Fletcher Rifle Works’ new OpenTop 11/22 is a game changer in the rimfire world. SHOT Show 2023 is packed with innovation – and not only from the big-name companies. 
 

Problems with 10/22 Design


For over 50 years, the Ruger 10/22 has been one of the most popular rimfire rifles in the world. While a pleasure to shoot, anyone with a 10/22 knows they are a nightmare to disassemble and clean. I’ve spent many hours cursing Ruger. As the founder of the Modern American Rimfire Series, I have seen my share of rimfire rifles, and the OpenTop 11/22 is the only good solution I’ve found. 
 

OpenTop Innovation

 

Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop 11/22
The OpenTop 11/22 solves one of the biggest problems with the Ruger 10/22 design: cleaning. (Photo: Dave Luu/Guns.com)


Just as its name describes, the OpenTop 11/22 receiver is designed to have its top plate easily removed for quick access to internals for cleaning and maintenance. Otherwise, it’s exactly the same as a standard Ruger 10/22. You can use all the same parts, triggers and barrels. How great is that!

OpenTop History


I’ve been following the designer, Sebastian Unger, for years. At Shot Show 2023, he was surprised that I knew who he was and was already a fan. Sebastian has been developing this receiver for years and has gone through many prototypes. In 2021, he partnered with Fletcher Rifle Works to manufacture the OpenTop 11/22 in the United States. 
 

Features
 

Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop 11/22
While the receiver is still its own part and can be separated from the barrel, you don't have to do that clean it. (Photo: Dave Luu/Guns.com)


No longer must you remove the stock, punch out the trigger pack and then fight with the bolt and charging-handle spring. With the OpenTop, all you need to do is remove the captured top-plate retaining pin and slide the cover off. The charging handle and bolt almost fall out. 

There is also a cleaning hole in the back of the receiver so you can use a traditional cleaning rod. On a standard 10/22, you had to remove the barrel from the receiver to use a straight cleaning rod. Most people use those pull-through cleaning snakes, but those don’t scrub like a rod can. I’ve always made my own bent brush, because I hate taking off the barrel. Now you can clean the barrel with a normal rod while it is still attached to the receiver. 
 

Mounting Sights/Optics

 

Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop 11/22
The receivers can host red dots and other optics. But that creates a possible problem. (Photo: Dave Luu/Guns.com)


The only potential con I saw was that because the top is removable, mounting optics might be an issue. Sebastian has two solutions. First, he added a Picatinny rail in front of the removable top. It is machined from the same billet aluminum as the whole receiver and is integrated with the receiver, so there is no chance of zero shift. This works great for red dots and iron sights.
 

Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop 11/22
The Pic rail is part of the machined receiver. But that creates another issue. (Photo: Dave Luu/Guns.com)
Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop 11/22
Longer scopes will need a cantilevered mount. (Photo: Dave Luu/Guns.com)(Photo: Dave Luu/Guns.com)


If you want to mount a longer scope, you will need to use a cantilevered scope mount. The second solution, which is still in development, is a Picatinny rail integrated into the sliding top cover. They are working on an exact top-cover fit so there will be a minimal zero shift. I’m hoping to see this improvement in the near future.
 

Availability


 

Fletcher Rifle Works OpenTop 11/22
If you're prepping a build, the 11/22 is worth looking at. But your existing 10/22 can still enjoy the benefits. (Photo: Dave Luu/Guns.com)


You can purchase the OpenTop 11/22 as a stand-alone receiver to drop into your existing 10/22 build. Remember, it has complete parts compatibility with standard Rugers. Some fully built rifle and pistol variants are also available, and a barrel-takedown model is in development.

OpenTop 11/22 receivers are available now at both Fletcher Rifle Works and Brownells, starting at only $250.

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