Monday, March 25, 2013

Wicked Ridge Raider CLS Crossbow Review

Wicked Ridge Raider CLS Crossbow Review

About a year and a half ago I reviewed the the Wicked RIdge Invader Crossbow and really liked what the bow delivered from a value perspective however I yearned for one of the newer CLS (compact limb designs) for a bit more maneuverability. Now the value leading Wicked RIdge brand by Ten Point Technologies has a new addition to the lineup, the Raider CLS Crossbow with both blistering speed and a compact design.

Wicked Ridge is owned by Ten Point Archery. To say Ten Point Archery is the un-disputed industry crossbow innovator is a safe statement considering they hold more crossbow patents than anyone else on the planet.  Ten Point has been on the forefront of advancing crossbow technology for decades and are one of the reasons crossbows are so prevalent in hunting today and the reasons we have many of the well known features we now take for granted.  

As we know, every year there is newer and better technologies introduced, however typically these features are only released on the very expensive models.  Ten Point decided to take some of their historically best most durable technologies and wrapped them up into high value high durability field crossbows as their Wicked Ridge brand.  These rugged crossbows can take a huge amount of abuse and are priced right at a ready to shoot $500 price point.  Currently Wicked Ridge produces two models the Wicked Ridge Invader and the Wicked Ridge Warrior.  The Warrior is based on the same design as the Invader but has a lighter bow pull and drops a few of the accessories for a less expensive option.

As I noted in my previous Wicked Ridge article, bows however require skill and constant training for effective and reliable use.  To increase accuracy back before gun powder was invented, the crossbow provided increased range, accuracy and power even for the less than optimally trained.  With today's technology integrated into crossbows those same benefits are certainly still the case plus we now get some extras.

Ten Point crossbow includes integrated cocking mechanisms which make cocking even the most powerful crossbows easy.  Accuracy is also greatly enhanced over the bow with most crossbows featuring low powered scope optics.  Powerful precision archery has never been more reliable, safer and more accurate.  All these reasons are why I felt the need to add a crossbow to my inventory of survival tools. My original Invader is still a great bow, however the Raider CLS maintains all the great features of the Invader plus adds a compact bow design which reduces overall width by approximately 30% all while increasing energy and bolt velocity.

The Wicked Ridge line of crossbows are meant to be beat on, but the fit on the Wicked Ridge Raider CLS is perfect, nothing is loose and everything is well designed to fit together without any gaps, rattles or wobbles.  The finish on my crossbow was an Mossy Oak Break Up Infinity camo that is a very versatile pattern and unfortunately as on my original Invader, the internal packaging was insufficient which caused a minor scratch on the finish before it came out of the box.  Not a huge deal, but it seems to be a systemic packaging issue on both the bow I have. Generally I am pretty harsh on my tools, so this was a cosmetic issue I would never consider returning a crossbow over.

The Wicked Ridge Invader crossbow comes partially assembled and only required slipping on  the assembled bow via one hex bolt, the cocking stirrup via two set screws, and attaching the quiver mount. Once assembled the Wicked Ridge Invader is tight and rock solid and built to take a beating on any hunting trip.

At 6lb, 10oz. the Raider CLS  is not what I would term as feathery and is about the weight of your standard AR15.  Most of the weight is up at the bow end which does provide a very stable off-hand shooting situation.  The front forend provides a very stable grip while providing a guard to prevent your fingers getting caught by the bow string... the most common injury in archery.  Overall with a stock length of 37-1/4 inches and a width of 25-7/8 inches, the Wicked Ridge Invader crossbow handles well and pointed naturally despite the obvious size of it being a crossbow.

With the exception of the bow, the entire Wicked RIdge line up has roughly the same features and from what I can tell my Invader and Raider CLS are identical excluding bow changes. The biggest feature changes are moving from a more standard sized bow and limb to Ten Point’s CLS (Compact Limb System) which actually delivers higher velocities, but in a narrower 20.75" limb profile.  This profile allows you to get in out, up, through, and around barriers much easier.

The Wicked Ridge Raider CLS crossbow is covered with the versatile Mossy Oak Camo and drives the bolt over 330 feet/second with the included aluminum bolts and field points. This is about a 10% improvement over the Invader. 

Cocking is easy with Wicked Ridge's integrated ststirrup and patented ACU-52 integrated, self-retracting rope cocking system that reduces draw weight by 50%. The entire pulley, handle, rope assembly self-retracts into the stock. This is a key feature especially for the less muscular shooters both new and old.  The Wicked RIdge Invader features the patented Dry-Fire Inhibitor which prevents accidental firing when the a bolt is not in place.  

The Ten Point patented innovations continue with the ACRA-Angle barrel, tunable synthetic cable yolks, Alph-A Quad Limb System, CNC-machined aluminum riser and wheels, patented PowerTouch trigger, and lightweight semi-skeletal stock design.   
Wicked Ridge premium kit includes three aluminum bolts, field points, and 6-arrow instant detach quiver and padded sling.  As with my Invader, the Raider CLS includes a 3X multi-dot (bolt-drop compensating) scope which was perfectly zero’ed right from the box. All these features add up to a pull it out of the package, bolt it together, and go hunting without having to worry about whether it will all work. 
Crossbows are not the most complex war machines on planet and as would be expected, I had no issues what-so-ever.  With my first Invader crossbow, what struck me most was the precision of the Wicked Ridge Invader and the Raider CLS matched that accuracy. This easy accuracy will really instill confidence quickly from the novices to the professional hunters.  

The Acu-52 cocking system is AWESOME.  This provided a very fast and easy cocking option and assured perfect string alignment on every shot.  Once the string is cocked the safety auto-engages and the bolt can be placed on the barrel.  Peer through the sight and align based on the yardage and appropriate drop alignment on the scope, push the safety forward, and squeeze the trigger.  Whether you are in a survival or hunting situation getting the next bolt going down range could not be simpler or easier.  Take a look at my Invader video as the Raider has the same functioning.

If you believe crossbows don’t deliver pin-point accuracy then you simply have not shot the new breed of crossbows.  Like my Invader the Wicked Ridge Raider CLS is also a tack driving bolt stacking machine all the way out to fifty yards and with some testing even at 75 yards 4” groups were common.  I would feel very comfortable taking shots on deer out to 75+ yards.

The most impressive accuracy fact was that it was perfectly zero’ed right out of the box and required no scope tweaking of the included bolt drop compensating scope.

From a survival perspective crossbows make perfect sense with simple dependable and accurate operation and in the case of the Wicked Ridge Raider CLS, outstanding value that can put food on the table. The Wicked Ridge Raider CLS is perfect for the hunter and survivalist that wants to just walk out of their sporting goods store with a crossbow and literally head right for the field.  

The kit comes complete with everything needed.  The extras I am added are a good set of carbon fiber bolts and a set of broad-heads to make this a ready to grab deer hunting crossbow.  For the avid hunter the crossbow hunting benefits you with a longer and additional hunting season.  For $700 out on the Street, this is a smart multi-purpose item to add to your hunting and survival kit.

330-fps velocity
101.6 foot/lbs energy
3X scope included
Power stroke: 13".
Draw weight: 180 lbs.
Length: 37-1/4".
Width 20.75"
Weight: 6 lbs. 10 oz.
Currently this product is now made in the USA as of 2012
MSRP $699.99
Street $599.99

Premium Package adds:
3X Multi-line (multi-yardage) scope
Quick Release Bolt quiver
3 Aluminum Arrows
Padded Sling
MSRP included Bow $819.99
Street $699.99

Wicked Ridge Crossbows

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Wrath of Mrs Pandemic - My Body My Choice

The Wrath of Mrs Pandemic

I often refer to and mention my beautiful and talented wife in my articles and videos who I so un-elegantly reference simply as Mrs Pandemic.  At this moment we are at the range and she yelled "loading" and just executed an elegantly smooth magazine change of her AR-15 and then proceeded to pop out a "shooting" comment before hammering away on 25, 50, and 75 yard steel targets from behind a barricade. Her AR runs dry and she transitions to her Glock 19 from behind cover... let's just say the girl knows how to handle a firearm but never is satisfied with good enough.

She is definitively the rock of our relationship and has had much to do with molding the lump of clay called my personality to focused my powers on "doing good". That said, that same sweet, charming, loving, friendly, and silent person who is quietly involved in the background of this endeavor has been enraged to the point of putting finger to keyboard to speak out on the suppression and attack by the media and politicians on female gun owner rights, opinions, and rights to self defense.  

Mrs Pandemic is now sauntering back to the truck with a grin on her face so I grab my custom Holding Precision AR-15, yell "moving" as I give her a loving hip check and toss the keyboard to her.

Dear Colorado representatives and college administrators (or anyone else insane enough to think you and the government give me my human rights): 

If I am being threatened or in danger of being raped I will NOT; whistle, urinate, vomit, yell, use passive resistance, hang out in "safe zones" similar to when I was a kid and we played tag and yelled "I'm on base you can't get me", I will not use a stapler, or a ball point pen, or use any other useless or inane tactic you suggest. 

Your insulting comments that perhaps women should begin using the "buddy system" smacks of being one step away from the claim to keep women safe, they should not be "allowed" in public without a man.  When that fails perhaps we could decree that women should not be seen in public without full head to toe coverage, because obviously they are wearing things that "ask them to be raped"! 

Biden your ridiculous claim that a double barrel shotgun used to fire "warning shots into the air" or “through your front door” because a double barrel is "easier" and more effective, is as idiotic as most things that come out of your mouth. You never fire a warning shot in fact you never fire a gun unless you intend to shoot something - period - and if you are worried about innocent bystanders being shot this is the best way to ensure they are, especially from a shotgun! Plus me firing a double barreled shotgun makes sure I end up sprawled on my back with no further ammo in my gun to defend myself against the inevitable attack because I am now outside, unarmed and defenseless. 

Other idiots from this administration were out the same day spouting that whenever you are under attack you should wait for the attacker to run out of ammo and pause to reload and then attack with whatever you have, but I only need two shots to protect myself, so following that "logic" thru means those intending to do me harm just need to wait until I waste my two bullets by firing warning shots. Genius! No thanks, my RIGHT (and it is a right, not a privilege) to a gun is an "inalienable right" meaning it cannot be taken away by you or anyone else, ensures I will pull out my AR-15, Glock or any other gun I desire and use as many bullets as I feel is necessary to keep me and my loved ones safe. 

Don't like the 2nd amendment then change the constitution or stay the hell out of my business and life!  

I will not, as a woman, be lectured by a man (and obviously ones that are so dumb I would not want them to have access to a firearm anytime I am near) attempting to score political points or further an agenda on how to protect myself - It is My Body, My Choice!

Mrs. Pandemic
(A very pissed off female voter)

FINAL THOUGHTSIf someone attempts to carjack, or break in, or mug us as guys, the first two things that run through our heads are they either want our stuff or they want our life. As I have been in a few bad situations, the last thing that I think an attacker wants, is to wrestle me to the ground and corn hole me for three hours, however considering that a woman is raped every 2 minutes here in the US, it is more than rational that rape is the first concern that goes through a woman’s head when she is threatened. One in five women have been raped and that number continues to rise. In fact over 30% of the time most crimes against women result in rape versus less than 1% for men. How dare the chucklehead in Colorado tell a woman how she should protect themselves regarding a fear we have never experienced... call boxes and safe zones, give me a break.

Like many woman, Mrs Pandemic has been faced with challenges where she has had to defend herself, however she has been lucky thus far to triumphantly emerge unscathed from those altercations. Several years ago, she ran off two rather nefarious looking gentleman who were attempting to crowbar their way into our home, she did not do that with a safe zone, ink pen, or and recently emptied double barrel shotgun... it was with an AR15 with a 30-round magazine and a Glock 19 with 15-rounds on tap.

As I write these final thoughts, the barrage of thirty .223 Hornday Steel Match rounds streaming from Mrs Pandemic’s BPM-15 lets me know she is blowing off steam and preparing for battle. A battle for her rights, her opinions, and her inalienable right to defend herself... judging from the Glock 17 - 17-round magazine with the 2+ round extension she just slapped into her Glock 19, she is about to let that steel target downrange know that "it is her body and her choice".

Barnes Precision Machine BPM-15/AR-15
Bushnell First Strike Reflex Sight
Troy Industries 30-Round Magazine
Mako Group AR-15 Magaine Pouch
Hornady - TAP .223 and 9mm Ammo
Glock - Glock 19
Glock 17 Magazine + Glock 2+ round Magazine Expention
Crossbreed Holster SuperTuck
Blackhawk Pistol Magazine Pouch
Surefire GX2 Tactical Light

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Force Production 10/22 Barrel Receiver Trigger Review

Force Production 10/22 Barrel Receiver Trigger Review
As I was searching to expand my 10/22 collection, the Force barrel stopped me in my tracks.  I mean look at that thing; how amazing is that hex machined barrel... I had to have one.  Admittedly the looks caught my attention however beyond the stunning looking barrel, the Force Production barrel offers more than a few engineering advantages.  The company also offers every other main part of the 10/22 with the exception of the bolt and all are custom level which deliver stunningly consistent accuracy and flawless functioning.

Force production was started in central Texas by Charles Watson in 2007.  To say Charles has street credibility would be an understatement as he has a long impressive resume of engineer and and CNC programmer that goes all the way back to 1989. In 1996, he joined STI and has been at the forefront of innovation and engineering since at STI firearms.  Charles is now one of the Employee Stock owners of STI and still leads engineering of STI’s great hunting, defense, and competition based 1911 platforms.

Charles had always had a small machine shop as a home business and after an internal discussion at STI decided to start a business dedicated to non-competing custom products such as parts for the Ruger 10/22 and custom gun barrels for a number of rifles manufacturers. Today Force Production’s primary business are extreme accuracy 10/22 & Remington 700 action parts. 

Over the last couple years the premium 10/22 market has exploded due to constant innovation to get tighter groups and more consistency. One day Charles was sitting around attempting to develop a better barrel fluting structure. He then looked up and watched as a wasp entered it’s honeycomb; honeycomb design, the perfect natural structure. The design optimally breaks up harmonics, sheds heat, and delivers incredible rigidity without weight. As an engineer, he knew he had found the fluting he was looking for.  The result of the fluting was almost a over a 30% reduction in barrel weight all while maintaining barrel integrity and rigidity of the bull barrel design.

Charles dedicated that same attention to redesigning the 10/22 trigger for outstanding feel all while increasing the safety when it was used in the field.

From my testing, the Force equal to the other top end 10/22 custom rifles. From a reliability perspective it does a few things I like better than some of its competition. As we all know, premium parts rack up quick on 10/22 and this build came in right at $1120 as equipped with the P-22 2-7x32 BDC scope.

Barrel - $359.99 - My Force build features their proprietary 18” Honeycomb barrel made from stainless steel Lothar Walther blanks and then finished with a target crown and match chamber.  Force then applies its honeycomb design which reduces the 20” bull barrel blank from 3.43lbs to an astounding 2.364lbs. 
This 17oz weight savings plays a bit of a mind trick on you as the barrel now weighs far less than you would expect. The beauty of the design is a much lighter barrel with the retained accuracy of a bull barrel design plus extraordinary heat dissipation and retention of the rigidity of the barrel. 

Trigger Assembly - $239.99 - Force has worked its magic on their trigger and the result is a extremely crisp trigger feel of between 2-3lbs with an overtravel adjustment on the semi-flat blade trigger.  This trigger design gives you more control and reduces the perceived trigger pull as well. 

The trigger body assembly is machined from billet 6061 aluminum and the hammer, sear, and disconnector are precision heat treated and EDM cut for the best precision possible.  

The trigger pulled has been improved further with a cammed action which also increases safety as well; the gun will not fire from normal dropping or bumping like some other match triggers will. The trigger is quite exceptional and breaks extremely clean, crisply, and feels much lighter than its specs would allude to. The Force Production Trigger assembly also includes an extended magazine release which makes magazines drops fast and easy.  Other features included an integrated bolt guide.

Receiver & Extras - Force also manufactures a precision billet 6061 10/22 receiver which fit a variety of barrel I test fit easily and also offers an integrated and extended top picatinny top rail.  One of the things I really liked about the receiver was that the top rail extension extended a bit longer than other recievers; a nice touch to add a bit more stability to your optic. Force also developed a Tygon and steel bolt buffer which significantly reduces both cycling noise and shock transmitted to the scope.  The simple and classy looking charging handle is one of my favorite.  Other parts used were Force’s precision barrel block and a Ruger stock bolt group.

Scope - Nikon P-22 2-7x32 BDC scope.  Although this scope lacks parallax adjustment, it is a blast to shoot with because the BDC (Bullet Drop Compensating) reticle makes it easy to start plinking at 100, 150, and even 200 yard targets. The optic is very clear and the resettable zero turrets are simple and easy to use and were very handy when switching between loads.It is also $180 retail which is an attainable price after you just spend your house payment on a custom 10/22. 

Glacier Ridge Gunstock - Initially I my Boyd Evolution Royal purple stock was swapped over to this build for my initial testing, however I finally settled on the same Glacier Ridge 10/22 stock which was included on my Magnum Research MLR22AT. This was an exceptionally comfortable stock similar to the Boyds Evolution stock but could take the hard licks of a field rifle. The radial freefloat design also does a great job of showing off the stunning Force Production barrel and action.
Force Type III hard anodized all their black parts and finishes to perfection all their stainless parts. The barrel is “the” coolest looking of any 10/22 barrel I own.

The Force build may not have pulled the lowest number on the accuracy charts however it was using the lowest powered and non-adjustable objective scope and a stock bolt and was still only .05” from tying the Kidd build's accuracy.  In my initial testing, it did produce the second smallest Maximum group size at only .813”.  Force is my pick for one of the most consistent shooting builds second only to Fedderson barrels all without so much as one non-ammo related feeding or functioning issue. 

It was also easy to charge unlike the Kidd and I liked the size and grip of the charging handle better than others I tested.  The Force's trigger is just as but just bit eavier than the Timney 10/22 trigger.

Nikon has an expansive line of scopes and does have an adjustable parallax 3-9 model, but it lacks the target knobs and BDC reticle. If the Nikon P-22 was also available in 3-9X magnification model, with target knobs, BDC, and had an adjustable parallax adjustment it would be the perfect 10/22 scope for target and field.  The BDC is a big selling point which also allows another zeroing point for high velocity verus low velocity rounds.

Force needs to offer a threaded barrel option with the Honeycomb design and offer their own bolt versus relying on the stock Ruger bolt as I did on this build.  With a more precise bolt and higher power scope, the accuracy has shown to equal the Kidd which is not surprising considering they are both using Lothar Walther blanks.

Functionally the Force has been an exceptionally reliable rifle and far less picky than other rifles I tested and matched the Magnum Research in reliability, but was also far less picky about which ammo it shot well. In general it shot all the ammo very well and was the second most consistent shooting rifle of those tested in my Ultimate 10/22 Shootout.

From the first time I shot the Force to last weekend, the Force build has been one of my favorites. It would most likely be my chosen gun for a weekend of hunting because I know that even if I have to change ammo the gun will still shoot well and function perfectly. The Nikon P-22 turrets even make this potential ammo swap rezeroing task easy. 

I have tested nearly every premium 10/22 on the market. Some performed well, some exceptionally, but note that the accuracy numbers are so close that I feel compelled to note that your results may vary. If you look across all the builds (with varying powered optics), the Force build's accuracy was still third which is no small feat.

This is a sub-.25” grouping gun with the right ammo at 50 yards and it does it even with the right less expensive quality ammo. During initial accuracy testing my best group was a stunning .214” group at 50 yards with Wolf ammo and that is hardly expensive ammo. Even my worst group was only .816” and the 50-yard average of all rounds tested was .505”. The most exciting group for me was the .305” 50-yard group from CCI Velociter; although not the smallest group during initial testing, it is a smoking hot round that allows 100+ yard hits on ground squirrels with half the bullet drop of the standard velocity Wolf round. 

I have found that many times a rifle can shoot much better or worse from just a stock or part change. Most recently, after a change to a Magnum Research Glacier Ridge Stock and a billet machined 10/22 bolt from the stock version. With this setup, I was able to manage a 4-shot (one flyer) single hole .16” group at 50 yards with CCI Velociter ammo. This is an incredible shooting rifle.

In order to prevent me from having to continually update a half dozen 10/22 articles, I will be keeping track of all my 10/22 build accuracy data going forward here (Google Docs Spreadsheet).

Although I loved the features of the Nikon BDC P-22 scope it does not provide an apples-to-apples accuracy comparison, however it does provide a simple and fast shooting BDC reticle. In reshooting groups with the marginally more powerful Leupold used on the Kidd, the Force has shown that it is an even match for the Kidd any day.

The Force was more consistent from round to round and far less picky or finicky about digesting any ammo I stuck in the magazine. The Force groups did not move around as much from ammo to ammo either as the other builds tested in my Ultimate 10/22 Shootout.  Whatever voodoo Force has done with their barrel, I am sold, because it works. I was able to accomplish really odd plinking feats such as hitting the 6” 200 yard gong 10 times in a row with cheap Winchester 555 bulk ammo. From the Force’s ability to consume almost any round stuffed into the magazine to tiny little groups, this is without a doubt a top contender to put a trophy in your cabinet or lay waist to tree rats or ground squirrels.

So it has been a bit since I first reviewed this action and it has still been an all love relationship.  The action has seen three different stocks and now finally has its own custom stock, which I am pretty sure it will stay with.  After much deliberation, I decided this action needed a stock with a little more weight in the back end and selected a Boyd's Tacticool stock. 

The black textured stock was stripped of the hardware and painted with a deep candy apple blue Rustoleum spray and then the fades and skull pattern effects were added with a chrome spray. It is critical that you not stop there with rattlecan finishes as pretty much any gun grade solvent or oil with distroy the finish on the gun.  The key is about a dozen coats of spray lacquer. Lacquer in general is very tough stuff and is highly resistant to solvents. After the dozen or so coats of spray lacquer, I had one very tough and sharp looking 10/22 stock.

My accuracy was the same as the Glacier ridge stock, however I did pull off this rather nice set of 100-yard (yes 100 yard) groups with CCI Standard Velocity with only the shown 2-7x Nikon scope pictured.  I kept the steel ground squirrel spinner on the 100-yard line moving all afternoon.

This was not some lead sled punched group, this was shot off the bench with just a bipod and my fist under the rear of the stock for elevation.... not bad at all.

Force Production

Nikon Optics 

Magnum Research - Glacier Ridge

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Feddersen Dura Sight Bull Barrel Ruger 10/22 Barrel Review

Feddersen Dura Sight Bull Barrel Ruger 10/22 Barrel Review

At this point I have three Feddersen 10/22 barrels.  Unsurprisingly to Feddersen, all three barrels pretty much hold the exact same 50-yard playing-card splitting accuracy. These barrels are by far my most consistent shooting barrels of all 10/22 I own. This is because of Feddersen's patented manufacturing process, however this article focuses on a unique option - a high precision Bull Barrel with Fiber Optic sights which delivers the ultimate .22LR survival rifle.  

On my last order, they strongly encouraged me to try their 16.25" barrel “standard” dark blued with Fiber Optic Durasights. In essence it is exactly the same barrel I tested before and netted near identical groups as my other Feddersen barrel, so close in fact it become pointless to record and share them. Suffice to say, near single hole 5-shot groups a 50-yards are possible. As a fairly proficient iron sight shooter, the idea of having a precision 10/22 match barrel with iron sight was intriguing.

Most stock Ruger 10/22s can manage 1" groups at 50-yards when scoped with a 3-9X scope, a Feddersen barrel can deliver near single hole group with that same optic or roughly a 100% improvement. With iron sights, I can manage 50-yard  3" groups with a stock 10/22, but how would those groups look with a barrel capable of nearly 100% better accuracy? Let find out what the Feddersen Durasight match bull barrel can do.

The company is known by many names; Feddersen, R4,, and  Even with that identity crisis, Feddersen is a name people know. The company was founded in 1979 by Fred Feddersen and has become rather famous for his world record breaking patent pending R4 .50 BMG gun barrels.  

The company’s barrels are so well regarded that they do also have several military contracts for their proprietary barrel designs.  Fred has been making gun barrels for quite some time and knows that there is more to making match quality gun barrels than just drilling a hole in a steel rod and pulling a rifling button through it.  Each and every step of their in house barrel production is unique and in fact their entire process is patent pending and trade secret process.

Unlike many barrel or firearms manufacturers, Feddersen is not buying pre-rifled blanks and just finishing them to their own specs, they are producing 100% of their barrels in house from solid round bar stock.  They have a special drilling process, a patent pending ultra-sensitive lapping/honing process, unique patent pending and proprietary SEPR - Single Edged Polygonal Rifling, and one of the few companies in the world which offer a barrel with near perfect centricity and straightness between the bore and profile. Amazingly enough their 10/22 barrels start at only $145. Based on the three Feddersen barrels I own, they are without question the most consistently accurate 10/22 barrels you can own at any price.

As noted before the finish is consistent and the bluing flawless. Feddersen offers two barrel finishes, a standard "matte black" and a "polished".  If you want a pretty polished finish then the "polished" is the way to go, but in this case the matte black unfluted barrel was the look I wanted for this more survival rough and tumble rifle. 

For the base of the rifle, I picked up a new standard $225 10/22 Carbine model and promptly sold off the unused factory blued barrel and carbine stock for around $70. I turned around that $70 and purchased a Hogue overmolded bull barrel stock. The trigger surfaces were polished reassembled, the Fedderson Durasight barrel was mounted into the action, and finally the barrel action was mounted into the Hogue stock to assure the finicky action screw was just snug.

The barrel upgraded netted no surprises other than I was shocked stunned and amazed at how ergonomic and naturally those nice bright fiber optic Durasights came into perfect alignment with my eye. No longer did I need to smash my face against the stock to align the sights.  A front fiber optic sight is a stunning improvement and the addition of the rear fiber optics as well makes the entire setup a joy to shoot even with just a nice moonlight to make the sights glow.

The Fedderson barrel features Benz style match chamber, recessed match crown, matte blued finish, and fully adjustable fiber optic Durasight Durabright sights. As with my other Feddersen barrels, they all feed and function just as reliably as my stock 10/22 barrel.

Gary, at Feddersen, told me to zero at 50 yards and then see how easy it was to break clay pigeons at 100 yards with the open sights. Actually it was so easy we moved on to golf balls to give ourselves more of a challenge. I was shocked how well this setup performed all without an optic. 

At fifty yards I was easily delivering 5-shot sub-1” groups from the bench with CCI Standard Velocity, and Lapua SK Standard Plus ammo which are two of my favorite all purpose match hunting and plinking rounds. With LApua Exact match ammo, I was please to see several .75” nickel sized groups form at 50-yards. This barrel is crazy accurate and with a quality Nikon 3-9 ProStaff EFR scope attached I was easily back to shooting those same near single hole 50-yard groups as with my other Feddersen barrels.

What was really fun was to run this setup in manually operated mode by holding the bolt closed during shot of CCI Quiet Ammo.  This newer CCI ammo has a reduced 750f/p/s velocity which delivers a report similar to “.22 Short” rounds, but it will cycle in the action manually so you do not need to hand feed it. This is an outstanding little setup that delivers suppressed sound levels without the need of a supressor. 

I would venture to say that this Feddersen Durasight’ed 16.25” barrel will deliver all the accuracy that is required of a .22 in a survival situation all without the additional weight, bulk, or sensitivity of an optic.. though the addition of that ProStaff really delivered tiny little groups. Sure a survival gun should be as light as possible and the full bull barrel does not help with weight, however it does deliver accuracy which is so impressive that the increased weight in a justifiable trade off.

If I could only have one rifle in a wilderness survival situation, the .22LR arguably makes the best ammo dense option to taking small to mid-sized game and with this accuracy I am sure a quick humane head shot on larger game could be easily accomplished. The Durasights are phenomenally bright and place the sighting plane perfectly as the rifle is shouldered. Of the 10/22s I own this Feddersen 16.25” barreled setup would certainly be my choice for a .22LR survival rifle.

Feddersen Tennessee Ridge Runner 10/22 - $395 (Excluding Nikon ProStaff used for testing)
Nikon ProStaff 3-9 EFR scope $175
Feddersen 16.25" Barrel $145 + $25 Durasight addition

Features - Stock 10/22 action, trigger, and receiver, Hogue Rubberized stock

Optics Featured - Nikon ProStaf 3-9 EFR Scope with adjustable parallax.

FJ Feddersen, Inc.