Meeting The Rimfire Challenge

Another feature I value in a quality AR clone is a realistic-looking and foolproof magazine. In fact, when I asked Denny Tippmann Jr. what his most challenging design issue was, he said it was the magazine. He pointed out .22 LR rounds vary considerably depending on the shape and length of the projectile. The challenge is to design the follower, retention and feed lips so every bullet shape is oriented properly and chambers smoothly. The Tippmann ersatz 30-round magazine holds 25 rounds and fed everything from Remington’s truncated cone Vipers to CCI’s lead-free, Copper-22s without a hiccup.

Of course, a quality AR clone should have the proper controls in the proper positions and the Tippmann does. There’s a two-position safety, also marked “Auto,” which you don’t see too often, a bolt catch, a magazine release, a standard disassembly push-pin and even an ambidextrous sling adapter plate snuggled next to a 6-postion butt stock.

The Tippmann Elite features a 16" barrel with a 1/2 x 28 threaded A2 birdcage-style compensator/flash suppressor housed in a 12" aluminum free-float M-LOK handguard with a full-length Picatinny rail. Standard flip-up sights are provided with windage controlled by the rear sight and elevation by the adjustable front post. Overall weight of the Elite is 5.7 lbs.

Rimfire ammo is dirty stuff, so Tippmann nickel-plates their bolt, which seems to shed firing residue and is easily wiped clean after a range session.