Summit Precision Barrels
One of my favorite aftermarket barrel manufacturers for the 10/22® is Summit Precision. They produce very high-quality barrels that check a lot of boxes for all sorts of shooters. Their light weight makes them great for dynamic shooting competitions, or carrying in the field. They also offer a high level of accuracy, for anyone looking to punch tiny holes in paper. And of course, the color options appeal to enthusiasts wanting to add some fun and color to their rifle. Since they are local to me, I’ve gotten to know the owner, and we’ve spent a bit of time chatting about firearms. He’s got a solid background in the industry, and is as enthusiastic about quality and customer service as he is about shooting. Which is to say, very enthusiastic on all fronts.
Summit Precision barrel manufacturing process
Each Summit Precision barrel starts with a 416R stainless blank. This is the barrel material of choice when accuracy (and long life) matters. They’re drilled to near nominal size before being reamed and then button rifled. After the button-rifling, the barrels are stress relieved. This rifling process is economical, although the tooling is not. But the results speak for themselves, with button-rifled barrels winning more competitions and holding more records than any other process.
Some barrels get a further FNC (Ferritic Nitro Carburizing) treatment, which gives them a durable black finish. The rest remain stainless. Both look great and wear well. Muzzles get threaded with the standard 1/2″ x 28 for suppressors or other muzzle devices. A carbon fiber tube is then fitted over this somewhat skinny barrel, with a special threaded fitting near the muzzle which locks it in place. This gives the barrel the rigidity of a heavier barrel, without the weight penalty. Each barrel is also finished with the Summit Precision logo laser engraved on the breech end, and capped with a very nicely fitted thread protector.
Summit Precision barrel specs
Barrels are offered in three standard lengths – 16.1″, 18.5″, and 20″. The 18.5″ weighs 23.2 ounces, with the other options coming in slightly above or below that. Custom lengths for 22 Chargers or (stamped) SBRs are also available. While technically a .920″ diameter barrel, they actually go from .920″ at the receiver to .9055″ on the muzzle end. So choose your stock or chassis accordingly. Designed for ammo in the 34-40 grain range, the barrels have a 1:16″ twist. Porky 60 grain rounds are not recommended. It’s also got a Bentz chamber, so no hot and fast lightweight hyper-velocity rounds either. This chamber is the ideal compromise between the .22 Match chamber, which is too tight for reliable semi-auto function, and the SAAMI Sporting chamber which feeds easier, at the expense of accuracy.
Summit Precision barrel color options
In addition to outstanding performance, Summit Precision barrels are offered in a wide range of color options. There are gloss and matte blacks, and then a veritable rainbow of colors. And each color is available with the stainless finish, or the optional FNC finish, which adds $20 to the base price of $250. For the ultimate patriotic build, there is also the option of having a hydro-dipped American flag graphic with a protective matte finish over the carbon fiber. Expect to pay more and have a short wait, as those are made to order.
The Charger-length Summit Precision barrels have been very popular with some other aftermarket manufacturers. For example, the Enoch Industries Carbon Niner barrel is made by Summit Precision. And then there is Fletcher Rifle Works, home of the Open Top 11/22 receiver. This novel receiver design is one of the biggest innovations I’ve seen in a while. And it’s fitting that the Fletcher Rifle Works Bandera Pistol is available with either a 7″ or 9″ Summit Precision barrel. Expect to see more of these collaborations soon.
Other Summit Precision products
While the replacement thread protectors and O-rings might not be exciting, the Summit Precision Muzzle Compensators are. Available either ported or slotted, and stainless or FNC versions, they are the sexiest rimfire muzzle device I’ve seen (that doesn’t require a $200 stamp and long wait). Each one is three separate machined pieces of 17-4 stainless steel. This design makes them self-timing, so no need for shims or a crush washer. A lack of porting or slots on the underside, from 5-7 o’clock make them ideal for shooting when prone. They’re easy to take apart and clean, and of course their .905″ diameter is ideal for use on Summit Precision barrels, but they work well with any .22 barrel that’s threaded 1/2″ x 28.
If you’re wondering why a .22 rifle would need a compensator, keep in mind that they are actually “loudeners”. The relatively diminutive .22 LR round isn’t all that loud, and during competition, may not be picked up by shot timers. In that context, a muzzle device that’s $100 to $115, but also easy to clean, is well worth the asking price.
A bit about customer service
My first 10/22 cost me $99. I can’t say what I spent on my last one, because my wife checks this site once in a while. And she doesn’t need to know. But I’m comfortable stating that whether you are upgrading a $99 rifle, or building a full custom one, spending $250 or more on a barrel isn’t an impulse buy. And Matt, the owner of Summit Precision, understands that. He backs the quality of his barrels with 100% customer satisfaction and industry-leading customer service. That’s not just text pulled off his site. I’ve spent enough time on enthusiast sites to see that repeated over and over by his customers. He responds quickly to emails from prospective buyers, and reacts equally fast when a customer has a question or concern.
What about hands-on performance?
Previously, I’ve covered a couple of custom Charger-length barrels from Summit Precision. I found them to be more than accurate for my application, but never really sat down and tried to see how much accuracy I could wring from them. I also purchased a purple one for my wife’s rifle. That rifle’s equipped with a reflex sight, and is used more for speed than accuracy. Yet it’s definitely capable of some solid groups for a non-magnified optic.
I do have the last barrel I purchased from Summit Precision sitting in a full custom rifle right now. And when the weather warms up, I’m going to get around to testing that. Yet this may be the one time I suggest readers don’t take my word for it. Instead, check the customer reviews on the Summit Precision website, or even on enthusiast sites like rimfirecentral.com. There’s definitely a happy fan base. When I finally get some groups to share, I’ll publish another article with the results, and throw a link back in this article. In the meantime, check out Summit Precision, and feel free to do a search for some reviews. You won’t be disappointed.