I have been on the search for some time for a Tacticool 22LR platform. I have run across many but most had thumbhole stocks, which I am not a big fan of. The wife and I decided to go out to dinner last weekend something we don’t do very often; we decided to stop by one of our normal gun shops just to say hi to the fellas. We made our way over to the 22LR rack and this beauty attracted my attention right away, it was amazing I didn’t even look at anything else. The Savage Mark II TR surely stands out amongst the crowd. After drooling all over it I put it down and told the wife I was ready, she tells me she has been saving and for me to go ahead and get it if I wanted it as it would serve as my birthday present. The Savage TR comes with scope mounts only so I had to purchase a scope and rings, I was looking for something tacticool that would be good out to 100 yards and wouldn’t hurt the lines or aesthetics of the gun and stay within the budget she had set aside. I decided on a Redfield Revolution 3-9X40mm Matte 4-Plex scope mounted in Burris low profile scope rings. I felt this package would not be complete without a Bi-Pod. This item would put us over our cash limit and in this economic situation credit cards are against our rules, but the guys at the shop for my birthday gave me a great price on an open box used Shooters Ridge Adjustable 9″-13″ Bi-Pod bringing everything back in our cash range. After final configuration this is what my new Savage Mark II TR Tacticool rifle looks like.
On the very next day I took it to the range to try it out and was very disappointed. The groups were very tight but it was shooting about 10inches right and I had no adjustment left on the Redfield to come any further left. After a little help on rimfirecentral it seems some of the base mounts on this model were drilled off center. After removing the scope, rings and base mounts I measured the distance of the holes and all seem to be in alignment. This left me a little confused about where the problem might be, at this time in my mind it seemed the rings could be the only culprit outside of a bad scope. I took the Burris rings back and got a set of Millet Adjustable medium height rings. I mounted everything back up bore sighted the setup and I am happy to report this solved my problem. To ensure I continue to give unbiased reviews I really tried to identify the root of the problem but was unable to. Is this a Savage issue or was this related to the Burris Scope rings? Though my holes measured correctly I must point out that on rimfirecentral in the Savage forum it is reported Savage produced a number of these rifles that had the scope mounts out of alignment. The good news is Savage’s customer service has been excellent in responding to this and seems to be turning the rifles back around in about 14 days.
Having got the preliminary issues identified and out of the way, lets get on to the fun portion the Range Review of the Savage Mark II TR “Tacticool” setup.
Let’s start with the scope, I chose a Redfield 3-9X40mm as it was within our price range and met all of my needs. I knew I could not go wrong as they are owned by Leupold & Stevens and has a lifetime warranty. The Redfield Revolution Scope wears a dull matte finish with minimal exterior graphics. The Redfield name is printed on the left side of the turret and it sports a red R encased in a shield on the right side of the front bell of the scope. The scope is made from CNC machined 6061-T6 aluminum bar stock, just as are Leupold scopes, I suspect this has a lot to do with the lifetime warranty. The windage and elevation knobs are friction based and clearly marked with white lettering for easy adjustment at 1/4 MOA increments. The scope is also threaded and will accept most Leupold filters and accessories. The biggest wins for Redfield are sturdy construction, lifetime warranty and generous eye relief, which is 3 to 5inches. Sometimes it is the little things or attention to detail which becomes the final deciding factor on if I purchase or not, and this was not overlooked by Redfield/Leupold. The turret caps are threaded aluminum NOT plastic, Zeroing notches give you the capability after you have your scope dialed in so you are always sure where your zero should be, Nitrogen filled to prevent fog, 100% waterproof and shock proof and made in the good old USofA. These scopes are made in Portland Oregon and though owned by Leupold I was not sure of its origin right away, as it is not printed on the box. I had to open the box and look at the manual to identify the manufacturing location. This scope has what Redfield/Leupold refers to as an Illuminator Len’s System, which provides exceptional brightness and clarity. The price of this scope is in the same range and competing with those scopes being imported from China and other locations, I would recommend anyone to take a look at this scope for it’s ruggedness, features, Leupold no questions asked lifetime warranty and price before considering an import.
A tacticool setup would just not be complete without a Bi-Pod. I decided on the Shooters Ridge Deluxe Adjustable 9″-13″ model. The Bi-Pod was very easy to install with many features but most important to me was flexibility and weight. The material is made of strong aluminum and was lighter than the caldwell version I have mounted on another 22LR. One way in which Shooters Ridge accomplishes this weight reduction which it boast can be 30% lighter than other models are due to it’s patented retraction system. With this system there are no external springs, which also makes for quieter use. There is a swivel cant feature with this scope which assists the shooter in staying on moving targets or assist with better shooting on uneven terrain. The twist lock provides for secure bench rest shooting or could be loosened to allow for use of the swivel or canting feature for easy target acquisition on moving targets.
This Bi-Pod can be used with or without sling has twist lock legs with rubber feet that can be adjust quietly from 9″ to 13″. One of the features I am really fond of is the ability at the push of a button the easy removal of the bi-pod from the weapon without tools for easy storage or transportation.
Now on to the Savage Mark II TR 22LR FitandFinish=3of5 Stars
Savage introduced two new rimfire rifles around about December 2009. These were the Savage Mark II TR and the Mark II TRR. These two rifles are structurally the same with exception that the TRR offers a full-length scope and accessory rail. The Savage Mark II TR specifications are as follows: This rifle is outfitted with a heavy fluted barrel that’s 22″ long and is made of Carbon Steel with a rifling of 1:16 twist and recessed crown. In all fairness Savage receives 3 stars in this category due to the aforementioned problem of scope ring base alignments.
The finish is parkerized with slight texture. The stock is laminated wood that is painted black with texture and has a nice 1/4 inch rubber butt pad, thought not really needed with 22LR this just adds to the cool factor and is welcomed. It has 3 studs for the sling and bipod attachment. The trigger is the highly rated and adjustable Accutrigger Savage is known for. My trigger weighed in at a crisp but light 3lbs out of the box. It has a two-piece scope mount installed and comes with one 5 round magazine, I purchased additional 5 round and 10 round magazines. The Savage TR comes in rather heavy at 7.5 lbs without scope and bipod. This weight can be an issue shooting long offhand matches. The one thing that I think really attracted my attention to this rifle was the cool bolt handle.
All test in this category were conducted from the 50-yard line with bipod extended to 9″ and scope set to a power of 6. There was a number of different ammunition used for this test to attempt to find which “plinking ammo” performed best, Federal Champion, CCI Velocitor, CCI MiniMag and Blazer bulk box. Again there was no target ammo used to get the results you see below. Reliability was 100% with all brands of ammo, Blazer Bulk Box, CCI MiniMag performed the best while Federal Champion seemed to be the most inconsistent. All shots were 5 shot groups.
Federal Champion Groups
CCI Velocitor Groups
CCI MiniMag Groups
Blazer Bulk Box Groups
Overall I give the Savage Mark II TR 3 1/2 Stars out of 5. This feels like a low score for such a great looking and performing rifle. But I have to remain committed to providing unbiased reviews to ensure dayattherange readers are properly informed. I do want to ensure I put some clarity around the score, my initial setup with Burris rings printed very tight groups but were consistently right about 10 to 12 inches even after bore sighting and adjusting the scope all the way left. The good folks at rimfirecentral recommended the Millet windage adjustable scope rings, which took care of my problem. Though I could not find the exact problem on this rifle stated by many of the scope mounts being out of alignment it is disturbing Savage didn’t issue a recall for those serial numbers where this happened. Those which took advantage of the Savage warranty did establish their customer service was great and fast turn around. The rifle is a keeper and is by far my most accurate 22LR and also the “Coolest”. There is also practical use for those looking for a trainer thats economical to shoot, rabbits and tree rats (squirrels) better be on the lookout as well.
This rifle out of the box shot very well but was about 48MOA to the right. It was shipped back to Savage and the scope mount holes were misaligned. Savage fix and returned the rifle no questions asked to me in about 2 weeks which I was extremely happy with. The rifle is a lot of fun and is one which accompanies me on range trips often. Soon I will be utilizing it to compare against a custom rifle I am building on a 10/22 platform. I have since replaced the thin bottom metal plate with a DIP thick piece so that I could torque the action screws appropriately without bending the thin original plate, as well as replaced the original two piece scope mount with a one piece DIP model. I have also replaced the scope with a Rimfire Nikon Prostaff Target EFR model.
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