Whether you want an AR-style .22 caliber rifle without shelling out the bucks for a factory job, or you just want a different look on your plain-jane 10/22 action, Archangel has just the option for you.
Archangel Stock Systems
Before we get into the specifics of the 10/22 kit, a couple words about the company and their products. Archangel stocks are by no means limited to dressing up 10/22 rifles. Some popular products are their drop-in precision and tactical style furniture, intended to increase control, comfort, shootability, and ultimately, accuracy.
The Precision line includes stocks for the Remington 700, K98 large-ring Mauser, Springfield’s M1A, Howa 1500, and Ruger Mini-14/Mini-30/Ranch rifles. More tactical OPFOR furniture covers the SKS, AK47, and Mosin Nagant. Archangel even builds specialty tactical kits for Mossberg 500’s and Remington 870’s.
Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ and with ties to ProMag, Archangel Manufacturing’s products are made in the USA and come with a lifetime warranty, which is something that matters to me. .
The Archangel 10/22 AA556R Conversion Stock
The particular stock set we chose is described as an “M4 optimization.” To put it simply, it transforms any Ruger 10/22 rifle into an AR-style weapon. The best part? The stock is a 100% drop-in fit, with no gunsmithing required and still allows use of any 10/22 magazines.
Stocks in this line are available in either black or desert tan, and each includes everything you need to complete the transformation. There’s a six-position buttstock with 4 QD sling points, a full chassis with pistol grip, a free-float handguard, an extended magazine release, and a forward muzzle cover with faux flash suppressor. While the kit may look like just another plastic gun, the Archangel set is actually built of high strength carbon fiber filled polymer weighing in at just over 2 pounds. I wasn’t convinced of the quality until I held one in my hands.
The buttstock is of excellent quality and locks well in any position. The pistol grip with finger grooves fits the hand comfortably, while a trapdoor on the base of the grip opens for storage of ammo or other small gear. A full length picatinny rail covers both the receiver and handguard, allowing easy optics mounting. An additional rail on the underside of the handguard is great for adding secondary accessories like a vertical grip, bipod, or tactical light for those who really like to trick out (or weigh down) their guns. Those who want even more options can find add-ons at Archangels website, including a recoil pad, 25-round Archangel-branded mag, extended forend, and faux suppressor.
Retail price on the AA556R conversion kits is $142.49, though we picked one up online for $99. Kits are available with or without a polymer bayonet, with the knife adding $10. While the mounted bayonet may look acceptable from afar, it’s more of a child’s Halloween accessory up close, and we chose not to include it on any builds.
Most importantly, the stock set is easy to install. The kit fits both standard and heavy bull barrels, though the front faux muzzle section will not fit on the bull barrel. We did not mind this at all however, as I personally prefer the look of the rifle without it.
The most complicated section of installation—which is a simple pin-out, pin-in job—is removing the standard magazine release and replacing it with Archangel’s extended version which makes mag changes so much easier. The rest is all downhill. Instructions are very clear once you unroll the information sheet.
The sections of the stock mate easily over the existing barreled action, held in place atop the receiver’s drilled and tapped mounting holes and again anchored firmly astride the barrel-to-receiver attachment. Depending on the current configuration of your 10/22 rifle, the iron sights will likely need to be removed, another quick and simple job with a brass or plastic non-marring punch. Though the instructions suggest users may need to heat the forward muzzle shroud in a low oven for easier installation, we did not find that necessary on any of the three guns we attempted. Within 30-45 minutes, you can have your original 10/22 stripped, cleaned (might as well clean it thoroughly before dropping into a new chassis), re-dressed as an Archangel and ready to go. Check out Archangel’s brief action video here.
In the conversion stock market, Archangel likely has you covered. Their manufacturing style adds adjustments and features to guns that are otherwise rather plain or not as customizable as today’s shooters might prefer. If nothing else, Archangel’s conversion stocks are an enjoyable, simple project for long, wintry days and if somewhere down the line you don’t care for it, they’re just as easy to un-install. Though appearance is a matter of taste, I find the quality of Archangel’s stock options to add both beauty and functionality to the rifles they house at a price point that’s hard to beat.