Tag Archives: 22lr

Why Classic Sig’s 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

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 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…



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 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.

Rangetime
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…

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…

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

Taurus USA TX22 Pistol

I have long wanted a 22LR pistol, if nothing else just to have some cheap shooting fun for myself and the kids. Its hard to beat the 22 for teaching kids the responsibility that firearms demand, and they are so fun to shoot that anything less than a brick of ammo just wont do.
The only thing that kept me from buying one over the years were concerns of performance. There always seemed to be issues with 22LR pistols, be it malfunctions like a jam, or being finicky when it came to ammunition. All I wanted was a gun that ran perfectly every time, and one that I didn’t have to worry about what to feed it.

The Taurus USA TX22 pistol caught my eye at SHOT Show 2019, I immediately fell in love with the feel of the pistol, the grip did not feel like many of the 22 auto pistols I had held before. It felt like a full size gun in my hand, the grip texture gave an almost sticky feeling in your palm. The well balanced and lightweight TX22 felt much like an M&P, or maybe a Sig Sauer P320.
Another great feature of the TX22 is it’s 16 round magazines, and it comes with two. Most 22 auto pistols are single stack 10 round magazines, it is refreshing to see that barrier being broken.
For the many patrons to the NFA, adding a suppressor to your favorite pistol is a must. Many of the 22 pistols available today come with threaded barrels for suppressors, but the TX22 even comes with the adaptor collar needed to mount the suppressor.

When I picked up my TX22 from my FFL, I already had a box of ammo and suppressor in hand. So it should come as no surprise to you that I didn’t even make it home before shooting this handsome little Taurus.

The TX22 shown with suppressor collar installed, without it, the barrel is flush to the nose of the slide.

A quick stop by my local shooting spot armed with 100 CCI Mini Mags was just enough to wet my whistle. It was the fastest five minutes of my life if I recall, those hundred rounds burned through the TX22 like grain through a goose. I was now addicted to this thing, I temporarily left my range to get two important things; More ammo, and my son. I knew he would love this thing as much as I did.

A few hours later, after Junior and I had stopped by Cabelas, we were ready to go for round two. I had purchased an assortment of ammunition, a pretty good spread in my estimation. I wanted to try everything, from the cheapest bulk ammunition to the ritzy high end stuff. I even bought a couple different boxes of subsonic ammunition, to see how the TX22 would handle it.

The next few hours of shooting turned out to be some of the funnest we’ve ever shared, magazine after magazine of plinking fun. We tried every kind of ammunition I brought, the cheap bulk stuff from Remington, the Winchester 333 pack, CCi subsonic, Remington Hornets, and even some Aguila Eley Prime. I was ecstatic with the performance, after shooting six or seven hundred rounds, we hadn’t experienced a single failure (but for the 730 fps subsonics, they will not cycle the gun, even suppressed). My favorite ammo for the TX22 would have been both the CCI subsonic 1050fps, and the Winchester 333 pack. Both of them shot very accurate from the TX22, at least more so than the rest.

The pistol runs flawless whether suppressed or not. There is of course a bit more back-pressure when shooting suppressed, this causes the gun to foul a little more aggressively but that is no surprise. I loved shooting the gun without the suppressor too, it is balanced perfectly, and fit me so well that I found myself hardly using the sights.
The very mild recoil of the 22LR is soaked up nicely by the recoil spring, the gun hardly moves in the hand when fired. Follow-up shots are easily made, and can be done so very quickly.
The trigger of the TX22 features a trigger safety, but utilizes the whole shoe vs. a blade safety like many are accustomed to. The striker fired TX22 trigger is very clean, and resets are pretty short as well. I would love to shoot this gun in some kind of three gun competition or something similar, the inexistent recoil and fast shot to shot time would be a blast.

The sixteen round magazines were nice to have as well, one thing about 22’s is you spend a lot of time reloading. So having sixteen rounds to shoot prolonged the time one spent at the shooting line. The magazines have a small circular pin through the follower that you can pull down slowly as you add rounds to the feed lips until it is full.

The gun is easily disassembled following the directions in the owners manual. With as much ammo as you will go through, you will need to clean it often. Especially as dirty as most 22 ammo is. No tools are needed, except for removing or installing the suppressor collar. And I would suggest removing it after every range session, if only to clean it. I’d hate to see it get stuck on the barrel by all the 22 gunk.

The TX22 has a single magazine release, though it can be switched from side to side. It comes configured for a right handed shooter, but the simple directions in the manual allow lefties to switch it over to their liking. I initially found the magazine release to feel a bit small and perhaps difficult to purchase with my thumb. However I quickly withdrew that observation after shooting the gun, at no point during all my shooting did I find it to be a problem. Mag changes were done quickly and without any issues.

The TX22 with the Silencerco Spectre II suppressor

The easily adjustable sights were another welcome feature. There are two screws you can adjust with a micro flat blade screwdriver, one is for elevation adjustment, and the other for windage.
The TX22 also features an ambidextrous safety, with familiar positioning and function. Up for safe, and pulling down with the thumb puts the gun into the firing mode.
The front of the polymer frame features an accessory rail where you can add you favorite light, laser, or other device.

As it turns out, the Taurus TX22 is everything I hoped it would be when I first held it in a Las Vegas casino. It shoots as good as it handles, it’s function matches it’s handsome looks. It brings some great new features that were long overdue.
I love this little pistol, its been hard to put down. I even left my usual CCW at home, just so I had an excuse to have the TX22 with me so I could look at it, and show it to friends. Not that I would recommend a 22LR for a carry gun, but it sure was nice to have such a light and narrow pistol inside my belt for a change. We had fun shooting the pistol at the range, as well as a little squirrel hunting. The SilencerCo Spectre II made the gun so quiet, we could sneak into acorn distance.

You mess with the bull, you catch these horns.

The only negative things I have to bring up about the TX22 is regarding the magazine design. As I removed them from the box, the floor-plate of both magazines was easily pushed off. The first time resulted in my magazine guts getting shot out across the floor. They aren’t big pieces, so it took a bit to find them all. When I tested the second magazine for the issue, I found it to be the same, the floor-plate retainer didn’t seem to have enough of an anchor to keep them in place.
Oddly enough though, the problem never reoccured. After shooting the gun a few times, I again tried to get the floor-plates to slide off. But even with aggressive pressure they stayed in position. Perhaps the vibration of shooting helped seat them better? Either way, the problem has never been repeated.
Another concern is more of a user problem than a design one. When loading the magazines, it is easy to want to just pull the follower down well ahead of the cartridges you are feeding into the lips. This can cause cartridges to tilt inside the magazine, causing an obvious malfunction which usually requires emptying the magazine and starting anew. This problem is easily remedied by only pulling the follower down to allow the next cartridge to be fed into the magazine. One at a time until all sixteen rounds are loaded.

These are minimal complaints, and surely not something that would inhibit my purchase of another one. The Taurus USA TX22 is a fantastic pistol all around, it is simply done right. It wouldn’t surprise me if its a design they continue to build on for additional pistols, and I will be watching and waiting for it.

-CBM