Savage Mark II FVXP 26721 22 LR


22 LR bolt-action rifle is a staple in any gun safe. These low-recoil, inexpensive-to-shoot guns are great training rifles and fun plinkers. They also make great small-game hunting rifles. We wanted to take a look at how a pair of affordable, inexpensive rifles would compare to two premium rifles costing double and triple what the price of the affordable guns were and see if we could assess a Best Buy rating. Or, would the premium guns so knock our socks off that we’d recommend one of the more expensive firearms as an Our Pick.

The premium guns consisted of the Bergara BMR ($650) and Ruger’s American Rimfire Target ($505), and the two affordable rifles were the Savage MK II FVXP ($305) and Mossberg’s 802 Plinkster ($190). Three of the four 22 LR bolt-actions were equipped with an 18-inch barrel and were optics ready. The Savage came with a factory mounted scope and a 21-inch barrel. The Bergara, Ruger, and Mossberg all handled like carbines, while the Savage handled more like a rifle. Standard equipment among all four rifles were sling swivel studs onto which you could also mount a bipod on the front stud if you so desired, a protruding cocking indicator, two-position manual safety, and removable box magazines of either steel or polymer. We wanted to see if paying extra for a 22 LR rifle translated into better performance. Our success criteria were accuracy and ease of use.

The Savage came with a factory-mounted Weaver 3-9x40mm SFP scope. The clarity was good, and the reticle was a simple Duplex shape, which Weaver calls a Dual-X reticle. The Weaver and the Savage worked well together. A Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32mm rimfire SFP scope ($179; was mounted with Vortex Pro Series 1-inch medium-height rings ($79; for the Bergara and the Ruger. The rings used on the Mossberg were NCStar 3⁄8-inch dovetail 1-inch rings ($13; The clarity in the Vortex scope was very sharp, noticeably better than the Weaver scope. A V-Plex MOA reticle, similar to a simple Duplex reticle, was inside the Vortex’s tube.

How We Tested

We bored-sighted the Vortex scope on the Bergara, Mossberg, and Ruger. The Savage was bore-sighted at the factory. Using a range bag as a rest, we zeroed for 50 yards and commenced accuracy testing. Ammunition consisted of Winchester Xpert HV with a 36-grain HP bullet, a hot Aguila Supermaximum cartridge loaded with a 30-grain copper-plated solid bullet, the classic Remington Thunderbolt with a 40-grain lead roundnose bullet, and the hot CCI Velocitor round using a 40-grain copper-plated hollow point.

The plain Savage muzzle is crowned.

We also used two new toe bags under our rifles because our sand-filled gym sock gave up the ghost. The CVLife ($23; rear squeeze bag is made of 1000-denier polyester so it should survive frequent use. It came with a pouch pre-filled with plastic beads that is accessible through a zipper so you can remove it and add sand or whatever fill you want. The bag is designed in the shape of rectangular pancake and offers different heights for different needs. We liked this bag because it was very light weight and had enough give so you could squeeze it to adjust your sight picture. The OneTigris bag ($17; is made of 500D Cordura nylon and also come pre-filled with lightweight plastic pellets, but there is no zipper to remove, add, or exchange the fill. We found this bag had less give and was too hard to squeeze to adjust elevation. With use it started to give, but we wanted more give so that when we squeezed it, it would suit our aiming needs. The OneTigris is shaped like a cylinder and offered fewer height options than the CVLife bag. Both bags had Velcro straps so you can attach them to your gear.

After sending plenty of lead down range and sweeping up plenty of 22 rimfire empties, we found that both the Ruger and Bergara are quality-built rifles with better overall accuracy and more features than the Savage and Mossberg, hence the price difference. But they were very different products themselves; the Bergara is ultra lightweight, and the Ruger is heavy. Price, however, was not a requirement for accuracy, as we found with the inexpensive Mossberg. There is a lot to like about these rifles for any budget.

Savage Mark II FVXP 26721 22 LR



The Mark II had good accuracy and a clean breaking trigger. This is a good, low-cost training rifle and plinker. Worth the money, especially when you count the included Weaver optic. 

Action Type Bolt, 60-degree lift
Overall Length 39.5 in.
Barrel 21.0 in., 1:16 in. twist
Muzzle Device None
Sights Factory-mounted optic
Overall Height w/o scope 9.0 in.
Weight Unloaded w/o scope 6.2 lbs.
Weight Loaded w/o scope 7.4 lbs.
Stock Synthetic, OD green
Stock Length of Pull 13.5 in.
Stock Buttplate Serrated plastic
Action Finish Matte blued
Barrel Finish Matte blued
Magazine (1) Detachable steel box, 10 rounds
Trigger Pull Weight 2.1 lbs.
Safety Manual thumb
Accuracy Guarantee NA
Warranty One-Year
Telephone (800) 370 0708
Made In USA

The Savage came with a factory-mounted Weaver scope, making it good-to-go out of the box. The OD-green polymer stock is checkered in the grip areas, and the 21-inch tapered barrel is free floated. The buttplate was plastic and not as well fitted as we would like, but passable for the cost. The Savage was the longest rifle tested and handled more like a centerfire rifle due to its length. It weighed close to 6 pounds with the scope. Shouldering the MK II, it felt a tad small for an adult, even with the 13.5-inch length of pull, but it was still usable and comfortable.

The MK II was equipped with Savage’s excellent AccuTrigger that is adjustable. The sample was set at 2.1 pounds and that was fine, more than fine.

The rifle feeds from a steel magazine shaped like a black banana that looks like it was designed when Cadillacs still had tail fins. Other than its looks, we had no complaints because it worked well, with no issues. The only thing we didn’t like is that it protruded out of the bottom of stock, requiring us to readjust the rifle on the bag. Plus, the mag protrudes in the spot you carry the rifle in the field. Not a deal breaker. We would buy 5-round magazines if we owned this rifle and wanted to shoot off a bag or hunt afield. The magazine release is a tab of bent stamped steel that is purely utilitarian, but functional.

The manual thumb safety is located on the right side of the receiver and is easily manipulated with the thumb of a right-handed shooter.

The action was stiff until we started to crank it. After about 200 rounds, it started to smooth up. We liked that the small bolt knob was well clear of the scope’s eye piece when we were cycling the rifle.

Settling behind the Savage, we found we still needed to tweak the zero, and that was easy enough with the Weaver scope. The turrets are covered. Underneath the caps, the direction was clearly marked and easily rotated. The smallest group was shot with 40-grain Remington Thunderbolt ammo and measured 0.57 inch. Muzzle velocity averaged 1171 fps. We assumed the Savage would have slightly higher muzzle velocities than the other rifles due to the longer tube, but that was not the case. The Bergara and Ruger averaged higher muzzle velocities. The hot CCI Velocitor cranked out the 40-grain bullet on average at 1412 fps and gave a best group that measured 0.58 inch. Nice groups for an inexpensive rifle. With the 36-grain Winchester Xpert HV and the 30-grain Aguila Supermaximum, the performance was not as spectacular, with smallest groups measuring 0.92 inch and 1.98 inches, respectively. Average group size across all ammo was 1.16 inches.

Our Team Said: The MK II FVXP is a low-cost combo rifle/scope suitable for a shooter not wanting to bother with choosing or mounting a scope. The Savage is well suited for new shooters on a budget or experienced shooters who want an inexpensive training rifle. For the cost, this Savage offers a lot of value, and it is good to go out of the box.

Winchester Xpert HV 36-grain HP Bergara BMR Mossberg 802 Plinkster Savage Mark II FXP Ruger American
Average Velocity 1260 fps 1176 fps 1286 fps 1304 fps
Muzzle Energy 127 ft.-lbs. 111 ft.-lbs. 132 ft.-lbs. 136 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group 0.38 in. 0.40 in. 0.92 in. 0.95 in.
Average Group 0.55 in. 1.01 in.1.13 in. 1.03 in.
Aguila Supermaximum 30-grain Copper Plated Solid Bergara BMR Mossberg 802 Plinkster Savage Mark II Precision Ruger American
Average Velocity 1648 fps 1527 fps 1617 fps 1589 fps
Muzzle Energy 181 ft.-lbs. 155 ft.-lbs. 174 ft.-lbs. 186 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group 0.50 in. 0.40 in. 1.98 in. 0.77 in.
Average Group 0.67 in. 1.05 in. 2.14 in. 0.82 in.
Remington Thunderbolt 40-grain LRNBergara BMR Mossberg 802 Plinkster Savage Mark II Precision Ruger American
Average Velocity 1264 fps 1089 fps 1171 fps 1283 fps
Muzzle Energy 142 ft.-lbs. 104 ft.-lbs. 122 ft.-lbs. 146 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group 0.72 in. 0.93 in. 0.57 in. 1.16 in.
Average Group 0.73 in. 1.04 in. 0.65 in. 1.19 in.
CCI Velocitor 40-grain Copper Plated HP Bergara BMR Mossberg 802 Plinkster Savage Mark II Precision Ruger American
Average Velocity 1464 fps 1322 fps 1412 fps 1434 fps
Muzzle Energy 190 ft.-lbs. 155 ft.-lbs.177 ft.-lbs. 183 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group 0.57 in. 1.03 in. 0.58 in. 0.69 in.
Average Group 0.59 in. 1.65 in. 0.73 in. 0.71 in.

To collect accuracy data, we fired five-shot groups from a bench using a rest. Distance: 50 yards. Velocities were recorded using a ProChrono digital chronograph set 15 feet from the muzzle. 


Written and photographed by Robert A. Sadowski, using evaluations from Gun Tests Team members. GT

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Robert Sadowski
Having been trained by many top-shelf handgun, shotgun, AR carbine, and long-range shooting instructors, Robert Sadowski brings a user's perspective to Gun Tests. He has authored and edited 15 books on firearm values, firearm disassembly and assembly, and gun guides. His Book Of Glock (Skyhorse Publishing) debuted as an Amazon #1 New Release and is a must-read for the Glock enthusiast. His latest book, 9MM - Guide to America's Most Popular Caliber (Gun Digest Books), is an indispensable resource on the 9mm and understanding the cartridge's performance for concealed carry, home defense, or competition. Over the past two decades, Sadowski has written for many magazines and websites, including,,, and more. His print work has appeared in Combat Handguns, Ballistic, Real World Survivor, Guns Digest, Guns of the Old West, SHOT Business, and more. He is currently the Treasurer/Secretary of the Glock Collectors Association. After receiving an MA from New York University, he worked for a number of magazine publishers and advertising agencies. Sadowski is a lifelong hunter, competitive shooter, and native of Connecticut. He now lives in North Carolina to take full advantage of our 2nd Amendment privilege.


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