.22 Long Rifle

Personal Critical Review – Savage Mark II FV-SR Bolt action .22 LR rifle

Personal Critical Review – Savage Mark II FV-SR Bolt action .22 LR rifle




Personal – I have posted in the past about how the lowly .22 lr is my “secret sin,” to this day the simple act of hunting, shooting or plinking with .22 firearms is my “hands down” favorite way to spend my shooting time.

In the last few years I have been spending quite a bit of money and time thinking about, researching, testing and shooting to find the “best .22 rifle” for prepping. I am never sure just what makes something “the best” because the subjective nature of our personal bias and the almost endless applications that could be applied to test “the best” it is an enigma.

Because I was never happy with the accuracy of the semi-auto rifles I got rid of all but two and replaced them with bolt action rifles two of them you see above.

I habitually and continually end up with the bolt action .22 rifles again and again. Even with the recent and mostly successful try with the Marlin autoloading .22 rifles – the accuracy was just not in the same class with the bolt actions.

Function – Mongo grab bolt, Mongo turn bolt, Mongo pull trigger with bugger hook, fire stick go BOOM there is something elegant in the simple function of the bolt action rifles.

The top rifle is wearing a 3×9 one inch Nikon Buckmasters and the bottom rifle in green is attached to a fixed 6 power scope with a 30 mm tube. The rifles come with the plastic stocks shown, but the colors we added later.

The Savage is simply excellent in it’s reliable function, the five round magazine fed without scraping or deformation and sent the rounds perfectly into the chamber.

This Savage .22 is similar to just about any other bolt action I have ever fired with one BIG addition, this rifle features an over-sized bolt handle that has proved to be worthy of mentioning and making a big review point about.

Check out that Weaver/Picatinny type rail mount, that comes with the factory rifle.


Quality – Top notch high quality fluted barrel, the magazine release is a bit cheesy as is the cheep plastic stock. We were forced to use sand paper an a big dowel to sand out the barrel channel in the cheep stock to get a reliable free-float. The Savage Mark II FV-SR has a steel receiver made of good quality material as is the bolt itself. Both the receiver and bolt are a bit typical in the lack of refined edge de-burring, finishing work, and polish (I guess we just cannot expect what was normal in the 1950’s). The magazine is made of steel and is of high quality and as described works great.


Caliber/Ammunition – .22 LR is comparatively inexpensive ammunition with almost no recoil. Of course bulk-box .22 LR is available at any big-box store great fun for the range and can be reasonably accurate. If you choose target grade ammunition try out several types, speed, weight and brand for accuracy that is often hard to believe. High velocity .22 LR is effective for hunting and available in hollow points that actually work at shorter ranges.

Did I mention accurate – how about 10 rounds at 25 yards… I added that green square to gauge the measurement, that is an inch! This target was punched with a premium target-grade lead bullet selection, the best of 12 different brands, weights, and speeds (FPS) we tested.


Use – Easy to strip and clean, but the main attractant is the adjustable “Accu-trigger” I cannot say how impressed I have been with this addition to Savage products, it takes this little bolt action to the next level. One nice touch is that this particular rifle comes with a STANDARD scope mount already factory installed anything is better than the stupid air gun cuts that are normal.


Current production – Available now, have your local gun shop – order yourself one.


Additional points – This is a silencer ready rifle with threads at the end of the barrel for 1/2 28 and are machined true to the barrel (important to prevent baffle strikes). I was never a big fan of “silencers” I remember the ones from the 1980’s as heavy, easy to damage, and just not all that effective (far louder than any of the movie crap). I have several friends and two relatives that have become “converts” to the “brotherhood of science” and took the plunge and got the BATFE stamp – I am suitably impressed with the modern silencers available now that I am considering filling out paperwork myself. Below is the little rifle with a typical AR birdcage used here to protect the threads.

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Categories: .22 Long Rifle, Blogging, Firearm Overview, Firearm Review, Firearms, Hunting, Prepper Info, Prepping, Rifles | 4 Comments

Personal Critical Review of Firearms – Bolt action .22 LR rifle

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Personal – Almost my secret sin, if given a choice I would love to blow a thousand rounds at the range with a bolt action .22… It takes almost all day to cook off that much ammo, but it sure is fun.. and great for kids. Millions of squirrels have been taken for the pot with bolt .22 rifles, I tried to take as many as I could with my turn bolt as a young kid… If you do not have a .22 rifle you should get one, in the long run most likely to most productive way to get small game for the table, from birds to rabbit if it sits still for a split second it is pot meat… A good quality manufactured example should last a lifetime.

Function – Excellent reliable function if reasonably made, Mongo turn bolt, Mongo pull trigger with bugger hook, fire stick go BOOM. Ok, so not every .22 is that easy, well, actually it is, almost, let’s start with the bad one first –

Romanian M-69 .22LR Training Rifle – The worst of the lot, lots of flaws. For starters, it is ugly and poorly finished, I had two because they were so inexpensive, and they shared problems… Trigger was crap, and the spring for the firing pin must have been of low strength because about every ten rounds you would have to cock it a second time to fire (both rifles were like this). Reasonable to good accuracy when you don’t mangle a bullet from the magazine to the barrel, this happened almost every round. Sold them don’t miss them.

Russian Tula TOZ-78, Winchester Wildcat – my current go to general use .22, when I get a chance to hunt small game or just shoot short range off hand this is the rifle I pull out of the safe first. The trigger is adjustable and is crisp and smooth almost as good as the Remington (listed below). This is now imported as the Winchester Wildcat bolt action rifle. I purchased this rifle in its original Russian format – the Wildcat is a modified version of this rifle with non-adjustable trigger typical cheep stamped sights (worse than the russian sights) and a bit nicer wood stock.

Norinco JW15 – I miss this rifle, I sold it and would love to find a second one (if I could find a good price) accuracy on par with the Tula, but the trigger was not as nice, and the bolt not as smooth in operation. Safety was awkward and rough in operation but better than the Romanian rifle.

Marlin Model 980S – I gave this rifle to a member of the family, it is an excellent .22 with excellent accuracy. Stainless model was almost maintenance free, the trigger was acceptable, but could be much better.

Remington 513 Matchmaster – A CMP rifle that is the best NON SPECIALIZED .22 I have ever fired, accuracy is superior with premium target .22 lr it will shoot tighter than 1/2 MOA.

Design flaws – Strangely almost all .22 bolt guns share one particular problem, feeding the small rounds from a magazine into the bore often results in the bullet scraping the top of the entry port and sometimes shaving some lead off or mangling the bullet, however Marlin figured this out I do not know how but the Marlin clip fed bolt actions do not do this, I think it is the magazine design.

Romanian M-69 – The feed ramp and magazine are poorly designed and lots of lead would get shaved off the bullet going into the barrel or the bullet would get bent out of the casing (if you were not watching) the safety was awkward to the point of unusable and the magazine was of poor design and function. Typical eastern sights of very poor quality a hooded front post and square slot rear “flip up” range selection. Magazine catch lever was primitive bent spring metal.

Russian Tula TOZ-78 – A relatively smooth working action. The stock is a bright wood, I cover it with a slip on camo cover when needed. Light and accurate but shares a similar feed issue with the Romanian .22 you have to be careful when pushing the cartridge into the chamber so as not to shave off lead. A little work on the feed ramp and port are necessary, the plastic magazine works well but the rifle only had one magazine and I cannot find a spare. I would like better rear sights, but they work well for typical russian Post and square notch with turning rear to adjust for elevation by 25 meter increments. I don’t like the placement of the safety at the bottom front side of the magazine well, but you can get to it with the left hand while holding it. The magazine release button is a dedicated part in front of the magazine/trigger guard projection piece and is awkward due to placement inside a slotted front section.

Norinco JW15 – Stiff action, simple construction, a typical Chinese copy of a european rifle (BRNOish) sights were crappy, but the rifle worked nicely with an inexpensive scope, similar to the Marlin. Magazine catch and release lever is a primitive bent spring assembly that takes a dedicated finger or thumb pressure.

Marlin Model 980S – Stiff action, but solid and simple, with a simple bent sheet metal extractor and guide. This rifle has a cheesy synthetic stock, but it is light weight and functional. Similar to the norinco the magazine catch is primitive and takes a dedicated finger or thumb to release.

Remington 513 Matchmaster – Smooth bolt action with excellent machining, excellent trigger, mediocre plastic magazine, heavy – in fact, far too heavy for reasonable carry for small game hunting, this is a full featured target rifle. Magazine catch is also primitive for a rifle this well manufactured.

Only the Remington had a full length stock comfortable for full sized male shooters, the Tula and Marlin were close and function in that regard well enough.

Quality – Varying quality from basement construction to top notch… They can go from reasonable accuracy to superior and from poor fit and finish to first world commercial quality. Buy what you can afford, past the bargain basement versions unless restricted by budget. Any of the listed rifles are good utilitarian choices that would serve well as field rifles (Except the heavy target Remington).

Caliber/Ammunition – .22 LR is very inexpensive ammunition with almost no recoil, even the bulk box .22 LR can be reasonably accurate. If you choose target grade ammunition they can be shocking in accuracy, high velocity rounds can be effective in hunting even larger game with proper placement. In backwoods areas many whitetail deer were dropped with head shots using the .22 LR (that was actually legal at one time).

Use – Easy to strip and clean (not that you need to at all with non corrosive .22 LR) EVERY collection should have at least one.

Current production – The Tula (as the Wildcat), and Marlin rifles are under current production.

I consider the .22 rifle a necessary utilitarian tool, too many brands to name are in current production, and they are popular, easy to find, and inexpensive to buy and feed. They make adult and child models and make a great trainer and hunting tool. Many excellent models are available that I have not listed here almost any name brand in the US will have at least one offering of .22LR in a bolt action.

Watch for my next post about a new offering from Savage!

Categories: .22 Long Rifle, Blogging, Firearm Overview, Firearm Review, Firearms, Hunting, Prepper Info, Prepping, Rifles | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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