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5 Ruger 10/22 Upgrades – Must Haves?

The 10/22 is one of those guns that almost everyone owns — or has at least fired at some point in their lives.  While the gun usually runs tolerably well in its stock form there are certain upgrades to the 10/22 that we feel every person should think about.  While they may not all be needed they certainly make the 10/22 more comfortable, easier to use and less ammo sensitive. The wide variety of individual part options means a 10/22 owner can tweak it just a little or go full Caitlyn Jenner on it.

Read on to see what parts we suggest. Are they must haves or are we missing something?


The extractor above is made by Tactical Solutions, but remember Power Custom and Volquartsen both make their own version.

5 Ruger 10/22 Upgrades

1. The 10/22 extractor works fairly well up until the wax from the bullet tips starts to gunk up the works after a long day of shooting.  We usually toss the stock extractor to help get rid of the eventual failure to ejects that we will have.  One of the great things about the 10/22 is reliable 25 rounds magazines you can get for it and blasting away with cheap bulk ammo.  While we are talking about magazines the Ruger BX-25 magazines or the Butler Creek Steel lips get our vote.  The aftermarket extractors are usually built to better tolerances and grip the rim of the 22lr case better. Since we changed ours we have fires thousands of all sorts of cheap brands with no extraction issues.


This firing pin is made by Power Custom, but Volquartsen makes one that you can buy on its own or in a pack with their extractor.

2. Most of us have seen first hand how much fussier .22lr ammunition is (vs. center fire ammo). This is due to the way they ignite. Instead of a dead center primer containing everything needed to make the round fire off reliably, .22lr ammunition uses priming compound. That rim you see on the case is packed with priming compound and if it doesn't make it to each area in the rim you get dead spots that won't fire the round. This is why rotating the casing if it doesn't go off the first time will usually get it to fire. Another issue results if the rim doesn't get hit well enough to cause the round to go off. However, with a replacement firing pin your almost guaranteed if there is any priming compound in that area it struck that round is firing. The replacement pins are usually thicker so they aren't sloppy in their channel and have a precision ground head. While you're changing out your extractor you might as well take care of this.


This is a Volquartsen bolt release. You can also get them from Clark or Power Custom.

3. The first time most people use a 10/22 and try pull the bolt back to release the bolt catch they usually end up with a confused look on their face. You know, like Hillary Clinton at an Ethics in Government discussion. It seems like something you should be able to do effortlessly and automatically, but unfortunately this is not so. There are several options to make this possible, but if you don't want to spend the money and own a Swiss File there's another recourse — fix it yourself. Numerous guides and videos are posted online telling you how to file your existing bolt release so it releases when you pull back on the charging handle. Or you can go ahead and spend less than $20 and buy a new one. It just depends on whether you'd rather spend an hour of your time or a few ducats.


The 10/22 almost rivals the AR in number of aftermarket stock options so we wont name them all. The one above comes from Hogue.

4. The first three items on this list are what we consider a basic necessity for getting that new 10/22 up and running. Those are actually things we'll change before ever even taking the weapon out to the range or giving it to our spawn as a birthday present, Christmas present or to celebrate the passage of a new concealed carry law somewhere. While the stock on the 10/22 works, much like the great Savage FV-SR it feels very toy-like. Thankfully there are stocks out there that can make your 10/22 look like a service rifles. Others just make it feel better in your hands (that's what she said). One style we are quite partial to are the Hogue Overmolded stocks, as they make variations for standard barrels, bull barrels and even one for the 10/22 Takedown now. It really makes that 10/22 evolve from feeling like a gas station pellet gun to something you're actually proud to own.


You can either put in a drop in trigger or get the individual parts. The Ruger BX trigger is likely the most affordable drop in option but there are others.

5. Shooters often describe a good trigger as “like a glass rod breaking.” If we were to describe the stock 10/22 trigger we would say it more feels like breaking a bag of pretzels — or at least one of the big stale ones you get at the theater. It's gritty and rather sloppy feeling. There are of course many options in this DIY category, from changing out springs to sears and polishing everything. If you aren't a tinkerer though, you can get one of a handful of drop-ins from a host of high end manufacturers, many of which you've already seen. The other option if you're on a budget and don't need the most insane trigger ever (or you just have little interest in buying a trigger that costs more than the original gun) is the Ruger BX trigger. Its a sub $100 trigger that is much better than stock.

Speaking of the Ruger BX trigger…if they've provided this solution, why not make one for the others? They have to be aware of the most commonly changed parts, right?

The Ruger 10/22 is a timeless guns we think everyone should own. It's something you can get as a gift when you're seven and still be firing when you're seventy. Leave it as is, swap out just the trigger or go in and change out everything to the point where, like the former Olympic gold medal decathlete, it no longer has any of the original parts. The sky's the limit when it comes to this platform.

Now, what do you think the 5 most important changes are for the 10/22?

Leave your answer in the comments here on, if you would. Maybe we can use your opinions to stir up a contest or giveaway.

All pictures of parts were acquired from Brownells. You should probably head over to check out their 10/22 parts selection. The cover photo was taken from the Ruger website.

Head over to OFFGRID and see how they turned a Ruger 10/22 into a great SHTF rifle.

Ruger 10-22 Survival Rifle

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