Best Ruger 10/22 Upgrades for the Perfect Plinking Rifle

Ruger 10/22

In this post I’ll share some of the best Ruger 10/22 upgrades you can make for turning your stock rifle into a fun precision plinking rifle.

The Ruger 10/22 is likely the second most popular rifle in the U. S. after the AR-15. Depending on the source, the production numbers vary; but all agree that at least seven million rifles have been produced.

There is a huge aftermarket for 10/22 upgrades. I will not be delving into the deep end of the pool with aftermarket receivers or some of the other exotica.

However, with some very simple upgrades, your 10/22 can shoot better, look sharper and be more reliable.

Best 10/22 Stock Upgrades

There are many fantastic stock options for the Ruger 10/22 that are more comfortable or add additional features the factory stock doesn’t have. Below are a three of my favorite Ruger 10/22 stocks.

1. Archangel Ruger Precision Stock

For many, the factory stock is anything but a comfortable fit. An upgrade to the Archangel Ruger Precision Stock provides many ergonomic improvements.

The cheek rest is adjustable, so any height optic is easily matched. It has an adjustable length of pull to accommodate the short or tall shooters among us.

The forend has an integrated Picatinny rail for ease of bipod mounting. This stock system comes in a variety of colors from desert tan to a deep red and even purple, if you want.

Although the color choice doesn’t really affect performance, the rest of the stock’s features help to improve your soda can or squirrel sniping performance and is a great aftermarket 10/22 upgrade.

There are many advantages to the Archangel stock, but the primary disadvantage is all the adjustments can easily be knocked out of synch. So that is one thing to consider if you’re thinking about purchasing this stock.

Here’s a short video on how to install this fantastic stock.

2. Magpul Hunter X-22 10/22 Stock

For those who want clean lines and a stock upgrade, the Magpul Hunter X-22 offers many of the same customized adjustment without needing to worry about them getting fiddled with.

It is compatible with all barrels up to the factory bull-barrel diameter of 0.920” and accepts any M-Lok accessory mounts. This makes bipod mounting very simple.

The Magpul Hunter X-22 also comes in a couple of colors, ranging from stealth gray to pink.

This stock is available for both the standard 10/22 and the 10/22 Takedown.

Magpul Hunter X-22 Stock for the Ruger 10/22 Takedown

3. Magpul X-22 Backpacker for the Ruger 10/22 Takedown

If you own a Ruger 10/22 Takedown this is an excellent stock upgrade.

The Magpul X-22 Backpacker is significantly more comfortable to use than the factory stock plus it also allows you to fit the barrel and stock together in a nice compact package.

I also like the storage compartment in the stock that can fit an extra 10 round magazine and a box of ammo. There also additional storage in the grip for tools or other small parts.

If you want to dig a little deeper on this stock here’s a review of the X-22 Backpacker.

10/22 Barrel Upgrades

4. Tactical Solutions X-Ring Performance Barrel

The Tactical Solutions X-Ring Performance barrel is an aluminum-shrouded barrel over a Chromoly bore. It is factory threaded and weighs in at half the weight of the Volquartsen.

It is a 16.5” barrel weighing in at just under 13 ounces. It comes in a variety of anodized colors. In order to keep the weight down, the barrel is swirl-fluted.

To some degree, this reduces rigidity compared to a full-diameter barrel, but it does point faster for sports needing quick target acquisition.

Tactical Solutions Ruger 10/22 Barrel
The Tactical Solutions Performance X-Ring Barrel is incredibly lightweight and accurate.

5. Volquartsen Carbon-Fiber Barrel

If you are putting on a better stock and ensuring the barrel is mounted down properly with a stainless steel V-block, it might make sense to look at a better barrel.

These are very accurate, come threaded with a compensator included and have all the accuracy advantages of a bull barrel.

The carbon-fiber shroud is stiffer than the competitor’s aluminum over Chromoly bore, but they are a bit heavier. The 18.5” barrel comes in at two pounds.

One other slight disadvantage, with continuous fire, the carbon fiber is very poor at dissipating heat.

6. Tactical Solutions V-Block

The stock barrel system is made of aluminum. The mounting hardware and the barrel are made of steel. Over time, the aluminum will wear or deform from over-tightening the mounting screws.

These issues create wiggle, which reduces accuracy. This drop-in replacement V-block is stainless steel and fixes those issues once and for all.

Upgrade the 10/22 Receiver and Action

7. ProMag 10/22 Recoil Buffer

I know, you are thinking recoil on a .22, in rifle form.  What kind of wimp needs a recoil buffer?  The fact of the matter here is, this item is not designed to decrease the recoil felt in your shoulder.

It is meant to reduce the metal on metal contact caused by the recoil impulse. Your 10/22 is the rifle you will likely shoot the most.

If due to nothing else, the ammo costs ½ to 1/5 that of any centerfire rifle you own.  I know it is not uncommon for mine to see 250-750 rounds in a day. This inexpensive item will help the bolt and recoil pin last.

8. Timney Trigger Ruger Calvin Elite 10/22 – 1.5-2 Pounds

The Timney Galvin Elite is one of the most precise triggers available for the Ruger 10/22. If you’re not doing precision/benchrest work, the pull weight might be a bit too light.

If you are, the consistency of the trigger pull is amazing. Unlike the factory trigger, the take-up is minimal and the break is crisp, and most importantly, consistent.

It is a true drop-in trigger housing and the trigger shoe height is adjustable to your desired location.

Timney Calvin Elite Ruger 10/22 Trigger
The Timney Calvin Elite trigger is one of the best triggers you could get for your Ruger 10/22.

9. Timney Ruger 10/22 Trigger – 2¾ Pounds

I am very comfortable with a light trigger, but some may not want the lightness of the Calvin Elite trigger. Timney also has a drop-in trigger with a similar lack of creep and a very consistent break, but with a heavier pull weight.

This trigger is factory set to 2¾ pounds for a bit more resistance, and is more comfortable for most people who are not shooting in a benchrest environment.

Often times, when most other things have been worked out for accuracy, large gains can still be had by improving trigger consistency.

10. Ruger BX Trigger

The Ruger BX Trigger is another great option for a replacement trigger. It’s easily one of the best Ruger 10/22 upgrades you can make without spending a couple hundred dollars on the triggers above.

This trigger is compatible with the Ruger 10/22 rifle or the 22 Charger and features a light, crisp 2.5- to 3-pound trigger pull, with minimal overtravel to help prevent pulling your aim off target.

Rugged, reliable and safe, this improved genuine Ruger factory trigger meets or exceeds industry standards for drop testing and comes in a completely self-contained module..

The Ruger BX trigger is quick and easy to install as shown in this video.

11. Timber Creek Extended Magazine Release EMR and EMR XL  

One of the annoying things about shooting a 10/22, is the recessed magazine release requires a change of grip to actuate. The EMR and EMR XL fix this.

The EMR replaces the stock release but sticks down in front of the trigger guard for easy manipulation. The EMR XL is even longer and follows the contour of the trigger guard for better leverage.

For me, this was a bit obtrusive. I am sure I would get used to it with a bit more use. The EMR works well for me, and did not have me taking extra care while prone or carrying the gun.

I highly recommend an extended mag release as one of the first 10/22 upgrades you make.

Timber Creek EMR XL
The Timber Creek EMR XL provides tons of surface area to quickly release your magazines.

12. Tandemkross Receiver Cross Pins Upgrade

For those who are continually tinkering with their 10/22, it’s rare to not have the receiver pins drop out. Sometimes you find them, sometimes you don’t.

These inexpensive upgrade pins fix that problem. With a ball detent, they stay put unless you want them to come out and push them with a punch.

13. Midwest Industries Ruger 10/22 Scope Mount

Most of us want an optic on our rifles. This mount makes fitting any scope simple. My choice is usually a 1×6 or 3×9 variable zoom, but many red dots have Picatinny mounting options as well.

You can, of course, use direct mount rings, but they tend to be finicky and greatly reduce the eye-relief adjustment compared to a Picatinny rail. These are available in silver or black.

What are the best Ruger 10/22 upgrades you’ve made and how did they turn out? Let us know in the comments section below!

About the Author:

John Bibby

John Bibby is an American gun writer who had the misfortune of being born in the occupied territory of New Jersey. His parents moved to the much freer state of Florida when he was 3. This allowed his father start teaching him about shooting prior to age 6. By age 8, he was regularly shooting with his father and parents of his friends. At age 12, despite the strong suggestions that he shouldn’t, he shot a neighbor’s “elephant rifle."

The rifle was a .375 H&H Magnum and, as such, precautions were taken. He had to shoot from prone. The recoil-induced, grass-stained shirt was a badge of honor. Shooting has been a constant in his life, as has cooking.

He is an (early) retired Executive Chef. Food is his other great passion. Currently, he is a semi-frequent 3-Gun competitor, with a solid weak spot on shotgun stages. When his business and travel schedule allow, you will often find him, ringing steel out well past 600 yards. In order to be consistent while going long, reloading is fairly mandatory. The 3-Gun matches work his progressive presses with volume work. Precision loading for long-range shooting and whitetail hunting keeps the single-stage presses from getting dusty.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (14)

  1. Bought one for my 10 year old son. Put the arch angel 223 kit to make it easier to mount and just adjustable. He eventually put a barska rim fire scope on it for about 45$ which is perfect for it, then put a red dot on top of that for quick acquisition shooting. Find myself enjoying it more then my ARs and can go through a lot more ammo for a lot less money

  2. Have 4 10-22. My favorite. Im a machinist so can do lots on my own. My target rifle has boyd thumb hole stock. Volquartsen fluted barrel. So one can do little mod to factory hammer to lighten trigger. A small stone works wonders. Made my own buffer pin. Floated my new stock. When doing this you’ll have to shim the back of stock under receiver. Beer can for mine. Took bolt and surface ground it. And stoned all the rough edges down. You’ll find a ruger factory built is pretty roughly machined. Opened up the factory bolt lock with a drimel tool. Now you can just drop bolt instead of having to manually drop. Added my own extension on bolt and clip release. Also put a trigger stop in mine for over travel. Anyway with a little elbow grease and less money one can increase accuracy and functionality drastically.

  3. You didn’t mention the Williams “Ace-in-the-hole”. Yes it is a pain to sight it in; you need a lot of patience to get it right. Once done you will never have to do it again. Now you can use any glass you want, looks good with a very low profile. That is what I use on my take-down along with the laser made for the 10/22. I have two other 10/22’s made in early ’70’s; there is no wiggle in either of them. Leave the barrel to receiver alone and it will last forever.

  4. I just did a 10-22 from scratch, seemed to be the way to go. Kidd 920 fluted barrel, most parts are from Tactical Innovations, using a bullpup stock as i am a TRex and i just like em. Took it to the range yesterday, and it got stupid windy, and rained intermittently but after walking the red dot in (2moa Holosun) at 50 yards i had about 1.5 inch group but that alwas a ross like 8-10 magazines and just had a hole punched out. Not bad with terrible visibility and horrid wind.
    This was all done with the super cheap Winchester white box 36 grain 1260 fos crap. I got a bulk pack of it a couple years back because for a while it was the only 22 i found at a descent price.

    So not great conditions and ammo that is definitively meh still made a descent outcome. Looking forward to a range day that isnt blowing my hat off or knowing over boxes of ammo from wind, having some visibility, and some decent ammo as well.
    This all showed me the slys the linit with these little guns and they are so fun too.

  5. Skinner, UTG and Tech Sights make various iron sights that would work well on a 22 LR. Some of them mount on the scope rail, which would also increase your sight radius.

  6. I have the “deluxe” with the walnut stock. My major upgrades over the 20-years or so that I have owned it are the BX trigger and an EGW Picatinney Rail scope mount. It shot really well out of the box, but the trigger definitely helps. I use the EGW mount on a lot of rifles and pistols (particularly Thompson Center Contenders and Encores) and really like it.

  7. I drilled the back of the receiver to facilitate cleaning. Not sure that was necessary or worth the trouble. A bore snake works fine 95% of the time. Changed the mag release and recoil buffer. Added a Kidd barrel (aluminium w steel insert), Kidd trigger and Kidd bolt w firing pin. Replaced the barrel block and the flat head screw that holds the action to the stock with a hex headed bolt (hint, best accuracy is not always found with high torque on this screw, experiment with different amounts). The Wheeler Fat Wrench is helpful. Added a new stock with adjustable length of pull. The only thing still Ruger on my rifle is the receiver. Best upgrades were the barrel and trigger. Second time around, I’d do the trigger first, many Ruger factory barrels are actually pretty accurate. Simple upgrades that are cheap and that made a difference: #1) upgraded firing pin and extractor (best two things you can do to a 10/22 to make it run better). The mag release replacement was also cheap and added to the ease of handling. Adding a modified bolt hold open part (I forgot what that’s called) was nice also, and cheap. Also, .22 LR rifles can be notoriously finicky about ammo. Try several brands. Test with premium brands so you know what your rifle can really do. Then, if you want, try some cheaper stuff to see how close you can come to the premium stuff for everyday plinking. Also, sub sonic and standard velocity ammo usually gives you smaller groups than high velocity rounds. My default testing ammo is CCI, it seems to work well in almost every rifle. The aluminium barrels with steel liners usually do shrink your groups, and they weigh less than the factory barrels. But, you may find that your factory barrel gives you surprisingly nice groups if you have a decent trigger and feed it ammo it likes.

  8. I wish you had included recommendations for improved sights. That is the first (and maybe only) thing I intend to upgrade on my 10/22.

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