Friday, April 18, 2008

It's Rifle Range Friday!! Bestest Day Ever!!

The Firing Line and My Ruger girls, ready to go...

So, I finally got there. I could not stand it any more. The last time a had fired my rifle was Jan 30 and the subsequent pile of office work and snow and cold and yuck just made it next to impossible. I know. There are some indoor ranges here in Columbus that allow rimfire but just between you and me, they suck. Shooting indoors is just not my thing and I hate blowing my nose for a week and having grey and black powder residue still attached to me. No way that is healthy... When the work thing finally eased off for me and I had a chance to review the weather forecast I decided today was the day. Trip to the rifle range or bust was sort of the unspoken motto. I didn't bust...
Here's where we begin. How cool is it that the happy hunting ground also has a happy shooting spot? I have to say it ranks pretty damned high on my list of heaven-like places.

What's better, I had the whole place to myself for most of today. You just can't get that on the weekend. When I arrived the game wardens were there burning garbage and cleaning up but were soon gone. A couple of fellow shooters were there and disappeared right before noon. The full auto fire that started right after the wardens left seems to have eaten their ammo pretty quickly. ;-)

I was particularly excited by the prospect of getting finally fire my newest build. (See this previous post for some details) I have been doing some parts shuffling and evals prior to today and the final config shapes up as follows:

  • Stock Ruger 10/22 Carbine
  • Green Mountain Aero Barrel (Black)
  • Bell & Carlson Premier Thumbhole (OD Green with Black Webbing)
  • Tactical Solutions Picatiny Rail. (Receiver Mounted)
  • Houge Picatiny Extreme Low Rings
  • Weaver 1 to 3 by 20 Classic V Scope
  • Rimfire Tech Drop-in trigger (Black)
  • Rimfire Tech Magazine Release (Helical Fluted, Black)
  • Volquartsen Target Hammer
  • Power Custom Pre-travel adjust able sear
  • Power Custom extended bolt release.
  • Power Custom Bolt Handle and Rod
  • David Tubb Bolt Guide spring
  • CPC Bolt
  • Volquartsen Edge Extractor
  • Shooter's Ridge Bi-Pod

The lone remaining component to install is a Rimfire Tech bolt handle and guide rod assembly. It is on order and should be here next week. I stole the power custom one out of one of my target builds. It works well but doesn't like the hotter loads as well... Even with that missing, boys let me tell you, this thing is a shooter.

When I started the day the barrel had had zero rounds fired so a full 500 round break-in was the order of business for this rifle. The first 50 or so were rough going. Stopping every 10 rounds to wet and dry patch can get tiresome and the rifle just did not want to group. I kept after it though. This was an all too common sight today. I bet I used 100 patches.

Anyhow, after the first 50 or so the rifle really started feeding better and by 200 it was consistent enough to adjust the scope and see how it was doing.

Once I dialed it in, the thing would consistently hold a quarter sized group at 25 yards. I was just completely impressed. Add to that the ammo I brought because I just figured what we were really after was some seasoning and not accuracy... I have a pile of Remington Golden Bullet ammo around for assorted reasons not the least of which is that it is cheap. I figured it would be perfect for a day of just getting the rounds down-range. It turned out that rifle just loved the stuff. In my final 20 round test I was firing at fractured bit of clay pigeon at 100 yards and consistently powdering them.... with Golden Freaking Bullet ammo. I was shocked but not at all displeased. Really good showing from this one today. All totalled I fired 650 rounds through it and as long as I did my part to keep things clean every 100 rounds or so, it worked flawlessly. I am excited to get back to the range with it for ammo testing.

Also along for the ride was The Ultimate Squirrel Rifle, Part Deuce (see here for previous posts) As I think I posted earlier, I had several good shots this past season that I just missed. I decided I like that picatiny base on the new rifle so well I decided to stick one on the this one too. With that is needed to be re-sighted and I would get a chance to test things out.

The new config on this one shakes out like this:

  • Stock Ruger 10/22 Carbine
  • Tactical Solutions OD Green Barrel
  • Tactical Solutions OD Green Mag Release
  • Tactical Solutions Picatiny Rail (reciever mount)
  • Houge Picatiny Extreem Low Rings
  • Bell & Carlson Premier Thumbhole Black on Black
  • Nikon 4x32 Rimfire Classic
  • Volquartsen Drop-in Target Hammer
  • Volquartsen Drop-in Target Triger
  • Power Custom Bolt Handle and Rod
  • David Tubb Bolt Guide spring
  • Power Custom Claw Extractor
  • Shooter's Ridge Bi-pod
I only had to use about 200 CCI Subsonics to feel good about how this one will shoot. Once I got her dialed in she was all business culminating in a 5 shot, 1 hole group at 25 yards. It was somewhere between a dime and nickle sized hole. I guess I have to say that if I am missing them this coming season, it's all me and not the equipment... Check it out. The 5 to right there are all me, dialing in the scope. The 5 in the center are the ones that make all happy inside.

What else is there to say but what a great day? I just to shoot for literally hours on end using rifles as nice as any I have ever held, spending time in the happy hunting ground in a place to which I am bonded by history and practice... Just what a day. It gets no better except, now what is waiting on me at home is something even better and more amazing.... Some how I bet there is a picture of her here somewhere...... Hmmmm...

Ah. There she is. Yeah, I know. Mow the grass before you go play... Basic Dad rule.

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