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The original SR-22R came with the Nordic housing that requires you to remove the scope mount rail to disasemble, which may require re-zeroing each time. The one I received in December 2012 is the updated version, where you can just wiggle it out easily, no need to remove the scope mount rail.
The quality of the housing is well built, very snug fit. The thickness of the anodizing could be a little better though.
My handguard is not aligned perfectly with the scope mount rail, off by only 1-2 degrees. But, I never planned on using iron sights anyway with this rifle. If you want to straighten it out perfectly, you'll need a spanner/hook wrench, which you can get from reidsupply.com
The front barrel support with sling swivel is not needed, it's only there for cosmetic reason, so that the barrel will align right in the middle of the handguard. By removing the barrel support, the accuracy will improve tremendously. I took mine off and the barrel still points straight enough where I cannot tell it's off in any way.
The handguard is only bolted on with two screws at the bottom. If you are shooting bench, that will typically have the same pressure on the handguard everytime and your POI should be the same when using iron sights. But, if you are shooting off hand, the lack of bolts to keep the handguard completely solid to the receiver, it may twist just enough to throw your POI off when using irons, so keep that in mind.
I always prefer the pistol grip for better trigger control, the trigger that comes with it is just standard. The barrel is a heavy barrel, compared to the tapered one with the standard 10/22.
Conclusion, I got this rifle to use with a scope and not irons, so for now, the handguard design flaw is not an issue for me. If you only planned on using a scope, then this rifle should do you justice and pretty accurate at that, once you remove the barrel support.