There’s quite some fuss and confusion about the bolt buffer for Ruger 10/22 rifles. Some say it is a necessity, some say it’s useless. Since it’s among the best-selling aftermarket parts for a 10/22, it does deserve some attention. Here we’ll learn about bolt buffers and their importance for your Ruger 10/22 rifle. We’ll also review some of the best bolt buffer pins available on the market.
What Does A Bolt Buffer Do?
A bolt buffer is the replacement for the bolt stop pin in your rifle’s receiver. This pin is manufactured from steel. The Bolt Buffer is made up from polyurethane, a thermosetting polymer which doesn’t melt when exposed to heat. This is the property that makes this material usable for rifles, because receivers are exposed to a good amount of heat.
A bolt buffer replaces the bolt stop steel pin in your receiver. The major outcomes of using a bolt buffer are:
- It reduces that ‘clinking’ sound when the bolt pull back and hits the rear of the receiver after firing a shot. It’s a normal action, since the Ruger 10/22 has a blowback firing system.
- It makes the action less shaky. Dampening the recoil of your rifle and the cycling vibrations. At least according to manufacturers, anyway.
- It can prevent cracks in your receiver resulting from prolonged usage or high-velocity ammo. Some Ruger rifles have been found to have cracked receivers after years of use. However, that doesn’t happen very often except when you use heavier ammunition.
Review Of The 5 Best Bolt Buffers Available In The Market
There’s not a whole lot more that can be said about buffers, and they’re a pretty simple and direct product. Here’s our thoughts on a couple of the better-known brands.
These tuffer buffer bolts come as a single unit or in a pack of 3. Made from heat resistant polyurethane, the buffer comes in blue and is easy to install. Just hold it at the hole, and push it slightly inside. The company is based in Ontario, and manufactures 10/22 buffers primarily. It will make your rifle quieter and protects the receiver from the blowback stress.
Here’s another masterpiece buffer manufactured by Power Custom Gunsmithing Services, Missouri. The buffer is a rigid piece of purple-colored polyurethane, which prevents your bolt from battering into your receiver.
Please make sure to push it thoroughly down the hole, or it may result in improper cycling of rounds.
Here’s a polyurethane buffer from a renowned company, Tactical Solutions. The company has been known for manufacturing 10/22 aftermarket parts and accessories since 2002. Their buffer is a simple piece of polymer, which may come in multiple colors. Once installed inside the receiver, the buffer won’t be visible because of its clear design.
Use a hammer gently if you find it difficult to push the buffer through the pin holes.
This buffer is made by Volquartsen Firearms, a known brand in the firearms industry. It’s designed primarily for 10/22 long rifles and 10/22 magnum rifles. Made up from polyurethane, the buffer is actually clear. You won’t even see it’s there. But you’ll still feel the difference after installing it.
Easy to install and replace, this buffer is an important and inexpensive upgrade for your Ruger 10/22 rifle.
Kidd is probably the most loved aftermarket manufacturer of 10/22 upgrades. This buffer from Kidd is a combination of hard rubber and steel. The pin is inserted in a hollow tube in the center of the rubber.. Obviously, the pin is also removable removable. This provides you with a rigid bolt pin buffer. With the toughness of steel inside and the softness of rubber on the outside, that battering sound is greatly reduced.
Kidd provides a lifetime replacement guarantee for their weared out buffers. So it's completely a win-win.
Are Bolt Buffers Worth It?
There’s a lot of debate about using bolt buffers or bolt pins. Different people have different opinions about it. Whether you need a buffer or not depends on your personal use of the 10/22, But that leads to a basic question that many people have raised:
Why doesn’t Ruger use buffers instead of pins, if they are worthwhile.
The answer is probably profit. As a gun maker, Ruger is buying metal in huge quantities. It’s easier and cheaper for them to make metal pins than to create the polyurethane buffers. So even though we don’t want to put the quality of the Ruger into any doubt, we still have to be aware that they’re trying to make a profit. And they make more of a profit not having to switch to polyurethane bolt buffers.
The Ruger 10/22 works just fine without a polyurethane buffer, after all, and it won’t make a difference if you’re not a sports shooter or hunter.
Reasons You Would Use A Buffer In Your 10/22
- As mentioned above, installing a buffer makes your rifle less noisy. If you’re a hunter looking to prevent your game from scattering with that loud ‘clink’ sound, you should use a buffer.
- If you have modified your 10/22 with a bull barrel and plan to use heavier ammo like Aguila or Stinger, you ought to use a buffer. Not only does it make the action less noisy, it also protects protects your receiver from the heavy blowback stress. That stress is what could eventually make your receiver crack.
- If you’re not a fan of metal slamming into metal, and want some peace of mind while shooting your 10/22, use it. It doesn’t interfere with the normal functioning of the rifle.
- It makes the action smoother. Not much, but it still helps. The buffer absorbs some energy of the recoil, so the recoil jerk gets reduced.
- The reduction in the recoil jerk improves the grouping of shots, improving accuracy.
- Aftermarket bolt buffers are inexpensive. You can find a good one for as low as $10. Moreover, they prevent your 10/22 from unnecessary wear and tear.
Reasons You Won’t Give A Damn About Bolt Buffers
- You use your Ruger 10/22 just for fun on the range. You are not into competitions or deep forest hunting where noise matters.
- You don’t mind that ‘clinking’ sound, even when you’re shooting hundreds of rounds at a go.
- You like your Ruger 10/22 just the way it is and don’t want a cheap aftermarket upgrade ruining its sanctity, even if it improves the performance of your rifle.
Buffer pins are among the best-selling upgrade accessories for Ruger 10/22 rifles. If the buffer pins didn’t work as promised, that surely wouldn’t be the case. A polyurethane bolt buffer pin makes your rifle quieter and helps prevent it from suffering undue wear and tear.