Last August 2023 we were approached by Tactical Solutions here in Boise, ID about a new option to their Owyhee line of bolt-action rimfire rifles. They showed me the new TacSol Owyhee TD (takedown) rifle chambered in the classic .22 Magnum (.22 WMR) cartridge. We already had a few planned hunts here in the Northwest, as well as an extended hunt in Northern Arizona. With the exception of Arizona, all of our hunts were focused on rabbit hunts. Our Northern Arizona hunt was going to focus on Prairie Dogs and any rabbits we happened to come across. Previous to this chambering, the TacSol Owyhee had only been available in .22 Long Rifle. For our purposes, the new .22 Magnum gives us heavier bullets, more energy and allows for clean kills at distances I would not risk with a .22LR. I saw where Tactical Solutions was going with this rifle and recognized how much it would improve small game and varmint hunting, the way we like to do it.
Tactical Solutions carries many other rifles, pistols and accessories for all things rimfire. Go check out their site @ https://tacticalsol.com/
Overview – Specifications – Features:
The Owyhee Takedown bolt-action rimfire rifle is a unique firearm that is geared towards hunters who like to be on the move. Run and gun type of hunters, who get away from the road is what this rifle is really geared towards. I love walking away from the roads we drive to find pockets of game that are not normally available near where everyone hunts. The takedown feature is definitely on the top of the list with the Owyhee rifle. Where I would typically toss a bunch of rounds into my pocket, grab my shooting sticks/rifle and start walking. With the Owyhee, I was able to put everything into a small pack, with the Owyhee taken down and packed with one extra magazines/ammo in the stock (.22 Magnum does not fit well on this one), but I also include knives, plastic bags and a Baby Ruth, or three! I don’t normally do packs, due to the awkwardness of a full-sized rifle moving around in the pack. I also do not like bulky packs that hinder my shooting ability. Especially when you are hunting small game, who like to dart in and out of cover quickly, only giving you sitting shots when everything is perfectly in place. The takedown option of this rifle is simple straightforward and returns the rifle to the exact point of aim every time you take it apart. As shown in the video you will see how simple it is to takedown and put back together. I also shot this rifle with open sights, but the option to add a scope rail is there. There is also a cheek riser that can be added to give you a much better cheek weld. The Owyhee Takedown rifle is a lightweight, well-balanced little rifle. Though the rifle only weighs 4.1 lbs., the ergonomics of a comfortable shooting rifle are still there. If you have experience with the Ruger 10/22 takedown rifle, you will recognize some of the same lines of the stock and recognize their rotary magazine. However, this is where everything Ruger related, ends. Tactical Solutions has taken this bolt-action rimfire rifle to the next level. Listed below are the specifications and features of the TacSol website.
WEIGHT: 4.1 LBS
BARREL LENGTH: 16.5”
BARREL DIAMETER: 0.920”
RATE of TWIST: 1:14”
THREADS: 1/2” x 28
Extended Magazine Release
Durable Aluminum Receiver
Stainless Steel Bolt
9 Round Rotary Magazine
Chromoly steel bore
• Lightweight: At 4.1 lbs., one of the lightest takedowns rifles available
• Versatile Use: Perfect for backpacking, hunting, plinking, and target shooting
• Threaded Barrel for Easy Silencer or Compensator Attachment: Threaded muzzle for thread-on silencer
• Quick & easy collapsible engineering: Push of a button and twist mechanism for easy takedown and re-assembly
• Open Sight System: Fiber Optic Front & Rear adjustable sights
• Shoot with Accuracy: The barrel’s chromoly steel bore and target crown provide pinpoint accuracy
• Behind-the-trigger safety: Ergonomic and safe; safety location behind the trigger
• Easy Optics Attachment: Scope Rail available for easy scope attachment
• The only .22 WMR bolt action takedown rifle available: This is a one-of-a-kind product with no replicas.
• Quick and Easy Magazine Removal: Extended magazine release allows quick and easy magazine removal
• Modified Magpul X-22 Backpacker Stock: Innovative stock design attaches the barrel assembly to the stock body for compact storage and packability.
I tested this rifle at the range with four different types of ammunition. I planned on using only open sights with this rifle, so adjusting the fiber optic sights for sighting-in was straight forward and I was able to shoot very good groups at 50 to 75 yards with all the ammo I was using. I have seen other folks online shooting this rifle with a mounted optic and they have also experienced very impressive groups. The Owyhee TD is one accurate little rifle. For the upcoming hunts, I decided on the Browning hollowpoint 40 grain ammunition. I knew we would be focusing first on larger prairie dogs in the wind at further distances, so I felt that the 40 grain would be enough to buck the wind and kill prairie dogs without any issues.
As stated before, the first trip we had was down to Arizona for Prairie Dogs. Hunting was very tough. Unfortunately, areas in the past where I had the opportunity to shoot thousands of Prairie Dogs were now devoid of the little varmints. The plague had decimated the population to the point where only certain areas held just small pockets of them. Add in the wind and unseasonable heat, many of the Prairie Dogs stayed down. Thankfully, we were speaking with a farm manager who asked us to please shoot the prairie dogs that were surrounding his homestead and corrals. He explained that he had lost cattle in the area after they had stepped into Prairie Dog holes, snapping their legs. With this opportunity now available, we set up the camera near a fence line and took out some of the closer (40-60 yards) PDs that were near his corral. We were able to get good video of the first two PDs killed with the Owyhee and the .22 Magnum HP ammo. The first shot was straight-forward. I hit the Prairie Dog and the bullet opened him up. He dragged a bit but was dead almost immediately. The second shot was on a PD that was next to him. After the first shot, he ran off and then stood up, giving me a perfect shot. I hit low on his body, but he ran to the right outside of camera range and dropped dead. Later that day we had more chanced with other Prairie Dogs in a dryer grassland area. One in particular gave us a great opportunity for a really nice shot and great video! He was approximately 80 yards and dropped dead as soon as the bullet hit him. Btw, I purposely left the wind sound close to its normal volume in this video so people can understand the extreme wind conditions that we were shooting in. I did quiet it up quite a bit but with steady wins in the 20 to 25 mph range and gusts much higher, I was happy that I went with the 40 grain Browning HP bullet. It performed very well in the Owyhee.
Even with the wind, I was able to make well-placed shots on the first four Cottontail rabbits that we came across.
After returning from the Arizona hunt, I spent time with the rifle in Nevada unsuccessfully chasing Jackrabbits and here in Idaho chasing Badgers and more Rabbits. Finally, on a very cold and windy winter day, we were given the opportunity to shoot Cottontails on a private farm. This setup is one that cannot be missed. The farmer sent us to an area where he had old piping in a junkyard. This piping served as “apartment buildings” for the Cottontail Rabbits, as they lived in the pipes and under the pipes. As you will see in the video the Rabbits would sit out at the end of the open pipes, soaking up a bit of heat from the low winter sun. Some of the pipes they lived in were as high as 6 ft up in the air! Even with the wind, I was able to make well-placed shots on the first four Cottontail rabbits that we came across. The Tactical Solutions Owyhee rifle was perfect for walking through the junkyard, stopping to use a pipe or other discarded object to use as a rest and make perfect shots on these Cottontail. I love compact and portable bolt-action rimfires and this one is at the top of my list of pure enjoyment to shoot.
Final Thoughts on the Tactical Solutions Owyhee Takedown .22 Magnum Rimfire Rifle:
The Tactical Solutions Owyhee Takedown rifle chambered in .22 Magnum is a fine little rifle that shoots very well and is perfectly set up for small game hunting while you’re on the move. Many of the areas I hit were mountainous and it was necessary to hike into small canyons and valleys in order to find game. My setup of placing the Owyhee in a small backpack that I had, along with my ammunition, knives and plastic baggies to hold rabbits that I killed and cleaned. Everything fit perfectly and allowed me to hike from farmland up steep hills, into sagebrush covered valleys that were untouched by other hunters. Having a chance to put the big cameras down and disappear for a few hours with an accurate rifle and decent numbers of small game and varmints in front of you, was a nice break from my typical routine. The Owyhee fit the moment and was a nice companion to have.
If you are looking for a high-quality takedown rifle in .22 Magnum, you can only look to Tactical Solutions for this set-up. No one currently produces a .22 Magnum in a takedown rifle. However, it will be tough for anyone to match the quality and accuracy of the Owyhee. This little rifle performed very well for us in harsh conditions, with everything functioning perfectly. The accuracy, consistency at the range and in the field, as well as the ergonomics and excellent balance, make this a perfect rifle for small game and varmint hunters in every type of environment.
History of how the Owyhee Mountain Range in Idaho received its name (Credit to the Idaho Historical Society):
“Owyhee” and “Hawaii” are two different spellings for the same word. When Captain James Cook discovered what he named the Sandwich Islands (known more recently as the Hawaiian Islands) in 1778, he found them inhabited by people called Owyhees. (The spelling “Owyhee” is simplified a little from its original form: “Owyhee” is the spelling that British and American traders used during the early nineteenth century in referring to natives of the Sandwich Islands, and a number of Owyhees sailed on to the Columbia, where they joined trapping expeditions or worked at some of the fur trade posts. Three of the Owyhees joined Donald MacKenzie’s Snake expedition, which went out annually into the Snake country for the North West Company—a Montreal organization of Canadian fur traders. Unluckily, those three Owyhees left the main party during the winter of 1819-1820; they set out to explore the then unknown terrain of what since has been called the Owyhee River and mountains, and have not been heard from since. Because of their disappearance, the British fur trappers started to call the region “Owyhee,” and the name stuck. Just at the time the Owyhees disappeared into the Owyhee country, American missionaries came to the Sandwich Islands and worked out an alphabet for the native language in order to print the Bible and other missionary literature. In the alphabet they adopted, the word “Owyhee” turned out to be “Hawaii.” But in Idaho, the older form survived. Many of the fur traders’ Idaho place names were lost in later years, but some—including “Owyhee” for a mountain range and river—were retained. That may result in part from the fact that Owyhees remained active in the Idaho fur trade right down to the last years of its decline: as late as 1850, Fort Boise (located on the Snake River just below the mouth of the Owyhee) was staffed by James Craggie and fourteen Owyhees. When the Owyhee mines were discovered in 1863, the name still was in use, and the mines brought permanent settlement which preserved the name ever since that time.
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