Mossberg Unveils $276 “Tactical .22″

Mossberg’s unveiled its entry into the tactical .22 market with a product cleverly called the Tactical .22. From the press release:

Mossberg International introduces the Tactical .22–an alternative firearm for those shooters and enthusiasts who want the look and feel of an AR-style .22 rimfire with an affordable price.

Mossberg knows its target market: price-driven firearms buyers. It’s a bit surprising that they’re so late to the AR-style .22 game. Even slow-mo Smith & Wesson’s tapped the AR gestalt with the M&P15-22. The Smith clocks in at around $500 – $600 bucks. The Mossie costs roughly half the price. Right answer . . .

With the rising costs of centerfire ammunition, the new Tactical .22 rimfires are a great choice for recreational shooters, as well as those searching for a cost-effective training platform.

Ain’t that the truth. Well, maybe. While an AR .22’s trigger and general ergonomics would help sharpen a shooter’s full-size AR skills, there’s nothing like the recoil. In fact, you wouldn’t even call it recoil, and managing recoil is the Big Kahuna. Also, baby ARs weigh less. So . . . it’s not really the same is it? There’s no substitute for training on the weapon you’re going to use with the ammo you’re going to fire.

While .22 is as cheap as it gets, and Mossberg’s audience is into cheap, there are a lot of handgun-caliber carbines hitting the market at the moment. They’re a far better choice for less than 5.56 protection; you’d have to hit a human exactly in the right place or many times with .22s to do any damage.

The lightweight and fast-handling Tactical .22 parallels the look and feel of today’s AR-style rifle while being built around Mossberg International’s reliable .22 autoloader. Taking cues from their proven 702 autoloader, the Tactical .22 matches an 18” barrel to a quad rail forend allowing the operator to fit the rifle with lights, lasers or other tactical accessories.

Now we’re getting closer. It’s a toy gun that’s not really a toy but it is but it isn’t.

Two stock configurations will be offered in this series: a six-position adjustable and fixed stock. The six-position polymer stock adjusts the length of pull from 10-3/4” – 14.5” accommodating youth and smaller framed shooters up to adults. The fixed position stock has a standard 13” LOP. The Tactical .22 is integrated with an A2-style carry handle and an adjustable rear sight aligned with a front post sight.

Another smart move. No question: the Tactical 22 will be THE ultimate Christmas Story gift for an entire generation of young boys. I reckon that’s an extremely price-sensitive market, and Mossberg nails it.

The Picatinny handle mount is included, allowing versatility in scopes and other optics while providing the clearance necessary to utilize the AR-style sights. Other features included with the Tactical .22 are sling mounts and a ten round magazine.

The 10-round capacity sucks. A Henry Repeating Rifle holds 16 .22s. But the Henry’s a heavy old thing and it doesn’t LOOK like an AR (Western vs. military). You can’t put lights and lasers and cup holders on a rifle that you use from a horse. It’s only a matter of time before someone offers a 30-round mag for this bad little boy. I wonder why Mossberg didn’t do it straight out of the gate. Lawyers. Bah.

MSRP:  $276

There’s your headline attraction, although one wonder just how “cheap and cheerful” this product will be. If it’s a piece of junk for that price, well, who cares, really? Beggars can’t be choosers, even if they’re armed.