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nhglyn

Steel Challenge Rimfire Pistol

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Looking for recommendations for a rimfire SC pistol to shoot with optics.  So, rail, threaded barrel for compensator, upgradable trigger, thumb rest etc.  What can folks suggest?  Thanks.

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Ruger Mark IV Lite with Volquartsen trigger (Accurizing) kit.  Add the Striplin Mark IV thumb rest and maybe the Tandemkross Cornerstone safety thumb rest.  You'll probably also want Tandemkross MarkPro mag bumpers. 

 

If not too price sensitive, buy the 4.5" Volquartsen Black Mamba with the above adds.  Cry once and you're set for a very long time!

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MKIV is a great starting point. Tandemkross offers some nice upgrades.  I added them to mine and am very happy with it. 

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Smith & Wesson Victory. Like the MKIV, the sky is the limit on how much, or how little you want to personalize it. 

 

Either way, both Tandemkross and Bill Striplin will accept your credit card

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Over the years I've shot steel with a Volquartsen Scorpion, Hi Standard Supermatic 107, Ruger Mark III, Hammerli X-Esse Target, a full race Buckmark, my Marvel Precision Unit One and a Chet Whistle Custom upper for my 1911 45.

 

The Scorpion was super accurate but had problems with almost everything else.  It was back to the factory two times and was still was not adjusted to my satisfaction.  The 107 with a custom heavy target barrel was too heavy for SCSA.  Otherwise it ran 100% after the mags were tuned.  Rugers have problems with mags, IMO.  The X-esse was great except for the Rink Grip I installed for bullseye.  The full race Buckmark ran 100% for 18 months, then started acting up.  My wife appropriated it, so I never trouble shot it.  I suspect mag problems, same as Ruger.  Rebuilding either did not solve the problems.

 

So, that leaves the 22 conversions.  Both uppers and mags run 100%.  The Unit One is terrific with standard velocity ammo.  Make sure you install a heavier recoil spring if you want to shoot hi speed.  The CWA conversion is the one I've shot for three seasons and love it.  https://www.cwaccessories.com/product-page/conversion-kits  I'd recommend the 5.7" barrel with the slide on locking comp.  That way you can shoot it in States with threaded barrel restrictions.  The GSG 1911 mags run flawlessly in both.  Chet also builds custom 22s on 1911 and 2011 frames if you want to go that route.

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I ran a GSG 1911-22 for about a year, with all the hop up goodies from Taylor Tactical and CW.  Not a gun I'd recommend unless you like tinkering a lot, it needed a lot of upkeep.  Very accurate, though, I never did switch from the stock barrel. I switched to a Kel-Tec CP33 and got a third in January, then second in February, at our local "Speed Steel" matches. ( With a Holosun 510c optic!) And then the plague hit, so I haven't been shooting it much. Only issue with the Kel Tec so far has been a broken firing pin at around 5000 rounds. You can't buy one yet ( last I checked) so I had to wait on Kel-Tec to send me one under warranty. It arrived the night before Rimfire Challenge, got that all tucked in there and we headed out in the morning into driving snow... about halfway there, got a text that the match was cancelled, due to snow, not Covid.   The MK IV's seem like they'd be better for serious competition... much better aftermarket parts support. 

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1 hour ago, Lesliet said:

I ran a GSG 1911-22 for about a year, with all the hop up goodies from Taylor Tactical and CW.  Not a gun I'd recommend unless you like tinkering a lot, it needed a lot of upkeep.  Very accurate, though, I never did switch from the stock barrel. I switched to a Kel-Tec CP33 and got a third in January, then second in February, at our local "Speed Steel" matches. ( With a Holosun 510c optic!) And then the plague hit, so I haven't been shooting it much. Only issue with the Kel Tec so far has been a broken firing pin at around 5000 rounds. You can't buy one yet ( last I checked) so I had to wait on Kel-Tec to send me one under warranty. It arrived the night before Rimfire Challenge, got that all tucked in there and we headed out in the morning into driving snow... about halfway there, got a text that the match was cancelled, due to snow, not Covid.   The MK IV's seem like they'd be better for serious competition... much better aftermarket parts support. 

+1 for the CP33. I shot a Ruger Lite for years. Probably have nearly a $1k in it. All the trick guts and a dozen mags. Still getting the occasional FTF jam with any ammunition I’ve tried. It’s very reliable just not completely. Really frustrating when you get two of them in a single stage. 
I started using a CP33 last year and I haven’t had even one malfunction that wasn’t my fault, you have to pay attention to loading the mags. It’s stock with a Hogue slip on grip sleeve and a Holosun 507. Trigger is OK, I might try the TK adjustable at some point. We’re shooting again now and I’ve run it for eight club matches. I like it, and shooting 5 strings with a single mag is cool. I’m just a super senior C class trying to get to B but if you can find one I’d recommend giving it a try.   YMMV
RTL

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I have been using volquartsen scorpions for quite a few years now.  I have several of the mark iii type scorpions with the target frame and the 4.5 inch barrel  I am currently using an 8 moa c more railway mounted on a striplin 90 degree  mount.  I use volquartsen forward blow compensators - not the ones that came on the pistols originally.  I just added a tac performance thumbrest and really like it.  the VT 3 style seems to work well with my volthane grips.  I shoot sv ammo and have the adjustable recoil spring with the lighter spring installed.  my pistols run very well in matches.   Some of them ran great from the beginning -- others had to break in a bit   -- usually accomplished by shooting some mini mags thru it.  Great pistols and great company.  

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I just got more into this. I'm in the middle of welding up a custom camper model with a liner aluminum barrel that I made. The trigger has zero pre-travel and the grips are machined aluminum with 25lpi checkering. Pull is 2lbs and it's have a machined weaver mount with a five port aluminum comp.

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I started RFPO last year with a Mk IV Lite with all the upgrades and a dozen mags.

 

I have about 9k rounds through it now with zero malfunctions. I didn't think that was a thing ... a rimfire gun that RUNS. Such a crazy concept that I have started collecting Mk IV Lites and they all run flawlessly. I am a bit OCD about cleaning the guns and mags and so far have had zero problems.

 

I have a Buckmark that I tried to get to run for SC but it was so dang finicky that I stopped bothering with it.

 

Mk IV Lite FTW for me

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On 6/15/2020 at 1:24 PM, nhglyn said:

Looking for recommendations for a rimfire SC pistol to shoot with optics.  So, rail, threaded barrel for compensator, upgradable trigger, thumb rest etc.  What can folks suggest?  Thanks.

Look at the S&W Victory 22 from the performance center, comes with trigger, Hive grips, compensator, and carbon fiber barrel.  I have run about 2000 rounds through mine with no issues, except I do not like the oversized mag release that comes with it. It is light weight weighs only 2lbs. 55ozs. with a cmore red dot..

IMG_0743.JPG

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20 hours ago, mchapman said:

Look at the S&W Victory 22

I had a Victory and it was very reliable - shot just about anything. It was also accurate and didn't cost a fortune. Upgraded  triggers, etc.are available. The ergonomics weren't right for me and so I sold it to a friend but if the ergonomics work for you it's a good way to go.

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On 6/18/2020 at 1:10 PM, Flageo said:

I have been using volquartsen scorpions for quite a few years now.  I have several of the mark iii type scorpions with the target frame and the 4.5 inch barrel  I am currently using an 8 moa c more railway mounted on a striplin 90 degree  mount.  I use volquartsen forward blow compensators - not the ones that came on the pistols originally.  I just added a tac performance thumbrest and really like it.  the VT 3 style seems to work well with my volthane grips.  I shoot sv ammo and have the adjustable recoil spring with the lighter spring installed.  my pistols run very well in matches.   Some of them ran great from the beginning -- others had to break in a bit   -- usually accomplished by shooting some mini mags thru it.  Great pistols and great company.  


Flago - When your time allows can you post a picture and the link to the thumb rest you are using on your Scorpion please. I am wanting to add one to my Scorpion and did not realize there was one available from Tac....Thanks Mark

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The Ruger Mark IV Lite upgraded to a Volquartsen Mamba and you can't go wrong.

_DSC9727.jpg

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Posted (edited)

I have run a Ruger MK III target and slabside with C-More railway 8 MOA dot, volquartsen trigger, firing pin and extractor. Have used them for years. Had Volquartsen voltane grips on each one. Keep them cleaned and oiled- they ran like tops and kept me in the top 5 for years in steel challenge and boiling pin shoots. They liked 40 grain CCI mini mag ammo the best, also Winchester Super-X 40 grain.

 

Also have a Ruger 22/45 lite set up the same way except have Hogue rubber finger grove grips. All are great pistols. 

 

Edited by verla
spelling

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The thumbrest i am using on my volq mark iii target frame is from tac performance   www.tacperformance.com   It comes in two different forms   I am using the number 3 - it mounts closer to the muzzle.  Good photos on his website.  Well made and mounts up with no problems.

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I have a Bill Stripling thumb rest on my Mark IV 22/45 that works real well.865499412_MambawithPrecisiongripsandlaze2r.jpg.9c274d6f2bf1487f8a2922ef28eb785f.jpg

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when it comes to selecting a competition firearm there is only one feature that is mandatory, a couple that are very important and the rest are just personal preference.

 

The gun must be 100% reliable.  Even one hiccup out of 200 is unacceptable ( without m/u shots you only need 195 rds for a match)

Important things are that the gun fit your hands correctly so that your trigger finger fits correctly on the trigger.

 

I bought a $350 Browning Buckmark when i decided to shoot SC full-time and replaced the barrel & grips with TacSol parts, added a C-more and never looked back.  Why?  Because the gun just works.  it eats anything and after over 125,000 rds its still going strong.

 

Oh and ditch the commentator.  they do nothing in a rimfire gun (ok, they may look cool) and can cause  issues.  It won't repeat all the testing i did to reach that conclusion but you can listen to my podcasts from last year or search posts here

 

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4 hours ago, Nimitz said:

Oh and ditch the compensator.  they do nothing in a rimfire gun (ok, they may look cool) and can cause  issues.  It won't repeat all the testing i did to reach that conclusion but you can listen to my podcasts from last year or search posts here

Fixed it for ya.

The compensator will give your hours of entertainment constantly having to clean it out if you enjoy that kind of torture. 😀

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm not familiar with the particulars of steel challenge, so forgive me if these suggestions are somehow verboten.

 

I'm a little surprised nobody has mentioned the Smith & Wesson Model 41. I imagine you could shoot one right out of the box, new production or an old one, but if you are so inclined there are lots of aftermarket upgrades out there. Clark makes some upgraded barrels, and I know there are others. I haven't shot many Ruger mk III's or IV's, but to be honest it's hard to imagine anything being better than a model 41.

 

Another pistol that comes to mind that nobody has mentioned is the CZ-75 Kadet. It uses a standard CZ-75 frame & guts so there are plenty of upgrades available, and all that steel makes it a very soft shooting gun, even for a rimfire. I put Cajun custom gunworks parts in mine and it shoots very well. The only issue I have ever had is that it was extremely picky about ammo when I first got it; It would stovepipe a lot. But I switched out the mainspring for a lighter weight (sorry I don't remember specifics) and it has ran 100% since then. It doesn't come with a rail for optics from the factory, but it would be trivial to add one.

Edited by NateTheSkate
forgot to say something

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23 hours ago, Nimitz said:

The gun must be 100% reliable.  Even one hiccup out of 200 is unacceptable ( without m/u shots you only need 195 rds for a match)

Important things are that the gun fit your hands correctly so that your trigger finger fits correctly on the trigger.

 

23 hours ago, Nimitz said:

 

Oh and ditch the commensator.  they do nothing in a rimfire gun (ok, they may look cool) and can cause  issues.  It won't repeat all the testing i did to reach that conclusion but you can listen to my podcasts from last year or search posts here

 

18 hours ago, Gregg K said:

The compensator will give your hours of entertainment constantly having to clean it out if you enjoy that kind of torture. 😀

 

First, lets all remember we are in a Steel Challenge forum thread, specific to Steel Challenge shooting.  So, the assumption is the OP isn't just asking for generic rimfire pistol recommendations.

 

As usual, the answer is broad.

 

At the top of the monetary spectrum is CWA.  cwaaccessories.com is how to find Chet.  As ZZT mentioned, this is a great gun.  He makes possibly the highest quality rimfire pistol out there.  The guns are smooth, accurate, works of art.  If that isn't in the realm of reality the next I would recommend would be the Volquartsen Black Mamba.  The Scorpions are ok too, but he easy take down is an immense advantage at a match.  People have a lot of issues with the MKIV platform, and its mostly due to improper magazine tuning/care.  They ALL require tuning, but that's another post.  If you need to start low budget and upgrade gradually, you can start with a MKIV.  I would recommend against it as there is a learning curve to getting the gun running correctly and you will wind up spending as much, or more, upgrading one piece at a time.  The Volquartsen bolt is worth its weight in gold.  Last, if you have one that you shoot well and it runs, shoot it.  I assume the question was a recommendation to find a new one though.

 

Ok, now the quoted information.  First one, is absolutely right.  For competition, the gun must be 100% and it has to fit correctly, or be something that can be learned to grip correctly.

 

Next one - "ditch the compensator."  I'm gonna give Ken a bit of a break here, cause he may have forgotten this is a Steel Challenge forum.  However, I have seen him go on about this before.  This is terrible advice.  Nearly EVERY rimfire gun should have a compensator.  Now Ken will likely come in talking about how the compensator does nothing for recoil.  And I agree, its negligible at best, and absolutely an absent fact with correct grip.  HOWEVER, the timer must be able to pick up the shots.  It must be able to pick up the rimfire shot in a normal, straightforward position.  It must be able to be picked up when pulled away from the RO.  It must be able to be picked up if our RO is holding the timer a distance away.  It is YOUR responsibility for your gun to be picked up by the timer, NOT the RO's!  Not only is this true, if you plan to compete at any level, you don't want to be frustrated with reshoots or RO discussions.  The compensator makes the shot louder and able to be better picked up by the timer.  You MUST run one on a rimfire gun for Steel Challenge or Rimfire Challenge.  The only exception I have found is my Wilandusa shrouded barrel echos quite loud in the open shroud.  I would imagine the TACCOM or others do the same.

 

As for "hours of entertainment constantly having to clean out the compensator" - well, this is a bit of a contradiction.  Because if you are constantly cleaning the compensator, it will not incur build up.  It only incurs build up when its not taken care of.  Competition guns require maintenance.  A LOT of maintenance to keep reliability up.  The compensator is just ONE area.  If you keep it clean, it is not a hard part to keep functioning correctly at all.

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I see lots of rimfire pistols w/o comps at SC matches. They seem plenty loud enough to me.

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It will be a happy day when everyone gets on board and uses the AMG timer. The AMG picks up a suppressed 22 rifle shooting SV ammunition and has zero problems with an un-compensated pistol. For my match I supply AMG timers paired to tablets for every stage. If my little rinky dink match can do it, everyone can do it. Get with the program. 😀

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1. If you can afford it buy a Volquartsen. As good as it gets.

2. Volquartsen makes a lead pulverized to clean their comps. Takes 1 minute.

3. I’m a fan of the CMore slide ride and railway on most anything other than my Volquartsen. If money is no object the SRO with the 5 MOA seems pretty hot. I use the Delta Point Pro 2.5 MOA with no problems.

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