The Suppressed Marlin Project

  1. christophereger
    Marlin has long been a name in the 22-rifle business and their new XT22 series comes out of the box ready for a suppressor. With that in mind, we here at Marlin Forum thought what better than to do a suppressor build.

    Why a suppressed 22 rifle?

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    Suppressors most obviously save hearing and allow the sportsman to hunt without the aid of in-ear or over-ear hearing protection. Since the ears are free, this increases situational awareness and makes the hunter both safer and more alert. Since suppressors can eliminate up to 30% of the felt recoil of a firearm, they improve accuracy and make follow up shots easier if needed. Finally, the suppression of gunshots is kinder to the local community and helps preserve the tranquility of the outdoors.

    A typical suppressor will drop about 20dB of sound from the muzzle blast and, when coupled with subsonic ammunition is extremely effective. Even if subsonic rounds are not available, the sound suppression of the device alone is still dramatic.

    More than 20+ states allow both possession of NFA-compliant suppressors and grant their use in hunting of all legal game in season. For many that dont, a suppressed 22 rifle is still tons of fun at the range.

    The foundation

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    The XT22RZ variant rifle came out in 2011 with an improvement on the Model 925 bolt-action rifle. This gun is svelte, at 5.5-pounds and includes an adjustable trigger, microgroove barrel, is optics-ready (ships with a Marlin-provided base) and best of all, has a 22-inch ordnance grade threaded barrel with a zippy 1:16 RH twist. The stock is all business with a palm swell, full pistol grip, molded in swivels, and stippled grip areas. Total overall length of the gun is 41-inches.

    We got ours for $214 out the door including sales tax, NIB.

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    Add some optics

    For our lens on this project (most XT22 come with iron sights, the RZ variant does not which is one of the few things we do not like about it), we went with the Simmons 8-Point 3-9x40mm scope in a matte finish. For $38 from Natchez, this import offers fully coated optics, higher-contrast image, and 1/4-MOA audible-click windage and elevation adjustments, which is a neat bonus. Waterproof, fog proof and recoil proof, it held up to a week of testing in the damp Mississippi summer. (More to come on that in our range article with the gun next week.)

    A little quiet time

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    Tactical Innovations of Bonners Ferry, Idaho (formerly of MD) has been in the suppressor biz for nearly twenty years. They make a whole line of suppressors (nobody but Hollywood and anti-gunners call them silencers) ranging from 22LRs to those for 5.56mm platforms. Their TAC65 is an excellent performance suppressor that offers outstanding sound suppression, making your 22 sound like a pellet gun. This suppressor, for diameter, baffle stack, weight, etc. is a modular design that will work for both rimfire rifles and pistols (we use it on our Walther P22 build over at our sister site Firearms Talk as well). The 1.080-inch outside diameter, 6-inch long can weighs just 4.2 Ounces.

    Although the manufacturer does not publish decibel reduction studies (most suppressor makers do not), the TAC65 in our possession enjoys a 38.3 dB reduction. In short, it makes the crack of a 22 more like a gentle pop of stepping on bubble wrap.

    With the XT22 already coming right from the factory with a 1/28 TPI threaded barrel; it was 'plug and play' on our project. They retail on TI's website for $249 but can often be found at Class III dealers on the shelf for a few dollars less. We got ours from Jerry's Shooting Irons for $200 out the door (plus $200 tax stamp).

    Gravy

    As the rifle is to accompany the Marlin Talk team in the scrubs and bayous of the Southeast, what better sling option than a semi-custom paracord sling with Uncle Mikes swivels from Pelican Paracord. Using 45-feet of USGI spec OD 550-paracord and a pair of QD swivels, Pelican made us a 45-inch long survival sling that could be unraveled in the field if needed for just $40 shipped.

    The result

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    Overall, totally tricked out the project produced a gun that weighed in at 6lbs 14.1 oz. with the suppressor installed, the sling, swivels, 8rounds of CCI Stingers loaded, the Simmons 8pt scope, Weaver medium rings and Marlin provided scope base. Walking around weight of under 7-pounds. Total length with the 'can' on the end is 47-inches overall.

    Total cost of the rifle, sling/swivels, mounts, optics package, and suppressor with tax stamp: $717 including shipping.

    Nice.

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