Stirling M20: A blowback action rifle chambered in .22 LR

Author: Eric Sof

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The Stirling M20 is another product of the Phillippine Islands company of Squires Bingham. It is, in essence, the same blowback action used in their Squibman M16 combat-style rifle but installed into a more conventional form of stock.


The stock is of Philippine mahogany; the standard model is sanded, and oil finished, while the Sterling M20 De Luxe model has the grain well figured and has a polished finish. Both have machined checkering on the pistol grip and fore-end, butt pads, and pistol grip caps with white spacer; the De Luxe model also has fore end-capped.

Squires Bingham Stirling Model 20 Rifle
Squires Bingham Stirling Model 20 Rifle (Photo: Squires Bingham)

The mechanism is a straightforward blowback bolt in a tubular receiver attached behind the barrel; the trigger mechanism and magazine housing are fitted through the stock, and the box magazine goes in from beneath. There is a combined muzzle brake and compensator, though just how much of its practical effect and cosmetic is a moot point in this caliber. The whole mechanism can be removed from the stock by simply taking out one screw, after which disassembly into the various parts for cleaning is straightforward.

The Stirling M20 is a sound little rifle, excellent for vermin and general plinking and sufficiently accurate for all practical purposes. It is well finished and of first-class material, and the manufacture and assembly appear to be to a high standard for a reasonably-priced weapon.

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Technical specifications

Manufacturer: Squires, Bingham Mfg. Co., Marikina, Philippines
Type:  semi-automatic, blowback
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle RF
Barrel: 19.5 in (495 mm)
Weight: 6 lbs (2.72 kg)
Magazine capacity: 15 rounds
Cyclic rate of fire:
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