Choosing the Best Ruger 10/22: Top 12 Options for Accuracy, Self Defense, and Prepping

The Ruger 10/22 is one of the most respected rifles in the game. But, choosing the best Ruger 10/22 is a tall order when there are so many models. To compile this guide, we needed to dig our heels in, confide in the right sources, and use our decades of experience to put together a comprehensive list of every current Ruger model available on the market. 

The end result is a guide that will educate, inform, and enlighten you on the best Ruger 10/22 models for each need and purpose. 

Best Ruger 10/22 Models 

In this comprehensive guide, we’re taking a look at the best Ruger 10/22 models on the market. We’ve covered every single model you could think of, so if you’re looking for a Ruger 10/22, you’re sure to find it here. Here are the top 12 Ruger models. 

1. Ruger 10/22 Carbine [Model 1103]

Ruger 10/22 Carbine [Model 1103]

Specifications

  • Action Type: Blow Back
  • Barrel Length: 18.5″
  • Capacity: 10+1-Round
  • Cartridge: 22 Long Rifle
  • Finish: Blue
  • Front Sight: Fixed
  • Length: 37.25″
  • Magazine Included: 1 x 10-Round
  • Magazine Type: Removable
  • Muzzle: Plain
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable
  • Stock Material: Wood
  • Weight: 5 lbs

The Ruger 10/22 Carbine is the standard Ruger model with an 18.5” barrel. You’ll find it most frequently offered with a hardwood or synthetic black stock and stainless steel barrel. 

While not everyone may consider this the “best” Ruger model, it’s certainly one that will stand the test of time because it closely mimics the original model that debuted in 1964. How can you go wrong with the original? 

These .22s are a solid choice for general use and shooting for fun. They offer a simple design with a 37-inch length and 18.5-inch barrel with adjustable sight on the back and gold bead sight on the front. 

There are a million different variations of this rifle, but it’s the standard option that most people should look towards if they’ve never fired a Ruger before. Not to mention the fact that it’s one of our Ruger 10/22 best price options at around $285

2. Ruger 10/22 Takedown [Model 11112]

Ruger 10/22 Takedown [Model 11112]

Specifications:

  • Make: Ruger
  • Model: 10/22 Takedown
  • Cartridge: 22 Long Rifle
  • Capacity : 10+1-round
  • Barrel Length: 16.62″
  • Finish: Blue
  • Length : 36.75″
  • Magazine Type: Removable

The best takedown rifle on the market has to be the 10/22 Takedown. It’s a popular choice among shooters, and it comes with a quick detach assembly that allows you to easily store the rifle in your backpack with room for ammunition and other accessories. 

The rifle’s teardown design is a great choice for those of you looking for something compact that will allow you to move more comfortably through the woods. 

When you click the barrel back into place, all you need to do is drop the bolt, load the rifle, and you’re ready to go. This Takedown comes in an assortment of variants, including wood, synthetic, and other exclusive choices available for the stock. Not to mention the fact that there are a million aftermarket upgrades and accessories from companies like Magpul that you can use to customize it. 

The Takedown is also the ideal choice for the best survival rifle because it works well for preppers. Having a small AR is always handy when the end of the world eventually rears its ugly head, but the fact that you get space for as many as 1,000 rounds, you can instill the fear of God in anyone pretty quick if you had to. 

It’s one of the easiest rifles to assemble, incredibly easy to take down, simple to transport, holds a ton of ammo, and can work with almost any accessory you can think of. So, if you haven’t got it by now, the Takedown is a fantastic choice. 

The Takedown Model 11112 will run you about $371.00, and it’s well worth that price tag. You can purchase it from Brownells

3. Ruger 10/22 Target

Ruger 10/22 Target

Specifications:

  • Make: Ruger
  • Model: 10/22 Target
  • Cartridge: 22 Long Rifle
  • Capacity : 10+1-round
  • Barrel Length: 20″
  • Finish: Blue
  • Length : 38.5″
  • Magazine Type: Removable

When you need pinpoint accuracy and can’t sacrifice a millimeter, you’ll want to lean towards the Target model. This rifle comes equipped with a 20-inch bull barrel, and it’s designed for you to customize it with your own choice of optics. It comes free of any iron sights, so there’s one less barrier between you and the site you want. 

It usually comes with a wood laminate stock, but there are many different options, such as stainless or blued steel, if that’s your game. It comes with the original scope mount like the rest of the Ruger models, so you can mount whatever it is you want without requiring any additional modifications. 

If you’re smitten with the Takedown model, they also have a “Takedown Target” rifle that comes equipped with a shorter barrel. While the Takedown is a bit heavier, it’s the extra weight that makes it the better choice for bench shooting. It’s one of the most precise Ruger models ever, and it’s ready for aftermarket or factory upgrades, straight out of the box. 

The Ruger Target model retails for around $462.99, and you can purchase it right here from Brownells. 

4. Ruger 10/22 Tactical [Model 1261] 

Ruger 10/22 Tactical [Model 1261]

Specifications:

  • Make: Ruger
  • Model: 10/22
  • Cartridge: 22 Long Rifle
  • Capacity: 10-round
  • Barrel Length: 16.12″
  • Finish: Black
  • Length: 36.25″
  • Magazine Type: Detachable

The Tactical model is very similar to the Carbine model, but the main differences are a shorter barrel and a flash hider. The barrel is two inches shorter at 16.5-inches, and the flash hider creates legal issues in many areas, especially if you decide to mount it with a pistol grip.

It’s important that you understand local laws regarding muzzle devices and wind flow because certain jurisdictions consider this model an assault weapon. Don’t get yourself in trouble because it puts a big black stain on gun owners when we don’t understand what we’re getting into. Anyway, not a political article! 

The Tactical model comes with most stock configurations for the heavy barrel, and the flash hider adds a nice aesthetic feel to the gun. That’s because the rifle itself generates very little flash, to begin with. 

If you’re shooting in low light or in the dark, you might notice the flash, and in that case, the flash hider is a nice addition. We’re also a fan of the shorter barrel because it leaves some room open for aftermarket parts without having to worry as much about exceeding the legal length restrictions. 

For the most part, they’ve designed this rifle so you can upgrade it. It doesn’t come with a sight, and you get the Picatinny rail, which allows you to do almost anything you want with it. You could switch out the barrel too because it comes with a threaded barrel and flash suppressor. You’re in control of what you do here, and that’s part of what makes it such a great rifle. 

The Tactical Model 1261 sells for approximately $290.00, and you can purchase it right here from Brownells

5. Ruger 10/22 Compact [Model 31114]

Ruger 10/22 Compact [Model 31114]

Specifications:

  • Make: Ruger
  • Model: 10/22
  • Cartridge: 22 Long Rifle
  • Capacity : 10+1-round
  • Barrel Length: 16″
  • Finish: Black
  • Length : 34″
  • Magazine Type: Removable

When easy handling is required for younger or inexperienced shooters, you’ll want to give the Ruger 10/22 Compact model a spin. It has a minimum barrel length of 16.5-inches, and it’s the easiest of this line to handle in the field. 

Some adult shooters might find it more difficult because of the shorter length of pull, but it’s not exactly made for those people. It also doesn’t offer a lot of relief in terms of recoil as well, so you’ll likely want to add a recoil pad if that becomes a problem. 

Realistically, it’s just a scaled-down model of the Carbine that comes with a fiber-optic sight, which continues to make it easier for smaller people or younger folks to get the right shot.

This rifle retails for approximately $250.00 when available (it’s currently out of stock at a lot of stores). We expect it to come back in stock quickly at Palmetto State Armory, so check back here frequently. 

6. Ruger 10/22 Sporter 

Ruger 10/22 Sporter

Specifications:

  • Cartridge or Gauge: .22 Long Rifle
  • Model Number: 1102
  • Action: Semi-Automatic
  • Barrel Length: 18.5″
  • Hand: Right
  • Finish: Black
  • Stock Color: American Walnut
  • Round Capacity: 10+1
  • Gun Weight: 7 lbs.

The Sporter models come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the main thing that separates them from the other models is their design. You can usually find them with interesting stocks with sling swivels, and they come in barrel sizes ranging from 18.5-inches to 22-inches. 

The Sporter models come in blued or stainless finishes, and they’re offered by big names in the gun industry for limited runs. 

Expect these to be base models with room for upgrades because they don’t come with much. You’ll be responsible for modifications and accessories. 

Keep in mind that our recommendation is limited to the option that we think is the best, but there are a ton more available out there. If you’re interested in looking into the Sporter model that we use, check out this link from Cabelas. The model retails for approximately $379.99.  

7. Ruger 10/22 Takedown [Model 11100] 

Ruger 10/22 Takedown [Model 11100]

Specifications: 

  • Make: Ruger
  • Model: 10/22 Carbine
  • Cartridge: 22 Long Rifle
  • Capacity: 10+1-round
  • Barrel Length: 18.5″
  • Finish: Stainless
  • Length: 37″
  • Magazine Type: Removable

If you liked the first Takedown we reviewed, then you’ll really like this one. It provides shooters with the ability to separate the action and barrel by pushing a lever to twist apart the assemblies. Just like the other Takedown, this makes it much easier to store and travel while still providing you with all the benefits you need. 

What we like about this one is the black synthetic stock with the stainless steel, it looks really sharp, and the overall design is eye-catching. It comes with an 18.5-inch barrel and weighs just below five pounds, which makes it one of the lightest Rugers on the market today. 

It’s almost impossible to choose between these two Takedown models so give this one a look for yourself. It retails for approximately $297.00, so it’s cheaper than the first model and you can buy it from Brownells

8. Ruger 10/22 Takedown Lite [Model 21152]

Ruger 10/22 Takedown Lite [Model 21152]

Specifications: 

  • Action: Semi-automatic
  • Activity: Shooting,Hunting
  • Barrel Length: 16in
  • Caliber: .22lr
  • Capacity: 10rd
  • Capacity Rd.: 10
  • Department: Firearms
  • Model: 10/22
  • Product Type: Rifles
  • Hand: Right Hand

If you can’t tell by now, we’re a pretty big fan of the Takedown models, and most people are. The last one we have to look at is the Takedown Lite. This model has a 16.12-inch steel barrel with an aluminum sleeve that looks totally amazing. Just like in the 11112, it uses a half-inch by 28-inch threaded barrel that will work for a suppressor. 

Something else we haven’t seen in some of the other models is the fact that this one works with the Ruger Modular Stock System, which helps with the pull. The overall length is shorter than most at 34.62-inches, and the weight is less than five pounds. It’s a great Takedown for transporting, and it allows people of smaller stature to get the rifle they want without having to worry about the ergonomics of handling it. 

Keep in mind that this rifle is going to run you about $500.00, so it’s not cheap by any means. It’s easy to use, smooth, and not fussy, so it’s worth the investment if you have it. You can purchase the Takedown Lite here from GRITR Sports

9. Ruger 10/22 ATI AR22

Ruger 10/22 ATI AR22

Specifications:

  • Make: Ruger
  • Model: 10/22
  • Cartridge: 22 Long Rifle
  • Capacity: 25+1-round
  • Barrel Length: 16.12″
  • Finish: Blue
  • Length: 36″
  • Magazine Type: Removable

If you live in a state that allows it, you could go with a Ruger AR-22 in either FDE or Black. This 10/22 barreled action rifle is meant to mimic the look and feel of an AR-15. Challenges arise with the mag release and safety because they’re exactly the same as the other 10/22s, which doesn’t exactly work right on a tactical rifle. 

The reason this rifle is popular is not for its functionality but for its aesthetics. It’s a nice choice in places where assault weapons are outlawed because it looks like one but the design and functionality will prove to “the man” that it’s not. 

This one retails for approximately $454.00, and you can find it here from Brownells

10. Ruger 10/22 Competition Rifle [Model 31120] 

Ruger 10/22 Competition Rifle [Model 31120]

Specifications:

  • Make: Ruger
  • Model: 10/22 Competition
  • Caliber: 22 Long Rifle
  • Capacity: 10
  • # of Mags: One (1) Rotary Magazine
  • Barrel Length: 16.12″
  • OAL: 36″
  • LOP: 13.5″
  • Stock: Laminate
  • Finish/Color: Speckled Black/Gray
  • Sights: None – Optics-Ready, 30 MOA Picatinny Rail
  • Safety: Positive, push-button, cross-bolt manual safety
  • Weight: 6 lbs

One of the newer additions to the Ruger lineup is this competition rifle. They introduced it in 2018, and as of right now, it’s the only variation of the style. That could change over time, and maybe it’s changed already by the time you’re reading this. 

The Competition Rifle is designed for exactly what it says in the name. It’s designed as a Rimfire rifle ideal for long-range shooting due to a heat-treated and stress-relieved receiver. 

You get a 30 MOA Picatinny rail on top for your optics and a second bedding lug makes sure that the stock stays firmly attached with a textured grip to reduce recoil and ensure you handle the rifle properly. 

It comes with a heavy barrel, which is ideal for some in competition settings, but it’s fluted, which helps reduce the weight a little. The enlarged magazine and big bolt handle are also important on the ergonomics side of things. It’s an enjoyable .22 for competition shooting.

This is an expensive rifle retailing for nearly $900.00 from Bass Pro Shops. Check it out here

11. Ruger 10/22 Charger 

Ruger 10/22 Charger

Specifications: 

  • Make: Ruger
  • Model: Charger
  • Cartridge: 22 Long Rifle
  • Capacity: 15+1-round
  • Barrel Length: 10″
  • Finish: Blue
  • Length: 19.25″
  • Magazine Type: Removable

This one originally hit the market in 2007, but the manufacturer brought it back in 2014 as a 10-inch barrel, pistol grip rifle. Since the magazine is located outside the grip, you’re likely to experience some legal issues in certain states that are strict on gun laws, but it’s a popular bench pistol due to its size and design. 

It comes with a threaded muzzle for suppressors, and the lightweight plastic stock is another issue we won’t get into, but there are many legal restrictions plaguing the popularity of this rifle, so you’ll want to make sure you understand the laws before you go purchasing this one. 

If it’s piqued your interest, though, Brownells offers it for an affordable $284.99 at the time of writing this. Click here to check it out

12. Ruger 10/22 Charger Takedown 

Ruger 10/22 Charger Takedown

Specifications:

  • Barrel Length: 10-inches
  • Caliber: .22 LR
  • Capacity: 15
  • Finish: Black
  • Manufacturer Part Number: 4924
  • Model: Charger Takedown
  • Type: Semi-Auto Handguns

If you’re looking for an easier rifle to transport, you could always opt for the Takedown variation. As expected, it comes with a BX-25 magazine, but manufacturers stress the fact that you should never mount a shorter barrel onto a rifle receiver. 

Ruger has taken the necessary precautions to prevent this from happening, but it’s still possible in some applications, and this can cost you quite a bit of money and time in fines and legal proceedings. That said, if you’re in the market for a Ruger 10/22 Charger, but you like the ergonomics and functionality of the Takedown, here you go. 

The gun sells for around $400.00, and you can learn more about it by clicking this link here

Choosing the Best Ruger 10/22 Models: How to Choose? 

There are so many variations with very slight differences that it can be difficult to choose just one. The most important thing that you want to keep in mind is the use of the rifle. By choosing based on what you plan to use it for, you’ll end up with a gun that functions properly for your intended purpose. 

If you go out there and buy a gun based on appearance or what you “think” you want, you’ll end up getting stuck with something that doesn’t work right for you. 

In this section, we’re going to break down the main categories of why anyone might want to buy a Ruger 10/22, so you can decide where you fit into this equation. 

General Use 

If you’re using the Ruger for general use, you’ll want to go with a simple or basic option. You can use all the Takedown Models as well as the Carbine model for general use because they offer the most widespread functionality. They’ll serve as your best self-defense rifle, but they’ll also work as your best all-purpose rifle. 

There are certain options that you’d want to avoid at all costs—the Target or AR22 models, for example. You wouldn’t use the Target model because it’s simply too heavy in self-defense situations. If a smaller person in your home had to handle that rifle in an emergency, they might have a hard time. We don’t recommend the AR22 model for general use because of legal issues like the pistol grip and flash hiders. 

Ideally, what you’re looking for is the most balanced model, and that would be the Takedown or Carbine models. They’re also the most affordable if you know where to shop, so you’ll have a price that works for recreational shooters. 

Emergency Use 

When it comes to emergency use, we’re talking about two situations. One, we want something that will work for self-defense in our current living situation. We need a rifle that we can quickly pull out and use to threaten someone in the event of a home invasion, robbery, or to scare someone off your property. 

The other scenario is you need a .22 that works when the SHTF and you need to bug out or defend your property. 

The Takedown model is the best choice here because it’s best for storage and transport. In an apocalyptic scenario, you might not want everyone around you to know that you have a rifle in your backpack. If that’s the case, the Takedown breaks down nicely and should fit in most backpacks. This means that you’ll have it when you need it, and you won’t have to worry about others using it against you. 

Keep in mind that you need something that won’t require tools, and that’s another reason why we recommend the Takedown. Truthfully, we think it’s the only rifle that works best for preppers. 

In a home defense situation, we would suggest the Takedown or the Takedown Lite. Obviously, the Takedown Lite model is double the price of the standard option, but it will work so much better in a home invasion situation where someone with slightly less experience may have to handle the gun. 

You want them to feel comfortable and confident to scare away whatever threat they’re facing. You have two options in this situation as the primary gun owner.

Spend the extra money on the Takedown Lite or get a standard Takedown and make sure everyone in your home knows how to use it properly. The latter sounds like the right choice. 

Precision Shooting 

If you’re into competitions and plinking, you’ll need a Ruger 10/22 that spares no expense when it comes to accuracy. The Target models are clearly the right choice here because they come with stable platforms, highly tuned barrels, and the ability to use a high-quality optic. 

What happens in place of the accuracy is you get a rifle that isn’t functional for a lot of other uses because of its weight. There are plenty of lighter barrels on the market that will work for target shooting, and we’re splitting hairs here, but the Target model is still the best choice. They’re strong, reliable, and ready right out of the box. 

Tactical Shooting 

Tactical shooting is another popular use for all Ruger 10/22 rifles, so you really have buyers preference when it comes to this purpose. Obviously, you could go with the AR22 platforms or the Tactical options to get the appearance and most functionality for tactical shooting, but it’s not necessary. Any model except the target and competition option should work for tactical purposes. 

Potential Upgrades For Your Ruger 10/22

The only thing better than a Ruger 10/22 is a custom Ruger 10/22, and there are tons of upgrades, accessories, and customizations that you can make with your rifle. Let’s start at the top! 

Stocks 

The best way to upgrade the appearance and feel of your rifle is to purchase an aftermarket stock. Of course, you can stick with the stock option for as long as you want, but after a while, you might want to start customizing it to meet your preferences. 

By choosing a different stock, you can improve the tactical appearance of the gun and make it look more like an AR-15 or go with a thumbhole stock as well. All stocks will run you between $50-$500 depending on the type you get, and keep in mind that you won’t be able to use every one on each style of Ruger 10/22. They likely only work on standard Carbine or Takedown models. 

Triggers 

If you’re looking to improve the accuracy of your Ruger 10/22, you’ll want to look towards the stock trigger. Keep in mind that this is the perfect way to take your Carbine or Takedown model and improve the accuracy to more closely mimic a competition or target shooting model. 

A trigger with lower pull weight will automatically increase your precision, which can help make your stock Ruger more functional in competition and target shooting applications. 

Sights and Scopes 

Using the iron sight that comes with your stock Ruger will only get you so far. When you reach that point, you’ll want to upgrade the sight, and these rifles make this super easy due to the inclusion of a Picatinny rail on most, and almost all Rugers are already drilled for you to install any red dot sight or scope of your choosing without modification by a gunsmith. 

Accessories 

The best thing about Ruger .22s is that you have an endless amount of accessories to play around with. The market for aftermarket accessories is almost as big as the market for the rifle itself. 

For example, getting a $25 takedown knob will save you a ton of time when tearing down your rifle. If you’re a plinker, the extended magazine release will increase your reloading speed, which will help you a lot during competitions. 

Barrels 

If you’re looking for a serious investment and you want to make a big difference in the reliability and lifespan of your Ruger, you’ll upgrade the barrel. E.R. Shaw and Volquartsen make the most accurate barrels. These are ultralight with built-in compensators and should help solve any issues you have with jamming or misfires. 

Magazines

Upgrading your magazine is a no-go in many situations due to legal restrictions, but they’re affordable, and the extended capacity is always more fun. Most of the Ruger 10/22s we’ve looked at in this guide work with 10-15 rounds but purchasing an extended mag can up your capacity to as much as 25 or higher. Butler Creek and Tandemkross make a great magazine upgrade, and they work with all types of ammo, including CCI, Remington, and more. 

Final Thoughts 

Shopping around for the best Ruger 10/22 rifle is fun and exciting, but it isn’t always easy. There are so many variations that it makes it difficult to choose the right option because you’re not sure what the differences are across each model. 

This guide should have really cleared things up for you, and by now, you should be able to make a confident purchasing decision based on your goals and intentions with your Ruger 10/22.