The Rimfire Report: Tactical Solutions Owyhee Takedown Bolt Action .22 Review

Rusty S.
by Rusty S.
The Rimfire Report: Tactical Solutions Owhyee Takedown Bolt Action .22 Review

Welcome back to The Rimfire Report, our weekly article series where we discuss everything rimfire – history, news, guns, ammunition, equipment, gear, sports and more. Today, we have a full long-term review of Tactical Solution’s take-down bolt-action .22, the Owyhee.

The Rimfire Report @ TFB:

TacSol Owyhee Long Term Review-A Handy Survival .22

Several years back at SHOT, an interesting rifle caught my eye in the TacSol booth. The bolt action rimfire rifle was super small, collapsed in two and had factory iron sights. In fact, TacSol claims this is the only takedown .22 bolt action available. I picked it up, twisted it together, and it was as light and handy as it looked, all fitting into a svelte 19.5″ footprint when taken down. The best part was the bolt action, making this rifle capable of being far quieter than a semiauto rimfire when used with a silencer. This rifle is the TacSol Owyhee.

The Rimfire Report: Tactical Solutions Owyhee Takedown Bolt Action .22 Review

The Owyhee Mountains of southwestern Idaho are beautiful, remote and rugged. They got their name in honor of three Native Hawaiian sailors and fur trappers who disappeared during the exploration of the area in the early 1800s. Once home to booming silver mines, they’re so remote and rugged, in fact, that the Owyhees are an often used military training area to simulate various middle eastern and Southwest Asian conflict zones.

As a rancher and mountain man, I have a lot of need for handy and quiet .22s that don’t take up a ton of space. Varmint control is a serious and constant task, and I need .22 platforms that perform each and every time. I put about 1,500 rounds through the Owyhee during the course of this review. Let’s see how it held up.

The Rimfire Report: Tactical Solutions Owyhee Takedown Bolt Action .22 Review

Specs, Per Tacsol

• Lightweight: At 3.9 lbs, one of the lightest takedowns rifles available
• Versatile Use: Perfect for backpacking, hunting, plinking, and target shooting
• Threaded Barrel for Easy Silencer or Compensator Attachment: Threaded muzzle for thread-on silencer
• Quick and easy collapsible engineering: Push of a button and twist mechanism for easy takedown and re-assembly
• Open Sight System: Fiber Optic Front & Rear adjustable sights
• Shoot with Accuracy: The barrel’s chromoly steel bore and target crown provide pinpoint accuracy
• Behind-the-trigger safety: Ergonomic and safe; safety location behind the trigger
• Noticeable Craftsmanship: Unique design & quality above all others
• Easy Optics Attachment: Scope Rail available for easy scope attachment
• The only .22LR bolt action takedown rifle available: This is a one-of-a-kind product with no replica’s
• Quick and Easy Magazine Removal: Extended magazine release allows quick and easy magazine removal
• Modified Magpul X-22 Backpacker Stock: Innovative stock design attaches the barrel assembly to the
stock body for compact storage and packability

The Rimfire Report: Tactical Solutions Owyhee Takedown Bolt Action .22 Review

RIFLE SPECS:
WEIGHT: 3.9 LBS
BARREL LENGTH: 16.5”
BARREL DIAMETER: 0.920”
RATE of TWIST: 1:16”
THREADS: 1/2” x 28
CROWN: 11-Degree

RECEIVER FEATURES:
Extended Magazine Release
Durable Aluminum Receiver
Stainless Steel Bolt
Lightweight Fluted Barrel
Chromoly steel bore

MSRP: $1230 as tested, other colorways and an SBX version are also available

Initial Setup

The Owyhee comes in an improbably long soft case. Even the fully assembled rifle with a suppressor is still shorter than the case. I would prefer if TacSol would do well to ship it in a smaller case that contains just enough room for the taken-down rifle plus silencer, but that’s my personal preference. Though the Owyhee is drilled and tapped for an optic rail on top of the receiver, I opted to use the excellent and bright fiber optic sights.

The Owyhee takes down as follows: Remove the magazine, open and retract the bolt, push the spring-loaded recessed takedown lever forward, rotate the barrel 45 degrees to the left and slide forward. To assemble, reverse the process and be sure to have the bolt to the rear. The extractors can be potentially damaged by rotation for takedown, so be aware of this.

Takedown lever for the TacSol Owyhee

The two-stage bladed trigger had an average pull of 3.3 lbs, with 2.2 lbs in the second stage. It had a bit of creep with a crisp final break.

Range Time

Initial accuracy and load preference testing with the Owyhee and nine different .22 loads revealed an initial preference for Lapua Polar Biathlon ammunition for subsonic, and Federal Gold Medal for High Velocity. Though the rear sight is drift adjustable for windage and click adjustable for elevation, the windage was dead on from the factory and all I had to do was minor elevation adjustments for subsonic and supersonic loads.

The Rimfire Report: Tactical Solutions Owhyee Takedown Bolt Action .22 Review

The Owyhee with the stock sights at 50 yards averaged .95″ with Lapua match subsonic loads and 1.89″ with Federal HV Match. This is more than enough accuracy for general survival/small game/utility use. The Owyhee also functioned just fine with every type of factory Ruger magazine I tried, including BX-25s. Testing for optimal tone was done with a few different silencers, but I found the best tone was with subsonic loads and a Q El Camino can.

The bolt throw on the Owyhee is smooth, short, and plenty quick for follow-up shots. The excellent bladed trigger has a light, crisp break as well. The safety clicks on and off positively. The extended magazine release is easily manipulated by one’s trigger finger and is, of course, a great asset in removing 10/22 magazines.

Long Term Use and reliability

The everyday practical accuracy of the Owyhee came in handy when performing varmint control both in cold and snowy as well as in hot and dry conditions. This was all with minimal maintenance, just cleaning of the action from typical .22 gunk when it started to cycle sluggishly at about 500 rounds.

The Lapua Polar Biathlon Rounds performed extremely well until about 700 rounds into the review. While walking fenceline, I took a tumble down a loose rocky slope with the Owyhee slung on my back, assembled but unloaded. The fall wasn’t enough to injure me, and not something I would imagine would even affect the zero on a scoped rifle. I disassembled the rifle back at the barn and fully cleaned off any dust and debris at that point.

After that point, no Lapua ammunition will reliably extract from the rifle for some reason. The extractors are in fine shape. Other ammunition, such as CCI Stinger, still cycles just fine. I am not sure if the thin chamber walls at the extractor cuts might have a slight dent, but I was somewhat disappointed that the reliability of the rifle which bears the name of a rough and rugged area might have succumbed to a bit of a tumble. My next step in troubleshooting the problem will be lightly polishing the chamber, but your average customer will not want to undertake this task.

Thin chamber wall cutouts for the extractor/ejector

Overall Impressions

The TacSol Owyhee is a fun, quiet, unique and compact takedown bolt action rimfire. If you need the space savings of a takedown rifle and are looking for a bolt action rimfire that can hold 40 rounds onboard without the use of extended magazines, the Owyhee is a pretty stellar option for a survival rifle. I do have some reservations about long-term durability given my experience. Overall, I am somewhat satisfied with my purchase of this unique, fun and handy takedown rimfire bolt action, and will continue to zap varmints with it for a long time to come.

The Rimfire Report: Tactical Solutions Owyhee Takedown Bolt Action .22 Review
Pros:
  • Light
  • Compact
  • Comes with excellent sights
  • Decent Trigger
  • Very quiet with suppressor
Cons:
  • Goofy long soft case
  • Bolt can be damaged if takedown is done improperly
  • Potential reliability issues with certain ammunition

For more information, please visit Tactical Solutions

Rusty S.
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. Editor at Outdoorhub.com

More by Rusty S.

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  • Mystick Mystick on Aug 22, 2023

    An under-hone by hand for the chamber's brass area might be in order. Maybe a single pass with a fine file on the contact surface of the extractor.

    I had a rifle where the tolerances were just too tight, to the point of not working right if it got a dusting of crud or even through heat expansion.

  • River_rover River_rover on Aug 22, 2023

    You do us a disservice when you fail to mount a scope for accuracy testing. All we have learned is you're not bad with irons. We have no idea what the gun will do.

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