Beyond its enduring dependability and widespread utility, the Ruger 10/22 remains popular over 50 years after its debut because of its versatility in after-market products that can change its design and even appearance. While precision triggers and barrels abound to make it a competitive tool, the platform is also maintained by a healthy array of stock adaptations to change the look and feel of the little factory produced plinkster. Certainly there have been numerous “quickie” stock mods over the years that invite owners to turn their semi auto squirrel gun into a mock up MG42, a stocky bullpup or even a Krinkov AK74 look alike, and though they are fun and different to show off at the range, the improvement to utility remains somewhat nebulous beyond an alteration of aesthetics.
For those who admire and even adore their 10/22, however, more quality options meant to increase the comfort as well as utility of the rifle is paramount, or at least equal to, looks. Even though many of the aftermarket stocks alter the appearance and feel of the rifle, few will alter the controls - magazine release and safety - of the original rifle. This is both a benefit for training and a detriment to anyone looking to convert their 10/22 to a trainer for a specific centerfire rifle.
Best Ruger 10/22 Stock
ProMag Archangel Nomad Conversion Stock for Ruger 10/22
Perhaps one of the most aggressive looking of the tactical style stocks, ProMag’s Archangel Nomad offers military style aesthetics with an aluminum reinforced, full length Picatinny rail along the top as well as a handguard rail for foregrip, light or laser accessories.
The cool part of this kit is that it turns your 10/22 into a dapper G36 lookalike, with aforesaid mounting points for all sorts of tactical options.
When folded, the stock takes over 8” off the overall length for easy storage and the kit is provided with its own iron sights that are adjustable for windage as well as elevation.
Additionally, the kit comes with two storage compartments for extra batteries for lights or optics – that is after all the primary reason of the additional rails: to mount stuff.
Easy drop in assembly provides no fuss installation of the carbon fiber reinforced kit onto any of the 10/22 rifles, be it rifle, carbine or short rifle.
The down side is the requirement of using ProMag’s proprietary 25 round magazine, which arguably detracts from one of the 10/22’s greatest attributes: a readily available and plentiful magazine – although regular stock BX mags of 15 and 25 rounds should still work, they will alter the appearance of the rifle.
Nevertheless, the Nomad offers a stunning alternative profile to the common Ruger rimfire rifle that delivers tactical training experiences at plinking ammo costs.
High Tower Armory - Ruger 10/22 Stock Bullpup
Going further along the complete visual overhaul is High Tower Armory’s 90/22 stock. This bullpup design mimics the FNH PS90 to deliver superior balance on a compact platform. Going beyond the typical aftermarket bullpup, High Tower delivers a cloned feel of the popular and impressive 5.7x28mm caliber weapon. New models are completely ambidextrous with controls and an optional shell deflector for south paws (lefties). The trigger linkage is Melonite treated steel instead of aluminum for better flex resistance and a cleaner transfer of energy on trigger pulls: less spongy with a crisper break. The controls for bolt and magazine releases are also repositioned for easier manipulation. The CNC machined, monolithic aluminum Picatinny rail on a bedding block of aluminum offers optics options with additional lateral, 3 and 9 o’clock, positions for laser and/or light options.
The caveat of this kit is that the shorter barreled 10/22 rifles are not suitable for it: only the 18.5” and 18” bull barrels or longer barreled actions will comply with federal regulations of 26.5” overall length. While there is a dummy suppressor offered with the kit, it cannot be attached permanently (without gunsmithing and would also prevent disassembly) to extend shorter barreled actions to legally mandated lengths.
One interesting note: this set up actually makes the 10/22 a viable home defense weapon when larger, more traditional calibers are either undesired or difficult for a user.
The standard 10/22 sticks out a foot or more from the supporting hand, but this gives much closer support than even a handgun from a more controllable firing position.
The compact platform, again 26.5” in overall length, provides three point support as well as mounting points for a flashlight – a popular addition for a house gun, and with a higher capacity magazine and effective defense ammunition such as CCI Stingers, this set up could be ideal for a significant other who is recoil and/or sound sensitive. While not the “best” for home defense, it is a viable option that is considerably better than using harsh language or throwing paperweights, or another firearm that is less manageable to someone disinclined.
CCI - Stinger Hypervelocity Ammo 22LR 32gr Copper Plated HP
Tactical Solutions LLC - Ruger 10/22 Stock Thumbhole
Fore tack driving accuracy, the Vantage RS by Tactical Solutions provides ambidextrous versatility along with three attractive color options and an ergonomic cheek piece comfortable for use by people with either dominant hand or eye. Made of durable laminated wood in different patterns, no one stock looks exactly like another, even in the same color scheme. This variety does come at a price that rivals the quality optic or even in some cases, the price of the gun itself, but to shooters who prize how they look with how they while look shooting, it is well worth the price.
The thumbhole stock gives pistol grip comfort without being a “pistol grip” for jurisdictions that have restrictions on self-loading firearms equipped such a feature. Though where the RS really comes into its own is the non-compression bedding system: instead of resting in the stock channel, the barrel remains free floating while the action rests upon a strong metal pillar. This works with the barrel’s harmonics rather than arresting them the way other stocks that maintain metal to wood contact.
Provided with both sling swivels, the front stud doubles as a bipod mount, the stock is ideal for either bench shooting or off hand: the comb and fore end heights are placed for optimum line of sight optics. CNC inletting is perfectly sized for the .92” bull barrels, whether it be the hammer forged steel or the lighter weight, carbon fiber, allowing for complete customization to the tastes of the shooter.
ProMag - Archangel Ruger 10/22 Target Stocks
For those looking for the comfort and conveniences of a thumbhole stock that is also ambidextrous without the extra price tag attached of the laminated wood types, Pro Mag offers a suitable alternative with the Archangel in easy to color coordinate black. The lightweight, reinforced polymer helps offset the use of the heavy barreled actions without having to resort to even more expensive polymer barrels. In addition to the ambidextrous capabilities, thumbhole comfort and free-floating barrel, this stock offers a selection of eight butt plate settings to alter the length of pull from between 13 1/2” to 14 5/8”, making this an ideal set up for younger shooters who may grow with their trusted 10/22 for use in both casual or competitive shooting.
The Archangel also offers additional QD (quick detach) sling points for various means of sling carry and a storage compartment in the pistol grip. While not flashy, it is designed for use and abuse with the forearm capable of mounting a bipod or resting squarely upon a rest or sandbags. Further, while the .22LR does not generate a lot of heat when firing, continued use of large capacity magazines certainly generate some additional friction, and this stock is equipped with ventilation ports to help the barrel dissipate heat, whether a fluted or contour/straight barrel is being used. Of course, this stock encourages the use of bull barrels, but standard barrels can be used just as well.
Several of the aftermarket stocks have been made by their producers in Ruger’s popular take down 10/22. These simply allow the TD version to mimic the solid model, but this often detracts from what is arguably the point of the takedown option. While a takedown bench rifle undoubtedly offers convenient benefits in transport and storage, the true purpose arguably lies in compact and ready use of a response rifle instead of prepared and deliberate, competition shots. Surprisingly, there are fewer stock upgrades able to further capitalize upon the compact nature and quick deployment of the design.
Brownells - Magpul 10/22 Backpacker Stock W/ 500-RDS Norma TAC 22 22LR AMMO
Magpul’s Backpacker is one, however, that takes the convenience to a whole new level: the forearm locks into place in the bottom of the stock, making this once again a single unit when stowed away. There is no reaching into the bag for the second piece: both are together making getting the rifle from storage and into play that much faster. Simplicity is key with a quick release that can be done while wearing gloves. Additionally, the stock has a compartment for storage of up to three Ruger 10 round rotary magazines, keeping everything needed in one portable piece in or outside of your go-bag.
Quick Detach mounts on either side of the stock, both fore and aft, make this unit capable of being carried outside a bag in disassembled condition for even faster access. It is made from the same material Magpul has built its reputation upon for durable magazines as well as other stock kits. For anyone intent on making their 10/22 a working just-in-case (JIC) companion the take down is a marvelous choice, and the Backpacker system makes it arguably perfect. Why carry 200 rounds of 9mm when you can carry 500-1000 rounds of .22? To help drive the point home, Brownell’s is offering this kit with 500 rounds of Norma TAC-22 ammunition to get to the range or store with this post-apocalyptic side kick.
Which is the best Ruger 10/22 stock FOR YOU
With every customization, the success or failure of the aesthetic is going to depend upon the user’s tastes. Objectively speaking, success or failure should always be measured upon the intents of the user being met. Tactical stocks such as High Tower’s 90/22 and Promag’s Nomad change the appearance of the 10/22 radically from its original configuration. While Tapco and others also offer tactical stocks that change the appearance of the firearm and offer at least marginal “tactical” training experience, the controls of the firearm are not relocated making it a training substitute for a firearm that is more expensive to feed but does not have the same controls which moves away from the point of using it for training. For the most part, these stocks are toys to make the 10/22 look “tacti-cool.”
The 90/22 kit however, not only makes the rifle look cool and radically different, but successfully converts the rifle into a compact piece that is ideal for close confines, such as a home defense as well as tactical training making it both satisfying to the customization bug and fulfilling a complete transformation that is, for the most part, a reversible alteration.
For target shooting from either bench or offhand, or both, the thumbhole stocks provide considerable advantages over the traditional stocks in both ergonomics and weight distribution as well as setting the barrel free of any accuracy altering inhibitions: a free-floating barrel has become a must to rimfire competitors. The difference between ProMag and Vantage is obviously material at first: for those who prefer wood over plastic (an increasingly rarer breed in today’s world) Vantage’s laminates offer some succor, if one ignores the amount of polymer epoxy keeping all the laminated layers together. Though there is no denying what is prettier. Basic black of the ProMag option, however, is both universal and not near as flashy. What the Promag offers over Vantage, besides price, is the easy adaptability of the length of pull.
As stated above, the numerous options of 10/22 furniture are made almost equally available to the take down variant. Yet the whole point of the TD is compact convenience. While having a bench gun that easily disassembles into a convenient carry case is cool, and for more than a few shooters a potential must, the take down’s simplicity of use without sacrificing the model’s long-established and well-known reputation for reliability and durability make it ideal for a crisis response tool. Magpul’s Backpacker simply finishes what Ruger started by keeping the components and ammunition all together in a single unit when it is disassembled: there is almost absolutely no need for a bag beyond discretion or weather.
The 10/22 has been around for generations, and numerous companies have taken opportunities to reinvent it. Competitive shooters all have their preferences to which they embrace like gospel. Others have used the rifle as a base for a new look used as a toy or for a specific application for training or service. High Tower’s 90/22 offers the most in alternative looks and function, but the Magpul offers the greatest advances to the takedown rifle’s strengths.
Yet the nicest thing about the Ruger 10/22 is this: no one said you can only have one.