In Part 1 of my 2019 SHOT Show After Action Report I mentioned the Ruger 10/22 Competition Rifle from the Ruger Custom Shop division. This is not the only new 22LR rimfire rifle to be seen at SHOT Show 2019. I actually come across several.
I stumbled upon a new rifle from Winchester dubbed the Wildcat 22. On the surface, this looks like a 10/22 inspired copy based on the rotary magazine, but once you see it being disassembled, you can tell it is definitely not a 10/22 clone or copy.
The Wildcat 22 receiver consists of an upper receiver (with the barrel) and the lower receiver (which contains the bolt and the trigger). The lower receiver drops out to reveal the straight pull bolt and a striker fire design.
The rifle appears to use 10/22-style rotary magazines. Winchester did not say it is Ruger 10/22 magazine compatible, but they simply say that the Wildcat 22 is compatible with aftermarket 10/22 magazines.
The upper receiver has an integral Picatinny rail and the stock also has a small Picatinny rail for accessories. It also allows for cleaning from the chamber thanks to a cleaning rod channel in the rear of the receiver.
This rifle is very interesting in terms of design. It has an MSRP of $249.99 making it aligned right against the Ruger 10/22 base models. The real question is will rimfire shoppers decide to pass on a 10/22 and aftermarket upgrades for the Winchester Wildcat 22?
One rimfire rifle that I did specifically seek out is the recently announced CZ 457 which succeeds the CZ 455.
CZ made a few enhancements to the CZ 455 and made enough changes that from what I understand makes the 457 incompatible with stocks and triggers for the 455. Dimensionally the 457 action is shorter than the 455, as well as lighter.
The trigger has been improved slightly over the 455, but not much in terms of how it feels (at least to me). The bolt lift is now 60 degrees, which honestly doesn’t mean much to me since I haven’t had issues with the 455. But the new bolt lift angle will help to clear bigger scope bells.
The one specific change going to the CZ 457 from the previous 455 is the safety.
The safety on the CZ 457 is a more traditional push to fire (unset/unsafe) safety lever design along the receiver as opposed to the older style push to set safe on the bolt design. Given that my CZ 455 is strictly a range rifle with no intent on hunting, the manual safety is an after thought and I never use it, as the safety is simply remove magazine and unload, and use an Empty Chamber Indicator.
But for the field shooters, the new safety design on the CZ 457 is a much needed change.
Only a couple CZ 457 variants have made it to retailers that I have seen. Once more 457 units start to make it to retailers, we will see how the prices are. The most notable for myself and many others will be the CZ 457 ProVarmint Suppressor-Ready, which is the replacement to the ever popular (and now discontinued) CZ 455 Varmint Tacticool Supressor-Ready. This version comes with a heavy bull barrel contour which is favored for accuracy.
Then of course there is the CZ 457 Varmint Precision Trainer Camo, which is the same as the CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer Camo, except for all of the CZ 457 upgrades/changes with the same Manners Stock.
From what I can tell, it appears the prices of the 457 are higher than the 455 across the variants. The price for a CZ 455 Varmint Tacticool at most retailers was right at $500 USD. We will soon see how much the CZ 457 ProVarmint sells for in the next couple of months.
Savage Arms has been selling the Rascal for a few years now. The Rascal is a single-shot 22LR rifle designed for youth shooters. Very lightweight and quite inexpensive, the Rascal is an excellent training rifle.
But Savage added new Rascal variants to their lineup in the form of the Rascal FV-SR (Suppressor Ready), Rascal Target, and Rascal Target XP.
All three of these rifles have 16-1/8″ heavy barrels that are threaded and the bolts have a larger bolt handle. The Rascal Target has a more tactical style stock with a long flatter stock to ride a bag as well as a butt hook. The Rascal Target XP is an out of the box packaged version of the Rascal Target that comes with a scope and rings.
The MSRP for the Rascal FV-SR (Suppressor Ready), Rascal Target, and Rascal Target XP are $219, $314, and $399, respectively. The $314 price for the Rascal Target is quite enticing considering you get a heavy barrel 22LR with a good trigger (Savage Accutrigger) and stock oriented towards precision shooting. This would make the Rascal Target a tremendous value for a youth target rifle since I undercuts the equivalent CZ 455/457 Varmint/ProVarmint rifles by nearly $200 (~40%).
One interesting new rimfire ammunition offering that caught my eye was at the Nammo booth, which is parent company for SK as well as Berger, Lapua, and Vihtavuori.
SK Long Range Match is a new type of ammunition to be produced by SK, which is very highly regarded in the shooting community, particularly for their relatively budget conscious (yet relatively accurate) SK Standard Plus line of ammo. Long Range Match is advertised to be designed for the new format of “long range” precision rifle rimfire shooting that is growing in popularity, and oriented for 100 yard and greater distance shooting in rifles.
This looks appealing but when you compare SK Long Range Match against the other SK ammo offerings, it has the same ballistics data as SK Biathlon Sport.
According to the SK specifications, Long Range Match has an 1106 muzzle velocity out of a 21.7″ barrel, and if you compare the data in the above product sheet against that of SK Biathlon Sport, both appear to be the same. It appears both use the same bullet and have the same trajectory data out to 100 yards. The only apparent difference is that Biathlon Sport is tuned for cold weather (perhaps different powder for temperature sensitivity). I will definitely try to get my hands on SK Long Range Match and SK Biathlon Sport once Long Range Match becomes available later this year.
While walking the SHOT Show floor, I did come across a novel promotional activity at the Aguila Ammunition booth.
You basically can post a photo of yourself on Instagram with the #FeedYourFirearm hashtag or just have one of the representatives at the Aguila booth take your photo. Then they will print out your 1×1 photo onto a sticker with a random square (column and number) that corresponds to their grid mosaic. Then you locate your square and paste your photo. But if your square has a prize printed on it, you get that prize.
Sadly, I did not win a prize. But the idea for the mosaic is a great idea. Aguila Ammunition posted the end result on Instagram.
I also made it into a livestream by Chris Cerino, a brand ambassador for Aguila Ammunition.
That wraps up Part 2 of my SHOT Show After Action Report. To read Part 3 or any other parts of my 2019 SHOT Show After Action Report, refer to the 2019 SHOT Show After Action Report index page (Part 0).