Ares-22RCU : Carbine conversion of Ruger Mk III pistol

I first learnt about the Ares Carbine from GunPundit who spotted it at SHOT Show ’09. It was supposed to go one sale in the first or second quarter but nothing was seen of it since SHOT.

Tyler Kreis, the NRA’s Firearms Inventory Manager, is the first to have gotten his hands on the Ares Defense Systems Ares-22 RCU and has shot a video of it in action. It looks like a very fun system.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • The downside is that you’ll need to order the conversion through an FFL. If I’m not mistaken, the Ruger semi-auto rimfire pistols don’t have the serial number on the grip frame. Instead, it is located just forward of the ejection port on the barreled receiver. Thus, any conversion kit will require its own serial number in order to legal on a non-serial numbered grip frame.

  • Cymond

    from GunPundit: “Overall Length: 20.5″ (stock closed)”

    Assuming the system will fire while the stock is closed, doesn’t that put it in SBR territory? You may note that every other system (that I know of) which folds/telescopes/whatever is either larger than 26″ when folded or cannot fire while folded (ie Kel-Tec Sub2000).

    • Cymond

      BTW, I was an idiot back then. Federal regulations measure with the stock fully extended.

  • Komrad

    I am not surprised. Mk II had a huge modding community, so why not the new version. But if you are going to get a .22 carbine why not just get a 10/22. Probably cheaper and less hassle.

  • Why do people keep inventing these things?

  • Hey, Daniel…you’re right. You need to fill out another 4473 for the conversion kit. They have an MSRP of $379.99. The grips don’t have a serial# so you essentially end up with 2 different guns. I think it’s awesome, and yes, the 10/22 is alot cheaper, but having a handgun turn in to a carbine is pretty sweet. There’s really no reason for it other than just having fun with it. I love it and I’m probably going to buy the one in the video.

  • Thomas

    Wow this is realy cool

    i would use these as a home defence

    if it had hi cap mags

  • AK™


    same reason there is a Glock and a 1911 and a AR-15 market..because there is money.

    Not everyone wants to go the range with the same vanilla looking weapon as everyone else..even if it’s painted up in race gun colors and designs..

  • wher can i buy the ares rcu for my mk11? i can not find any retailers

  • John

    Sure it looks cool, but I don’t have any use for one. What does this do that a ruger 10/22 doesn’t? Besides costing more…

  • shane

    Tommy I sell the standard rifle conversion unit for 280.00 and the tactical version with the pic rails for 369.00. Pine City Gun. 251-247-1060. will ship. These things are awesome! I personally own one and it goes with me on all my outdoor excursions. Super accurate and just over 3 lbs. I highly reccomend this.

  • Charles

    Thanks for the review Tyler. How is the overall quality of this gun (including the fit and finish)? Did you fire ammo from several manufacturers?

  • Bryant Anderson

    Please notify me when and where I can purchase this product.


  • Allan Key

    Very clever and well executed, however, it looks an awful lot like the Feather Industries Feather Lite 22LR Carbine. The folding stock is a virtual line for line copy. The barrel and barrel nut are also quite similar.

    In answer to the SBR comment above, an Oct issue of Shooting Times article relates the following: “Fully extended the rifle measures 30.5 inches, and small stops built into the rail prevent the stock from collapsing and reducing the overall length to less then 26 inches, which keeps it legal in all 50 states.”

    I have a Pac Lite upper for a Mk II which is really sweet and I could see rounding out my collection with one of these. Are they currently available? If so, from who?
    Al Key

  • Troy Cartwright

    I would like to buy the Ares carbine conversion for the Ruger Mark III. Are they actually available for purchase? If so, where can I get one?

  • Joe J Huro Jr

    Three days ago I the artical about the ARES 22-RCU in my Oct/10 issue of SHOOTING TIMES and really caught my eye and Ineed one of this converion kit. Yesterday I read about converting a Ruger 10/22 to look like a Thompson
    U.S Sub.MG M1 for only $299.00 and noATF Form 4473 is required. I be needing one this conversion kits first .
    Joe J Huro Jr