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Savage Mark II G accuracy: What should I expect?

14971 Views 19 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  ajole
So I've had a Mark II G for about 2 months now. I've replaced the bottom metal (torqued to 17 inch/pounds), made sure the barrel was free floated, turned the accu-trigger to the lightest setting and broke it in with 500-600 rounds of every make and model of 22LR ammo under the sun.

So I recently jumped on the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire Rebate Nikon has going right now, and bought a 4x32 Prostaff. I got it mounted and zeroed at 25yds and was kind of surprised to find I was shooting about 1"-1.5" groups at that distance. I was shooting from just a handmade, cheap, wooden front rest, with the rear supported by my hand, and there was some nominal cross wind (Live in the Midwest), but not much. I've read elsewhere that, if you want to shoot for groups with a non-bull barrel, you need to wait about 30-60 seconds between shots.

I definitely was NOT waiting that long between shots. Probably more like 10-15 seconds, and I was cycling through 3 full clips at a time.

I'd love to hear some tips on getting tighter groups out of this rifle. I have a feeling it is ME and not the rifle...
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Just my 02:

For starters, you need a decent rest - At least a good bipod and rear bag.
You are limiting your accuracy with that 4X32 scope even at 25 yards. A small 3-9 may have been a better option.
Try some decent ammo. e.g. SK Standard Plus or Federal 711B.
If you're using it on small game, try some Win. hollow point sub sonics - All these were OK in my Mark 11 G.
Pretty hard to overheat a .22LR barrel on a bolt action.
Those groups you're currently shooting at 25 should be doable at 50 if everything is working in your favour.

Cheers,
Allan.
 

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So I've had a Mark II G for about 2 months now. I've replaced the bottom metal (torqued to 17 inch/pounds), made sure the barrel was free floated, turned the accu-trigger to the lightest setting and broke it in with 500-600 rounds of every make and model of 22LR ammo under the sun.

So I recently jumped on the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire Rebate Nikon has going right now, and bought a 4x32 Prostaff. I got it mounted and zeroed at 25yds and was kind of surprised to find I was shooting about 1"-1.5" groups at that distance. I was shooting from just a handmade, cheap, wooden front rest, with the rear supported by my hand, and there was some nominal cross wind (Live in the Midwest), but not much. I've read elsewhere that, if you want to shoot for groups with a non-bull barrel, you need to wait about 30-60 seconds between shots.

I definitely was NOT waiting that long between shots. Probably more like 10-15 seconds, and I was cycling through 3 full clips at a time.

I'd love to hear some tips on getting tighter groups out of this rifle. I have a feeling it is ME and not the rifle...
Two things,
Like Allan said, you need to find some good ammo and ammo that your rifle really likes. You can only determine that through trying various, but high quality ammo and not the Walmart cheap stuff. Next you need to find or borrow some good shooting equipment like a rest and bag that will give the rifle a better REPEATABLE circumstance to shoot from. And wind is a killer to .22 ammo no matter the brand.

If I might suggest, if you think it's you and not the rifle, find someone you trust who can shoot great groups and find out if the weak link is you or the rifle.

Lastly, don't let your "expectations" become unreasonable. You get what you pay for and don't expect your $300 - $400 (or less) rifle shoot like a Match rifle that cost $1,200 (low end figure) and well above that amount. But do find the right ammo for your rifle because each rifle, Rimifre or Centerfire is different and what one likes doesn't mean another one, even the same make or model, will also like the same ammo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah I definitely understand a 3x9 would have been a better option, but I got the 4x32 for a pittance, so that's what I have to work with. I actually got a chance to shoot a bunch of different types of ammo last weekend: Blazer Bulk, Federal Champion, CCI Minimags, Remington Target, Remington Subsonic, Winchester Subsonic HP, CCI Velocitors, American Eagle SV, Federal Spitfire, Winchester Super X HV.

Of all the rounds, the best shooters were Blazer Bulk, CCI Minimags and CCI Velocitors, in that order, ranging from about .5" groups with the Blazer out to about 1" with the Velocitor. Every other type either shot at, or around, 1", or significantly over. The American Eagle was as bad as 3"!

Next time, I'm going to try a box of CCI Greenbox and some Eley Target.

My final question, with a quick anecdote to accompany it:

This weekend, as I was testing my rifle, a guy plopped a Mark II BV down right next to me. He has a nice bag set up and a Simmon ProSport 4x12x50AO on it. He saw I was shooting a Mark II G and asked me if I had ever shot a BV before. I said no, but I'd love to, because I was considering buying one eventually. So, I went over and shot it for a little bit. Ran 4-5 different types of ammo through it and was astounded that it really didn't shoot a whole lot better than my Mark II G. THIS is why I am thinking I am doing something wrong. At first, the gun was punching one ragged hole, but as I got to the 2nd and 3rd clips, it started spraying them around a lot more. Lots of flyers and whatnot.

So I guess my question is: What's the real point of the BV model? I assume somehow you can get it to shoot better groups than the standard G model, but I couldn't seem to do it.
 

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...
Of all the rounds, the best shooters were Blazer Bulk, CCI Minimags and CCI Velocitors, in that order, ranging from about .5" groups with the Blazer out to about 1" with the Velocitor. Every other type either shot at, or around, 1", or significantly over. The American Eagle was as bad as 3"!
This is your problem. High velocity .22 ammo is not well know for tight groups-not even at 25 yds. While the transonic phenomena is not involved at short distances, your barrel harmonics, and the shock/vibration behavior of your barrel certainly are.

Find some good subsonic ammo like wolf match target, sk std, or eley (?) and try that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is your problem. High velocity .22 ammo is not well know for tight groups-not even at 25 yds. While the transonic phenomena is not involved at short distances, your barrel harmonics, and the shock/vibration behavior of your barrel certainly are.

Find some good subsonic ammo like wolf match target, sk std, or eley (?) and try that.
Definitely going to give some CCI Green Tag and some Eley a try next time I'm out. Also set up a good front/rear rest setup as well. I'll report back on this when I get a chance to shoot it out.
 

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The subsonic will definitely give you the best accuracy...but as someone else mentioned 1" - 1.5" is something I would consider to be the minimum for 50yds.
All I can do is reiterate what has been said.
A better rest or bi-pod.
Try more ammo.
Though mine is the Savage .22WMR I started off with 10 different ammo types...all that was readily available in my area. At 50 yds 5 shot groups ranged from 2.5" (I won't mention the brand...it may work fine in someone elses barrel) to a consistent .5" with CCI Mini HP.
 

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Once you find the ammo it likes, try playing around with the torque on the stock screws. My 93R17 shoots distinctly different groups at 18, 20 and 22 inch pounds. Before I put the heavy bottom metal on it, it shot best at 15 in lbs. After the heavy metal it does best at 20 in lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do you torque both takedown screws to 20 or just the front one? I couldn't imagine the wood withstanding much more than 15 inch/pounds on the back screw. I have mine at 17 right now. Gonna go out and buy a box of Green Tag and some Eley Target later this week.
 

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My brand new F model MkII shoots 10 shot groups @ 50 yds. that you can cover completely with a dime. I expect that to improve as the rifle breaks in (it has less than 100 rounds through it so far).

As the others here have mentioned, a good, solid rest & reasonable ammo will make the difference. I've been using cheapo, bulk Winchester DynaPoint ammo to get the aforementioned groups (much to the consternation of the others around me, firing $.60-per-shot Eley ammo out of their mega-dollar guns, which don't seem to shoot better than my tupperware-stocked Savage).

Unless there is something drastically wrong with the gun, it WILL shoot sub-0.5" 50-yard groups. It's just a matter of getting there. When it does, try not to grin at the CZ and Annie shooters around you too much...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My brand new F model MkII shoots 10 shot groups @ 50 yds. that you can cover completely with a dime. I expect that to improve as the rifle breaks in (it has less than 100 rounds through it so far).

As the others here have mentioned, a good, solid rest & reasonable ammo will make the difference. I've been using cheapo, bulk Winchester DynaPoint ammo to get the aforementioned groups (much to the consternation of the others around me, firing $.60-per-shot Eley ammo out of their mega-dollar guns, which don't seem to shoot better than my tupperware-stocked Savage).

Unless there is something drastically wrong with the gun, it WILL shoot sub-0.5" 50-yard groups. It's just a matter of getting there. When it does, try not to grin at the CZ and Annie shooters around you too much...
I was definitely getting some mixed (but hopeful) results this past weekend. Once I get a better rest setup in place, I'll need to bring my torque wrench with me to the range and play with the torque settings. So far I have tried 15/17/20/22 inch pounds, with the 17 being the best of the bunch so far.

I may end up bedding the stock just to see if that won't tighten it up some as well.
 

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What I mean is, don't be disappointed if your rifle while likely accurate doesn't out shoot anyone's Anschutz, Cooper, Winchester 52, Remington 40x and the list could go on, nor will bulk ammunition strike fear in the heart of Match ammunition users. Does that make your rifle inaccurate, no way, but it doesn't make it a world beater either. Unlike what some here would imply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That's good advice. It's funny though, there was a guy at the range this past weekend that had a CZ 452 Varmint, tricked out with a Zeiss Conquest on it and a Harris Bipod. Surprisingly, he wasn't shooting remarkably better groups than I was. Sure, they were under an inch at 50 yds, but they certainly weren't under .5". And for the 1000 bucks he spent on that rifle + scope + bipod, I'd sure be disappointed if I were him. Perhaps he sits in the same boat I do... (needs a hell of a lot more practice.)

If I can get .5" at 50yds with a $200 out the door rifle, a $50 after rebate Prostaff Rimfire and a Winchester or Caldwell bipod and some decent ammo, I'll be tickled. :)
 

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I think you have a long way to go in terms of your trigger squeeze and bench techniques before the rifle or ammo will become your limiting factor. Your groups will only be as good as you can hold till you get better at shooting your rifle. When you start getting under 1/2 inch groups with regularity at 25 yards you should stretch out to 50 with a large enough target you can center your cross hairs repeatably. The problem with 4X scopes is that you can't see the center of your aiming spot at 50 yards cause the cross hairs block out a 1" bullseye. You'll need about a 3 inch target to see the target around the cross hairs to aim consistently. Your scope is perfectly fine for small game hunting but not a great choice for long range targets. With a 9x scope you'd probably be able to shoot 3" groups or better at 100 yards with that gun on a calm day with decent ammo and some practice. Most high speed hunting ammo may produce consistent 1 inch groups at 50 yards. Good lots of standard velocity ammo may approach 1/2 inch and guys who shoot high dollar stuff in target rifles might expect groups in the 1/4 to 1/3 inch range. One thing to keep in mind is that high dollar ammo won't shrink your groups until you are shooting at the current limit of your gun/ammo combination. rc
 

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I have a MkII with the threaded 16" barrel, Leupold Vari-xII 3x9, harris bipod, and left the accutrigger as issued. Firing CCI standard velocity I was able to consistently shoot just under MOA at 100 yards. I've used Wolf match, federal GM, Ely, and Aguila (all standard velocity) and found the CCI to group best.

Best $270.00 I ever spent!
 

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I'm with those that are saying don't worry about the rifle yet.

Work on your technique, find the ammo the gun likes, and enjoy the process. After a while, if the gun still isn't shooting better, you can start worrying about it; but the fact that you said you shot .5 inches with the Blazer makes me think your gun is already just fine, as is your technique.:bthumb:

But I would also suggest getting a better scope. I hated scopes, I could shoot better with aperture sights, but as my eyes have gotten older, I have had to learn to use them. And as I have done so, I have found that they really let me aim small.

This may hurt the elite guys' feelings...but the $16 2-7X20 Tasco at walmart will let you get into the target better than a cheap 4X32, and I have found 3-9X40's at $25 on sale; they will let you get the process started as well. The experts will tell you not to waste money on a cheap scope...but at least the cheap scope lets you shoot now, instead of waiting.;)
 
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