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The 4th was fast approaching and my friends, being industrious and competitive as any, had big plans for our little gun club. Besides making resettable plinking targets, one of them blessed with a plasma cutter produced a full small bore silhouette set, a full day was in the works. Having never been happy with my stock 10/22 Carbine, and it being the only 22 I could take, I set to work correcting its "faults". Having been born owning 3 guns and raised with one in hand, I generaly have no qualms about modifying them. I went home tore it apart and went to work. I grabbed a tri-hone, flipped it to fine and proceded to remove every tool mark I could find or get at. I had nice smoothed innards without going all the way to "polished", just like my father, grandfather and uncles taught me. Once back together I cocked it and smacked it arround with the safety off, on, and on with the triger pulled back; I hit it on both sides of the trgger group, reciever, stock, "cheekpiece", and butt. I did the drop test. Took the trigger assembly back out and tried it 9smacked it arround some more, and gave it some more honing while keeping and eye on the sear to safety and hammer matings). About 4 lbs, with arround 1/4" of creep. Better, but nothing to brag about.

Well, I decided it was about time to get on the internet and see what was available and what I could learn. Spent about a week learning about all I could and ordered various small pieces. Buffer, extractor, and picking and choosing springs from both the Wolf Performance and Power Custom spring kits (actually I think I only used the guide rod spring from the Power Custom kit, and the Wolf kit did not include one, very impressed with the Wolf springs atm). The Trigger settled down to about 3 lbs, give or take an ounce or two, with the same amount of creep of course. Anyway, none of this solved the barrel length or stock issues I had with the gun. Looked arround and picked out a Green Mountain 20" Fluted Blue .920" barrel and the Bell and Carlson Anschutz style stock (the one without the finger hole), based on reviews, reputation, and price I felt these were decent choices. The only thing I didn't consider was availability. There doesn't seem to be any anywhere. I called distrubtors for days and finaly the manufactors themselves. Both are currently backordered for the distributors with priority. Flustered I priced a Lilja Barrel and for a stock a Bell and Carlson Odyssey. I decided I wasn't $800 flustered. Working on the premise I could always hand-me-down or resell I ordered a Butler Creek Target Stock and 20" Barrel Combo, $150. I got it on the 2nd (07/02/08) and quickly went to work on mating it to my gun. Well what follows is basicly my first impressions of it. I'm not very well accustom to reviewing products, nor by any means breif, but please bare with me.

My first impreesion wasn't all that great, Midway did an okay job of packaging it, but it came in a blister pack; haven't had very good luck of late with blister packs. It came out of the package easily enough and there were easy enough instructions, though I had already eyeballed it and read enough about it have written them. The barrel itself seemed like a nice piece, its not fluted so it has considerable heft. Chamber and crown seemed void of any defects, the v-block mating seemed well machined. The stock on the otherhand was, given I think I have seen it priced by itself for about $55, not. I beleive it is injection molded, it came with flash running down the center of the top and bottom on the exterior. There was also a larger "bump" about a 1/2" in front of the action screw about where the v-block would sit. Since neither of them seemed to need to be there I sanded them off. A word of warning, I read a review that suggested exactly that, however at the moment I have discernable sanding marks (a slight lighter color) on the areas I sanded. I used what I had available 600 grit, sanded wet. I'm sure I can remove them with a higher grit.

I removed the factory parts, cleaning everything perfectly as I went and got ready to install. I read a buyers comment on Midway that it took 5 minutes. I guess he skipped

#1. Your new Butler Creek barrel has a protective coating that must be removed.

I grabed some Hoppe's #9 and cleaned the outside. I was much more impressed, it really has a nice finish minus the coating and came off rather easily. I dropped the weight of my bore sanke down the barrel and started feeding it slack, it proceded to look at me funny. Seriously, it would not go down the barrel. Weed eater line got it going and I was back in buisness. Now I have cleaned literal pounds of cosmoline off surplus guns before and I'd have to say it was easier than cleaning the bore of this barrel. I don't know what they used, but its some stubborn stuff. Over the next 2 or 3 hours and a full bag of patches later I spent my time dreaming of a 5 gallon bucket of Kerosene. I don't know if I got an overly coated bore or if this is normal, but a clean patch became both an obcession and finaly a miracle. After that, everything went smoothly. It was also 1 AM.

We had our getogether on the 6th instead and went right to it, I got just enough time to get the scope sighted in. It seemed to be dead on the whole rest of the day, if I missed I felt like it was my fault. After shooting our silhouette, plinking and general tomfoolery (they shot all of my carefuly sharpened pencils I had neatly stowed in my bag, though it was impressive to see them fly at 50 yards, and I did kill the last one), I finaly convinced them to switch to targets. Unfortunitly all my 3 and 5 shot groups were either shot to hell by the other guys or misplaced, but I did make it home with the 10 shot groups. Since I have somehow misplaced my caliper, I used this method. Measure the furtherest holes, outside to outside to the nearest half millimeter, converted it to hundreds of an inch with an online converter and subtracted .223. Heres what I got.

All groups were 10 shot groups, shot sitting from a bench but without a rest at 50 yards.

Remington Golden Bullet 36 Grain Hollow point 0.4069"
Federal Value Pack 550 36 Grain Hollow point 0.6038"
Federal Champion 40 Grain Solid 0.6431"
- Flyer 0.3676"
Winchester Xpert 22 36 Grain Hollow Point 0.3282"
Remington 22 Subsonic 38 Grain Hollow Point 0.4857"
-The Federal flyer happened the only time I failed to whiggle the bolt handle, it seems to bind the bolt.


Not too shabby considering its all Wal-Mart "bulk" ammo and the only rest I had were elbows. I'll post pictures in the morning when I retrieve my camera from work. I can't wait until I get a chance to try it on a rest (the guy with the sighting vise and sand bags had already left) and with some Wolf, Eley, and Aguila. I'll update this thread when I do, or when I get some 5 shot groups. Its defiantly not the configuration I had in mind, and it probably won't last the winter as is, but until I purchase a CZ CZ453 Varmint/Target and get my Marlin 39A back, it will do.

It would be nice to hear from someone else their opinons and experiences with this combo if there are any of you out there. Of course I would like to hear from everyone else who would be so kind.
Please post your thoughts.

-Bill
 

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I have but good experiences with BC STEEL barrels. Would not win against a Lija but compared to other entry level aftermarket barrels, they can hold their own although they seem to be unpopular because of the bad rep brought about by their CF barrels. I myself if given the choice would have bought a GM instead of a BC but, there were no GMs available at the time of purchase. I also have a gm to compare it with and the gm would win if you measure groups in fine detail, but if your just a plinker or hunter, you would not notice a difference in group sizes. As a bonus, one of my two BC steel steel barrels prefers and shoots a variety of cheap ammo very well.
I'm not so much a fan of the stock though as i feel they are too flexible making them pressure sensitive to have a negative effect on accuracy specially if your shooting from a bench. If you handle them just right though they are good and capable as reciever to stock fit is very good at least in my rig, but overall still a far cry from good quality synthetic target stocks because of that lack of rigidity. :)
 
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