Saturday, January 26, 2013

PWS T-3 Summit 10/22 Action Test Reloaded

PWS T-3 Summit 10/22 Action Test Reloaded

Several months ago, I reviewed the PWS T-3 Summit 10/22 rifle and loved the rifle, but most interesting was the unique biathlon style action and outstanding target trigger. The particular PWS T-3 Carbon Fiber barrel I tested was obviously tuned for match ammo and a bit picky with pretty much everything else, so I decided use the platform for a test.

First of the "reloaded" builds was to try a little experiment to test how the action and trigger impacted accuracy with a $145 Feddersen R4 10/22 16.25" .22LR barrel.  The barrel on my Feddersen Tennessee Ridge Runner has proven to be an exceptionally accurate setup, however I wanted to test separately if the accuracy could improve with with a trigger swap and the PWS Summit action.  

One of the biggest variables impacting accuracy on a 10/22 is the barrel and that specific barrel's preference for a particular ammo or lot# of ammo.  We eliminate this huge variable in testing just by sticking with the exact same barrel and the same box of ammo for the duration of the test.

Barrel - My original Feddersen barrel included in the Feddersen TN Ridge Runner blew my mind from an accuracy perspective and has proven to be arguably my most consistent and accurate barrel. I loved the barrel so much I purchased two more for other builds. All three shoot nearly identically which is a testament to the consistency of Feddersen barrels.

Ammo - Without question, Lapua ammo shoots the best of any ammo I have ever tested in the Feddersen barrel, however CCI is very close and far less expensive use for a test like this where the same barrel is used. Based on my experience, the groups would look a little different with different ammo, but percentage-wise the results would be pretty similar. Technically we could used a bulk pack ammo as the averages would give use the same net accuracy variance results, but the CCI SV ammo is consistent, less expensive and available in bulk with the same lot# and for these reasons was selected as the ammo for this test.

Optics - Optics can have a huge impact on accuracy, however I have made an effort to minimize that variable by using the same Nikon Monarch Gold 8-32X scope.  Overkill for a fielded 10/22, yes, however for benchrest shooters it may be a bit under powered and some may even reach for a 50X Nightforce scope. The Nikon 8-32 Monarch Gold’s quality should spur no arguments.

Stock - The Hogue 10/22 stock was used for this test to prevent me from tearing down another build just to facilitate this test. Because the Hogue stock has shown to be finicky with various action screw torque settings, I have greatly reduced this variable by pillar bedded the Hogue stock with a DIY steel pillar turned on my Proxxon Micro lathe. The steel pillar replaced the Hogue stock button and was epoxied in place and also provided a little height increase which assured the barrel was fully free-floated.  Each build was pre-tested with a different torque settings to optimize groups before beginning to shoot recorded groups.  The action screw torque setting delivering the best group was used to shoot the measured groups. In most cases this was a torque setting between 1-2lbs.

Groups - Many groups were shot however after torque settings were identified, four 5-shot groups were shot with each of the following configurations:

Feddersen 16.25" fluted barrel, Hogue stock, Nikon Monarch Gold scope, and the same lot# of CCI SV ammo with Stock Ruger receiver with stock Ruger trigger assembly

Feddersen 16.25" fluted barrel, Hogue stock, Nikon Monarch Gold scope, and the same lot# of CCI SV ammo with PWS T-3 Summit Action with PWS Summit Match trigger assembly

Why Only Four Groups? - The consistency of the Feddersen Barrel over time has shown for me that shooting three to four times as many groups would have still netted about the same answer and just wasted ammo which has become scarce in recent times.

The results of this test were interesting and show how an upgrade to a premium 10/22 receiver and match grade trigger such as the PWS Summit can improve accuracy and consistency substantially. The upgrade netted about a 30% improvement over stock components in most statistical categories. From my experience, an excellent trigger, such as this PWS version, usually will improve accuracy in the 20%-25% range.  I would like to test further the effect the PWS T-3 Summit action has on accuracy independently once ammo availability loosens up. A 30% improvement seems much higher than I expected and beyond what just a match trigger upgrade would provide.  Based on this testing, the PWS summit action may have a few other advantages which lead to improved accuracy, however in this test we can only assume it had some “X-Factor” contribution to the overall accuracy improvement.

CCI Standard Velocity
PWS Receiver & Trigger Groups
(5-shot, 50-yards)
Stock Receiver & Trigger Groups
(5-shot, 50-yards)
Improvement from the PWS Receiver & Trigger

So what does this mean for the average 10/22 owner? According to my testing a match trigger upgrade should indeed improve accuracy. In this case, even a barrel delivering poor 50-yard groupings of 1.5” could see a .5” reduction in group size by moving to the Summit PWS Action and trigger group. 

Obviously the unique T-3 action is not inexpensive, however for the target shooter, a 30% difference in group size would be substantial enough to consider a move from a stock receiver and trigger group to a PWS T-3 Summit action.

Feddersen 16.25" fluted barrel, Hogue stock, Nikon Monarch Gold scope, and the same lot# of CCI SV ammo with Stock Ruger receiver with stock Ruger trigger assembly - $915

Feddersen 16.25" fluted barrel, Hogue stock, Nikon Monarch Gold scope, and the same lot# of CCI SV ammo with PWS T-3 Summit Action with PWS Summit Match trigger assembly - $1290

PWS - Primary Weapons Systems -
Nikon Optics -
FJ Feddersen, Inc. -


Nick T. said...

I have had bad experiences with PWS lately. The first receiver group I got from them was so loose that my Feddersen barrel would wobble around when seated. The receiver was shipped with no shims, v-block, or screws. They have also changed over to a plastic trigger group and trigger.
The receiver was replaced with a tighter one under their warranty and this time they left out the shims and screws. It may be a great product, but I am not impressed by the company. Their prices have also climbed to over $600.00 for the receiver and plastic trigger group. I disappointed but may change my mind after I shoot it.

Nate Pierce said...

Can you clarify what your doing about the bolt. The PWS bolt has dual extractors correct? If so, how is it working with the Fedderson barrel that I presume is cut for only one extractor.


Major Pandemic said...

The PWS. Bolt does not have dual extractors... At least mine does not.