For a rifle that was completed in December, this has taken much longer than it should. A big part of that has to do with the weather. Here in Utah, we’ve had plenty of the usual snow and rain. In hindsight, I should have stuck with pistol projects for the winter. Because it took a couple of months before we could shoot outdoors, and even then, we didn’t have much time. So here’s the range report, and some final thoughts on our first project 10/22. Note that there are links to the rest of the series down at the bottom of the article. **Also note that WhistlePig is now known as Acculite22.com.**
I knew going into this that some other reviewers have gotten groups under .5 MOA out of the WhistlePig Acculite barrels. Some used match ammo, some used CCI standard velocity. In my limited testing, Federal bulk seemed to work as well as the CCI, if not better. Since we shoot a lot, and I prefer to shoot the more affordable bulk ammo, we stuck with that. So it may look like I’m handicapping this rifle right from the start. Don’t be fooled though.
At 50 yards, my smallest group measured .698″, and my largest .792″, neither of which is terrible. Bullet diameter with my calipers was .225″ on average. Some quick calculations, and that works out to an average group of .52″, or 1 MOA. Certainly nothing exciting, given what a decent rifle is capable of these days. But that was with bulk ammo, so there is definitely more potential accuracy to be had.Â And to be clear, this is based on a single outing, with ten groups of five shots being averaged out. So take that for what it’s worth.
The sum of the parts
A quality firearm isn’t defined by a single component. For instance, a great barrel won’t deliver in a bad stock with a poor trigger. The best scope in the world can’t make up for parts that don’t allow for consistent results. Each part of this project was chosen to work together towards a specific goal. Did we end up with a “lightweight tack driver”? Well, even with the large and bright scope, it’s lighter than a stock rifle. And more accurate than one too. It’s balanced, and handles well. I’d say that we achieved what we set out to do.
Total cost and final thoughts
Even though this rifle was meant for my wife, I hope she doesn’t read this article. She may or may not be pleased with the final cost of this project. Mid-way through, we were at $578. That was $120 (factory receiver, bolt, trigger group) + $238 (barrel and stock, shipped) + $200 (scope) + $20 (rings) = $578. And then we added some TANDEMKROSS parts. The Ultimate Trigger Kit retails for $134.99. Small parts include the $10.99 Guardian bolt release, $9.99 Eagle’s Talon Extractor, $9.99 KrossPins, and $4.99 Shock Block bolt buffer. Catch those during a sale, and get free shipping. Total cost is $748.95, which includes the scope.
Some may view this as an expensive rifle, especially for a .22 repeater. But since starting this project, I’ve assembled two other rifles that cost significantly more. An aftermarket bolt and receiver could easily add $300+ to the cost. The difference is that this build could be done with a rifle you already own. Just add parts here and there, and upgrade over time. At the end of the day, the goal should be a reliable and accurate rifle that’s fun to shoot. And that’s what we’ve got. Plus, there’s a certain amount of pride in assembling your own rifle, vs buying a complete one. Of course, some lessons have been learned, which I can apply to future projects too.
*Some parts included in this project were provided by TANDEMKROSS for testing and review. If you want to try them yourself, use the links in the article, or the banner to the right, to order them. And as always, any comments, feedback, or suggestions are welcome.
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