William W. Gabbard
I recently received the Tactical Solutions X-Ring Takedown .22 rifle in Mossy Oak Bottomland to test. This is a beautiful little rifle right out of the box. My first thoughts led to squirrel hunting, camping, or playing some of the tactical shooting games that are so popular now.
It came equipped with a Leupold Vari X III 3.5 x 10, which would be perfect for hunting and should be great for accuracy testing. The Magpul stock seemed short until I started shooting it, then it felt fine. The storage compartment built into the stock is ingenious and would be great for hunting and camping. The extended magazine release is perfect for the tactical shooting games. Jamie Thomas, the tinkerer of the crowd, was breaking the rifle down and putting it back together in no time without bothering to consult the directions. A little internet research and a couple of calls to dealers revealed a list price of $1205 for the rifle itself with actual pricing from dealers ranging from $640 to nearly $900. Quite a variation, so it pays to shop around!
I headed to the local sportsman’s club range where I zeroed the Leupold at 50 yards and shot my first two groups using Federal Automatch ammo. Both groups were under an inch if I threw out a flyer. Next, I fired five shot groups at 50 yards using nine different kinds of .22 LR ammo. Groups ranged from over two inches to an amazing 0.443. Under ½ inch at 50 yards with a fresh out of the box semi auto .22 rifle is impressive. Federal Champion, CCI Standard Velocity, and Remington Yellow Jacket ranged from 0.95 to 1.15 – what you would say were inch groups. Of the nine different types of ammunition tested, seven grouped under an inch if you threw out the flyer. By far the best group of the day was fired using SK Pistol Match Special which fired the 0.443 group. Not really what you would expect using a semi auto rifle. Bench rest shooting is not really what this little rifle is designed for, but I have seen several heavy barrel rifles with bigger scopes struggle to keep groups under a ½ inch at 50 yards.
Following the accuracy test, we did a rapid-fire test, firing a ten-shot magazine as fast as possible to test for function. Federal Automatch, Federal Champion and Federal High Velocity Match all performed flawlessly as did the CCI Standard Velocity, PMC Scoremaster, SK Pistol Match Special, Norma Match and the Remington Yellow Jacket. The only failure to feed came while using Winchester Super X 36 Gr Hollow Point. We had no problems with this ammo during the accuracy testing, but it repeatedly jammed during the rapid-fire test.
The final phase of the test was quite interesting and bordered on abuse! The Owsley County Sportsman’s Club had a Rimfire Steel Challenge Match scheduled during the time that I happened to have the X-Ring in my possession. I contacted Jon Allen of Nighthawk Tactical Solutions who removed the Leupold scope and installed a Barska 1 x 20 Micro Red Dot sight. The Picatiny Rail made this a breeze. Jon then took the X-Ring to the match and made it available to anyone that wanted to use it in the rimfire rifle portion of the match.
For the second round, Jon removed the Red Dot, changed the adjustable comb on the Magpul stock and the shooters proceeded to shoot the second stage of the match using the excellent factory sights. Ten different shooters used the little rifle in all three stages of the match. There was a combined total of just over 500 rounds fired using all types and combinations of ammunition. There was a total of one failure to fire from what was, by this time, a very dirty and hot rifle. This performance could only be considered extraordinary.
The bottom line is that you would really have to search for a purpose that the X-Ring is not suited for. The extended magazine release worked flawlessly for fast changes but was easy to bump if you were not familiar with it. The adjustable comb, the storage compartments, outstanding accuracy, ease of handling, reliability, and of course the Mossy Oak Bottomland all combine to make the Tactical Solutions X-Ring Takedown a rifle that nearly anyone would love to add to their collection.