As my search for a match-grade rimfire bolt action rifle continues in earnest, it was fortuitous that a regular TFB reader sent in a tip about a new setup from Covenanter Arms in New South Wales, Australia. Our friends in the Southern Hemisphere have developed a chassis for the CZ 455/452 rimfire rifles that allows for the use of AR15 stocks, handguards and grips. My short list of rifles includes the CZ455 Trainer, but I had never considered a platform with the ability to use AR buttstocks.
I talked to the good people at Covenanter about the BR-22 currently in development. They write:
We saw that there is a gap in the marketplace – we don’t know of any other bolt action rimfire stock that can accept standard AR-15 buttstocks (via buffer tube), pistolgrip, and free-floating handguard. So, rather then building something from the ground up, we’ve taken the tried and tested CZ 455 (also 452) action to use as our base.
The barrel is a standard CZ barrel with sleeve. The plan for production is to ship with the varmint barrel, as their standard barrels look too small within the ar-15 handguard. The rifle can still be interchanged with the CZ 455 .17HMR or .22Mag barrels if required.The trigger group is based on the CZ 455 trigger group, with some minor changes to fit the chassis system.
Due to regulations in Australia, we will be primarily shipping whole rifles in Australia. However, our plan is to export to the core chassis system (with everything required to upgrade a CZ 455) to the USA as soon as possible, but we’re still exploring partnership opportunities here.
We sometimes bemoan the draconian gun laws found in some parts of the United States, but shooters in Australia suffer far worse. I won’t pretend to know the particulars, but it’s safe to safe that most semiautomatic guns are heavily restricted. In response, Covenanter Arms has also developed a pump action .22LR AR-styled rifle. The production runs of the PR-22 rifles are set to debut any day now.
Keep up the great work, guys.
New South Wales, Australia