It’s no secret that in recent years the fit of the action in the stock of many 10/22s is on the loose side, with gaps on the side and rear of the receiver. For whatever reason, some of the stocks, especially wooden ones, are being inlet with rather wide tolerances. My 2013 model 1149 Sporter has this issue. Even after tightening the action screw, I could rattle the receiver both fore-and-aft and side-to-side.
The loose fit is a problem for consistent, accurate shooting. If recoil makes the action shift in the stock before the bullet has exited the muzzle, hitting your point of aim is merely a coincidence. My rifle has been making 3/8″ – 1/2″ groups at 25 yards, but with too many flyers outside the group, and those groups are too darn large. The flyers can easily turn a 5 on the Appleseed AQT target into a 4 – very frustrating when I’m chasing a clean 250 score.
Many expert owners give their action a full bedding job, and I plan to do exactly that when time allows. I’ll use the method detailed in this excellent photo essay by Dr. Gunner at Gunner Bedding on Rimfirecentral.com. Time doesn’t allow right now, and I’m impatient. So I shimmed the receiver in the stock with some electrical tape. It took three layers on each side and four layers in the rear to stabilize the receiver. Here’s how it looks:
There is still an unsightly gap between the receiver and the stock at the rear:
But nothing moves, and the action still goes into the stock smoothly.
I also found that the trigger housing was slightly loose in the receiver. If the trigger group isn’t solidly locked in place, it will move slightly rearward when the hammer hits the firing pin. This weakens the primer strike and makes it inconsistent, all bad for accuracy. It took four layers of tape to snug that up:
Finally, to make installing the trigger group easier and prevent the malfunction condition I described in Malfunction Mystery Theater, I put a small strip of tape on the the ejector to make it fit tightly in its slot:
Like my trigger return spring spacer, one could call this a Bubba job. I prefer to call it a shade-tree mechanic solution. The stock shims will be replaced with a good bedding job. The trigger group shim could be replaced if I fit Kidd screw-in receiver cross pins (here) but that’s not an urgently needed upgrade. It’s unfortunate that these steps are needed, but what do you expect for such a low priced rifle? A finely hand-fitted gun would cost at least twice as much as a 10/22 – for example, look at the CZ bolt actions. This fix works, it is completely non-invasive and does not permanently alter any parts, and it cost nothing.