New Savage Model 42 22LR/410 Shotshell Combination Gun

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

August 17th, 2012



Click pictures for a larger version.





Polymer rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation correction, and can be removed to attach a scope mount.





Manual extractor.



Crossbolt safety blocks hammer from contacting firing pins.





Hammer nose rotates to select upper or lower barrel to fire.



Action release lever.



Upper barrel is chambered for the 22 long rifle cartridge. Lower barrel is chambered for 410 bore shotshell.







Savage Arms has a history of producing good-shooting, affordable combination guns. Unlike many of the European combo guns that cost more than a new pickup truck, the Savage Model 24 that was built in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s provided shooters, campers, hunters, and survivalists with handy firearms that would fire both rifle and shotgun ammunition, at prices that most folks could afford. However, several variations of these discontinued Model 24 combination guns are now fetching princely sums of money, as most folks who have these guns are not willing to part with them. If you do find one for sale, they are sometimes in pretty rough condition, as these were working guns; riding in pickup trucks and living in the woods much of the time.

Savage has now introduced a thoroughly modernized version of the Model 24, called the Model 42. Instead of blued steel and walnut, the Model 42 wears a matte black finish on the receiver and a satin black finish on the barrels, all fitted into a lightweight black polymer stock. The forend is slim and easy to grasp, with long finger-grooves on each side, and texturing along the bottom. It is very comfortable to hold. The buttstock has a generous pistol grip, also textured for a secure hold. The polymer is impervious to harsh weather and rough handling. The recoil pad is soft and effective, and the black stock is accented with red butt pad, pistol grip cap, and forend cap spacers. “Savage Arms” is proudly shown in red letters along each side of the forend. The action is a non-ferrous casting, with the barrels, mono-block, trigger, hammer, and other small parts made of steel. Thankfully, the Model 42 has sling studs, as should any such firearm that is meant to live in the great outdoors. The barrels measure twenty inches in length. Each barrel measures .555 inch diameter. As far as I can tell, the 410 barrel has no choke constriction, and it is not threaded to accept choke tubes.

To open the action of the Model 42 for loading, a lever in front of the trigger guard is pulled rearward by the shooter’s trigger finger. The mono-block hinges to allow loading and unloading of the weapon. The upper barrel accepts any 22 Long Rifle cartridge (a 22 Magnum version will be available later), and the bottom barrel accepts any 2.5 or 3 inch 410 shotshell. The crossbolt safety pushes to the left to fire. The rebounding hammer is blocked from contacting the firing pins unless the trigger is pulled. The hammer nose rotates to select either the upper or lower barrel to fire. The extractor is manually operated, but I found it easier to just flick out the empty 22 cartridges with my fingernail, using the extractor to remove the empty 410 hulls.

The Model 42 is very light and handy, weighing in at just under four and three-quarters pounds (4 lbs., 10.6 ounces, to be precise) on my scale. The overall length measures thirty-five and three-quarters inches, and the length of pull measures thirteen and one-half inches. The trigger pull feels somewhat heavy, but released crisply with five and one-half pounds of resistance, as measured on my Lyman digital scale.

I tested the Model 42 combo gun to check for velocities from the twenty-inch rifle barrel with several brands of 22 Long Rifle ammunition. I also shot some of the 000 Federal buck across the chronograph to check for velocity from the 410 barrel. The results with each brand and type of ammunition are listed in the chart below. HP is a lead hollowpoint bullet. Solid is a lead roundnose bullet. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature of eighty-nine degrees Fahrenheit, and humidity in the fifty-one percent range. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (FPS), and were recorded ten feet from the muzzle of the rifle and shotgun barrels. Bullet weights are listed in grains.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Federal Bulk HP 36 1266
Winchester DynaPoint HP 40 1168
PMC Match Solid 40 1069
Wolf Match Solid 40 1022
CCI Mini-Mag HP 36 1265
CCI Mini-Mag Solid 40 1222
CCI Velocitor HP 40 1397
Remington Yellow Jacket HP 33 1423
Remington Hi-Speed Solid 40 1254
American Eagle HP 36 1158
PMC Zapper HP 38 1276
Olin Solid 40 1043
Winchester XPert HP 36 1197
Hansen Solid 40 1121
CCI Blazer Solid 40 1224
CCI Stinger HP 32 1515
CCI Quiet22 40 690
Federal 000 Buckshot 4x62 1090

The polymer mechanical sights proved to be plenty accurate enough to shoot very good groups at twenty-five yards, even with my aging eyes. The rear sight is removable for the attachment of a scope mount, but I did not have one available, so used the Model 42 with the supplied mechanical sights only. The rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation correction. The shotgun barrel patterned very well using buckshot, birdshot, and the Winchester PDX1 ammunition. The three-inch chamber will accommodate any 2.5 or three inch 410 shotshell.

Many shooters frown at the perceived power of the 410, and doubt its effectiveness. The 410 pellets hit the target just as hard as do the pellets thrown from a larger gauge shotgun; they just do not have as many pellets in the pattern. Birds and small game are killed with just a few pellets, so the 410 is plenty capable of taking small game out to twenty yards or so with the 410 barrel of this Model 42. Beyond that, the pattern gets pretty sparse, so the hunter should select the upper 22 Long Rifle barrel at greater distances.

The Model 42 functioned perfectly, with one exception. Early on in the shooting, the hammer spring strut slipped out of engagement with the hammer. I removed the buttstock and put it back into place, and no further problems were encountered. Maybe the hammer strut was not fully engaged with its notch before leaving the factory; I don’t know. Anyway, that was the only problem noted, and the Model 42 continued to function one hundred percent after that incident.

The Savage Model 42 would make a dandy trail gun, truck gun, survival gun, or companion around the camp. The 22 Long Rifle cartridge is very efficient, and useful for collecting critters for the camp pot, and the 410 barrel patterns well enough for bird hunting at close range. The 410 is also very useful for dispatching venomous snakes around camp, or around the home. The 410 is also an effective defensive weapon against predators of the human type, using buckshot or the PDX1 defensive ammunition.

The Model 42 is a modernized version of an old classic. It is lighter, shorter, and handier than its predecessor. While the new Model 42 might not be as visually appealing to traditional shooters, the old Model 24 was not exactly a handsome gun. The beauty of the new Model 42 lies in its versatility, handiness, and function. It is like the multi-tool of the firearms world, providing shooters a variety of ammunition choices in one handy package.

Check out the extensive line of Savage firearms and accessories at

For the location of a Savage dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order the Model 42 online, go to

To order 22 Long Rifle and 410 shotshell ammunition online, go to

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.











The Model 42 will fire a variety of 410 2.5 or 3 inch shotshells.



The Model 42 is plenty accurate enough for a headshot at 25 yards, using the mechanical sights.



410 holds a tight pattern at ten feet from the muzzle.



One- inch groups were the limit of the author's ability at 25 yards using the mechanical sights.



Federal four-ball 000 buckshot patterned well at 25 yards, and would be an effective defensive load.



Pattern of number 7 1/2 birdshot at 50 feet.