• Savage Mark II-TTR Review in .22LR

    In the past few years we’ve seen a rather new trend develop in the firearms industry, that being an onslaught of so-called “tactical” firearms. First it was the shotguns followed shortly thereafter by bolt-action centerfires, and last year we saw a plethora of tactical rimfire rifles in both bolt-action and semi-automatic variants.For 2010 Savage has jumped into the tactical rimfire mix with their new Mark II-TTR .22 long-rifle.

    The new Mark II-TTR model from Savage has a couple of nice features that I hope will find their way to other models. First and foremost, I really like the large bolt handle on the TTR. At first it looked a little funky and out of place, but once at the range I really liked how it felt when cycling the bolt. Second, the new stock profile on the TTR is excellent - it should be considering it’s very similar in shape to McMillan’s A5 profile. The vertical pistol grip with palm swell is very comfortable, it has an adult-sized length of pull, and the wide (for a rimfire) beavertail fore-end fits the hand nicely.

    What I really don’t like about the TTR is the obnoxious looking rail system. Not only does it look odd, but the side rails also make shooting this rifle off-hand a challenge as they hang down right where one would normally place his or her support hand. I can only imagine how much worse this would be with an accessory such as a light or laser mounted. Fortunately the rail system isn’t integral to the action so it can easily be removed and replaced with standard bases, or you could just purchase the Mark II-TR which is the same rifle minus the rail system.

    The TTR's McMillan A5-style stock is by far the best stock Savage has every bolted onto one of their rimfires.Another issue I had with this particular rifle was that the AccuTrigger seemed oddly heavy and very gritty compared to previous samples I’ve handled. It simply didn’t have that clean breaking feel I’ve become accustomed to with the AccuTrigger.

    For testing purposes I mounted a Weaver V24 6-24x40mm scope. Given the heft of this rifle (7.8 lbs.) with the fluted heavy barrel and wood stock I knew it would offer a rock steady platform for shooting from the bench, so a quality high magnification scope would help me in my quest to wring every last bit of accuracy out of the TTR.

    At the range I chose to shoot the rifle two ways. The first was off a bipod and rear bag to simulate a more “tactical” role, and the second was using a front rest and rear bag. Ammunition for the test ranged from cheap plinking loads to Wolf Match Target and Eley Tenex.

    Surprisingly the level of accuracy and consistency of this test unit left a lot to be desired. Even after ensuring the barrel was properly free-floated and the scope mounts were sufficiently tight, I still couldn’t find any consistency from shot to shot. In fact, most groups went like this…

    First shot = high and left
    Second shot = high and left
    Third shot = low and right
    Forth shot = low and right
    Fifth shot = high and left

    The one-piece rail system, while a work of art, proved to be obtrusive when shooting off-hand.What was even more frustrating is that just when I’d start to think it was consistently shooting in one place and would think about adjusting the scope’s zero accordingly it would suddenly drop a round or two right on my aim point.

    Thinking it may be the scope I swapped out the Weaver V24 for a Leupold FX-III 30x40mm Silhouette model but the inconsistency remained. Groups with both scopes and various loads were all over the place, with the smallest being 0.336” and the largest coming in on the high side of 1.5” (all at 50 yards). Whether I was shooting from the bipod or front rest seemed to make little difference as well, so I guess you could say this particular sample was consistently inconsistent with the selection of ammunition on hand.

    Overall, on a scale of 1-5 I would give the new Mark II-TTR a solid 3.5 points. The base action/barrel is proven and reliable, the stock profile is by far the best Savage has ever offered on a rimfire rifle, and the larger knob on the bolt handle made cycling the bolt a pleasure. The rail system is obtrusive and serves little purpose other than adding some tactical bling, and the AccuTrigger and overall consistency of the sample fell short of what I’ve come to expect from Savage.

    Additional Photos:
    The top rail offers plenty of cross slots to accommodate optics of most any length. The oversized bolt handle on the TTR feels great and still provides ample clearance for most any sized ocular bell.
    The additional length of the oversized bolt handle puts it within easy reach of the trigger finger for quick and easy one-finger operation.

    Contact Information
    Savage Arms
    100 Springdale Road
    Westfield, MA 01085

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