Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

Losing my Tacticool

Written By: Bob - Sep• 02•12

I am one of those gun guys that is constantly fascinated by both the new and different and the old and classic. As result I have an eclectic mix of firearms that I’m constantly refining, like a golfer that tailors his club selection to his playing style and favorite courses. The ultimate goal isn’t really as much a “completed” collection as it is enjoying it in it’s present state, whatever state that may be.

At one point I went through a handgun-heavy phase where my interest was service-size military pistols, and then I became enamored with Com-Bloc military semi-autos, and most recently I went through my “tacticool” phase, from which I now seem to be emerging. As a result, I’m paring down and looking to trade one of my ARs and several little-used rimfires for more conventional rifles that would see more use.

My involvement with the Appleseed Project over the past 5+ months has changed my perspective yet again, I find myself interested in developing my shooting skills as a riflemen, including shots out to the fabled “rifleman’s quarter mile.” My declining interest in “tacticool” firearms and my growing interest in precision shooting has me considering trading in some of the menagerie of firearms I presently have for an mix of the old and the new.

M1 Garand rifles are still sold by the ODCMP, but the supply is limited and prices are rising. They are also getting far more expensive to shoot as compatible military surplus ammo is being used up.

At the top of my list is a Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand, somewhere between “Service” and “Correct” grade. Several the my fellow Appleseed instructor shoot Garands in CMP matches, and have become skilled enough with these service rifles to effectively engage “D” targets out to 400-500 yards with iron sights. There is something fascinating about having that level of mastery, and my interest seems to be drawing me to this WW2 and Korean War classic.

I’m interested in a shooter instead of a safe queen so I’m not specifically concerned with getting a mint-condition rifle with matching serial numbers. I want one that shoots consistent groups, and if I can accurize it enough to shoot 1-2 MOA that would be all the better.

“Enhanced” and custom 22LR rifles like this Magnum Research cost a lot up front, but are comparatively inexpensive to feed, even with match-grade ammunition.

The other option I’m considering is an enhanced to custom grade semi-auto 10/22 variant, again inspired by Appleseed. the bulk of the shooting and teaching during a weekend Appleseed session is done on the 25-yard range, and I’ve seem quite a few lightly modified to heavily tricked out .22LR rifles on the firing line, and even have had the good fortune to shoot one or two.

I’m not ready to drop $1,200 on a Volquartsen, but a Magnum Research (pictured above) or a similar semi-custom Ruger is something I’m considering that is assured of seeing a decent amount of use by myself, family members, and the occasional Appleseed student as a training rifle, and it would be a nice small game rifle as well.

The question is: which should I get?

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  1. McThag says:

    Get the Garand first. I selected mine from a guy with a table full at a gun show, he asked, “what kind are you looking for?”

    I said, “A shooter.”

    He grabbed a bore light and his erosion gauges and I got the fourth prettiest one he had.

    It’s a ’45 production Springfield that was arsenal reworked at Rock River Army Depot in Nov ’64. I’m happy with the accuracy even if I am no sniper.

  2. Larry says:

    I would like an M14. One of these days maybe, when I’m not the answer to so many people’s problems…

  3. Linoge says:

    I can damned-near guarantee you that the MR will achieve the accuracy you desire out of it, and the thing is stupid-light to boot. The only hitch for Appleseed purposes is that it is basically incapable of mounting iron sights, if you care about such things. It comes with an improved trigger, bolt (including extractor), and pretty much everything else most people do to 10/22s already done to it. Takes a bit of breaking in (I am not sure if it has the crazy Benz chambering or not), but it shoots far better than its price tag probably indicates.