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Ruger, Aimpoint, Shoulder Stocks
6 Ways In & 12 Ways Out Survival Pistol ???

Posted By: Mick Chesbro - Registered User

Posts: 874

Posted At: (6/12/03 2:30 pm)

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In the book "Six Ways In & 12 Ways Out" USRSOG recommends using a long barrel, accurate .22 pistol as a survival weapon (i.e. Ruger MKII).

The concept is a long barrel (10") Ruger MKII with a Red-Dot (AimPoint) sight and possibly a barrel mounted flashlight(?).

Has anyone here tried such a set-up for a survival weapon???

Along the same line a detachable shoulder stock might be a unique addition to this type of set up. (Yes.. I know the stock requires a BATFag Form 1, same as for the GlockStocks).

Does anyone know of a source for detachable shoulder stocks that will work on the Ruger MKII? (Form 1 of course to follow).

So you gun gods??? Comments on the USRSOG Survival Pistol Concept??? Ideas to improve on the idea??




Michael Chesbro

21st Century Adventurer, Author & Technologist


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Ruger, Aimpoint, Shoulder Stocks

Posted By: ML - Registered User

Posts: 441

Posted At: (6/13/03 10:16 am)

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Well, I have read the book in question here (Six Ways In and Twelve Ways Out). And while the so-called USRSOG does indeed recommend the combination Mr. Chesbro cites (a ten-inch-barreled semi-automatic .22 pistol with an Aimpoint sight and a detachable stock), like the eminent Mr. Bill Hay, I cannot endorse such a setup.

In my eclectic accumulation of firearms, I have an original C96 Mauser pistol, chambered for 9mm Parabellum. This is better known in this country as the "Broomhandle" Mauser. These pistols were often equipped with a clever detachable shoulder stock that doubled as a wooden holster for the pistol, and I have one of these stocks as well.

It’s interesting (and legal) to shoot the old Broomhandle with the shoulder stock attached. Enlightening as well. But after all the novelty of the experience has worn off, one is left questioning the utility and benefit of such a setup. I admire the famous German Fabrik on the banks of the river Neckar for going to the trouble to experiment with this detachable-stock solution. But I also think it’s notable that in the last 100 years, just about no one else has gone to the trouble of duplicating their efforts (the Browning Hi-Power duly noted).

The C96, for those unfamiliar with the piece, is an odd, unique, and historically significant handgun, indeed the first successful semi-automatic pistol produced in any meaningful number. Designed in 1896 (C96 = Construction 96), it has an integral ten-shot magazine loaded by stripper clips and located in front of the triggerguard. Its distinctive bag-shaped grip resembles (to some eyes) the end of a broom handle.

It is a piece with apparently little regard for the human hand (forgivable, since simply getting a semi-automatic pistol mechanism to function was a huge leap forward), and it’s again worth noting that nobody has ever bothered copying the overall pistol design, either (in this instance with the singular exception of the aforementioned Charter Arms Explorer Pistol). It is uniquely bad in its ergonomics, and needs all the help it can get, especially in the 9mm chambering.

Yet, in my experience, in the real world when you actually bother to shoot it, even the old Broomhandle, with its 1200 meter sights (!) and substandard, century-old ergonomics, benefits little from the attached shoulder stock. The weapon is still quite muzzle light (this despite the fact that it has a long barrel which mimics one even longer due to the forward magazine placement). The stock places the rear sight closer to my rear eye than I would like for clarity, about eight inches closer than in an arms-extended Weaver stance.

The Mauser’s stock attaches very quickly and positively, yet in the time it takes to attach it, I can easily assume a rested stance (sitting or kneeling), which allows me to shoot the pistol better than with the stock in place. Resting the pistol proper in a "barricade" stance or over an object (a limb, a daypack, a sandbag) produces even better results, and is often still faster than fussing with the stock.

Now, I also have several Ruger Mk I and Mk II .22 semi-automatic pistols in a couple of different barrel lengths and weights. They are excellent firearms. At one point in my life, I was at the firing range twice a week, firing formal rounds of pistol target practice with one of them, 50 rounds per session. I used an Aimpoint sight on the heavy-barreled target model for about two and a half years—that works out to about 13,000 rounds I sent downrange with the Aimpoint/Ruger combination.

And I have to say, while I enjoyed the Aimpoint on the Ruger on the target range, it is about the last thing I would recommend for anyone looking for a "survival" firearm. The combination was heavy, bulky, and the sight needs the attention any electronic gadget requires. Add an attached light too? No way—as Mr. Hay suggests, I’d simply opt for a flashlight held in the supporting hand, or even better (if we’re talking about wilderness survival here) a headlamp such as the Petzl Zoom, or one of many others.

As to the barrel-length issue: ten inches is far too long as a reasonable recommendation. The velocity increase in a .22 is negligible, while the increase in weight and loss of handiness is substantial. With iron sights, and when specifically discussing this pistol for wilderness survival, I would opt for a six-inch barrel (to differ with Mr. Hay’s recommendation of a four-inch tube), as I’ve found the longer sight radius a help for deliberate, aimed fire at small targets (for which this pistol seems suited), but more important I think the added mass/weight further away from the hand makes the Ruger pistols hold steadier. This, though, is a minor difference of opinion on a very minor point compared with the USROG authors’ shoulder-stock/Aimpoint/flashlight issue and the recommendation.

I hate to say anything negative about someone (or some group) whom I haven’t met, but the whole USRSOG thing makes me wonder. The Ruger with all this clutter attached is all a little too James Bond/Man From U.N.C.L.E. to be practical in anything but a screenwriter’s mind. Just about any "conventional" .22 rifle will be a far more practical recommendation, as Mr. Hay states, notably the AR-7 (takes apart) the Chipmunk (small to begin with) or even the noble, simple Ruger 10/22 or 77/22. And how about the humble little Marlin 39? A lever-action repeater available in a variety of barrel lengths, it offers a high-capacity magazine, lever-action dependability, excellent maintainability in the field, will chamber .22 Short, Long, or Long Rifle rounds, the option of either an excellent aperture receiver sight or a conventional telescopic sight, and it takes down to stow in a backpack or bag with no tools required. Of course, James Bond never used a lever-action, and neither did the U.N.C.L.E. dudes, so it can’t possibly be cool enough for our commando friends. Maybe they try to justify their Ruger/Aimpoint choice through something like clandestine sentry neutralization, but that’s really not an agenda that drives my choice of firearms in the outdoors. Even if it were, I can’t see how the Ruger would perform this in a fashion superior to the Marlin, AR-7, et. al.

In reality (and thankfully), choosing to bolt all this junk onto your Ruger pistol probably won’t make it any worse. It may impress a child or a cheerleader or a fantasy-video-game player who sees it, but I suspect the more knowledgeable will roll their eyes and snicker when you’re not looking. I’d rather carry a couple of extra MREs for the equivalent weight, or a better shelter, or a small hatchet, or a warm hat. Or, more to the point, a light .22 rifle.

Of course, I don’t belong to any exclusive survival group, so what can a naïve little boy like me know?



"In the school of the woods there is no graduation day" Horace Kephart
I'm not familiar with the aimpoint aiming setup, but the Crinson Trace lasergrips are anything but bulky. They're not heavy either. I think their features may answer a lot of ML's objections. I just got some for my snubby and I think they're great. I'd consider getting some for my ruger 22 but it has special target grips that I really like.
Howard Wallace
I think USRSOG was trying to get the most bang for their buck in a small package in this case the Ruger/Aimpoint might be it. In reading some of their message board they have backed off the 10" barrel and now recommending a 4 to 6" barrel. They also recommend training. I believe being able to hit golf ball sized targets at 35 yds. Optimally I would rather have a .22 rifle or a rifle in maybe .17 HMR if for anything it is more accurate. But if my kit has to be small then the Ruger with an Aimpoint might be it. Remember these folks are talking about military type people surviving and evading and their survival kits are small. Survival skills are a little different when bad people are looking for/chasing you.

Never tell people how to do things.  Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. 

Gen. George S. Patton
Regarding the stock question:

In the early 90's a friend of mine wandered out of a gun shop with a holster\stock for a 1911. Never seeing one of these before, I took a look.

Holster was nylon and "stock" was a wire frame that did not attach to the weapon. It fit up against the back of the grip and you held it in place while shooting. Since it was not attached to the weapon it was legal. Surprisingly it was fairly stable and helped tighten the groups up.

I also saw Massad Ayoob do the same thing with a patrol flashlight in one of the combat handgun 'zines.

Food for thought.

Thanks Al Gore everyday for inventing the Internet !!

"We view ourselves on the eve of battle. We are nerved for the contest, and must conquer or perish. It is vain to look for present aid: None is at hand. We must now act or abandon all hope! Rally to the standard, and be no longer the scoff of mercenary tongues! Be men, be free men, that your children may bless their father's name"

Sam Houston
The flashlight trick works fairly well. I made a socket out of a pvc elbow connector that I cut out to fit the but of my Ruger .22 and over the end of a 4 cell maglite. It makes it pretty stable.

After reading the Ayoob article I got to thinking about how my precision shooting ability went to hell after a couple days of very little food. Extra stability seemed like a good idea.
Never overlook an oportunity to keep your mouth shut

"Well I just get excitable as to the choice, like to have my options open."

Jayne Cobb

"It's what people know about themselves inside that makes em afraid."
Hi Folks

I think if I was looking for something in line with the USRSOG group I would go with this configuration.

Ruger 10/22

Do the ATF paperwork and get the aluminum bull barrel and have it cut and recrowned at 10" long

Get iron sights installed and mount an aimpoint or similar sight on it.

Add a Butler creek folding stock and you have a nice short barreled 22 rifle that is light and takes up only a little bit more space as the pistol would and you can use 25 round mags in it if you like.

Just a thought

Live with honor, ride with truth.  Be friendly to others.  But always carry a gun on your side and a knife in your boot because there are those that do not feel the same as this.

Another thought would be to make a sling style strap that attached to your pistol grip

Would add stability to your aim

Live with honor, ride with truth.  Be friendly to others.  But always carry a gun on your side and a knife in your boot because there are those that do not feel the same as this.

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