Random Thoughts on the 64F Savage
Most of us here at Hi Point Firearms Forums will admit that we like inexpensive guns. After all, we like Hi Point. About a year ago I indulged in buying a Savage Model 64F, one of the least expensive .22 LR semi auto rifles on the market. At that time, I paid just under $125 out-the-door. I thought it should be a fairly reliable and accurate little rifle because, after all, its a Savage. A year and nearly 700 rounds later, this is my take on the 64F.
Like most inexpensive rifles today, the 64F has a plastic stock. The stock is stiffer than those used on the Savage Axis (which I will review later) but still has enough flex to make it touch the barrel when shooting from a bench or snap shooing groundhogs in the field.Even with the molded checkering, the stock is slick and difficult to handle with sweaty or wet hands. On the other hand, the hollow buttstock makes a good place to store small tools, a break down cleaning rod or some extra ammunition. I put several short pieces of plastic pipe in mine and filled around them with expanding insulation. Over all, the stock is exactly what one expects from a .22 in this price range.
The rifle itself can be quite interesting to disassemble and clean. The barrel must be removed by taking out the front retaining screw bole, removing the "U" shaped clip, and pulling forward. Removing the charging handle allows the bolt to come out for a thorough cleaning. The same caution applies here as in tearing down your Hi Point - DO NOT LOOSE THE SMALL PARTS and make sure you have it assembled properly before reattaching the barrel. Fortunately, Savage includes detailed instructions on both disassembly and reassembly. It should be noted, however, the removing and reattaching the barrel will require the shooter to zero the scope after every cleaning. It will change the Point of Impact (POI), even if only a few inches.
I shot a wide variety of ammunition, including CCI Mini Mags, CCI Blazers, Remington Thunderbolts and Yellow Jackets, Aguila Standard and Winchester Super X, with mixed results. Nearly all rimfire firearms are ammunition sensitive and the Savage is no exception. While your results may vary, my 64 just did not like Aguila. Period. It would not cycle. When I cycled that ammunition by hand, I got patterns, not groups. Interestingly, my Mark II bolt action normally shots this same round into about 1" groups at 50 yards from the bench.
By contrast, the 64F shot both CCI rounds without a hitch. No failures of any kind. The same was true of the Super X rounds. Remington was another story. Thunderbolts failed to feed and/or eject about half the time. I do not recall getting through a single magazine without some problem. The Yellow Jackets were somewhat better, but still more problematic than CCI or Winchester. This is not a comment on the quality of the ammunition itself, but an observation on the particular ammunition this rifle preferred.
Accuracy for this rifle was dependent on the ammunition use, to no great surprise. The CCI ammunition hovered between 1.25" and 1.75" @ 50 yards from a benchrest. Thunderbolts tended to be closer to the 2.25-2.50" range. They also produce significantly more leading than the other rounds tested. Yellow Jackets, by contrast, were consistently in the 1.25 range. As usual for rimfire ammunition, all rounds tended to foul the barrel quickly. I did run a wet patch followed by three dry ones through the barrel after every 30 rounds (3 magazines). I DID run the from the muzzle down to avoid having to completely strip the weapon every time.
Two other notes concerning accuracy. First, the scope mounted on this rifle was an off-brand 4X. While it held zero well, the low power and less than crystal clear lens did not provide the best sight picture. Yes, I could have mounted a better scope, but my intent was to see what the rifle would do "as is" from the retailer. Second, I found (still find) the trigger somewhat disconcerting. It is spongy and tends to "ping" when releasing the striker/firing pin. A better scope and a better shooter may have produced better accuracy.
Overall, I like the 64F. It handles well enough, shoot reliably with ammunition it likes and is accurate enough for small game. It is just fun to shoot. For $125.00, its a neat little rifle that won't come anywhere close to breaking your bank.