CVA’s New-For-2024 Cascade Varmint Hunter Proves A Winner

New from the minds at CVA, the Cascade Varmint Hunter (VH) is an economical sub-1-inch MOA bolt-action that will up the pelt count without breaking the bank.

by Mark Kayser

SHOT Show always marks a spree of new hunting products to the market. The 2024 SHOT Show wrapped in Las Vegas in late January. One of the debuts I was fortunate enough to get my hands on soon after the Vegas aftertaste left me was CVA’s latest addition to their economical, yet quality line of Cascade rifles. CVA’s big brother (not older) is Bergara and that company has been storming the rifle market with a plethora of innovations. A few of those have crept into CVA Cascade design features to form the foundation for an accurate rifle at an affordable price. Enter the 2024 Cascade Varmint Hunter or merely the VH. It retails for $900, but shop around and you can find prices as low as $799, or lower.

A test VH showed up at my local Wyoming FFL, Rocky Mountain Discount Sports and after notification, I left a cloud of snow in my rearview to place my hands on the sporty new CVA cast member. For clarification, the VH is tailored for varmint hunting. Its caliber offerings, barrel, magazine and stock all fit the mold of a rifle ready to tackle vermin, varmints and predators. The VH is available in four popular calibers for 2024 including the .204 Ruger, .223 Remington, .22-250 Remington and the .243 Winchester. I expect if the rifle sells well, you can look forward to even more caliber offerings in the future like maybe the 6mm ARC?

The first thing you will notice (I did) was the overall focus on a rifle that will take a beating regardless of the environment of use. First, consider that from the action to the end of the free-floating barrel, the VH exposed metal has a Cerakote finish. Not only does the bronze coating guard the rifle against moisture and potential rust, but it dulls the metal to help the entire rig meld into the backdrop when teamed with the Realtree Hillside camouflage pattern adorning the rifle stock.

Keeping in tune with the metal portion of the rifle, a medium-heavy barrel enhances the VH. Heavier barrels dissipate heat, provide stiffness to maintain accuracy and steady easier with the overall weight added to your rifle. To tame weight, CVA flutes the barrel that varies in length from 20 to 22 inches depending on caliber. The rate of twist for my test .22-250 Remington rifle was 1:12. Best of all, the barrel arrives pre-threaded for 5/8×24 to quickly mate with your favorite suppressor. My testing included the use of my Silencer Central Banish 338. Unless by restrictions, I never hunt or shoot without a suppressor.

After ogling the barrel, my hands swept the entire length of the stock. Not only did it look functional with its flat, wide forend to cradle in a rest, or accommodate a bipod, it just felt like you would never lose your grip. That comes from the nearly rubberized finish on the synthetic stock that ensures a firm grasp of the rifle accentuated by a forend and pistol-grip checkering.

The CVA VH stock is also easily adjustable to enhance fit for shorter length-of-pull shooters. And the stock has an easily adjustable comb height. Loosen the large knob on the side and raise or lower the comb to your shooting satisfaction. For recoil reduction, the VH includes a Crushzone recoil pad to absorb jarring from these sporty calibers. Plus, the recoil pad swaps easily while adjusting LOP. A useful addition is the inclusion of dual front swivel studs that give you options for use of both a sling and a bipod.

CVA makes riflescope mounting easy with a two-piece, 20 MOA Picatinny rail system installed straight from the factory. I checked the snugness screws then quickly added a Sig Sauer Electro-Optics Sierra3 BDX 6.5-20×52 riflescope to the rig. I had it leveled, and bore sighted in minutes. I typically run a lighter riflescope on my predator rifles due to my nature of hiking after coyotes rather than doing quick setups straight from the road. However, with the heavier overall weight of the rifle, starting at 9 pounds, I decided to amplify my view with a higher (and heavier) power scope.

Before hitting the range, it would be amiss if I did not mention the detachable magazine. I personally am a fan of the detachable magazine. The VH magazine for the .22-250 held 10 cartridges and snapped into place snuggly. The 70-degree bolt throw fed the cartridges effortlessly from the magazine and I have not had an issue yet at the range or in the field. Detachable magazines give me a quicker way to unload a rifle. This is especially true when getting into a vehicle or crossing a fence. And I like having lots of shots regardless of the situation. A con would be having it hang out the bottom of the rifle and dig into you while toting your rifle with a sling. I also have had the rare occasion in a rough hunt where the magazine ejection button was bumped, thus dumping the magazine on the ground. My fault all around.

I teamed my .22-250 Remington with Hornady’s Superformance Varmint launching a 50-grain V-Max bullet. I admit, it has been a while since I used a .22-250 Remington. In my beginning years of coyote hunting, the .22-250 was my go-to gun. In recent years, newer calibers grabbed my attention. With a muzzle velocity of 4,000 fps, I was again mesmerized by its speedy charm bringing back memories of tipping over plenty of coyotes.

I still follow the old-school rule of breaking in a barrel with a few shots between cleanings. Despite this slow-moving ending, groups immediately began a less than 1 MOA trend. I shot a couple of ½-inch groups with most closer to ¾-inch. Despite the frigid test ground and occasional less-than-perfect launch on my part, the rifle definitely was sub-MOA, easily meeting its MOA guarantee.

The VH joined me on a couple of coyote sets in between busy winter travel. The scoreboard sits at Coyotes 2 (sets not, misses), VH 0. In the future, you can place a DraftKings bet that the score will reverse. Check out the CVA Cascade Varmint Hunter if a new varmint rifle is on your to-do list.

 

 

 

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