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What are the most important things affecting accuracy on a 10/22? Trigger... barrel... bolt face square to barrel... chamber... anything else, without getting into the realm of cubic dollars? Id like to make my squirrel gun as accurate as it can reasonably be as an off the shelf rifle.
 

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The brand of ammo being used effects accuracy the most of anything you can do. You will find that standard velocity will always be the choice of top target shooters in rimfire firearms. Over the years I have purchased every brand of rimfire ammo available for sale and tried them in all my rimfire handguns and rifles. There is an amazing difference in accuracy and point of impact between every brand. I've shot many, many perfect scores in competition with Eley and RWS target ammo which is standard velocity. Any standard velocity ammo will easily kill a rabbit, squirrel, grouse, or any other small game animal you shoot it at. It isn't as flat shooting as the high velocity stuff but what's the difference if you miss with the high velocity. I've owned rimfire rifles and handguns that would shoot sub moa at 100 yds with five shots using standard target ammo and wouldn't shoot five inches with some brands of high velocity ammo. Beyond using good ammo, I'd suggest a trigger job. In order to get a match chamber on your 10/22, you'd have to rebarrel the gun to do this. I've done that with my competition rifles but a good barrel with a match chamber will exceed your posted cost limitations. A "fat" barrel isn't a target barrel even though a lot of sellers seem to imply that it is. Barrel diameter in itself is milseading.
 

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I would say, a reasonably good scope, pick a brand of "normal" ammo, and practice.
 

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I am not an expert by any means, but I own many rimfires, and have much experience shooting. I echo what nsb said, try different brands of ammo and see what your gun likes. I have a 10/22, and I have tuned up many of those rifles for my friends. It has been my experience with a decent 3 X 9 22 scope (and you don't have to send $300 for a scope), and CCI mini mag ammo 40 grain, you will have a great combination. I haven't see one yet that throws CCI's all over the page. I normally can get under a 1" group at 50 yards, which is adequate for small game hunting.

I honestly have not had much luck with Hyper Velocity .22 ammo or a 36 grain bullet. They shoot ok, but a 40 grain bullet shoots better.
 

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10-22.

I agree totally with Beartooth. Ammo is the top variable to make a difference. Cheaper CCI standard velocity can make a big difference at half the cost of the better stuff. Beartoothbullets.com has a writeup on fire lapping a 10-22 that was very interesting showing much improvement.
 

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Grunt,

Go to Rimfire Central. There is at least one guy there that is known to make shooters out of factory 10/22s.

SCOPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If the scope you have is of questionable quality, and some cheaper versions are badly effected, make sure it does NOT have a parallax issue.

That alone can make a good shooting rifle appear to shoot poorly!

Then, test your rifle with as many ammo choices as you can find. Then, baring a scope issue it will tell you what it likes.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Sarge, did anyone welcome you yet? Well,.....Welcome! My 10/22, for some reason likes Federal 40 gr., but doesn't like much else! My Buckmark won't shoot anything well but CCI's, and my little Winchester '06 likes Aguila shorts, so go figure!
 
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