Friday, December 23, 2016

A Customized 10/22 Target Stock

This is a customized 10/22 target stock that a friend of mine put together and that I used in my own custom 10/22 build. Right off you can see the adjustable cheek piece he made from Kydex, which is often used for making holsters. 

The really important part is what's inside. This stock has a dual epoxy and pillar bedding system:

There are two brass pillars epoxied into the stock to provide solid anchor points.  Two? Yes, a lot of serious 10/22 tuners drill and tap a second hole at the rear of the receiver to provide a more stable stock-to-action connection.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Great customer service from Champion Products

Almost 30 years ago I bought a Champion .22 bullet trap for indoor pellet shooting. This is a solid, welded steel trap, and it's a lot better than any of the cheap bolted and riveted copies on the market. It handles magnum pellet rifles with no difficulty, and after all these years it is still in like new condition. Unfortunately two years ago, during flood cleanup I lost the metal bracket that targets clip on to. I called Champion hoping to order a replacement- and they sent a replacement out at no charge. Now that's customer service!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The New Walther PPK/S in .22

Back in the early days of this blog I wrote about my .380 Walther PPK built under license by Smith & Wesson. I've always been a big fan of the PP and its various derivatives, as it was the model for so many guns that followed. All the Russian Makarov autos are really clones of the PPK  as are just about every other fixed barrel double/single auto pistol. But as much as I liked it, I sold the PPK as I just couldn't get used to the sharp recoil. The PPK was designed around the .32 ACP (aka 7.62 auto pistol) and that's the best cartridge for that gun.

I've been looking for a .32 PPK since then, and then the other day I spotted what turned out to be a used PPK/S in .22 at a very attractive price- and in what looked like unused condition. This is a relatively recent gun from Walther that differs from the earlier .22 PP-type pistols in one significant way. The original guns were of all steel construction, like the centerfire PPs and PPKs, but in order to make the slide light enough to operate with .22LR levels of energy, it had to be thinned to the point that failures occurred at weak points. For this new version, Walther has chosen to use Zamak, a zinc alloy that's lighter than steel and allows Walther to make the slide as thick as the centerfire versions.

Zamak has gotten a lot of bad press, mostly because it and other zinc alloys have long been the choice of makers of very cheaply made guns. But used properly it's a good material that should hold up in use, and in the years this pistol has been in the marketplace there haven't been any reports of slide failures. 

It looks and functions just like any PP-family gun, it's accurate enough for plinking, and it's fun to shoot. Downsides? The single action trigger pull is redidulously high, the double action trigger pull is one of the highest of any gun I've fired (including the Nagant revolver!) and it's not really a true historic PPK. I'll keep it for a while, put some more rounds through it, and eventually sell it and move on to something else.

Footnote: If you're confused by the PP. PPK, PPK/S nomenclature, its really pretty simple. Walther designed the original PP (Polizepistol) in 1929. This was followed in 1930 by the PPK (Polizepistole Kriminalmodel) which was not for criminals but for detectives- those in the kriminal division. 

The Gun Control Act of 1968 banned the import of the popular PPK as it was too small to qualify for import under the (somewhat arbitrary) points system implemented by the law. Walther responded by creating the PPK/S which combined the shorter barrel of the PPK with a longer grip- just long enough to earn enough points for import.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Bipods are very popular with the Tacticool crowd- the guys who like to fill every rail on their carbine with as many accessories as they can fit. But they're actually very useful. I recently purchased a Caldwell XLA Pivot bipod for under $37 that delivers solid functionality for not very much money. Here you see it mounted on my Crosman Marauder Mk2 air rifle, but I think I'm going to buy a few more for two of my .22s for range and field use. 

If you like the idea of a bipod but want the best you can get, the US military favors Harris bipods, I'm told. They offer even more variety in styles and attachment at somewhat higher cost. The Harris equivalent of the Caldwell XLA is the Harris S-BRM, and it can be had for about $97.