Magpul X22 Backpacker Review [2020 Buyer’s Guide]

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The X22 Backpacker Rifle is manufactured by Magpul Industries. It is unknown when they were first produced. The Backpacker is a Ruger 10/22 rifle typically used for hunting and target shooting applications. But one of the best features of the rifle is the ergonomic handguard that ensures the shooter will be comfortable whenever they handle the rifle.

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Magpul X22 Backpacker

  • Hand guard is ergonomic and comfortable to hold
  • Storage compartments integrated in forend and grip
  • Polymer construction is durable and strong
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Most of the stocks that are equipped on an X22 Backpacker are collapsible and contain a small storage space that will be enough to fit some small accessories like cleaning brushes or even extra ammo.

In this article, we’ll be taking a much deeper look into the Magul X22 Backpacker and how it can be of service to those who want to use it on a regular basis. 

Pros

  • Superior ergonomics
  • Easy to store and transport
  • Can carry some extra goodies in the stock
  • Less recoil right out of the box

Cons

  • Sling not included
  • Stock disassembly can be challenging

Main Features

The X22 Backpacker is a rifle that has gained a bit of steam in popularity over the years. The rifle is made from high-quality stainless steel and is also fitted with a synthetic stock made from high-quality polymer. The stock itself is interesting because of its design.

The design is intended to make the rifle ergonomically friendly so it’s much more comfortable for the shooter compared to other rifles on the market. Of course, polymer is an excellent choice for a stock since it is able to withstand quite a bit of shock from recoil. And better yet, polymer is a lot harder to damage compared to some wood stocks. This means it won’t warp or crack if and when it comes in contact with water or even cleaning oil and solvents. 

The buttpad is also made from synthetic materials and is designed to prevent two things: one, it is intended to reduce a good amount of recoil from the rifle itself and even gets rid of the problem of the stock constantly pounding on your shoulder and leaving bruises. Second, it’s also intended to help you retain control over your pistol when you are caught in nasty weather.

The stock is collapsible, thus making it one of the easiest rifles to store away in a gun cabinet or in a vehicle (if you are traveling from home to the woods and vice versa). Most of the stocks will often have enough space for you to store items like extra ammo, magazines, and sometimes cleaning tools. This will also be a plus if you have to store a rifle for safe transport when headed to the field or home after a long day of hunting.

Pros

Below are the main pros:

Superior Ergonomics

Ergonomics are important when it comes to handling a rifle. Improper handling can actually lead to some issues down the road such as straining of your hands or even dealing with the pain from uncomfortable or awkward holding and usage. And yes, it can happen. The rifle’s designed to make sure that every shot you take will be straight and dead-on while you have full, proper control over your rifle. This will definitely keep your shots on the straight and narrow without hurting yourself in the long run. 

Easy to Store and Transport

This rifle is a bit longer with everything intact. But it doesn’t mean it’s going to be really difficult to transport. Most of the X22 Backpackers have a collapsible stock. This means you’ll be able to disassemble the stock so you can easily transport the rifle from point A to point B. A collapsible stock will reduce the size of the rifle and thus, make it a bit easier to transport and even store in a vehicle or gun safe. No matter where you store it, it won’t take up all kinds of room and get in the way of your other shotguns or rifles. 

Can Carry Some Extra Goodies in the Stock

Ever wondered what it would be like to have a stock that will give you storage space? Now you can put it to the test with this rifle. The stock is not only collapsible, but it also provides a good amount of storage for extra stuff. Most of the storage compartments are large enough to fit up to three magazines (containing ten rounds each). You may also include some cleaning tools like brushes and cleaning solvents just in case you need to do some cleaning on the fly to ensure a better performance of the rifle itself. 

Less Recoil Right Out of the Box

Recoil is no fun when you are shooting a rifle. It will definitely throw off your shots and also throw you off balance if you have no idea how to control it. Thankfully, with the help of the synthetic stock and some built-in features like a non-slip buttpad, you can reduce or even eliminate this undesirable effect. Thus, it will help you gain a lot more control over your rifle and therefore, give you the ability to hit all your shots with accuracy and precision, which is a must if you really want to land a kill shot or nail a bullseye. Accuracy and knowing where to hit will always matter most. Don’t let recoil control where your shots end up. 

Cons

Below are the main cons:

Sling Not Included

While it might not be the end of the world, it would be nice to have a sling to make it easier to carry while trekking the woods for long periods of time. A sling can be purchased separately and most are available at affordable prices. However, the more pressing issue is figuring out which sling will last you a long time. So be sure to pay close attention to the materials the sling is made from and get a good idea of how durable it can be. The more durable it is, the more likely it will be durable and reliable. 

Stock Disassembly Can Be Challenging

While a collapsible stock might sound like an exciting feature, disassembling or collapsing it for storage may be a bit of a challenge. Sometimes, the stock itself may need to be manipulated in order to be disassembled. And you may risk breaking the hinges or other parts that keep the stock intact,  therefore making it hard to re-attach, or worse, useless. A possible solution to alleviate this problem would be to purchase a stock from a third party. However, you may run into the same issue with a different stock that isn’t even considered a factory default. Be sure to choose wisely if you decide that purchasing a collapsible stock from a different manufacturer is the best course of action. Pay attention to the reviews which specifically focus on disassembly.

What is a Magpul X22 Backpacker Best For?

A Magpul X22 Backpacker will certainly have its uses. So what exactly are the most popular uses? First and foremost, let’s take a look at hunting. Since this is a Ruger 10/22-style rifle, it will certainly be a fun rifle to use when you want to hunt down varmints. If you fancy yourself a hunter of rabbits, squirrels, or even hogs and coyotes, this might be your best chance at knocking down those suckers from a pretty impressive distance. You won’t find a hunter alive that won’t be able to knock down a varmint or a predator from at least a good 100 yards with a scope (or 50 to 75 yards max without a scope at all). This rifle is best used by beginners and seasoned vets alike, so it’s useful across the board. 

Even when you are not hunting, the X22 Backpacker might be one of the best rifles that you can use for target shooting for fun. You can shoot paper targets, cans, bottles, you name it. And you can still knock them down with ease from a pretty good distance with or without a scope. If you need a scope, remember that you have a top rail that can accept a handful of mounts and scopes. 

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying?

When making a decision on a rifle to use for hunting, target shooting, or both, you should be well-informed about what you are purchasing. Below are a few things you need to know prior to making a decision on whether or not a rifle like the Magpul X22 backpacker is right for you. Here are some things you need to be aware of:

It’s Not Suitable for Long-Range Shooting

If you expect this rifle to be a long-range shooter, then you’re going to be really disappointed. The X22 backpacker and pretty much any Ruger 10/22 will be more apt to hit shots no further 100 to 150 yards. It won’t exceed beyond that, even with a scope in place. But hitting your targets with accuracy at 150 yards is still impressive enough.

Not a Good Rifle for Deer Hunting

While the Ruger 10/22 does have a bit of punch in its firing power, it won’t be a good rifle for the purpose of knocking down much larger targets like deer or elk. Though it does shoot .22 caliber rounds, you are more apt to knock down larger targets with a different kind of .22 rifle like a .22LR. If you are planning on using the X22 Backpacker as a hunting rifle, varmint and predators will be your likely targets.

Can Be Effectively Accurate With or Without a Scope

We’ve said it already, and we’ll say it again. You can still land accurate and effective shots with or without a scope. Most of the time, the built-in sights of the X22 Backpacker will be reliable enough for you to nail a shot from a distance of 50 to even 75 yards. A scope will expand that to another 50 or so yards and slightly extend the reach of your shots. All it takes is a well-timed shot and you’ll knock down a varmint or hit the bullseye with either a sight or scope. Plus, so long as you have an easy to install (and easy to remove) scope, you can have a ton of fun with it, too. 

Bottom Line 

The Magpul X22 Backpacker is the kind of rifle you can depend on for varmint hunting and target shooting. While it may be one of the most interesting rifles in the Ruger 10/22 class, it’s also definitely going to be a trusty hunting buddy for as long as you use it. Take great care of this rifle by cleaning and maintaining it regularly and you will be sure to be able to keep using it for years or decades down the road. 

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