Best Charging Handle Upgrades For Your Ruger 10/22 – Review [2020]

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In this article, we are going to highlight some of the best Ruger 10/22 charging handles.

If you are looking for the best charging handle for your Ruger 10/22, we have highlighted some characteristics and features to look for and given you five of the best on the market today. 

Let's see what models made our list and why!

Comparison of the Best 10/22 Charging Handles

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Superior Concepts Charging Handle

  • Made from high-quality steel.
  • Fit for most Ruger 10/22 rifles.
  • It provides fast and positive charging.
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KIDD Bolt Handle Charging Assembly

  • Fits most Ruger 10/22 rifles.
  • Measured at 1 ¾ inch in length.
  • Made from high-quality materials.
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Ruger 10/22 Factory Charging Handle Replacement

  • Allen wrench included.
  • Fits most Ruger 10/22.
  • Made from high-quality materials.
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A Bit of Ruger 10/22 History

The Sturm, Ruger & Company's 10/22 semiautomatic is one of the most popular firearms in the U.S., representing an icon in American gun culture. Today, this little plinker can be found in almost anyone's collection and for 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 in regards to 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 a variety of purposes, there is enormous aftermarket availability of parts and accessories. As a result, many seasoned shooters, as well as ordinary gun owners, swap gun parts to customize their firearm to their needs.

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 to replace 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 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 some 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.

Ruger 10/22 Factory Charging Handle Replacement

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 lower 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. Force Productions Charging Handle
  2. KIDD Bolt Handle Charging Assembly (Ebay)
  3. Ruger 10/22 Factory Charging Handle Replacement

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 an oversized handle. The other solution is to purchase a cocking assembly kit, which comes with the extended handle and a guide rod with spring.

force rproductions charging handles

Pros

  • Really durable construction
  • Fits most Ruger 10/22 rifles
  • Smooth and reliable operation
  • Easy to install, takes about a few minutes
  • Allows for reliable feeding with almost no jamming, ever

Cons

  • Some fitting may be required
  • It might be a challenge to install for some
  • Spring might be a little too strong for some ammo

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users were happy with the charging handle. Across many of them, they were able to fit this in just about any Ruger 10/22 rifle (even older models). They also reported that the charging handle was smooth moving and didn’t jam on them at any given time.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This charging handle is made from stainless steel but it also includes another type of steel that’s even tougher. The pin that comes with the charging handle is made from carbon steel, which is proven to take on all kinds of impact and abuse. It’s so tough that it will be really difficult to wear down over time.

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, Force Production's primary business was non-competition custom products such as parts for the Ruger 10/22, but today Force's production is specialized in extremely accurate 10/22 and Remington 700 action parts.

Force Production's charging handle is machined from 303 stainless steel and comes fully-assembled in the package 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 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, the Force device works more consistently from round to round and is far less finicky about digesting ammo loads.

While many agree this 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, which 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.

Who Will Use This Most? 

This will be used across many Ruger 10/22 rifles. Even older models will benefit from having a newer charging handle installed. Users that want something high in quality and smooth in operation will get it with this charging handle, along with easy feeding and shooting each and every time.

What Could Be Improved and Why 

A possible improvement would be to make the spring a little less strong than it is now. This way, it could handle and fire off ammo without any issue. The spring might be a little too heavy for some 10/22 rounds like the 22LR. A lighter spring will make it less of an issue.

Bottom Line

The Force Productions Ruger 10/22 Extended Charging Handle might be exactly what you’re looking for if you want something that’s tough, smooth, and reliable. This might serve as a great replacement for your default charging handle.

Pros

  • Super durable construction
  • Smooth moving and operation
  • Fits almost any Ruger 10/22 rifle
  • Easy to install, takes a few minutes
  • Excellent as a replacement charging assembly

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, most users were able to install this easily on most Ruger 10/22 rifles. Once installed, they were able to cock the gun back and forth, resulting in easy feeding. This remained consistent for quite some time without any stiffness or lubrication needed, according to one user. Other than that, new users reported the bolt was quite durable in quality.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This assembly consists of extra springs that allow for most .22 rounds to load without any jamming or reliability issues. The spring is at a light enough weight to handle all kinds of rounds. This is something some charging handles have fallen short on due to the spring being either too weak or too strong.

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. 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.

Kidd's 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 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, six grooves or one smooth one partially wrapped in Viton rubber. These beauties among handles are all 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.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will be used for general purposes. So, in other words, it won’t be used for any specific purpose other than just allowing your Ruger 10/22 rifle to load and reload with ease. In fact, if you’re in a situation where quick shooting and reloading are a must, this charging handle will definitely give you the speed and time advantage.

What Could Be Improved and Why? 

While there are no major cons to talk about, we still have a suggestion. One other thing that should be included are some additional springs. These will be needed when it comes time to replace the other springs due to wear and tear. While that might take a while for the first set of springs to reach the point of uselessness, it’s good to know that you have a set of extra springs in case an unexpected disaster happens. 

Bottom Line

If you want a charging handle that has all the fixings you need for reliable and smooth use, the Kidd Bolt Handle Upgrade Assembly will probably be your cup of tea. It’s durable, fits most Ruger 10/22 rifles, and will be perfect for fast and reliable loading. 

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—a factory handle

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers were looking for a factory replacement that was a better upgrade to their factory-issued charging handle. They found this to be smoother and more reliable than the factory default. One user said his factory default would always stick and have consistently stiff movements. Once he replaced it with this, it no longer was an issue. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Of course, not everyone is going to be happy with a factory default charging handle, so this is designed right down to the letter. The only difference is that it provides better operation and smoother loading for most Ruger 10/22 rifles. Yes, even the older, pre-2005 rifles will benefit from this factory replacement.

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 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, tends to be more comfortable for some gun owners with smaller hands.

Overall, we think 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.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will be used by a lot of Ruger 10/22 users who are new owners or for those who have long owned the same rifle for many years. Since it’s a factory replacement, it will be used by those who no longer want to rely on their disappointing factory-issued charging handle. It’s even sturdier in construction too, which means no jamming or additional reliability issues.

What Could Be Improved and Why? 

This charging handle might be slightly longer than its supposed to be. So shortening the length of it, just a hair would be a good idea. This way, you won’t run into a lot of jamming issues because it won’t be able to cock all the way for some rifles. The last thing you need is to deal with reliability issues that might render your rifle useless.

Bottom Line

The Ruger 10/22 Factory Replacement Charging Handle will be exactly what you need if you need an upgrade from the dull, unreliable factory default charging handle. If you want smooth, durable, and easy loading, this might be the charging handle that will do just that. Why look elsewhere when you can go straight to the source?

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.

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

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers were satisfied with this. They were able to use this with ease and it allowed them fast loading and operation for almost every application. One user said the operation was smooth like butter and it didn’t stick on him once. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This charging handle proves itself as a solid unit that allows for smooth firing ability for your Ruger 10/22. It also stands out as a really reliable unit, allowing the Ruger 10/22 to fire up to 50 rounds without a single instance of jamming. 

Superior Concepts is a manufacturer that thrives on unique products and currently offers bolt handle with the complete assembly. This company was founded in 2005 and their charging-handle assembly is CNC-machined from 303 stainless steel. 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 improve 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 only a 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 and also allows smoother cycling. This extended handle with an oversized round surface supports a positive grip during fast-action or clearing.

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

Who Will Use This Most 

This will likely be used for the purpose of target shooting and hunting. If you’re looking for a charging handle that will give your Ruger 10/22 a leg up in its firing ability, then this charging handle will definitely give you reliable service whenever you need it the most.

What Could Be Improved and Why? 

This appears to be more compatible with Ruger 10/22 rifles that were made after 2005. So it may not be suitable for rifles made before that. A product like this should be compatible with all rifles, which means some possible resizing of the steel rod to ensure a perfect fit might be in the cards.

Bottom Line

The Superior Concepts Charging Handle is a quick and handy way to give your Ruger 10/22 better shooting ability without a single jam to deal with. If you’re looking for a charging handle that will get you locked, cocked, and ready to go, then this one might be right up your alley.

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.

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

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Super durable
  • Easy to grab and cock back
  • Fits older Ruger 10/22 models
  • Larger and a lot more reliable than any other stock handle

Cons

  • Might be a little smaller than expected
  • Slightly stiff initially
  • Some fitting might be required for some users

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, this charging handle was a hit with most new users. They said they were able to install this with ease without having to worry about any additional fitting. Once installed, this charging handle was easy to move around and allowed for easy and smooth loading. One user said through 50 or so rounds, he had no jamming problems to speak of.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This charging handle is best used for handling 22LR rounds easily. Some other charging handles on the list were either too strong or too weak to handle those types of rounds. This is also a little larger in size compared to some of the other charging handles, therefore making it a little easier to operate.

JWH is another American company, based in Torrance, California. If you really like to customize your weapons, 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.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will be used by those who have a Ruger 10/22 and need a charging handle that is larger than the standard size. This will be a charging handle that can work to your advantage if you’ve tried many charging handles for your rifle but it could not handle any of the 22LR rounds you’ve been dying to fire off on a regular basis.

What Could Be Improved and Why? 

Some have complained about the materials feeling a little cheap and flimsy. So to rectify that, the spring and some of the other parts could be a little sturdier. Besides, the spring should be a little stronger anyways to handle different kinds of .22 caliber rounds.

Bottom Line

If you want a charging handle that is not like the others in design, the JWH Custom CNC Oversized Black Handle will definitely be a perfect fit for your Ruger 10/22. While it might be a little large, it makes it a little easier to use than other handles.

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 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!

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