What component of a rifle should you upgrade before anything else?
Well, each of these components are undoubtedly important to the function of your rifle, but a strong argument can be made that the trigger is the one component that should be upgraded before anything else.
The reason for this is because there is nothing that will directly impact how pleasurable your rifle is to shoot as much as the trigger does. A gun with a gritty and heavy trigger is rarely if ever fun to shoot, and furthermore, it can throw off your shots and negatively affect your accuracy as well.
Best Overall Pick: Timney 10/22 Drop In Trigger Assembly
The Timney 10/22 Drop In Trigger Assembly is a fully hand-made trigger assembly that will reduce your 10/22’s trigger pull weight down to just two pounds.
Best Budget Pick: Ruger 10/22 BX Trigger
The BX Trigger is the least expensive trigger on this list and also the only one from the Ruger factory (so you can stick to fully factory components if you want to). The BX Trigger is built out of durable polymer, has a drop-in design, and will reduce the overall trigger weight down to around three pounds.
Best Premium Pick: Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 Trigger Guard 2000
The most expensive trigger on his list is built to incredibly tight tolerances and is also a fully adjustable trigger so you can set the trigger pull weight to your desired preference.
In this guide, we will discuss the top three best triggers on the market that you can use to upgrade your Ruger 10/22 with, and we will also dive into the top qualities and features to look for in a Ruger 10/22 trigger and how to install a new one without the aid of a gunsmith.
But first, we need to answer this question: why do you need to upgrade your Ruger 10/22 trigger to begin with?
Why Upgrade Your Ruger 10/22 Trigger?
The Ruger 10/22 is the most popular rimfire .22 rifle ever made, and today is one of the bestselling guns in America. It’s also one of the most customizable firearms in existence, only rivaled by the AR-15 rifle, Glock pistol, and the venerable 1911. The 10/22 was designed from the start of its production in the mid-1960s to be a high quality rifle geared more towards adults rather than children. Today, people of all ages own and enjoy the 10/22 rifle and any one of its many variants.
The 10/22 is already an excellent .22 rifle right out of the box, and you’ll be able to enjoy it and pass it on down to future generations without having to spend money on upgrades.
But even though upgrading your 10/22 may not be totally necessary, there’s also no denying that upgrading it can greatly improve your shooting performance and the amount of enjoyment that you get out of the rifle.
This is why you should give strong consideration to upgrading the trigger on your 10/22. As a whole, Ruger as a company is known for building very durable and well-built firearms, but they are also not known for having stellar triggers. The trigger as it comes from the factory on the 10/22 certainly works, but it can also definitely be improved upon.
That’s because standard trigger on a 10/22 rifle as it comes from the factory will have a pull weight of around six pounds. This isn’t bad, and if it were any heavier than you almost certainly would have to upgrade your trigger. Every single movement of the trigger from your finger will directly affect how accurate your shots are, and even the smallest slip up can greatly throw off your shot.
For this reason, many companies offer improved triggers or drop-in kits do improve the trigger pull weight and smoothness for the Ruger 10/22. Even if you’re only upgrading from a six pound trigger to a five pound one, it can have a major impact on how well you shoot your rifle.
If you decide that you’d like to spend the extra money on an upgraded Ruger 10/22 trigger, you may think that you’ll need to hire a professional gunsmith to do it for you, but the truth is you can easily install most triggers yourself so long as you have the right knowledge and tools (we’ll go over this in the next section).
How To Install A Ruger 10/22 Trigger
In all honesty, swapping out the triggers in any rifle is usually the most difficult upgrade to make on your own. Fortunately, upgrading the Ruger 10/22 is not excessively challenging, and all you need are the correct tools and proper knowledge.
The first step in installing a new Ruger 10/22 trigger will be to field strip the rifle in order to obtain the trigger assembly. Then, just follow these steps:
- Use a small punch to remove the magazine release pin
- Remove the pin
- This will free up your bolt lock, so you can remove it as well
- Hold down the trigger, and then simultaneously push out the hammer spring and the hammer spring pin
- This will enable you to remove the trigger
- Install your new trigger, and then reverse the above process
The above step-by-step process will only need to be followed if you are going to be replacing just the trigger and not the full assembly. Many companies will offer a trigger assembly and not just a trigger because replacing the assembly as a whole is much simpler (you can remove the trigger assembly just by field stripping the rifle down).
Buyer’s Guide To Finding The Best Ruger 10/22 Triggers
These are the most important factors to consider when looking for a new trigger for your Ruger 10/22 rifle.
Trigger Pull Weight
The trigger pull weight is the first thing to look for in a new trigger for your Ruger 10/22 because it is what you will notice first when you shoot the rifle. The trigger pull weight is basically the amount of force that is needed in order to pull back the trigger and fire the rifle.
The primary reason to upgrade your 10/22’s trigger in the first place will be in order to reduce the pull weight and make the rifle easier and more fun to shoot. As was noted previously, the standard pull weight on a 10/22 trigger from the factory is around six pounds, so you’ll want to get a new trigger with a shorter pull weight than that.
Take note that you don’t necessarily want to have the lightest possible trigger weight either. So called ‘hair triggers’ may be great for sending a lot of rounds quickly downrange at once, but getting a trigger that requires only the most minimal amount of force in order to fire could potentially be dangerous as well. It’s up to you to decide what the best balance is for your situation.
There are also adjustable triggers where you can customize the amount of travel before the firearm will be discharged. These will enable you to therefore set the triggers to your personal preference/
In addition to having a shorter trigger pull weight, you’ll also want an upgraded trigger that has a shorter reset than the one offered by the factory as well.
The ‘reset’ is when the trigger literally resets after being fired so that it may fire again. In the case of a fully automatic firearm, there is no reset because bullets continuously exit the gun as it the trigger is being depressed. With a semi-automatic, only one round is fired with each trigger pull, and another round cannot be fired until the trigger has been reset.
Bad triggers will have a reset that is nearly back to the original starting position of the trigger. When upgrading your 10/22 trigger, you’ll probably want a trigger pull with a shorter reset so you can send additional rounds downrange faster.
It’s possible to have a trigger with a short reset and a short pull weight and still not be that much fun to shoot. How? If it’s gritty or simply not very smooth to pull back. Quality triggers will be very smooth in their operation with little to no grit.
No Wiggling or Side Movement
If there’s any wiggling or side movement in your trigger, it’s simply not a good sign. High quality triggers will be stable without any wiggling or side to side movement in the triggers at all.
This will obviously play a factor in buying a new trigger as well. The Ruger 10/22 is typically sold as an entire rifle from the factory for the two hundred to three hundred dollar range. And guess what? There are replacement triggers and trigger assemblies that can cost this much as well!
Do you really want to pay as much as you did for the gun for a new trigger or trigger assembly? That’s up to you and your budget, so only you can decide.
The good news is that not all replacement triggers or trigger assemblies are that expensive, and here are many that are sold for under a hundred dollars.
As was noted previously, there are two kinds of triggers that you can get for the 10/22: the triggers themselves where you will need to disassemble the rifle almost fully in order to install them, and then replacement trigger assemblies where you will only need to remove the trigger assembly and replace it. If you want the simplest replacement option available, you’ll want a replacement assembly and not just the trigger.
The trigger is essentially the part of the firearm that you will be interacting with the most as a shooter. With that said, we’ll move onto the three best Ruger 10/22 trigger upgrades on the market for 2020.
The 3 Best Ruger 10/22 Triggers
Here are the three best Ruger 10/22 triggers that you can buy for 2020:
Ruger 10/22 BX Trigger
The Ruger 10/22 BX Trigger is built by Ruger itself from the Ruger factory. This means that if you want to keep your rifle with fully factory parts, the BX Trigger will be a good option to go with. Many people don’t like installing aftermarket parts or components on their firearms, and that’s perfectly fine.
The average 10/22 factory trigger will have a trigger pull weight of around six pounds, while the BX Trigger has a pull weight of two and a half to three pounds, so you will definitely notice an improvement in the trigger when you use it, although it won’t be as good as some of the higher end (and more expensive) models. As a drop in trigger assembly, installing the BX Trigger on your 10/22 will be very simple and not require the services of a gunsmith.
The BX Trigger is also built out of polymer. This can either be a pro or a con, because even though the polymer is very durable and well made, it’s also not metal (and a metal trigger will undoubtedly feel and look better.
In addition, not only does the 10/22 BX Trigger fit on all variants of the 10/22 rifle, it will also fit on the Ruger 22 Charger Pistol as well. Why doesn’t Ruger just install the BX Trigger on all of their 10/22 rifles from the factory? The reason why is because doing so would cause them to increase the MSRP on the 10/22 (although there are more expensive limited editions of the 10/22 that come with the BX Trigger already installed).
The BX Trigger for the 10/22 from Ruger is a solid trigger upgrade for the money and an overall good value. It may have a polymer construction, but it also only requires drop-in installation, greatly shortens the overall trigger pull weight, and comes from the Ruger factory.
- Affordable trigger upgrade option
- Built at the Ruger factory
- 2.5 to 3 pound trigger pull
- Easy to install
- Come with a self-contained module
- Drop in construction
- Fit on both the 10/22 rifle and 22 Charger Pistol
- Performance is not as good as more expensive trigger upgrade offerings
- Polymer and not metal
Timney 10/22 Drop In Trigger Assembly
Timney has been making high quality, match grade triggers for decades, so suffice to say, they know what they’re doing. Their 10/22 Drop In Trigger Assembly is no exception to the quality that Timney has established for themselves.
For one thing, each component used in the 10/22 Drop In Trigger Assembly from Timney is handmade and tested to exact specifications rather than being machined. The sear, trigger, and hammer are each cut form steel and then hardened, before being heat treated for superior durability. The entire trigger is built out of 6061-T6 billet aluminum, and the factory setting is set to two pounds, which will be a major improvement from your six pound factory trigger. Everything is also built in the United States.
This is a complete trigger assembly, which means that it will be incredibly easy to install in your 10/22 rifle and does not require the aid of a gunsmith. In addition to the trigger itself, there is also a trigger guard, improved magazine release button, and an improved bolt hold open feature.
If there is a downside to the Timney, it’s that it is very expensive and will cost just as much as the 10/22 rifle itself if you want to own it. Fortunately, at least you know that you’ll be buying one of the highest quality aftermarket 10/22 trigger assemblies that you can get.
Hand made in the United States from very durable materials, the Timney 10/22 Drop In Trigger Assembly is hard to beat if you have the money to spend on it.
- Hand made
- Very high quality
- 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum construction
- Heat treated for superior durability
- One piece
- Two pound trigger pull
- Made in the USA
- Does not require a gunsmith to install
- Very Expensive
Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 Trigger Guard 2000
The Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 Trigger Guard 2000 is another extremely high quality option for a Ruger 10/22 trigger upgrade. This complete trigger assembly comes with the trigger itself (which is adjustable by the way) in addition to a trigger guard, bolt hold open feature, magazine release.
Everything is made out of stainless steel, which in addition to being very durable is also rust and corrosion resistant. All of the internal components to the Volquartsen have been precision cut by EDM, with a +/- 0.0002” tolerance. The trigger pull is fully adjustable so you can set it to your desired weight, but the redesigned plunger in the assembly depress rearward, creating a much lighter and crisper trigger than you’ll get from the factory.
This is a very expensive trigger upgrade (being that it is a premium product), and it will cost nearly as much as the 10/22 itself, but if you have the money it will be a superb upgrade for any 10/22 rifle or carbine.
If you’re willing to spend the money on it, the Volquartsen 10/22 Trigger Guard 2000 is a great choice for a replacement 10/22 trigger assembly. It’s well-made, fully adjustable, and is built to very tight tolerances.
- All internal parts are precision cut by EDM, with .0002” tolerance
- Features improved bolt hold open and magazine release features
- No wobbling or side-to-side movement at all
- Trigger is fully adjustable
- Plunger has been redesigned to depress rearward, creating an improved trigger
- Very durable stainless steel construction
- Very expensive
The 10/22 is one of the most customizable firearms on the planet, but if there’s only one upgrade that you make to your personal 10/22 a strong argument can be made that the trigger deserves to be upgraded above anything else.
That’s because there aren’t any other upgrades that will naturally lend themselves to tighter shot groupings or simply making your 10/22 more pleasurable to shoot.