Kirsten Joy Weiss (courtesy kirstenjoyweiss.com)

Regular readers know that TTAG’s been cross-posting (in our own clothes I swear) with marksperson Kirsten Joy Weiss. As the Keystone State shooter ascends the ballistic ladder of fame one shot at a time, she’s paying close attention to your comments and suggestions. One bit of feedback that came through loud and clear: why you shootin’ a $3k Anschutz target rifle, girl? The simple answer: because her $1k Volquartsen target rifle hasn’t worked out. Yet. The more important answer: good question. To assuage critics Ms. Weiss is casting about for a new rifle. I’ve hooked her up with a Marlin man: a gunsmith who is to lever guns what Steinway is to pianos. To be clear: KJW’s .22 will be a heavily breathed-upon Marlin. Why? Here’s a list of major post-Freedom Group suckage from the lever guy, who makes his living putting it right . . .

Loading port too small to accept cartridge

Misaligned sights due to barrel being screwed on too far, or too little

Out of headspace (short or long)

Barrel shims to remedy improperly machined barrel

Ejection port too small to eject spent case

Extractor will not close over .45-70 case rim due to recess in receiver being too small

Cannot eject live round because back of cartridge hits nose of ejector

Mis-feeding caused by too little pressure on face of carrier by the follower

65 Responses to Imagine This Was a Marlin .22. A GOOD Marlin .22

    • No, not kidding. We’d just like her to do all that cool stuff with a NORMAL rifle for, you know, normal folks.

      I grew up shooting a Glenfield/Marlin 60 as a kid. I’ve looked longingly at the rather pretty looking 60 languishing in the display case at work, telling myself if I didn’t have a rifle and a pistol already on layaway, I’d take my chances with it.

      Tom

      • If you wanted her to sue a normal rifle why’d you send it off to a custom gun smith? That’d be like giving her the Volquartsen and saying “We gave her a common Ruger 10/22”

        • If it’s a new Marlin, it probably has to be sent to a gunsmith because (thanks to the Freedom Group’s malfeasance) Marlin leverguns are garbage now. You might get a great one, or you might get a piece of crap that should never have left the factory floor.

          Maybe Kirsten should pick up a Henry instead, if it’s a stock lever-action she’s after. My son and I did this with mine at 25 yds: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/148478118935149289/ (the young lad hit the 30-30 brass, I hit the 9mm).

        • What is the quality status of their current bolt-guns at present? Just as shoddy? Still good?

  1. Fortunately I bought my .22 model 60 right around when freedom group was taking over, must be with mine the old crew was still doing things the right way. I have a friend has two marlin 30-30’s one was his as a kid the other a fairly recent yard sale purchase for his son. Unfortunately the more recent rifle has a lot of feeding and extracting problems, no wonder it was cheap at a yard sale.

    • “the other a fairly recent yard sale purchase for his son.” OMG!!!!!!!! A PRIVATE SALE OF UNREGISTERED ASSAULT WEAPONS!!!!! SAY IT AINT SO!!!!!..

      <— Californian here….

  2. Why not recommend a lever action that will work without a gun smith doing a full rebuild of it? Perhaps a Henry in either .22 .357 mag .44 mag 30-30 or .45-70 oh or she could go .45 Colt

  3. !! ??

    Nonsense.

    Can’t we just use the right tool for the job?

    Use the Anschutz for target shooting.
    Use a 30-30 Marlin for deer in thick woods.
    Use a 45-70 Marlin to shoot dangerous game that is about to eat you.

    Use any of them for plinking and giggles, but if you miss, causes are a blend of your skill and the limitations of the hardware. If you miss with the Anschutz, its not so much the hardware.

    If you shoot a skittle off a pencil with a 45-70 can you really say that you are skilled? No. You can only say that you are lucky. Now with an Anschutz, or even a Kimber SuperAmerica you are skilled.

    Anschutz is expensive, but if that is what floats your boat, save up and get one, be happy.

    • Nobody will believe me, but a very good shooting 1895 will shoot sub-1″ groups (spread minus diameter – for equivalency) at 100 yards. If I do my part I can put them smaller. Even for a target .22 rimfire….that is pretty close to equivalent as I believe the record at one time was 5 – 5 shot groups at about 0.6 inches.

      I guess it is another record for another time, but don’t discount the ability of a good shooting centerfire over a target rimfire. Once you get to a certain point even the highest price rimfire can’t compete with a “good” rimfire

  4. Looking forward to her shootin vids with any rifle…
    I get inspired to try different things. Anybody else tried using a mirror and shooting behind you? How about throwing clay birds and shooting them with a pistol… Have someone behind you toss a coffee can over your head, as soon as you see it, draw and shoot it.
    That’s just good clean fun.

    • Throwing the cans from behind us was the way i learned to shoot a pistol. We started with big cans and as we got better the cans got smaller.

      We also had coffee cans to teach us to cast our fishing lines. Put a weight on the line and spend hours casting at coffee cans til we could do it consistently.

  5. How about a Mosin Carbine? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do any cool trick shots with one of those. I think that would definitely generate some clickage.

    • Shooting a Skittle off a pencil with a Mosin carbine wouldn’t prove anything. You wouldn’t know whether the bullet hit it, or if it was burned up in the muzzle flash fireball… 🙂

  6. What does it matter what she does it with? It’s an amazing shot! She is a better shot than most everyone else in the world. I bet if some of you had her rifle and she had a stevens favorite from the 20’s she’d still out shoot you. I know she could out shoot me! Give her a stock 10/22 and give me my Anschutz on my best day and I’d wager she’d clean my clock! If you don’t believe it’s so, think of it like this: challenging Tiger woods to a game of golf and he uses a cheap set of kiddy clubs and you get your best set custom made for you then watch him beat you hands down. Remember, it’s not the arrow folks, it’s the Indian.

    WG

    • Hey, I collect favorites and I have several that will shoot 5 shots into less than a half inch at 50 yards. So if you think about it she might even beat her own score with a good Stevens Favorite. However I feel the best value today in a 22 is a CZ 452, I have three of them because they shoot as good as a Favorite and hold 5 rounds for hunting.

  7. It’s all academic to me. She far exceeds my skill levels. I just relax and experience the pure joy of watching her videos.

  8. I thought the VQ was more like $4000?

    Pretty sure a 45-70 is taking out the skittle whether you actually hit it or not.

    • My .45 x 70 Marlin lever in stainless is a good rifle, and I can do that skittle stuff at 100 yards, but the muzzle blast keeps knocking the damned pencil over …

  9. There is a reason that she (and other Olympians) shoot Anschutz rifles. If someone can fabricate a lever gun in 22 caliber that is accurate as an Anschutz, I’m sure she can shoot it equally well. Not really sure at all what the point is but keep up the good work and keep posting pictures and videos of KJW.

  10. My Marlin 60 is old enough to vote, so I’m assuming it’s from well before freedom group screwed everything up. Been thinking of getting a .22 for my wife, and Marlin had been on the list. Think I’ll go with a Mossberg or a 10/22.

  11. Jim Brockman in Idaho knows a thing or two about Marlin lever guns, but he probably has beaucoup backlog.

  12. For target competition today, an Anschuetz is a “normal” rifle.

    Anschuetz is the only company out there where you could take a talented young athlete into one of their retail centers and walk out, outfitted from head to toe with the rifle, jacket, pants, shoes, sights, glasses, blinders, slings, you name it.

    The US gun companies used to make rifles that were used in real target shooting. They used to make very nice, bolt-action .22’s. You people in the shooting public started whining and moaning about the price, so the US gun companies ceased making real target rifles. Even Marlin used to make a real target rifles. You used to be able to buy them surplused through the CMP. They’re all gone now. They also used to sell H&R, Kimber (of Orgeon) and other bolt-action .22 rifles. Right now, the CMP has a Savage Mark I and Anschuetz 1903 target rifle for under $300 and about $1500, respectively.

    You want a nice target rifle at a nice price? OK, you’ll have to actually learn something about target rifles. This means that you will cease reading all the mass-market gun rags, because they don’t know jack about actual target rifles. Oh, they’ll huff and puff that they do, but they don’t. They’re part of the reason why US gun buyers think that a semi-auto rimfire can be a “target rifle.”

    Go look at the older Winchesters (Model 75, 52), Remington (Model 37, 513T, 541, 40X), H&R (M12 and US DOD/Army purchases of same), Kimber 82, Mossberg 44’s, 144’s. Or you could look at a Browning Low-Wall if you like older falling block style rifles. Springfield made training .22LR target rifles that look very similar to a 1903. These are rapidly becoming quite valuable to collectors.

    I’d budget no less than about $800 to get into an older target rifle (Win 75, Kimber 82) with peep sights. Serious competition-grade rifles will typically go over $1K, with Winchester 52’s adding more to the price just because they’re Winchesters and are now being sought out by collectors. Just the aperture rear sight and the globe front sight set off a serious .22 target rifle cost more than the typical piece-of-junk .22LR rifles produced today. The sight set on my Anschuetz cost me just under $400 – and it is hardly top-of-the-line. Some of the older sight sets on American target rifles are collected in their own right, and some people have started to strip off the sight sets and sell them apart from the rifle, which is tragic, IMO.

    Now, with all of that said, you’ll still not be able to find a used rifle that will beat the current Anschuetz trigger. Even if you had some of the best target aftermarket triggers hung on the best of the rifles I’ve listed above, for competitors at the highest end of the .22 target game, the trigger lock times available won’t meet (much less exceed) the lock times of the Anschuetz. I’ve got a Win52B with a Canjar trigger on it. It is a very nice trigger, but you’ll need an experienced gunsmith to support a Canjar or Kenyon trigger, because both gentlemen who had the guts and fortitude to make and support these target triggers in the absurdly litigious and lawyer-infested environment we have in the US have now passed away. if you’re going to look at Win52’s without a custom trigger, look for the Win52D variant. They improved the triggers in later years.

    Want a new sporter-like .22 bolt action rifle that shoots above its price class? You’d do well to look at CZ.

    Want to know why there are no more US-made real target .22’s out there? Want to know why you can’t reliably replicate those shots Kristen is making with a “normal” .22 rifle? You, the gun buying public, are the reason why. Our gun industry used to make lots of target-grade .22’s that could take on the Annies, Walthers and Feinwerkbau’s back in the 50’s and 60’s. Because so many people think that getting a piece of crap at a low price is better than getting a nice rifle at the price it takes to make money for the company making it, you get what we have here: Very few custom and off-shore rifles made at even higher prices, because almost all the market competition is now gone. Anschuetz’s prices have gone up markedly in the last 10 years – because there really are no more companies making the product they make. If you want to start competing in the serious .22 target game, you just go buy an Annie, usually a rifle based on the 54 action, and you start there.

    • You need an accurate gun to make accurate shots. It’s a shame that the US market has gone the way it has, with mass production and low prices eclipsing overall quality.

      Perhaps part of the problem is that many shooters are completely unaware of the accuracy potential of the .22 LR cartridge, and only consider it to be a practice round. There is certainly a custom and factory market for accurate .223 / 5.56’s, 6.5’s, .308s, 7mm, .338s, etc. There are NightForce, US Optics, S&B, and high end scopes aplenty to put on top. Maybe the .22 LR could use a little more respect.

      With that being said, I’ve stopped shooting classic Remington bolt .22s and Andschutz-es and switched to Ruger 10/22’s and 22/45s. I guess that either means I’m part of the problem, or just want bigger calibers for accuracy work.

      • Indeed, one of the ways I judge how “serious” a shooter is, comes by having a look at what they shoot in .22’s.

        When shooting a rifle like Kristen’s, with the right ammo, there is no alibi for missing. The rifle and ammo will hit a target zone about 0.25″ in diameter every single time if you do your job at 50 feet, and keep all shots inside 0.5 (or less) at 50 yards.

        When I’m shooting my Annie with good ammo, if I miss at 50 feet to 50 yards, I know I did something wrong. I then work on correcting what I did wrong. There is none of this “oh, it was probably a bad round, or the rifle malfunctioned, or, or, or, or…”

        Getting a high quality .22 target rifle is, IMO, the single best thing a shooter can do to improve their technique. Same thing with a .22 pistol for pistol shooters. Once you remove any ability to blame the equipment, the responsibility for missing rests on the shooter alone. It is now up to the shooter to fix what they’re doing wrong.

  13. Feedback question: “why you shootin’ a $3k Anschutz target rifle, girl?”

    Because Anschutz is a premium quality, competition platform for a match rifle.
    Ah…..because she can?

    What would be surprising is a markswoman of her caliber not using an Anschutz.
    The same would be true if she was shooting air rifles, it would be a Feinwerkbau.
    Is this from some misguided sense of outrage over her using a foreign made rifle?
    Or is this over the fact that an Anschutz is far beyond a lot of peoples price range?
    If you have a problem with Kirsten Joy Weiss’ choice of rifle, you should envy less.
    It has caused you to begrudge another for possessing something that you cannot.
    To quote a piece of cinema pop-culture wisdom, “That path leads to the Dark-side.”

    • I think that’s why they want to see her use a different rifle, because nobody well known of her caliber seems to do so, (at least none iv seen/heard of). For me its that its unrelatable, iv never even heard of that brand until this post, and seeing something people generally cant relate with turns them off. Same kind of reason people who like lever actions don’t care much to watch videos of SMG’s, cant relate.

      • OK. So why not extend this thinking to other competitive pursuits?

        For example, why don’t we petition Tony Stewart to run a race in a Yugo? Or better yet, how about a minivan?

        • Why not? We all know that off-the-shelf machine likely won’t perform to the level of the custom beasts that live on the race tracks and Olympic target ranges, but that’s not the point.

          Top Gear gets a lot of traction out of having a pro push ordinary machines to their limits. Why shouldn’t we also be interested in seeing what a pro like Kirsten can do with something the average gun owner is actually likely to own?

        • Top Gear isn’t trying to win matches or races. They’re content to do ridiculous stunts to attract TV viewers, the eyeballs of whom they then peddle to advertisers. That’s fine.

          Somehow, I don’t see Kirsten giving up winning matches to amuse YouTube viewers any more than I’d expect to see Tony Stewart give up points and race position to run a minivan around the track for viewers’ amusement. Kirsten and Stewart are in the “business” of winning. That’s what professional competitors do. Win.

  14. I’d think an out of the box CZ 452 bolt gun would be accurate enough for most people and affordable to boot. I have a few that are tack drivers in 22wmr, 22lr and .17HMR. My CZ 452 lux in .22lr could out shoot my old Kimber match with the right ammo.

    • I agree. The CZ 45x line of rimfires are some of the very best “bang:buck” ratio rimfire rifles I see out there in the new rifle market. A little work on the trigger and they’re very nice, overall.

      • Have you ever encountered the Winchester Wildcat .22 bolt rifle? My understanding is they were made in Russian by TOZ and they used target grade barrels on them. I know mine has a thick barrel with a recessed crown and with the standard factory irons it shoots better than I’m capable of.

      • I would add one caveat to the 45x line of rifles… The mannlichter(sp?) stock on one of my CZ rifles actually hurts the accuracy. I swapped stocks for a day and shot much better groups with all other variables consistent. I had to swap it back though because she’s sooooooo beautiful that way.

  15. I have noticed than when we have a posting featuring KJW shooting or Nick Leghorn competing the KJW posting draws in a whole lot more comments. Maybe it’s time to put a skirt on Leghorn?

  16. The gun I am most sorry to have given away was my grandfathers 1890 Winchester .22long rim fire pump rifle. It had a octagon barrel crescent buttplate and a marbles tang peep sight with an ivory bead front sight . Amazingly it was a real tack driver with proper .22 long ammo and it could also be single loaded with .22 long rifle but was far less accurate with the higher speed ammo. I gave it to a friend with a young son as neither my sister or I ever had any kids…. But that pump rifle was such a sweet plinker you could get follow up shots just as fast with it as you could with a semi auto….
    But the best Part was how well it fit me when I was young. At 10 to 14 years old it was a perfect fit…
    The boy who I gave it to now has a son of his own and while at 7 he is still a touch small for it he is already shooting it well at targets in his back yard. (It is nice to live in Maine ) so it is now an heirloom for another family… I had the letter for it showing it as sold to my grt grandfather in 1891 and of course it was for my grandfather and then my father and then mine.
    Strange how this once popular style of long gun has almost vanished from the market. 100 years agor they were made and sold by many firms as well as Winchester .
    I guess Rossi is the last in the market with one.

    • I’m no expert on the matter but in my youth it seemed like the biggest user of pump .22s were shooting galleries. When they went the way of the dodo it seems so did the pump .22. Just a guess.

    • I’m happy to say that there’s a Savage pump-action .22 in my family’s line, and I look forward to it being mine someday. I forget the exact model number and it’s been quite a few years since I shot it but it has an octagonal barrel. Alas, no peep sights.

      My grandfather (who still owns it) once put a hole in the ceiling above the kitchen sink with it. Oops. His wife was scarcely 20 feet away in the living room watching, with me in between. I swore she never heard a thing. Must have been a heck of a tennis match!

      I’ve got several .22’s at the moment but always looking to add to the herd, and the CZ455 American combo is probably at the top of the heap, and then there’s the Marlin I still may chance.

      Tom

  17. I think daisy duke shorts, cowboy boots & a tank top would be appropriate lever action shooting attire for miss Weiss..(my new favourite blogger/model/shooter ever)

  18. “why you shootin’ a $3k Anschutz target rifle, girl?”

    Who would ask that? It is a rifle just like the one every other competition shooter uses. Its about the same price as a nice AR with an ACOG, or a nice guitar, and it is cheaper than a Barrett or Nighthawk or Turnbull.

  19. I suggest she build her own accurized 10/22 from the ground up. I am planning on doing this myself in the next couple of years.

  20. I would rather her continue to use her Anschutz rifle, it insures that the shots she makes are totally her skill. Anything else, hit or miss, could be luck.

  21. Why shoot a $3K rimfire? Thank goodness she does! If I watched her shoot the same make/model of rifle I shoot I would be forced to stop pretending, “if I had enough practice and a good enough rifle, I could shoot like that”. With a $10K rifle and a thousand bricks of .22’s, there is not guarantee that I have the inherent skill to shoot that well.

    The lady is a gifted shooter. Done deal. Few people have that gift. Fortunately, Ms. Weiss is also enthusiastic, entertaining, a wonderful role model and cuter than a basket full of kittens. I’d happily watch her shoot a slingshot, and then be encouraged to give it a try myself for the first time in years, because of her enthusiasm and showmanship.

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