Monday, January 21, 2013

Tactical Innovations CH22 10/22 Receiver Review

Tactical Innovations CH22 10/22 Receiver Review

As originally featured in my 10/22 Shootout Review, this build was showier because someone I love’s favorite color is purple and I wanted to build something special, fun and unique for Mrs Pandemic. The Tactical Innovations CH22 receiver was originally designed for a Ruger Charger pistol receiver, however in this build you will see, it works perfectly on a fast shooting custom 10/22 build as well.

Like many companies, Tactical Innovations was formed by its owner to fill a perceived gap in the market. Honestly, if someone would have told me ten years ago that various styled and colored custom billet machined 10/22 receivers would have been huge hit today, I would have laughed, however this is exactly where Tactical Innovations started. 

One receiver innovation lead to another and eventually the unique top charging CH22 receiver I am reviewing here was created and patented by the company. Tactical Innovations of course has a huge variety of other products including manufacturing billet custom versions of every part making up your own unique version of a Ruger styled 10/22s and Chargers, including barrels, various receiver styles, bolts, and trigger groups. 

Where most of the aftermarket 10/22 manufacturers focus on one or two options, Tactical Innovations is all about options. Want a 10/22 to look like an old Thompson Machine gun? No problem, they have a finned profile barrel and drum magazine to complete the look. How about a high power sniper rifle? Not only do they have big fat match quality bull barrels, but .50 caliber look-a-like compensators as well. 
TI's Compensator for Bull Barrels

Even if you just want to add a little or a lot of color to your build, they have a dizzying amount of options. The company is also an AR15 receiver manufacturer and faux and real suppressor manufacturer as well, all of which I hope to review at some point.  For now though, a top charge purple CH22 receiver and gold anodized trigger housing was all I needed.

I already had a barrel and trigger group internals ready to drop into the TI receiver and trigger guard housing. Where most of my other 10/22 builds feature match grade aftermarket barrels, this build goes a different direction and actually features a vintage stock 10/22 barrel which originally had a bad crown.  

The stock barrel was chopped to 16.25” and then recrowned using a Pacific Tool and Gauge 11 degree crowning tool for a simple ½” chuck electric hand drill and then I polished the crown with a brass screw in a high speed hand drill and then finished off the crown with the polishing tip of my Dremel and some polish. This stock barrel tweak cost me $50 for the tools, increased the accuracy by almost 100% and delivered a .8” 50 yard group with CCI Standard Velocity ammo - yeah that is really good for a stock barrel at 50 yards. An old target shooter once told me he recrowned any firearm which did not shoot well and over 90% of the time recrowning greatly improved accuracy.  This was the case here where an old stock barrel which could rarely manage 1” groups at 25 yards delivered a .8” group at 50 yards after being recrowned and free-floated. The same Boyds Royal Evolution stock used in the Force build was recycled for this build and has likely found a permanent home. 

As their name indicates, Tactical Innovations are innovative with unique offerings such as the beautiful CH22 Top Charge Receiver and Bolt group. Although Tactical Innovations delivers high precision components and barrels, the big attraction for me was all the anodizing colors and custom options which really make the build unique compared to a stock build.

Build Specs - Tactical Innovations Purple CH22 Top Charge Receiver with Machined Bolt Assembly, Tactical Innovations Gold Trigger Guard and bolt buffer, Ruger Stock trigger internals, Ruger stock barrel chopped and recrowned to 16.25” with Pacific Tool and Gauge 11 degree crown, Boyd Evolution Royal stock, Nikon P-22 2-7x32 BDC Rimfire Scope. $1120 as equipped.

Tactical Innovations delivers a finish every bit as good on their billet CNC machined receiver, bolt, and trigger guard as Kidd or Force, however they offer a ton of varying colors including the candy apply type anodizing like this Purple receiver to really make your build stand out. 

Tactical Innovations offers the CH22 in a number of versions including a receiver without bolt and the version I choose, the CH22 receiver with a matched machined bolt - $379. The fit is outstanding and the unique CH22 design allows very fast charging after reloading. If I was building a Ruger Challenge competition rifle, I would strongly consider this receiver.  With the exception of a bolt hold back and bolt release, in essence the same manual of arms used for your AR15 can be used for this receiver. Pop out the old mag, reload a fresh mag, and pull back on the stainless AR style bolt charging handle with your support hand.  Pretty cool, quick and extremely smooth operation.

The Tactical Innovations bolt is billet stainless steel machined, has a pinned firing pin, and the bolt face is trued and head-spaced to maximize accuracy. The company’s  trigger housing, $72.50, is a little different than your stock Ruger trigger housing with a take apart design which is boatloads easier to assemble trigger parts into than the stock Ruger housing. The housing also adds an adjustable trigger over-travel adjustment which I found greatly increased accuracy.

For those who are accuracy obsessed and have not discovered Bore Snakes for cleaning yet, the rear cleaning hole and plug make breach cleaning with a rod simple and easy.

My main screw up on this build was to use the circa 1990s stock trigger parts as is. In stock state they totally suck and need to be upgraded to something which classifiable as decent. My remedy was my own DIY trigger tuning later on. Noting this is not something I will advise nor provide a “how-to” on as this is a liability if you do not know what you are doing. The trigger work information is out there on the Interweb from others, so have at it if you like. My trigger rework is far from match grade, but it will at least deliver a crisp feel.  One of the Tactical Innovations trigger housing features which helped tremendously was the adjustable over-travel.  With this set and a little trigger tuning I felt like the stock tuned trigger was at least 50% as good as a match trigger.

The CH22 Top Charging receiver is a stunning simple idea and would be my pick of all the receivers here simply because it provides ambidextrous charging and a similar manual of arms for AR15 shooters. Low scopes can pose a problem though. The CH22 is also the easiest of all my 10/22s to remove the bolt with because there is no charging handle juggling, just pull back the handle and remove the bolt. The Evolution stock is so nice and performs quite well off hand, but without a bipod is a little awkward on the bench. 

Although I used Tactical Innovations precision receiver pins, they still would slide out by themselves.  My hope was that since they would be slightly oversized to prevent this from happening, however Scotch tape on all the pins remedied this issue and was hidden once in the stock. For those who are having problems with barrel droop, the Adjustable V-Block can add just the right amount of tension to the barrel to remedy the situation. I did not have to use the adjustment in this case, however I can see where this feature would be useful.

See my Google Docs spreadsheet of accuracy results of all 10/22 tested -  Ultimate 10/22 Accuracy Results

Tactical Innovations Top Charging CH22 is a really cool and unique concept which works flawlessly smooth and for the AR15 shooters is THE receiver I would recommend. In fact I found it the most user friendly to use and definitely the fastest to reload. 

The tweaked stock barrel is a great option to consider for those that just want to update a used and abused 10/22 barrel.  If you want a flashy colored 10/22, Tactical Innovations offers over seven colors and is a little less expensive that the others on most of their parts as well as producing every single 10/22 replacement part in house.  The Tactical Innovations parts seemed to be the most friendly from a spec perspective if you are planning on mixing and matching parts, where other brands I have used can require a little fitting.

Once you have your first 10/22 the customization begins, however I would point those intersted in making day one buidl upgrades to just start from parts at Tactical Innovations where you can buy the complete upper receiver, complete trigger group, barrel, stock, and even custom magazines.  In the short and long run you will be money ahead and end up with a much better looking 10/22 without the headaches of hand fitting.

Tactical Innovations CH22 with Match Machine Bolt - $370
Tactical Innovations Trigger Housing - $72.50
Tacitcal Innovations Receiver Cross Pins - $4.50
Tactical Innovations Red Bolt Buffer - $4.50
Tactical Innovations Adjustable V-Block - $20.50
Full Build Specs - Tactical Innovations Purple CH22 Top Charge Receiver with Machined Bolt Assembly, Tactical Innovations Gold Trigger Guard and bolt buffer, Ruger Stock trigger internals, Ruger stock barrel chopped and recrowned to 16.25” with Pacific Tool and Gauge 11 degree crown, Boyd Evolution Royal stock, Nikon P-22 2-7x32 BDC Rimfire Scope. $1120 as equipped.

Tactical Innovations -
Boyd Stocks -
Nikon Optics -
Pacific Tool & Gauge -

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