Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > The .22 Caliber Rifle: An Essential Homestead Firearm

Odds and ends for my 2018 shooting recreation

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NWPilgrim:
1)  Tikka announced at SHOT the release next month of the TX1 rimfire bolt action that fits into a T3 stock.  Early hands on evaluations say it is a tack driver with a super smooth bolt and light crisp trigger similar to the T3.  Street price is currently $420. Initially released in .22LR and .17 HMR, but speculation is that a .22 WMR may be forthcoming. I don't have a bolt action .22LR, and with this quality and at this price point I will probably jump into one of these later this year.  I already have a Sako A7 and Tikka T3, so this would be a perfect companion.

2) I have done a boatload of target testing various ammo in my .22LR rifles, primarily M&P 15-22 and Ruger 10/22, and some in my Henry H001. Looking at only a few target grade ammo as it is expensive and probably wasted on these stock rifles. End result of testing various ammo from CCI, Federal, Winchester, Remington, Norma, Eley, and Aguila is that:
     - I won't waste any more effort on anything from Rem or Win.  Groups are at least 2-3 times of the others.
     - Aguila is my new favorite for trying out.  For the past few years it has been the cheapest of the good bulk ammo, and is as accurate and reliable for as CCI, which has been my long term favorite.  Aguila Super Extra Std Vel is the more accurate but High Velocity is not far off from it, like 1 3/4" 10-shot groups at 50 yds instead of 1 1/4" groups.
     -  I have to admit, even though I had written Federal off as sub par, with more testing I found Federal Eagle HV HP and Classic 40 gr to be every bit as accurate as CCI or Aguila.
     - My preference in order of accuracy:
          > Eley Subsonic HP
          > Aquila SE SV
          > CCI SV; Blazer/MiniMag/Fed Eagle HP/Norma Tac-22/Aguila SE HV
     - I will use Win and Rem just for close in plinking to burn it up eventually
     - I got a brick of Wolf Match Target (supposedly same as SK Standard Plus) just to see if its accuracy shows up in any of my rifles and my skill level.

3)  My old eyes just are not up to seeing black iron sights any more.  The long length of a Garand is about the only front sight I can see somewhat OK.  So I am adding sighting aids to more firearms.
     * Picked up a couple of Leupold VX-1 2-7x33 scopes on sale that will go onto the 10/22 and 15-22.  The M&P already has a Nikon cantilevered base/ring mount.  I got a DNZ mount/rings one piece unit that screws directly onto the 10-22 receiver.
     * Got a Picatinny rail section for my Henry lever rifle (oh the blasphemy!!!) so I can mount a spare Bushnell TRS25 mini red dot.  I have one of these on an M1 Carbine and seem s to work pretty well for plinking at least to 75 yds.  Hate to destroy the slim lines of the lever action but this is my inevitable cave in to old eyes.  I tried a fiber optic front sight but that was only minimal improvement.
     *  Replacing a Nikon 2.5-8x handgun scope on one of my Garands (got a super deal on it though it is not ideal) mounted in scout position.  New scope is a Leupold FX-II 2.5x28 IER Scout.  I used the higher power on the Nikon for sighting in handload tests.  But the scope is over large and heavy mounted out on the handguard rail, and anything over 4x is not useful in the field.  I actually got some of my best groups at 3x rather than 8x at 100 yds.  So I think the fixed 2.5x Scout should be more practical now that I have settled on a coupl of favorite handloads.
     *  I have to do something for my favorite handgun a 4" S&W 29 .44 Mountain Gun.  It has all black sights and I can't see beans.  Still manage to shoot pretty good to 15 yds but not fun.  Can't find the red insert style any where so will have to get a fiber optic front sight and try that.

A by-product of some optic upgrades is that I am replacing all but a Weaver 1-3x scope with Leupolds.  I live about 7 miles from the Leupold factory, the scopes are excellent quality though not always the most featured, and their Forever warranty is top notch.  I went in to get an Aluma lens cap fixed/replaced and I met a customer service rep and two engineers and got some free bikini caps and swag as well.  Super nice folks and very down to earth, old style service. 

Having looked at a LOT of scopes this past year I am impressed with the quality of $150-$400 scopes of almost every brand.  I would also be happy with a Nikon, Burris, Weaver, or Vortex.  Good quality lens and adjustments, durable, good warranties, and some have some interesting new reticles to choose from.

I hope to come out the other end of .22LR testing and equipment adjustments this Spring and get back into more centerfire, especially the Garand, T3 6.5x55 handload work ups, and fun with the Marlin 1894 .44 and S&W 29.  If it wasn't for the threat of being over run by zombie opossums, I would be happy with just my 1894, M29 and M&P 15-22.  ;D

archer:
good writeup, thanks....

NWPilgrim:
Yeah, sadly the biggest change is my aging eyes and I have to admit it is time to deal with it.  I loved iron sights but just not practical for me any longer.  And I don't want to wear add-on things like eyeglass apertures because I would not have them, nor would they be practical in the field or a defense situation.

archer:
I am considering getting a ghost/peep sight for my next rifle. i tried one at the range, seemed to help pull my eyes into the target.

NWPilgrim:

--- Quote from: archer on February 02, 2018, 08:24:55 AM ---I am considering getting a ghost/peep sight for my next rifle. i tried one at the range, seemed to help pull my eyes into the target.

--- End quote ---

That is the only reason my Garands are the most usable for me now.  Even then the front sight is not as crisp and sharp as it once was.

Today I got the TRS25 red dot mounted to the Henry, and the 2-7x scopes mounted to the 10/22 and 15-22.  Can't make it to the range for a couple of weeks, and then will get them zeroed.  I am liking the 2-7x33 scopes.  I was worried it would be too big for the 10/22 but it doesn't look too bad. And it is smaller than the spare 3-9x40 I had on the 15-22 which did seem over large for that carbine.  The red dot is fugly on the little lever action but it is very functional for a quick sight.  And it is short so I can still carry it by with a hand wrapped around the receiver. So -1 for looks, +1 for function, and dead even for handiness.

You guys and gals with good eye sight, enjoy it while you can.  A sharp front sight picture is a wonderful thing!

My next project for my eyes will be mounting the Scout 2.5x28 scope on one of the Garands, and trying out a fiber optic front sight for the M29, and if that does not work then maybe a Big Dot? Anyone considering adding a scout rail section to a Garand, I can highly recommend Ultimak.  Same for M1 carbine and other semi-autos.  A friend tried another brand of rail and it sits a bit higher than the Ultimak.  I am still able to use Low rings with the Ultimak and have just enough clearance for the eye piece over the receiver band.  The Ultimak rail fits perfectly, is easy to install, is rock solid and the most svelte of all such rails. Excellent quality.

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