Few tools are as indispensable to the hunter as is an accurate.22 LR rifle. With one, even a nimrod can bag delectable table fare, depopulate the pasture of pests, and hone marksmanship skills quietly and inexpensively. The bolt-action Savage Arms B22 Precision reviewed here, is an exemplar rimfire rifle for the tasks above.
Made in Canada, Savage Arms’ B22 Precision more resembles a centerfire rifle than a rimfire. That’s due to the barreled action being affixed (via two screws) to a one-piece Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) chassis, CNC-machined from a billet of 6061-T6 aluminum, and finished in black. M-Lok-pattern slots are machined into the sides and bottom of the 1⅝ -inch-wide, flat-base foreend, for nigh endless customization. A sling-swivel stud is found there too. The magazine well is side-relieved for easy access.
Moving rearward, there’s an oversized polymer trigger guard and an exchangeable, AR-15-type pistol grip. The grip is thin near the top, ideally positioning the thumb and trigger finger, and there’s a palm-filling swell, too. Personally, I believe there’s no need to change it. Rearward of the grip is the adjustable cheek piece to customize comb height. Two finger-tightened screws hold it in place once set. The butt has a recess for the non-firing hand to provide additional support, and it’s capped with a soft, ¾-inch-thick recoil pad. For the chambering, however, this is hardly necessary, as recoil is negligible. From the factory, the length of pull (LOP) is 13¾ inches, but can be shorted down to 12¾ inches.
Made from round, carbon-steel bar stock, the B22 Precision’s blued receiver has flats machined near the top on both sides—an aesthetically pleasing touch. Topping the receiver is a one-piece Picatinny rail, with a cutout that complements the ejection port. The 18-inch heavy-contour carbon-steel barrel is devoid of sights, and threaded to accept a sound suppressor. A flush-fitting, thread-protecting cap is provided for when a “can” isn’t employed.
The blued-steel bolt has dual extractors and a handle ending in an oversize knob. Deep groves enhance purchase. Ejection is via a fixed ejector, while feeding the B22 Precision is a detachable, 10-round-capacity, rotary magazine.
As you’d expect, the rifle’s go switch is the timeless AccuTrigger, which is user adjustable. With a creep-free pull weight of 1 pound, 15.7 ounces though, there was no need to tweak the factory setting. Lastly, the two-position safety is found on the tang.
Testing Even before heading to the range for accuracy testing, I knew the test rifle’s capabilities, as well as its likes and dislikes. How? In full disclosure, I had previously used the rifle for several ammunition-specific articles; in fact, I had fired more than 2,000 rounds across all price points and velocities in a range of conditions. That wasn’t by coincidence, either; rather, the B22 Precision’s top-tier accuracy made it a no-brainer for testing ammunition.
To evaluate accuracy for this review, I opted to top the rifle with a Bushnell AR Optics 4.5X-18X-40mm scope, and install a YHM .22 Mite sound suppressor. For ammunition, I selected two top-class match loads—Lapua Midas+ 40-grain LRN and Eley Match 40-grain LFN—as well as a proper hunting option, CCI’s extra-quiet Suppressor .22 LR 45-grain subsonic hollow point. I also had a handful of assorted, remnant ammunition for function testing.
Firing from a Caldwell Lead Sled Solo at 50 yards, the most accurate load proved to be that from Lapua, which averaged 0.41-inch for five consecutive, five-shot groups. The smallest group measured 0.31-inch. Before being enlarged by the subsequent two rounds, though, the first three bullets in that cluster measured 0.025-inch center to center. Yeah, it’s accurate. Eley Match also grouped tightly, averaging 0.44-inch for all 25 shots. CCI was just shy of 1 inch.
Accuracy testing was followed by chronographing and checking for function. From the rifle’s 18-inch barrel (sans suppressor), the Lapua, Eley and CCI loads had mean velocities—as calculated by a Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph—of 1045 fps, 1073 fps and 956 fps, respectively. Of the assorted .22 LR ammunition utilized, only two loads had malfunctions in the B22 Precision: Fiocchi Performance Shooting Dynamics 40-grain LHP and Winchester M-22 Subsonic Black CPRN. These two had proven to be incompatible previously, as well.
With a scope-less weight of 7.38 pounds, the B22 Precision is no lightweight. That’s a non-issue for me—I don’t mind toting it when hunting small game or varmints, but others might find it a tad too heavy for such pursuits. Nonetheless, it assuredly would be pure poison from the bench on a prairie dog town, or waiting on a field edge for groundhogs to emerge. The test rifle has already accounted for one oversize Virginia woodchuck, cleanly taken at 122 yards.
Savage Arms’ long-standing ability to create superbly accurate, reliable, and well-apportioned rifles at affordable prices is on full display with the B22 Precision. With an MSRP of $599, it’s a great value.
Accuracy Results: Savage B22 Precision .22 LR
Group Size (Inches)
CCI Suppressor .22 LR Subsonic HP
Eley Match LFN
Lapua Midas+ LRN
Outdoors, Caldwell Lead Sled Solo, 50 Yards, Five-Shot Groups