix that by adding a feature to the 10/22 you never knew you needed – a forward-mounted charging handle stuffed inside of a Grey Birch MFG La Chassis.

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The Rimfire Report: Uncle Fudd’s Wild Forward Charging 10/22

If you’re not familiar with Uncle Fudd’s projects, then you’re in for a treat this time. Uncle Fudd has his full build diary covering the Forward Charging 10/22 on his own website, but here I’ll give you the cliff notes with a few select highlights that showcase just how wild his designs get, and how he often likes to include electronics with his builds. The project started out with just a very simple idea – a forward charging handle for a 10/22.

Tactical Forward Charging 10/22: The Build Part I – Charging Handles

The Superlite arrived, so I ordered a bunch of components and jumped in.

We’ll begin this build with a glamor shot of just the Volquartsen Superlite. She’s a beauty as is…. This shot will make for a great before and after side-by-side.

The hardest part of this build is going to be designing the forward charging components that fit inside the La Chassis’ MLOK foregrip, works, and is durable enough to take lots of use. This requires fitting lots of small pieces together and making sure that any given part of the forward charging system takes too much pressure from use.

In my head when I think of trying to move the charging handle mechanism from the receiver to the forward part of the gun, I think in terms of a simple linkage, probably steel or aluminum that could ride on the inside of the charging handle. Uncle Fudd has a similar idea but his list of components includes things like brass tubes, bolts, wing nuts, copper refrigeration tubing, and ball bearings.

If you’re used to fancy YouTube videos with CNC-milled and precisely 3D-printed parts, there’s also none of that pretense here (although he does do 3D-printed parts). Uncle Fudd literally uses JB Weld for a lot of his projects, something that I can also get behind as a fellow fan of the shop expedient bonding compound. Ultimately, Uncle Fudd’s first iteration of the forward charging 10/22 chassis didn’t work out so he quickly moved on to a hand-drilled and tapped custom piece of aluminum which turned out to look and function much better than the crude JB weld iteration. In addition to his first working version of the charging handle, he also added two remote switches for the Streamlight TLR light he had mounted to the receiver. This is just part of his process.

I’ve spent the last 3 months and the 5 posts working on the charging handles to no avail. I’ve ruined lots of parts, changed the whole design concept at least 3 times, bought new parts, ruined them, and got very frustrated along the way. However, I’ve also learned a lot of what doesn’t work and am finally locking in on what does.

I was really liking how this looked and felt so I started working on it’s connection back to the bolt. The first part of the connection was a combination black acetal and brass angle iron anchor where the original charging handle fits.

The front of the rod extends along the barrel to the charging handles and is secured at the rear by a 1/2″ long piece of steel tube that has an inside dimension of just over 3mm. This small piece of tube (wrapped in masking tape in these images) is pinched in place by the back size of the Surefire Scout Light Mount that holds the brass tube on the other side of the receiver.

Nearing the end of the project, things are looking much nicer and also operating well at least according to the few short snippets of videos he’s posted so far. The final design uses a healthy combination of brass and aluminum which gives the whole project a fresh original look.

After drilling a few holes for the transfer rod and then cutting off some of the excess metal, the whole setup was in place and working really well. Below are some close up images to see how it all fits together. There’s also a video at the end of me triggering the bolt release so you can get a sense of how snappy the whole setup moves with the motion of the bolt.

More to Come

Uncle Fudd isn’t done yet and he’s got lots more projects on the horizon as well. The Forward Charging 10/22 is about 75% complete as of his latest email and he’s got more posts on the way. If you’re interested in this project and want to see the entire process from start to finish with all the details, you should visit Uncle Fudd’s blog here. While you’re there, you should also check out his other cool projects like his 3-Gun tactical lever action chambered in .357 Mag, his John Wick-inspired revolver, or his Magnetron Revolver. Once this Forward Charging Handle 10/22 is complete, I wonder if it might inspire more DIYers, or companies to find more ways to accomplish the same. As always thanks for stopping by to read The Rimfire Report, and we’ll see you all again next week!

Luke C.
Luke C.

Reloader SCSA Competitor Certified Pilot Currently able to pass himself off as the second cousin twice removed of Joe Flanigan. Instagram:

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