A22R Pro Varmint , First Impressions.

Got that awesome phonecall today.
“Your permit has come in mate”
Off I went to the LGS to pick up my new toy.

Savage A22R Pro Varmint.
Initial impression, nice.
On closer inspection… If I paid full retail of $1200 or so dollars, I would feel a bit ripped off.
Fit and finish is good, $650 good, not $1200 good.

A little chip near the tang.
I will touch it up with a sharpie because I really DGAF about minor cosmetic issues. But … For $1200 it would be unacceptable.
The magazine is not well moulded and gappy in fit.
If it functions well, not a problem at the price I paid. Just not a magazine that says “excellent”.
Rear bolt shroud feels flimsy and wobbles a bit. Polymer.
I can’t help but use my Lithgow at $990 as a benchmark. Best .22 I own by quite a ways.
Unique action aside , the Savage is not even close.
For the current price point, excellent value. Looks cool, balances and shoulders well.
Action is smooth and nicely machined. Lever is currently quite tight.

A quick play with the action and lever system indicates a good rate of fire is achievable. I would think there are several styles to do it they will suit different people.
Pic Rail is nice and seems decent quality.
Barrel and action was nicely centered and free floated.

The trigger has an unusually large shoe. Seems to fill the gap of the accutrigger thingie.
Polymer trigger housing.
At $1200 this gun is a rip off.
At $500 or so for the base model and $650 for the heavy barrel , these are easily one of the best value .22’s going around at the moment. Get one.


How do you find filling the magazine?

I haven’t tried yet, I’ve heard they can be fiddly. I will try it.
Edit: tried it, yes it’s a fiddly bastard. The magazine is rotary with a half cylinder for each round. As you push the round down, you are camming the cylinders around. If the rim doesn’t go over enough to cam it, it gets stuck just pushing down. Bit of technique loading each round at a slight angle to seat the rim and cam it around.
Will probably loosen over time as the spring relaxes and the plastic cylinders wear in.

And sorry Savage I don’t do gun stickers in my car , so you can look stupid on my ammo cabinet instead.

Just a heads up, waxy ammo (SK for example) will gum the magazine up and cause failure to feed.

Good tip. I would have used it… On a related note, magazine loosens up. I went from wtf to mmm, OK, not bad.

I imagine it’s a fairly stiff spring to allow reliable feeding in the semi version

There’s a neck to loading it. Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy. It does come across at first as a fiddly little cnt.

I also handled the CZ Tactical 512(semi) version.
Nice, very nice. Much bigger than I expected. Handguard is fat. Iiked it , some smaller hands might not. Adjustable stock was smooth and solid. Felt good to the shoulder. Can’t wait to get one.

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Just for comparison, a Howa .223 sporter and the Savage in the ‘same’ stock.
Howa is a few years old now.

Stock on the Savage has a slightly different toe angle. Grip is the same.

Forend is shorter and a different profile.

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