Kidd 10/22 Barrel
Up this week is the Match Bull Barrel from Kidd Innovative Design. They are extremely accurate barrels for a very reasonable price. Kidd offers pretty well everything you could ask for to accurize a Ruger 10/22. They even offer their own complete receivers and rifles if you want an even better quality product from which to base your build off of. If you are considering upgrading your 10/22, give Kidd a visit.
A friend of mine has a very nice 10/22 with a Volzquarten barrel and that inspired me for a 10/22 build. I really didn't want to spend $300 on a barrel however. After cruising around the internet and reading several posts at Rimfire Central, I came across the Kidd company. Everything I read said that their barrels were just as accurate as Volzquarten and they also had a more acceptable price point. So I gave Kidd a go, and I'm glad I did. They offer several different barrel models to choose from including lighter weight and fluted barrels. They also include a threaded option for those of you running cans. The finish you see here is the bead blasted one, which Kidd doesn't really appear to show on their site. It is really hard to capture the look of the bead blasting on camera. Initially I was going to have this Cerakoted but I liked the look of the bead blasting so much that I let it be.
Install was very easy. Check out videos on youtube if you want to watch others install it. As lame as it is, the one thing I needed but didn't have was a bit of sand paper to clean up the receiver a bit. Some TLC with a rubber mallet did the trick however. Make sure you align the barrel properly so the extractor can move freely and also protect the crown of the rifle if you are struggling with a tight fit. Damaging that crown could cost you accuracy and money to get it fixed.
You may notice that this crown is dirty. Kidd recommends only cleaning the barrel every 500 rounds or so; which I'm sure reading that just made somebody somewhere throw up in their mouth a little. They also recommend not shooting for groups until you have 10-20 rounds of a particular ammo through the barrel. I can attest to that statement because I have seen the groups tighten up after a couple mags of different ammo. That makes me wonder if the same is true with all rifles. I have read many times that a barrel shoots more consistently after it has been fouled a bit. The first few rounds from a squeaky clean barrel will almost always be off zero. Speaking of groups:
Here is one of my best groups out of this rifle. This was shot using Wolf Extra Match. I'm usually around a 1MOA shooter on a good day so I'm not the ideal candidate to show off what Kidd's barrels are capable of, but this group has at least 20 rounds through about half an inch at 50y. Naturally match ammo will give better performance out of your rifle (garbage in, garbage out), but the Kidd barrel will handle cheap plinking ammo and still give great results. Please note that these barrels have a match chamber and will not accommodate stinger ammo. See the fine print on Kidd's website.
Perhaps I just wasn't looking in the right places, but I had never heard of Kidd until really digging for ideas for a 10/22 build. VQ gets most of the noise on the internet. This company absolutely deserves some extra publicity for selling some high quality products.
ETA: Grant Cunningham's blog recently had a post discussing .22 accuracy and ammunition quality here