• Savage Model 220F 20ga Slug Gun Review

    Ever since I was first introduced to Savage firearms back in 2001, I had always wondered why they didn't offer their Model 210F Slug Gun in a 20-gauge version. It just made sense to me as not all guys like the brutish kick of a 12-gauge slug gun, and most female and youth hunters would be far more comfortable with the smaller gauge.As much as I begged over the years for just such a slug gun, my pleas always seemed to fall on deaf ears....until now!

    In mid-2009 Savage Arms announced the first new model in their 2010 line-up, the Model 220F 20-gauge slug gun, and it started finding it's way to the dealers shelves in late September/early October. While the 220F may look similar to it's now discontinued 210F predecessor, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the 220F has more in common with a current production centerfire rifle than it does the 210F.

    For starters, the new 220F is based off of the standard Model 110 long action centerfire receiver. While the appearance from above is near identical, and the screw spacing is the same, that's where the similarities end. The magazine feed cut in the bottom of the action is different, the detachable magazine floorplate is different, and the bolt assembly is different.

    The 220F uses a completely new bolt assembly, including a unique firing pin assembly. This new assembly uses a larger diameter bolt body that has a much more pronounced step in it near the cocking piece. The firing pin assembly uses a much shorter spring, and a tab on the end of the spring serves as the cocking piece retainer.

    What's unique about the 220F is how Savage configured the feeding system. While the action itself is of long action length, the feed port machined into the bottom is the same length as that found on a short action. This feed port is also moved as far rearward on the action, which allows for a generously long feed ramp to ensure your blunt-nosed shells find their way into the chamber with little fuss.

    The bottom metal is also unique in that it uses the long-action screw spacing but the short action length magazines. As you can tell in the photo to the right, the differences are clearly obvious.

    The stock is the standard (non AccuStock) no-frills synthetic. While the stock is serviceable, I find it hard to understand why Savage wouldn't have equipped this new model with the more rigid and far superior AccuStock. The only logical explanation is that it would have pushed the gun out of their targeted price range, but I think most would gladly pay an extra $50-100 for the benefits of the AccuStock.

    The 220F comes with the standard AccuTrigger, and is supplied with a full length Weaver-style scope rail to ensure any length optic can be mounted with ease. Open sights are not provided. The 22-inch barrel features a 1-in-24" rate of twist, and front and rear swivel studs are standard. Overall length is approximately 44.75 inches and the rifle weighs in at 7.5 pounds. Magazine capacity is 2 in the magazine, with the option of one more in the pipe for a total of 3. Suggested retail is $519.00.

    My initial once-over of the 220F left me very impressed. The gun balances extremely well in the hands, and the light weight ensures it won't become a burden on those long days in the field. The bolt lift is significantly lighter than that of any factory Savage centerfire rifle I've handled, which can be attributed directly to the new bolt configuration and the large BT-style bolt handle. The 220F shoulders quickly and naturally as well, and in my case perfectly aligned me with the Leupold VX-II 3-9x40mm scope I chose to mount using Burris Signature Zee rings.

    At the range I was equally impressed with the new Model 220F. After just a few sight-in shots, I proceeded to shoot for groups at both 100 and 200 yards. My ammunition of choice for this review included Hornady's 2-3/4" 250gr SST's and Remington's 2-3/4" Premier Core-Lokt Ultra-Bonded, both of which feature a saboted bullet.

    Both loads performed extremely well compared to what one would normally be used to with slug accuracy. The Remington's held a slight edge at 100 yards with a 3-group (5 shots each) average of 1.27 inches, while the Hornady SST's took the honors at 200 yards with a 3-group average of 2.86 inches. Neither load produced a group that was more than 2 MOA at the given ranges.

    During the course of my review I never experienced any feeding or ejection issues. However, I did find two quirks with the new magazine. First, getting the second shell into the magazine can be a little tricky as the rim will want to catch on the brass lip of the first shell. This isn't a design flaw by any means, it's just something you need to familiarize yourself with on any stacked magazine slug gun. The second issue was that at times I found it difficult to get the mag seated into the action. Basically you need to tilt the magazine in just so to get it to lock into place. Not a huge issue, but one worth mentioning.

    Overall I was very impressed with the new Model 220F. Not only is it surprisingly accurate for a slug gun, it's also a great handling rifle that's well balanced and surprisingly light.


    Additional Photos:


    Exploded view of the bolt assembly. Close-up of the cocking piece, firing pin spring and tail of the firing pin. Bolt Assembly Screw with rebated lip to contain the spring.
    Bolt head with dual claw extractors. Note the slot for the standing ejector. Rear view of bolt head showing the springs for the dual extractors. Firing pin assembly.
    Comparison of Savage's detachable box magazine (DBM) bottom plates. View of the extra long feed ramp and 
the included Weaver-Style rail. Comparing the 220F to a standard 110 long-action centerfire


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







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