20 Vartarg or 19 Badger

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by Mark McMahon, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. Mark McMahon

    Mark McMahon Gold $$ Contributor

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    Would like to build one of the two mentioned above using a CZ 527 action, I've been doing some research and it looks like the vartarg has great popularity over the badger even though both are very similar in performance and accuracy, is this because of available bullet and brass selections? I see that starline is now producing badger brass also Sierra is now producing 19 caliber bullets both available from Calhoon, Calhoon also offers loaded ammunition for those that dont what to load there own, I'm thinking these are a great advantage, especially not having to fire form the brass. what do you guys think, is this any kind of a game changer over the vartarg?
     
  2. K9TXS

    K9TXS

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    I have 2, 20 Vartargs, Cooper & Remington. They both have Pac-Nor 24" barrels. I like them because of the low recoil, small powder charge, seeing hits/misses in the scope and accuracy. All components are readily available. Having said this, the 19 Calhoun would fall into the same category.

    I have no idea what bullets are available for the 19, but I use the 32 gr & 40 gr Vmax in my 11 twist barrels. I also make my on VT brass which you can also do with the 19.

    I never considered the 19 Calhoun maybe because there are so many places I can currently get most of my supplies from one particular place.
     
  3. terrace

    terrace

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    Haven't heard of anybody being disappointed with the vartarg.
     
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  4. L.Sherm

    L.Sherm Silver $$ Contributor

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    I thought long and hard about the 19 cals that Calhoun has, only reason I didnt years back was I was afraid if something happened to James the bullet supply would dry up.
    I have 2-20Vt and 1-20SCC thers nothing wrong with any of the 3, the SCC is faster and I dont have to trim brass.
    If you want something a little different go 19 cal.
     
  5. oneshot 66

    oneshot 66 Silver $$ Contributor

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    I have a 527 19 Badger and a A1 Sako 20 VT with a Pacnor barrel. Both are great, but the Badger would be my choice for accuracy. I think James C is a great smith and spends a lot of time making everything perfect for a reasonable price. I'm not worried about brass and bullet availability.
     
  6. chuckshooter

    chuckshooter Silver $$ Contributor

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    I don't own any .17 cal's because my bore scope won't fit. I don't think it will fit into a .19 cal. either. my hawkeye measures .190+- if that is a concern for you. fwiw
    I also don't really want to start buying a new caliber of bullets. I do love the vartarg's and have more that any man should. I'm pretty sure I need therapy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  7. HillbillysniperSWVA

    HillbillysniperSWVA Gold $$ Contributor

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    I own both 20 Vartarg and a 19 Badger. Both chambered on CZ 527 actions. Both rounds are nice but my pick would be the 20 Vartarg. Super accurate and low recoil are both cartridges but the 20 Vartarg has the Edge in the Accuracy field. Hard to beat a Good 20 Vartarg. Ive seen them do well in Benchrest matches. You pick whichever one you think suits you. If i had to get rid of all my rifles and could only keep one it would be the 20 Vartarg!!
     
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  8. B23

    B23 Gold $$ Contributor

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    You could also do just a straight 20-221 or 20-222 if you want a little more velocity. I know the 20VT is very popular and for good reason, they're a great little cartridge, but I don't believe it offers anything over the 20-221. Any of the above built right, and they'll all shoot extremely well.

    The 20-222 gives a little bump in speed but I think their biggest benefit is they feed smooth as butter through any action or magazine and that is not always the case with cartridges based off of the 221FB.
     
  9. Bill K

    Bill K Silver $$ Contributor

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    Overall the 20 VT will be the easiest to locate bullets for, especially if you are in a lead free state, as I am.
    However either would and could be one of your favorite calibers, no matter which one you choose.
    I personally would favor the 20 VT. With a 1/11 twist barrel around 22-24 in length.
     
  10. Oso

    Oso

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    I did the same mental exercise...I ended up with a 20 Vartarg. No issue with .20 cal bullets courtesy of the 2o4 Ruger popularity. As far as brass goes you can easily form from 221 Fireball (parent case) or can dona little more work and form cases from 223 brass. There is expectation that Lapua may finally start making brass.

    James Calhoun is a great guy and pleasure to deal with even over the phone. The 19 Badger utilizes 30 carbine brass (less available) and .19 bullet that James makes. The linchpin for sourcing bullets or having to swage .20 cal bullets into .19 cal was the deciding factor for me on my first micro-caliber varmint rifle.

    You can't go wrong either way.
     
  11. hunter67

    hunter67

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    I have a 20vt and love it! I haven't had a 19 though
     
  12. thekriebles

    thekriebles Gold $$ Contributor

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    I use my Hawkeye for all of my 17 caliber barrels. I simply remove the 90° viewing mirror tube sleeve and just use the center tube, which is .168" in diameter. It only provides a straight-on view, but it still yields a lot of viewing information.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  13. steve123

    steve123

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    I had the credit card out and was on the phone and almost ordered a 19 Badger custom CZ527 but Calhoon didn't have one in stock at the time, darn!

    Ended up with a 20-221AI and am happy with it.
     
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  14. 17VLD

    17VLD

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    Brass and bullets are not the problem anymore as Sierra makes a poly tipped 19 caliber bullet that weighs 32 grains.James offers a few different weights as well,32,36,40,44.
    Star Line is offering 19 Badger head stamped brass now as well.I enjoy both 19 and 20 calibers in the pd fields and wouldn’t hesitate to build either.Pac-Nor was a big proponent of James 19 caliber,sad what happened in that case.I would do some research or perhaps call James about the choice of a 19 caliber barrel first if going 19 caliber now.
    Matt
     
  15. Woodchk

    Woodchk Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have a .19/223 in a Sako and it shoots great . I thought about a Badger but I had my XP100 built into a .20 Vartarg . I really love this caliber and I would build it again . My latest XP100 is a .14/221 Walker . This is really limited bullets .
     
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  16. L.Sherm

    L.Sherm Silver $$ Contributor

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    I think James uses Benchmark barrels now.
     
  17. Mark McMahon

    Mark McMahon Gold $$ Contributor

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    That's correct
     
  18. TAJ45

    TAJ45 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Hopefully he will be stocking faster twisted bbls than previously.
    I have a used 19-223 but not having shot it yet, I'm curious as to stabilization for the 44s. The Pac Nor is either a 12 or 13.....momentary mem lapse.
     
  19. Mark McMahon

    Mark McMahon Gold $$ Contributor

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    That's correct
    Twist Rate Chart
    Highlighted numbers are standard or popular twist rates.

    PAC NOR
    19 (.198")
    3 groove 12"
    6 groove 9" 13"
    Polygonal 11"
     
  20. 17VLD

    17VLD

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    If memory serves I believe my Cooper 19-223 is a 13 twist and James 44 works in it,I like the 32 and 36’s in it have killed pd’s out a bit past 500 yards with it and am thrilled that Sierra made James a poly tipped 19 caliber bullet.Gonna build a 19 caliber XP just need to decide on the chamber,got a nice stock for it the other day from McMillan :)
    Matt
     

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