The Savage B Series made its debut well over a year ago. An economy rifle, it came in .17 HMR, .22 Mag. and .22 Long Rifle and wore a black synthetic stock. While I’m a fan of synthetic stocks, I’m tired of basic black, and I have to admit I wasn’t exactly blown away.
Then a friend of mine at Savage urged me to try the new hardwood version, the B22 G. Right off I thought the stock had a sexy look to it, and when my buddy told me it felt more like a big game rifle than a .22, I figured it was worth a look.
The stock’s wood sports a walnut stain, and it’s quite attractive. It features a high comb and a nicely designed pistol grip with a hand-filling palm swell that’s stippled for a nonslip grip. It’s treated to a black cap embossed with Savage’s logo in silver. A sculpted rubber buttpad keeps the rifle in the shoulder.
The fore-end is nicely proportioned at the bottom and sports a channel at the top—where your thumb and fingers go—with the same stippling. The fore-end sides are decorated with a series of seven slightly curved rectangles that get shorter as you move toward the muzzle.
The overall impression of a big game rifle is bolstered by the rifle’s 5.5-pound weight. It weighed seven pounds, 10 ounces with a svelte Nikon Monarch 3 2-8X scope aboard. Some would argue this is more scope than a rimfire needs, but I’m not in that camp. With a rimfire I want magnification even more than I would with a big game rifle because, hey, the targets are smaller.
And here’s my lone complaint: This Nikon’s objective is only 32mm, but I had to remove the rear sight in order for it to fit when using low rings. Higher rings or one of those little rimfire scopes would probably work here, but those are not options I prefer. But I get that Savage would have to design a new sight or relocate it in order to be able to keep the sights on with a standard scope mounted.
In any case, the rear sight is simple to remove by turning out two screws. It’s easy to adjust as well. Loosen a setscrew and raise or lower the sight on its ramp to adjust elevation; loosen a different screw to adjust windage. The front sight that sits at the end of the 21-inch barrel is a simple blade with no bead. Younger eyes probably won’t have a problem with the sight arrangement, but it’s too small for me.
The bolt is your basic twin-opposed-ejector, with the firing pin top dead center. The bolt glides effortlessly in its tubular channel. It’s removed and installed by pulling back on the trigger as you withdraw or push it in, and there’s an index mark at the top to ensure the rear of the bolt is in the proper position for reinstallation.
I did have a failure to extract with one of the Remington rounds, and at first I had several rounds fail to chamber—the bullet tips porpoising and striking above the chamber. I eventually figured out the bolt works best when it’s operated relatively gently. After this, I didn’t have another problem.
The rifle feeds from a rotary magazine. It loads okay. After the first few rounds I found it helpful to insert rounds into the magazine with a sideways push as well as pressing down.
The real capper for the B Series is the excellent AccuTrigger. If you’ve read anything on Savage rifles in the last decade or so, you don’t need to be told how good the AccuTrigger is. If you’re not up to speed, it’s one of the best on the market—and certainly the best trigger you’re going to find on a rimfire at this (or pretty much any) price. My sample broke at one pound, 13 ounces on average as it came from the factory, and I saw no reason to adjust it.
The rifle demonstrated decent accuracy, as you can see in the accompanying chart. There’s certainly nothing to complain about there for a rifle that carries a suggested retail of just $429—and I’m guessing it won’t be hard to find it for less than $400 on gun store shelves or online.
Not to beat this to death, but the real selling point, to me, is how this rifle feels like a big game gun. And it looks like one as well. I tested the rifle right before our big game seasons kicked off in Colorado, and as I was packing up my gear, a guy came over and started quizzing me about the B22 G. Before he got close enough for a good look, and before I could tell him what it was, he asked, “You going elk hunting with that?” Mission accomplished, Savage.