October 27th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: German Centerfire Rifle with Rimfire Conversion

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

Shoot Rimfire Ammo from your Centerfire Rifle

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could shoot .22 LR rimfire ammo from your regular hunting or tactical rifle? That would be ideal for low-cost training right? Well, this IS possible, provided you have a rifle that was designed with a .22 LR conversion in mind. One such firearm is the remarkable Sauer 202 from Germany. This impressive centerfire rifle is available with a factory-engineered .22 LR rimfire conversion. Read on to learn how Sauer’s cool .22 LR conversion works.

Sauer 202 Rifle: .308 Win/6.5×55 with .22 LR Conversion
Forum member “Tooms” sent us a report on his very special Sauer 202 with a .22 LR conversion kit. Sauer 202 rifles feature a “Quick-change barrel system”. The barrel is clamped into the receiver with crossbolts providing tension. This allows barrels to be swapped in a few minutes with simple tools. NOTE: This conversion kit was originally designed for the Sauer 200 STR, but because the Sauer 202 shares virtually the same design for the action/bolt/magazine, the system works for the 202 as well.

Tooms, from Denmark, explains: “The rifle began as a Sauer 202 Avantgarde Gold in .308 Win. I have added a 6.5×55 match barrel, plus a wide flat-bottom match fore-arm with rail for handstop and bipod. The .22 LR system [originally] cost $1000.00 [including] barrel, bolt, magazine well assembly, and magazine. The barrel is attached by three cross-bolts and the magazine well assembly is attached by one screw that fits into the barrel.”

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

Using this “Quick-change system”, Tooms can easily remove his centerfire barrel and swap in a .22 LR barrel. Then he places the factory conversion kit into the magazine well. This kit provides a rimfire bolt, a fitted sleeve for the rimfire bolt, and a magazine housing. This is a full Sauer factory-designed system so it works flawlessly. With the bolt closed, you can see the “new” .22 LR chamber in the front section of the loading port. On the silver section of the bolt you can see the rimfire extractor on the side.

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

The .22 LR Conversion Really Works
The Sauer 202 Varmint rifle shoots very well with the .22 LR conversion, as the 50m target at right shows. Though quite expensive, the conversion kit essentially transforms your centerfire rifle into fully functional, mag-fed precision rimfire rifle. That makes the Sauer 202 much more versatile as a hunting platform. It also allows you to cross-train with inexpensive ammo. You don’t have to purchase another scope, trigger, or stock. And you enjoy the exact same stock fit and ergonomics whether you’re shooting centerfire or rimfire. In some countries where gun ownership is severely restricted, it may be easier, from a legal standpoint, to purchase a .22 LR conversion kit than to obtain a permit for a second rifle.

Comments from Readers about .22 LR Conversions:

“I had a Sauer 200 STR with the .22 LR conversion and a .308 Win barrel kit. I can attest to the accuracy of both systems. The .22 LR would easily hold 1/2 MOA or better out to 100 yards. I now have the .22 LR conversion in my Sig SSG 3000 (same action as the Sauer 200TR and the Sauer 202 listed here). The action and trigger are as good as any I have ever used to include custom actions, AIAW, AIAT, TRG22. I never had 1 malfunction from the .22 LR over many thousands of rounds. They are truly top shelf systems!” — Jesse Bell

“Blaser made a .22 LR conversion kit for the R93 for a few years. It was available in 17 HMR, .22 LR, and .22 Magnum. My 17 HMR version has fired well over 17,000 rounds at prairie dogs and has scored kills in excess of 250 yards on many occasions. Possibly the best thing ever for practicing with your big game/match rifles.” — Captain Dave Funk

The Sauer 202 rifle line-up has been replaced by the Sauer 404 series which has much in common. To learn more about the complete line of Sauer rifles visit the J.P. Sauer USA website. You’ll also find more information on the primary J.P. Sauer & Sohn German website, www.Sauer.de. Though out of production, some Sauer 202s are still for sale at EuroOptic.com.

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