View Full Version : Got my new Savage Mark II to the range Sunday. I was worried at first. >>

July 30, 2012, 03:02 PM
Hello reader,

I mounted the Simmons 3-9x 40mm scope Saturday morning, using a pair of Wilson brand mounts I bought from Midway. The mounts are contoured for the Mark II barrel which had two set of holes pre-dilled and tapped. I am borrowing the scope from my Dad, and me also provided a set of low-mount rings. We were concerned that they rings would be too low, but the mounts were fairly high off the barrel, so the scope seemed positioned just fine.

But they were having an NRA Smallbore match on the rimfire range Saturday, so I waited until Sunday to take it out. It was my first time at the rimfire range at Miami Rifle & Pistol, and the set-up is very nice. Covered PVC frame at the poured concrete shooting end, rows of PVC pipes set into the ground at 50 and 100 yards, and narrow wooden frames with corresponding PVC pipes at the bottom that slide into the ones out in the field.

And the range has very nice, recently constructed shooting benches (as seen in the picture below, but nothing to sit on! Fortunately I have a collapsible tripod stool in the truck of the car for inclement tire changes, so I was able to use that. Hey, do you like my "rear rest"? :grin: The bipod is so high I have to raise the butt up, so I used that rest so I wasn't holding it up there all morning!


In the following picture you can see downrange and my targets set at 50 yards. I plan in this being my "squirrel gun" so I figure it should be sighted at 50 yards. By the way, all my targets are available online for free. Just Google "Thomas Bullseye Targets Online" or something similar and you should find my web pages with the free targets.


I had cleaned the bore (and greased the bolt) before I started shooting. The bore was quite dirty, but I assume they test fired the rifle. I started shooting with Winchester Target ammo (XT22LR) and the groups were terrible, like 4-5 inches! (See lower targets in the picture below.) This is the ammo my Ruger Mark II pistol likes the best, so I was very worried that there was something very wrong to see groups that big out of a 22" barrel at 50 yards!!


But when I switched to some Federal Gold Match ammo, the groups immediately tightened up. (See upper right target in picture above.) And when I started shooting the Wolf Match Target ammo, I started getting very acceptable groups. (See picture below.) Of course this was the most expensive ammo I shot, so it figures that would be the stuff the gun likes! Yikes! :eek:


That's it, I hope you enjoyed the pictures. I had brought along some other .22 ammo, the CCI .22 Quiet and some Aguila SSS Sniper Subsonic 60 Grain ammo, but I was too hot and sticky to shoot anymore. Next time!

- Thomas

July 30, 2012, 03:07 PM
Very pretty range you got there Thomas.


August 2, 2012, 07:21 PM
Nice groups. You might want to give CCI Standard Velocity a try. I THINK it might be slightly cheaper than the Federal but not sure. I know this is a very widely used match ammo. Good luck.

August 3, 2012, 12:40 AM
Now that you're sighted in, are you going to take that bipod off? I would be kind of interested in seeing if there's any difference in point of impact with your rear rest about 4" - 5" in front of the magazine. I don't use those things and kind of wonder what influence they might have on a rifle over a different type of rest.

Besides all that, if you're gonna be squirrel hunting, I kinda imagine the bipod will be much more of a hinderance than a help.

August 5, 2012, 06:35 AM
Enjoy,works for me:) Cliff

August 5, 2012, 01:21 PM
The groups seem to have a tendency for a diagonal spread. You might want to check to see if the barrel is touching the barrel channel, and whether it's supposed to be free floating. If it's touching on one side more than the other, diagonal groups will result.

The action screws may also not be very tight. Those should be checked also and tightened, but not to stripping or stock splitting. If you have a torque wrench, the stock screws should probably be about 30 to 34 inch-pounds.

August 6, 2012, 05:21 PM
Hi folks,

Thank you for all the sage advice! That's we post here, so feel free to comment!

On the bipod subject, the last time I went squirrel hunting (which admittedly was MANY years ago in Connecticut) I did most of my shooting from the seated position, using various rests I found handy, like a low tree limb, a strong bush and my knees.

So it seemed natural to attach this 12" to 24" bipod, so I could shoot seated without worrying abut the rest. If the comment was to imply that the bipod is not a sturdy rest for the tightest groupings, perhaps I will fold it up and shoot off a sandbag next time and see how it goes.

On the diagonal stringing, thank you VERY much for the advice, I am quite ignorant of such things, so I quite appreciate telling me what to look for! Many thanks!

It's only Monday, I hope to get her back out to the range sometime this week. Uh, unless my Les Baer custom .45 comes in, in which case I will be busy! :)

- Thomas

August 6, 2012, 06:12 PM
perhaps I will fold it up and shoot off a sandbag next time and see how it goes.

Yeah, that's the lines I was thinking along. I was curious to see a side-by-side comparison of shot groups- one with the bipod and one bagged close to the receiver.

With a freefloat tube on an AR, or one of those really thick and stiff custom stocks- I don't think there would be much difference. However, I am curious about the difference with standard factory stocks and rimfire ammo.

August 8, 2012, 01:33 AM
I think the first rule for ammo testing is CCI Mini-Mags. They're almost the standard for low cost, better than average accurate, clean .22lr ammo that performs well in most rifles.