The Charger had a brief but intensely loved six-year run then went on hiatus for a couple years until brought back recently. And now Ruger has both take down and standard versions in rugged polymer.
In 2007, Ruger came out with a legal short-barreled rifle that anyone could own without a tax stamp. They took their tried and true 10/22 rifle design, and then produced it in a pistol-only receiver without a buttstock. This avoided the dreaded 'Short Barreled Rifle' label that was cooked up by the 1934 National Firearms Act. To keep future crooks like the Prohibition-era Bonnie and Clyde from getting their hands on chopped down rifles, the government set an impossibly high (for 1934) $200 tax on these guns. Well the tax is still somewhat high today, not to mention the regulation and drama associated with Class III weapons, thus killing off their popularity.
However, since Ruger built the new gun from the ground up as a pistol and it never had a buttstock attached to it; it was still a pistol that could be sold to anyone who could legally own one without any $200 ball and chain.
Called the Charger, the pistol had a 10-inch long heavy bull barrel attached to a 10/22 style receiver. Since the receiver design was borrowed from that gun, all 10/22 mags and internal parts will work on the Charger. Since most users would shoot this over-sized pistol from a bench rest position, it was equipped with a nice factory laminated stock complete with a rear pistol grip and extended forward frame that held a sling swivel stud. Attached to the stud was a Harris-style detachable, folding, and adjustable bipod. Overall length was 20-inches, weight was 3.5-pounds. While not the biggest pistol ever made, it certainly had some heft to it.
These guns have proved popular in the past few years with varmint hunters. You can prone out on the edge of a prairie dog complex with your Charger on its bipod and still zip off shots out to 200 yards with your .22LR pistol-- surely an almost impossible task for most other rimfire handguns. As a compact squirrel or rabbit gun, it is invaluable. A good friend of mine in the Southeast carries one in his boat dry box for bull shark and (during the season) alligator.
Besides this, it is a heck of a fun range gun if fitted with a BX-25 banana magazine, sling, and a red dot sight. Tin cans tremble when a Charger gets uncased at the neighborhood shooting gallery (aka the 'dump).
One of the problems with the design is the weight of the basic laminated stock on the Charger is nice but heavy and many quickly trade it out for shorter aftermarket Knoxx nylon polymer jobs.
Well, you don't have to go aftermarket now.
The polymer Charger
Tipping the scales at just 3.1 pounds, the new polymer stocked re-engineered 22 Charger is 19.25 inches long overall and features a 10-inch precision-rifled, threaded barrel with a 1/2"-28 TPI threaded muzzle that just screams "fetch me my suppressor."
Along with the composite furniture comes an A2-style pistol grip standard with a matte black receiver and factory-installed Picatinny rail.
A takedown model, which is one ounce heavier and about $100 more, breaks apart easily into two pieces by simply pushing a takedown lever, twisting the subassemblies, and pulling them apart.
Either is available in versions that come with a BX-15 magazine, a 15-round version of the BX-25 extended mag, or the flush-fit 10/22 standard rotary flush-fit depending on state regs.
When compared to the brown laminate and Green Mountain laminate versions, they are the same price ($309-$409 MSRP) depending on whether they are take down or not. Street prices are typically about 10-20 percent less depending on your vendor.
You can likely expect these out by Christmas, hint, hint.