Ruger 10/22 DIY Auto Bolt Release




This is how to remove, modify, and reinstall the stock bolt release on your Ruger 10/22 so you will no longer need to use the bolt release tab on the bottom of your rifle to release the bolt.

I'm not in any way the first person to do this but I thought I would put it here to save you the time of finding and reading other peoples forum posts etc.

If you get carried away don't worry you can get a new stock part from Ruger for about $3 or an already modified part from several companies (just Google ruger 10/22 auto bolt release) for about $10.

If you have purchased this part instead of modifying your own, this will serve as installation instructions

As always before we get started with any firearms project do your safety check (both visually and physically inspect that your weapon is unloaded) and proceed at your own risk.


  1. Mallet (may not be necessary but good to have)
  2. Spacer block for removing pins, I'm using a role of blue tape. (recommended but optional)
  3. Pin punch (you should already have this for cleaning)
  4. Small Files (A sightly rounded file and full round file (you can probably use just the dremel tool, but these will help shape and smooth the areas we grind away)
  5. Flat head screw driver.
  6. Dremel Tool with a small grinding or engraving cutter (you can use just the files if need be it will just take a lot longer)

Recently re-shot this tutorial as a video if you prefer that to the slide show.

Step 1: Disassembly

I won't go into too much detail on removing the stock and trigger assembly since everyone should know how to do that for cleaning.
  1. Remove the stock by, unscrewing the barrel band, and the take down screw on the bottom of the stock.
  2. Slip out the assembly seen below in image one
  3. Push out the two lower pins with your pin punch and your spacer, if your have trouble pushing it out use a light tap from your mallet.  Be careful not to lose the top pin (bolt stop) as it has a tenancy to slip out on its own.
  4. Slide out he trigger assembly as seen in image two
  5. Remove the two highlighted pins in image two and leave the rest.  When removing the top pin, slide out and set aside the extractor seen in image three paying attention to the orientation.
  6. At this point your should be able to wiggle the bolt release free as seen in image four. If you have trouble follow the instructions in image five.
  7. You should now have the bolt release free as seen in image 6

Step 2: Modification

  1. Use your gun cleaner to remove any oil on the part, and dry it off so it will be easier to handle.
  2. We will be grinding/filing off the indicated areas of image one.
  3. Image two is what we are trying to achieve.
  4. I don't have a Tri-Pod for my camera so I couldn't take video of this part, but take you Dremel and remove the bulk of the material, and do the final cleaning up with the small files.
  5. On the larger arch don't just grind it off flat.  It needs to have a slight arch as indicated by image two.  The exact shape of the arch doesn't really matter too much but make sure it's a smooth transition from the two corners at the top left and bottom of the hole in image two, and try to remove as little material as you can to achieve the pictured result.
  6. Take your files and try to get the inside of the hole as smooth and polished as you can, and clean up any burrs and or sharp edges you have created during the process.
  7. The part is done once it looks like image two

Step 3: Reassembly

  1. Add a light coating of gun oil to the part
  2. Rotate the spring all the way back as shown in image one.
  3. Reinsert the modified bolt release
  4. If you removed the magazine release put it back the same way you took it out
  5. Align the bottom hole as pictured in image two. (you may have to move the mag release a bit to get it aligned) and re-insert the bottom pin;
  6. Align the top pin holes as seen in image three but do not re insert the pin yet
  7. Rotate the spring forward again seat the spring arm in the small slot of the bolt release as shown in image four.
  8. Partially re-insert the top pin, and hook the top spring arm under it as seen in image five
  9. Slip the Extractor back on the pin and push the pin the rest of the way through. it should now look like image six, and you are home free... now just reassemble the gun as you normally would.
  10. Slip the trigger assembly back into the bolt housing, and reinsert the pins and bolt stop pin.
  11. Slip the whole assembly back into your stock and re-tighten the take down screw and barrel band screw.
  12. You are now finished.

Step 4: Final Result

Now lets check our work.

You are all done, and have saved yourself a few bucks in the process and maybe learned a thing or two along the way... good luck, have fun, and shoot safe.

As always I welcome your comments and criticisms but please try to be polite and constructive.

Participated in the
Joby Transform It! Challenge

Participated in the
Craftsman Tools Contest

Participated in the
What Can You Do with a Dremel Tool?

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge



    • Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

      Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest
    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest
    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest

    15 Discussions


    1 year ago

    works flawlessly, perfect instructions.


    4 years ago

    I have tried this with no luck, has any one had success with this?

    3 replies

    Reply 4 years ago

    Wespatten, I just did this DIY last night. One key thing is the slightest curve where you file out the point. The bolt release takes very little to snag. With just a slight curve the bolt will release nice and easy. I suggest looking at a few picture close ups. It took me 3 times with small files before it ran smoothly. Hope this helps,good luck.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Ive filed it down 2 separate times and watched a bunch of vids on it, maybe 3rd times the charm! Thanks for the response !


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Its a pretty common mod, but you do have to completely remove the points like in the image or it will continue to catch.


    5 years ago on Step 4

    Thanks for posting this


    8 years ago on Introduction

    that little part causes the most problems. glad someone found a fix.


    8 years ago on Step 4

    Very cool! I've always hated that lock. The video at the end was a great touch.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    And thousands of gunsmiths are out of work.


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 4

    Maybe... you could always keep a spare of the stock part if you need to send it back but it's a common enough mod that I doubt they would care.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Thats crazy. Then I wouldnt even be able to put different grips on my pistols!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Well I'm not sure where you are locate and I'm not suggesting that you break the law, but there are literally millions of ruger 10/22 with this part modified or purchased for it (no exaggeration). Its an uncontrolled part and it will not give your rifle any illegal capabilities, as for you statement that all gun mods are illegal that is simply not the case what is an is not legal regarding guns in the states is regulated by the ATF and if you want to know if this or is not legal you can write them. All that being said this part should be indistinguishable from a purchased part ment to do the same thing and is no different that buying a new off the shelf part or add on and installing it at home which is perfectly legal even here in California. And at the end of the day if you don't want to do it you don't have to and you can consider this "for information only".

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    TabLeft is 100% correct for the US. Other countries may have different laws.

    Nice instructable. For better photo techniques, see my instructable on close-up photos -