A Ruger 10/22 part #21138 on a white and red Ruger box

What is the Ruger 10/22 Carbine #21138 and #21102?

The Ruger 10/22 part number #21138 is a walnut stock, 16″ standard 10/22 designed to emulate the classic USGI M1 Carbine.

Included with Ruger 10/22 #21138 is a 15 round magazine.

The only difference between Ruger #21138 and #21102 is the fact that #21102 comes with a 10 round magazine for those in states with magazine restrictions.

Both models are listed on Ruger’s website as Talo Distributor exclusives, so there may be limited availability at your local dealer.

Ruger 10/22 #21138 – The Details

  • 18 1/2″ 6 groove 1:16 twist barrel
  • Standard Ruger 10/22 magazines (15 round included with #21138 / 10 round with #21102)
  • Protected blade front sight, adjustable rear aperture sight
  • Walnut stock
  • 5.2lbs
  • Street price – approximately $369

The Perfect First Rifle?

In our opinion a first rifle should be reliable, have a decent set of open sights, and should work well with just about any .22 ammo commonly found. This particular 10/22 seemed to check all the boxes.

The 10/22 platform is one of the most accessorized shooting platforms in the world, with only Glock pistols and the AR-15 rifle platform as legitimate competitors. From triggers, barrels, stocks, sights, and everything else imaginable, there is nearly nothing that cant be done to a 10/22.

But does that make THIS specific 10/22 a good choice?

Ruger 10/22 – The Stock

Lightly oiled, the walnut stock is has a look and feel similar to a M1 Carbine. No, its not an exact match. No, its not highly figured But what it is is functional for both an adult size shooter, or the 12 year old young man this particular rifle was purchased for.

The finish is a light oil finish only. There is no clear coat or protective outer finish, so be very prepared to either baby the rifle or be proud of the range scares it will most certainly wear. Our choice is the later, and it wears a few already after the first range trip.

A chipped stock on the Ruger 10/22 #21138

Of one final note on the stock, it came from Ruger with a chip in the stock by the buttplate that went unnoticed when I picked the rifle up from my local dealer. We will be contacting Ruger with this concern, and update this article with what we find.

At The Range – Fun But Not Without Issue

Having spent plenty of time behind a 10/22 in our years of shooting, this 10/22 was exactly what you would expect. Reliable and consistent with just about any ammunition you can stuff in the tried and true Ruger magazines. Learning to as an adult or as a young adult means there is a lot going on, and worrying about functionality of the firearm itself shouldn’t need to be a concern. Yet again, the Ruger 10/22 delivers.

5 different types of ammo was brought to the range for for the 10/22, from CCI MiniMags to the dirtiest of the dirty bulk Federal and Remington bulk ammo. One box of Remington Thunderbolt specifically we found in an old range bag and had been open for at least 8 years in the basement storage area – the 10/22 didn’t flinch, as it fired and ejected what remained of that old box of ammo with all the reliability of the newer CCI.

In total, 350+ rounds we’re fired without a single issue to speak of.

But Not Without Issue

As the time at the range wore on and the round count increased I noticed the new shooter start to struggle. We started the day solidly landing shots on clay pigeons at 35 yards and on paper every time at 50 yards, but by the 300 round mark the new shooter was all over the place, and growing frustrated.

Upon closer inspection, the rear aperture sight had become loose and was floating left, right, and vertically. Worse, we lacked the proper allen wrench in the range bag to remedy the problem. Not wanting to give up, the new shooter forged on in futility, but it was clear our day at the range had concluded.

A Closer Look At The 10/22 Sights

After returning home we set out to problem solve and remedy the rear sight issues. After taking a closer look we found a pretty disappointing production decision made by Ruger.

The rear sight on Ruger 10/22 #21138 and #21102 is a simple dovetail type plate that is threaded for the aperture post and held in place by set screws on either side. While in truth this should be a fine solution, albeit crude, for the rear aperture, there are so many other solutions on the market (Tech Sight being one of the best) that Ruger could have and should have done better. (And we would have gladly paid more for a better solution)

While we don’t anticipate and lingering issues with the rear sight, we have added the proper allen wrench to our range bag (shame on us for not having it there to begin with)

The Ruger 10/22 #21138 and #21102 on a white and red Ruger box

Ruger 10/22 #21138 First Shots – Thoughts And Suggestions

Are Ruger 10/22 #21138 and #21102 worth the extra price?

In short, probably not. Given the disappointing design of the rear sight and the fact that a set of Tech Sights are only about $60 it would be far easier to reproduce a better performing set of sight on a 10/22 for the same or less money. Add to the fact that you have a stock that will quickly wear battle scares due to the lack of protection, the $339 – $380 street prices starts looking a little steep.

Then again, not all decisions need to make sense. If we had to do it again, we would still go forward with the purchase of this specific model. We are ok with this little rifle wearing range scares, as you only have 1 first rifle and the rifle should wear those bumps and bruises with pride. Scrapes, dents, dings, all mean the rifle was used as it shoot be teaching the next generation the values and discipline of the shooting sports.

In the end, this new shooter will always remember exploding that first clay pigeon with his first shot out of this rifle, and will also remember what it felt like when we didnt have the right tools to fix a problem when we needed to.

You’re never too young or too old to learn a lesson

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