Savage’s New Mark II FXP Offers User-Friendly Convenience.
It’s been an exciting month in the world of rimfires. Savage fielded a completely new “package rifle” consisting of a Mark II bolt-action, factory-mounted with a 3-9X Bushnell scope, while Bill Ward just released Walnut and Steel, a fascinating book on vintage .22 rifles.
Better still, we’re beginning to see a variety of rimfire ammo brands back on dealers’ shelves and fairly priced, I might add. Hopefully, the drought and price gouging are history.
The Savage Mark II FXP features a smooth-feeding, 10-round detachable box magazine (above).
Gas ports in the front receiver ring (below) protect the shooter from possible case head ruptures.
Savage Mark II FXP
Years ago it was common to see companies like Mossberg and Sears offering complete factory rimfire rifle/scope packages. Then the practice seemed to go out of style. But no longer. The concept is more popular than ever and makes a lot of sense from the standpoint of convenience and economy.
A new owner doesn’t have to struggle with the selection of a properly designed rimfire scope and mounts. This is especially true for a new shooter who probably has had little or no exposure to optics or the steps necessary to properly mount them. With the package, the scope comes mounted properly to the rifle with the crosshair leveled. Plus it’s been bore-sighted at the factory, assuring the new owner that his first shot will be somewhere near the center of the target at 25 yards. In fact, Savage even includes a 25-yard bull’s-eye target in the manual to help the owner get started properly.
Because they buy scopes in such large quantities and can specify the design characteristics of the optics they order, gun companies are able to offer the consumer advantageous pricing on package deals instead of forcing the buyer to purchase a scope and mounts separately. For example, the new Savage Mark II FXP package in .22 Long Rifle has a retail price of only $291.
There’s a lot to like about the Mark II FXP. First and foremost, it’s fitted with Savage’s AccuTrigger. Having made the transition from the company’s centerfire line to their rimfire models, the AccuTrigger is simply remarkable. The weight-of-pull can be owner-adjusted from 2-1/2 to 4-1/4 pounds with complete safety (Savage includes a trigger adjustment tool along with the rifle). Once the barreled action is separated from the stock, adjusting the trigger is simply a matter of turning the trigger return spring in or out to set the poundage. I set the test gun trigger at 3 pounds exactly.
Holt preferred the green synthetic stock of the Mark II over the
usual “tactical black” color scheme.
The 3-9X Bushnell scope included in the package is overly large in Holt’s opinion,
but performed perfectly.
Given the inherent accuracy of .22 LR ammunition, the crisp, light AccuTrigger is a distinct
advantage when wringing out the very best the 6 pound, 5 ounce Mark II FXP has to offer.
I once asked Savage’s Ron Coburn what their secret was to producing what many consider to be the most accurate barrels in the industry. Ron credited their button-rifling system. Well, the stoutly contoured Mark II FXP barrel is button-rifled, plus it’s mounted in a thick-walled tubular receiver providing 7-3/4 inches of stock-bedding surface. Adding to its accuracy potential, the barrel is free-floated in the stock from the front of the receiver to the end of the muzzle.
The bolt locks up in the receiver by way of a lug at the base of the bolt handle. It’s a very common locking system in the world of rimfires, and to prevent unnecessary wear, I strongly recommend keeping the bearing surfaces of the lug and the cam angle cut in the receiver wall greased. White Tetra Gun Grease is one of my favorites for the purpose since you can see it against the dark steel surfaces, ensuring all wear points are fully lubricated.
An interesting feature located in the front ring of the Mark II receiver is a pair of opposed gas-release ports. It’s been decades since I’ve heard of a ruptured rimfire case head, but Savage has taken care of that remote possibility with sound safety engineering.
It’s refreshing to see a green-colored polymer stock on a rimfire rifle rather than boring, ubiquitous black. Green not only looks classy, it makes the Savage stand out from the competition and gives the impression this rifle is designed for the field.
The Mark II FXP upheld Savage’s reputation for accurate barrels with several brands of .22 LR ammo, but their AccuTrigger (above ) helped some. The 3-9X Bushnell scope (below) included in the package is overly large in Holt’s opinion, but performed perfectly.
The 3-9X Bushnell scope is, in my opinion, overly large and out of proportion to the lines of the rifle, but that’s a personal hang-up I have with 99 percent of the rimfire scopes out there. Otherwise the scope functioned perfectly well for .22 LR-appropriate distances and targets.
How did the Mark II shoot? The pictured 50-yard target is pretty indicative of its accuracy potential. The best 5-shot group measured 0.65-inch and was fired with Wolf Match Target. Not far behind was Remington’s Golden Bullet brand, with a 0.71 group. CCI’s flat-nosed Small Game Bullet delivered a tight 0.76 grouping, while two of my favorite loads, Winchester Power Point (0.96) and CCI Mini-Mag (0.95) delivered adequate small-game hunting accuracy at 50 yards.
In short, the Mark II FXP package proved very accurate, fed, extracted and ejected without a hiccup, and handled well. The AccuTrigger is a real plus on the range and especially in the field where you may be shooting offhand. Savage has successfully assembled a best-buy rimfire package in the Mark II FXP.
The package is also available in .22 WMR as the Model 93 FXP.
Bill Ward’s new book on vintage .22 rifles is a modern classic in itself.
Studying The Classics
Reading Bill Ward’s Walnut and Steel is like sitting down with an old friend and reminiscing about classic .22 rifles you’ve both owned and appreciated over a lifetime. The author’s style is warm and familiar, the research thorough, the photography excellent and the shooting data invaluable.
In 222 pages, Ward covers in detail 20 classic .22 rifles from Stevens, Savage, Remington, Winchester and Marlin. For each model he covers the history, mechanical features and range performance at 25 and 50 yards with a variety of ammunition types.
Priced at $19.95 for the softcover edition and $29.95 in hardback, it’s available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the publisher, AuthorHouse, (800) 839-8640 or www.authorhouse.com.
If you enjoy classic rimfire rifles, you’re going to love this book.
By Holt Bodinson
Mark II FXP
MAKER: Savage Arms
100 Springdale Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Action type: Turnbolt repeater
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Capacity: 10 (detachable magazine)
Barrel length: 21 inches
Overall length: 39.5 inches
Weight: 6 pounds, 5 ounces
Finish: Matte black
Sights: 3-9X Bushnell scope
Stock: Green polymer