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This week is a bit of an outlier, as we purposefully purchased a pistol that will look nothing like factory in just a few weeks. But, since we already have it, we figured we’d take a look at it in its current state. Of course, we’re talking about the Ruger 10/22 Charger, the rimfire’s redheaded stepchild.

Prior to the invention of the pistol brace, this gun fell into the “why?” category for me. The only reason I can think of for having one is for handgun hunting practise, like a rimfire trainer for a Thompson Contender. It just didn’t make any sense. Sure, I can picture a bipod-capable pistol. In a calibre that has some range. Why would I abbreviate a 22LR to a pistol-only grip when the projectile range is already limited? And why would I buy a 22 handgun that is nearly impossible to shoot from anything other than a supported position?

Does my viewpoint alter in the current world? Without a doubt. We all know that a handgun is considerably easier to obtain than an SBR, and it doesn’t require any ATF paperwork if I chose to transport it across state borders. And do I really need a 10.5-inch 22LR in a useable form in my life? Without a doubt. I not only understand the urge for a Charger, but I went out of my way to find one.

Why? Because there are so many amazing chassis alternatives for them these days. We have two on hand that we will cover in the coming months, and we are looking into a few more. While we could have just put them on a conventional 10/22 rifle, that would have taken away a lot of the pleasure. At least for me. A longer barrel for the 22LR could be ideal, and opinions differ on the exact length. However, 10.5 is difficult to top for fun, portability, and lightness.

Why not turn a 10/22 into a pistol by adding an aftermarket barrel? Because, in a nutshell, the ATF requirements are ridiculous. United States vs Thompson Center, which went all the way to the Supreme Court, was able to settle it very quickly. A bare receiver, or a pistol that was designed to be used as a pistol, can be converted to a rifle at any time. Back to a pistol now. A gun remains a rifle even if the barrel is shortened and a brace is attached. As a result, if you don’t have a tax stamp for it, it’s an unlawful SBR. Which is ridiculous, but rules are rules. I wanted a braced pistol with a 10.5-inch barrel, therefore the word “Charger” on the receiver was critical to me. Would I have gotten away with it if I had used one of my 10/22 rifles? Yes. Is the rule pointless? Yes. Will I risk a criminal charge and ten years in prison for a $300 receiver? Certainly not.

Looking at the various possibilities, the cheapest option was to purchase a complete Charger pistol from Ruger. The cost of bare receivers, which do exist, is around $200. On Guns America, a full gun with a barrel costs around $280. That was a better deal all around, considering I wasn’t aiming to create a precision rifle.

Now, if you’re interested in doing the same, I’d like to point you something. Ruger does sell a Charger with a Picatinny rail on the back of the gun. This means you could just purchase an SB tactical brace, mount it, and be done. We were willing to bypass this stage because we already have complete chassis kits on hand. If you haven’t already purchased an aftermarket chassis, the price difference is roughly $20.

We decided to examine the Charger as a classic Charger now that we have it. Which, I must admit, I find wanting as a pistol. I believe we can all agree that it is too heavy and long to handle in our hands. Mine came with a UTG bipod, which they clearly want for you to use. We’re back in action now that the bipod is mounted. Trainer for handgun hunting? Sure. That is clear. It was actually quite pleasant to shoot a pistol from the prone position and not have it move under recoil. In any case. I’d also like to master the technique with a rimfire rather than a real handgun hunting cartridge like the Thompson Center 308. I don’t want anything to do with a 308 calibre handgun after shooting a 500 S&W short barrel. However, to each his own.

What else can you do with a Charger? That’s something I’m having trouble figuring out. The Charger performs very little, if anything, better than a rifle because it is the same calibre and has the same 22LR range limits. If you’re using a rimfire, the rifle will make difficult shots easier. A Ruger 22/45 or Mk IV will do considerably better if you wish to utilise a pistol.

What is the purpose of the Charger in this configuration? Until a few years ago, this was also the only configuration. I honestly have no idea. But I was delighted it did once I finished this review and plopped it in an Enoch Industries chassis. A simple brace adaptor transforms one of the most uninteresting pistols I’ve ever handled into one of the most entertaining. As a result, I have no choice but to recommend the Ruger Charger as the greatest donor barreled action available today.

Source: Anime NFT

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