Excellent Article on 20 Vartarg from Cooper Firearms
Cooper Firearms and the 20 VarTarg cartridge are featured in Varmint Hunter Magazine, a publication of the Varmint Hunters Association (VHA). Author Thomas Tabor recounts the fascinating history of Dan Cooper’s successful Montana-based company. Tabor then field-tests a Cooper Model 21 Montana Varminter chambered in 20 VarTarg.
The 20 VarTarg is based on the 221 Fireball case necked-down to 20 caliber. Invented in 1995 by Todd Kindler (of Small Caliber News), the VarTarg is an accurate and ultra-efficient cartridge. With just 18-19 grains of powder the VarTarg can drive a 32gr bullet at 3750 fps.
Tabor explains the simple procedure for forming 20 VarTarg cases and compares the VarTarg to other popular 20 caliber cartridges. He notes that “the popularity of the 20 VarTarg is growing dramatically, particularly with both varmint hunters and [small caliber] target shooters. While the .204 Ruger offers about 200 fps higher velocity, Tabor argues that: “the 20 VarTarg is a superior cartridge in some ways to the 204 Ruger… based on the fact that the VarTarg is considerably more efficient.”
Tabor visited the varmint fields to give the 20 VarTarg Cooper a real-world test: “As was expected, the 20 VarTarg was an exceptional performer on ground squirrels. Out to 250 yards both the cartridge and rifle were deadly accurate.” Tabor was impressed by the little VarTarg. He found that the VarTarg rivaled the larger .204 Ruger, while being kinder to barrels since the VarTarg burns much less powder.
Overall, this article is a “must-read” for all Cooper Firearms fans. There are many interesting anecdotes about the early years of the company, and the author provides a wealth of useful info for anyone thinking about buying or building a 20-caliber varmint rifle.
Photos © 2008 VHA, All Rights Reserved
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