A new entry - AWT's 22-Tango

JG26_Irish

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I was planning to order a new VuDoo last fall when I came across another option and since I like to be different, I decided to take a chance on a new gun maker, custom rifle builder Don Fraley of Russell, KY. His firm is AWT or Advanced Weapons Technology. He is building a new Remington 700 pattern custom 22 rimfire rifle by the name of 22Tango. First, I am not commercially associated with Don or AWT in any way other than I am one of his customers. That said, I have known Don for more than 30yrs and have nothing but respect for him as a gunsmith and marksman. He has been building custom centerfire and rimfire rifles and handguns for most of that time. His successful line of long range centerfire precision rifles is legendary in the ranks of special ops, law enforcement and varmint hunters. Some background straight off his website at www.awtllc.net

"Don is former lead sniper for the prestigious Kentucky State Police SRT team and winner of the coveted Carlos Hathcock sniper school’s “Top Gun” award.
His military experience includes training as a combat medic, light and heavy weapons, and airborne operations with the 19th Special Forces Group, and combat engineer, company medic, and chemical, nuclear, and biological warfare specialist with the 478th Combat Engineer battalion.

Don builds his own line of 1911 handguns and precision rifles and a line of 1911’s for another firearm manufacturer under their own company’s name. Don continues to serve numerous police agencies, tactical teams, and drug interdiction teams with his custom work and training expertise. Through much research and development over the past 25 years, Advanced Weapons Technology, LLC came into being to offer their state-of-the art handguns, rifles, firearms training programs, and unmatched lubricants to the public.

Only the highest quality materials and components go into his products. Advanced Weapons Technology, LLC is built on Reputation, Reliability, and Relationships. Don often tells others regarding his products stating, “you can pay more, you just can’t buy better”.

Last fall, he announced his plans to make a precision rimfire rifle on the proven 700 Remington pattern similar to the Turbo custom, the 2500x, VuDoo, RimX and a few others which all have their DNA rooted in the Remington 700 short action rimfire 40X target rifle. Don, is making a repeater and a single shot BR model and both are known as the 22Tango. I recently took possession of serial number 00002. It is fitted into an HS Precision stock in desert tan and sports a HB profile Wilson Combat Match Grade bbl cut to 22" in length and threaded at the muzzle for a can when wanted. It has a Timney Elite Trigger and we cerakoted it a bronze color to blend in with the stock. I mounted an Arken SH4 Gen2 6-24x scope on it that I had ordered just for this build and raced off to the range to zero and begin testing ammo. To say that I am pleased and impressed is an understatement. The quality of the build is exemplary and the Wilson bbl seems to have some great promise as a rimfire barrel. I only have had the one test session and it was hot as hell, windy and not ideal conditions at all. I tested a few lots of Lapua CX, Midas+ and Biathlon Extreme in the rifle, as well as SK Red, SK Yellow and one lot of Eley Blk that I had with me. It shot all of them well and some slightly better than others. Several times, I could place four into one single bullet hole but would get a puff of wind or a less than perfect round of ammo and would open up the group. At the moment, it seems to prefer the SK Yellow which seems messed up to me as that is my practice ammo used for warming up a freshly cleaned rifle before matches before transitioning to Lapua for a match. The SK while good ammo is not top flight match ammo and in most of my rifles is not normally the best shooter. This tells me that with the right lot of Lapua, RWS or Eley, it has the potential to shoot even better.

The wind was only getting worse, and I was getting hot and tired and sweat was dripping into my eyes so, I quit that range session. Normally, I would do testing on a cool early morning before the wind picks up in the morning. I hope to get to do that soon. In the mean time, here is a pic of the rifle and one of the better groups which is SK Yellow, 10shots off of sand bags on a bench at 50y. It is not a OMG, that is amazing sort of group but was enough to show me that the rifle has potential to be a good one with the right ammo. So, two thumbs up to Don and AWT. To date I have only shot it for about one hour and maybe 100rds. I am looking forward to getting more time on this rifle.

Irish

270010481_1020789.jpg22Tango AWT.jpegFirst Group 22T AWT SK Yellow 50y.jpeg
 
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JG26_Irish

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I chose to spend some time at the range this Memorial Day to honor those of us who served our country and gave the ultimate sacrifice so that the rest of us could enjoy the freedom that we have here in the USA. The right to bear arms and to be a free people and not subjects of our government was won by force of arms and we retain the force of arms as our 2nd amendment right to help preserve that freedom from those who would oppress us. Simper Fi MF'ers.

Back at the range. Took the 22Tango back out for some more break in miles and to continue testing ammo. It likes SK Yellow and Red and showed some promise with two lots of Midas+. My best lot of CenterX that will shoot bug holes in my Winchester 52's would not even group with the holes touching at 50y. This is rimfire, it is not easy, lol. If I wanted easy I would have brought the centerfires out. I cannot say that any of the groups are stellar but a few were better than the last time out and the action is a little smoother now. One of the biggest differences is that I am learning how to hold this rifle. Some like to be held like and egg and others like to be held as if they will try to get away. This one seems to like a firm hold. The best groups came when held that way. I have a bipod on the way for it which might also help as I kept canting the rifle on the sandbags.

Pics below: The tgts on the white paper are all from 50y and the bull is about the size of a dime (I think it is a bit smaller). Getting there. I also shot a few with the can attached. As expected that changed the POI lower by about 1/2 mil at 100y and opened the groups only a tiny bit. The 100y pic with the two groups together had two groups both fired at the same POA (the 9) with the lower group with the can attached and the upper without both using the Midas+ ammo. I really do not have any great ammo at the moment but this is the results with what I have found so far. I have not measured any of these groups. The best from 50y looks to be in the 3's c-c. The best from 100y is a little under 1". The shoot n see tgts are near impossible to measure so, I did not even try.

Irish

22T 5.30.22.jpeg50Y Midas+ 25.28s.jpg50y SK Y 5.30.22.jpeg100y Eley Blk 5.30.22s.jpg100y Midas+ 25 5.30.22s.jpg100y SKY 5.30.22.jpeg
 

jbell

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    Very cool, I am about to start checking AWT out right now. Thank you for posting
     

    JG26_Irish

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    JB, you can learn more at: https://www.awtllc.net

    I have known Don Fraley for more than 30yrs. He is the real deal. He is a master class IPSC shooter and a deadly rifle shot. His centerfire rifles are guaranteed to hit an 8" x 11" sheet of paper at 1500y. While with the SF teams he was a sniper and took the sniper training class at Quantico when it was taught in part by Carlos Hathcock. During that class Donnie won the Hathcock trophy for top shot in his class. An amazing honor. He builds his own line of custom 1911 handguns and many years ago when I did not know what precision rimfire was, he was building his own custom Ruger 10/22 rifles with Walther bull barrels threaded into the receiver. I sat and watched him shoot standing offhand at 50y and send a full 10rd clip into the 10 ring of a tiny little tgt at our club at the time. He handed it to me and said, here, see what you think. I struggled to hit the tgt at that distance, lol. It was also, my first exposure to Lapua ammo which I had never heard of back then. He tossed me a box of Center X and the rest is history. He tuned a Rem 700 varmint rifle for me more than 25yrs ago and it remains one of the most accurate rifles I have ever owned. Besides the 22Tango bolt action repeater, he makes a single shot model and a 10/22-like auto loader match rifle.

    He teaches a long range precision rifle class here local for those looking to improve their skills. AWT also has a line of cleaners and lubes. I have been using his gun lube for about 5yrs now. It takes only 1 or 2 drops to lube a typical bolt action. The lube soaks into the grain and bonds to the metal and has high heat properties, so it does not turn to carbon in hot actions (M16 full auto). I put it on a new CZ that was the typical coarse design prior to the first use. It immediately smooths out the action and after a few cycles of use, it works as slick as a custom action that was hand polished. Good stuff. I am pretty impressed with the Wilson Combat Match bbl too. After the first range session, it only took two wet and two dry patches for them to come out clean. Not even my Winchester 52's can claim that. I don't want to hype this too much as I am still learning the new rifle and will need to test some more lots before, I get the most out of it. Today it will not out shoot the 52's or my big Annie 54 or even my old worn out Rem 540XR, but none of those mentioned can shoot bug holes with just any ammo. It takes the right lot for each one.

    Irish
     
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    jbell

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    Irish, very cool. I watched all the videos on his site. I would love to see more about his rimfire. It looks like it may use a Vudoo magazine?
     

    JG26_Irish

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    I cannot say on the mag question. I have not handled a VuDoo enough to know. It is a polymer box mag designed to fit the Rem small action mag well. No markings or logo on it. It feeds most ammo very well but sometimes hangs up on Eley. Fraley said he could alter the shape of the feed ramp on the mag? to fix this but I told him no. I don’t use Eley enough to care and can single feed them for tgt work if I want. Form follows function. It has two extractor claws so the round slides up into them which aims the bullet straight into the chamber with the least contact along the way. This is not new. Several mfg do a similar thing. The semi wad cutter Eley match ammo is shaped differently and sometimes hangs up.
     
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    littlesister

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    I chose to spend some time at the range this Memorial Day to honor those of us who served our country and gave the ultimate sacrifice so that the rest of us could enjoy the freedom that we have here in the USA. The right to bear arms and to be a free people and not subjects of our government was won by force of arms and we retain the force of arms as our 2nd amendment right to help preserve that freedom from those who would oppress us. Simper Fi MF'ers.

    Back at the range. Took the 22Tango back out for some more break in miles and to continue testing ammo. It likes SK Yellow and Red and showed some promise with two lots of Midas+. My best lot of CenterX that will shoot bug holes in my Winchester 52's would not even group with the holes touching at 50y. This is rimfire, it is not easy, lol. If I wanted easy I would have brought the centerfires out. I cannot say that any of the groups are stellar but a few were better than the last time out and the action is a little smoother now. One of the biggest differences is that I am learning how to hold this rifle. Some like to be held like and egg and others like to be held as if they will try to get away. This one seems to like a firm hold. The best groups came when held that way. I have a bipod on the way for it which might also help as I kept canting the rifle on the sandbags.

    Pics below: The tgts on the white paper are all from 50y and the bull is about the size of a dime (I think it is a bit smaller). Getting there. I also shot a few with the can attached. As expected that changed the POI lower by about 1/2 mil at 100y and opened the groups only a tiny bit. The 100y pic with the two groups together had two groups both fired at the same POA (the 9) with the lower group with the can attached and the upper without both using the Midas+ ammo. I really do not have any great ammo at the moment but this is the results with what I have found so far. I have not measured any of these groups. The best from 50y looks to be in the 3's c-c. The best from 100y is a little under 1". The shoot n see tgts are near impossible to measure so, I did not even try.

    Irish

    View attachment 7881418View attachment 7881419View attachment 7881420
    I was planning to order a new VuDoo last fall when I came across another option and since I like to be different, I decided to take a chance on a new gun maker, custom rifle builder Don Fraley of Russell, KY. His firm is AWT or Advanced Weapons Technology. He is building a new Remington 700 pattern custom 22 rimfire rifle by the name of 22Tango. First, I am not commercially associated with Don or AWT in any way other than I am one of his customers. That said, I have known Don for more than 30yrs and have nothing but respect for him as a gunsmith and marksman. He has been building custom centerfire and rimfire rifles and handguns for most of that time. His successful line of long range centerfire precision rifles is legendary in the ranks of special ops, law enforcement and varmint hunters. Some background straight off his website at www.awtllc.net

    "Don is former lead sniper for the prestigious Kentucky State Police SRT team and winner of the coveted Carlos Hathcock sniper school’s “Top Gun” award.
    His military experience includes training as a combat medic, light and heavy weapons, and airborne operations with the 19th Special Forces Group, and combat engineer, company medic, and chemical, nuclear, and biological warfare specialist with the 478th Combat Engineer battalion.

    Don builds his own line of 1911 handguns and precision rifles and a line of 1911’s for another firearm manufacturer under their own company’s name. Don continues to serve numerous police agencies, tactical teams, and drug interdiction teams with his custom work and training expertise. Through much research and development over the past 25 years, Advanced Weapons Technology, LLC came into being to offer their state-of-the art handguns, rifles, firearms training programs, and unmatched lubricants to the public.

    Only the highest quality materials and components go into his products. Advanced Weapons Technology, LLC is built on Reputation, Reliability, and Relationships. Don often tells others regarding his products stating, “you can pay more, you just can’t buy better”.

    Last fall, he announced his plans to make a precision rimfire rifle on the proven 700 Remington pattern similar to the Turbo custom, the 2500x, VuDoo, RimX and a few others which all have their DNA rooted in the Remington 700 short action rimfire 40X target rifle. Don, is making a repeater and a single shot BR model and both are known as the 22Tango. I recently took possession of serial number 00002. It is fitted into an HS Precision stock in desert tan and sports a HB profile Wilson Combat Match Grade bbl cut to 22" in length and threaded at the muzzle for a can when wanted. It has a Timney Elite Trigger and we cerakoted it a bronze color to blend in with the stock. I mounted an Arken SH4 Gen2 6-24x scope on it that I had ordered just for this build and raced off to the range to zero and begin testing ammo. To say that I am pleased and impressed is an understatement. The quality of the build is exemplary and the Wilson bbl seems to have some great promise as a rimfire barrel. I only have had the one test session and it was hot as hell, windy and not ideal conditions at all. I tested a few lots of Lapua CX, Midas+ and Biathlon Extreme in the rifle, as well as SK Red, SK Yellow and one lot of Eley Blk that I had with me. It shot all of them well and some slightly better than others. Several times, I could place four into one single bullet hole but would get a puff of wind or a less than perfect round of ammo and would open up the group. At the moment, it seems to prefer the SK Yellow which seems messed up to me as that is my practice ammo used for warming up a freshly cleaned rifle before matches before transitioning to Lapua for a match. The SK while good ammo is not top flight match ammo and in most of my rifles is not normally the best shooter. This tells me that with the right lot of Lapua, RWS or Eley, it has the potential to shoot even better.

    The wind was only getting worse, and I was getting hot and tired and sweat was dripping into my eyes so, I quit that range session. Normally, I would do testing on a cool early morning before the wind picks up in the morning. I hope to get to do that soon. In the mean time, here is a pic of the rifle and one of the better groups which is SK Yellow, 10shots off of sand bags on a bench at 50y. It is not a OMG, that is amazing sort of group but was enough to show me that the rifle has potential to be a good one with the right ammo. So, two thumbs up to Don and AWT. To date I have only shot it for about one hour and maybe 100rds. I am looking forward to getting more time on this rifle.

    Irish

    View attachment 7880583View attachment 7880584View attachment 7880585
    While probably a very well built gun it is still the same old, same old. 700 short action conversion. SAP 12 Oclock ignition , converted centerfire mag. Accuracy potential will be the same as Vudoo, RemX and Anschutz. It is not similar to the Turbo design as they are PAS ignition with 6 Oclock firing pin. Actually the Turbo is closer to a Winchester 52 action than a Rem 700. It would be nice if someone would build a modern action based on the Winchester 52 design. PAS 6 Oclock ignition with a dedicated 22lr Mag. Then we might see a potential for increased accuracy!
     

    King_beardsly

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    Oh I wish I didn’t see this and now I want it but I’m afraid of the price tag attached to it.
     

    jbell

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    It is hard to say that the spring orientation has any measurable difference in accuracy potential / ignition consistency, but I do see the merits of the 6 o’clock pin. Of course any of this only really matters after everything else is properly sorted.
     

    JG26_Irish

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    Lilsister makes some valid points. The Winchester 52 is a magnificent rifle. I hav three of them and they remain some of my most accurate. My club runs a thurs nite outlaw benchrest match. You can shoot any factory produced 22 repeater off of sand bags only. Out of 14-16 competitors including three former natl champions fully half choose the 52. That includes me on the nights when I hope to win. I could only hope the new rifle might shoot as well. But it was not set up for BR. The scope is 6-24x ffp mil and optimized for PRS match play and training. For that, it is going to be just fine. Like all rimfire, it is the ammo that is key. Tested some RWS last night that ran well. Very well in fact.
     

    JG26_Irish

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    Couple new pics. Tried some RWS which it liked and several lots of Lapua. Seems to like the slower loads. Also added the bipod and sling.

    5F56ED3D-EFC2-4DE4-B8C1-447A763D1750.jpeg5104D16A-FC54-401F-8BBC-8512135FC399.jpeg
     
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    JG26_Irish

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    Took the 22Tango to the 400y range for some long range fun after cleaning a little carbon ring out of the chamber lead last week. I set up a 50y USBR card at 50y to test a few more lots of ammo first. I loaded 10rds of SK std+ and the first group was 1" at 50y. The second group was 1/2" at 50y. The third and fourth groups are in the pic attached. They are the best groups from the rifle so far. It has not given me 6 in a row like tht yet but to be clear, I have not tried either. The smallest is with the SK Std+ and the other one is with Midas+. This is the first time, I have shot this rifle in calm morning conditions. It is starting to impress me. I only could get two good groups at a time as wind gusts spoiled those in between.

    I was using the long range dope from my Sako as a base line and rang the plates at 200y, 300y and 400y without too much effort. It was wet out and that made it harder to dust and adjust since the bullet splash from the little 22 can be hard to see.

    5sh 50y 22T 6.11.22.jpeg22T 6.11.22.jpeg22T DeZarn 400y.jpeg
     
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    Thesepaperwings

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    So I spoke with him on this and it seems pretty legit. He's essentially making a custom 40x. 40x based action that is made in house and completely trued to the word, the bolts are made outside of house but are modified and trued in house to work with the action, the mags are vudoo mags with the Bergara mod taking a few thou off the rear left for the ejectors. Everything is completely hand fit, barrel hand cut like you would expect from a fully custom rifle build.
     
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    JG26_Irish

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    So I spoke with him on this and it seems pretty legit. He's essentially making a custom 40x. 40x based action that is made in house and completely trued to the word, the bolts are made outside of house but are modified and trued in house to work with the action, the mags are vudoo mags with the Bergara mod taking a few thou off the rear left for the ejectors. Everything is completely hand fit, barrel hand cut like you would expect from a fully custom rifle build.

    You are correct. I need to spend some quality time playing with trigger adjustment, and action screw torque values to see about milking a little more out of it. Don is not new to gunsmithing or precision shooting. He is also not new to rimfire having been building 22lr's for close to 30yrs. This is to my knowledge, his first effort at precision bolt action rimfire. Feedback: I chose the 22" bbl for a reason but I think if I were to do it over, I would have had him do 20" or 18" instead. While the HS precision stock is very nice, I sort of wish that I had used one with an adjustable check piece. The 90 deg bolt throw is a handicap if you use the big ass scopes that are in vogue today. Mine is 34mm and just clears the bolt with medium rings. It is not an operational issue and the extended bolt handle clears nicely but it prevents my using low rings to get the optic closer to the bore center.
     
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    BillOH

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    Don did a trigger job on a 10-22 back in the mid 1990s and also built a 1911 top end for a frame I had. I think he was D&J's Guns or something back then. He did a nice job for me. :)
     

    JG26_Irish

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    Don did a trigger job on a 10-22 back in the mid 1990s and also built a 1911 top end for a frame I had. I think he was D&J's Guns or something back then. He did a nice job for me. :)

    He used to build some killer 10/22's with Walther bull barrels threaded into the receiver all set into a nice stock and trigger. I never owned one but played with a few of them. To that point, I had never seen or shot a true accurate 22 rifle. I thought that 1" at 50y was great, lol.
     

    JG26_Irish

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    He used to build some killer 10/22's with Walther bull barrels threaded into the receiver all set into a nice stock and trigger. I never owned one but played with a few of them. To that point, I had never seen or shot a true accurate 22 rifle. I thought that 1" at 50y was great, lol.

    I did shoot some really nice 22lr tgt rifles in college but I was in the 18-20yr old range and my brain was not fully developed to be able to comprehend the gravity of owning & shooting a rifle. It may have also been marinated in alcohol and was thus unable to retain many of the blurry details of that era. :LOL:

    Maybe we should raise the age of buying a rifle to 45y? Just asking (jkg). Funny how, I recall every detail of my rifle training at age 8-10y.