Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Get a Grip on Your Ruger 22/45 With Majestic Arms American Walnut Grips

Majestic Arms may be best known for their SPEED STRIP Kit for Ruger Mark Series pistols, but that's only one of many products they offer for rimfire firearms.  Majestic Arms was a Sponsor of the 2015 NSSF Rimfire Challenge shoots this year, and I happened to snag a pair of their American Walnut grips for my Ruger 22/45 pistol when it was my turn to hit the World Championship prize table last October.  Having recently installed the grips, I love the way they feel so I thought I would let you know a bit more about the grips.

The current trend in Rimfire Challenge competition appears to be heading to the line with the lightest pistol possible.  I traded blued steel for black polymer myself this season with mixed results. The thin grip panels on the 22/45 are great if you have small hands, but I always felt like I had more hand than grip surface to hang onto.  I was thinking I may trade out my thin G10 grips for a boring and soulless rubber wraparound grip when these beautiful walnut thumbrest grips found their way to me.

If you are worried about the wider grips adding weight to your pistol, you don't need to be. The Hogue G10 grip scales I removed from my 22/25 weigh exactly 40 grams or 1.4 ounces.  The Majestic walnut replacements weigh an identical 40 grams.  The same grip screws are used with both sets of grips so no weight change there.

For me, these grips greatly improved the feel of my 22/45.  It comes up to eye level more naturally with these grips than it did previously.  I can also get a the heel of my left hand on the grip now when I couldn't with my previous grips.  The photo below illustrates where the new grips add width to the grip versus what I had previously installed.  The change is pretty dramatic.

My 22/45 has the TandemKross "KaneWolf" Slingshot bolt release and Extended Magazine Release installed.  The new grips don't interfere with these controls in any way.  The Extended Magazine Release is actually beneficial for use with these grips as the thumb is positioned away from the magazine release.  The standard magazine release may be too short to actuate without shifting your grip when using these thumbrest grips.

Majestic Arms American Walnut Grips for Ruger Mark III 22/45 RP Pistols can be ordered directly from Majestic through their website.  If you aren't a right-handed shooter, Majestic offers similar grips that are ambidextrous.  They also have similar grip sets available for Ruger Mark II and III pistols.  The current price is $49.95.  If you are struggling to get a grip on your Ruger 22/45 like I was, the American Walnut replacement grips from Majestic Arms might be the solution you are looking for.

The left grip provides plenty of clearance for all controls.
The right grip features full checkering.  Checkering quality is what
 you would expect from a $50 set of grips.
It may look odd, but it feels amazing in my hands.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

ATI Gunstocks Ruger Charger AR-22 Stock System Review

ATI Ruger Charger AR-22 Stock System

AR-22 Tactlite Stock System for Ruger 10/22

Ruger Charger Stainless in stock
The Ruger Charger Pistol is essentially a 10/22 rifle that has been modified into a handgun.  I like the concept and previously reviewed the Charger Takedown model on another blog.  You can find that review HERE if you wish to know more about the Charger.

Just like the Ruger 10/22 rifle, the Charger
handgun can be modified with a dizzying array of factory and aftermarket accessories.  This review focuses on the Ruger Charger AR-22 Stock System from ATI.

ATI Ruger Charger AR-22 Stock System
installed.  Optic, magazine, 
and Charger
pistol are not included.
Taking a similar path as Ruger did with the development of the Charger Pistol, ATI downsized their AR-22 Tactlite Stock System for Ruger 10/22 rifle to fit the shorter Charger pistol.  The Charger AR-22 kit can be easily user installed with a few simple tools and has a retail price of $119.99.

The ATI Charger AR-22 Stock System contains aluminum and polymer stock  components as well as all the necessary hardware to install the stock on your Charger pistol.  The ATI Product installation guide, included with the kit, provides excellent step by step directions that are illustrated with large pictures.  Taking my time to follow the directions word for word, the total installation time was under 20 minutes.

One important note that I wanted to mention because it may not be visible in the pictures. All factory controls on the Ruger trigger guard assembly function exactly the same as they do with the factory stock.  The safety, magazine release, and bolt lock are all easily accessible with the polymer chassis in place.

The kit contains a T2 Style Pistol Grip, AR-15 replicate polymer chassis, 6 sided aluminum forend, FS8 Nosecone, 16 inch Picatinny style top rail, and attachment hardware pretreated with tread locking compound.
The Talon T2 style pistol grip made a huge improvement in feel over the stock pistol grip.
The two piece polymer chassis securely cradles the 10/22 receiver with no wiggle or slop.
The 6-sided aluminum carbine length forend is free floating so installation of the FS8 nose cone is optional.
The only installation tip I can add is to make sure the FS8 nose cone is secure before installing the 16 inch picatinny top rail.  The set screw that anchors the nose cone to the aluminum forend is covered when the picatinny rail is installed.  If it isn't tight the nose cone may shift during recoil and require removing the top rail to gain access to the nose cone set screw.  Learn from my mistake.

At the range, I function fired the AR-22 Pistol Stock equipped Charger with factory Ruger 10, 15, and 25 round magazines.  The 15 and 25 round magazines were easy to use and manipulate.  The 10 round magazines required a little more work due to the longer magazine well, but once in place they also functioned fine.  For those looking for a unique look for their Charger, the ATI stock kit certainly fits that requirement without introducing any function or reliability issues.

I like the full-length 16 inch picatinny rail.  This stock will allow me install aftermarket target iron sights for long range precision shooting.  If I want to shoot with a scope, there is plenty of room to attach one between the iron sights using quick detach picatinny scope rings.  The stock opens up many options not available when using the factory stock and scope rail.  

The polymer chassis includes AR styling cues like mock forward assist, brass deflector, magazine release, and safety lever.
The ATI Ruger Charger AR-22 Pistol Stock System only fits the standard Ruger Charger.  It will not fit the Charger Takedown model.  Additional picatinny rail segments for the 6-sided forend can be ordered directly from the ATI web store.  At time of publication, ATI has a 35% off promotion running that brings the price of the Charger AR-22 Pistol Stock System down to $77.99.  If you have an interest in the stock, now would be a great time to buy.  The promotional code is available on the ATI home page.