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I haven't shot it yet either but have handled them a couple of times. I have 4 10/22's now and think that .22's are the most fun to shott out of all firearms. This gun handles great, and is nice and tight when locked up. Once the rush is over and the price comes down a tiny bit, I will definitely buy one.
I like the concept, and I like older 10/22s. But... I'm not at all a fan of recent production 10/22s. In their drive to maintain an attractive price point, Ruger has cut too many corners (sometimes, just following the competition's lead).
- They have too many plastic parts.
- Some previously investment-cast parts are now stamped sheetmetal.
- The finish they are now putting on them often causes magazines to bind in the mag well.
- The current trigger (fire control group) design is absolute crap.
Overall, they're just rough now. The internal compromises have resulted in a less reliable action design. The plastic parts never operate as smoothly as they should; and not even close to the older investment-cast parts. And those triggers are so bad... you might as well just smack the firing pin with a rock to set it off. The affect on accuracy and repeatability would be about the same. A rifle that earned a reputation for being a fantastic, accurate rig, right out of the box, is now handicapped by one of the worst triggers you will find on a modern .22 and an action design with questionable longevity and reliability.
All of those things can be replaced with aftermarket parts, to turn a newer 10/22 into a pretty sweet rig, but then you've got $700-1,000 in a .22 rifle that was theoretically a $300 purchase... and you could have saved money by starting with an aftermarket receiver, to begin with.
I might try to find another older 10/22 in the used racks, if my wife wants a .22 of her own again. But... I'm tired of fighting the newer stuff. Last October, I traded the last (newer) one I had for a Krag rifle, and I won't ever look back.
I set the cutoff point at 1998, but you can still find half-decent versions produced through 2003. The really big decrease in quality, fit, and finish happened in about 2008. (Coincidence that that's when the economy crashed, Obama was elected, and production went through the roof? I think not...)