Hey guys it’s your favorite bearded Viking from the recently thawed North again. This time though I’m doing something a bit different. I’m loading up my longship and heading out for a a good round of pillaging, looting, burning, and….wait no. The other thing. Tours and range days. And the longship is actually a Crown Victoria. That’s what I meant.
Sorry about that. Anyways that’s right, I was contacted by a couple of companies to take tours of their operations, as well as do a range day with some of them. Definitely very exciting for me. Where am I headed you may ask? Instead of heading south for warmer climes, I’m heading east to Wisconsin. Who am I going to go see then? You might have heard of these companies, they certainly have well deserved reputations. Oh the anticipation!
Awesome, how did this come about?
Well from my perspective it was pretty interesting. While at work, on a very slow night, I received a text message from Rich telling me I need to look at the comments for one of my articles. Now Rich doesn’t send me a message like that very often. The actual substance of the message made it really clear that he was excited, and I should be too. He was absolutely right. See my pieces on the Ruger Precision Rifle had come to the attention of Josh at Criterion Barrels, and boy did he have an offer for us at AccuracyTech. See we first came to their attention when Rich did his article on Rem/Age conversions, and apparently he saw my post on a Ruger Precision Rifle Facebook group.
This was actually very serendipitous. See Rich and myself have been colluding on a plan and potential project lately, we’ve been planning to reach out to Criterion because we’re interested in doing some more work with them on barrels. In my case I am very interested in working with them on the Ruger Precision Rifle. Well as it turns out, Josh from Criterion got to us first. So after reading his comment I shot him an email asking exactly what’s on the table here. To be completely frank, I was blown away by his offer. Some of the details are going to remain proprietary. Sorry guys but that’s just the way it’s going to be. What I will share with you though is that they offered a factory tour and range day. To say that I maintained a professional demeanour at work would be a lie. Instead I walked into the vault and after the door closed celebrated. In front of my boss no less. I was not at all ashamed.
Well the next day during business hours I called Josh. See I’m a pretty busy guy for the most part. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a college student working two jobs. My best opportunity for any travel here is Spring Break, when I don’t have class. We got some details worked out and made arrangements. I also laid in a few plans that I haven’t shared yet. This series is going to be awesome to say the least. You really need to keep watching.
After laying in some plans though, I had a moment of panic. I was in the middle of upgrading scopes to a Vortex Razor HD II 4.5-27x56mm, and for a short while here I wasn’t going to have a scope. Well it’s worse than that actually. I was told my scope was going to be on back order for 6-8 months. No biggy, in the meantime I’ll order another Vortex Viper like the one I had on that rifle previously. Well it’s back ordered too, but not as long. This hadn’t been a big deal for me because this was before Criterion got a hold of us. Well now that I’m doing a range day with them I need my rifle back up to snuff because I need to be able to compare their products to the standard.
Well it sounds like you sure screwed up. What did you do then?
Well I’m glad you asked, conveniently written text intended to emulate the reader. The short version is that I called Vortex. Vortex is a really excellent company to deal with. I’ve had to deal with a lot of different companies and different levels of customer service in my work, and because of my experience with them Vortex is going to be a company I keep going back to again and again. I spoke to Ryan at Vortex and explained my situation. I’m not going to relate everything we discussed, proprietary once again, but he told me to shoot him an email and he’d find out what he could do. I expected a return email some time later that day, but within 10 minutes my phone was ringing with Ryan calling me back. He basically laid out that I was essentially boned when it came to the exact scope I wanted, but he had a possible solution.
He had in his hands a scope with the EBR-1 reticle rather than the EBR-2C reticle that I wanted. Works for me! Another moment of panic. I need a scope mount too. As some of you may have seen in my other pieces on the Ruger Precision Rifle, medium rings weren’t going to cut it, and I’ll be damned if I was going to use a riser mount on my rifle. So while talking to Ryan I asked if he had a recommendation, and sure enough he did. That’s going to be something else to watch out for in the future. As of this moment, he came through for me in stellar fashion, and I owe him a steak at the very least because of it. And he can hold me to that. Anyways I received a rather nice package from Vortex about a week later.
So since all this eventuated I’ve had to sight in this new setup at my local range. It was not the most pleasant of days to do so. If any of you have ever lived up here, you’ll get what I mean when I say March Thaw. For those of you that don’t know, it’s where the two feet or so of snow we’ve had for the past 3 months melts in a couple of days. The ground is wet, and turns to mud pretty quickly. And not just any mud, it’s the kind of mud that will suck the boot right off your foot if you aren’t careful. It’s a good thing I learned to tie my shoes a long time ago, and that I had the perfect kind of boots for dealing with the mud. But it also didn’t help that the weather was cloudy, humid, drizzling, and in the 40s. But I had work to do, and I needed to get this done.
So, once again, now what?
Well this is going to press on Sunday. In roughly 12 hours from the time of publication I’m going to be piling my gear into my long ship….Crown Victoria and heading out to Wisconsin. This isn’t by any means done. You’re just going to have to hold on and wait for the good times to roll.