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Best Ruger 10/22 Models For Hunting, Plinking And Beyond

Best Ruger 10/22 Models For Hunting, Plinking And Beyond: Buyer’s Guide (2024)

There are many iterations of America’s favorite rimfire, but this buyer’s guide will help you find the best Ruger 10/22 for you.

What Are The Top Ruger 10/22 Models?:

The Ruger 10/22 and its many variants are some of the most prolific semi-automatic rimfire firearms in existence and are loved by novice and experienced shooters alike.

The name 10/22 refers to the practical aspects of the rifle, with the “10” referring to its standard magazine capacity and the “22” referring to its .22 LR chambering. Of course, higher capacity magazines are available today such as the BX-15 and BX-25, holding fifteen and twenty-five rounds respectively.

The rifle has also been offered in other chamberings in the past, but those models are now discontinued.

The 10/22 design has established itself as a reliable firearm, a particularly important trait for semi-automatic rimfire rifles as they can be picky when it comes to ammunition, often requiring high-velocity loads to ensure proper function.

Ruger has utilized the 10/22 as the basis for a myriad of rifle designs and it even appears in pistol form as the 22 Charger line of products. Essentially, regardless of your needs, there’s a Ruger 10/22 model out there for you.

A classic Ruger 10/22 Carbine with stainless steel finish and scope. Photo: Rock Island Auction.

Ruger 10/22 History And Popularity:

The classic Ruger 10/22 has been in production since 1964, and it quickly became a rimfire staple due to its reliable magazines and semi-automatic action. Other semi-automatic rimfire rifles existed before the 10/22, notably the Marlin Model 60, but without features like the ten-shot rotary magazine.

Over time, the Ruger 10/22 has evolved to fit the needs of shooters. Improvements such as the addition of an extended magazine release button and the drilling and tapping of receivers at the factory are notable changes that have become standard on most 10/22 models. To supplement the drilled and tapped receivers, most 10/22s today ship with an optic mount that accommodates both Weaver-style and .22 tip-off mounting solutions.

This rifle’s popularity has led to it becoming one of the most imitated and cloned designs on the market, and it is currently possible to piece one together without using any Ruger-made parts. The fact that the design is so prolific, both in factory and clone form, is a testament to the 10/22’s lasting popularity.

A custom Ruger 10/22 Carbine with Volquartsen upgrade parts. Photo: Rock Island Auction.

Ruger 10/22 Modularity:

It is no hyperbole to say that the 10/22 sits alongside the AR-15 and Glock when it comes to the sheer degree of modularity inherent to the design. Nearly every component of the 10/22 can be replaced with an aftermarket part. Triggers, stocks, barrels, receivers, you name it.

The simple barrel removal process accommodates a wide array of barrels on the aftermarket, including integrally suppressed and takedown versions. The inclusion of threaded barrels and drilled and tapped receivers allows for one to acquire a wide variety of muzzle devices and optic mounts as well.

The 10/22 has a considerable number of products that support the design, comprised of both factory and aftermarket options. Even rimfire giants such as Volquartsen and Kidd make a litany of parts for the 10/22 design, allowing users to incorporate high-performance parts into their Ruger rifles.

The 10/22 design can also be dressed up to mimic the appearance of other firearms, such as the M1 Carbine, HK G36 or FN P90. When it comes to customizing a 10/22, you can truly tinker to your heart’s desire.

The P90-style Ruger 10/22 conversion kit from High Tower Armory.

Ruger 10/22 Applications:

The 10/22 is very useful in a variety of different roles and applications. They are always excellent options for training due to their low recoil impulse, ability to be shot easily and affordable ammunition. The value of the 10/22 as a trainer applies to new and experienced shooters alike.

New shooters will be treated to a pleasant shooting experience that is not overwhelming and allows them to hone and practice their skills peacefully. Experienced shooters will be able to focus on their shooting fundamentals and maintain their basic skills while shooting on the cheap.

While not a true 1:1 trainer like the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22, the tactical, pistol grip-equipped variants of the 10/22 can serve as a means for shooters to familiarize themselves with and practice with something analogous to a tactical carbine.

A Ruger 10/22 with aftermarket carbine stock Vs. a S&W M&P 15-22.

Naturally, the 10/22 is an amazing choice for plinking too. The availability and affordability of the ammunition cannot be understated and enables hours upon hours of enjoyment at the range.

When it comes to hunting, the 10/22 is also an excellent choice for dispatching small game. In the field, the lightweight nature of the 10/22 and its ammunition becomes especially appreciable. Furthermore, many 10/22 configurations such as takedown and compact models lend themselves well to survival and trekking roles.

While rimfire firearms are generally not recommended for self-defense, the 10/22 can fill this role in a pinch if necessary. Having a gun is better than not having one after all. There are many reasons why something like a .22 LR firearm is less than ideal for self-defense, so one should not consider the 10/22 as a primary means of protection.

Essentially, the Ruger 10/22 and its many variants are incredibly versatile and can be utilized in a variety of roles and activities. It is quite probable that Ruger already offers a 10/22 that fits your desired needs, but if not, the rifle’s modularity will ensure that you can make one that checks all of your boxes.

Our Selection Process

Frankly, when it comes to factory Ruger 10/22 rifles, it’s hard to go wrong. As far as picking out the right model for yourself goes, it boils down to the specific features of each rather than any inherent difference in quality. With that in mind, we combed over Ruger’s entire catalog and found that these 10 models of 10/22 rifles and pistols had the most to offer the average shooter.

Ruger 10/22 Buyer’s Guide:

Ruger 10/22 Compact (Model 31114):


The compact nature of this model comes from its 16.12-inch barrel (shorter than the standard 18.5-inch barrel) and the inclusion of the Ruger Modular Stock System. The length of pull and cheek weld can be adjusted with the use of various modules.

This modularity allows the rifle to accommodate a wider variety of shooters. Another departure from traditional 10/22s is the sights, as the 10/22 Compact ships with a set of fiber optic sights for quicker target acquisition. The shorter barrel and use of plastic furniture allow the Compact model to be less expensive than the standard 10/22 too, making it a great value option whether you appreciate the extra compactness or not. MSRP: $379.00

Ruger 22 Charger (Model 4938):


The 22 Charger is essentially a pistol configuration of the 10/22. The 10-inch barrel makes for one compact weapon, and it features 1/2×28 threads that will accommodate a myriad of different muzzle devices. Even with a suppressor attached, the 22 Charger is still appreciably shorter and handier than the rifle variants.

A provision for attaching a stabilizing brace is present at the rear of the 22 Charger in the form of a Picatinny mount should you wish to have more support while shooting. The 22 Charger also includes a bipod that can further stabilize the pistol when shooting from a supported position. The included BX-15 magazine sports five more rounds than the common BX-1 magazines and will not interfere with the use of a bipod when in the pistol. This pistol is a great choice for those who want a 10/22 in a tight and compact package. MSRP: $439.00

Ruger 10/22 Carbine (Model 1103):


If you’re looking for a classic-style 10/22 that provides the closest look to the original model, this is certainly it. This is a no-frills rimfire rifle that comes with everything you need and nothing you don’t.

The rifle is equipped with a simple yet effective sight setup that features a gold bead on the front sight post. If you wish to put a scope on the rifle, this can be easily done as well using the included scope base. This may be the most basic 10/22 model, but I think that it’s also the most timeless. MSRP: $389.00

Ruger 10/22 Carbine (Model 1256):


This model is essentially identical in function to the standard 10/22 Carbine, but is made with more functional materials. Rather than wood and blued metal, this variant features a stainless-steel barrel and receiver and a synthetic stock.

The included optic mount features a similar finish that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. The stainless-steel barrel and action provide the rifle with a higher degree of resistance to rust and corrosion. The synthetic stock also lends itself to reducing the overall weight of the package while being more resistant to the elements as well. Beyond the stainless-steel treatment, this rifle is still a traditional 10/22 carbine that adheres closely to the classic design. If you want an all-weather Ruger 10/22 for taking into the field, this is the ticket. MSRP: $439.00

Ruger 10/22 Carbine (Model 31143):


This 10/22 is a standard carbine model that Ruger offers with a factory-mounted scope. The included Viridian EON 3-9×40 scope sits atop the optic mount that accompanies a vast majority of 10/22s from the factory. As a carbine model, the factory sights are still present should you wish to ditch the scope and use traditional iron sights.

This scoped variant of the 10/22 also includes a Ruger-branded hard case and ditches the usual white cardboard box. This package represents a great value for a prospective 10/22 buyer as it not only includes an optic, but also a more rugged means of transportation and protection for the rifle. MSRP: $459.00

Ruger 10/22 Takedown (Model 31152):


This takedown variant of the 10/22 features Magpul’s X-22 Backpacker stock. As its name suggests, the X-22 stock was designed with backpacking in mind. The stock has a provision for storing three BX-1 magazines, and a storage compartment is also present in the grip that can accommodate things such as batteries, a bore snake or tools.

The use of stainless steel in the barrel and receiver also protects the rifle from the elements, making it a hardy companion in the field. The threaded barrel makes it easy for one to equip this carbine with a suppressor too, a great extra option for hunters. The set of fiber optic sights is a welcome inclusion as well.

This model would make an excellent choice for a survival rifle as it is lightweight and compact both when deployed and stowed. Whether it’s for the field or simply a more compact storage solution when packing for a range trip, the 10/22 Takedown in Magpul’s X-22 stock fits the bill. MSRP: $669.00

Ruger 22 Charger Lite (Model 4935):


The 22 Charger Lite from Ruger takes the standard 22 Charger design and makes it more portable. Its 10-inch, cold hammer-forged barrel can be easily removed, and it’s tensioned in an aluminum alloy barrel sleeve that has been ported to further cut down on weight. The muzzle is threaded 1/2×28 and a Picatinny-style rail at the rear of the 22 Charger Lite allows one to install a stabilizing brace.

The 22 Charger Lite shines as a truly compact and stowable solution as it benefits from both its inherently small package and the ability to be broken down even further. MSRP: $739.00

Ruger 10/22 Takedown Lite (Model 21152):


This 10/22 rifle has received Ruger’s “Lite” treatment, meaning it was purpose-built to reduce weight without sacrificing quality, reliability or performance. The 16.12-inch alloy steel barrel is tensioned in an aluminum sleeve, reducing weight on the front end. Additionally, the sleeve features porting to further reduce weight and aid in cooling.

The inclusion of Ruger’s Modular Stock System allows the end-user to set the rifle up with a length of pull and cheek weld that fits them best. Like most conventional takedown models, this rifle includes a Ruger-branded carrying case that neatly stores the barrel and action in their own compartments. MSRP: $839.00

Ruger 10/22 Target (Model 21186):


This 10/22 variant is optimized for target shooting. The black laminate wood stock features a thumbhole design that lends itself well to improving the rifle’s ergonomics. Ruger also includes their BX-Trigger in their 10/22 Target rifle, an improvement over the base model. The BX-Trigger breaks at 2.5 to 3 pounds, features a crisp reset and reduces overtravel significantly.

The 10/22 Target is a great choice for those who wish to squeeze as much accuracy out of their rig as possible. Essentially, this rifle will make for a precision-oriented rimfire rig that will allow you to shoot on the cheap. Throw a scope on this rifle and enjoy. MSRP: $799.00

Ruger 10/22 Competition (Model 31120):


This 10/22 variant is feature-packed from the Ruger Custom Shop and sports significant upgrades from the traditional design. Ruger’s BX-Trigger is included in the 10/22 Competition and provides a crisp and consistent trigger pull. The stock features a fully adjustable cheek rest that can be tuned to a shooter’s body to provide the most consistent and comfortable cheek weld when shooting.

The bolt release has been upgraded to a match-style release that is larger and more ergonomic than the traditional one. The receiver features an integrated 30-MOA Picatinny rail that will accommodate a variety of optics. The cold hammer-forged and fluted bull barrel lends itself well to repeatable and consistent accuracy. The rifle includes a hard case and a Ruger Custom Shop certificate of authenticity, a challenge coin, cleaning cloth and decal as bonus items for your purchase. In short, this rifle is a premium offering from Ruger and allows you to purchase a heavily upgraded 10/22 straight from the manufacturer. MSRP: $899.00

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Concealed Carry

Customization and Concealment: How to Modify Holsters for Perfect Fit


Finding the right holster for your firearm is essential for comfortable and secure concealed carry. However, off-the-shelf holsters may not always provide the perfect fit for your specific needs and preferences. In this guide, we’ll explore the art of holster customization, offering tips and techniques to modify holsters for a personalized fit that ensures both comfort and concealment.

Understanding Your Needs: Identifying Areas for Improvement


Before diving into holster customization, take some time to evaluate your priorities when it comes to concealed carry. Consider factors such as comfort, concealability, retention, and accessibility. Determine whether your current holster meets your needs in these areas or if there are specific areas for improvement.

Examine your existing holster for any discomfort or issues that may arise during daily carry. Common pain points include pressure points, sharp edges, or inadequate retention. Take note of these areas as they will guide your customization efforts to improve overall comfort and functionality.

Holster Modification Techniques: Tips for Customization

One of the most common methods for holster customization is heat gun molding. This technique involves using a heat gun to soften the holster material, typically Kydex or polymer, and then molding it to fit your firearm more closely. Be cautious not to overheat the material, as it can lead to warping or damage.

If your holster lacks sufficient retention or is too tight, consider adjusting the retention screws or adding retention devices such as adjustable tension screws or retention straps. Experiment with different settings until you find the right balance between retention and ease of draw.

To address discomfort caused by pressure points or sharp edges, consider adding padding or cushioning to your holster. Options include foam padding, adhesive-backed fabric, or leather lining. Apply padding strategically to areas that come into contact with your body to improve overall comfort during extended carry.

Concealment Enhancements: Tips for Discreet Carry


Adjusting the cant and ride height of your holster can significantly impact concealment and comfort. Experiment with different cant angles and ride heights to find the optimal position for your body type and carry preference. A slight forward or reverse cant can help improve concealment and draw efficiency.

Consider adding concealment wings or clips to your holster to enhance concealment and stability. These accessories attach to the holster and help distribute weight more evenly, reducing printing and improving overall comfort. Choose options with adjustable angles and tension to customize the fit to your body shape and clothing style.

For added safety and concealment, consider modifying your holster to provide enhanced trigger guard coverage. This can help prevent accidental trigger access while ensuring a smooth and consistent drawstroke. Add-on trigger guard extensions or molded-in trigger guard covers are available for many holster models and can be easily installed.

Customizing your holster allows you to tailor it to your unique needs and preferences, ensuring a comfortable and secure carry experience. By identifying areas for improvement, exploring modification techniques, and enhancing concealment features, you can create a holster that fits you perfectly and provides reliable performance day in and day out. Remember to take your time, experiment with different adjustments, and prioritize safety throughout the customization process. With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can transform your holster into the ideal companion for concealed carry.

Has this guide helped you to pick a holster? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Holster Materials Demystified: Leather vs. Kydex vs. Hybrid Options


Choosing the right holster material is crucial for effective and comfortable concealed carry. Each material, whether it be leather, Kydex, or a hybrid of several materials, offers distinct advantages and disadvantages. This guide will help you understand the differences between these materials, aiding you in making an informed decision based on durability, comfort, maintenance, and functionality.

Leather Holsters: Traditional Comfort and Elegance


Leather has been used in holster manufacturing for centuries due to its durability and the unique way it conforms to the firearm and the wearer’s body over time. A well-made leather holster can last for many years if properly cared for. Leather’s natural give ensures that it doesn’t scratch or dent your firearm, protecting the finish over long periods.

One of the primary advantages of leather is its comfort. Leather holsters tend to be more flexible than Kydex, which allows them to mold to the body’s contours, providing a personalized fit after a break-in period. Aesthetically, leather also has a classic look that appeals to many gun owners who appreciate its traditional appearance and craftsmanship.

The main drawback of leather is its higher maintenance requirements. Leather needs to be regularly cleaned and conditioned to prevent drying out or cracking. It is also less resistant to moisture compared to synthetic materials, which can be a consideration in wet climates or for everyday carry.

Kydex Holsters: Modern, Durable, and Low Maintenance

Kydex is a lightweight, thermoplastic material that is both durable and maintenance-free. Unlike leather, Kydex does not warp, crack, or require regular conditioning. It is highly resistant to moisture, making it an excellent choice for humid environments or active individuals who might sweat during carry.

Kydex holsters offer a firm, secure fit that doesn’t change over time, which means consistent retention and a reliable draw every time. These holsters are generally designed to offer an audible click when the gun is properly holstered, providing additional security feedback. Kydex is also easier to clean; usually, a simple wipe-down is all that’s required to keep it in good condition.

The primary disadvantage of Kydex is that it can be less comfortable for extended wear, especially directly against the skin, as it does not conform to the body the same way leather does. Additionally, the rigid nature of Kydex can sometimes cause wear on the finish of the firearm with repeated drawing and holstering.

Hybrid Holsters: Combining the Best of Both Worlds

Hybrid holsters are designed to offer the best features of both leather and Kydex. Typically, these holsters use a backing of leather (or sometimes a breathable synthetic fabric) that rests against the body, providing the comfort and flexibility of leather, coupled with a Kydex shell that holds the firearm. This combination ensures that the holster is comfortable against the skin while maintaining the structural integrity and easy re-holstering benefits of Kydex.

The leather backing of a hybrid holster conforms to the body, similar to a full leather holster, improving comfort for daily wear. The rigid Kydex shell keeps the gun securely in place and allows for smooth, consistent drawing and reholstering without the holster collapsing.

While hybrid holsters attempt to offer the best of both materials, they may also inherit some disadvantages. The leather component may still require maintenance, and the overall bulk might be greater than a single-material holster. Additionally, depending on the design, the sweat protection for the firearm might not be as robust as with a full Kydex design.

Choosing the Right Material for Your Needs

When selecting a holster, consider your personal needs, daily activities, and the environments in which you will be carrying. Leather offers a traditional, comfortable fit at the expense of greater care and potentially less durability under extreme conditions. Kydex provides excellent security and low maintenance but may sacrifice comfort. Hybrid holsters balance these factors but check that the design fits your specific requirements and comfort preferences.

Ultimately, the best holster material depends on your unique situation and preferences. Testing different materials and types can provide firsthand experience and help you make the best choice for your concealed carry needs.

Do you have a preferred material for your holsters? Why? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Concealed Carry

Concealed Carry Essentials: Choosing the Right Holster for Your Firearm


When it comes to concealed carry, choosing the right holster is as crucial as selecting the firearm itself. A good holster not only secures your weapon but also ensures comfort, accessibility, and concealment. Whether you’re a seasoned carrier or new to the world of concealed carry, understanding the different types of holsters and what makes them suitable for certain situations can help you make the right choice for your needs.

Understanding Holster Types

Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) Holsters

IWB holsters are one of the most popular choices for concealed carry because they offer excellent concealment. Positioned inside the wearer’s pants, these holsters sit just behind the hip or at the appendix position. They are designed to conceal the gun effectively beneath a lightly draped shirt or jacket, making them ideal for those who wear casual or business attire regularly. The key is to find an IWB holster made from a comfortable material that minimizes discomfort against the skin.

Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) Holsters

While OWB holsters are less concealable than their IWB counterparts, they are often more comfortable for extended wear, especially if you spend a lot of time seated, such as driving or working at a desk. These holsters sit on the outside of the pants, held close to the body by a belt. OWB is a preferred choice for open carry, duty carry, or when using larger frame pistols that are harder to conceal inside the waistband.

Pocket Holsters

For those preferring to carry smaller handguns, pocket holsters are a viable option. These holsters protect the firearm from debris and lint while ensuring that it stays upright and accessible in your pocket. The holster’s design also masks the shape of the gun, helping to prevent ‘printing’ (when the outline of the gun is visible through clothing), thus maintaining concealment.

Material Matters: Selecting the Right Fabric


Leather Holsters

Leather is a traditional choice that combines durability with comfort. Over time, leather holsters can mold to the shape of your gun and body, offering a custom fit. However, leather requires maintenance to keep it supple and functional, and it might not perform as well in very wet conditions.

Kydex and Other Synthetics

Kydex, a type of thermoplastic, is a popular alternative to leather due to its robustness and low maintenance. Holsters made from Kydex are resistant to water and sweat, making them suitable for humid climates. They also retain their shape over time, which facilitates quicker re-holstering. However, they might be less comfortable against the skin than leather and can wear the finish of your firearm faster.

Hybrid Holsters

Hybrid holsters combine materials, usually leather or a soft fabric backing with a synthetic shell. This design aims to offer the best of both worlds: comfort from the backing material and durability and easy access from the synthetic shell. These are particularly popular among those who carry daily as they balance comfort and functionality.

Fit and Comfort: Ensuring a Proper Holster

Custom Fit

It’s crucial that your holster fits your firearm snugly. A good fit prevents the gun from shifting, falling, or being difficult to draw. Most holsters are built for specific models, which means a one-size-fits-all approach might not be the best when it comes to holsters.


Comfort is key, especially if you plan to carry your gun daily. A comfortable holster should distribute the weight of the gun evenly without chafing. Padding can be crucial, particularly for IWB carriers. Test different holsters to see how they feel when sitting, walking, or bending.

Retention and Accessibility

Good retention keeps the gun securely holstered but allows for quick drawing when necessary. Some holsters offer adjustable retention screws to tighten or loosen the hold on your firearm. Moreover, ensure the holster does not obstruct your grip; when drawing, you should be able to get a full grip on the handle.

Concealment and Practical Considerations

Pistol in the holster.


Choose a holster that keeps your firearm out of sight but within reach. The best concealed carry holster offers a balance between accessibility, comfort, and invisibility. Consider your daily activities and the type of clothing you wear when selecting a holster for optimal concealment.

Practical Considerations

Lastly, consider other practical aspects such as the ease of holstering and unholstering, the holster’s profile (does it add too much bulk?), and its compatibility with your wardrobe. Some holsters, especially those designed for deeper concealment, may require practice to achieve a smooth and quick draw.

Choosing the right holster is a personal journey and often a matter of trial and error. Don’t be afraid to test different types, materials, and positions until you find the perfect combination that offers safety, comfort, and confidence in your ability to carry concealed effectively.

Do you have any tips for people looking for holsters? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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