Rimfire Roundup!

The Saga of the 1712

Ok, so a few months ago I posted about my new Anschutz 1712 rifle chambered in .22LR. The rifle is built on the legendary Model 54 action specifically for Silhouette Hunter class. My first range experience, however was not legendary. I test fired the rifle with 7 different types of ammunition ranging from quality target ammo to some bulk ammo which was largely tested out of frustration. Here are the results: All targets shot at 50 yds. in very favorable conditions. Most were ten shot groups but some were five if they looked horrible from the get go. I even verified the results were not likely my fault by shooting a ten shot group from my CZ Basic 513 with a fixed 4X scope.

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Needless to say I was not happy. This is an expensive rifle and I went to some lengths to acquire it and I had much higher expectations of performance than I received. So, I began checking all the usual suspect issues such as the scope, rings, etc. but came up short, everything seemed ok. I knew better than to panic at this point, but I was definitely concerned. Upon returning home, I did some more careful investigation and discovered the action was not sitting straight in the stock. I thought there may have been a rise in the wood under the action so I removed the action from the stock and examined the stock intently. I found no bumps or rises at all. I returned the action to the stock thinking maybe just a removal and replacement would solve the issue but sadly, it did not. I then decided to contact the man himself, Mr. Steve Boelter, the guy who wrote the book on rimfires, literally and figuratively! He looked at the images I sent of the targets as well as the picture I took of the action in the stock and he said that definitely wasn’t the way it is supposed to be. So after some discussion over the course of a few days we hashed out a plan. Long story short, and lots of details I’m not about to take the time to type, he fixed my rifle up for me. Now, unbeknownst to me at the time of our initial conversation, Steve is the Director of Anschutz for North American Operations. Wow, did I call the right guy or what? Needless to say I was very pleased with Steve’s professionalism, which was only outdone by his excellent customer service. He was patient with me in all my questions and was very knowledgeable. He worked with me to achieve a truly fantastic result, and while I don’t know the totality of what was done I do know the totality of the result. After getting my rifle back from Steve, this is what I was able to achieve.

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A very special thanks to a great guy for helping out a shooter like me. Thanks Steve, you da’ man!

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Anschutz 1712 – New Rifle!

Well, I have had it now for a couple of weeks and after a lot of grief over rings/mounts I got it together and just got around to photographing it yesterday. I haven’t even been able to shoot it yet, so range reports to follow, but here it is! I’m very excited, hope it shoots well and doesn’t have any extraction issues. Stock rifle, Kelbly rings, Vortex Viper scope.

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Anschutz LTR – COMPLETE!

Well folks, here it is! My Anschutz Liberty Training Rifle! Thankfully it’s ready just in time for the Appleseed event this weekend.

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Now, for the details of what was done. Essentially, this was not really a good idea, at least from a financial point of view. We’ll just chalk this one up to a “labor of love,” a good gun project to keep me busy. Basically, between the cost of the rifle, the Tech-Sights, the new bolt handle, the two ten round Anschutz factory magazines, the gunsmithing fee for drilling and tapping the barrel and receiver and the sling and sling studs, I could have purchased three Marlin LTRs. So needless to say I won’t be doing this again! All that aside it was a really neat project and I have enjoyed putting it together and obtaining the final result.

I began by stripping the gun completely (as shown in the previous post) and sent the barreled action to the GS for D&T. Then, while I waited, I installed the sling studs in the stock, polished the trigger a bit as well as the feed ramp the, and ground the round bolt handle down and installed the new DIP bolt handle. After getting the barreled action back from the GS, I reassembled the gun, (not quite as easy as I thought) installed the sights and gave it a good cleaning particularly the bore. One thing I liked about this set up is that the sights I purchased, which are actually for a Marlin bolt action, were able to be mounted at the rear of the action. I suppose on the Marlin the bolt strikes the sights or something because they show the rear sight forward of the bolt and I didn’t care much for the way that looks, so I was pleased when I was able to place mine where they are. Now that I’ve said all that understand, I’m sparing you, the reader, a great deal of detail specifically, a lot of frustration, a boat load of grinding, some polishing, and some rather creative cursing, but ultimately I got it finished!

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Hope you enjoy it, more importantly I hope I enjoy it! ūüôā

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Anschutz LTR Update

Well the barreled action has been stripped and the muzzle has been taped off. The necessary parts and pieces have been taped off too, so she’s ready for the trip to the gunsmith for a little drilling and tapping!

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Anschutz 1451 as a Liberty Training Rifle

Recently I purchased an Anschutz 1451 rifle. I also recently joined the RWVA, as noted in a previous post. They put on the Appleseed events and through experience have determined what characteristics make up the perfect rifle for their purpose. Those rifles are referred to as Liberty Training Rifles. Before even firing my new-to-me Anschutz (or even buying it!) I decided it should be turned into a Liberty Training Rifle. I saw it in the store on a Friday and thought about it all weekend and after some research I determined it was possible to make it into a LTR, I returned on Monday and bought it just for that purpose.

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I ordered Tech Sights to go on the gun but since they don’t have a model made specifically for the 1451 I had to order the closest thing I could. Unfortunately, it will require modification to install, specifically the rifle will need to be drilled and tapped for both the front and rear sight.

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Oddly enough the rifle’s previous owner elected to change the factory front and rear sight to a Remington style set. Why? I’m not sure, but I guess he or she thought it was a good idea, making it look like a bit more like a classic full size rifle. The job was done well with no permanent or adverse effects so that’s a good thing. I however am not a fan but thankfully the sights are easy to remove.

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The rifle will need to be drilled and tapped on the rear of the receiver and one of the two drilled holes at the muzzle (the posterior one) will need to be drilled out and re-tapped for a different thread. Sling swivels will be added, the rifle will be thoroughly cleaned and the trigger optimized as best as possible, the appropriate sling added and this gun will be ready to go!

Final question: Is it somehow wrong to turn a German made rifle into an American Liberty Training Rifle? Is it somehow disrespectful? Or perhaps just a kick in the proverbial pants to the Germans? Who knows? Either way I’m doing it. Anschutz makes a good rifle and by all accounts the 1451 is an accurate little gun. Perhaps not as much as the 64 or legendary 54 actions but accurate none the less. I suppose we shall see. Stay tuned to watch the progression.

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A Random Thought

Let us imagine for a moment, that each round of ammunition fired is like a kilobyte of information and your brain is like a super computer.

Now I know what you are thinking, I’ve lost it, but please, don’t give up on me just yet, let me explain.

First we must establish that the human brain is like a super computer uploading information everyday, some stored in memory, some used like RAM where it sits for a time, is used then is erased or removed to make way for new quick use information ultimately to be dumped as well. Sort of short term memory vs. long term memory.

Secondly we establish that each round of ammunition is a kilobyte of data, because in effect it is information. It tells us about how we are shooting, therefore the next logical supposition is that the gun is like a flash drive, storing the data (ammo) for uploading. If we are shooting in some kind of match and the round count is 120 rds. then the flash drive is effectively a 120 KB drive.

I know, I know, just be patient I’m getting there.

So if practice improves your skills, and we all know it does, regardless of your chosen sport, in this case shooting, then with every shot you fire, you improve your shooting skills ever so slightly. Each round that is fired is a small amount of information. Because what does the fired bullet tell us? A lot really! It can tell us how well we are shooting. The bullet tells us if we jerked the trigger, it tells us if we fired the shot when the sights were not aligned with the target, it can tell us if perhaps we need to change our grip, or it tells us if that ammo is properly suited to that gun and so on. If you imagine the cartridge is stored data then firing it, is uploading that data to your brain. It can be equated to a new software upgrade waiting to be loaded onto your computer. So if you have 10,000 rds of ammunition sitting around waiting to be fired it’s not really doing you any good, except maybe making you feel good because you have a stockpile. However, if you shoot all that ammo you sacrifice your stockpile but upload all of that data to your brain; learning and therefore improving your mental shooting software i.e. becoming a better shooter.

So in effect each cartridge is like a kilobyte of data transferred one at a time from the firearm that acts like a flash drive, storing the data, into the multi-terabyte computer that is your brain, modifying or rather updating the shooting software of your mind with new information.

I know, it’s weird, I’m weird, but this is the kind of crap that floats through my brain.

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An Irresistible New Friend Followed Me Home!

For reasons I cannot explain the Ruger Mark II bug has bit me hard. Over the years, I’ve had a few 22/45s and I even had a Slab Side Govt. target model, but for one reason or another I let them sail down the river. A few years ago a friend was looking to sell a gun and out of two he chose from he asked me which one he should sell. He had a stainless Mark II and a Walther P22. He didn’t really want to sell the Ruger as it had some sentimental value. I told him to definitely keep the Ruger and let the P22 go! As a matter of fact I helped sell it for him! Anyway, ever since then I wanted one. I had forgotten how neat they really are. The grip profile, the euro style mag release, the heavy contour barrel, Mmmmmm, they sure are sexy! Anyway, I found a like new one on GB and bid on it. The price kept heading up and ultimately I lost in the last few minutes to someone (a dealer of all folks) whose pockets were deeper than mine. A bit disgruntled but not discouraged, I went to the classifieds section of RFC and there she was! A blued beauty, not stainless but virtually NIB with two mags, and at a great price I just couldn’t resist. Thanks to another RFC’er I was tipped off to a Black Friday sale at CDNN and now have 3 factory mags on the way to round out the number to 5. Just right for steel challenge! Here she is!

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Newest Additions!

Well, I have unfortunately allowed the Rimfire Roundup portion of the blog to languish unattended for quite some time. ¬†Sadly, I haven’t been as devout as I had hoped in publishing new information in this category, but life has not allowed for the requisite range time to do so as thoroughly as I would like. ¬†Nevertheless, I haven’t forgotten about this happy little corner of my blog and the time has come for it to resurface.

I have acquired two new additions to my rimfire family and here they are!

First up is my (new-to-me) Ruger SP101 in 22 LR!

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I have a couple of other (ok, more than a couple) 22 revolvers and was trying to resist purchasing one of these but my favorite LGS had one used and gave me a good deal on it and I just couldn’t resist. ¬†Basically it all started when a friend at church approached me about wanting a 22 revolver. ¬†I had seen this one for a decent price a few days later and called him to tell him about it. ¬†I guess extolling it’s virtues, “selling” him on it got me to thinking and a few days later I was back in the store and it was still there. ¬†I thought, “He hasn’t come to get it, sooooooo, I WILL!” ¬†I felt kind bad, like I snaked it out from under him, but I noticed a day or two later there was a brand new one at another LGS and told him about that one. ¬†Besides, I really have no idea what or when he intends to buy so no big deal in the end. ¬†As is turns out, the gun was used, ¬†I originally thought it was new because it was in great shape, very clean, and even shiny, as if never fired. ¬†Turns out, the included test round was fired May of this year so it couldn’t be too used! ¬†Anyway, I bought both of these guns together and he gave me a good deal as a result. ¬†The story on the SP101 was that a guy bought it for his wife and she didn’t like, or couldn’t handle, the trigger pull so he brought it in to trade. ¬†I got her home (the gun, not the wife) and for the first time ever buying a used gun I didn’t have to clean it! ¬†Apparently the previous owner was a guy like me who cleans his guns immaculately and in his case before even trading it in. ¬†The double action trigger was very heavy and very long. ¬†I had read a review about this gun and in the review two things were stated: 1) The trigger is heavy and 2) the sights are not target worthy. ¬†I took the little guy apart and polished some internals and adjusted some springs and while it is still long, the double action trigger pull was much improved. ¬†My intent is to install the SP101 Wolff spring kit in the gun but I wanted to see if I could get away with a little improvement on my own. ¬†During it’s first range trip the gun performed without issue and even though I had a couple of FTFs that can be easily attributed to the cheap bulk ammo I was using. ¬†I found the sights to be well made and good general purpose sights but as stated above far from target sights. ¬†The front sight is a hi-vis green fiber optic sight which shows up great in the sunlight of the day. ¬†No chance of missing it when you point the gun. ¬†Perhaps Ruger had this in mind for the gun with regards to their rimfire challenge competition where a sight like this would excel. ¬†For tight target work it just won’t do. ¬†The front sight blots out the entire target and your vision is so obscured no point of aim can be held consistently unless you use a 6 o’clock hold or switch to a particular style of target. ¬† All in all I am thrilled with the little gun. ¬†Shoots well, looks great, can be improved if you don’t like the trigger, and as always it has that Ruger over engineered quality I have always appreciated.

Second in the lineup is a CZ 452!  (Big surprise, I know.)

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This is the 16″ threaded barrel version. ¬†I saw this gun a couple of months ago and it haunted my mind for weeks! ¬†I knew I didn’t need it and I tried not to want it but it was burned in my psyche. ¬†I hoped someone would come along and buy it so I wouldn’t but that didn’t work. It was there, every time I went in and it just called out to me. ¬†I couldn’t resist her sweet Czech beauty! ¬† To that end she has the prettiest furniture I have seen on a CZ and was in really good shape. ¬†The stock has a short length of pull making this a light, fast handling little bugger. ¬†My initial range trip was a big success, ¬†she shot great! ¬†However, thanks to some difficulty with another gun, I was forced to swap rings and basically start the zero process over again. ¬†My second foray to the range proved the zero process to be quick and this little gun just plain shoots. ¬†I was getting nice little groups which is a bit unexpected given it’s a short pencil style barrel. ¬† I topped it with a Leupold M8 6X with parallax adjustable objective. ¬†I got this scope on another gun I purchased used but wow, what a perfect rimfire scope! ¬†It’s very clear and even though it has a few scratches on it, it works flawlessly. ¬†My only complaint is that the windage and elevation adjustment turrets are the type without clicks and that makes precise sighting in a bit more challenging but it turned out pretty good nevertheless. ¬†Again I am very pleased. ¬†The next question is, do I go through all the crap to get a can or just let it be? ¬†Time will tell.

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CZ Basic 513 – Before and After!

I had to have one. ¬†My previous cat killin’ truck gun wasn’t doing it for me so I decided I needed to yield my old not-so-faithful autoloader for a more reliable and favorable CZ bolt gun. ¬†So I sold off the Remington 552 and after some help from an RFC buddy I found a CZ 513 Basic. ¬†Now I had read post after post on RFC and everyone said it was basic, as the name implies, particularly the trigger. ¬†Many of those same folks, mind you much more experienced than me, said more than once, that there was really nothing you could do to the trigger but polish it a bit and even that would only make a very small improvement. ¬†Nevertheless in my typical hard headed fashion (just ask my mother or wife) I thought for sure I could do better. ¬†Anyway, long story short, I can’t. ¬†Big surprise huh? ¬†I polished it and it dropped the pull from around 7 or 8 lbs. (my trigger pull gauge stops at 4.5 lbs so I am guessing) to about 5 lbs. ¬†Then I had the brilliant idea to put a shim under the trigger and that removed some creep but during my initial shooting session with the gun, the shim came loose inadvertently creating a great trigger pull of around 1 pound! ¬†But ultimately it was an unsafe condition, so out came the shim and we made the humble trip back to a 4.5 – 5 lbs. trigger. ¬†Modifications continued and you can see from the pics below how she turned out. ¬†I really like this little gun. ¬†Short, light, fast handling and accurate are all favorable attributes in this kind of rifle and this gun exceeds my expectations in each category. ¬†I zeroed it in at 30 yds as most of my shots at the feral cats I shoot are between 20 and 50 yds and this distance seemed to be the most agreeable. ¬†Accuracy was really good about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch at 30 yds with Winchester 40 grn subsonic lead truncated hollow points. ¬†I felt like this was a good round for the purpose as well so I was pleased it shot well in my Basic. ¬†It has already taken one cat and did so admirably. ¬†Needless to say I’m very happy with this choice. ¬†The scope is a weaver K4 and the paracord sling was done by yours truly, and I installed an Accu-riser on the stock.

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Experiment Time

Well, it snowed this weekend, so while cooped up in the house I decided to give the old rim thickness, cartridge weighing thing a try. ¬†I know, I know its been done, done a few times over and the results are always the same: measuring rim thickness has no bearing on accuracy. ¬†Ok, I believe all the results I’ve read so why bother? ¬†Basically, I was bored and curious just for myself. ¬†So I began with a single box of Federal Champion (525 rounds) bulk box ammunition, advertised as 36 grn copper washed hollow point bullets traveling 1260 fps. ¬†First I decided to separate the ammo by rim thickness. ¬†I utilized a dial indicator and a Raven Eye custom rim thickness gauge tool for this part of the process. ¬† Here’s my setup:

 

The snow outside.

The snow outside.

 

Getting everything together.

Getting everything together.

 

I drew 50 rds from the box at random to use as a control.  I then measured the rim thickness of the remaining 475 rounds.  The sample broke down into 3 separate groups.

Group 1: This group measured between .34 and .35 and totaled 66 cartridges (13.9% of the sample size)

Group 2: This group measured between .35 and .36 and comprised the bulk of the sample size at 357 total cartridges (75.2% of the sample size)

Group 3: This group measured between .36 and .37 and contained 52 cartridges (10.9% of the sample size)

* I found it interesting that out of that lot of ammo there was an average rim thickness of 0.355 and  spread of 0.03.  Not too much it seems especially for bulk box ammunition.

I then set aside the cartridges from groups 1 and 3 and focused the second part of the experiment solely on group 2.  This group I proceeded to weigh and segregated the cartridges based on weight in grains.  The scale I used was a Franklin arsenal pocket scale. Now I realize this device is not a precision piece of equipment but it is what I had available for use.  I found the little boxes I bought from RFC sponsor Smartreloader.com to be very handy in this case.  The 357 cartridges broke down as follows:

48.9 grns: 4 rounds (1%)   49.0 grns: 4 rounds (1%)   49.1 grns: 26 rounds (7.3%)   49.2 grns: 50 rounds (14%)   49.3 grns: 178 rounds (49.9%)   49.4 grns: 50 rounds (14%)   49.5 grns: 38 rounds (10.6%)   49.6 grns: 7 rounds. (2%)

Average weight for the sample: 49.25 grns     Sample Spread: 0.7 grns

Ready for the range.

Ready for the range.

Finally, as an anecdote I chose a 50 rd box of the best quality match ammunition I had on hand, some old Federal Match UM1 to run a small comparison. ¬†Now, I realize the comparison is not really fair as the sample size is much smaller but as I said it’s just anecdotal. ¬†In short, of the 50 rounds measured the rim thickness of every round was in between 0.38 and 0.39. ¬†The weight was 5 rds. were 51.7 grns, 14 rds. were 51.8 grns, 21 rds. were 51.9 grns, and 10 rds. were 52.0 grns. ¬†for an average of 51.85 grns and a spread of only 0.3 grns.

Now, again while I recognize the sample size is much smaller we get a small glimpse at the quality difference between and the consistency of match ammunition vs. bulk.

Finally, I must note that I am drawing no conclusions to the accuracy capability as a result of my experiment nor am I making any broad sweeping statements.  I just performed the tests and leave the data for you guys to see and evaluate for yourselves.

(Stay tuned, yes, I am going to shoot this stuff and will post results when I do.)

Enjoy!

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