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The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

Posted on 09/23/2009 6:19:16 AM PDT by HairOfTheDog

Welcome to The Hobbit Hole!



TOPICS: The Hobbit Hole
KEYWORDS: corinnumber1; firstkeyword; jrgotanewjob; secondprecious
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To: Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Squantos
I think you’ll really enjoy that rifle. .22 rimfires are fun guns.

I HATE my Ruger 10/22. First serious range time for it today, and it's so damn accurate my flaws just jump off the targets, and scream, "BOLO". This is the first time I've been humiliated by my own weapon, and have no excuse available. :)

Seriesly, this was a remarkably productive session. For one thing, I now know what to expect when the weapon's accuracy exceeds my own skills. Anything not in the big ragged hole is my fault. Here's what I was able to eke out at 25 yards, 50 rounds per target.

From left to right, vey pricey Eley semiauto match, Fiocchi subsonic, and Federal Champion "plinking" ammo. Ages ago, I read on some rimfire site that Champions give match-like accuracy at plinker prices. I guess they were right, and I'm glad I stocked up on 4K rounds in the pre-0bama days. I'm trimming the targets to 8-1/2x11 and putting them in a binder as reference material as I continue to test and tweak ammo with the Ruger. The Federal Champions are my first test subject, and I'll keep my limited amount of Eley Match as a control reference.

The rest of my visit to the EBR store involves strokes of fate. After I left the range, I run into my buddy, who is there to see if the Kimber SVT rifle, sitting there for years, was still there. He was told they sold it a half-hour before he got there. OUCH.

I missed a Colt Anaconda like that a month ago, but it had been in their used handgun case for three days.

Which is probably why my ears suddenly heard a faint whisper which must have come from my distant cousins back in the Old Country. "Riiiiick, look in the raaaack". Sure enough, while I was on the firing line, the guys in the store were putting out the first, and maybe only, stock of CZ rifles for the year. One in particular screamed to me, "buy me now, dummy!". After sharing our stories of lost opportunities, I just said, "wrap it up".

The picture does not do justice to the walnut on this CZ 455. I would classify it as "CZ fancy" as opposed to "super fancy" on my CZ 453. In fact, while they got one example of the entire CZ rimfire and centerfire line, this was the only one with fancy wood, although CZ uses a very good quality of walnut in all the appropriate models. CZ laminated beech? Meh.

More to this story as things develop. I've already jumped online and bought a Timney target trigger (CZ now only uses the cheapo generic trigger on all its models), and a milled steel triggerguard. In the few intervening years, someone has fired up their CNC machining center, and is cranking them out (at a healthy price). I ordered one each for the 452, 453, and 455. Only the 455 is in stock, so I should have it, and the trigger, soon.

Meanwhile, I have to look for some form of retro-look euro-scope. These lines are too classic for some high-tech contemporary optics. If I can't find one, this safe queen will be regal enough as is.

And the most fateful part of this story was that I missed out going to the range yesterday, as I had planned. I would have missed all of this if I went there yesterday. Today, it was like hitting the lottery bigtime. I thought about buying some lottery tickets, but realized I already had several months worth of good luck, and was not going to impose on fate, or St Barbara, patron of guns and gunsmiths, any more.

3,761 posted on 03/13/2012 1:17:13 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag

Afternoon Win Mag - nice targets, the 10-22 is a capable platform that can and as seen here will turn in some impressive results. Nicely done. Couple of clicks and she’ll be dead center.

The CZ is true old world excellence. ‘Seriesly’ nice rifle. The milled trigger guard should set it off. I guess there are claw foot mounts in your rifle’s future. Aesthics do count.


3,762 posted on 03/13/2012 12:30:49 PM PDT by osagebowman
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To: osagebowman
The CZ is true old world excellence.

While I was looking over my CZ, the guy behind the counter was handling the matching CZ455 in 22WMR. He said, "just handling one of these takes you back instantly to an era where you'd say, 'I say, old chap, why don't we nick on down to South Africa and give those Boers a bit of what-for. Then we can do a spot of hunting. Scotland just gets more prosaic every year.'".

3,763 posted on 03/13/2012 1:40:06 PM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: osagebowman
And the most fateful part of this story was that I missed out going to the range yesterday, as I had planned. I would have missed all of this if I went there yesterday. Today, it was like hitting the lottery bigtime. I thought about buying some lottery tickets, but realized I already had several months worth of good luck, and was not going to impose on fate, or St Barbara, patron of guns and gunsmiths, any more.

I just remembered, there was even more to my adventures that day. I stopped off for a few grocery items at the local Meijer's, our regional version of Wallyworld, before going to the EBR store. When I swiped my debit card through the automated checkout, I was rewarded with several in-store coupons. Along with ho-hum coupons, there was one for $4 off the next shopping trip, and another for $4.50 off. Plus, someone left another set of the same coupons on top of the inkjet printer, probably as something not worth bothering about. So I get $17 off for shopping there before the end of April.

I thought that was a pleasant surprise. I guess I didn't realize what an omen of good fortune it was. The incident got lost in the rest of my tale until I used one of those coupons today.

3,764 posted on 03/14/2012 3:45:15 PM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag

Good show on the coupons - do they sell ammo? $17 bucks should be enough for a 500 plus box of Federal .22s. Can’t ever have too much ammo. mmm. Guess that reminds me to get an extra box or two.


3,765 posted on 03/15/2012 10:42:59 AM PDT by osagebowman
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To: osagebowman
Good show on the coupons - do they sell ammo?

Like Wallyworld, Meijer stores in urban areas have a very small selection of common ammo. I avert my eyes when I go past their sporting goods department, I have a better selection and quantity of ammo in just one of my basement cabinets. Out in the countryside, they'll sell some common long guns, but no handguns.

Meanwhile, I put the new milled trigger guard on the CZ 453. Comparing the wood on the two, the 453 has much fancier grain in the butt area, but straighter, more sap-woody (but still impressive) walnut in the forend area. But the 455 has some crossgrain and fiddleback all the way to the muzzle.

Comparing the two, I now realize that the existing rear sight on the 455 will present me with a major problem. Unless I use ultra-high mounts, even a scope with a 33mm objective won't clear it. I can remove it, and fill in the holes with headless cap screws. Or I can try to find some kind of folding leaf sight (fat chance).

Or, I could use the official peep sight for the CA 452/453, except it seems unavailable anywhere in the western hemisphere. Or I might try a scope with no front bell, just like most of the old-time scopes. All I know is that, for now, I won't be able to do any real accuracy testing while that middle sight is just a fuzzy "V". But that cosmetic improvement to the CZ 453 just made my day.

3,766 posted on 03/16/2012 1:42:14 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag

I see your problem, well, imho, a classic Weaver 2 1/2 or 3 power scope could alleviate some of the rear sight interference issues.

Perhaps a more modern 1-4.5 V scope might also work. I recall a swing low mount scope base set up that was pretty popular in its day. I think Pachmayr made it.

If you want a folding rear sight, the parts bins at the larger gun shows may have them, if not I bet Brownells would.

Whoa, that milled trigger guard looks Good, real Good. I do see the difference in the stocks, both classic in their own right. Good wood is hard to find, figured wood even harder.


3,767 posted on 03/16/2012 1:48:16 PM PDT by osagebowman
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To: osagebowman
I see your problem, well, imho, a classic Weaver 2 1/2 or 3 power scope could alleviate some of the rear sight interference issues.

I started thinking about your advice, and then found the perfect surrogate for photographic purposes. It's an ancient Leupold 2x handgun scope with an eye relief that starts at about the buttplate on the rifle. Still, I think a fixed-power scope like this is definitely the way to go.

I finally realized that claw mounts went on large-caliber hunting rifles, where you might need to rip off failed optics instantly if dangerous game was hunting you. For a plinker, even in the old days, this setup would be not only acceptable, but pretty deluxe.

Now to work my sources for a quality scope at a good price. Leupold is my go-to brand, but something from Swarovski would fit in nicely with the Czech theme. And I can defer action on the rear sight until the perfect solution drops into my lap, like this rifle did.

Series range testing once I get the scope mounted. Series drooling will have to wait for the milled trigger guard.

3,768 posted on 03/16/2012 10:58:12 PM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag

Evening Win-Mag - say that does look appropriate and aestheticly pleasing.

One thing I had to consider when I was searching out a rimfire scope was the parallax issue. RImfires are parallax free at 50 yards, centerfire scopes at 100 yds (rule of thumb as there are exceptions) So the old Bushnell banner 3-9X I’ve had since the mid 60s wasn’t the best choice for my rimfire. Luckily I had another .22 scope (4X) from the same era that worked until I got a more suitable one (2-7X)years later. I tend not rush things. :-)


3,769 posted on 03/17/2012 3:34:19 PM PDT by osagebowman
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To: osagebowman
I got the rest of the parts in for the Ruger 10/22, minus scope and mount. Mostly small stuff, like a semi-soft plastic rod to use as a bolt-stop/buffer, and a hex head screw to attach to action to the stock. The main items, and much appreciated, are a real Picatinny base to replace to stock Weaver, and a longer bolt handle with a super-slick guide rod for the bolt spring.

The new rail is thicker than the old, raising the scope even higher. The present mount is a GG&G QD mount for an AR15 flattop, and it now brings the scope up to the perfect height for a nice comfortable cheek weld for me. That B&C stock changed the entire aspect of the rifle from a bull-barrel plinker to something more businesslike.

I also modified a Butler Creek loader to work with Ruger factory mags. After I get the permanent scope and mount, I'll go back to the range for more ammo testing. Meanwhile, gunsmithing on my surprise CZ 455 is next on the list.

3,770 posted on 03/18/2012 3:16:01 PM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: osagebowman
Now that the CZ 453 has the neat milled trigger guard, I took it out for its first round of reference testing for ammo. This is 10 rounds at 25 yards (the shortest range at the EBR shoppe is 25 yards), with ordinary Federal Champion.

I pulled the target after the first four shots, and all were in one ragged hole. That must have jinked it, because the rest of the group was nowhere near that good. But I'm optimistic that the ammo, and my skills, will improve enough to do better with practice, practice, practice.

3,771 posted on 03/22/2012 1:33:51 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag

Morning Win-Mag : I’m all to familiar with target results like those you just experienced.

“all skill ist umsonst wenn ein Engel in der touchhole angepinkelt werden ihre muskete”

The milled trgger guard - looks great.


3,772 posted on 03/22/2012 7:01:36 AM PDT by osagebowman
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To: osagebowman; Squantos; g'nad; Ramius; TalonDJ
I’m all to familiar with target results like those you just experienced.

My battle against inaccuracy, both human and mechanical, has now taken a series turn. I just got in my "Paco Tool", and resized one box of Federal Champions to .222, .223, .224, and .225 inches. The tool itself is on the left, the rest of the stuff is user-supplied.

The round is inserted into the hole of the desired size, then set on a wood block. Take one of the nose punches (cupped, and two rather nasty-looking hollow points), and tap smartly on the other end. I made up 50 rounds of each size, along with an untouched box of ammo to use as a control.

Here's my first test, ten rounds of each size, plus the untouched control ammo. The "control" looks good (which is why I went with Federal Champion), but the .222-sized also looks good. The other sized bullets were more-or-less poor in the Ruger 10/22. Every weapon has a favorite brand, and a favorite size, measured in thousandths of an inch or less. And two rifles coming off the assembly line consecutively may prefer very different brands.

The untouched factory standard ammo seems to match the .222-sized very closely. Which is why I just bought a group-size gauge for my digital calipers. I've come to the point where my unaided eyeballs just aren't enough to give me the exact data I want. So now, for this rifle and this brand of ammo, I'll be firing a lot more rounds until I have enough data to get some averages and standard deviations to see how well the resized ammo does compared to the untouched stuff. Just for grins, I'll resize some mixed dog-and-cat ammo to see how it does. But the biggest effort will be to find "pet ammo" for each target-grade rifle and handgun. And try to clean up all the flyers I toss around so casually.

3,773 posted on 03/26/2012 12:43:49 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag

Awesome... I think you will like Paco Kelly’s tools. It’s base purpose is to turn cheap crap ammo into consistent fodder IMHO. It does a very good job for me.

For the record my 10-22 is fed CCI stingers an or mini-maags that get whacked with Pacos accurizer tool. Aaas you well know consistency is key an Paco helps get you there with all brands. From high dollar Ely to wolf economy ......

Those are nice groups pictured.

What is your range distance ? Indoors or out ? Wind ?

Just asking.... Stay safe an thjanks for the information.


3,774 posted on 03/26/2012 5:53:47 AM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: Squantos
What is your range distance ? Indoors or out ? Wind ?

Indoors, at my local EBR store. They have a 25 and 50 yard range, so I do all the shooting at 25 yards so I can use either one. I'm working on a chair-and-sandbag setup to eliminate more of my personal influence on the groups.

Aside from eventually tuning up my cheap ammo, I want to see what's needed for each individual .22 likes in the "good stuff", and how much better even the high(er) end ammo works.

I suspect I'll find a combination that works as well as "the high-priced brand" for my level of skill, and a much more reasonable price.

Getting the group measuring jaws for my caliper means I can put all my results in a spreadsheet, rather than trimming down targets to fit in a ring binder for future reference.

3,775 posted on 03/26/2012 9:28:15 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag

...agree.... Where ya get those “jaws” ?? Sinclair or Creedmor etc ... ?


3,776 posted on 03/26/2012 9:46:30 AM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: Squantos
Where ya get those “jaws” ?? Sinclair or Creedmor etc ... ?

Sinclair is my first choice for precision stuff, although I also check Midway and even Amazon for the more common items, in hope of catching a deal.

3,777 posted on 03/26/2012 10:33:41 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag

Gonna go peek at a few versions...... you have time to give me the model and brand etc ... I’m gonna surf Sinclair etc ...

Thanks !


3,778 posted on 03/26/2012 11:25:55 AM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: 300winmag

Found it...thanks !

http://www.sinclairintl.com/.aspx/cid=0/k=group%20caliper/t=P/ksubmit=y/Products/All/search=group%20caliper


3,779 posted on 03/26/2012 11:33:19 AM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: 300winmag

Morning Win-Mag; great posts re Paco Tool, the Ruger and the caliper attachment. The unsized ammo group is a nice control size. Your efforts regarding bullet sizings?tool use are fascinating. The data collected should help you in your search for just the right bullet for that gun. Standard deviations, confidence intervals, median, mean, mode - all way cool. Congrats.


3,780 posted on 03/27/2012 7:50:26 AM PDT by osagebowman
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