Homebuilt Innovation: Ultra Light .22 Bolt Repeater

This is a remarkable home made survival-type .22 rifle that is chock full of ingenuity.

It may be amateur made, but its builder, who posts on YouTube as ECCO Machine, has professional equipment, and, more importantly, skills. Most parts of the rifle are machined from billets of aluminum, titanium, and ABS plastic. The barrel is a carbon-fiber-wrapped .22 barrel liner. The bolt is made of machined titanium alloy with a welded-on handle, and it has a rare feature in a rimfire rifle, forward locking lugs.

The resulting rifle is ultralight: less that 1 lb. 3 oz. The featherweight rifle stows itself into a package less than a foot and a half long.

Unlike most amateur’s adherence to the material or materials, and process or processes that they know best, ECCO Machine’s practical use of a range of materials and methods is something worthy of a major manufacturer. Plastic, carbon fiber, aluminum, and titanium are all used in places where they’re most suitable.

The only steel or stainless-steel parts are the sear, striker, spring, screws, the barrel liner only, and a modified Savage stainless mag (with a really clever and dead-simple retaining catch that is its own spring).

The bolt’s forward locking lugs lock into a barrel extension, as in an AR; the barrel extension is also made of titanium. The rifle is readily taken down without tools. Everywhere the solutions chosen show both imagination and a practical turn of mind. For one thing, he came up with a really clever way to manage the cartridge feed by making the ejector do double duty.

There’s a really neat surprise in the grip (which he doesn’t count against the gun’s 18.9 oz weight) and the carbon-fiber stock can hold up to 40 .22 long rifle cartridges. There is a nifty titanium front sight base modeled on the classic AR FSB, and a special threaded muzzle cap that’s part of the rifle folding/stowage mechanism. (An alternate threaded adapter can convert these fine threads to the threads needed to attach a suppressor).

This video shows many more details of this intriguing firearm.

One of these should be built into ever ejection seat on every combat jet. Heck, we should build one into the RV-12.

There are several other interesting amateur builds on ECCO Machine’s YouTube channel. Hat tip, Hrachya at TFB.

28 thoughts on “Homebuilt Innovation: Ultra Light .22 Bolt Repeater

  1. John Distai

    I saw the rifle and “The Day of the Jackal” immediately came to mind. Fascinating what decades old associations my mind can dredge up.

    The other thing that came to mind was covert smuggling and indigenous forces seeking “regime change”.

    1. Sommerbiwak

      It reminded instantly of a foldabke rifle that James Bond has used in one of the early movies. Maybe it was one od the connery ones. He assembled it from an attachee case.

      substitute the Titanium with steel and maybe the carbon wrap with a slightly thicker barrel to produce it cheaper. Would still be lightweight rifle and much much superior to the famous Liberator pistol.

      1. DaveP.

        That was an Arma lite AR-7 survival rifle, now made by Henry; the movie was From Russia with Love.

  2. Mr. Chubbins

    A thing of beauty for sure.

    On a side note. I have been pondering the survival rifle concept and my brain is getting stuck in “yes, but why a single shot rifle?”
    Why a rifle at all. Why not a small light handgun in 22lr?

    1. DMax

      A ruger mk3 or mk4 with a lightweight stock would work just fine. Not worth the sbr paperwork but otherwise just fine.

    2. Looserounds.com

      how many people are good enough to shoot small game at distance with a 22 pistol?… While wet, cold, hungry and thirsty. I can toss skeet in the air and hit them with a 45 , but I cant hit a squirrel at 35 yards in a leaf covered tree with a 22 pistil using standard ammo and iron sights.

      A rifle in 22 is also quieter than a pistol. That would matter for what escape and evasion.

      1. Loren

        I’ve used both AR -7’s and single shot shoguns when missing a shot meant hunger.
        IMO the AR-7 is useless for survival as this gun would be. In a survival situation you don’t need more than one shot but you do need that shot to hit and kill what you aim at. As you said, when you’re cold and desperate the food is scarce and hard to hit.
        A single shot shotgun with an 18″ barrel breaks down to 18″ and weighs little. The shells are large but you only need a few.
        On the farm, my customized 12ga. single hangs on a hook by the front door and is my go to gun for varmints large and small. The 2 AR-7’s sit in the safe.

    3. William O. B'Livion

      Why .22lr?

      .22Mag isn’t that much longer and widens the range of what you can take.

    4. Scott

      An SBR detachable stock with a 10″ or so barrel would be about the right set of compromises for my taste. But for the NFA and all.

      Is it just me, or does the stock look / seem a bit ducky? Why not a straight tube (AR-style) back from the receiver and eschew the pistol grip altogether? Yes, the sights would have to be higher to get a decent check weld / sight picture, but I’m not sure that’s any worse.

      1. John M.

        Setting the sights higher off the bore increases the point of aim/point of impact differential, which can matter a lot at close range. An AR-15’s bore is placed lower so recoil comes straight back into the shooter’s shoulder, decreasing muzzle rise, particularly on full auto. That’s why AR sights are so high. For a rifle like this, sights close to the bore are a good call.

        -John M.

  3. John M.

    “Heck, we should build one into the RV-12.”

    You live awfully close to the People’s Democratic Socialist Republic of Cubachusetts for that. Maybe better to think “survival knife” than “survival rifle.”

    -John M.

  4. Keith

    Awesome. Of course the ATF will be all over that with fees and regulations just as soon as they find out about it.

  5. James F.

    The DAY OF THE JACKAL rifle was my first thought, too.

    As for the Bond rifle, Bond used an off the shelf AR-7 in three films. In one of them, he shoots down a helicopter with it. The rifle above weighs, in pounds, about the same as the AR-7–in kilos.

  6. anonymous

    I wonder if a rifle weighing a pound can be steadied for the shot in the field enough for small game. I have a Rogue River Chipmunk that weighs nearly three times as much and it is VERY challenging to shoot accurately (small game accuracy) without a rest. Yes, even with a sling.

    The take-down design is clever, but I think Mag-Pul now has a take-down stock for the Ruger 10-22 TD that works nearly as well.

    1. ECCO Machine

      I am the builder, so I will weigh in on a couple of the questions.

      -Is it hard to steady a rifle this light? Yes, lightweight guns do tend to wander. However, it’s stable enough that cotton tails at 50 yards are no trouble at all.

      -Is it an AR-7 receiver? No. Check out my video. Except for the barrel liner, every piece was hand made on manual machines, including the ABS chassis and aluminum receiver within.

      -Why not .22 magnum? Ammo cost is #1. And while .22 mag is a good bit more powerful, it’s still a small game cartridge. I am planning to develop a similar rifle that fires the 5.7x28mm round, though.

      -Does it float? No. I considered making it buoyant, but it seemed rather impractical, especially as I live in a land-locked state with few bodies of water. But it would be easy to slip a small pool noodle on the barrel or something. Alternately, I intend to make a waterproof case for it that will make use of the dead space present in the stowed configuration with a collapsible fishing rod & reel, and probably a few other goodies. That case will have enough airspace to float.

      I would like to thank the author for a very flattering write up as well! One minor correction, though; the front sight is aluminum, not titanium.

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