Magpul Hunter X-22 Review
Ruger’s 10/22 rifle has been a mainstay of rimfire shooters for the last fifty years. This simple design is the first rifle in the hands of many youngsters, while other folks will customize it to the point that there are no Ruger made parts remaining. However, with many non-youth shooters, a common complaint with the 10/22’s design is ergonomic issues with the factory stock. The short length, lack of any adjustment and a barrel band can work against a shooter who is pursuing precision marksmanship. All of this is fixed with the Magpul Hunter X-22.
The Magpul Industries Hunter X-22 rifle stock is a potential fix for these stock related problems. It comes in a box with an instruction sheet and two extra length of pull spacers in a plastic bag. There are two additional LOP spacers already installed on the X-22, right in front of the buttpad, as well. The length of pull can be adjusted with these spacers in half inch increments from 12.5 to 14.5 inches. Although we’re taking a look at the black version of the stock, it is also available in stealth grey, olive drab green and flat dark earth (tan).
There are a few optional parts for the stock that don’t come in the box. The top of the stock comes set at the standard height, but there are optional risers to adjust the cheek height, for scope users. There are two cheek riser kits available, the low kit with 0.25” and 0.50” risers and the high kit with 0.50″ and 0.75” risers. A sling swivel mount hole is built in to the stock, just in front of the sling loop. The steel mount and sling swivels are extra parts that can be purchased and installed, if needed.
The grip area is comfortably angled with textured grip side panels. The texture is pronounced, but not uncomfortable and the ergonomics do a good job aligning the hand and finger with trigger. In our testing, the X-22 was comfortable for both left and right handed shooters. As a southpaw, this type of design is always appreciated.
The forend of the stock has built in M-LOK slots for attaching accessories. There are three each on the bottom, left and right sides. The bottom of the stock is flat enough to have stability when shooting off of a pack or sandbags. There is a rounded lip running the length of the forend, along the bottom edges of both the left and right sides, which offers something to grip when holding the front of the stock.
The length of pull is adjusted by removing a single screw. We did find that this screw needs a little upward pressure to come out of its recessed hole. An easy fix for this is to put the tip of a second flathead screwdriver under the head of the screw when it is almost all the way out. With just a little pressure it pops out after about two more slow turns.
With the screw removed, the butt pad extension pulls right out of the back end of the stock. All the length of pull spacers have a slot through the center and slide over this extension. The stock can be used with anywhere from zero to a maximum of four spacers, which is the longest length for the X-22. Reinstalling the butt pad is just a matter of sliding the extension back into place and tightening down the one screw.
The Magpul Hunter X-22 is a tight fit for our test Ruger 10/22, which should help contribute to accuracy. The action is held in place with a single screw, the same as the factory stock. Changing out the stock was basically just a drop in procedure, with not fitting required. The barrel channel is sized for a standard factory barrel by default. However, the insert at the front of the stock can be unscrewed and flipped over for a proper fit with target barrels.
There is one trick to removing the action and upgrading a stock to the Magpul Hunter X-22. which is to make sure the safety is centered. It has to be moved not to the on or off positions, but pushed right to the middle of the range. Otherwise, you’ll be wiggling your action around and asking yourself “huh, I wonder why this thing doesn’t just pop right out.” It pays to check more than once, as that little button is easily bumped just a bit too far one way or the other.
One useful trick that I’ve learned along the way is to keep a small bottle of Molybdenum Disulfide on your workbench. A little goes a long way, so a small bottle lasts years. While the single screw that holds the 10/22 stock and action together is out, put some moly on the threads. It will make that screw easier to remove for the life of the rifle and help prevent any future issues with sticking or galling. Moly can be messy if you’re not careful, but the little cotton pads that are used to remove makeup work well for a quick and disposable work surface.
There is a small shelf molded into the rear of the stock, inside the action cutout. Because of this, the action can’t just be pushed straight down into place.
In order to get the action into the stock, angle the barrel upwards, at roughly a a forty-five degree angle. Then use a down and back rotation to get the action in all the way. If it doesn’t seem quite right, just rock it a bit. The rear of the action will go in first and then the barrel will drop down into the barrel channel.
Once all the parts are snugly in place, reinstalling the single screw through the stock, into the bottom of the action, completes the installation. Our test action was a tight fit once installed in the Magpul Hunter X-22, even though there are some slight gaps between the front of the receiver and the new stock.
Overall, the Hunter X-22 is certainly the best 10/22 stock that I’ve used, to date. The huge improvements in ergonomics and a solid design help make accurate and consistent shooting easy. Off the bench, our test rifle, with a factory barrel, stock trigger and iron sights, was printing five shot groups of touching holes at twenty-five yards with 40 grain CCI Mini-Mags. The X-22 has turned an old 10/22 into a new rifle that is both fun to punch paper with and certainly good enough to help put some meat in the stew, if times get tough.