Category Archives: Shooting hardware

Rifles and their parts

The Tanfoglio Appeal 22 Magnum

There have been countless disputes between gun owners since their invention, one of the larger disputes among gun owners in recent decades has been about bullpups. There seems to be a staunch hostility towards the diminutive stature of these firearms by a majority of gun owners. I myself am a convert to the cult of bullpups, and a decade later my safe is full of them. I only bring this up because today’s subject is another bullpup, the Appeal by Tanfoglio. I would like to preface my analysis with the disclaimer that my name is Jeff and I too am a bullpup fan.

The Bullpup
The Appeal is a polymer framed bullpup rimfire carbine. For those that are new to bullpups, and what the name means, we’ll go over it quickly. Bullpup configurations mean that the magazine and action are behind the trigger, and as you might imagine the hatred many have for the bullpup design is typically due to several differences resulting from that key feature. Magazines placed behind the trigger require different muscle memory for reloading, as well as often awkward controls due to their placement. And perhaps the most frequent complaint is the triggers, most of which are connected to the sear pack with some kind of linkage.

The Appeal
The Appeal utilizes a upper and lower clamshell-type frame, with the fire controls, magazine, barrel and such located in the lower part of the housing. The upper and smaller half of the frame carries the charging handle and a Famas-like elevated optics rail that doubles as a carry handle. The model I received was chambered in 22 Magnum, but it is also available in 22LR. The rimfire cartridges are fed from detachable magazines that hold ten rounds, and are very reminiscent of pistol magazines. The rifle is ambidextrous, which with bullpups can be a big deal. Spent brass ejects from the rifle along the same longitude as your face, and you don’t want to catch a mouthful of brass because of an unfortunate cerebral development in your formative years. (easy, that was a joke)
The Appeal features a reversible ejection cover to swap from right to left, and the charging handle can also be pulled from the carrier and installed on the opposite side. The Appeal uses a thumbhole like chassis, and the magazine release is centrally located at the bottom rear of the thumbhole. The bolt-lock is located on the left side of the rifle just above the grip area, and the safety is a push-push type located at the front of the trigger guard. At the hazardous end of the rifle there is a curious muzzle brake that is attached not to the barrel but the chassis itself. The muzzle is hidden a few inches behind, cradled inside the polymer chassis.

Did you say Tanfoglio?
When I saw Tanfoglio on the paperwork, I must admit I was very excited. And yet as I opened the box I found myself somewhat confused, I didn’t even know Tanfoglio made such a thing. And despite my proclivity for bullpups, the Appeal looked like a naked mole-rat in my nest instead of an ugly duckling. If I’m honest, I was expecting something a little more zesty Italian and less Kirkland Signature ranch if you know what I mean.
I shouldered the rifle immediately, and started to feel it out. The balance was good, which most bullpups are. The thumbhole stock wasn’t uncomfortable, but it did seem a bit minimalist. The thing that surprised me the most was the mag release, it was located such that you sorta pinch it with thumb and forefinger and the mag drops into the palm of your hand. Despite having to relearn the task typical to bullpups, I found it a decent one. The trigger feels about like most bullpup triggers, which isn’t exactly praise. But I guess I could say it was better than many other bullpup triggers I’ve felt. The action is smooth and short, which also is pretty typical of a polymer framed gun. Perhaps the most awkward part of the rifle is the elevated optics mounting rail, which I found almost too tall to be useful. It does have integrated iron sights as part of the rail, which are plenty tall for my facial structure. But as soon as you install nearly any kind of red dot or other optical sight, I found myself nearly putting my chin on the cheekrest.
I removed the polymer muzzle brake in hopes of at least finding a threaded muzzle underneath, but that was another unfortunate miss for me. Continue Reading Here…

Tikka T1X MTR

Tikka has made a great name for themselves here in the US firearms market. Ask the question in most any forum about what is the best buy for a sharp shooting rifle, and many of the comments immediately start coming back with: Tikka, T3X, and so on. Today we are taking a look at another popular model, the Tikka T1X rimfire. The T1X maintains a great deal of Tikkas popular design and features, some of them just downsized to fit the rimfire sized action.

Opening the box

I have to admit, I was quite pleasantly surprised when I opened the box containing the T1X. The handsome little rifle had come to me married to a Boyd’s At-One hardwood stock, in a bright red color. The handsome curves of Tikka actions flow very well with the aesthetics of the stock, and the fit was good and tight as well. Of course after checking the rifle I had to get it to my shoulder and see how it felt. The thumbhole-stock was not what I call a good fit to my hand, but it was not an issue at all as I generally run my thumb parallel to my trigger finger.

Handsome polymer sections were placed at all the likely ground contact points, and dual front sling-studs for both a sling and a bipod. The polished finish of the T1X bolt-knob was reminiscent of every T3 rifle I’ve ever shot, and ran similar as well. But I was so expecting to feel what my T3 does, that it caught me off guard to have such a short bolt-throw and stroke. The trigger in the T1X is a great little single stage trigger, the clean break also reminded me of the trigger I fell in love with on my T3. The rifle came chambered with a twenty-inch .17HMR barrel with a one-in-nine twist, and as it should be, the muzzle was nicely crowned and threaded 1/2-28 which is exactly what my host-less rimfire cans need. The detachable ten-round magazine fits neatly into the bottom of the stock, and the forward mounted release tab is easily manipulated for loading. At the back of the stock, there are depressible buttons to adjust both the comb height and length of pull. This feature made the rifle easily fitted to a new shooter in just a few seconds.

Time to burn some ammo

With rifle and ammo in hand, I headed to my shooting spot to get this Tikka warmed up. I had mounted my Kahles 318i on the rifle, which is much more scope than this rifle needs. But the high quality scope made an excellent addition to the rifle and was sure to give solid confirmation on the accuracy of the T1X.
I adjusted the stock to get the best eye relief and feel, the adjustments on the stock only required that you push in and then adjust the height of the comb or length of the recoil pad. A simple depressing of a button seemed a little too simple and potentially easy to accidently move, but to my surprise they were quite stiff. As a matter of fact, I had quite a time getting the recoil pad adjusted due to the force required to push the button. This is a small concern for me, as its not something I expect to adjust frequently.
Next was bore-sighting the rifle. I’ve never seen the need for bore-sighting tools, my Grandfather taught me his method learned through an artillery sight in Korea. I simply set the rifle up on a Harris bipod, and centered an easily identified object at the center of the bore. The key here is to ensure that your eye is perfectly aligned behind the breech. The circular shapes of the action, bore, and muzzle should all be concentric, and then your distant object centered in the middle of the bore hole. That’s the easy part, once you’ve got that, you need to very carefully and without shifting the rifle in any direction adjust your scope turrets until the crosshair is centered on the same distant object in the scope. I’ve done it this way for decades now, and its always on paper, and occasionally dead nuts on target. Continue Reading Here…

The Ruger RPR 6.5 Creedmoor

The RPR took the precision rifle world for quite a ride when it first came out. Ruger made an excellent move by introducing an affordable rifle into an arena that was dominated by expensive custom built rifles and actual sniper rifles. And in another stroke of genius they managed to make a rifle that appealed to the AR 15 crowd at the same time, which brought even more customers into their fold.

The RPR
The Ruger Precision Rifle utilizes a bolt action receiver that is built into a chassis. It is fed by SR-25 pattern 308 sized P-mags for the 308, 6mm, and 6.5 chambered rifles. The rifle seems to almost clone the aesthetics of the extremely popular AR 15, using the same pistol grip, and similar operation for the safety. The model I have also includes a folding butt stock for shortening the footprint of the rifle when transporting. The twenty-four inch hammer forged barrel uses 5R rifling which if you ask the internet is the only good kind of rifling. The one in eight twist barrel is ideal for launching the heavy for caliber bullets that many long range shooters prefer. The ten and a half pound rifle is about forty-five inches long unless you fold it, in which case it is thirty-five inches long.

Try It

Having been one of those in the community with a preference for the custom built rifle, it took me some time to actually give the Ruger a try. To be honest I did look down at it a bit, perhaps like many others I was angry that it shot just as good as rifles that cost twice as much or more.
But it didn’t take long for the RPR to prove its worth to those in the community, and now a days its common to see them shooting at top PRS events. I shot in the Hornady Precision Rifle Challenge this past summer and saw several RPR’s including Doug Koenig who did extremely well shooting with significantly more expensive competitors, taking home the top Production Rifle trophy.

I figured it was time for me to open up to the Ruger, so I took the opportunity when it came. I opened up the box, to find the all black rifle complete with a magazine, bipod and a few other items. I took a few minutes to familiarize myself with the rifle, and get a feel for the controls and such. For me there are couple things that stand out when first handling a rifle, the first one is throwing the bolt. I shouldered the rifle and ran the bolt a few times, you can tell a lot about a rifle by the feel of the bolt-throw. The Ruger was smooth and had a positive lockup feel when closed into battery, you could also feel a metal on plastic sensation a little bit which I assumed to be the piece at the rear of the bolt. Not that there was anything negative about it, as plastic on metal frequently gives a low-friction feeling which I do like. The bolt lift was not bad, but did take a little bit of getting used to. Not bad, obviously not as good as some of the other rifle actions frequently used today.
The next feature that seals the deal for me is the trigger pull. I don’t consider myself a trigger snob but I do enjoy a perfect trigger whenever I can. The trigger on the RPR was a good one, clean and without the abrasive skipping often felt on triggers of lower tiered firearms. I’ve never been a big fan of blade safeties, when they first came out many years ago, the first thing I did was figure out how to remove them. That being said I wasn’t so hateful of this one to look for a way to remove it.
The main safety was in the same place your traditional AR style rifle safety goes, which made it very convenient and familiar to use. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they put it on both sides like AR’s often do, but certainly not a deal breaker. The RPR runs on 308 sized P-Mags, and it came with a ten-round magazine. I would later try the twenty-round ones as well, just in case you ever needed to do some long strings of fire.
The folding buttstock of the rifle made it much shorter for transportation, and doubled as a quick way to remove the bolt for inspection, lube, or cleaning. Up front we had the hammer-forged twenty-four inch barrel inside a free-floated handguard. The muzzle of the barrel is threaded 5/8-24, which was great because I planned on mounting some stuff there.
The handguard on my particular rifle uses KeyMod for accessory attachment, but they are also available in the more modern and useful M-Lok. I secured the Atlas bipod to the pic rail underneath, and then I was ready to mount up a riflescope. Continue Reading Here…

A good rifle deserves an even better scope

rifle details; notice QD sling cup behind the grip, and locking mechanism for folding stock just above it

LWRC REPR 7.62X51

If you were around back when the various SASS rifles hit the market, you may remember it was an exciting time for those of us who love precision shooting auto-loaders. It seemed like everybody made their submissions for the project, but not all of them were destined for adoption. Lucky for enthusiasts like myself, these rifles made their way into the commercial market where hungry aficionados waited for just such an opportunity. The REPR (Rapid Engagement Precision Rifle) from LWRC was one of those rifles, and many were the nights I creeped the internet forums and webpages longing for a REPR. The ebb and flow of life wouldn’t deign me the capital to buy such a gem for my modest collection, but life’s current has brought the white whale back into port.

The LWRC REPR

The REPR is a semi-automatic precision rifle chambered in 7.62X51, it is of obvious AR heritage and yet distinctively it stands alone. The REPR functions near the same as every other AR style rifle except for it’s short stroke gas piston operation and side charging handle. The controls of the rifle closely mimic everything you already know as far as mag release, bolt catch, safety, etc.

The REPR features a non-reciprocating side charging handle on the weakside of the rifle, as well as an ambidextrous bolt-catch that can be operated with either hand. The rifle is available in a few different barrel lengths, but this one is a twenty-inch barrel with a one-in-ten twist. At the loud end of the rifle you will find a two position gas block with a setting for normal and suppressed, something I intended to test thoroughly. The 5/8-24 threaded muzzle came with LWRC’s Ultra muzzle brake that uses three horizontal ports on each side to vent gas pressure and reduce recoil. The handguard features screw holes to attach an assortment of picatinny rails wherever you might need them, as long as it’s three, six,Ā  nine, and twelve o’clock. The REPR comes with factory Magpul furniture. The MOE grip and PRS buttstock make an excellent interface with the triggerman, and are easily adjusted. Last but certainly not least, the rifle comes from the factory with a GeisseleĀ® SSA-E 2-Stage Precision Trigger which together with all the above mentioned features makes this rifle smooth and sexy without loosing its sturdy and potent performance.

REPRoducing my dream

Its not often I go twenty-four hours without shooting a new gun, and I dang sure wasn’t going to break that tradition with this beauty. I spent a great deal of time playing with it, getting familiar with its differences and similarities. With a Leupold CQBSS 1-8 scope mounted in a Larue SPR mount, I grabbed some ammo and my tool kit and made my way to the cold and snowy mountains nearby. Continue Reading Here…

Dead Air Sandman K

In the search for a very small and useful rifle, my brother put together a 300 Blackout pistol. Though a deeply committed rifle junkie, I’m not exactly a huge Blackout proponent but I can surely see what the appeal is. One thing I do know for sure, is that unless you are going to run it suppressed, you are leaving most of the Blackout’s magic on the table. That is where todays subject comes in, the Sandman K was selected to go with this little project, and today we’ll take a look at how it performed the task.

The Sandman
The name suggests a peaceful slumber, I interpret that to mean the Sandman at a minimum wont cause a huge disturbing raucous. Which is exactly what the Blackout was meant to avoid.
The Sandman family of suppressors was meant to provide heavy duty service to shooters who prefer suppressed fire. Dead Air claims the Stellite and stainless construction are among the most durable materials used in the suppressor market today. The suppressor is five and a half inches long, and weighs in at just under thirteen ounces. The Sandman has a thirty-caliber bore rated for cartridges up to 300 Winchester Magnum, and it also has available end caps with 5.56 and 6.5 bores. The Sandman mounts to Dead Air’s QD nitrided muzzle devices, they boast single-hand installation and removal that is simple and fast. All this comes with a Cerakote finish for a handsome and durable service life.

Installation
Once the Blackout pistol had been finished, it was time to install the KeyMount muzzle brake. This was a little bit of a challenge because the barrel was recessed inside the handguard, and to be sure it stayed there a serious thread-locking plan was undertaken. The KeyMount design is easy to understand, but I have had a couple issues with it. It uses a three lug ratchet cap that aligns with the muzzle device, and once pushed all the way down to the seat you can twist the suppressor a couple times tightening up the entire assembly on a tapered shoulder.

The Sandman and the Keymount brake

I say problems, but really it was just a lack of training or getting used to the function of the Sandman. Getting the lugs lined up properly can take a few tries at first, much like a USB you have to try it the same way a couple times to get it right. Once the can is locked up though, it is solid as can be. The system is indeed quick, and strong which explains why so many have switched to it. One thing I did find, which I think can happen with many of these QD type suppressor mounts is they get quite tight to the mount at times. Particularly when whoever installed it did so with significant exertion, the suppressor can be a bit of a chore to break loose and even more so if it has been on the host for a significant period of shooting and time.
One of the great benefits of this system and again what has made it so popular and prolific is the ability to switch the suppressor between hosts quickly and easily. Having extra muzzle devices can give you a great many options for using the Sandman and others that utilize the same mounting system.

On the Range
Once the K-Man was mounted, we set to test firing the host, and adjusting the gas system for optimal operation. As you might expect from a can this small, there was a little more noise than I was used to for suppressed fire. I also noticed a fairly prominent first round pop, with an accompanying flash. Super-sonic shooting with the Sandman K was definitely louder than what I am used to, but again that is a normal and expected occurrence for a suppressor this short. K cans are typically used for different situations where maximum suppression is not the main goal of the suppressor. They are more just to take the edge off for shooting inside buildings or similar situations where massive muzzle blasts are particularly unwelcome.
Sub-sonic shooting on the other hand is much more tolerable, and the real reason the blackout shines. Sub-sonic ammunition doesn’t have the noise associated with bullets breaking the sound barrier, and the Sandman K does just enough to break up the noise produced by the muzzle-blast to make it very pleasant to shoot. And it does it while adding as little as possible to the length of the host firearm.

The complete Sandman clan

The Blackout and Sandman combo turned out to be a excellent pairing. Much better I think than had we run the K on a regular centerfire rifle such as a 308 or something similar. While it of course would provide some suppression, it would certainly not be hearing safe. To be fair very few suppressors are hearing “safe”, but my personal position is; I don’t collect stamps and pay money to continue using ear plugs. So for me the Sandman K is going to stick with subsonic hosts, or at a minimum with diminutive cartridges.

Conclusion
There are so many excellent suppressors on the market today, but some I feel are better for niche uses. Would I recommend the Sandman K for a first time suppressor purchaser? Absolutely not. The S or L model on the other hand would be an excellent choice.
But if you are knee deep in stamps and trusts, there’s nothing wrong with having a few dedicated cans for very specific purposes or hosts. For that purpose I think the Sandman K is a bulletproof option, it is neither the first and certainly wont be the last can purchased for a calculated purpose around here. As for the little Blackout, it does its thing real quiet now.

-CBM

Dead Air Mask 22Lr Suppressor

Life is so much better with a suppressor, and the more suppressors you have the better in my opinion. Suppressed shooting brings a new level of enjoyment to the shooting sports, whether it be hearing your bullets impact on the target or just not having to wear ear protection and being able to speak with each other without yelling. Rimfire’s are already quiet compared to their centerfire counterparts, and when you put a suppressor on them they are even more quiet. The Dead Air Mask 22 rimfire suppressor has been in my inventory for over a year now, and I can certainly say it has made the year more pleasant. And if you are looking for one yourself, I’m here to give you my opinion on it.

The Mask
The Dead Air Mask is titanium and stainless steel rimfire suppressor, it is rated for everything from 22LR up to 5.7×28 cartridges. It is just over five inches long, and has a diameter of 1.070 inches and weighs in at 6.6 ounces. The Mask is disassembled using the provided tool for the muzzle cap, and the threaded breach of the can also threads out making cleaning the suppressor very easy.

All Season
The Mask has been with me for some time now, through the summer heat and the cold of winter. I think I’ve gotten a good handle on how it performs.
The Mask was easily installed on an assortment of host rimfire weapons, and in every instance it made everything better. I use my firearms mostly for hunting and practice prior to hunting. A good portion of the summer time was spent using the mask on several 22 pistols to hunt small game such as squirrels and marmots.

Using suppressed rimfire hosts can get you up close

The Mask made a perfect companion for that purpose, allowing me to take multiple animals without spooking them with muzzle reports. And it was easily threaded on and off of my firearms, and had what I consider minimal shift. The stainless mounting threads and square cut breach cap provide an excellent interface with the host.
Through the winter time the mask stayed with me and my rimfires, providing the children with all kinds of fun. All while not adding a bunch of length or weight to the host rifle.
The Mask was perfectly suited for this Tikka 17 HMR

Why the Mask?
With so many admittedly good options out there, what would make you choose the Mask over something else? Its a subject I’ve often thought about, not just with the Mask but all kinds of products. I have other rimfire suppressors, and to be perfectly honest there is not a huge disparity between them all. Which again begs the question, why pick one over the other? Obviously there is a commercial aspect to the answer that has some validity, if there is only one suppressor in stock when you go to purchase one then it pretty much answers your question. Dead Air has done a great job at keeping up with demand, even during the darkest days of the last supply crisis I could still find an assortment of Dead Air suppressors in stock.

Pretty much all of the US suppressor market is domestically manufactured mostly if not wholly. So buying American is easy as far as that goes, but its nice to know that parts for my Dead Air cans were made just down the road a piece by some of my friends.
I don’t consider myself married to one particular manufacturer, as I have cans from several of the larger manufacturers. But if you are one of those people who likes to stick to one brand, you certainly wouldn’t go wrong picking Dead Air as that brand.
A pair of Marmots, one of which was not threatened by the report from the Mask

Price seems to be the most common decision factor on many things, the Mask has a street price as I write this around 420-480 dollars. That’s not exactly cheap for a rimfire suppressor, but you can surely spend a lot more money. And I wouldn’t bet the average shooter would see a huge difference between the Mask and suppressors that cost much more. So many times it can come down to who and where gives you the best price.
There are lighter suppressors, but we are talking in ounces so unless you are so high speed that two ounces is going to change your mind its probably not an issue.

The Dead Air Mask offers the same thing the rest of the Dead Air family does; excellent suppression and robust durability that wont require a loan application (unless you want a really big collection). So if you are a Dead Air fan, or if you have been considering the Mask as an addition to your firearms collection I am here to tell you, you will love it.
-CBM

Ruger 22LR Precision Rifle

Sometimes we get the cart before the horse, and I’ll admit that I’ve done a few things out of order over the years. One instance where I think I started at the wrong end was a few years back, when I first put my hands on a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR). Normally I like to start with a light recoiling rifle, get comfortable and proficient with its function, and then step up to the next bigger platform.
The first RPR I ever shot was the big one, in 338 Lapua Magnum. I later was able to shoot one chambered in 308 Winchester, which was obviously a little softer. And finally today, I have reached the small end of the RPR family, chambered in .22 Long Rifle.

A Natural Evolution
I remember when the first RPR hit the market, it started gaining fans immediately due to its many features and benefits. Ruger’s design quickly caught on to several large groups of rifle shooters, and in the process helped open new shooting activities to those shooters. The RPR at a glance could be mistaken for a Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR) or an AR type rifle, it’s simple yet handsome aesthetics appeal to the Black Rifle crowd just as much as it does to the precision rifle shooting crowd. Ruger was clever in the way the gun was made and marketed, the price-point of the RPR brought affordability to a shooting class that before then had been reserved to expensive custom rifles, or actual sniper rifles.
As the popularity and success of the RPR soared, additional models and calibers were introduced using the same basic idea, and it was only proper to have a rimfire version.

The Ruger Precision Rifle .22LR
The RPR .22LR is a bolt action magazine fed rifle, built in a chassis with fully adjustable comb and recoil pad. The rifle uses an eighteen-inch hammer forged steel barrel which is threaded 1/2-28 at the muzzle to install your favorite muzzle furnishings. The chassis utilizes a free-floating handguard with M-Lok slots for adding accessories, and also uses standard AR type pistol grips so you can install whatever model you desire. The rifle has a built in optics mounting rail atop the receiver and in a brilliant stroke of genius, it was designed to use the incredibly popular Ruger 10/22 magazines, with fifteen and twenty-five round magazines shown in this article. All these intuitive features come with an MSRP of $579.00.

Getting Started
I’m currently on a rimfire kick, so this rifle couldn’t have fallen into a better lap. Upon receiving the rifle, I promptly started the process of fiddling and figuring it out. The rifle came to me with a Vortex scope already mounted in a one-piece scope mount, and a few extra magazines. All I needed was a bipod and my Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 22 suppressor to make this rifle complete.

Luckily for me, I had several great options for ammunition testing. Plenty of the cheap bulk-packed ammo from manufacturers like Federal and Winchester, as well as match grade ammo from companies like Aguila and CCI. I was excited to see how it all came together in the little RPR. Once I had rifle, ammo, and everything else I needed, I headed to my shooting line to get it warmed up.

Once there, I bore-sighted the scope and started loading magazines. I started with some of the Winchester bulk packed ammo, just to get a close zero. At one-hundred yards it was not particularly impressive, with shots dodging between two and four inches across a five-shot spread.
Running the bolt on the RPR was just a tiny bit glitchy, which I believe is simply getting used to it, and breaking in the action. One thing that I’ve noticed on most bolt action rimfires is that the shorter bolt is more susceptible to binding in the short action, I believe this is due to distribution of force being focused on just a few small surfaces. I have run the bolt on other RPR’s and found the bolts to be perfectly smooth, so it could simply be that this gun is new and needs some working.
I usually don’t use safeties much, I prefer to simply keep it empty until ready to fire. But when talking about 22’s, there will almost invariably be children around. In fact I used the RPR 22 for one of my kids hunter safety course, as it was a perfect fit for him. The safety on the RPR was a little stiffer than I would have liked, the kids actually thought there was something wrong with it. But this again could just be needed to be broken in, not a deal breaker for me. Continue Reading Here…

The Tiny Terror of the Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 22

The first time I heard the name Phantom, I assumed like many of you probably did that the name implied a ghostly illusion of anonymity while shooting. Having shot quite a bit of suppressed rifle-fire over the years, and having heard other’s shots from various angles and distances gives the name more credence in my mind.
The latest suppressor to join my NFAmily is the Phantom 22 suppressor from Yankee Hill Machine, and another Phantom it surely is.

The Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 22

The aggressive suppressor market is doing an outstanding job of giving end users the great gift of choice, and the Phantom 22 is an excellent example of giving customers what they want.
The Phantom 22 is constructed of both aluminum and stainless steel, the outer tube being made of aluminum and the baffles themselves being machined from stainless steel. The attachment to the host-threads utilizes a stainless steel threaded insert as well for robust mounting and durability. The suppressor uses a threaded end-cap at the muzzle, and the main tube is comprised of two sections that thread together just ahead of the blast chamber. Inside the main-tube is the baffle stack, with indexing tabs to keep them all aligned in the same orientation. The blast chamber also has a stainless steel liner that slips into place at the back of the baffle stack. The short section of the main tube at the rear features all the serial numbers and identifying marks.

The Phantom 22 weighs in at a miniscule four ounces, which is a good two ounces lighter than most twenty-two suppressors on the market. The diameter of 1.1 inches and only five and a half inches long make it not only light but less intrusive into your shooting. The suppressor is rated at 114 decibels (which I assume was with a 22Lr), because the suppressor is also rated for 22 magnum, 17 HMR, and even 5.7×28.
All this at a street price not far from three-hundred dollars makes the Phantom 22 a great option for those looking to get quiet in the rimfire game.

Opening the box

I managed to get my hands on one of the very first production model Phantoms, with a single digit serial number I knew it was at the head of the line. I couldn’t believe how light it was as I lifted it from the box, before I even got it opened I was worried I had been shipped an empty box. But there it was, the beautifully anodized little tube I had been anticipating for some time. After admiring the exterior of the suppressor for a moment I decided to get right into the guts of what makes it so light. The front and rear tube sections are undone by hand without tools, the compression and friction of the assembly keep it quite snug.

Upon removing the rear section of the tube I noticed that the breach of the suppressor has an embossed tool as part of it to be used in loosening the end cap which I also threaded carefully out. The smooth stack of baffles slid smoothly out the front, making one of those soothing metallic slipping sounds. I took a couple of them off the stack, to see exactly how it was that they went together. And at the back of the stack was the blast chamber sleeve. Basically the liner and stack of baffles contain the entirety of the gasses and rimfire debris, the outer tube is simply there to align and hold it together. It was immediately apparent that the idea was to keep all carbon and lead buildup contained inside the blast chamber sleeve. This would keep buildup from locking the assembly together as carbon builds up, which it of course it will, at an impressive rate. So even if you shoot thousands of rounds through this can, and stack the crud deep into it, you will still be able to disassemble it for cleaning.
Another feature that quickly manifest to me was the location of the legal markings, they were all part of the short portion of the main tube at the breach end. This made a lot of sense to me, in the unfortunate event that the can should come loose under fire, and you suffered the dreaded baffle strike, it would be very unlikely to damage the serialized part of the can. This would make repair or part replacement very easy, with something like 85% of the suppressor being easily swapped out for a new part.

Head for the hills!
I couldn’t wait to get the Phantom mounted on a rifle and outside, but it’s first host actually turned out being my Taurus TX 22 pistol. I had shot thousands of rounds through my two TX pistols with various suppressors so I figured it would be a great place to start my comparison. I installed the 1/2-28 thread collar on my pistol, an threaded up the Phantom onto it. Two ounces doesn’t seem like much, but it sure seemed like I could feel a difference between the Phantom and the Dear Air Mask that had been on it last. And it was definitely a noticeable difference from the SiCo can that also frequented the muzzle of my TX’s. There are lighter suppressors sure, but who wants a suppressor that looks like anal beads?

I wasted no time burning through a paycheck’s worth of ammo, a couple mags later I needed to swing by the house to pick up more. Shooting the TX with the Phantom installed was similar to what I was used to, the increased backpressure caused by suppressors was noticeable. Particularly when dumping large quantities of ammo through the gun I could see and feel plenty of gas and debris in my vicinity. (Note: always wear the appropriate safety equipment when shooting)
I will say that with this pistol, you better be wearing glasses when shooting suppressed because you WILL feel stuff hitting you in the face.
I don’t recall how many rounds I’ve put through that pistol/can combination since, but it is no insignificant number. And yes there tends to build up carbon and other crud around the breach and ejection port of the pistol, but not so much as to deter me from keeping them married.

I’m more of a rifle guy than a pistol guy though, so I really wanted to see how it would do on a rifle.
The first rifle I was able to use with the Phantom was a Tikka T1X in 17 HMR, a very smooth little rifle you can read about here shortly. The rifle was fairly heavy for a rimfire, making recoil non-existent. The noise was still there though, the higher velocity of the 17HMR obviously creates quite a bit more racket than a 22Lr. But it was plenty quiet for my ears, shooting with the Phantom in the open country of the Rocky Mountains needed no hearing protection. The cold winter snow seemed to help soak up some of the sound as well. The Tikka saw no decrease in accuracy with the Phantom installed, which I expected to be the case.

Next I threaded the Phantom onto a Ruger RPR 22Lr to give it an additional workout. The Ruger shot outstanding with the Phantom installed, watching all my impacts one-hundred and fifty yards away was beautiful, and the icing on the cake was the thud sound every-time I pulled the trigger. I tried both super-sonic and sub-sonic ammunition through it and the results were outstanding. The anonymity that comes with shooting that quiet can certainly inspire the sensation of a Phantom presence.
Shooting long strings of fire barely heated the Phantom 22 up at all, though that could have something to do with the below freezing temperatures around here.

Score-Card

I’ve shot a few cans, but the other two rimfire cans I have are in the same competitive league as this one, so I think they are a great comparison.
I have to give the Phantom all high marks, it is just as if not quieter than my other cans. And the significant weight reduction cannot be ignored when compared to the others. And the price on the Phantom is hard to beat, if you can find one they are priced around $325 up to near the $400 mark.
The sound is outstanding, and the ease with which you can disassemble and clean this can makes it a perfect suppressor for just about any rimfire need.

The Phantom 22 next to the author’s Spectre II and Mask, both excellent company for comparison.

Conclusion
As usual with YHM cans, this one is an obvious winner in my opinion, at least when compared to those that I’m familiar with. There may be better cans, there may be lighter cans or some other feature that outperforms this one. But I’ll have a hard time justifying to myself looking for a better one with this spectacular little suppressor in my stable, it is an absolute joy to shoot.

-CBM