I’m a diehard Texan. Born here. Raised here. Converted a few of the staff to Texans. So I’m a gullible idiot for anything Texas-related. I’m also a big dweeb for .22 rifles. If there’s a fire, and only one of my rifles can be rescued, my 10/22 is going to be slugging it out for first place with my Garand. At the time of this writing, I’ve owned my 10/22 for nearly 18 years, fired uncounted rounds and shot a mess of small varmints. And thanks to writing for TTAG . . .
I’ve been able to keep the old girl spruced up with a new trigger, and some slick optics here and there. Naturally, when Thuy from JWH Custom offered to ship me a custom laser engraved bolt of my choosing, I jumped at the opportunity. And when I saw that he had a “Texas” option, my fate was sealed.
JWH’s kit shows up in, well, a kit. I ordered a custom bolt as well as an oversized bolt handle, but was pleasantly surprised to see everything packed up in foam, with a bottle of gun lube, and some polymer bolt stops for my receiver. All the parts are finely machined and drop in easy as pie.
You can order the charging handle and bolt independently of each other, but for the purpose of this review, they’re lumped together. Full disclosure: I estimate that my 10/22 has had at least 15,000 rounds down the pipe, and has been treated less than perfectly during that time. Subsequently, it has a few more rattles than it did fresh from the factory. As such, I’m not willing to completely write off the JWH oversized charging handle as junk because I ran it in a very worn gun.
What I can tell you is that using the JWH bolt and stock charging handle, I’ve had zero reliability issues. But using the oversized charging handle with the stock bolt as well as the JWH bolt resulted in countless stovepipes and failures to feed. I’m no gunsmith, (I don’t even play one on TV), but I’d imagine that the heavier asymmetric reciprocating mass of the JWH bolt combined with a worn receiver made for hell in the reliability department. If you have a worn 10/22, tread lightly with this charging handle.
Now for the good news. The new bolt is flawless. Excellent ejection, perfect feeding, and stunning looks are the name of the game here. I ran it dry, wet, and gritty and no issues at all. Installation is a snap if you’ve ever cleaned your gun, and the looks are fantastic. Speaking of looks, WOW! I’m not normally gaga over laser etched anything, but I think this is just so cool. And people at the local gun range agree. I got a couple of compliments on it in the short time I had it out of the case, and they all agreed that it was custom without being gaudy. If you live in Ohio or another state that’s not Texas, you’re SOL for the moment, but I bet for enough money, Thuy would cut something for you.
- Material: CNC Machined 4140 tool steel
- Type: Drop in replacement
- Style: 40 different custom engraved bolts are available
Ratings (out of five stars):
JWH builds a very high quality piece of gear that shows no discernible machining marks or imperfections. It fit my 10/22 like it belonged there. The charging handle was of equal quality and fit just as well.
Function (bolt): * * * * *
I have had zero failures in several hundred rounds of various .22 LR using the JWH bolt.
Function (charging handle): no stars
I was unable to run a 10 round magazine of any ammunition using the charging handle without a stovepipe. JWH indicates that this heavier charging handle is designed to be run with the much hotter 17 Mach 2 conversions but should run in the regular 10/22. I did not find this to be the case, but my test rifle is very old and worn
Coolness: * * * * *
Can I give it six stars? It says Texas on the side. Uber cool.
Overall: * * * *
This is a fine piece of kit. The bolt is a five star piece and worth the Benjamin for the discerning buyer. Quality is top notch and function was flawless. The charging handle, not so much. You can buy 10/22 specific charging handles from JWH that will surely run better than this did. If we get another one to review, we’ll update you accordingly.