Feddersen 10/22 Tennessee Ridgerunner Review

If you've combed over either of my pieces on squirrel rifles:

Semi-Auto VS Bolt Action

The Perfect Squirrel Gun 

You'll see it has been a while since I've given my Ruger 10/22 anytime out of the safe. To me a box stock 10/22 just doesn't provide the accuracy results I require at distances over 35 yards. What I don't want to do here is to deter you from choosing the 10/22 as a squirrel rifle. For a dog hunter, or someone who prefers to creep into 35 yards or less, a box stock Ruger 10/22 should make you a happy hunter. I only fall into one of these categories, and that's dog hunter. Otherwise I consider myself a squirrel sniper. I prefer to take my shot from where I spot the squirrel at. If I'm confident in my gear, that can be as much as 75 yards with a .22 long rifle. Most of my shots are 50 yards and under.

 Tennessee Ridgerunner 1

I've heard it stated, and agree 100%, “Every .22 rifle should shoot a dime sized group at 25 yards.” I'm here to tell you if yours doesn't either you need a little more trigger time, you may need higher quality ammo, or the rifle you have chosen isn't worthy of the squirrel woods. For my purposes I need a rifle that shoots dime size or less groups at 50 yards. Shooting a “dime” (.75”) at 50 yards is actually just over minute of angle at that distance, so I expect my rifle to shoot better than this, but settle on dime size based on an average of ten, five shot groups. If I want to shoot a squirrel in my crosshairs, in the eye, well that's exactly where I expect to hit the squirrel. To me that's not too much to ask. Before upgrading my neglected 10/22, I didn't have this confidence.

 Tennessee Ridgerunner 2

One of my squirrel hunting buddies, Mike aka Squirrel Assassin, is to thank for getting my 10/22 back in action. The second person I have to thank is Fred Feddersen, the owner of Feddersen barrels in Tennessee. They both convinced me my 10/22 could be squirrel woods worthy if I'd upgrade it slightly. Now for years I had been building a tricked out 10/22 on paper. Every build I sketched out went north of $1000 dollars. For all you 10/22 enthusiasts out there, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It doesn't take long and your $200 rifle climbs over $1000 with a few parts. Fred ensured me his 16.25” barrel combined with a Houge overmold stock would shoot groups that would rival my CZ 452's with only those modifications. I'm here to tell you that he knows what he's talking about. So much so, he actually sells this 10/22 setup through his website. He's deemed it the Tennessee Ridgerunner, and at the time of this writing it sells for $549 direct from Feddersen. Even with the obnoxiously heavy 6 pound factory trigger Ruger provides from the factory, I was shooting groups that I felt confident would bring squirrels out of the trees.

 Tennessee Ridgerunner 3

Fred has a proprietary process for which he manufactures his barrels to make them ultra accurate. They are produced from a chrome moly steel. They are button-rifled. Feddersen's process ensures you the roundest, straighest, smoothest bore of any 10/22 barrel offered. In turn he claims ultimate accuracy. Fred himself says his most accurate barrel manufactured is his 16.25” bull barrel. I'll say this, my 10/22 has never been this accurate before.

Tennessee Ridgerunner Crown

 

So I took my sporter 10/22 ($214.00) and replaced the factory barrel with a Feddersen 16.25” threaded bull barrel ($190). My intention is to shoot this rifle suppressed. Replaced the factory stock with a Hogue overmold ghillie green .920 barrel stock($85.00). The nice thing about the Hogue stock is that if you are rough on a rifle this stock can take a beating and still look brand new. No worries about scratching or gouging a nice walnut stock, plus there are a variety of colors to choose from. With just these parts you've equaled what Feddersen offers as the Tennessee Ridgerunner.

 Tennessee Ridgerunner 4

However, if you've had much trigger time behind a factory 10/22 you know the trigger is depressingly heavy. For the first time in history, Ruger actually offers a trigger (BX-trigger) that supposedly breaks between 2.5 and 3 pounds. I almost went this route. Not so quick though, what about the factory trigger group that's just going to collect dust? With that in mind I sent my trigger group off to an outfit named Brimstone Gunsmithing in Yacolt, Washington. They did an outstanding job of making my trigger break at 2 pounds, and installed an over-travel stop. I also got to choose a specific trigger color from rimfire technologies. I let my daughter look through all the colors and choose one. I figured she'd choose the purple, and I'd of been ok with that, but she chose blue. Her choice went surprisingly well with the ghillie green stock. With this $85.00 upgrade my groups shrank even more. A quality, consistent trigger job will make your shooting that much better, not to mention the enjoyment of shooting the rifle more.

 Tennessee Ridgerunner 5

The only other upgrades to the rifle are a Volquartsen extractor ($10.95), Kidd bolt buffer ($5.95), and a Kidd charging handle kit ($29.95). A note on the Kidd charging handle kit. This kit comes with a subsonic spring, standard spring, and a heavy or high velocity spring. I installed the subsonic spring thinking it would be the perfect fit for shooting Eley subsonic. From this alteration, I began to experience light primer strikes. What I learned from this was the subsonic spring wouldn't return the bolt into battery, thus the rifle wouldn't fire the cartridge in the chamber. Swapping out to the standard Kidd spring has corrected the problem and runs subsonic ammo with no issue.

 

For the latter part of the 2014 season into January 2015, I had my opportunity to evaluate this rifle both on the bench and in the timber. I found early in my bench testing that the best ammo performance came from Eley Subsonic Hollow Points. Fred suggests that Lapua Center X is the round they do barrel testing with that produces the best accuracy. These two choices are within a couple bucks of one another price wise. The Lapua offering is difficult to find and is also round nose, and I prefer a hollow point for squirrels.

 01-19-15 Afternoon Squirrel 4

Now you might think that a bull barrel would effect the overall weight of the rifle. If you are use to toting a 6 pound rifle then you have an argument. The majority of my squirrel rigs are between 7 and 8 pounds. This rifle, fitted with a Weaver V24 scope, magazine, and sling weighs in at 7.8 pounds. Just as a comparison my CZ 452 22” American with scope and sling comes in at the same weight. The ridgerunner sits solidly in my shooting stix, and makes picking the squirrels off, mostly a first shot affair. Brad, my hunting bud and cameraman extraordinaire, claims I'm more lethal with the 10/22 than my beloved CZ 452 16” American. I think the squirrels would agree.

 

You would think, “I need more than just these upgrades to make a rifle this accurate?” In some cases, bedding could further enhance the capabilities of this setup, but for the way it is shooting for me, I'll spend that money on ammo. If you are considering an upgrade to your lonely, dust collecting, Ruger 10/22 the Fred Feddersen Tennessee Ridgerunner is a viable choice. No matter if you build it, or buy it directly from Feddersen. It is quickly becoming my most reached for rifle.

 

01-19-15 Afternoon take (4)

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Hugh Swanzy, Jr. March 1, 2015 at 3:37 am

Nate,
I enjoyed your article on the Tennessee Ridgerunner. Years ago as a young man I purchase a Ruger 10/22 and had a lot of issues with it, so I sold it. This gun of yours looks like a winner though and I will put one on my want list due to just buying 2 CZ 452s one with a Clearidge and one with a Leupold thanks to you ( that’s a good thanks to you). Keep up the good work and my great nephew and I have really enjoyed your squirrel hunting website.
Thank you,
Hugh and Tanner

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richard roberts April 14, 2015 at 7:01 pm

Nate, i’m not a fan of aluminum receivers, the tennesse ridgerunner is on it’s way, do you have any recommendations on how to install the picatinny mount besides very carefully? any info would be greatly appreciated……………….

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Nate April 15, 2015 at 10:52 am

I don’t know of a 10/22 without an aluminum receiver, but I think that will fade away with the accuracy. When installing the scope rail I wouldn’t torque each screw at more than 15 in/lbs. I’d also use a drop of blue loctite (242) threadlocker. If you don’t have a torque wrench, your thumb, index and middle finger, at the top of the screw driver handle, twisting until you meet first resistance will be between 19-20 in/lbs. Be sure to report back on how you like the rifle.

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richard roberts April 19, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Installed the scope mount yesterday, mounted the 3×9 nikon AO 30 minutes ago, screwed on the silencer, she’s ready…….I mounted the scope a touch high so i could put the scope cover on, I believe it will be fine. will let you know how it shoots…………

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richard roberts April 20, 2015 at 7:37 pm

The target EFR an the wolf match target ammo did it’s job, I’m impressed, one hole. I have some CZ’s that will do the same thing, only not as fast. How do you clean the barrel, i’ve heard people say never clean the barrel with standard velosity ammo, I don’t like the sound of that. How do you clean your’s? there has to be a build-up at the end of the case…………..

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Nate April 21, 2015 at 12:27 am

It’s amazing how well these rifles shoot. There are a few ways to tackle the barrel cleaning. You can clean from the muzzle end, even though it is sacrilege. You MUST use extreme caution not to contact the muzzle, and whatever you do use a rod with a brass attachment area. This way if you do hit the crown the brass will give way. Muzzle guides are made for the 10/22, but I’ve never used one. Other ways include the bore snake, but I’d want to flatten the embedded brass brushes. One more option is the patch worm, however I’ve never used it. I have heard good things about it. I usually use a .20 rod with .20 jag with two small patches, and clean from the muzzle end. Usually the patches are dry. The bore on these Feddersen barrels stay remarkably clean, so I don’t spend much time cleaning. Also, DO NOT use a brass brush on your muzzle. This comes directly from Fred’s mouth. Nylon bristle brushes should be the only brushes to grace this bore.

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richard roberts April 21, 2015 at 8:40 pm

Nate, I think i’ll stick to the way I did it yesterday, I took a piece of weedeater line, cut a piece long enough to get through the barrel, burned one end to make a stop, sharpened the other end, took a safety pin an made a hole in the center of a .17 patch, ran it down to the stop, did a .22 patch the same way an put it on top of the .17, opened the bolt, put some Kroil on the patch, ran the line down the barrel an pulled it through, did this a couple of times an the barrel shined, did’nt take much. The .22 patch on top of the .17 made it just about right. I think that’s the way this one will get cleaned, what do you think? The more I shoot this thing the better I like it, i’m sold……………….

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Nate April 22, 2015 at 10:43 am

I don’t see any problem with the way you are cleaning the barrel. I was amazed at how well these rifles shoot too. Hard to fathom they can compete with a bolt action rifle. Now you understand why this setup is becoming my most reached for rifle.

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richard roberts April 22, 2015 at 12:00 pm

You bet I do, it’s 8:00a.m. I’ve got mine out already, getting ready to play.

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richard roberts April 22, 2015 at 1:05 pm

I wonder how many rounds you would have to put through a 10/22 before you would actually have to take the bolt out and clean it? Or would you ever really have to? I know people who have shot one for years, the same one, and never had to do it, and some does it every time they shoot. I’m of the opinion, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I would’nt want to take mine apart, I guess you could spray it with gun scrubber if you did’nt want to take it apart, and then only if it needed it. What do you think?

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Nate April 24, 2015 at 11:42 am

I usually spot clean mine through the ejection port and the magazine well. The magazine well is so large a rag and a little bore cleaner works well. For the tighter areas I use a Q-tip with bore cleaner on it. Rarely do I take the bolt out, unless my suppressor blowback starts to cause problems. I usually give the action a brief cleaning after every range session.

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hank hoyt June 10, 2015 at 2:09 am

Nate, Howdy;
Following the cleaning trend here, what about the breach? Ever do anything to get rid of carbon rings
that generally build up in that area? If so, what? How often do you clean your suppressor and, again,
what method do you use?
Thanks for the Journal, Nice to see someone putting their thoughts down for others to pick through.
hank

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Nate June 10, 2015 at 10:49 am

I have yet to have the carbon ring build up and haven’t given much thought to how I could tackle it. Seems other than some type of bent cleaning rod it would have to tasked from the muzzle. I wouldn’t run a “brass” brush in from the crown region because of fear of damaging the crown.

As for the suppressor I find the best results are the manufactures, every 150-200 rounds. I really wish I could get more shots in-between cleanings but if I wait to long removal of the baffles is incredibly difficult. Best results are within an hour after shooting and I use a sonic cleaner like this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018IIPFK/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0018IIPFK&linkCode=as2&tag=squihuntjour-20&linkId=OTEEK4XFTEAPIN47

Thanks for stopping in and reading through a few articles. It’s fun to have interaction with people who enjoy the same things I do.

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richard roberts August 14, 2015 at 12:56 am

the manufacturer told me to soak my suppressor overnite in Mineral Spirits after a couple hundred rounds then blow it out with the air hose, and you’re ready to go, you can get that stuff almost anywhere, even walmart…………………i have a Yankee Hill Machine suppressor, i’d guess it would work with any make…….

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richard roberts August 14, 2015 at 6:38 pm

The ridge runner gets its accuracy from such a tight chamber, which can also bring another set of problems, sticking case left inside the chamber, or getting thrown half way out and being caught between the bolt and the receiver. I shot 125 rounds today , two 10 round mags. shot without a jam out of 125 rounds, sometimes the ejector threw the case out and it did not chamber another round aka dry fire, not good with a rimfire. Bob at Feddersons said take the barrel off and send it to him and he would ream it out, i told him i ordered some eley ss, and some center X , i would try that first………..Anyone else having any of those problems?

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richard roberts August 15, 2015 at 11:47 am

UPDATE : i bent a nylon bore brush 90 degrees, where it will get into the chamber a little over an inch, got some JB Bore Compound working the chamber with the JB, will let you know how it turns out…….

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richard roberts August 15, 2015 at 6:02 pm

OK, after careful observation while shooting today, the problem is none of the above, the extractor is the problem. When i thought i was getting a dry fire, i pulled back on the bolt handle just enough to see that the extractor did not have a hold on the case, going to get a volquartsen extractor which is just a hair longer and should correct the problem,if i’d sent the barrel back to Fedderson i’d still have the problem, and a reamed out barrel……………..

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richard roberts August 18, 2015 at 8:50 pm

Starting over with my feddersen Ridge Runner, giving my CZ’S a break. New overmolded Hogue rubber in OD green, Brimstone tier 1 trigger group with 2 lb. red trigger, volquartsen ejector, nikon 3×9 AO, yankee hill machine suppressor. It loves wolf match target, but i’m going to try some eley ss, and some lapua center X, I can smell the cool fall mornings now, Thank You Lord……

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richard roberts August 22, 2015 at 6:54 pm

What in the world just happened? It started out as a simple fix with a exact extractor for a TRR,then a part here ,a part there, here a part ,there a part,everywhere a partpart. OH WELL, guess I’ll just build another one, that way i’ll have two, one just a little more fancy. Be careful boy’s , this is catching. Nate, i’m not very computer saavy, I’LL get my wife to show me how to send the pictures when I get through with it……..

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Nate August 25, 2015 at 1:13 am

I guilty of having two Feddersen’s…. You won’t be displeased with that decision. I may hit the range with an accuracy video review of the Feddersen prior to the squirrel season opener….

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richard roberts August 26, 2015 at 5:44 pm

I received the silver 50 yr. receiver an bolt assembly today w/ plastic trigger group. I wasted no time taking it apart. I used a little scotchbrite inside the top of the receiver, used a 20ga. brass bore brush and cleaned out the barrel hole, got it cleaned up. Then took out the stock firing pin and extractor out of the bolt, then installed new bolt tune-up kit from Volquartsen, the Kidd charging handle and bolt are ready. My Fedderson 16.5 fluted an threaded barrel is next,tracking it on the computer, it left Greensboro, and on it’s way here. I read on Rimfire Central that the reason i’ve not heard from Brimstone is because their communication man and another one of their people was in a motorcycle wreck, he said that would not slow down the trigger work, so the good trigger group should be here soon. i’ll keep you posted on my progress. Church nite boy’s an girls, you can’t get a blessing sitting at home. Richard…………….U.S.M.C………… 71-72…………..

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Nate August 27, 2015 at 10:43 am

Vicariously we are living through your build. It will be a shooter guaranteed.

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richard roberts August 27, 2015 at 5:34 pm

The Feddersen barrel went on well, did’nt have to beat it on, put some anti-seize on the tenon,slipped it about half way in then tapped the back of the receiver with a rubber mallet, lined up the extractor, got the v-block snug, and waaa laaa, put the standard spring ,THANK’S NATE, on the kidd guide rod, slipped the kidd charging handle in, and tuned up stock bolt, got my hogue od green stock , and i said to myself i can’t stand it give me the plastic trigger assembly, put it all together, went outside and fired off two 10 round mags. fast as i could pull the trigger, AMEN. standard velocity CCI. Going to get some scope rings and mount and install that today, now waiting on Brimstone to send my good trigger group back then put the nikon 3x9x40 AO on, AND i can see the rolled in flour squirrels simmering in the frying pan now. OOOPS, almost forgot, installed a FLATLINE OPS. soft shock buffer pin also. keep you posted Richard……………U.S.M.C………….71-72……………

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richard roberts August 27, 2015 at 7:46 pm

Called Brimstone today and got someone, their trigger man is still in the hospital, their other trigger man has a full time job at a prison,he has my trigger group, but said he had no idea when i’d get it back. I made the decision to put it in the other Ridge Runner when it finds it’s way back home. Called the good folks at Kidd 30 minutes ago, and i’ve already got an e-mail saying my single stage 1 1/2 lb. trigger group has shipped. Everyone around here is sold out of scope mounts for it. OH WELL, things are still going alot smoother than i thought. Richard………..U.S.M.C………….71-72……………GOD BLESS………..

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Nate August 31, 2015 at 10:48 am

I hope David recovers quickly. Sounds like a pretty bad accident. That Kidd trigger group will probably spoil you.

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richard roberts August 30, 2015 at 12:07 am

you mentioned that you hardly ever take your bolt out, unless you start having blowback problems with your suppressor, that my friend is what i’m having problems with, how do you fix that? the new build is complete, it is a real shooter, one hole at 50yds. with the match target and center x, that’s all i’ve shot so far. It’s started failing to fire after a few rounds with the suppressor, take it offr and it shoots fine……Richard …..U.S.M.C……71-72…….

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Nate August 31, 2015 at 10:50 am

Try the +10% spring from the Kidd charging handle kit first. Other than that, keeping the magazine well and the bolt face clean without taking the rifle apart is what I do. Also if your mag is sticking upon trying to release, hit the high spots with some 600 grit sandpaper.

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richard roberts August 31, 2015 at 4:44 pm

I already have, laying on the couch this morning drinking a cup of coffee and thought that’s my next move. put the light spring in it, went outside and shot 50 rounds 30 standard 20 subsonic without any issues. Looks like a fix.Sure hope so,Now maybe i can enjoy my rifles. Yes a good trigger will do that. He snapped his femur in two, concussion, broke all the long bones in his foot, not good. Richard…..U.S.M.C….71-72….

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richard roberts September 4, 2015 at 8:27 pm

My Feddersens are dialed in, so are my CZ’S, Squirrel Season opens in 38 days, I’m excited like a kid at CHRISTmas, what more could a man ask for……..keep the good stuff coming Nate…….U.S.M.C……71-72….

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Nate September 8, 2015 at 1:44 pm

Sounds like we share the same addiction. Let us know how those rifles work through out the season.

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richard roberts September 9, 2015 at 11:49 am

The more I shoot these Feddersens the more I see why Fred shoots the center-x in his barrels.Although they shoot alot of different brands really well, out of ten brands that i’ve shot the center-x and eley target makes one itsy-bitsy hole at 50yds. 5 shots. The other Feddersen does the same thing with center-x and eley club. The other brands you can still cover up the bullet holes with a nickel, and some of them with a dime. Out of all the shooting I think i’ve had 2 flyers, but it was’nt the rifles, and that’s not bad considering all the rounds i’ve shot. I’m the weak link in this chain. Still have not heard from Brimstone, so the other 1-1/2 lb. Kidd will be here tomorrow. The gears between my ears are already turning, as COL. T. WHELEN said, only accurate rifles are interesting.GOD BLESS……Richard……..U.S.M.C…….71-72……….

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Nate September 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Center-X is the ammo I haven’t tried that Fred has always suggested. I can’t seem to find it anywhere. You are gonna love that Kidd trigger.

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richard roberts October 15, 2015 at 6:32 pm

The black mamba feddersen I put together a couple of months ago is really earning its keep, would’nt believe they will keep up with the CZ’S, but they will, it’s killed nine grays so far. Brimstone sent my other trigger back yesterday, don’t think it will compare to the Kidds though, red trigger and all, put it in the original feddersen, aka Black widow . Going to Hatteras next week, letting the squirrels rest,and catch some fish…….RR…..U.S.M.C…….71-72……

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richard roberts November 4, 2015 at 12:04 am

You know this is just my opinion, yea everybody’s got one. I’ve shot CZ’S for a few years now.22lr 452’s, I’ve shot Fred Feddersens Tennessee Ridge Runner since around april, I have not shot a automatic as accurate as FFTRR, but when push comes to shove, in the long run, they will not keep up with the CZ’S day in and day out, but I’m talking auto up against a bolt, If anyone can though Fred Feddersen will, no one else has even come close, off the rack rifles.

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