Sunday, August 7, 2022

Tactical Innovations 10/22 Beyer Barrel Review

Tactical Innovations 10/22 Beyer Barrel Review

Over the last fifty or so 10/22 builds, I have really loved what Tactical Innovations brings to market for the 10/22 builder - it's just easy and fun. DIY building a 10/22 can be a bit frustrating sometimes with parts not quite fitting together or not being very reliable while assembling various manufacturers parts together.

 Tactical Innovations wants to make that experience the easiest and most problem-free possible for the DIY builder. Though I started with building this Tactical Innovations receiver first as a pistol with a Beyer 6-inch barrel, I did order one of TI’s 16.5-inch lightweight shrouded honeycomb barrels for a part two rifle build that I will cover as well.

The first thing I love about Tactical Innovations products is that they offer many different options for the 10/22 which are different from just another black or silver billet receiver. In addition to a whole array of cerakote color options, they offer billet right or left hand charge models in standard billet, take-down billet, and stainless models. Tactical Innovations also offers many of the other parts and components in Cerakote colors as well such as billet trigger housings, match bolts, magazine releases, trigger shoes, and muzzle devices. With all the options TI offers across their cerakote colors including all the components like match triggers, vblocks and receiver pins, the build combinations are almost limitless. For those 10/22 color theme builds, there is nothing better than TI.

Tactical Innovations does a few things to make it simpler and easier for more reliable and less frustrating builds. Instead of the widely variable tones of anodizing colors, TI made a decision to swap to predictable and repeatable Cerakoting of all the parts. This way customers can order parts at different times and know they will still color match. According to Craig Wheatley, President of Tactical Innovations, “Color matching with anodizing has always been a problem and if the anodizer screws up the part it is literally trashed. With Cerakote, we get predictable color matching and consistent results each and every time and even if there is a coating problem, Cerakote can be recoated. The added bonus is that Cerakote has higher lubricity than anodizing.”

To make assembly and fitting simple and easy, TI also uses a factory sized shank for the barrels and receivers instead of tight match barrel shank size. This design strategy assures that customers do not have to sand down or freeze barrels to get them to fit and can just slip-fit any of our barrels in any of our receivers with a good room temperature fit even with most aftermarket barrels. In my case, I had no issues with fitting the Beyer match pistol barrel. To assure reliability for any ammo, Tactical Innovations also use a Sporter chamber on their barrels instead of a more picky .22 Benz match chamber. This also allows customers to shoot hyper-velocity .22LR ammo such as CCI Stingers.

With the 16.5-inch TI Honeycomb barrel mounted, shooters will notice the super light weight immediately with a weight about 60% lighter than a bull barrel. The cool thing about this barrel is that TI will sell additional shrouds for users to swap to different color shrouds in just a few minutes. My barrel shroud version was cerakoted grey with the barrel in red which really pops from a color perspective. The grey matches the rest of the build primary colors and carries through the red highlight colors on the barrel, bolt, magazine release, and trigger. Based on what I am seeing in this build, Tactical innovations is doing a beautiful job with their cerakoting, fit and finish.

This TI build is stunning both in looks and function with a unique side charge handle and billet trigger housing, extended magazine release, 2.5-lb match grade trigger, match honeycomb bolt, billet aluminum side-charge receiver and charging handle. The initial build to make it legal as a pistol first build was with a pistol grip only PMACA billet chassis and with the Beyer 6-inch barrel. The 16.5-inch Tactical Innovations barrel was used for another later magazine article and the results were impressive dime sized 50-yard groups with most higher grade ammo. Notably, TI barrels sporter chambers are made to function well with a wide range of ammo while offering an improvement over factory barrels. With that noted, it is going to be tough for a sporter chamber barrel to match the accuracy of a .22 Benz chambered barrel. This TI barrel has the advantage that it can shoot anything well, is not particularly picky with ammo from an accuracy perspective. This makes it an easy and simple option for a custom builder that just wants good consistent accuracy and an easy and fun build that is going to work when they are done.

This build could not have been more fun or easier with the super light PMACA billet stock with an A2 buffer tube and AR15 grip installed topped with an Eotech optic. This was a super reliable build, fun, fast and entertaining. It is everything a fun custom build should be in both pistol or later in rifle format and then even later, back in pistol format. ATF rules note to build as a pistol first for this pistol to rifle to pistol versatility.

Swapping to the 6-inch ultralight aluminum sleeved Beyer pistol barrel with .22 Benz match chamber was enlightening and showed how flexible the Tactical Innovations parts are for the builder. 

The Beyer barrel slipped right in and paired well with the rest of the components excluding the A2 stock removed before assembly. A KNS picatinny adapter was installed for an MPX style rear picatinny rail mount and a SB-Tactical TF1913 brace with integrated folding adapter was installed for the pistol build. The complete build is relatively tiny when folded. With a number of previous experiences with Beyer barrels in both rifle and pistol builds, I have been very impressed with the accuracy with not much accuracy erosion even with a pistol barrel. Beyer barrels are extremely unique when compared to other ultra-light aluminum sleeved barrel competitors. The Beyer barrels are hard bonded to the liners which prevents barrel liners sliding off with harsh use - essentially delivering solid barrel durability with the weight advantages, heat dispursen, and stiffness of aluminum. Beyer notably offers the lightest 10/22 aluminum sleeved barrels on the market and without question some of the most accurate.

Because my astigmatism is really giving me issues, I decided that accuracy would be best using an old Bushnell Elite 1-6 variable optic. The decision was the right move. With this build held solid on the bench and fed with SK Plus I shot some stunning ½-inch 10-shot 50-yard groups and a few impressive 1/4-inch 5-shot groups. For a super small build without the stability of a bench optimized rifle’s stock, barrel length or magnification, this build can shoot and keep up with most rifles. With a suppressor, this little pistol rig is pretty amazingly flexible while still being able to stow in the smallest of packs.

Part of that impressive accuracy is the 2.5-lb trigger kit. The Tactical Innovations trigger is extremely good with a nice crisp break in your color of choice for $180 including a billet housing. TI also offers a $190 fully adjustable version as well that includes the billet housing which is a deal in the 10/22 market considering you can choose your cerakote color.

This Tactical Innovations left-side-charge receiver is amazing for a fast shooting build. Why I didn’t try a left side charger sooner is beyond me - it makes so much sense to be able to just drop the 10/22 magazine with the strong hand and reach up with the weak hand to charge the bolt. I would choose a left hand charging handle again in a heartbeat.

Oftentimes we all get too serious about our 10/22 builds and TI makes it fun in a choice of fun colors, all in a format that is easy and reliable for the 10/22 DIY builder. Despite building many 10/22 builds over the years, I have always retained a TI receiver simply because I know I can slip nearly any barrel in for testing without a bunch of barrel fitting wizardry. Minus the stock and optic, the entire second rifle based build could be purchased from TI for just under $950 which is a bargain considering what this build would cost if you purchased other components and then had them all cerakoted. At today’s Cerakote prices you would easily have another $400 in just cerakote - yet another way Tactical Innovations makes it easy for customers and a lot less expensive for a really custom build.

If you want a nice fun build or are making one for a friend of loved one that just wants something reliable, fun, problem-free, and a lot more accurate than stock, Tactical Innovations is the only way to go from my perspective. Its easy for the builder and later on if an owner wants to make changes they can still get parts that will fit, function and color match to what they already have.

As demonstrated with the Beyer barrel, the Tactical Innovations products are also completely flexible and hyper compatible with other 10/22 parts in the industry. Sure you may find some other manufacturers parts that still need tweaking, however I have yet to have that happen. Have some fun, loosen up and build something fun with Tactical Innovations.

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