Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Competition Shooter Profile - Aimee Williams

Photo by Jake Wyman
Name:  Aimee Williams
Home State:  Idaho
Years Shooting:  4
Years Competing:  3
Competition Types:  Rimfire Challenge, Steel Challenge, USPSA

Notable Awards and Competition Placements:
2013 10th place Lady’s Division - Ruger Rimfire Challenge, Parma Rod and Gun Club, Parma, Idaho. Competitors 136.
2014 1st place Lady’s Open Division, 2nd place Overall - Shoot for a Cure, (proceeds go to breast cancer screening for underinsured and uninsured women), Nampa Rod and Gun Club, Nampa, Idaho. Competitors 168.
2014 4th place Lady’s Open Division, 35th Overall - Idaho NSSF Rimfire Challenge, Parma Rod and Gun Club, Parma, Idaho. Competitors 136.
2015 1st place Lady’s Division, 28th Overall – NSSF Rimfire Challenge Northwest Championship, Parma Rod and Gun Club, Parma, Idaho. Competitors 168.
2015 1st place Lady’s Rifle Open Division – Season Points Race Idaho Steel Challenge, Nampa Rod and Gun Club, Nampa, Idaho. Competitors 386.
2015 1st place Lady’s Pistol Open Division – Season Points Race Idaho Steel Challenge, Nampa Rod and Gun Club, Nampa, Idaho. Competitors 386.
2015 4th place Lady’s Open Division, 48th Overall – NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship, Old Fort Gun Club, Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Competitors 202.

Photo by Ron Stricklin
NSSF Rimfire Challenge Class Preference:  Open
Gear Rundown:
Pistol – Ruger 22/45 Lite Frame with a Tactical Solutions Pac-Lite 4.5” Threaded Barrel
Allchin Pac-Lite Compensator
Tactical Solutions Pac-Lite Ruger Intergal Scope Base
Tandemkross “Eagle’s Talon” Extractor
Tandemkross Extended Magazine Release
Tandemkross “Firer Starter” Titanium Firing Pin
Tandemkross “Kanewolf” Sling Shot Part Kit
Tandemkross Magazine Disconnect Bushing
Volquartsen  Accurizing Kit
Vortex Optics Red Dot 6MOA

Photo by Ron Stricklin
Rifle – Tactical Solutions X-Ring with Vantage RS Stock
Allchin 22 Rim-Fire Rifle Compensator
Vortex Optics Red Dot 6MOA

Ammunition Preference: CCI Standard Velocity

Tactical Solutions, Vortex Optics, Tandemkross, Larry’s Sporting Goods, and Allchin Gun Parts

Photo by Oleg Volk
Please describe yourself in 200 words or less.
I grew up in Oregon, Colorado, and Idaho where I have resided since 1982.  My grandparents had a 40 acre farm in Nampa where I spent much of my time.  I grew up an only child and believed that whatever I took on I would give it my all and strive to be the best I could be. I studied at BSU where I earned my BBA in CIS.  I got married and had twin boys, who have grown into amazing young adults.  Working full time at a local hospital and raising twins as a single mother didn't allow much, if any free time.  I'm not complaining, I loved participating at my boys' school and attending their school functions as well as hanging out with them and planning varied experiences with them.  I believe in giving anything I do my all and strive to become the best I can be.

Do you enjoy any other hobbies?
I love spending time with my kids and their friends. I love spending time with my friends and my dog. I enjoy taking photos and traveling.

How did you get started competing in Rimfire Challenge?
It wasn't until I got married and my then husband took me out to do a little bit of target shooting and took me on a few hunting trips.  I still didn't really feel compelled to do more shooting and certainly not on my own.  Time went on and I became a single mother of twin boys who, without consent, became independent young teenagers.  Their father took them shooting and hunting and my boys really wanted to share their enjoyment of shooting with me.  In 2012 my boys took me shooting for Mother's Day!  They were very excited and hopeful I would love shooting.  I was more concerned with being safe and felt a little unsure as they lead me through target shooting.  That was the beginning.  I found a local indoor gun range and set up time for myself to learn to be safe and decided I loved shooting.

In the spring of 2013, I started competing at local Steel Challenge Matches.  I shot my first year of Steel Challenge with that pistol and still have it as the serial numbers coordinate with my son’s birthdate.  That fall I wanted to shoot in the Ruger Rimfire Challenge in Parma, Idaho.  Since I only owed a pistol, the same indoor gun range built a 10/22 rifle for me to compete in that match.  After shooting the Rimfire Challenge I was hooked and wanted to learn how to shoot a rifle.

Photo by Nelson Dymond
Any advice you would like to give to new competitors just starting out with Rimfire Challenge?
Make sure that your rifle stock fits you properly and that you have good equipment. Make sure that your guns like the ammo that you purchase. Decide if you want to shoot Open or Limited and buy equipment accordingly. Ask a lot of question. Have Fun.

How do you practice and prepare for competitions?
Practice every week and sometime several times a week; decide what you are going to practice before you get to the range.

What do you enjoy most about NSSF Rimfire Challenge competition?
I am able to shoot two guns, the camaraderie, the feeling that I have a “shooting family”.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize?
I would like to thank my boys for believing in me and encouraging me to follow my dreams and having confidence in my abilities.  Justin especially encouraged me from the beginning even before I knew I even had any talent shooting.  My dear friend Cindy has been a constant support during my indoor practice sessions.  My fiancĂ© Jim’s support means the world to me.  His knowledge of guns and assistance in getting my equipment and being by my side as my gunsmith is incredible.  Mike for helping me get one of my first sponsorships.  I would especially like to thank Ron Stricklin, who is not only my mentor and coach; he has become a dear friend.  Everyone that is supportive of me and believes in me.

I would also like to thank my sponsors: Tactical Solutions, Chet Alvord; Tandemkross, Bryan Haaker and Jake Wyman; Vortex Optics; Larry’s Sporting Goods; Allchin Gun Parts, John Allchin.

If you would like to know more about Aimee and follow her competition updates, you can find her Facebook Page at Aimee Williams – Competitive Shooter

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ruger Announces the SR22 4.5 Inch

New from Ruger is the SR22 with extended slide and barrel.  The original SR22 has been extended by a full inch while maintaining all the original design elements that have made the SR22 very popular with the rimfire enthusiast.

The longer sight radius and forward shift of balance point should make this new model even more desirable to the serious plinker and competitive shooter.

The new pistol specifications are listed below.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

22 WMR Tests | CCI Maxi-Mag and Maxi-Mag +V

If you are new to 22 WMR, I'll try to eliminate some potential confusion that I experienced when I expanded my rimfire horizons beyond 22 Long Rifle.  The 22 WMR name is ammo shorthand for .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire.  You may also see the same cartridge called 22 Mag, 22 Magnum, 22 Win Mag, or some other variation that doesn't pop into my head right at this moment.  Regardless of the name, the 22 WMR is a wicked rimfire round that delivers exceptional terminal performance for hunting small game and varmints at ranges to 100 yards and beyond.

The CCI catalog lists six 22 WMR loads classified as varmint loads.  The main difference between a varmint and small game load is what happens to the bullet when it strikes the intended target.  Varmint bullets are designed to expand violently, fragment, and dump their kinetic energy into the target as quickly as possible.  Sometimes with explosive results.  Small game bullets are designed for limited expansion to minimize damage to the meat of the game animal, while penetrating deeply for a humane harvest.

It is possible to use varmint loads for small game hunting, just as it's physically possible to hunt ducks with a 30-30, but you may not like the condition of your quarry when you retrieve it.  You will be much better off using a small game load on a varmint, than using a varmint load on small game.  CCI simplifies the ammunition selection process a bit by classifying the Maxi-Max as suitable for varmint and small game.    

These two CCI 22 WMR loads are, in my opinion, those you will most likely find available if you buy your ammunition at a large national retail chain.  For this reason, I thought it best to start my 22 WMR testing with these loads.  Initially, I planned to report on each load individually.  After running the tests, I changed my mind because these two loads perfectly illustrated the terminal performance differences between small game and varmint loads.  

Test Protocol
5 test shots for accuracy and velocity.  Measured at 40 yards.

Multiple test shots into a block of Clear Ballistics gel placed 40 yards down range. Test shot velocity is measured at the gel block.

Recovered bullets are weighed and measured with averages recorded in the data sheet below.

Test Videos
Direct Link to Video on YouTube

Direct Link to Video on YouTube

Data Sheet

Click on Data Sheet for a larger image
40 yard accuracy was a bit over half an inch for both loads. 
Test Recap
Velocity - both loads ran slightly faster than the specification from CCI.  Our velocity measured at 40 yards was almost as fast as the 25 yard velocity published by CCI.
Maxi-Mag average velocity 1643 fps
Maxi-Mag +V average velocity 1962 fps

Accuracy - both loads were reasonably accurate in the test rifle.  While a full 50 yard test would have been better, the range was too muddy beyond the 40 yard line on test day. With the rifle zeroed for the Maxi-Mag, it was interesting to see the point of impact change by 3/4 of an inch with the lighter Maxi-Mag +V.
Maxi-Mag 5 shot group size .608"
Maxi-Mag +V 5 shot group size .629"  

Retained Weight - The Maxi-Mag +V travels faster because it is 10 grains lighter than the Maxi-Mag. Both bullets demonstrated significant fragmentation, which is to be expected with a varmint bullet. As you look at the recovered bullets the Maxi-Mags are perfectly formed mushrooms and the Maxi-Mag +V bullets have completely turned themselves inside out.
Maxi-Mag average retained weight 31.6 grains  79% weight retention.
Maxi-Mag +V average retained weight 18.7 grains  62% weight retention.

Penetration - If there was a surprise hidden in this test, it was the large variation in penetration between the two loads.  The average penetration of the Maxi-Mag was more than double that of the Maxi-Mag +V.  On the surface it would be easy to explain away the difference by looking at the expanded diameter differences between the two loads, but that's only part of the reason.  The sectional density differences between the two bullets also played a part in the penetration variation.  If you want to get your ballistics geek on, here's a great primer on sectional density from Chuck Hawks.  Substitute Gel Block for Game Animals, and you will see that the article applies quite well to this test.
Maxi-Mag average penetration 15.3 inches.
Maxi-Mag +V average penetration 6.89 inches.

Expansion - The Maxi-Mag +V bullets didn't just expand.  They blew up and turned themselves inside out.  The recovered bullets are flat discs of lead clinging to a sheet of copper bullet jacket.  The Maxi-Mag bullets have a traditional bullet profile with a bullet shank capped by a flattened and expanded nose.
Maxi-Mag average expansion .328 inches.
Maxi-Mag +V average expansion .396 inches.

In a perfect world, both of these loads would be readily available and you could keep a supply of each on hand for whatever type of hunting you were planning on doing.  If I had to pick one load, due to current ammunition availability issues, I would be totally satisfied with the Maxi-Mag for small game hunting and varmint hunting/control.  In this test it was slightly more accurate, expanded well, and penetrated to a sufficient depth for small game hunting.