Varmint rifle? : LUSENET : MILDOT : One Thread


Anyone got some exotic advise for a not too expensive but still very reliable and accurate varmint rifle? I'm thinking about something in .223 R to cut ammo costs. The ones Im currently thinking about is remington 700 VLS, remington 700 VS, Winchester 70 Stealth, Savage arms 10 FP. Anyone got any better advice? The features Im looking for is a varmint barrel, an insensitive strong stock (composite/laminate) and a reliable mechanism.

Best regards /Oskar

-- Zealot (, April 09, 2002


My e-mail address has changed, used to be This is an update from my previous reply. Went to Montana Prairie Dog hunting. Long story short, on the last day I fired 400 rounds through my Savage 12FV .223 (Accu-Trigger) and took the gun home dirty to see what kind of group it would shoot without being cleaned. Next day shot a five shot group at 100 yards using Black Hills (Blue Box) reloaded 52 gr HP's. You could easily cover the group with a dime. My question is how do you beat that no matter how much money you through at the gun. As for the cheap ugly stock, I can't stand it either, but it sure doesn't effect the ability of this gun to shoot so why toss money in the air. I'm going back next spring to shoot more prairie dogs and that ugly Savage will be with me!

-- Daniel B Sweet (, November 29, 2004.

Think about a Weatherby Vanguard, they have nice 24 inch barrels and a nice action and accuracy guarantee. If that's too steep look at it's lower priced cousin, the Howa 1500, i have the Howa m1500 lightning rifle (got it used at a steal, $435 with a 4x16-50mm scope and bipod used, 22inch barrel, still a tack driver.) As far as stocks go if you want the most accurate restrict it to tough (generally heavier) stocks or laminate stocks.

-- TheTackDriver (, June 12, 2004.

There sure are a lot of Savage fans out there. I'm not criticizing, just commenting. My weapon of choice for prairie dogs is a Ruger#1 in .223 caliber. It has a cheap Simmons Pro Sport 6-18 power scope and an expensive European made single set trigger. I shoot in very windy conditions on the South Dakota prairie and have recorded a 407 yard kill (laser rangefinder) using 50 grain ballistic tips leaving the muzzle at about 3800 fps. Oh yeah, my Harris bipod is a big help.

Keep shooting your Remingtons and Savages and have a really good time converting gun powder into noise. I'll be looking for you on the prairie.

-- Craig Hoyt (, April 22, 2004.

Hi Oskar, I've been looking for some time at the low to mid priced rifles like you are looking for, the best bang for your money has to be the Savage model 10-FP-LE2B-McMillan. It has a 26inch heavy barrel, the new accu-trigger system and one of the best stocks you can get. The stock is the same as the one that comes on the new FN SPR police rifle. I have the Remington 700 PSS in .223 that I got before the Savage came out, I like the Savage a lot better. I adjusted my trigger to the lowest safe weight which is about 3#s and the Savage comes set at 1 1/2#s and I like the McMillan stock a lot better than the HS stock on my Remington PSS 700. I'm going to buy the Savage 10-FP-LE-McMillan in the .308 cal. soon. My local store has one for $739 which is a good price. Good luck, Bill

-- Bill Randall (, April 18, 2004.

Hi , just a note to some of the earlier replies I have a Remiington 700 Police model in .223 I bought a year and a half ago and it's advertised as having a 1 in 9 inch twist barrel not a 1 in 12 inch as some of the people have stated. I paid only $699.00 for the rifle which has a nice H S Percision stock and I adjusted the trigger myself to about 3lbs which was really easy(just look on the internet for instructions) Check Remingtons website for specs.

-- Bill Randall (, April 17, 2004.

i'm new here but i have several of the rifles in question. 2 CZ's, 2 savage 110/10 FP. the accuracy goes to the savages but the CZ are no slouches by any stretch. i have a 550 FS (mannlicher) which keeps 3 shots at around 1.5" at 200 yards. acounted for a whitetail at 300+ 2 years ago (witnessed and ranged). the 527 keeps slightly better accuracy. plus it is so light and easily fielded for walking up critters. these are in 243 and 223. the savages are in a world of their own. both have the old triggers and with a modicum of tweaking can be made quite acceptable. mine are just a little heavier than i want but the break like glass; no creep or overtravel. these are in 300 winmag and 223. the 300 took and axis buck at 400 (again witnessed and ranged). so while the savages have the accuracy advantage they are a pain to carry in the field. the CZ's are easier but don't quite produce the "gnat's ass" accuarcy. either brand should serve most requirements.

-- none (, February 20, 2004.

I've also been looking for a moderately price rifle for coyote hunting. Some of the top end Savages and Remingtons are wonderful but they're pricey and they are HEAVY rifles. I'm hunting in Missouri and would rarely be shooting over 100-150yards. A .223 seems to be the best all round cartridge when you consider cost and performance, lack of recoil, etc. I REALLY liked the Savage 12FV except I can't believe how horrible the synthetic stock is! It looks cheap and feels so thin and hollow and the forearm is so flimsy. It's disappointing because it's a great barrel and I've tried the accu trigger and it's great! I could buy the Savage and put it in a new stock, but there goes my cost! So I've been looking hard at the CZ 527 in .223. It's light weight, very accurate and the set trigger gives you about a 1lb pull when set (you set the trigger by pushing it forward). They also offer a laminate stock, heavy barrel version that weighs in at around 8lbs. Anyone have that one????

-- Joe Choka (, January 23, 2004.


In a Savage 12FV W/AccuTrigger .223

What ammo is inexpensive to shoot on varmints out to say 400 yards and how does it shoot in this Savage. Consider light wind...

-- Daniel B. Sweet (, December 24, 2003.

I owned a Remington 700 VLS in 7MM-08 topped with a leupold 4.5 X 14 Tactical Scope. I couldn't resist the looks of this rifle. It shot 1/3 inch groups with Federal 140 Ballistic Tips @ 100 yds. I used this rifle to shoot pidgeons in an old rock quarry, dropped one at 675 range finder yards with a witness. Lost permission to shoot in this spot and sold the gun. I am now going to Montana to shoot Prarie Dogs. Wanted low noise, low rcoil (want to be able to watch the hits through the scope), low cost ammo and an accurate gun. I will be buying a Savage 12FV in .223 with the Accu-Trigger. I'll spend the big bucks on good glass. I'll put a Zeiss 6-24 Conquest on this and I'll have a total of about $1,000 in the gun. No custom gun is going to shoot better than a Savage. I told a friend of mine this " When other guys are showing off their expensive, pretty guns stay in the back of the room, when the move up to the shooting bench tell them to step aside". My advise to you, buy the Savage and outshoot everyone.

-- Daniel B.Sweet (, December 18, 2003.

I don't think there is a better answer than the Savage 12 or 10 series. I'm personally partial to the CZ's, Tikka's and Remington VS's (too expensive for me) because of their better craftmanship and name cache, but I'm going to be buying a Savage 12. For me, there are two main reasons:

1) The Accu-trigger is all it is said to be. Easily adjustable and tight.

2) Maybe more importantly, since I don't want to have to dump money into the gun for upgrades, is the barrel. CZ, Remington, Howa, Tikka and Winchester all only produce their 223's with a 1 in 12" twist barrel - meaning 300yd max shots and 69gr bullets (they aren't fast enough twist to stabilize the bullet). The Savage has a faster 1 in 9" twist barrel which means 55gr bullets will still shoot fine but so will the 69's. If you wanted to go after deer with it you can get Barnes Partition bullets in 69 which are WAY more suitable than the 55's. Also, if you ever want to do varmint match shooting which goes out to 600yds (for fun), you won't need a new barrel.

I want as much as I can get for my dollar and I don't think you can do better than the Savage's. Near match trigger and long range capable barrel for less than or equal to the competition.


-- Kevin (, December 02, 2003.

I am looking to purchase a long range (well in excess of 100 yards, the most yardage I can get out of it).223 target rifle. I am sold on the savage line. I am looking at the 12FV (varmint) or the 10 FP (tactical). Other than 2" in barrel length and about the same price, I am wondering what is the difference between them and which one would be more accurate at long range?

-- Carl Hodges (, November 04, 2003.

well. Sorry Oskar havent any advice for you on your question you submitted last year but am sure your shooting of a new rifle now. just woundering about a swift.220 out there too buy and if anyone could advice me on what make or model I should go for for accuracy and would I be wasting my time buying one if I were to use it for small game only. Thank you for taking time to read this. Best wishes, Mike email -

-- Michael Morrissey (, November 04, 2003.

Hey Guys! I'm a diehard riflemen and varmint hunter. I owned two Remington 700 vs models in 243cal. Both were total tack drivers! However, they will run you over 600 dollers. The best all around buy for accuraccy reliability and quality; I would have to give to Savage, Howa, and Tikka. These rifles got it all for around $550 and under. Savages 112BVSS in 223, 22-250, or 243 are gaining alot of praise from var- mint hunters. I couldn't agree more! I just bought a Howa 1500 light- ning in 243. It really has a great feel, cool looks and sweet action. Very accurate! and only a standard barrel too! I'm thinking of getting the varmint model in stainless/synthetic in 22-250. Tikka has a great reputation for accuraccy, and an awsome action to boot. Great looking rifle as well. As for varmint calibers; The 223 and 22-250 are excellent, except for windy conditions! Those 22cal bullets just don't have the weight to buck the wind. I have found the 243 to be best and most versitile varmint round yet. It can pump a 55gr ballistic tip over 4,000 fps accurately, and you can go all the way up to a 115 gr Barns original bullet for bigger game. It's all preference anyway! Just for kicks I bought an N.E.F survivor single shot in 223. It has a black pistol grip stock, removable front and both have storage compartments. It has a 22in bull barrel, DEADLY accurate! sells for about $275. Later! Brian

-- B, Hale ((, October 31, 2003.

I recently gained access to a 300 acre horse farm where the land owner was having coyote/varmint problems. Prior to that, I only hunted Deer in my home state. I immediately started to research good .223 varmint/target rifles (cheap/re-loadable ammo). I went to both the internet and my trusted gun shop for advice. As I own a Savage Model 111 in 7mm-08 (and have kept my freezer full of venison with this extremely accurate and equally ugly synthetic stock rifle), I was hell-bent on getting another Savage. Who can argue with inexpensive accuracy!!

When I went into the gun shop with all my Savage specifications, the same guy who properly advized me on the Savage 111, started in on the CZ 527. First thing I thought was that there was almost a couple hundred dollar difference out the door. And, as a family man, not cheap, but maybe frugal, I was sold on Savage.

But, when he pulled the CZ off the shelf and I inspected it, it was really nice. The grain in the stock was sweet, and the trigger was really sensitive and adjustable. Having already read good reviews, I was sold. I really liked the idea of finally having a good looking, quality, ACCURATE rifle.

I went with the American model as I was definitly going to scope it, and it came in this week. Put a Bushnell Dusk & Dawn 4-12x40 on it.

I'm going to sight-it-in this weekend and this thread has really psyched me up for shooting this rifle!!

Sorry to be long-winded, but that's how I made my choice...I got a Savage & a CZ!!

-- Tom D (, September 03, 2003.

I have two Howa 1500 varmit rifles. One is in .223 the other is 22-250 I bought both of them by barreled actions. I bought the stocks I wanted for them from boyds that is what Howa uses. Both guns shoot dimes all day long AT 200 AND 250YDS. the barreled actions was $312 and the stocks $98 unfinished but finishing is not that hard just a lot of work but you will care more about them if you do your on work. the triggers are very good I have mine at 1 pound. but if you don't trust your self at triggers a good gunsmith is reqired!! I also have a Thompson center contender they have a fine tigger you can also change the barrels on them with no gunsmithing required they run about $340-412 you can get them in pistols or carbine mine is in a pistol i can shoot a groundhog in the ear at 150yds .223 it is topped with a burris 2x7 parllex adj fine piece if you are going to do alot of walking. good luck

-- rocky (, August 31, 2003.

I just bought the Savage 12fv with the new accu trigger in 223. After sighting in the Bushnell elite 3200 10x40mm scope, I shot my first serious group at 100 yds. The group measured 3/8ths of an inch. I've shot a few more groups with different ammo since, and it stays within a half inch, regardless of brand (I won't touch metal cases though)The rifle's action is smooth, the trigger is factory set very light and crisp (mine's prob. about 2.5lbs) and it shoots like a dream. The whole setup cost me 1100 Canadian, or about $800 US, the price of a remington VS with no accesories.

-- snk (, August 13, 2003.

I just bought a Savage 12FV in 22-250. This is the 26" barrel. Unfortunately I did not get the one with the Accutrigger. If you have any doubts this is THE rifle to own. June 2003 Guns & Ammo page 38 "How do you improve one of the most accurate out of the box rifles, with an Accutrigger of course." I have shot the Savage in .223, .308, 22-250, and a .243 is on the way. I have shot factory old style trigger, adjusted old style trigger, and the Accutrigger. The Accutrigger is where it is at. It does take some getting used to though. Just my .02

-- Chris (, August 06, 2003.

I just bought the CZ527 american. It is a sweet rifle. The single set trigger and regular trigger are both fully adjustable for weight and LOP. Go to the site and read about the rifles. I bought mine for $319 and i think that this is the best value. It is in 223 and I have shot 1.25" groups from 200 yards at the bench. One thing that I must say about it is that they do not offer much consistency in the wood (if you care about that)I do so I would not order one. They also offer a varmint version with a composite stock. Just my two cents. Matt

-- Matthew Tieken (, July 24, 2003.

So what did you end up getting?

-- response (, July 23, 2003.

Agonizing is the right word. When you start adding up the cost of taking the spade off the ace at 300 yds. things get expensive. The new Savage accu trigger is incredible and truly levels the field amongst the finest sub moa's out there. Here is the thing about Savage. Veratility built in from the factory. Buy it in any caliber you want to start with. For the stock issue "Richards micro fit" out in California can cut stocks in any of a variety of forms to suit your desires. They will over inlet to allow glass bedding with the accur glass kit from "Brownells". (I perfer the gel kit for ease of use.)If ugly is ok you can do this for about $100.00 They do make some furniture grade stocks for a bit more but the gophers really don't care. There are a variety of sources for barrels in other calibers which can be swapped with a Savage barrel wrench and nothing more than the "go gage" for the particular caliber. A good bipod, scope, and if you are inclined glass beded stock from Richards and you have a base gun which you could start in .223 and be rebarel in minutes to 22-250, or .308 as needed. Keep a click count on the zero for each caliber and you should be with in an inch after the barrel change. Adams an Bennette barels for the savage are available for around $150.00 through Midway USA as is the bbl. wrench. The end results is better than a deaf mute red head with no teeth. Tight, reliable, and versatile. What more could you want?

Good luck.

-- Raymond Frisbey (, June 23, 2003.

I really think that all the name brand rifles are fine. I always felt that heavy varmint rifles needed to be played with to get the best out of them. I have the Rem 700 VLS and my buddy has the Win 70 Stealth. Both rifles shot fine out of the box. I dont like the triggers on any factory rifles. I installed a Timmey trigger for 65.00 on the 700 VLS and it really inproved the overall feel. Next I will glass bed the action. Its a little work but will improve its performance. Most custom rifles start with the Remington action. I think the Savage will do what you want right out of the box. If your looking to develop your rifle to shoot its best then you will have to make changes to any factory rifle. You will also need to start to relaod your own ammo. If your willing to spend the time you can make ammo much better than you can buy. I am not talking about just re- chargeing your cases. You need to deburr the primer holes, trim, neck turn, ect.

-- Phillip (, June 14, 2003.

You know I found this discussion interesting. I was debating the HOWA, CZ and SAVAGE. I have heard a lot about SAVAGE'S accuracy, but they are kinda on the ugly side. The HOWA has the smoothest action of any rifle out of the box except my TIKKA's. AS for the CZ, nice rifle and Czech so I was tempted since I'm Czech. Just kinda nice to have a rifle from the mother country. I was really town between the great thumbhole stocked HOWA or the CZ.

Well, I was at a show in Louisville this weekend and I found a new CZ 550 Varminter with the laminated stock and rings in 22-250. I got the guy down to $480 out the door. At that price, about $130 below blue book, I had to get it.

I hope the guy who said his SAVAGES outshoot his CZs is wrong on my rifle's account. I'll let you all know. The only thing I'm working on now is what scope?

I've narrowed it down to a Signature 8-32 or black diamond 8-32. Is worth the extra $200 to get the black diamond over the signature? Is this too much power on the scope? Should I get the 6-24 and hope to use it on other guns? I have never had enough magnification at the range so I'm thinking I'm ok with the 8-32. But do I pay for the side-mounted parallax adjust and posi-lock and the other black diamond extras? I'm thinking if you're in for $500, you might as well go in for $700 and get the best. The other thing is that I'll fork over another $60 for the 30mm rings to replace the 1" rings that came FREE with the rifle. Or do I just get the Signature series and deal with it? Any feedback on Burris service with broken scopes? This will be the FIRST non-Leupold scope I have ever bought. But I just can't see paying another $200 for the Leupold over the Burris.

-- Brendgol Majewski (, June 09, 2003.

I just got back from a prairie dog hunt in the Texas panhandle. Over the years I have used several Savages and several Remingtons plus 1 heavy barrel Bushmaster. By far the most accurate gun I ever owned was a Savage in .22-250, it was one of the older models with the horrible trigger which I replaced with the Sharpshooter trigger. That gun would shoot .5 to .75 groups at 100yds with factory ammo. People used to laugh at that gun because it was downright ugly and the finish was kind of rough as well, but it out shot anything else I ever saw. I currently have a Remington 700VLS in .22-250, and while it "feels" and looks far prettier than the Savage, it does not shoot as well. The factory trigger is OK but I had to lighten it up quite a bit. We also shot a brand new 700VLS in .223, and while it shot decent we could not get the trigger as light or as crisp as my .22-250. I also have a Savage 12BVSS in .308 which comes with a better trigger than the older ones (not the new ACCU trigger) and it has also been a delight to shoot and can hold its own if I do my part.

I still regret selling that original Savage in .22-250 and will probably pick up another one soon.

-- Greg Sheldon (, May 24, 2003.

I own a savage 10fp in .308win. It wears a leupold vari-xII 3-9x40 and a harris bi-pod. Anyway, I wanted to stiffen the forend, and someone told me that I could use arrow shafts, trimmed to length, indide the fore-end flooded with epoxy. Would this work well? Does this help to hold consistant zero, shooting session after session? Thanks for any info in advance.

-- Dale Gribble (, May 24, 2003.

Hi, All the praise for the Savage rifles here is well deserved. I have two Savage "Tacticals, in 5.56 and .308. And I am more than happy with them. Recently I purchased a brand new Winchester "Coyote", in .308 also. And this Winchester has proven to be an excellant shooter. It has a laminated wood stock and brushed satin stainless barrel. I fitted with a Weaver V16 4-16X42 AO DX rifle scope, and Burris Signature mount and rings. The fit and finish, and trigger set up from the factory on the Winchester is suprising great. Though I did adjust it to my liking. The accuracy of my Winchester "Coyote" is equal to my two Savage heavy barreled rifles, and also shoots a slightly smaller group than my son's two Remington varment rifles, in two different calibers. I find I am shooting, and experimenting more with my Winchester "Coyote" more than my other two Savages. I realize that the .308 is not a true varment caliber, but here in the central midwest, were real coyotes are a growing problem, my .308's in a heavy barrel do fine even a long range. Plus I do a lot of my own reloading.

-- Don Kondy (, May 18, 2003.

I have also been looking at the Savage offerings vs. the Remingtons. I am looking at the 12vss,10fp, and the 700ps. There is a lot of information on these rifles but most seems to be when the Savage's had the older style trigger. Most people who favor the Remingtons, do so because of the better trigger. Has the new trigger leveled the playing field. I know the stock sucks on the Savages but this can be changed.

It is for sure that Military and LE favor the Remingtons too. How do these rifles stack up in 2003? Accuracy should be equal with the edge going to the Savage. Is it just that only now with the 2003 models, that the Savages compare? Also, what is the difference between the 10/110 and 12/112 receivers from Savage? There is no literature on their website to explain what is different.

After looking into barrel making techniques, it is widely accepted that #1 is broach cut or single point cut barrels. followed by #2 button rifled barrels. and lastly #3-hammer forged barrels. This being the case. why do the remingtons shoot so well? They use hammer forged barrels where the Savage uses a button riffled barrel. Neither use cut barrels. It would make sense that if both companies truly make propper barrels, then the edge would go to the savage. Put them both in a propper stock and the Savage should be more accurate with the new trigger. Does this make sense.

One other thing of note. I was talking to a gunsmith who said that a monkey can swith barrels on the Savages. You just unscrew the old Barrel, put in the new cartride, tighten the barrel and lock it down. That is it, no head spacing to worry about. Is this also true?

Thanks in adavnce, mike

-- Michael Filippello (, May 06, 2003.

Well Friday I ordered a Remington 700 VS SF IN 223, I also have a friend who's got one & he turns in .35 groups @ 100 yds out of the box. I regularly shoot AR's, one is a DPMS Extreme Super Bull which turns in .45 groups @ 100 yds a fast as you can pull the trigger. Next week end I'll be @ the range sighting the REM in, I'll let you know how it goes. I'm a former Deputy so that is one reason I picked the REM (former experience) And it's EXTREMELY GOOD LOOKS ! PS: I have nothing but good things to say about the SAVAGE I've owned a few, great accuracy on them all.

-- Tom Adams (, May 04, 2003.

I've been going through the same process in trying to decide which varmit rifle to buy. Today I ordered a 700 VLS in .308. I think the Savage is a real great deal but I still went with the Remington. I had studied the Winchester Coyote, the Remington 700 VLS and the Savage offerings. My needs for the rifle were as follows: Accuracy - Looks like all three were sutable. It seems however that the Remington is the one most often chosen by law enforcement, military and target shooters. Must be something to that. Laminated Stock - I actually liked the Winchester better here. It is darker which would be better in the woods and fields around here. The Savage rifles I looked at all had the plastic stocks. The one I handled at the shop today had a forend that I could bend back and forth with very little finger tip pressure. Heavy barrel - I'm not realy into stainless so that was a negative for the Winchester. It would have been OK if they would have put a black finish on it and made it a bit heavier. (I know this rifle is designed to be lighter than a typical varmit rifle. Just not what I want at this time) Fit and finish. The Winchester was OK but seemed a bit rough in the machining on the bolt lugs and the follower. The Savage felt very rough when operating the bolt and it lacked a hinger floor plate. I own and realy enjoy a variety of firearms that others see asless than good looking, like Glock and Lee Enfields. Having said that, the Savage ranked the lowest of the three. The Remington seemed very well put together. Spare/Replacement parts and so on - I hope to shoot this rifle a lot. Like thousands of rounds over a few years. I hope to eventually wear out the barrel. It seems like everyone who makes quality barrels makes them for Remingtons. I only found one for Savage and I'm not sure they are still in production. So after my ramlings I went for the Remington because it was the best fit for what I wanted. Perfect? No, but few things are totaly perfect.

Maybe a couple of years from now I'll take another look at the Savage. I like the idea of having a 24" heavy barrel in .30-06.

-- John Fair (, May 03, 2003.

I own 2 savage 12's (accu-trigger models), one being the .223 synth. stock,blue barrel, and the other a .22-250 stainless fluted syn stock. AWESOME rifles. They both outshoot my CZ 550 varmint rifle hands down. The stainless fluted Savage showed its stuff when I tumbled a she coyote @ 400+ yds. I used Hornady .22-250 55 gr. molycoated Varmit Express ammo. I set holdover exactly to the trajectory table pasted on the box. The Yote never heard the shot. Holdover was 16" @ 400 yds -- boiler room shot ....

GET THE SAVAGE -- Get the 2003 model with the accu-trigger ....

-- michael howard (, April 23, 2003.

Oskar - My advice is to just do your homework before you buy. I spent hours researching and talked to some gunsmiths. After countless lunch hours wasted online, my search led me to the Savage 12VSS Varminter (the one with the custom trigger and Choate stock).

Here's the deal - The shooting world is coming to find out that Savage rifles are incredibly accurate, here's why: They're the only company (except a few custom barrel manufacturers) who use a "button rifling" process which is a wholly different process than their rivals use (cut rifling). Savage makes their own barrels to their own specs, unlike others who outsource their business to the lowest bidder. Secondly, Savage uses some free floating bolt head that is truly original, that many gunsmiths attest to being the reason for their incredible accuracy.

The knock: Triggers! Savage triggers have always been awful (nowadays, most factory triggers are that way for legal reasons) - but Savage again has pushed the envelope and developed an easily adjustable trigger that has a different look than anything we've ever seen (see for pics and details). I've never played with one yet, so I have no input -- but I DO think it's equipped on the 2003 10FP.

I went for the Varminter, as it came with a custom trigger (the best I've ever felt) that came factory direct set at 14 oz. The stock is dual pillar bedded and free floating. I paid 700 for the whole setup. To put these bells and whistles on a Remington would cost a small fortune. Had the option been open for the new accu-trigger, I'd have probably went for that in a 10fp or a 12vs in the name of saving a couple hundred bucks (and sacrificing the bedded stock)

Sure, it's really heavy, and not nearly as "pretty" as the Remington's, Ruger's, and Weatherby's, - truth be known, the bolt doesn't even feel as nice as the others in my collection, but it flat out performs. I can shoot world class groups with factory ammo, and even better with some handloads. It's by a landslide the most accurate rifle I've ever handled.

My best friend had a custom Rem. 700 that he just sold to buy a gun identical to mine. (he was also the first guy to laugh at me when he found out that I bought a SAVAGE! imagine that)

FYI - mine's a 22-250 topped with a Swift 8-32x scope (approx. $200) a sub-.5 MOA accuracy can be achieved with the right factory ammo. (mine likes Rem. 55gr. core lokt soft point)

There's an old guard out there who won't think outside the box, and think Remington, Winchester, Ruger, or Weatherby are the only way to go. Things have changed and Savage rifles are as good as advertised.

Don't get me wrong, fellas - I enjoy and own plenty of different brand rifles, but Savage just seems to have the right recipe for competition-level accuracy.

I should have bought the .223 instead, in the name of cheap shells, but I guess ya can't have it all.

I'll quit rambling now.....

-- Frankie Kelbach (, April 15, 2003.

I shoot a Sav. 110 FP in .223 Rem. Original trigger was horrible. Had it smoothed up by a smith and the 24" barrel cut to 20". It will shoot anything I feed it under an 1". With handloads using Varget powder and Hornady 50 gr. V-Max bullets 1/2" groups are the norm. Only reason barrel was cut is, it was to muzzle heavy for a carry rifle while hunting coyotes. This is the most accurate rifle I own and I strongly recommend the Savage rifles. It out shoots all my buddies Remingtons, even when they shoot it!!!!!! By far not a handsome rifle, but I have not heard a complaint from a coyote or ground squirrel!!

-- Frank (, April 12, 2003.

I just bought a Savage 12FV in .308 with the new AccuTrigger. I agonized over the caliber; originally I was going to buy the .223 because it was most economical to shoot, but I settled on the .308 because it is the most versatile. I will eventually reload my own ammo to control costs, but for now it costs about $8.00 US to shoot twenty rounds.

The AccuTrigger is superb. It came from the factory set at about 2.5 pounds and I have not changed it. The .308 is too much for rabbits, but not for coyotes which we have in abundance where I live (the Mojave desert).

The final addition to this shooting rig will be a Shepherd scope some time in the future...

By the way, I paid $460.00 for the 12FV new from the factory. It seems like a pretty good buy to me.

-- Wayne Taylor (, March 26, 2003.

Sorry not a good speller. I have had a REM BDL 223 a Howa 223 would out shoot it. I have now a CZ 223 american and the trigger is a no pull I MEAN you breath on it , it is gone it has a free flote barrell a 1-12 twist hammer forged barrell if that counts for my self it puts a hole on top of a hole it is a wood stock it does not bother the dead on shootto me.

-- MDP (, February 17, 2003.

really ain't none bettern'a rem mod 700 243 cept'n maybe a 220 swift,,, but for range i'd take the 243 any day.....

-- Larry (, February 01, 2003.

I have a mod 10fp in 300 wsm and it shoots around .25 with winchester bst's i own several savages and they all shoot sob m.o.a. I have a howa varmint supreme in 22-250 and it is awesome love to rabbit hunt with it with 40 gr winchester bst's it will shoot 5 shots that all touch at 100 yds and have shot at 500 and shot 3.5" groups the only mod to this gun is free floating the barrel and triigger is down to 2 lbs check out the howa line of rifles for the money you cant beat them my most accurate gun by far oh yeah on bunnies headshots usually completely remove head and doesnt bother the eatable meat.

-- Steve Polkinghorne (, January 31, 2003.

I looked at the CZ too. The trigger was waaaay better than the Savage. No creep, crisp, and light! Just the way it should be. I never could find any data on their barrels. You know, just how straight do they shoot. Also they are super hard to find in a 22- 250. You see them in catalogs and that appears to be it. One gun store said they had some back ordered for a year.

I settled for a Savage 12VSS. The trigger is from Sharp Shooter. It is way better than stock. No creep and lighter. Still not as good as the CZ, but it is adjustable. Maybe by the time it is as light as the CZ, it will also be as crisp. Don't ask how much the 12VSS cost. Ouch!

The wood Savage stock is fairly flexible. If you use a sling, it will bow till it hits the floating barrel. The 12VSS stock is fairly rigid. You pay for the sturdiness with 11.3lbs before a scope or bipod.

If the CZ shoots as straight, it would be hard to beat and in a .223 they appear to be much easier to find.

-- Dana (, January 07, 2003.

I'm curious as to why a 243 hasn't been mentioned. I'm considering a varmint rifle for ground hogs and maybe coyotes. With a lite bullit it will compete with a 22-250 for accuracy and yet with a heavier bullet can take larger game. I just wanted to throw in another caliber. Thanks Rick

-- Rick C. (, December 22, 2002.

Please do not over look the CZ 527. It has a single set trigger(nice) and with the CZ steel rings makes a great shooter out of the box. Also, for a little more money, the Howa varmint rifles are very accurate. I use a CZ 527 in 223 with a burris signature 8x32 and feel confident in telling others to try CZ. With Turkish Walnut stock the rifle can be had for under five bills if you look around. I'm a firm believer in proper break in with any new rifle. One shot & clean x five. Five shots and then clean, repeating this five times to get the barrel seasoned. Good Luck and Good Shooting.

-- Joe (, December 19, 2002.

I recently bought a Savage 12 heavy barrel with Simmons 4-12 scope, $450 retail. The factory trigger isn't bad and may have been upgraded from previous factory triggers. With 55gr Hornady v-max and 25.5 gr. of Win 748 it can shoot 1/4" 3shot groups @100 yds if I concentrate. 69-80gr boattails are supposed to be better than the lighter rounds at longer distances. Three of the guys who work in the store where I bought the rifle also shoot the same model (one in 22-250). I'll keep the stock trigger and scope unless I feel that a change would tighten groups. Some rifles are prettier but if you want accuracy the Savage deserves a look.

-- Jim (, October 27, 2002.

I bought the Savage 12FV last year, and have found it to be quite a good shooter, especially for the price. Both for Rifle and Ammo. I just found a good, dare I say excellent ammo for it. I purchased some Reman ammo from Cabela's Catalog by Ultramax, Now I'm not one for knowing a whole lot about ammo, but, This stuff shot 5 at 150yds in the center 1" eye with very little room between the holes (2 were touching). Has anyone else shot this round and if so, what do you think of it? I've had the trigger "fine tuned" by a local smith, but not had to replace it. I mounted it on a harris Bipod, and added the Simmons 3-12x40 scope, which makes this an accurate and economical shooter. Shoot straight Bryan

-- Bryan J. Wolfe (, October 07, 2002.

I have been shooting a Savage Tactical in .223 (1:9 twist) for the past few years and have been really pleased with its performance. It currently wears a 16X mil-dot scope and a Harris bipod. I have installed the Sharpshooter trigger which has made a big difference. Recently I decided to spend some time working up an accurate load for the rifle concentrating on careful case preparation. I invited one of my American friends to try the rifle off the bench at 100 yards and he shot a sub 1/4" group! Using 69 grain Sierra Matchkings the rifle delivers excellent accuracy on targets out to 600 yards. You can stiffen up the front end of the stock by adding a steel rod and epoxy, or alternatively just use the first of the sling swivel studs for the bipod. Kind regards and best of luck with the new rifle. Mike

-- Michael Brewis (, October 04, 2002.

There are a lot of variables that you have to work out. handload vs factory, breathing, trigger pull, position, wind, it all depends on a bunch of things. But you should be able to get at least a 2 inch group at 200. By the way nice choice of scope. They are crystal clear.

-- Dean (, September 19, 2002.

Just bought a savage varminter chambered in 22-250 and mounted a burris black diamond 8x32 scope on it how well should i expect it to do at 200+ yds have not had a chance to shoot it yet any input anyone?????

-- (, September 14, 2002.


Ultimately you can only base your decision on what reviewers claim for individual weapons. Each weapon has it's own little 'quirks'. Some brands will shoot like veritable screamers straight out of the box, others would have a hard time keeping 3 shots on dinner plate bulls-eye. But if you at least go with a well known brand which has had better than average reviews, you can't be too far wrong.

Now, I'm a fan of the .223 and have shot a Remington 788 in this calibre for the last 14yrs. The rifle started life as a .222 but the original owner had it re-chambered. Consequently the screw hole for the fore-sight doesn't sit where it really should, but hey the weapon hasn't caused me any heartache. It wears a Simmons 4-12x scope and can be guaranteed to put 5 shots into 1.5" at 100m with a small amount of effort on my part. The load is a home rolled one - 52gn BTHP Hornady over 23gns of Mulwex AR2206 (an Australian powder - yep I'm from the Land Down 'Unda).

I've taken game from rabbit to 150kg wild boar without too much worry, with the 52gn load. I'm a keen bowhunter and stalk to within 50m of most game taken. But I don't feel too inadequate if I have to take a shot at 200m.

So, don't think you're doing yourself out by not going to a 22-250. Why bother with a big powder burning loudenzeboomer that is going to scare every bit of game out of your neck of the woods when you squeeze that trigger. The .223 is a good cartridge and will please you with it's capabilities. But, please don't fall into the trap of pushing the poor bugger well beyond it's design capabilities.

Good luck with your choice and it's just that, your choice. Cheers mate!

-- Rod A (, June 12, 2002.

Thanks for the information!

-- oskar (, May 03, 2002.

it depends on shot placment and bullet type,most varmint bullet are made to do as much damage as possible,but there are fmj's to be used when i dont want pelt damage,and if you get the velocity worked out right, hp's will expand a little but not do a lot of extra damage,i have shot groundhogs with seirra 40gr hps at 3200fps and have pass through and not a whole lot of damage, bobby

-- bobby (, April 28, 2002.

Not Bobo, I meant Bobby! It's getting late... =(

-- Oskar (, April 27, 2002.

Bobo, have you been game hunting with the .223 (not just varminting)? Everyone I've spoken to says that it would destroy the meat almost entirely in a small game like a hare. What is your opinion on that?

-- Oskar (, April 27, 2002.

"It takes two men and a boy to pull the trigger!" *LOL* That one was good! :) Thanks for warning me! About the 22-250 have heard that it wears out the bore a lot faster than the .223 so the 223 seems more economical

Best regards /Oskar

-- Oskar (, April 22, 2002.

if you can shoot good enough with the savage factory trigger you are a good man indeed!i'm not kidding it has to be around 8lbs,it takes two men and a boy to pull it,you can get them to abpout 4lbs with carefull work,and thats a good hunting weight pull,i put about 2lbs on my varmint rifles,bench rifle 2oz,you only have to think "go off"and it does,but thats way,way too light for a carry rifle,i do know varmint hunters who do go that light,but i dont trust it in a hunting rifle,the sharp shooter is the best of the after market savage triggers,by far!good shooting!bobby

-- bobby (, April 18, 2002.

Hay if you're looking for a very accurate gun go with the 22-250 in the Rem. 700 VS. Right out of the box i was shooting .5 inch groups at 100M. After handloading I was able to drop that down the one very tight ragged hole. I then increased my distance and had a wonderful day shooting .75 inch at 400m. (conditions: no wind or marage,77F,at dusk). Very unbelieveable! But every gun is different. Good Luck on your pick.

-- Dean (, April 17, 2002.

Thanks for your answer Bobby!

And congratulations to the grandson! I hope everything will sort out fine with the little one!

I'm thinking about the combination savage 12 FV and the choate varminter stock. Perhaps the trigger should be replaced? I read on the savage page that their 12 VSS has a sharpshooter trigger instead of the standard one, perhaps that would be a good alternative if the trigger needs upgrading? (I've never been very "trigger sensitive", when friends complain about lousy triggers and I test their rifles, I often isn't bothered by a hard or jerky trigger, and so far it seems like I get their guns to group a little better, a nice feeling! :) So therefore I really feel like getting an accurate rifle of my own... I have been using my marlin leveraction and an old german army 8mm centerfire with open iron sights (non adjustable!) so far... It's been kind of challenging not to get better stuff, since my hunting results been ok anyway, but now the competitor in me start wanting to compete a little with the other guys...)

Best regards Oskar

-- Forrester (, April 16, 2002.

nope your not dreaming,you should be more than capable of a hare headshot at 200meters,if you do your part and ammo is up to it,i got under 1inch groups at 200yds with handloads and a good scope,if you cant see it you cant shoot it!i think the triggers are bad but far from the worst,and can be worked on a little and made usable,is it going to be a match trigger?no,but as a hunting trigger,no problem,but make sure you know what you are doing,or take it to someone who does!as for the stocks they aint great but again for hunting they are just fine,the forend is a little soft for use with a bipod,but i stiffend mine up by bedding in a steel rod,not hard to do,you can buy aftermarket stocks and triggers,but your drop another $300 u.s. here for the stuff,but you end up with a realy good rifle.that will(imho)out shoot a lot of other rifles in the price range(parts included),or with a little work and $50(if you have to take it to someone for the trigger job,about $35 around here),and have a rifle that should do anything you ask it to,imho a .223 is a great round for varminting and range work,ammo is not to high and some really good can be had, ,have no fear of the savage12 it is a very good rifle for the money,bobby sorry it took so long to reply my daughter had a little boy a couple of weaks ago and the little guy is having a few problems,and cant seem to get out of the hospital,so i,m kinda been runing around a little,bobby

-- bobby (, April 15, 2002.


I'd rather pick the 22-250 or 220 swift, but I think the .223 is a better choice for me, since I don't handload and are on a small budget. I've thinking really hard about the savage rifles, but have heard a lot of negative opinions on the their synthetic stock and their triggers. What do you think about these features? Is it crap and needs upgrading, or are they ok? I would appreciate opinions about the combination hares/.223. Am I a dreamer if I think hare hunting with headshots at 100-150 meter is possible, without big risks in hurting the animals? I use to hunt hares with an old marlin lever repeater, which certainly is no "straight shooter", I don't like shooting att longer distances than 50 m, since I want to be really sure that I don't hurt the animals, but I'm really sick and tired of destroying meat. Head-/neck- shots would be perfect... When it comes to the varminting part, I will mainly hunt crows. That would a real challenge, to try to shoot them att 100, perhaps even 200 meters... :)


-- Zealot (, April 10, 2002.

shoot outs in Guns and Ammo (July 2001) gave the accuracy award to the .223 chambered Savage 12..which i have been eyeballing for a while..looks like a great gun.

-- Jon (, April 10, 2002.

i have had the vls and a savage112,i give the fit and finish to the remington and the accuracy to the savage,have not tried the winchester,the remington started out between .75" and 1." after having the bolt laped and trued and a little more tinkering it got to .5" the savage did .5 out of the box(with handloads).you might want to think about 22-250 for a varmint round,does quite a bit better than .223,but does require more powder,and with that does have more recoil and blast,but it aint much,bobby

-- bobby (, April 09, 2002.

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