Every year at SHOT Show, people always try to determine the trend for the year’s show. I already knew going in what the trend of 2020 SHOT Show would be and I am pretty sure many others also had the same thought: Rimfire.
As much as some in the shooting community are not excited about rimfire, there is no doubt that recent successes in the rimfire segment have resulted in other manufacturers to jump on the bandwagon.
I will admit that I would not have been excited about rimfire a few years prior, either. But as those who follow my Range VLOGs or read my blog on a regular basis have witnessed, rimfire has turned into a whole new ball game.
With that, I am going to lead off not with the company that I feel has been the catalyst for the resurgence in precision rimfire shooting. Rather, I will lead with the more controversial company product offering in the Bergara B-14R Trainer.
When the Bergara B-14R was announced in late 2019, there was a lot of excitement in the community because of what the B-14R offered: A complete rimfire rifle with a Remington 700 footprint action and AICS form factor magazines at an MSRP of $1150, with a carbon fiber wrapped barrel version at an MSRP of $1250.
As a Vudoo V-22 owner, here’s my thoughts at face value without actually live firing it. It feels like a decent rifle. The bolt seems smooth enough and what you would expect from decent quality mass production rifle. The Begara HMR stock is on par with your aftermarket lower cost stocks in terms of ergonomics and adjustability. The trigger isn’t bad at all, but it’s not stellar.
With an MSRP of $1150 (and $1250 for the Carbon version), you’re looking at sub-$1000 pricing at some dealers. Is this a value at $1000? I would say so for budget minded centerfire shooters that want a rimfire ‘trainer’ rifle to emulate their centerfire platform(s), particularly those who already own Bergara centerfire rifles.
But if you own some other platform, especially a custom centerfire rifles, my argument is that you probably want to just go with a custom rimfire action rather than buying a Bergara B-14R and swapping out parts.
I led off the discussion of the Bergara B-14R calling it controversial. Where’s the controversy? It’s all in the magazine.
The B-14R magazine isn’t a direct copy of the Vudoo Gun Works V-22 magazine, but it appears to use the same exact feed angle of the V-22 magazines, and I am fairly confident a V-22 magazine will operate in this rifle. In the weeks since the B-14R was originally announced, there has been a lot of discussion in forums about how this may have violated patents.
I did not bother to inquire Bergara nor Vudoo Gun Works about this issue. I wasn’t at SHOT Show to stir up the pot and rather, to just observe and report.
I do feel that Bergara will move a lot of B-14R Trainer rifles. There’s just those people who are frugal and do not want to spend on a custom rimfire rifle. But I’ve read comments by people on forums stating that they thought that even the Bergara B-14R Trainer is too expensive. Plus, Bergara already has a committed customer base and has replaced the actual Remington brand as the go-to off-the-shelf factory rifle manufacturer.
Anyway, since I have brought up Vudoo, I will use this opportunity to segue into the new things coming from Vudoo Gun Works, who in my eyes has been the catalyst for the precision rimfire resurgence.
Yes, I understand that people have been shooting ‘long range’ rimfire for many years, but Vudoo Gun Works has brought precision rimfire into the mainstream.
Pre-SHOT, Vudoo Gun Works announced a few new products, specifically their V22M magnum action for the .22 Winchester Magnum and .17 Hornady Magnum rimfire (aka .22WM and .17 HMR, respectively).
Making the V22M action is a logical step for VGW and even though I personally have no interest in going with a .22WM based cartridge, the important thing to note for Vudoo V-22 owners is that the V22M includes improvements and revisions which we will be made in original V22 action.
Mike Bush already spoke on the updated Vudoo fire control system, dubbed Gen 1.2, in a recent video discussing the V22M action.
The Gen 1.2 fire control system essentially replaces the Gen 1 firing pin Remington 700-style threaded shroud and firing pin with a new firing pin design. This 1.2 FCS eliminates the need for a Remington-style bolt disassembly tool. The new design also creates better fit between the bolt components and eliminate drag.
Vudoo will retrofit the Gen 1 bolts to the Gen 1.2 design for ~$100. The user can ship their bolt direct to Vudoo or can just order the parts and DIY the conversion.
Of course, the other exciting new product often mentioned by Vudoo Gun Works in forums and social media in the past few months is the work on billet aluminum magazines.
The billet aluminum magazines will be available in 5-round, 10-round, 12-round, and 15-round capacities. I handled the samples at SHOT Show and these are very nice in terms of the finish and quality. Any Vudoo owner will want to acquire several of these magazines.
Although, the billet magazines are more expensive than the original polymer magazines, starting at $75 for the 5-round and $85 for the 10-round magazines. The 12 and 15-round prices are not officially announced, but from what I was told, the 15-round should be sub-$100.
While on the subject of rimfire, SK did announce a new offering in the rimfire ammunition product line in the form of SK Semi-Auto.
SK Semi-Auto as the name implies is designed for semi-auto rimfire rifle applications. The specific recipe of SK Semi-Auto is meant to be much cleaner burning for less fouling, in terms of powder as well as lubrication. The interesting aspect of SK Semi-Auto is that it has a higher muzzle velocity rating that you would expect out of match rimfire ammo at 1132 fps. Actual user results will determine whether or not SK Semi-Auto .22LR rimfire ammunition will be successful.
I will close out Part 1 of my 2020 SHOT Show After Action Report with a photo of Mike Bush and Paul Parrott of Vudoo Gun Works.
I got a chance to meet and speak with the founders of VGW and it was great discussing precision rimfire shooting with them. I am actually looking towards building another Vudoo rifle once my optic budget allows (Nightforce 7-35 ATACR F1 isn’t cheap). Vudoo Gun Works has definitely been able to come in at the exact right time (especially with the sudden popularity of NRL22) and made a name for itself in the firearms industry and caused the rest of the industry to take notice.
Part 2 of my 2020 SHOT Show After Action Report will be posted within a couple days. But I make no guarantees due to the fact that I am actually composing Part 1 on Thursday night after returning from Las Vegas (having attended days 1 and 2 of SHOT, plus a little more than half of day 3), with a full day of work on Friday. I will forewarn you that Part 2 will continue the discussion of rimfire rifles, more specifically the custom actions which are causing a lot of buzz within the hardcore rimfire shooting community.
Remember to refer to 2020 SHOT Show After Action Report – Part 0 for the index of all published parts of my 2020 SHOT Show After Action Report series of articles.
For anyone that stuck around to read until the end, I offer this reward:
- 30% off geissele.com code – 2038271
- 35% off SSA and SSA-E triggers on geissele.com – ZIF4YJ
The above codes are one-time use, expire on 02/29/2020, and are not valid on SSF, armorer’s kits, or Magpul products sold on geissele.com (as indicated on the coupon). If neither works, you were too late to redeem. I actually have several more Geissele coupons, so if you missed on the one above, I will post more in the future 2020 SHOT Show AAR posts.