EsseEssential Basic Ruger 10/22 Mods?

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Dec 7, 2005
With my foot in a cast a few weeks I dug out my ruger 10 22s out of the safe. I consider myself more of a marlin fan boy cause aside from maybe a sling & scope and / or sight they are more or less perfect out of the box but now I have some time on my hands.

What are some basic essential ruger 10 mods just to make the guns more user friendly?
I am going to concentrate on the takedown model.

I'm really wanting the magpull x22 backpacker stock when they become available.

First change I made is am simple utg scope rail with a see though mount so I can have the rail and still use the irons.
I just discovered The ORCA ( opposite reach charging accessory ) and want one of those when I can afford it.

I found a volquartson auto bolt release I must have ordered years ago in the box I plan installing then maybe take a shot at modifying the factory one.

I plan on ordering a yhw extended bolt handle. For iron sights I think the factory charging is fine but when you add a red dot or scope it's too small for me.

BTW anyone else notice that gun parts are dissappearingredients fast from amazon?

I've seen that you can make ano upgraded bolt stop pin from a nylon boat easily but unless you have a can and want to make the action quieter is there really any point?

I played with the bx trigger at a Cabellas & was not impressed with it.

So I'm thinking see though scope mount, auto bolt release, extended bolt handle & maybe a stock are the things that should be changed on basically any 10 22?

Amy I missing anything?
Other than ammo (LOL), looks like you're not missing anything except some decision making. There are so many gadgets and things available for 10/22's that it's mind boggling and only you can decide what's right based on your needs & wants. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was best for my 10/22 and after quite a while I wound up giving up. Mine's only a plinker/ small game gun and other than a 2-7x scope it's just like Ruger made it and it's a good shooter for what I do with it. I've had it since 1999 and now I realize that some of the things I wanted to change on it back then don't seem to appeal to me nowadays so I'm kind of glad I left it alone or else I'd be regretting some of the mods I was considering back then. So if you like it think twice before investing in some of the million or so aftermarket temptations that are out there.
Lots of easy internal work you do yourself. Polish bolt and receiver, chamfer the bolt.
Look at rimfire central for a ton of ideas.
Do a trigger job............

can mod hammer and trigger return spring, or just buy a target hammer from Volq or Clark (or whoever else).
Add a bolt buffer (mine wear Kidd).

Both of my 10/22s are pretty decent, but they were made in 1967.
My standard is scoped. Like small charging handles.....larger just snag on stuff.
I just flick mine with weak hand's index finger.
Hate extended mag releases or magazines.
Not a fan of the curved buttplate on standards, but the little rifles are "classic" so will proly Cerakote my alloy one after polishing out scratches.

My favorite 10/22.............the old sporters.............from '66 to '71

Ruger should have done the 50th anniv.........all stainless with black plastic version of the stock below. But no............

View attachment 231986
If I find another old one (alloy trigger group) I'll have a GM taper 19" bbl and a walnut stock (rec buttplate style- not curved).
Issue I have is comb height..........usually for iron/scope usage.
Want one just for scopes............and many have the higher comb done too fwd or the step to the butt looks funky, not right........Volq stock is close...........but still "off".
I like the lines of the sporter. Proly said that before LOL.
Guy on Fleabay makes stocks, look pretty decent.......goes under the name Beever.
No step, but a higher comb that the Explorer stocks, tighter grip too. Look decent. Just wonder about fitment.
My dad has an old GPC walnut stock, never used it................for .920 bbl.
Dunno how the taper will look in it. See maybe next month (not gonna buy any parts til taxes and medical paid).
After modding quite a few 10/22's, the perfect 10/22 rifle is a bone stock, wood stocked carbine. I hate to say it, but the basic model is magic.
The 10/22 is good out of the box but a few easy mods will make it great.

1. Trigger. This is almost mandatory. I've seen factory triggers as high as 7lbs. Cheap fix for 2-3lbs is the $40 VQ target hammer. It goes up from there.

2. Bolt release. The only part of the original design I can actually call "dumb". Modify the factory part at the very least. I prefer the longer, serrated Power Custom replacement.

3. For a bolt handle, I much prefer the Superior Concepts, see the pic below.

4. If you want to shoot good iron sights, Tech Sights or the Nodak/Spud rear with a TS front.

5. If you want to shoot a scope, get a decent ~$100 scope. A fixed 4x or 2-7x rimfire scope is plenty and avoids all parallax issues.

Forget the see through mounts. They are nothing but a gimmick that usually place the scope way too high and the 10/22 has a low comb to begin with. Learn to shoot at close range with the scope, which is easier than see-through mounts anyway. If you want irons for backup, get quick release rings.


Here's the Nodak integrated rail/sight.


This is just their rear sight.

I've always liked the 10/22 as it is. I just shoot it offhand so accuracy isn't a big deal, and it runs 100% reliably with no cleaning and with any ammo I feed it. The chunky stock is nice too, I like it a lot more than the thin ones that most 22s have (think Model 60).

It's hard to want any more from a plinker.
I'd skip the see through scope mount. It's a compromise, it makes the scope too high to shoot comfortably, and I doubt you'll ever use the iron sights anyway with a scope mounted. I bought one for my first 10/22, used it for 6 months and it's been sitting in a drawer of gun parts for more than 15 years now.

Other must do mods are a bolt buffer, extended mag release, and some trigger work. Personally I'm happy with the bolt, but I did add an auto bolt release.
the perfect 10/22 rifle is a bone stock, wood stocked carbine. I hate to say it, but the basic model is magic.
That's why I'm now happy that I didn't spend all that money on mine back in 1999; after owning it for a few years I began to realize that the basic model is indeed a nice little rifle "as is" and I began to appreciate it more and save my money for other toys.
I like to tinker with my guns too much for my own good in general, but my 10/22 TD I just put a Burris TRS-25 on the factory rail and left well enough alone for once.

I might take that off even and just upgrade to a peep sight. I like the simplicity of a nice take down iron sighted carbine plinker/ small game getter.

If I get a second non-take down, I may go all out on it.
I'd like to add a tactical solutions barrel retainer V-block to the list. At 50 yards, bench rested, with a 2-7 power scope, I went from shooting 3 inch groups to quarter size groups with 40 gr Federal GameShok ammo. My carbine length Ruger is only 8 or so years old, so I can't speak about any other years, but I was unhappily surprised to see how sloppy the barrel was with the factory retainer.
I've seen that you can make ano upgraded bolt stop pin from a nylon boat easily but unless you have a can and want to make the action quieter is there really any point?

Yes it saves beating the receiver. My son and I shoot a timed silhouette rimfire event. Times run 15-30 seconds for 20 rounds. He actually broke an OEM steel pin. I run Tuffy Buffers in all 3 of ours.

Besides that a trigger job is all they need
I was actually not correct when I said see through mount, what I really meant was see through scope base. I have a 3x9 Simmons scope on qd mounts and a circle dot red dot that came with a qd mount. I just ordered an extended mag release. That with the auto bolt release and the magpu
ll x22 backpacker stock and I think I'll call it good for the td. Eventually I think I'll through a better red dot like the trs25 on there and be happy with that. ( Hey magpull, c'mon & release that already. ... )
The extractor is the first upgrade. I've had to upgrade it to a VQ or a KIDD on every 10/22 that I've had so that it would run reliably with the majority of ammo that I try.

The next upgrade is the trigger. KIDD is the way to go here by far. If you don't want to spend that kind of cash, Brimstone does decent trigger jobs as well.

After adding a good scope, those are the two modifications that I'd consider essential. After that a good barrel, a bolt buffer, etc. are all great upgrades. The problem is that before you know it you have a $1,000 10/22 and the only thing left from Ruger is the receiver. (If that.) I love these things, but they are addicting.
I haven't seen it in any of the posts above, but I'll throw out the "breech cleaning" modification - drill a hole through the rear of the receiver so you can feed your cleaning rod from the rear, cleaning chamber to muzzle, instead of pushing junk from the muzzle into the action. The hole is concealed beneath the stock at the rear of the action, so it doesn't change any outwardly visible portion of the action.

All of my 10/22's and chargers have extended mag releases. Oddly enough it helps prevent accidental mag drops when slinging the rifle, and it makes life very nice on the bench. Tac Sol does a nice one.

BX triggers aren't great, but a heck of a lot better than the average factory trigger. Volq triggers are. Kidd trigger jobs are.

Free floating barrels and bedded actions are obligatory for me. Although, unlike a steel receiver centerfire rifle, I do tend to bed about 2" of my heavy barrel 10/22's to help support all of that weight.
The KIDD trigger is great but I wouldn't use it for everything, only certain builds. They're really best reserved for target rifles. No need to spend that kind of money on a field rifle. Most can get by with a $40 VQ target hammer. I just ordered another kit for a new build and got everything I need from Power Custom for $120. That will yield a 2lb let-off with adjustable pretravel/creep, an extended mag release, an extended bolt release, hammer and sear.
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