Volquartsen Black Mamba, a versatile .22LR target pistol

Volquartsen is a US firearms company based in Carroll, in the state of Iowa, that over the years has specialized in the manufacturing of pistols and rifles in .22 Long Rifle rimfire caliber built on Ruger firearms. In the best American tradition, the company was born as a metal finishing workshop in 1974 in Tom Volquartsen's basement, and in a few years the business developed, specializing in the custom work on rimfire pistols and rifles. Today, Volquartsen Firearms is universally recognized as one of the best firearms engineering companies in the US, and in addition to finished guns, it sells aftermarket parts to tune pistols and rifles from brands such as Smith & Wesson, Ruger and Remington.

The Volquartsen Black Mamba-X pistol

Volquartsen Black Mamba, универсальный целевой пистолет .22LR
The Volquarsen Black Mamba-X fitted with a Vortex Razor mini-reflex sight mounted without the need of a baseplate.

The Black Mamba pistol is the most recent update to Volquartsen Firearms' catalog. In fact, it includes some of the main features of the previous Scorpion model, but it is built on the latest Ruger 22/45 Mk IV .22 Long Rifle frame that stands out for the extreme ease of disassembly compared to previous models, with a simple push button instead of the infamous awkward disassembly lever, which was definitely the worst detail of the gun. Let's remember that the 22/45 model was born in 1994 with the intention of offering Ruger fans an informal shooting pistol with a grip that replicated size, shape and angle of the .45 caliber Colt 1911. The Black Mamba is fitted with the Volquartsen LLV competition upper, which features a stainless steel barrel and breech and an aluminum shroud, which helps lighten the assembly. The standard version has an integral Picatinny rail on the receiver's top and on the dust cover, while the variant shown here, called Black Mamba-X, is designed for the direct mounting of reflex red dot sights. Thanks to the multiple holes integrally machined on the receiver, it is possible to mount the following optics on the gun: Burris Fast Fire, C-More RTS 2 and Slide Ride, JP Enterprises Jpoint, Leupold DeltaPoint, Shield Sights Mini Sight, Sig Sauer Romeo 1 Pro, Romeo 3 Max and Romeo 3 XL, Trijicon RMR, Vortex Viper, Venom and Razor. Direct mounting allows the optical line of sight to be kept as close to the bore axis as possible, which allows for faster target acquisition. The original trigger assembly has been replaced with a Volquartsen accurizing kit that ensures a clean pull and break, and a weight of 1020 grams.

The stainless-steel barrel is 4.5”, or 11.43 cm long, featuring an anodized aluminum shoud and a proprietary design single-port compensator. Another substantial change from the original Ruger 22/45 Mk IV is the Competition Bolt, CNC-machined from stainless steel stock that ensures flawless operation thanks to the DLC finish that improves smoothness. Cocking is done by pulling the circular knob at the rear, whose shape eliminates the risk of pinching your fingers when charging. The Volquartsen magazine release makes the magazine sit higher in the frame, a solution that eliminates any feeding problems. The grip consists of a pair of semi-anatomical Hogue scales. The US retail price of the Black Mamba-X is $1342 (about 1110 euro at current exchange rates).

Volquartsen Black Mamba, универсальный целевой пистолет .22LR
View of the left side where the manual controls are all gathered. The frame is that of a Ruger 22/45 Mk IV....
Volquartsen Black Mamba, универсальный целевой пистолет .22LR
...while the upper receiver, barrel and breech assembly is entirely manufactured by Volquartsen, as is the trigger.

Volquartsen Black Mamba-X specs and price

Model:Black Mamba-X
Semiautomatic rimfire pistol
Aluminum alloy
Trigger: Single action
.22 Long Rifle
Magazine Capacity: 
10 rounds
Barrel Length: 
4.5" (114mm)
Sights: None, integrally machined mini-reflex optics interface
Finish: Hard-anodized Black
1342 USD (about 1110 euro)

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