Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report. In this ongoing series we discover, review, and discuss anything and everything surrounding the rimfire firearm world. This week we’ll be talking about what some of the best lightweight rimfire varmint rifles are for control of rodents, coyotes, crows, foxes, feral cats, and groundhogs.
The Rimfire Report: The 5 Best Lightweight Rimfire Varmint Rifles
Like any job, you’ll want the right tool to complete the task. Most of the varmints listed above can be taken down humanely with most commercially available rimfire cartridges. While it’s arguable that larger game-type animals can be hunted with these calibers with great skill and accuracy, the focus today will be on some of the best options out there for a weapon you could be carrying around with you for hours as you work on your land.
#1 Savage A Series 22LR/17HMR
The Savage A Series is a great feat of engineering for the rimfire world. Until the A Seriesthe 17HMR cartridge was relegated to solely manually operated firearms. With the A Series that is no longer the case. The A Series Rifles have the distinct advantage of being available in both 22LR and the much more powerful and longer-ranged 17HMR and being a 100% reliable semi-auto rifle.
The rifle weighs in at just 5.63lbs, carries a 10-round rotary magazine, and has a user-adjustable trigger to help you dial in that perfect feel. The A Series also comes straight from the factory as optics ready so you’ll be able to mount a scope of your choosing on the rifle. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot one of these back when I lived in Oklahoma and they are highly accurate and great for long days of walking the fenceline with a trusty rifle on your back.
#2 Magnum Research Magnum Lite 22LR/22WMR
Magnum Research has consistently delivered high-quality firearms in nearly every category for the last three decades and their entry into the varmint hunting world is no different. The Magnum Lite semi-automatic rifle lives up to its name as it weighs anywhere between 4 and 7 pounds depending on the options.
The Magnum Lite shines in the options department. With the Magnum Lite, you have the option for either a polymer or laminated wood stock, three different barrel lengths, and several barrel options which include an integrally suppressed 20.5″ barrel. To top it all off, every model comes standard with a section of Picatinny rail mounted to the receiver from the factory to accept commonly available optics.
#3 Vudoo Gun Works V-22 17HM2 Barreld ACtion / Sureshot Armament Group Remington 700 Chassis
Similar in size to a standard 22LR cartridge but necked down to .17″ is the 17HM2 or Mach 2. This flat shooting cartridge was recently made a bit more popular by the high-end rifle manufacturer Vudoo Gun works and their V-22 series of rifles.
The V-22 17HM2 barred action can weigh just 4.5 lbs with the 16.5″ barrel and when combined with the 2.5 lb Remington 700 Chassis by Sureshot Armament Group you’ve got a 7lb bolt action varmint rifle with surgical precision.
#4 KelTec CMR30 22WMR
If you’re looking for both lightweight and compact you’ll want the Keltec CMR30. Aside from being the most compact rifle on this list, the CMR30 is also the lightest weighing in at just 3.8 lbs even with the included Magpul Back-Up Iron Sights.
The CMR30 features a collapsing stock, threaded barrel, and extremely lightweight design and best of all 30 round flush-fit magazines. When collapsed, the CMR30 is only 22.7″ from front to back meaning you could easily fit it in the front seat of a truck or sling it across an ATV without worrying about the barrel protruding out of the sides.
#5 Ruger 10/22 Takedown Lite 22LR
I hope you guys knew that the 10/22 would be on this list. While the 22LR is not the most powerful cartridge with standard loadings, higher power 22LR cartridges are available and CCI Stingers, in particular, can be quite potent within 100 yards. The Ruger 10/22 Takedown Lite takes everything you already love about the 10/22 and drops it into a lightweight polymer stock and a reduced weight barrel and receiver assembly.
The Ruger 10/22 Takedown lite is the 2nd lightest stock rifle on this list weighing in at only 4.5lbs. The semi-auto rifle features a stock 10 round rotary magazine but BX-15 and BX-25 magazines are also available. The takedown option allows you to break the weapon down into two smaller halves for carrying around in a backpack which makes it more convenient to carry around. As with some other variants of the 10/22, the Takedown Lite comes with a threaded 1/2×28 barrel and a replaceable high comb stock module.
What is your Pick?
These are just 5 of what I think are the best rimfire varmint rifles available on the market today. Let us know what you thought was the best from this list. Was there a rifle that should have been on this list that you think we missed? Let us know down in the comments. Also, let us know what you use for varmint hunting and pest control, we’d love to hear from you! As always thanks for stopping by to read The Rimfire Report and we’ll see you again next time.
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