Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Cost Of Higher Quality: Shooting The Magnum Research 10/22

Well, we did it. We upgraded our .22 arsenal with a Magnum Research 1722. We visited Larry's Gun Shop in McLeansboro recently to look for ammo, and I looked at the MR 1722 that was in his New rack. It has the Hogue overmolded stock, machined aluminum receiver with integral rail on top, and the graphite barrel. It's light; just 4 1/4 pounds, and the weight is centered around the receiver, not the barrel. I handed it to Susan and she started grinning, then she got down on the floor and tried it in prone and sitting. We filled out a 4473, and Susan has a new rifle. We put a Bushnell AR22 scope on it, swapped the trigger group from her Ruger, and put on 1 1/4" sling swivels for the GI sling.

This model has a target chamber, so it is tighter than other off the shelf rifles, and MR's manual cautions against bulk ammo and CCI Stingers, which have a longer case than other Long Rifle rounds. They recommend CCI Mini-Mags, but we no longer have those in our stash.  We do have a good variety, though, with plenty of CCI Standard Velocity .22 LR. We gave the rifle a real workout last weekend in preparation for an Appleseed event we will be attending.

We found that this rifle is not nearly as picky about ammo as the factory literature would lead you to believe, but we did avoid ammo that we knew would be unreliable. The first thing we tried was current production Remington Golden Bullets, which have been performing well in both our pistols and rifles. They ran just fine in the MR 1722, and accuracy was good, but even the current production Goldens will vary in power once in a while, and the weak ones will throw to a different spot.

We got serious after sighting it in with Goldens, and fine tuned it at 25 meters with CCI Standard Velocity. You can see the first ten rounds in the upper left of the picture. We made the necessary adjustments and shot some five round groups and they were all good.  The surprise for me was the tight grouping of Velocitors. No adjustment is needed to switch to the hyper-velocity rounds for popping coons and coyotes. All the ammo shown in the photo ran without fail in the rifle. We tried Aguila target ammo, and it failed to cycle the bolt. Aguila Pistol Match cycled the bolt reliably, but it throws 1" right at 25 Meters. I have found that to be true with the Ruger 10/22 that I shoot, too.

The down side of this rifle can be considered a feature, or a bug, depending what you want out of your rifle. The tight chamber must be kept clean. Somewhere around 70 rounds after cleaning, the bullets don't slide in cleanly, and you must clean up. I expected that, and we had supplies out behind the barn for cleaning. Fail to clean, and the gun will go click.  You check it, and it will have a stovepipe jam. Drop the magazine!...Because it will have chambered a round, but it couldn't fire with the empty holding the bolt back. Clear the empty, reinsert the magazine, and resume shooting, but stop and clean it soon.  Our cleaning regimen at the range is to shoot PB Blaster in the chamber and action, brush the bolt face and breech, spray the action again with Blaster, then mop it out. Pull a brush through the barrel, then the snake. We then give the bolt a few drops of oil, cycle it a few times, mop off the excess oil, and get back to shooting. The need for extra cleaning was understood when we bought this rifle, and to us it is not a problem, considering the lighter weight and tight accuracy we are seeing. Every firearm purchase is a serious personal choice, and this one fit Susan's needs for the shooting she is currently enjoying. Someone who is wanting a plinker that can suffer neglect would not like this rifle, and it is a tool that you don't throw behind the seat of your old pickup truck.

We were so busy shooting that I didn't bother with photos during our outing, but we will get some pictures next time out to share with our readers.

UPDATE: We shot at an Appleseed event on April 18 and 19, and Susan's new gun ran just fine. We cleaned it before every target for scoring and it ran great. Other folks there had Ruger 10/22's and they had dirty chamber problems on the second day. We knew exactly what to do to get them going again, and very quickly. You can work on a rifle at Appleseed only during the preparation period before shooting, and it has to be done with the muzzle right at the firing line. We would shoot my cleaning oil mix down the barrel, and pull a snake through the bore, then put a few drops of oil on the bolt. It worked every time, and I will have to do a video to show how quickly you can do a cleaning at the range to get your gun running again.


Merle Morrison said...

Looks like she picked a winner! One question; why did you swap the trigger groups?


David aka True Blue Sam said...

Her trigger group has a Volquartsen hammer, and a trigger pull down around 2 1/2, plus we worked on the bolt release. The new trigger is heavier, and it went into her old rifle. I need to check the pull on it and see whether or not I want to modify it, but it does not fell excessive.

B said...

Try Strike Hold instead of Blaster. It'll keep the buildup down (like you'll probably have to clean after a hundred or so instead of 70).

David aka True Blue Sam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David aka True Blue Sam said...

Just checked the trigger that came in the MR 1722,and they sent it out with 3 3/4 lb. Not bad, certainly very good for around the farm. I will leave it alone. The trigger that Susan is using in her new rifle just checked at 30 ounces. It is pretty nice for getting your shot off when you want it to go.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Thanks, Mr. B, I will find some of that and give it a try!