Believe it or not, this was a plain Ruger 10/22 Carbine not long ago.
Believe it or not, this was a plain Ruger 10/22 Carbine not long ago.

This week we’re going to invest in plastic surgery. No Kardashians will be involved, I promise.

While many might argue that I myself need it, I’m going to direct this decidedly non-medical procedure at a plain Ruger 10/22 Carbine. The Ruger 10/22 Carbine is the basic model with a wood stock that usually sells for a street price of less than $250.

I’m going to turn it into…the same rifle it was pre-surgery. It will function exactly the same, but with a few cosmetic and usability improvements. You know, the kind of changes that turn a rifle into an “assault weapon,” whatever that is. It will have the same operating system. It will have the same magazine capacity. It will have the same caliber. It will not fire grenades, but it will look exceptionally cool. It will be easier to handle. It will be adjustable to fit shooters of different sizes and statures. It will probably make Michael Bloomberg apoplectic for no good reason at all.

Looking at the kit, you can see it includes everything except the receiver and barrel.
Looking at the kit, you can see it includes everything except the receiver and barrel.

What is it?

I’m talking about the ATI Ruger 10/22 AR-22 Stock System with 8-Sided Forend. This complete stock replacement kit turns your vanilla Ruger 10/22 into a tactical beast, and retails for $189.99. Yeah, it’s really cool looking and incredibly fun to shoot.

Yes, some of the features are purely cosmetic, like the forward assist, safety lever, charging handle, and bolt release. That’s okay, because the way the system is designed, those functions (barring the forward assist) are all covered by the existing buttons and levers on the Ruger 10/22 receiver. The idea is to provide a look and feel similar to that of an AR-15, making your 10/22 great for practice and training at much lower cost to shoot.

What makes the ATI kit useful for your Ruger 10/22 are the functions that it adds. For example, the six-position stock. Like a real AR-type rifle, the stock is adjustable from short to long lengths of pull along a faux buffer tube made of aluminum. The stock has a nice (and soft) butt pad to absorb whatever recoil your .22 LR load of choice has. More importantly, the butt pad serves to provide solid placement on your shoulder so the rifle doesn’t move around when you’re emptying a 25-round magazine at a platoon of hostile hubbard squash. The warts on those things are creepy.

While we’re talking about the stock improvements, an even more important feature is the adjustable cheek rest. You can raise and lower this using a screwdriver. Got low scope rings? No problem. Got a high mount? No problem. Adjust away. Oh, and the cheek rest has a soft rubber pad on top to protect your jawbone from the earth-shattering recoil of the .22 LR.

The receiver housing serves as the mounting point for pistol grip and adjustable stock.
The receiver housing serves as the mounting point for pistol grip and adjustable stock.

The kit also adds a pistol grip, so if you want to use cheap rounds for practice, it will feel somewhat like your AR-type rifle. As a nice extra, the pistol grip has a textured rubber backstrap and feels great during extended shooting sessions.

Another feature in the improvement category is the forend grip. This is cool for a couple of reasons. First, it’s completely free-floated. It mounts to the receiver and doesn’t contact the barrel anywhere. This means you can mount whatever accessories you want without worry of impacting the performance of the barrel on your Ruger 10/22. Further, since it’s a free-floated arrangement, you can use the standard barrel or any aftermarket bull barrel. There’s plenty of room for either.

In addition, the forend of this kit offers a near-infinite combination of rail attachments. Using optional rail segments, you can add gear on the top, sides, or bottom to your heart’s content. Not enough for you? Then use the diagonal positions. As the name implies, you have eight sides to work with. If you choose not to add rail segments, the forend provides a comfortable, round support-hand surface.

The magazine well looks AR-like, but handles both 25-round and standard 10-round Ruger rotary magazines.

One more thing while we’re talking about additions to standard Ruger 10/22 functionality. You’ll get a full-length continuous rail from the back of the receiver to up near the muzzle. Overall, it measures about 20 inches long, so knock yourself out with scopes, red dots, backup iron sights, or whatever else floats your boat.

The six-position butt stock also has an adjustable cheek rest so you can adjust it to your scope height.
The six-position butt stock also has an adjustable cheek rest so you can adjust it to your scope height.

Installation

The included instructions are excellent, so I won’t bore you with the gory step-by-step details here. Instead, let’s take a quick look at the basic idea of how this goes together.

First, you remove the standard wood or polymer stock from your Ruger 10/22, leaving you with a barreled action. The core of the ATI conversion kit is comprised of a two-part receiver shroud that encases your existing receiver, but does not touch the barrel. The adjustable butt stock and pistol grip mount to the shroud.

The aluminum eight-sided forend mounts to the receiver and the receiver only. It’s an elegant and surprisingly solid solution. The full-length aluminum rail on top ties everything together.

The whole assembly is amazingly rigid, in a good way—there’s no movement, wobble, or shake anywhere. I have to admit that surprised me—it’s a clever bit of engineering.

What about accuracy?

While the ATI AR-22 stock kit is, to grossly oversimplify, a stock replacement, I had to wonder about potential impacts on accuracy for better or worse. So I decided to shoot some groups both before and after the conversion to see how things worked out.

If anything, there was a very slight improvement in accuracy after installing the ATI AR-22 kit.
If anything, there was a very slight improvement in accuracy after installing the ATI AR-22 kit.

For both parts of the accuracy test, I used the Redfield Battlezone .22 scope. I tried three different types of .22 ammunition: Federal Match Target, CCI Mini-Mag, and Eley practice rounds. I wanted to see which ammo shot the best and most-consistent groups before and after the stock kit’s installation.

With the 10/22 in its vanilla configuration, the Eley practice rounds were by far the most consistent of the rounds I tried, and grouped five shots into .635 inches at 50 yards. That was my accuracy benchmark.

After installing the ATI 10/22 conversion kit and re-zeroing the scope, I fired groups using the Eley practice rounds again under the exact same conditions. Same Redfield Battlezone scope, same BLACKHAWK! rests, same distance, same brutal humidity and yellow fly plague. The two best five-shot groups measured .710 and .585 inches. Without getting into statistics theory, I would say that there was no significant difference either way based on my testing. The accuracy of the rifle appears the same with or without the stock conversion.

Closing thoughts

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened the box and saw how the kit went together. I was nervous about the receiver shroud approach, but as you can see by the shooting tests, it was rock-solid. Accuracy was the same, or perhaps better after installing the kit. Functionality and was way, way better. This is a fun rifle to shoot!

Now that the AR-22 stock is installed, it’s imperative that I replace the standard barrel with a threaded bull barrel. A little more accuracy and a suppressor will make this the ultimate .22 plinker.

Tom McHale is the author of the Insanely Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon.

Note added 6-26-2014: This article has been updated to include the MSRP of the 10/22 stock kit.

Images by Tom McHale

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24 thoughts on “The ATI Ruger 10/22 AR-22 Stock System: Turn Your Plinker into a Tactical Beast

  1. Great. I can to buy the kit, then go to youtube for the video mod on making it fully auto, and pretend I’m “tactical”. Sorry, if you want “tactical,” please join the Army. I’d prefer to keep weapons like this out my neighborhood.
    ps. I’m republican and a gun owner. Yeah, I know we aren’t all alike 🙂

    1. Hey Sailboat, some people like the adjustable stock and somewhere to mount a light for hunting. I’m glad I don’t have folks like you in my neighborhood. Were just not all alike.

    2. Weapons like this? You realize this is a .22 plinking rifle right? Functionally identical to before the new stock addition. The new stock simply allows adjustment for different shooter sizes and attachment of different sighting options. It’s not like it adds grenades or anything.

      1. Tom-
        Fair enough – shooter size I can understand. You did a good job with your review. I just wonder why there is a big movement (my terms) to “tactical” weapons – perhaps I took that out on you, which is unfair. I can see you are knowledgable, and write an engaging story – keep it up. I guess I’m what I’m concerned about is what’s happening today that didn’t happen years ago (my survey): everytime there’s a bad shooting, we hear of the shooter using “tactical” weapons. I don’t have an answer, and don’t know if I’m right. But I do know I’m not going to bury my head in the sand and drink the NRA kool-aid. Thanks again, and I did appreciate your story. You have a great “voice.”

      2. The term “tactical weapon” came about due to over
        jealousy and sometimes called boondoggling, as it pertained to the countless and over jealous attempt to demonized any weapon holding more than 7 rds. Is it the seller’s responsibility to bring the weapons functionality back to earth or is it up to the buyer to know what he is actually

        looking for. Go into a gun store and ASK FOR a 9mm rifle with folding stock, laser scope, 22 capacity mag and see what the category of weapon they offer. Bet it’s tactical(ly) (over rated).

      3. Yep, and lots of people are intimidated by husky looking guys with long hair, beards, wearing black leathers, and riding on loud (relatively) motorcycles. They don’t like “our kind” either. You know the type, law abiding, employed, married, contributors to society. Even worse, Christian clergy!!
        I guess some people are just superficial, huh sailor?

      4. I need an explanation. See, I am not college educated and not all that bright, so, need to have some things explained to me a little more in-depth. I am trying to find out, just so one day we do not get in any type of trouble. Let’s say I went to the store, say Wal-Mart and bought a Ruger 10/22. Showed it off (they really are cool little target and pest rifles). So far, so good. I have a safe, politically correct, rim-fire, semi-auto rifle that no one bat’s an eye at. (I would like to get the wood stock and possibly stainless barrel). OK, now a few month’s have past and the “new” has worn off and I decide to order and install this ATI (or any other black plastic stock, so if I ever sell it, putting on the original stock, there would be no scratches and the little rifle would still look new). OK, let’s say I just removed the wood stock (a piece of wood and a screw) and install a black plastic stock (a piece of black plastic and a screw). At what point, between removing the wood and installing the plastic does the SAME GUN, (Ruger 10/22 with NO other type of modifications or ANY other type of work, ONLY CHANGING FROM WOOD TO PLASTIC), at what point did the little 22 Rim-Fire Rifle become a “Tactical Rifle or Tactical Weapon or ANY other type of “Assault Rifle”? During the changing of the stock, what part would have made the EXACT SAME SEMI-AUTO 22lr Plinking/Target Rifle into a Full Automatic Tactical and / or Assault Rifle? Can you please post a pic and at what time in exchanging the stock from wood to plastic did the rifle become instantly “MORE DANGEROUS”? “TACTICAL”? “FULLY AUTOMATIC”? OR- to make my question shorter, at what point (PICS PLEASE) did the exchange from the wood stock to a plastic stock make the rifle function ANY differently? Make it “More Dangerous”? “Tactical”?, Fully Automatic”?, an “Assault Rifle”? OR change the “Original Functioning” of the Ruger 10/22 into Functioning ANY other way than it was originally designed and 100% LEGAL small rim-fire target, plinking type of rifle into a rifle that made the SAME rifle, without ANY modifications and ONLY Changing the stock from wood to plastic, make it into a TACTICAL or as the media likes to call it, an ASSAULT RIFLE? These are questions based and- (according to your post’s. I am addressing you because you seem to know what you are talking about when it comes to guns). I am VERY INTERESTED IN YOUR ANSWER as I am in the process of having my car painted and planned to also put on racing stripes and the number of my favorite race car and driver, however, after reading this, am quite concerned that if I do so to my car I am getting painted, that “IF” I add the Racing Stripes and Race Car Number, it may not be allowed on the road as it may be considered as a “RACE CAR”, especially, unlike the rifle, I had planned to modify the car by putting on a new set of Dual Exhaust and a Louder Muffler, but not too loud, the noise would still be under the SPL code and laws and metered before used on the street. It now has me worried that my car I am getting painted from a golden brown to a nice black color and adding “racing parts”, such as the stripes and numbers would them make my car illegal to use on the roads legally and may possibly scare the neighbors by doing so. (the car, when new, had dual exhaust and louder mufflers, but someone put on a single pipe and quiet muffler and I just want to restore that part to original. Your insight and thoughts on this matter would be GREATLY APPRECIATED as I am always willing to learn something new and hopefully become as educated as everyone else is. THANK YOU!!

      5. I need an explanation. See, I am not college educated and not all that bright, so, need to have some things explained to me a little more in-depth. I am trying to find out, just so one day we do not get in any type of trouble. Let’s say I went to the store, say Wal-Mart and bought a Ruger 10/22. Showed it off (they really are cool little target and pest rifles). So far, so good. I have a safe, politically correct, rim-fire, semi-auto rifle that no one bat’s an eye at. (I would like to get the wood stock and possibly stainless barrel). OK, now a few month’s have past and the “new” has worn off and I decide to order and install this ATI (or any other black plastic stock, so if I ever sell it, putting on the original stock, there would be no scratches and the little rifle would still look new). OK, let’s say I just removed the wood stock (a piece of wood and a screw) and install a black plastic stock (a piece of black plastic and a screw). At what point, between removing the wood and installing the plastic does the SAME GUN, (Ruger 10/22 with NO other type of modifications or ANY other type of work, ONLY CHANGING FROM WOOD TO PLASTIC), at what point did the little 22 Rim-Fire Rifle become a “Tactical Rifle or Tactical Weapon or ANY other type of “Assault Rifle”? During the changing of the stock, what part would have made the EXACT SAME SEMI-AUTO 22lr Plinking/Target Rifle into a Full Automatic Tactical and / or Assault Rifle? Can you please post a pic and at what time in exchanging the stock from wood to plastic did the rifle become instantly “MORE DANGEROUS”? “TACTICAL”? “FULLY AUTOMATIC”? OR- to make my question shorter, at what point (PICS PLEASE) did the exchange from the wood stock to a plastic stock make the rifle function ANY differently? Make it “More Dangerous”? “Tactical”?, Fully Automatic”?, an “Assault Rifle”? OR change the “Original Functioning” of the Ruger 10/22 into Functioning ANY other way than it was originally designed and 100% LEGAL small rim-fire target, plinking type of rifle into a rifle that made the SAME rifle, without ANY modifications and ONLY Changing the stock from wood to plastic, make it into a TACTICAL or as the media likes to call it, an ASSAULT RIFLE? These are questions based and- (according to your post’s. I am addressing you because you seem to know what you are talking about when it comes to guns). I am VERY INTERESTED IN YOUR ANSWER as I am in the process of having my car painted and planned to also put on racing stripes and the number of my favorite race car and driver, however, after reading this, am quite concerned that if I do so to my car I am getting painted, that “IF” I add the Racing Stripes and Race Car Number, it may not be allowed on the road as it may be considered as a “RACE CAR”, especially, unlike the rifle, I had planned to modify the car by putting on a new set of Dual Exhaust and a Louder Muffler, but not too loud, the noise would still be under the SPL code and laws and metered before used on the street. It now has me worried that my car I am getting painted from a golden brown to a nice black color and adding “racing parts”, such as the stripes and numbers would them make my car illegal to use on the roads legally and may possibly scare the neighbors by doing so. (the car, when new, had dual exhaust and louder mufflers, but someone put on a single pipe and quiet muffler and I just want to restore that part to original. Your insight and thoughts on this matter would be GREATLY APPRECIATED as I am always willing to learn something new and hopefully become as educated as everyone else is. THANK YOU!!

    3. You have to quit getting sucked in by the media. I’m retired army and have had to deal with CNN, and other news agencies. They always make stories up and stretch them. They compromised my team by talking loud and bright camera lights. One of my team members was assigned to ‘protect’ them as was killed after they were told to shut down. They almost didn’t come back from mission with us. So in short don’t throw your comments in and stay off these type of forums if YOU have an personal issue. Go to others that will care to listen.

    4. We don’t like fast cars or SUV’s in our neighborhood either. After all, fast cars only have one legitimate purpose, racing, exceeding the speed limits. SUV’s aren’t really designed to be used on the road, so they don’t belong there. If you want to race or off-road, there are organizations that sanction such behavior.
      P.S., I am a conservative and a licensed driver.

    5. Being a gun owner yourself, you should have full knowledge of these things and how silly you sound, you should know that a “tactical weapon” is a stupid misnomer, the word “tactical” means ‘calculated’, ‘expedient’ and ‘planned’, it comes from the root word “tactics” which means ‘a system or detail of plans, procedure or expedient for promoting a desired end or result’

      A baseball bat could be a “tactical weapon” that was derived from a club if it was used to murder someone, an earphone cable could be a “tactical weapon” if it was used as a garrote, even a toothpick could be a “tactical weapon” if it was used to pierce a blood vessel and the person bleeds to death.

      The point here is that a “tactical weapon” is simply a weapon that is used in tactics or strategy, anything can be used as a weapon therefore everything can be a tactical weapon, but using the term “tactical weapon” on its own or to describe an item is stupid in idea and application(by the media).

      Oh, and anyone who uses the term “assault rifle” is, or is equivalent to, a NAZI, the term “assault rifle” was invented by Adolf Hitler and his Nazi officers as a propaganda tool to instill fear with their usage of their new weapon the Sturmgewehr 44 which literally translate to “assault rifle”. Are you a Nazi Sailboat Scotty?

  2. I wonder if the current dearth of 22 LR has put a pinch on 10/22 sales. That’s a cool add-on, but not something I’d invest in at current 22 LR prices and availability.

    1. I think it has. What I see more of around my parts is a)people buying all the 22lr they can and sitting on it and b)people buying 22lr and selling it way overpriced. I’ve got a few 22lr’s and I have reduced my 22lr shooting to nearly nothing, until the market eases up some. I would like to have this kit for a 10/22 though. It would make a nice hunting set up. I wonder if it will fit over a bull barrel too?

      1. Smoke, you absolutely nailed my own situation. Around here (Princeton WV) you see the same low lifes loitering in Walmart waiting on them to unload the 22 so they can pander it for double the price at outdoor flea markets, gun shows and online auctions. I have a herd of nice 22s that I’ve bought within the last 3-4 years and can no longer afford to feed, so they just get to sit in the safe. Grr – just bought that replica Mp44 and was planning on setting it up like a WW2 sniper and have just dropped that project for now. And my wife’s new M&P15/22 just sitting as well. And then there’s the Henry, and Buckmark – and on and on!

  3. Had enough of “tactical” when in military, so kiddies go play soldier and be sure to put you “protect hunters hearing” silencer on this thing. I will stick to my decade’s old Marline 39A, as had my “soldier time going tactical”, unlike way to many wanna be hero’s. Getting tired of the “tactical, SPlOps, blah blah ads and the way overkill for “home defense” which is only making mfg/nra more profits.

  4. And would I want to do such a silly thing ? That’s for would be Mittyesque Rambos in their dreams who have never shot a round in anger. If you need that pathetic illusion to feel better you certainly have a problem. By the way, isn’t ATI that TURCO company that makes 1911 copies in moslem Turkey ?

  5. Just wanna throw this out there, I had a .22 rem pump took long and short rds. I ended up giving it away as a Bday gift. last week I checked out a ruger .22 with a stainless barrel. I like it cause it reminds me of an M1 garand (smaller scale). Not being familiar with rugers…are they pretty reliable?…I also reside in NYC….but am movin outta here…quicker than a bear in heat….way too much nonsense about firearms here. Any real life info would be great. Thanks in advance.

  6. RE: Sailboat Scotty
    “Great. I can to buy the kit, then go to youtube for the video mod on making it fully auto, and pretend I’m “tactical”. Sorry, if you want “tactical,” please join the Army.”

    – You didn’t actually just refer to the Army as being ‘tactical’ did you? Did you say that with a straight face? I’m impressed. (No, I’m not)

    “I’d prefer to keep weapons like this out my neighborhood. ”

    – Right, as if somehow how the weapon LOOKS affect its performance and capabilities. The stock Ruger 10/22 and this ATI AR22 model are the same weapon. You want to keep “evil looking .22 cal” weapons out of your neighborhood? What are you willing to tolerate? …sling shots?

    “ps. I’m republican and a gun owner. Yeah, I know we aren’t all alike :)”

    – Yeah, some of you are stupid.

    1. Bingo – great comments to @westchestergunowner:disqus’s misguided & uninformed statements. It amazes me how so many people who have these strong opinions on banning “assault rifles/weapons” don’t understand understand anything about guns, and are misinformed by the media who demonizes guns like the AR-15.

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