The 10/22 is hands down America's favorite .22 LR out there. It's ubiquitous, its reliable and its a boat load of fun. I've tried to like the 10/22 for a long time going so far as to build a Appleseed inspired version with tech sights and some other upgraded parts. Still it didn't feel right... I never liked the magazine system, the gun felt wider than it needed to be and the quality of my particular example left a lot to be desired (I had purchased mine new). Fast forward many years and I've since discovered the Marlin 795, a quiet little unassuming .22LR rifle that is very capable and very reliable. Marlin had a take down version before Ruger came out with their takedown 10/22 so far as I'm aware. The take down version (model 70p or 70pss aka Papoose) is miles ahead of another take down survival rifle that leaves a lot to be desired, the AR-7. If ever there was headache waiting to happen the AR-7 is it.
I digress, the 795 is feature packed for its price point, easy to maintain and featuring the typical micro grooved rifling of marlin barrels very accurate. Last round hold open and easy to reach bolt release (for right handed shooters) make it a great candidate for the Appleseed course of fire. For a time Marlin did produce an Appleseed variation of this rifle that had the Appleseed name engraved on one side and a set of tech sights already installed.
My goal was to modify a 795 for use in rimfire summer biathlon type events (running/shooting) as well as for Appleseed shoots however this rifle will be just at home in the woods or slaying tin cans. My main goals were to cut back the barrel to 16.25", thread 1/2x28 and install a thread protector with a deep crown much like the one seen on Olympic straight pull biathlon rifles. This keeps possible debris from getting into the muzzle area, the thread protector can be removed to facilitate cleaning if needed. On my particular lathe I needed to remove the barrel to ensure accurate threading. This was done simply by removing the cross pin and gently tapping out the barrel using a wooden dowel and a light weight gunsmiths ball peen hammer.
Once the work was done I used a simple board with a notch cut out ( I had seen the idea on rimfire central and it worked great) to reinstall the barrel. Pin followed and the rifle was reassembled. Please note it is very important to support the receiver like this as it is relatively brittle to the forces needed to reinstall the barrel. I used CLP and a rubber mallet to drive the barrel home.
Approx 2" shorter, new sights will be installed that will give the gun greater sight radius than the OEM barrel mounted sights. I highly recommend Tech sight products for anybody wishing to utilizing iron sights. They make quality parts for a lot of common and not so common rifles.
So the gun has been shortened, re-crowned, threaded and not much else at this point. The plan is to modify the gun so the bolt can be sling shot forward on a fresh mag instead of having to use the bolt release. I may mount a side saddle of sorts for a spare magazine or two on one side of the gun. Most likely the right hand side just in front of the action directly on the forearm. The marlin 7 and 10 round magazines are single stack and work very well, this gun had shot very well with CCI subsonics and will give a passing score with bulkpack Federal blue box stuff. Was it necessary to shorten the barrel? Of course not, the rifle had been neglected by the previous owner and rust had formed both near the muzzle as well as on the exterior. If one had tossed Tech sights on the original set up you would have had an excelleent rifle still. My goal was to cut some length and a fraction of weight and add a touch of versatility while I'm at it. Only time will tell but it sure looks good from here.