Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! This ongoing series is all about the rimfire firearm world and all of its cool ammunition, competitions, and firearms. This week I’ll be covering a rifle I had never run into before until several weeks ago during a TFB event in Texas that was made possible by Crimson Trace and ATN Corp. During our trip out to Texas, we had the chance to do a lot of great shooting – rimfire shooting included. I had a chance to test out several of my rimfire review guns including the new H&K MP5 pistol and rifle, and I even had a chance to run some sweet ATN and Crimson Trace optics on my personally owned Ruger Precision Rimfire. However, aside from all of these, one of the more interesting guns I got my hands on was the Savage A22 Precision rifle. The word “precision” doesn’t really come into my mind when it comes to semi-auto rimfire rifles but I had the equipment and ammo there so I decided to put the rifle to the test.
More Rimfire Report Articles @ TFB:
- The Rimfire Report: The Space Age Whitney Wolverine 22LR Pistol
- The Rimfire Report: The Williams/Lisk 22 Rimfire Belt-Fed Submachine Gun
- The Rimfire Report: Colt Woodsman Match Target Pistol
- The Rimfire Report: A Eulogy for the Australian Made 42 Max Rimfire
The Rimfire Report: Field Review of the Savage A22 Precision Rifle
Savage A22 Precision Specifications:
- MSRP: $639.00
- Action: Semi-Auto
- Barrel: 18-inch 1:16 Twist
- Magazine: 1 Included 10 round detachable rotary box magazine
- Stock: MDT Aluminum 1 Piece Chassis
- Trigger: User Adjustable AccuTrigger
- Reciver: Carbon Steel with Matte Finish
- Weight: 7.278 lbs
- Threaded Barrel
- Oversized Charging Handle
- Adjustable Comb Height and Length of Pull
- Heavy Barrel Profile
- One Piece construction Picatinny Rail
- Sling swivels for slings/bipod attachment
My first impression of the Savage A22 Precision was that it was more or less a 10/22 clone. However, upon further inspection, there are a lot of differences between the A22 and the 10/22 which make the A22 much better suited to precision rimfire shooting over the 10/22. I mounted a few different optics to the A22 Precision and I think I got the best accuracy when it was paired with the Crimson Trace Brushline Pro Rimfire BDC optic (full review here for those that are interested in a budget rimfire optic).
The manual of arms for the A22 is more or less exactly the same as the Ruger 10/22. The rifle features a cross-bolt safety, no last round hold open, a 10-round rotary magazine, and an automatic bolt release with a loaded magazine. One of the first major differences I noticed with the A22 Precision was the trigger. Savage’s AccuTriggers are very good for factory adjustable triggers and they all feature a small blade safety which also serves as a good indicator for where the “wall” on your trigger is which makes for a very easy and crisp trigger pulls without a lot of overtravel and extra force.
To be 100% honest, I was not impressed at all with the A22’s 10-round rotary magazines. Compared to other magazines like the tried and true BX-1 10-round rotary magazines from Ruger, the A22 10-round mags seem to be a somewhat weird integrated magazine release tab which to me seems more like a point of failure rather than an interesting feature. The tab is made from some really thin plastic and a fairly weak spring and I often had lots of trouble getting the magazines to seat properly in the rifle. Other than the weird ergonomics of the magazines and some issues loading them, they fed and ran all of the ammunition I had just fine without any hangups.
The conditions I was able to get the Savage A22 Precision tested in weren’t exactly the best circumstances to show off the rifle’s precision accuracy. However, I was able to shoot about 10 different groups with 10 rounds each from 100-yards and was able to get about a palm to outstretched hand-sized groups even with very intense winds and supersonic ammunition. If I had my selection of ammunition and pristine conditions, I think I could have shrunk those groups down significantly but I think in the spirit of the Rimfire PRS world my next test was a much better demonstration of the A22s intended capabilities.
Myself and TFBTV presenter Hop had access to some shooting barriers at Bridle Iron South in Texas and we took full advantage of them for a number of rifles including the A22. There were several steel targets placed out at about 100-yards and moving in and out of each barrier’s spot was quite easy and fluid and the rifle’s free-floated barrel and chassis made supported shots off of the barrier easier without sacrificing accuracy potential.
Overall I was satisfied that the rifle was capable of making repeatable and accurate shots at long range for rimfire without much issue. If I had access to calmer conditions, specific ammunition (specifically standard velocity), and a proper course of fire, I really think that the A22 would do great in a rimfire PRS match. In fact, I have seen several different semi-auto rimfires at matches before and a lot of the time these guys (or kids in some cases) end up placing near the top of the charts – so the viability of a semi-auto precision rimfire is not in question here – just my access to specific conditions and ammo.
Final Thoughts on the Savage A22 Precision
The Savage A22 Precision is a mixed bag of successes and failures in my opinion. The rifle features great accuracy, a phenomenal out-of-the-box trigger, and a solid set of precision rifle-minded features like its single piece MDT stock. However, that being said, I’m not a huge fan of the odd magazines and I find it curious that although the MDT chassis features a quick-adjustable comb height, the length of pull adjustment is not done similarly and instead relies on individual pads that you have to remove or replace to shorten or lengthen the LOP.
To put things succinctly, I think if I was not already invested in another environment of magazines, features, and accessories, the Savage A22 Precision would be a great place to start for a .22LR precision rifle. It has great accuracy potential, decent aftermarket support, and even features an alternate version (Savage A22 Precision Lite) that features a carbon fiber-wrapped barrel. The Savage A22 is most impressively priced below other competing semi-auto precision rifles which I think is a feature in and of itself, especially for those looking to get into precision rifle shooting. Let me know your thoughts, comments, and experiences on the Savage A22 Precision down blow. Thanks as always for reading The Rimfire Report! See you next time!
I’d like to extend a big thanks once again to the people of Bridle Iron South, Crimson Trace, and ATN Corp for making this review possible.
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