Ruger Charges into 2015 with Two New Chargers

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The new Ruger Chargers come in a brown laminate Standard version, and this Green Mountain Laminate Takedown version.

The new Ruger Chargers come in a brown laminate Standard version, and this Green Mountain Laminate Takedown version.

If you’re a fan of the 10/22, you likely know of the Charger. It is an odd beast. Bigger than most of Ruger’s rimfire pistols, the Charger is not really designed to be shot off-hand. And without a stock (and a shortened 10″ barrel), the Charger isn’t a rifle either. The Charger is in a class almost all its own, and it is a blast.

The Enforcer was a mean gun. It was easily concealed and had good capacity.

The Enforcer was a mean gun. It was easily concealed and had good capacity.

The Old Chargers

When Ruger introduced the Charger in 2007, the first thing I thought about was the 1970’s era Enforcer, which was a chopped version of the M1 Carbine made by Iver Johnson.

Yet the Charger was rimfire, and not .30 Carbine, and it had an odd angle on the front of the stock. I think the design comes from the desire to have a stock, but to keep it off (maybe way off) of the barrel. Perhaps it was fashion.

The old charger (pictured below) also had a grip carved with the stock (which made more waste). The guns were popular, and remain popular, but weren’t around long.

The Charger is a unique firearm, maybe even a niche gun. My guess is that everyone who wanted a Charger bought one, and the demand subsided. That said, I ran into someone in the gun store last week who had just found a used Charger in excellent condition, and he couldn’t have been happier.

The earlier Charger, which is no longer available.

The earlier Charger, which is no longer available.

What do you do with a Charger? The lack of a stock makes the charger less versatile than the average 10/22. They’re not really light enough to hold one handed. As far as pistols go, the Charger is on the large side. The inclusion of a bipod made them functional on the bench, or from the prone position, but the lack of iron sights meant you had to mate a scope to the gun to see any real results.

The Chargers didn’t seem like they were meant for any kind of offensive charge. And you’d have a hard time repelling many charges. It isn’t the best set up for any kind of hunting, unless a rabbit or deaf squirrel were to wander across the range. In short, the Chargers were fun guns. They’re accurate, reliable pistols that are ideal for a day of laid back target shooting. And in a world full of reasonably priced rimfire, the Charger would provide for epic good times.

The Takedown, shown here with a Trijicon RMR, comes in a plastic case with pre-cut foam.

The Takedown, shown here with a Trijicon RMR, comes in a plastic case with pre-cut foam.

The New Chargers

These new Ruger Chargers are even better than the old ones. They’re still roughly the same gun, but there are some notable differences. The free-floated barrel has been threaded for a suppressor. The stock is cut to accept AR grips. There are still no sights, but the full picatinny rail up top is a solid place to mount optics. And the strange shape of the forend has been changed, too.

There are two versions out now. The Standard has a laminated stock that is brown and tan. The other swirls in some greens and greys, and is the Takedown model. These guns are still built on the venerable 10/22 action, and they use 10/22 magazines. Both come with UTG bipods that attach to a sling swivel stud. On both guns, I had to back the stud out half a turn to get the bipod to thread correctly.

Inside the gun, it is the same rock-solid 10/22 action that has kept the rimfire at the top of the market for 50 years.

Shooting

I’m not going to do a full range report here. Stay tuned, and I’ll provide all of the relevant shooting details. I’ve taken the gun to the range twice now, and both days were brutal. The day we shot the video segment, it was below 20 degrees, and the wind was raging. All of the 25 yard bays at our range face the same direction, which–on the days we were shooting–were directly into the wind. The targets were bouncing on their wire hangers. It is incredibly hard to judge the size of a group when the target is bobbing up and down. I almost went down and held the dam thing still, just so we could get some data.

The best we could manage under the ridiculous conditions. This is from the Charger with the Scout Scope.

The best we could manage under the ridiculous conditions. This is from the Charger with the Scout Scope.

With the RMR on the Takedown, we could tear up torso sized targets, but the wind made shooting groups almost impossible.

With the RMR on the Takedown, we could tear up torso sized targets, but the wind made shooting groups almost impossible.

What we have here is a proof of concept. The guns are capable of much more, I’m sure. We had a Leupold FX-II Scout Scope on one, and a Trijicon RMR on the other. After getting them sighted in on the dancing targets, we shot a few groups. Both performed well enough for me to proceed with the rest of the review.

We ran a full brick of CCI Mini Mags through the guns–plinking, poking holes in torso targets, ringing steel, and shooting clays on the bank of the berm. As I would expect from the 10/22, we had no jams. No failures. No failures to extract. Nothing at all went wrong. We shot CCIs, Gem-Tech subsonic, Remingtons, and a smattering of other rounds we had left over.

The New BX15 Mag

Ruger has long had great 10 round mags. They released the BX-25 mags a couple of years ago, but those are almost too long to use with the bipod on the charger. Now they’ve got a new shorter extended magazine, the BX-15. It is perfect for the Charger.

The three sizes, 10, 15, and 25. All three work flawlessly.

The three sizes, 10, 15, and 25. All three work flawlessly.

The mags rock in slightly and catch on this post on the back. The BX-15 is my new favorite. It fits neatly in a pocket.

The mags rock in slightly and catch on this post on the back. The BX-15 is my new favorite. It fits neatly in a pocket.

If you live in one of those draconian wastelands where owning a pistol with a magazine outside of the grip is illegal–the Charger is not for you. Or maybe it is–but its not for your state. California sucks like that. For the rest of us, the magazine system rocks. The short magazine can actually serve as a hand hold or hand stop. It makes shooting the charger from a standing position much easier. And it looks cool.

Conclusions?

Don’t try too hard to define the Charger’s roll. The heavy barrel allows for solid accuracy. Yet it can be an awkward gun to shoot. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but if you’ve shot a Charger, you will understand what I mean. You need to get way down on the gun, like you would when shooting prone. Finding appropriate eye relief on the scope without the help of a stock to guide you can be a challenge. Steadying the gun isn’t too difficult. And it shoots incredibly well. Maybe it is a bit like riding a bike. You need to find that balance, and then it clicks. You’ve got it, and getting it back is easy.

The prices? The Takedown is $409. The Standard is $309. Either way, it isĀ  money well spent.

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The Takedown’s padded case holds everything snug.

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It even has cut outs for optics.

The inside of the new rug.

The inside of the new rug that comes with the Standard model.

The Takedown Charger would make a good grab-and-go gun, but I'm still a sucker for the versatility of the 10/22 Takedown.

The Takedown Charger would make a good grab-and-go gun, but I’m still a sucker for the versatility of the 10/22 Takedown.

The two Takedowns, side-by-side. The Charger really gets small.

The two Takedowns, side-by-side. The Charger really gets small.

The Takedown's case.

The Takedown’s case.

The laminated stock has nice contours.

The laminated stock has nice contours.

The new rail is MUCH better than the old one.

The new rail is MUCH better than the old one.

The colors make for a nice camo.

The colors make for a nice camo.

All of the controls will be familiar to 10/22 fans.

All of the controls will be familiar to 10/22 fans.

The Takedown's barrel end.

The Takedown’s barrel end.

The forend has heavy texture carved into the wood.

The forend has heavy texture carved into the wood.

The threads are protected by a nice knurled cap.

The 1/2″ x28 threads are protected by a nice knurled cap.

The UTG bipod is easy to install.

The UTG bipod is easy to install.

The base of the adaptere is padded, so it won't mar the stock.

The base of the adapter is padded, so it won’t mar the stock.

The RMR is an ideal optic for a gun like this.

The RMR is an ideal optic for a gun like this.

The joint of the Takedown.

The joint of the Takedown.

{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Jackel October 6, 2017, 9:34 pm

    Not sure where you guys are getting the whole “gangsta” thing. Is this 1991? Is this a mac 10? Let people have fun, with there own cool. Your cool is probably boring anyway.

  • William Herman October 27, 2015, 2:28 pm

    purchased new ruger charger 2days ago, out of the box with the bx15 mag it jammed the first time . once I got a bullet in the barrel it jammed about every 2 or 3 shots. a friend told me there is trouble with the bx mags.. I borrowed a 10 rd rotary mag it works perfect. any ideas thanks

  • Isaiah March 18, 2015, 4:02 pm

    I just saw that Ruger is offering the Charger in a SS configuration. It looks like the Takedown and standard models are being offered in the SS. There are a few listed on Gunsamerica from The Sportsman’s Shop. It seems they are some of the only guys that have them. That just might make me spring for one of those.

  • Damon January 15, 2015, 10:15 pm

    I have the original Charger, which came with a Harris bipod, which I much prefer to the UTG.
    I bought it specifically to hunt gophers and groundhogs in the Missouri River breaks (the rough, gullied, all-but-inacessible land leading down into the river valley) in central Montana. The only way to get to some of those prairie dog towns was on my Kawasaki 175 enduro, and, after having the front sling swivel on my Marlin 70 fail, causing the rifle to fall off my back, tangle the sling in the chain, and dump me and the bike BAD miles and miles from help, I needed a different solution.
    My mom made me a pair of saddlebags that straddled the tank and were secured by the fuel filler cap. With the Charger on one side and two Black Dog Machine drums on the other, the balance was perfect.
    With a Bushnell 3-9X32 scout scope mounted, from prone the Charger was a tackdriver. With CCI Stingers loaded, on a calm day I could choose which eye to hit a varmint in at 75 yards, and make reliable kills out to 250+. Great gun, but extremely mission-specific.
    It will be the one I teach my daughters to shoot on, in a few years from now, and I’m looking forward to it!

  • CW Curtis January 13, 2015, 3:23 pm

    Would the Charger sufffice for .22 silhouette competition in Creedmore position?

    Would prefer a Ruger 10″ BB MKII for silhouette, but they are difficult to find in good condition at a reasonable price.

  • Angus Wolf January 12, 2015, 8:42 pm

    Yet another useless toy from Ruger, but it does have “gangsta’ appeal” . ‘Ol Bill’s probably laughing from the grave about this one…..

  • Dave January 12, 2015, 6:28 pm

    Another expensive solution seeking a problem.

  • FNScott January 12, 2015, 12:47 pm

    I had a Takedown 10/22 rifle and in the case the Charger with a Burris FastFire ll and a Sr22 pistol all fit perfectly. A fun day at the range. No gangsta, just fun. I bought the original Charger because a guy next to me one day held his 3 year old on his lap with his arms around him in case something were to go wrong and let him shoot it. The child was amazing. The most well behaved children I ever saw, and no ganngsta’s. I asked him if I could shoot it and I had a blast. To me, you buy it if you have everything else and want a fun gun.

  • lionel ducote January 12, 2015, 12:04 pm

    I’m a 10-22 fan, this looks like fun and perhaps prudent although I’m staying old school a 10-22
    rifle and a .357 on my hip.

  • Ronald Mammen January 12, 2015, 12:02 pm

    WHY ?

  • Dick Junkins January 12, 2015, 11:09 am

    Just a novelty gun, in my opinion. Ruger has a very good pistol in the SR 22 series, which is excellent with a suppressor once one buys a treaded barrel (and goes through all the expense and trouble of procuring a suppressor and tax satmp). I don’t think it’s a very marketable concept overall, but for those who like it, have at it.

  • Roger Pierce January 12, 2015, 10:22 am

    I have an Volquartsen rifle, 17.cal, will the 10-20 magnum clip fit my gun, the clip that came with the rifle has a Ruger clip, however I am not sure if it had to be modified.

  • donald comfort January 12, 2015, 10:02 am

    I bought the take down model with AR grip. It is way cool, very reliable with whatever ammo I ran
    through it and lots of fun to shoot. Yesterday I shot a steel match with it. I was using an inexpensive red dot.
    I shot it with tripod folded forward and griped those with my off hand. I shot many3 to 4 second stings with
    it. I intend to continue to use it in steel matches.Having fun with it and shooting a cool , reliable gun is more
    important tome than getting the best scores

  • ibjj January 12, 2015, 9:54 am

    Well it’s a lot like the Charger I had…take a hacksaw and a grinder to it, then throw away that silly-ass bi-pod. Take about 3 pounds of weight off and put BUIS sights on top, although the red dot would make sense if it didn’t take up three inches of the target. A squirrel can be hidden behind the dot at 50 feet! If Ruger wants to make a “mil-Spec” firearm, they should do so, but at 4 large, it’s way too expensive for a plinker, and after the initial gun writers hoopla wears off they’ll probably just waste space in the gun safe, like the Chargers do. I can just see my grand-brats trying to hold this behemoth up. Sometimes I almost feel sorry for a gun writer, trying to tout a white elephant without offending the manufacturer. The above notwithstanding…I like 25-22’s.(nobody shoots the 10 round mag do they?)

  • Rusty January 12, 2015, 9:46 am

    I have a few 10/22 and love them all but the charger is by far the most fun to shoot! I have the older model with a red dot on it witch takes care of the eye relief issue. I got it for a pack gun on my quad/bike and it is hell on whistle pigs! Also use it for my grouse gun. It does take alittle getting use to how to shoot it but once you figure it out its every bit as accurate as most my rifles. To the comments above about it being”gangsta” I’m about as far from that as you can get. Some times you get a gun just for fun and this one will surprise you on how it’s the gun you grab over the one that’s more practical.

  • Ringo Lapua January 12, 2015, 9:10 am

    Just bot the brown standard model….. less expensive, lighter and still small enough to pack away. Takedown? Really don’t think that making a really small gun smaller is necessary in this case. If you want small just buy a .22 concealable handgun. The brown standard model is a stiffer gun since it is in one piece and it would be my guess that it is the more accurate of the two. Love that it’s suppressor and scope ready with a nice bipod included….. THIS ONE IS A SCREAMING BARGAIN and I can’t wait to shoot it.

  • VERNON January 12, 2015, 8:54 am

    DEALERS CAN’T GET THEM ????????????????

  • Mike January 12, 2015, 8:32 am

    Sorry, I just don’t see the purpose of something this large that can be easily replaced by a small, handheld pistol that that can do everything it can plus be easily carried and even concealed if necessary. It seems to me buyers for this are simply looking for the “gangsta” look.

    • Guhor January 12, 2015, 8:45 am

      I agree with this comment completely. We have become glued to high capacity firearms, many forget how to aim and fire. Too many movies show the M16 fired full auto and a squad of GIs firing probably 200 rounds to knock down one person. Just my opinion. In Korea one had much less ammo to waste.

  • SOAPPY January 12, 2015, 8:04 am

    22-MAG. CHARGER ,, PLEASE !!!

    • matt January 12, 2015, 8:41 am

      Fantastic idea Soappy! I would buy one for sure.

    • BJ January 12, 2015, 4:35 pm

      I too would like to see it in a 10/22M I have one of the old 10/22 M and I shoot a heavy barrel with thumbhole stock. I change the barrel to .17 and use the same mags. They discontinued them because of feeding problems. Have no feeding problems so I wish they were still available. You can get a .22 mag recur at select fire.com and here in Pillager, MN there’s one being made by someone else, as well as one made by Volquartsen.

  • Resolute January 12, 2015, 7:35 am

    Close Quarters Combat with a ground squirrel or jack-rabbit? I’m a fan (own multiple 10-22s) of Ruger, but is this a niche that needs filling? The first one died, right? How about bring back pistol caliber carbines.

    • Greg January 13, 2015, 9:43 am

      Yes pistol caliber carbines get my vote too! Also looks like you could mount a scout scope and it would work better.

    • leetrav January 13, 2015, 10:39 am

      Absolutely! Pistol caliber carbines are needed to jazz up the gun market. Carbines extend the power, range and accuracy of of all pistol calibers. jmho. My Hi-Point at 32″ and a bit heavy is super fun and fills that void. Accurate and reliable too. American made too. AND PRICED right. Hi-Point gets dissed for being ‘ugly’ and cheap. All I can say is when you pull the trigger it ALWAYS sends lead downrange. Oh….and it FUN. ALL gun manufacturers need to explore the Pistol Caliber Carbine market. Competition is a good thing. Hi-Point could increase sales with High Cap factory mags and threaded barrels…wish list.

  • Steve K January 12, 2015, 7:02 am

    Nice compact package. I’d prefer an all brown takedown if it were available. NO green or rainbow guns in my safe.

  • Charles January 12, 2015, 5:30 am

    Not that anyone would want to do it, of course, but will the barrel ends of the Charger and rifle takedown models interchange?

    • John A. January 12, 2015, 7:52 pm

      Good question if so I would buy both

  • Larry Jackson January 12, 2015, 5:22 am

    I have always been a Ruger Fan ! Mainly the (12/22) ! With the new addition of the New Pistol, this is Great !!!

  • Larry Jackson January 12, 2015, 5:18 am

    I have Always been a Ruger Fan ! Mainly the (10/22) ! With the addition Of this New Pistol, this is great !!!

    • Dean January 12, 2015, 8:57 pm

      Well where’s the heavy bull barrel, even a pug nose !!! Plastic ar 15 grip?? What no light weight polymer or carbon fiber?? I’ve had a Lot of feedback, you guys are slow to catch up, with current modifications….arch angel is damn good, but you could use them for feed back, I’ve customized my own with green mountain barrels 10 inch and 6 inch my gunsmith did it and the gun is wicked looking with that one inch thick barrel, I’ve got it in carbon fiber with integrated muzzle break… Food for thought!!!

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