Project 22lr BR Savage

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  • Project 22lr BR Savage


    Thought I would document the progress of my little Savage Mk 2 and its slow transformation from $280 rabbit / plinking rifle to hopefully a reasonably competitive BR/Fly rifle.

    I will first mention that this is going to be a large thread with lots of info that I have collected over the time I have owned this rifle.
    Some of this content is content I have posted on other websites and also typed with different mindsets .
    That being the case some info maybe in detail, some may not.
    If more information is required please feel free to ask and I will tell you what I know.

    Also I better ad a disclaimer that I am not a gunsmith and this information is not a guide and should not be followed and is to be taken with a grain of salt.

    The build has not been finsihed yet.
    I still have to :

    * Re barrel
    *True action
    *Finish and paint stock
    *Fit a better scope mounting system
    *Perhaps the addition of a barrel tuner

    Money is tight so things may be slow ! So far this project has costed very little and I hope to have a finished scoped and very accurate rifle for around $1000

    Anyway here we go.....

    Basicly the rifle started as a stainless steel Savage Mk2 22lr in the black tupperware stock.
    I purchased the rifle second hand for $450 fitted with rings and a Leupold VX1 3-9x40

    The rifle as is did not shoot too bad. It was very light and using Winchester Z's it was busting bunnies out to 70m.
    Although the standard stock functioned fine I was not happy with the feel and it was almost too light which I found hard to control.
    I turned to the cheapest option and purchased a Boyds stock for $150 delivered. After looking at the choice of colours for a while I decided to not play it safe and ordered the colour " Applejack" as I wanted a rifle that would look a little different.

    After a week or so the stock arrived and I was very happy with the way it was made and the finish.
    What I was unsure about was the colour as it was very pink compared to the red that it appeared on the website.
    Anyway I fitted the stock and decided to live with it as it looked ok (great for a ladies rifle :P )

    The Boyds stocks require a new trigger guard and longer action screws.
    I was very lucky and found a Gregt Australian made trigger guard and for the action screws I drilled and taped the existing holes to M6x1.
    I am yet to purchase new bolts with nicer looking heads.
    I also purchased a 3mm Stainless steel magazine plate off forum member "Doc hollowpoint" which not only looks the part but also helps the rifles bedding ten fold.

    The rifle came with a broken front site. This plus the fact that the factory crown was very poor I decided to take the barreled action to work and chop the front dovetail slot off and ad a 11deg target crown. With some time and effort I had the bore dialed in to 0.0005" and I very slowly and carefully parted off and cut the new crown. Before removing from the lathe I also used a little valve grinding paste to de bur the muzzle.

    The next stage I did some work on the trigger . Unfortunately I did not take any pics as I was very focused on not stuffing things up.
    Basically I followed this great thread

    These mods work very well and with a little playing of my own I have achieved a trigger that breaks at around 4-5 ounces and function fine with the bolt being slammed closed. The trigger will adjust lighter but it becomes a little annoying to use as the sear slips when closing the bolt in a hurry.

    After all this mucking around I took the rife for a shoot and things had improved a fair bit and making very small groups using CCI SV HP.
    Whilst the rifle shot well that day I did discover that the bedding had major issues as I was able to move the action and barrel side to side.
    Tightening the action screws more was not a option due to the design of the stock and only resulted in cracking sounds and bending of wood in the stock.

    This inspired the nest stage and that is to glass and pillar bed the stock.
    (Copy and paste from another forum)

  • #2
    Thought I would share the process of fully bedding a Mk2 Savage rifle.
    Since the move I do not have the mills lathes and materials I used to play with so this has been true back yard style job and only using a few hand tools.

    Owners of a Savage MK2 in a Boyds stock will know how poor the bedding is as the action can be pushed around and action screws can only be tightened very lightly before cracking and flexing sounds begin to happen.

    Tools: file, knife, flat blade screw driver,heaps of cotton buds and a couple of rags.

    Materials: A M8 Nylock nut, 3 thick M6 washers, Dark grey Devcon, Kiwi boot polish. I also suggest the purchase of a 3mm Stainless steel bottom metal from forum member "Dc hollowpoint" this gives a much stronger surface to bolt to.

    Method: Like I said this was back yard style and I was simply bored and needed something to do.

    First assess what the weak spots are and what needs to be bedded.

    In the pic you will see that the wood between the bottom metal where the front action screw pases through is very thin and weak.
    This was my main cause of concern and the main reason I started bedding the rifle.

    Please note the gap in the second photo , this is the really bad part of these stocks, with out bedding that is a real crush zone.

    Pillar: I found a M8 nylock nut and discovered it was a match made in heaven with the stock, the hole is big, and it firmly slides into place.

    Chuck the nut into the place and sit the action into the stock on top of the pillar and look at how high the action is sitting out of the stock.
    File the nut down until the action is just floating along the sides of the stock.

    In the rear I used washers as they were a better fit and I gave one a file to create a level bedding surface between the two points.
    I found when adding more washers bolting the rifle together and than shaking it determined if more washers were needed.
    Stack them up until no more rattles are heard and then file back down until a level fit like this.

    From there a small plaster dame to hold the epoxy and then the fun begins.
    I epoxied the the washers by layers and then dumped the remainder at the end to fill the gaps.
    The front pillar I applied a little bit to the stock and then pushed the nut into position and filled the gaps with some extra Devcon.

    I left this to dry as is for 2 hours.


    • #3
      next I did the remainder of the bedding. I was a little slack with photos here sorry.

      Cover the action with Kiwi boot polish. This is the release agent and will stop the rifle from being glued into the stock.

      From there I applied some devcon on top of my two new pillars and then ran devon along both sides of the receiver and what I will call the recoil lug area at the front (yes there is no recoil lug)

      Now just bolt the sucker in with kiwi covered action screws tighten just enough to see the stock and action push the devcon back out the top a little.

      Now clean up... lots of cotton buds and wipe all clean , do not panic with devcon it is great to use and from bad experiences I will never use any other brand. Working time is a easy 45 mins. You will only require about 10 of those minutes.

      Once cleaned up leave it to dry for 16-24 hours.

      Once returned remove the action screws and bump the butt of the rifle on the ground a few times. Then carefully try and remove the action from the stock.

      If things are going well it will come out. If not dont panic just yet and place the whole lot in a freezer large enough. (might be worth asking your mates if they have a chest freezer as back up />/> ) Once chilled things should come apart.

      This is a plan B and dont let it discourage you ! Its just a tip I read somewhere before you get the hammer out and butcher a perfectly good bedded stock.

      This was the result.

      Now the rifle is fully pillar and glass bedded.
      Action screws can be tightened to 35 inchpounds with no creaking and action has no wobble.
      I will post accuracy results soon.

      easy job to do, just keep your cool and dont rush.

      The next thing I will mention is once I bedded the rifle I discovered another MK2 problem...
      Testing the bedding I found that the barrel moved in the receiver />/> These barrels press in and have 2 pins to hold them in place. This could be felt and seen when looking closely at the mating parts under a good light. Another way to test this is to place the action in the bench vice and twist the barrel. With mine I could get it to turn a little.

      MY fix... Which I later discovered was the right thing to do is to pour some devcon/ or green loktite into the gap and leave to set.

      This worked a treat and every thing in the rifle has gone from sloppy to nice and firm.

      Hope thats some help and go give it a go! worst case scenario you order a new cheap Boyds....


      • #4
        From here I decided that this rifle could use a new shape to the stock seeing that it will be only used at the range and off a joystick rest and rear bag,
        I am still going though the process of transforming it but I am happy to say it is almost ready for paint.

        Here is another copy and past on what I have been doing.
        I apologist if some of the information is not in content with this thread.

        I have slowly been chipping away at the stock and trying to make something that will track well on the rest and bag.
        I am not a wood worker , as a matter of fact I am terrible at it! I get shits trying to make things symmetrical on both sides.

        A perfectly good rifle stock

        Stage 1 chipping away some wood. This has been my favorite part so far as I enjoy how fast you can remove material

        The new 3" forend screwed into place

        After a few messy coats of bog.

        Getting a rough shape and filing back to find the edge of the ply wood to use as my datam points.
        I forget to get more pics of this stage. I filed the bog back to get a basic rough finished shape.

        Another thin coat of bog to fill the low spots after I was satisfied with the basic shape.

        From here I plan to file and fill until I have the shape with no low spots.
        I am getting this stock and my Savage 12's stock painted in VE Commodore dark green as I feel it will look the part on stainless barrels and actions. The panel beater that is doing the job advised me not to go overboard as they will re do all my hard work yet failed efforts :lol: So What I guess I am trying to achieve is get the stock to a point where it dose not cost a fortune in panel beater fees getting into shape and yet I dont want to waste my time when it is going to be altered by the pro's anyway.


        • #5
          After many many hours of my amateur work I nearly have the stock ready for some top coats.
          I have considered doing all the paint myself but after the pain it has caused me this far doing the prep I am happy to pass it over to the pros and let them do there magic for the $150.

          Here is the stock in its final stage ready to be sent off

          And also some pics of the little Redfield 6-18x44 that I picked up for $200
          Not a bad scope at all for the money !

          Well thats it for now.
          I will be sure to post more once I find some cash and proceed to the next stages.
          Also a range report will come soon.




          • BlueBikesBlackGuns
            BlueBikesBlackGuns commented
            Editing a comment
            After such a detailed thread I feel silly to ask....

            but does the scope touch the barrel?

        • #6
          great thread john and thanks for all the pics

          it's hard to tell from the pics but do you have a straight section on the forend bottom plate?



          • Guest's Avatar
            John23 commented
            Editing a comment
            Sorry Steve I dont follow?

            Do you mean a parallel section at the widest point?
            If so yes. If not please explain?


        • #7
          mate you have given me some ideas for my CZ452 varmint

          great thread


          • #8
            What do you plan to replace the factory barrel with?

            I recall a thread on another forum from you looking at 10/22 match barrels I am guessing for this project. I will be interested to see what avenue you take on that. Allen's Mark II with the Maddco barrel shoots as well as any top shelf rifle proving that great results are possible from the humble Mark II action.


            • allan
              allan commented
              Editing a comment
              I'll have to 'fess up and state that it cost me more than the cost of a new 54 sporter to get the Mark 11 to that point.
              I'll be interested to see how good the next one with a Maddco sporter profile barrel will be - I don't expect it to come close to the heavy barrel.
              John23, on the other hand, is a very clever fellow and may just surprise us all when he has his build finished.

          • #9


            I plan on using a Lothar Walther blank machined by Kidd. I am able to land this barrel for $280.
            From there all that is needed is to lengthen the shank and turn it down to match my factory barrel specs.
            A second extractor slot also has to be cut.

            These are all very simple and if all is well I hope will result in a accurate rifle.

            Price so far:

            Rifle including Leupold VX1 = $450
            Boyds stock =$150
            Devcon =$10
            Bog =$20

            Total = $630
            Sold scope for =$170
            Total for bare rifle as is =$460

            From there I added/will ad :
            Redfield 6-18x44 =$200
            Paint job =$150
            Barrel =$280
            mounts / Rings =$100

            Total cost scoped, painted, glass bedded, trigger job, custom barrel and action truing: $1190
            I think $890 for a custom barreled and pained bare rifle is pretty good considering some of the Mk2's cost $600+ from the factory.

            Sorry for the silly break down. I was sort of working out my cost and deductions as I went.
            You cant really purchase a annie for that so I am quite happy proving it shoots well.

            More to the point for $1200 od have given myself something to do and learn a little along the way.



            • Dozer
              Dozer commented
              Editing a comment
              Great bit of work .It would have been interesting to have seen how it shot before and is also surprising that the barrel was so loose in the action

          • #10
            Top work as always John, No doubt it'll be worth every cent.


            • #11
              Nice rifle and a good write up.
              I recently bought a Savage MK11 BTVS from the old forum which I intend to use for club 50 m. benchrest.(Thanks Anthony)
              I bought it less scope, and after a lot of head scratching, I have ordered a Mueller APV 4.5 - 14 x40 AO scope
              to suit.
              This is my second .22 and first ever scope. I bought my first 22 rifle, a Sportco ? bolt action, when I was seventeen, so 40 years ago.
              I can't wait to first get the damn thing, and then see if it shoots as good as it looks.

              Click image for larger version

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              He who has never made a mistake has never made anything.

              Many things have been developed by persons who were not smart enough to realize that they were impossible.