Best Ruger 10/22 Trigger Upgrade

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What component of a rifle should you upgrade before anything else?

The barrel? The receiver? The stock? The trigger?

Well, each of these components is 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 that 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. Furthermore, it can throw off your shots and negatively affect your accuracy as well. Here are the top four best Ruger 10/22 triggers on the market:

Best Budget Pick
Ruger 10/22 BX Trigger
  • 2.5 to 3 pound trigger pull
  • Come with a self-contained module
  • Drop in construction
  • Performance is not as good as more expensive trigger upgrade
  • Polymer and not metal
$75 Shop NowClick to read my review
Top Pick
Timney 10/22 Drop In Trigger Assembly
  • 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum construction
  • Heat treated for superior durability
  • Two pound trigger pull
  • Very expensive
$244 Shop NowClick to read my review
Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 Trigger Guard 2000
  • 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
  • Very expensive
$268 Shop NowClick to read my review
Calvin Elite Replacement Trigger for the RUGER 10/22
  • Hand-built from 6061 T6 Aluminum
  • Adjustable trigger shoe set
  • Lightweight and crisp
  • Functions are limited
  • A more powerful hammer spring is required
$269 Shop NowClick to read my review

Let us now dive into the top qualities and features to look for in a Ruger 10/22 trigger, as well as how to replace one without the help of a gunsmith. But first, let us know why do you need to upgrade your Ruger 10/22 trigger, to begin with?

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Why Upgrade Your Ruger 10/22 Trigger?

The Ruger 10/22 is the most popular rimfire .22 rifle and one of America’s most popular guns today. 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.

Though upgrading your 10/22 may not be totally necessary, there’s also no denying that upgrading it can greatly improve your shooting performance.

This is why you should give strong consideration to upgrading the trigger on your 10/22. Ruger makes solid rifles in general, but their triggers aren’t the best. The trigger as it comes from the factory on 10/22 certainly works, but you can also improve it.

That’s because the 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. Even the smallest slip-up can greatly throw off your shot.

For this reason, many companies offer improved triggers or drop-in kits to 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 upgrade Ruger 10/22 trigger, you may think that you’ll need to hire a professional gunsmith to do it. The truth is you can easily install triggers yourself as long as you have the right knowledge and tools.

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:

  1. Use a small punch to remove the magazine release pin
  2. Remove the pin
  3. This will free up your bolt lock, so you can remove it as well
  4. Hold down the trigger, and then simultaneously push out the hammer spring and the hammer spring pin
  5. This will enable you to remove the trigger
  6. Install your new trigger, and then reverse the above process

The step-by-step process above will show how to replace 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).

Read also: Our buying guide on the most popular Ruger 10/22 chassis.

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. 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 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. 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 per shot. These will enable you to therefore set the triggers to your personal preference.

Short Reset

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 shot 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.

Smoothness

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.

Cost

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 $200-$300 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. Many are available for less than a hundred dollars.

Installing Complexity

There are two kinds of triggers that you can get for 10/22. The triggers themselves where you will need to disassemble the rifle almost fully in order to install them. 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 on to the three best Ruger 10/22 trigger upgrades on the market for 2020.

Read also: Our article on the best Ruger 10/22 charging handles for your rifle.

The 4 Best Ruger 10/22 Triggers

Ruger 10/22 BX Trigger

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 is simple and does not require a gunsmith.

The BX Trigger is also built out of polymer. This might be a pro or a con because while the polymer is well-made, it is 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, but 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 10/22 (although there are more expensive limited editions of the 10/22 that come with the BX Trigger already installed).

Overall
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.

Pros
  • Affordable trigger upgrade option
  • Built at the Ruger factory
  • 2.5 to 3 pound trigger pull
  • Durable
  • Easy to install
  • Come with a self-contained module
  • Drop in construction
  • Fit on both the 10/22 rifle and 22 Charger Pistol
Cons
  • Performance is not as good as more expensive trigger upgrade offerings
  • Polymer and not metal

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Timney 10/22 Drop In Trigger Assembly

Timney 1022 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 from 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 American-made.

This is a complete trigger assembly and is 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, an 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. It 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.

Overall
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.

Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Very expensive

Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 Trigger Guard 2000

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 are 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 depresses 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. It will cost nearly as much as the 10/22 itself, but if you have the money it will be a superb upgrade for your 10/22.

Overall
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 made with extremely tight tolerances.

Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Very expensive

Calvin Elite Replacement Trigger for the RUGER 10/22

Calvin Elite Replacement Trigger

The Calvin Elite Replacement Trigger is hand-built from 6061 T6 Aluminum, making it extremely durable and long-lasting. This Timney rifle establishes the standard for aftermarket 10/22 rifle upgrades, so when it comes to trigger options, this product is one of the best. This trigger has an extended magazine release built into the housing, which will be useful to the majority of competitive shooters.

This trigger’s factory setting is 1.5 to 2 lb so you don’t feel it too much and it doesn’t add pressure to your rifle. This new Timney Calvin Elite is a self-contained, plus, 100% drop-in trigger that is ready to install in your rifle for an exceptionally smooth, crisp trigger pull with no gunsmithing, fitting, or adjusting required.

Another nice feature of this trigger is the Timney-designed extended magazine release, which you can operate with just one finger for maximum ease and accessibility. It also has an auto bolt release as standard. As a result, you’ll have no trouble using it because it’s very user-friendly.

If you want a smoother shooting experience, the Timney Trigger Shoe Kit is a worthwhile upgrade to your OEM trigger. The kit includes a trigger, hammer, and sear made of heat-treated stainless steel. The pull length, cast, and height of the shoes are all adjustable for the ultimate in custom comfort and positive contact. That is why it is both attractive and practical.

Overall
If you’re looking for a replacement for your OEM trigger that improves accuracy and is simple to install, the Calvin Elite Replacement Trigger is the way to go. This Ruger 10/22 trigger kit is ideal for competitive shooters who require smoother triggers, as well as hunters and target shooters, so it is worth a shot.

Pros
  • Hand-built from 6061 T6 Aluminum
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Easy to install
  • Adjustable trigger shoe set
  • Lightweight and crisp
Cons
  • Functions are limited
  • A more powerful hammer spring is required

Wrap Up

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.

Our Top Pick would be the Timney 10/22 Drop-In Trigger Assembly because it has great features and is absolutely stunning. This trigger will not disappoint you when it comes to quality. That is why this product is worth a shot. And our Best Budget Pick is the Ruger 10/22 BX Trigger which 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 durable, has a drop-in design, and will reduce the overall trigger weight down to around three pounds.

We hope this article has helped you to make the right decision. Enjoy and keep yourself safe out there!

You might also like to read:

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1 comment
  1. Some very nice triggers there, at some very high prices. I spent just $75 on a 10/22 trigger kit from Clark Custom Guns, and it is absolutely fantastic! Metal, adjustable stop for overtravel, crisp breaking. Far better than the $75 Ruger BX trigger that I installed on my other 10/22 rifle (which is not a bad trigger either).

    If you want top-level 10/22 trigger performance at a reasonable price, have a look at Clark Custom Guns. They specialize in custom work for just a handful of platforms, including the 10/22, but their work on those particular guns is just masterful.

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