I left off Part 1 of my 2020 SHOT Show After Action Report speaking about Vudoo Gun Works and how they sparked a Rimfire Renaissance in the firearms industry. The rest of the industry realized the potential in precision rimfire and have followed suit. While Bergara imitated the Vudoo V-22 with the B-14R Trainer, others took a slightly different approach to embracing rimfire in their product line.
Once such company is Curtis Custom who is well known for being the official action of the Precision Rifle Series, along with a reputation for making great actions, most notably the Curtis Custom Vector.
Curtis Custom approached .22LR rimfire by creating a conversion kit which will convert a Vector or Axiom action into a .22LR rimfire platform.
The conversion kit is essentially a 22LR bolt and the initial cost will be $475 (subject to change). Pre-fit barrels will be available from Curtis Custom. The Curtis .22LR conversion is designed to work with Vudoo Gun Works magazines and VGW and Curtis Custom have been working together to make the Curtis rimfire conversion a reality.
I have mixed feelings about the Curtis Custom rimfire conversion kit. I think it’s great that it will essentially allow a person to run rimfire through one of their phenomenal actions, but the primary benefit of going with this platform is for the flexibility to switch between centerfire and rimfire (and vice-versa).
For those that want to retain as much of the original cost as possible in the event a rifle needs to be parted out and sold, having a Curtis Custom Axiom or Vector in rimfire will probably be easier to sell since it can be sold as either centerfire or rimfire.
But if you know for a fact that you want to stick with rimfire, then you are probably better off going with a rimfire specific custom action.
The one new custom rimfire action that did make waves on the Internet prior to SHOT Show is the RIMX by Zermatt Arms, Inc (formerly known as Bighorn Arms). The list of features is extensive:
- Rem 700 footprint
- Integrated recoil lug
- Nitrided receiver and bolt body
- DLC coated bolt head
- Non-protruding, fixed extractor
- 6 o’clock position firing pin
- Toolless, bayonet style fire control
- Interchangeable bolt heads
- 22LR / 17 Mach 2
- 17 HMR
- 17 WSM (available at a later date)
- Four options for rail incline:0, 20, 30 and 40 moa
- Seven options for bolt knob: tactical, teardrop, helical diamond, spiral diamond, competition and spiral extended
- 7075 aluminum 10 round adjustable height magazine
- 5 round magazine extension option
- Availability: Spring 2020
- Pricing: $1,150
The RIMX action is a dedicated .22LR rimfire action with several unique characteristics. While it is a 700-style action that will accept Remington 700 compatible stocks and triggers, the action itself uses a bolt without protruding extractor, thus leaving the breech face void of extractor cuts.
When you look at the breech face of the barrels ZAI had at SHOT Show, it is slightly tapered so that it is not completely flat. The idea behind this is that it prevent fouling from causing issues with bolt lockup. The action uses Savage threads without a nut, but ZAI will not be providing barrels. They will be working with barrel manufacturers to have pre-fit barrels made.
The bolt disassembly is quick and easy without the need for tools.
The RIMX accepts Vudoo Gun Works magazines, but the Zermatt Arms, Inc. native magazines are billet from the start and have built in adjustability for the magazine catch. This is to tailor the user’s magazines to their specific rifle. As many know, the magazine is the feed ramp for Vudoo V-22 and making sure the magazine locks in correctly to the chamber is critical to function. If you ever have feeding issues with the V-22, you need to address the magazine catch on your rifle.
The same concept applies to the ZAI RIMX, but ZAI addresses magazine catch / bottom metal / chassis+stock inconsistencies by providing the adjustments in the magazine itself. While this is very handy, it does mean that magazines setup for one RIMX may not work with another RIMX.
I will say that the ZAI RIMX is quite impressive. I was speaking with my gunsmith about the Zermatt Arms RIMX and he was very enthusiastic about this action because of the flexibility of being able to swap cartridges quickly. Obviously, what works in his favor is that he can spin up barrels for his own action whenever he wants.
From my standpoint, I’m not looking to shoot anything other than .22LR, so the interchangeable bolt heads is not a selling point to me. That is not to detract from the quality of the ZAI RIMX action. As mentioned earlier, the RIMX will be available in Spring (Mar/Apr timeline) and will be going to dealers first. So if you are an end-user / consumer and want a RIMX, you should seek out an authorized ZAI dealer and get in a pre-order.
There was another custom rimfire action with a Remington 700-style footprint that was not announced pre-SHOT and that is the Ultimatum Precision Deuce.
The Ultimatum Deadline is a highly renowned action from the Canadian manufacturer and so the Ultimatum Deuce generated a bit of buzz at SHOT.
As stated, it is a Remington 700 footprint action, but it is also a 3-lug with 60-degree bolt throw and a 6 o’clock position firing pin, along with an integral recoil lug.
The barrel is actually a bit unique because it uses a conical breech face with an angle that appears steeper than the tapered breech face seen on the RIMX sample.
Ultimatum Precision sources their barrels from International Barrels, Inc. (IBI) who is another Canadian company.
The Ultimatum Deuce also utilizes Vudoo Gun Works V-22 magazines and VGW actually provided Ultimatum Precision a sample Vudoo billet magazine to demo with the Deuce during SHOT Show.
The Ultimatum Deuce can be found through various US dealers, but Ultimatum will be working heavily with Brownells since Brownells already has the infrastructure in place for firearms importation.
The price point announced is $1200 USD for the action and $1600 USD for a (IBI) barreled action.
These three custom rimfire Remington 700-style pattern action options round out the more exciting top tier precision rimfire offerings introduced at SHOT Show 2020.
I took this photo of the three industry ladies and Second Amendment advocates while at the Glock booth on Day 2 of the show.
Look for Part 3 of my 2020 SHOT Show After Action Report in the next couple of days. Refer to 2020 SHOT Show After Action Report – Part 0 for the index of all parts in my 2020 SHOT Show AAR series.
Another reward for anyone that read to the very end of Part 2:
- 30% off geissele.com code – 2543728
- 35% off SSA and SSA-E triggers on geissele.com – 4OJH8R
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.