Firearms

Range Report: Savage Model 93 .22 Magnum Rifle

Savage Model 93 .22 WMR with colored wood stock

The .22 Magnum cartridge was a bright and interesting addition to the rimfire world in 1959. The cartridge is a rimfire but a modern one. Unlike the .22 LR with its soft lead heel-based bullet, the .22 Magnum uses a jacketed bullet crimped in place. This makes for a stronger cartridge that is less subject to damage during the feed cycle or when carried in the pocket.

The .22 Magnum offers an edge in killing power over the .22 Long Rifle on small game and stretches the rimfire to larger game and varmints such as groundhogs, foxes, and even coyotes. Hollow point loads expand well. If hunting for pelts, a FMJ option is available.

Savage Model 93 Minimalist, left profile
This is the Savage Model 93 Minimalist version.

I grew up hunting with the .22 LR and only deployed the .22 Magnum later in life. I have always been interested in the cartridge but used it primarily in handguns. The bolt-action rifle illustrated is similar to the hunting rifles I grew up with. The Savage 93 is offered in several versions. My rifle is probably the plainest model with a black synthetic stock and iron sights.

Savage Model 93 Features

This is a bolt-action rifle with a two-position safety. The safety is either on or off, there is no mid position as on more expensive rifles. The rifle feeds from a detachable 5-round magazine. The overall length is 40 inches, and the rifle weighs a little over five pounds.

The 21-inch barrel is nicely balanced. The rife features the famous Savage Accu Trigger. The stock is plain but fits most shooters well. There is checkering located on the semi pistol grip and on the forend. If the rifle were a hard kicker, and it certainly isn’t, the stock would need a recoil pad.

For a rifle that cost less than $300, the Model 92 is well put together and operates smoothly. The receiver is the standard tubular type used in most modern bolt-action rimfire rifles. The bolt is smooth enough with a bolt throw that is fast and easily handled.

You don’t need much bolt travel with a .22 Magnum cartridge. The constant diameter bolt is rather simple in design. The bolt handle is only slightly curved. The handle isn’t checkered, but you don’t need that much leverage on a .22 rimfire, magnum or not. The bolt features dual extractors.

Savage Model 93 .22 Win Mag rifle with black synthetic stock, right profile
The author’s test gun is as plain as it gets.

For routine cleaning, the bolt is easily removed. Be certain the magazine is removed first. This is accomplished by pressing the magazine release.

Work the bolt to the rear and visually inspect the chamber to be certain it is empty. Move the safety forward while pressing the trigger fully to the rear. The bolt is pulled from the rear of the receiver. To replace the bolt simply press the trigger down as you slide the bolt in place.

While this is an inexpensive rifle, when I was hunting with rifles as a young man, I could not have had the AccuTrigger at any price. This is a great addition to any rifle, and I am glad to see that Savage has included the AccuTrigger — even in the inexpensive Model 93.

Savage Model 93 .22 WMR rifle in camo with riflesccope
This camo setup is rare but a very nice-looking setup.

Take-up is minimal with virtually no creep in the action. As it left the factory, the AccuTrigger broke an even three pounds and one ounce. I have not found the need to adjust the trigger.

The stamped steel magazine holds five .22 Magnum cartridges. To insert a loaded magazine, tip the front lip into the magazine well first, and then angle the rear in. Be certain the magazine is locked in place to ensure feed reliability.

upset .22 Win Mag bullet fragments and plastic insert
The .22 Magnum offers excellent utility for popping pests with the right load.

Occasionally, a box magazine needs a little tuning to feed properly. The Savage fed well. If your example does not, and the cartridge is feeding too quickly, close the feed ramps a little in a vise. If the bullet nose hits the feed ramp, open the feed lips again — a very little increment. If the magazine is dropped on the feed lips and damaged, it is easily repaired.

Accuracy Results

The rifle is supplied with useful iron sights. Even at this point — I am at Social Security age — I do not wear eyeglasses, save for reading. I grew up hunting with iron sights and enjoy them. To a point, and that point is 25 yards with a rimfire.

Fifty yards is a long stretch with iron sights when firing at small game. Just the same, firing from a solid benchrest at 50 yards provided some useful results. I adjusted the ladder sight up about three notches at 50 yards. Good muscle control is needed in not moving the rifle, and this is probably as important as the sight picture.

Locking the rifle tightly into an MTM K-Zone rest helped. I fired a good selection of ammunition in the rifle, as I had on hand a good bit of .22 Magnum ammunition, and I enjoy firing the rifle. Here are some of my results. Groups were measured in inches.

Loading

Velocity (FPS)

3-Shot Group – 25 Yards

3-Shot Group – 50 Yards

Hornady V Max 30-grain2,300.82.5
CCI Mini Mag 40-grain1,899.52.4
Winchester FMJ 40-grain1,876.92.3
Speer Gold Dot 40-grain1,9601.02.1
Hornady Critical Defense 45-grain1,799.51.95

I would say the rifle will easily stay in two inches, or a little less, at 50 yards with good ammunition, but it really needs optics at this range.

I conducted some water testing to gauge penetration and expansion. Coyotes are tough, stringy animals. You need a load with a good balance of expansion.

Load

Penetration

Expansion

Hornady Critical Defense 45-grain16 inches.36 inch
CCI Maxi Mag 40-grain13 inches.38 inch
Hornady V Max 30-grain7.5 inches.40 inch

With small game, less penetration is desirable. The Critical Defense is among a very few .22 Magnum loads designed for personal defense. For bigger varmints, it looks good. As an all-around flat-shooting load in the standard weight, the CCI 40-grain bullet looks good. The V Max is a great pest popper. Shot placement is critical, especially with predators versus varmints.

Specifications: Savage Model 93

Action: BoltRate of twist (in): 1 in 16
Barrel color: BluedReceiver color: Blued
Barrel finish: MatteFinish: Matte
Barrel length (in)/(cm): 21 / 53.340Receiver material: Carbon steel
Barrel material: Carbon steelType: Rimfire
Caliber: .22 WMRFront sights: Metal
Magazine capacity: 5Rear sights: Metal
Hand: RightStock color: Black
Length of pull (in)/(cm): 13.9 / 35.306Stock Finish: Matte
Magazine: Detachable, boxStock Material: Synthetic
Overall length (in)/(cm): 39.5 / 100.330Weight (lb)/(kg): 5 / 2.27
Savage Model 93 Specifications

Final Thoughts

During the firing tests, the Savage Model 93 proved accurate and reliable. It is quite useful in my neck of the woods. I would probably add an optic if I were to get serious about hunting with the rifle. However, it certainly is accurate enough for most uses to 25 yards or so. With a quality optic and a flat-shooting load, I think it would be a fine 100-yard varmint gun.

What’s your favorite .22 WMR rifle? How does it stack up against the Savage Model 93? Have you shot the Savage AccuTrigger? How do you feel the trigger compares to its competition? Share your answers in the comment section.

  • feed lips on a magazine
  • Bolt on a Savage Model 93 rifle in the rear/open position
  • ladder adjustable rear sight on a Savage rifle
  • thumb safety showing the red dot for fire
  • Magazine catch on the Savage Model 93
  • .22 Win Mag magazine for the Savage Model 93 rifle
  • blade-type trigger for the Savage AccuTrigger action
  • Savage Model 93 action, including AccuTrigger
  • Savage Model 93 .22 Win Mag rifle with black synthetic stock, right profile
  • upset .22 Win Mag bullet fragments and plastic insert
  • Savage Model 93 .22 WMR rifle in camo with riflesccope
  • Savage Model 93 with colored wood stock, right profile
  • Savage Model 93 Minimalist, left profile
  • Savage Model 93 .22 WMR with colored wood stock
  • Savage Model 93 .22 Win. Mag. with riflescope, right profile

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.


Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Handloader
Rifle Magazine
Handguns
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns



Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (13)

  1. I was just out shooting my Savage 93 F to day shot a 3/8″ group at 40 yards. who ever was shooting those groups better go back to school on how to shoot. My largest group was 3/4″ and that was with clod hands and the wind was picking up. I was using Federal 50 grain bulk pack ammo. Have had no problem with the mag or feeding problems. If the wind was down and not so cold would most likely have all groups under 1/2″

  2. Matthew

    Perhaps our experience differs. I have a Savage .22 made in the 1960s with a steel magazine

    It has been in use for some times and no magazine trouble. Trouble comes when the magazine is dropped.

    Thanks for reading

    Bob

  3. The Savage 93 series magazine does not rock into place.
    There is a slot in the back of the magazine that rides a tab in the magazine well, straight up into the gun.
    The article is probably referring to another gun.
    The magazines are the weakest part of the model 93. As many can attest; they are very cheaply made and some are very loose fitting resulting in feeding problems. The 93 series is excellent in most other ways except the magazine.

  4. Had the minimalist version of the.22 mag Savage… shot well IF ya could get a round to feed properly… magazine design really needs work… I’m a huge fan of the tube fed rim fires of Henry & formerly Marlin fame… if ya gotta have a traditional box magazine go to CZ Box magazine or the Ruger design ….

  5. I have an older, pre-10, rifle in 22Hornet, which apparently shoots better, has more residual power and has no mag problems. Don’t think a 22Mag is in my future, at least this one. Also have a Savage in 25-20 and with iron sights is the equal of the 93.

  6. I bought a Model 93 with a bull barrel years ago after they first came out, mine would not feed the second round without pushing the bottom of the clip forward. I contacted Savage about this problem and they had me send in a clip that came with the purchase and returned a new clip to try, with the problem continuing I took the firearm to a local gunsmith and had some adjustments to the magazine port reworked and the firearm feeds OK not smooth but OK. If I were purchasing a Model 93 I would suggest cycling ammo through it without firing to determine if this problem exists.

  7. My M93 is just like this article says. I concur on all points, including those mediocre 50 yard groups. I’m considering saving up for a CZ.

  8. I have an old tube fed Marlin 22 mag with a nice stock and golden trigger.
    It shoots under an inch at 50 yards with just all name brand ammo.

  9. I have a 93 with the bull barrel. It shoots great but shoots really well with the heavier 45 grain bullets. My oldest granddaughter burned up 2 boxes of ammo at the range one day and absolutely loved it. It was her first time shooting. We had no issues with feeding. It will probably go to here when I am gone. It is a great rifle. The Accu-Trigger system works well. The only drawback (if you can call it that) is the price of 22WMR and 45 grain ammo.

  10. I have a Savage 93 in 17 HMR. I love how it blows squirrels away. They don’t run far after getting hit. Accuracy at 100 yards is impressive. It has a 4x scope, no iron sights. No problems ever with the magazine.

  11. Let me start off by saying I am a real Savage fan. I have a couple of 99s and almost a whole safe full of 110s. I have two Savage 93 series rifles. Neither feeds reliably with any of the half dozen magazines I have purchased. By contrast, I have found their newer rimfire bolt actions with the rotary magazines to work great. I also have a couple of Marlins with magazines that appear quite similar to the 93s and they both work great with all their mags. I’m sure the author is correct in explaining his technique for adjusting the feed lips to improve feeding, but it’s not something I feel a customer should have to get into on a new gun with new mags.

  12. Savage 93 22mag 20″ with 3/4 bull barrel is what i shoot with a 3×9 40mm Bushnell Trophy scope. Mine puts Winchester 40gr hp and CCI mini mag 40gr solid nose in the same hole at 100yds. Usually 9 out of 10 shots. The guns good I am not.

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