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Savage model 12 Varminter

Discussion in 'Long Guns' started by CaddmannQ, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    Bringing home the new baby:
    20170105_142705.jpg

    I have been looking at this rifle on the Shelf at the local gun store for over a year, waiting until I was ready to spend $1,200. I really lucked out because it just didn't sell and in time they dropped the price repeatedly until I took it out the door for $799.95!

    This is going to be the last long gun that I buy for a while, but have no pity on me: this is because my safe is so full I will have to sell something first to make room. Now brothers, if that's not a first-world problem I don't know what it is. :)

    But also this is because I have finally bought a gun that I think will lure me away from most of my other guns. This is the Savage Model 12 VLP (Varminter Low Profile.) This one is stainless steel with a heavy 24" fluted barrel, the Accutrigger, and the fancy laminated plywood stock. It has a nice rubber recoil pad too.
    1483763304243-1019373250.jpg
    It's chambered in .223 Rem.
    1483763264426-164693871.jpg
    This is the gun that I should have bought when I bought the AR-15, and because I have developed a love for the .223 cartridge, I think I'm going to enjoy it twice as much as an AR, and yet shoot 1/10 much ammo, and probably with ten times the effectiveness.
    1483763407681-974130588.jpg
    The bolt is engine turned and has the Savage logo etched with black chrome into it.
    That's one massive bolt handle too! That bolt could handle almost any caliber. The Locking lugs are huge, dwarfing the tiny .223 bolt face.

    14837635431841360435184.jpg

    14837636939381472368104.jpg 1483763979358-676119317.jpg
    The only thing I don't like about this rifle so far is that I want to buy more magazines but the magazines look really expensive!
    14837627654271924804187.jpg

    The top part is blued steel sheet metal but the bottom is investment cast stainless steel.

    I wouldn't want to carry this rifle around all day unless I needed some exercise, because at 10.2 lbs unloaded it is one heavy piece.

    Anyhow I'm hoping that the target performance of this thing will be exceptional once it's broken in and adjusted. I don't have a silver scope for it yet, and I have been shopping for one with very little success.
  2. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator Sponsor

    Messages:
    12,758
    That's a beautiful rifle! There were a couple people pushing me to get that one when I got the model 11 but I couldn't get close to the price. That's an excellent deal you got on that.

    You'll probably be making tiny little groups in no time!
  3. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    I hope so, and yes, I have prooved that patience pays off. If I had bought that rifle last year I would have paid almost $400 more.

    The price tag on it was $1195!

    I did get some Leupold scope bases and 1 inch rings, but not silver or SS. Just blued Steel.

    If I can find a suitable silver scope, I will brush finish the bluing off the rings etc and coat them with clear epoxy or silver Cerakote.
  4. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    I may have been lying when I said that this is the last one I'm going to buy for a while. The same shop has a beautiful Savage .22magnum, with the fancy plywood stock hand a heavy fluted bull barrel in gloss blue.

    They have dropped the price again and again and this gun is under $500.

    Since I own a WMR pistol, I thought it would be very nice to own a WMR rifle.

    But first I'm going to buy a scope for the .223 and we'll see if the price falls some more on that WMR.

    He also has a nice Mini 30 with a wood stock, and my buddy has been pushing me to buy it, but it's $1,400 and it shoots 7.62x39 AK rounds. I don't really think I want to stock another caliber.

    I can see myself wasting a lot of money on ammo with that gun.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  5. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    Well I took the gun apart and cleaned it up inside, which is not to say that it was dirty, but inside of the stock needed to be waxed, and I had not yet cleaned and oiled the bore. I always find that the inside of the stocks need to be oiled or waxed up heavily, as by the time I get a hold of a gun they've often started to dry out a little bit.

    The inletting on this gun looks really nice. 20170107_220011.jpg
    There is a generous bedding block on the receiver, that fits into that slot ahead of the frontmost screw.

    While most of this gun is stainless there are some blued steel bits that need oiling occasionally, like the firing pin, the extractor and the Belleville spring on the bolt cushion device.

    Anyhow I oiled up the wood really nice inside and out with Howard's wood conditioner. I ran some solvent soaked patches through the bore and then ran several patches with anti-corrosion oil.

    20170107_220116.jpg
    The accutrigger is a marvel of fineblanked steel stampings amd finely balanced springs. Since you can set it so lightly, this gun has a dampener on the bolt to prevent the trigger from tripping if you slam the bolt home.
    20170107_212615.jpg
    Even if tripped, the trigger will not fire the gun unless your finger is on it. It has a blocking device, in addition to the 3-position safety, (which I have never seen before on a gun.)

    The middle position on the safety allows you to operate the bolt, but not the trigger, where the hot position allows either, and the safe position allows neither.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
    Rossignol likes this.
  6. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator Sponsor

    Messages:
    12,758
    The middle position also allows the bolt to be removed from the action by pressing the bolt release and safely pulling the trigger. I'm probably saying what you already know but in the event someone is reading who doesn't.
    CaddmannQ likes this.
  7. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

    Messages:
    15,803
    Pretty gun.

    Not much more cost than an AR with optics and mags and a few little mods here and there.

    As for savage, I like them. Matter of fact, I am wearing a savage outdoors baseball cap with indian head logo as I write this.

    I'm not trying to sway you away from the 22 magnum, but I am very fond of the mk 2 FV-SR model 22lr. Though I'm not sure if it could be imported into kali anymore since it has a threaded barrel and detachable magazines.

    The plastic stock is also pretty light, and it would be super if it was a little thicker plastic, but it works well for brush hunting in my woods.

    Fluted bull barrel, large bolt knob, built in scope rail on the receiver, accutrigger, etc. And did I mention it is a shooter?

    The other mk2 that I have, despite being a lot older and pretty basic model, is also very accurate and dependable.
  8. nitesite

    nitesite Average Guy Moderator "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    6,020
    What a fantastic rifle. Many features on it I did not even know existed.

    I would be extremely proud to own a similar one.

    Congrats.
    CaddmannQ likes this.
  9. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    2,213
    Start shooting tiny groups. Ready to see pictures of clover leavs. And remember, 3 shot groups don't count. Has to be 5
  10. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    Well I've already committed to start loading match-grade .223s for it and I'm out throwing money into the economy like I really want it to take off. All American made stuff too I'm really proud of the day.

    I picked up some titanium coated Hornaday .223 dies, and an expensive Lyman carbide case trimmer kit, a Lyman Pro 1200 case tumbler, some CCI primers, and some Hornaday SST 75 grain boat tail hollow points.

    I was going to buy lighter bullets, thinking more velocity, but I got those on the advice of a friend who said they would be much more stable down range.

    I haven't actually chosen the powder I want to use yet. I was going to start with Varget but they were out of it at the store. I thought I'd look for for recommendations here in the ammo reloading section.
  11. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    We own two Mk-II Savages already.
    ;)

    Mine is black with the bull barrel and my wife's is green with the varmint Barrel.

    When I wanted to get into bolt gun shooting that's the first gun I bought.
    20160309_105406.jpg
    This photo makes the barrel look about 12 inches long but I believe it's 16+.
    John A. likes this.
  12. nitesite

    nitesite Average Guy Moderator "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    6,020
    CaddmanQ

    What is the barrel rifling twist on that rifle?
  13. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    The stainless .223 is 1 in 9.
  14. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    2,213
    Your friend misinformed you. Not to say they won't shoot okay, but generally the heavier the bullet, the tighter the twist. They claim you need a 1-7 twist rate in the 70 grain range. I've had good luck with a 1-8. But everything shoots different. Load workup is half the fun. :)
  15. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    I don't know... maybe he was basing his opinion on less windage?

    I thought ARs always had those hot
    twists because the barrels were so short.

    This rifle has a 24" barrel by my measurements, although the website says it's 26": they must be including the chamber as well.

    I did check the twist on the barrel myself and it is definitely one in nine.
  16. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator Sponsor

    Messages:
    12,758
    I think 1:9 is still most common on ARs but more and more 1:8 is coming up. Some with 1:7 for heavier match and custom loads. I still use the 55 gr in my 1:9 20" barrel but I'd like to try some slightly heavier and some slightly lighter. The 55 gr is just the most common and the easiest to find without having to order something.
  17. nitesite

    nitesite Average Guy Moderator "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    6,020
    I try to stay with 55~68-gr bullets thru a 1:9" barrel. Barrel length doesn't matter. It's actually not even the WEIGHT of the bullet. It is the length of the bullet that determines how fast it must spin.
    John A. and Rossignol like this.
  18. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    Thank you Nitesite, that absolutely stands to reason, and these SSTs are very long bullets.

    To start out with I have some Factory Remington 55gn. Plus I have some 65 grain bullets already loaded by my buddy Bobby, which I have been shooting in the AR with only modest success. Mostly I attribute that to myself & my overall inexperience with the AR platform. Bobby's been reloading for 30 years. Those same rounds run great in his match grade AR. I banged 100 yard gong five out of five the first time I picked up that rifle. Also he had a terrific Nikon scope.

    But my AR was a low budget build that I bought for silly reasons and I'm not very good with it. I believe the Savage is much more my style of rifle.

    I'll think I'll need to shoot these SSTs pretty fast for stability. And they are heavy, so I'm looking at some hot charges to get them out 6 and 800 yards. The chamber on this rifle is about a half an inch thick so I think I'm going to be able to spin 'em pretty well. ;)

    I may blow up bullets and I may blow up shells but I don't think I'm going to blow up this gun.

    That being said, SOFAR, I don't see yet where Savage mentions the peak allowable pressures on this rifle. I'm betting that it's something awesome judging by the heft of the hardware.

    Now this is all probably moot 'till next week as we're scheduled to have continual rain. I'm not afraid of rain with a stainless steel gun, but I need better light to see the target well.

    EDIT...And a scope. I don't have one yet.
    Rossignol likes this.
  19. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    9,257
    What I do have is a hefty investment in reloading gear, and 50 shells ready to go, with another hundred fifty waiting in the tumbler.
    20170109_081429.jpg

    By the way this Lyman Universal case trimmer is awesome!

    20170109_080234.jpg
    Also very expensive but it was the only one Sportsman's Warehouse had in stock, except for an even more expensive electric model.

    I just realized that I have ammo, another reloading press, 9mm dies, and targets coming today UPS.
    Rossignol likes this.
  20. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    2,213
    Welcome to the reloading world..... :) it's an addicting hobby.
    CaddmannQ likes this.

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