I'm thinking about buying my first gun. I've been reading a lot (mainly Chuck Hawks' website) and I've been lurking here on the TFL forum for a while. I think I've decided on a Savage Mark II BV (bolt-action .22 LR) for various reasons: the AccuTrigger, durable and stable laminate stock, and heavy "varmint" barrel. I live in an urban area, so I will probably be using the gun for target practice at a range. I have a few questions before I go buy anything.
I haven't had a chance to handle a Mark II. I'm 6'1 and thin with moderately long arms and fingers. If you have used a Mark II with a standard-style stock, and you have a similar height and build, please tell me how well the gun fits you. Which retailers can I go to where someone can "fit" me for a gun? (I live in DFW.) If the pull is too short, can I lengthen it by installing a longer/thicker recoil pad?
I prefer a gun with a stainless action and barrel. I've read a few debates between black/blued and stainless. My father has an old side-by-side 12 gauge shotgun where the blueing has severely deteriorated and the steel has begun to rust. I don't want that to happen to my gun, and I don't want to have to worry about maintaining a blued finish. Also, I just like the look of stainless. Other than those things, I don't have any special need for stainless; I will probably be using the gun at indoor ranges, or outdoor ranges on clear days. There are some Mark II models available in stainless, but they have thumb hole or skeleton stocks; I prefer a gun with a standard or classic-style stock.
I'd like a gun with a wood laminate stock, but I don't care for the tan/black color of the Mark II BV's stock. I like the pepper gray color of the Savage 93R17 BVSS stock.
Basically, I want the Mark II BTVS stainless action and stainless varmint-weight barrel installed in the 93R17 BVSS pepper gray wood laminate stock.
I called and asked Savage about this; they said they could do it, and they quoted me about $500. That doesn't sound too bad, but it sounds like a lot for a .22, it sounds like a lot for my first gun. Is there a way to do this cheaper? Or should I not bother, and just get a Mark II BV as-is?
Thanks in advance for your feedback.