Testfire: Grand Power STRIBOG TR22By Cam Moir
- 11th Nov, 2020 Nov 11, 2020, 11:30 AM
- 2 Comments
It was while picking up the Sulun Tac-12 shotguns for review that the boys at Delta Mike Ltd had a bit of a surprise for me. They also had a new semi-auto .22 LR that they wanted tested for pest control. Naturally, I agreed!
When Tj showed me this gem of a gun, I was excited! The STRIBOG TR22 is a light, compact, and evenly balanced rifle that you cannot help but want to get it out and shoot.
It comes up to your shoulder like a dream and instantly felt like you could acquire your target with ease and precision. This gun screams high quality. The componentry is solid feeling and tight with little to no play in any part of it the firearm. All indications pointed to a great week of testing ahead.
The STRIBOG TR22 is a semi-automatic, tactical style, rimfire rifle. My review model came with a factory threaded 12” barrel and a skeleton style butt stock, however it is my understanding other models (16” barrel) will be released soon.
This is a featured packed firearm that retails just under the $1700 mark. Yep, it is on the more expensive side, but boy do you get a piece of quality equipment with a ton of features, such as:
- 10+1 capacity using a pinned banana magazine
- Full aluminium upper
- Moulded lower polymer (1 piece)
- Polymer magazines that are easy to load
- Oversize bolt handle
- Moulded pistol grips with aggressive patterning to ensure a comfortable and firm grip
- Last shot bolt hold open
- Ambidextrous operation with both sides having a safety, bolt release and magazine release button
- M-Lock attachment capability
- Full length Picatinny rail
- Pop up iron sights
ON THE RANGE
After leaving Delta Mike, I went and visited the guys at H J Smith Invercargill - Outdoor World. There I picked up 300 rounds of .22LR ammo to go with some odds and ends I already had at home.
To be fair to the rifle, I started it on the CCI Mini-Mag varmint rounds. I have found these to work very well out of other .22 semi-autos such as the Ruger 10/22.
They provide consistent cycling with good accuracy so I figured this gun should eat them up no problem. I also picked up some CCI Mini-Mag subsonics.
Anybody shooting semi-automatic .22s will know that subsonics and low velocity rounds can be ‘problematic’ and will test the cycling of the action like nothing else!
This ammo was complimented with some Kilwell High Velocity and Subsonics that I had at home which were left over from other pest control contracts.
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The STRIBOG was supplied and fitted with a Holosun red dot optic. Unfortunately, I believe I left it powered up resulting in a flat battery. So, to get things started, I fitted one of my Leupold VX1 4-12x scopes on high profile Vortex rings.
The full-length rail was bloody handy here as it meant the scope could be mounted anywhere along the rifle. This setup is great for getting the correct eye relief. With the scope sorted, I proceeded to run a full magazine of CCI High Velocity followed by the Kilwell High Velocity ammo.
Both operated flawlessly so I got into the nitty gritty, the subbies. I am pleased to note that both the CCI and Kilwell ammunition performed great also with no cycling issues encountered.
There can often be a trade off in accuracy in semi-automatic .22s when compared against a bolt action. Semi-autos are typically are less accurate than their bolt action counterparts. This is normally accepted for their fast cycle rate and the ability to stay on target during any follow-up shots.
Before testing I screwed on a Braveheart suppressor from another .22LR. Using the CCI subsonic ammo, I set the zero at just over 100m (110m to be exact). After a few magazines full we had the rifle zeroed, and I set about shooting some tidy 3-shot groups.
“...the TR22 groups sub-MOA, which for a semi-automatic .22 shows fantastic quality and accuracy! After seeing this I was ready to take the STRIBOG out for a nights shooting on rabbits, hares, and possums.”
The targets have a red circle diameter of 2cm, and the best of the 3-shot groups resulted in a nice cluster around the circle.
This would mean that the TR22 groups sub-MOA, which for a semi-automatic .22 shows fantastic quality and accuracy! After seeing this I was ready to take the STRIBOG out for a nights shooting on rabbits, hares, and possums.
To shoot at night I stripped off the scope and got familiar with the pop-up iron sights. The sights are like a ghost ring type at the rear with painted dot at the front. They seemed adequate for my purposes.
Before heading off, I felt inclined to once more check the operation of the rifle and cycled the gun hard to make sure the action would pick up different types of rounds and ensuring that the bolt remained open on the last round. It cycled with no issues regardless of the ammo chosen.
There is one thing that took some getting used to, that being the safety. Having only used a push button safety, the lever style safety was an interesting configuration.
For me, it felt like it was designed backwards - push forward for “safe” and back toward the trigger for “fire”. I am not sure where my preconceived idea came from, although over time I got used to it. Note: This is reversed on all production models. The safety is the same as an AR. i.e. looking at the left side of the gun; clockwise = fire, anticlockwise = safe.
On the bolt handle operation, what is great about it is that it can be swapped to either side for left or right handed shooters. This means you can work the bolt with the opposing hand while maintaining a hold on the pistol grip. That is good ergonomic design.
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The trigger is a bit on the heavy side. It is a semi-automatic so therefore I personally would not want a hair trigger, but this one is around the 7lb mark (other tests and reviews found online also noted a similar poundage). The stock on the model I was shooting had a very low comb and a short pull. Note: All models now have an improved flat trigger that comes in at about 5lb.
The boys at Delta Mike are going to bring in other stocks and for my large frame is be something I would require. The pop-up sights I would change also. I’d prefer a glowing Lumo bead on the front sight for shooting at night.
This would help shooting from behind a light as it can be more difficult for some eyes to pick up the white front post. We found that out of three different shooters, only my eyes could use the sights effectively.
This is a feature you may adjust to; however my preference would always be for that high visibility front sight for ease of use.
I spend a considerable amount of time behind a .22 during contract pest control shooting. I use both bolt actions and semi-autos when performing these duties and consider the Ruger 10/22 the standard in rimfire semi-autos. However in comparison to that Ruger, the TR22 is much nicer to operate.
It is more balanced, feeds more consistently and has great accuracy. All features I would look for before investing in another .22. It was on par for accuracy against my bolt action .22s which is very impressive.
“I spend a considerable amount of time behind a .22 during contract pest control shooting. I use both bolt actions and semi-autos when performing these duties and consider the Ruger 10/22 the standard in rimfire semi-autos. However in comparison to that Ruger, the TR22 is much nicer to operate. ”
I particularly liked the magazine for its easy-to-load system and the ability to see how many rounds are left before reloading if you lose the count, is a great feature.
At $1699, it could be considered on the more expensive side for a rimfire rifle. It certainly is not going to be a rifle you buy if you are looking for a budget rifle but STRIBOG is not targeting (excuse the pun!) that market.
The STRIBOG TR22 is a gun for those who like quality-built firearms with a tactical look. Looking at its closest competitors, the TR22 is suitably positioned in the same price bracket as other high-quality, tactical style .22s.