With so many model variants of the 10/22 from Ruger and distributors, it is worth asking the question why would anyone want to build a custom variant as what is the best Ruger 10/22 trigger? As is the case with so many other “why” questions the simplest answer is because you can.
High end custom shops such as Volquartsen and even Magnum Research show what the 10/22 platform is capable of delivering in an out of the box format. It is only natural that gun owners, a singular lot that prides itself on multi-faceted individualism whenever the opportunity arises, would want the chance to possess something uniquely their own. Bonus points are often awarded if they put it together themselves.
Choosing the 10/22 for such activities has long been a no brainer since in addition to quality dependability, the model also offers a staggering array of aftermarket products to cater to individual tastes. The fact that the gun has been around for over a century and the original, standard design has seen little in the way of overhauls in that time make it robust and the beneficiary of component support. It is an ideal base to modify to personal taste. Few features of a firearm endure more variances in said personal taste than the trigger.
What has kept the Ruger 10/22 platform going so strong is its modularity and ease of disassembly and re-assembly. This results in a wonderful assortment of retrofit parts, not least of which includes options for replacing the trigger unit. As the rifle is a popular tool for both competitive and casual match shooting, tweaking every bit of performance potential out of the affordable base model has become a custom making competition in and of itself.
The stock trigger module is easily removed and can be tinkered with by competent smiths. Less skilled fiddlers have found numerous and remarkable ways to make the trigger unsafe or unusable. Therefore, unless you know what you are doing, it is better to just replace rather than rework in the search for the perfect fit. Fortunately, Ruger’s engineers provided for an easy to upgrade design in the 10/22. Unless stated otherwise, all models below are for the items chambered in .22 Long Rifle.
Best Ruger 10/22 Trigger Manufacturers
1. Sturm & Ruger
Unsurprisingly, Ruger itself offers an upgrade of their own in the Ruger 10/22 BX-Trigger module. Factory set for a crisp break at 2.5-3 pounds, which measures to about half of the manufacturer installed trigger set. This trigger minimizes over travel and has a positive, tactile reset providing cognizant condition status to the shooter. Made by the company that manufacturers the gun, there is no need to worry about fine tune fitting running the risk of over filing of parts: it comes from Ruger so it is an easy in, easy out installation.
Plus, it is a genuine Ruger Factory accessory, so it is made tough and exceeds industry standards for drop testing and accidental discharges. The BX-Trigger offers compatibility and purebred confidence in maintaining a complete Ruger rifle system while delivering upgraded performance in the field or at the range.
Begun in 1946 Timney is a well-established name for aftermarket, drop in trigger assemblies no matter the rifle system. Chosen for long range precision centerfire rifles, there is little reason to discount it for the durable and dependable 10/22. Their drop in, one piece unit is CNC machined from 6061-T6 aircraft grade billeted aluminum. It is designed to capitalize on the model’s reputation for easy in and out of the entire unit, which is of course what makes this model Ruger so popular for aftermarket upgrades. Sear, trigger and hammer are wire EDM cut and heat treated to be ready for rough use and abuse. Factory set with an auto bolt hold open (no more dryfiring that rimfire when the mag runs dry) and a crisp 2 pound trigger pull with no creep or overtravel: rounds are rattled out with lightning speed and ease.
Additionally, Timney offers an additional upgrade with the trigger unit: an extended magazine release for one handed mag drops. While the Ruger is a popular and trusted tool, it is no secret that manipulation of the bolt and magazine release require some dexterous moves and usually taking the rifle off the shoulder, making quick reloads and timed shoots an additional challenge. Small surprise the mag release is frequently a popular upgrade but this comes with one of the best triggers on the market.
Timney - 10/22 Drop-in Trigger Assembly
This company also offers a model named Calvin Elite Trigger Shoe Kits, with an enhanced shoe for even more complete bonding of the trigger finger, giving a custom performance and feel. As with the previous upgrade, the extended mag release extends along the trigger guard making mag drops as easy as a flick of the finger.
Timney - Ruger 10/22 Calvin Elite Trigger Shoe Kits
Founded in 1974, Volquartsen has been making custom adaptations of otherwise mass produced designs that epitomize the ultimate in personalized, high performance firearms. The Ruger Mark pistol series and the 10/22 system are among their most popular and encountered models.
For the rifle and charger platform, their drop in trigger offers a sear and hammer are hardened stainless steel with ground notches to achieve the correct angle of engagement for long lasting wear resistance. Reduced power springs give a light trigger pull at 2 pounds with a clean, crisp break. The trigger plunger is repositioned so the trigger travels straight back instead of on a traditional swing, giving less travel and it comes with an overtravel adjustment capability. Oversize pins remove wobble making what is essentially a shallow running bang button.
Volquartsen - Ruger 10/22 Trigger Guard 2000
This is another competition upgrade designed for getting shots on target quickly and easily. Therefor it is no surprise that 10/22 aficionados will delight in the included auto bolt release and the extended mag release for quick and positive reloads. Volquartsen is also one of the few manufacturers that still offer the 10/22 system in .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, so of course, they also offer a .22 WMR trigger system: the caliber does require stronger springs.
4. Power Custom
Power Custom makes aftermarket mods for a wide variety of firearms and is a common choice for custom builds as well as retrofits.
Their Ruger 10/22 Trigger Module, self-contained drop-in module gives an ultra-crisp single stage trigger with a 2 ¼ pound pull. The lightweight hammer reduces locktime while its heavy spring guarantees positive ignition of the primer.
What sets the Power Custom trigger system apart first is the Garand style safety at the front of the trigger guard. The modified mag release is also relocated nearby for quick and safe changes in the middle of timed competitions.
Further, this model comes with an internal set screw to adjust the trigger pull to a s light a 1 ¾ pounds to 3. These extra advantages come with no additional steps in the singe unit take out and drop in that makes this model Ruger so popular.
Power Custom - Ruger 10/22 Trigger Module
Yet for those who are open to a little “smithing” action, there is an option that includes a torsion spring for spring loaded magazine ejections to insure the empty one gets clear while loading a fresh one for when milliseconds count.
This feature is an exciting upgrade but does require some milling of the magazine housing. The standard model comes with an extended bolt release and uses standard factory and aftermarket magazines.
The Deluxe model includes the CST auto bolt stop that holds the bolt open after the last shot. However, that model does require the use of the Power Custom magazines and will not function correctly with the standard magazines.
5. Powder River Customs
Power River Custom prides itself on putting the crispest and simplest trigger modules onto the market, and given the options discussed thus far, that is saying something.
This company has a model named Ruger 10/22 Drop-in Trigger Assembly. What they offer here capitalizes on what 10/22 users desire: a plug in replacement trigger module with wire EDM (electrical discharge machining) formed hammer, sear and disconnect from hardened steel with all other components in stainless. This suggests a slight weight increase, but the durability is unquestioned and the difference is somewhat negligible. This module offers a glass snapping 2.25 pounds of consistent trigger pull time and time again.
Further, Power River Custom includes in their kits spare extractors in both the auto release bolt lock and ejector: these critical components for the bolt system are often worn down from the comparatively excessive use the 10/22 system is subject to thanks to its low-cost ammunition and versatility of applications.
Power River Custom - Ruger 10/22 Drop-in Trigger Assembly
Trigger styles and feels are a deeply personal and subjective component to target shooting. Without trying it out first, it is sometimes difficult to determine what is a “perfect” fit for the individual. That leads to many looking to build their own trigger set which can be a rewarding experience in learned knowledge if not end result utility. In other words, it should really only be done by someone who knows what they are doing.
What are the best Ruger 10/22 trigger FOR YOU?
There are aftermarket pieces to build one’s own trigger module, but with the research and development already done by others, the risks to benefits ration really begs the question why? That is why so many shooters gravitate towards the sectional nature of the Ruger 10/22 and the simplicity inherent therein.
The simple fact is that this Ruger firearm was designed to be, and has been accepted as, a tool for use and border line abuse: not a gun that is trotted out for less than a hundred rounds of service every season, and while competition shooting guns do see thousand of rounds fired, few are ready to meet the knocking around that a truck or barn gun the 10/22 is often subjected to: it is a work gun that very easily steps into the custom rifle and precision shooting role. It is only natural for shooters to want to make it unique.
Power Custom’s module at least offers a set screw adjustment of trigger pull to deliver some variety in a manner that does not require full gunsmithing skills or run the risk of making the trigger completely unusable. Additionally, the relocation of the safety gives the gun a different feel in use. This delivers greater customization options to those seeking them.
For popularity and brand recognition, the Timney models deliver world recognized and appreciated results. The addition of the extended mag release lever that is a common upgrade done by timed competition shooters as well as remedies one of the most heard complaints of the original 10/22 design: its awkward magazine release.
Similarly, Volquartsen is an established brand in the custom 10/22 world and has yet to fail to deliver desirable results upon the standard, manufacturer design.
Powder River offers additional components with its module, setting it apart from all the other drop in kits – a recognition that the rifle’s use can translate to nothing short of abuse to any other firearm.
Finally, Ruger itself is not blind to the market tendency to take their rugged little rifle and modify it in a dozen different directions: it makes good sense for them to offer their own upgrade.
For a truly custom feel, however, it is the Power Custom and Timney options that deliver the most, both aesthetically and in the gun’s performance. While the original safety is not really a detriment, putting it into the trigger guard does offer a quicker activation and deactivation for safe shooting. There is, of course a concern that the finger within the guard for anything other than shooting can lead to accidental discharges and this places the avoidance of such occurrences squarely where it belong regardless of where the safety, or even if there is a safety: as a responsibility of the shooter.
Timney, however, offers the competition shooter the greatest advantage out of the box. While an extended magazine release, even the exaggerated one that reaches under and around the trigger guard like a mutated Martini Henry action, is a common retrofit available from several manufacturers, including it in the trigger module offers two mods in one replacement. Using the shooting hand to remove a spent mag while the supporting hand is already bringing a fresh one into play is the goal of timed competitions as well as tactical shooting. If that is the role of your 10/22 rifle, one will be hard pressed to find reasons to consider other options.