Varmit Trouble

Varmits…the very name conjures up an image of trouble…put them together and you have “varmit trouble” which can be a problem.

You and I both know that there is nothing much worse than a varmit…just watch any western movie and you will hear someone mention something to do with “dealing with them thar varmits”

That’s how I explained what some might describe as an “impulse purchase” to Wendy who looked at me rather oddly when I told her I was buying a new gun.

“We need one around the camp for varmits.” I explained.

“What are varmits”? she asked, raising that damn eyebrow. “I have never heard you mention varmits before.”

“Well trust me.” I countered, “We don’t want to have varmit trouble, it can be bad.”

“How much is it costing us to deal with these varmits?” she asked, not smiling.

“Not much.” I answered, mumbling $250 under my breath before turning to the window and saying, “Look there is that feral cat from up the street.”

“Never mind the cat.” she said, “What do you need with a new gun?”

“I need something to use on varmits.” I answered, “All my other guns are for other stuff, but I really don’t have anything for varmits.”

“Uh-huh…whatever.” Was her reply. I knew I was off the hook when she said “whatever” That’s kind of a get-out-of-trouble-free card. It means she is tired of the conversation and knows that there is no point in taking it any further.

I am the first to admit, I am a bit of a gun nut. I can’t help it, I like them. I like shooting them.

I’m not much of a hunter, although I do enjoy going hunting, more for an excuse for a day outdoors in the woods than anything. I do love to target shoot and spend some time on the range punching holes in targets.

That, and varmits is why I recently decided to bite into the bullet and buy myself a new rifle, with varmits and targets in mind.

It’s a little rifle, in the words of the manufacturer, “a sleek handy rimfire” called a “Sportser” It’s designed with varmits and targets in mind.

Manufactured by Harrington & Richardson, the Sportster I ordered is chambered for a .17 Hornaday Magnum Rimfire, usually called a .17 HMR. The picture compares the .17 with a .22 long rifle rimfire cartridge.


The bullet it fires is not very big, a 17-grain projectile that fires at 2500 feet per second, which is faster than a .22 magnum for those of you keeping track…it’s 25% faster.


The Sportster has a 22″ heavy varmit barrel designed to cool quickly for exceptional -shot consistency. It’s nothing fancy, a simple single shot break action with a stock and fore-end of high density black polymer that is equipped with a recoil pad and sling swivel studs.

I don’t need this thing…in fact as far as varmits go, I have very little use for it, but sometimes you just gotta do something just to know you are alive…or words to that affect.

It wasn’t expensive, which makes it easier to explain to Wendy. I do have to tell her now how I need a new telescopic sight for it.

I also have to check Wilkipedia and get a good definition for “varmits” I don’t want to be caught without an answer to that question again.

My new Sportster should be here by the end of next week. I will let you know how I do. In the meantime the varmits better start moving on……

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