JTAC Industries Elf Owl Bolt Action Pistol – Video Review

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- Despite what your girlfriend or wife may have told you, sometimes smaller is better. The JTAC Industries Elf Owl delivers a small, compact size, in a big way. If you’re looking for an ultra-compact, 300 Blackout bolt action pistol, or SBR, this is a great option. It is also available at a price that is much easier to swallow than many of its competitors while offering all the top-notch features you’d want from a gun like this. The Elf Owl is diminutive in size, yet delivers big in features and performance. 

JTAC Industries Elf Owl, Vortex Razor Gen III, Rex Silentium Mod X Suppressor

I know that some of you are amazed by the idea and ready to get your own 300 Blackout bolt action pistol, while some are just sitting there thinking what the hell do you do with a 300 Blackout bolt action pistol? And still some of you out there don’t exactly know what to do with one because it hasn’t been in call of duty, yet. What don’t you do with an Elf Owl, is my question? I’m going to primarily use mine for vehicle tactics and room clearing… ok, just kidding. But in all seriousness there are a lot of uses for an ultra compact 300 Blackout Bolt action pistol. 

JTAC Industries Elf Owl, Primary Arms scope, Dead Air Nomad Suppressor

Number one use for me, and I can’t tell a lie, is it’s just to show off impressive suppressors to my buddies. The Elf Owl is an ultra-cool and compact package. 300 Blackout is amazingly suppressed and since the round is designed for suppressor use out of a short barrel, you aren’t making any sacrifices with this ultra-short setup. Also being a bolt action and not a semi-auto, it will be noticeably quieter than say, an AR15 chambered in 300 Blackout. This is because you eliminate the sound of the semi-auto action with the Elf Owl being a bolt gun. Another advantage is if you have someone very sensitive to blowback from a suppressed AR, the bolt action also eliminates that because the gases are contained by the bolt. The Elf Owl would make a phenomenal hunting rifle, in some parts of the country anyway. I obviously live in Alabama and because of the terrain here you rarely get a shot on a whitetail at over 100 yards. Using the right ammo and decent shot placement, subsonic 300 Blackout is very capable of making an ethical shot at those distances. 300 Blackout has very little recoil and would make for a great youth rifle to get kids into shooting; and something as light and as compact as the Elf Owl won’t be intimidating or a hindrance for them to get in and out of the woods with. 

You can use it as a precision trainer; maybe not as cheap as 22LR, but it will work. Using precision rifle techniques at shorter ranges with 300 Blackout will build skills that will transfer over to longer-range calibers. If, for instance, you only have a shorter range to train on.

JTAC Industries Elf Owl, Vortex Razor Gen III, Rex Silentium Mod X Suppressor

Maybe you just have every other kind of gun ever imagined, except a bolt action, short barrel, pistol; so you need the Elf Ow. It’s also just small, cool, and a ton of fun to shoot. Which sometimes is the best reason to own a gun of any kind. However, if you are trying to justify it to your yourself, or your wife, the JTAC Industries Elf Owl is an exceptional bolt action pistol that delivers all the goods without putting you in the poor house, or having your wife deliver the divorce papers.

JTAC Industries Elf Owl (As Configured for Review)

  • Length Collapsed 19 3/4 Inches
  • Length Extended 25 1/2 or 26 1/2
  • Weight 5 Pounds 11 Ounces
  • MSRP $1300

The way it works is, JTAC Industries builds the Elf Owl chassis for the Howa 1500 mini action. This action, along with the chassis provide for some very unique features. This was my first time shooting, or really ever messing with a Howa rifle, and this was the one aspect that concerned me the most. Sometimes, you get into a rut and know what you like and are very hesitant to try something new. Much to my delight, the Howa far exceeded my expectations; the bolt is smooth and easy to work. The trigger is good and weighs in at just under three pounds and is very crisp. Everything just works as it should, which is great because something like a really bad bolt throw could ruin an amazingly built rifle like this one. But, have no fear, the Howa delivers the goods in every way. The Howa mini action also offers something that  the Remington 700 can’t, a more compact size. When you’re building a gun like this, the goal is to be as small as possible and Remington doesn’t make an action smaller than their short action. Let me explain. 

The most common way to build a gun like this would be utilizing a Remington 700 footprint action. These actions are either short; meaning they are based off of the 308 sized cartridge and similar sized rounds, or long action; built to accommodate rounds like 30-06 and similar sized rounds. To build a setup like this for 300 BLK with the Remington 700 you would utilize the short action, even though it is built for a much larger round. Howa offers a mini action that is smaller than typical short action being built for rounds like 5.56, 300 Blackout, and 6.5 Grendel. This is most evident in the bolts. A short action Remington 700 has a bolt length of 6 3/4 inches, versus the Howa mini action at just 6 inches. That makes the entire gun shorter by that length; again important if the goal is to be as compact as possible. This also means that the gun will be lighter due to less material, not only in the bolt but also the length of the receiver around the bolt. The shorter action also makes the bolt throw shorter, making the action a little faster. As you can see, this small detail is actually a big deal, and these are all advantages of the Howa mini action over the Remington 700 for this application. 

Size Comparison; 300 Blackout, 308, 30-06
Size Comparison; Remington 700 short action bolt, with a Howa mini action bolt

JTAC Industries offer many options to customize your Elf Owl build. Mine is a 9 inch 300 Blackout, with a 7-inch handguard, and the telescoping tail hook adapter with the cheekpiece. You can get a JTAC industries Elf Owl in either 7.63×39, 300 Blackout, or 6.5 Grendel, and I do have to admit this would be a very cool little package for 6.5 Grendel. Imagine a gun just a few inches longer than this capable of a 1000 yard shot. You can get different barrel lengths, different handguard lengths, and the rear section comes off giving you several different braces or stock options. As I said, I have the telescoping tail hook adapter, but you can swap that out for a buffer tube adapter, to allow any AR15 stock or a pic rail adapter to allow for the attachment of the ever-growing number of braces and stocks to attach to that. 

The JTAC Industries telescoping tail hook adapter is very well made, stable, and robust; you never get any wobble or any signs that it won’t live up to the task at hand. To deploy you simply pull on the brace and it comes out. There are also two different lengths of pull to choose from. The cheek rest is nice and comfortable, and we got this question several times on social media, but it is not adjustable. You will have to make sure the scope is at a level that you’re comfortable with. People have been doing it for years, you’ll be ok. Also, keep in mind, that this is a pistol and some sacrifices must be made. Basically, the entire Elf Owl system is very adaptable and customizable to tailor the gun to fit your application. Whether that’s taking the kids hunting, or trying to figure out why call of duty doesn’t offer a short barrel, bolt action, pistol expansion pack, the team at JTAC Industries has you covered with a ton of options. 

JTAC Industries Elf Owl, Vortex Razor Gen III, Dead Air Nomad TI

The Elf Owl is absolutely amazing to shoot. 300 Blackout bolt actions are so very quiet, and the fact that they don’t need a longer barrel for full powder burn makes a package like the Elf Owl very capable, without making any sacrifices for the compact size. The Elf Owl is very small, would very easily fit into a backpack, and make a great hiking or mountain gun. As I have it configured, it is less than 20 inches collapsed, just over 25 inches extended, and weight in at 5 pounds 11 ounces. I do want to point out you could get that weigh even lower with the 7-inch barrel and shorter handguard, but it is very manageable in this configuration. The accuracy is phenomenal. We were easily able to stretch this out to 300 yards, and something deep inside me just loves listening to the hang time on a subsonic 300 Blackout going 300 yards. The Elf Owl is surprisingly maneuverable. We kind of did this little shooting around the vehicle thing because we thought it would be funny for the video. But, the Elf Owl actually surprised us both on just how well it worked in that situation. 

JTAC Industries Elf Owl, Vortex Razor Gen III, Dead Air Nomad TI

I really can’t say enough good about the JTAC Industries Elf Owl; this has really been an amazingly fun gun to shoot and video to make. Initially, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into with the Elf Owl, but I can say that it has definitely impressed me, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. If you’ve been looking at getting a bolt action pistol, the Elf Owl delivers all the goods, at a cost that most people can live with. You also won’t feel like you’re making any compromises for saving a little money.

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Am I missing something? $1,300.00 for this? Definitely not a “Man I gotta get me one of those” kind of thing.