The Marlin 795 vs 10/22 Ruger, what a highly debated comparison. These rifles are like two people from the same town that are publicly known to never get along. They’re both popular within their own crowd, but those two crowds never cross paths.
Choosing between these two is simple when you understand that their similarities don’t outweigh their differences. There’s a rifle for everyone and by the end of this article, you should have a firm understanding of which one is right for you.
Marlin 795 vs Ruger 10/22: Which One is Superior?
The Marlin 795
First, let’s look at the Marlin 795. This .22LR American Rimfire comes from Remington Arms. The manufacturer is located in Mayfield, Kentucky, and was previously owned by a company based in Connecticut. The one upside to this is you know you’re getting the power and consistency of American manufacturing here.
It’s considered to be on the lower price range across other popular .22s. Most owners use it for hunting and target practice. The Marlin 795 hit the market in 1997 so it’s a pretty new rifle compared to the Marlin 60 which had a different barrel and action because of varying magazines.
The 795 features some options that you won’t find elsewhere like the bolt hold open and last shot hold open. We’ll explain how these impact the bolt action of the rifle down below.
The rifle quickly grew in popularity primarily due to its price. The Marlin 60 is one of the highest sold rifles in the country and this is essentially an upgrade to that Rimfire. Known for its affordability, simple function, and user-friendliness; the Marlin 795 is one of the best semi-auto plinker options for small game hunting.
The Ruger 10/22
The Ruger 10/22’s claim to fame is that it’s a great beginner’s rifle. That’s why these two make such a great comparison because they’re both beginner-friendly and lightweight. It’s been around since 1964 and since then has been the most popular .22LR of its kind.
This rifle was designed after the 30 Caliber M1 Carbine by William B. Ruger and Harry H. Sefried. It offers simple function, lower maintenance compared to others, and a lightweight design that makes it popular among younger gun owners and those needing something with a bit more flexibility for traveling throughout their property.
Another thing that draws gun fanatics to the Ruger 10/22 is the number of customization options. It comes in at least ten variants each with its own specific use and purpose. The marketplace is saturated with aftermarket components you can use to customize your Ruger 10/22, upgrade it for accuracy, or make it lighter for mobile shooting.
In this section, we’re breaking down the bare-bones specifications of each rifle. Doing so will allow you to see factors that may impact your accuracy and functionality. Some of these include weight, size, length, twist rate, and standard capacity.
The Marlin 795 comes with an 18-inch barrel and a completely synthetic black stock. The barrel offers a twist rate of 1:16” and an overall length of 37 inches. Most 795s weigh in around 4.5 pounds and they come with a 10 round detachable magazine.
Of course, there are many upgrades and customizations to this, but this is the standard stock model. We notice that the 10 round magazine clip is actually a downgrade from the original Marlin 60. The 60 held 14 rounds per magazine and it utilized a tubular design.
The one advantage is the weight. The Marlin 795 weighs in at 4.5 pounds and the Marlin 60 weighs 5.5 pounds. So, you get a rifle that is an entire pound less which can make a difference in fatigue and overall accuracy.
The Ruger 10/22 Carbine features an 18.5-inch barrel and a walnut wood stock. The barrel has a 1:16” twist rate, a total length of 37 inches, and an overall weight of 5 pounds. As you can see, it closely mimics the specifications of the Marlin 795. It comes with a ten-round rotary magazine and is arguably one of the best magazine designs on the market.
As I’m sure you know, you can purchase many different upgrades to higher capacity magazines and install them yourself but they’ll impact the overall weight of the rifle. A lot of people like to move up to 25 round magazines without thinking about the adverse effect that it will have on the weight.
One issue with the Ruger is the magazine release uses a hinged tab that sits on the bottom of the stock. It might simply be a design flaw, but many gun owners find it challenging to hit the tab properly without having to give it a few tries.
If you purchase a newer model from say, the past five years, you may not have to deal with this issue because they phased out that design.
We know that both of these rifles offer a ton of customization options and aftermarket accessories like rails, bipods, rear sights, red dots, and more. Let’s take a look at all the customizations and how they can impact your accuracy, comfort, and functionality.
The first customization option we want to talk about is adding a sight to your rifle. Adding an aperture sight is a great upgrade because it will help older and younger adults fire with more accuracy. Installing a sight is simple and these are basic metal sights so they’re durable and long-lasting.
In comparison to using a standard iron sight, these are great because they extend the overall range of the rifle. This Marlin model isn’t great for long-range so these easy to install sights will increase your range and ultimately the overall functionality of the gun.
Another great addition that you can use on your Marlin 795 is a rail and scope mount. This is a healthy addition because the original rifle uses a ⅜ groove which doesn’t make mounting optics that easy.
Upgrading to a different scope mount will provide additional stability and easier installation. Many of the best scope mounts on the market are easy to install and remove without requiring any customization or advanced tooling. Overall, adding a scope to your rifle will increase your total range and the accuracy of your long-distance shots.
Finally, the metal feed lips on the Marlin 795 can become a bear when it comes to reloading. For that, a speed loader might be a nice customization. These are ergonomic tools that help you load easier without having to apply as much pressure or effort. If you’re dealing with an injury or medical condition that makes loading magazines a chore, this will surely help make it much easier for you and it’s a great 795 upgrade.
As we all know, there are a million aftermarket customizations for the Ruger 10/22. The Marlin 795 vs 10/22 is pretty lopsided because of the sheer popularity of the Ruger. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of upgrades but we’re going to focus on the ones that we think are most important.
If you want to upgrade your stock, you’re in luck. Customizing the stock will change the overall appearance and feel of the rifle and a lot of the standard options come with the wood grain that some people don’t like. It gives the rifle an old appearance whereas many people may want to make it appear more like a tactical rifle.
Upgrading to a Magpul or Tactical Solutions stock can provide a better grip and feel with customizations to impact the length of pull. Keep in mind that there are many options depending on what type of Ruger you have. If you have a Carbine or Bullpup design, you can still upgrade the stock.
Another upgrade that a lot of people recommend is the trigger job. Upgrading the trigger pull or trigger guard will improve your accuracy and make the overall shooting experience that much easier. Having a lower pull rate will increase your precision which makes shooting at longer distances easier and it also results in less fatigue on your end.
Why not upgrade the sights while you’re at it? If you want to increase your accuracy and precision at high firing speeds, this would be a great way to do it. You could go for a standard tech sight insert for a low profile design. Best of all, you can mount these directly to the scope mount on the Ruger without requiring any additional third-party products.
If you’re going all in and getting a more expensive scope, there are plenty of aftermarket rimfire products that will work but they do require a dovetail attachment.
This list is nothing compared to the total number of customizations available. In this Ruger 10/22 vs Marlin 795 comparison, the Ruger wins in terms of upgrade options.
Reliability refers to how well the rifle will perform over time. Every rifle is accurate if you leave it in the gun safe and oil it every now and again, but how do they perform with regular or heavy use? How do they perform when they’re getting beat up and used regularly? Do they hold up over time or do they start to break down, jam up, and fight you? Let’s see.
We can see the price of the Marlin 795 and immediately start to develop opinions about what we think. The overall build quality is cheap, the synthetic stock is cheap, it lacks a simple scope mount, and for the most part, the whole thing feels pretty sub-par in terms of quality.
As a result, you would think that would translate into the reliability and longevity of the performance of the rifle. And for thinking that, you would be wrong. Firing this rifle is easy and even after researching and seeing tests performed by dozens of gun owners, they all state that this semi-automatic rifle fires every shot you throw at it without issue. There are few concerns over feeding failures, misfires, and locking back.
It comes with a bolt release that is a nice feature, but almost unnecessary. The only issue that we and many others have comes from reloading with the feed lips. They get in the way and sure don’t make it easy on your fingers.
To start, the Ruger 10/22 is highly reliable from an overall standpoint. There are just so many factors that can impact reliability that we need to break them down one-by-one to understand why some may have issues.
First, we have to discuss the stock magazine. These detachable magazines that come with semi-automatic rimfire rifles always give trouble. No matter who you are or what ammunition you’re firing, you’re going to have reliability issues with a detachable magazine. If you choose a rotary magazine or the Ruger you purchased came with one, it should help with reliability.
Next is the actual ammo you’re using. The quality of your ammo will play a major role in how many misfires and jams you experience. If you use some cheap overseas ammo, you can expect to have a rough day. Don’t skimp on the price of your ammo, use brands like CCI even for plinking.
Lastly, maintenance is an important issue. Some people meticulously maintain their Ruger 10/22s and it shows. If you’re having a lot of issues with misfiring, chances are you might need to tear it down and give it a good cleaning. Most people who fire this rifle on a regular basis say that the number of issues they encounter is never enough to make them dislike the rifle or say that it’s not reliable.
Rifle Accuracy: Marlin 795 vs 10/22
Now let’s talk about one of the most important factors everyone thinks about when shopping for a new rifle. There are a bunch of factors that will impact your accuracy including the trigger, barrel, muzzle crown, firing pin, weight, and more.
These are all areas that you may want to consider upgrading from the stock and it’s the reason why we recommend most people turn to their trigger first. The trigger is the most important piece of the accuracy puzzle and having one that’s easy to use, will limit the amount of movement created in the process of actually pulling the trigger.
The barrel is another factor and the manufacturing process and materials used in making the gun will impact your accuracy. Consistency is the design of the bore and how the steel handles the internal stress will affect your accuracy. Of course, these are often factors outside of your control, but something we need to think about. Let’s compare Marlin 795 vs Ruger 10/22 accuracy.
Overall, we find the Marlin 795 to be highly accurate and shooters of all experience levels should have no problem getting an accurate shot from this rifle. There are a few factors that may impact your accuracy though.
The magazine design may have an adverse effect if you’re struggling to reload and putting extra strain on your arms and fingers.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you’re getting a rifle for around $200 that will fire accurately right out of the box. You may want to upgrade things like the sight and trigger but even if you don’t, it will serve its purpose no matter what you’re doing.
If you’re trying to hunt small game or use it for defense on your property, you should have no problem with the accuracy of this rifle. If you’re attempting to use it for competition shooting, you’ll want to consider a new trigger and sight.
The accuracy of your Ruger 10/22 will vary depending on what model you have. The bull barrel design is more accurate than the other models, but again, this is if you’re measuring within a hundredth of an inch. Other than for competition shooting, most of us would never notice the difference. So, you could stick with the base stock and still be fine.
The standard barrel is fine for most people as well. The one advantage we think the Ruger has over the Marlin is the trigger. We prefer the trigger on the Ruger and find that it has a much more crisp operation. It’s also lightweight which provides additional comfort when shooting for long periods of time.
Ruger 10/22s come with a standard sight off the line and these are good for shooting up to 50 yards with no problem. If you’re in a standing position, you might have more luck at 25 yards. There are a million optic customizations you can use to upgrade the accuracy of the rifle so you can fine-tune it as you like, but the standard sights should get the job done for most people.
Maintaining your rifle is important because it will impact a variety of factors including accuracy and reliability. If you’re not disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling your rifle when the accuracy starts to decline, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Keep in mind that most people don’t clean .22s regularly simply because you don’t want lube to build up in the bore.
Let’s take a look at the Marlin 795 vs 10/22 in terms of maintenance and assembly.
The Marlin 795 is relatively easy to disassemble and clean because you don’t have to tear much apart to get at it. When you first purchase it, it’s recommended that you break it down completely to get the cosmoline and grease out. Using something like Powder Blast should do the trick here.
From there, you should run a few dry patches to prevent oil from gumming up the chamber. These types of rifles don’t like oil in the chamber so it’s important that you use a good cleaner and run the bore snake through it until it’s clean and dry.
For regular routine maintenance, likely all you’ll do is remove the action, oil it a little, and put it back together. If you’re swapping out different types of ammunition on a regular basis it’s also recommended that you clean it out between each use until you find something that works for you. When you do, stick with that and you shouldn’t have to clean it much.
Maintenance is simple on the Ruger as well. It’s recommended that you use a non-marring coated cleaning rod because it will decrease the chances of you messing up the muzzle crown. If you do this it will have a direct negative impact on your accuracy. Lead bullets are also another area of discussion in 10/22s. They’re more difficult to clean and more expensive than necessary. If you use brass-washed bullets, they’re cheaper and you won’t have to get as much lead out of the rifling.
As for lubrication, you should do so sparingly. Use grease on the rails and limit the amount of oil in the chamber. It will gunk up which will make cleaning more difficult and can also have an impact on the overall performance of the rifle.
Price is an important factor for obvious reasons. When you’re shopping around for rifles, you’re looking for something that won’t break the bank, but you also want to get the most for your money. No matter what way you look at it, both the Ruger 10/22 and Marlin 795 are affordable rifles. They’re towards the bottom of the totem pole on price because they cater to novice shooters and younger individuals.
Let’s take a look at the price of each and more importantly, what that price gets you. We’re looking at the Marlin 795 vs 10/22 quality based on its price.
Compared to most other .22LRs, the Marlin 795 is the most affordable. This rifle comes off the showroom floor at around $189.00-200.00 depending on where you live and how you purchase it. This price point gives you a rifle that is perfectly functional without any upgrades or customizations. You can use it for small game hunting and protection without requiring sights, triggers, stocks, or anything.
The dual extractor and last shot open features also give this rifle a premium feel even though it’s made quite cheaply. Where you do give up quality for the price is the actual structure and design of the rifle. The stock feels cheap and it doesn’t have as many customization options as the Ruger 10/22 so you’re somewhat limited. Even if you wanted to upgrade certain things to improve the accuracy and reliability, you can’t.
While it might be cheaper than the Ruger 10/22, it’s not better. That said, it’s a great first time purchase for a novice.
The price is something that attracts people to the Ruger 10/22 as well. It’s affordable but it can run expensive if you count all the upgrades you plan to make. It’s a highly customizable firearm that can quickly run a $1,000 tab if you’re not careful. That said, you can walk out with one for less than $300 in most cases depending on what model you get.
The Takedown is the most affordable model and doesn’t necessarily require any upgrades to be a high functioning firearm. If you’re using it for appleseed target practice or small game hunting, you should be fine exactly as-is. You’ll get up to a 50-yard range and exceptional reliability from a gun manufacturer that has been doing it right for a long time.
Marlin 795 vs 10/22: Final Thoughts
The Marlin 795 vs 10/22 comparison is one that’s hard to make. These are two similar rifles in terms of design, functionality, size, and price but there’s one thing that sets them apart. Customization and lifespan are the two things that come to mind for me.
When you compare a Ruger 10/22 to a Marlin, one can ride with you over the years while you grow out of the other. The one you’re growing out of is the Marlin 795. It’s a beginners rifle and while most would consider a Ruger 10/22 a beginners rifle as well, there are enough upgrades to keep you busy for a while.
If you can swing the extra hundred dollars, we recommend going with a Ruger 10/22. It’ll last you a lot longer and you’ll have more flexibility for which shortcomings you want to upgrade.