A new gun recently came on the market. I haven't seen a single article about it in any magazine or on any of the big gun blogs. This new product has become available but has remained mostly unnoticed.
The new gun is a 22LR handgun that vaguely resembles the old Tec-22. Like the Tec-22, it utilizes the ubiquitous 10/22 magazine, which is inserted in front of the grip. That is really where the similarities end. This new design uses an off the shelf AR15 pistol grip and has a built in rail across the top of the gun.
I first noticed the gun in September of 2010 while cruising Excel Industries' website. I just now decided to look for it online and found a few for sale on gunbroker. I think these guns would sell if consumers knew they existed. I mean it doesn't take much to get thefirearmblog or gunblast involved in a test/review. Traffic to those websites would undoubtedly equal an increase in sales.
Lets compare the Excel X-22P to the Ruger Charger. The Ruger Charger is identical to the 10/22 rifle from which it was based, except the Ruger Charger has a shorter barrel and a pistol stock. The Charger is manufactured and sold as a handgun, differentiating it from the 10/22. Both guns use the same magazines, both are pistols, and both have a similar layout.
The Charger has a lot of things going for it. Everyone who knows anything about 22LR rifles knows what a 10/22 is. A ton of people own 10/22s and are not only familiar, but comfortable with them. There is a whole cottage industry devoted to custom parts for 10/22s, parts which will fit in Charger pistols as well.
The real nail in the coffin for Excel is the price. It has an MSRP of $415 according to their website. That MSRP didn't bother me when I discovered the gun in September, because I know that guns rarely sell at MSRP on the internet. If guns do sell at MSRP, its usually right when they come out, and only if there is a line around the block to buy it. People are waiting in line to fork over their hard-earned dollars so they have the privilege of being the first kid on the block to have the newest gun.
Even this first wave of Excel X-22Ps on the market are priced below MSRP. You'd think if there was a big rush for this firearm, the guns would be getting snatched up left and right, maybe selling for over MSRP to start. The X-22Ps I've found on gunbroker are $379 including shipping. This price is still better than the $415 MSRP, but not low enough to entice buyers away from the familiar 10/22 and into the unfamiliar and untested Excel product.
I honestly didn't think that $379 shipped to my local FFL was such a bad deal.... until I went to look up the current pricing for a Ruger Charger. I was surprised to see the Charger selling for as low as $290 including shipping on the website for budsgunshop. The $89 price differential is just too much to make these somewhat similar products really compete against one another . Hopefully prices on the Excel will go down over time.
I'm a lover of the 10/22 platform and a self-proclaimed rimfire junkie. I'd still be willing to try something new (such as the Excel X-22P) because I like being a little different. I like showing people guns they havn't seen before. I don't have an AR-15, GLOCK, or 1911 and there's a reason for that. Everybody and their brother has one. You'll never hear someone say "Wow, an AR-15? I've never seen one of those before!" I don't want to have the same gun as the guy shooting in the lane next to me at the range. I want to have something that people haven't seen, a gun that spawns intrigue among those on the firing line. I can't get that with the Charger, even if it is $89 cheaper.