At a Glance: Best 10/22 Upgrades
- OUR TOP PICK: Timney Ruger 10/22 2-Stage Trigger
- RUNNER UP: Magpul Hunter X-22 Full-featured Stock For Ruger 10/22
- BEST BUDGET OPTION: Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 LR barrel
Comparison of The Best 10/22 Upgrades
Our Top Pick
|Timney Ruger 10/22 2-Stage Trigger||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Magpul Hunter X-22 Full-featured Stock For Ruger 10/22||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 LR barrel||View Latest Price|
Why Customize your 10/22 Rifle?
It is easy to understand why the Ruger 10-22 is one of the most popular .22 caliber semi-automatic rifles in the United States. The 10-22 is affordable (you can find them for under $200 some places), dependable and, best of all, it is fully customizable. The options are seemingly endless.
While the Ruger 10/22 provides an enjoyable shooting experience right out of the box, every shooter is different.
That is where customization comes into play. The wealth of customization options and manageable recoil provides a unique and enjoyable shooting experience that is tough to beat with other rifles.
After installing new components and upgrades, I was quite impressed with the results that I saw on the target. You can see these results for yourself in my 10-22 rifle zeroing video. I should also mention that I am not the only one that can shoot my 10-22 so well.
Our Guide To The Best 10/22 Upgrades
The products featured in this breakdown of upgrades and accessories for the Ruger 10/22 will improve your shooting experience and help you get the most out of every trip to the range. Here is our list of the Best Ruger 10/22 Upgrades
Timney Ruger 10/22 2-Stage Trigger
First up on our list is the best trigger to upgrade with and is manufactured by Timney. The Timney 2-stage trigger provides a lightweight trigger pull and multiple customization options. The length of pull and height can be adjusted to suit your preferences and maximize positive contact on the trigger.
You may be asking yourself what a 2-stage trigger is and why it benefits you. A traditional or single-stage trigger offers a consistent, smooth trigger pull with a clean break. The resistance level of the trigger should be the same throughout the pull on a traditional trigger. A 2-stage trigger has two stages that generally vary in resistance level.
The Timney 2-stage’s first stage is 8 ounces and the second stage is 1 pound. The first stage is generally referred to as the “take-up” and the second stage is referred to as the “wall”. The advantage of this style of trigger is that you will know exactly when the gun is going to fire. The first stage will be longer and you will notice a distinct increase in resistance. The second stage is extremely short and has almost no slack.
The Timney 2-stage trigger is easy to install in your Ruger 10/22 and will immediately improve your shooting experience. Timney also provides a great warranty and has a long history of producing quality triggers that will last. The Ruger 10/22 is a good option for your first 2-stage trigger due to its manageable recoil. This product is currently out of stock.
- Easy installation
- Adjustable pull length
- Crisp break
- Distinct transition between stages
- Learning curve when transitioning from single-stage trigger
Magpul Hunter X-22 Full-featured Stock For Ruger 10/22
The quickest way to change the look and functionality of your weapon is with a new stock, so your first customization step should be to find one of the best 10/22 stocks for what you want to achieve. The six most common stock styles are: Classic, Match, Tactical, Folding, Bullpup and Thumbhole.
→ We reviewed the Best Ruger 10/22 Stock Upgrades
The MAGPUL Ruger 10/22 Takedown Hunter X-22 stock. The MAGPUL Hunter stock is made of polymer and is extremely lightweight. It is compatible with a wide variety of accessories and jam-packed with features. The Hunter X-22 is compatible with all
This is a great upgrade stock and serves as a replacement for your existing stock. All you need to do when transitioning from your existing stock to the MAGPUL Hunter stock is to remove your receiver, trigger assembly, and barrel and install them in the MAGPUL stock.
This stock is compatible with both the standard Ruger 10/22 barrel and various aftermarket barrels just in case you have already started upgrading your Ruger 10/22
It is compatible with quick-detach style slings and has several options that include sling mount kits. The Hunter X-22 stock even has cheek riser kits in three different increments to accommodate shooters of different sizes and body types. It is available in one of four color options: black, flat dark earth, gray, and O.D. green.
The MAGPUL Hunter X-22 stock carries on MAGPUL’s track record of producing durable and functional equipment to meet the need of any shooter. They also offer a few additional variations of this stock for your Ruger 10/22, such as the X-22 Backpacker stock. The X-22 Backpacker is designed to meet the needs of the outdoorsman and can easily be broken down to fit inside your backpack or camping bag.
The only downside to changing out stocks is that it is a slightly more involved process than some other upgrades. However, the Ruger 10/22 has a simple design and Magpul provides clear instructions for completing the swap, allowing you to have your new stock in place in no time.
- Compatible with other accessories
- Four color options
- Compatible with bull and pencil barrels
- Cheek riser kit
- Installation can be more involved and time-consuming
Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 LR barrel
For our third pick, we will turn our attention to the business end of your rifle. The Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 LR barrel is a carbon fiber competition quality barrel with a stainless steel liner. This barrel is available in two lengths, 16.5″ and 18.5″ and features a heavy contour.
The Volquartsen barrel can be installed in minutes and is a great upgrade option if your goal is achieving optimal accuracy while keeping weight to a minimum. The 18.5″ option a multi-port compensator, which reduces the already minimal recoil of the .22 LR round. The goal of the compensator is to allow you to produce faster follow-up shots with maximum accuracy.
This barrel will allow a skilled shooter to achieve consistent groupings of less than 1″ at 100 yards. The Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 barrel provides flawless performance during every shot. When paired with good ammunition and a quality optic, this barrel is a game-changer.
The Volquartsen barrel will even give your Ruger 10/22 a new look to match the stellar performance. The black carbon fiber exterior features a distinct weaved pattern on the outer layer of this barrel. It is bookended by polished aluminum which serves to provide increased axial tension for increased durability and function.
So what’s so great about a carbon fiber barrel? For starters, a carbon fiber barrel such as this one is stiffer than steel, providing less warping and vibration. On top of the accuracy and durability, carbon fiber barrels will not rust and cool much more efficiently than their steel counterparts. All of these features make the Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 barrel tough to pass up when overhauling your rifle.
- Improved accuracy
- Will not rust
- Superior cooling
- Easy install
- Two length options
- Must ensure exact fitting during install for optimal performance
Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot Sight
All the performance upgrades in the world won’t help a bit if you cannot efficiently acquire your target and get rounds downrange. That’s where our fourth pick comes in. The Vortex Optics Crossfire red dot sight is an effective and best optics for your Ruger 10/22.
The Crossfire red dot sight makes quick target acquisition a breeze. The Crossfire has a 2 MOA red dot and can last up to 50,000 hours on a single set of batteries. It also has two brightness settings to accommodate night time and day time shooting. This sight is even waterproof in case you get caught in some rough weather out at the range or on the trails.
For those of you that are new to the world of optics, MOA simply means Minute of Angle and is 1/60th of a degree. I know, enough with the geometry. All you really want to know about MOA is how it affects your shooting experience. Essentially, 1 MOA means that your optic will have a grouping of approximately 1″ at 100 yards so 100 yards multiplied by the number of MOA will give you your projected spread.
The Vortex Crossfire will consistently allow you to achieve a 2″ spread at 100 yards since it is a 2 MOA red dot. This is a great performance for an unmagnified optic at that distance. I have personally taken Vortex 2 MOA optics out to 300 yards with no accuracy issues on a silhouette sized target. The optics performed great at this distance and provided consistent groupings within the projected threshold.
The only real drawback of this optic is that it does not offer any magnification, which can be problematic for longer range shooting. Whether or not this optic is a good fit for you depends largely on your intended application. If you primarily shoot from short to intermediate distances and are looking for a reliable optic that aids in quick target acquisition, then the Vortex Crossfire is a great choice.
- 2 MOA red dot
- Long battery life
- Two brightness options
- Easy installation
- Fast target acquisition
- No magnification
Blue Force Gear AR-15/M16 Vickers Combat Applications Sling
While the Ruger 10/22 is a lightweight and versatile rifle, carrying it on long hikes or during extended range trips can cause fatigue and affect your shooting performance. That’s why the next item on our list of the Best 10/22 Upgrades is the Blue Force Gear Vickers Combat Applications Sling. This two-point sling was designed for use with the AR-15 platform but is compatible with sling swivels and functions great with the Ruger 10/22.
This Blue Force Gear sling is available in both black and coyote (tan), as well as some custom color options. However, the black sling is currently out of stock. This two-point sling has sliding adjustment buckles which make it easy to adjust the sling without taking it off. This may come into play when transitioning between a prone or kneeling shooting stance back to a standing position.
In addition to bearing most of the weight of your rifle, it can also provide added shooting stability. This is accomplished by wrapping your support arm under and around the sling near the front sling mount. By doing this, it drives the stock of the rifle into your strong side shoulder and makes it easier to take accurate shots while standing or kneeling.
If your current stock does not have a place to attach sling mounts, then you will need to replace your stock with one that accommodates sling mounts, such as the Magpul stock featured above. If it does, then I recommend a QD (quick-detach) style swivel mount. These types of mounts have a button to quickly release them from your rifle in the rare case that this sling tangles or if you want to use it on multiple rifles.
This is a durable and well-made two-point sling. It is user friendly and not prone to tangles or snagging. On top of all of this, Blue Force Gear offers a variety of customization options so that you can really make this sling your own.
- Two-point sling
- Quick adjustment tabs
- Wide, rigid strap resists tangling
- May require replacement stock
- Sling mounts not included
Superior Concepts Ruger 10/22 charging handle
Our final entry is the Superior Concepts Ruger 10/22 charging handle. This is an oversized charging handle for your Ruger 10/22 that allows for faster positive contact. This charging handle is generally available in both a stainless steel or a blued finish, but is currently out of stock.
The Superior Concepts charging handle is well-built and extremely durable. The handle is 1″ long, making it extremely easy to develop positive contact for both charging and clearing any malfunctions. This oversized charging handle is especially useful in high-stress situations because adrenaline negatively affects your fine motor skills. Having a larger contact area increases the success rate and efficiency of engaging the charging handle during these times.
The primary downside to this charging handle is that it does require some fitting and is not a true “drop-in” part with all Ruger 10/22 rifles. According to Superior Concepts, the part may require minor fitting. However, some users report having to file down portions of their stock to achieve a proper fit. As a result, your skill level in installing and customizing firearms is an important consideration for this charging handle.
In addition, this charging handle is roughly 50% heavier than a stock Ruger 10/22 charging handles. The added weight is barely noticeable when handling your rifle, but can cause failure to eject malfunctions with some lower velocity .22 ammunition. This may be because the heavier charging handle requires more force to properly cycle.
- Oversized charging handle
- Steel construction
- Two finish options
- Not drop-in
- May require substantial filing to fit
- Ammo finicky, which can cause malfunctions
What’s So Great About The Ruger 10/22?
Whether you are purchasing it as your first rifle or are expanding your collection, the Ruger 10/22 offers many benefits to both experienced shooters and newcomers alike. The weapon is extremely popular and easy to find both in stores and online.
Ruger currently offers eight different variations of the 10/22, each of which is designed to fill various roles. In addition, ammo and aftermarket parts for the Ruger 10/22 are readily available.
Great For New Shooters
The Ruger 10/22 is great for new shooters because of its caliber and intuitive design. It is easy to operate, clean, and shoot. It is also widely available due to its popularity and can usually be found in any local gun shop or major sporting goods store.
The .22 LR caliber provides very little recoil, which allows inexperienced shooters to focus on the fundamentals of sight picture and trigger control without having to combat the recoil of a more powerful round. Once they have a good grasp on the fundamentals, the Ruger 10/22 is a good choice for continued practice and refinement because shooting is a diminishable skill. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.
If I am taking a friend on their first shooting trip, the Ruger 10/22 is my go-to rifle. It allows me to provide them with a positive introductory shooting experience. It is also easy to provide them with quick, simple to implement feedback on their shooting so that they can put rounds on target. If you hand your buddy a heavy rifle chambered in .308 Win for their first shot, they may not come back and likely won’t put very many rounds on paper.
It’s important to make sure that your friends enjoy their first range trip if we want to expand interest in recreational shooting and overcome the negative perceptions held in some circles. You may even gain a new range buddy in the process. The Ruger 10/22 fills this role and will help your friend or family member have a fun and memorable first shooting experience.
Great For Youth
The Ruger 10/22 rifle is a good introductory rifle for young shooters. The benefits of a simple design and manageable recoil will be extremely helpful when teaching a young shooter the fundamentals of marksmanship and firearm safety. It also provides an enjoyable shooting experience, which can play an important role in the development of a lifelong interest in hunting, skeet shooting, and other firearms related recreation.
Ruger offers a 10/22 compact that has a 16″ barrel and is their lightest model. This rifle is easy for young shooters to carry and handle. The compact model, like all Ruger 10/22’s, can be modified with a variety of upgrades to accommodate a youth shooter.
My dad introduced me to shooting with a rifle chambered in .22 LR when I was 8. His choice of a manageable and fun to shoot rifle gave me a great first shooting experience that I cherish to this day. He quickly followed that up by convincing me to fire both barrels of his side by side 12-gauge which left an impression (and a nice shoulder bruise) but that’s a story for another time.
If you have a child that you want to introduce to shooting sports or hunting, the Ruger 10/22 is a great platform for their first rifle. It will be the source of many great range trips and a lifetime of memories. As durable as the Ruger 10/22 is, they may even pass it down to their own children one day.
One of the best things about the Ruger 10/22 rifle is the amount of aftermarket parts available. As evidenced by the broad range of parts featured in our review, you can replace or modify practically any part of this rifle to suit your preferences and intended use. These upgrades make an already good rifle into one that is likely to become your favorite for many applications.
While the concept of “majority rules” doesn’t always apply to the firearm market, the wide-spread popularity of the Ruger 10/22 is one of those times. This gun offers far too many benefits to be ignored. It has proven itself throughout the years with its longevity and staying power. Ruger has done a great job of keeping the 10/22 competitive by offering both classic and more modern iterations of this firearm.
If you want to complete overhaul an older or simple Ruger 10/22, such as the 10/22 Carbine, there are upgrades on the market to do so. You can replace the stock with a synthetic adjustable stock that is equipped with receivers for QD sling mounts. You can even replace the barrel and trigger assembly, essentially providing you with a completely revamped rifle that can provide competition quality performance.
If you prefer the classic look like I do, you can attach an optic, such as the Vortex Crossfire featured above and finish off your customization with a good quality two-point sling like the one on our list. These two easy modifications will allow you to carry your rifle all day long with minimal fatigue and allow you to quickly acquire targets to put rounds down range.
The customizations that you will largely be based on your intended usage. If you simply enjoy taking your 10/22 out to the range for relaxed target shooting sessions, then you likely won’t receive much benefit from an oversized charging handle. Whatever your experience level, the Ruger 10/22 is a great rifle to start or add to your collection due to its durability, ease of use, and the sheer number of upgrades available.
“First, Master The Fundamentals”
To quote the great Larry Bird, “first, master the fundamentals.” Becoming a skilled shooter involves first learning the fundamentals of sight picture and trigger control. With that concept in mind, the best upgrade you can get for your Ruger 10/22 is the Blue Force Gear Combat Application Sling. This two-point sling will assist you by both supporting the weight of your rifle while walking and by providing a stable shooting platform.
While all the upgrades featured here can improve the performance of your Ruger 10/22, this sling is a compliment to your rifle and will assist you in practicing the fundamentals. Every great rifle needs a sturdy, reliable sling for weapon retention and support.
The other upgrades featured above will not benefit you if you slap the trigger or have poor sight picture habits. Installing a competition quality barrel or an optic before developing a smooth, consistent trigger pull and clear sight picture is much like building a house on a foundation of sand.
That’s why my first choice is the Blue Force Gear sling. With its superior build quality and ease of use, it will provide you with years of reliable function and will still be working great when you are ready to add a few more of the Best 10/22 Upgrades