When it comes to pistols, plinkers know you need a lightweight, small-size, and good-grip firearm for the best experience. However, with so many manufacturers out there, how can you be sure you’re making the best choice? Established in 1949, Ruger is one of the best brands on the market. Everything started when Bill Ruger successfully duplicated two Japanese-provenience Nambu pistols. Things slowly took off after the company was established, and now Ruger is seen as one of the best choices when it comes to all sorts of pistols. They’re currently one of the leading firearm manufacturing companies in the US, but the company is one of the three manufacturers in the country that produced over 58% of pistols between 2008 and 2018. Nowadays, the company breaks down its product into nine distinct categories, dominating most of them. However, nothing compares to the efficiency that .22 rimfire pistols, such as the Ruger Charger, have proven. In most of the US, owning a firearm is just as common as driving a car. And since pistols are the most popular choice for their size, ease to carry, and functionality, the Ruger Charger quickly became a best-seller after it was launched. From the first model that came out of the factory in 2007, the Ruger 22 Charger received multiple improvements, and it’s now one of the most customizable pistols out there. Suppose you’re thinking of getting one for target practice or just recreational shooting. In that case, we’d be glad to give you all the details and specifics of such a great pistol as the Ruger Charger.
Ruger Charger: A Short Background
One huge hit based on another extremely popular model, the Ruger Charger is inspired by the 10/22 action, the company’s previous star pistol. With more than 6 million pieces sold since it debuted in 1964, the 10/22 is seen as one of the best rimfire pistols ever to see the light of day. What Ruger did with the Charger is, basically, bringing the 10/22 into the 21st century and adding some top-quality accessories and features that made it the best-seller it is today. It comes with a wood pistol stock forend, a matte blue heavy barrel, a bipod, and a scope instead of the classical iron sights. This is one of the first configurations proposed for the Ruger Charger pistol. However, as you’ll discover in this article, the possibilities to customize this rimfire pistol are endless.
Ruger 22 Charger Specs and Key Features
To give you an overall view of what the Ruger 22 Charger has to offer, especially if you didn’t hear about this model before, let’s start off with a detailed table with its specs:
|Weight||3.25 pounds (stock version)|
|Barrel Construction||Cold Hammer Forged|
|Barrel Twist||1:16” RH|
When talking about the Ruger 22 Charger pistol features, we need to individually approach each part of this firearm. And it looks like Ruger picked the best components from all the available firearms in their inventory to come up with the best rimfire pistol possible. Let’s check them out!
Standard AR-Style Grip
Everyone knows about the AR-15 as it’s one of the most popular rifles out there. Now, imagine that excellent grip and control on a rimfire pistol that has a lot less recoil. So if you already think this is going to result in an excellent Ruger Charger accuracy – you’re right.
The 10-inch precision-rifled barrel is ergonomically mounted so that the Charger continues to offer that feeling of control and accuracy. Furthermore, the barrel is threaded so you can easily add a suppressor on it if you want to keep the noise down.
Once more, keep in mind that we’re talking about the stock Ruger Charger. You may find other versions online, such as the Ruger 22 Charger takedown or other models that come in a different configuration. The rail is perfect to mount state-of-the-art optics, and some sellers include the standard package scope.
Brace and Sling Ready
Towards the receiver’s end, you will notice the QD sling cup attaching point if you want to add a sling to the Ruger Charger. Also, there’s room for braces and the rail towards the end of the pistol. It allows users to easily attach a hand or shoulder brace depending on how they intend to use the gun.
We’ve talked about how the Ruger Charger is one awesome pistol when it comes to customization and the ease with which various elements can be combined. The sling stud located on the receiver’s front makes the pistol ready for bipod or sling use to confirm its versatility once more.
Ruger Charger In-Depth Analysis
Now that we’ve seen what this pistol has to offer in terms of general specifications and the stock version, it’s time to go deeper into important features for future owners. Everyone wants to know the hard data before spending money on a new pistol. So let’s carry on our Ruger Charger pistol review with an in-depth analysis of reliability, accuracy, ergonomics, and many more.
The 10/22 rifle that inspired the new Ruger Charger was a huge success. However, some users pointed out that the pistol was not always performing as expected in the reliability range. This is one aspect that was heavily improved by Ruger for the Charger model. No matter if we’re talking about the stock pistol or any of the available variants, you can be sure that you’re getting a firearm that’s going to function excellently in any condition. While some users still complain that Federal bulkpak bullets used with the Ruger Charger don’t give enough energy to eject the spent cartridge and load another round, that seems to be more of an ammo issue rather than the gun itself.
And we’re starting with the same element when we talked about key features – the grip. That AR grip is excellent on a rifle and the fact that they decided to use it on a rimfire pistol, is genius. It doesn’t come off too big to ruin the ergonomics of the pistol and it provides excellent handling to contribute to an outstanding accuracy. Sure, you can mount all sorts of scopes and bipods if you want to improve accuracy even more. However, even when talking about the stock version, the gun shoots very well and delivers the range’s accuracy or simply for fun. In other words, if you’re not an Olympic shooter or you don’t plan on using it at a Triathlon, you’ll be satisfied with it no matter which side you take in the 9mm vs .22 talk point.
Since we’ve mentioned the Ruger 22 Charger accuracy and the way the grip, scopes, and sling or bipod contributes to it, it makes all the sense in the world to look at ergonomics next. The 10/22 was doing great on the “Ergonomics” chapter for a gun in those times. Ruger simply took the same philosophy and applied it for a pistol in the 21st century. Everything from the grip, the rail, the receiver, and even the magazine makes this pistol excellently ergonomic. In turn, this makes it great for both males and females, no matter the size.
Ease of Use
As mentioned above and the info you’ll find in most Ruger 22 charger reviews, this gun is simply fun to shoot. This makes it easy to use and a great pick no matter the age, experience level, or where you use it. In the woods, at the firing range, or in your backyard, the Ruger Charger is an excellent rimfire pistol, especially if you add a suppressor to it.
Last but not least, we need to take value into consideration as well. The stock model starts around $300 which isn’t bad at all for a rimfire pistol. Also, Ruger is known to be on the higher end in the cost department when put against competitors. However, the price/quality ratio is excellent with this gun. It’s another reason it’s so successful in the US.
Ruger Charger Overall
So let’s summarize our Ruger 22 Charger pistol review, and highlight all the key points of this weapon:
|Accuracy||While accuracy can be upgraded with various accessories, the stock Ruger Charger offers impressive accuracy as well.|
|Reliability||Use in the firing range and outdoors as well, this pistol works excellently with a wide range of ammo. Excellent results with subsonic rounds.|
|Ergonomics||The AR grip needs to be mentioned when talking about ergonomics. The scop-ready rail and how the trigger fits perfectly with the rest of the gun gives it extra points.|
|Ease of Use||
The small size and lightweight Ruger Cha
rger is excellent for male and female users, no matter their age or experience.
|Value||The Charger could be cheaper as $300 can seem a bit too high for some users. However, for the quality and versatility you’re getting, it’s a reasonable price.|
How Ruger Charger Variants are Different?
If you read other pistol reviews for the Ruger Charger, the fact that it comes in various models isn’t a surprise. It’s now time to look at the most popular variants sold in the USA and see what sets them apart. We’re going to focus mainly on the Ruger Takedown and Charger Lite models so tune in to see what makes them different.
Charger 22 Takedown
Ruger themselves describe this gun as a “plinker’s dream” and that’s not at all an exaggeration. The “Takedown” part in its name is quite self-explanatory. It’s a Charger that can be easily broken into two pieces, to provide easy transport and assembly. When you take it out of its case, just join the two halves, screw the included bipod in and you’re good to go. It comes with a 15-round magazine and it accepts any 10/22 mags as well in case you want to customize it further. When it comes to suppressor options, you can go for Ruger’s Silent-SR and there’s a wide list of sighting options.
Ruger Charger Lite
Having a full-sized rifle trimmed down to a rimfire pistol is definitely a fun thing. Out of Charger models listed on Ruger’s website, the one that sets itself apart, besides the Takedown model, is the Charger Lite. It’s a bit strange that the Lite model is one of the heaviest out of the Charger versions. However, the name must have something to do with the vented barrel that makes it look very close to the 22/45 Lite pistols. It comes with the same AR-15 grip which makes it excellent for maneuvering and shooting. All in all, you’re getting the same Charger efficiency and aspect, in a small but powerful package.
Ruger Charger Accessories and Upgrades
We’ve talked so much about how customizable and versatile this pistol is. Now, it’s finally the time to check out some of the best Ruger 22 Charger accessories and how these can improve its looks and functionality.
Ruger 22 Charger: Best Braces
First of all, let’s look at what braces are available for the Ruger 22 Charger:
- SB Tactical SIG SAUER MPX PSB 3-position brace: This innovative brace comes with 3 adjustable positions which allow you to find the perfect length for the Charger 22 depending on the occasion. It has a length of 3.87” when collapsed, 6” in the middle position and 8.25” when fully extended. Weighing a bit over 19 oz, it shouldn’t make the Charger feel too heavy. It’s also ATF compliant and built in the USA.
- SB TACTICAL SBM4: The SBM4 is a fixed brace with a length of 7.2”. This makes it fit right between the mid and extended lengths of the MPX PSB mentioned above. Since it’s not adjustable, the weight is also considerably reduced to 8.4 oz. It also comes with an adjustable nylon strap.
Ruger 22 Charger: Best Optics
Next we’re going to look at two of the best options to improve the sights on your Ruger 22 pistol. And compared to, say, a Walther P22, the Charger can accommodate a full range of scopes:
- Bushnell TRS-25: If you’re looking for a good red dot sight, the Bushnell TRS-25 is most probably your best buy. It’s black with 3 MOA dot reticle and also waterproof thanks to the O-rings that seal the optics inside. It’s also shockproof so you won’t have to worry about damaging the site in case you drop it.
- Classic Series Primary Arms Optic: If you want a bit more magnification than just a red dot sight, then go for the Classic Series Primary Arms Optic. It offers a 6×32 magnification power and you get a reliable, easy-to-use, and lightweight scope.
- Vortex Crossfire II: The Vortex Crossfire II positions itself in between the two scopes presented so far. While it offers 2-7×32 it’s more accessible than the Classic Series sight and may be considered the best way to go for most users.
Ruger 22 Charger Proper Care
One thing a lot of pistol reviews agree on is that, like any other firearm the Ruger 22 Charger needs proper cleaning and maintenance if you want to get the same excellent results when shooting it time after time. Its small size can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. You don’t have a huge barrel and clean, but it will be harder to reach all the parts and surfaces. And if you want more detail on how to take the best care of your Ruger 22 Charger, feel free to check out the instructions video:
When it comes to buying a lightweight pistol that offers versatility and functionality, there are extremely few better options than the Ruger 22 Charger. This firearm is the result of tens of years of innovation from Ruger. It encompasses all the features that made the 10/22 a best-seller with over 6 million pieces bought. Its accuracy is excellent for a pistol, especially since you can equip it with a scope, brace, and even a bipod for improved handling and shootability. And when you throw in all the customization options Ruger Charger provides: with slings, scopes, extendable braces, various mags, AR grips, and whatnot, you get one of the best 22 pistols out there. Thus, we conclude this Ruger Charger review 2022 by recommending it to all firearm enthusiasts out there, no matter if they’re looking for a pistol for frequent visits at firing range casual use.