The Rimfire Report: Why You Don't See Gas-Operated 22LR Guns

Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! This ongoing series is all about the rimfire firearm world and its many different types of firearms, ammunition, and bits of history. Last week we talked about the fondly remembered Winchester 250 lever action 22LR rifle. A lot of you seemed to indeed have fond memories of the rifle and a few of you even commented that you still owned and shot yours which is something we always love to see (safe queens are boring). I was going over some recent show footage from SHOT 2024 and I came across the Rock River Arms 17HMR Gas Operated Blowback 17HMR Rifle. If you can’t watch the video, the rifle basically uses a hybrid of a bearing-locked breech, with a direct impingement system in order to give the 17HMR cartridge to properly build pressure before cycling. A lot of commenters on that video asked the question “Why can’t you do a gas-operated 22LR gun?” Today we’re going to try and at least partially answer this question. I’m not a firearms engineer, but I’ve learned a few things over the years about this tiny little cartridge that I think you’ll agree make it a poor choice to build a true gas-operated firearm around, which is why you don’t see them often.

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Now Without The Tube: Bear Creek Arsenal Bufferless 9mm AR

Bear Creek Arsenal has a new 9mm AR pistol with no buffer tube. This new bufferless design incorporates a patent-pending blowback bolt carrier group. And yes, it takes Glock mags!

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The Rimfire Report: The Complex British-Made BSA Ralock

Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report!  This ongoing series is all about the rimfire firearm world and its many different types of guns, ammo, and shooting sports. Last week we talked about the direction that the rimfire industry might be going and while we were talking about odd designs in the modern age, that got me thinking about quite an odd design that came out of the post-World War II era – the BSA Ralock. BSA or Birmingham Small Arms brought the Ralock rifle to the scene in 1947—an entirely consumer-focused rifle that was a blend of top-notch quality, unique design, and a dash of machine gun inspiration. Let’s dive into what makes this vintage firearm tick, from its funky features and limited production history to where you might find one in the wild today.

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HOT GAT or FUDD CRAP? Chilean Treasure or Miniature SIG Displeasure?

Welcome everyone to the 180th edition of ‘Hot Gat or Fudd Crap?’, one of our many series here on TFB. If you’re new to the series, this is where we look at the most obscure firearms that are actually for sale and ask the question – is this Gat a sweet deal or only has a Fudd appeal?  Each week the TFB staff weighs in with their thoughts, but readers get the final say in the poll at the bottom of each article.

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[SHOT 2023] Matador Arms MAT-9 Blowback Upper Receiver

Matador Arms brought to SHOT Show 2023 their new MAT-9 blowback 9mm upper receiver assembly which is the improved version of the earlier released  Montgo-9. Compared to the Montgo-9, MAT-9 has a longer barrel (7.825” vs 5.5″) and forearm yet at an overall weight of 3 lbs, it’s lighter than the Montgo-9 by about 3 oz.

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SILENCER SATURDAY #35: Metering The Latest OSS Suppressors

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to TFB’s Silencer Saturday, where even the best ear plugs are left at home. Today we finally finish metering the latest OSS Suppressors Helix models on a small variety of hosts. As you may remember from our conversation a few weeks ago, OSS’s claim to fame is better at-ear suppression versus the more traditional MILSTD muzzle suppression levels. This is accomplished in part by a baffleless core that directs gasses forward and out vents at the muzzle end of the silencer (Flow-Through Technology). The result is a suppressed host that should have less “blowback” without the need for adjustable gas systems to tune the rifle. But do OSS’s claims hold up under real-world independent testing? Let’s find out.

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Nexgen2 Defense Blowback Eliminating Silencer

Swim in the silencer pool long enough and you will eventually end up in the deep in with the AR15 shooters discussing gas regulation. There are hardliners on both sides of the debate – one team believes that a properly gassed rifle is the key to a pleasurable shooting experience. The other team believes that overpassed/undergassed situations are to be blamed on the host weapon itself, advocating buffer and spring weight modifications. Either way you look at it, the silencer plays a roll in how much gas is redirected down the barrel and gas tube toward the port and on towards the shooter (aka ‘blowback’). Nexgen2 defense is releasing the Maxflo 3D AFD silencer that is said to eliminate blowback with a specialized baffle system.

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New Industry Standard for Measuring Suppressor Blowback to Be Introduced By ARDEC [NDIA 2017]

At the 2017 National Defense Industry Association’s annual Armament Systems Forum in April, representatives of the US Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) presented a new method for measuring and quantifying gas blowback with suppressed firearms. The testing was conducted in the service of creating a new standard test procedure for gas blowback, for the Army, NATO, and the industry. Importantly, the test procedure involved mounting air inlets in locations corresponding to the shooter’s face when firing the rifle, which gives accurate measurements for what quantity of toxic gases reach the shooter’s face during operation.

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Hill & Mac Gunworks CETME-L and CETME-LC Update | SHOT 17

Hill & Mac Gunworks’ flagship is their ambitious project to create an affordable, shootable reproduction of the WWII-era German StG-44, but another thing they have been working on is a recreation of the CETME-L Cold War era Spanish assault rifle. Unlike their StG, which is being made from the ground-up, the CETME-L effort centers around the use of parts kits, now available relatively inexpensively on the surplus market.

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The Simplest Homemade Pistol? Mark Serbu Gives the World the GB-22 "Gun Buyback Special"

What is the simplest gun you can possibly make? When you hear this question, the kind of gun that comes to mind is probably a simple zip gun, like the one below, which has a forward-moving mass, a trigger, a barrel, and not much else:

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Operating Systems 201: Telescoping Bolts

Previously in TFB’s series on weapon operating mechanisms, we examined both the closed-bolt blowback system and the open-bolt API blowback system, two very close relatives that share a common feature: Closure of the breech through the inertia of the breechblock mass alone. What this means for small arms designers is that they must engineer a system where the breechblock is large enough to have sufficient mass, while having enough room to reciprocate the distance necessary for reliable ejection and feeding. In a standard submachine gun design using the API blowback system, for example, the breechblock is configured behind the breech end of the barrel, so that it can reciprocate. This is an easy design to engineer, and can be made simply and easily.

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Operating Systems 101: Straight Blowback

The first entry in our coverage of automatic weapon operating mechanisms will be the humble straight blowback method. Conceptually simple, it is one of the most common systems, being applied almost universally to .22 caliber rimfire autoloaders the world over, as well as being very commonly applied to budget centerfire handgun and rifle designs.

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A Beginner's Guide to Suppressors: Part 3

In part one and part two of the beginner’s series we walked you through the process of researching, buying and finally transferring a new suppressor from a dealer. We even gave you assignments along the way, like getting barrels threaded, buying a booster or picking out muzzle devices. So, let’s fast forward four to six (six to nine?) months when your paperwork comes back approved and start talking about the fun stuff: suppressor ownership and shooting suppressed weapons. Chances are that once you experience the world of suppressors, you won’t be able to go back to your old (loud) ways.

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Experimental WWI Blowback Submachine Gun

WWI was a time of runaway technology that in many ways outstripped the tactical and strategic thinking of the era. Older concepts of the dominance of technologies like the bayonet, and long-range rifle fire, and of the preeminence of the elan or morale of soldiers died hard as thinkers of the era struggled to integrate new weapons like machine gun and the long-range breechloading artillery piece into a theory of warfare that would give whomever found it first the winning edge.

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Serbu Blowback 22LR – World's Fastest?

2,000 rounds per minute out of a single barrel. Let’s let that sink in…. 2000 RPM!

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