At a Glance: Best Ruger 10/22 Trigger
Comparison of The Best Ruger 10/22 Trigger
Our Top Pick
|Timney Ruger 10/22 Calvin Elite Trigger Shoe Kit
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Our Top Pick
|Timney 10/22 Drop-in Trigger Assembly
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Our Top Pick
|Powder River Ruger 10/22 Drop-in Trigger Assembly
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The Ruger 10/22 is a popular and shooter friendly rifle that has been in production for over fifty years. Thanks to its longevity, there is a huge market of upgrades and aftermarket parts available. One of the best upgrades you can make to your Ruger 10/22 is replacing the stock trigger with a competition quality trigger.
Our Guide To The 6 Best Triggers On The Market Today
If you have never fired a rifle with a good aftermarket trigger, you don’t know what you’re missing. An upgraded trigger will immediately improve your shooting experience and help you elevate your performance to the next level. The six triggers featured here offer improved trigger pull, a smooth break, and consistent pull weight and are a significant upgrade over a stock trigger.
Timney Ruger 10/22 Calvin Elite Trigger Shoe Kit
Our first pick is the Timney Calvin Elite Trigger Kit. This is a true drop-in style trigger, with the trigger, hammer, and sear all contained in an aluminum alloy housing. This drop-in trigger simply requires that you remove the stock trigger, place this one in position, and secure it with two pins. This trigger kit is made with red and black housing.
Timney offers a great warranty that includes a free repair or replace guarantee in the event your trigger fails, which is unlikely to begin with. The Calvin Elite trigger has a pull weight of 1.5-2lbs and provides consistent resistance with every shot. It has a clean break and a smooth reset, allowing you to focus on getting rounds on target.
The Calvin Elite has an adjustable trigger shoe, which is the metal face of the trigger that contacts your finger. The adjustable shoe allows you to customize the pull length, the shoe’s height, and angle.
In addition to being a great, easy to install trigger, the Calvin Elite even includes an extended magazine release. The magazine release can easily be activated with one finger and is a great addition for smaller framed or youth shooters that may have difficulty reaching the stock mag release.
The only real downside to this trigger is that the pull weight cannot be adjusted. While I enjoy a light pull weight for my rifle triggers, the 2lb pull weight may be too light for some shooters’ preference. This may be especially true if you are using the rifle in cold environments and are going to be wearing gloves.
- Drop-in trigger
- Great warranty
- Clean break
- Adjustable shoe height
- Adjustable pull length
- Fixed pull weight
Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 Trigger Guard 2000
Next up is the Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 Trigger Guard 2000. Another true drop-in trigger, with all parts included in the housing. This trigger also replaces the stock trigger guard and is pre-fitted to fit the entire Ruger 10/22 rifle line. It is manufactured in black or silver housing, but both items are currently out of stock.
This Volquartsen trigger comes with a 2.25lb trigger pull and provides a consistent, crisp break. It allows you to customize the pre-travel and over-travel but does not allow the shoe height or pull weight to be adjusted. The pre-travel is more commonly referred to as the “slack” and is referring to the length of pull before the break. The over-travel is the amount of distance traveled after the break.
Volquartsen includes an extended magazine release and an automatic bolt release with this trigger, adding to this drop-in trigger’s already great features and performance.
The automatic bolt release allows you to pull back on your rifle bolt slightly to send it forward instead of manually activating the bolt lock mechanism. This upgrade allows you to get your rifle operational even faster during reloads.
Timney 10/22 Drop-in Trigger Assembly
Third, on the list of the Best Ruger 10/22 triggers is the Timney Drop-in Trigger Assembly. The housing of this trigger is billet aluminum. The trigger, sear, and hammer are high-quality steel. This is another true drop-in trigger, making installation simple and quick.
Timney knocked it out of the park with this Ruger 10/22 trigger. It comes with a factory-set 2lb trigger pull and has no unnecessary slack or “creep”. This trigger will break cleanly every time and provides consistent resistance. It is available in a black or silver housing and offers a variety of shoe colors with each housing, although the silver housing with a black shoe is the only variation in stock currently.
This trigger comes with a built-in lever magazine release located just under the trigger guard, making swapping mags a breeze. This feature also makes reloads easier for the southpaws like me out there. It also includes an auto bolt release built into the assembly. A great all-around trigger that improves the function of your rifle with its crisp break and features that improve your ability to rapidly reload.
The only downside to this trigger is that it does not offer any adjustable features. The shoe height and pull length cannot be manipulated and the pull weight is fixed. These are important considerations if you are looking for a fully customizable trigger and like a bit more pull weight or a longer pre-travel.
- Crisp trigger break
- Variety of shoe colors
- Extended magazine release
- Auto bolt release
- Durable construction
- Fixed pull weight
- Fixed pull length
- Most color options are on backorder
Powder River Ruger 10/22 Drop-in Trigger Assembly
Our fourth entry is the Powder River Precision trigger assembly. This is another drop-in trigger assembly, making your installation process easy and quick. The housing is manufactured from stainless steel. All critical parts are manufactured from hardened steel, giving you a durable trigger assembly that will fire every time. Powder River even included spare extractors on the ejector and bolt lock to increase reliability.
This trigger includes an auto-release feature for your Ruger 10/22 bolt lock. It has a short, crisp trigger pull, with a pull weight of 2.25lbs. There are virtually no pre-travel and minimal over-travel, allowing for a quick reset and accurate follow-up shots. This trigger is a great option for target and competitive shooting applications thanks to its reliability and short, smooth pull.
This trigger is only available in black and does not include an extended magazine release but is compatible with some aftermarket magazine releases. The pull weight is set at the factory and is fixed. The shoe height and pull length are also fixed. If you are considering adding an extended magazine release, it is important to verify that it is compatible with this trigger.
The light, short trigger pull may not be ideal for hunting applications, particularly in cold weather environments. While this trigger performs well and is a significant upgrade over your stock trigger, the lack of any customization options is something to keep in mind if you are looking for tailor-made shooting experience.
- Good pull weight
- Tight trigger with no slack
- Short reset
- No color options
- Trigger pull length and weight are fixed
- No extended magazine release included.
Ruger 10/22 Trigger Guard Assembly
Next, we will take a look at a simpler replacement option. This pick is a Ruger 10/22 stock trigger replacement. While you may be wondering why we would have such a basic upgrade option on our breakdown, keep in mind that the 10/22 platform has been in production for over fifty years. If you just want to restore your Ruger 10/22 and get it shooting like new, this is a good choice.
This trigger guard assembly includes all critical parts and can be installed by removing your old assembly and dropping this one in. It is secured with the two pins that held your original in place. This is a factory part and is compatible with Ruger 10/22’s from many eras. Some users report putting them in rifles from as far back as the ’70s with no issues.
If you enjoy the way your factory trigger shot right out of the box, but it has become less reliable or crisp over the years, this factory replacement may be just what you are looking for. This new trigger will help your rifle perform like new and give you many years of reliable service. Ruger has improved its manufacturing process over the years, making this trigger more durable than older versions.
However, if you are looking for a competition quality trigger with customization options, this is not the trigger for you. It has a heavier pull weight and more travel than the tighter tolerance options on our list. It is more suited for the recreational shooter looking to just have a little fun at the range while working on their fundamentals.
- Fits most models
- Easy installation
- Heavier trigger pull
- No customization options
- No extended magazine release
- No auto bolt release
Tandemkross Ultimate Trigger Kit for Ruger 10/22
Our final entry is the Tandemkross Ultimate Trigger Kit. As mentioned in its name, this is a trigger kit, not a drop-in trigger. This trigger kit includes the sear, hammer, trigger shoe, and springs and must be installed into your existing trigger housing. This process is relatively simple. It will take a little bit longer than installing a drop-in trigger, especially if you first go at it.
The Tandemkross kit is manufactured with a black or red trigger shoe, but only the red is currently in stock. This kit provides a pull weight of approximately 2lbs. There is a small amount of variation in each kit’s pull weight, but it tends to range from about 1.75lbs-2.25lbs. There is no pre-travel and the over-travel is adjustable.
Once installed, this trigger provides a consistent, clean break. The short reset aids in delivering accurate follow-up shots and it performs reliably. The face of the trigger shoe is flat and has a rough-textured surface, making it easy to achieve positive contact while wearing gloves and under high-stress environments, such as during a competition shoot.
Overall, the Tandemkross performed well and proved itself as a great upgrade option for your Ruger 10/22. However, it is important to keep in mind that this is a trigger kit. The installation process is a bit different from installing a drop-in trigger. Also, it does not come with an auto bolt release or extended magazine release. It is compatible with both upgrades, but they must be purchased separately.
- Short reset
- No pre-travel
- Textured trigger shoe
- Not drop-in
- No extended magazine release
- No auto bolt release
- Cannot adjust pre-travel
Why You Upgrade Your Ruger 10/22 Trigger
Thanks to its longevity and popularity, the Ruger 10/22 can be completely customized to suit your shooting style and performance needs. By mastering the fundamentals, you can achieve great results with your Ruger 10/22. At some point, you are going to need to upgrade your rifle to continue improving.
The three primary parts that influence accuracy are your barrel, optic, and trigger. An upgraded trigger will improve your accuracy by providing a shorter, smoother pull and a clean break. A lighter pull weight will also make you less prone to jerking or slapping your trigger and help you keep your rounds on target consistently.
If I am going to upgrade my rifle one part at a time, I always like to start with the trigger. This is because the trigger is the part that most drastically changes your interactions with your rifle and requires some familiarization on your part. A new barrel or new optic does not require any adjustments to your shooting mechanics because the principles of sight picture and sight alignment hold true.
Types Of Ruger 10/22 Triggers
Aftermarket Ruger 10/22 triggers are dividing into one of two main groups: Drop-in triggers and Trigger kits. Both trigger types can significantly improve the performance of your rifle.
Which one you opt for really depends on personal preference, the amount of skill required for the swap, and whether or not you want the trigger to include additional features like an extended magazine release.
Drop-in triggers provide the simplest installation process of the two replacement types. They also eliminate the chance for installation error because they will only fit in your rifle one way and contain the entire trigger group in a housing.
However, they may not provide as many customization options as trigger kits. Drop-in triggers typically have a fixed pull weight that is set at the factory and cannot be adjusted.
Trigger kits take a little bit more work on the front end but allow for more customization. If you have a preferred brand of magazine release and auto bolt release for your Ruger 10/22, a trigger kit will allow you to install those in conjunction with your new trigger.
This is because a trigger kit includes each individual piece and must be installed into the trigger housing. Some trigger kits even allow you to adjust the pull weight by swapping out springs, whereas drop-in triggers generally have a fixed pull weight.
How to Pick The Best Ruger 10/22 Triggers
A good aftermarket trigger like the ones featured here will address three performance factors: pull weight, reset length, and smoothness. They will also be easy to install and user friendly. All of these factors and your intended use are important considerations when choosing the best trigger for your Ruger 10/22.
A lighter pull weight influences accuracy because it reduces the amount of force you need to apply in order to fire your rifle. Stock triggers often have heavier pull weights in the 4+ pound range and can cause your hand to tense up, which may affect your aim. By reducing this pull weight, the chances of slapping or jerking your trigger are also reduced.
Another sign of a good quality trigger is a short reset. The reset is the distance the trigger must travel after being pulled in order to return to a ready position. If your trigger has a long reset, it can make you more prone to exerting too much pressure during follow-up shots. Short resets allow you to maintain a proper grip on your rifle and quickly deliver follow-up shots with minimal risk of jerking your rifle.
When you are firing your Ruger 10/22, the trigger pull should be smooth. This means that the pull weight should be consistent during the entire range of motion. You should not experience any sudden increases or decreases in resistance until the trigger “breaks” and the round is fired. A smooth trigger pull also aids in preventing slapping your trigger. Slapping your trigger seriously decreases your accuracy.
All of the triggers featured here perform great and many of them even include additional features such as an extended magazine release. With that in mind, the ease of installation may be the deciding factor when you are purchasing your Ruger 10/22 trigger. If this is your first trigger swap or you are looking for the simplest installation process, a drop-in trigger is the way to go. If you are more comfortable with your customization abilities, then a trigger kit may provide you with the customization flexibility you want for your Ruger 10/22.
How to Install a Ruger 10/22 Trigger
Installing your new trigger is a quick and easy process, especially if you opt for a drop-in style trigger. You will need a small punch, flat head screwdriver, and a hammer. The hammer will only be used to tap on the back end of the punch if any of your pins are tightly lodged in place.
As with any weapons modification, your first step is to clear your weapon to ensure it is safe to work on. Then you will loosen both screws on the bottom of your rifle and remove the stock. You shouldn’t need to completely remove either screw, just loosen them enough to back them out of the stock.
Once your trigger assembly and barrel are removed from your stock, you will see two pins that hold your trigger assembly in place. After you remove those pins, you can take the entire trigger assembly out and put your new trigger housing in place. Secure your new trigger with the two pins and repeat the rest of these steps in reverse order to put your rifle back together.
If you opt for the trigger kit route, you will have a few additional steps. After you remove the trigger housing as described above, you will need to disassemble it and swap out the old sear, hammer, springs, and trigger. Each of those parts is held in place with pins and are easily removed. Put your new parts in place and secure them with the same pins and then reassemble your rifle.
How to Adjust a Ruger 10/22 Trigger
Many of the triggers featured here have at least one adjustable feature, such as the pull length or shoe height. While they are manufactured by a number of different companies, these adjustments are usually made in a similar manner. With the Ruger 10/22, it will most likely require you to field strip your rifle to make the adjustments if you do not make them during the installation process.
Generally, a set screw is located on the trigger housing that can be turned to adjust the pull length. When making adjustments to your trigger, be sure to adjust it in small increments. A quarter turn of the set screw can make a significant change to your trigger pull. I will usually adjust it in increments of about an eight of a turn so I do not miss my target pull length and can really get the trigger dialed in.
Adjusting the shoe height is also very easy and does not require your rifle be field stripped. The most common way to adjust shoe height is by loosening a screw on the side of the trigger shoe and sliding it up or down to the desired height. Then you just need to retighten the screw.
Drop and Go
My pick for the best Ruger 10/22 trigger upgrade is the Timney 10/22 Drop-in Trigger Assembly. This Ruger 10/22 trigger offers a perfect 2lb trigger pull that is crisp and consistent on every shot. It is backed by Timney’s fantastic warranty, ensuring that this trigger provides you with years of reliability. It is also a breeze to install thanks to all the parts being in a self-contained housing.
This one slightly edged out the Calvin Elite trigger because of the lever extended magazine release and auto bolt release features. This trigger does not offer adjustments to the pull length or weight, but I wouldn’t change a thing about this trigger, even if I could. This drop-in trigger is dialed in and ready to go right out of the box.