• Savage Arms British Cadet Trainer

    So the other day I was browsing through Google Images looking for a photo when I came across a Savage rimfire I had never seen before. I clicked on the image to see a larger view, then clicked on the Visit Page button and low and behold I discovered that this mystery Savage rimfire rifle is a contracted training rifle for the British military that was announced at the 2016 IWA Show in Nuremberg, Germany.

    Savage Arms was awarded a nice contract last year to replace the No.8 Rifle, the UK’s military cadet rifle. The contract will earn Savage 6 million pounds or about $8.6 million and the replacement rifle is a modified Savage Mark II FVT. The No.8 Rifle has been in service for almost 70 years with the most recently-produced rifles dating back to 1953.

    The modified Savage FVT will be designated the L144 A1 Cadet Small Bore Target Rifle. Unlike the standard FVT, Savage’s entry-level bolt-action target rifle chambered for .22 Long Rifle, the L144 A1 is fit with a traditional hardwood stock instead of the basic synthetic stock that comes with the commercial product. Additionally, the L144 A1 is expected to be a single-shot version of the Mark II with a similar manual of arms as the No.8 Rifle.

    Each rifle will come in its own Plano hard case along with a suite of accessories which includes a standard sling and a single-point sling, adjustable competition sights with 10 interchangeable front sight inserts, a shooting rest, chamber flags, a handstop, and of course a manual. The new stocks will be adjustable to accommodate a wider range of cadet sizes.

    The initial order is for 750 rifles and the UK will be buying 8,500 Savage rifles by the end of the contract next year, putting the price per unit at around 700 pounds or $1,000. A commercial FVT usually costs about $400 in the US and a little more in the UK, but that of course doesn’t include the deluxe stock, modified action, accessory package and custom hard case which easily accounts for the increased cost.

    News that Savage landed the contract came as a surprise to many as most people in the UK expected the contract to go to a more Euro-centric manufacturer, but the Savage Mark II series has a proven track record as a hardy, accurate rifle at an attractive price point. Obviously the UK cadets are going to need rifles built to last that can be maintained and upgraded to suit the next few decades of service.

    As many of you might agree, this rifle is reminiscent of the Mossberg Model 44, the Winchester 75T. the Remington 542X and Savage's own Model 19 N.R.A. training rifles of yesteryear.

    My only question is this: Why isn't this model it being offered here in the U.S.? This would be an ideal rifle for entry level shooters just getting into the sport of smallbore competition as well as more experienced competitors who can't afford the higher end European guns or favored old collector models that are becoming harder and harder to find.

    In a time when interest in the shooting sports in this country are at an all-time high (at least in recent history) such a rifle would make perfect sense for Savage Arms to offer here in the good old United States of America.

    I would suggest Savage build the U.S. version around the new B-Series platform in both a single-shot and repeater version. Savage could even resurrect the old Model 19 N.R.A. Match nomenclature for it.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Colkid's Avatar
      Colkid -
      Good article, thanks.
    1. wildcat hunter's Avatar
      wildcat hunter -
      Maybe they will after they fill the contract.