Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Timney Sig MPX Trigger Review

Timney Sig MPX Trigger Review

I love, love, love my Sig MPX and it has been just completely reliable to the point I own several models. The trigger though on the pre-2020 models was possibly the crappiest factory trigger in existence with a gritty feel you would swear someone dumped sand into. Since the 9mm round and resulting impulse is a bit hard on triggers, Sig designed the original with a unique trigger bridge that protects the disconnector. Though the MPX factory trigger was technically AR compatible it had the feel of a $4 Chinese knockoff mil-spec trigger.

The Sig MPX is not quite as abusive as most PCC on triggers, however it has special needs and does not do well with typical AR mil-spec and aftermarket triggers. The 9mm round requires a good hard smack to set off reliably, but the MPX still tends to beat up the disconnector on standard triggers; not as bad as PCC, but enough that it will eventually push the disconnector to a point of failure. I had been having very good luck with most drop in cartridge style triggers if they had heavier hammer fall energy and featured flat bobbed hammers, but it was a little hit or miss and some would fail and started to double on me as they failed.

These are the reasons that Sig publicly noted on the first generations of MPX that you should not use an aftermarket trigger, that is until Timney developed the purpose built MPX trigger. Of course now current buyers get the incredible trigger included on the new models. Frankly the Timney trigger is a transformational upgrade for legacy MPX owners with a nice crisp 4.5lb trigger.
Timney MPX Trigger
As with all Timney triggers the feel is that of a fine match trigger, but Timney has upped the break to a 4.5lb which is about perfect for this application and the platform. Installation was simple and easy with a cartridge style drop in unit. Push out the hammer and trigger pins, remove the old trigger, slip in the Timney MPX, install the two existing hammer and trigger pins and tighten down the two pin screws. The Timneny MPX is available with a traditional curved or my preferred straight trigger shoe. If you have an existing MPX and think that you do not need this… you do. The Timney MPX is the trigger to reach for.
  • No gunsmith needed, easy to install
  • Ready for the range, no adjustments needed
  • No additional parts needed to install trigger
  • Trigger shoe options to fit your feel/style
  • Trigger allows you to become more accurate with your rifle


Friday, April 23, 2021

Ultimate 10/22 Chassis - MDT KRG or Titan22

Ultimate 10/22 Chassis - MDT KRG or Titan22

There are a lot of shooters that roll their eyes at the custom 10/22 owners with questions like “Why not just buy an Anschutz, CZ, Lithgow, or Tikka?” Sure, an Anschutz will shoot 50-yard groups in the .13” range out of the box with Lapua Center-X, but most do not know that a custom 10/22 rifle can deliver the same result all in a semi-automatic format. We 10/22 builders are a strange breed, but we know the format can deliver amazing results with the right barrel, receiver, bolt, trigger, and stock. There are a number of great custom stocks now available to get the most from a custom build and my three absolute favorites are from MDT Oryx 10/22, KRG Bravo 10/22, and the Victor Titan22 for a whole boatload of reasons and why I own all three.

There are a lot of aftermarket stocks on the market and these three delivers everything you could want from a premium centerfire stock and more than you would expect for a rimfire stock. Most 10/22 stocks lack any modicum of precision based on some low precision injection or rubber molding, generally lack any type of basic metal pillar or metal on metal mechanical bedding and some do not even provide for accuracy improving barrel free-floating. The result is typically a stock that can actually make the gun look cool but shoot worse. In short, these stocks are a world better and more precise than any wood milled or injection molded stock option for the 10/22. I, like many, enjoy the look of wood and even the Boyd style multi-color wood stocks, however regardless of the care taken, humidity and temps will move zeros, impact accuracy, corrupt a great shooting rig, crack, and prevent you from getting the most from your investment. All these options provide barrel free-floating, mechanical metal-on-metal bedding, weather-proof chassis/sub-chassis, precision fit to deliver accuracy without fail even in the harshest environments or use and abuse situations in the field.

Victor Titan22 Stock $169 - This is an ultra-rigid glass filled nylon stock design with front and rear precision hardened aluminum anchor bedding blocks. The overall style is based on a deep vertical grip TRG precision stock. From photos this appears to be a polymer/plastic stock, however the reality is that this stock is actually more similar to a fiberglass A5-22 McMillian stock for half the price and… you can actually get it without a continual twelve-week backorder. The stock mechanically beds the action leaving the barrel completely free-floated from the barrel V-Block forward and features a nice flared magwell for fast mag swaps.

Of the three, this is the least expensive stock and will deliver every bit the accuracy of the other models in a trim style that is a bit more accommodating to traditional offhand and backwoods trail hunting while still performing well on the bench. The Victor Titan22 comes equipped with a single rear and dual front sling studs and front and rear QD studs on each side. Length of pull can be adjusted with additional spacers. An optional cheek rest riser is available with two included spacers in the kit with the option to stock up to four spacers.

Shooters can choose to swap the rear anchors for Kidd Compatible Anchor or the Mod V Anchor to further lock in the receiver. Out of the box, the Titan22 features a receiver locking system which takes all play out of the factory and aftermarket receiver mounting for solid lock-up with zero receiver movement. If you want insane receiver mounting rigidity, Victor also sells a hardened steel “The Spike” (yes, steel) anchor locking block that physically bites into aluminum receivers and locks it into the stock for the ultimate in mechanical bedding. The deal breakers for some on this stock will be the long length of pull that is not youth friendly and the absence of MLOCK side or bottom mounts if you want a PRS style setup. Titan does offer optional bottom mount Picatinny rail options.

The Titan22 delivers at a level equal to the others here, but with a stock design that is more traditional sniper rifle and less Starship Troopers or Tron. It's a sleek and clean stock that performs like a chassis. Prior to the KRG Bravo introduction, I would have said this was the most comfortable 10/22 stock available and the most comfortable to sit behind for hours on the range. Depending on your shooting style and for taller shooters this could be more comfortable than the KRG. For a fielded rifle build, this is the stock I would reach for - comfortable in the field and on the bench. Available in Black, ODG, & FDE chassis colors. Chassis Weight - 2-lbs 12-ounces.

KRG Bravo 10/22 Chassis $249 - The KRG Bravo is the official Rimfire Chassis of the 2021 Precision Rifle Series and once you get behind it you will know why. The KRG is the most comfortable stock in this line up complete with an on-the-fly adjustable cheek rest, loaded down with features and can be tricked out with a host of KRG Bravo accessories. It is not some dumbed down version. The Bravo 10/22 carries over the full-sized version design and features of the wildly popular KRG Bravo centerfire stock but just shortens the length of pull for younger shooters and omits the tool-less dial adjustable length of pull. A tool-less length of pull kit is available as an accessory; so is a buttstock height adjustment kit, hook cover and Spigot mount in addition to the expansive Bravo centerfire chassis accessories. There is also a rear buttstock bag slider or picatinny rail mount point. The KRG allows you to configure boatloads of modular customization to make it even more flexible to add on any needed barrier stops, weights, bipods or other accessories wanted/needed. There is even a night vision forend cap available among the sea of available accessories.

The Bravo 10/22 includes plenty of spacers out of the box to adjust length of pull from youth to large adult with additional spacers available for purchase. Like the original centerfire Bravo chassis, the 10/22 version does not sacrifice anything with a fully adjustable aluminum subchassis inside the polymer exterior. A very nice set of adjustment features allow fore/aft adjustment to assure the tightest receiver fit possible even with minor receiver variances. Shooters also have the ability to raise and lower the receiver mounting height and also tighten the fit with included shims if needed. Notably the KRG supports “Classic fit style receivers” including the Kidd Classic Slip Fit with or without a rear tang screw. If you have a tang style receiver, the Victor Titan22 may be the only option. The advantage of all the fitment flexibility and rigid mounting is that the theoretical advantages of a rear tang receiver setup are reduced - most of the standard slip fit receivers will lockup and deliver everything you would want.

The KRG Bravo 10/22 is actually the lightest stock in this group by a fair amount which can make it a decent lighter weight hunter chassis or offhand shooting gun with a lightweight barrel, but the ergonomics are more suited for benchrest and precision shooting. Since it is the lightest, you do feel the barrel weight on bull barrels that may require stock weights at the rear to make it feel good for unsupported shots. The polymer exterior chassis does have several rear weight pockets with covers if you want to add lead weight to load down for a heavier stock. There are also plenty of MLOK mounts up front that secure through the polymer into the aluminum subchassis on the bottom and sides. Personally, I love the KRG ergonomics on my centerfire rifles and this Bravo chassis delivers in that department. Available in Crimson Red, Black, FDE, and Stealth Grey. Chassis Weight - 2-lb 4-ounces.

MDT Oryx 10/22 Chassis $399 - The Oryx is the heavyweight in the group at nearly 2-lbs heavier than the KRG Bravo stock and makes any 10/22 build feel like a full-sized precision centerfire rifle. It is also the clear durability winner and the chassis I most often drag into this rig is going to get bumped, dropped, banged, nicked, dirty, or as is typical, covered in ticks or otherwise abused. Not that the Titan22 or Bravo are in any way delicate, but the Oryx chassis is essentially a large chunk of thick milled aluminum with some plastic covers - it is the essence of durability.

There are no weight pockets, but added weight is not needed at 4-lbs 2 ounces. In the land of 10/22 stocks, the MDT Oryx is one of the heaviest which in theory means more stability and potential accuracy on the bench. Shooters will find that the Oryx’s weight is an advantage and allows the rifle to settle in for a more stable feel. With that noted, it would not be my pick to use for trail and woods hunting. As an example - fully equipped, the featured Oryx with Feddersen heavy Nickel Alloy Receiver and 16” bull barrel, Kidd trigger and bolt groups, Atlas bipod and Hawke Optic 6-24 Sidewinder scope is a whopping 11.5-lb rig, but it is super stable and shoots tiny little overlapping groups at 50-yards off the bipod. If you need more weight 0.8-lb buttstock length of pull spacers are available.

The Oryx is literally the same chassis they offer for a variety of centerfire firearms, but just with a 10/22 inlet. You are getting the same chassis you would get for a Remington 700 in 6.5 Creedmoor which makes it really nice for those that want a true to feel analog of their precision rifle. The Oryx was designed to offer customers a cost effective sub-$400 DIY precision drop-in chassis option for most available hunting and precision rifles without any fiddling or tweaking and it does just that. There is some fiddling and tweaking you will likely need to do with the Titan and KRG stocks, however with the Oryx I am pretty sure my Doberman could install the action.

The install is similar to other stocks, with a receiver bolt slot that accommodates some fore and aft sizing differences. Instead of other methods to secure a potentially wiggly rear-end of the 10/22 receiver the Oryx just has a nice thick hex head pinch bolt that essentially pinches the receiver chassis pocket together. Basically, it mechanically puts the entire receiver in a vice for a stupid secure fit. No specialized rear tang receiver needed - even a factory receiver can get locked in tight. It is a unique approach that is about as simple and bullet-proof as it gets. The chassis install could not be more idiot-proof or faster to install. 

Features include a primarily billet aluminum construction with essentially decorative color polymer side panels. Panel covers are available in Black, FDE, ODG, and the Grey I used. The Cheek Rest is fully adjustable with a hex wrench and I do recommend buying the $10 additional buttstock adjustment knobs for the tool-less adjustment of the cheek rest. Length of pull is adjusted similar to the Titan22 and Bravo stock with spacers with additional spacers and even spacer weights available optionally.   There is also a rear buttstock MLOK bag slider or picatinny rail mount point. 

You will love or hate the Tron’est Oryx design; however, many may just slip into an ambivalent careless opinion while shooting insanely tight groups with only two minutes of stock swap time. The underside of the Oryx is lined with MLOK mounting points, but there is nothing on the side in the event you wanted to attach… oh, I don’t know a Exude Direct Light Illuminator to shoot Beavers with a Damage permit on the pond - maybe/maybe not a real-life example. I did find that the side panels are skeletonized and completely heavy enough to drill and attach a standard Magpul picatinny rail to. Maybe an option for MDT to consider offering a bit more configurability. Assuming you are not handy at drilling and tapping for extra rails, out of the box the Oryx configurability is about the same as the Victor Titan.

Regardless of which you choose, you cannot go wrong any of the three and there is a strong appeal for each stock design. What is incredible is that we actually have these amazing stocks to choose from finally for our custom 10/22 build, all deliver real premium centerfire chassis design without an ounce of dumbing down.

All featured builds were based on Feddersen Bronze Alloy receivers and match grade 16.25" barrels, Kidd or Timney Trigger groups, and Kidd Bolts which have become my go to build formula. Feddersen offers a unique 10/22 receiver which I believe is superior to other designs with extended barrel trunnion support, integrated picatinny top rail, and a brass-nickel or nickel-alloy based receivers which are heavier, and more stiff than other 10/22 aluminum based receivers. Feddersen also offers a light weigh aluminum version. The brass and nickel based alloys delivers a heavier and slipperier almost self-lubricating design. Currently Feddersen offers un-polished Aluminum, Bronze-Nickel Alloy, and Nickel-Alloy receiver that range from $200-$300. A little work with some Flitz polish delivers the real beauty of the receiver.

My experience is that Lothar Walther based barrels such as Volquartsen & Kidd deliver arguably similar accuracy beyond the abilities of the shooter, however Feddersen's more forgiving chamber delivers an overall much more reliably extracting build that I think gives it an advantage. My best groups with Feddersen barrels have delivered 0.11" 50-yard 5-round groups and my Volquartsen and Kidd barrels - Lothar based barrel best group have been an arguably similar 0.10" groups. As noted with the above groups reliable 50, 100, and 125-yard groups are the norm from any of my Feddersen builds.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Umarex ReadyAir PCP Compressor under $550

Umarex ReadyAir PCP Compressor under $550
Umarex ReadyAir

Shooting PCP Pre-Charged Pneumatic precision airguns are a game-changing experience in the airgun world. PCP airguns allow near continuous shooting without pumping or large recocking strokes which greatly increases shot to shot consistency and makes airgunning a whole lot more fun. Just feed the chamber pellets and keep shooting. After dozens or even 100s of shots, the onboard air cylinder can be topped off with a high-pressure pump or separate refill tank. Recharging the onboard PCP tank is usually as simple as connecting to a larger holding tank, usually an air refill scuba tank and in under a minute you are back on target.
Umarex ReadyAir Review
Add in the typically amazing accuracy of PCP often equipped with Lothar Walther barrels and you really don’t want to shoot anything else. The fun ends when your refill scuba tank is empty and you have to use a high-pressure hand pump. Plan on breaking a sweat for 30-minutes. The lazy man’s approach is to throw the scuba tank into the truck for a trip to the scuba shop for a refill or the ultimate is to plug into your own pricey high pressure air compressor. Umarex to the rescue with a sub-$550 PCP high pressure air compressor that any PCP airgun owner can afford.

High pressure PCP air compressors are typically a special breed in the $1000-$5000 range and not your hardware store variety 150PSI compressors. When we are talking about high pressure we are talking about 3000-4500PSI which usually means a lot of safety stuff, specialized internals and often a lot of maintenance.
You may read this as a non-high-tier airgunner and think what hell is this guy thinking of a $550 compressor, but for PCP airgunners this is like the heavens opened up and dropped...well a high pressure compressor in our lap. So let me first address the insanity and prices that PCP precision airgunners are accustomed to. When the PCP crowd starts talking about airguns, they are usually talking about $400-$1500 airguns with the big .357, .457, and .50 caliber bore versions sucking down big gulps of air with every shot and larger initial prices … so a $550 high pressure compressor is in the budget range. With $35-$50 scuba tank refills, the payback on even a $1000 compressor makes sense, but with Umarex quality and a $550 price tag this is going to be a slam dunk for airgun shooters.

The new ReadyAir offers owners an endless supply of high-pressure air for not only PCP airguns, but also for paintball shooters as well. Instead of trips to the fill shops and hand pumps you can plug in and charge at home in a matter of minutes. Generally the PCP compressors require oil or water and usually some degree of maintenance, but the ReadyAir has a lower maintenance interval, smart auto overheat and pressure shut off. The ReadyAir is also 110V or 12V without some wonky converter box so it will work at home and at the range from battery power. The ReadyAir can also deliver the big 4500 PSI capacity guns and do it precisely with a simple digital control panel.

Of note, high pressure compressors do require some maintenance unlike the compressor in your garage, but the Umarex design is oil-less and does not require oil or water maintenance. Like all high pressure compressors, ReadyAir owners will have to replace the compressor seals at the service interval. The process is well documented via an Umarex video. If you have no plans for maintenance, then any high pressure compressor purchase should be reconsidered as these are very high and potentially dangerous pressures we are working with here. Safety should always be a consideration including safety glasses.

The ReadyAir fills pretty fast. Generally air tank connected refills are near instantaneous, but for a compressor, the ReadyAir is pretty quick with most airguns fully charged from empty within about fifteen to thirty minutes. Tank pressure top offs from partially filly tanks do notably take substantially less time.
Umarex ReadyAir Replacement Components Seals

Though I have yet to do the maintenance, I love the ReadyAir. The convenience is awesome, and not having to deal with a scuba tank that always seems to be low or empty when I need it. For me this is pretty close to the ultimate survival tool as long as I have even just 12v battery power. A high accuracy precision PCP airgun paired with limitless power supply and simple pellet casting mold offers the PCP owner an option for fun that is completely independent of market trends and retail stocking abilities.

• Oilless design requires no oil or water
• Automatically shuts off at the pressure you set it to
• Smart Auto shut-off temperature protection
• Portable, modular design with integrated LED light
• Fill airguns up to 4500 psi
• Runs off 12V / 110V, no external converter box
• Easy-to-use digital control panel
• 40 amp overload protection
• 110V and 12V cables, Foster quick connect fitting, and high-pressure hose included

• Fills Umarex Gauntlet 13 CU Tank 0 - 3,000 psi in 7 minutes
• Fills Umarex AirSaber 17 CU Tank 0 - 3,625 psi in 11 minutes
• Fills Umarex Hammer 32 CU Tank 0 - 4,500 psi in 27 minutes
*Fill times may vary based on conditions such as temperature & altitude.