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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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
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!