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Old 05-04-2018, 09:34 PM
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Vudoo Ravage - First Day at the Range (pix) . . .



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First day out with the Vudoo Ravage

Well ol’ No.1313 arrived at my FFL yesterday and I had her out at the range. I was intrigued by the web photos of the receiver’s vault-like construction and the idea of its being built to fit in a Remington 700 chassis. Customer reports of insane accuracy kind of pushed me over the edge. I plunked down my deposit and resigned myself to the eight–week wait. The version of the Ravage that I bought has the 20-inch barrel in Voodoo’s Kukri contour style. I got the stock without an adjustable cheek rest figuring that I could add a cloth or leather one afterwards, if eye placement was an issue. The barrel is also threaded for use with a suppressor. More on that later. Finish on the stock is black with gray webbing. I have topped the rifle with a Leupold 6–18x40 in Burris Signature Zee medium rings sitting on a 20 MOA rail. The Vudoo website has the rifle's weight as 8.5 pounds. I think with the Leupold on there it is probably closer to 10 (not a bad thing for my purposes). I was tempted to put the action in a replica 40X stock. But at the end of the day, I am going to be shooting this off a rest while sitting at a bench. I have always found a sporter’s rounded forearm harder to control than something that was purpose built to shoot from a bench. Well, today the wait was over and I went straight from my FFL to the range to see what No. 1313 was going to tell me.

Here’s the way the rifle looks in its current configuration:



Here’s what I mean by vault– like construction. Look at the thickness of the receiver walls:



The sharp – eyed among you will notice that the extractor cuts are at one o’clock and seven o’clock on the breech face. Dunno what this is about – but extraction was positive and strong. I’d say most cases three feet to the right; most of them were off my shooting table.



The trigger is a Timney, which I asked the folks at Vudoo to set at two pounds. It breaks crisply and cleanly like all Timney triggers I have used. Because the rifle takes any R700 trigger, you can replace the trigger with any R700 compatible trigger you like. Timney has some that will adjust down in the ounces . . Me? I am sticking with 2 lbs for now. Lighter just gets scary.




I am kicking myself for not photographing the magazines when I was at the range this afternoon. They are an ABS-type plastic, with an overall dimension which mimics a Remington 700 short action centerfire magazine, but hold 22 long rifle. I ran the bolt dry my first day out. The melanite coating on the action and the bolt gives a slightly gritty feeling, which I expect to smooth up over time. The only issue I had with the rifle, from a functional perspective was that with certain ammunition (Eley Bulk, CCI-SV) the rifle bolt needs to be pressed firmly home in order to close. In practical terms, this meant taking my cheek off the rifle butt in order to give the bolt the extra shove needed so that it was seated deeply enough that I could close it/cam it over. Otherwise the bolt binds with certain ammunition. Rather than simply closing, like the bolt on my CZ 455, it requires an extra forward push. I don’t know if this is because those brands of ammo are thicker (a headspace issue) or whether this is something that will work in over time. I did not have an issue with Lapua, SK, or R50 (targets below). The good folks at Vudoo are at the NRA convention this week so I will check in with them on the technical side of things regarding the bolt when they return.






First-Day Accuracy.

Here’s the funny thing. I shot five or six different kinds of ammo today and each of them produced at least one good, or in some cases great, group. I will post the whole strings of six targets (five-shot groups) below so that you can see what I mean. For instance with Federal 711B, I shot one target that was .448 inches edge-to-edge (.228 center to center), but the groups on either side are roughly a half inch. I decided to show all the targets rather than just the best groups so you all get a sense of my limitations as a shooter rather than thinking it is all the rifle one way or the other. I think the best targets tell you the most when viewed in context.



Midas+ gave me two groups that were .468 edge to edge/.248 c-t-c and one group that was almost an inch.



R50 gave me my best group of the day (.321 edge to edge/.101 c-t-c) ( lower left-hand corner below), with other groups on the card larger.



Eley Bulk’s best group was .354 edge-to-edge (.234 c-t-c), but the largest group was at an inch or so.



Even CCI-SV turned in at least one good group (see below). Actually, the first group of the day when I was sighting in the scope was even better, but I don’t have a picture of it. Man, did that put a smile on my face.



As you can see from the photos above, I was shooting off a Caldwell Rock BR front rest with a Protektor leather rear bag. I set the front rest fairly close to the magazine. I am not sure this is the best placement… more testing is surely needed. Also, I'd love to get this set up with a tripod and see how that works.

I guess the moral of the story is two-fold: 1) the rifle is clearly capable of great things, but the shooter can’t relax (firm grip seemed to do best, even with the weight of that 700 stock), and 2) the rifle’s best groups go from good to great with a variety of ammunition, but consistency is also about the quality of the ammunition and the skill of the shooter (improving, but not there yet, in my case). R50 is the current leader though for most consistently good group. I also tried some Lapua Polar Biathlon on a 50 dot target . . . I danced around the dot from shot to shot, but am not posting it here. The combination was not a “tack driver” in the RFC sense of the word, and I didn’t finish the target before I had to leave the range for the day.

In sum, the rifle’s first day performance put a big, big smile on my face. And let’s face it: today marked the first couple of hundred rounds down range in total and I am still figuring out how to shoot the thing. The difference between a firm grip into my shoulder and a light grip was eye-opening. I haven’t even tried a trigger-pinch/free recoil combination. So it is early days yet. I‘d encourage any of you who think that the targets above are the definitive word on this rifle to just take a deep breath. It’s the opposite. They are the first groups, and the poor folks at Vudoo are going to have to put up with a nOOby like me posting a review of this product for all the world to see. Seriously though, the experience I had with the rifle was comparable to my first day out with an Anschutz 1710-HB – these are tools where you don’t have to wonder whether it is the rifle, the ammo, or you.

Finally, the rifle’s barrel comes threaded from Vudoo . . . I am seriously considering a DeadAir Mask for this thing. Anyone who has had experience with one of those on a .22LR rifle, I’d love to hear your experiences – did adding the can change the barrel harmonics? Ah well, questions for another day.

[Edit: to respond to supersharp's question below, temps were in the mid-70's F, humidity was relatively high for VT, and there was a slight variable and intermittant breeze 1-3 mph (estimate only) breeze from my 6 o'clock. This accounts for a small amount of the vertical on the target IMHO. The key, I think, will be a precise return to battery. On the best groups, I felt like I was just laying them in there, with a consistent physical interaction with the rifle. Then I'd take my cheek off the rifle butt, reload or mess with the bolt and my next shot would be off. This is why I want to credit the shooter with the poor groups, and the rifle with the good ones. ]
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Last edited by flangster; 05-07-2018 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 05-04-2018, 11:25 PM
supersharp
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Flangster thank you for the great review. That is a really awesome rifle .I agree that it is too early to tell just how accurate your rifle is .I know with my Kidd Super Grade my first outing was disappointing, but with each time out at the range accuracy improved to the point that I'm extremely pleased with the way it shoots .There are many factors including a break-in, different lots of ammo and conditions at the range that can affect accuracy .What was the wind like that day? As for the grittiness of the action, I'm wondering if a good CLP or bolt grease would fix that .One of the things I've heard about the Vudoo action is how smooth it is and how smooth it looks on YouTube videos that I've watched. I should receive mine in a week or two and will post range performance as well with various brands of ammo .For the most part I will be shooting off a Atlas bipod or my Really Right Stuff tripod. I will also be using a Tactical Solutions Axiom suppressor .It will be interesting to see the effects it has on accuracy .I am extremely excited as it's been a long 8 weeks I appreciate you're honest observations on your first time out with that very impressive rifle .Please update the performance of future trips to the range .So far my experience with Vudoo has been a very positive one. Time will tell if I made the right decision.

Last edited by supersharp; 05-04-2018 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:54 AM
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This AM, I got a PM from an RFC'er asking -- as tactfully as he could -- what many of you were probably thinking on reading the above impressions: whether I was disappointed in the Ravage's performance, given the groups I posted above? The answer is that I am not disappointed in the rifle -- in fact I am quite hopeful given the best groups I shot with it. I am reprinting my answer to him below just to get out in the open what I should probably have lead with.
++++++++++++++++++
LOL. Well, the title of the review should have been something like, "can a great rifle improve a mediocre shooter?" or something like that. I got the Vudoo this past Friday, I have shot it once, putting about 200-odd rounds downrange. So it is early days. I guess I am more philosophical about the rifle's performance. With it, I shot the smallest group I have ever shot at 50 yards, so personally I see a lot of potential there. And it has shot -- from a very small sample - groups as good as my usual best with a variety of ammunition, which is the first time that has happened with any rimfire rifle for me.

What I didn't say in the review, and what I probably should add in a follow-on post, is that I have been shooting for five years or so and consider myself on the steep part of the shooting-skills learning curve. Also, I divide my shooting time among rimfire rifle and pistol, and centerfire rifle and pistol, which all have slightly different skills sets. So rimfire rifle may not get the time it needs for rapid mastery.

My other rimfire rifles are CZ's (some modified, some stock) and a couple of Anschutzes and I think I can generalize about two things here. The first is that I am, perhaps, a .5 inch at 50 yards shooter. That is, with the mid-grade ammo I generally have been purchasing (CCI-SV, SK-Std Plus, Federal Automatch, some Eley Match (random lots), some R50 (also random lots) and the rifles in battery, my own current average over many rounds shot at 50 yards is probably a half-inch. I have shot groups that are better, and I have shot many, many groups that are worse, but that's a conservative, honest, estimate of how good I am behind the bags. Second: technique matters, and there is probably not a rimfire rifle on the planet -- regardless of cost -- that will fully mask poor technique.

I am pleased with the Ravage as I think it will help me get to the next level in my own shooting. If you are a .25 inch shooter -- or better, I doubt it would hold you back.

+++++++++

I also want to make it clear that I am not trashing this rifle, and wouldn't. As I mention above, in today's connected world it is probably difficult for the guys at Vudoo to put their product in the hands of Joe-Public (or Mr. Fifth-Year-Shooter) and review the thing as if he knew what he was doing. Most of what I am figuring out, I am figuring out by trial and error. Heck, the first year I owned my Caldwell Rock BR I was setting it up on my bench . . .wait for it. . . backwards. What can I say? To a guy who knows more about photography than shooting it seemed logical to have the odd-leg face away from you. It was RFC that straightened me out on that (and it probably won't be the last time something like that happens).

So: my own goal as a shooter is to turn in more groups like that .101 group with R50 -- and I think the Vudoo is going to help me get there. Or to put it another way: I don't think you can "buy" yourself into that 10-ring, although dependable gear sure doesn't hurt.
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Old 05-07-2018, 02:03 PM
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UPDATE:

Got a courteous reply from the good folks at Vudoo. Paul advises that the bolt binding is due to the rim thickness of certain ammo. He offered to re-work the bolt for me to accommodate the ammo I was having the difficulty with, but as the best shooting-ammunition in this rifle so far (RWS R50) showed no problems, I will probably just shoot it for a while. No need to adjust what won't be a practical issue.

My next outing will be using an F-Class bipod. The purpose of this is to take forearm placement and return to battery out of the equation somewhat. More on that later - - we have some nice spring weather here in VT. The dog is happy for longer walks, and I will spend at least some of it at the range.
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:29 PM
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That's good to know that they were willing to work on your action .I agree if they open up the chamber to accept the CCI SV it might ultimately hurt your accuracy with your better ammo that shooting so well .Has the grittiness of the bolt going away from use or lubing it up? The next few days here in CT. The weather should be nice with very little wind have to break out one of the Kidd's since I don't have my Vudoo yet
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:31 PM
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I cannot shoot CCI SV, Aguila (cheap stuff) or Gemtec. It is all too larger in diameter. That said, I have two match bolt rifles in 22LR for benchrest and the same is true there too. I prefer the tight tolerance of loss of accuracy to shoot the ultra cheap stuff. The SK should all fire fine.
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:42 AM
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Great rifle and great review!! I don't think one should expect the first rounds down a new barrel to be the best groups ever. As said previously, there are many many variables not which includes the shooter getting used to the new rifle. Any benchrest shooter will tell you they didn't get a new rifle and run out to a match with it untested because things need time to develop true potential. I'm waiting for mine to arrive soon as well and I know with all the various brands and lots of ammo I've bought to test with it, it's going to take several trips to the range to square things away before I'll say it's reached it's full potential. The biggest thing needing development is me, the trigger puller!!
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Old 05-09-2018, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jory45acp View Post
The biggest thing needing development is me, the trigger puller!!
LOL. Well, you got that right. I had the rifle out again yesterday. This time instead of bags, I was using an F-Class Bipod. The groups were more consistent, but I didn't get any R50 back in the chamber. I had cleaned the rifle after the first range day, and so fouled the barrel with some SK Magazin. I shot a couple of strings, but then a buddy showed up to shoot pistols and so I got distracted and ran out of time before I was done testing for the day.

I will say that a drop of oil on the bolt and a little strategically placed grease did wonders. Much smoother operation. And I like shooting the Vudoo with a bipod. I am still trying to control the little muzzle bounce in this system. Perhaps a towel under the bipod will help with that.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:20 PM
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And I like shooting the Vudoo with a bipod. I am still trying to control the little muzzle bounce in this system. Perhaps a towel under the bipod will help with that.
An atlas bipod with the spiked feet attachment will take care of that problem as it allows you to load the rifle without it moving.
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:45 PM
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At the moment I am using a Sinclair F-Class bipod from a bench. I'd like it to slide rather than bounce. The Sinclair does not have folding feet, so no need to lean into the rifle to "load" the front feet.
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Old 05-28-2018, 09:17 PM
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Awesome rifle! Would give my cz and my quad range for one of these.

What distance were you shooting at, I must have missed it...but guessing 50 yards?
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:56 PM
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At the moment I am using a Sinclair F-Class bipod from a bench. I'd like it to slide rather than bounce. The Sinclair does not have folding feet, so no need to lean into the rifle to "load" the front feet.
My Vudoo is quite heavy, that's probably why I'm not experiencing the bounce the spikes seem to work quite well for me.
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Old 05-29-2018, 12:04 AM
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Saw those at the NRA Convention. Very nice looking rifles. Added them to my "someday" list.
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Old 05-29-2018, 06:38 AM
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Awesome rifle! Would give my cz and my quad range for one of these.

What distance were you shooting at, I must have missed it...but guessing 50 yards?
Yup. 50 yards. There is a bit of vertical in my groups. Time to get out the chrony and see what's what.

I do have a Harris that I could try. Supersharp, that's a good suggestion.
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:13 PM
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Almost a year later, how do you like your Vudoo Ravage now? Liked your reports. In my limited experience, the quality of 22 ammo a problem. As a result, I made a terrible mistake and sold my 40X rimfire rifle...I mentally kick my self every time I think about it. I will be interested in any future experience that you have with different ammo. Thanks and take care.
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