The first Ruger 10/22 chassis I bought came from PMACA. Since then, I’ve added a few more from them as well as other manufacturers. Last count, I had about nine in total. So I feel like I’ve got a good enough sampling from which to share my opinions. There are a lot of considerations that go into selecting the right chassis. Enough that I could probably write a series of articles. Instead of doing that (for now, anyway), I’m just going to provide an overview. Below, you’ll find the main features, and you can decide if they meet your needs. Note that I’m not listing the full specs (just weights) for each chassis. For length, width, max barrel diameter, and color options, please visit the PMACA site. Also, I am limiting the pricing info, since that is obviously subject to change. But I will try to keep this article updated.
Not gonna lie, I bought my first one because of the attractive price. They start at $115.95 for a basic chassis with a black anodized finish. At the other end, they top out at $218.95 for a somewhat specialized version with a Cerakote finish. Most of them are going to be well under $200. It’s important that I point out there is no compromise in quality, even though they are priced very competitively. And you get a pretty good feature set for the price. It met my needs, the quality was better than expected, and I had a great customer service experience too. I consider them a great value.
Each model takes an AR-compatible grip, as long as it doesn’t have a beaver tail. One exception is the Hogue beaver tail, which is flexible enough, and actually works well. On the back, you’ve got threading for a standard AR receiver extension (buffer tube). So you have a huge variety of options when it comes to grips, stocks, or a brace. Up front, they all have at least some length of Picatinny rail. While that doesn’t sound like a huge feature set, it does provides the ability to customize in nearly unlimited ways. A quick check of the PMACA site shows a lot of unique customer builds.
Chassis options are fairly simple, and there are actually four models, with a few variations. Least expensive is the 16 ounce Standard Chassis. For not much more money, the Lightweight Chassis has an extra 4 ounces machined away. At the same price as the Standard is the Multi Chassis, which weighs 14.2 ounces. It’s compatible with a proprietary carbon fiber free float tube. Basically, a sweet, light weight hand guard. At the top of the range is the 19.5 ounce Long Nose Chassis, which is for rifle builds, and receivers that utilize a KIDD rear tang.
For Takedown owners, PMACA also offers two chassis options. First is a 22 ounce chassis comprised of front and rear pieces. Naturally, there is a Lightweight Takedown Chassis as well, at only 16 ounces. This is actually a huge deal. There aren’t very many chassis manufacturers that offer a model for the Takedown. And here you can get one for about half of what the competition charges. Should you need an extra front or rear piece, they can be purchased separately too.
All of the PMACA chassis models start out as single billet of 6061-T6 aluminum. This is a pretty standard alloy that offers a good balance of weight vs durability. If it’s good enough for your AR, it’s going to be just fine for your .22 rimfire. Most of the sharp edges are taken down, the tail end is threaded, and each chassis is then anodized black. There are Cerakote colors available for an extra cost, and in my opinion, Cerakote is well worth it. Of course, you can always do that later, but it will probably cost more than ordering it from PMACA that way.
Obviously, a Charger in a chassis is a popular build. Slap on a brace, and you’ve got a cool little plinker. But they are great for rifle builds too. I’ve done both, and please don’t ask me to choose a favorite. For rifles, you can go light for field use, or a heavy bench rifle. With the AR stock options, the only limit is your imagination and budget. Note that factory taper sporter barrels as well as .920″ heavy barrels will all fit, and free float. If you have some crazy idea about super short barrels, and a big suppressor, that will probably work too. For suppressors over 1″, it might be best to email first.
When planning your chassis build, there are some things to keep in mind. First, none of them include a grip. So you’ll need an AR-compatible grip. As mentioned above, other than the Hogue, it will need to be a non-beaver tail. Next, you’ll probably want either a stock or brace, depending on whether you are building a Charger or rifle (or SBR). So budget for that too, along with the correct receiver extension (buffer tube) and a castle nut. On the bright side, each chassis includes the correct length takedown screw, and assembly is super easy.
Before ordering a chassis, spend some time looking at the customer-submitted builds. That may assist in choosing the one that best fits your needs. There’s also nothing wrong with copying an existing build and adding your own personal touches.
I hope this helps you make an informed decision as you navigate the many chassis options. If you have specific questions, you may find answers on the PMACA FAQ here. If you have any questions about my builds, shoot me an email. You can also ask any questions, or share your comments in the section below. And I would certainly like to hear from any of our readers that have built a PMACA chassis up.