Precision/Varmint rifle build: Part 1 intro
Varmint hunting is a sport that can vary greatly. In some countries, varmint hunting is a means of keeping invasive species in check, or at least to slow the damage being done to native species. In other areas varmint hunting can help increase crop yield and potentially save livestock. In Oregon, varmint hunting is not only a way to help farmers and ranchers, but it serves as a year round hunting opportunity. I am a firm believer that trigger time, and days spent in the field, no matter what species you are pursuing, make you a better hunter. Many hunters hang up their boots, and put their rifle away after deer or elk season. There may be an occasional spring bear hunt, but few hunters hunt year round. Oregon has strong coyote populations, and no bag limit or season closure. That means while others are sitting at home watching TV, there are available opportunities to be in the field, looking through a scope, and actively hunting.
Coyotes are not the only species that can be openly hunted in Oregon, ground squirrels, rock chucks, rabbits are all open for year round hunting, with many of these species being found in the same areas. A number of different weapons can be used effectively for varmint hunting, but there is one platform that provides the versatility, performance, modularity and ease of use that make for an exceptional varmint rig, the flattop AR-15 style rifle, or as some may call the modern sporting rifle. There are few rifle platforms that can be built by most people with a handful of tools, and some know how in their garage that can outperform many off the shelf models. The MSR platform provides a canvas to select parts that will perfectly fit the purpose of the gun/shooter. The purpose of this build is to create a precision varmint rifle, explain how to choose the right parts, and step by step walk through what goes into building the gun. Next we will will start with part selection.