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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone else think that the SU-22 is far superior to the 10/22 or is it just me.

Don't get me wrong I had a 10/22 and it shot well, but it seems like every after market mag was expensive and never worked and then you could always spend a small fortune on dressing you 10/22 or you could buy the SU and have a very good semi auto 22 from the very beginning.

· Super Moderator
10,751 Posts
Re: SU-22 vs. 10/22

At the risk of offending those who have heard my rant many times before, I'll just mention that I'm not buying any Rugers because of the way Bill Ruger sold out gun owners in the run-up to the 1994 gun ban. I know he's dead now and the company is under new management, but I hold grudges a long time.

Technically, the 10/22 is a very high volume product that has been around long enough that they have had plenty of opportunity to perfect it. The SU-22 is still wet behind the ears. That being said, even though I got one of the first batch of 100, my little SU-22 settled down and is running like a Swiss watch after several hundred rounds to break it in and relieving the lower edge of the ejection port to prevent jams. It's now very reliable and it's accurate too. The newer SU-22 arrives from the factory with the ejection port opened up and the feed ramp widened and deepened to improve reliability.

Accuracy - From what I've seen, the SU-22 and the lower cost 10/22 rifles are comparable. The more expensive bull barrel 10/22 is probably more accurate, but I haven't yet experimented with bench rest shooting to see which ammo the SU-22 likes the most. I'm looking forward to comparing the best accuracy I can get with the SU-22 with the best others have obtained with different configurations of the 10/22. Even with cheap Federal bulk pack ammo and shooting from an improvised prone position, the SU-22 accuracy is impressive.

Cost - The SU-22 is about $350, which is comparable to the high end 10/22 models. The lower end of the 10/22 is about $200. I paid $327.14 out the door, including 6% sales tax. A lot of the reason that Kel-Tec's price is a bit higher on the SU-22 is the very nice and expensive parts it shares with the SU-16. You get a nice black nylon stock on the 10/22, but on the SU-22 you get a lighter and stiffer glass filled black Zytel stock that's very nice. There are other differences, too.

Magazines - The SU-22's Black Dog Machining magazine is very nice. There are a wide variety of magazines available for the 10/22, from cheap (inexpensive and low quality) to nice (expensive and high quality).

Flexibility - The SU-22 folds in half and I think that's a very cool thing for a .22 carbine to do. There are several stock options that are inherited from the SU-16. If you like, you can have a collapsible AR stock with pistol grip, a side folding stock, the Kel-Tec Charlie stock (underfolder), etc. The 10/22 also has a lot of options. Ruger offers various colors and finishes on some nice wood stocks as well as black polymer stocks. Third party vendors offer a lot of options for the very trickable 10/22 including side folding and over-folding stocks. The quality of all the after market products for the 10/22 is all over the place. There are more barrel options for the 10/22, including bull barrels and carbon wrapped barrels. Some 10/22 upgrades are needed to put the 10/22 in the same league as the SU-22. The enhanced magazine release is an example. Some 10/22 upgrades aren't available yet for the SU-22. For example, if you have an SU-22 you can't drop in a new match trigger. You can send it to Bill Springfield and he can greatly improve the trigger, but that's about it for now.

Ammo Sensitivity - The SU-22 is known not to like the loosely roll crimped Remington Golden Bullets and other "flexible cartridges". All .22s have some ammo they don't like as well as others, but the 10/22 seems less fussy about ammo brands than the SU-22, although the new SU-22 feed ramp improvements probably help.

Styling - The Kel-Tec is more of a black rifle right out of the box. The 10/22 can be converted to a black rifle, or many other styles, by purchasing after market furniture. If you want a good .22 baby black rifle, the Kel-Tec may be cheaper overall by starting out closer to the black rifle you want rather than spending money to convert it.

Interestingly, there is a pistol version of each offered by their respective manufacturers. Kel-Tec has the PLR-22 and Ruger recently created the bull barreled Challenger pistol.

Disclaimer: I love my little SU-22, and I'm very biased, despite trying not to be.

· Registered
2,194 Posts
It's hard to simply compare the 10/22 to the SU-22 because there are MANY different models of 10/22 that are currently out there at different price points, and different stock and sight options. (Currently there are 34 models on rugers website).

But there are some key differences between the 10/22 and SU-22 that can be compared:

-Price: the SU-22 is more expensive than the base model 10-22's, but there are several high end 10/22's that are more than the SU
-Accuracy: based on some of the targets posted here and other places, they are comparable. though I would not be surprised if a match grade 10/22 can out shoot a base SU-22.
-Sights: Iron sights are standard on the SU and most 10/22's. The SU does have the advantage of the built in Picatinny sight rail (on top, and on the bottom of the for-end, for bi-pods and grips,....).
-magazine capacity: 10/22 comes with a 10 rnd mag, but hi caps are available. SU comes with a high cap, and low caps are available.
-Threaded barrel: this is one area the SU-22 comes ahead. there are currently no factory 10/22 models that come with a threaded barrel, though there are aftermarket barrels that are available with threads.
-weight: the SU-22 does get the nod here, but only by about 1/2 pound compared to a 16.5" barreled 10/22
-compactness: the SU-22 can fold in half for storage.

There are also a few differences in the designs. the 10/22 is an old design, and I know there are things that could have been improved over the years. But it sold so well, that there was little reason for improvement. The SU-22 was not designed from the ground up to compete with the 10/22. it was designed from the currently existing SU-16 and currently available .22LR magazines. This can be good in some area's but also limiting in others. It's good because everything is overbuilt to handle the .223 recoil but you are limited to the trigger of the SU-16 which is heavier than most people want on a .22LR.

There are a few downsides to the 10/22 design that are not an issue with the SU-22:
1. the primary ejector for the 10/22 is on the magazine. this is one reason why most good magazines have metal lips. If there is any variation in the way the magazine locks into the gun, then the ejector may be in the wrong spot too. That is why some magazines have adjustable feed lips.
2. The buffer is a steel rod, sitting in an aluminum receiver. this is often the first thing that is replaced in a 10/22, with a plastic buffer. The steel bolt slamming into the steel buffer actually enlarges the hole in the receiver over time, especially if using high velocity ammo. the Buffer in the SU-22 is a nice soft polyurethane. We tested harder buffers, but the soft one was easier to shoot and actually helped with quicker follow up shots.
3. The barrel mounting system can pull the barrel out of alignment on the 10/22.  It is easy and fast to change out a barrel, but it is rather easy to over tighten the barrel. Any misalignment is likely to cause functional problems. the SU-22 uses a barrel collar and nut mounting system. with the proper tools, the barrel can be switched out pretty quickly on the SU-22, too.

Of course I am biased towards the SU-22, but I do try to be fair to the 10/22 as well. The 10/22 has been around for a long time and has a massive number of aftermarket parts available. the SU-22 is the new kid on the block.
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