Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Butler Creek Custom 10/22

Since acquiring Transverse Myelitis, something I of course intend to combat and overcome sooner than later, I've realized a few things about firearms. I like to hit what I'm shooting at as close as I can get, and I like to shoot for cheap. I could have put more money and time into my old Savage (old, as if taking it out twice and dispensing less than 300 rounds is old) to make it a fuckin tack-hammer, but .17 HMR is expensive and I'm a sick boy on the mend. I also realized that as freakin badass a weapon as the Saiga is, 7.62x39, while a sight cheaper than .223 (aka 5.56 NATO), is also not terribly easy on the wallet, nor is it really a god time for me at the range to be hitting nothing more than center mass with a weapon that, sure, is durable as hell but not worth customizing much in the least due to restrictive ATF laws, and the fact that turning what is basically an AK into a sniper variant is essentially pointless. Scoping a weapon like that just seems... superfluous, and a competition gun it is not.

Hence my decision to trade the aforementioned guns for another 10/22. Let's face it, .22LR is my favorite caliber, rimfire or not some Aguila high velocity hollow points in the face of a home intruder are still going to ruin said intruder's day. The ammunition is cheap to boot, averaging maybe $5 for an EXPENSIVE box of 50 rounds, and with my preferred Aguilas, that's cost is pushing it. On top of that, and color me biased if you will, Ruger makes the best .22 caliber rifle on the market. You've all seen what type of modifications and customization is possible with my other favorite gun, so the decision to snag up another in the same line seemed a no brainer to me.

Originally I was interested in the Talo exclusive with a fully adjustable Fajen synthetic stock, quoted at $450 by a (the only) friendly Wade's Eastside Guns employee. Not really wanting to throw my support to that particular store due to general bad experiences when browsing there before, Aaron and gathered up the Saiga and ventured over to DJ's Loan & Sport in Bothell, whom I've done business with several times in the past and have always been impressed not just with their selection, but also with their professionalism and the fact that they treat everyone who comes in like old friends.

Initially I scanned the guns on the floor and found several new factory contour barrel models of the 10/22, ranging from various wood finishes to synthetic stocks in both blued and stainless barrel variations. Beyond the counter, however, I instantly found what I was looking for:Graphite bull-barrel lined with carbon fiber made by Butler Creek (a barrel I have read nothing but good things about, generally running around $200 on it's own), glass-bedded Butler creek synthetic stock, a sturdy and fairly stylin Butler Creek sling attached to a Shooters Ridge bipod, with a receiver drilled and tapped with a Leupold scope mount and a 3-9x40 Bushnell scope. Of the gun itself, the only adjustments I could even see concerning myself with would to add the extended magazine release and replace the bolt charging handle with something a bit sturdier. I'm also having thoughts on eventually splurging for the Volquartsen stabilization module, but this gun looks plenty sick as it is.

Along with the Butler Creek high capacity magazine shown with the rifle, it was accompanied by two 30 round Eagle magazines. While the reviews I've found for these magazines tend to be mediocre to moderate at best, it's not like I'm looking at encountering a shortage of 10/22 magazines anytime soon. The rifle of course included the factory rotary magazine, Ruger's staple which along with the Butler Creek 30 (or 25?) rounder should more than compensate if the Eagles give me any shit... I hope they don't since they also conveniently stack jungle style together, making switching mags a breeze, but I'm not expecting much out of them which is okay. To top everything else off, the purchase also included a hard case and the Ruger gun lock that appears more suited for use as a bludgeoning weapon rather than a gizmo meant to keep unwelcome thieves from firing my weapons... plus they neglected to include the key, heh, so what the hell.

I have every intention of getting some quality time in with the gun by week's end, Sunday at the latest... but for a tiny bit more than the trade-in I got for the Savage and Saiga combined, I really couldn't be happier with the outcome. Have a couple more pics:
If appearances were anything to go off, and trust me, these pictures do not do the rifle justice, I can tell you right now this thing is gong to be a deadly nailgun, just give me a few more days to bring you the proof.

EDIT 11/12/2008: It should be noted that the Butler Creek barrel is just made up of carbon fiber. While it's light-weight as hell, it's not as light as it would be were there a graphite composite in the barrel structure... just wanted to clear that up.


Aaron said...

Pretty cool re: barrell, the actual path the bullet travels must be made of steel though right?

aeric_7734 said...

Chrome-Moly lined if I'm not mistaken... I was referring to the exterior, doh.