Best Bolt Buffers for the 10/22 Rifle – 2020 Ultimate Round-up

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.

Comparison of the Best 10/22 Bolt Buffers

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Power Custom

  • Measures at 1-¼ inch in length.
  • Easy to install instructions included.
  • Made from high-quality polyurethane.
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Tactical Solutions

  • Fits 10/22 in 10/22LR only.
  • Designed to extend receiver life.
  • Made from high-quality polyurethane.
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Volquartsen

  • Drop-in design.
  • Made from high-quality materials.
  • Prevents clanging from metal on metal contact.
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Kidd

  • Reduces cycling vibrations.
  • Made from high-quality materials.
  • Designed to eliminate bolt battering.
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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 pulls 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.

How to Choose a Bolt Buffer For Your 10/22

Finding the best bolt buffer for your 10/22 will take some time and detective work. In other words, you’ll need to distinguish which bolt buffer is a better model compared to one that might be considered inferior in performance and crappy in quality. If you know some of the characteristics and features that make a bolt buffer stand out, you’ll be able to choose one that will work best for you quite easily. Here are some things to consider while choosing a bolt buffer:

It’s OK to Put Price Into Consideration

The price tag is often the first thing a lot of budget shoppers look at. Once they seem to be lukewarm, they’ll take a look at the quality and performance. The key here is to make those two a priority rather than price. Be sure to find the best bolt buffer that you can afford based on quality and performance. In other words, don’t go cheap or you will be disappointed overall.

High-Quality Materials Are Better

The best bolt buffers are often made with the best materials. Since they will be working with bolt actions of 10/22 rifles, they are made from materials that won’t wear down or tear easily. Materials like polyurethane are not only durable, but they are great for allowing reliable cycling for your 10/22 bolts.

Find One That’s Easy to Install

Some accessories are easy to install and those that might require some kind of gunsmithing skills. If you lack any level of the latter, you can find something easy to install. Alternatively, if you have the extra money and patience you can find a bolt buffer that can be professionally installed by a gunsmith. If not, then find one that will take some time and the right kind of tools to install.

Quick Take - The Best 10/22 Bolt Buffers

These are our recommendations for the best bolt buffers for the 10/22:

  1. Tuffer Buffer Tube
  2. Power Customer Buffer Tube
  3. Tactical Solutions Buffer Tube

Review of the 10/22 Best Bolt Buffers 

The following is a list of the five best bolt buffers for a 10/22 rifle. As you look through each one, it’s important to note the features and characteristics that stand out. Furthermore, you might understand how a bolt buffer works to a point where you might have an idea of what your “dream bolt buffer” should look and function like.

If you find something close enough to your description, you might find a winner on your hands. 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. Now, let’s take a look at the first bolt buffer on our list:

Best Overall:
Tactical Solutions

tactical solutions 22 buffer

Pros

  • Super durable material
  • Fits easily onto most rifles
  • Reduces a lot of felt recoil
  • Easily reduces a lot of metal on metal contact
  • Preserves and protects the life of your receiver

Cons

  • Some lubrication may be needed before installing
  • Some cutting to shorten the length may be required
  • One user complained about the lack of quality control

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers were happy with the buffer. Most users say that this is considered to be one of the most affordable buffers on the market, but it’s so durable and reliable that they concluded that it should be priced more. As expected, the buffer is easy to install with little to no issues to report. Most users were able to hear no noise coming from the bolt, therefore eliminating any metal on metal contact.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This buffer may be affordable, but it certainly doesn’t give you that cheap, flimsy feeling. Plus, it’s the one buffer that will easily fit 10/22LR compatible rifles. Aside from that, it also can reduce some of the felt recoil that is produced from 10/22 rifles. So, if muzzle jump is affecting your accuracy, you’d be surprised how a bolt buffer like this can work to your advantage. 

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.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will be a popular choice among 10/22 owners that are looking for a bolt buffer on a budget. At the same time, they want something that’s not only affordable but also the best in quality and performance. If that’s what you’re looking for yourself, then this is the diamond in the rough. Don’t be shocked if it works overtime to protect your receiver for a long time.

Bottom Line

The Tactical Solutions bolt buffer is the affordable solution to make sure your 10/22 bolt is in working order, and at the same time, will work to extend the life of your rifle. Don’t be surprised that you’ll be able to use the same rifle a decade down the road thanks to this little unit.

Runner-up:
Volquartsen

volquartsen 22 buffer

Pros

  • Fits in most Ruger 10/22 rifles
  • Preserves the life of your receiver
  • Super durable construction right out of the box
  • Takes away a lot of the clanging from metal on metal contact
  • It takes a short amount of time to install, probably no more than 30 seconds

Cons

  • Some sanding may be required before fitting
  • May not reduce as much recoil as advertised
  • Some oil may be needed to help insert it into the rifle

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were happy with this bolt buffer for a few good reasons. First, they were able to install this with little to no issue. Second, the bolt action and the overall performance of their rifles were boosted quite a bit. One user said that it eliminated a bit of recoil that was enough for him to control his rifle and make straighter, more accurate shots.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The bolt buffer is all black, making it blend in with most rifles. You won’t even know it’s there once you install it. It’s a small little piece that can fit in most rifles with the intent to get rid of any annoying clang noises that come with the territory of metal on metal contact. Of course, it will also protect the rifle’s receiver from all kinds of wearing down. In short, installing this will not only preserve the quality of your rifle, but the performance will be top quality for sure.

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.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will likely fit on most 10/22 rifles that are more modern than the older models. Plus, it will be a great addition to those who want to get the best out of their rifle, like recoil reduction and “looks just like new” kind of bolt and receiver. If you want your rifle to look good a few years down the road, it just might start with something like a bolt buffer.

Bottom Line

The Volquartsen recoil buffer pin is tough and provides you with less clanging and banging that is common with most bolt action rifles. Don’t be surprised if you notice immediate changes by the time you get this little unit installed in your rifle.

Best for the Money:
Kidd

kidd bolt buffers

Pros

  • Super durable quality
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • It can easily fit on most 10/22 rifles
  • Reduces quite a bit of recoil and cycling vibrations
  • Eliminates a lot of clanging from metal on metal contact

Cons

  • Some fitting may be required
  • Installation might be a little tricky at first
  • Bolt may be a little stiff at first after installation

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were quite satisfied with this bolt buffer. They said that it was a solid piece of equipment that took some time to install (with some issues), but once some finagling was said and done with, the operation was quite smooth. One user said that he was able to move his bolt back and forth with more smoothness after installation.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

While it’s not made from durable soft materials, it’s durable nonetheless. Also, it’s one of the best aftermarket bolt buffers on the market. So, if you’re looking for something that will put the other aftermarket buffers to shame, you may want to start with this. Other than that, the function is outstanding and does a great job reducing a lot of vibrations that occur with cycling.

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. 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 worn out buffers. So it's completely a win-win.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will most likely fit in newer 10/22 models. It may not fit with older pre-2005 models. If you have a 10/22 that you recently bought and you want to preserve and protect it from any damage that can be caused by cycling vibration or a worn-down bolt, you might be hard-pressed to find a bolt buffer like this anywhere else.

Bottom Line

The Kidd bolt buffer is tough, small enough to fit in most rifles, and strong enough to handle a lot of heavy-duty work. This little unit can take on just about anything that could shorten the longevity of a 10/22 rifle. Just install this and you will have a rifle that will give you a long time of reliable service. 

tougher buffer 22 buffer

Pros

  • Super durable construction
  • No issues after 2,000 rounds fired
  • It can be installed in as little as ten minutes
  • Eliminates the “pinging” of metal on metal contact
  • Resistant to all kinds of solvents and cleaning oils

Cons

  • Diameter may be too big
  • Some lubrication may be required
  • May not work when the rifle is dirty

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers were happy with this little unit. They were able to install this in their 10/22 rifles in a matter of a few minutes. Once installed, it eliminated any noise that was made with metal on metal contact between the bolt action and the rifle itself. One user said that it also made his bolt action a little smoother than previous times.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This is made from high-quality materials that are designed to prevent the bolt from wearing down. It’s the kind of unit you want if you want a long-lasting bolt action that will give you years of dependable service. Metal-on-metal contact will hasten the wearing down process, and it’s a solid and sturdy buffer like this that will get the job done and prevent that from happening.

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 protect the receiver from the blowback stress.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will likely be used for general purposes. This will be used by those who not only own modern 10/22 builds, but it can also fit older models as well. Either way, you’ll have something that will preserve and protect your rifle’s bolt action.

Bottom Line

If you want a great buffer that will work exceptionally well with most 10/22 rifles, the Tuffer Buffer might be exactly what you’re looking for. With the most durable materials out there for a unit like this, there is no question that your bolt action will last you a long time without any wear and tear to contend with.

power custom 22 buffer

Pros

  • Super durable
  • Fits tight in most receivers
  • Eliminates a lot of “clanging”
  • Easy to install, takes a few minutes
  • Super durable

Cons

  • Bolt action might be a little stiff at first
  • Some lubricant may be required for fitting
  • May be too tight of a fit with some other receivers

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, a lot of users were quick to give this bolt buffer some positive feedback. The fit was nice and tight and provided a great deal of protection for their rifle bolts. One user was quick to add that he was able to install this in a few minutes and heard no metal on metal contact soon after that. He said that the bolt movement was smooth and made his rifle a lot more reliable.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This buffer is made from high-quality materials and is at the perfect length to fit in most Ruger magazine tubes. As expected, it will eliminate any kind of wear on 10/22 bolts. At the same time, it will reduce any noise from metal on metal contact. In short, it’s doing what a bolt buffer is designed to do. 

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.

Who Will Use This Most 

Expect this to be used by owners of the modern models of 10/22 rifles. Yes, they look brand new, but they can stand the test of time and regular usage with a buffer like this. If you’re looking for something for a recently purchased 10/22 rifle and want to keep it as good as new for years to come, this might be something worth investing in.

Bottom Line

The Power Custom bolt buffer is thick but small enough to fit most rifles. On top of that, it will make your rifle bolt work smoothly even a few years or even decades down the road. This may be the only bolt buffer that you’ll need to make sure that your rifle will stay in the best shape for a long time.

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 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 and 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 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.

Conclusion

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.

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