• Savage Model 64FV-XP Review in .22LR

    One of the top-selling segments in the rimfire market is and always has been semi-automatic rifles. Theyíre fun little plinkers that young and old alike can enjoy shooting all day without breaking the bank, and most are reasonably affordable. Today weíre going to look at Savageís Model 64FV-XP package rifle, which is their sole heavy-barreled semi-automatic offering.

    The Savage Model 64 design dates back to the mid-late 1960ís when Lakefield Arms first started producing them. It was a low-cost, simple design that was offered as a cheaper alternative to some of the more expensive semi-auto rimfires of the time (Remington Nylon 66, Ruger 10/22, etc.). While the design lacks the refinements and accompaniments of the higher end rifles of itís day, itís proven to stand the test of time by offering steadfast reliability and respectable accuracy.

    Aside from a few minor changes over the years, most of which are cosmetic, the Model 64 remains pretty much as it was some 50 years ago. The action is made from round steel bar stock with flats machined on the sides and drilled from the front to accept the bolt assembly. Unfortunately, a downside to this design is that one cannot disassemble the action to service the bolt without first removing the barrel.

    The barrel appears to be press fit with a locking groove machined into the bottom that accepts a U-shaped bracket to lock it in place. This U-shaped bracket is then held in place by the front action screw pillar/stanchion. The heavy barrel has little taper measuring 0.800Ē at the muzzle and 0.860Ē where it meets the action. The crown is a standard recessed target crown as found on other Savage heavy-barreled rimfires.

    Like Savageís bolt-action rimfires, the trigger assembly and magazine housing are held in place with three machine screws, two of which also serve as pillars/stanchions for the action screws. The magazine is held in place by a spring loaded release lever that pushes forward to release.

    The synthetic stock is similar to those offered on other Savage rifles in that while functional itís really nothing to write home about. Itís flimsy and flexes in the grip and forearm areas, has prominent (and sharp) mold lines, and other than checkering on the grip and fore-end has no notable features.

    Being a package rifle, the Model 64FV-XP also comes with a Bushnell 3-9x40mm scope with a standard Duplex reticle. While far from being high-end optics, it is serviceable and held its zero throughout my testing. I didnít bother to test tracking consistency as given the short-range limitations of the 22LR round most will just set it and forget it for 50 yards.

    The scope included in the 64FV-XP package is a Bushnell model rather than a Simmons as typically found on the centerfire package guns.During testing the first thing I noticed was that the trigger had a huge amount of take-up - 5/16Ē to be exact. This is due to the long transfer bar/lever setup of the trigger similar to that found on the old Striker pistols. The trigger itself is approximately 1.835Ē long from the pivot pin to the shoe. Conversely, from the pivot pin to the mating surface on the transfer bar is roughly 0.490Ē long, resulting in a leverage ratio of 3.75:1.

    Fortunately once all the slack has been taken up the trigger isnít all that horrible. There just a hint of creep before breaking at a manageable 4 pounds 6 ounces. Not an ideal pull weight for optimal accuracy, but well within reason for a plinker/hunting rifle.

    The magazine is a semi-staggered single-stack 10-round piece made of stamped sheet steel with a plastic follower. While not pretty it does its job well as I experienced no failure to feeds during my testing. A slot in the right side lets you see how many rounds you have remaining, though Iím not fond of this feature as it also makes it easy for dirt and the like to find their way into the magazine and cause problems.

    In terms of accuracy, I was pleasantly surprised when the Model 64 started spitting out sub ĺĒ groups at 50 yards with run-of-the-mill Federal 40-grain ammo. Things got even sweeter when I switched to Wolf Target ammo with groups constantly printing in the 0.4 to 0.5Ē range. Thatís plenty accurate for head shots on bushy-tails.

    The heavier profile barrel adds a little weight but the rifle still balances well in the hands for shooting off-hand.While overall the Model 64 proved to be a very capable and usable rifle, there are a few areas I found to be problematic. First, getting the magazine into the rifle takes some getting used to as it has to go in at just the right angle. Second, unless you have a 4-5 inch long thumb the placement of the safety is out of reach and near impossible to manipulate from the firing position. Also, considering this is a RH rifle, I question why such a thumb safety was placed on the right side to begin with as the shooters thumb would be on the left side. Last but not least, I found the feature to lock the bolt in the open position rather awkward and cumbersome. The relief machined into the action for the bolt pull isnít at the rear of the bolt travel, and itís very shallow allowing it to disengage fairly easily. A more positive hold-open is definitely needed, as is one that will hold the bolt open on the last shot.

    While the Model 64 has some short-comings, itís not all bad either. Accuracy was very respectable and the price is very reasonable compared to similar rifles on the market. Itís definitely in need of a redesign though as itís showing itís age and is far from being user-friendly in certain areas.


    Additional Photos:

    Side view of action showing the trigger assembly and magazine well arrangement. Bottom view of action
    Close-up of the bolt hold-open relief cut and charging handle. Bolt shown locked in the open position
    Ten round single-stack magazine


    Savage Sports Corp.
    100 Springdale Road
    Westfield, MA 01085
    www.savagearms.com







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