Best Charging Handle Upgrades For Your 10/22

In this article, we are going to highlight some of the best Ruger 10/22 charging handles. Let's see what models made our list and why!

Comparison of the Best 10/22 Charging Handles

Product

Our Rating

Price

Superior Concepts Charging Handle

Superior Concepts charging rod

Force Productions Charging Handle

force rproductions charging handles

KIDD Bolt Handle Charging Assembly

Ruger Cocking Handle, Guide Rod and Recoil Spring Assembly

The Sturm, Ruger & Company's 10/22 semiautomatic is one of the most popular firearms in the US, presenting an icon in American gun culture. Today this little plinker can be found in almost anyone's collection, and that is for the many reasons. As the most versatile gun on the market, the Ruger 10/22 is easily adaptable for different skill levels, as well as various small-bore competitions.

Although the Ruger 10/22 is not chambered in any service or macho cartridge , the Ruger's rimfire is right up there with the M-16/AR-15 regarding customization. Actually, it is possible to entirely build a 10/22 from the ground up with after-market parts, putting the Ruger near the Stoner`s black gun.

When we talk about improvements, the first thing to know is that usage of a stock 10/22 rifle is just fine. But to be more comfortable with the variety of purposes there is enormous aftermarket availability of parts and accessories. As a result, many seasoned shooters as well as ordinary gun owners swapping the gun parts to customize their firearm to theirs need.

Accordingly, the Ruger 10/22 is the perfect gun for shooters with a do-it-yourself spirit, and one of the most popular ways to customize your 10/22 is the replacement stocks and drop-in triggers. Along with those upgrades, some people complain that the bolt handle is too small. Adding a slightly bigger, extended bolt handle is must, especially for the users with larger hands.

Certainly, the Ruger 10/22's design makes customization fast and easy. Quality aftermarket charging handles either improve the primary function or offer a more user-friendly approach by giving the shooter more space for manipulation. In other words, the replacement charging bolts provide bolt handles or charging assemblies with more surface area to make it easy to grasp for lightning-quick charging, jam clearance or just enabling low mounting of scopes.

What Makes a Great 10/22 Charging Handle?

Charging handles are quite a unique part of your rifle and many shoppers don’t know what they’re looking for. If you’re in the market for an upgrade, here are the key features:

Ergonomics

Chances are, if you’re thinking of upgrading your charging handle, it’s because you don’t find it comfortable. That’s because the stock charging handle is great for a one-hand charge and is supposed to be ambidextrous. In practice, though, they tend to be a bit small for many users and not as useful as they should be for lefties.

A Better Release Latch

The stock release latch is thin and offers barely any leverage. A 1/16-inch pin has to bear almost all of the applied force, making it very failure-prone.

Improved Shape

Along the same lines as ergonomics, a better shape improves use for a variety of users. A custom fit improves performance when it matters. Additionally, wearing gloves doesn’t work well with the stock part, but some models greatly improve this.

Improved Performance

When better parts and design combine, you get better performance. So it’s no surprise that when the above points are improved, you’ll also notice a smoother operation and a lowered failure rate.

True Ambidextrous Versatility

Even charging handles that have better ergonomics than the stock may not improve—or may even worsen—the plight of our southpaw brothers and sisters. Seeking a model that specifically addresses this need is a must.

Unique designs

You can find innovation anywhere, even on a charging handle. Rather than a standard hook-shaped handle or latch design, some have introduced different shapes. These will appeal to your own individuality.

Quick Take - The Best 10/22 Charging Handle Upgrades

These are our recommendations for the best charging handle upgrades for the 10/22:

  1. Superior Concepts Charging Handle
  2. Force Productions Charging Handle
  3. KIDD Bolt Handle Charging Assembly

The Best Charging Handle Upgrades Reviewed

In this article, we will review a few popular charging handles known to improve the reliability of your gun, whether you plan to build a plinker or a super-accurate tack driver.

When we talk about charging handles, the market generally offers two solutions. The first is simpler and cheaper, meaning that shooter can buy just the oversized handle. The other solution is to purchase a cocking assembly kit, which comes with the extended handle and a guide rod with spring.

Superior Concepts charging rod

Pros

  • Easy to Install
  • Extended Handle
  • Complete Package
  • Aesthetically Pleasing
  • Good Value for Money
  • Grooved for a Better Grip

Cons

  • Might Require Fitting
  • Doesn’t Fit All 10/22 Models

Superior Concepts is a manufacturer that thrives on unique products and currently offer bolt handle with the complete assembly. This Company was founded in 2005, and their charging-handle assembly is CNC-machined from 303 stainless steel and assembled. Superior is an American company, based in Donald, Oregon.

The polished guide rod is precision-machined from 1144 stress proof steel to an exacting tolerance of within 0.001" and combined with a high-quality spring to work flawlessly and improved feeding with all ammunition types.

As most versatile shooters know, almost all rimfire mechanisms are based on a straight blowback action where you can add an only limited amount of mass to the breech block/bolt to provide the correct weight and balance for reliable, trouble-free operation.

The engineers from Superior Concepts managed to design a bolt handle assembly that ensures proper lock time for the 22LR caliber that also allows smoother cycling. This extended handle with an oversized round surface supports a positive grip during fast action or clearing.

The Superior Concepts large knob definitely provides a charging handle that people with stocky hands can grasp firmly. The product looks great and feels solid.

The manufacturer claims that assembly comes ready to drop into the 10/22 action with no fitting or gunsmithing. However, this charging handle may require minor fitting to drop into a stock 10/22 receiver.

Bottom Line

The SS Charging Handle is a bit extended to provide you with a better grip while charging. It is durable and easy to install. Plus, the contents included in the package make it a good deal for your money.


force rproductions charging handles

Another cocking assembly design comes from Force Productions, a firearms manufacturer established by Charles Watson in 2007 and located in the Hill Country in central Texas. In the beginning, the Force Production's primary business was non-competition custom products such as parts for the Ruger 10/22, but today the Force`s production is specialized in extreme accuracy 10/22 and Remington 700 action parts.

The Force Production`s charging handle is machined from 303 stainless steel and comes in the package fully assembled with a guide pin and extra power spring. The straightforward and classy-looking charging handle is instantly recognizable by its deep grooves that make it easy to grasp for quick manipulation without fumbling attempts to find the handle.

Unlike the original OEM part, the Force charging handle slides on a hardened carbon steel rod, enabling much smoother. flawless cycling and improved feeding without flexing or bending. Due to the exceptionally strong steel guide pin of, the Force device works more consistently from round to round and is far less finicky about digesting ammo loads.

While many agree that the Force extended charging handle is definitely more comfortable to use than the stock charging, handle there are some negative comments on rough grooves with sharp edges on the handles. Also, some users complain about the stronger spring. It makes it much harder to pull back than the standard Ruger 10/22. This makes it harder for the average 22LR ammo to drive the bolt all the way back.

Overall, the Force Production item is one of the best-looking extended charging handles for the Ruger 10/22.

While you are researching an aftermarket stock for Ruger 10/22, it is almost inevitable that you will come across KIDD Innovative Design from McQuenney, TX. This manufacturer of firearms components became famous in 2000 when they released the most advanced and tunable 10/22 trigger.

KIDD produces reliable and accurate match-grade products for the 10/22 rifle, and its high-quality Bolt Handle Charging Assembly is no exception. The KIDD charging assembly is fully compatible with stock 10/22 parts and is available in many combinations and finishes. The KIDD`s package consists of a handle, guide rod, and three interchangeable tuning springs.

Undoubtedly, the major improvement over the factory equipment is that the KIDD gives a choice of springs, providing the capability to change them to match the load and rifle. Applying an appropriate spring (one for low-velocity ammo, one for standard ammo, and one for high-velocity ammo) helps the shooter minimize issues with failures to eject (FTE) and jams.

The Kidd precision-ground stainless guide rod is made of hardened tool steel that is nitride treated, which gives its surface a 70C Rockwell hardness for very smooth cycling

The extended handle itself adds class since this assembly will provide you with a comfortable bolt handle to grasp. It gives the feeling of an actual charging handle and not an airsoft toy.

KIDD also offers several options of cylindrical cocking handles, including a Z-shape flute, 6 grooves or a smooth one partially wrapped in Viton rubber. These beauties among handles all are finely finished, and all of the Kidd bolt handles are .25" longer than the OEM handle, giving greater clearance for shooters with large scopes or big fingers.

If you are looking at a replacement charging/bolt handle for a 10/22, the Kidd Charging Assembly is a good investment. Other aftermarket extended cocking handles felt like glass compared to the gritty sandpaper feel of the stock charging handle.


Pros

  • Replacement Handles are Incredibly Cheap
  • Factory Handle, so You Know Exactly What You’re Getting
  • Excellent Value Makes it Worth Having as a Backup for Other Handles
  • Ruger Did a Good Job of Designing a Basic and Universal Factory Charging Handle

Cons

  • Nothing Special. It is What it is—the Factory Handle

The stock, factory replacement of the Ruger 10/22 cocking handle or charging handle is a great choice for those who are already used to the device and simply need a new one. While it doesn’t offer fancy features or the advanced ergonomics of more expensive options, it is a much better charging handle by design than some other weapons offer, such as the AR-15.

It is made from solid steel and feels very heavy. Often, the only time customers will need to purchase a new factory charging handle replacement is if they have lost the original. This durability is great for a stock item.

One thing that many customers should be aware of when considering an upgrade over this default stock charging handle is the fact that most upgrades tend to have a larger handle. If you need a larger handle, that’s great.

 However, many gun owners do not realize how much larger some handles can be and expect the handles to have improved ergonomics, only to be disappointed when it does not fit into their hand well. The stock Ruger 10/22 charging handle is designed to be comfortable for as many users as possible, and therefore, it tends to be more comfortable for some gun owners with smaller hands.

Overall, we think that the stock charging handle on the Ruger 10/22 is a durable product, and while it may not be the best around for everyone’s unique needs or tastes, it’s much better than some other stock parts on many guns. The Ruger stock charging handle is also incredibly affordable, even for a factory part, meaning it’s a very wise investment to purchase a stock spare, even if you intend on using a different handle.

As you introduce new features and components, there’s an increased chance of something going wrong. So even if another handle has a warranty, for example, you’ll want an old, trusty Ruger 10/22 factory charging handle replacement as a backup.

Bottom Line 

Unless you bought your Ruger 10/22 second-hand with a modified charging handle, you’re probably familiar with this factory handle. It’s simple, reliable, and incredibly affordable. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a sensible item to purchase as a backup.

JWH Custom CNC Oversized Black Handle .22LR Ruger 10/22 10 22

JWH is another American company, based in Torrance, California. If you really like to customize your customizations, you should check out their laser-etching service - they’ll put just about anything on a new bolt.

This handle is available separately. It seems to be a good addition and works really well, providing smooth, easy action. It’s a bit longer than the OEM handle, so it works well for those looking for a better grip.

The one issue with this piece is that it tends to work its way out. It’s easy to solve with just a bit of Loctite, though.

How to Install a 10/22 Charging Handle 

Replacing your charging handle is an excellent way to reduce frustration and prevent failure.However, most people have not done it, so read on and reference our included video to learn how to replace the lackluster stock charging handle.

  1. As always, make sure your gun is unloaded.
  2. Remove the barreled receiver from the stock.
  3. Remove the trigger housing by pushing out the retaining pins
  4. Punch the pin in the back of the receiver out.
  5. Turn the receiver upside down, and push the bolt out of the receiver.
  6. Clean the empty receiver of any dirt.
  7. Drop the new bolt handle and the recoil rod assembly into place, being sure the back of the recoil rod is captured in the receiver’s notch.
  8. Drop the bolt back in and retract the bolt handle so the bolt has to drop onto notches in the handle.
  9. Replace the pin at the rear of the receiver to be sure the bolt is secure.
  10. Reinstall the trigger housing assembly, securing it with the two retaining pins.
  11. Mount the barreled receiver to the stock, and you’re done!

Conclusion

An upgraded charging handle can help with the ease and comfort of using your Ruger 10/22. There are several great options out there. So when you’re ready to start customizing, take a look and see what will serve you best!

Leave a Comment