Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! This ongoing series is all about the rimfire firearm world and its many firearms, ammunitions, and history! Last week we talked about the Margolin MCM .22LR target pistol, and Mikhail Margolin, its blind designer. I think the biggest takeaway for me from the entire story is the sheer dedication that Mikhail had to his passion for firearms. This week we are returning to The Rimfire Report for another review in the 10/22 category. Today we’re checking out the new-ish Desert Tech Trek-22 Bullpup 10/22 stock. I’ve been trying to get my hands on one of these for a while and Desert Tech graciously sent me one for testing and review purposes. Today we’ll be checking out the Trek-22 to see what it has to offer rimfire shooters which should give you a good idea of whether or not this is the aftermarket 10/22 product for you.
More Rimfire Report Articles @ TFB:
- The Rimfire Report: The Margolin MCM and Its Blind Designer
- The Rimfire Report: The Bandera OpenTop 11/22 Pistol
- The Rimfire Report: Gemtech Integra Suppressed Upper vs Oil Filter
The Rimfire Report: Desert Tech Trek-22 Bullpup 10/22 Stock
The Build/Assembly Process
The Desert Tech Trek-22 bullpup stock isn’t a firearm – just a stock kit. The stock kit as configured from the Desert Tech website comes with all of the hardware you’ll need to drop your own Ruger 10/22 carbine into plus an improved straight-bladed trigger which Desert Tech says reduces the trigger pull weight from an average of 6.8 lbs down to 4.5 lbs.
For a simple setup, your average 10/22 will set you back about $300, the Desert Tech Trek-22 costs just about the same but will reduce the overall length of your 10/22 carbine to just 26.75-inches in overall length (vs 37″ OAL for a standard 10/22 carbine) and make the rig 7% lighter than with a traditional wood stock. This is largely thanks to the lightweight injection-molded stock made from glass reinforced polymer that makes it tough and rigid, but still light enough to keep your 10/22 nice and handy in its new configuration.
The Trek-22 is quite easy to put together and comes with a complete set of detailed instructions with included pictures that make the assembly process a breeze. A few notable things about the assembly process: The Trek-22 replaces the two factory receiver pins with two 40mm screws that not only hold the fire control group and receiver together but also align the receiver within the stock and hold the two halves of the clamshell stock together. If you’re like me and you’re constantly using your 10/22 carbine for other projects, you’ll be happy to know that the two factory pins that you’ll remove for the installation are conveniently stored inside of the stock so that you can find them when it comes time to swap stocks again.
The Trek-22 also comes with an integral 24-slot Picatinny optics rail, as well as 13 separate M-LOK attachment points on the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions on the handguard to give you the ability to mount whatever accessories you want on there. Finally, at the rear of the stock, there are also two integrated BX-1 magazine holders and a single QD sling stud. I’d rate the overall quality of the included parts kit to be well above average, perhaps about as good as Magpul products.
Compatibility With Aftermarket Parts
I really like the overall aesthetic and configuration of the Trek-22, however, the stock will reduce your overall aftermarket parts compatibility which includes things like extended magazine releases, aftermarket safety/fire selectors, trigger shoes, and of course many aftermarket 10/22-style receivers. Things like different barrels, extended bolt handles, and iron sights should all be able to fit within the stock without issue. Unfortunately for me this took a bit of figuring out as I had initially wanted to use my Franklin Armory BFS-III 22-C1 binary trigger with the stock, but due to the nature of the selector switch and the thicker trigger shoe, I was unable to get this working – instead I used my Ruger BX trigger. However, the Improved Trigger did not reduce the overall weight of the trigger pull but instead remained the same at around 3 lbs.
To test the Trek-22, I simply goofed around at the range with it – after all. part of the fun of .22LR is that it’s relatively inexpensive. By doing this, I was able to gather enough data to give you all a nice neat synopsis of the pros and cons of the Trek-22 which should aid you in determining if this might be a good option for your next rimfire project. The short version is that my overall experience was good but I have lots of ideas where I think the Trek-22 could be improved to meet the demands of more hardcore rimfire shooters like myself.
To start off, the Trek-22 just looks cool. The initial impression I got from it at SHOT 2022 was that of a space marine’s rifle or perhaps something akin to the Morita Assault Rifle from the movie Starship Troopers. Either way, the Trek-22 is snappy looking and will definitely catch eyes at the range. The inclusion of both the QD sling stud at the rear, the M-LOK slots at the front, and the two spare 10-round magazine holders also give me the vibe of a survival or hiking rifle. It’s lightweight enough to hold with one hand and is balanced more towards the rear, even with the addition of an optic like the ACOG I mounted on mine. This keeps the rifle better balanced for smaller shooters and makes transitions from target to target much easier.
I was initially concerned with heat buildup from high volumes of fire. Equipped with every 10/22 magazine I owned, I tried to get the gun up to an uncomfortable temperature but this just wouldn’t happen. The glass-reinforced polymer worked well as an insulator and although the receiver area was warm to the touch, it wasn’t uncomfortably hot after a relatively uninterrupted string of two BX-25 mags, two BX-15s, and one BX-1 magazine (90 rounds in total). Likewise, the girth of the handguard area is comfortable to hold and even includes an integrated hand stop at the front as a physical indicator of your hand being as far forward as you can safely go.
I had also initially thought that the magazine storage slots would be harder to operate but I was pleased to learn that the small tabs that retain the magazines don’t need to be pushed out of the way to get the mags out. Instead you simply just pull on the front and rear of the magazine and they pop right out. I didn’t have any issues with my one BX-1 magazine falling out inadvertently, however, if I had my way I would have probably opted to have these on the left-hand side of the stock rather than the right-hand side.
Finally, and most subjectively, the Trek-22 is a blast to shoot. It’s quite fun to learn how to operate a firearm in a completely different manner and having a bullpup 10/22 to rapidly reload was an interesting thing to get used to for a brief period of time. To me, the Trek-22 is a slick setup for small game hunting, hiking, and general rimfire tomfoolery. Out of the 500 or so rounds I put through the gun, I only had a small handful of stovepipes which is admittedly common for 10/22 rifles – I can safely say that I don’t think the Trek-22 will alter the reliability of your 10/22 carbine at all.
Cons (With Suggestions)
Being a rimfire junkie, I had a lot of initial assumptions and observations about the Trek-22 and a majority of my ideas and observations are tainted by the filthy stink of Rimfire PRS matches – I know what it takes to make things precise with a 10/22. I don’t think Desert Tech set out to make a PRS chassis or stock, but rather something handy, lightweight, and fun to shoot. The main problem with the plastic optics mounting rail is that this will inherently make your 10/22 less accurate by virtue of the optic being mounted independently of the receiver. Desert Tech made the smart choice to have the entire length of the Picatinny rail be one piece (being slaved to the left side) rather than two halves coming together to form the rail. However, this doesn’t eliminate the issue of the barrel being able to wobble around inside of the stock while the optic remains stationary. This should be less of an issue with shorter
If I was the King of rimfire I would have tried to make this compatible with the OpenTop 11/22, or extended rail sections that are mounted to the receiver instead of the stock to improve its long-range shooting accuracy. This is not to say that the Trek-22 makes your gun inaccurate, you can still manage about 4-6 inch groups at 50 yards which is a pretty decent length for most 10/22 rifles. At 25-yards, this shouldn’t be anything to scoff at either. However, even when everything is properly torqued down, I can still move and flex the barrel with just a finger. To me, this means that temperature changes will make your gun more prone to a drifting zero as the weather changes. Unfortunately, the only way around this is to mount the optic directly to the receiver in some shape form or fashion which would require a near-complete redesign of the Trek-22, not an easy or simple task.
Least among my concerns was the rifle spitting still burning powder onto my wrist. I think this was only happening because I only ran the rifle suppressed but it’s worth noting especially for our left-handed readers out there. The only way to improve this bit would be to swap the fin-style grip out for a pistol grip, but I think this would limit the Trek-22’s availability in certain states.
As the Trek-22 exists now, I absolutely love it. It might not be a jack of all trades but it certainly fits the backpacker/survival niche quite well and it’s a ton of fun to shoot. Even with all my complaints about its accuracy potential because of the implementation of the optics mounting system, I still like it as a general-purpose bullpup conversion for a 10/22 rifle. What would really be cool is to put this on an ATF Form 1 with a Ruger Charger pistol, convert it into an SBR and then tuck a suppressor underneath it all for a very compact, very quiet rig.
Should you buy the Trek-22? I get it, this is a stock that costs just as much as the rifle it’s meant to work with. However, I think the combination of build quality, features, and fun you can have with it are worth considering along with the price. I’ve spent a lot of money on far more useless things for my 10/22 rifles and the Trek-22 isn’t all that bad considering it’s one of the very few bullpup 10/22 conversions out there on the market (the others being the High Tower Armory 90/22, Muzzelite Ruger 10/22 Bullpup Conversion Kit and Aklys Defense ZK-22 drop-in stock kit). Out of the four, Muzzelite is the least expensive but also probably one of the ugliest bullpup stocks I’ve ever seen. The High Tower Amory and Aklys Defense options are about $20-$30 more than the Desert Tech Trek-22. However, both the Aklys Defense and High Tower Armory options also require 18″ barrels which will make the final build cost more. With the Desert Tech Trek-22, you can take your bone stock 10/22 and have an instant (and legal) bullpup rimfire gun without adding anything but an optic since the stock itself meets the minimum 26″ overall length requirement as prescribed by the ATF.
I’d say if you’ve got the cash and you want one you should 100% go for it. According to the Desert Tech website, these are in stock now and have been steadily shipping since June of this year. Some of our faithful TFB readers have even purchased their own and seem to be enjoying them! As always, we’d like to hear your thoughts on the Desert Tech Trek-22. Is this the bullpup stock for you or would you rather stick with a shorter barrel and a brace? Let us know down in the comments and thank you once again for stopping in for another edition of The Rimfire Report! We’ll see you all next week!
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