America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 58

NUTS
E X E R C I S E
Y O
AND
BOLTS AMMUNITION - In the parlance of grandmothers everywhere,
.17 HMR ammunition has spoiled us rotten in the Ruger American. In our tests,
five different varieties were chronographed and shot in numbers conclusive enough to convince us
of a rare occurrence-Hornady's mini hot-rod seems inherently accurate. This is more amazing given
the traditional fickleness of rimfire. (Prove this by asking a rimfire aficionado, "How many types of
ammunition does your XYZ-123 shoot well?" "Oh, most of it," is not an answer we've ever encountered.)
This is not to say that it was all equivalent, but the
generally superior performance was a pleasant departure
from the normal, lengthy "hunt and peck" for exemplary
factory ammunition. The most consistent-always valued for
its ability to reduce vertical point-of-impact errors-was also
the most accurate. With only 23 feet per second velocity
variation, Hornady's 17-grain VMAX commonly grouped at,
Pick a predator (or pest) poison:
and sometimes under, 1/2 inch.
The fine Rimfire Target is available
in all three (left to right, .22LR,
two .22 WMRs and .17 HMR).

SUPPRESSION

- We don't often get a
chance to experiment with suppressors, mostly because
there's plenty else to tell readers about-and acquisition
of the devices remains a disheartening and costly process
due to 1930s-era regulation. But with an early and
successful termination of our ammunition search, the
thread protector came off and stayed off for a good spell.
America's 1st Freedom contributor and extremely
accomplished rifleman Tom "Hoser" Freeman was a willing,
knowledgeable guide for much of our experimentation.
Foremost, suppression worked very well on the .17 HMR.
A perhaps-familiar rotary magazine
builds on a 50-plus year reputation,
We tested two cans, and got good results from both
while a user-adjustable trigger
(though the Thunderbeast .22 Take Down was the winner;
establishes one. Nice Warne QD
beautifully made and with about 2 dB more reduction).
rings for the Leupold, too.
Combustion noise from the shooter's position was in
the low 120s depending on ammo choice, though the
supersonic "crack!"-which cans cannot attenuate-was still
evident. (In other words, keep that ear protection on.)
Hoser had a couple of reminders for us when it comes
to suppressors. First, he suggests getting into the habit of
removing the thread protector for all shooting, suppressed
or not. They will nearly always work loose, and when loose,
will change barrel harmonics and bullet impact relative to
An easy, safe and accessible
sight settings. Next, remember that suppressors change
bolt release is a fiddle-free
barrel harmonics too, and this is often the differentiator
complement to a smooth, short,
between good/better/best. A quality suppressor will change
speedy bolt cycle. But run it like
you mean it to avoid hiccups.
point of impact, but change it in the same way through on/
off cycles. Cheap cans won't.
Like to add one to a Ruger American Rimfire Target? We'd say "absolutely," but Hoser bids
us remember that you get what you pay for. The $200 Federal Tax Stamp and eight months for
application processing are necessities, so why do them over unnecessarily when an unsatisfactory
suppressor shows its true colors?

OPTICS

- If you want to see us wince, suggest that rimfire rifles don't need or deserve
good optics. There's a chain of logic, in fact, that suggests they need better-than-average sight
technology: You're likely to shoot them more and better as long as the optics aren't holding you
back. Our Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x40 was that company's recommendation, and we're particularly
glad to have hushed up and gone with their expertise. Trim dimensions, modest weight and simple
(but very precise) controls made it a superlative match for the Rimfire Target, though perhaps
the best proof of quality is anecdotal. Our best shooting under field conditions came after a range
pal politely asked what we were up to. Obligingly, we hopped up to give him a through-the-scope
perspective, but missed his adjustment of the magnification back down to 4.5 power. Without
further adjustment, five shots at 200 yards went into 1.1 inches before the change registered.
Enough said about clarity and reticle utility? We thought so, too.

58

America's

st

1

Freedom

|

September 2018

U R

F R E E D O M

from page 47
-grain . This polymer-tipped
varmint round posted routine
~.-inch, -yard groups
with three or four holes often
touching-harder than you might
think with only .-inch diameter
to work with-and snugged down
to the .s when the shooter did
his part. We cheerfully concede
that the endgame here felt more
like the rifle testing us rather than
us testing the rifle, and another
characteristic seemed certain: Sure
improvement would require the
costs and complexities of
center-fire, and a better rifleman.
The only barrier to a relative run
of the bolt-action rimfire table by
the Ruger American Rimfire Target
is a bit of a stalking horse in our
view. The argument, as we hear it,
attempts a comparison that the fine,
affordable rifle-also available in
.  and . Magnum-makes
largely moot. If you have rimfire
tasks that stretch materially beyond
 yards or want to develop
rifle craft at longer distances but
with lower costs than center-fire,
then the .  offers decisive
advantages. This is especially so if
you hold with the theory, as we do,
that shot placement trumps power.
The .  is so flat-shooting
and repeatable that foul-ups will
belong almost exclusively to the
shooter, barring inadequate sight
technology or clearly untenable
wind. If precision can take a slight
back seat to delivered power and
distances rarely exceed  yards,
then seriously consider a Rimfire
Target in . Magnum-any
misses will likely hang on poor
distance estimation alone. If your
application is inside  yards,
.  remains the king in terms
of low cost, and there should be
enough practice happening that
excuses are unneeded.
All of which lead us to declare
that a Ruger American Rimfire
Target in any caliber is unlikely to
prove anything but a lasting joy.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - September 2018

Contents
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - Cover1
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - Cover2
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 1
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - Contents
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 3
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 4
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 5
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 6
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 7
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 8
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 9
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 10
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 11
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 12
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 13
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 14
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 15
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 16
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 17
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 18
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 19
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 20
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 21
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 22
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 23
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 24
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 25
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 26
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 27
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 28
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 29
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 30
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 31
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 32
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 33
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 34
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 35
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 36
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 37
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 38
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 39
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 40
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 41
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 42
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 43
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 44
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 45
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 46
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 47
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 48
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 49
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 50
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 51
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 52
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 53
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - C1
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - C2
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - E1
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - E2
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - MW1
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - MW2
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - S1
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - S2
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - SW1
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - SW2
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - W1
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - W2
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 56
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 57
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 58
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 59
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - 60
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - Cover3
America's First Freedom - September 2018 - Cover4
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