This article may be controversial. The 10/22 Takedown model is very popular. I’ve even heard some people say it has a “cool factor”. I can’t figure out why.
Because I do mostly 3-position target shooting, I never seriously considered a Takedown and so haven’t bought one. But a friend asked me to look over his TD carbine which he said was having issues holding zero, so I took the opportunity to spend some time with it. I came away with an appreciation for it, and a few thoughts.
First, in its case it’s a very handy package. The bag is short enough to fit easily across the saddlebags of my motorcycle, and to strap to the side of a backpack without sticking up into the branches as you hike. It is also not obviously a rifle case, so if you need to carry it discreetly, you could.
To me, the smaller package for carrying and storage is the only reason to buy a Takedown. Compared to the fixed-stock 10/22s, it has some serious disadvantages.
The design was ingeniously thought out for ease of manufacture, using as many standard 10/22 parts as possible. It uses a standard 10/22 receiver. The sleeve and barrel nut is pressed into the barrel hole. It’s an interference fit and I expect it is also bonded into place. The barrel locking block attaches to the front of the receiver with two screws, just like the V-block on a standard 10/22, and is about the same size. On the barrel side, the tenon is a very close slip-fit into the sleeve, and even before locking it I did not detect any slop in the fit of this joint. The spring-loaded, wedge-shaped locking post holds the barrel in place positively with no wiggle at all.
The gap between the two parts of the stock is rather wide, about 1/8” on the one I have. I suppose it would allow dirt to escape and prevent binding of the parts for disassembly, but aesthetically it seems a little crude.
You do have to take care to get the tension on the barrel nut correct. My friend said he had inconsistent point of impact after takedown and reassembly. I tightened the barrel nut a couple of clicks and fired several 5-shot groups, disassembling and reassembling the rifle after each shot.
My friend’s rifle is set up with a Bushnell TRS-25 red dot sight mounted on the scope base that comes standard with the rifle. This is a nice, light setup that enables quick target acquisition. The smallest dot on the sight covers about 3 MOA, which made it hard to be precise when shooting 1” squares at 25 yards. Still, I shot several 5-shot groups of .50” at that distance. I also shot (from a rest) at 1” square targets at 50 yards with my scope and had no problems keeping the groups inside the square. I think 2 MOA is reasonable accuracy considering what the Takedown is made for and typical of a standard 10/22.
The rifle came standard with sling swivel studs. The polymer stock has reinforced mounting holes for the studs. This should make for a durable sling installation that will not come loose over time.
As noted above, I had no trouble maintaining zero with the RDS even after takedown and reassembly between shots. The second main reason I wanted to test a Takedown was to see if it held POI when using a loop sling or a hasty sling. I fired 3-shot groups at 100 yards, first from a bench rest and then in prone with a GI web sling. The sling tension did affect the rifle, moving POI by 2-4 inches towards the 5-o’clock position. (I’m left-handed.) In this test, I did not have the sling as tight as I normally do, because of the long eye relief of the scope I used (Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40). I basically had to push the rifle forward with my trigger-side shoulder to get a clear view through the scope so the position was not so solid. I believe the deflection would have been greater had I used the sling with proper tension. Now if you are an accomplished position shooter with a truly consistent position including sling tension, you might be able to adjust your sights or scope to accommodate the deflection and stay accurate. But the deflection introduces a huge variable from shot to shot, and your skill will be wasted trying to make up for the rifle’s deficiency. I have a friend who recently made Rifleman in Appleseed using a scoped Takedown. It took him four weekends to do it. I’m pretty sure he would have done it sooner with a fixed 10/22.
The Takedown model presents some issues for scope selection and mounting, if you keep the factory blade sight on the barrel. If your scope has a large objective bell, you will need high rings to clear the sight when installing the barrel. The photo below shows where the sight contacted my scope (a Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40), preventing assembly:
Also, with my long scope mounted the receiver section is too long to fit in the bag:
To make it fit, you will want a compact scope that does not extend more than about 1” beyond the receiver, or a quick-detachable scope base and a good quality Picatinny rail.
The Takedown’s bolt, receiver and trigger group are the same on as a fixed 10/22, so any modifications or drop-in parts upgrade kits will work in it. Compared to the fixed models, there is limited scope for improving the barrel due to the design of the barrel tenon and locking mechanism. Connecticut Precision Chambering (ct-precision.com) can re-chamber a Takedown barrel to what they call “semi-auto match specification” which is not as tight as the job that they do on a normal 10/22; the service also includes polishing the chamber and re-cutting the muzzle crown. But except for small-game hunting, I don’t see much need for making the rifle more accurate, especially if doing so would make it picky about ammo.
Until 2015 there were very few aftermarket barrels or stocks made for the Takedown. But at this year’s SHOT show several companies displayed upgrade parts for it. Current suppliers that I am aware of include:
McGowen Barrels was the first maker of upgrade barrels for the Takedown. They have a plain bull barrel and a fluted one, and can add threads, etc. www.mcgowenbarrel.com
Tactical Solutions has a short (12.375”) barrel with a permanent shroud into which a suppressor will fit, with an overall length of 16.625”. www.tacticalsol.com
Beyer Barrels has a Takedown barrels in both bull and factory profiles which do not yet show on their website. The light aluminum barrels would be good for Rimfire Steel Challenge and other speed events. www.beyerbarrels.com
Boyd’s is now making Takedown stocks in their Evolution and Barracuda models. http://www.boydsgunstocks.com
Talo has a distributor exclusive edition of the Takedown with their distinctive French Walnut stock.
AGP Arms has a folding stock for the Takedown in the tactical style. http://www.agparms.com
Tapco makes its Intrafuse stock for the Takedown. A nice feature of this stock is the collapsible buttstock which offers an adjustable length of pull from youth size to large. http://www.tapco.com
A fellow named Mike Warren converts regular 10/22 stocks for the Takedown. They seem to have a tighter fit between the two parts of the stock for a nicer look than the OEM and will convert nearly any fixed 10/22 stock. He sells through his website http://1022td-woodstocks.com/ and on Ebay.
The Bottom Line
I liked the Takedown for its small size when cased. I liked the stainless barrel and polymer stock for knocking around in the woods. If I needed to transport or store it in a container that would not fit a standard rifle, I’d get one. But that seems to be the only advantage to me. The disadvantages of scope mounting and poor accuracy with a sling outweigh it for my purposes. While it’s easy to assemble, it doesn’t deploy quickly enough to be good as a self-defense gun for a vehicle – and I wouldn’t think of a .22 for SD anyway. It’s a good plinker and hiking rifle which would reliably take small game out to 50 yards.
There might be room in my safe for a Takedown. I would set it up as a Steel Challenge rifle, with a Beyer or factory barrel for light weight, an RDS (for optic class) or Skinner (irons) sight setup, and a quick-handling, pistol-grip stock. Then I could travel to events on my motorcycle with both rifle and pistol.
Comments, pro or con, are welcome.