Friday, March 27, 2015

A trip to the Field & Stream store

One of the new Field & Stream stores opened just seven miles from me this week so of course I couldn't resist a visit to check it out. Despite having the name of a venerable sporting magazine, the chain is actually part of Dick's Sporting Goods, and as you can see from the photo, they're aiming for a Cabelas/Bass Pro Sports look, inside and out. They got that part right,  though the F&S store I visited was much smaller than either the Cabelas or the Bass Pro Sports stores I've been to. 

While the stores are much more attractive than the average Gander Mountain (though this is changing), the stock is similar, and prices are pretty much all list, like their other big competitors. The archery section was of course all compounds and crossbows save for two inexpensive OMP Adventure 2.0 recurves hanging behind the counter. There were just a handful of scopes and perhaps half a dozen red dot sights in the gun section- far less of either than my local Ganders carries. The reloading section was one very short aisle with a few RCBS dies sets, some jacketed rifle bulls, and an uneven selection of primers, which admittedly are also in short supply in most places. Not a single cannister of powered, either. I did geab a box of Federal Match Small Pistol Primers at $44.95. (Midway has them for $37.49 but  they're out of stock.)

One thing they did have was a fair selection of ammunition, although the popular handgun calibers  (.380, .38, .40) were in short supply, and the only rimfire to be found was a pallet full of Federal Auto Match .22LR that was being carefully guarded and doled out two to a customer:

My friend Ric tells me these are a good choice for our tuned .22 pistols so I got in line for my two bricks at $19.95 each (which, incidentally, is $3.16 more than Midway sells them for). Just about everyone in line was clutching a couple of boxes, so I assume that was the big draw. I was told by another fellow in line that yesterday they had 50 round bricks of Remington High Speed,  so I'm assuming the selection may change day to day. 

Followup: I went back a week later, after the opening celebration had died down. No more .22, retail prices on everything, and not a terribly large selection of guns. I don't think I'll be back.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Custom Ruger 10/22 Part IV: New Trigger

In Part III, we looked at some specialized tools for the 10/22, one of which came in handy for today's project update. Around two weeks ago I sent my stock trigger assembly off to Brimstone for their $70 Tier 2 trigger job, which involves reshaping the sear, a new trigger, replacing the trigger spring with a torsion spring, and an over travel stop, It arrived last Friday with a note from the gunsmith who worked on it:

Before I installed the trigger in the gun, I wanted to replace the stock plastic magazine release with an aluminum alloy replacement from Rimfire Specialties:

I used the punch end of the tool from Gunsmither to move the pin holding the magazine release just far enough to allow me to remove the release. Note that I'm keeping the actual magazine retention button pushed in with my thumb:

 New release in, original goes into the parts box. 

Final task, of course was installing the trigger assembly in the gun and returning the borrowed modified assembly to the friend who loaned it to me. 

Now it's off to the range- as soon as it warms up a bit more. We're looking at two more days of really cold weather (down to 4F) and then a good warming trend. 

n.b.: For anyone interested in what this project has cost so far, here's the breakdown:

Slightly used, like new 10/22: $207
Fedderson barrel: $145 + $15 postage
Kidd recoil buffer: $8
Magazine release $14
Brimstone trigger job: $70 + $14.50 postage ($5 sent, $9.50 return)
Used, modified stock: $50
Sold the stock barrel: -$45

Total: $478.50. If I can sell the synthetic stock, it'll knock another $30 or so off the total.

Ruger's Target version of the 10/22 lists for $550, and the big box stores sell them for right around $500. This one has a much better trigger,  hopefully a better barrel,  easier magazine release, and a better stock. Does it actually shoot better? I'll know after the weather warms up again and I get back to the range.

Next: In Part V, I actually make it to the range!