.22 Rimfire Accuracy (High Standard - Victor)

      Have you ever wondered .... if you ever had to make a choice of just ONE handgun "strictly for for the enjoyment of shooting".   Which model would you choose?   This would be a tough choice, but I think that I'd vote for the High Standard "Victor" Model.   This is one of my favorite .22 rimfire handguns that I improved considerably with an aggressive chamber cleaning even after this barrel "appeared" to be perfectly clean.

.22 Rimfire       I've used this handgun for over 30 years, and it is an incredibly accurate handgun.   One day I noticed that it lost its accuracy since the last time I used it.   I was surprised to see that the cause was a barrel leading problem with .22 rimfire ammunition.   I always clean my guns very carefully, but before I had a bore scope, it was impossible to get a clear view - even in a pistol barrel.   I have found that .22 rimfire ammunition (especially match ammo) can leave a very small lead ring just ahead of the chamber.   The buildup of lead was so uniform that it was hard to detect, and it was a real challenge to completely remove it.   I had to scrape it loose with an aluminum scraping tool and carefully run a new "dry" brush through the barrel several times.   I then used a worn .22 caliber cleaning brush with a tight fitting paper towel patch and some "non-imbedding" JB Bore Polish to completely remove the remaining lead build up.   This handgun is now back to shooting like it did when it was new.   I wonder how many other shooters have encountered the same problem.   I have also tried this cleaning procedure on several .22 rimfire rifles with even greater success.

.22 Rimfire Victor
Intermittant "fail to eject" symptom.

Even a great handgun can have problems

      This close up view shows the intermittant ejection problem I had with my High Standard Victor.   I originally thought my slide spring might be too weak, causing the slide to "bounce" back too quickly.   That could make the slide operate too fast preventing an occasional empty case from exiting quickly enough.   You can see the feeding cartridge perfectly positioned as it begins to enter the chamber.   That empty case should have been flying through the air by this time.   I tried using different strength slide springs (made by Wolfe), and the symptom remained.   I also enlarged the inside, lower surface of the sight rib, to provide a bit more clearance for ejection.   That didn't help either.

      The problem was caused by the ejector being too low.   It pushed the empty cases upward - right smack into the sight rib.   Those empty cases bobbled around and usually ejected fine.   However, for 100% reliability, a higher ejector is a big improvement.


.22 Rimfire Victor

Notice the "improved" higher and longer ejector on the right.


      The ejector on the Victor is an integral part of the frame.   This means that you can't just replace the ejector.

      This ejection problem was solved by tig welding a piece of spring wire to the existing ejector, then reshaping the ejector to make it .027" higher and .050" longer.   This helps push the fired cases more to the side (closer to the exit).   The fired cases now avoid intermittently being pushed upward into the sight rib.

      If you are a High Standard shooter, you've probably noticed the oversize slide stop.   (I made that part too.)   It's a bit wider, better looking, and easier to use.



      It's easy to understand why some shooters are quick to replace barrels that may just need a good cleaning.   As long as a .22 rimfire barrel gets cleaned properly, it should be able to last almost forever.   The .22 rimfire is the most popular cartridge ever made, and it is a good choice for precision shooting.   If you have a favorite .22 rimfire that is not shooting as well as it should, take a very close look in front of the chamber.   Remember, it may require a borescope to see it .... even in a pistol barrel.   You might find that a little extra attention in cleaning the chamber will improve the accuracy of your .22 rimfire.


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