By Elwood Shelton, Gun Digest
If Mossberg has its way, everything in the world will be FLEX-ed — which might not be a bad thing.
The multi-platform system has become extremely popular with shooters, giving them the ability to custom fit their guns in the blink of an eye. The system doesn’t even require tools to reconfigure the buttpads, stocks and forends of Mossberg FLEX guns.
The Connecticut manufacturer introduced two new FLEX models at the 2014 SHOT Show, the 20-gauge 500 FLEX and 500 JIC FLEX pump-action shotguns. And the company hasn’t slowed down from there, recently following up with a whole new FLEX line — one that should get .22 rifle fans’ hearts collectively thumping.
Mossberg has introduced its first .22 rifles outfitted with the FLEX system. And the two new autoloaders offer a little something for any age group. For big kids, there is an adjustable tactical stock version with a 25-round magazine. And for the burgeoning sharp shots, there is an easy-to-handle Youth model with compact stock and 10-round magazine.
The .22 rifles are based on the Mossberg’s line of 22LR autoloaders, the 702 Plinkster and 715T. Like their popular forebears, the FLEX .22 rifles come standard with free-floating barrels, rifled with a 1:16 twist rate. The .22 rifles have fully-adjustable front and rear fiber optics sights, adjustable for windage and elevation. And each are lightweight, with the synthetic stocked guns tipping the scales at 5.5 pounds each.
The FLEX-22 Youth Model.
The 25-round model features the six-position FLEX tactical stock, with an integrated lever that adjusts the length-of-pull from 11 to 14 inches. The rifle has a shorter 16.5-inch barrel, allowing for practical maneuverability. And while recoil is rarely a concern with .22 rifles, the gun has a A2-style muzzlebrake, reduces its muzzle jump, allowing for faster follow-up shots.
The .22 rifle is outfitted with a top-mounted, removable Picatinny rail allowing the gun to be topped off with optics of the shooter’s choice. It also comes with a handy magazine loading cap, giving shooters more time behind the trigger and less spent juicing magazines.
The Youth version is tailored for the smaller frame of beginning shooters, featuring the FLEX compact 12.5-inch fixed LOP stock 3/4-inch recoil pad. Married to an 18-inch barrel, the gun measures in at just over 30-inches, making it manageable and accurate in a beginner’s hands. The receiver is dovetailed and accepts 3/8-inch scope mounts allowing the the rifle an optics upgrade.
The prices the .22 rifles falls right in line with what is on the market. The Youth model MSRP is $210, the 25-round model $275.