Click pictures for a larger version.
Savage Mark II TRSR (left) and FVSR (right).
Tactical Solutions cascade sound suppressor.
Primary Weapons Systems muzzle brake.
Rifles come with thread protectors.
Barrels are free-floated on both rifles.
Savage's marvelous AccuTrigger.
Rifles come with scope bases attached.
Leupold 8.5-25x used for accuracy testing, with
rifles rested in a Target Shooting, Inc. Model 500 rifle rest.
Savage Arms produces some of the most
accurate rimfire rifles available. For many years now, their
Mark II has been available as one of the best 22 Long Rifle bolt
actions on the market. Available in low-priced entry level
rifles all the way to premium target guns, the Mark
II covers just about any bolt action 22 need. For those who
like the magnum rimfires, the Savage
Model 93 has that covered in both 22 magnum and 17 HMR, with
well over two dozen different variations, more than any other
rimfire magnum manufacturer of which I am aware. Likewise,
Savage has at least twenty variations of their bolt action 22
Long Rifle available. This review deals with two of their
latest. Made exclusively for distribution by Lipsey’s of Baton
Rouge, Louisiana, these Mark II bolt action rimfires are built
just like Savage’s other Mark II rifles, but with threaded
muzzles to accept muzzle brakes and sound suppressors.
Muzzle brakes have long been used on
centerfire rifles to attenuate recoil, but until recently, had
not often been used on rimfire rifles. However, even on a 22
Long Rifle, a muzzle brake can lessen the movement of the rifle
upon firing, allowing quicker target acquisition and also allow
the shooter to more easily see the impact of the bullet upon the
Still, an even better reason to have a
threaded barrel on a 22 rimfire is to easily attach a sound
suppressor; commonly referred to as a silencer by many. On a
rimfire rifle, a sound suppressor can attenuate the recoil and
noise signature to that of an air rifle. On a semi-automatic,
using target velocity ammunition, the noise made by the
operation of the action is louder than the report of the rifle
firing. On a bolt action such as those two shown here, there is
no noise made by the action, just a soft report of the rifle
Savage has two very different variations of
the threaded Mark II; the Mark II FVSR and the Mark II TRSR.
Besides the obvious differences in barrel length, They share the
same Mark II action with that superb AccuTrigger.
Just as the AccuTrigger changed the world of triggers available
on bolt action centerfire rifles a few years ago, the addition
of the AccuTrigger into the Savage rimfire line has greatly
improved the trigger feel and practical accuracy of the Savage
bolt action rimfire rifles. An accurate rifle is a system, and
depends upon a quality barrel and action, along with quality
ammunition. In addition to that, however, there must also be an
accurate method of sighting the rifle; either good mechanical
sights, or preferably for me, a quality scope. With all of that,
if the rifle does not have a quality trigger, the shooter has a
very hard time of making the most of the accuracy potential
built into the rifle. The Savage AccuTrigger allows the shooter
to take full advantage of the mechanical accuracy built into the
rifle, with its crisp two and one-half pound pull. The
AccuTrigger on these rimfire rifles can be adjusted from a low
of two and one-half up to around six pounds, for those who
prefer a heavier trigger pull, for whatever reason. For me, the
AccuTrigger is one of the best advancements in the firearms
industry of the last decade. The AccuTrigger has forced most
makers of centerfire rifles to improve their triggers to
compete, but so far, rimfire rifle makers mostly have not
followed suit, leaving Savage to offer one of the very few good
triggers available on rimfire rifles today. Even while leading
the industry in the variety of models offered and innovative
components such as the AccuTrigger, Savage rimfire rifles are
still priced below most of their competition.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Instead
of just offering a threaded barrel on their top-of-the-line
rimfire, Savage has built two models; one near the bottom and
the other near the top of their price schedule. Both are superb
rimfire rifles, and it just comes down to personal preference of
what the shooter or hunter wants. A comparison of the two rifles
is in the chart below. Linear measurements are listed in inches.
Weights are listed in pounds and ounces. Trigger pull is listed
at minimum setting. Both rifles have black synthetic stocks and
matte black metal finishes, with the FVSR being more of a satin
blued, not as dull as the TRSR. Both come with scope bases
||Savage Mark II FVSR
||Savage Mark II TRSR
||5 pounds 5 ounces
||7 pounds 10 ounces
||0.8 inches (fluted)
||Tactical / Target
||1 fore, 1 aft
||2 fore, 1 aft
|Length of Pull
Either of these Savage rifles would serve
well as a varmint gun for use in areas where noise would be
detrimental to the rifle’s use, such as in a suburban or urban
setting. While it might be legal to fire a rifle in your back
yard, in some areas, this might be disturbing to your neighbors,
and they would probably call the law. There are many vermin and
pests that sometimes need to be eliminated in a community, and a
sound-suppressed rimfire would draw no unwanted attention at
all. Besides that, it is just polite to go about as quietly as
we can. Just as we have mufflers on our vehicles, a muffler for
the rifle is a good idea.
To me, when I first heard of these new
threaded Savage rifles, I immediately thought “Squirrel Rifle!”
Squirrel hunting is one of the simpler pleasures of the hunting
world. Most of us, no matter where we live, are not too far from
a squirrel population, and can slip out to the woods for a
squirrel safari without a lot of preparation or planning. No
need to book a guide, no need to update the passport, and no
great expense required. Squirrel hunting is a relaxing type of
hunting, and a type of hunting for which I should take more
time, as I believe most of us should. Sitting under a tall
hickory or white oak on a cool Fall morning, watching the woods
come to life as the first light of the sun slips into the woods
through the lessening canopy of colored leaves, it just does not
get any better. However, popping that first gray squirrel
usually means either waiting a long spell before another target
appears, or moving to a new spot. With a suppressor on the end
of the barrel, the sound is minimal, and does not disturb the
order of activities in the woods. A hunter can sit in the same
spot until he bags his limit or the game supply plays out.
Testing the two Savage rifles for accuracy, I
mounted my Leupold 8.5 to 25 power target scope, to see just how
accurate these rifles could be. For hunting, a scope of less
magnification would be best in the woods, but the target Leupold
would be ideal for ground squirrels in the open. Both rifles
were, as expected, very accurate. I fired both with an
assortment of high velocity hunting ammo and with standard
velocity target ammo. The suppressor that I used was the
excellent little Tactical Solutions Cascade model. This
suppressor is as quiet as any that I have tried, and is very
affordable. Made in Boise, Idaho by a great bunch of folks, the
Cascade is very efficient, greatly reducing the sound signature
of the 22 Long Rifle cartridge, yet weighs only eight ounces. I
also checked for velocities from both rifles, with and without
the can attached, and the velocities recorded were within just a
few feet-per-second, with either rifle. The longer barrel had no
velocity advantage, and I also noted no change in velocities
with or without the can. All velocities, in either mode, were
within the normal variation of the ammunition. Accuracy was also
not effected by the suppressor. If anything, the accuracy
improved slightly with the can attached, but the difference was
so little as to be inconclusive. Accuracy was checked at fifty
yards by shooting five-shot groups with each type of ammo
tested, with and without the suppressor attached. I rested the
rifles in a Target Shooting, Inc. Model
500 rifle rest for absolute stability. Accuracy was superb.
Every group fired measured less than one inch across,
center-to-center. While all ammo had the sound signature reduced
enough to make shooting without ear protection pleasant, the
quietest ammo was naturally the target grade Wolf and PMC, but
even my favorite hunting ammo, the Winchester DynaPoint, was
both quiet and very accurate from the suppressed rifles.
Sitting here in late July, the Tennessee
squirrel season is still a month away, and I always wait for
cool weather to set in before hunting them anyway, so I could
not take the Savage rifles hunting. There are some beaver that
need killing nearby, and I will likely give that a try in a few
days. When I do, I will take the FVSR with me, with the Tactical
Solutions can attached. I also like the TRSR, but the FVSR is
over two pounds lighter, six inches shorter, and a whole lot
handier. It is also about one hundred and fifty bucks cheaper,
so I will be keeping that one. Both are really nice, and that
target style stock on the TRSR is really comfortable to shoot
off the bench, but if forced to choose, I will take the FVSR.
Check out these and other fine firearms
online at www.savagearms.com.
As stated above, these two rifles are only
available from a Lipsey’s firearms dealer. For the location of
a Lipsey’s dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
If your favorite dealer is not a Lipsey’s
dealer, have him to contact Lipsey’s at 1-800-666-1333 to
correct that problem.
For a list of dealers where you can
buy this gun, go to:
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Click pictures for a larger version.
Steel magazine holds five rounds.
Striker cocked (top) and uncocked (bottom).