Shooting Sports USA - March 2018 - 17
hooters have been trying to shrink
full-size firearms into smaller packages
probably since Day One. "Ah, so this
is a 'scolop,'" we can imagine the Doge of
Venezia saying to his armorer in 1320 AD
while examining the newfangled, hefty
bronze barrel attached to a wooden shaft.
"It's a bit heavy-can you make it smaller?"
Since then rifles have, indeed, become
small enough for all-day individual carry;
some petite, synthetic-stocked hunters
flirt with a feather light six pounds. But
while sporting a short overall length, they
can't match a true "takedown" design for
occupying little space.
Why bother with shrinking the package
any further? Because rifles that separate
into multiple pieces for easy (and, yes,
surreptitious) transportation or storage
have their places in backpacks, boats,
cars, pickups, apartments, cupboards and
airplanes. Rifle cases that appear too short
to case rifles may escape the attention
of thieves. Any place pressed for space
(camping trailers) and any situation requiring
transport in a minimalist fashion (multi-day
hikes) are venues for takedowns.
Takedowns may date back into the
muzzleloader era, as the invention of the
hooked breech system in the early 1700s might
have promulgated the takedown concept.
But the hooked breech alone qualifies more
properly as "easier disassembly" rather than
takedown, as barrels were typically pinned
to stocks and required tools for removal; and
because stocks extended out to the muzzle,
removing the barrel wouldn't effectively
shorten the package anyway. Replacing the
barrel pins with wedges on the shortenedbarrel, half-stock Hawken-style muzzleloader,
combined with the hooked breech, is
possibly the first arguable common
takedown rifle system, though "takedown"
may be generous as Hawkens aren't really
intended to be true takedowns.
Doubtless there are minor examples of
clever takedown rifles throughout history,
and the advent of self-contained metallic
cartridges finally gave the concept viability.
One of the better centerfire takedowns has
been the Newton bolt-action rifle of about
1916. The Newton collapses by pressing
a button to open the floorplate, which
The X22 is a completely self-contained package
and easily fits into a common daypack.
SSUSA.ORG | MARCH 2018