Tactical Solutions is known as the king of the .22. From their Pac-Lite replacement uppers for the Ruger pistols to the superb X-Ring rifles, their name is synonymous with reliability and accuracy.
The New Owhyee
The company recently released a new bolt action, takedown rifle, called the Owyhee! And, after this evaluation, I can say that It is one slick little rifle! Weighing in at under four pounds, it is lightweight and, due to the breakdown design, is very compact to transport. The receiver is precisely machined from 7075 aluminum while the barrel features an alloy fluted sleeve and chromoly steel bore. The match grade barrel is 16.5” in length, has a 1:16 twist, and is threaded to accept a suppressor or muzzle break.
The stainless bolt features a large round knob that improves manipulation, especially under speed. The Owhyee is fed by standard Ruger 10 round magazines and will accept the larger capacity magazines. A low profile, extended, magazine release is standard on the rifle and a crossbolt safety is located on the rear of the trigger guard. The adjustable rear sight is an open notch with two fiber optic inserts while the front sight also features a fiber optic. The receiver is pre-drilled and tapped for optics and TacSol offers scope bases on their accessary website. Tactical Solutions Accessories
The takedown action is paired with a modified Magpul X-22 Backpacker Stock. The unique design of the Backpacker allows the upper receiver and barrel to be attached to body of the stock. When broken down, the overall length of the Owhyee is only 19.25”. The Backpacker also features a storage compartment on the top of the stock that will accommodate three magazines or, with a partition removed, one 50 round box of ammunition.
As with all TacSol products, the Owhyee is built in Boise Idaho to very exacting standards. Tactical Solutions manufacturing process, combined with a sophisticated quality control process, ensures that each rifle is as close to perfection as possible.
When I unboxed the Owhyee, I was impressed with the fit and finish. The bolt operated smoothly with no grit or binding. The trigger, which features an inner trigger, broke cleanly at 3 lbs. 6 oz. with minimal take up and overtravel. The stock, while short for my length of pull, proved very comfortable and provided a positive cheek position.
Takedown is accomplished by first opening the bolt. A takedown pin, located on the base of the forearm, is depressed and the barrel and forend is rotated clockwise. The barrel and forend can then be removed. To store the barrel and forend in the stock, the chamber fits into a recess in the heel of the stock and the forend locks into a catch behind the pistol grip. To assemble the rife, the barrel is inserted into the receiver at a 45 degree or so offset. The barrel and forend are then rotated counter-clockwise to the proper index point, automatically locking it into place.
I had originally planned to mount a magnified optic on the Owhyee. However, after the initial examination, I wanted to keep the rifle as light and compact as possible. I was glad that I made this decision. To transport the Owhyee, I broke it down and placed it in a cheap tennis racket case. It also provided the needed protection and great urban camouflage.
On the range, we tested the Owhyee with four different loads. The table below shows the performance of each of those loads.
|Federal Champion 40 gr.||1,230 fps||2.25”|
|CCI Stinger Varmint 32 gr. Copper-Plated Hollow Point||1,443 fps||1.75”|
|CCI Mini Mag 40 gr. Copper-Plated Round Nose||1,140 fps||2”|
|CCI 45 gr. Suppressor Subsonic Hollow Point Small Game||929 fps||1.1”|
|Velocity recorded at 10 feet/Accuracy at 50 yards|
The weather for our range day was mid-nineties and bright sun. Fortunately, my range has a covered shooting bench. Even so, the fiber optic light pipes were extremely bright and proved challenging when attempting to shoot groups at 50 yards. It has been a while since I shot iron sights and the Owhyee reminded me how much fun they can be.
My groups averaged in the 2” range with my best group being just under 1”. The Owhyee really liked the 45 grain CCI Suppressor ammunition. Our first groups were high right but this was easily corrected with an adjustment of the rear sight.
I mounted my GEMTECH GM-22 for most of the testing. This reduced the sound signature and, with the subsonic loads, turned the Owhyee into a real covert performer. We had a lot of fun just sniping debris on the berm of the range. From the 50 yard bench, we could hit just about anything we could see. The fiber optic sights were quick to pick up and made it easy to transition between targets. When running the gun between targets, the action was smooth with no binding and the large bolt knob was a real benefit. Regardless of how fast we ran the action, we had no issues.
As previously stated, the Owhyee is just a lot of fun! It is compact, light, and accurate. After running semi-auto rifles, like my 10-22 or X-Ring, I found it refreshing to run a rimfire bolt gun. It is a great trail and backpacking rifle and would be ideal for a youth rifle. It would also be ideal as a survival rifle for private aircraft owners. The addition of a quality red dot optic would further enhance the capability of the Owhyee as a trail gun. With the addition of a magnified optic, such as a Leupold VX-Freedom, 3-9X40 scope. At a MSRP of $299.00, this optic has a lot to offer.
However, all of this TacSol goodness does come with a price. The MSRP price of $1,065.00 will give some readers sticker shock. By comparison, the Ruger 10-22 Takedown, with the Magpul Backpacker stock, retails for $639.00 and the Ruger American Rimfire Compact retails for $469.00. However, the Owhyee is for those who appreciate quality and want to step up their game. They are willing to pay for a quality rifle, spend upwards of $15.00 for a box of Ely ammunition, and enjoy every minute.
The Owhyee is a great addition to the expanding line from Tactical Solutions. I can see a lot of applications for the little rifle. One interesting application would be to cut the barrel to 6” or so to make a very cool short barrel rifle. With the GEMTECH GM-22 mounted, the total barrel length would only be 11”. It goes without saying that the proper procedures would be followed to comply with all applicable laws.
For those wanting something exceptional, I suggest giving the Owhyee serious consideration.
For more information on the Owhyee, visit Tactical Solutions Owhyee Rifle.
|Tactical Solutions Owhyee Rifle|
|Magazine||Ruger Type 10/22|
|Overall Length Assembled||34”|
|Overall Length Broken Down||19.25”|
|Barrel Length||16.5” Threaded 1/2×28|
By the way, Owhyee is a county located in southwest Idaho. It is also a name of the mountain range named after a group of trappers, from Hawaii, that disappeared during an expedition.