Volquartsen’s Hybrid Switch-Barrel Semi-Auto
Delivers Dual .22 Magnum/.17 HMR Capability.
By Holt Bodinson
When it comes to engineering advanced precision rimfire pistols and rifles—as well as custom parts for upgrading and accurizing standard factory models—Volquartsen Custom is the company to turn to. Their head-turning product this year is the “Fusion Take-Down,” a distinctive looking, tack-driving, switch-barrel, semi-auto rifle offered with both .17 HMR and .22 Magnum barrels.
Managed by Scott and Nic Volquartsen, whose father, Tom, founded the business in 1974, this family-owned company operates under a simple mission statement: “We craft every firearm and accessory using only the highest quality materials and production methods, ranging from time-honored hand-tooling techniques to custom in-house CNC and EDM precision-built technology. Every gun we make is built from start to finish by a single craftsman who not only hand selects his raw materials, but also test fires each gun before it’s ready to ship. Each product is a promise—and we take that very seriously.”
And they do. When it comes to accuracy, 2-pound triggers and out-of-this-world styling, the Volquartsen rimfires are hard to beat. Several years ago we reviewed the Volquartsen Scorpion pistol in .22 LR (now also available in .22 Magnum). At 50 yards, the radical-looking Scorpion will out-shoot most rimfire rifles. At 100 yards, busting up a line of clay pigeons was effortless. Plus, the Scorpion proved to be uniquely tolerant of different brands of ammunition. It just seemed to shoot everything consistently well—unusual in the rimfire world.
Getting our hands on one of the first production Fusion Take-Down rifles proved equally rewarding. The Fusion is a versatile hybrid, suitable for hunting, serious target games or just plain old plinking. Volquartsen calls it a “Take-Down” which is true, since it separates into a receiver, barrel and barrel shroud in seconds with the longest component—the receiver and buttstock—measuring only 19-1/2 inches. However, I think of the Fusion first and foremost, as a very accurate, switch-barrel, accepting .17 HMR and .22 Mag barrels interchangeably and making the change in seconds.
With barrels in both .17 HMR and .22 Magnum, Volquartsen’s accurate new switch-barrel Fusion
should decimate vermin populations.
The Fusion’s custom receiver is home to a 2-pound trigger, custom bolt and integral rail.
The rifle can be hand-disassembled into three compact components for packing or storage.
The Fusion is wildly styled as all Volquartsen products are. The stock is eye-catching with its full-pistol grip, target-type, high-comb buttstock and 2-inch cylindrical aluminum forearm (or barrel shroud) sporting a short Picatinny accessory rail. Poking out of the forearm is the end of a lightweight, tensioned, carbon-fiber wrapped barrel sporting a removable 32-hole compensator and a muzzle threaded 1/2×28 for accessories such as silencers.
While it feeds from a Ruger magnum-length 10/22 magazine, the custom machined, slab-sided receiver of the Fusion is anything but a 10/22. Integral to the receiver is an ample Picatinny top rail while inside are housed Volquartsen’s remarkable 2-pound TG2000 trigger assembly and premium precision bolt.
Visible at the front of the receiver is a threaded tenon and a spring-loaded ball-detent. The tenon accepts the smooth-shanked, interchangeable rimfire barrels. The barrel shroud is then mounted over the barrel, screwed down hand-tight and locked in place by the ball-detent. No tools are needed to swap out the barrels and, boy, is the end result terrifically accurate.
Shooting Hornady’s .22 Mag 30-grain V-Max, I’m sitting there at the shooting bench looking through my Leupold Mark 4, 2.5-8x36mm scope at a 0.36 inch, 4-out-of-5 shot group at 50 yards and then transitioning to the 100-yard target. The next best group delivered by the Fusion firing Remington 33-grain V-Max ammo measures only 0.54. From a semi-automatic system with a hand-tightened barrel, such a level of accuracy is a remarkable achievement.
Switching out the .22 Mag barrel for the .17 HMR tube and firing Hornady’s 17-grain V-Max load, the best groups at 50 and 100 yards were 0.55 and 1.28 respectively. Volquartsen issues one caveat with the .17 HMR barreled Fusion: “The Fusion is designed to function with Hornady 17 grain V-Max ammunition only.” As I was writing this, Scott Volquartsen volunteered they have just “discovered” that CCI’s A17 load is acceptable, too. Running to the range I fired several 5-round groups at 100 yards. Average velocity was 2,664 fps with the best group measuring 0.96 inch.
The Fusion fed, fired, extracted and ejected without a hiccup. It’s not a fussy semi-auto, and Volquartsen’s 2-pound trigger and integral trigger stop are a gift from heaven.
Switch-barrel guns are intriguing and very classy, giving their owners a wide choice of calibers, bullet types and trajectories. The Fusion also proves a switch-barrel take-down can be extremely accurate.
Volquartsen’s firearms are famous for their accuracy. The Fusion is no exception. It’s a semi-auto
tackdriver in both .22 Mag or .17 HMR persuasion.
Maker: Volquartsen Custom Firearms, 24276 240th St.,
Carroll, IA 51401, (712) 792-4238,
Type: Blowback, semi auto
Calibers: .17 HMR and .22 Magnum
Barrel length: 18-1/2 inches (with compensator)
Overall length: 37-1/2 inches
Weight: 7-1/2 pounds
Sights: Picatinny rail
Stock: Synthetic (aluminum forearm)
Price: $1,941 (1 barrel), $2,160 (2 barrels)