Here at SHWAT™ we rarely publish anything off a generic press release, usually we try to be more in depth. I’m making an exception given the nature of the announcement. I think this is something a lot of us would be interested in: a monolithic integrally suppressed .22 pistol receiver for the Ruger Mk-I, Mk-II, Mk-III and 22/45 pistols. FightLite® Industries, a special products division of ARES Defense Systems, Inc., is responsible for the concept. STEPLS is shorthand for Strategic Target Engagement Pistol, Low Signature. That’s a big name for a relatively small gun, but is pretty much on par with current naming conventions.
As for me, shooting a suppressed .22 pistol is something I’ve enjoyed for years, mostly just for fun, sometimes training, sometimes dispatching small animals whose time had come. I’ve run Sig Saur Mosquitos and Walther P22s with cans. I’ve also had issues with both. Sometimes it’s just reliability, sometimes it boils down to things coming apart – literally loose screws. Though I’ve not yet tested this new STEP-22LS from FightLite® Industries, they clearly prioritized overcoming these issues.
Geoffrey Herring, President & CEO of ARES Defense Systems, Inc.: “Old-style integrally suppressed pistols are usually very heavy due to their all-steel construction, they’re 13” or more in length and are frequently limited to iron sights or optic mounts that are fastened to the receiver with screws that can shoot loose during use.”
Eleven inches long and weighing in at just over 24 ounces, the FightLite® STEP-22LS™, looks amazing. Of course looks don’t equal performance, but ARES says the kit provides up to 40 decibels in sound pressure reduction.
Installation seems pretty straight forward, neither tools nor gunsmithing are required. Just disassemble your Ruger then reassemble it with the STEP-22 receiver assembly. You only reuse your pistol’s original bolt and trigger housing.
When you’re done, you’ll have a Ruger .22 pistol that is capable of accommodating lasers, lights, optics and accessories on monolithic rails that won’t loosen during use. It should be accurate, too. According to the press release, “The tensioned target barrel dampens accuracy degrading harmonics typically associated with lightweight barrels for excellent and repetitive shot placement. And the patent-pending STEP-22LS™ monolithic receiver ensures that there are no sight rails or tubes to loosen during firing.”
The FightLite® STEP-22™ should ship in July with an MSRP of $699. I need to get one of these in to give it a proper review, but some of you will want to go ahead and jump on this. I plan to check them out at the NRA Show later this month. Look for an upcoming review here. Subscribe to our free newsletter for heads up on this and other things you’ll enjoy. Not to mention, that’s where we do giveaways!