Building the Open Top 11/22 from Fletcher Rifle Works
After about four years of trial and error, the Open Top 11/22 receiver is now available in the United States. This receiver, patterned after the popular Ruger® 10/22®, is being produced and distributed by Fletcher Rifle Works. For those not aware, it was developed by Sebastian Unger, in Austria. Check the Fletcher Rifle Works page for Sebastian’s story. I’ve been following him on Instagram for a while, and was excited to see him partner with someone in the states to bring his concept to life. And even better, was fortunate to get one for review. Here’s a little preview of my upcoming build.
The Open Top 11/22 design
Machined from billet aluminum, the Open Top 11/22 addresses the inconvenience of cleaning a regular 10/22. Normally, it’s a matter of removing the takedown screw and popping a few pins. That provides access to the bolt. And if the receiver is drilled from the back, it’s easy enough to run a cleaning rod through. Not convenient in the field though. But we’ve put up with it in millions and millions of rifles. Sebastian just decided we shouldn’t have to. And who doesn’t like options? Especially when it makes maintenance easier?
The pin on the left side of the receiver is one of two that hold the top plate in place. Pulling it out (it doesn’t come completely out) releases the crosspin inside. That allows the top plate to slide back, and off, exposing the bolt. Rock the charging a bit, and it will come out. And then the bolt can be plucked out. No tools, and almost no time to do it, even for someone who just picked up their receiver today.
Who’s it for?
I’m sure there are plenty of enthusiasts out there who will buy the Open Top 11/22 for the convenience. And just some just for the novelty. Plus, there are not a lot of aftermarket receivers readily available right now. For a field gun, the maintenance is probably the biggest selling point. Same with suppressor hosts, which require shorter cleaning intervals. So there’s more than one reason to buy one. And I think anyone who does, for whatever reason, is going to be happy with it. Take a look at the photos – they don’t even do it justice. Outstanding machine work, and tight tolerances. I’m excited to build this.
What’s my plan?
Like many of my projects, I’ll assemble the Open Top 11/22 with a theme in mind. I’ve actually been giving that some thought while waiting for it to arrive. Since I couldn’t decide between two different builds, my upcoming review is going to show two variations. Yes, if you are on certain websites, you may have seen one of them already. But as always, that’s not necessarily the final version. And I still need to take it out and put some rounds through it. And more photos. Lots of photos. So stand by. It’s coming soon. In the meantime, check out the History of the Open Top 11/22 at Fletcher Rifle Works. You can also buy one from them, if you’re impatient like me. And give Sebastian a follow on Instagram, if you want to see the development of the receiver, from the beginning.
I’d like to thank Paul Fletcher, from Fletcher Rifle Works, for providing the Open Top 11/22 receiver for my testing and evaluation. I don’t usually do a preview like this, but from the first time I saw it, there was no question I would build one. And I’d interviewed Sebastian once before, so he knew how excited I was to see it make it into production in the United States. Now I just need to gather my parts, build it, shoot it (with a camera too), and share the results with my readers.