There are many components that make up a rifle. Each and every one of it are important. However, the one component that shoots the gun is the bolt. The trigger is what may be the catalyst in shooting the gun, but it’s the bolt that fires the rifle.
Having a high-quality bolt is what you are looking to make your rifle go bang consistently. However, the bolt affects more than your reliability. The bolt face, its consistency, and how true the firing pin strikes will have a huge contribution to your accuracy.
When you dabble in the super accurate world of competition, you will see actions and barrels blueprinted together where the bolt face is perfectly aligned to the barrel. If you have a .22, this may be an overkill.
However, adding a bolt that has a very precise and true face will take you a very long way. You can always decide which bolt you want later on.
Features of a Quality Ruger 10/22 Bolt: The Basics
The bolt is one of the most important part of a rifle that much we can agree on together. It is the place in a gun where all the important action happens.
Having a good bolt on the rifle not only improves accuracy but helps overall with all the functions of the rifle. We have outlined several features of a great Ruger 10/22 bolt.
Material and Design
The most basic attribute of a good bolt is its durability and design. It should be made from a durable and strong material like stainless steel or blued steel. Also it has to be cut or machined with precision, ensuring that there are no hooks and edges, and that the bolt fits well inside the Ruger 10/22 receiver.
Having a strong bolt ensures that it will not crack under pressure, or at least will last for a very long time.
Head Spacing and Firing Pin
The bolt must have proper head spacing so it does not bang on the receiver every time it cycles. Proper spacing also ensures flawless action of the bolt.
Another important aspect to consider is the firing pin. A good bolt must have a pinned firing pin. This helps prevent the pin from rising up and also delivers consistent ignition.
The bolt has to be properly radius’d and polished for improved cycling of rounds. The polished bolt rides smoothly over the hammer, which in turn improves the cycling of rounds and prevents any avoidable malfunctions.
Another key component of the bolt is the extractor. It facilitates proper removal of spent cartridges so a new round can be chambered. A steel based extractor is quite helpful for the bolt, as it improves cycling and prevents jamming.
The Best Ruger 10/22 Bolt Upgrades
Now that we have covered the basics of a bolt, we shall now have a look at some of the best options on the market.
1. Ruger 10/22 Complete Bolt Assembly
We have heard a lot of satisfaction coming from gun owners who has bought this bolt. They mentioned how they are able to move it back and forth without much issues at all. What is even better is how they are able to fit it on almost any Ruger 10/22 rifles.
Some even reported back saying how they can fit this bolt on the older Ruger 10/22 models dated before 2005. Another gun owner mentioned how he used this as a replacement for his old factory default bolt.
It is made from high-quality material and finished with silver. That makes it a lot more durable and impervious to any kind of abuse. The bolt also allows for reliable movement and loading without failure to speak of.
The best part of the bolt is that it is compatible with any and all versions of the Ruger 10/22 rifles. After all, it is a factory replacement coming from the course manufacturer itself.
This is a complete bolt assembly for the Ruger 10/22 rifle. The assembly includes the bolt body, firing pin, the firing pin spring, extractor, extractor spring, and plunger. It works very well with all models of Ruger 10/22 rifles. The bolt assembly can be seen more as a replacement than an upgrade to your Ruger 10/22 bolt.
This bolt will be used frequently by those who wants to replace their factory default bolts. It is also for those who wants something much smoother in movement with excellent reliability. If you want a Ruger 10/22 bolt that will less likely fail, then this may be what you are looking for.
If you are looking for a factory replacement that can be way better than a factory default, then this Ruger Bolt Assembly may be something you should consider. Just remove your old bolt and replace it with this new one. You will be good to go in no time.
2. Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 Competition
A lot of newer buyers tend to use their Ruger 10/22 guns for competitive purposes. Hence, when they need a new bolt for their rifle, they will want something that is reliable and fast-moving.
Often times, they’d find themselves happy with this bolt. One of the users mentioned that his shooting gets a lot faster and reloading was smooth like butter during his practice sessions.
Some bolts are made for general purposes and some provide excellent operations like nothing else. Especially when your rifle is designed to be the kind used for competitive purposes.
The bolt fits most rifles and is able to move faster than regular Ruger 10/22 bolts once installed. Also, it is so durable both inside out that you will not even have to worry about wearing it down. It is nearly impossible to do so.
The right handed Ruger 10/22 bolt upgrade assembly is made ready to be added to your rifle. The bolt has been designed for right handed users and carries a shiny blued finish.
It is quite likely that this bolt will be used by Ruger 10/22 competition shooters, but it can also be used by shooters who wants nothing more than consistently fast shooting and smoother reloading. If you are looking for something that is more hyper charged for your rifle, this may be the bolt you are looking for.
Unfortunately not everything about this bolt is stellar. Some users mentioned how its rods need to be re-sized so they can stay in place each time the bolt moves around. Specifically, the rods should be slightly longer so it can prevent any kind of slippages in the future.
Other than that, the design can also use some improvements too for performance purposes.
If you are a competitive shooter who relies on a Ruger 10/22 to get an edge on the competition, you will be insane to pass up the opportunity to give the Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 Competition Bolt a consideration. If you are looking for something fast, smooth, and durable, this bolt will be something you are looking for.
3. Power Custom Ruger 10/22 Match Bolt
The Power Custom Ruger 10/22 Match Bolt is perhaps another popular entry-level bolt among gun owners and gun users. It has been manufactured using modern CNC and heat treatment processes. The precision in design is reflected in the appearance of this upgraded bolt.
It also featured a 2nd generation auto bolt stop of improved performances. The bolt is for right handed users, and comes in a stainless steel finish. Perhaps that’s one of its downside as it puts its left-handed gun users at a disadvantage.
The upside to this bolt is that it weighs less than the original factory made bolt. Many users who have used this before mentioned how they won’t feel clumsy when they have to move their guns around. Which makes for movement rather smooth and with little problems.
At the same time, it allows the use of both standard velocity and high velocity ammo. It is highly durable because of how it has been under the heat treatment manufacturing process.
Unfortunately, some users mentioned how it is overpriced compared to its quality. The same users mentioned how you can get better quality bolts for the same price points rather than having to settle for this one.
Another “down side” to this gun is perhaps a trivial one. Some users felt that the company name engraved on the bolt does not look cool sometime. We shall leave it up to you whether if that is indeed a disadvantage or not.
4. Volquartsen Ruger 10/22 Firefly
It is not uncommon to find multiple offerings from Volquartsen in any gun parts and categories. In this case, it is for a very definite reason. Its Competition bolt (listed previously) and the Firefly bolt really depends more on your use for the gun than anything else.
People who are more experienced in the gun-sphere will recommend the Firefly is specially geared toward competition shooters. That where the competition model is more suited to what you would do with a standard Ruger 10/22 rifle.
The Volquartsen Firefly bolt is essentially a clone of the Competition bolt in almost every sense, but its weight. It has the same extractor and firing pin and is made to machine the same tolerances. At cursory glances, it can be hard to tell apart if one of it did not have the firefly blaze down the side.
The bolt differs from its peers by specially designed to fire CCI’s Quiet .22 rounds. Those are preferred by some gun owners and gun shooters because they are 75% more quiet than a standard round. However, they do lack the velocity to cycle the bolt on most guns.
They can turn a standard Ruger 10/22 rifle into an inconvenient bolt action. Hence, having a specific bolt tailored to that round is quite handy. If you are to shoot any rounds under 1000 fps, this bolt is a great investment.
If you have a Ruger 10/22 that used exclusively with a suppressor and subsonic ammunition, you are a prime user for the Volquartsen Firefly.
Is Upgrading your Ruger 10/22 Bolt Worth It?
Bolt upgrades are of great importance to improve the accuracy of your rifle. Many people are quite skeptical about whether bolt upgrades improve accuracy or not. They do.
Modified bolts reduce the group size of your rifle, hence providing improved accuracy for repeat shots. The modified bolt arrangement is properly radiused and polished, that make cycling improved.
That ensures that the rifle does not get much of a jerk while loading new rounds into the barrel. When a cartridge is fired, the metal to metal clank is also reduced a bit.
It may not make any considerable difference unless you are aiming for distant targers. The upgrades are for making small gains in consistency and performances, hence affecting the accuracy of your rifle.
The upgraded bolts also have proper head spacing that allows the bullet to feed properly. Hence, it reduces the group size. It also helps in a smoother bolt action while mobilizing the aim of the barrel from the target.
The proper firing pin protrusion ensures optimum contact with the rim of the case. The staked area on the top of the Ruger 10/22 bolt is there to prevent the firing pin from rising up. However, it does not work well in most rifles and is a huge reason for most upgrades.
The upgraded bolt fix this by placing a cross-pin through the bolt and over the top of the firing pin. That prevents the firing pin from rising up.
Upgrading the bolt of the Ruger 10/22 provides durability to your rifle in the ways mentioned above. It does, after all, provide an improvement. The new polished bolt adds to the beauty of your rifle too.
Which Bolt Is The Best For You?
Unlike a lot of parts, picking a bolt is quite straightforward. There are not a lot of different features or specific uses that you will need to consider. It is what makes the gun fire so whatever does that best is obviously your best choice.
That is not to say that there aren’t a few considerations that can make things work out a little better for you.
You will definitely want to think of the price range. In this case, the Ruger factory bolt is most definitely the most affordable by a huge margin. The bolts costs under US$100 for one bolt (the lower end ones), whereas some can cost over US$100 per bolt (the higher end ones).
Volquartsen bolts are said to cost more, just a bit more than US$200 per bolt. It does not mean they are more expensive than the Power Custom bolts. As the Volquartsen are complete bolt groups and the Power Custom is just a bolt, the price difference in the end for a fully custom bolt is going to be quite close.
If you are looking to just replace a worn bolt in the old plinker, there is nothing wrong with the Ruger factory offering. However, you may want to go ahead and add a guide rod and recoil spring while you are at it. If you are looking for an upgrade, then the Power Custom and Volquartsen are on the same footing in terms of price.
Also, if you are building a custom gun, the best advice is to match your bolt to your receiver. You will be a lot more satisfied in the long run and things are sure to fit just right. There is absolutely no reason to put a Volquartsen bolt in a Power Custom receiver or vice versa.
If you are shopping for bolts before deciding on a receiver, then you will need to look at all the parts you would need for the Power Custom to make it complete. Then compare that to a Volquartsen.
The quality will be close to the same and the price is probably not too far off between the two. But then we can safely say that Volquartsen tends to be a bit more expensive, and maybe a tad bit better than most other brands.
Last but not least, if you want the quiet ammo or want a really silent, suppressed gun, we’d recommend going with the Firefly. It has all of the quality in a standard Volquartsen. Just remember that you will be restricted from using high-velocity ammo and most standard ammos.
Bolt upgrades are particularly useful to improve the accuracy of your Ruger 10/22 rifle, you may consider to look at some of the best bolt buffers we reviewed.
If you are more into hunting and precision shooting sports, you should consider upgrading your bolt assembly. If you are happy with the present performance of your rifle, then you do not have to bother spending money on upgrading bolts.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) for new gun owners and gun users.
Q: Which is the best Ruger 10/22 bolt upgrades?
It depends on what you are looking for. There are several bolts available in the market to choose from. Look into Volquartsen, Power Customs, and Ruger’s own brand to consider a few. You may find what you are looking for.