Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! This ongoing series is all about the rimfire firearm world and its many types of guns, ammunition, shooting sports, and history! Last week we featured one of our very own readers’ homemade firearms. Axel’s dedicated 22LR SVD build was quite impressive, if not a bit finicky in the reliability department. A majority of you expressed interest in having his design picked up and refined by a major manufacturer. While I too, wish something like this would happen, it’s probably not in the realm of possibility. This week we’re taking a look at one of my own tinkering projects I’ve been working with over the last couple of months. This project, which I am calling the B14R SOLUS, is a combination of Bergara’s B14R rimfire trainer barreled action, and Aero Precision’s SOLUS Competition chassis and a smattering of other high-end parts and accessories. Why? Most of the fun I get from rimfire is just cheap shooting and training. Since I had the parts lying around and the capability, I simply wanted to do something in the complete opposite direction of “practical” or even “value-conscious.” The B14R SOLUS is supposed to be overpriced, and overbuilt and today we’ll take a look at all the parts I’ve put into it, as well as what ammunition plays best with this unholy combination of rimfire parts.
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The Rimfire Report: The B14R SOLUS – An Unholy Combination of Parts
The B14R SOLUS project kicked off when I got ahold of one of Bergara’s B14R 22LR trainer rifles. This Remmington 700 pattern 22LR rifle is accurate enough in its own right and comes equipped with Bergara’s HMR adjustable stock. It’s a perfectly accurate and reliable rifle for NRL, or 22LR Rifle competition shooting. The total package with the stock runs about $1,300 MSRP but barreled actions can be ordered through Bergara’s dealer network. Overall the B14R is meant to be a fairly nimble yet sturdy platform for competition shooting as a complete rifle, but is also available for you to throw in just about any Rem 700 pattern chassis of your choosing.
The Aero SOLUS rifle, and it’s chassis, are an entirely different story and are designed specifically for the PRS shooting community. The rifle platform was launched with 6.5 Creedmoor being one of its first offerings, a favorite of many PRS competition shooters, and the SOLUS chassis comes in as a sturdy, unibody option with loads of configuration space for everything ranging from simple bipods to thermal and night vision clip-on devices. TFBTV Showtime has checked out the SOLUS a number of times in its 6.5 Creedmoor configurations in the past. If you’d like to learn more about that, check out the short video below from NRAAM 2023. Since the SOLUS Chassis takes standard Remington 700 pattern barreled actions, I thought it would be neat to take the great performance of the B14R and mate it together with the improved shooting ergonomics, and adaptability of a PRS-focused chassis.
An Overbudget Build
Below is a list of all of the parts and components that were used as part of this fun little project, along with their associated MSRP costs.
Seasoned PRS shooters may notice that the entire cost of the B14R SOLUS actually exceeds the production budget cap of $5,000 – and this is a .22LR rifle. However, the B14R isn’t completely out of its element here as it is often used as the starting point for rimfire PRS builds along with the Blaser R8, Ruger American Rimfire, CZ 457, and the Savage B22 Precision, almost all of these rifles share one thing in common – they can easily be dropped into another chassis system. Other dedicated precision rimfire builds like the Ruger Precision Rimfire pretty much assume you also want that stock and chassis that it ships with.
I don’t actually plan on taking this thing to any competitions, but the SOLUS chassis actually provides would-be competition shooters with a few different advantages. One is that the chassis features a flat bottom which plays very well with shooting bags like my Armageddon Gear Game Changer. Another advantage is that the SOLUS chassis is equipped with M-LOK sections along the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions meaning you can mount pretty much anything you’d want to the front end of the stock. In addition, the SOLUS can accept bridge mounts so the platform can accept clip-on thermal and night vision devices. Finally, the SOLUS chassis features integrated ARCA Swiss rail along the full length of the fore-end, and of course features a fully adjustable comb, length of pull, and thumb rest. Why the Ghosthood Camo? I had been sent a sample of their Rifle Camo kit and thought it was a fitting addition to round out the rifle’s aesthetic to match the Pacific Northwest.
As wholly impractical as this entire project is, I think it probably still has some value just as a rimfire PRS trainer. It’s certainly accurate enough and to put that assertion to the test I went ahead and regrouped the B14R after I had seated it in the SOULS, and I brought out a whole new set of ammunition including some match-grade ammunition. Below are some of the groups I got with some common ammo like Aguila Super Extra and CCI Mini Mags, as well as some groups with more expensive ammunition like Wolf Match, and SK High Velocity Match.
It was no surprise that both of the match ammunitions used for groups were much higher than the CCI Standard, Mini-Mags, or Aguila Super Extra. However, I was quite impressed with just how well the Super Extra shot through this rifle, granted these groups were only shot at 50 yards, and I have to assume that the supersonic ammunition would degrade in accuracy at longer distances. This fact also would ring true for the ammunition it performed best with, the SK High-Velocity Match. Wolf Match, which netted the second-best group, is subsonic at the muzzle and therefore would theoretically be a better candidate if your mission was longer-distance shooting. Most supersonic 22LR ammunition crosses the transonic threshold well before 100 yards and this usually means your groups will start to open up. Finally, CCI Standard had a pretty great group going until about the 6th round in, the one lone round sitting about an inch higher than the rest was the result of a slightly hotter load that actually went supersonic. I think I had only heard this because of how well the Dragoon 450B suppresses even supersonic 22LR. Complete overkill, yes, but extremely satisfying to shoot and accurate nonetheless.
Something New, Something Borrowed
Here’s the full admission. This rifle technically isn’t a build, and it isn’t something that is going to exist for very long – which is why I never plan on competing with the rifle. I just so happened to have access to all of these great components for different projects that I’ve been working on throughout the summer (many of them on loan) and saw an opportunity to take the 22LR full-size trainer concept to its maximum. It would be pretty cool to have this rifle to run around in the woods with and terrorize squirrels with, but that’s one dedicated build that I don’t think most of us have the disposable income to throw at! As always, your feedback on The Rimfire Report is appreciated! Thanks for reading and we’ll see you all again next week!
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