Many years ago, every firearms manufacturer had takedown firearms in their range, and Savage were masters of the takedown. Of late, takedowns offered by current manufacturers have suffered many issues, not faced by fixed-frame firearms. I have here to review a Savage A22 takedown, hopefully we can break some of the accuracy and function myths about takedown firearms with this little rifle.
The barrel is chambered for the .22lr cartridge - the roll marks clearly state it's for .22LR only! The bore is rifled at a rate of 1 in 16 and, under inspection with a bore scope, looks to be smooth and well-rifled. The overall length of the barrel is 18 inches, and the muzzle is threaded 1/2x28 TPI; this is finer than the usual thread (1/2x20). There is a suppressor available from us in this muzzle thread. A good quality set of durable open sights is mounted on the barrel. The rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation. Both front and rear sights are screwed into the barrel so can be removed with a set of hex keys. The front sight is high enough so you can see over a suppressor if it is mounted. Functional open sights are very much an accessory of yesteryear as most owners seem to mount an optic of some description on their rifles. I believe, however, it makes sense to have open sights on this rifle given its packable size and general handiness. We don't have many rimfire rifle models in our product range equipped with open sights. If a customer requests a rifle with open sights, the A22 takedown is a great option.
The action is the standard A22 action that has been around for many years. It features a user-adjustable accutrigger (adjustable from 3-5lb) and a case-hardened receiver for long service. A nice feature these actions have is a bolt hold-open catch forward of the trigger guard, which is not fiddly to use like other designs. There is a Picatinny rail supplied with the rifle so optic mounting is a snap as your choices for ring positions are endless. The rail features a lengthwise slot so you can leave it on and still use the open sights. The rifle is fitted with a 10-shot rotary magazine. These can be fiddly to load when you first try, but as with anything, practice makes perfect. The magazine catch is on the front of the magazine housing itself, when the catch is pulled, the magazine simply falls clear into your hand.
It is obvious that Savage took some design ideas from the Soviet AK47 as the stripping of this action is very similar. There is no excuse for not servicing the bolt assembly in these rifles as it is simplicity in itself.
- Check that the rifle is unloaded, apply safety to safe and drop out the mag.
- Push in the grey button on the rear dust cover.
- Lift off dust cover.
- Unhook recoil spring assembly and remove.
- Pull out cocking handle.
- Pull bolt to the rear and out back of the receiver.
If you wish to remove the action from the stock after pulling out bolt assembly:
- Remove the screw under the dust cover.
- Remove the screw from by the mag well.
- Set safety catch to middle position.
- Pull action front stock.
If you look, there is a small pin holding the trigger group in which can be pushed out, then the trigger group can be slid out of the retaining slot. Reassembly is the reverse of disassembly - lubricate the bolt and the front face of the hammer when you reassemble the rifle. These actions like to run wet with a film of oil or light grease on the sliding surfaces.
The rifle is fitted with a Magpul style buttstock which has a compartment for 3 spare magazines under the cheekpiece. There is another O-ring sealed dry storage compartment in the pistol grip - comments from customers on what can be stored in here are many and varied, some quite imaginative! The whole stock is covered in a fine photo-etch finish with bordered heavy-textured grip panels in the place of chequering. The grip panels are rough enough to ensure good grip even with wet hands. A set of quick-detachable sling swivels is fitted to the stock, and the butt is finished with a soft polymer butt pad. The length of pull is 13 1/2 inches so it is short enough for the kids to have a go.
Okay, so how does this takedown lock up?
I consider the design work and manufacture on this rifle very clever. Firstly, the barrel tenon is machined to be a very close fit in the receiver. At the front of the barrel tenon is a housing that contains the spring system that compresses when the barrel is turned into the receiver. This locks the whole assembly up tight, mitigating the need for an adjustable barrel nut. The barrel locks in on a bayonet fitting with the lug incorporated into the roof of the receiver ring. The fit could be best described as very firm, and if the barrel is not rolled into the stop, then the rifle simply won't fire. I've had my sample rifle apart over 200 times and it's still tight and still shoots well.
I shot this rifle on a calm morning with 4 of our popular stock loadings - CCI Mini Mag, CCI Subsonic, CCI Standard, and CCI Suppressor at 50 yards. For the test, I chose to fit the excellent Zerotech 3-9x40 scope with the PHR III reticle also available from us at NIOA. I sighted the rifle a bit high and shot 3 groups with CCI subsonic, taking the barrel on and off between groups. The black dot is 20mm in diameter, you will notice that the groups are all in the same place in relation to the target. The groups are 10-shot groups, not 3 shot. There is a flyer in one group; I'll have to claim that - shame on me!
I then shot groups with the CCI Mini Mag and the CCI Suppressor, as you can see the A22 shoots accurately with all the loadings I had on hand. I had no cycling issues during the course of the accuracy trials or during the field shooting the little rifle has done.
The rifle can be purchased bare with 1 mag and the rail.
Or, as the popular package with 2 mags and a Zerotech red dot optic and a suppressor.
What more could you ask for in a takedown rifle, packable, accurate, reliable, compact and fun to shoot - for more information or to order one of these rifles for yourself - contact your local gunshop.