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Setting up a .22LR rifle for Steel Challenge?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Kynoch, Oct 14, 2014.

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  1. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    I'm getting ready to set-up a distinctive, classic semi-automatic .22LR rifle for Steel Challenge (action shooting of steel plates) and I'd like some creative ideas. Here are the specifications:

    * Extremely reliable. Something that will consistently run on non-premium (ex. CCI Blazer) ammo.

    * Full-sized "centerfire" feel.

    * No optics.

    * Not a 10/22 or S&W M&P15-22 (I already have a 10/22 and don't care for the S&W.)

    * Tube fed.

    * Longer barrel -- 22-26" or so.

    I was thinking about maybe a Remington 550-1, 552 or 241, or possibly a Weatherby XXII?

    Thanks for any help...
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I like my 550-1's.
     
  3. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    IMO the 10/22 will be the best platform to start with and then build it up with any number of the 100,000 aftermarket parts available for it.

    If you have the means you can build the rifle a little at a time using Volquartsen parts or if you want you can buy a ready made rifle from them.
    https://www.volquartsen.com/
     
  4. Field Tester

    Field Tester Member

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    I disagree. He'd have much better accuracy out of the S&W MP-22. I own two 10/22, love both. But I was amazed when a friend let me borrow his MP15 for a steel match. The follow up shots were much quicker. I took first (only out of 20 people) and half were using the 10/22.

    But since Kynoch has excluded those particular models, we should respect his wishes and only comment on the criteria he has set forth. Of which I have nothing to bring to the table. My tube fed rimfire experience is a bit limited.
    Sorry man.
     
  5. Bull Nutria

    Bull Nutria Member

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    Browning SA 22 mine loves blazers!! very accurate and reliable.
     
  6. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    "* Not a 10/22 or S&W M&P15-22 (I already have a 10/22 and don't care for the S&W.)"
     
  7. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    "* Not a 10/22 or S&W M&P15-22 (I already have a 10/22 and don't care for the S&W.)"
     
  8. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    The Browning SA-22 is a remarkable gun and I was considering one until I came across the Remington 241. It's the same John Browning design except that it's simply a larger firearm with a superior breakdown system.
     
  9. Reloadron

    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    Discounting what you mention not wanting you can look at some of the offerings from Remington as you mentioned, Marlin like the old Model 60 and I also like some of the Browning 22 rifles. Pretty much a matter of your budget and personal taste in a semi-automatic 22 rifle.

    Ron
     
  10. nipprdog

    nipprdog Member

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    Why tube fed?
     
  11. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator In Memoriam

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    Tube fed because of multiple targets and the Steel Challenge is two shots per target.
     
  12. g.willikers

    g.willikers Member

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    Just out of curiosity, and as a fan of Steel Challenge matches, how about describing the matches - distances, target sizes and shapes, 'etc.
    All the Steel matches that I've attended were close to medium distances, large targets, requiring one round each, with a stop plate to determine time.
    With the best four of five runs counted.
    Average runs were in the 2-3 second range.
    Are yours about the same?
     
  13. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    My experience with Steel Challenge and my own local club's Speed Steel mirrors what geewiliker's experience has been. One shot per target done as fast as possible.

    Assuming it's the same as SC where you come up to the line and shoot the same stage 5 or 6 times in succession I'd say forget the tube feed. It's too slow to load. You need a magazine fed rifle with a good number of loaded spares to let the flow of your turn at the firing line flow more quickly.

    Absolute accuracy is wasted on Steel Challenge. The requirements for sub MOA are simply not there. What IS needed is a sighting setup which guides the eye and aids you in establishing a sight picture FAST and doesn't hide the targets as you move from one to the next.

    I'd also suggest that a long rifle will have more swing weight which tends to make you slow in traversing between targets or that will make the rifle swing past and have to be brought under control. Rimfire has pretty much no recoil to worry about so a super light and super compact setup should offer a competitive advantage. I feel that something like a Ruger 10/22 action set up with a short'ish composite barrel and in a bullpup style stock could give a serious advantage.

    An example would be to try to traverse the targets fast with a long heavy hunting rifle and then an AR platform rifle. Now imagine if your rimfire was as light again and shorter again then the AR. Super fast traversing with instant stops with little to no momentum overshoot for stopping the swing.

    Of course this need for fast swinging means you want a shorter barrel, not a 22" to 24" one.
     
  14. 25cschaefer

    25cschaefer Member

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    I use a JC Higgins Model 30, it holds 18rds in the tube magazine, has a 24 inch barrel, has a stock almost long enough for me, points like a dream, has a left hand charging handle, and cycles faster than a 10/22. My quickest time was a hair faster than 2.25 seconds on six 4" circles. Plus, when a young boys see the retractable sling in the but stock, they line up to carry it from stage to stage. Best part was that I spent $50 on it because it didn't work and all it took were some shims on the feed lips to make it the most reliable semi auto 22 I've ever shot (except with Elleys, it hates those wax covered guano slugs). The guys with souped up, $1000 10/22s and matching shirts will stop laughing when they see it keep up with, and beat, their scores.
     
  15. 25cschaefer

    25cschaefer Member

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    As for the barrel length, 22-26 inches swing ways better than 16-18 barrels for the same reason skeet guns don't have sawed off barrels. Short and light guns are going to be harder to control, you will overshoot your target or do the tail wag thing on every target.
     
  16. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    Steel Challenge is Steel Challenge -- it's the exact same targeting match after match. Distances range from 10 to 35 yards. Very much a speed test, one round per plate:

    The Eight Steel Challenge Stages
     
  17. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    * I have long used tube feed rifles for SC. Using a speed loader, I can load nearly as fast as using a magazine.

    * I find the barrel a distinct advantage. Longer sight radius (I shoot "Limited") tends to smooth out the "swing" rather than the herky-jerky motion of a short barreled .22 rifle. We're not talking about heavy barrels either. I have more than enough strength to accelerate/decelerate them with authority.
     
  18. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    You're absolutely right. Now the hot shoes with their 16.001" fluted 10/22 barrels would disagree but I think most are simply following what's already been done.

    I think a 24" pencil thin barrel would just about be perfect for SC Limited Class.
     
  19. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    NICE! Now we are getting somewhere! It appears your rifle was made by High Standard for Sears.

    How is its reliability? Is it finicky with ammo?

    Thanks for your input. Just what I was looking for.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  20. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    I don't like messing with 4-5 mags throughout the match. I can load 4 speed loaders before the match and not worry about loading between stages.
     
  21. Field Tester

    Field Tester Member

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    There's also the added advantage of loading more than 10 rounds in CA in a tube fed rather than a detachable magazine.
    That is of course if the rules allow more than 10 to be loaded. Every club is different.
     
  22. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    It's not typically up to the club -- it's up to the federation that controls the shooting sport. With SC it's 10 plus a "barney" -- 1 in the chamber no matter how many a mag might hold. With some it is however how many a non-removeable magazine will hold.
     
  23. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I read what you said and I gave you my opinion for a Volquartsen rifle. I only discussed the 10/22 (and not a stock 10/22) in the same post. No reason to be so short...
     
  24. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    There was really no reason to post what you did either. A Volquartsen rifle is not only based on the 10/22, they also directly contravene 4 of the 6 sought qualities I posted.
     
  25. 25cschaefer

    25cschaefer Member

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    I have shot Remington Thunderbolts that were terrible, I bought the "ammo can deal" from midway, over 1000rds, and about 20-30% were duds or almost squibs so I don't count those malfunctions. It has fed everything else, Blazers, Fed automatch, Winchester's cheap stuff, Minimags, Stingers, and some CCI longs (though they gun is not intended for them, I can put 20 in the tube).

    My experience with a lot of these store brand guns, of any size or shape, can be hit or miss. That said the early Hi-Standard stuff I have dealt with has been of great quality.

    The model 30 (and family) was tacticool before it was cool; the first rimfire with a rail (okay, it's a dovetailed receiver), high capacity magazine, fast shooting, left hand charging handle, and a retractable sling whose front lug looks like a bayonet lug.
     
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