Review of the Dlask Arms DAR22 Rifle
I had the good fortune of being the lucky purchaser of one of the two Christmas special rifles Dlask Arms was offering in December of 2010. The model I bought features their DAR 22 receiver with integral extended picatinny rail, a 16.5” fluted bull barrel and a Boyds’ SS Evolution laminated stock. When I saw the price ($440) I assumed that it was a barreled action set in the stock, but without the trigger group and bolt. I gave them a call and was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was a complete rifle with all Ruger parts and that they had even done a trigger job. I couldn’t resist the temptation and bought it (despite having ordered the same SS Evolution stock in blue/grey the day before directly from Boyds' Gunstocks).
Dlask Arms is based in British Columbia, Canada and has been around for years. Their IPSC race guns have a very solid reputation and they have made copies/enhancements of several popular firearms. The DAR 22 is their Ruger 10/22 compatible receiver. The receiver will accept factory and aftermarket parts, slip-fit barrels and it has a heavily reinforced top end. This extra metal at the top of the receiver is intended to address the issue of free floated heavy bull barrels placing more stress on the relatively thin factory receiver than it was orginally intended to support. Development of this receiver has proceeded quickly through 2010 and this rifle is the third generation. It was designed to fit in a standard stock and it will accept all factory internal parts of the 10/22 Ruger rifle, with little or no fitting. The receiver is precision CNC machined out of 6061 T6 aluminum billet and hard anodized black. The quality of the finish appears better than on Ruger's own production. A nice feature that is visible in the photo to the right is a hole drilled at the back of the receiver for those who want to insert a cleaning rod from the breech end without removing the barrel. You still have to remove the action from the stock and remove the bolt but purist see this as preferable to potentially damaging the muzzle's rifling by inserting cleaning rods from the muzzle. I have seen photos of this receiver with a custom serial number (GO4SLAYR - cute idea) but don't know if this an extra cost option.
The trigger pull weighs in at a hair over 2 1/4 pounds. My other 10/22 with a Volquartsen trigger group weighs in at a hair under 2 1/4 pounds. It is a very impressive trigger job on a factory plastic trigger group! Without the trigger pull gauge I wouldn't be able to tell the triggers apart. The Power Custom competition hammer/trigger/sear kit I just installed in my son's 10/22 produced a 2 3/4 pound pull. Dlask's trigger job makes money spent on custom trigger groups and components look like an unnecessary expenditure. I'm a little surprised though that they didn't modify the bolt hold open latch while they had it apart. That part was quickly modified (thanks Brian) by a few seconds of grinding with a Dremel grinder attachment and the bolt now closes with a simple tug on the bolt handle.
The Tasco PDP4 optic that is mounted in the photo above is a little too high above the bore. I find that I am just resting the side of my jaw against the stock instead of my cheek. I'll likely try a lower red dot sight before long.
As it is winter here I’m not going to report on accuracy results for a few months. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
The .920" profile barrel is has a simple fluting style that does make a noticeable difference in muzzle heaviness. My other 10/22 with an unfluted Hogue barrel and compensator is much slower to transition from target to target. With its balance the DAR22 should be perfect for fast action shooting in minirifle competition. There is a lot of good coaching advice and tips on gun setup for anyone interested in action shooting with rimfire rifles at this British site.
Dlask barrels use a relatively tight match chamber that cannot be safely used with CCI ammunition. Apparently the CCI ammo tends not to seat fully and the cases may rupture when a cartridge is fired without the bolt fully closed. The image to the right shows a CCI cartridge in a Dlask chamber versus a Ruger factory barrel chamber. The photo below shows some case head failures that have happened.
Here is a closeup of the front of the receiver showing how subtantial the top of the receiver is, especially with the integral rail.
And here it is with the Sky Blue stock from Boyds'. Not sure which I actually prefer. This length of pull on this stock does feel a little on the short side for a six footer with average length arms. There may be an adjustable buttplate in the near future.
If you have any other information on these rifles, please pass it along to Dave@FirearmsTraining.ca and I'll consider posting it here. There is a lot of detailed information about the development of this receiver on the CanadianGunNutz discussion forum.