July 24th, 2019

17 Mach 2 (17 HM2) — Affordable .17-Caliber Rimfire Option

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

The 17 Mach 2 (aka “17 HM2″) is making a come-back. We’re glad. This high-velocity round fits actions and magazines designed for the .22 LR, so it’s an easy barrel-swap upgrade for most rimfire bolt-guns (semi-autos are more complicated). The 17 Mach 2 cartridge doesn’t deliver the velocity of the 17 HMR, but it is still way faster than a .22 LR. Expect 2000-2100 fps with 17 Mach 2 compared to 1250 fps for “High-Velocity” .22 LR ammo. And, importantly, 17 Mach 2 ammo is much less expensive than 17 HMR. If you shop around, you can get 50 rounds of 17 Mach 2 for about $6.50. That’s 35% cheaper than the average $10 price of 17 HMR — a significant savings!

17 Mach 2 Major Selling Points:

1. 60% more velocity than typical “High-Velocity” .22 LR ammo.
2. 35% less cost than average 17 HMR ammo.
3. 17 Mach 2 OAL is compatible with .22 LR receivers and magazines.

17 Mach 2 Rifle Reviews

Gun-makers have taken notice of the availability of 17 Mach 2 ammo, introducing new models chambered for this versatile little rimfire round. For a high-volume, small-species varminting, the 17 Mach 2 is much more effective than the .22 LR, and much less expensive than the larger 17 HMR.

New Savage A17 in 17 Mach 2

There are a number of reviews on new-generation 17 Mach 2 rifles. Recently Varminter.com reviewed the Savage A17 in 17 HM2. Editor Eric Mayer wrote: “This new addition to the A17 line comes at a time when the 17 Mach 2 round is experiencing a resurgence, with ammo now available from CCI and Hornady, including the lead-free NTX round from Hornady. This means … you don’t have to break the bank to buy a current, functioning, semi-auto 17 Mach 2 and you don’t have to … convert your 10/22.”

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 savage a17 17 HMR varmint rimfire summit

Eric shot four different types of 17 Mach 2 ammo, putting 1000+ rounds through the Savage. He was impressed: “I am very excited that Savage Arms has chambered their A17 rifle in the 17 Mach 2 / 17 HM2 round. After shooting the prototype, I can confidently say that this new A17 will become my go-to 17 Mach 2 rifle. This new rifle is a great option for varminters everywhere!”

Toggle Bolt Volquartsen Summit in 17 HM2

It’s rare for us to see a new rimfire that we’d really like to own, but the new Summit from Volquartsen fits the bill. This versatile rifle features a cool, straight-pull toggle bolt, similar to those on elite Biathalon rifles. You can see how this gun shoots in this informative 22 Plinkster video:

22 Plinkster Tests Volquartsen Summit Rifle in 17 Mach 2

The 17 Mach 2 (17 HM2) is making a comeback. Now leading manufacturers are offering this efficient little rimfire cartridge in some nice rifles. Both Anschutz and Volquartsen will offer new 17 Mach 2 rifles in 2019. The Volquartsen Summit features a lightweight, carbon fiber-wrapped barrel threaded 1/2-28 for brakes or suppressors. The Summit boasts a nice 1.75-lb trigger pull. The Summit’s CNC-machined receiver features a +20 MOA Rail. NOTE: The video shows a silhouette-style laminated wood stock. However, the Summit comes standard with a composite Magpul stock that actually works better for shooting from a bench.

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

17 Mach 2 — Best Rimfire Bang for the Buck?

If you are looking for a capable, squirrel-busting round or a fun plinking round, you should definitely consider the 17 Mach 2, especially since CCI has committed to production of the little cartridge. CCI recently rolled out its “Gen 2″ 17 Mach 2 VNT Ammo with polymer tip (see top of article).

Considering that 17 HMR ammo is now running $10 to $12 a box, the 17 Mach 2 is an excellent value by comparison. It is available from many vendors for under $6.50 per 50ct box. That’s just $0.13 per round. When you consider overall “bang for the buck”, for many shooters, it makes sense to use the 17 Mach 2 rather than a 17 HMR. You save money, barrel life is a little longer, and the 17 Mach 2 is still a much more potent cartridge than the .22 LR. Check out this comparison, and note how the 17 Mach 2 has a much flatter trajectory than the .22 LR. For varmint shooting, the 17 Mach 2 is clearly the better choice.

17 Mach 2 hm2 .22 LR comparison
Hornady’s 17 Mach 2 has a 2100 FPS muzzle velocity vs. 1255 FPS for “High-Velocity” .22 LR.

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June 18th, 2019

Rimfire Video Fest — Great CZ Rifles for Training and Varminting

CZ model 512 .22 LR  Winchester magnum rimfire varminter.com video 457 MTR Varmint

Every shooter should have a good rimfire rifle, both for fun shooting and for training. The .22 LR is very affordable to shoot, and the more potent .17 HMR and .22 WMR rounds also are great for small varmints out to 200 yards or so. Among the rimfire rifle makers, the Czech manufacturer CZ (Česká Zbrojovka) has been a world leader for many decades. In today’s Video round-up we feature a variety of CZ rimfire rifles including the the all-new CZ 457, the versatile CZ 455 VPT, and the classic CZ 452. We also include one semi-auto, the CZ 512 in .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR).

CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer in Manners Stock

CZ  455 rimfire precision PRS trainer .22 LR smallbore video TFBTV manners stock

CZ 455 TFB TV joel Varmint Precision trainerRimfire cross-training allows PRS competitors to build their skill sets without breaking the bank (or burning out barrels). One great .22 LR option for cross-training is offered by CZ, the Czech arms-maker. The TFBTV video below spotlights the CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer (VPT), a smooth-running .22 LR bolt action. This factory rifle was designed specifically as a training tool for precision long-range competition. It boasts a Manners composite stock and 20.5 or 24-inch heavy barrel. The 0.866″-diameter tube is threaded and suppressor-ready. The model 455 VPT is mag-fed and comes with a crisp trigger that adjusts to two pounds. Street price is around $860. That’s pricey for a rimfire — but you’re getting a premium Manners stock that would cost $534 by itself.

Field Testing the CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer

CZ 457 MTR Varmint — New for 2019

We really like the new-for-2019 CZ 457 Varmint MTR .22 LR rifle. Along with other CZ 457 models, the MTR (“Match Target Rifle) Varmint features a completely new action that runs very smoothly with shorter bolt throw. The new 457s also have an American-style, push-to-fire safety. The new-generation actions have been trimmed back nearly one-inch in length, and slab-sided to reduce the footprint and weight of the actions. CZ ditched the 90º bolt rotation of the past in favor of 60º rotation. This change provides more room between bolt handle and scope for easier cycling of rounds. It also allows for the use of scopes with larger ocular bell diameters and lower ring heights.

The well-designed MTR stock has good ergonomics and nice stipling on the grip and fore-end. We were pleased to note that, with the 457 series, CZ is once again offering steel magazines that are interchangeable with older 452/455 magazines.

Here our friends at Area 419 offer a side-by-side comparison between a $2300+ rifle with Vudoo V-22 action in Manners stock and the $752.00 CZ 457. On a bang-for-the-buck basis, the CZ wins hands down. However, the Vudoo V-22 does offer centerfire-style action cycle, which helps with training. It also can run Rem 700-compatible triggers.

CZ 452 — Classic Bolt-Action Rimfire Rifle

The CZ 452 is an affordable classic. It is ultra-reliable, easy to clean and maintain, and you’ll find very good examples on the used market for under $400. This is an excellent first rifle for a young family member. In this video, The TFB TV team tests a CZ 452-2E fitted with a suppressor. As the 452 series is being replaced, if you want to buy a new 2019 CZ 452, you’ll need to spend big bucks on the Grand Finale model: “Produced in limited quantity, the 452 Grand Finale (MSRP $1189.00) is a last hurrah to the venerable CZ 452. Built using the last 452 actions ever produced, on the original manual barrelling equipment and at the Brno workshop, the Grand Finale [features] hand-engraved scroll-work on the action, barrel, bottom metal and scope rings. The upgraded American walnut is trimmed with an ebony fore-end and grip cap.”

Semi-Auto CZ — Model 512 American in .22 Magnum Rimfire

The folks at Varminter.com are avid varmint hunters, who test varmint rigs in the real world, seeing how they perform in the varmint fields. Varminter.com was quite impressed with the CZ Model 512 American semi-auto .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire) rifle. The testers found the Model 512 to be accurate, extremely reliable, and fun to shoot. Watch the video to field tests conducted in California. This self-loading rifle performed ultra-effective on California ground squirrels. Erik Mayer, Varminter.com’s publisher says: “The 22 Magnum (.22 WMR) is beginning to see a resurgence of sorts, as the rimfire ammunition becomes more readily available. Because of this, rifles like the CZ Model 512 have also begun to see a rise in interest again”. CLICK HERE for FULL REPORT with accuracy findings for multiple ammo types.

CZ model 512 .22 WMR Winchester magnum rimfire varminter.com video ground squirrel varmint hunting semi-auto

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August 5th, 2018

Semi-Auto 17 HMR Rifle — Savage’s A17

Savage 17 HMR .17  A17 A-17 varmint hunting semi-auto rifle accurateshooter.com

One of our favorite cartridges for small varmints is the 17 HMR. Yes, the newer 17 WSM rimfire has better ballistics, but 17 HMR ammunition is considerably less expensive, and you have a much larger selection of rifles and pre-chambered aftermarket barrels. And out to 150 yards or so the 17 HMR is great on ground squirrels and prairie dogs.

If you are looking for a 17 HMR varmint rifle, one rig you should definitely consider is the Savage A17. Now that this model is offered in a nice laminated thumbhole stock, you can get a fine little 17 HMR rifle for about $450.00. We much prefer the laminated stock A17 over the basic Tupperware version.

Savage A17 thumbhole stock

How does an A17 shoot? That question was answered a couple seasons back by Varminter.com in a First Hunt Report. Accurate and affordable, the Savage A17 is also the first .17 HMR to feature a delayed blow-back action. Eric Mayer, Editor of Varminter.com, put the semi-auto Savage A17 through its paces.

CLICK HERE for Savage A17 First Hunt Report on Varminter.com

Mayer wanted to see how the new Savage would perform, accuracy-wise, and he also wanted to see how the A17 fared in the field. Mayer achieved one-MOA accuracy with the Savage A17 using the latest CCI-brand ammo, and he demonstrated the A17 is wickedly effective on ground squirrels. Below we’ve provided highlights from Varminter.com’s Savage A17 First Hunt Report.

“I [collected] as many versions of the currently available .17 HMR ammunition as I could get my hands on. I had already picked-up and tested the new CCI A17 ammunition, so I filled up my ammo safe with other CCI ammunition, as well as Hornady and Winchester, including the lead free 15.5 grain NTX versions, also from Hornady and Winchester. After spending some time at the bench, I saw that this rifle shot the CCI A17 ammunition best, with most groups hovering right around 1″ to 1.20″ at one hundred yards, and some of the other ammo choices in the 1.25″ to 1.50″ range. This was with a warm barrel and in-between cleanings during the break-in process.”

Savage 17 HMR .17  A17 A-17 varmint hunting semi-auto rifle accurateshooter.com

Mayer found the A17 was easy to maintain: “I was very impressed by the ease of pulling the rifle apart for cleaning out in the field. Even with the scope mounted, I was able to quickly and easily remove the parts needed to give me complete access to the barrel through the breach, so cleaning was a breeze.”

A17 Reliability Lessons — Seat Those Rotary Magazines Correctly Folks
Some early A17 purchasers have noted occasional failures to feed. We believe this is because the magazine was not fully seated (and locked in place) in the firearm. The experience of Varminter.com’s Editor seems to confirm this. Mayer reports “As I began to shoot the rifle, I experienced what a few others have reported, with the magazine falling out while shooting. I quickly realized that I was not snapping the magazine into place every time. I found that popping in the magazine while the bolt was pulled, or locked back, resolved the issue. I did have a few failures to feed, but only on some of the older ammunition I was shooting, namely the first year Hornady ammo and the lead free ammo (which is about 3-4 years old). The newer ammo did not have any issues and functioned well, even while shooting some 10-round ‘mag-dumps’. The trigger is on the heavy side.”

A17 Reliability Shown in Video
The Savage A17 went through a very thorough manufacturer’s testing process before it was released to the market. In fact Savage put over 500,000 test rounds through A17 prototypes. When AccurateShooter.com tested the A17 at Media Day — it worked flawlessly, so long as you make sure the magazine is fully seated. We had zero issues, making us think that reported issues may be related to “driver error”; specifically not seating the magazine properly. Watch AccurateShooter.com video with rapid fire sequence.

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March 2nd, 2018

New Euro Rimfire Rifles Previewed by Varminter.com

There were some interesting new Euro-Rimfires on display at SHOT Show 2018. We were impressed with the new Tikka T1x along with the handsome Steyr Zephyr II. Both these rifles are offered in .22 LR and .17 HMR rimfire chamberings, and the Zephyr comes in .22 WMR as well. Our friends at Varminter.com have created preview videos showcasing the notable features of these new rifles. We hope to test one of these Tikkas this spring — one great feature is the action has the same footprint as the Tikka T3/T3X centerfire rifles. That means you can drop the rimfire barreled action into any stock that fits a T3 or T3X.

Tikka T1x MTR Rimfire Rifle (.17 HMR, .22 LR)

Tikka T1x Rimfire varmint rifles .22 LR 17 hmr 22 WMR

Varminter.com Reports:
Tikka has built a reputation for offering quality firearms, for an affordable price. Up until now, they have focused on the centerfire platform. However, they are now entering the rimfire market with the new Tikka T1x MTR rimfire rifle. This rifle is loaded with everything we love about Tikka’s T3 centerfire rifles, in a rimfire. Unique to the T1x is the ability to place the barreled action into one of their T3, or new T3x, rifles. This truly gives this rimfire a centerfire feel, in the calibers we love (.22 Long Rifle and .17HMR).

Linked above is Varminter.com’s video with Miikka Tammlnen from SAKO in Finland from the floor of the 2018 SHOT Show, where he discusses this new rifle in length. READ Varminter.com Review.

Steyr Arms Zephyr II Rimfire Rifle (.17 HMR, .22 LR, .22 WMR)

Steyr mannlicher ARms Zephyr II Rimfire varmint rifles .22 LR 17 hmr 22 WMR
Photo from GunTrader.uk.

Steyr Arms showed off a handsome rimfire rig at SHOT Show. The Zephyr II sports a handsome walnut stock with good ergonomics and nice checkering on grip and fore-end. This is not an inexpensive rifle — MSRP is $995. The .22 LR version is shipping now, and other the .22 WMR and .17 HMR versions should be available before summer. The rifle is trim and easy to carry — overall length is 39.2″ (with 19.7″ barrel) and the rifle weighs just 5.8 pounds without scope. You’ll find more product photos on Guns.com.

Varminter.com has prepared a preview video highlighting features of this attractgive rimfire varmint rig. View the video below. For more details read the FULL Varminter.com Review.

Product description from Steyr Arms
The Steyr Mannlicher Zephyr II is the rebirth of the original Zephyr rifle, which was produced from 1955 through 1971. This new rifle features a classic European walnut stock with a Bavarian cheek piece and fish-scale checkering. The Zephyr II has a tang safety, detachable 5-round box magazine, and comes with a threaded barrel option for all calibers. The cold hammer forged barrel with Mannox finish make for tough, reliable design that will withstand the elements while out in the field. This lightweight bolt-action, is available in .17 HMR, .22 LR, and .22 WMR.

Chamberings: 17 HMR , 22 Long Rifle, 22 WMR
Magazine: 5 Round, Detachable
Stock: European walnut with fish scale pattern

Overall Length: 39.2″
Barrel Length: 19.7″
Weight: 5.8 lbs

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September 8th, 2017

Hunt Report: Squirrel-Busting with Varminter.com’s 17 Hornet

Felding Ground Squirrel Varminter.com 25gr HP Hornady 17 Hornet varmint cartridge ammo ammunition

When considering .17-caliber Varminting, most guys think rimfire — shooting the 17 HMR or the newer 17 WSM. But there is a good, affordable centerfire option — the 17 Hornet — with quality factory ammunition available. Hornady produces factory 17 Hornet Ammo with three bullet options: 15.5gr NTX, 20gr V-Max, and the new 25gr HP Varmint. Our friends at Varminter.com recently conducted a test of Hornady’s new 25gr HP “Custom” ammunition, reasonably affordable at around $29/box of 50 rounds. Varminter.com tested the ammo in a CZ 527 rifle chambered for the 17 Hornet on a ground squirrel hunt in Northern Nevada.

» READ FULL 17 Hornet TEST & HUNT REPORT on Varminter.com

Hornady 17 Hornet 25 Grain HP CUSTOM™ Ammo (#83006) Specifications:

25 grain HP Varmint bullet
3375 fps rated (Varminter.com averaged 3383 fps in CZ Model 527 with 24″ barrel)
632 FPE (Foot Pounds of Energy)
0.187 G1 Ballistic Coefficient

Hornady 17 Hornet varmint cartridge ammo ammunition

Ammo Testing and Hunt Report

By Varminter.com’s Editor
With the new 25gr Hornady 17 Hornet ammo, our accuracy results ranged from 0.528″ to 0.85″, with an average of 0.678″ over ten, 5-shot groups at 100 yards. After shooting the groups, we settled on a 200-yard zero, which put the rifle at 1.1″ high @ 100 yards and 5.3″ low @300 yards.

“I went 14 shots in a row without a miss, and that was from 80 yards out to 220 yards. On these small varmints here, the 25-grain HP does a good job [and] the ammunition is accurate.”

Ground Squirrel Gauntlet in Northern Nevada
It was a few months after the initial range work when I was able to really put this ammo to work on some varmints. The grass here in Southern Idaho had grown quite tall, so we decided to head over to a spot on a private ranch down in Northern Nevada. We were promised some good shooting, but until we actually sit down at the bench and start pulling the trigger, we try not to get our hopes up. Needless to say, we were not disappointed in the amount of varmints and shooting we experienced!

Felding Ground Squirrel Varminter.com 25gr HP Hornady 17 Hornet varmint cartridge ammo ammunition

The set-up was simple. I set-up with my bench pointed down a private dirt road on the edge of a large alfalfa field. I was going to be shooting something I call “The Gauntlet”. What this means, is that the majority of the ground squirrels were making their home outside of the alfalfa fields. This is a perfect spot for ground squirrels, because they are forced to cross an open area (the dirt road), in order to get to the lush, green, alfalfa. Within this gauntlet, the ground squirrels would consistently stop on the edge to make sure it was safe to run across to the alfalfa side. This gives you a few seconds [time window] to find the squirrel in your scope and make the shot. The range of shoots were from 80 yards out to 220 yards down the road. CLICK HERE to read full 17 Hornet Hunt Report.

Speed Kills — 3650 FPS with a 20-Grainer

Based on the 22 Hornet cartridge case, the 17 Hornet can drive a 20-grain V-MAX bullet at 3,650 fps. At this velocity, the 17 Hornet can match the trajectory of a 55-grain .223 Remington load, but with much less noise and recoil. Look at the chart below. You can see that the 17 Hornet’s trajectory (blue-gray line) is almost an identical match for the larger .223 Rem (red line) all the way out to 400 yards or so.

17 Hornet ballistics Varminter.com

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May 30th, 2017

Varminter.com Field Tests New Lead Free 17 WSM Ammo

Varminter.com winchester 17 WSM lead free no lead rifle test
Photo Courtesy Varminter.com.

The team at Varminter.com just completed an extensive test of Winchester’s new LEAD FREE 17 WSM ammunition. During multiple sessions, Varminter.com shot the ammo using no less than nine different rifles. Four, 5-shot groups were shot with each rifle from the bench at 100 yards. Results were impressive. Average group size for a 1:9″-twist heavy barrel Savage B-Mag was a remarkable 0.5005 inches. Group size averages for seven of the eight other 17-cal rifles* ranged from 0.755 to 1.03 inches at 100 yards — pretty impressive for factory rimfire rigs. A LOT of time was invested in this test, and we recommend you read the full report on Varminter.com.

» READ FULL 17 WSM Lead-Free AMMO Review on Varminter.com

Fastest Rimfire Cartridge Ever
If you’re not familiar with this cartridge, the 17 WSM is the fastest, flattest-shooting rimfire round you can buy. It stomps the .22 LR, and even offers significantly better ballistics than the popular 17 HMR. This lead- free version is impressively flat-shooting. With a 100-yard zero, it drops only 4.3 inches at 200 yards. Compare that with a .22 LR which can drop 18 inches or more from 100 to 200 yards (based on 1150 fps MV).

Varminter.com winchester 17 WSM lead free no lead rifle test

Zinc Replaces Lead in Winchester’s Eco-Friendly 17 WSM
For folks who live in areas where lead ammo is restricted, such as California, the arrival of this Lead Free 17 WSM is good news. Winchester’s new 17 WSM ammunition features a Zinc-cored, polymer-tipped 15-grain bullet with 0.118 G1 BC. The ammo is rated at a speedy 3300 FPS velocity. Winchester says that the zinc core and “thin alloy jacket with engineered sidewall profile” deliver “explosive fragmentation.”

Varminter.com winchester 17 WSM lead free no lead rifle test

*The ninth rifle, a Savage BMAG with original thin-contour barrel, was the “odd man out”. Accuracy was mediocre, averaging 1.763 inches.

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January 27th, 2017

Pint-Sized Power — the 3000 FPS 17 Win Super Mag Rimfire

17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire WSM Varminter.com

At SHOT Show 2017, we had the chance to chat extensively with Eric Mayer, head honcho of Varminter.com. An avid shooter and hunter, Eric loves small, efficient cartridges. Eric told us his current favorite rimfire cartridge is the 17 WSM. “Winchester has continued to improve this cartridge since its introduction. We are seeing very good accuracy now, and performance is impressive in the varmint fields”. Eric notes that the 3000 fps 17 WSM 20-grain ammo (photo above) delivers way more punch downrange than a typical 17 HMR load. In this article, you’ll find the highlights of Varminter.com’s review of the 17 WSM round in the Ruger 77/17 cartridge.

Ruger 77/17  17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire Win Super Mag or WSM review video AccurateShooter.com

The 17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire (aka Win Super Mag or WSM) is the fastest, most potent modern rimfire round you can buy. This cartridge, which uses a modified nail gun casing, drives 20gr bullets at 3000 fps. The 17 WSM offers superior ballistics to all .22 rimfires, and is a clear step ahead of the 17 HMR. That makes this round a potential “game-changer” in the varmint fields. To gauge the capabilities of the 17 WSM, Varminter.com tested the cartridge in the new Ruger 77/17 bolt-action rifle. Click HERE for Varminter.com Ruger 77/17, 17 WSM Review.

17 WSM shoots faster than the 17 HMR, so the 20gr bullets don’t drift as much in the wind:
17 Win Super Mag Rimfire Magnum Ruger 77/18 Varminter.com review

Varminter.com reports: “The much-anticipated Ruger 77/17 chambered in the 17 Winchester Super Magnum (17WSM) has been released. Our Review Editor, William Chambers, put it through a full range test with all four currently-available ammunition loads. Afterwards, he took it on a short groundhog hunt[.] We put a lot of rounds through the guns we test, at targets, through chronographs and out in the field. This report includes all currently available 17 WSM ammunition and a sneak peek of the really nice Nikon Prostaff 5 riflescope.” READ REVIEW.

As part of its review, Varminter.com tested four different types of 17 WSM ammo for accuracy: American Eagle (20gr V-Max); Hornady (20gr V-Max), Winchester HV (20gr V-Max); Winchester HE (25gr V-Max). In the little Ruger, which suffered from a very heavy trigger, the most accurate ammo, by far, was the American Eagle, with an average 5-shot group size of 1.135 MOA at 100 yards. The Winchester HV was the worst, with a 2.304 MOA average for three, 5-shot groups. CLICK HERE for full accuracy test results.

After accuracy testing, Varminter.com Review Editor Chambers took the Ruger 77/17 on a Groundhog hunt in Northern Ohio. Chambers was successful, bagging this ‘hog’ at 127 yards. The American Eagle 17 WSM ammo did quick work — the groundhog dropped without a twitch (watch video).

Ruger 77/17  17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire Win Super Mag or WSM review video AccurateShooter.com

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
July 12th, 2016

The Silent Varminter: Squirrel Hunting with Anschutz Air Rifle

Anschutz Anschütz 8002 S2 Black Air Hunter airgun air rifle moderator squirrel hunting

Can you hunt small varmints with an air rifle? Indeed you can. At reasonably close ranges, a .177 pellet has sufficient “knock-down” power, and the near-silent operation of the air rifle keeps your prey from being alerted. Our friends at Varminter.com recently tested the Anschütz 8002 S2 Black Air Hunter, which features an integral, custom-tuned moderator. Overall, this is a very accurate, very high-tech solution to pesky squirrels (and other small furry pests).

Here’s the report: “We spent a couple of hours out in the field with the Anschutz Black Air Hunter, and took seven ground squirrels that NEVER heard the shot. This rifle is unbelievably quiet, and VERY accurate. I simply put the crosshair on the back of the eyeball, touched the super light trigger, and dropped them in their tracks. Tomorrow, we hunt a small orchard near some farm animals, and I think this rifle will really shine. Tom got some decent video, but we need a bit more out in the field for the full hunt report, so there will be more to come!”

The Anschütz 8002 Black Air Hunter is a PCP (Pre-Charged Pneumatic) air rifle in .177 caliber. This nice rig features a very comfortable, ergonomic stock with adjustable cheekpiece and buttplate. Best of all, the Black Hunter is wicked accurate. Varminter.com reports: “It took [just] three shots to sight-in, and proceeded to shoot bug holes at 25 yards the next 10 rounds.”

Anschutz Anschütz 8002 S2 Black Air Hunter airgun air rifle moderator squirrel hunting

Anschutz Black Air Hunter Product Description

The new Anschütz 8002 S2 Black Air Hunter is designed for varmint hunters and target shooters who want an accurate, quiet, versatile, and urban-friendly air rifle. Based on the 8002 S2 match rifle, the Black Air Hunter boasts the excellent balance/ergonomics of a world-class 10 meter match rifle. But the Black Air Hunter has other key features you won’t find on typical competition airguns.

The match barrel is fitted with an advanced moderator made by Tactical Solutions. This non-removable unit is smaller, lighter, and considerably quieter than the counterparts from Europe. Tactical Solutions engineered this moderator to control the sharp crack associated with pre-charged pneumatics. And yes, it works — the Black Air Hunter is VERY QUIET.

As shown here with Leupold scope, the rifle weighs just under 10 pounds:
Anschutz Anschütz 8002 S2 Black Air Hunter airgun air rifle moderator squirrel hunting

The fully-adjustable beech stock has a moisture-resistant rubberized coating that provides a secure grip in cold or damp conditions. An aluminum accessory rail under the fore-end allows sling or bi-pod mounting. The cheek piece and butt plate offer a wide range of position options, and can also be upgraded or changed to suit the shooter’s preferences.

The Black Air Hunter runs a .177” caliber pellet at 580 fps, which allows for quiet yet precise training and target shooting in an urban environment. There are more powerful air rifles, but they will be noisier and you may have concerns with down-range energy. With its ultra-low noise signature, the Black Air Hunter is well-suited for use in urban settings.

Anschutz Anschütz 8002 S2 Black Air Hunter airgun air rifle moderator squirrel hunting

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 4 Comments »
May 27th, 2016

Savage A17 Wins American Hunter’s Rifle of the Year Award

Savage A17 Semi-auto Varmint 17 HMR Rifle

The Savage Arms A17 rifle has been named the 2016 Rifle of the Year by American Hunter Magazine, which awarded Savage Arms a Golden Bullseye Award. “Savage Arms has created a modern rimfire rifle deserving of a 2016 Golden Bullseye Award” said Doug Hamlin of NRA Publications. Savage Arms President Al Kasper declared: “We’re incredibly proud to receive the American Hunter Golden Bullseye Award, and with this recognition, we’re confident we have produced a category-leading firearm.”

Savage A17 Semi-auto Varmint 17 HMR Rifle

The A17 is a 17 HMR semi-automatic with delayed-blowback action. Previous semi-auto 17 HMR designs struggled to cope with the extra power of the 17 HMR cartridge compared with a .22 LR. Savage solved that problem using a delayed blowback mechanism with retracting locking lug. You can see how that works in the video below.

Watch this Video — You’ll Learn Something about Semi-Auto Rimfires

This Savage-produced video demonstrates how the 17 HMR Savage A17 rifle works. The video includes nicely-done 3D Graphics that illustrate the function of the A17’s delayed-blowback action with “interrupter lug”. Using “X-Ray View” animation, the video shows what happens INSIDE the chamber as rounds are fired. The video also explains how the 17 HMR presents a tougher engineering challenge than the lower-pressure .22 LR cartridge.

Varminter.com Savage A17 Field Test and Hunt Report

Ammo Accuracy Results from Varminter.com Field Test:
Savage A17 Semi-auto Varmint 17 HMR Rifle

NOTE: This entire test was performed without cleaning the barrel. For each ammo type, ten (10) 5-shot groups were done. That’s seven times 50, for a total of 350 rounds. The gun used Savage’s original, first-generation polymer A17 stock. Some folks have reported better accuracy with the late-model A17s in the laminated wood thumbhole stock or the laminated wood Sporter Stock (shown below).

Savage A17 Semi-auto Varmint 17 HMR Rifle

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April 17th, 2016

17 HMR Savage A17 Field Test

Savage 17 HMR .17  A17 A-17 varmint hunting semi-auto rifle accurateshooter.com

Varminter.com recently released a First Hunt Report on the new Savage A17 rifle. Savage’s new semi-auto .17 HMR has caused quite a stir. Accurate and affordable, the Savage A17 is also the first .17 HMR to feature a delayed blow-back action. We think the A17 may be the most important new rimfire rifle of 2015, so we were pleased to see that Eric Mayer, Editor of Varminter.com, put the new semi-auto Savage through its paces.

CLICK HERE for Savage A17 First Hunt Report on Varminter.com

Mayer wanted to see how the new Savage would perform, accuracy-wise, and he also wanted to see how the A17 fared in the field. Mayer achieved one-MOA accuracy with the Savage A17 using the latest CCI-brand ammo, and he demonstrated the A17 is wickedly effective on ground squirrels. Below we’ve provided highlights from Varminter.com’s Savage A17 First Hunt Report.

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June 27th, 2015

Semi-Auto .17 HMR: Savage A17 Field Test by Varminter.com

Savage 17 HMR .17  A17 A-17 varmint hunting semi-auto rifle accurateshooter.com

Varminter.com recently released a First Hunt Report on the new Savage A17 rifle. Savage’s new semi-auto .17 HMR has caused quite a stir. Accurate and affordable, the Savage A17 is also the first .17 HMR to feature a delayed blow-back action. We think the A17 may be the most important new rimfire rifle of 2015, so we were pleased to see that Eric Mayer, Editor of Varminter.com, put the new semi-auto Savage through its paces.

CLICK HERE for Savage A17 First Hunt Report on Varminter.com

Mayer wanted to see how the new Savage would perform, accuracy-wise, and he also wanted to see how the A17 fared in the field. Mayer achieved one-MOA accuracy with the Savage A17 using the latest CCI-brand ammo, and he demonstrated the A17 is wickedly effective on ground squirrels. Here are some highlights from Varminter.com’s Savage A17 First Hunt Report:

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June 17th, 2015

Varminter.com Reviews Ruger 77/17 in 17 WSM Rimfire

Ruger 77/17  17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire Win Super Mag or WSM review video AccurateShooter.com

The 17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire (aka Win Super Mag or WSM) is the fastest, most potent modern rimfire round you can buy. This cartridge, which uses a modified nail gun casing, drives 20gr bullets at 3000 fps. The 17 WSM offers superior ballistics to all .22 rimfires, and is a clear step ahead of the 17 HMR. That makes this round a potential “game-changer” in the varmint fields. To guage the capabilities of the 17 WSM, Varminter.com tested the cartridge in the new Ruger 77/17 bolt-action rifle. Click HERE for Varminter.com Ruger 77/17, 17 WSM Review.

17 WSM shoots faster than the 17 HMR, so the 20gr bullets don’t drift as much in the wind:
17 Win Super Mag Rimfire Magnum Ruger 77/18 Varminter.com review

Varminter.com reports: “The much-anticipated Ruger 77/17 chambered in the 17 Winchester Super Magnum (17WSM) has been released. Our Review Editor, William Chambers, put it through a full range test with all four currently-available ammunition loads. Afterwards, he took it on a short groundhog hunt[.] We put a lot of rounds through the guns we test, at targets, through chronographs and out in the field. This report includes all currently available 17 WSM ammunition and a sneak peek of the really nice Nikon Prostaff 5 riflescope.” READ REVIEW.

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