I recently bought a VQ LLV stainless upper from RFC member Geo. In another thread I indicated that I had a 22/45 grip frame with VQ sear and trigger (and I think a TK hammer bushing. . . not sure now), some Majestic Arms wooden grip panels and a Kane-Wolff mod to the slide release that I was scratching my head what to do with. It had started out as an LLV project with a different receiver, which had since become an all VQ pistol. Sooo . . . hadn't really intended to turn the 22/45 grip frame into another LLV, but Geo made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Everything arrived from him in the condition he said it would (and well-packed, too . . thx Geo) and the time finally came to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. The only Ruger parts are the grip frame, the bolt, and internals other than the sear, hammer bushing, and trigger. Franken-Ruger indeed.
Oddly, when I first assembled it, the trigger wouldn't function. I have done the assemply-disassembly tango often enough now that I was pretty sure I hadn't boogered it. So what to do? Well it sounded like the trigger in my grip frame wasn't re-setting. Played with the VQ adjustment screws that control sear-engagement and overtravel. Bingo. Here's what she looks like now;
Man, I have to say that is the ugliest collection of parts in my safe.
Really. I like the receiver Geo sold me, but when you put it with a "white" Ultradot and mount it on a black plastic grip frame with brown wooden grip panels, it just looks like a kid whose mother dresses him funny. One nice thing about the Ultradot though: you can sight though it to the pistol's iron sights so if you ever lose battery power at the range, your day is not over. The stainless LLV barrel is chrome plated and heavy; it is noticeably heavier than the LLV receiver out of machined aluminum. Still, it gives a feeling of solidity in the hand and balances well. I am interested primarily in accuracy and improving my shooting, not speed of steel acquisition, so the weight doesn't bother me at all.
Here is the sight in target at 7 yards off an MTM rest with Federal Automatch:
Looks like the barrel does what VQ advertises it will: shoot straight! The LLV barrel comes with a built-in rail and the red dot on this makes it almost easy to group those shots together. So I moved back to 15 yards and gave it another go:
Basically, doubling the distance produced the same size groups. I think I will go back to 50 yards next time using a larger bull and see what the pistol can do. Cycling was flawless with Automatch, and honestly I am happy with these groups from a bulk plinking ammunition. BTW, the first set of round target bulls above were from some stamps I bought off Amazon, which I stamped on some 100 lb 5x7 card stock. If you are thinking of going that DIY route, do yourself a favor and get the 100-yard target stamp that Brownells sells instead (second target card). The quality of the Brownells/Sinclair stamp (sold here: http://www.brownells.com/shooting-ac...159-65135.aspx
) is head and shoulders above what Amazon sells. Easier to square to the edge of the paper too. (so much for my arts-and-crafts skills).
So bottom line for this ugly duckling: it shoots really well and functions flawlessly. Maybe I can win some beers off a guy who thinks that ugly pistols can't shoot. As a budget target pistol, this one will perform very well. I may get some pricier ammunition down the barrel and see whether that makes any difference.