Few things in life can match the unbridled joy of a 10/22, a brick of shells, and nothing to do. In fact, there is very little you can do to improve upon that situation. On that short list though, is add a suppressor. And Ruger has now made that easier and better than ever.
Suppressors don’t make every gun more fun. They make pistols heavier and less reliable. They make centerfire guns mostly tolerable, and dirtier. But a 22 rifle? Be serious. It is all the fun of a plinker with none of the noise, and especially in summer, no need for hearing protection. As a former soldier, I have spent more than my fair share of days with sweat pooling in the ear cups of my Peltors. Or the alternative, an equally sweaty earplug, and shouting “ What?” every other sentence at your shooting partner. As the summer sun comes around, I go out of my way to avoid shooting past the morning hours. Unless I have something like the setup I used today.
Today was the first time I got to test the new Ruger 10/22 with the Silent-SR ISB, or Integrally Suppressed Barrel. The lines look like a double barrel gun, but the bottom half is actually a baffle stack. A one-piece barrel and suppressor, it fits any 10/22 takedown model as a replacement. It is one of the most well thought out rimfire suppressors I have seen, Ruger hit it out of the park this time.
First, design wise, it is a winner. It doesn’t really change the look or balance of the 10/22, it would be easy to mistake as a regular barrel at a glance. You nosy neighbors won’t immediately write you off as an assassin and threat to national security, which is a plus. Weight wise, this is incredibly light. In fact, I mistakenly said in the video portion of this review that the baffles are aluminum. They are actually stainless steel, which I was shocked to learn after handling them.
Disassembly is easy. A long allen head bolt holds the baffle stack together. Remove it from the front of the barrel, and they come out as one piece. A simple snapping motion separates the baffles for easy cleaning. Having played this game before, it is much preferable to a single one-piece baffle. Those never come clean, and you will wear out your dental picks trying.
Performance wise, I couldn’t be happier. Using Federal Hunter Match ammo, which has proven to be very accurate, the 10/22 turned in multiple half inch 50m groups. One would be an even quarter inch, if not for a single flyer. That isn’t going to get you on the Olympic small bore team, but it is pretty impressive for a semi-auto out of the box. When you factor in that it is also suppressed, those are hard numbers to beat.
And for noise reduction, this set up is amazing. Ruger says that on average, the ISB reduces 22LR to 113.2 Decibels. I didn’t have an instrument to gauge it, but I would say Ruger’s lawyers wrote that figure. In real world use, I think it performs much better. Even with multiple brands of high-velocity ammunition, I never once wanted for earplugs. And I take my hearing pretty seriously these days. Also, I wasn’t a mortar or artilleryman. 113 Db is close to a Pantera concert, or the inside of a steel mill if that works better for you. Having shot the ISB a lot, I would say it is quieter than my garbage disposal.
All in all, this gun is a winner. I never thought we would see the day Ruger had a suppressor line, but they are doing it well. If you are looking for a rimfire can, this one is well worth your tax stamp money. And at an MSRP of $629, you can still afford some Blam-o.