Gun Review: Savage 64F .22lr Rifle

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(This is a reader-submitted review as part of our gun review contest. See details here.)

By Colin Shane Buckles

Savage Arms has quite a respectable following for bolt action center fire rifles. Their dedication to creating accurate bolt guns has always kept them on the short list of anybody looking for a new precision rifle. However, hidden away in Savage’s catalog is an underappreciated treasure that has never had its time in the spotlight. This treasure is the Savage 64F in .22lr.

Cover Photo

First Experiences:

The 64F has never been a rifle known by mainstream gun enthusiasts. In a world dominated by the Ruger 10/22 there is never much thought of other semi auto .22 rifles, let alone one made by Savage.

However, the 64F is a great rifle based on the Cooey 64b rifle. It comes with a polymer matte black stock and a simple satin finish on the barrel of the rifle. While there are not many details on what type of finish savage uses on the 64F I have shot multiple times in the snow and rain and have never had any type of rust or wear issues.

The rifle comes with one ten-round box magazine and this is where you may have some problems. The magazine that came with my rifle was just awful. There was not a single good thing to say about it. Roughly half of the rounds in my magazine would not feed properly and the bolt’s momentum would bend the bullet in the case rendering the round completely useless.

Ease of use section picture

I did some research on this and found that it is a fairly usual occurrence with Savage 64Fs and after buying a new magazine for around $12 my rifle was back in perfect working order. This was the only defect I have ever found with the rifle and with the new magazine I have never had any malfunctions in the hundreds of rounds I have put through it since.

Ease of Use:

Using the 64F is fairly standard and convenient. The charging handle is located on the right side of the rifle and the safety is a classic push forward lever found on most bolt action rifles.  The one place where the 64F’s handling gets a little unusual is the magazine. The magazines are a rock-in style with the catch located on the front. This results in the magazine release also being in front of the magazine. While this is somewhat unique it is nothing that has ever caused me any problems.

Once you are used to using your off hand index finger to push the magazine release while you rock the magazine out you will find that it is really nothing to scoff at. The rifle also makes these magazine changes very easy to do. The rifle is a mere 5lbs. and in spite of being so light it feels very full sized. With a 21 inch barrel and a fairly full grip the rifle feels very comfortable even for a taller person like myself.

Maintenance:

Like most .22 rifles, there is not much need to take the Savage 64F apart and clean every piece to guarantee reliability.  As I previously mentioned, after buying a new magazine for the rifle I have never had a single malfunction. I find this very impressive considering that I have never once done more to clean the rifle than just wipe the bolt off and give it a coat of oil without even disassembling it.  I have come to learn that whether the rifle is neglected or cared for it will always function properly (assuming you have a good magazine).

Aftermarket Support (or lack thereof):

The Savage 64F’s main deterrent when compared to other .22s is the aftermarket options available. There is literally nothing offered for the 64F; not even an extended magazine. The rifle does come with sling mounts that can be used for a sling or bipod as well as a dove tail rail that allows you to easily mount an optic. My 64F dawns a BSA .22 special 3-9 scope. Sadly, with the 64F having been out for quite some time now the lack of aftermarket parts probably won’t change.

Best and Worst Feature:

The best feature of this rifle isn’t technically a feature of the gun itself but is instead the price. Savage 64Fs have an MSRP of $140! This is close to a third of the MSRP for some Ruger 10/22 models. I bought mine for $144 after taxes.  For such an awesome and accurate rifle you get everything that the 10/22 offers besides aftermarket customization which I personally didn’t care about at all. It’s hard not to consider such a low price for such a great rifle the best feature of the Savage 64F.

The worst feature by far is the trigger. The only way the trigger could be worse on the Savage 64F is if it weren’t there. The trigger pull starts out with a fair amount of take up stopped by an extremely spongy zone (that can’t really be described as a wall), and once you pull your way through this spongy zone the rifle goes off. It does a great job at surprising you while you slowly increase the force that you are pulling with, but from a company known for their amazing triggers this one leaves you wishing that Savage had focused just a little more on it.

Accuracy:

Accuracy is by far the best feature of the Savage 64F. When fitted with an optic, I have found the rifle to be very easily a 2 MOA gun with the Winchester white box bulk ammo that I have. The barrel of the 64F comes free floated to help make the rifle more accurate and even with the bad trigger my girlfriend was consistently shooting one-inch groups at 100 yards on the day that I taught her how to shoot.

Seeing a complete novice shoot 1 MOA groups with such ease filled me with extreme optimism, and a few weeks later I went to my public range to see if I could produce the same 1 MOA results at 200 yards. It was a pretty windy day and after wasting quite a few rounds sighting in at 200 yards I put up a new target and started my accuracy test.  To my surprise the first three-shot group measured in right around 3.75 inches!

Accuracy Section Target 2

Knowing that my Winchester white box ammo was not match grade ammo I immediately covered my shots up and went back to the bench to make sure that it wasn’t a fluke. I took my time and put another three shots carefully onto the target.

Accuracy Section Target 1

To my amazement this second three-shot group measured right at 2.5 inches! I literally shot better groups than the guy one bench over from me with a Remington 700 in .308win. I spent the rest of the day shooting at 200 yards with the rifle consistently averaging around four-inch groups.

Overall:

Overall the Savage 64F is a great rifle. The quality that you receive for such an affordable price is unparalleled in the market for .22 rifles today. Having such an accurate .22 makes plinking much more enjoyable. You can rest assured that you’ll hit what you’re aiming at even with cheaper bulk ammo.

Even though using the rifle may take a little getting used to it is something that people of all ages can learn fairly quickly allowing anyone to experience the joy of plinking with a .22. If you are looking for an accurate, cheap, and quality .22 rifle that you don’t mind not being able to customize I would highly recommend the Savage 64F.

Specifications: Savage 64F .22lr

Caliber: .22lr
Rate of twist: 1/16
Weight: 5lbs.
Overall Length: 40”
Barrel Length: 21”
Capacity: 10
MSRP: $140.00

Ratings (out of five stars):

Accuracy: * * * * *
Tremendous for a .22lr rifle. Rifle is easily 2 MOA, but are you?

Ergonomics: * * * * 
Rifle is very light and comfortable but has an awful trigger

Reliability: * * * *
100% as long as you have a good magazine. Damn near nothing% with a bad magazine.

Customization: *
What is customization?

Overall Rating: * * * *

comments

  1. avatar Ralph says:

    I knew that this rifle is an autoloader — even though the author didn’t actually say so. In fact, there’s no real discussion about the action at all.

  2. avatar gs650g says:

    I thought it a bolt gun until I Googled it

  3. avatar BillC says:

    I have one. Only reason I bought it was because a friend sold it for $25. He barely used it. The rifle itself is okay. The mags for it suck something awful. Even after a thorough cleaning and new mags, it feeds like crap. The mags hate to be fully topped off. It improved slightly as the mags were broken in. Anybody would be better off just getting a 10/22, which I have, so this never gets used.

    1. avatar BLAMMO says:

      Never like that mag sticking out like that. The Ruger rotary mags are better and they sit clean and flush.

    2. avatar Daniel Taylor says:

      So, what would it take to take the, unused, Savage 64F off of you?

  4. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

    I’ll take a Marlin 795 any day of the week.

    The Savage bolt action SV-TR (16″ threaded barrel) does look great and is the only Savage rimfire I’d consider spending money on. But only if I was ready to drop suppressor money to do it right.

    1. avatar Art out West says:

      “I’ll take a Marlin 795 any day of the week.”

      That’s what I thought as well. The author states that: “The quality that you receive for such an affordable price is unparalleled in the market for .22 rifles today.”

      The Marlin 60, and Marlin 795 can both be had for approximately the same price. Both are accurate and dependable.

      1. avatar Ad says:

        Love me the 60. I found a stainless version with the grey laminate stock and snapped it up. it does not get shot much but I love the look of it.

    2. avatar Brocko says:

      FV-SR

  5. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    He compared it to the 10/22, I knew it was semi auto. For a basic no frills gun it seems okay. It also seems like they make trigger springs, although I don’t think they would help with a mushy feeling trigger. I would think that would be more in the realm of polishing engagement surfaces, if it could be achieved at all. (quite plausibly what I get for thinking!)

  6. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

    I had one and field stripping it is easy. It’s the reassembly that is ridiculously hard. I got rid of it.

  7. avatar Ing says:

    So the Marlin Model 60 has a serious competitor in the dirt-cheap tack driver department. Too bad the magazines are such a problem.

    1. avatar Art out West says:

      I think the real competition for the Marlin 60 (in the cheap tack-driving .22 category) is the Marlin 795. The 795 is basically a magazine fed Marlin 60, and costs about the same. I have both models, and love them each very much. I like the classic looks and smooth lines of the Model 60, and the lightweight of the polymer stocked Model 795, and the ability to use detachable magazines (including 25 rounders).

  8. avatar notalima says:

    I love my Model 10s and various MKIIs, but that 64F is just plain evil, cantankerous, beast.

    Anecdotal, but I’ve got two friends who have them and I swear they’ve taken years off their lives.

  9. avatar Pascal says:

    I have Savage 64. The worst feature are the magazines. There is not a single magazine that I have purchased that has needed to be played with to make reliable or to keep the head of the bullet from being shaved by the sharp edges on the ramp. Speaking of ramp, the ramp is really on the magazine. Nothing a file could not help to fix, but this should not be the case. Savage has shown a A22 in 22LR that I hope will some day take the place of the 64 and allow us to have rotary magazines.

    The trigger is terrible, but there are after market options like that from MCARBO and others if you check the Savage form on RimfireCenterl.

    With the right ammo, you can do 1 MOA. Mine likes CCI Standard Velocity from 25-50yrds and CCI Mini-mags out to 100yrds.

    Boyds makes aftermarket stodks, DIP Industries makes replacement bolts, trigger guards, rails and other items, TechSights makes iron sights for Appleseed that will fit.. No, no way near the after market support as the 10/22 that is true.

    Savage is first and foremost a utility/hunting rifle. I have taken plenty of rabbit, squirrel and other ground rats in my time. It is in other words, “cheap and good enough” if you are not trying to shoot competition. It does need work to make it better.

    On the positive side, Savage backs its products. Over at Rimfire Central, someone was having an issue and was not getting at least 1 MOA. Savage took the rifle and their Smith worked on it until it was getting 1 MOA at 50yrs and returned the rifle with the final test target with written notes on what ammo worked best.

    IMHO, if you want a 22lr Autoloader and like to play with it to get it to a certain level for competition or fun, the get a 10/22. If you are on a budget and want a good plinking/hunting rifle, the Savage is the best bang for buck provided you have some patience to get it tuned. If you have no patience, just stick to the 10/22.

  10. avatar zaphod says:

    The review would have been far more informative if it had been possible to compare the Savage with a Marlin 795.

    The Marlin, not a 10/22, is the most direct competitor to the Savage in price, looks, and function.

    And the Marlin has a good enough reputation for accuracy and function to be the “Plan B” for folks making up a Liberty Training Rifle. (Plan A, if you absolutely insist on a last shot bolt hold-open.)

  11. avatar Stuckincali says:

    I have had my 64 for about 2 years now and never had a single problem with any of the 6 magazines I own. I would say I’ve got close to 2000 rounds through it. As for aftermarket I’ve been able to find lightened trigger springs, extended charging handle, extended magazine release and several different styles of stocks. Out of the box it’s a better shot than my stock 10/22 but that’s just my opinion.

    1. avatar American Pariot says:

      The 64F is a good weapon from the start. Go ahead buy your 10/22 and see how much you sink into it. I bet a year from now those who bought 10/22 will have changed out most of the stock parts. It’s a .22 not a AR or SKS except it the way it is and enjoy . I enjoy my 10/22 (simple build) and my Savage 64 out of the box.

      1. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

        I’m sure it’s a coincidence, but I’ve never shot a 10/22 that didn’t jam a lot.

        However, I have a Marlin 795 that has still never jammed. Probably just luck of the draw… but it makes you think.

  12. avatar Mark N. says:

    I have a bolt action Savage in .22LR, old enough not to have the Savage accu-trigger. It has been utterly reliable, except that it is finicky about which ammo it likes to shoot accurately, its favorite being Remington Goldens (which we used to buy in 525 round boxes for like $15,and which I haven’t seen in years). It despises lead match ammo. My issue with the ten round mag is that I like my support hand to be fairly close to the center of balance, and that puts my wrist in close proximity to the sharp edges of the bottom of the mag. It currently sports a 4x scope, but as my eyes age, I think it is about time to change to a 3×9. However, since I never shoot it anymore, due to the lack of ammo, that falls somewhere at the bottom of the wish list.

  13. avatar Stinkeye says:

    Cabela’s has these on sale right now for $99. That’s about the right price, to me, for a rifle with little aftermarket support and crappy magazines you have to tinker with to make work. At the regular $140 price point, a Marlin 795 would be a much better option.

  14. avatar Doesky2 says:

    Crappy magazines in an auto-loader is just a recipe for endless frustration.
    No marginal money savings is worth that.

    I do have a Savage 22LR bolt with threaded barrel and in a Byods stock that is pretty sweet. The magazines suck on that also but with a bolt action they don’t cause as near as much consternation.

  15. avatar T Edgar says:

    Honestly, this is what this site has become? The only ‘substantive’ firearm reviews are reader-submitted for a contest while the rest is rhetorical cut-and-paste, YouTube fluff…

    I don’t know the budgets of other firearm sites, but many have better review content and at least do low $$ with style (and video).

  16. avatar 10x25mm says:

    Savage makes a true left handed version of the Model 64. Left side bolt handle and ejection. Three of us southpaws went in on a group buy.

    All three lefties work great. Accuracy well better than most .22 lr autoloaders, including my old standard 10/22. No magazine issues. Triggers about par in the age of liability law.

  17. avatar Uncle Fester says:

    Since Savage practically mastered/invented the rotary magazine over 100 years in the Model 99, one would think that they would have a rotary magazine .22 available. Even if the magazine (as delivered) wasn’t defective, a fragile little magazine sticking out the bottom is a problem waiting to happen.

  18. avatar mark s. says:

    I have a total of six of these little cheaps , probably didn’t pay over $150 .00 for any of them , I probably bought another 35 or 40 extra magazines and I keep them for hand out for WTSHTF times , I also have a bunch of 10/22’s and Marlins for the same reasons . I keep about 5000 rounds of 22LR for each so if and I believe , when needed , for all those unfortunate who can’t get one or just haven’t , well , come see me . Bring something to trade if you can or be prepared to work , I’ve got chores ready . I keep a few AR’s handy too . I don’t take vacations or waste my money on vice so I’ve accumulated a supply of SHTF supplies . We’re almost there .

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      You have 6 of those guns and 5,000 rounds of .22lr for each of them?

      You’re sitting on 30,000 rounds of .22lr?

      That’s probably not a smart thing to advertise… 🙂

      1. avatar mark s. says:

        I have more like 100,000 rounds of 22 LR and I’m not advertising , I do not intend on having any issues with someone trying to relieve me of it without my consent and ‘ it would be very unwise to do so ‘ , this statement is advertisement .
        I have a right and I will defend this right as I hope you would too .

  19. avatar adverse4 says:

    If it does not work with what it came with, it don’t work with nuttin.

  20. avatar Ditto says:

    These “user submitted” reviews are amateurish at best. Please get some good writers and do some professional quality firearms reviews.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Perhaps you missed that one of the goals of the contest is to identify the good writers among the TTAG community, and employ them to write quality reviews?

  21. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

    Some of them are pretty good. (Shameless plug)

  22. avatar Doug says:

    Some of you guys are a bit too hard on some of the submitters. A writeup on a .22 autoloader may not be glamorous, but it is where some of us live. I enjoyed it.

    I have an old Savage-Stevens 887 which is more fun per dollar of ammo than the law allows (so to speak). Had to smile at the reviewer’s claims of 200 yards 1 MOA with apparently standard-velocity .22LR, which won’t even cycle the action in my 887. I’ve used CCI Stingers out to 100 yds. without keyholing, but my accuracy at that distance was not too great. I blamed the wind. :-). .

    I for one would love to see a killer roundup on old and new .22s! With some guys and gals who love the things for what they give you so much of for so little. Include the classic Marlin and perhaps the 887 and one or two high-end competition .22s, and maybe some real antiques. Sound like fun?

  23. avatar Fred Frendly says:

    The reason the Ruger 10/22 is way more popular is because they have decent triggers and magazines that work. Are these Savages still made in Canaduh? That might have something to do with it. Trump needs to seal the NORTHERN border first, and keep those overly polite savages where they belong, in their arctic wasteland of socialism and Molson.

  24. avatar Gene says:

    Sure a lot of bad talk out there. Had me worried! Then I got my Savage 64F delivered, loaded it with Geco semi auto ammo, prepared for the worst, and went to shooting, Wait, WHAT!!!!!! Not a single jam or misfire, all 9 & 10 on the target @ 25 yards! O.K lets put some Winchester Super-X 40 grain PHP 1280 fps in here! SAME result! How about some Winchester Super-X 40 grain PHP 1435 fps? Now I’m driving tacks! This ammo put 10 rounds in 1.25 group @ 100 yards! BTW, not a single jam or misfire. Bought 5 more Savage mags, haven’t had a single problem with them either! For $150, I can shoot all the varmints, go hunting for small game, and plink away with the cheap ammo! Now my daughter is saving up for hers!

  25. avatar Coty says:

    I have one, and have three mags for it. Filed one to make it work better no big deal. Not had any problems with it. Would buy again. Very fun to shoot. My wife likes the feel of it better then a 10/22 that a friend had. I think this fits in your hands better, that may just be me though.

  26. avatar probsty says:

    i love the fact that noone seems to understand that this rifle has been around for like 50 years.
    Dad has an old Lakefield 64b. we have at least 5000 rounds through it. he bought it used 30 some years ago.
    well guess what. the 64f is the same. i just bought one today. mags interchange and everything.
    made in canada baby. also i hate rotary mags and how small the 10/22 feels

  27. avatar Cliff says:

    I’ve been using the Savage for 1 1/2 years..in Steel Challange..competing with guys using the Ruger 10/22… they laugh.. but then lately since I used an emery cloth and GUN ARMOR lubricant to clean it up a bit .. I have been a challange.. (given my age.. I am competing with mostly the 30-50 year group.. and they are starting to take second looks at the Savage.. I really like the gun … Until it fails I will not consider anything else… I personally do not like the rotary mags.. The straight mags are a bitch with sharp edges.. but they are relatively cheap.. I wish they would extend them a bit so the 10th cartridge is not so tight ..it does cause feed problems so I use 9 as my max load. .. it performs.. notes.. keep it clean … after each comp.. clean the mechanism.. I put a simple dot sight on it… TruGlo… I had to work a clamping myself.. drilled starter holes just to anchor it solidly .. wish Savage would put a real Picatinny Rail on it… would increase the flexibility..

    1. avatar Stan says:

      Picatinny rail made here:

      https://www.diproductsinc.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=923476&CAT=8858

      They also have the largest selection of aftermarket parts for the 62/64
      that I’ve come across yet.

  28. avatar Skip Steele says:

    Spend another $100 and get the Savage A22. With good ammo it will get you 1MOA with change to spare.

  29. avatar Geoff says:

    $98 at the Conway, SC Walmart. Both were sold when I got there.
    $120 at Academy in Florence, SC. Bought it.

  30. avatar Geoff says:

    You’re correct on the magazine. I can load 10 rounds easily enough, but after firing the first round the second won’t chamber. Jams on the breech and bends the bullet. 9 rounds no problem.
    I’m using Federal Auto Match and it is so inconsistent I can’t get 2 shots in the center at 50 yards with a scope at 10X.
    I can tell by the sound they are not the same speed. Not even loud enough to need the ears. I think I’ll set up the Chrono and see what exactly is happening.
    4″ inch 9-shot groups don’t make it.

  31. avatar Geoff says:

    If anybody cares.
    Federal Auto Match 40gr. LRN 1200 FPS claimed.
    Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph at 5′ from the muzzle, Savage 64F 21″ barrel.
    Bench rest front support only.
    Chrono missed 1 round.
    1230
    1242
    1281
    1267
    1295
    1247
    1235
    1261
    Average 1257
    Low – 1230
    High – 1295
    Spread – 65

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