Ken Benyo (1813Benny)

Smallbore Accuracy

Hosted by Ken Benyo (1813Benny)

This is a discussion forum dealing with the science and technology of .22 caliber rimfire rifle and ammunition accuracy for prone, F-SBR & 3-position disciplines.

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World's Most Accurate Rimfire Rifle   Mythbusting

Started by Larry Landercasper (huskerp7m8); 1789 views.

I thought I would ask before posting about the continuing “Soap Opera” on BR.com concerning a certain individual who now claims to have built the world’s most accurate rimfire rifle. The thread was deleted sometime last night or early this morning and I thought there might be some interest in seeing it by those who may have missed it.

 

I believe this thread I saw last night adheres to your guidelines on what may be posted on your forum because of the claims made, but it probably has more entertainment value than say a strict discussion of accuracy theory.

 

It makes absolutely no difference to me what you decide. I’ll check back tonight when I crawl out of the tractor and stumble home to the computer.

 

Landy

MikeRoss22RF
Staff

From: MikeRoss22RF

5/21/08

Landy:

I have never been opposed to a 'little entertainment'. Besides, any details concerning how the "World's most accurate smallbore rifle" was actually built, would be in line with what this Forum professes to be about.

So, have at it amigo, and thanks for going to the trouble.

Best, Mike Ross

dmatzeder

From: dmatzeder

5/21/08

BC may be a good smith but he missed his calling.  He'd be the richest used car salesman in the world.  I hope he does go to an auction on this one because if a rich everyman buys it and it does not perform, it would indicate all the hype about his guns is based on the fact that he builds for the best shooters that would win with any "good" rifle.
MikeRoss22RF
Staff

From: MikeRoss22RF

5/21/08

Don:

Well, he may actually have found his calling. Picking "smallbore accuracy" for his "trade-craft", may be the only endeavor left where ANYTHING can get said, with total conviction, no proof whatsoever, and no possibility of being challenged on it.

All he has to do is get the rifle to the point where the bullet comes out of the barrel every time it is shot, and then hand it over to the customer. And the rest is history, one way or the other.

But you are right about one thing: The "world's most accurate rifle" in the hands of an "average" shooter, will magically be transformed into an "average" rifle. Accordingly, hand-picking your customers is the REAL skill that he found, and the rest of us haven't. You think?

Best, Mike Ross

This ended up being more difficult than I thought. My software that captures these threads produces too large a file size for this forum. Luckily, the lessons from my old typing instructor still allow me to bang the keyboard at about 50 or 60 words a minute.

I’m also troubled that this may be perceived as an attack on Mr Calfee by me, but it was posted publicly and I’ve done more boneheaded things in my life.

 

Anyway, I’m only going to post what Mr. Calfee wrote and not what the other forum members responded with. I’ve tried to type it exactly as it was written with the original incorrect grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I guess it’s pretty much the same way I post….I always hated English class and my writing skills show it. If you want the entire thread…..I can email you a 1.74 MB picture.

When I have a few minutes before work or when I go to bed, I surf about a dozen forums and use a piece of software that takes snapshots of everything I see, even if I don’t read any of the material. It’s much, much more sophisticated than the “History Folder” in Window’s Operating System and allows me to store huge amounts of info for later perusal. My archives have grown so large it now requires an additional 7 large portable hard drives.

 

 

I’m not certain why the thread was deleted, but I can surmise it was because of some very harsh language and criticism by numerous posters. Also, depending upon your point of view, it could’ve been construed as blatant self-promotion and free advertising for the obvious reasons.  I was over there a little while ago and there are still some references to this deleted thread.

 

My friends:

 

I have a rifle I want to put in the classified section, but I don’t know how just yet…

 

I just mailed Friend Wilbur a check for 25 times the normal amout required to post in the classifieds….25times….I think?

 

I did this because I want to make a statement and it may seem like advertising……

 

I have built these little rimfire benchrest guns as long as anyone….

 

I have dreamed of the ultimate gun…..one that shoots any ammo, has no flyers, and can win any match in which the shooter can point it correctly…

 

My friends, I have built that gun……..

 

I have known this, about this gun, for about two months now, but, I’ve spent a great deal of time and expense trying to determine why this gun is so accurate…

 

I have some answers, but not all…

 

I’m shortly, going to put this rifle up for sale……

 

As soon as friend Wilber gets my money, and, as soon as I can figure out how to post on his classified section, this rifle will be put up for sale…

 

Isn’t it the dumbest thing to claim you have produced the most accurate rimfire benchrest rifle in the world? YOU BET…But I have…..

 

The person that winds up getting this rifle will get a chance to test it thoroughly…….before they purchase it…….

 

This is a dumb thing to say, but SPEC 5, is, the absolute most accurate rimfire benchrest rifle in the world……

 

Friend Wilbur, as soon as you receive my check, and you give me the go-ahead, I’ll post SPEC 5 for sale………Wilbur, if I’ve not sent you enough money, let me know and I’ll send more……I will post SPEC-5, when you say I’ve paid enough…….

 

Your friend, Bill Calfee

2nd Post after several forum members started raking him over the coals:

 

My friends:

 

I sent friend Wilbur a check today for what I believe is 25 times the amount required to post and add…………If I am wrong, about the amount, I will send additional..

 

My friends, I have built these little guns ever since rimfire benchrest started,,,,

 

I have dreamed of producing a gun, like SPEC 5…….

 

I have made some good guns, but, I have never produce anything like this rifle…..

 

I have known SPEC-5 to be a killer, for some time, but, I’ve spent considerable time trying to figure out just why this rifle is like it is….

 

I have not completely figured why is works like it does…….I’d give anything if I could determine for absolute positive, why is shoots like it does…….I’m still working at it…….hard as I can…

 

My friends, since I started this thread, about an hour ago, my answering machine has been clogged….

 

As soon as friend Wilbur lets me know I have paid him enough for advertisement, I will post SPEC-5 for sale….

 

Lastly my friends…….I know this is wrong of me, but, when I produce a gun, and make $800 to $900 dollars for my work, then see those guns, used, selling for $5,000 and up, and now my used guns are bringing in the $6,000 dollar range, what am I to do…..I make $800 dollars and the folks I make the guns for make $2,000 to $3,000 profit when they sell them……

 

Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d like to make something too…….is that wrong of me?

 

SPEC-5, is the most accurate rimfire benchrest rifle in the world……

 

As soon as Wilbur gives the OK, that I’ve paid him enough, I’ll put it up for sale..

 

Now please, my friends, my answering machine is full…….no more calls till I place SPEC-4 (I think he meant SPEC-5) in the classifieds……….as soon as Wilbur gives pemission..

 

Your friend, Bill Calfee

MikeRoss22RF
Staff

From: MikeRoss22RF

5/22/08

Landy:

Many thanks. That was a lot of trouble to go to, but definitely appreciated by more than just me, I'm sure.

You were right not to include any of the negative responses to his posts, as that would serve no good purpose. THAT kind of entertainment we don't need, but it doesn't stop us from learning something from what Mr. Calfee had to say.
In effect, he admitted that he has no idea WHY this particular rifle performs so well, past "Well gee, it just sort of happened, and I can't seem to figure out why it did."

The rest of what he said reflects his genuine discontent with the idea that if he is that good with smallbore rifle-making, like why isn't he already rich?! Surely a one in a thousand rifle like this, "ought" to be sold for some really serious bucks, but he is not clear on how to make that happen.
He also appears to be upset with the idea that his modicum of profit generated by any rifle he builds, turns into "multiples" of that profit when a rifle moves into the hands of a new owner. I'm sure that Stradivarius (were he still alive) would have similar thoughts.

But getting back to accuracy issues, what I think is really worrying Mr. Calfee, is that he suspects that he is not really the one responsible for this rifle's superb performance. He merely "assembled" it, rather than actually "creating" it. And that he just happens to be the current "owner" of it.
I have also seen instances of "one-off" excellence, where the component parts come together with great serendipity, with no apparent reason (easily identified) for that happening. But there is always a reason for such occurances, and I believe that it is the "luck of the draw" when it comes to barrels that is at the bottom if it.

What I am reasonably sure of, is that the barrel-bore itself is what creates accuracy, because when you think about it, it's the ONLY part of the rifle that the bullet actually touches. Since a rifle-maker (like Bill Calfee) has no part in the construction of a barrel, his ability to say "I did it, not the barrel-maker" flies right out the window.

Does this then mean that "extreme accuracy" is mostly going to be due to the "accidental correctness" of the barrel that even the barrel-maker cannot "pre-determine"? Well yes, that's EXACTLY what it means. And it's going to stay that way until barrel-makers figure out what they are occasionally doing wonderfully well.

Were he listening, my best advice to Mr. Calfee would be that he should never, under any circumstances, let that rifle get away from him. After all, if his previously stated goal of advancing the cause of benchrest accuracy is still in play, his greatest contribution would be to "reverse-engineer" this wondrous rifle, and share what he finds with everyone. NOT sell this rifle to ONE lucky benchrester, who will never have the full enjoyment of anything "won" with it.

Winning has always been real when it was superior personal performance across a "level playing-field". Not the result of a formula-one car showing up in a stock-car race. At least that's how I see it, and the principle reason for the tight structure of Palma competition.

My last thought on all of this is that I would give a lot to know if this "wunder-kind" rifle of Bill's, has a 6 o'clock firing-pin. For his sake, I sure hope it does. (:^)
In the meantime, whomever winds up owning that rifle, will in truth become the possessor of a "white elephant". Mr. Calfee has seen to it that it WILL be viewed that way. When the sale has been concluded, he will likely be richer by many thousands of dollars. But it will be at the cost of every other rifle he builds being viewed as "second-string" to this one. But if that is what he is looking to do, who am I to say he's wrong to do it.

best, Mike Ross

dmatzeder

From: dmatzeder

5/22/08

If I HAD to guess, I'd say he accidentally properly indexed it.8>)  That said, he claims to improve all the barrels he sells by the "proper" lapping to achieve the correct taper and choke.  I believe there is some merit in this claim but I also believe he will take his specs and technique to the grave.

The truest statement you made and what I believe proves Mr. Calfee has one or more ulterior motives is: “After all, if his previously stated goal of advancing the cause of benchrest accuracy is still in play, his greatest contribution would be to "reverse-engineer" this wondrous rifle, and share what he finds with everyone. NOT sell this rifle to ONE lucky benchrester.

 

Regarding the individual components, he has stated the rifle has his relaxed trigger system but I’m uncertain if he has mentioned the firing pin orientation.

 

The poor guy is getting crucified on BR.com because the rifle has yet to show up on the classified section, but it would not surprise me to find out it disappears just as a previous one did after he pulled a remarkably similar stunt some months ago with the idea of auctioning one of his guns. I’ve always been willing to give Bill “the benefit of the doubt” regarding his quirky posts, but in the recent months….his behavior has been truly bizarre.

 

Landy

MikeRoss22RF
Staff

From: MikeRoss22RF

5/22/08

Landy & All:

It is not the purpose of this Forum to resolve the inner workings of some gunsmith's psyche, and that's a shame because it would be such fun to do. I'll let it go with saying that anyone who screws around with smallbore accuracy has to be at least a little "nuts" to begin with.

Many years ago, some old crusty salt of a MSgt, once told me "Everybody has a purpose in life, even if it is only to be a bad example for others not to follow." Where I'm not saying that Bill falls into this category exactly, he does largely represent one end of a rather extreme range of "attitudes" concerning smallbore accuracy.

Mr. Calfee is a product of an "environment" that is totally unique amidst all types of competitive rifle shooting. What I mean is that his "personality" could never have emerged into prominance in anything other than in smallbore benchrest. To answer the question of "why smallbore" became his venue of choice, rather than say centerfire, isn't too hard to figure if you think about it.
There is such incredible "mystery" surrounding the use of ammo, over which the shooter has no control whatsoever, that if Bill had not showed up to "fill the slot" that he presently occupies, surely someone else would have. This is to say that this one shooting sport NEEDS a Bill Calfee in order to be complete. For all of his "bombast", he offers those who listen to him, HOPE, in the face of what is seemingly impossible goals of perfection. Whatever motivates him, be it personal aggrandizement, profit, or a shot at becoming another "Harry Pope" for the history books, he is most definitely serving a "purpose".

There is a point past which the entire concept of "accuracy" loses all meaning. And smallbore benchrest has reached that point. Bill Calfee just happened to be one that took it there. The only direction left for smallbore benchrest to go, is toward the total elimination of the use of the .22 caliber long-rifle cartridge.
Again and again I have satisfired my need to prove that just about any competent "smallbore gunsmith" can build (assemble) a rifle capable of providing "x's" every time it is shot at any NRA target. I have also reached the conclusion that NO European rifle-maker can be counted among that number. At least not all the time. If anyone is looking to identify a problem here, you just found it.

If you are a benchrest shooter reading this, please help me out with something here. If you have on some occasion been soundly beaten by a Bill Calfee built rifle (when your rifle was something other than that), who was it that beat you. Was it the other shooter, or his gunsmith? What's that you say? The other shooter beat you fair and square? On the basis of pure marksmanship? In fact, you could have switched rifles and the outcome would have remained the same?

If the answer to these is "yes", then like, who needs a Bill Calfee rifle anyway?

If the answer to these is "no", then what's the point of going to the match to begin with, if you know that a Calfee-built is going to be there. I mean like, how can you ever beat an "unbeatable" rifle, unless you happen to have one too.

Note to Mr. Calfee: The only "proper" home for that rifle is the Smithsonian Museum. And hey, you can probably get a nice tax write-off for donating it.

best, Mike Ross

 

 

 



 

hrocketto

From: hrocketto

5/22/08

Mike,

 

Thank you, in a roundabout way I think you helped me come to grips with my conflicted view of smallbore bench rest shooting. Understand that I started out as a high school smallbore position shooter in the three pound trigger pull and cloth coat days, had a wonderful and successful affair with service rifle when the M1 and M14 were the guns of choice, and returned to my roots still shooting position but with a particular eye on prone at this late stage in my life.

 

I am not a technogeek and often follow the discussions on this forum with crossed eyes, a pile of reference books, and a hazy idea of what is being discussed.  Things like indexing make sense to me as does lapping a barrel, bedding, and squaring an action.  A lot of the other stuff regarding tuning, like nodes and harmonics, is just beyond my simple power to comprehend.

 

However, I respect the dedication to extreme accuracy and all of the technical foll-de-rah that goes with it.  I am sure it has made for better rifles for the likes of me to shoot.  I look askance at the clotheslines of wind flags benchresters use because I have either a simple windmill, a few down range flags, or just one big flag in high power in the same manner that I view the effete range carts that have replaced the simple shooting stool of my day.

 

While the most accurate rifle is desirable, a position shooter worries more about hold in the standing and kneeling position than a 15mm group as a ten ring group doesn’t help if you can’t hold the eight ring.  It is different in prone but there is still the human element that is all important.

 

What it really comes down to is that successful bench rest and prone and position shooters are not all that different.  Both must have good equipment, good ammunition, and be able to control trigger and breath. 

 

However, when all is said and done in a prone or position match the winner is the shooter with some mention made of what gear he shot and maybe who built his rifle.  In a bench rest match the winner seems to be the gunsmith and then there is some mention of the shooter-unless they are one and the same.

 

I guess here is the rub, I believe that machines are here to serve mankind in its search for the Greek ideal of Arete-excellence, the position/prone shooter view, not mankind serve machines, the benchrest view.

 

 

Hap

Resident Curmudgeon

  • Edited 5/22/2008 5:51 pm ET by hrocketto
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