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The Tandem Solution

By Aaron Brudenell

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, optimization must be a close second. Ironically, a great way to measure the success of any gun design is to gaze upon the vast array of aftermarket parts and accessories available to modify the original. A robust secondary market can only occur when the primary market is healthy enough to support subsequent adaptations.

Enter the Ruger model 22/45 Mark 3 pistol. The design is evolutionary if not revolutionary in that it combines the rugged reliability of Ruger’s first handgun made over 65 years ago with a modern polymer grip frame that reduces weight (and cost) while emulating the even more venerable 1911. Prior versions of the 22/45 lacked the elegance of the current model with limited grip texture, adaptability, and let’s face it, early 90’s cosmetics that were not the strongest for this gun maker. Additional safety features were added to the Mark 3 permitting sales in all domestic markets and were otherwise a benefit (or minor nuisance) to their owners. Among the array of features available to remake the 22/45 in one’s own image, this author chose a number of small ones available from Tandem Kross (TK) and one big one from Tactical Solutions.

Tactical Solutions of Boise, ID, has been in business since 2002, making barrels, receivers, conversion kits and even sound suppressors. Replacing the all-steel Ruger-barreled upper receiver with one from Tactical Solutions (mostly aluminum) remakes the pistol in a much lighter package with excellent adjustable sights, an optional threaded muzzle and a subdued finish that is a better match to the polymer frame than the original. The only feature loss at this point is the deletion of the chamber loaded indicator, a feature that never enjoyed significant consumer driven demand. Due to the nature of the host Ruger pistol design, the Tactical Solutions upper receiver bears a serial number, related manufacturer markings and must be treated legally like any other complete firearm or serialized firearm receiver.

Threaded Tactical Solutions 22/45 hybrids have become a staple for those who wanted a .22 pistol that was light weight, rugged...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N2 (March 2017)
and was posted online on January 27, 2017

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