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Chris Parkin takes a look at an insanely expensive rimfire that certainly delivers in terms of accuracy. But can this eye-watering price really be justified?
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Rimfire shooting has received a new lease of life over the past few years with the promotion of the .22 LR calibre as a training tool for PRS and as a great challenge in its own right at long range. This Vudoo Three 60 is certainly the current pinnacle of technology seeking your attention.
The Three 60 is an American-made action based on Remington 700 dimensions, allowing it to fit into a huge number of aftermarket stocks and chassis. It also shares scope-mounting solutions and trigger mechanism fittings. It’s called the Three 60 because it has a three-lug bolt with a 60° lift to cock, cycle and reload the action. Vudoo offer various colours of Cerakote finish and the action is available in true right and left-handed formats. There is a similar twin-lug action with 90° bolt lift for slightly longer cartridges such as WMR and HMR.
The longer action will also allow more space for the long monolithic bullets that are now available for rimfire reloaders. Yes, you read that correctly, but it’s one for a future article once an appropriate 1 in 6.5" twist barrel arrives to stabilise them in this Vudoo.
At the moment conventional 40gr lead bullets are used, although some experimental 32gr monolithics stabilise in the 1 in 16" twist rate. Heavier 42gr and 50gr monolithics need a faster twist rate for stability, along with a longer barrel generating speeds approaching 1600fps.
This stainless-steel barrel is Vudoo’s own 510mm/20" Kukri profile with 5R rifling, which is considered optimum for conventional match ammunition with muzzle velocities around 1080fps. It is available muzzle threaded ½"x28 for a moderator, brake, and the custom Warner Tooling barrel tuner to refine barrel harmonics for your preferred ammunition.
The stock is an American Rifle Company XYLO chassis. Length of pull is adjustable via two titanium extension bars. The cheekpiece is micro adjustable vertically and laterally and has a slender ribbed comb for refined head alignment to your optic with minimal muscle strain in your neck or eyes.
There’s a bag rider underneath, or a monopod is an option. The grip is a pair of walnut clamshells screwed to the chassis for a thumb wrap or vertical position. Three sizes are available for improved comfort, or you can have blanks supplied for custom carving.
The Bix’n Andy trigger has a slender silver blade, is fully adjustable from 250-2,000g, and is one of the lightest triggers I have used that remains tactile. You can put your finger in position without fear of a negligent discharge. It was set up for a specific owner and I’d personally go a little heavier, certainly for PRS where improvised positions play a key role. Still, at a 250g breaking weight this one suits ELR use perfectly from a stable firing point.
The XYLO chassis is compatible with AICS magazines – part of the joy of a Remington 700 short-action inlet. The mag holds 10 rounds in a single column with feed lips tailored for precision rimfire. Here the controlled-feed bolt face grasps the cartridge’s rim as it rises between the twin claws on the bolt face. You get linear feed to the chamber without a steep feed ramp that could damage a bullet’s critical meplat profile and harm long-range precision.
I really liked the anti-cant bubble just ahead of the magazine well on the XYLO. It can be inserted through the stock to be seen by a right- or left-handed shooter or according to your visual preference to ensure vertical accuracy, which is critical for ELR/PRS success. An ARCALock rail runs under the forend for secure, repeatable fitting of a bipod or tripod. An ARCALock rail has small detents along a conventional ARCA dovetail, so you can fit items like the Lite-Tactical F-Class bipod from Long Range Accuracy more securely.
The bipod is included with this ultimate rifle package, which Extreme Ballistics consider a seamless meeting of concepts towards one goal. The bipod is adjustable for cant with a locking lever to stiffen position. At full tension it truly does lock solid. It also has adjustable leg separation to alter the gun’s stance.
M-Lock runs the length of the forend’s walls to mount additional accessories and Picatinny is also added here for items like the Kestrel HUD on the left side and an Area419 extension mount on the right to carry a MagnetoSpeed chronograph. There is very little point having a harmonic tuner on a barrel if you are going to hang a chronograph from it. This was my first experiment with a barrel tuner and it’s soon obvious how fractional changes to the barrel’s resonant frequency have an immediate effect on performance.
The Three 60 action has an inclined Picatinny rail that adds 40 MOA to your scope-mounting solution. This was combined with a 20 MOA Spuhr ISMS mount and Steiner M7Xi scope on the review rifle. All this clearly defines this specific Vudoo’s extreme long-range rimfire capability. At 100m the minimum ‘down’ point of impact on target was still 45mm above the aimpoint. Lesser inclination rails are available to suit your needs.
Shooting the gun felt unusual. I have used similar rifles in centrefire formats on many occasions, but here there is very little noise and virtually imperceptible recoil, so tiny details you would never notice are clearly apparent. Bolt operation from the three-lug action is light and fast, and the teardrop handle easily clears the scope’s ocular body. With a full grip you are unlikely to snag your knuckles, and mostly you will need to use your fingers only on the bolt handle.
Allied to the gun’s mass and wide-stance bipod on a solid bench, nothing moves as the bolt is cycled. It drifts rounds smoothly from the magazine direct to the chamber, rather than physically grinding them up a feed ramp. Even the close-fitting tolerances of the bolt don’t cause point-of-aim disruption as the handle is manipulated. It runs silently in the action in both directions and locks downwards with a camming action, squeezing the round into a chamber cut precisely for exact rim thickness and headspace dimensions.
On firing with the rear bag under the stock’s bag rider, there isn’t much movement, and when the trigger breaks it’s crisp with no perception of any motion at all. You see your bullet fly though the scope’s field of view because there is no recoil to disturb point of aim and even the firing pin is virtually undetectable in motion. I have shot most styles of rifle from most supports, and this makes a 6mm PPC ‘heavy gun’ seem lively.
Watching myself shoot quickly on video, building a group before a wind change, showed the gun to be almost motionless even during fast, careless bolt manipulation. The aim of this rifle is to push that tiny .22 LR bullet, with its relatively poor ballistics, to extreme range. Up to 500m if not further is the goal when you read the wind and have done the setup work on stability and barrel tuning, as well as understanding how much the atmospheric changes alter your data.
The Warner Tooling barrel tuner has nine settings, and with groups shot in perfect conditions at each step you can clearly see on target how rimfire shooters limited to factory ammunition (even if batch tested) can further tune their barrels, whereas centrefire reloaders tune the ammunition.
Having the MagnetoSpeed chronograph close at hand without harmonic disturbance gave an accurate velocity display throughout the process, and a 40-round string of Lapua Center-X was recorded at 1082fps, with an extreme spread of 44fps. RWS R100 in similar test conditions delivered 1107-1110fps, which is incredible consistency with beneficial effects at long range in minimising elevation spread. The average point of impact was virtually unaffected throughout the tuning process, but the results clearly showed the effects of harmonic changes to the group size.
Some may consider this rifle ridiculous, far too expensive for ‘just a rimfire’, but if target shooting is your goal, in whatever format, there is a limit to how much can be achieved solely through skill and perseverance. I have shot this rifle out to 300m, and that’s where its true capability comes to light. I’ll be taking it out to 500m as soon as possible.
Calibre: .22 LR
Overall length: 1016mm/40" with butt collapsed
Weight: 5,100kg/11.2lb (action, barrel, Picatinny rail, chassis, bipod and one polymag)
Stock: American Rile Company XYLO chassis
Length of pull: 320-374mm/12.6-14.7" (extended bars special order)
Magazine capacity: Polymag 10-round detachable (+1 in the chamber), AICS compatible
Trigger: Bix’n Andy single stage, 250g/9oz break
Barrel length: 508mm/20"
Scope mounting: 40 MOA Picatinny rail
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