Is it really necessary to explain why rimfire guns are getting again increasingly popular after a long period of time, during which small calibers were little considered outside the academic sports shooting circles? They're fun, and they're unexpensive − and the current global economic crisis is leading sports shooters, hunters and gun enthusiasts in general worldwide to save as much money as they can by purchasing cheap guns and ammunition for leisure plinking and general practice, while stocking up "serious" guns and high calibers for "when it counts". Plus, some jurisdictions pose less legal restrictions or red tape on the purchase and ownership of rimfires rathern than to centerfire guns, and they're generally good, viable training instruments to introduce newbies and young, new generations of shooters to the basics of gun safety, handling, and marksmanship.
The new, increasing success of rimfires as viable alternatives for many shooting sports is so big that several companies in the world of gunmakers turned this into their core business: that's the case of ISSC Handels GmbH − a company headquartered in the Austrian town of Ried Im Innkries − which has been manufacturing only and solely rimfires ever since it was founded. Currently, its products line includes the M22 pistol − a .22 Long Rifle autoloader, visually similar to a Glock 19 but sporting an external hammer and a slide-mounted manual safety − and the Mk22-MSR semi-automatic carbine, which can be considered a rimfire, civilian sporter rifle of the Belgian-made FN SCAR assault rifle platform. New for 2013 from ISSC is yet another line of rimfire carbines, repeaters this time, specifically conceived to provide a high rate of fire for sports shooting, leisure plinking, varmint hunters and pest control.
The new line of carbines is dubbed SPA 22/17 after their straight-pull action working system and the calibers it's available in: the three different models of the SPA 22/17 line feed through detachable, single-column magazines holding ten rounds of .22 Long Rifle, .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire or .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire ammunition. All metal parts in the ISSC Handels' SPA 22/17 carbines are manufactured out of AISI-4140 carbon steel − more specifically, barrels are Match-grade, cold-hammer forged, and sport a heavy profile. The straight-pull action on the SPA 22/17 carbine is patterned after some of the best known Biathlon rifles: as such, they truly are a breeze to cock, as the shooter only needs to operate the oversize handle with the index finger, pulling them back and forth with minimum effort before shooting again; a level of speed that's unmatched in the world of leisure plinking repeaters. The ISSC Handels SPA 22/17 carbines will be available in three versions: Black, with a standard Nylon stock; Wood, with a hardwood (walnut) stock and raised cheekpiece; and Target, with a synthetic stock that's inspired by the design of the famous British-made Accuracy International long-range rifles, and as such features a side-folding buttstock, a stabilizing stock spike and an adjustable cheekpiece.
The ISSC Handels SPA 22/17 carbines have been in distribution in north America through Legacy Sports International ever since the 2nd quarter of 2013; distribution in Europe started in May and is proceeding slowly as each single national distributor in the different European countries starts to receive the due stocks. All in all, the ISSC Handels SPA 22/17 carbines can be compared to the German-made Anschütz 1727-F straight-pull carbine − another new product for 2013 − although they're definitely much more apt for the everyday shooter due to their price: so to speak, the wooden stock model goes for about 640.00€ in Europe and 599.00US$ in the United States; the plain synthetic stock variant is sold at around 495.00€ in Europe and 499.00US$ in the United States, while the "tactical" stock version goes at around 700.00€ in Europe and 699.00US$ in the United States. Non-European and non-American buyers should contact the company to know about their local authorized distributors and retailers, and to inquire about the availability and pricing of the SPA 22/17 carbines in their Country.