Sorry to sound so stupid.......but what is the difference in the rifle when manufacturers call their rifle 'Varmint'? Some call their rifle 'Sporter', and the only difference i can see in the stats is barrel length.
I think varmint versions are for lots of quick shots and they have heavy barrels so they are not a prone to losing consistency when over heating. Its a US thing, shooting dozens of prairie dogs! In the UK they are more used by the target boys.
Sporter is for e.g. deer stalking where you might only fire 2 shots all day - one shot to check the zero and one at the animal, so over heating isn't an isssue.
Like snowstorm says the barrel is alot heavier than the sporter.
I was after a varmint rifle but after trying both decided that carrying a varmint stalking for hours wasnt practical.Thats just my opinion.
As the boys have said, varmint rifles tend to have very heavy barrels (up to an inch diameter at the muzzle) to reduce the effects of barrel heating over multiple shots.
They also tend to have very heavy stocks, with very wide beefy forends. This also adds weight to the rig, and the flat bottomed forend lies very well on sand bags for shooting from the bench.
All in, they are great to shoot, but bloody awful to carry any distance.
thank you to you all, very helpful.
I bought a heavy barrel rifle for stalking (a Remington M700 Police) - I was advised to take a sporter but, well ... I didn't listen.
I wish that I had now, because the damn thing weighs about 12lb with scope and bipod, which gets old fast.
Go lightweight - you won't regret it
like wise, l have a remmy police .243, great for high seats and sitting out for foxes, but carrying the thing, it feels like my work .338!!!
So l have just recently bought a ruger m77 mk2 for woodland stalking much lighter, brings up to aim quickly, is a joy to shoot. All be it not so accurate but do you really need 1/4 moa when almost all your shots are between 50-150m?
I believe the new objective will be having a lightweight accurate rifle.
One way of achieving this is chopping the barrel length of a varmint rifle and adding a lightweight scope, mounts and stock. This can add up as being lighter than a sporter.
One can save 1 lb on stock alone, half pound on say a-line swarovski compared to a steel swarovski or schmidt.
My light rifle is a T3 Varmint 12 1/2lbs
The heavy one is a Custom Sako and weighs 16lbs