6 Easy Ruger 10/22 Rifle Upgrades

Ruger 10.22 .22LR rifle upgrades mods customization

James Case from Philadelphia, Mississippi, U.S.A. [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Ruger 10/22 .22LR rifle is one of the most frequently customized rifle platforms on the market. There are hundreds and hundreds of 10/22 mods and upgrades available to make Ruger’s ultra-popular rimfire rifle just about anything you want it to be. The aftermarket support is ridiculously deep.

Do you want to spruce yours up, but don’t know where to start? Let’s start with a few easy changes that will actually make it a better rifle. None of these changes require a huge amount of know-how or tools…though you’ll want to use a gunsmith if you aren’t confident enough to change out sights or other components.

Ruger BX-Trigger drop in trigger group

First on the list is better trigger than the stock version. While there are many drop-in trigger options out there (Timney and plenty of other companies make drop-in 10/22 triggers) an easy 10/22 upgrade can be had directly from Ruger themselves, their BX-Trigger.

ruger bx trigger for 10/22 rifle drop in

Ruger BX Trigger. Credit: ruger.com

The Ruger BX-Trigger is a drop-in trigger group, which you should easily be able to install yourself, especially since it’s made by the manufacturer. The 10/22 stock trigger isn’t atrocious, but could certain stand to be a bit crisper, a little lighter, and that’s what the BX-Trigger fixes.

The BX-Trigger reduces trigger pull weight to 2.75 lbs from the factory 6 lb trigger group pull weight.

At about $75 retail it will make a big difference in how your 10/22 shoots. Sure, there are arguably better trigger groups out there, with lighter triggers or more premium parts, but how much money do you want to spend upgrading your $300 plinker?

Ruger BX-25 25-round magazines

Another improvement is the magazine. If you’ve shot your 10/22 much at all, you know that those 10-round rotary mags seem to empty out way too fast.

 

Ruger BX-25 magazine. Credit: ruger.com

Ruger’s BX-25 magazine – or a couple of them – takes your capacity up to 25 rounds. That means more time shooting and less swapping out mags. They run about $28, but you can get a 2-pack for $52.

 

Another common 10/22 upgrade is the sights, as the iron sights on most models are not incredible, and putting Zeiss optics on a plinking rifle is just stupid as hell. So what’s a good sight set that doesn’t cost too much but will help you shoot more accurately?

TRUGLO Rimfire Rifle Fiber Optic Sight Set

If you wanted to keep the standard sight arrangement but upgrade the sights themselves, there are a number of different companies making them.

truglo RIMFIRE RIFLE FIBER-OPTIC SIGHT SET

Courtesy TRUGLO

One excellent, easy to install set comes from TRUGLO, which will set you back less than $40. Their Rimfire Rifle Fiber Optic Sight Set is height and windage adjustable in the rear, and windage adjustable in the front (t’s not compatible with the Takedown models). For most plinking and small game hunting they’re ideal.

Tech Sights 10/22 Aperture Sight Sets

If you wanted to get a bit more serious about accuracy, you’ll want to move your 10/22’s rear sight to the back receiver. It’s tapped to mount a scope, but can accept a rear sight if you aren’t planning to add an optic.

A couple of great options worth looking are from Tech Sights.

The TSR100 aperture sight (L) and TSR200 aperture (sight R) (courtesy tech-sights.com)

These are AR-15 style sight sets with a rear aperture sight with a National Match front post. The TSR100 set – you can pick ’em up for about $70 – has dual flip-up apertures, one for short range and one for long range. The front sight adjusts for elevation and the rear sight can be adjustable for windage.

TechSight’s TSR200 set ditches the short-range aperture, but adds elevation adjustment to the rear sight. If you’ve ever used the typical iron sights on an AR-platform rifle…you’ll be right at home. The TSR200 set will run you about $10 more.

Moving your rear sight to the back of the receiver gets you about 8 inches more sight radius which should improve your accuracy.

You could, of course, always add a scope or red dot, but — and this is just my opinion — the 10/22 is a lot of fun and that’s starting to take it a bit too seriously. Unless you use it to hunt small game, that seems a bit much. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments (I know you will) .

Magpul X-22 Hunter Stock

Another popular upgrade that a lot of 10/22 owners make is to swap out the stock. It’s another easy change you can make without much trouble or expense.

Magpul Hunter X-22 Stock

Magpul Hunter X-22 Stock for Ruger 10/22 courtesy Amazon

A great bang-for-your-buck 10/22 stock is the Magpul Hunter X-22, which made for both standard and takedown models. The Hunter X-22 is molded polymer with easy drop-in installation.

It has a pistol grip with textured panels for easy grip, and is adjustable for length-of-pull with a shim kit that comes with the stock. You can also add a cheek riser kit to adjust the drop at comb if you want. That can come in handy if you’ve mounted an optic on your rifle.

The X-22 stock works with all Ruger 10/22 magazines so that isn’t a problem. The forend also includes M-LOK slots on the sides and the bottom, so you can add any M-LOK compatible accessory you might want.

The stock is lightweight, at just over 2 lbs though the exact weight depends on how many length of pull spacers you install. Still, you get to change out the factory wood or polymer stock with a lightweight, higher-tech rifle stock and for not too much, either: Magpul asks about $140, but you should be able to find it for a bit less elsewhere.

Or…if you wanted to get a little nutty…

M1 Carbine Stock for 10/22

e arthur brown company M1 Carbine 10/22 Stock Version 2.0

courtesy eabco.com

You can go the classic route by adding something like an M1 Carbine-style stock to your rimfire rifle. A few companies have started producing M1-inspired stocks (with the covered handguard) for Ruger 10/22 actions – heck, Ruger even makes a couple of M1-inspired models – so if you wanted to enjoy a little bit of an anachronism without having to find .30 Carbine ammo…why not?

E. Arthur Brown’s M1 Carbine 10/22 Tribute stock goes for the reasonable price of $119. It’s made of beech rather than walnut, but it looks the part.

A smart feature they include is two different handguards, one for use with standard Ruger sights and a second in case you install a rear sight on the receiver (as pictured above). They even make a dummy “stick magazine” cover – it attaches to the standard 10-round magazine – to complete the effect.

Yes, it’s may be kitschy, but – again – the Ruger 10/22 is a gun for having fun. Some folks hunt with them, of course, but most of us shoot our Ruger 10/22 rifles basically for sheer pleasure and this M1 dress-up kit is darn cool.

These are just a handful of ideas for 10/22 upgrades that can get you a bit better function and add some more flair to your rifle. They barely scratch the surface of what’s out there. Have you customized your 10/22?  Sound off in the comments!

comments

  1. avatar Robster says:

    Nice article, thanks.

      1. avatar Buffer says:

        I run TK upgrades. TK and Volquartsen are amazing. Kidd makes good stuff too. If Ruger makes aftermarket upgrades for their own guns, then take that as a hint that Ruger doesn’t love you as much as you think. The BX trigger should be standard issue!

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          As should a rear set of irons (peep)

    1. avatar LibertyToad says:

      I have the Magpul X-22 Hunter Stock. Makes it feel more like a “big boy” rifle and fits me better. Worth every penny.

  2. avatar Jerre Peak says:

    Anybody know of a company making synthetic, black, stocks for the 10/22 Compact model ?

    1. avatar Napresto says:

      Don’t know for sure, but Boyd’s has a lot of very nice stocks for many makes and models, including the 10/22. I have one for my Min-14 that totally classes it up.

      By the way, for nice aftermarket sights, Skinner makes some very interesting options for a variety of guns, also including the 10/22.

      1. avatar Jerre Peak says:

        Okay. Thanks my friend. I’ll try Boyd’s.

  3. avatar jwm says:

    I fiddled around with sight options on my 10-22. The Ruger is a very compact gun. IMHO opinion putting standard rifle scopes on it ruins the feel and balance of the rifle. I finally put fiber optic sights on my. Improved accuracy without the bulk.

    I transferred the scope onto my Russian built Winchester bolt rifle. Much more appropriate use of the scope. The RussChester has a heavy target barrel with a recessed crown. Capable of much better accuracy than the Ruger.

  4. avatar dph says:

    You forgot the cheapest upgrade, file the little tit off to be able to just pull the bolt handle to release the bolt.

    1. avatar Phil L. says:

      Came here to verify that this modification was mentioned. Leaving satisfied!

    2. avatar daveinwyo says:

      This works, but is not as good as buying the adjusted part from the out fit that starts with a V. Can’t remember how to spell it.
      The next fix is to get the poly bolt stop pin.
      My old 10/22 (74) has an elongated bolt pin hole from so, so many rounds. The poly pin also helps to reduce bolt noise and slightly reduces recoil.
      The same company as above makes a 2 1/2 +/- trigger which is less expensive than the Ruger BX.
      I believe I got the parts from either Midway or Sportsmans Guide.

      1. avatar That Jason says:

        Volquartsen. And get the soft plastic buffer pin from them, too.

        Not because it improves anything – which is debatable – but because it doesn’t fall out and roll under something when you field strip the rifle, the way the factory pin always does.

        1. avatar daveinwyo says:

          My 1974 10/22 upon taking the action/barrel out of the stock, all fall out, even the poly.
          Thanks for the Co. name. Can’t spell for poop.

    3. avatar Adam S. says:

      I have had a 10/22 for almost a decade and didnt know about this. Thanks for sharing!

  5. avatar Jim from LI says:

    I treated my 30+ year old 10/22 to the BX trigger, Hunter X22 stock, and a Keystone Arms bull barrel. Transformed it into a precision rifle for hundreds less than the equivalent from Ruger.

    The Magpul stock is one of the few that don’t turn a 10/22 into an “assault weapon” in NY.

    1. avatar LibertyToad says:

      I installed a lighter hammer (from Volquartsen) I think–it was a few years back. It lightened the trigger by a bit and I think it only cost $25 or $30.

  6. avatar SkorpionFan says:

    Gun Mag Warehouse has a great sale on a 10/22 kits; only $25 for two 25-round
    Champion clear magazines, self-healing rimfire spinner target, and a complete Outers cleaning kit. Just bought 2 kits. Haven’t tried the magazines yet, but they have lots of good reviews. Get ’em before they’re gone.

    https://gunmagwarehouse.com/champion-ruger-10-22-magazine-cleaning-kit-target-bundle.html

    If you’d prefer to stick with Ruger OEM magazines, they also have Ruger BX-25 25-round magazines for $20 each or two for $37.

    1. avatar doesky2 says:

      Grabagun 2 pack Ruger is usually $31

    2. avatar daveinwyo says:

      Tried MANY after market 10/22 mags, have a box full.
      If the mag cannot be taken apart, like the BX 25 from Ruger, you just wasted money.
      They WILL foul and cleaning ’em is as close to impossible as you can get.
      How ever, most “speed loaders” won’t work with the BX 25 mags.
      I feel I’m as close to an expert on the 10/22 as some here claim to be about the AR 15.
      I have all but worn my ’74 out, have a stainless w/ synth stock and my wife has a stock 10/22 about 30 years old. I have worked on/modified several for friends.
      I even got to work on #3000.A beat up truck gun on a ranch that had never been cleaned.Owner called and said his 10/22 wouldn’t shoot any more.
      Cleaned it, took a LONG time. I had to disassemble the bolt, replace the extractor, then added the replacement trigger, bolt pin and quick release bolt lever.
      He said it shot better than new.
      PS to the guy in the video, get a Fing punch set!!! Crappy tools = crappy results.

      1. avatar daveinwyo says:

        PPS; If you do get a poly bolt stop pin, slightly bevel one end for ease of putting it back in. Other wise it will kind of “peen” over and become a real bitch to put back in.

  7. avatar Grumpy F'er says:

    Unfortunately, the state of WA just magically changed the 10/22 into a so called “assault rifle.”

    Hard to justify a lot of costume jewelry on something targeted for confiscation.

    1. avatar Jerre Peak says:

      The 10/22 an assault rifle ?? That’s crazy as hell ! ! We really do have some dumb ass people in this country ! !

    2. avatar dph says:

      F’em, I cannot foresee a time when anyone besides me owns my guns, I’ll be leaving the state anyway after my father has passed away. He is the only reason we are still here.

      1. avatar LibertyToad says:

        I feel your pain. I’m behind enemy lines here in Illinois. Can’t wait to get out after my girls finish college and I retire. People think someone with over 500 rounds has an arsenal…what a joke. 500 rounds is just a good day at the range…..

    3. avatar JebTN says:

      Before I escaped NY my 10-22 would have been an assault weapon if I put a thumbhole stock on it. The 25 round mags were already illegal. You can probably guess what the first thing I bought when I moved to TN. The second was some stock capacity magazines for my Glock.

  8. avatar SkorpionFan says:

    Another interesting upgrade is the MBWSTOCKS walnut stock with AK underfolding metal stock and wooden AK-style pistol grip. Available for standard or bull barrel, and the stock can fold with a 25-round BX-25 mag loaded. Occasionally, they have small runs with upgraded wood. Excellent quality, great customer service, and fast shipping direct from factory in Poland. I love mine.
    http://mbwstocks.com/products/

  9. avatar TommyJay says:

    I’ve got a Collector’s Series 2 carbine with an aperture sight and a Picatinny rail and light polymer stock. This model finally became a standard model (#31115), plus they got a new carbine (#31139) which dispenses with the iron sights for $90 less.

    I installed the BX trigger system, but I started to experience a few fail-to-fires. MiniMag ammo purportedly has harder than average case metal. One and a half years ago, the lore was that Ruger lightened the hammer spring in the BX. So I pulled the hammer spring out of the stock trigger and put it in the BX trigger. The trigger pull force went up just a little, but the fail-to-fires stopped.

    Brownells had a Clarke bolt release thingy for $6 or so, that allows you to sling-shot release the bolt. I installed that and it works great.

    When re-assembling the rotary mags., I suggest following the manual which recommend tensioning the spring at 1.25 turns (or a bit more). Some (Brownells?) recommend 2 full turns which can make chambering a round off of a full mag troublesome.

    I alternately put a Bushnell TRS-25 or a Nikon 3-9X (Prostaff Target EFR) scope on the rifle. The Nikon is excellent and the Bushnell is OK, though I don’t trust the adjustment clicks to be repeatable. Zero it at 50 yards and forget it.

  10. avatar TommyJay says:

    After having broken my thumbnail on a couple occasions, I just bought a Maglula 10/22 unloader. Highly recommended.

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      I discovered that Ruger makes an excellent magazine unloader.
      It’s called a 10/22.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        👍

  11. avatar Dude says:

    It’s almost like the Marlin Model 60 doesn’t exist. That’s probably Marlin’s fault for not promoting it like Ruger does the 10/22. Plus, people prefer the box-fed magazine. Eh, it’s plenty of good, cheap fun in stock form.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      The marlin runs better but tubular mags are a PITA. I had a few tubular fed rifles and loading was a pain.

      1. avatar That Jason says:

        The Marlin 795 is a Marlin 60 that runs on box magazines.

        It handles like a bb gun, but it’s reliable and accurate. Get the diproducts trigger and guard and it’ll be a nice rifle for you.

    2. avatar LibertyToad says:

      I have an old Marlin 60 from about 1978. It’s very accurate. I don’t shoot it much anymore but they are great rifles–a bit more accurate than my 10/22.

      1. avatar Eric C Ness says:

        My daughter is using a Marlin 60 for Sporter Rifle competition. I put a M*Carbo trigger and springs replacement in it, got that gritty 6 lbs trigger pull down to a crisp 3 lbs, 12 oz, just above the 3.5 lbs limit in the rules she is shooting under. The tubular mag is a minor annoyance, but they shoot 5 round strings in that competition, and reloading the tube between courses is easier than repeatedly reloading magazines. The 60SS model ships with a good laminate stock, and the entire rifle cost about what a Boyd’s stock for a 10/22 would have set me back.

  12. avatar Slow Joe Crow says:

    I would argue in favor of keeping the standard 10 round rotary magazines since they feed more reliably than box magazines. You can get couplers to attach magazines base to base or Tandemkross sells a double magazine body that holds 20 rounds using two sets of magazine internals.
    Also you can get both better sights and a better stock by buying a 10/22 collector’s series since they come with an XS sights combination ghost ring rear sight and picatinny rail and a modular stock like a Ruger American with no front band and a choice of regular and compact length of pull with an optional cheek riser.

  13. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Boyd’s makes great stocks, Green mountain makes great barrels, so does Tacsol, internals are easy to swap. I don’t think there’s anything original mine other than the receiver. Fun guns to shoot though.

  14. avatar Mike H says:

    Ooooo. Just found that Magpul makes a stock for the 10/22 takedown. I’m intrigued!

    1. avatar Darren says:

      Just bought the X22 backpacker. Great stock, worthevery penny.

  15. avatar Squiggy81 says:

    I bought mine already upgraded. It’s called a Thompson T/CR22. Fiber optic sight, magpul stock, decent trigger, threaded barrel, and a last round bolt hold open. Manged to squeeze it in before it became an assault rifle in WA.
    My plan was to get a 10/22 before July 1, but for the same price (or less) than the Ruger and the stellar reviews the Thompson got, I couldn’t justify buying the original version.

  16. avatar Cknarf says:

    Best thing I ever did was buy some tech sights for dad’s old 10/22.

    Had a little trouble with one of my BX-25 mags, but after being disassembled and tinkered with, it started working fine.

    The stock mag finally gave out after 30+ years of service a few weeks ago, so a pretty good run.

    I’ll probably invest in better mag release someday, the old flush ones are hot garbage.

    1. avatar daveinwyo says:

      Get the slightly longer one. The long one that goes under the trigger guard WII hang up and you may find yourself out in the woods w/no mag. Been there, done that.

      1. avatar daveinwyo says:

        Sorry. Turns back towards the stock. Forgot my left from my right.

  17. avatar That Jason says:

    Don’t waste your time with the BX trigger. It’s hot garbage, just like the factory trigger – plastic triggers flex, and you’ll never get a good feel or break with one.

    Send the factory trigger pack off to Brimstone gunsmithing, and they’ll send you back something worth using for a pretty reasonable cost.

  18. avatar Gilbert Pinfold says:

    Timney trigger, Hogue stock, Tech Sights. More than the gun cost, but it’s perfect now.

  19. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    You do not have to buy a BX trigger to improve the trigger pull on your 10/22. I did my own trigger job in about 30 minutes. I also modified the bolt release so that when you have the bolt locked back all you have to do is pull back once on the bolt handle to make it run forward as opposed to the fked up factory bolt release.

  20. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Glad folks have options to make it like they want.

    Maybe I’m just cheap and not hip.

    See no need to replace the stock.

    The trigger is easy to smooth.

    I detest fiber optic sights formprecise shooting.

    I might add a William’s Peep for a rear. Front bead is fine.

    The 25 and 15 rounders from ruger work pretty well, though. I like em.

    1. avatar Jerre Peak says:

      I’ve bought 2 of Ruger’s 10/22 25 rd mags and both were a piece of crap ! Neither would shoot over 1 round without hanging up. I bought a 15 rd mag and it works pretty good. Still have a hang up every once in a while. I’ll stick with the 10 rd factory mags as I’ve never had any problems at all with them.

      1. avatar Widdler says:

        Huh, that sucks. I’ve had the same issues with butler creek mags but all my ruger mags work fine, as long as i keep the feed lips clean. One butler mag i had would only work if i tilted the gun side ways (gangsta style!) and the mag was perfectly horizontal. Everyone at the range got a good kick out of that.

  21. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Hmmm. No mention of a better barrel. For $100 to $150, you can upgrade your barrel significantly before you put a better stock under the barreled action.

    Triggers – you can buy better. You can also do some basic stoning on the trigger – it isn’t that difficult.

  22. avatar Dan says:

    What’s a decent scope for about a hundred bucks?

    1. avatar That Jason says:

      Vortex Crossfire 2 2-7x gets a lot of love for 10/22s. Should be able to find it for about $130.

  23. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I already own a 1022 long gun. But there is another option. And I have chosen it. I’m going to make mine with a folding brace. For an even more compact version.

    Ruger Charger Pistol – BRACE YOURSELF 15 minutes long

  24. avatar Jim Keung says:

    You left out 2 important mods. You need an extended mag release from Tactical solution. And you also need a replacement extractor.

  25. The article says that the Magpul Hunter X-22 stock “has a pistol grip.”
    No, it doesn’t, and never call it a “pistol grip”, because my state (New Jersey) will ban it as an “assault weapon” if you claim it “has a pistol grip,” and so will New York. I’m not kidding — New Jersey’s “assault weapons ban” make no exceptions for .22 LR rimfire rifles. If they have more than one “scary-looking feature”, then they’re banned as “assault weapons,” and since many 10/22 rifles come with a threaded barrel (one “scary-looking feature”), they can’t have a pistol grip or they’re banned in NJ. Other states, such as New York, have an even stricter AWB that bans guns with even one “scary-looking feature.”

    So never call it a “pistol grip.” Call it anything else, maybe “a traditional stock with a nearly vertical handgrip area,” but never call it a “pistol grip.” We serfs living behind the iron curtain in the People’s Republic of New Jersey (or NY) have enough problems already, without our 10/22 rifles getting banned too! See https://nyfirearms.com/forums/rimfire-handguns-rifles/154592-ruger-10-22-ny-safe-act.html

  26. avatar Jim Keung says:

    2 upgrades need to be on the list.

    1. An extended magazine lever. The stock mag release is not intuitive. Any of the extended magazine release make changing mags a breeze.

    2. An aftermarket extractor. One of the major malfunction of the 10/22 is the extractor. Getting a tool harden extractor makes the gun more reliable.

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