Savage Mark II-LV Rimfire Sporter
This Savage model was manufactured
in its Canadian plant. Canadians must still take pride in their work because the rifle is
well made and carefully finished. There are no unsightly gaps between stock and barreled
action. All metal surfaces, including those surrounding the countersunk muzzle, were
carefully polished before blueing.
Whether shooting over a rest or from
a field position, the stock is blessed with very little drop and is extremely comfortable.
Laminated stocks always bring mixed reactions: Some people like them; others dont.
Granted, they tend to be markedly heavier than either a wooden or synthetic stock of the
same dimensions. Even so, in my eyes, their pluses outnumber their minuses. Immune to
swelling or shrinking, theyre indifferent to climate and darned near indestructible.
Too bad Savage didnt install a
couple of sling swivel studs in that stock though. Anyone intending to tote one of these
muzzle-heavy rigs afield will be well advised to add them; a carrying sling will make life
a lot more enjoyable.
This is no kids rifle. Thanks
to the hefty stock and bull barrel, the Mark IIs weight totaled a few ounces over 7
pounds once a Leupold Compact 4x scope and a set of Weaver mounts were installed.
Like all rimfires, the Savage was
choosy about its ammunition. It showed a definite preference for Winchesters Power
Points, grouping five-round strings from 1.0 to 1.2 inches at 100 yards, from the bench.
Remingtons Subsonic cartridges came in a close second, huddling from 1.1 to 1.6
inches at the same distance. CCIs strings spanned 1.7 to 2.3 inches.
Comparing the Savage sporters
performance on target with that of other rimfire hunting rifles that have passed through
my hands over the years, I found it pretty impressive. Few out-of-the-box .22s did as
well. Almost any currently produced .22 sporter can deliver some pretty impressive scores
once it is fed ammunition it likes. Although the Savage showed preferences for certain
brands over others, as expected, its largest groups would have been accurate enough to
take out a bunny or even a squirrel at 100 yards.
Its stiff, beefy barrel probably
deserves much of the credit for those near-MOA groups. Too bad my supply of match
ammunition has been depleted. It would have been interesting to see what the Savage could
have done with some.
Even so, most of the groups fired
would probably have been a shade tighter had the Savages trigger been easier to
control. For an untuned factory trigger, it really isnt too bad. According to the
Lyman trigger pull gauge, 10 readings registered pull weights ranging from 3 pounds, 10
ounces to 4 pounds, 9 ounces.
A couple of rough spots can be felt
as pressure is applied against the trigger and it begins to move. Consequently, rearward
movement is a bit jerky no matter how gently finger pressure is increased. Sear release is
surprisingly crisp though. It probably wouldnt take a lot of gunsmithing to hone
that pull. In fact, sending a few hundred more rounds downrange might help trigger
assembly parts wear in considerably. That trigger seemed noticeably easier to manage at
the end of the firing tests than it had been when the first rounds hissed downrange. Of
course, that might have been due to the fact I had unconsciously become accustomed to the
triggers peculiarities and learned to accommodate them.
The bolt was easy to manipulate,
none of that stiff, just-assembled stubbornness; so slick, it felt as though it were
operating in an oil bath. Wonder how those Canadians did that?
Feeding and extraction were positive
and malfunction-free too. In fact, it proved easy to slip five rounds in the magazine,
something I cant say about every .22 Ive tried.
Savages Mark II-LV is a quality rimfire
sporter with a lifetimes worth of service and pleasure built into it. - Al Miller