Posts Tagged ‘22lr’

Sep
7

.22lr Shootout – Part One

I tried to do a .22 LR shootout over the weekend. It was on the windy side (10-15mph) and sunny, and I’m suspicious of my Chrony results. So take this report with a grain of salt.

For this comparison, I tried to level the playing field as much as possible for these very different rounds. All shots were fired out of the Savage Mark II BTVS from the Benchmaster Black Rifle Rest.

For each brand of ammo, I loaded a 10-round magazine, fired 5 fouling shots, then the remaining 5 shots for a group. All five shots were measured to determine group size.

I will try to revisit this soon, but for now, here’s the data:

Ammo Type Avg FPS Group Size Price per 50
Lapua Center X 1439 0.687″ $9.00
RWS R-50 1268 0.492″ $15.00
Eley Tenex Pistol Red 1407 1.942″ $18.00
RWS Rifle Match 1411 1.448″ $8.00
Eley Target 1377 1.206″ $4.80
Eley Sport 1377 1.117″ $2.80
SK Rifle Match 1390 0.671″ $6.50
SK Hi Velocity 1254 0.660″ $6.00
Jun
6

BSA “Sweet 22″ 6-18×40 Scope

It was finally time to get around to replacing the Redfield scope I had on my Savage Mark II BTVS in .22LR. The Redfield was a spare scope I had, and I mounted it on the Savage when I first brought it home, and I had no intention of keeping it dedicated to that rifle.

I looked at a number of possible scopes to put on the Savage. The MKII BTVS is an accurate rifle, and I wanted something that would complement its accuracy. My list of desired features was short but demanding:

  • High, variable magnification (at least 14x)
  • Clear glass
  • Adjustable objective
  • A BDC of some sort would be nice
  • Under $400

Unfortunately, the price spec ruled out contenders like Leupold and Zeiss. The Nikon Monarch was an option, but didn’t have a BDC for rimfire cartridges. I had heard a lot of good things about the BSA Sweet 22 6-18×40, so I thought I’d check one out.

BSA Sweet 22 6-18x40 on Savage Mark II BTVS

BSA Sweet 22 6-18x40 on Savage Mark II BTVS

I usually avoid Chinese glass like the plague, but I was really having a hard time finding exactly what I wanted, even at higher prices. The BSA had very good reviews, and was only $154 from SWFA. I was skeptical, but went ahead and ordered one.

I must admit, I was pretty impressed when the scope arrived. The scope was solid, the reticle was clean (I’ve seen too many cheap Asian scopes with fat or sloppy reticles), and it even had nice aluminum, fine-threaded lens covers and a sunshade. Instructions were very basic, but clear. The glass on this scope is fairly clear, on par with Simmons, or perhaps cheaper Nikons, like the pro-staff line.

The Sweet 22 scope has a bullet drop compensator built into the turret. Much like the Leupold Mark AR, you zero in the scope, then adjust the sleeve that encircles the turret to the correct mark. Unlike the Leupold, this BSA has triple markings on the elevation turret for 36, 38 and 40 grain 22lr rounds.

I mounted the scope on the Burris Xtreme rings I already had on the MKII, did a quick bore-sight and headed to the back yard.

Sweet 22 mounted on the Savage and ready to zero in.

Sweet 22 mounted on the Savage and ready to zero in.

According to the instructions, you zero at 100 yards, then adjust the sleeve on the turret to the 100 yard mark for your bullet weight, tighten it down and you’re done. After that, if you want to shoot at 50 yards, turn the turret to 50 and shoot. 300 yards? Turn it to 300 and you’re ready to go.

Now, that’s great in theory, but the BDC is calibrated to standard Remington loads. Most match 22LR cartridges are subsonic, so the BDC isn’t going to work for them.

Fortunately for me, I primarily shoot two types of ammo out of this rifle: Lapua Center-x, which is a 40 grain subsonic solid lead match bullet, and SK Hi-Velocity HP ammo. The Lapua Center-X has a slight edge in the accuracy department, but only at 50 yards or less.

So, just to see how the BDC would pan out, I zeroed at 100 yards with the SK, and adjusted the turret sleeve accordingly.

I then moved my target stand to 50 yards and turned the elevation turret to the 50 yard mark. It was close – an inch or so off. Since I rarely shoot at 100 yards, I re-zeroed at 50 yards and readjusted the turret sleeve to read “50″ in the 40 grain row. Then I shot a pretty nice 5-shot group.

5 shots of SK Hi-Velocity at 50 yards with Savage MKII BTVS

5 shots of SK Hi-Velocity at 50 yards with Savage MKII BTVS

Now that the scope was zeroed for the SK at 50 yards, I switched to the Lapua and went for a re-zero. This is where I lucked out: After I zeroed with the Lapua at 50 yards, the BDC marking in the 38 grain column on the turret was at exactly 100 yards. Then I shot a nice 10-shot group.

10 shots of Lapua Center-X at 50 yards

10 shots of Lapua Center-X at 50 yards

Pleased with that, I decided to play for a bit:

So now, if I want to shoot the SK at 50 yards, I turn the turret to the “50″ mark in the 40gr column. If I want to shoot the Lapua at 50 yards, I turn the turret to the “100″ mark in the 38gr column. This is not really what it was meant for, but then again, the BDC doesn’t really do a great job in its intended use. At least I’ll be able to put it to a good use with my special circumstances.

All in all, this isn’t a bad scope. The glass is decent, the reticle is clear, and the eye relief is reasonable. The BDC sorta-kinda works, but isn’t precise enough to rely on. It’s a lot of scope for $150, but if I were to do it all over again, I’d spend the extra money on a Nikon Monarch with a mil-dot reticle and forego the BDC.

Mar
24

The Ammo has Arrived

The Big Brown Truck stopped by yesterday and left me a nice shipment of ammo to test. Tracking says the new Chrony should be here today, so we’ll be able to test these loads up right.

A lovely variety of 9mm (9×19mm, for you sticklers) was in the box, and we’re going to see what kind of groups we can get with them the HK USPc.

A wide variety of 124 grain 9mm ammunition

A wide variety of 124 grain 9mm ammunition

A fabulous selection of .22LR match ammo was in the box. We’ll be shooting these through the Savage Mark II BTVS. There’s a certain amount of cleaning and fouling that has to be done to make such a test consistent, and I’ll guide you through that when the time comes.

Nice assortment of high-end .22LR match ammunition

Nice assortment of (mostly) high-end .22LR match ammunition

Lastly, we have some higher-end .223 ammo. These are heavier bullets (62-75 grain) that we’ll be testing through the Sig 556 after it’s properly broken in.

We'll see how this variety of 62-75gr .223 shoots in the Sig 556

We'll see how this variety of 62-75gr .223 shoots in the Sig 556

This should make for a fun and educational day of shooting!

Mar
19

Articles Inbound!

Some new gear is in, and a bunch of ammo is on its way. We’re going to have some exciting articles in the next coming weeks.

First, we have a brand new Sig 556 to break in. We’ll walk through the process of breaking in a new factory production barrel (much different from a hand lapped barrel like White Oak or Kreiger makes).

The Sig 556 barrel has a 1:7 twist, which is well-suited for heavier .223/5.56 bullets. We have a few varieties of match ammunition from 62gr-75gr that we’re going to run through the Sig to see what she likes.

We’ll also be looking at the HK USP 9mm compact as a carry weapon, and seeing how accurate this factory pistol can be with 8 varieties of 124gr 9mm ammo.

Match .22 LR ammo is inbound for a rimfire shootout! The Savage Mark II BTVS is one accurate bolt-action rifle, and we’ll have several varieties of match ammunition from Eley, Lapua, SK, RWS and Wolf to send down-range.

And last but not least, a new Shooting Chrony F-1 is on its way. This will not only help us understand more about the ballistics of what we’re shooting, but it will help us isolate ammunition issues and give us a feel for the consistency and quality of the ammo we’re testing.

Happy shooting.

Feb
16

Savage Mark II BTVS

Meet the rimfire tackdriver of the group, the Savage Mark II BTVS.

Savage Mark II BTVS

Savage Mark II BTVS

This particular model is chambered in .22LR, but is also available in .22WMR (93 BTVS) and .17HMR (93R17 BTVS).

This Mark II features a 21″ heavy barrel with a 1:16″ rate of twist and target crown. It comes with one 5-round stainless steel magazine. 5 and 10-round magazines in blued or ss finish are available.

Savage Mark II BTVS

Savage Mark II BTVS

The laminated thumbhole stock isn’t for everyone – that stock and the heavy barrel make for a 7.5 pound rifle – add a scope, bipod and sling, and you have yourself a 9 pound rimfire rifle. Savage offers plenty of other stock and finish options if a field configuration is preferred.

One of the best things about this rifle is the accutrigger…

Savage Accutrigger

Savage Accutrigger

The trigger is fully adjustable down to 1.5 pounds… even lower if you’re adventurous with trimming coils off of springs. But this is probably the best out-of-the-box trigger in a sub-$500 rimfire you’ll be able to find.

For optics, I went with what I had on-hand – a Redfield Tracker 4-16×44 on a pair of Burris Xtreme rings. Yes, it’s overkill, but it was handy.

Redfield Tracker 4-16x44

Redfield Tracker 4-16x44

Redfield Tracker 4-16x44

Redfield Tracker 4-16x44

The Redfield scope with its adjustable objective actually works quite well on the Savage.

More on the barrel break-in procedure, ammo testing and accuracy to come.

Happy shooting.