Ruger 10/22 Tactical Trainer Project

Ruger 10/22I have always had a love affair with rifles chambered in .22LR. It may be because my first rifle was a Remington 581 .22 bolt action handed to me by my father. It may be because I have yet to see a new shooter walk away from a .22LR session without a smile on their face. Whatever the reason, you cannot deny that the .22LR is one of the most cost effective training rifles available.

While training for tactical/precision rifle matches, the majority of my time is spent dry firing the actual rifle that I will use in competition. This mates the rifle to my body and makes handling it second nature. However dry firing is the practice and live fire is the test. It is extremely helpful to be able to make a few runs on a .22LR before you burn up limited barrel life on your competition rifle.

Barrel life issues aside, a full power centerfire rifle can also be a bit intimidating to a new/younger shooter. Putting them on a .22 can ease them into the water and have them running and gunning on their own much faster.

To aid in these goals we have picked up a new Ruger 10/22. This will be the first 10/22 I have personally owned, so the upgrade path is unfamiliar to me. While I may not be sure how we are going to get there, the goal is to build a rifle that will allow me to practice positional shooting with cheap ammo (not unobtainable match .22) and get the kids more involved in practical/tactical type shooting.

I want to involve you viewers as much as possible in the project. I would like to hear what you would do with this same rifle. If you are already an experienced 10/22 builder, what are your favorite parts? If you are a new 10/22 shooter or you don’t have one yet, what parts are you interested in? Please leave your comments below or send them to us on YouTube or Facebook!

Get out and shoot!

Ruger 10/22 Part 1 – Accuracy Baseline

Before making any changes to our 10/22 we need to check the accuracy of the factory configuration.


IMG_4306Part 2 – Stock Replacement

After checking our accuracy, it’s time to start making some changes. Replacing the stock will make the rifle easier to hang onto as well as supporting future upgrades.

IMG_6640Part 1 “re-do” – Scope Replacement

Since our original scope appeared to be having some problems, we had to go back to “Square 1” and start over with a more rugged and reliable scope. The SWFA SS 3-15×42 should give us what we need for this project.

Ruger BX-TriggerPart 2 “re-do” – Ruger® BX-Trigger™ Install

Our factory trigger weighed in at a mushy/creeping six pounds. Here is how we take care of that.


  • Part 3 – Stock Replacement
  • Part 4 – Barrel Replacement
  • Part 5 – Application/Training


27 thoughts on “Ruger 10/22 Tactical Trainer Project”

  1. Hi John
    I remember when my dad handed me my first rifle which was the 10/22. With a 4x Leopold scope and the old Winchester super speed ammo at 40 yards would group about 1/2″. Great little walk about rifle shooting rabbits.
    But sadly its now a number plate due to semi auto rifles over here have been band and thus had to be handed in and destroyed.
    Have fun with what ever build you decide to do, great little rifle.

  2. I think you should stick true to your stated purpose with this build. not a budget build and not exotic. get it setup with a practicle precision stock, barrel, trigger and optics. You should be able to get a sub moa 22lr for nit a lot of money. the trick will be finding the right stock to somewhat match your centerfire guns.

  3. Hi John,

    I’ve had my 10/22 for a few years now, and it still looks pretty much the same as yours. I’m a little new to precision matches, so when I get back I’m planning on turning it into a trainer as well. I had planned to replace the trigger, barrel and stock to resemble my center fire rifle. I’m looking forward to seeing your build. I’d like to see some inexpensive, but quality upgrades.

    Take care,

  4. I think you should build it to be as tactical as possible, I to have a 10/22, that I have worked on and it is great. My I suggest a Power Custom Trigger setup, Power Custom has all the things that you will need to do a trigger job, mag release, bolt handle and firing pin, along with shims to make the rifle sub MOA, I get 1/2″ groups at 100 yds. Bolt face work and checking the case rim thickness. Sinclair International can help.

  5. I love the Ruger 10/22 and have done quite a few modifications to mine. The main purpose of my 10/22 has been for accuracy, so these suggestions are based on that premise. I’ll list a few of the things I’ve done or plan on doing next.

    – Scope: Nikon 3-9x40mm Prostaff Rimfire
    The nice thing about this scope is that it has a simple BDC in it, and the app from Nikon is great for long range use. Once you set the zero, it’s very easy to see what distance each dot on the reticle represents. It’s very clear and one of the best rimfire scopes I’ve seen so far.

    – Trigger: Volquartsen Trigger Parts Kit
    I picked one of these up for about $30 from Midway USA and it was the best bang for the buck I’ve seen for a 10/22. It took the stock trigger pull weight of about 7.5lbs down to a consistent 2.5lbs. I also bought separately a Volquartsen trigger blade and that greatly improved how the trigger felt, since the blade is wider and allows more of the pad of my finger to engage it.

    – Barrel: Kidd Innovative Design 20″ Match Bull Barrel
    I plan on purchasing one of these because I’ve heard only amazing things about the quality and accuracy of these barrels. I know firsthand that Kidd makes quality parts and has unbelievably good customer service, so I won’t go anywhere else for something like this.

    This is just a few things to think about if you are looking for a more accurate build. If you want to go more tactical, then I’d still think about the trigger kit from Volquartsen.

    Good luck and enjoy the build!

  6. Dry PRACTICE!!!! This way there is no confusion about what is going on!!! 😉 keep up he great work john.

  7. dry PRACTICE!!!! this way there is no confusion as to what is going on! 😉 Keep up the great work John.

  8. As far as updating anything on the rifle… I think if you are going to be using it to practice your firing positions, you might want to get it into a chassis similar to an AR (your MATEN) so there is muscle memory… or just leave it like it is. My 10/22 with a el-cheapo scope is pretty accurate out to 100 yards. Enough to hit a 12 in plate anyhow.
    Again, keep up the good work and YES, I was trying to figure out how to reach through the screen…. 😉
    Steven J

  9. One of the first things I switched out on my 10/22s was the mag release. I really like the PWS and Nordic components ones. Auto bolt release mod and oversize charging handle (I prefer the Superior Concepts model) are also worthwhile ergonomic upgrades.
    I don’t feel I need to recommend things like optics and stocks since you know plenty about what works for you, and what centerfire rifle you are building the trainer for.

  10. I went cheap on my 10/22 build but I have been very happy with it. I put a Tapco O.D stock on it. A volquartsen trigger was installed and I topped it with a TRS-25.

    If you’re going to go budget on your build I would definitely recommend the volquartsen trigger. I think it’s very good trigger considering the cost.

  11. Tactical Solutions, for light weight, or Green Mountain barrel for price. Both have worked well for me. Troy T-22 stock, if high bubget, Tapco Tactical Trainer, if on a budget. Power Custom trigger if tight budget, Tim. trigger if no budget. Any 3-9 power rimfire scope, high end or lower end depending on budget. And a magpul Ctr for either stock, to take the wobble out. Ruger BX-25 mags are a must. Whatever barrel, make sure it’s threaded. Suppressed .22 are more fun honeymoons… jk. But they are crazy fun.

  12. I just recently re-rebuilt my 10/22 to mimic an AR. I had ordered a Troy Industries T-22 chassis more than a year ago, due to demand I still have not seen this. So I found a similar system from Nordic Components. They have a complete kit available or you can buy just the receiver cover. I was looking for an aluminum unit, Troy and Nordic are the only two I came up with. For the rest of the furniture I picked from Magpul’s MOE line. I bought a delta ring assembly and end cap to hold the forend together. The end cap had to be modified to fit over the .920 Adams and Bennet barrel. But otherwise the system went together very nicely. I also installed a .920 “gas block” to hold the endcap in place.
    Previously I had ground the sear to lighten the trigger pull, polished the bolt for smoother action, filed the bolt release plate to allow for an auto-release, and installed an extended mag release. Overall I am very happy with the way my 10/22 shots and performs. Most ammunition feeds and cycles without any issue. The only issues I have had have been with truncated Remington rounds. A slight bevel at the bottom edge of the chamber corrected the feed issue and prevented the lead from “shaving” as it entered. On top of my Ruger there is a 1.5x-5x 20mm scope with a diamond reticle. At the 1.5x setting I can comfortably shoot with both eyes open. This is a rabbit slaying machine.
    Unfortunatly I live in Upstate New York so I am now a criminal for owning this rifle in this trim. Somehow the ergonomics of a pistol grip not only make it more lethal but make me more likely to harm someone. Who knew…

  13. Hi John,

    If you are looking to keep the budget low on the build, I would take a look at the Primary Arms 4-14 FFP Mil/Mil scope. They have it listed on the their website for $229 I believe. I don’t own one myself, but I have seen decent reviews of this scope mounted on .308’s. I would like to see what you think of this scope. I want to get into long range shooting, but I simply cannot afford the high end stuff. You’re reviews/opinions are greatly appreciated.


  14. I think bolt gun when I think trainer. Boyd’s tacticool stock and a good 10x supersniper with a decent barrel and decent ammo. I’d go green mountain stainless if money is an object, or a kidd barrel if not. Kidd trigger group or just a VQ drop in hammer for a budget build. Replace the bolt buffer. Don’t drop too much into it, You might find yourself wanting a bolt trainer like the new manners cz…

  15. As one LE to another, build a trainer for what you train. If you want to mimic a long range rifle get the scope, the rail, stock and barrel and do that. For a CQB rifle get the optic, adjustable stock, same type of sling as at work and do that. People are going to love and hate your video anyway, build something that will help you do better at what you wanna do!

  16. John, I did the same thing. I bought the ruger ITAC series black and stainless. Outfitted it with all the kidd products. Put on the new redfield battlezone tac.22, a couple bx25’s and bx25X2. Probably have entirely too much money in a .22 but it is a heck of alot of fun and I believe there are some cost affective advantages to training with this system. I am very glad you posted this and would be interested to see your data points with your testing. As you mentioned, I bought and built with hopes that run n gunning with the cheaper ammo would build some decent muscle memory and help aid in fast target acquisition with the more expensive .556 and .762’s

  17. Not intending to be pushy; but are you planning on continuing with the series? I’d really like to see how the build ends up. -Dan

    1. I currently have the takedown model with the Talo wooden stock and a BSA Sweet .22 3-9x scope. Like you’ve said I need to address the cheek rest situation but would also like to add sling mounts to stabilize standing shots with the sling. -Dan

  18. Very interested in this build. Looking into building a CZ 455 precision trainer / verify if its something I want to get into. Is this series over? Was curious about the final setup and results.

    Thanks for your service, past and current. 183 . 1987-2008.

  19. Mister McQuay, Was wondering if you where still going to continue this series?

    Love your work!

    Greetings from Canada


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