The Special Application .22LR for Home Defense, Part 2: The Setup

Part 1:

This will be a quick post about how I have the rifle set up.

The Rifle

The Ruger 10/22 takedown is the base gun. It came with a drilled and tapped receiver, and a weaver mount. If you don’t have a mount, any of these rails should work. Let your budget be your guide. Don’t forget the blue locktite. Dr. Sherman H. of Revolver Science uses a Nodak Spud rail w/ onboard peep sight. This one is cool because it creates a longer sight radius and because peep sights are the heat.

The AmmunitionIMG_4740

This is the single most important ‘accessory’ for any firearm. In a rimfire caliber, it’s even more so. The hit and miss ignition and feeding of rimfire .22 is known far and wide as a great reason to not trust a .22 with your life. Right Reddit? So what is a guy to do? Buy better ammunition, silly. As The Tactical Professor pointed out, smallbore rifle shooters are the group to look at for ammunition. They demand a high reliability rate since failures to ignite cost time and could cost them a match. So for now, I’ve used Federal Premium HV Match ammunition. I’ve had 200 rounds go ‘pew!‘ with absolutely zero malfunctions with this ammo. Can you say that you’ve fired 200 rounds of your chosen defensive ammo through your gun? If not, then your argument against my choice is built on shaky ground. The other brand that the cognoscenti likes is CCI. You want High Velocity (for penetration) and high quality. Don’t use the 550 round bricks for bad guys. Use that stuff to practice! As an aside, in whatever firearm you use, make sure you test your chosen ammo in your gun in the magazines you intend to use with it.

The Optic

Why an optic? I have been trying to get my wife used to iron sights on rifles for several years. My wife is blind as a bat without glasses (we keep an old pair of glasses rubber banded to the stock of the gun), is cross eye dominant, and can’t seem to build a good shoulder and cheek weld with the rifle. I have taught many people to shoulder a rifle, and for whatever reason, it’s not in her body mechanics. Her instinct is to try to see down the sights with her left eye when the rifle is shouldered on the right. I have fought this for 5 years to no avail. It’s a training and practice issue (which is why this project was started in the first place). The Red-dot is a Bushnell TRS-25 that I had living on a shotgun that wasn’t in use. Battery life is good enough for me to leave it on a 3 setting all the time, and change the battery every 6 months or so. I mounted it as far forward as I could to keep the dot smaller and hopefully buy a bit more precision.


It’s rugged enough and works well enough for me to trust it in this application. I’d love to put an Aimpoint Micro H-1 on it and change the battery once a year, but that’s not in the diaper budget. Since the optic doesn’t have a quick disconnect mount on it, I am working an ‘optic failure’ drill into my wives program. This will involve using the optic as a large ghost ring, and require her to make hits on a 10 inch circle at 5 yards. It’s a really bad day if the battery is dead and you’re using the rifle in a defense situation, but once you plan for an emergency, it ceases to be an emergency.


I bought several factory Ruger BX-25 magazines from CDNN for $20 a piece. They have proven totally reliable so far, though the rifle only has about 500 rounds down the pipe. For “GO” mags, I would only use these factory mags. An interesting note, the reason they hold 25 rounds is because that’s half of the usual box of 50 rounds of .22LR (tidbit from the Doc).

The Light and Mount

I mounted an old Nitecore single Lithium battery flashlight onto the barrel with a NEBO Long Gun Light Mount. The price was right. So far, it has proven sturdy enough for it’s purpose and would grip a variety of diameters of lights. I can index my pointer finger on the barrel band, and my thumb falls perfectly on the tail switch of the light.  If I were doing it super cheap, I’d use hose clamps (I had an AK set up like this for years). As long as you have a white light on your rifle, do whatever works.


 Bonus Medical!

If you have a way to make holes in people, you should also be able to patch holes. Because I had real estate on the rifle, I decided to attach a (TK4) Tourniquet to the offside of the rifle stock. These TQ’s are great because they are so flat, are inexpensive, and can be applied one handed to yourself with a little practice. I wrapped Self-Adherent Bandage to secure it to the stock. This tape has held up pretty well for me when I have done this in the past. If it starts to fail, no big deal, I’ll replace it. Now we have on board medical in case we need to patch up a loved one. Like I’ve said before, get medical training if you haven’t. You’re more likely to save a life with that training than by saving the day in a mall shooting or whatever your super-hero gun fight looks like in your head.


Future Addition

I’d like to get a snag free two point sling on the rifle. One that is out of the way, but can be used drap over the neck to get two hands free. I’m on the prowl for that.

That’s it. Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe.

Stay Safe and Protect the Brood!

Defensive Daddy
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14 thoughts on “The Special Application .22LR for Home Defense, Part 2: The Setup”

  1. Isn’t there any way you can get your cross-dominant wife to try shooting the rifle left-handed with her dominant left eye more naturally behind the sights, instead of shooting right-handed and fighting to get her left eye behind the sights?

    If she won’t switch hands/shoulders, perhaps mounting the scope on a see-through scope ring or a similar riser mount might get it closer to her left eye?

    1. We tried the left shoulder thing. She complained that it wasn’t comfortable and she wasn’t used to left handed shooting, etc. To be honest, I was so happy she enjoyed shooting it and was able to make such good hits, I called that first trip a success. I’ll work on form soon. I know she’s capable of doing it properly, but I know when she’s mentally saturated so I didn’t press the issue.

      1. Try left shoulder right handed? It’s weird but I’ve done it. My wife also uses the 10-22 with a red dot, I’m glad she has a long gun of some kind!

      1. I didn’t even pay attention to the fact that was my wordpress handle! I use Snarky357 usually, so you can probably guess my other favorite!

  2. Great set up. Dang this articles gonna cost me money. My wife’s 10/22 is set up with really good glass on see thru rings. She trains maybe 20% with the irons but I see the advantage of the red dot. Guess I’ll have to get her yet another present.

    1. I’m glad you found some useful info. The red dot is hard to beat for speed. She might not be able to spin your targets at 50 yds, but she’ll be able to lay a bunch of rounds into the high center chest at a fast speed at 20 yards. Thanks for your comments!

  3. I’m a huge red dot fan, but I like em small I only buy red dots with 1 moa dots. I got an eotech on my Jim Fuller AK and a couple truglos on shotguns including my 3.5 inch shooting 12 gauge turkey guillotine. They’re cheap but going on three years on the turkey gun and I just tried it and it’s still working. I change the battery in it every year around this time. Obviously I’m not leaving this one on year round, it only gets used in spring.

    1. Crimson trace makes a laser module that goes over the front of the stock. I agree that a visible laser is a great thing to have on a home defense gun, especially for use by minimally trained people (my wife, mom, dad, etc)

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