Scope question for a 'Jackal' type takedown .22lr rifle

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quietoldfart
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Scope question for a 'Jackal' type takedown .22lr rifle

Post by quietoldfart » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:34 pm

Hello good people of the Rifle Discussion area. I do hope this is the best place for this question. I considered a more 'survival' oriented placement, or perhaps 'NFA,' but as my question is to do with a rifle scope this seems more appropriate.

I have been tinkering with a project recently, a home-built version of the takedown rifle used in the film 'Day of the Jackal' which starred the wonderful actor Edward Fox (not that Bruce Willis nonsense posing as a 'remake' of this classic film). I watched the film as a young man, and immediately felt a draw towards this rifle. Not the heavy wooden crutch top used as a shoulder rest, though I understood its necessity in terms of his form of concealment, but in the main the slim little thing appealed to me greatly. I've been working on my little hobby lathe and refining my design by the seat of my pants project development skills, so it seemed finally time, about 44 years later I think, to undertake my own 'Jackal' rifle. I've not taken a great many photographs, and now that the trigger and sear pins are glued in I don't wish to knock those out to enable removal of the rather ugly bolt to show that, but it is a simple enough mechanism in any case. Here are a few photos showing each side and then the dismantled rifle. It is not complete - there remains the making of a front scope mount which will be permanently affixed to the barrel, and probably another coat of epoxy paint which will require low temperature baking as has been done on the previous layer. I'll probably also make a trigger shoe, as the trigger pull is a bit heavy and a wider (than the current 1/8") trigger will make that more comfortable.

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The substance on the barrel in the last image is lithium grease, a thin film applied to prevent corrosion and difficulty in disassembly. I started with a .22lr barrel made by Winchester. After some months' staring at it now and then I realised that I wanted it to be short enough that the permanently assembled barrel and breech block should be no longer than the detachable integral silencer. I wanted barrel porting, though limited, as I wished to preserve most of the rated muzzle velocity of any given cartridge but also to reduce blast volume within at least a few inches of over the barrel volume. So I decided on a length for the breech block (4") and located the depth of insertion for the barrel (1"), then cut the barrel to 10", allowing for 1" rearward projection of the bolt retrieving knob and cocking knob to give an overall length of 14" - the length I wanted for the silencer as well. Much drilling and enlarging of holes later the block was prepared, the barrel fitted, a bolt turned down and hollowed from a 5/8" high grade steel bolt, and a lot of tinkering put into the various channels cut into that. My patience for researching things online is limited so most of this was just trying something, failing, then trying something different. The first bolt was almost complete when I accidentally pushed a drill too hard and work-hardened the steel, and no amount of heating would anneal it so that went into the trash.

At any rate, it has progressed to the point where the other day I was able to test fire it, using a mixed bag of old baffles from other silencer experiments in the 8" of space ahead of the muzzle. There is a 7075 alloy threaded adapter pinned into the tube for the threaded muzzle. I cut about 5" of the barrel OD down to 0.50" to create space around it for expansion from the two ports bored at 5.75" and 7" along. The front and rear plugs in the silencer are made from black acetal (Delrin) rod, threaded into place in the 6061 tubing. My little sound meter gave readings somewhat quieter than those taken from my Unique pistol, as expected. A useful confirmation of what my ears tell me; it is fairly quiet, but can only get quieter with a dedicated set of proper K baffles, not the mixture of 4 short and 5 long baffles made when I was less well versed in this work. A Remington Subsonic shot was reasonably quiet, though I'd like it quieter. A CCI Quiet was barely louder than the action, which is to say not much louder than a casual snap of the fingers.

The trigger and sear are cut from O1 tool steel, fitted and smoothed, then crudely hardened by means of heating to bright orange for about one minute then air cooled. Provided a part is not too delicately shaped I've found that this fast method of hardening gives almost a case-hardening level of abrasion resistance, though the parts do become slightly brittle. I've left enough metal in all places that these should not break in use, and they move very smoothly on carbide 1/8" pins. The firing pin is another carbide pin turned down to a flat-nosed cone at the working end, floating in the solid nose of the bolt and held there by a small neodymium magnet so that it will not fall out. A steel striker bolt hits that, powered by a 2" long spring taken from a tire pressure gauge. The knurled rear bolt cap and striker rod guide is re-purposed from an unused tool - I have no means to create knurling. The extractor, which has a tiny firm spring at the back then a spring circular clip in a groove holding it in place, is of the same O1 steel but not heat treated as it might snap if too brittle. It works very reliably, drawing the brass from the breech without excessive force once I unlock the breech fixing pin - that is the monstrosity mounted along the top which involves a sprung lever and threaded-in fulcrum and a steel threaded insert for the pin itself. Any threads are cut with a tap or die. I shall be making the front scope mount from the same 6061 bar stock as was used for the main block, fitting it snugly to the barrel, painting it, then gluing and bolting it into place - there is a 10-32 threaded square nut in a small dovetail in the top of the barrel just behind the silencer's rear plug, which steps over the raised barrel diameter and has an O-ring at each end.

Now to get to my question. I am hoping to find a scope of proportions similar to the acetal rod I've put into the scope mounts. It can be a little bit longer or shorter, I'm not too worried about that, but not too much longer. Assembled and with the acetal 1" rod in place the gun weighs exactly 3 pounds, loaded. Too much glass (ie; too high quality) and the thing will be terribly top-heavy. I don't need a lot of magnification. Something like a 'scout scope' would seem to be appropriate, anywhere in the range of 2.5x to 8x. My fond memories of the film move me towards wanting higher power... but perhaps this is too impractical considering the light weight I wish to retain. So, does any of you know of a tubular scope which might fit into place on this rifle? Though they are heavily built, I like the UTG 1" Weaver mounts. If I must I will go to higher mounts to allow for a larger ocular fitting, but really I should prefer a more sleek sort of scope, perhaps a vintage model. My image searches have turned up little of interest. If there must be a larger eyepiece then I can mount it further back to avoid the locking pin lever, provided it has relatively short eye relief. What do you think, is there some relatively cheap modern scope which suits such an application, or should I focus on finding an old model? Specific suggestions?

RJT
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Re: Scope question for a 'Jackal' type takedown .22lr rifle

Post by RJT » Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:28 pm

You could use a "cheesy" 4x15 scope, or look for a vintage Marlin or Weaver on Gunbroker. I don't know if ITAR would get in your way though.

http://www.opticsplanet.com/tasco-4x15-rimfire.html
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

quietoldfart
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Re: Scope question for a 'Jackal' type takedown .22lr rifle

Post by quietoldfart » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:28 pm

Thank you, but no, I was thinking of something a bit better optically and mechanically than that. I had one of those actually, several years ago. It came with a Chinese spring-piston air rifle, the QB57 I believe. Incredibly light, but cloudy to look through when brand new and not very stable in its settings. I gave it to a neighbourhood boy who was positively elated at having a "real sniper scope!" I'm hoping for something which will either fit my 1" QD mounts or some other QD Weaver-type mounts. A more trim pair of scope mounts would be nice for the look of the thing of course.

RJT
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Re: Scope question for a 'Jackal' type takedown .22lr rifle

Post by RJT » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:58 pm

Quite a few vintage Euro brands on eBay that would seem to be period correct as well.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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Jimmy_Jr
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Re: Scope question for a 'Jackal' type takedown .22lr rifle

Post by Jimmy_Jr » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:05 pm

Have you looked at SWFA? They carry a wide selection and they export.

https://swfa.com/exportpolicy

quietoldfart
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Posts: 104
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Location: France

Re: Scope question for a 'Jackal' type takedown .22lr rifle

Post by quietoldfart » Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:58 pm

Thank you Jimmy, a couple of interesting scopes there. The Weaver 2.5-7x is along the right track but still too big at the ends. A couple of the very low priced options (in the $10 to $20 range apparently) are about right, but I doubt I could put with such poor optical quality in the name of appearances.

Ultimately (or at least for now) I settled upon a Burris Droptine 2-7x rimfire scope. It is very light, and with QD mounts attaches quickly and holds zero very effectively. A bit of a bulky option but it is certainly very easy on the eyes for sighting at targets.

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The scope with mounts does make for the single largest element in the cotton duck roll, by quite a wide margin, but it works to provide a rather small package. Something easily carried in any number of bags, or just with a belt or cord looped through the middle and slung over a shoulder.

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I have been tinkering further with suppressors for my old French Unique pistol and am quite happy with the current model - 4.25" OAL with 6 K baffles 0.55" long and a 0.4" spacer between the two sets of three (THANK YOU Capt. Link for your thoughts on interrupting harmonic wave propagation!), which renders a sound only about 2dB louder than a 7" long version with 2 more K baffles. Now that that's settled my next project in .22lr will be a third takedown rifle. The second being a folding stocked version which is somewhat crude but whose functionality is slightly more reliable than this first iteration. #3 will be as close to the one in the Jackal film as I can manage to force myself to make it. I've studied screenshots of the rifle from the film and will be attempting a two-tube receiver design, with the ways cut for the bolt flanges in the inner components then brazed into the outer tube and finally polished to mimic the smooth bolt action of the original. The simple trigger/sear arrangement of the original finally makes sense to me as well, a long leaf spring with a very simple and reliable action. I am sure that many compromises will be made along the way, resulting in something which only tangentially resembles the original (as I still cannot accommodate the aesthetic, not quite), but it will at least be lacking somewhat in the aluminium department. The 6061 receiver block bothered me in the first two. And of course I will remain vigilant for a more appropriate scope for this one as I'll want more than ever to have it be somewhat 'tubular' in aspect to suit the period.

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