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September 5th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Fall Multi-Discipline Rimfire Rifle Showcase

rimfire .22 LR showcase sunday gunday anschutz CA 457 benchrest prone
Top is a CZ 457 MTR; middle Anschutz with BR stock; bottom is Bergara B14R in DPT Chassis.

With the variety of rimfire disciplines, from cowboy action to Olympic three-position smallbore, there are countless different rimfire designs on the market — bolt guns, lever guns, single-shots, toggle-links and more. These may shoot the same ammo, but they certainly vary in looks and ergonomics. This is testimony to human creativity.

In our Shooters’ Forum, you’ll find a long-running thread showcasing rimfire rifles for plinking, hunting, 3P Target Shooting, Silhouette, Rimfire F-Class, NRL22 and more. Here are some of the notable recently-posted rifles in that Forum thread, with brief build/component details.

ARA Benchrest Rifle with Stiller Action, Shilen Ratchet Barrel

penrod precisions stiller 2500X shilen barrel snow Lapua testing center midas+

penrod precisions stiller 2500X shilen barrel snow Lapua testing center midas+Forum member Peebles24 showcased his cool flame-paint-job .22 LR benchrest rifle against a scenic, snowy background (never too cold to shoot right?). “I had a new rifle built this past fall by Mark Penrod at Penrod Precision. Stiller 2500X action, Shilen ratchet barrel, Jewell trigger, McMillan stock, Harrell’s tuner, Sightron SIII 10-50×60mm glass. I’m shooting it off my Arnold Machine one-piece rest made locally by Cliff Arnold. I visited the Lapua Testing Center East and got a case of Midas+.” For ammo testing results, click photo at right.

In late April the gun competed in its first ARA benchrest match in Wabash, Indiana.

Beautiful MasterClass-Stocked Rifle for Rimfire F-Class

Masterclass rimfire F-class stiller 2500X action wood stock
Masterclass rimfire F-class stiller 2500X action wood stock

Here is a handsome rifle belonging to Forum member Redd. Set up for prone Rimfire F-Class-style competition, this rig features a Shilen Ratchet barrel with Erik Cortina Tuner fitted to a Stiller 2500X action. It boasts a beautiful MasterClass figured Walnut stock and rides on a SEB Joy-Pod bipod up front. The optic is a Nightforce 40x45mm Competition.

CZ 457 .22 Magnum Transformed with KRG Bravo Stock

CZ 527 Rimfire .22 Magnum KRG Bravo stock

CZ 527 Rimfire .22 Magnum KRG Bravo stockForum member JAS-AS purchased a .22 Magnum CZ which he revived as a training rig with a new stock. He posted: “I use a CZ457 in .22 Magnum mainly as a trainer — bipod and rear bag kind of stuff. It has evolved over the last year or so. Next change will be a Lilja barrel. This because it can shoot brilliantly (at times) but not consistently. And accuracy degrades as it gets minimally dirty. Also, it doesn’t like 40gr rounds — the groups open up to 1.5 MOA. It’s at its best with 30 and 35 grain rounds running at up to 2250 fps. I believe that to be a twist-rate issue.”

The “Before” photo shows the rifle “as purchased” with a Nikon Monarch 4-16x42mm mildot scope. The “After” image shows the CZ 457 as modified. JAS-AS notes: “I added a bunch of stuff: KRG Bravo stock, Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25x56mm FFP scope, new bipod and Precision Underground bag, trigger spring. With this setup I shoot at 100 yards+ exclusively.” Show at right is a 9-shot group with the rifle at 100 yards. Three-shot groups at 100 have been below half-MOA.

Savage Mark II Squirrel/Field Rifle

Savage hunting squirrel rimfire

This Savage Mark II rifle isn’t fancy, but it has brought much satisfaction to its owner, Forum member “Ohio Varmint Shooter”. He posted: “Just a nice field gun. Less than $200 (without scope). Cheap wooden stock, thin pencil barrel. My squirrel/field gun. There is absolutely nothing special about this… except it’s lefthanded. It shoots fine, preferring CCI standard velocity rounds. I did splurge and put a more-than-needed scope on it. Most scopes with fixed parallax (in this category), have it fixed at 50 yards. I wanted variable parallax so I could set it at 35 yards. I don’t know if it really makes any difference, but I do try to go for accurate head shots. The scope is also a little overkill in magnification, but it does help with the head shots and my aging eyes.”

“As a youth in the 70s, I always dreamed of a left-handed bolt. So getting back into shooting/hunting about 8 years ago, I was delighted to discover this gun. Growing up I had a semi-auto 22, but being a lefty … it would spit powder on my face.” — Ohio Varmint Shooter

Tikka T1x Action in Eliseo Competition Machine Chassis

Gary Eliseo tikka T1x chassis competition machine .22 LR
Gary Eliseo tikka T1x chassis competition machine .22 LR

Here is Gary Eliseo’s personal Rimfire Match Target Rifle with Tikka T1x action. The T1x action is carried in Competition Machine Rimfire Chassis. Gary also posted some recent 100-yard groups, using SK rifle match ammo in this rifle. Gary runs Competition Machine LLC and produces the chassis system for this cool rig, along with outstanding Across-the-Course, High Power, and F-Class chassis systems for rimfire and centerfire rifles.

Vudoo Action Benchrest Rifle with Benchmark 3-Groove Barrel

vudoo benchmark doan trevor mcmillan stock benchrest .22 LR

Here is a classy benchrest rig belonging to Forum member FCJIM. It features a Vudoo LBRP action, Benchmark 3-groove barrel, Harrell’s Precision tuner, NightForce Benchrest scope, and McMillan Edge stock. The stock work was done by Doan Trevor, while FCJIM did the metal work himself, using a Nevius reamer. This rig likes to shoot ELEY Black and Lapua Midas+ ammo.

Classic CPA Rifles Lever-Action Single-Shot Rimfire Rifle

CPA Stevens rimfire lever action set trigger .22 LR
CPA Stevens rimfire lever action set trigger .22 LR
CPA Stevens rimfire lever action set trigger .22 LR

Last but not least, here is a “blast from the past”. This classic lever-action single shot is crafted by CPS Rifles (Paul Shuttleworth), a boutique gun-maker specializing in single-shot rifles, particularly reproductions of the Stevens 44 1/2. Note the richly-figured wood and the lovely color case-hardening on the receiver. There is a dual Set Trigger system. You pull one trigger through a relatively long stroke until it clicks. The the second trigger breaks the shot (and drops the hammer) with just a few ounces of pull weight. This rig, fitted with MPA Vernier-type tang sights, belongs to Forum member “Mills” from Texas.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
May 13th, 2019

Tikka T1x in 17 HMR Shows Excellent Accuracy

tikka t1x 17hmr varmint rifle .22 LR 22 LR hornady tnt
This 17 HMR Tikka T1x test gun features a prototype Picatinny rail from 782 Gun Works.

One of our favorite new rimfire rifles is the Tikka T1x, available in 17 HMR, and .22 LR. Priced at $468.00 at EuroOptic.com, the T1x cycles smoothly and shows excellent accuracy out of the box. The T1x has an action footprint like Tikka’s T3 Centerfire action so it can use many stocks made for the T3. KRG will soon offer a $369.00 Bravo Chassis stock for the T1x. With the KRG Bravo T1x Stock you can have a rimfire that feels like a full-size PRS rifle.

Read GunsAmerica Digest 17 HMR Tikka T1x Review »

How does it shoot? That’s the key question. Clay Martin of GunsAmerica Digest recently tested a Tikka T1x in 17 HMR. He liked the gun and said it delivered impressive accuracy:

“Using 20 grain Hornady XTP ammunition and a Bushnell Forge scope, my T1x turned in [100-yard] groups just over ½ MOA. For a rimfire, that is pretty remarkable. For a rimfire with a relatively lightweight barrel, it is shocking. The barrel is also threaded from the factory, ready to go for suppressors.”

tikka t1x 17hmr varmint rifle .22 LR 22 LR hornady tnt

Tester Clay Martin really liked the T1x, noting the comfortable stock and nice bolt function. On the test rifle the trigger was set at 3.5 pounds, not bad for a varmint rifle, but Clay wanted it lighter. Tikka says the T1x trigger will adjust down to 2 pounds*. Martin also wished the T1x came with a Picatinny rail standard. For his tests he added a +20 MOA rail from 782 Gun Works.

GunsAmerica’s test rifle showed outstanding accuracy for a factory rifle that costs $468.00. (Add $369 for the KRG Bravo Stock and you’ll have a GREAT PRS rimfire trainer for under $840.00.) With Hornady 20gr ammo, shooting from prone with bipod, the tester got just over one-half MOA for multiple groups at 100 yards. We expect that, with a better rest set-up, shooting from a bench, that could be even better. In his T1x Review Video Clay declares: “This is absolutely nuts… for a rimfire at 100 yards. The Tikka will consistently do just a little over a half-inch. So, we can say that the Tikka absolutely likes the 20gr Hornady and that the accuracy level is… what we expect from the Tikka brand name.”

Another Option: Tikka T1x in .22 LR

At the 2018 SHOT Show Media day at the range, we shot a Tikka T1x in .22 LR and liked it. We thought the trigger was fine. We liked the feel of the bolt, and the action seems very well made — on a par with the centerfire Tikkas. The magazines are also very well-made and feed superbly. We have no problem with the Optilock rings mounted to the top of the action. These rings (with inserts) are excellent.

T1X Tikka rimfire .22 LR 22LR

* Clay Martin complained that that trigger was not adjustable. Perhaps he was given misinformation from the distributor. Tikka says the trigger adjusts from 2 to 4 pounds. See T1x Instruction Manual, page 15.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 5 Comments »
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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January 25th, 2018

SHOT Show 2018 — Day Two Highlights with Cool New Products

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas
The most eye-catching display at SHOT Show 2018 was a 3D Hologram animation of the new SAR 9 pistol. Showing the pistol assembling itself in mid-air, the hologram was mesmerizing.

So many products — so little time. We saw some very interesting new products including new Berger Ammunition on our second day at SHOT Show. There were many interesting tools on displays as well as cool new rifles for hunters, varminters, long-range shooters, and tactical marksmen. We also met some old friends on Day Two, including the legend himself — Jerry Miculek.

To give you a feel for SHOT Show, here’s a nice teaser video filmed last year. This shows both Media Day and the events inside the Sands Convention Center. Though this is a year old, we definitely recommend it. Plus is has a LOT of pretty ladies. You won’t be disappointed — honest.

This Video is from 2017, But You Should Definitely Watch It — Lots of Pretty Ladies!

NEW — Berger Branded Ammunition in Lapua Brass

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Berger Bullets + Lapua Brass in factory-loaded ammo. You asked for it. Now it’s here. The new line of Berger Ammunition was unveiled at SHOT Show this week at the Capstone Precision Group booth. Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori, and SK Ammo are now all owned by Nammo Lapua, so we can have these great American-made bullets packaged with superior, European-made Lapua brass*. This is an exciting development. There will be three (3) lines of Berger Ammunition: Match Grade Target, Match Grade Hunting, and Match Grade Tactical. We’ll have a full report with field tests this spring.

NEW and IMPROVED — Lyman Higher Rez Borecam

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Better. Sharper. Higher Resolution. The new, upgraded Lyman Borecam® Digital Borescope is a serious candidate for best gunroom tool of the year. We really liked the original Borecam and recommended it highly. But now the new version is a LOT better. Now offering 300k resolution, you can really see finer details inside your bore. Trust us — the difference is VERY Noticeable. We could see very fine detail as never before. We like the fact that the lens wand is marked like a ruler so you can see your insertion depth and the handle has an indexing mark so you can keep track of your rotation. Great product. NOTE: The 300K means the camera delivers 300,000 pixels, i.e. 0.3 megapixel. For a square this is about 550×550. For a standard aspect ratio, this is similar to 640×480 resolution.

NEW — Walther KK500 .22 LR 3P Competition Rifle

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Walther unveiled a handsome new smallbore (.22 LR) competition rifle, the KK500. This is more compact, with a shorter length of pull, so it’s a great choice for smaller-framed competitors — women and junior. The new Walther KK500 position rifle features bold red/gray laminated grip and fore-end block, plus an eye-catching red bolt handle. Very nice rimfire rifle for serious 3P smallbore shooters.

NEW — RCBS 6-Station Brass Boss

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

We tried out the new Brass Boss from RCBS. This new machine features SIX (6) powered tool heads, plus brushes. Four of the tool heads run at variable speeds up to 350 rpm. Two other high-speed tool heads run up to 550 RPM. There is a convenient speed control knob on the side of the unit. This is a great feature — you can run at high RPM for hard jobs like removing military primer crimps, and then slow way down to do more precise tasks such as inside chamfering. We like the Brass Boss. It is a definite upgrade over the previous RCBS Trim-Mate. The new Brass Boss includes tools for all six stations: inside VLD chamfering tool, outside deburring tool, primer pocket cleaners (small/large), military crimp removers (small/large), primer pocket uniformers (small/large), case neck brushes (four diameters), and a tub of dry case neck lubricant. MSRP for the Brass Boss is $189.95. We expect “street price” to be around $155.00.

COOL — World’s Biggest Cutaway Cartridge?

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

At the Vista Outdoor booth, we saw a 4-foot tall replica rifle cartridge. This was a real eye-catcher. Many folks looking at the giant-sized mock cartridge had never seen a 3-D cutaway like this showing the construction of the primer along with the core and jacket of the bullet. Note to Vista Outdoor — Please send one of these jumbo cutaways for our AccurateShooter.com “Man-Cave”.

WILD — $18,000 Janz Plasma Finish Revolver

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Holy Mother of Mercy. This stunning Janz pistol costs $18,000. You can buy an entry-level Honda Civic for that! But does that Honda have a rainbow-colored Plasma finish like the Janz? And can the Civic swap barrel and cylinder assemblies to shoot multiple calibers? These top-of-the line Janz wheelguns are crafted in Germany in very small numbers. Just remember, beauty doesn’t come cheap.

NEW — Leica HD-B 3000 Geovid Rangefinder Binoculars

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

When we looked through the new HD-B 3000 Leica Geovids we were stunned. Superb clarity and sharpness. And the laser ranging was instantaneous — amazingly fast. The new Geovid HD-B 3000 delivers linear distance determination up to 3,000 yards (2,750 meters). This combo binocular/LRF has an ABC® ballistic brain inside which can output holdover, click adjustment, and equivalent horizontal range (EHR). Barometric pressure, temperature and angle are also included in the measurements. Impressive.

FUN — Selfie Time with Jerry Miculek — The Man, the Legend

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Where else but SHOT Show in Las Vegas can you get a selfie with the world’s greatest revolver shooter, the legendary Jerry Miculek. Jerry was signing autographs at the Hornady booth. Of course Jerry’s not just a wheelgun ace. He has been a top 3-Gun competitor and, at last year’s 2017 Industry Day at the Range, Jerry set a world rifle speed record shooting a S&W M&P15.

NEW — Lyman Brass Smith C-Frame Press

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Lyman has three new cast-iron presses on display: an O-Frame Single Stage, and 8-station Turret, and this compact Brass Smith C-Frame Ideal open front press. We liked them all but we think this new C-Frame press is an exceptional value. With beefy cast-iron construction, it is much stiffer than other presses in this category. The compound linkage is smooth. The base is big enough to provide good stability. For someone looking for a second press, or a smaller press to take to the range, the new Lyman may be the right solution. Thumbs up.

WEIRD — Virtual Reality Self-Defense Simulator

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

At the NRA Booth, CarryGuard, the NRA’s insurance program, had a half-dozen high-tech Virtual Reality simulators. Visitors could put on a pair of VR goggles, and then experience a variety of threat scenarios. This helps gun owners recognize true threats and respond in a proper manner. We like the cool Virtual Reality technology, but it still seemed weird to see grown men wearing goofy VR headgear and waving their arms around like circus clowns.

BAD ASS — Victrix Heavy Metal Tactical Rifles

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Victrix is an Italian rifle-maker that shows that has proven that the USA doesn’t have a monopoly on seriously “Bad Ass” weaponry. We saw a trio of Victrix Minerva Tactical rifles that look tough enough to survive the Zombie Apocalypse with ease. The Minerva’s beefy carry handle under the fore-end is an interesting feature — something similar might come in handy for big ELR rigs.

SMART — Burris Spotting Scope with Accessory Red Dot

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Can you see an extra feature fitted to this Burris Signature HD Spotting Scope. Yep, that’s a Burris Red Dot Sight on the left side near the eyepiece. Smart idea — this helps you align the spotter quickly, particularly in low-light situations. After seeing this rig, we’re wondering how we might attach a red dot to our older spotting scopes. Hats off to Burris for this clever optics upgrade.

NEW and TEMPTING — Tikka T1x Rifle in .17 HMR

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

When we first revealed the impressive new Tikka T1x rimfire rifle in .22 LR, some readers said: “Well the .22 LR version is nice but will it be available in .17 HMR? That’s what I really want”. Well ladies and gentlemen, Tikka WILL sell a 17 HMR version of the T1x (see above). We saw this on display at SHOT Show and smiled. This gun has a very nice trigger, smooth running bolt, and the magazine is easy to seat (unlike some other recent rimfire rigs). Fitted with a nice 3-18X scope and bipod, this could be a great carry-around varmint rifle. We hope to test one this spring.


* NOTE: With some cartridge types for which Lapua brass is not currently made, other brands of brass may be used. However, most Berger Ammunition will feature Lapua brass.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, News, Optics, Reloading 1 Comment »