Volquartsen VT2 Takedown

By Jeff Johnston, FE Hunting & Shooting Editor

I’m being honest here; a little peek behind the curtain, if you will.

Guys who write about guns for a living are generally expected to send any guns they receive back to the manufacturer after testing. With so many writers and YouTubers these days, it’d cost gun manufacturers a fortune to write off every gun they send out as a loss. And though we might like to keep all the guns we receive because we love guns, it’s generally best to send ‘em back for obvious reasons. Occasionally, however, I might, for example, receive a fluke rifle that shoots ¼-minute groups, or perhaps I shot my biggest buck ever with it, whatever. In these cases most gun writers will politely check with the company to see if it is at liberty to sell the gun, legally, and at the first price offered. Sometimes they can, sometimes they can’t, sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. No biggie if not, because it can always be purchased at a gunshop when it becomes available later. But every once in a while I’ll test a gun that I simply feel I must have, own, shoot, and cherish forever. These situations can be awkward, as nobody likes to beg … or claim the gun was stolen (Just joking, ATF.). One such gun I tested recently is Volquartsen’s VT2 .22 Takedown. 

Let me start by saying, I now know why Volquartsens are expensive, and why the Iowa company has such a loyal following; I now get why Jason Vincent loves his Volquartsens like his kids. 

Let me put it this way: I’ve never found anything wrong with a Ruger 10/22. What’s not to like, right? That is, until I shot the VT2. Now I can find plenty wrong with the pedestrian Ruger. I want to express, though, that I wasn’t an immediate fan of the VT2. Afterall, it’s quite possibly the World’s Ugliest Gun, any genre. Its multi-angular, squared-off receiver looks like it got a haircut from a certain crackhead “hair stylist” in the DFW airport, Terminal B. At the very least it looks like some Skunk Works prototype project that the government paid too much for because it can never be duplicated. The AR-style Magpul pistol grip and collapsible stock are literally just bolted onto the receiver, clearly without much debating among engineers on how to do it stylishly. Then the forearm and barrel are mostly rounded, but not really. To me it looks like something that only Alexander Kalashnikov’s mother could love—that is, until the whole world fell in love with her grandbaby.

But then, a mental metamorphosis happened: I clamped an Aimpoint onto its integral pic rail. I screwed a Silencerco onto its threaded carbon-fiber barrel, bolted a Spartan Precision tripod adapter on its M-Lok handguard, loaded up a mag, released the bolt and holy shit! It’s like shooting a Singer sewing machine, only this one stitches .40-grain pills with silly accuracy at 80 yards as fast as you can pull the trigger. Believe me, if you got to pick your own smallbore rifle for the “shoot the star out” con game at the local carnival, you’d choose the VT2 and take home the big ass bear most times. 

It was so much fun to shoot that I did something unheard of ‘round these parts: I called my wife outside to shoot it. She was so impressed with her own shooting, and then with that of my four-year old when he hit two golf balls in two shots at 50 yards, that she uttered something even more shocking: “I don’t know how much this gun costs, or even if you can buy it,” she ordered, “but get it done.” 

Through a 500-round carton of cheap bulk ammo—all suppressed, I might add—I had one jam. If I hadn’t witnessed this level of semiauto reliability myself, I wouldn’t believe me either. 

It wasn’t until later on when I finally cleaned the VT2 that I remembered its huge added bonus—and something that also emphasizes its quality build. With the flip of a lever, the barrel and forend pull straight out from the receiver. It’s a takedown semiauto rifle, yet one that maintains the accuracy of a high-end bolt-action. Both the barrel and receiver units wear corresponding dovetail mounts so the two parts can be stored together. It’s simple genius.

Okay, I’ve gushed enough. Now I have to call Scott Volquartsen with my hat in my hand. Jeez, the things I do for my wife. 

Cost: $2,260

Pros: It’s the best shooting semiautomatic 22 LR ever. Reliable, accurate, integral rails, packable

Cons: ugly as sin; my credit card is going to take a hit

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