Guns and Gear

The Rimfire Report: The Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop Takedown Rifle

Hello and welcome to another edition of The Rimfire Report! This ongoing series is all about the rimfire firearm world! Last week we had fellow writer Patrick O. share his SIG Sauer 522 Classic rimfire rifle. Sadly the SIG 552 is out of production and parts are slowly drying up as the rifle falls further into history. A big thank you to Patrick for sharing that one with us! This week we’re just coming off of 10/22 day, and as a coincidence, I just happened to pick up one of the newest rifles from Fletcher Rifleworks – the new OpenTop Takedown rifle. This new take on the Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop 11/22 receiver adds on a premium takedown-equipped barrel and receiver, as well as a longer top Picatinny rail that extends the full length of the top of the receiver making it much more suitable to use with traditional riflescopes. While I haven’t been able to take the rifle to the range just yet, I figured today I’d give you all a closer look at the rifle in advance!

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The Rimfire Report: The Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop Takedown Rifle

The OpenTop Takedown rifle was probably always going to be the next natural evolution for the OpenTop series of receivers. These neat little receivers allow you to easily and quickly clean out the gun without having to remove the stock and trigger assembly first. While Ruger has their own version of the takedown rifle, overall I’d say the quality and precision that goes into each Fletcher receiver is far more consistent given that Fletcher receivers are completely CNC machined from Aluminum bar stock rather than a casting.

The Rimfire Report: The Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop Takedown Rifle

While you can purchase the 11/22 Takedown receiver standalone for about $300, what really makes Fletcher Rifleworks stand out is that they’ve put a lot of effort into giving customers unique rifles that feature premium components as standard. The 11/22 Takedown comes with stainless steel pins springs and detents, a polished steel target match bolt with an improved firing ping design, a Ruger BX trigger, a stock absorbing recoil buffer pin to replace the steel one, and a skeletonized charging handle.

The Rimfire Report: The Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop Takedown Rifle
Meanwhile, the Magpul X-22 backpacker stock is a favorite for 10/22 enthusiasts and also a stock that I’ve seen used even with some magnum 22 rifles like the new TacSol Owyhee Takedown 22 Magnum. The lightweight barrel is made by Beyer Barrels and features a matte black finish standard twist rate of 1-16 and a 1/2×28 threaded barrel complete with a knurled thread protector. Long story short, you’re getting a lot of premium components for the rifle’s $995 asking price.
The Rimfire Report: The Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop Takedown Rifle

Utility

While the core feature of the OpenTop design is its ability to easily clean the receiver out, the Takedown version adds its own interesting set of utility considerations that might turn out to be interesting for the eventual accuracy testing portion of my review. The new receiver design features a much longer rail on top that joins the already existing front portion of the rail on the receiver, with the new removable section that now fills the entire length of the top of the receiver. The older receivers only allowed you to attach a simple red dot as there was very little rail space and it was much too far forward to be used with anything but a long eye relief scope.

The Rimfire Report: The Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop Takedown Rifle

The Rimfire Report: The Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop Takedown Rifle

The newer receivers now allow you to attach more traditional scopes but you are somewhat limited on how low you can mount them or what type of optic you can mount to the rifle if you’d still like to use the takedown feature. I grabbed the first optic I had sitting around – a Crimson Trace Harline 4-16×42. This medium magnification scope might make for a pretty neat combo with a 22LR takedown rifle. However, the scope mounts used are the only ones that allow you to use the standard height comb piece for the X-22 backpacker stock and coincidentally prevent you from removing the top rail section since the front end of the optic is too large to clear the rest of the receiver.

The Rimfire Report: The Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop Takedown Rifle

An LPVO, or simply a scope with a smaller objective lens would need to be used to use the standard height cheek piece but you could also simply swap the standard height comb out for the taller one, and use a taller mount that could allow an optic with a larger objective lens to be used. Either way, this specific type of setup would be pretty neat as it allows you to have the benefits of the higher magnification scope, while still maintaining the ease of cleaning that the OpenTop design allows.

The Rimfire Report: The Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop Takedown Rifle

A Lot of Moving Pieces

Hopefully, even with the takedown nature of the rifle, and the removable rail piece, the rifle will return to zero in each instance. Even with the heavier medium magnification scope mounted to it, the rail section has zero play in it which hopefully should mean that removing the optic to clean the rifle shouldn’t affect the zero at all. The takedown mechanism features a similarly tight lockup which takes a bit of getting used to since it’s not quite as loose as an OEM Ruger 10/22 Takedown.

The Rimfire Report: The Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop Takedown Rifle

The Rimfire Report: The Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop Takedown Rifle

When we get to fully reviewing the rifle, we’ll test not only those features out but also see how well the Beyer Barrel performs with a variety of ammunition ranging from cheap plinking ammunition (likely the stuff you’ll shoot and carry), to some higher grade match ammunition. Until then, let me know what you think of the new Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop Takedown rifle and we’ll see you again soon in another edition of The Rimfire Report! 

The Rimfire Report: The Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop Takedown Rifle

The Rimfire Report: The Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop Takedown Rifle

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