I’m not a sci-fi nerd, but I’m also a sci-fi nerd. Sue me. 

Desert Tech’s bullpup conversion kit for the Ruger 10/22 – i.e the Trek-22 – had me fondly recalling my childhood memories of the Morita Rifle from the “Starship Troopers” franchise. That gun burned a lasting memory into my heart, and it might have planted a secret love for bullpup guns along the way. 

I’ll set aside some of the insanity that goes along with Hollywood’s “Starship Troopers” version of the military, and I’ll focus instead on one of the coolest conversion kits I have had the pleasure of adding to my collection.
 

The Trek-22 makes my old 10/22 an entirely new rifle in my mind. (Photo: Seth Rogers/Guns.com)


The Ruger 10/22 is well known, but the Trek-22 conversion kit takes this lovable gun and makes it a space-level traveling companion. It’s a .22 plinker, bullpup, and the survival gun every “Starship Troopers” drop ship deserved. Lord knows they needed them.


Table of Contents

Intro Overview
Specs & Function
Testing
Pros & Cons
Conclusion

Intro Overview


Desert Tech is one of those companies that brings innovation to new guns, but it doesn’t skip the classics. The Trek-22 conversion kit has been around long enough to get some well-deserved reviews, but it feels like a design that we should have had when we were young, nimble, and had never heard that weird clicking noise in our knee while walking upstairs.
 

Trek22
Even on a hot day, the gun was a joy to shoot. (Photo: Seth Rogers/Guns.com)


The platform is short, and as a bullpup that makes sense. But it cuts the length of the Ruger 10/22 down to a more practical and even tactical size and shape. The butt is grooved and angled, which lets it shoulder fast and smooth like an AR rifle, but it is compact and short at the same time. I will give it special props for also angling the stock to rock into the shoulder, a feature that far too many “tactical” guns fail to do.
 

Specs & Function


The Ruger 10/22 isn’t a particularly long gun, but the Trek-22 chops 10.25 inches off the rifle and cuts the weight by seven percent. That’s fairly admirable. I applaud the fact that the stock is designed to host two 10-round rotary mags in the buttstock, but there is no denying it looks 10x cooler with a 25-round banana mag inserted. Again, the package offers 20 rounds with two standard mags that are stored in the stock, but it happily accepts other mags.
 


Desert Tech Trek-22
The trigger is still a bullpup trigger. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


The magazine release, bolt, barrel, and safety are whatever you had when you put the Ruger 10/22 action into the Trek-22 conversion kit. That kit, however, does use your existing action to make a bullpup, so if you are a trigger snob…well…plug your nose for a bit. You will need to use the included linkage to move the trigger in front of the rear action. If you can suck it up and make that change, the gun will open some new windows for you.

I will say that the installation wasn’t particularly easy or hard, and it does have some obvious setbacks. Be prepared to do this at your work bench. The installation is easy enough, but it’s not a plug-and-play system.
 


Desert Tech Trek-22
But you can stash 20 rounds in the stock for a rainy day. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


The good news is that you can normally use – even abuse – a 10/22 without much cleaning. But cleaning is still a thing that needs to be done. The Trek-22 is easy to install, but you will have to completely take apart the kit to pull out the action for a deeper clean. 

Also, lefties should be a bit careful with bullpups. There might be a left-hand option, but this particular kit seems to be a righty-only system. Then again, that’s not that different from the standard stock system.

One of the more exciting features, other than the cool factor, is the ability to add a suppressor to a short .22 rifle. So, if you like to quietly shoot, the Trek-22 can give you the space to make that happen.

The claimed trigger pull is a reduction from 6.8 to 4.5 pounds. My testing did find that it broke lighter than the stock trigger, but it also was somewhat clunky. I’m not a trigger snob, but these bullpup-conversion kits do give the gun a trigger that is fitting for a bullpup. All things considered, I barely cared about the trigger when compared to the size, balance, and feel of the Trek-22. But it is clunky.

One thing, however, is hard to deny. This is still a Ruger 10/22 action. That is undeniable, and the safety is a button-style one that sits behind the magazine release. I got used to, even learned to like, the position of the release on this gun as a bullpup. But that safety still has my fingers searching for a button that is behind my shooting hand. Time and practice can fix that, but you will notice that safety when shooting. 
 

Testing

 


Desert Tech Trek-22
This is rapid 50-yard target. It is improvable, but that is a solid hit rate when shooting 25 rounds in under 10 seconds. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


I’d love to tell you that the Trek-22 made my personal Ruger 10/22 more accurate, but that plain-Jane shooter is the same after adding the conversion kit. That made the 1-inch groups at 50 yards that were standard with the old stock still standard.

However, that also means I had no reason to suspect the conversion kit impacted the accuracy of the rifle itself. What I was excited to notice was the obvious potential of adding a suppressor to the bull-pupped version of the 10/22 to make it a nice and quiet shooter.

Not everything was perfect with the conversion, and it does take a solid 20-30 minutes to install it. But I have played around with a half-dozen conversion kits for the Ruger 10/22, and the Trek-22 might be the only one that actually is more fun to shoot and also solves a practical need.

As a survival gun, the Trek-22 is compact and offers 20 rounds stored in the stock. It’s a scant 26.5 inches long with a standard Ruger 10/22 action and barrel, but it feels 5x more wieldy and has rails for lights, lasers, and optics.
 


Desert Tech Trek-22
That grip texture is simple but works. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


I will confess that you need to learn how to point this gun, not just because it is a bullpup, but because the stock is surprisingly straight. I wouldn’t even say it really has a semi-pistol grip. It’s more of an angled surface that your hand can glide into.

As far as controllability, the rear has deep horizontal cuts to grab into your shoulder, and the “semi-pistol grip” has horizontal cuts at the front with rear vertical cuts. The overall effect ends in a short rifle that is easy to control and frankly fun to wield and shoot.

Pros & Cons
 


Desert Tech Trek-22
I'm like 95% ready to buy this kit, no lie. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


I think the natural sight choice for this platform is to use a red-dot optic. It lends itself to being a light, compact, and fast shooter. However, I did pop on a U.S. Optics 1-6x scope, and it was easy to zero and shoot. 

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • .22 LR is plentiful
  • Practical and accurate enough
  • Lightweight with low recoil
  • Looks darn cool and shoots well
  • Takes Ruger 10/22 mags
  • Great emergency gun
  • Short and has a good capacity
  • Looks cool and feels great in the hand

Cons:

  • Takedown requires tools
  • Harder to clean
  • Safety is behind the trigger
  • Trigger is a bit blocky
  • Loading takes some practice

Conclusion


As a fan of the 10/22 platform, I have to admit that the Trek-22 kit makes it feel like an entirely new gun. I like it, frankly, and it’s fun and accurate. The Trek-22 has tripled the amount of .22 LR ammo I am shooting at the range. Overall, that’s a win.

But in a more practical sense, I can see this as a great package for a survival gun that is ready to serve when you need it most. It might take some more work to clean, but it also fits into small spaces and offers capacity and accuracy when it matters most.

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