2 Bolt Action .22 Rifles: Savage Mk II vs. Marlin XT-22
So you’re in the market for a reasonably priced .22 Rifle. First question: “What are you going to use it for?”
If you are looking for an extremely accurate reasonably priced rifle for hunting small game or for pretending you are a sniper, then you should consider the Savage Mk II or the Marlin XT-22
First things first….price.
Savage MkII F Synthetic Stock with Accutrigger (more on this later) is going to run you about 180.00: http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/models/
The Marlin XT-22 Synthetic Stock with Pro-Fire Adjustable trigger (more on this later) will probably run you about 189.00: http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/xt/XT22.asp
The Savage has a 21″ barrel. The Marlin has a 22″ barrel. This means you may sacrifice a little portability for increased accuracy (The Ruger 10/22 has an 18.5 inch barrel and it is very accurate). Of course there are other things that contribute to accuracy, one of the big ones however is trigger pull.
Both of these rifles offer an adjustable trigger ranging from around a 3 pd. pull to a 6 pd pull. A lighter trigger pull lessens the likelihood that the force of your “squeeze” will move your sight picture. The adjustable trigger will not completely make up for bad fundamentals, but add this technological innovation with the application of good trigger pull principles and you got yourself something pretty special. The trigger feature on both of these models is a real asset particularly when it comes to hunting and/or impressing your friends with your decimation of a empty beer can from 225 yards away.
Both rifles come with sling mounts, a feature often and unfortunately overlooked when considering the purchase of a rifle. The proper use of a sling can greatly increase your accuracy when shooting from various positions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Y67Jkfu48 Also, the sling mount make it easy to add a bipod. A modification that is worth the cost just for getting your rifle zeroed.
Both rifles are magazine fed (Marlin also has a tube fed model XT-22R). The Savage magazine will hold ten rounds. The Marlin mag will hold 7
There is a whole lot more that can be said about each of these rifles. Both Marlin and Savage are industry standards when it comes to firearms production and they’ve both been around quite sometime. It’s hard to imagine anyone not being pleased with the purchase of either one of these fine weapons, in fact I’ve yet to read/watch a negative review of either.
I’d probably give the Savage the slight edge, just because the Mk II with the Acutrigger has been around for several years, where as the Marlin XT-22 Pro-Fire Trigger just came out in 2011 (The XT is basically the Marlin 925 with the Pro-Fire Adjustable Trigger). But again it’s hard to go wrong with either one. The best thing to do would be to find a retailer and hold each rifle in your hands for a while and let em speak to you….you’ll know what to do.