• Stevens Favorite Take-Down Review in .22LR

    Let's take a look at a favorite of mine, a Stevens Favorite that is. The Stevens Favorite has been around in some form or another for well over a century. Having been designed for small game hunting and use by farmers in the late 1800's, the little Favorite is a very utilitarian design.The design is very simple and straight forward, and its’ light weight and ease of use are hallmarks of the product.

    As mentioned before, the Favorite has been around in some form for over a hundred years. The first was the Model 1889, and over the years the design has seen small revisions and updates, but the fundamental design has remained unchanged. The current series is called the Model 30 and still closely resembles the original Model 1889. In fact, the most noticeable changes over the years are the cartridges that have been offered in the Favorite.

    The Stevens Favorite T-D broken down.All Stevens Favorites utilize a falling block action. That is you operate the action by pushing down on the lever below the trigger, which in turn causes the breech block to drop into the action housing. When this happens it exposes the chamber and extractor. A cartridge is placed into the chamber and the lever is closed. This will bring the breech block back up to close the action and seat the cartridge into the chamber.

    The breech block has the firing mechanism located inside, and the hammer is cocked like a traditional exposed hammer shotgun or pistol. When the trigger is pulled the hammer will fall onto the block and cause the firing pin to strike the cartridge. Removing the cartridge is the same procedure as loading. These style rifles do not have ejectors - you simply pick the hull out of the chamber.

    The Model 30 Favorite that I received is the most recent version made at Savage's Lakefield, Ontario (Canada) factory where all the other current Savage rimfire rifles are produced. The current series is labeled as the Model 30 "Take-down" in .22 Long Rifle, Model 30G in .22 Long Rifle and others can be found chambered in .17HMR. The take-down model has a removable barrel, and once "taken down" the rifle will easily fit inside a suitcase, duffle bag, back back, etc.

    A close-up of the take-down screw located on the bottom of the receiver.Savage included a black canvas carry case when they shipped the rifle, but their website makes no mention of the case being included. Once folded over and lashed it looks very much like a bag that would hold the rods for a car jack. Helpful if you don't want anyone knowing it's a rifle case.

    Shooting the Favorite is really fun if you remember what it was originally designed for. The action can take a little bit of getting used to if you’re not used to shooting a falling block, and the trigger has a substantial amount of creep.

    The sights consist of a traditional leaf rear and front post with large bead. The front post is something that Remington would have been proud of. It's so large that you can't see small targets at all. The rifle is accurate enough that some after market front post and rear tang sights would be worth the investment. The rifle was intended for small game, varmints, farm use and such so that should be taken into consideration.

    I shot the rifle with four different brands of .22LR ammo, with three groups of five shots each fired at a distance of 50 yards. All were fired from a cement rifle bench using the standard open sights, a Caldwell Rock rest and a leather rear bag. The rifling twist is 1 in 16.

    CCI Minimag 36gr = 1.41"
    Eley Biathlon Sport 40gr = 1.33"
    Federal Auto-Match 40gr = 1.29"
    Winchester Wildcat 40gr = 1.53"

    Barrel breech that mates up to the receiver when assembled.  Note the indexing slot machined into the bottom of the breech.The fit and finish on this Favorite is probably the least impressive of all the current Savage and Stevens firearms. Showing it around at the range, everyone’s first impression was that the barrel looked rough and there was very little effort made to remove the mold lines from the lever and receiver. I must agree with these observations.

    The barrel is a nice full octagon, but it has tons of small parallel scratches along all sides. These should have been polished away before the barrel was blued. The mold lines should also have been removed from the lever and receiver as they make the gun look very cheaply made.

    The Model 30 Favorite "Take-down" is 37 inches long when assembled. Its barrel is removed by loosening a set screw that fits through the bottom of the receiver to lock the barrel in place. The barrel is blued steel and is 20 inches in length. The rifle weight is nice at 4.25 pounds and balances pretty well. All versions of the Model 30 are blued steel with hardwood stocks in walnut finish. MSRP is $360.

    While the Favorite still has a fairly strong following, it is definitely in need of some further refinement to justify the price. The trigger needs work, but most importantly it’s the attention to detail in the finish that needs to be improved.

    Additional Photos:

    The case makes the Favorite an ideal companion in the truck or when backpacking. Rifle halves tuck nicely into the custom case.
    Custom carry case.

    Contact Information
    Savage Arms
    100 Springdale Road
    Westfield, MA 01085
    (413) 568-7001

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