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This How-To article will explain how to break your Ruger 10/22 rifle down and upgrade your stock bolt release with an Auto Bolt Release.  This differs from the factory way to release your bolt which requires you to push in the bolt release button, instead you just pull the bolt handle back and let go.  In my opinion this modification is a must have for anyone with a 10/22.  In fact, if you know someone with a Ruger 10/22 and you need to get them a gift, this modification will be long appreciated.  Since we’re removing the same pin that holds the magazine release button, we will discuss upgrading it to an extended magazine release.  The stock magazine release forces you to push up with one hand in a weird position while trying to pull the magazine out.

NOTE:  Before you begin any of these steps make sure your firearm is clear of any live rounds.  Pull open the bolt and check to make sure the barrel is clear and remove the magazine.  SAFETY FIRST!  Neither the author of this how-to article nor the website it is posted on will be responsible for you being a dumb-a$$.  As far as most are concerned, if you kill yourself, it’s Darwinism at work.  😉  These instructions are targeted toward those with minor mechanical abilities.  Read these instructions thoroughly and if you have any concerns, consult a gunsmith.  As with all how-to articles they may reflect the limited experience of individuals using specific tools, products, equipment and components under specific conditions and circumstances not necessarily herein noted, of which, this website has no control.  The data has not been tested or verified by this website or any of its agents, officers, employees or owners and will accept no responsibility for the results obtained by persons using this data and disclaim all liability for any consequential injuries or damages.

Disassembly of the bolt release is pretty straightforward but as most people are nervous about taking something apart that is working perfectly fine to do an upgrade is like the old saying, “If it works, don’t fix it.”  We’ll go step by step with text and pictures that can be enlarged to get a detailed view.


This is the 10/22 that we’ll be working on today.

001

Ruger 10/22 (click to enlarge)

The tools required are minimum.  You’ll need a flathead screwdriver and something to push out the pins.  I used a hex-head wrench or a punch.  Just get one that will fit the smallest pin.

 

 

Tools required.  (click to enlarge)

Tools required. (click to enlarge)

After checking to make sure the gun has been cleared and the magazine is removed the first step is to remove the take-down screw.  It is in front of the trigger guard assembly and magazine well.  For a stock 10/22 use a flat-head screwdriver to remove this take-down screw  (if you have a factory stock or equivalent you’ll have a band at the front of the forearm to remove, this takes a flathead as well).  I take my 10/22 down further than most for it’s cleaning, so my flathead take-down screw was wearing out.  I opted to replace it with a hex-head screw.  I highly recommend one.  NOTE:  Before you try and remove the stock, look at the next step for a tip.

Remove take-down screw to prepare removing stock.  (click to enlarge)

Remove take-down screw to prepare removing stock. (click to enlarge)

TIP:  Before removing the stock, press the safety button so that it is in the middle.  This will allow the stock to clear the button and remove easily.  If you force it otherwise, you could damage something!

adjustsafety

Centering safety bar before removing stock (click to enlarge)

Separate the stock by pulling the barrel and stock in opposite directions.  This should come apart easily and there will be no flying parts.  Set the stock aside.

Separate the stock from the action. (click to enlarge)

Separate the stock from the action. (click to enlarge)

With the action and barrel in front of you, locate the trigger guard pins.

Trigger guard pins. (click to enlarge)

Trigger guard pins. (click to enlarge)

With the action upside down, push pins out with hex-head wrench, small phillips head screwdriver or anything else that will fit.  You should be able to easily remove the trigger guard assembly.  Set the upper receiver and barrel aside.

Push trigger guard pins out and remove. (click to enlarge)

Push trigger guard pins out and remove. (click to enlarge)

You should now have the trigger guard assembly in front of you.  This is the only part we need to work with.

First is to identify the stock release and how to remove it.

The red arrow points to the part we will remove.  (click to enlarge)

The red arrow points to the part we will remove. (click to enlarge)

Remove the top bolt release pin, slide it out completely.  The bolt release spring will shoot up out of the way, but stay attached to the hammer pin.  Let it lay back toward the rear of the housing.  See next step for a tip.

Remove the bolt release pin.  (click to enlarge)

Remove the bolt release pin. (click to enlarge)

TIP:  Rotate the spring back out of the way.  Note the bottom, bent part of the spring goes into the notch of the bolt release.  When reassembling, by making sure the spring is rotated toward the rear of the housing, you can put the auto bolt release in first so the spring can rotate down on top of it.

Rotate spring toward back of the housing.  (click to enlarge)

Rotate spring toward back of the housing. (click to enlarge)

The bottom bolt release pin doesn’t need to be removed completely, unless you want to replace the magazine release with an extended one.  You can just slide it about halfway out.  When looking at the housing the same as the picture you just need to move the pin enough to clear the bolt release.


Slide pin to the left.  (click to enlarge)

Slide pin to the left. (click to enlarge)

Next, push out the bolt release by pushing up on the bottom and sliding out the top.


Push up to remove the bolt release.  (click to enlarge)

Push up to remove the bolt release. (click to enlarge)

Slide Bolt Release and remove from housing.  (click to enlarge)

Slide Bolt Release and remove from housing. (click to enlarge)

This is the difference between the factory bolt release (l.) and the auto bolt release (r.).  You could do the modification yourself with a dremel tool or similar, but buying one is easier and they’re not that expensive.

Differences in bolt releases.  Factory on left, Auto Bolt Release on right.  (click to enlarge)

Differences in bolt releases. Factory on left, Auto Bolt Release on right. (click to enlarge)

OPTIONAL STEP:  Since we’re most of the way there, if you wanted to install an Extended Magazine Release now is the time to do it.  If you don’t want to do this, skip this step.


Brief description:  This is the magazine release/latch assembly.  The magazine release goes up through the housing and in between the notch in the Magazine latch plunger.  The plunger has a spring toward the front of the housing.  To replace the factory mag release with an extended magazine release follow the following steps:

Magazine latch assembly.  (click to enlarge)

Magazine latch assembly. (click to enlarge)

Remove the bottom bolt release pin all the way (the pin you moved about halfway out in a previous step to remove the bolt release).  TIP:  cup your hand in the front of the housing in front of the plunger before doing the step in the next sentence.  Next, with the housing upside down pull the magazine release down and out of the housing, the plunger will move forward because of the spring.


Then insert the plunger, pressing it all the way down.

Insert the plunger and push it down flush. (click to enlarge)

Insert the plunger and push it down flush. (click to enlarge)

Insert the extended magazine release in between the notch on the plunger.


Insert new Extended Magazine Release.  (click to enlarge)

Insert new Extended Magazine Release. (click to enlarge)

Insert the Bolt Release Pin about halfway.  You’ll then be at the same step as those that skipped this optional step.

Insert the Bolt Release Pin about halfway.  (click to enlarge)

Insert the Bolt Release Pin about halfway. (click to enlarge)

END OF OPTIONAL STEP


Slide auto bolt release back into housing and press the bottom bolt release pin (the one that is halfway pushed in) fully into place.  Then push the top pin back in place, making sure to bring the bolt release spring forward and catching the spring underneath the pin.

Install Auto Bolt Release.  (click to enlarge)

Install Auto Bolt Release. (click to enlarge)

After inserting the auto bolt release, push the pin in all th way.  (click to enlarge)

After inserting the auto bolt release, push the pin in all th way. (click to enlarge)

Capture bolt release spring under top pin.  (click to enlarge)

Capture bolt release spring under top pin. (click to enlarge)

Attach the now completed trigger guard housing into the reciever with the two remaining pins (see earlier in the article and do the reverse).  You can now test the bolt release by pulling the bolt back and pressing the lock as usual.  But, then you can release it by simply pulling back on the bolt.  It should disengage the lock and throw forward.

Pull bolt handle back, watch the bolt release disengage.  (click to enlarge)

Pull bolt handle back, watch the bolt release disengage. (click to enlarge)

Let go of the bolt handle to allow bolt to throw forward.  (click to enlarge)

Let go of the bolt handle to allow bolt to throw forward. (click to enlarge)

Using the steps earlier in this article, put the action back into the stock and tighten down the break down screw.

Here are some of our other modifications and recommendations:


Volquartsen Extended Bolt Handle – gives a little more grip opposed to the short one that comes with it.


Volquartsen Exact Edge Extractor kit – Extractor and spring.  Grips the empty .22 cartridges better to eliminate stove-piping.

Bull Barrel – deadly accurate and reduces recoil.

Holographic red dot sight – kick ass sight with adjustable 4-way reticle.

Volquartsen Recoil Buffer – replaces the metal buffer behind the bolt for smoother shooting and less wear on the bolt.

Power Custom Titanium Firing Pin – Lighter firing pin, faster lock time, more positive strike of rimfire cartridge.

Boyds Barracuda Stock – adds comfort while shooting, including a dropped forearm so you can pin your elbow into your side and prop up the front of the rifle for more accuracy.

Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge – Great for checking the pull before and after the modifications.  Can be used to check all your triggers, for best results buy more guns.

Break Free – Cleans, Lubes and Protects your firearms.  If used to clean the barrel it reportedly cleans as you shoot.


Bore Snake – Pick up a .22 caliber bore snake for your 10/22 and save yourself lots of cleaning time.  With just a few pulls it’ll scrub and clean out the debris and leave the inside of your barrel shiney and clean.  No more messing with cleaning rods, finding the right size patch, etc.  By Hoppe’s, a name you can trust!

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