A few years ago, Magnum Research rocked the rimfire world with their MLR (Magnum Lite Rifle). Advertised as the most accurate lightweight .22 rifle on the market, this graphite-wrapped, bull-barrel semi-auto proved to be better than most heavy-weight barrel bolt actions. Now, the company has improved on the design with the Magnum Research SwitchBolt.

To make the rifle better for speed shooting competitors, Magnum Research introduced their new SwitchBolt rifle to the MLR line. The Magnum Research SwitchBolt receiver allows the bolt-cocking handle to be placed on either the right or left side. A left side position makes the rifle faster to operate for right-handed shooters, who need never break their trigger finger hand’s hold on the pistol grip.

Magnum Lite Rifle

The MLR’s barrel featured patented uni-directional graphite fibers, running parallel to the bore axis. This created a barrel with six-times the stiffness and 43 percent better heat dissipating qualities than steel.

Now the extremely lightweight semi-auto is also available with a patented Ultra tensioned barrel (with or without a threaded muzzle), or with the patent-pending TTS-22 suppressed barrel.

The sleek TTS-22 is an integrally suppressed Ultra tensioned barrel that uses an easily removed and cleaned monolithic core baffle. The TTS-22 barrel measures 22.5 inches externally but has a shorter, 16-inch barrel liner than the standard 18-inch and 18.5-inch threaded muzzle Ultra tensioned barrels. The tensioned barrel is about 2 ounces heavier than the steel-lined graphite barrel. However, it is significantly more economical to make.

All MLR barrels feature a.22 LR Bentz target chamber designed specifically for semi-automatics. Depending on barrel and stock type, the Magnum Research SwitchBolt weighs between of 4.25 and 4.5 pounds and measures between 35 and 39 inches overall. It is an easy and quick handling rifle.

Additional Improvements

Further improvements across the MLR line include a new, in-house produced trigger group, with a much nicer trigger pull than the standard Ruger 10/22 groups previously used. Because of this, the new pull is a crisp 3 to 3.5 pounds.

Magnum Research also changed the bolt-release control and plans to change the magazine release to a new, faster to operate, extended release lever that protrudes down in front of the trigger guard. This is similar to an AK-47’s. Look for that improvement after the new year. All Magnum Research MLRs still use Ruger’s reliable 10-shot rotary magazine.

One feature that also helps the MLR’s accuracy is that the receiver and top accessory rail are milled from a single 6061-T6 aluminum forging. The rail, formerly Weaver pattern, is now M1913 Picatinny rail. The MLR has no factory sights, so Magnum Research includes a set of 1-inch scope mounting rings. The company also finished the aluminum receiver and trigger group with a tough, black, hard-coat anodizing.

Another MLR accuracy enhancing feature is its free-float, ambidextrous, thumbhole stock. The SwitchBolt comes in a choice of beautiful two-tone Evolution laminated wood (Red, Blue or Black Pepper) or utilitarian and weather-proof black polymer. Additionally, the stock has a high comb for shooting with optics and a small palm swell on either side of the pistol grip to fill the hand. The rubber buttplate is screwed on.

MSRP on the Ultra tensioned barrel Magnum Research SwitchBolt MLR is expected to be $575. The integrally suppressed TTS-22 version should be about $799, excluding the $200 tax stamp. That’s pretty good for a semi-auto that shoots like a match grade bolt action. It’s also made in the USA.

Magnum Research SwitchBolt

  • Action: Unique gas-assisted blowback
  • Caliber: .22 LR
  • Length: 35.125”
  • Barrel Length: 17”
  • Barrel Type: Carbon weave
  • Capacity: 10+1
  • Sight: Integral scope base
  • MSRP: $575; $799 for TTS-22

For more information about the Magnum Research SwitchBolt, please visit

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