Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Straddling the gap between tradition and innovation, the Savage Mark 2 FV-SR is the perfect example of what today’s bolt action 22 should be.
Preface to the Savage Mark 2
When I think about bolt action 22s my mind drifts towards an idealized image of mid-century American shooting sports. Boy Scouts earning their rifle shooting merit badge, squirrel hunting in the freshly fallen snow, or a boy receiving his first rifle as a Christmas gift. All are captured in the hand-drawn style of a 1970s Outdoor Life magazine cover.
I have to chuckle as I write this because I am far too young to have any first-hand experience of that time period, although, I do relate to it. My childhood in rural Oklahoma was filled with similar experiences. Receiving my late father’s Remington Model 34 for my tenth birthday. Squirrel hunting with my uncles Karl, John, and Ted as well as my older brother. Plinking cans with my uncle Chuck’s Mossberg Target Rifle and later earning my rifle shooting merit badge as I worked my way towards Eagle.
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About a year ago I found myself wanting another bolt action 22 (I had traded the Model 34 to my brother as a teenager). I wanted one for squirrel hunting but also as a training tool. Much of my firearm practice since high school had been geared towards quick and effective defensive shooting and not so much precision. Desiring more proficiency with a traditional rifle I decided to go back to the basics. After a bit of searching, I found exactly what I was looking for in the Savage Mark 2 FV-SR.
General Impressions and Specs
The first thing I notice when picking up this rifle is that it has some heft to it, but not in a bad way. So many 22s feel more like plastic toys than rifles. The 5.5 lb weight is a bit heavier than other 22s but still lighter than your average hunting rifle so I think it’s about right.
I like to run a suppressor whenever I can so a threaded barrel is a necessity. My Rugged Mustang22 mounts firmly to the 1/2×28 threaded muzzle and blends well with the contour of the fluted heavy barrel. The heavy barrel is not needed for heat dispersion on a 22 but it does provide some of the aforementioned heft that gives the rifle its robust feel and appearance.
Another contributing factor to this rifle’s robust stature is its stock. This polymer construction lacks the hollow, flimsy feel that plagues the stocks of so many mid and low-tier rifles. It feels to be both thicker and better supported. The barrel freefloats along its entire length and it takes an exceptional amount of pressure to bend the stock so that it will touch the barrel.
The stock comes fitted with two traditional sling studs for mounting a sling or bipod. The butt-plate can be removed with a Phillips screwdriver to expose an open compartment within the stock. I plan to make a little survival kit to put in there to make use of the space. I always carry a multitool so access will not be an issue.
The oversized bolt handle is a great feature. It makes running the action while staying in the scope and on target pretty easy.
Drawbacks of the Savage Mark 2 FV-SR
One flaw in the otherwise stellar performance is the stock’s comb height. Even with a scope mounted in low rings, I was unable to maintain a good cheek weld. This is easily resolved by adding a cheek riser but that’s just an extra expense for the buyer.
I initially had trouble mounting my scope because the optics rail was a bit too long. My scope would contact the rail before I could achieve proper eye relief. I could have used taller scope rings but that would further exacerbate the cheek weld issue. I decided to cut one picatinny slot off the rail to make room for the scope. With a bit of filework and paint it doesn’t look too bad.
The included magazine holds five rounds but ten rounders are available. Both the five and ten-rounders are made of stamped steel and can be found for around $20. Neither mag fits completely flush with the stock. I initially thought it would always be snagging on things but it hasn’t proven to be much of a practical issue, just an aesthetic one.
At The Range
I have a ton of fun shooting this rifle suppressed. Even with standard velocity ammo, the only sound you hear is the supersonic crack. Thanks to the bolt action you don’t have to account for any action noise like you would with a semiautomatic. I run American Eagle 45gr Suppressor 22 If I want to be really quiet. With that round, you barely hear more than the firing pin drop.
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This rifle features Savage’s Accu Trigger. Mine is set to the minimum weight and breaks consistently at two pounds. There is nearly no take-up, the wall is firm, and the break is crisp. Overall, a very usable trigger.
The rigid stock, heavy barrel, and good trigger combine to make one very accurate rifle. My best groups come from 40gr CCI standard velocity which averages just under half an inch at thirty yards. Most other ammo gives me groups of around three-quarters of an inch at the same distance.
As you can tell, I am a big fan of this rifle. It is suppressor-ready, has a solid feel, is plenty accurate, and most importantly, It’s priced affordably. For the average retail price of $250, I don’t think I could find a rifle that meets my needs any better than this one.
No, this isn’t the wood stock, iron sights 22 that I grew up on but it is a quality rifle that does well to meet modern requirements while keeping true to what I believe the bolt action 22 should be.
Rugged, accurate, and affordable.
You can check out Savage’s Website for more information on this rifle or to find a dealer near you.