Review: Savage 12FV in .223


March 17, 2003, 06:41 AM
Just picked up a Savage 12FV in .223, 20 inch heavy barrel, accutrigger, factory synthetic stock. $399 new.

The rifle has a decent finish, smooth bolt and ugly, cheap synthetic "Ram-Line" style stock. Stock does it's job and doesn't interfere with action, but is rather homely.

Out of box, while breaking barrel in, I got light primer strikes, disassembled bolt to find FP and Channel a bit rough, so I polished those and now function is 100%. That's the only bad out of box. The barrel has a 1:9 twist.

I put Weaver 2-piece bases on and topped it with a fixed power 8x56 Tasco World Class with 3-bar Ajack reticle (simple scope, my favorite for hunting).

The new Accutrigger lives up to it's hype. It came out of box at it's lowest setting which measures just a hair over 1.5 lbs and it's crisp and light - very very little creep. Breaks very nice. The safety "Accurelease" (in the center of the trigger) does take getting used to, but after shooting a while, it seems very natural. It does it's would be very hard to fire this rifle without your finger on the trigger even with safety off and loaded.

The rifle is not really heavy for all that barrel, and it's balanced fairly well. I could hold offhand shots with some accuracy, and the bolt is smooth and easy - allowed a pretty fast follow up without relenquishing cheek weld.

I tested 3 ammos in the rifle. First, Remington Supreme match, 62grain JHPBT. The best of the ammo shot through it, it grouped a best .75" at 100 yards, without the flyer might have been closer to .375". Average 5-shot group was just a hair under 1".

The next ammo was Winchester X SBT, 55gr. It did very well spare some really bad flyers. Several groups were sub MOA except for a single flyer, which stretched the groups out to 2" or worse. Noticed some of the bullets were visibly seated "crooked", and this is likely the culprit.

Then, third ammo was Lake City surplus. This was decent ammo, shot a consistent 1.25" groups at 100 yards.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this rifle. For the price, I don't think you can beat it. The trigger is good enough I don't see a need to replace it, and other than the stock, it's a very slick and accurate rifle. In more accomplished hands, I think it'd be a very formidable tack-driver.

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March 17, 2003, 10:55 AM
swingset: Thanks for the great review! I used to own a 12FV but sold it and have kicked myself ever since. Great target or varmint rifle. Was that a typo about the barrel length? Mine had a 26" heavy barrel and the one in your picture looks longer than 20".

March 17, 2003, 05:35 PM
I was thinking of getting one of these new accutrigger rifles. I was wondering though, my old savage has a plastic triggerguard, have they gone over to metal?

Looks like a sweet piece, I'm a little envious.

March 17, 2003, 08:19 PM
The trigger guard is least on my rifle.

The barrel, as mentioned above, is indeed 26", not 20". I typo'd.

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