Mike reviews an all new semi auto, the Savage Arms A22 Rifle in 22 LR. Target shooters rejoice.
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Sometimes life throws little surprises your way. With the Savage Arms A22 Rifle, in 22 LR, it was several.
When they told us they were sending us a rifle to test and we saw A22 on the invoice we were expecting a semiautomatic in 17 HMR or 22 Magnum. Little did we know that Savage had released a new model in the popular 22 long rifle caliber.
It made sense, while those two rounds are proven performers, 22 LR is still the most popular rim fire round in America and you can find 22lr ammo once again in most places, except for maybe New York City.
We have a few Savage rifles in our safe and they almost never disappoint. We were hoping this one would be a shorter barreled semi auto with a target barrel, threaded muzzle and something we could really get into.
None of those things happened, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
Savage Arms A22 Rifle in 22 LR – The Good
At first we were skeptical of the rifle's looks. A 21″ barrel, iron sights, no barrel threads and an overall look that reflected “standard” [read boring]. Yet, having never been disappointed by a Savage rifle in the past, we decided to give this semi-auto rifle a chance and were glad we did.
First off, it had sling swivels installed. Somehow this seems to be a rarity these days, but we were thankful for it. No adding MLOK adapters, drilling tapping or spending an obscene amount of money on a rail adapter for what should come on every rifle from every factory.
We really liked the open sights on the A22. Not merely an afterthought, the designers at Savage give you a finely tuned adjustable rear sight that is removable should you want to add a scope. This was perhaps the one regret we had with the test rifle. After seeing how accurate it was with irons and the scope base removed, we were pretty confident that a scope would have made it even more accurate.
Where the A22 really shines is with the trigger. We remember back in the day, about 25 years or so ago, that Savage's factory triggers left much to be desired, and we watched as other shooters upgraded them with a Rifle Basix Trigger.
Eventually Savage got the hint and developed the Accutrigger which allows the shooter a wide range of adjustment. The end result is a light, clean pull with no creep. Its two piece mechanism prevents discharge when dropped or struck. We look for this trigger on all our Savage rifles.
The rotary ten round magazines are a proprietary design for Savage and it is a really well thought out one that ensures the magazine is always properly loaded and inserted in the correct direction.
Savage Arms A22 22lr Rifle – The Bad
Because it is a relatively new design, there is no wide aftermarket for accessories or parts as there is for other manufacturers. If you are someone who has to change every last part on your rifle in order to customize it, we would advise you to wait and see what comes up in the future, but our practical side says, “Why bother“, Savage got this one right from the start.
We would have liked to have seen barrel threads because we like putting suppressors on just about everything. We hope in the future that feature becomes a reality.
The rotary magazines are a great design and in some ways superior to what other manufacturers offer, but we have yet to see anyone else make these or a variety that can hold more than 10 rounds.
Our only real criticism came from the trigger, that we actually loved when touching off for a single shot.
At one point during our testing, the safety was bumped. Unbeknownst to us, the trigger still flows while the safety is engaged and it made us think we had a bad batch of ammunition until we physically inspected it. Knowing that ahead of time may save you some ammunition; we tend to prefer rifles that have no trigger movement with the safety engaged, though.
The other issue with the Accutrigger on a semiautomatic rifle is a longer reset. This does not really come into play on a bolt gun, but it took a while to get used to it on the A22 rifle.
Savage Arms A22 Semi Auto Rifle in 22 LR – The Reality
For around $280 MSRP (less $$ online) you really cannot go wrong with this accurate, lightweight semiautomatic plinker. Target shooters and small game hunters will love this rifle, particularly when aftermarket stocks become available.
The magazines may be a new design and for the types that bemoan “Oh, I am heavily invested in ‘Brand X’ and their magazines’”, ask yourself, how many magazines do you actually use?
I own hundreds of magazines for certain firearms, but realistically I just use the same 5 or 6 over and over again. Maybe you like to hoard magazines and load every last one up for a range outing, chances are that you probably do not and on a rifle like this it simply becomes a matter of “want” over “need”.
We think 99% of shooters can get along with the two A22 rifle magazines included, but you can probably find extras for sale with no hassle.
The Savage Arms A22 may not have the “look” of a 22 target rifle with its standard barrel contour, but it definitely has the performance and potential of one.
Savage Arms A22 Rifle in 22 LR -Specs:
- Model: Savage A22
- Caliber: 22 Long Rifle
- Barrel Length: 22″
- Capacity: 10 rounds
- Finish: Satin Black
- Stock: Matte BlackSynthetic
- Twist: 1:16
- Length: 41.5″
- Weight: 5 pounds
- MSRP: $269.99
Bonus Savage Arms A22 Rifle in 22 LR Video Review by Sootch00:
About Mike Searson
Mike Searson's career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.
Mike has written over 2000+ articles for a number of magazines, websites and newsletters including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, Examiner.com and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.
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