The Savage MK II FV–SR rifle

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The Savage MK II FV–SR rifle
The Savage MK II FV–SR rifle
By Peter M. Reif Sr.
Figure Eager Volunteer shooters were not hard to fnd during feld tests!
Firearms rarely “grab” me, I browse the paper rags, surf the net, and infrequently
wander through the local gun stores just to see what is new. I guess that I have
just been around them too long, shot too many frearms, and have seen too many
of the Madison Avenue marketed “Wonder du Jour” guns turn out to be absolute
belly fops.
The Savage MK II FV-SR is the atypical bolt acton .22 rimfre with a few slight
cosmetc revisions for those who prefer keeping up tactcal appearances. This rife
was discovered while surfng the net looking for a “new” bolt acton .22 rimfre to
be used for some friendly tactcal rimfre matches with my co workers.
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The MK II FV-SR visually reminds me of another compact U.S. rife made
specifcally made at one tme for certain units of the US Secret Service who
desired similar features in a .308 Winchester caliber.
The evoluton of the SR series now marketed by Savage started as a quasi limited
editon distributor run, but the overwhelming popularity and demand convinced
Savage to make it a factory stock item! So popular many of these the rifes are
made in Canada according to the shipping box stocking label…………..
Savage rifes have always been noted for their rifes remarkable out of the box
accuracy. While rather Spartan in appearance comparatvely speaking many of
their compettors rifes (in my case an old Savage-Stevens Model 416 Target) the
superb accuracy allowed me to win a number of formal 50’ Bull’s-eye target
compettons as both a child, and teenager.
Figure The Accu-Trigger and Accu-Safety
If there was ever a “Jelly spot” in any of the earlier Savage models it was the
lawyer proof trigger mechanism, but that too has been resolved with the “AccuTrigger” redesign. The bright metal center dubbed the “Accu-Safety” provides a
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greater degree of security against negligent discharges. This mechanism works
and works very well from my limited use.
The Savage Mk II FV-SR (from now referred to as the “SR”) is capable of giving the
end user the best of all worlds at a very reasonable price!
The abbreviated .803” diameter bull barrel length of 16.25” has been prety much
proven over tme and testng worldwide to give the optmal velocity window
based on .22 Long Rife powder charge weight and burn rate /combuston
efciency. The “SR” barrel length is also idea for use in thick cover feld huntng or
varmintng where shorter is a good thing.
Figure The Fluted 16.25" bull barrel is a nice touch
The factory applied barrel futng both slightly reduces weight and increases radial
surface area promotng more rapid heat dissipaton. Those heavily involved with
accuracy will claim the futng process actually increases nodal vibratons and
imparted mechanical stresses as the projectle quickly travels the internal length.
I just like the way the “SR’s” barrel looks, its slightly muzzle heavy balance and
swing, and the accuracy certainly is well within acceptable parameters for a
slightly beefed up “Sporter Carbine”.
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Figure Muzzle thread protector on
Figure Muzzle thread protector of
The ½”-28 pitch barrel threading is simply there for those who can legally
purchase/own a sound moderator. It has been reported to me that such a trendy
accessory on a bolt acton .22 rimfre can reduce report to simply the mechanical
acton noise and a very slight to near non-existent muzzle signature.
Should you not wish to atach such atenuaton devices, either leave on the
knurled thread protector cap, or thread on a muzzle brake with litle difculty.
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Figure The EGW mount securely holds the rings and scope
The Evoluton Gun Works aluminum optcal platorm base is factory supplied and
is of a Picatnny/Weaver design featuring 14 atachment slots at various points
along its length. The 5 7/8” long base combined with four Torx™ type screws give
the base mount a very robust connecton surface to the receiver secure for all but
the most ape fsted of users. The 20 MOA angled cant feature gives more than
enough elevaton range for any pragmatc usage of the .22 LR. When combined
with a set of Burris Signature Zee rings there is more than enough elevaton range
to match the cartridge ballistc parameters.
Post Note: Afer removing the rife from the shipping box, and reading the
instructons I conducted a check of the stock ft to receiver and barrel, bore crown
and chamber, bolt functon, and then checked the pre-mounted optcs base.
Good thing I did as the base screws were barely fnger tght when checked with a
hex wrench! The base and mountng screws were quickly removed and degreased
with rubbing alcohol then re secured with Loc-tte Medium strength sealant (Blue
color) and allowed to dry.
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The “prefight checks” can save a lot of tme and aggravaton at the shootng range
while sightng in a rife. These things should not happen, either mount the base
correctly at the factory, or leave it in the box for the owner to do so.
Figure Tactcal Bolt Knob
One of the nicer details of the “SR” is the modifed bolt knob which aids in
rapidity of cycling the acton. Contrary to popular belief with some practce a bolt
acton can be manipulated fairly rapidly. Most difcultes with a bolt acton can be
traced to the lack of lubricaton with frearms based grease on the camming
points between the receiver and bolt arm. I have found a slight dab of Shooters
Choice grease on the camming points does the job well without creatng a mess or
freezing up in low temperatures.
The “SR” stock is a black synthetc chassis molded in the classic Sporter style
(the extended cab Savage “TRR- SR” model has a true tactcal stock profle) which
fts my needs as an “everyday” rife far beter with less weight and bulk than its
sibling.
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Removing the stock revealed the forearm was hollow with support struts for most
of the length. The receiver bedding area is simply two molded in plastc columns
that the two Allen keyed receiver screws travel through held in place via the
magazine/foor plate. In and of itself most curious because the receiver has THREE
threaded posts one (under the Phillips head screw shown) which could have been
utlized to secure the juncton even more rigidly………
Figure The Savage FV-SR Floor plate and mount screws
Figure Inside the FV-SR stock a potental third pillar locaton?
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Figure Could this lug for used for additonal strength?
The stock has a panel of molded diamond checkering on each side of the pistol
grip which also has a pistol grip cap replete with corporate logo. The tapered fore
arm also has matching molded checkering on each side to give a secure grip under
inclement feld conditons.
I am rather surprised that two forearm QD swivels studs were not included in the
package, just one fore and one af for a sling. Traditonally on tactcal rifes the
swivel pair is supplied for the sling and one for the use of a folding bipod. This can
be resolved easily enough should you require such things.
The Accu-Trigger out of the box measured at exactly 2 ½ lbs. on my Chatlion
weight gauge. Factory provided literature gives an adjustment range from 2 ½
pounds up to approximately 4.0 pounds. The barreled acton is removed from the
stock then the owner can make quick release weight adjustments with the factory
supplied mini screwdriver.
A Burris 8-32x44mm Signature series rimfre/air gun scope was quickly atached
to the “SR”. My outdoor air gun & rimfre shootng competton experiences
(with numerous 1st place fnishes) utlizing this partcular scope over the past two
decades made the selecton an easy decision. The scope has NEVER missed a feld
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adjustment and returned to prior calibrated objectve bell distance marks without
a bobble.
Burris Signature Zee Rings in a medium height mate fnish give a nice transiton
to the polished scope and if necessary the optonal Pos-align inserts can quickly
allow adjustng the scope to bore centerline without having to sacrifce ANY of
the scopes windage or elevaton adjustments, or worse yet modifying the rings
with lapping, epoxy puty, or metal shim stock.
Before mountng the Burris scope was optcally re-centered in home made Vee
blocks and then fted into the scope rings. The heavy snows of early 2011 gave
me a chance to collimate with a bore sightng device. A spud type bore sighter
will get you on paper quickly and help verify that the retcle is plumb with the
bore on both the horizontal and vertcal axis.
The very poor weather had given me tme to have a litle fun with my early Beta
test version of the Gerald Perry’s ExBal home ballistcs computer program which
allowed me to plug in all of the necessary values.
With this program (and many others available) any person is now capable of
conjuring up Arcane Shootng Voodoo like actual scope to bore centerline height,
determine ammuniton ballistc co efcient, calculate for incline angles, moving
target speed leads, both wind speed and directonal angle, max and minimum
point blank zero ranges, and even scope retcle sub-tensions at various distances.
ExBal will even work with some PDA’s and “smart phones” for the on the go
types, or hard core gun range data freaks.
The “SR” will be zeroed to shoot .400” high at 25 yards once the weather breaks
to test the CALCULATED (52 yards) zeroing/trajectory chart which if accurate
should give a very tght fight path from 0 to sixty yards with CCI’s marvelous sub
sonic hollow points.
The frst problem encountered was that I actually ran out of scope elevaton
adjustment! The rife shot 2.5” below point of aim at 25 yards. A Simple enough
feld resoluton even in most cases is just to just slide the rear scope ring “back”
two grooves on the tapered base mount to elevate the scope. I had selected the
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rear slot so this was not an opton but the more distance between rings the
beter without mutering any mystcal ballistc incantatons.
The follow up soluton was found in the Burris Pos-Align Ofset Ring Insert Kit by
using the (+).020” insert in the base of the rear scope ring afer removing the
scope! This ten minute soluton put the point of impact about 3” high and
allowed the scoped to be dialed down beter using the elevaton turret for later
fne tuning if necessary.
More Critcal was problem two: the Preliminary functon fring of the “SR”
revealed the factory supplied fve round magazine would not consistently feed
any of the test rounds to the chamber.
It was frustratng, sporadic, and no specifc numerical (1-5) round showed up as
the causal factor for diagnosis of the mechanism. The magazine would feed the
shorter CCI’s CB Long rounds near fawlessly, which is even more of an enigma
within a riddle. It seems that the magazines internal length is too narrow or short
for some brands of .22 Long Rife ammo. Combined with poor follower spring
strength the rounds locked up mid magazine and are not fed to the top.
A quick phone call to Savage Arms Customer Service resulted in “You will have a
replacement in 7-10 days.” And the replacement 5 round magazine arrived in 3
days!! That folks is some serious customer service!
This unfortunately very quick trip one to the shootng range in some extremely
cold weather also resulted in quick scrounging through my “Precision Rife” parts
larder and yielded a well used Eagle Industries, Inc. Shooters Stock Pack.
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It is strapped onto the “SR” quickly with three Velcro strips around the but stock.
The suede type synthetc pad helped to preclude the numbing cold from traveling
from stock to face. The SSP is also nify way to carry a small knife, metal match,
Crow call, bore snake, and a couple extra loaded 10 round magazines of ammo
without loading up your pockets.
Figure Eagle SSP pouch side
Figure Eagle SSP cheek piece side
Digging deeper into the same goodie box preliminary sling selecton was one of
Mike Millers Quick Cuf slings “eeeny meeenied” to basic black over a brown
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colored sibling. This hand sttched early producton model sling features lockable
QD swivels, and a full range of adjustments; it is the cats meow for tactcal rifes.
A quick detachable cuf is supplied with Mikes sling for those who utlize such
optons in the feld.
Figure The AWESOME OPS; Inc. R3E2C muzzle brake
I decided for the use of an OPS; Inc. Model #R3E2C stainless steel muzzle brake
simply for the aesthetcs. This muzzle brake adds just the correct amount of
weight ahead of the muzzle for me improving the balance and swing of the “SR”
without overdue size and disproportonate looks. A litle bit of applied Rimfre
Feng Shui.
The .22 Long Rife certainly does not exhibit violent recoil characteristcs, but the
well engineered muzzle brake gas ports allow a simple redirecton of blast which
makes feld shootng just a bit more pleasant.
Threading the R3E2C brake onto the muzzle revealed that an AR-15 style peel
washer was needed to bring the ports online to the horizontal correct locaton.
Unable to fnd peel washers locally an email send to Brownells; Inc. once again
came through in three working days with a packet of peel washers.
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Figure OPS; Inc. Brake and both shipped and separated peel washers
The “peel washer” is actually a laminated series of thin washers that is heated
slightly to delaminate the adhesive and then a layer is installed, brake threaded on
and checked of alignment. Repeat untl happy and then snug into place.
In this case by the R3E2C design all that is necessary is a small crescent wrench no
need for specialized tooling. It is a good idea to use just a dab of ant-seize
lubricant on the threads.
*For whatever arcane reason group sizes also were reduced by approximately 2030% over the short term evaluaton of ten brands of ammuniton on hand.
I fred a series of fve ten shot groups with the OEM knurled thread protector on,
removed it, atached the R3E2C brake and then fred the same string over.
The same patern contnued to emerge with even more “Of – On” testng of the
CCI Subsonic rounds. This was repeated with Remington Subsonic, Remington CBEE’s, CCI CB Longs, older Eley Tenex, older Eley Club, and both Remington and
Federal bulk packaged brands.
The Remington C-Bees proved to be a quiet death ray at distances under 25 yards
on some unlucky pests who had previously lived on a friend’s farm. CCI’s
Subsonic .22 rounds gave the most consistent accuracy out to 50 yards for the
price.
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Figure OPS Inc Brake ready for acton
Now that the rife was completely set up for my partcular needs a number of 5
consecutve ten shot groups were fred from my Ransom Rife Master Rest and a
rear sandbag to establish baseline accuracy.
A number of groups were fred during a local severe weather warning/Tornado
alert with 17-35 mph wind gusts and driving rain and stll stayed under 3/4” c.t.c.!
Maybe a reader can help me out with determining the ballistc defecton of the .
22 round fred in a driving rain?
Another trip to the range with beter weather conditons with all of the ammo
(sans CB’s) yielded an aggregate average group size of .366” at 25 yards and
hovering near .721” at ffy yards for fve consecutve 10 shot groups, no cleaning
between groups/ no “fouler” shots.
The unfortunate result is the pricier the ammuniton, the beter this rife shot!
RWS R-50, and Eley Tenex, giving some groups that were dropping the jaws of
some range bystanders during target checks. Unfortunately both are just a litle
out of my budget of everyday shootng ammo though……….
I even managed to hit a range scrounged blue colored muzzle loading bullet sabot
twice at ffy yards. The frst of hand shot being a pre called “Tip”, and the second
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shot quickly removing it from the target frame. No bad performance for a brand
new rife in the hands of a palsied old man………
If I could see it on the target, or the immediate surrounding backstop area within
ffy yards it was either hit frst shot, or scared to death with a very near miss.
The FV-SR rife also shot beter free hand than from the bench one of those
rimfre anomalies.
The last step in working this rife was to modify is to utlize a single point sling
hook from Starling Enterprises, Inc. This involved turning a small aluminum teenut threaded at 5/16”-32tp and ftng it to a .375” (3/8) hole drilled in the lef
side receiver area.
Figure Starling Enterprises Sling Ring installed
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Figure Spacer stock, Threaded spacer, Starling Sling Ring, 5/16"-32 tap, 15/32" drill bit
The two components were threaded together to test ft, adjusted, then a dab of
blue loc-tte placed on the threads and screwed together and the rife
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reassembled.
Figure Internal view fted to stock not yet fnished!
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This modifcaton is far more practcal for tactcal rimfre events and use in deep
brush than a conventonal sling.
Figure A-Tac Single Point sling installs in seconds
Figure CCI modifed HP ready to shoot
For more “Stopping Power” some of the CCI Sub-Sonic rounds were modifed
with a home shop made trim die and slightly recessed with a 5/32” 143° split
point drill bit. They have work quite well from my limited feld trials, or when
access to CCI’s .22 neutron bomb, the “Quik-Shok Subsonic” #0074 rounds is
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denied to extreme demand throughout the USA.
Figure Modifed CCI rounds, OEM rounds and home shop tooling
Summaton: If you are looking for a moderately priced bolt acton .22 rife that
ofers exceptonal accuracy as a preliminary building support platorm, or just a
plain old out of the box leave it alone rife capable of holding its own with some
more expensive imports be sure to check out the Savage MK II FV-SR, it’s a keeper!
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