Winchester ads also suggest the
carbine should be broken down to make it compact and more portable when heading afield.
Theyre correct, of course - but I advise against it. Small, critical parts, like the
lock-screw, are easy to misplace, even lose. Should it turn up missing, the carbine is
useless. Theres no way it can be jury-rigged to shoot. Leave that lock-screw where
it belongs: joining action and receiver.
That grooved receiver of the Model
9422 makes a natural base for a telescopic sight. A .22 Rimfire Magnum is no popgun.
Depending on the targets size, shots past 100 yards are perfectly feasible. Young
eyes may find open sights adequate; but at my stage in the game, my vision can use all the
help it can get, so one of Leupolds 4x Rimfire Specials was selected for the task.
Weighing only 7 1/2 ounces, it seemed tailored for the carbine.
Thanks to that grooved receiver and
Leupolds rings, mounting the scope was a snap. After adjusting eye relief to suit me
and bore sighting the little scope, my next move was to check parallax. Parallax, of
course, is the term used to describe the error that exists when the focal planes of image
and reticle arent quite the same.
Checking for parallax is simple
enough. All a shooter has to do is brace the scoped rifle in place so it cant move,
then peer through the scope. If the reticle seems to shift its position against a target
when the rifleman moves his aiming eye up, down or from one side to the other while
sighting through the ocular lens, that indicates the presence of parallax. To compensate
for it, all we can do is make sure our aiming eye is centered in the ocular lens when
Most big game scopes are adjusted so
they are parallax-free at 150 yards. So set, optical sighting errors are negligible from,
say, 125 to 175, maybe 200 yards. Leupolds Rimfire Special is parallax-free at 60
yards. Setting targets at 35, 100 and 125 yards, I tried the eyeball test described above.
As far as I could tell, that duplex reticle never moved a millimeter, no matter which side
of the lens I stared through.
Since the accuracy of every rimfire
arm depends to a great extent on the compatibility of its ammunition, four different
brands were selected for the range tests: CCIs 50-grain, Gold Dot hollowpoints,
Remington 40-grain jacketed hollowpoints, Winchester 34-grain Supreme jacketed
hollowpoints and some old Winchester 40-grain Super-X jacketed hollowpoints.
Range conditions werent the
best. Temperatures were in the low 90s, and the wind was gusting from 10 to 15 mph, as it
had been for days. Since the range was open for the first time in several months and
forestry officials were said to be considering closing it and the national forests again
because of the extreme fire danger, I thought it best to shoot while I could, wind or no
Although the target stand was
anchored as firmly as possible, whenever the wind picked up, it vibrated occasionally and
sometimes actually bounced slightly. Consequently, it was set up at 50 yards instead of
the usual 100. That offered a better chance of seeing when the target was steadiest.
Although I did my best to crank off each shot when the target was motionless, the wind
surprised me on several occasions. As a result, no record-breaking groups were fired, but
considering the situation, the Winchesters accuracy wasnt bad at all.
Because of the warmish temperature,
it seemed like a good idea to shoot three-shot strings instead of the traditional five to
keep the barrel from overheating.
CCIs Gold Dot rounds clocked
1,575 fps 15 feet from the carbines muzzle. Three-shot strings ranged from 3/4 to
Remingtons 40-grain JHPs
zipped over the Oehlers traps at 1,849 fps. Strings varied from 5/8 to 7/8 inch.
Winchesters Super-X rounds
averaged 1,910 fps. Clusters ran from .25 to .8 inch. The same firms 34-grain
Supreme JHPs registered 2,105 fps and punched a whole series of 3/4-inch groups.
All things considered, the carbine
did pretty well at the range, better, in fact, than expected. It isnt a
minute-of-angle sporter but few rimfire mags are. With ammunition it likes it will
probably keep them all in 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches at the 100-yard mark - if the wind doesnt
Of course, the trigger could be
smoothed out a bit. Not much though. Its the best factory trigger Ive ever
tried. When tested with a Lyman electric trigger pull gauge, it registered an impressively
consistent 3 1/2 pounds. A bit of play could be felt when finger pressure was first
applied, but were that rifle mine, Id leave the trigger alone. Firing a few hundred
rounds will probably wear those moving surfaces into a slick, comfortable relationship.
From my experience with them over the years, Id
say todays Winchester rifles are better than ever. If youre in the market for
a .22 Rimfire Magnum, take a long, hard look at one of the Model 9422 Traditionals and see
if you dont agree. - Al Miller