TFB Review: Tactical Solutions’ X-ring SB-X Barrel for 10/22

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The Ruger 10/22, by dint of its modular construction, it quite easy to modify.  Trigger packs, bolts, receivers, stocks and barrels are easy to change out for many purposes.  Many people enjoy shooting them suppressed. Though eye and ear protection should be worn at all times on a public range, plinking in your back 40 or small game hunting can be enjoyed with no risk of hearing damage when using a suppressor.  However, adding a suppressor means adding extra barrel length.  In order to keep the 10/22 in a light, compact and handy package, short barrels are available but require paperwork and a tax stamp (at least in the USA).  The Tactical Solutions SB-X Barrel allows for a compact suppressed platform without all the red tape (assuming one already has a suppressor).

10/22 with the SB-X Barrel

10/22 with the SB-X Barrel

Per Tactical Solutions:

The SB-X barrel provides the versatility of a short barreled rifle (SBR) without the burden of red tape paperwork.  The SB-X barrel allows the addition of a suppressor without drastically increasing the overall length of your firearm.

The barrel length of 12.375” would be considered an SBR if not for the shroud which brings the overall length to 16.625”.  This barrel avoids cumbersome paperwork and provides a shorter, light-weight solution for those who love shooting suppressed.  With the standard threaded end, attaching a suppressor is easier than tying your shoe.

Specs:

  • Weight: 13.5oz
  • 0.920″ Barrel Diameter
  • Inside Diameter: 1.1″
  • Twist: 1-16″
  • Threading: 1/2″x28
  • Color: Matte Black
  • Inert/Display Suppressor NOW included!

(The MSRP of the barrel is $295.00, but can usually be found for around $250.00)

 

TFB’s Alex C. (so long, compadre!)  and Patrick R. previously shot Tactical Solutions’ A-22 with an SB-X barrel and were impressed by it.  With the barrel now available for 10/22’s, I wanted to try it out as I usually start instructing new shooters with suppressed .22’s.  Note that being a bull barrel, the SB-X cannot fit in a standard 10/22 stock.  I was in the process of putting my 10/22 into a Blackhawk Knoxx Axiom R/F stock that was adjustable for length of pull and would allow the use of bull barrels, and therefore could give this new barrel a try.

The shroud has a nice spiral cut pattern to it

The shroud has a nice spiral cut pattern to it

Installation:

The SB-X barrel came in plastic clamshell packaging, along with a fake suppressor for “display purposes” if one doesn’t already own one.  Being that I had a real suppressor, the fake one went into a parts bin.  The overall finish and look of the barrel was very nice, with a slight line where the shroud was permanently attached to the barrel.

Installation was simple.  First, I removed the barreled action from the stock.  I then removed the barrel from the action.  Some aftermarket 10/22 barrels can either take “fitting” or insert a bit too loosely into the receiver, which can degrade accuracy.  Not so with the SB-X.  With firm, steady pressure, it fit precisely into the receiver.  After ensuring that the barrel retainer screws were properly torqued, I placed the barreled action back into the stock.  The whole process took less than 5 minutes.

Barrel and shroud with a Gemtech suppressor

Barrel and shroud with a Gemtech suppressor

My suppressor, an older Gemtech Outback-II, threaded on easily and only extended past the shroud by about 1/8 of an inch.  Though the SB-X is a bull barrel, it is machined from 6061-T6 aluminum with a chromoly steel liner, and weighs only 13.5 oz, a bit less than half the weight of a stock 18.5″ 10/22 barrel.  Total weight with the new stock and a red dot sight mounted was a very light 3lbs 14oz or 1.75kg, about 1lb 2oz lighter than a stock 10/22.  The rifle now fit in a compact rifle case with the suppressor attached at a total length of 29.9″.

This whole package can easily fit inside a backpack as well

This whole package can easily fit inside a backpack as well

Accuracy and Range Results:

5-shot groups were fired at 50 yards with a red dot sight, both suppressed and unsuppressed.  Groups are measured center to center.

Unsuppressed:

  1. Gemtech Silencer Subsonic: .349″
  2. CCI Stinger: .637″
  3. Remington Subsonic: .733″
  4. CCI Subsonic: .767″
  5. American Eagle: 1.05″

Suppressed:

  1. Gemtech Silencer Subsonic:  .236″
  2. Eley Match:  .503″
  3. CCI Stinger:  .634″
  4. CCI Subsonic:  .796″
  5. American Eagle:  .883″
  6. Remington Subsonic:  .931″

    Best group of the day from Gemtech Silencer Subsonic. .25" grid.

    Best group of the day from Gemtech Silencer Subsonic. .25″ grid.

I’m no Kirsten Joy Weiss or .22 Plinkster, but I was very pleased with the accuracy of the barrel.  The barrel did show a clear preference for Gemtech’s 42 grain “Silencer Subsonic” load.  It was capable of sub-1/2 MOA accuracy and was a bargain (by today’s .22 prices) for such results at roughly 14 cents/round.  All the other ammunition demonstrated very good accuracy from this barrel, especially for an autoloading .22.  Sadly, I did not have any Eley Tenex or Lapua ammo available at time of testing.

Testing the rifle on a bunch of steel poppers and swingers, the light, compact barrel helped me swing faster when moving from target to target.  The light weight also made extended offhand shooting sessions easy.   The rifle even balanced and shot well one-handed with no issues.  I have fired a total of 300 rounds through the barrel so far with zero malfunctions.P8172607

Conclusions:

The Tactical Solutions SB-X Barrel is a great upgrade for the 10/22.  It enhances accuracy and portability and decreases weight.  It would make a great addition to any 10/22 platform, be it for survival/small game hunting, training, plinking, or instruction.  For even more portability, a model is available for the 10/22 takedown.  The cost is easily justified by the increased performance and no need for onerous paperwork or a $200 tax stamp.  I would fully recommend it to anyone who is contemplating a 10/22 SBR build that would be subsequently suppressed.  It is also a good option for a bull barrel that doesn’t increase weight.  The only improvement I could recommend Tactical Solutions make is the addition of an iron-sighted model.

Pros:

  • Reduces weight
  • Enhances accuracy
  • Easy installation
  • No need for Tax Stamp

Cons:

  • Precludes use of iron sights (though a long-barreled X-ring barrel can be had with them)

 

For more information, please visit Tactical Solutions.

Thanks to Aaron Hughston Shooting School for range time.



Rusty S.

Having always had a passion for firearms, Rusty S. has had experience in gunsmithing, firearms retail, hunting, competitive shooting, range construction, as an IDPA certified range safety officer and a certified instructor. He has received military, law enforcement, and private training in the use of firearms. He is fortunate enough to have access to class 3 weaponry as well.


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  • Christopher Wallace

    meh

  • JustAHologram

    It looks pretty cool

  • Sasquatch

    Just need a suppressor first….

  • thedonn007

    Still not short enough to make bull pack. 22lr subsonic (4.5″). I went with a 16.25″ barrel for my 10/22. Since the ID of the SBX barrel is only 1.1″, that prevents the use of my 9 mm can.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      Not sure why that’s such a thing, slowing down normal ammo to subsonic speeds through ports and reduced barrel length. How loud is the supersonic crack from a .22lr?

      • thedonn007

        Not loud enough to hurt your hearing, but subsonic .22lr with a suppressor is so much more enjoyable.

        • Rooftop Voter

          Probably goes pfft pfft pfft instead of pew pew.

      • iksnilol

        I just don’t see the point since the only worthwhile ammo in .22 LR is by default subsonic.

        “Standard velocity” is most often subsonic.

  • David

    What’s the point of shortening a barrel only to add a long shroud? What am I missing?

    • jeff

      have a short barrel and have the ability to put a suppressor under the shroud, i guess it is just kindof an FU type thing to the atf, not sure

      • Miguel Raton

        Uh, did you not notice that it comes with a “dummy suppressor” [aka bloop tube], which works like a super effective flash suppressor [as if you need one on a 22lr] and redirects any report forward away from the shooter? So the basic barrel with bloop tube is quieter [for the shooter], lighter, & probably more accurate [due to the shorter, stiffer barrel] than your basic 16″ heavy barrel. In all, a very elegant solution!

        I’ll still stick with my 26″ GM sporter barrel for SWOS on my 10/22 tho’… 😉

    • Ben Pottinger

      Not trying to be a jerk but did you read the article at all? You add a suppressor to a 16″ barrel and you end up with a 20-21″ gun. You do this and it allows you to add a suppressor *without* adding length (much length anyway) so you have a 16″ gun that’s also suppressed without having to pay for a SBR tax stamp. Honestly it just helps to prove the abject stupidity of our firearms laws. What moron can say with a straight face that regulations like these actually “protect” someone?

  • Todd

    After participating in the American Marksman competition over the summer and having been able to use Tactical Solutions products both their X-Ring rifle and their Ruger Mark series style pistol I can only reccomend that you stay as far away from these products as you can. They were absolute disasters on the firing line. Since all competitors were required to shoot the rifles and pistols supplied by the American Marksman organization the rate of failure was simply astounding. Over the course of the 2-day event all the delays (3-4 hours per day) was all the fault of the 100% TacSol (save for the Ruger magazine) Tac Sol products (a primary event sponsor). They were Absolute JUNK. I believe they had 10 rifles and at least as may pistols to rotate through. The ammo sponsor was Eley so it was good ammo. The rifles could not make it through a single magazine without a malfunction. I was personally given 3 differnt rifles to shoot my stage with. It only took me 2 pistols to make it through a 30 round stage. After my experience with TacSol I would NEVER EVER EVER consider buying their product.

    • MS

      I also participated in the American Marksman completion, and there were no issues with the TacSol gear for my squad. They did have the ammo in coolers (Temps in the 90s, typical Texas summer ). I have a number of their products, some work better than others.

  • Jim N Jenna SK

    I love this company. I shot out my barrel and they replaced the steel insert for free. A+ customer service. 4 day turnaround.

  • st381183

    What do you do when your suppressor can’t be removed due to carbon build up? No thanks.

    • DIR911911 .

      get a man to help you

    • iksnilol

      You do occasionally remove the suppressor for cleaning? Don’t you?

      Or do you complain about M16s not being self-cleaning?

      • Rooftop Voter

        One day at the range with my M82, someone said “you probably don’t have to clean that rifle as I see you are using ‘non corrosive’ ammo.”
        How do you insert an eye roll in an Internet reply? Well, you get the idea.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    by dint of its modular construction, it quite easy to modify.

    Wow.

  • AD

    This seems like a clever idea.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      Now if someone would replicate this idea on a .300BLK…

      • Pk

        They did. Check out their AR uppers

    • Nimrod

      Nothing would prevent someone from doing the same by cutting down a 10/22 barrel and adding a permanently affixed oversized barrel shroud. You could probably do the same thing with an AR pistol barrel.

  • Lance Shoemaker

    I’ve used one for years and absolutely love it! It does need cut outs along the base so you can get to the end cap of your suppressor that was left there as you unscrewed your can, occassionally. I’ve spoken to TacSol about this and they’ve been very receptive to the idea.

    • Miguel Raton

      You forgot the antiseize again? 😀