Volquartsen's LLV-4 Competition Upper


Volquartsen’s LLV-4 upper mated to a Ruger Mk IV lower magically transforms the
bits into a masterful target-grade .22 LR pistol. Dime-sized groups at 25 yards were
the norm, regardless of ammo used.

Billet aluminum construction of the LLV-4 upper and form-fitting grips allowed the
pistol to settle comfortably in Roy’s hand. This is a purpose-built set-up and it pays
dividends in ragged, one-hole groups at 25 yards with the right ammo.

The Volquartsens are, as a company and as people — sterling. Scott Volquartsen is young enough to have plenty of energy, but seasoned enough to read the market, understand business, fly the flag for the company and inspire his staff to stay the course. The course? To build the most accurate guns possible. Period.

And they do it.

Their website pretty much says it for me: “We believe that no one needs another standard anything. As second generation Volquartsens, we’re programmed to never settle, no matter how much we close in on the impossible pursuit of perfection.

“In short, we work to make Dad proud. In spite of the odds, he built a legacy in one lifetime — and we’ll stop at nothing to build on his vision with every generation to come. Sure it’s our name on every gun, but everyone here is family working together to craft the finest firearms to satisfy ourselves, not those who are looking.

“We recognize that ‘handcrafted’ doesn’t always mean ‘well-crafted,’ and that ‘Made in the USA’ doesn’t always equate to quality. It’s why we’re proud that our guns are designed and engineered to the highest standards, in Carroll, IA — using only the best possible materials, technologies and most importantly, God-given talents.

“We steadfastly pursue our passions, but also recognize that we don’t know everything. We make it a priority to have the humility to listen and adopt new ideas, and to keep pushing forward — all in the pursuit of perfection.”

That pretty much says it all, and it pleases me to no end I can say I agree 100 percent with what they’re saying — and can personally attest to the fact they mean it.

Here’s proof.

The angled sides of the LLV-4 and lower Pictinny rail, among other bits, differentiate
it from the LLV. This is made for one thing — putting .22 LR ammo into very tiny groups.

Excellent adjustable sights, ambi-safety and top-side rail highlight some of the features
of the LLV-4. The comp removes easily for suppressor mounting or a protective thread cap.

Just An Upper?

The LLV-4 Competition Pistol Upper isn’t actually a whole gun — but it can turn into quite a gun added to a Ruger “lower” Mark IV frame. The cool part of this — or at least one of many cool parts — is the fact you may have an appropriate frame on-hand now. The test LLV-4 was attached to a stainless Ruger Mark IV style frame, the one with the new push button take-down. If you have your own, you simply add the Volquartsen action parts, accessories, grip, etc. you want, then attach the LLV-4 upper and presto, you’re in business.

The MK IV is a huge break from the old-school take-down method and I predict there will be fewer “bags-o-gun” brought into local gun stores while a meek customer mutters, “Um, er … mind putting my Ruger .22 back together for me?” The test gun broke open with a press of my thumb, revealing all.

The LLV-4 is the next gen of Volquartsen’s LLV concept. This model is a bit “edgier” looking than the original, with angled sides, surface machining touches and a lower Picatinny rail, as well as an upper one for sight mounting. Made of billet aluminum and fully machined, it’s got a stainless steel match barrel hiding inside and, unlike some lightweight designs, it’s got a stainless steel breech for long life during competition. The mechanics are the same as for the LLV, but after handling both the Scorpion and the LLV-4 I found the LLV-4 set-up more attractive and for some reason, it simply felt “better” in my hand.

Volquartsen manufactures its products in-house in Iowa. Second generation family assures
the company runs the way their father created it — building on his legacy of quality and design.


The target sights installed are excellent and I never felt the need to install an optic. I’m willing to bet the farm though, if you put a cross-hair scope on it you’d be getting 1″ groups at 100 yards with the right ammo. The trigger measured about 2.25 lbs. on this sample and the grips were sensational, with the entire package resting in my hand as if it grew there.

I’m not often this impressed with a gun but every time I picked it up, I smiled. Workmanship, quality of components, design excellence and sheer ultimate performance putting bullets on-target is over-the-top satisfying. Trust me on this, if you buy a set-up like this there’s no “yeah-but” moments. It’s 100 percent right.

The comp works and you can definitely feel the difference between shooting with and without it. A simple knurled nut engages the 1/2×28 threads on the muzzle and the comp comes right off. You can install a thread protector or a suppressor as you like then.

A Ruger MK IV grip frame filled with Volquartsen custom action parts takes good advantage of the
new easy take-down system developed by Ruger. One button and the upper comes right off. Presto!

Build Your Own

With a long list of optional accessories, it’s easy to “build your own pistol” on the Volquartsen website. I “built” a few, trying it out and it’s fun and easy. It’s like commissioning a custom pistolsmith to create a one-off gun just for you, but it’s “clickable” and easy to manage. Hit the “order” button when you’re done and the team at Volquartsen will build your gun for you. Keep in mind the LLV series goes on your Ruger receiver, while the Scorpion can be purchased as a complete pistol.

You can also simply buy an upper of your liking, then add the action and accessory parts you buy to your own receiver. Everything is user-friendly and unless you’re a complete klutz you should be able to “build” your own pistol using Volquartsen’s parts. The LLV-4 6″ upper we tested retails for $589, complete. Your frame and related parts would be additional.


I don’t think you’re going to believe me here. I shot a total of about 12 .22 LR ammo types through the gun. Everything ran fine, and in all honesty, I never got a group at 25 yards bigger than a dime. It was amazing, actually. And it was very relaxing. From a rest, you put the sights on the target, squeeze the crisp trigger, then watch as the hole gets just a tad bigger as you shoot more rounds.
But the real magic happens when you find a load the gun really likes. The Eley Match, CCI “Quiet-22” and Federal Premium UltraMatch (40-gr. solid) all delivered ragged, one-hole groups at 25 yards when I paid attention. The “Quiet” needed the action cycled manually, but it was quieter and consistent.

It’s sort of crazy though, as you think you can’t shoot like this, but when you get a gun with a great trigger and the mechanical ability to be this accurate — and you do your part with the trigger press — the hits happen. My cheeks got tired from all the grinning. It does pay to use a target with good contrast and obvious sharp aiming points.

With an optic of some sort a 100-yard squirrel shot would not be impossible at all. If I sound enthusiastic it’s because I am. Stunning performance and remarkable engineering meets top-quality production technique. I promise you’ll smile too — every time you pick up yours.

For more info:
Ph: (712) 792-4238,
For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/company/volquartsen-custom/
[email protected]

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