Friday, April 1, 2011
Savage Model 12 FVSS Varmint Rifle - Hands on Review
Good stuff: Throw a good scope on this sucker and you are good to go. I chose to go with a Bushnell Elite 3200 3-9x40 with their DOA reticle because it was the best in my price range, but I can see where better glass would make this an even better shooter. As with any other heavy contour varminter, its very front heavy and most at home riding a rest or bipod. If you buy this rifle thinking you will carry it across mountain tops, then maybe you should re-think your options, as this model definitely has some heft to it.
As accuracy goes, I havent had a chance to work up any handloads just yet, but the Black Hills and Hornady Match ammo I ran through it chalked up several VERY impressive groups (best was ~.5MOA at 100 yds, and actually appeared to tighten up at longer ranges; I managed to Clang the head of a 500yd sillhouette target that is no more than about 5 inches wide, so its more than adequate for what I want to do).
Bad Stuff: As with all savage actions, I wouldn't want to use this for anything requiring rapid follow up shots. Because it re-cocks on opening, it makes unlocking the bolt hard tough enough to unseat the rifle on the rest when you finally qrench it open. Hopefully this will smooth out a bit with use. Its not the end of the world since this will be mainly a target rifle, but its still a bit of a pain. My only other complaint is really not related to the rifle, but to my own retarded slip up; I didnt think to measure my cleaning rods before I bought this rifle, and managed to overlook the fact that none of them would reach down its 26" barrel, much less the additional 11" of boreguide. So mark that one up to me failing to pay attention to details, and let it be a reminder to anyone else who is in the market for this rifle.
Overall, a very good rifle for under $800. Can't wait to see what it can do with some good handloads; I have a selection of Matchkings and Nosler Custom Competition BTHPs ready on the loading bench, and a pound of Benchmark, so we'll see how far that gets me. Definately recommend this rifle it to anyone considering it.