Saltwater Pool Maintenance for Everyone (Dummies Included!)

Homeowners often opt for saltwater pools because of the lower levels of chlorine, which is gentler on the skin and eyes. Saltwater pools are a large financial commitment in the beginning because they require special heaters and liners, as well as other specialized equipment. However, saltwater pools produce the chlorine they need to disinfect. Therefore, saltwater pool maintenance is easier than you might realize.

Even though saltwater pools are less costly in the long run, they still require daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal maintenance.

Why Is Saltwater Pool Maintenance Vital?

Saltwater pools are much easier to maintain compared to pools that require adding chlorine. Pools with saltwater require minimal adjustments or modifications to continue working.

However, that does not mean pool owners are free from the chore of maintaining the pool; it is merely easier.

For instance, salt water is corrosive. Therefore, if the concentration of salt is off, there is the potential for damage to the pool liner and other pool gear. In the end, not doing maintenance is costly.

Saltwater Pool Daily Maintenance

There are a few good habits to develop that make maintenance of a saltwater pool easier. These daily habits will save you money and time in the long run. Plus, they only take a few minutes.

Clean Debris with a Skimmer

Make a point of looking for visible debris on the surface of your pool and skim it out with a skimmer net. By doing so, you are preventing problems before they can start.

Debris tends to sink to the bottom of the pool eventually, and it is easier to skim out all the leaves, trash, and other items when you see them.

There are a couple of options when you look for skimmer nets. Some are flat, which may not hold very much, but the debris is easier to flip out of the skimmer. The other option is a skimmer with a bag. These fit more but are a nuisance to empty.

Pump Basket

In addition to skimming your pool, be sure to check the pump basket for debris, as well. The drain can suck up debris from the pool, and this basket helps keep these items from getting further into the pump system.

You may only have to check the pump basket weekly, but it becomes a daily task in certain situations. For example, during the fall, there are many more leaves with which to contend. Storms tend to turn up the debris that ends up in pools, as well.

Finally, if your pool is in heavy use during the summer, there is a larger chance of items left behind and your pump baskets needing attention.

When it is time to check the pump basket, be sure to turn off the power to the pump system. Next, remove the basket and clean it out. After cleaning, replace the lid and turn back on the power to the pump.

Saltwater Pool Weekly Maintenance

While some tasks are daily, there are also weekly tasks to complete to ensure your saltwater pool is always ready to use.

Water Chemistry

Your salt water pool does not use chlorine the same as a traditional pool. However, there is some chemistry involved.

You can buy test strips to test your saltwater pool’s pH levels every week. You want to see a chlorine level of one to three parts per million. Also, the pH should sit at 7.2 to 7.6.

If you find the levels are off, it is an easy adjustment to your generator. However, if you find your chlorine is off by a lot, retest every day to ensure proper saltwater pool maintenance levels.

Chlorine Generators

Instead of using chlorine to sanitize the pool, a saltwater pool uses a chlorine generator.

These generators eliminate the need to add a chlorine chemical in the pool because the generator will make it, instead.

The swimming pool water should already have a salt concentration established. The salt concentration should be 3,000 parts per million, and as the saltwater circulates, it goes into the salt cell of the generator.

In the generator, the saltwater is exposed to the current for electrolysis.

The generator takes the water from the pool, and it works to turn the chloride ions into chlorine gas. This gas dissolves in water, and what is left is called hypochlorous acid, which sanitizes the pool.

This item is often called an in-line generator. However, there is also an offline generator that uses a large tank to make a saltwater solution. This solution is released into the pool as needed.

When you test your water, you go to your generator to increase or decrease the output until your levels are correct.

Saltwater Pool Monthly Maintenance

While the daily and weekly tasks to maintain a saltwater pool are relatively simple, the monthly job is a little more involved. There are four crucial levels to consider every month.

Also, you can buy a testing kit for the levels of your pool, or you can bring a water sample into a pool dealer for testing.

Balance is Vital

When water is your saltwater pool is balanced, it does not cause scaling, and it will not corrode the equipment or the materials around the pool. Your pool dissolves and holds on to the minerals that make up the water and having the right amount of minerals is what keeps your pool water clear and the water easy on the skin and eyes.

Calcium Levels

Calcium hardness is how hard or soft the water is in the pool. The calcium level is a measure of dissolved calcium in the water. If the calcium is out of balance, the water can become corrosive or cause scaling.

The proper level of calcium is 150 to 400 parts per million.

High Hardness

If you have a pool with a high calcium hardness, the water will be cloudy with the dissolved particles. Also, the water will start to scale on the pool equipment. Scaling is the mineral deposits. There is even the potential for the scaling to clog up so water can’t flow properly.

Low Hardness

If your calcium levels are below 150 parts per million, you risk the water being corrosive. In this case, you need to add more calcium into the pool. The absence of calcium will cause the water to lech minerals from the plater, tile, stone, and even metal around the pool.

If you begin to notice the grout eroding or the pitting of surfaces, you may have a problem with your water being too soft and, therefore, corrosive.

Adjustments for Calcium

If you have low hardness, add calcium chloride to your saltwater pool. However, if you face high levels of calcium, your best option is to drain some water from your pool and add fresh water.


The alkalinity of a saltwater pool is how a pool can buffer against sudden pH changes. It helps keep your pool stable.

The alkalinity level of a pool should be around 80 to 120 parts per million.

Low Alkalinity

When a saltwater pool has low alkalinity, the overall pH of the pool becomes unbalanced. You won’t notice the same type of corrosion as you would with low calcium, but you may experience itchy skin and eyes telling you the alkalinity is low.

Furthermore, if your saltwater pool shows low alkalinity, it impacts the efficiency of your chlorine. If you notice your calcium levels are off, be sure to test for the alkalinity levels before proceeding.

High Alkalinity

If you notice your water is cloudy, you may have a problem with high alkalinity. High alkalinity allows for particles to float around freely, thus the cloudiness. Also, this problem leads to issues with the circulation of water and clogged filters.

Adjustments for Alkalinity

To raise your alkalinity, add baking soda to your pool. If your problem is high alkalinity, look for acid to add to your saltwater pool to bring your levels back in line.


Salinity is how much salt is in your pool water. Salt cleans the pool water.

If you have too much salt in the pool means you will have to use chemicals to adjust, which can become expensive. However, if you have too little salinity, you face the growth of bacteria and algae.

Since you are already watching your generator weekly, you likely already have a handle on your salinity. However, when you check your chemicals monthly, you want to take the time to ensure your salinity is in balance, as well.

You can add salt to raise your salinity. However, if you need to lower your salinity, consider adding fresh water to your pool.


A healthy pool is stable. Stable means all the chemicals need to balance, including cyanuric acid.

Cyanuric acid keeps the free chlorine protected from damage from the sun and high temperatures.

If you live somewhere there is less light and lower daily temperatures, you may find you need less cyanuric acid compared to someone who lives in a hotter climate. The rays of the sun absorb chlorine in the pool, which leads to an unbalance.

You want your free chlorine to be between 1 and 3 parts per million. Also, the cyanuric acid levels are between 30 and 80 parts per million.

If your stabilizer is at the correct level, you will have an easier time keeping your pH level in line. Also, you will not worry about bacteria building up in your saltwater pool.

Seasonal Maintenance

As the weather warms up, it is time to get your saltwater pool ready for the season.

Fortunately, the task of opening your pool is relatively easy.

Saltwater Pool Maintenance at the Beginning of the Season

Your first step is to check the plugs for the drains and the filter. You want to make sure to add Teflon tape to the threads and lubricate the gaskets on the plugs.

Ensure your lines and skimmers are plugged in and check your pressure gauge on the pool’s filter.

Also, the salt cell for your generator might need replacing. Make sure the o-rings are lubricated and check the generator for loose clamps and connections. Open the valves so water can flow through the system.

Next, start up your pool system by filling the pump with water and make sure your backwash hose has no buildup. When you let your pump run, you can flush the pump of any gunk and water you do not want in your pool.

Before the generator can make the chlorine, your pool water should be in balance.

The testing you are used to doing monthly should occur when you open your pool for the season, as well.

Once your levels are in line, your salt cell in your generator can get to work. It is time to turn on your generator and adjust your sanitation levels to what you know to give you consistent readings for the summer.

Saltwater Pool Maintenance at the End of the Season

When the weather becomes colder, there are steps to take to ensure your pool is ready for the winter. The week before you close your pool for the season, make sure your water is balanced. Your pH, alkalinity, calcium should be in balance, and your water well-circulating.

Be sure to clean your pool very well before closing it up for the season. If you do not, you are likely to face a more challenging time cleaning it in the spring.

Be sure to skim your pool, brush, and vacuum the residue on the sides of the pool, as well. You want your pool clean as possible when you close it up.

You will remove your pool equipment at this point. The ladders and rails can all be stored. Also, if you have a diving board, that should come down, as well.

In some cases, you can cover these items if removing them is difficult. However, leaving them could cause damage to your pool cover.

After removing equipment, you must shock your pool to address any possibility of bacteria and algae hanging around during the winter.

Next, you will add winter chemicals. There are kits available that have a pre-determined amount of winter chemicals to protect your pool further.

The next step is to remove the salt cell from your generator for the winter. Be sure to turn off the circuit to all the pool equipment first. Inspect your generator for any damage, and clean off any scaling and residue.

Also, you need to drain the water form all the pool’s equipment, including the pump, filter, and heater, if you have one. Be sure to lubricate any o-rings, so they do not crack or warp in the cold weather.

Lastly, cover your pool for the winter.

Making Saltwater Pool Maintenance a Habit

Maintaining a saltwater pool is not challenging. However, it does involve developing good habits for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.

The daily work involved in a saltwater pool covers cleaning and removing visible debris. By doing this work, you save yourself time and money down the road. Also, daily cleaning makes weekly and monthly maintenance tasks easier to manage.

You also need to keep your chemicals in balance for your saltwater pool. If you do, your skin and eyes will not be irritated, and your water will remain clear instead of murky and cloudy.

At the end of the season, there are a few extra steps to get your pool ready for the winter. Also, you repeat the process in reverse in the spring to begin to use your pool again.

Featured Image: Image by Pexels from Pixabay

A teacher by trade, Victoria splits her free time between freelance writing, her camping blog, and (frantically) guiding her teenagers into becoming functional adults.


New Family, New Holiday Traditions: Blending the Old and the New

The holiday season is nearly upon us, and it is time to start thinking about holiday traditions. When the holiday season rolls around, families typically begin engaging in traditions practiced year after year.

If you have a new family, you have an opportunity to create new family traditions that represent you.

Suppose you have a blended family coming together with traditions and experiences of their own. In that case, it is vital to blend the traditions thoughtfully to create opportunities for honoring old traditions while building new.

Importance of Traditions

Humans are creatures of habit, and we tend to find comfort in the repetition of traditions that we find soothing. Some practices we engage in on a community level, while others we preserve just for our family.

Traditions often serve to bring back positive memories built around love and support, so repeating those traditions adds layers of value to the experience. Plus, you create memories as you add new people into your life and family.

Honoring Old Traditions While Creating New Holiday Traditions

As families grow and shift, it becomes vital to create some new traditions that support a growing and evolving family’s needs.

Fortunately, just because a dynamic changes does not mean old traditions are cast away for all new. Ideally, families can recreate and celebrate the comfort of old traditions while ushering in a few new ones that continually add value to a holiday season’s experience.

Blend the Old and the New Holiday Traditions

While deciding what holiday traditions to include in your family’s life, consider transitioning from old to new traditions.

Ask yourself what traditions were the most meaningful in your childhood. By determining what memories carry the most meaning, you can include them in some new ways of celebrating.

For instance, if you traditionally decorated a tree as a family, that might be a tradition that carries over.

Also, when you look back at your childhood, consider what traditions you appreciate the adults carried through. If you have fond memories of a parent cooking or looking at Christmas lights, consider how you feel with those memories and work to recreate that same feeling in your family.

Furthermore, it’s essential to acknowledge some traditions hold memories that add no value to the holiday experience. Fortunately, you don’t have to repeat traditions that do not hold value, but it is sometimes hard to recognize which practices to let fall by the wayside.

Lastly, it’s vital to consider the traditions held by others in a blended family. Step-families coming together can blend the best and most meaningful practices to honor one another’s experiences.

Set Your Intentions for New Holiday Traditions

Since you create long-lasting feelings about your new family traditions, you should set your intentions for the holiday season.

For instance, consider what you don’t want to bring into your family as a tradition. Some traditions are an added stressor or create opportunities for family strive.

If you keep your intentions in mind, you can better side-step vexations and create magic opportunities for everyone.

Consider the Personality of Your Family

Take into consideration the emotional needs and the age of your children. Newly blended families have different needs than those with young children.

On the other hand, if you have aging family members blended with younger members, it’s important to consider how to accommodate various people.

However, this does not mean you must do everything. By carefully considering the individuals’ personalities and needs that make up your family, you can easily blend a new family and traditions.

Be Willing to Let Go and Practice Patience

As families grow and change, remember that it’s alright if some traditions fade. If this happens, it doesn’t mean joy did not emerge from those experiences. In fact, it’s natural for traditions to evolve.

However, even if traditions change and grow, those memories are still intact. As children grow into their own families, they will likely revive traditions at critical stages for their children. In this way, those traditions evolve in their own families.

Also, holiday traditions are supposed to be fun and bring meaning to the experience. If a practice is creating stress instead of bringing peace, it might be time to let something go.

Too often, we shoulder the weight of creating a holiday experience without considering our stress level. In that case, it takes away from the experience for everyone. Be gentle with yourself.

Ideas to Try

To help get you thinking, we collaborated on some ideas to get your wheels turning.

It’s all about that tree

If you usually have a fake tree, maybe it’s time to consider a live one. The entire act of picking out a tree and bringing it home is a tradition, just like decorating.

And if you are lucky enough to live near a tree farm where you can pick out your live tree, take advantage of the activity and fresh air as a family.

Opening presents

Most families open presents on Christmas Morning. But does it have to be that way?

In addition to the Christmas morning job, consider giving a gift or two on Christmas Eve. For instance, a new comfy pair of pajamas or a robe along with a family movie and popcorn is a beautiful tradition to create some family time.

What’s for dinner?

With a busy family, family meals are often disjointed if they happen at all. So, a family meal during the holidays is an investment of love and time.

Consider working on non-traditional meal ideas instead of what you usually do. That is a perfect opportunity to celebrate other cultures’ foods or to recognize regional favorites in a blended family.

It goes on the tree

With families growing and changing, add another ornament to the tree each year. Take the time to find something that celebrates your family’s journey, so it represents a positive message.

As the years go by, those ornaments add up and become cherished. When you decorate your tree each year, you have an opportunity to reflect on your family’s growth and celebrate your accomplishments.

I came for the lights and stayed for the company

Looking at Christmas lights is a common tradition. Think about adding to this exciting tradition by creating a scavenger hunt for your kids.

Do you see a Rudolf? How about a house in all white lights? Make up a list and hand it out to the whole family. Doing this helps get everyone involved and engaged instead of passively looking at pretty lights.

Rejoice and Reflect

The holiday season is a time of celebration and reflection. During this time, we have an opportunity to invest in our relationships with family.

As families grow and change, there often comes a time when the traditions we celebrate evolve, as well.

Remember, creating new traditions does not have to be complicated. Simply keep the traditions you wish to continue, and add new ones representing those who make up your family.

What new traditions did you include this year? Answer in the comments.

Featured Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

A teacher by trade, Victoria splits her free time between freelance writing, her camping blog, and (frantically) guiding her teenagers into becoming functional adults.


The Best 5 Winter Camping Tents with a Stove Jack

If winter camping is on your radar, you might be looking at the fact there are no bugs to contend with and people are scarce. You can enjoy amazing views and solitude without having to cope with the same distractions summer campers face. However, you might be concerned with staying toasty warm while camping in the winter and need to review winter camping tents with a stove.

There are plenty of options for winter camping tents with a stove jack to help make your winter adventure comfortable and serene. All you need to do is evaluate your needs to pick the right tent for your camping situation.

Stove Jacks and Winter Camping

Camping out in the cold may not seem like an ideal way to spend some downtime. However, there is only one problem with camping in the winter, and that is staying warm.

Fortunately, you can stay very warm on your winter escape by ensuring your tent is ready for the elements by finding the best tent with a stove jack.

Having a tent with a stove may seem peculiar, but if your tent is of the right material, you absolutely can include a stove for warmth and even cooking.

However, you need a way for the smoke to escape the tent.

What Is a Stove Jack?

The stove jack is a smoky problem-solver because it creates a safe place at the top of the tent to allow the flue to direct smoke outside.

A stove jack protects your tent from the hot flue pipe of a stove. The stove jack is at the top of the tent and is sewn in to protect the surrounding area from the heat.

Typically, tents with a stove jack mean you may include your own stove. However, if your tent is the right material, such as polycotton or canvas, you can sew in the stove jack yourself.

What Qualifies as the Best Winter Camping Tents with a Stove?

Before picking out a winter tent with a stove jack, there are some points to consider.


The biggest concern about winter camping with a stove is melting the fabric of the tent. Therefore, the choice of materials is vital.

The tent material must not melt in the heat. Also, winter tents need to breathe because moisture builds up and can make a tent uncomfortably steamy. Appropriate airflow helps keep you and your belongings comfortable and dry.

Canvas is an excellent choice for a winter tent, but it is heavy, and the weight may not suit your needs.

Nylon is a lightweight tent material, but it does not handle the heat, and it will melt.

Stove jack location

Some stove jacks are located at the top of the tent, while others are on the side. If your pipe is going straight up, the smoke has an easier time leaving the tent. Also, if you have a side vent, you need an elbow joint for the stove pipe.

You might consider the stove jack location depending on either the stove you have or the configuration of the stove you wish to buy.

How We Reviewed Winter Camping Tents with a Stove

We compiled these winter camping tents with a stove jack options based on tent-style commonly used as winter camping tents.

Also, we took into consideration the internal structure and size of the tent itself. We included a variety of sizes for consideration because we understand that not everyone has the same needs.

In addition, we evaluated the fire retardant properties and the quality and thoughtfulness of the materials used to make the tent itself.

Best Winter Camping Tents with a Stove Jack

The following winter camping tents with a stove jack are fantastic options for consideration for your next winter camping adventure.

1. Preself Tipi Hot Tent

The Preself Tipi Hot Tent option is lighter in weight, making it a better option for those who backpack and hike while camping.

The tent material is an anti-tear 210T polyester. It is waterproof and resists wind and rain.

The stove jack is fire retardant and fits all caliber of stove pipe. The fabric of the jack is coated in silicone and will handle temperatures up to 572 degrees.

Furthermore, it will not become brittle when exposed to cold climates. The jack is removable, as well.

This tent is a four-season tent and can fit up to three people and the stove. However, the three people include two adults and a child. So plan to consider who needs to be in the tent at once and the storage of gear.

The diameter is just over 10 feet and has a height of just over 5 feet.

There are two air vents and double doors on this tent. You can expand the gap between the bottom of the tent and the floor to help with dew and condensation.

Also, the tent includes a one-person mesh tent.

If you decide this is the tent for you, you will receive the tent, removable jack, pegs, ropes, and a pole. The stove and stovepipe are not included.

2. PlayDo 4-Season Cotton Canvas Bell Tent

If you need a lot more space while winter camping, the PlayDo 4-Season Bell Tent is worth considering. The tent is similar to a yurt and can fit four double mattresses with room to spare for gear.

This tent is heavy-duty due to its 300 gsm of waterproof cotton fabric. It can tolerate snow, a reasonable amount of rain, and wind.

The seams’ stitching is taped to help with weatherproofing, and despite how heavy duty it is, the tent is breathable.

There are air vents at the top of the tent, and the windows feature zippers and nets. Furthermore, one of the walls of the tent rolls up to allow maximum airflow.

Also, the tent is suitable for all four seasons. The stove jack is at the top of the tent rather than the sidewall and it is five inches in diameter. The stove jack has a sturdy flap to cover the area when not in use.

The tent features mesh storage bags for small items, and the door has a frame, making navigating the zipper easier.

The tent poles include a rain cap that pops on to the top where the pole runs from inside the tent to outside. And the vents at the top are screened in to prevent bugs from finding a way inside.

This tent is definitely heavier than the first one listed, but if you have more people and plan to stay put, you have space for everyone. Plus, if you prefer glamping over camping, this tent has a lot to offer.

3. POMOLY HEX Hot Tent with Wood Stove Jack

If you are looking for an exceptionally waterproof tent, consider the POMOLY Hex Hot Tent.

This tent includes 300D oxford cloth. Also, the inside of the tent has a silver-coated layer, which helps the tent be more waterproof and warmer.

This added layer is very durable and helps in all sorts of weather. In the summer, it is cooling, while in the winter, it reflects the heat from your stove back to you.

The stove jack has a flap to secure the space when not in use. Also, the jack is on the sidewall, but it is far enough up where you do not need an angle for your stove pipe.

This tent has six sides and includes a snow/rain skirt on all sides. The floor dimensions are nearly 70 square feet, and it has a peak height of 95 inches.

Also, the ventilation is located at the top and the bottom of the tent. There are two doors opposite one another.

This tent is large enough for a stove and up to two people. However, if you need to store your gear inside, plan on using this for just one person.

If you are camping in other seasons and do not need a stove, you could fit up to three people depending on gear space.

This tent has a built-in half tent suitable for one person. With both doors open, the other half works as a vestibule.

Also, this area is the location of the stove jack, so you may open or enclose the area and still sleep separately if you wish.

4. WINTENT 4-Season Teepee Tent

The WINTENT Teepee Tent is lightweight, waterproof, and includes taped seams.

This tent has a center height of nearly 8 feet and a floor diameter of over 11 feet. Also, the tent includes a stove jack just shy of 5 inches in diameter.

The capacity of this tent is up to four people without the stove or a lot of gear. You will need to adjust for the addition of the stove.

The tent weighs almost 19 pounds, so while it is not the lightest of tents, it is reasonable.

Also, this tent has another unique feature. There is an inner mesh tent that you can set up separately from the rest of the tent. This part of the tent has its own floor.

If you decide to use the rainfly part of the tent with the stove jack, it has a tarp floor, as well. This tarp floor is removable, though.

There are two doors on this tent, making it easy to get in and out of without climbing over people. Also, there are vents at the top and bottom.

5. POMOLY HEX Plus Hot Tent with Wood Stove Jack

The POMOLY Hex Plus tent has many of the same features as the Hex, but with added benefits.

The material is still 300D Oxford Cloth with the inner silver coating. This coating works to keep heat inside when you have a heat source, but it also keeps cooler air inside during warmer months.

The stove jack is flame-retardant and includes a cover when not in use. Also, the ventilation is located at the bottom of the tent or at the top. The tent features a removable cap at the top for maximum airflow and ventilation.

The Hex Plus features two doors opposite one another, and it has a skirt around the outside. By piling rocks or other materials over the skirt, you prevent rain and snow from entering the tent.

The dimensions of the Hex Plus are different than the previous Hex we discussed. The floor dimensions are over 125 square feet, and the peak height is 106 inches.

That means you can fit up to three people with the tent stove. If you do not need the tent stove, you can fit up to six people depending on how much gear needs storing in the tent.

Have Fun and Stay Warm in Winter Camping Tents with a Stove

Camping is not just for the warmer summer months. There is a lot of fun to have camping in the winter. The biggest issue with winter camping is the struggle to stay warm.

However, there are several winter camping tents with stoves to consider to stay warm when on a camping adventure.

There are options to consider before buying. You must evaluate if you are camping in one spot or backpacking. This consideration is vital because the material that makes a tent flame retardant is heavier than the typical nylon of regular tents.

Also, it would be best if you considered how many people are camping with you and need to fit in the tent. Some tents will barely squeeze two people with a stove and gear while other tents are more generous.

Either way, buying a tent that includes a stove jack means you can tent camp in all kinds of weather.

Which winter tent with a stove did you buy? Answer in the comments.


Featured Image by Юрий Кузнецов from Pixabay


The Best 10/22 Accessories for You! (You Know You Need Them)

With more than six million Ruger 10/22 sold, the rifle is considered affordable, reliable, and easy to use for all levels of abilities. Because of its popularity, Ruger 10/22 accessories are wildly popular and easy to find.

The 10/22 features a hardwood stock, folding barrel, and a folding rear sight. This dependable rifle weighs less than five pounds and is one of the most common guns out there.

Ruger 10/22 fans can take this affordable rifle and customize to create a premium version, even on a budget.

Background of the Ruger 10/22

The Ruger 10/22 is a semi-automatic rifle that uses the .22 cartridge and has a rotary magazine.

Sturm, Ruger, & Co. is responsible for the Ruger 10-22 and has produced this rifle since 1964.

A year after production began, the stock was swapped with hardwood, such as birch or maple. However, the birch stocks were eventually discontinued.

The classic version of the 10/22 is the Carbine, which was the 1965 redesign.

While the Carbine is still engineered, several over versions evolved over the years, some of which are still in production.

The Ruger 10/22 does well even after years of heavy use.

Why Is the Ruger 10/22 so Popular?

Reliability is just one of the reasons why the 10/22 is a go-to for so many gun enthusiasts. The rifle is accurate, as well. If you have reliable ammo, your Ruger 10/22 will shoot as well as your skill level. Also, ammo for this rifle is known to be less expensive per round compared to other calibers.

Furthermore, the Ruger 10/22 is fun to shoot no matter your skill level. Expert shooters spend years customizing and using their 10/22 rifle while beginners find the rifle a perfect place to start learning.

What Is It About the Design That Makes Them So Fun to Customize?

The Ruger 10/22 is affordable upfront, and the aftermarket items available for this rifle are easy to find and inexpensive.

Therefore, customizing fits into any budget and adds some joy to the process of customization because of its value and availability.

Ruger 10/22 Accessories: Magazines and More

Rifle magazines often wear out. The magazines fail to feed the rounds correctly for a variety of reasons. Therefore, it is considered a best practice to rotate through many magazines and to replace them as needed. Fortunately, there are many aftermarket magazines to consider.


The BX-25 magazine is a 25 round magazine made of polymer. This magazine is comfortable on the fingers when loading and will work with any factory 10/22 rifle. The Ruger 10/22 has a 10-round rotary magazine, but shooters tend to go through 10 rounds rather quickly. Therefore, the 25 round gives you more time to focus on your shot.

ProMag Archangel Magazine

The ProMag Archangel magazine design is carbon fiber and reinforced polymer. It features an injection-molded follower, feed lip, and base plate. Also, Promag forms the spring from chrome silicon wire.

BX-Style Belt Clip Magazine Case

This Belt Clip Case gives shooters access to up to two BX magazines. Having a belt clip for magazines helps keep ammo clean. Also, you are less likely to lose your ammo if you have a handy way to carry it. Furthermore, having ammo readily available reduces reload time. This magazine case fits on the belt with a paddle or with the included attachment clip.

Ruger 10/22 Triggers

One of the simplest upgrades to a Ruger 10/22 is the trigger assembly. Some feel the original factory trigger is heavy. Fortunately, this part of the Ruger is incredibly easy to upgrade, and the available trigger upgrades options are seemingly endless.

BX Trigger

The Ruger BX Trigger is effortless to install. This trigger is a drop-in, and it reduces the trigger pull weight to give the trigger a lighter and crisper feel. This genuine Ruger accessory is rugged and dependable, just like the Ruger 10/22 itself.

Volquartsen Trigger Guard 2000

The Volquartsen Trigger Guard 2000 is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and features precision parts. The trigger is anodized and has an automatic bolt release. The trigger pull is between two to two and a half pounds for a clean and easy trigger pull.

Ruger 10/22 Optic Accessories

If you want to improve your shot and you find the standard iron sights with the bead is not doing it for you, consider upgrading to an optic sight.

TRUGLO Optic Sight Set

TRUGLO’s Optic Sight requires no significant alterations or professional gunsmithing. With the green rear and red front, this sight is easy to align. The fiber optics gather the light, so experience precision in your shot. Also, the body adjusts for wind and even elevation.

Tech Sights, LLC TSR100 GI-Style Sight Set

Tech Sight’s military-style sight gives you a longer sight radius to increase accuracy.

You add this sight without any permanent changes to your 10/22, as the sight uses the factory set holes for the scope.

This sight has flip-up apertures, and there are two for both long- and short-range. Also, the front sight is easy to adjust for elevation while the rear sight adjusts for wind.

Ruger 10/22 Accessories: Stock Upgrades

Another popular modification and customization are to change out the stock of their Ruger 10/22. It is inexpensive and very straightforward to do on your own.

Magpul Hunter X-22

Magpul makes the Hunter X-22 for both the standard 10/22 and for the takedown models. It is made of polymer, and the installation features a simple drop-in process.

The grip is textured, and it is adjustable depending on our preferred length-of-pull. There are other options for this stock, as well. You can add a cheek riser if you prefer, which is handy if you use optics.

Tactical Solutions, LLC Vantage RS

The Vantage RS stock is a beautiful and ergonomic upgrade for your Ruger 10/22. This stock’s design is meant to contour the body of the shooter to increase ease of use, comfort, and the accuracy of the shot.

The Vangate RS stock has a non-compression pillar bedding system. Also, because it has a durable metal pillar, there are no worries about the wood and metal fitting and working together.

Ruger 10/22 Barrel Upgrades

Upgrading the barrel adds precision and accuracy to your shooting. Also, there are both lighter and heavy barrels available, depending on your preference.

E.R. Shaw 10/22 Target Barrel

The E.R. Shaw barrel will prove to improve your accuracy. There is nothing specifically wrong with the Ruger 10/22 stock barrel. However, the E.R Shaw barrel is very reliable. This barrel features premium stainless steel. Also, this barrel is rather heavy, which gives it stability, so your shots are consistent.

Volquartsen Carbon Fiber THM Barrel

The Volquartsen Carbon Fiber Barrel is a lightweight option to consider. This barrel is carbon fiber and stainless steel. Also, this barrel is tapped and drilled for the Volquartsen scope mount.

The length of this barrel is 16.5 inches, and it weighs 32 ounces. Also, the barrel is ported to reduce recoil, and you can swap this out with your old barrel in just a few minutes.

With All the Fun Options, You Will Never Be Bored

The Ruger 10/22 has decades on the market, proving its reliability.

Because of the tremendous amount of aftermarket upgrades available, it is easy to both update the aesthetic of your 10/22 and increases the performance.

Also, the beauty of this rifle is the ease and affordability of customizations. What we mentioned here is only the tip of the 10/22 iceberg. There are countless available ways to upgrade your rifle, and many are well within a reasonable budget.

How did you uniquely customize your 10/22?

Featured Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay


How to Carve a Pumpkin with a Handgun (Or an Ak-47)

With fall gearing up, that means it is time for cooler weather and outdoor fall activities. It is time to get that fire pit going, get ready for deer hunting, and to start thinking about carving those pumpkins with your handgun.

You read that right. You can combine two fall favorites into one activity. Most people carve their pumpkins with knives but why not take the opportunity to show off your precision skills with your gun?

You only need a couple of items for this activity; grab your gun and a pumpkin.

Your Setup for Carving a Pumpkin with a Handgun

Your typical pumpkin carving setup involves drawing your ideal expression of the front of your pumpkin. Afterward, you find yourself a sharp enough of a knife and stab through the shell and carve as artfully as possible.

For some, this task is easy and artistic. For others, it is a safety hazard and involves stitches. However, there is another way. You can carve your pumpkins from a safe distance with your handgun or rifle.

In these demonstrations, you will notice some details. In the first several videos, the pumpkins are already scooped out and ready for carving. However, instead of using a dangerously sharp blade to carve the ominous features of your jack-o-lantern, you will use your every day and ordinary handguns and rifles to perform this task.

You will need a safe place to practice how to carve a pumpkin with a handgun, along with all the safety gear you might expect. Be sure you have a suitably sized pumpkin and your gun. You can get relatively close to your pumpkin to do the carving, but feel free to challenge yourself with some distance.

Ideally, you can place your pumpkin off the ground while shooting. Lastly, consider bringing a few extra pumpkins. This task has the potential to create some pumpkin casualties. Plus, it is fun, and you will want to keep going.

How to Carve a Pumpkin  with a Colt 1911

In this video, the carver is using a Colt 1911 Series ’80. You will notice he is not that far away from the pumpkin, and he is wearing ear protection. He starts with the nose before moving onto the eyes, followed by the mouth. His shots are precise, and it turns out pretty good. In fact, the back of the pumpkin looks like a face, as well. It was not torn out all that much.

You can watch this unfold in the video below:

How to Carve a Pumpkin with a .44 Magnum S&W

This video demonstrates the use of a .44 Magnum Model 29. With the pumpkin on a stand and while sitting close by, the shooter takes out the face of the pumpkin. The .44 Magnum is a double-action revolver. It has six shots, and its chamber holds the .44 Magnum cartridge. The pumpkin’s face turns out great, although there is some curiosity about the look of the back of the pumpkin.

You can watch the video below for a guide on how to carve a pumpkin with a handgun.

How to Carve a Pumpkin with a Desert Eagle

A Desert Eagle is a semi-automatic pistol designed by Magnum Research. The pistol is magazine-fed and considered a powerful handgun.

The pumpkin carving demonstration has the shooter laughing as he carves his pumpkin with his gun, and the pumpkin ends up with a suitable and charming smirk.

Catch the video below:

How to Carve a Pumpkin with a Henry Rifle

In this video, the shooter is carving a pumpkin with a Henry Rifle. The Henry Rifle is a lever-action rifle that dates back as far as the 1860s. The shooter carves a fantastic face in the pumpkin in this video.

Surprisingly, the pumpkin does not blow apart too much. It helps the shooter is exact with his shots, however. Although, we do not get to see what the back of this pumpkin looks like.

You can watch the video here:

How to Carve a Pumpkin with an AK 47

Yes, you read that right. The shooter is carving a pumpkin with an AK 47. The AK 47 is an assault rifle. The AK of the name stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova because of the Russian designer. Also, the AK 47 is simple to use and reliable.

In this video, the shooter takes a seat and carves the nose and both eyes with several shots. The last shot to the mouth almost destroys the pumpkin, but it ends up working out for both the shooter and the carved pumpkin. While the AK 47 is not common as a household tool as described, it looks more fun than having to clean up pumpkin parts off the kitchen table.

You can watch the video here:

How to Carve a Pumpkin with a Glock 23

A Glock 23 is either a compact or mid-size .40 caliber handgun. In this video, the shooter has his pumpkin set up and ready to go. He wastes no time with some pretty tight groupings shooting out the features of the pumpkin’s face. Again, this is another time we would love the see the back of the pumpkin after carving.

Be sure to watch this video to the very end after the shooting. You will see what it looks like lite up at night. You can see the video here:

How to Carve a Pumpkin with a Volquartsen Semi-Automatic .22

For this final video, the pumpkin is not scooped out in advance. Also, the shooter is more concerned with the back of the pumpkin rather than the front. The shooter is using a 10/22.

The 22 bullets do not cause holes with a large diameter, so she has to use more than one shot to create her shape in the pumpkin. She is not trying to shot in the same spot but instead grouping to make the necessary shape. In the end, it looks great both front and back.

You can check out the video below.

Ready, Aim…

You could carve your pumpkin the same way as everyone else.

However, those store-bough carving kits are difficult to work with and the stencils are often boring.

There are other ways to create your spooky features on your pumpkin: you could carve a pumpkin with a handgun.

Grab a few pumpkins, your safety gear, and your guns, and challenge yourself with some fun with precision shooting by practicing how to carve a pumpkin with a handgun.

How did your pumpkin carving with a gun turn out?

Featured image via YouTube

A teacher by trade, Victoria splits her free time between freelance writing, her camping blog, and (frantically) guiding her teenagers into becoming functional adults.