other By: Stan Trzoniec | March, 24
Lucky for us, they keep right on coming. One of the more recent ones is a sharp-looking entry from Springfield Armory called simply, the Model 2020. With the detailing, options and classic looks not seen on many twenty-caliber rifles today, this one is worthy of attention. On top of all this, the gun is available in two distinct models to include the weather-worthy synthetic and traditional wood in various high grades to suit any taste or style.
With the synthetic model, there is a choice of either a solid black stock or a sage-colored stock with black webbing. This Target model features a straight tapered 20-inch heavy barrel with a ½x28 threaded muzzle for a suppressor, complete with a muzzle cap. The sporter model has a thinner barrel finished in a satin blue, less sights and is free-floated in the stock. This classic-styled gun is right next to the custom category as you,
Following up on the stock details, the boys in engineering did their homework. The lines are clean, very classic and the detailing is there. For the adult shooter, it is a pleasure to hold and shoot. Inletting is tight and fits the action perfectly, something we now expect from premium gun makers. The color of the stock is a medium tone and the grain flows in a wave-like pattern from the butt upward towards the forearm.
Moving back, the stock widens out a bit to house the receiver and the “bottom metal” enclosing the magazine, trigger group, trigger guard and magazine release. Springfield is wisely using the time tested Ruger 10-round magazine and when the flush mounted release is pushed, it drops out of the gun with plenty of enthusiasm.
From here, this part of the gun makes a graceful downward curve into the trigger guard that was designed to leave plenty of room even for larger or gloved fingers. Again, borrowing on tradition, the gun harbors an adjustable Remington 700-type trigger that from the box broke at a tad under 4 pounds with barely a hint of some creep before the sear let go. The whole assembly seems to be an alloy aluminum casting and is inletted perfectly into the stock.
Completing the stock, this gun never seems to keep impressing me. The pistol-grip cap is steel, while the grip itself is setup for both prone and offhand shooting and again, fine-line checkering covers most of this area. There is no cheekpiece, which makes the gun immediately suitable for both left- and right-hand shooters. The butt has a rich contrast of colors going from black, tan and lighter brown and like the forearm has rich, satin patina to show it off. There is classic-styled black rubber recoil pad with a black spacer, not to absorb the push back on the rimfire cartridge, but to keep the gun from slipping in the field. Finally, the stock is cut with a 13.5-inch length of pull while sling swivel studs in the front and back allow to carry the gun comfortably in the field.
When it comes to the action, sportsmen are in for a treat. Starting at the bolt, it is beautifully finished on all sides and richly chrome-plated for ease of maintenance. The operation is with a 60-degree bolt lift and as slick as it can be, just tipping the gun up slightly allows it to follow out to its rearward stop. Twin extractors are located on the bolt face with a mechanical ejector positioned deep inside the receiver and right behind the magazine.
The bolt knob is checkered, but is removable if a person has the desire to install an aftermarket knob, and along with the bolt handle and shroud, it is finished in a satin black that compliments the color on rest of the action. The safety is located on the right side just behind the bolt. It is two position and made to operate to add or remove rounds with the safety on. The left side of the receiver contains the bolt release and on the right side, the action is relieved on both the stock and the Picatinny rail so as not to interfere with the loading or ejection of spent rounds.
The 2020 comes with this rail installed so all you need is a set of rings and a scope and you are ready to go. I used a set of spilt medium rings to which I installed a specialized Bushnell 3-9x 40mm rimfire scope. Gone are the days when a rimfire rifle demanded the use of one of those headache producing ¾-inch tubes, now the larger “centerfire-type” of optics seems to be in vogue.
Obviously, a lot of engineering thought went into this rifle. Surprisingly, this American-styled rifle is made in Turkey, not a big thing, but the overall finish, design and follow through are. Picking the gun up, it has that field-ready feel, made to go when you are. The operation of the bolt was butter smooth and fast, no doubt giving credit to the hard chrome finish and close tolerances.
Throughout the session, the gun fed, extracted and ejected every round with no exceptions. With the targets lined up, the gun felt like I could almost guide each round into that 2-inch box downrange. The five-shot groups contained in the accompanying table are the best of three groups fired with the same ammunition. There was no need to extend the time between shots as, (1) I was shooting the 22 rimfire, and (2) the lower outside temperature kept the barrel at bay, and (3) the manufacturer’s claim of keeping three shots under an inch was easily accomplished. We did a step better with five-shot groups.
In any event, the Armscor brand came in with the best of three groups at .700 inch. Our CCI standard velocity ran .743 inch with the pick of the morning hitting .560 inch with Winchester’s Target ammunition. With no need to worry about producing small groups, we spent some time both offhand and on the bench plinking at making small stones even smaller at 50 and 75 yards. At around 6 pounds plus with a scope, the gun felt good in the hand shooting downrange. All velocities were more than 1,000 fps, standard today with a good grade of rimfire ammunition.
In any event, I believe Springfield has a winner here, salable for all income levels that includes only a choice in stock furniture, not in the action itself. With price points starting at $529 and upward to $1,099 for the top of the line wood complete with a cable lock and a soft case, I predict this gun will find its way into many a gun cabinet.
As an adolescent, I can recall those free and easy days on the farm, walking downs the lane road, over the brook and sneaking along the fence looking for the wily woodchuck with my single shot twenty-two rifle. Today, I always look forward to guns like this Springfield 2020 to broaden my hunting enjoyment on those fresh-cut fields. To me, thus is what it is all about.
Made in Turkey… Made for Americans. Can’t beat that!