I have owned Ruger 10/22 rifles since the early 1980s. That rifle is still in use by my son and grandsons. I have since opted for a takedown model, the Ruger 10/22 Takedown. The Ruger 10/22 has become so popular that it has spawned and an entire industry in aftermarket parts and accessories. You can now build a complete 10/22 rifle without a single Ruger part. When starting such a build, the first question is which 10/22 chassis is the best is best?
The options available are almost overwhelming. It seems that a new company appears every week, offering every conceivable aftermarket part for the Ruger 10/22, including chassis. How do you choose? What are the options? What are the differences? The questions you need to ask and the options you should consider can make a huge difference in your Ruger 10/22 build or upgrade.
In this article, I hope to help by suggesting some answers to the questions I posed above and provide a few options to answer those questions. Building a custom rifle is not as difficult as some people might think. A little thought, a little preparation, and a fair amount of time are involved, but the process is well within most average shooters’ abilities.
Upgrade or Build?
Almost every Ruger 10/22 shooter decides to upgrade their stock Ruger 10/22 at some point. Even if adding a higher capacity magazine or an optical sight, accessories are easy to find and quick to mount on the Ruger 10/22. Making your rifle your own is part of the fun of firearm ownership.
When it comes to changing out internal parts such as trigger groups or barrels, the upgrades’ level takes on a new dimension. Trigger groups are relatively easy, especially with the availability of drop-in trigger components. Chassis changes are a bit more difficult but still doable by most Ruger 1-/22 owners.
Why Change A Roger 10/22 Chassis?
It is common knowledge that the factory chassis of the Ruger 10/22 is a great piece of work. Ruger delivers a fine rifle from their factory, and the chassis give years of perfectly good service without ever being changed. Two of my Ruger 10/22’s are still running the factory chassis, and I have no complaints with them.
On the other hand, if you are a serious rimfire shooter who knows and understands the 22 Rimfire Long Rifle Cartridge’s ballistic characteristics, you will understand the need to change to a custom Ruger 10/22 chassis. There are several reasons shooters opt to change the chassis of their Ruger 10/22.
- Accuracy – competitive target shooters know that the tighter the tolerances between your rifle parts, the better the accuracy. Factory-built mass-produced rifles tend to have larger tolerances to facilitate the rapid and easy assembly and manufacture of the firearm. Target shooters whose goal is accuracy routinely change the chassis of their Ruger 10/22 to gain an edge in competition shooting.
- Accessory Options – Many aftermarket Ruger 10/22 chassis come with special options that allow a wider range of customization than a standard factory Ruger 10/22 chassis. These custom features make it easier to add certain types of accessories and aftermarket parts.
- Materials, Fit, and Finish – Ruger does a great job on the materials, fit, and finish of their factory rifles. However, Ruger 10/22 chassis manufacturers have taken the concept of customization to a new level. You can buy Ruger 10/22 chassis made of almost any material imaginable, from titanium to aluminum. Many companies offer new Ruger 10/22 chassis in a rainbow of colors allowing you to create some totally unique rifles.
What Do I Need to Consider When Selecting a Ruger 10/22 Chassis?
There are several things you should consider. I know that the more options that you have the harder the decision. However, considering those choices now will result in a rifle that will meet your expectations and needs when the project is complete.
- Fixed Barrel or a Takedown Model – The first decision you need to make is the type of Ruger 10/22 rifle you want. If you are upgrading an existing rifle, the choice is obvious. There are advantages and disadvantages to both styles of Ruger 10.22 rifle. Takedown styles of Ruger 10/22’s are more convenient. If you are a backpacker or intend to carry your rifle in a vehicle most of the time, you should consider a takedown model. Fixed barrel models tend to be a bit more accurate if that is your goal.
- Materials – The two most popular materials from which Ruger 10/22 upgrade chassis are aluminum or steel. There are a few more exotic materials available from some manufacturers. Both steel and aluminum make excellent chassis for a Ruger 10/22. Steel tends to be heavier.
- Design and Compatibility – If you want the widest range of options for parts and accessories, make sure that the design of your new Ruger 10/22 chassis doesn’t require proprietary parts or fitting. Aftermarket chassis’ drop-in style is preferred to eliminate the need for gunsmithing and custom fitting to get time-consuming and expensive.
- Budget – Speaking of costs, budget is always a factor when upgrading or building rifles. Know your budget before you start and have a firm grasp of the overall cost of your project. Be sure to account for any other additions or upgrades you want to perform while changing the chassis on your Ruger 10/22.
My Choices for the Best Ruger 10/22 Chassis
There are many options to consider when deciding on an upgraded chassis or a chassis for a new rifle build. It is hard to define a list of the best options without narrowing the scope of the list. I have chosen what I believe are the best options in several categories of Ruger 10/22 chassis. Remember, my choices may not be the best for everyone. You must make your own decisions to fit your own needs and expectations.
Best Overall Fixed Barrel Ruger 10/22 Chassis – Midwest Industries Ruger 10/22 Chassis Review
If you intend to upgrade your existing fixed barrel Ruger 10/22, the Midwest Industries MI 13” Fixed Barrel Chassis is an obvious choice. Midwest Industries is known for producing some of the best aftermarket Ruger 10/22 accessories, and this chassis is no exception.
One great feature of the Midwest Industries Chassis is the M-Lok foregrip included with the package. The addition of an M-Lok foregrip changes the entire look and feel of your Ruger 10/22 and opens a whole new world of options for mounting additional accessories and systems to your rifle. Feature-wise, the Midwest Industries Ruger 1-/22 chassis is as complete as you can get.
- Easy Drop-in Installation
- 6061 Aluminum Construction with hard coat anodized finish
- Two QD sling sockets
- Slim profile for lightweight
- 21 ½ inches overall length
- All mounting hardware included as well as the necessary wrenches
- Weighs 1 lb. and 9 ounces
- Midwest Industries Lifetime Warranty
- Threaded butt end that accepts AR15/M4 buffer tubes allows the use of a wide range of AR-style aftermarket accessories and stocks.
- 100% made in the USA
You should note that the Midwest Industries Ruger 10/22 chassis is the limitation on some accessories. The Midwest Industries MI 13” chassis will not accept some aftermarket accessories and drop-in trigger groups.
Best Takedown Upgrade Chassis for the Ruger 10/22 – Magpul Hunter X22 Review
If you are like me and both a Magpul and a Ruger 10/22 fan, the Magpul Hunter X22 Chassis is a no-brainer. Magpul has designed and manufactured a stock and chassis system for the Ruger 10/22 Takedown model that maintains the takedown features’ functionality and gives you all the ergonomic benefits of the Magpul designs.
Magpul is well known in the AR world for its extensive line of aftermarket upgrades for the AR platform. Now you can get the same quality of construction and look for your Ruger 10/22. Magpul certainly doesn’t miss many marks with the features they offer with this upgrade.
- Made from high strength reinforced polymer
- Ergonomic grip
- Adjustable length of pull
- Adjustable comb height
- Multiple sling mounting positions
- M-Lok slots for accessory mounts
- Drop-in design
- The reversible tray fits both factory pencil profile and bull barrel, models
- Made in the USA
The price is right for the Magpul X22 chassis as well. No gunsmithing is required to make this upgrade. The innovative stock design will improve your accuracy and give your Ruger 10/22 a custom stock feel with the available adjustments.
Best Competition Chassis for the Ruger 10/22 – CrazyIvan Comp Chassis/Stock System Review
So, you want to get competitive with your rimfire shooting. Upgrading your Ruger 10/22 is a must to get the kind of accuracy you will need. CrazyIvan has a long history of producing innovative and out-of-the-box designs for Ruger 10/22 accessories and upgrades.
The Comp Chassis doesn’t stray from this reputation. This lightweight and versatile chassis are visually appealing, but it also delivers in the accuracy department. The quality of the construction of this chassis is superb. Consider what you get if you purchase a CrazyIvan Comp chassis for your Ruger 10/22.
- Weighs only 8.92 ounces
- Integral precision adjustment screw to lock don the rear of the receiver
- CHC milled from a single billet of 6061-T6 hardened aluminum alloy
- Anodized finish
- Free float barrel design
- Compatible with all Ruger barrel profiles
- Accepts all Ruger receivers, including those with integrated top rails
- Drop-in installation
- Includes all hardware and screws to make the conversion
- Limited lifetime warranty
Before you order a CrazyIvan Comp Chassis, make sure that your Ruger 10/22 doesn’t have an integral tang. The CrazyIvan Comp chassis is not compatible with this style of Ruger receiver. Beyond that, this chassis can accept almost any Ruger aftermarket accessory or upgrade and give you the kind of competitive advantage you need.
Best Wild Conversion for the Ruger 10/22 – High Tower Armory 90/22 Bullpup Chassis Review
Consider the High Tower Armory 90/22 Bullpup chassis for your Ruger 10/22 conversion project. For those of you who want something a little different, this is the ticket. No one will suspect that there is a Ruger 10/22 lurking beneath this chassis system’s bullpup design.
High Tower Armory has built a following among gun enthusiasts for after-market parts for various firearms. The most unique items in their product line are the bullpup conversion chassis for a wide range of extremely popular rifles. The HTA bullpup chassis for the Ruger 1-/22 will radically alter your concept of what a 22 rimfire rifle can be.
Converting your Ruger 10/22 with the High Tower Armory Bullpup Chassis offers you the opportunity to own a unique custom rifle with a complete set of new features.
- The design of this chassis converts your Ruger 10/22 into a true ambidextrous platform
- Built from military-grade polymer for durability and strength
- Reduces the length of most Ruger 10/22’s to just over 26 ½ inches
- Includes a CNC machined monolithic aluminum Picatinny rail
- Melanite treated steel trigger linkage eliminates flex
- Safety extension retains the function of the factory safety selector
- The extended magazine release and bolt release included
- Optional shell deflector is part of the kit for left-handed shooters
- Includes a dummy suppressor, two side-mounted Picatinny rails, and a detachable ammo storage box
- It fits both Ruger pencil and bull barrel profiles
If you make this conversion using the High Tower Armory Bullpup Chassis be ready for several things. You will get a lot of attention at the range from other shooters, and some range owners may question you about the legality of your rifle’s length. A bullpup chassis can be one of the most fun conversions you can undertake on your Ruger 10/22.
Making a Good Thing Even Better
Upgrading the chassis on your Ruger 10/22 has many benefits. You can achieve greater accuracy, a better fit to your shooting style, and you may create such a unique look that your rifle becomes a conversation piece. No matter your intention or end goals, upgrading your Ruger 10./22 is always fun and should leave you with a better gun for the effort.
I hope that the information in this article is of help. Upgrading and refining your firearms is as much a part of the shooting sports as the actual shooting itself. Many of us take great pride in the projects we complete on our guns. If you have experiences, ideas, or thoughts on this or any other firearm-related topic, please use the comment section below to share. We always benefit from our reader’s insights and knowledge. Stay safe and shoot straight.