May 7th, 2020

The 22 BR — A Great Ultra-Accurate Varmint Cartridge

6mmBR 22BR 22 BR BRA varmint cartridge

22 BR Dasher 22BRAThe 6mmBR Norma cartridge has spawned many great variants in multiple calibers: 6mm Dasher, 6BRA, 22 BR, 22 Dasher, 30 BR and others. This article is about a handsome 22 BR Rem-action varmint rig.

Richard Franklin (who operated Richard’s Custom Rifles prior to his retirement), has built scores of varmint rifles, in many different calibers. One of Richard’s all-time favorite varmint rifles is a 1:14″-twist, 22 BR built on his Model 11 stock in laminated Black Walnut and fiddleback maple. Richard says the rifle is versatile and deadly accurate out to 400 yards. Richard uses a Leupold 8.5-25x50mm LRT with varmint reticle.

Richard’s 22 BR Varmint Rifle with Lilja Barrel
Richard tells us: “[Shown above] is my light walking varminter. It’s built on a blue-printed Stainless Steel Remington 700 short action and chambered as a no-turn 22 BR for Lapua brass. The bolt handle is a Dave Kiff replacement and I’ve fitted a Jewel BR trigger with bottom safety. The barrel is a Lilja, 1:14″ #6 contour with a muzzle diameter of .750″. I shoot the 40gr V-Max bullets in the rifle at 4000 FPS. It’s tough on hogs if you don’t try them too far. 400 yards is about the max with it.

Accuracy is outstanding and with Roy, Mike, my grandson and myself shooting this rifle I don’t believe it has missed more than three hogs out of over 100 we shot at one summer. This rifle is carried in a ceiling rack in the truck where it’s handy and is used by the first person that grabs it when a hog is sighted if we are moving between setups. The Varmint reticle on the Leupold (shown below) is nice for quick hold-overs as you change distances.”

At right is a another Franklin Model 11 stock in Birdseye maple. That photo shows the details of the thumbhole stock.

Editor’s Note: We have shot a 1:8″-twist 22 BR in varmint matches and it was very accurate with 80gr bullets. It actually shot flatter out to 500 yards than our 6mmBR running 105-grainers. If we were to build a new long-range, bolt-action varmint rifle it would probably be a 22 BRA, essentially a 22 BR with 40° shoulder. That gives you a very stable cartridge with a bit more capacity. The 22 BRA retains a longer neck compare to the 22 Dasher, which is also an excellent cartridge — versatile and accurate.

22 BR Rivals 22-250 Performance
With bullets in the 40gr to 60gr weight range, the 22 BR gives up very little in velocity to a 22-250, despite burning quite a bit less powder (30-32 grains for the 22 BR vs. 35-38 grains for the 22-250). With a match-quality chamber, the 22 BR will probably have an edge in accuracy over a 22-250, and you should experience longer barrel life. Here are some recommended 22 BR loads for 40-60gr bullets:

For more info on the 22 BR for varminting, read our 22BR Cartridge Guide


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