Tag Archives: 22lr

The Taurus USA TX22 Compact pistol



Semi-automatic 22 pistols have been a bit of a conundrum in the past, it seems every manufacturer has tried to make one that is both reliable and feature filled. But there always seems to be a shortcoming or compromise. When I first put hands on the Taurus TX22 years ago, I had a preconceived notion that it too would become another obligatory 22 pistol that was almost good enough. That was the initial TX22 pistol, but today we are going to look at one of the newest TX22 models, and see if it measures up, or exceeds what we are used to. I am happy to bring you a review of the TX22 Compact pistol from Taurus USA.

The TX22 Compact

The TX22 Compact is a polymer-frame striker fired pistol, it is fed from polymer magazines that hold up to 13-rounds. The compact version of the pistol also has some slide cuts to reduce weight, as well as an optics cut at the rear for mourning your favorite red dot sight. In a departure from the standard TX22, the compact features non-adjustable sights. That is probably because you can mount a red dot and adjust that instead. 

The small pistol also features a standard picatinny accessory rail under the muzzle for attaching whatever light or aiming accessory you’d prefer. Like its larger sibling, the TX22 Compact also features a threaded barrel, and comes with a suppressor collar to install your favorite hush-tube. At the rear of the frame there is an ambidextrous safety that is easily manipulated with the firing-hand thumb.


My very first impression of the TX22 Compact was its weight, it felt incredibly light. This is surely due to the polymer construction and aluminum parts. And much the same way as the full size TX22, I immediately fell in love with the grip. It fits my hand perfectly and the texturing makes it very easy to keep hold of. The lightweight and comfortable grip had already hooked me, but would it perform as good as it looked and felt? If my initial feelings were right, I was pretty confident that this pistol would be a winner.


The TX22 has a relatively short history. The original model was released only a few years ago, and Taurus has since expanded the line with an assortment of models and colors. The competition model uses a cut slide with a reduced front end on the slide as well as an optics mounting platform. The Compact is the most recent development, though I’m sure there will likely be additional offerings.



Lets go over some of the key features that set the TX22 Compact apart. Perhaps one of the most exciting developments with the TX22 is the magazines. For decades it seemed like 22 auto pistols had but one option for capacity, a single stack 10-round magazine. The TX22 uses what I guess you could call a double stack, in that the rims of the stacked cartridges are offset to the right and left as they are stacked into the magazine. The original full-size TX22 holds 16-rounds, while the flush-fitting magazines of the Compact model hold only 13. But to be fair, 13 rounds in a pistol this small, and this light make it very appealing. Also, the 16-round magazines of the full size TX22 also fit into the compact, though they do hang out exposed.

The Holosun 407 was a great choice

The trigger of the TX22 is another fantastic feature, instead of using a blade-safety, the TX22 utilizes the entire shoe. As the trigger is pulled, the shoe pivots into its firing position where the sear can be activated. It feels quite good considering the inexpensive cost of the TX22’s. The trigger also has a pretty short reset which I find spectacular, and greatly increases your ability to shoot rapidly with minimal movement.

The threaded barrel of the TX22 is another fantastic feature that comes from the factory. And the included suppressor collar allows you to go straight to the range with suppressor in hand. The barrel comes with a thread-cap installed, it is easily removed with a wrench using the machined flats on the thread-cap. You can then install the shouldered suppressor collar, which just threads over the muzzle with a flush fit. The collar also had a nice shoulder to tighten your suppressor against.

the Yankee Hill Phantom 22 suppressor is a perfect companion to the TX22

The TX22 Compact slide comes pre-cut for optics, and it fits micro red dots like the Holosun 407K and the new Vortex Defender. This is such a fantastic feature, especially to me who has become more and more addicted to red dots on my pistols. The steel plate is easily removed with the two screws, and your micro red dot will take its place.

The controls of the TX22 are easy to operate and understand, the slide release is easy to press with the thumb to drop the slide while shooting. The safety is not obtrusive but easy to reach and activate when needed, and it’s on both sides of the pistol for those wrong-handed folks out there. The mag release button is small and very functional, it too can be reversed to the opposite side of the frame for left-handers.

I guess my favorite feature of the TX22 family is that unlike most 22 auto-loading pistols, it doesn’t feel like a toy. While it is very light, even lighter than my son’s airsoft pistol, it still feels like a real gun. It doesn’t have the undersized grip that many others do, when you pick it up it feels like you’ve got a real gun in your hand. Add to that the dashing good looks of the pistol, and you’ve got a winner in your hand. 


Performance and Precision


Accuracy (8.5-10)

Being a humble little 22lr pistol, I’m not sure what level of accuracy people will expect from it. But I find the pistol to be very accurate for the purposes that I would use a 22 pistol for. I have used it to train my kids a great deal for pistol shooting, and every one of them absolutely loves shooting the TX22. It never fails, every time we go shooting I hear: can we bring the Taurus?

Shooting inexpensive bulk packed ammunition is what I expect most other people to shoot, as do I. The TX22 Compact is easy to keep on targets as small as squirrels at distances like 15 to 20 yards. Dispatching small rodents and even rats in the shed is surprisingly easy with the little TX22. 

In addition to its accurate shooting, the near lack of any felt recoil seems to help shoot the pistol even better. 


Ergonomics (8.5-10)

As I mentioned above, the fit in my hand is one of the first things that sold me on this pistol. It feels comfortable, and fills a man’s hand. The texturing on the frame makes it easy to keep hold of when manipulating the pistol, and the slightly flared magwell makes reloading an easy and smooth operation.

The trigger feels great, and all the controls are right where they should be and easy to operate. Even my wife who has particularly petite hands finds the TX22 Compact easy to operate and shoot well. 


Features (9-10)

The TX22’s features are outstanding. Not only does it have most everything a person could ask for, they are included from the factory. With a price this low you get quite a few features I am both surprised and happy to get. 

The higher capacity magazines, the optics ready slide, and factory threaded barrel are probably my favorite features of this pistol.

The TX22 compact (L) shown next to the full size TX22 (R)

Fit & Finish (8.5-10)

The TX22 family of pistols all come with a pretty handsome look to them. The different color frame options are nice, and the pistol seems to be put together well. I know it’s only a 22, and most people aren’t going to be betting their life on the durability of the TX22. That said, I think there are just a few things that do give the impression of a “cheap” pistol, such as the plastic firing pin bushings. And as much as I like the magazines, they are all plastic, and they don’t feel like it would be hard to crush them if accidentally stepped on or something. I also noticed that the coating of the slide isn’t as tough as I would like it to be, but at this price I can’t complain. 

Despite the few things that may make it seem cheap, I cannot find where the TX22 is flawed or poorly assembled. It’s a great looking pistol. 


I’ve been shooting the TX22 compact for nearly six months now, and I’ve lost track of how many boxes of Federal AutoMatch we’ve put through it. But at 325 rounds per box I’d estimate we have shot nearly two thousand rounds through the Compact TX22, this with a negligible occurrence of malfunctions. I was not surprised, as that was the same experience I had with the full size TX22, shooting through thousands of rounds with nearly zero issues. 

Of course being a 22lr, the TX22 is going to be dirty, and will need occasional cleaning to keep it running in top shape. Particularly if you are shooting suppressed, which a great deal of our shooting has been. 

I ran my Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 22 on the TX22 Compact, it was a perfect match that provided hours and hours of incredibly quiet fun for the family. Of course you should always wear eye protection when shooting, but it is an absolute must when shooting this pistol suppressed. There is a good deal of debris blown back when suppressed, so keep your glasses on.

Get the Yankke Hill Machine Phantom 22 suppressor here

Value (10-10)

With a street price just over $300, I think the TX22 Compact is an absolutely incredible value. There are other competitors like the Sig 322 that cost a bit more, and offer a higher capacity. The Keltec P17 is cheaper still, if you want a gun that looks like it was designed by a high school shop class. 

I think the TX22 performance and features are well worth the asking price, and having spent a great deal of time shooting this and other TX22’s I am quite confident its performance is long term. 


Pro & Cons


  • Excellent value
  • Reliable performance
  • High capacity magazines
  • Optics ready
  • Picatinny accessory rail
  • Ambidextrous controls
  • Suppressor ready from factory
  • Comes with 2 magazines


  • Magazines could be arguably fragile
  • I need more of them

Alternative Options

I mentioned the Sig P322 above, it would likely be a good alternative to the TX22. It carries a higher capacity magazine, and weighs a bit more but that is expected. It also comes with the big Sig Sauer name that so many crave.


The Keltec P17 is another option, with a comparable capacity to the TX22, and at an even cheaper price. It is also lighter than both the Sig and Taurus, but it also appears to come with fewer features.



How much is the Taurus TX22?

The Taurus TX22 can be had for as little as $308 depending on where you buy

Is it safe to dry fire the Taurus TX22?

Many 22lr pistols are not supposed to be dry fired, but according to Taurus USA, the TX22 series is made to be safely dry fired

What red dot will fit the Taurus TX22 Compact?

The TX22 compact accepts micro red dots with the same pattern as the Holosun 407K, I installed that model, as well as the Vortex Defender red dot.

Is the TX22 Compact? 

The standard TX22 is compact enough to conceal, and the compact model is even moreso. It is very comparable in size to the Glock 19.


For more information on the TX22 Compact Click Here


So if you haven’t gathered by now, I am a big fan of the entire TX22 family of pistols. I’ve spent the last 3 or 4 years shooting one version or another, and they have proven to be accurate, reliable, and incredibly fun to shoot. Compact pistols are typically designed for concealed carry purposes, which makes sense. I will say that I am not going to recommend carrying a 22lr as your concealed carry, but I will mention a few positive things for those that might. The TX22 Compact is very comfortable to carry, it’s both small and light so you wont notice it as much as other guns. And in the event that you should ever have to draw it, it can be emptied very quickly, and all thirteen shots can be dumped into a target with great accuracy and speed. 

Other features like the threaded barrel and optics cut slide give you many of the more desired features of modern auto-loading pistols. It may not be some top tier handgun, but when it comes to 22’s I don’t know of one that I would say is top tier.

Check out more Vortex Optics

I would say that if you are looking for a fun, reliable, and accurate 22lr pistol, you will not likely find a better option. There might be one that is comparable, but it will be more expensive for sure. I must admit that I have found the TX22 to be well worth the asking price, so much in fact that I have returned to the TX22 again and again. I now own four of them in one configuration or another, if you need a good 22 pistol, buy the TX22 with confidence.


Why Classic Sig Sauer pistols are still great

Sig Sauer perhaps leads the market with a plethora of new firearm products every year, and of course among those many items are their always popular pistols like the Legion series and the countless models of the P320. With all these hot releases and choices, it can be easy to forget some of the old standby pistols that Sig has made in the past. At the risk of sounding like the old guy trying to convince you to trade your Glock for a 1911, today I’m here to tell you about a few classic Sig pistols and why they deserve your time.

The P220
The P220 is an aluminum framed single stack pistol, chambered in the Automatic Colt Pistol caliber .45. It uses a double action (DA) trigger and an magazine with room for eight rounds. As with many of the older Sig pistols, this P220 is safety-less. The controls are extremely simple using only a trigger, slide-lock, and a de-cocking lever to safely lower the hammer. The mag release is in the traditional spot, all these controls are comprehensive and easily manipulated. It also has a low-slung accessory rail up front for installing weapon lights.

This P220 happens to be one of the fancy German made ones, and it also features a threaded barrel for installing a suppressor. I intended on running my Silencerco Octane 45 to see how they played together. With a few boxes of 230 grain ball ammo, the 220 and the Octane in hand I hit one of my shooting spots.
I don’t shoot much .45ACP very often, but it sure felt powerful coming out of this Sig. The full-size pistol felt perfect in my hands, its grip and angle match my natural point of aim. Hitting targets with the heavy and slow bullets was very enjoyable, even more so once I installed the suppressor. The naturally subsonic bullets of the 45 made shooting the suppressed P220 pure joy, I could have perhaps benefitted from taller sights but had no problem hitting what I aimed at.

The P220 has everything from classic firepower to the iconic looks of a service grade pistol. The trigger still feels fantastic all these years later, and the pistol’s function was flawless. The gun is obviously a little heavier than more modern pistols, and everyone but the old 1911 guy would probably like more magazine capacity. But despite those few things, I absolutely love this pistol. The heavy weight tames the movement of the gun significantly, making it smooth and deliberate in every motion.

The P239
One of the reasons that the P220 was so easy and familiar to me, was that it has the identical controls and design as my P239. I bought this pistol shortly after Y2K for those old people out there who remember phones with cords, though none of that had anything to do with my purchase. I bought the P239 because I was a freshly minted CCW carrier, and my taste then was just as good as it is now. Years later I found while reading that the P239 was frequently used as a concealable or backup pistol by agents and SEALs.

Much like the P220, the P239 is a single-stack aluminum framed DA pistol. The aforementioned identical controls are easily manipulated, and the only changes made over the last two decades has been a Hogue grip. The soft edges of the pistol and its low profile sights make it an easy option to conceal and draw.

I’ve carried the P239 for nearly half of my life, so nothing could feel more comfortable to me when shooting. And like it always does, the 239 functioned flawlessly during my latest trip afield. Shooting both 115 and 124 grain ammo, the P239 was right at home hammering targets. The eight-round magazines are solid and easily changed, and having several of them made reloads and multiple engagements quite fun. My wife who is significantly more petite than I also found the P239 to be easily handled and fun to shoot.

I typically carry this gun with the hammer down, which is easily done using these pistols. One need only pull the trigger whilst whistling Dixie. Both the 239 and 220 proved to be quite accurate, but the P239 and I have pulled off some near unbelievable shots over the years. Including the decapitation of a rodent on the first shot from sixty-nine yards, whether you believe that or not, you can certainly count on this gun shooting accurately.

The Mosquito
Before the P322, there was a Mosquito. The Mosquito is a .22LR chambered pistol that basically mimics the P series of pistols. It does use a polymer frame however, with an alloy slide and this one does have a safety. Not sure why, perhaps due to the idea that it may be used by young shooters. Other than the safety, the Mosquito is again identical in its controls and function to the other two pistols mentioned here. It does feature a pic rail for adding your favorite accessories under the front. The single-stack ten-round magazine is familiar and simple, much like every other 22 pistol from that era. Continue Reading Here…

Bergara BMR 22 Long Rifle

22 Rimfire

I never got to shoot a large amount of 22’s when I was younger, I kind of skipped towards centerfire stuff. So it has been very refreshing in the last year or so to revisit a good spread of rimfire rifles, and today I’m here to tell you about yet another one; the Bergara BMR.


The Bergara Micro Rimfire (BMR) is a bolt action rifle in a synthetic stock, it utilizes either a five or ten-round detachable box magazine. The model I tested here is all steel, but there is also a carbon fiber barreled version. The BMR seems to have been designed with the competitive rimfire shooter in mind, and as such competitions rage across the countryside it should come as no surprise. It features an eighteen-inch barrel, threaded 1/2-28 at the muzzle and came with a steel thread protector installed. The magazine is released by a paddle-type lever at the front of the trigger-guard, very reminiscent of centerfire competition rifles. It also utilizes a bolt-release similar to many centerfire competition rifles, built into the left rear of the bolt raceway.
The trigger on the BMR was outstanding, I was surprised at how clean and free the sear dropped. There was little left to do other than get this handsome little rifle to the range.

Action details clockwise: Bolt stop/release, five and ten round magazines, safety and cocking indicator, trigger and adjustment screw.

Optics Selection

If this BMR shot as good as I’d hoped, I wanted to give myself an edge with a great scope to go on top of it. I have a bunch of good scopes, but was torn as which one to use. I would feel almost silly mounting a two or three thousand dollar scope on a rimfire rifle with a street price between five and six-hundred fifty dollars (depending on what features you order). I ended up using my Vortex Gen2 PST 3-15X44, and I’m glad I did because they are a perfect match for each other.
I mounted up the Vortex into a one-piece mount and leveled it up on the BMR’s 30 MOA scope mount. A quick and dirty boresight job was all that was left before heading to the range. I also added a bipod to aid in steady shooting while I zeroed the rifle.

Time to burn some powder

With a fine selection of ammo from Federal, Winchester, and CCi in hand, I made my way out to the dry desert where I intended to shoot. My boresight had put my point of impact a foot or so high, so after making a few adjustments the rifle was hitting right where I wanted it to. Within the first few shots after confirming my zero, I was absolutely in love with this rifle. I was picking out smudges on my steel target, and covering them up with shiny lead circles. I could quite literally aim for the previous impact, and hit the same spot with amazing consistency. After leading up the steel at fifty-yards, I decided to take it out a bit further.
I know that there are plenty of people who shoot their 22’s to some incredible distances, but I figured that for my purposes a 22 would not really be utilized much beyond a hundred or so yards, and certainly not beyond two-hundred.

Shooting targets at two-hundred yards quickly made me reconsider my envelope. Even with some wind on the range, I found hitting pop-can sized targets pretty repeatable at the two hundred yard line. I knew that I was going to need to try some additional tasks with this little rifle, there were definitely some varmints that could use some diet pills.

Continue Reading Here…




Bergara BMR .22 Rifle
And, especially suppressed, the gun is more than willing to claim game and provide accurate shooting for fun plinking. 

The threaded muzzle begged to be suppressed. In general, .22s are amazing fun when they are suppressed, with bullet impacts often making more noise than the shot itself. I installed my Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 22 suppressor on the rifle, and just like that, I knew this rifle was never going to leave my collection. The subdued report of the rifle was so soft and insignificant that I couldn’t help but smile every time I pulled the trigger. The minuscule amount of added weight from the 4-ounce YHM ensured it would likely never leave this rifle’s muzzle.

Shop Bergara Rifles

Firearms Depot also has a good selection

After burning through a couple hundred rounds out in the desert, I decided it was time to brave the winter snow that remained up at 8,000 feet in search of rodents. My favorite varmint species was waiting there for me, like they do every spring anticipating the latest guns available from Guns.com. They weren’t happy to see this little Bergara, though.



Bergara BMR .22 Rifle
Even past 200 yards, the BMR is ready to bring home game. 

After goofing around for a bit picking little pebbles off of the hillside, I went for a hike into a deep Rocky Mountain alpine canyon. After a modest hike and some quick glassing, I spotted one of the rusty-colored critters soaking up some sunshine on top of a flat rock. My rangefinder put him just shy of 200 yards, which was a bit further than I would have liked, but there was no doubt I could hit him.

I laid down on the warm sunny ground. It had been covered in snow only a week or so prior. I spotted my prey through the scope. His keen eye seemed to be aware of me, yet he laid still obviously unaware of how crisp that Vortex is.

I evaluated the breeze, and the shallow declined angle, and decided to favor a few inches left and just below his vitals. Then, when all seemed right, I pressed the trigger and sent the 36-grain Winchester hollow-point bullet his way.

My shot drifted slightly downwind, impacting slightly further south than I would have liked, but it did the job just fine. My furry little prize rolled over and fell about 12 feet to the bottom of the snowy draw. I extended my hike a few hundred yards more to make a recovery and inspect the damage. As I suspected, it was nothing too fancy, other than a completely predictable impact on my target.


Bergara BMR .22 Rifle
The BMR is more than ready to take a scope and accurately shoot any game. 

My wife and I spent the rest of the afternoon plinking away with the little BMR. It was obvious how addicting this little rifle was, and my wife didn’t want to put it down either. She made some similar comments about shooting the Bergara and mentioned it was smooth and easily operated. I couldn’t agree more. I frequently feel a slight bind in rimfire bolts due to their short travel. She also mentioned how nice it was to watch the bullets impact with nearly zero recoil.

These are just a couple of the pros. For me, the number one positive aspect for this rifle is the accuracy. The confidence that comes from extremely consistent shooting is perhaps the greatest aspect of any rifle. The flawless function of both five and 10-round magazines, immaculate trigger, and the other operational features of this rifle are just icing on the cake.


I combed over the BMR looking for something I could call out as a negative. But, in all honesty, I could not find one. This rifle seemed to dot every I and cross every T for me. I will not be letting this rifle go. For the $500 asking price, I feel it is an absolute bargain, and it’s a price I will happily pay for a performer like this.


An average ten-shot group from the BMR, at fifty yards with bulk packed cheap ammunition


Magnum Research MLR 10/22


Am I the only one that had no idea Magnum Research made a 10/22 clone? I knew they made more than the famous Desert Eagle, but was completely surprised to find out that they also make this handsome copy of the famous Ruger so many have learned to shoot with. I guess I have a bit of an excuse for my ignorance on the subject as I’m not particularly a big rimfire shooter. That said I wasn’t going to turn down an opportunity to shoot something new.

The Magnum Research MLR

The Magnum Research MLR claims to improve on the extremely popular 10/22 design, particularly with a significant focus on accuracy.
The forged receiver and quality barrels are likely to be the basis for this accuracy. The MLR also features an oversized charging handle, as well as an elevated sighting rail. The model I tested also featured a carbon wrapped barrel and a polymer stock reminiscent of some type of AR 15. The stock uses a pistol grip and collapsible butt with various length of pull settings, and in the butt itself there are two holes for storing extra ten-round magazines.
The controls were all very familiar, matching the Ruger models. Mag release, bolt stop, and safety are all in the same spots and retain the same function. The MLR did use an extended magazine release, which I found to be very handy.


I shot the rifle in a couple different configurations, one was with a Trijicon red dot, and the other was using a Crimson Trace 3-12 riflescope. The red dot configuration was obvious a shoot fast and dirty kind of setup, like something I would use hunting jackrabbits out in the desert. For accuracy I knew I would see much better results using the riflescope, I mounted up a Crimson Trace 3-12 scope on the rifle and headed back to the hills to zero it.
Zeroing took a few shots, but once I had it dialed in I was in business. I tried a couple different types of ammo, I didn’t have a huge selection because beggars can’t be choosers nowadays. The rifle seemed to prefer the CCI Mini Mags over the CCI Tactical AR ammunition, which at fifty-yards produced ten shot groups around an inch pattern. With accuracy like that, I found that shooting clay targets out to two-hundred-fifty yards pretty easy. I’d imagine if you used higher quality ammunition it would shoot even better. The MLR was very predictable, and shooting it became very addicting.

I used the rifle for several hikes on the mountain with my dog, the lightweight rifle was a perfect little hiking companion. The collapsible stock made it more compact to carry, and the readily available magazines made quick loading a breeze. Using the rifle for plinking random little targets was a great way to enjoy a sunny afternoon.

Pro’s and Con’s

There are a plethora of benefits to making a clone of a very popular rifle, one of which would be all the aftermarket support you can take advantage of. The 10/22 market is probably the largest rimfire aftermarket, which gives you all kinds of options for stocks/chassis, triggers, barrels and so on. Today’s gun owner is as much a tinkerer as anything, so it’s nice to have so many options for tinker fodder. I could easily see myself swapping out some parts on this rifle, the stock for example was very useful, but not exactly what I would have chosen. The trigger is fine in my opinion, but it never hurts my feelings to have a better trigger, so it wouldn’t hurt to install the best option available. Continue Reading Here…

The 10/22 magazines are perhaps one of the best attributes and options. The capacities range far and wide. This gives the shooter an opportunity to utilize what best fits their purposes.

10/22 mags are abundant in the wild and the MLR does a good job of providing additional storage

The carbon-wrapped barrel on the MLR provides a definite advantage in weight. Rimfire cartridges are rarely known for any recoil, so there is hardly as much advantage to a heavy barrel when shooting .22. But the thick profile of the carbon barrel likely aids in stiffening the barrel and providing better accuracy.

As much as I appreciated the barrel though, I would have traded it out for an equivalent option that was threaded. It is nearly heresy in these modern times to offer an unthreaded barrel on anything other than a very baseline economy-model firearm. Suppressors are the latest craze, and I find shooting loud to be more than just imprudent.

Shop all Magnum Research firearms, it’s perfectly legal…

Another small gripe that I’ll admit is very subjective. It’s the sight rail on the MLR receiver. It is a spacious and robust mounting platform for optical sights, but I did find myself wishing it was removable to use the rifle for different configurations and chassis options. Not a big deal, but worth a mention in my book.


My overall impression of the MLR was a very positive one. I would happily add another one to my collection of rifles if for nothing more than to have a good .22 handy. The MLR has plenty of options for customization should you choose that route, and it is also just fine the way it is.

It would make a great little plinking rifle for weekend pleasure shooting. Or, if you really wanted to get into the new NRL Rimfire league matches, it would be a good place to put it to work as well. I look forward to terrorizing the local small game scene with this rifle as soon as winter loosens its grip. Until then, I will use it to practice my shooting fundamentals.


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 accidentally 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.

Is Kahles too much scope for a rimfire, no. Get one for yours

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…


I wanted to start shooting the rifle with a bare muzzle, mainly for those of you who plan to shoot it that way, too. I only shoot loud if I must, so the majority of my shooting was done through my new Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 22 suppressor. I also find it slightly interesting to see the offset when shooting a rifle with and without a suppressor. It’s not a huge deal, but on the off chance I find myself shooting without my can, I like to know where the shift is.

The T1x obviously has no real recoil. It’s not a light rifle as far as rimfires go, and the .17 HMR is basically the smallest magnum in existence. The recoil was more of a jolt in no particular direction, which makes spotting your shots easy. In no time at all, I had adjusted my K318i to zero and shot a few patterns to see how the rifle performed. I only had a couple of kinds of ammo to try – the old standard Hornady 17-grain V-Max load and the CCI 20-grain hollow-point load. Both of them shot the lights out, and there wasn’t a squirrel left in the county that was safe inside 200 yards.

Shooting the Tikka was an absolute pleasure. I like heavier-than-standard rifles because of the lack of recoil and general accuracy, and the T1x is exactly what I want in a rimfire rifle. The trigger breaking was perfect every time, and I love watching my impacts right as the trigger breaks. It’s quite a shame that it is the middle of winter. Otherwise, I would have taken the Tikka out for one of my favorite varmint hunts. Unfortunately, all my marmots are buried safely under several feet of snow.

The Tikka T1x shoots great, and 50-yard groups were easily half an inch in diameter. At 100 yards, it opened up a little bit, with 10-shot groups hovering right around 1 inch. Though, I think it does shoot a little better with the Phantom 22 installed, which doesn’t surprise me.



Tikka T1x .17 HMR Bolt-Action Rifle
There were only a few small gripes that I could find, one being that the bolt wasn’t quite as smooth as expected based on my other, more expensive, Tikkas

I hoped that I would find this rifle near perfect, but I can come up with a couple of gripes for those of you looking to talk yourself out of it. I’ve mentioned the weight a couple of times. I like it just the way it is, but I can surely see somebody else thinking it’s too heavy. For youth shooters, I can definitely see it being a smidge much for the smallest framed among them. But if you fancy yourself an adult like me, then the weight is no big deal.

I never had a problem running the bolt, but it was a bit sticky for a Tikka. My other Tikka rifles have perhaps spoiled me. They are just as smooth as rifles that cost two or three times as much. I imagine this comes from the short length of the T1x bolt. There was just a little bit of a grab sometimes when running it, but I imagine I would easily get used to it with increased shooting frequency.

The Boyds stock was very sturdy and particularly handsome, but there were just a couple of things I’d change. The thumbhole stock always seems to be a love or hate thing with me. Some fit the hand well, and others just won’t. This one was a no for me, but as I mentioned, I don’t care because I don’t put my thumb through it anyway. Your results may vary.

The hard button to adjust the stock was also a little irritating but not a deal-breaker in anyway. And, lastly, there seemed to be a very small misalignment between rifle and stock, with the barrel not being perfectly centered in the stock. The T1x is mounted very well, much like a center-fire rifle would be. It probably wouldn’t take much to correct the issue, but it certainly didn’t affect the shooting enough for me to care.


My tastes in rifles may run a bit rich, but I’m okay with that. If I was buying another rimfire rifle, it would definitely be this one or one comparable to this T1x. I could even see myself buying a small collection of Tikka’s in .17 HMR and .22 LR. I think this rifle stands squarely at the front of the rifles in its price range, and it’s well worth your time if you need a new rimfire rifle.


Dead Air Mask 22Lr Suppressor

Suppressed life

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.

Final words

The Dead Air Mask offers the same thing the rest of the Dead Air family does; excellent suppression and robust durability that won’t 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.

Ruger 22LR Precision Rifle

Intro to the Ruger RPR 22

Steal his look with a jacket from KUIU

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  and an Atlas Bipod 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…

Still, the adjustments of the buttstock of the rifle made it easy to match it to other shooters like my kids, making their shooting experience even more enjoyable. Though, one other small concern I had was mag feeding. Particularly when loaded to a full 25 rounds, the first few rounds were a little finicky when feeding. This also varied with different ammunition, so it could have had something to do with that as well.


After trying four different types of ammo, there was clearly a winner. The cheap bulk-packed ammo worked fine but didn’t produce the best results as you might imagine. Both the Winchester and Federal produced groups around 3 to 4 inches at 100 yards, and the CCI was a little better but not much.

Get you some high quality Lapua 22lr Match ammo here

As you might imagine, the Aguila Match ammo was superior, producing 10-shot patterns around 1.5 inches. Five-shot groups were even better, some of them even shooting 1/2-inch groups. I was happy with the results, but I would have preferred better accuracy with the cheap stuff. At least I know what to use should I need to head-shoot squirrels from across the creek.

.22 Aguila Ammo and a target
With the right ammo, you can achieve some very nice groupings. 


Bolt-action .22 LR Ruger Precision Rifle

Nowadays, suppressors are becoming more and more popular, so I had to shoot the rifle with a couple of different suppressors just to satisfy my curiosity. First was the Dead Air Mask, followed by my favorite Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 22. Both of them worked perfectly, making the report of the little rifle comparable to the BB gun I got when I turned 10.

In the open Rocky Mountains, it is hard to discern the difference between two rimfire suppressors, but the YHM wins because of it weighs a third less. Shooting suppressed rimfires is addicting, and the Ruger RPR makes it even better with great accuracy and the ability to adapt to each member of the family.


It should come as no surprise that the RPR 22 is an excellent choice for a good shooting rimfire rifle. Ruger has near-legendary experience in the rimfire market and adding a .22 LR rifle to the Precision Rifle family was exactly the right move. Despite the few hiccups I had with the rifle, I can hardly see a reason to own a different .22. Unless you have an extremely small budget, or desperately need a semi-automatic .22, you will love the Ruger Precision rifle in .22 Long Rifle.



The Tiny Terror of the Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 22 suppressor


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 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.


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 SilencerCO Spectre II and Mask, both excellent company for comparison.


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.