Thursday, September 18, 2008

Range Report, Better Late Than Never...

After a full day of hiking my favorite local spot from way back when and nearly killing myself to do it, this past Sunday (as is typical) was spent at the Issaquah Sportsman's Club. I've been having a blast shooting my 10/22, so brought that out again, forsaking my larger caliber rifles and accompanying the Ruger with only my Hi-Point C9. But having Aaron out, my primary focus was on the 10/22. I'll run a brief discourse on each ammo type that I took along, and also review a few add-ons for the Ruger as well.

Wolf is renowned for making dirt cheap steel cased ammo in most calibers, primarily larger assault type rounds like 7.62x39 and 5.56 Nato, as well as rounds for most common handguns. Dirty but generally reliable though loathed by those running indoor ranges everywhere, Wolf ammo may be consistent, but as far from a marksman's round as you could hope to get. Not so with their .22LR ammunition. A rimfire round that isn't even manufactured by Wolf, and simply bears their name and logo. At $8 for a box of 50, I was hoping to be in awe, and in retrospect I can say that I have not fired a better round through my 10/22. Deadly accurate and consistent to boot, it's wonder this stuff is so sought after. I won't buy it often, due to the price, but it's fantastic to know that my local gunshop sells it regularly for those times when I do want to shoot it. My only complaint is that each round is coated in a very slick film, which makes loading the magazine somewhat of a pain in the ass, but that's a minor gripe, and like I said, the only one I have.

I have always been skeptical of the Federal brand, as well, since my only real exposure to their .22LR ammo is their bargain boxes of 500+ which are no better than the bottom of the barrel Remington hollow point junk typically on sale at Big 5 or Walmart. I picked up a box of Federal's Premium Match and was duly impressed. Shooting groups ranging from .5 to 1.5 inches, the rounds are consistent overall, though occasionally guilty of 1 or 2 completely wild and off-center shots. The grouping in the picture below should detail that for those of you curious to see. For the price, though, the Federal Premium is excellent ammo, and I was impressed enough to pick up a 500 round box of Federal's American Eagle to have as a comparison.

After my horrible experience with Winchester's Xpert .22 Hollow Point shit ammo, I was extremely cautious about trying any other type of Winchester ammunition, but against my hesitation bought a box of Winchester Super X. My groups were all over the place with this stuff, though consistently inside the target. Not terribly impressive outside of the fact that other than 2 rounds which were bad out of the box, I didn't have a single failure with those particular rounds. I won't be buying more anytime soon, but I also won't continue in my silent boycott of Winchester's products, either, since apparently every manufacturer has a crap brand for those too miserly to splurge on the good stuff.

And finally, I had to give Remington's Viper line a try, based simply on the fact that there's a totally badass snake on the package label, and due to how much fun I had shooting their high velocity rounds the week before. I'll go ahead and state for the record that I have never fired a louder .22LR round. They shoot with a loud crack and are also the first rounds through my 10/22 that provide any noticeable or affecting kickback. They are a high velocity round themselves, and with the flathead conical design of the round, most likely intended for some longer range varmint killin' which is an activity I won't be engaged in anytime soon myself, so altogether with this last weeks experience, I'm not fully sold on these little guys. Their groups were a bit more concentrated than the Winchester rounds fired, but I think they'd be most effective from at least 50 yards, more likely a distance of about 100 yards would suit them best. I may pick up a box of Remington's Yellow Jackets for this Sunday's day on the range, to run a comparison, but will probably not be making the Vipers a regular buy.

Another thing I love about my Ruger 10/22, is the insane amount of aftermarket items available for the 10/22, or just common, shooting enthusiast. I've already swapped the OEM wood stock out for a skeletonized synthetic stock that shaves quite a bit of weight from the rifle. Picked up a Butler Creek 10 round banana clip, and added a decent Bushnell rimfire scope to the gun, and there's still a good deal more modifications that I'm intending to make.

I recently opted to add a bipod, made by Shooter's Ridge. The unit is exceptionally sturdy and has no problem bearing the small weight from the rifle, and should prove a great asset in the long run in terms of improving my shooting overall, since using it the rifle always reverts back to it's original firing position. Not to mention that it looks slick as hell and I got it at a nice discount from Outdoor Emporium out in Seattle. Something I'm definitely glad to have picked up, and will be doubly glad once (if) I upgrade to a target bull barrel for my rifle.

I also picked up a Shooter's Ridge 25 round banana clip, and WOW... what an item. The guy at the store tried selling me on the Butler Creek, but I don't like the look of those as much, and the Magazine of their's that I do have has some problems with certain ammo brands. Not so with the Shooter's Ridge clip. It proved every bit as reliable as the factory Ruger rotary magazine, and looks awesome to boot. More than likely the reliability of the magazine is a direct result of the feed ramp in comparison to the feed ramp on the factory mag:
Left to Right: Factory Mag, Shooter's Ridge, Butler Creek

Again, since I like to reiterate things, I am exceptionally impressed with this magazine, and the Shooter's Ridge brand in general at this point, between the bipod I purchased and this, I expect to be giving them more of my moolah for other nick-nacks and add-ons well into the future.


Anonymous said...

Cool stuff. Nice groups on them black n white targets.

Aaron said...

Note to readers: Avoid 'budget-box' 500+ count .22lr ammo in conjunction with the use of a plastic aftermarket magazine! It's a garbage combination!

aeric_7734 said...

The American Eagle I bought is a box of 10 boxes of 50 rounds. Just based off the packaging, I'm hoping for waaaay better than the Federal Blue Box of .22LR, though we'll see for sure tomorrow.