January 5th, 2012

New Lightweight Rimfire Semi-Auto from Magnum Research

Magnum Research .22LRMagnum Research has released a new semi-auto .22LR rifle, the MLR22AT, that should be good for plinking, walk-around varminting, and rimfire gun games. MSRP for the MLR22AT will be $562. The rifles will start shipping in spring 2012.

The MLR22AT features a .22LR Benz target chamber optimized for semi-automatics. The black anodized receiver is CNC-machined from a 6061-T6 aluminum forging. The MLR22AT has an approximate weight of 4 ¼ lbs, barrel length of 17 inches, and OAL of 35.5 inches. This rifle utilizes the 10/22 trigger group and Ruger 10/22 rotary magazines — that means you have a wide choice of aftermarket upgrades.

Magnum Research .22LR

The MLR22AT features a lightweight, ambidextrous thumbhole tupperware (polypropylene) stock. The stock material incorporates fiber stiffeners, but we still bet this stock is too flexy. Magnum Research claims the comb is high enough to shoot with optics. We just wish the fore-end was stiffer and came with a sling swivel stud for mounting a Harris bipod. Then this compact rifle would be good for rimfire tactical matches as well.

Magnum Research .22LR

Graphite-Sleeved Barrel is Light, Stiff, and Runs Cool
The most trick feature on this rifle is the graphite-sleeved bull barrel, a Magnum Research exclusive. The barrel’s patented uni-directional graphite fibers, parallel to the bore axis, produce a lightweight barrel with exceptional stiffness. (Magnum Research claims the barrel has six times the stiffness of steel.) The graphite construction definitely saves weight — this barrel tips the scales at just 13-16 ounces, depending on barrel length. Magnum Research also claims the composite barrel dissipates heat up to 43% faster than steel. Sounds good, but heat isn’t as much of an issue with rimfire barrels, as compared to centerfire tubes.

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