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February 21st, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Eight Great Forum Favorite Varmint Rifles

favorite Varmint rifle Sunday Gunday 6BRA 6mmBR Dasher 22-250 20 Vartarg rifle

Spring is coming soon, and that means it’s time to get ready for early varmint season. Here are eight great rifles from our Shooters’ Forum Favorite Varmint Rifles Thread. You’ll see a variety of action types and stock designs, both custom and factory. And we’ve featured a wide range of chamberings, from 17 Fireball up to a .243 Super Rock Chucker (aka 6mm-06). The common factor is serious accuracy. All these rigs are great shooters that have brought smiles to their owners while bringing doom to varmints.

1. Rem 700 in 20-222 — with Birthday Gift Barrel from Dad

favorite Varmint rifle Sunday Gunday Pacnor .222 Remington 20-222 Plain Jane varmint Rem 700 remington rifle

This is proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a great varmint rig. Forum member JDS Holler posted: “Here’s my baby, ‘Plain Jane’. I took a $500 birthday check that my Dad gave me, and ordered a great barrel from PacNor, chambered in 20-222. I got busted up in a fall, and had four months down time to accumulate the components to add to my old .222 Rem 700 donor action. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. That old Bushnell has been replaced by a Vortex Viper, and this rifle just flat shoots.”

2. 6 BRA with Krieger Barrel from Alex Wheeler

favorite Varmint rifle Sunday Gunday 6BRA 6mmBR Dasher 22-250 20 Vartarg rifle

Alex Wheeler of Wheeler Accuracy knows a thing or two about accurate rifles, having built many match-winning benchrest rifles. For varmint work he likes the 6 BRA (BR Ackley) wildcat cartridge: “My favorite varmint setup is this 6mm rifle with BAT SV action in a Nesika bay varmint stock with a 1:8″-twist Krieger HV contour barrel chambered for 6 BRA. I like the 6mmBR and variants (Dasher, BRX, 6BRA) with zero freebores.” He gets great results with 55-60 grain Sierras and Noslers with H322 powder: “I shot 55 Sierra Blitzking, 55 Nosler Ballistic Tip, and 60gr Sierra Varminter HP. H322 was the best powder. Jam ‘em 10 thou in the rifling — and of them — and man they were like magic.” Alex also feels the 6mm rifles are easier to tune than 22-caliber varmint rigs and the 6mm barrel throats last longer. He often puts an older 6mm match barrel on a varmint gun and it still holds quarter-MOA.

Alex recommends sticking with a 1:8″-twist even when shooting light 6mm bullets. The extra RPM makes the bullets MUCH more explosive on critters: “I’ve done one 1:13.5″-twist and I’ll never do that again. I’m not kidding, with the 8-twist it’s twice as energetic. It can lift those ground squirrels 20 feet in the air. With the 13.5-twist it’s not half that.”

About the Suppressor — The rifle is wearing a “can” in the photo. However, Alex tells us that he now avoids suppressors for most varmint work: “I didn’t like the suppressor — it put off so much heat that the mirage was terrible. With the heat mirage, after 5-10 shots you couldn’t see. I learned my lesson. I pulled that sucker off after the first time I shot it.”

3. 6mm Dasher in Convertible Laminated Stock

favorite Varmint rifle Sunday Gunday 6BRA 6mm Dasher BAT richard franklin laminated stock benchrest Brux hunting rifle

The 6mm Dasher has won many benchest matches, and it’s also an ultra-accurate varminting cartridge. This Dasher belong to Forum member MTLager who posted: “Here’s my baby — 6 Dasher with BAT SV action. First one built. Serial number PT1.” This impressive rig features a tack-driving, 1:8″-twist Brux Heavy Varmint contour barrel. This rig is “Smokin the 75gr V-Maxs” reports MTLager. The stock is very interesting. MTLager explains: “This is a Richard Franklin laminated blank made into a stock by J.T. Barber. It has a 3″-wide fore-end for varmint shooting. But I can change the front to 4″-width and a rear section can be removed.” The angled rear “toe” of the buttstock can be taken off, allowing a flat, straight bottom for benchrest competition.

4. Slick 17 Fireball with BAT Action and Stunning Stock

favorite Varmint rifle Sunday Gunday 6BRA 17 Fireball exhibition-grade walnut V-Max hunting rifle

This rifle is almost too pretty to carry out into the varmint fields. Look at that wood! This handsome small-caliber varminter belongs to Forum member “20 TAC”. Chambered for the 17 Fireball wildcat (.221 Fireball necked down), this rig features a BAT Action, Jewell Trigger, and a custom exhibition-grade walnut stock sporting a true ebony fore-end cap. The checkering is exceptional. Owner 20 Tac report this rig “shoots 20 grain V-Max bullets with H4198 very well.” That’s a Nightforce scope on top.

5. 6mmBR in McMillan Stock with Krieger Barrel

favorite Varmint rifle Sunday Gunday 6BRA 6mmBR Dasher 22-250 20 Vartarg rifle

This website stated 17 years ago as 6mmBR.com, so we had to include a classic 6mmBR Norma in today’s varmint rifle line-up. Forum member Powderbrake posted: “Here is my favorite varmint rifle — [a 6BR with] Stiller Predator V RBLP action, bedded in a McMillan stock.” This accurate varminter features a 1:8″-twist 6mm Krieger barrel and Jewell trigger. Up top is a Nightforce NXS 8-32x56mm scope. Below are the owner’s key gear items: Leica Laser-Rangefinding Binoculars, Smartphone with Applied Ballistics software, and Kestrel Weather Meter. Powderbrake told us he recently upgraded to a Model 5700 Kestrel with ballistics software and LiNK. (Editor: The $399.00 Kestrel 5700 has ballistics software, but if you want the full Applied Ballistics suite, order the $699.00 Kestrel 5700 Elite).

6. Efficient 20 Vartarg for Prairie Dog Adventures

favorite Varmint rifle Sunday Gunday 6BRA .243 Win Urban Rifleman hunting rifle south dakota

The .20 Vartarg is based on the .221 Fireball case, necked down to .204 and slightly modified for extra capacity. This very efficient cartridge offers low recoil and great accuracy. It’s one of our first choices for ground squirrels and P-dogs out to 300 yards. 20 Vartarg here belongs to Forum Member DogBuster, an avid varminter based in Utah. He posted: “If I recall, I had a hot spot in this location — probably kilt 150+ prairie dogs that morning. The hay wagon helped too, offering added elevation.”

7. Long-barrel SAKO Action Varminter in .243 Super Rock Chucker

favorite Varmint rifle Sunday Gunday 6BRA .243 .25-06 super rock chucker sierra bullets Prairie dog hunting rifle south dakota

Here is another .243 wildcat, chambered for the .243 “Super Rock Chucker”. This long-barreled rig belongs to Forum member MikeGaiz. The rifle features a SAKO action fitted with a 30″ Kreiger barrel chambered for the .243 Super Rock Chucker. From what we have read, the .243 Super Rock Chucker is a .25-06 cartridge necked down to .243 (6mm). Yes this is a barrel burner, but it can definitely “reach out and touch” varmints at VERY long range. Owner Mike reports hits at 1275 yards on prairie dogs in South Dakota. This cartridge drives Sierra 6mm 85gr HPBTs at 3440 FPS. That’s serious speed for an 85-grainer.

8. AR-10 Custom in .243 Winchester

favorite Varmint rifle Sunday Gunday 6BRA .243 Win Urban Rifleman hunting rifle south dakota

Forum Member Urban Rifleman calls this .243 AR10-platform rifle the “Goblin Killer”. This Gen 2 DPMS rifle features a Craddock Precision Bartlein 1:8″-twist 5R barrel chambered in .243 Winchester with a Tubb assymmetrical muzzle brake. Up front is the unique Tubb Bipod which reduces hop. The buttstock is a Magpul PRS Gen 2. The scope is a Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm FFP TMR. We’re told this rig “will easily shoot 1/2 MOA, sometimes much smaller”.

favorite Varmint rifle Sunday Gunday 6BRA .243 Win Urban Rifleman hunting rifle south dakota

Urban Rifleman produces a variety of great gun accessories sold through TheUrbanRiflemanStore.com. That green grip is his Urban Rifleman/Tubb ergonomic grip.

Parting Shot from Groundhog Country, SW Pennsylvania

favorite Varmint rifle Sunday Gunday 22-250 Remington 40 XB tripod varmint rifles
This nice tripod with rifle mount (and Rem 40XB 22-250 on top) belongs to Forum Member Snert.

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February 21st, 2021

Firearms Transfers — Gifts and Sales — What You Need to Know

Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell

Are you planning to purchase or sell a gun? Or perhaps you want to give one to a family member. Maybe you want to transfer a gun to a friend out of state. These are all situations that demand you understand the law before you buy, sell, or transfer a gun. Thankfully the NRA Blog has a series of helpful articles that can guide you through firearms transfers and transactions. Do note that laws on private transfers vary from state to state.

Here are five articles providing key facts you need to know.
Click each title to read the specific article.

Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell


Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell gift giving


Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell gift family


Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell private gift

Firearms straw sale transfer buy sell private gift

IMPORTANT: All five of these articles reference general rules that apply nationally and in MOST states. However, some states, such as California, New Jersey, and New York (and others) have very special rules and regulations on gun transfers. If you have ANY questions about gun transfers in your state/region, you should consult an attorney familiar the laws of YOUR state and municipality.

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February 21st, 2021

Erratic POI? Check Your Scope — But It Could Be a Loose Barrel

loose barrel vortex scope optics point of impact change fix

Are you seeing unpredictable changes in Point of Impact on your target? Think you may have a scope issue? Well maybe not — when was the last time you checked your BARREL?

Yes scopes do fail, and scope bases/rings do get loose. But sometimes problems with erratic POI shifts are caused by a LOOSE BARREL. This issue came up recently in our Shooter’s Forum. One member complained that his zero was shifting from day to day — by as much as two inches at 100 yards. He was convinced he had a scope problem, based on erratic POI:

“I think my scope loses 1 to 3 MOA per day. When I shot my rifle Monday it was dead on. On Tuesday it was 1″ low. Then on Wednesday it was 1 or 2″ lower. I don’t get it. — the elevation knob never touched. Scope will track and return to zero that day perfect. Yes EVERYTHING has been checked, nothing loose. What is the chance the erector tube spring has gone south? For the record this is a Vortex GE. Never had a bad scope, but this has me wondering”. — LB

On Forum member told LB to send the scope right back to the manufacturer. Two other members suggested mounting the scope on a different rifle to test. Good advice. That’s generally a smart strategy before you conclude a scope has gone bad…

Could Problem Be the Scope Base?
Two Forum members, ExPiper and Dickn52, suggested checking the scope base, recounting their past experiences with troublesome bases. This was intelligent — anyone with a POI problem should check all the optics attachments:

“Went crazy one day chasing my impacts on a 100-yard target. Shots would group fine for three then go nuts for 4-5. I cranked and un-cranked for about an hour. Then I reached up and the base wobbled on the rifle. Removed scope, tightened base screws and back in business.” — Dickn52

“Years ago I had a problem [where] shots were climbing with almost every shot. I was blaming the scope. However, when removing the scope I noticed that the 20 MOA base was cracked and getting wider with every shot. Needless to say I replaced the base and the problem was solved. — ExPiper

Eureka Moment — The problem was the BARREL, not the Scope

There were many helpful suggestions, but member PirateAmmo steered LB to the real problem — a loose BARREL: “We had a problem on a home-built AR-platform rifle once, barrel was loose a tad…”

Member Snert chimed in: “Yep — I had a PPC that suddenly went 19″ low. Picked up gun off bench by barrel and felt a wiggle. I tightened the barrel and the POI went 19 inches up”.

Problem Solved — Barrel Tightened up and POI Back to Normal
The gentleman with the POI problem took the advice of PirateAmmo and checked his barrel. BINGO! Low and behold, the barrel WAS loose.

LB posted: “Barrel loose by about 2%, checked it twice before and didn’t find it the first two times”.

After LB re-tightened his barrel, his rifle started shooting normally again. No more shooting low by 1-2 inches. Problem solved. The fix didn’t cost a penny and now LB doesn’t have to send a perfectly good optic back to the manufacturer.

Lesson learned? Check ALL the variables before you assume a scope has gone bad. Along with the barrel, also check your action screw tension, and of course the scope base and rings.

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