Three years ago, I shared a 22 Charger build that was supposed to be my July 4th project. Due to some timing issues, as well as poorly-chosen parts, it failed in a couple of ways. First, the chassis wasn’t received in time for the July 4th deadline. Worse though, the blue charging handle I had was total garbage. Other than not being published on time, and not being red, white, and blue, the project was still a success. I had a lightweight and accurate 22 Charger that was fun and reliable.
Since that original article was published, I’ve built several more 10/22-based firearms around that chassis. And I kept in touch with Karl (AKA Crazy Ivan), collaborating on other projects over time. Sadly, Karl passed away in January of 2022, after a battle with cancer. While every new iteration of this build feels like a tribute to him, this one is a throwback to the first version, yet more “correct”. Although Karl isn’t around to see it, I’m sharing it today as he still has plenty of fans.
A little more backstory on my current July 4th project
In the time that I’ve been covering firearms, I’ve made some great friends in the industry. We generally started out exchanging emails or messages on Social Media. They’ve suffered through my article pitches, and a lot of back and forth to arrange reviews. And then we talk shop some more. Most people in this industry love to chat about firearms, and it’s always interesting to find out the path they took to get where they are. So I end up keeping in touch with them, because none of them have a boring story to tell.
While Karl was nearly two thousand miles away, Matt from Summit Precision turned out to be across town from me. That made it much easier to collaborate on projects. I’ve helped out with some photography for the Summit Precision website while getting a sneak peek at new products. So it made sense that when I needed a barrel (or two) for my photos, Matt was my go-to. When I told him I wanted to do a little tribute to Karl for July 4th, the only question he asked was “What barrel length”. It doesn’t hurt that his shop turns out some great products either. That said, let me get to the rifle.
The new improved patriotic Crazy Ivan build
Where the original had a Tactical Innovations Elite22 receiver in their “stainless” silver anodized finish, the latest version is a bit different. It’s based on the Fletcher Rifle Works 11/22 receiver. To avoid trouble with braces, I chose a rifle barrel and stock as well. The barrel (actually two for photo purposes) is of course from Summit Precision. At the other end is the Crazy Ivan carbon fiber stock. Inside, there’s a Tactical Innovations bolt and charging handle, while the trigger is mostly stock, save for a Volquartsen target hammer.
More on the Summit Precision barrel(s)
Since I couldn’t decide whether to go with a red stock and blue barrel, or blue stock and red barrel, I compromised. Well, sort of. Matt, from Summit Precision provided both colors for the photo shoot. They are 16 inches in length, and threaded. This makes them ideal for competition, where a muzzle device might be needed. Or for fun, add the suppressor of your choice. Summit Precision offers these barrels in either stainless or with a matte black FNC finish. I think the stainless looks best for this rifle, but the FNC is a great option too.
Is there a point to this article?
Not really. I planned on taking some cool photos of the rifle, but time constraints (I have a day job) and the weather did not cooperate. So I took the photos in my office. My only goal here was to finally put together something closer to what I had originally envisioned. If he was still around to see this, I’m sure that Karl would have approved. And more than anything, I think he would agree with my message for today: Don’t take anything for granted. Especially your health and your freedom. Enjoy this day, and hopefully get in some quality time at the range as well as with friends and family.