Can a Marlin shoot 60 22 Short

Comparison test: hunting precision rifles

Deer feel at home in the vastness of the open field and use the distance from the forest as a safety distance. The fox also likes to lace through uncovered fields in winter and is thus visible to us. When there is snow and the moon, fox sitting in the field landscape is often promising - but also requires long shots. Crows, which know exactly how far the hunter's rifle reaches, are even smaller and more difficult to hit.

If you want to catch prey in such situations, you have to shoot far and precisely. Crows and foxes offer relatively small targets, their deadly hit area is just a few square centimeters. Placing your sphere exactly there is not easy at distances of around 200 m.

Heavy bolt-action rifles in rapid calibers - so-called varmint rifles - offer the best conditions for this. They have slightly thicker precision barrels and their systems are carefully bedded. Most of the major manufacturers offer varmint cans. The fast 5.6 mm calibers are best suited for this purpose - from the .222 Remington to the 5.6 x 50 Magnum and .223 Rem. up to .22-250 Rem .. 6.5 mm calibers can also be used for ballistic purposes, but are less common in precision weapons.

We have selected four weapons: three thoroughbred, heavy varmint rifles and a much lighter hunting repeater - to see whether the heavy precision weapons really have any real advantages in hunting practice.

Two weapons are .222 Remington caliber and two are .223 Remington caliber. We have set the upper price limit at 1,500 €, because such weapons are often bought for the occasional use for the hunt for robbery or are also used for hunting competition shooting. Large premium manufacturers also have varmint cans in their range, but they are much more expensive.

How Much Precision is Required?
In order to hit a crow safely at 200 m, the spread at this distance must not be more than 40 mm. At 100 m, 15 mm should be expected, because the spread increases disproportionately with increasing distance.

For the JAGDPRAXIS test, all weapons were shot at 100, 200 and 300 m to get real results. The 300 m distance should show whether the small .222 Remington can still keep up - or whether the stronger .223 Remington has clear advantages. If you want to shoot far, you have to check the precision of your rifle and load to 200, better still 300 m, because even if a rifle shoots at 100 m hole in hole, that does not mean that it also shoots at others Distances is precise.

The spread increases disproportionately - by how much nobody can say beforehand. If the rifle shoots images of 8-10 cm at the 300 m range, the precision is sufficient if it serves the fox as the smallest target.

The test weapons
Two of the test candidates come from the USA (Remington and Savage), one from Finland (Tikka) and the fourth weapon from the Czech Republic (CZ). In order to be able to implement the weapon’s own precision for hunting, a good trigger and an anatomically fitting stock are important prerequisites. In addition to the shooting performance, these points are therefore very important in the assessment. We have equipped all weapons with high quality rifle scopes with a fine reticle and high magnification.

Remington 700 TAC
With more than five million units sold, the Remington 700 is one of the most popular repeater ever. The 700 TAC model is designed for tough use by police authorities and is equipped accordingly. The black Hogue plastic shaft with rubber coating is extremely break-proof and feels soft. This shaft can also be gripped securely with wet hands.

It is designed for a comfortable stop with mounted target optics. The fore-end offers a generous support for precision shots. The shaft is finished with a thick and very soft black rubber cap for good cushioning. Sling swivel eyes are provided at the factory, and a bipod can also be easily attached to them.

Remington's 700 series is based on a tried and tested bolt lock that locks in place with two strong lugs in the case head. The spring-loaded extractor is integrated in the case head, and the easy-grip bolt handle is at the level of the trigger. The release button for the chamber sits in a somewhat unusual place - a small button
right before the trigger. Not a bad place at all, because there the button does not disturb the line of the lock sleeve and is well protected against unintentional actuation.

The safety device on the right of the castle can be operated silently, but only blocks the trigger. All steel parts are matt blasted and burnished.

The magazine for five cartridges is permanently installed and has a hinged cover for easy emptying. The externally adjustable shotgun trigger was set at the factory to a trigger weight of 1,800 g - clearly too much for a precision weapon despite its very dry characteristics. We adjusted a little, but the factory trigger could not be adjusted below 1,300 g. For a US weapon, however, this is normal, as product liability is always in the background - light deductions are therefore often avoided.

The 51 cm bull barrel match barrel with a twist length of 9 inches has a muzzle diameter of 20 mm. Due to this barrel length, the TAC has a total length of only 101 cm and is therefore very handy. Due to its thick barrel, the small Remington weighs 3,400 g.

The barrel is bedded freely swinging, the short twist is due to the US military cartridges, which are equipped with correspondingly heavy bullets. The 9-inch twist digests bullets between 55 and 75 grains - ideal for long shots, as the slightly heavier bullets are not as sensitive to wind. For € 999, the Remington 700 TAC is quite inexpensive.

Savage Model 12 FVSS
The Model 12 is based on the Model 110 designed by Nicolas Brewer in 1958, but has been continuously improved and modernized for 50 years. Savage uses a modular system and offers a variety of models. The 12 FVSS is a rust-free all-weather repeater with a barrel and system made of rust-proof steel and a plastic stock - a very easy-care rifle for tough practical use.

When locking, Savage leans heavily on the Mauser 98er and locks in place with two milled lugs on the lock head. The chamber can be moved easily and smoothly. The sunburst finish on the chamber improves the gliding properties. The opening angle is flat and allows a deep telescopic sight mounting. The sleeve bridges have threaded holes.

The lock holder is located to the right of the rear case bridge and must be pressed together with the trigger to remove the chamber. The Savage has an adjustable shotgun trigger, which also has a small tongue in the trigger. An additional safety device that is supposed to prevent unintentional firing of a shot. This tongue acts on the trigger and only allows a shot to be fired when the trigger is fully pulled. This became known through Glock pistols and Marlin also uses such a system.

Savage calls it Accu-Trigger and with this trigger it also satisfies spoiled European hunters - almost a small sensation for a US rifle. The trigger of the test rifle broke at 900 g and stood very dry. The trigger weight can be adjusted using a grub screw, but the weapon must be disengaged for this. A setting below the minimum dimension is not possible.

The three-position safety device is located behind the lock on the butt neck, which is also rare for an American rifle and will appeal to local hunters.
In the rearmost position the trigger and chamber are blocked, in the middle position the chamber can be opened and at the very front the rifle is ready to fire. The safety slide requires a little force, but works silently if it is not operated too jerkily. The built-in magazine holds four cartridges and sits completely in the shaft. Since there is no magazine cover, each cartridge has to be stepped out individually for unloading.

The 66 cm stainless barrel is matt brushed and has a muzzle diameter of 21 mm, making the Savage 118 cm long and weighing 4.1 kg. The matt black, non-reflective plastic shaft has a straight back and ends with a black, very soft rubber butt plate. There is checkering on the pistol grip and fore-end that is surprisingly sharp for a plastic stock. On the other hand, a cheek was dispensed with, also to make the rifle attractive for left-handers. The pistol grip is completed by a cap with a silver Indian head (Savage logo).

The fore-end is very wide and allows easy placement, and bases for sling swivels are screwed into the fore-end and rear-end. The front base sits a little too far back and the rifle becomes top-heavy when carried with a strap on the shoulder. The system is bedded on Pilar in the shaft, such bedding is considered to promote precision. Savage has loosened the adjustment of the breech gap in a somewhat idiosyncratic manner - the barrel screwed into the case head is fixed with a large nut. In this way, the correct closure distance can be set very easily and inexpensively.

The Savage Mod. 12 costs € 1,199.

Tikka T 3 Varmint
Tikka bolt action rifles have had a good reputation for many years as rock-solid hunting and sports rifles with a good price-performance ratio. In addition to classic hunting rifles with different barrel lengths and stock designs, the T 3 range also includes a driven hunt rifle and a varmint rifle.

The system can hardly deny that it is based on Mauser. It is locked by two lugs in the chamber head. The right wart is slit and runs in a web that is milled into the sleeve. This double-sided chamber guide ensures a smooth and jolt-free lock operation. The extractor and ejector are housed in the bolt head. The curved bolt handle with a hollow bored ball is shaped very expediently and is exactly at the height of the trigger. The opening angle is 70 degrees. The castle is largely closed and so well protected from dust.

When the system is cocked, a red firing pin extension protrudes from the rear of the castle as an optical cocking indicator that can be felt in the dark. There is a gas relief hole on the left side of the front sleeve bridge, which ensures that hot combustion gases are diverted away from the face in the event of a sleeve rupture. A metal block is embedded in the stock which, when the weapon is assembled, engages in a corresponding cutout on the underside of the system. The lock holder is located on the left side of the sleeve bridge.

The trigger plate, trigger guard and magazine guide are made from one piece of plastic. The magazine holder sits in front of the magazine in a deep recess in the shaft. The single-row plastic magazine holds six cartridges. The magazine has a shoulder stop that prevents damage to the bullet tips from the recoil. When the magazine release is pressed, it jumps out of the magazine well.

The T-3 Varmint is equipped with a 60 cm barrel, which is still 22 mm thick at the muzzle. The .222 Remington caliber barrel has a 14-inch twist and the total length is only 111 cm. The adjustable rifle trigger on our test rifle had a trigger weight of exactly 1,000 g. The complete trigger is installed in a housing that also houses the parts of the fuse. The two-position safety device acts directly on the sear. In the "secured" position, the chamber is also locked. The sufficiently large safety slide to the right of the little castle is provided with handy transverse grooves and is easy to operate - but not completely silent.

The black plastic stock made of Colypolyme polypropylene has a cast-in checkering on the pistol grip and fore-end. The raised comb is designed for attacks via a telescopic sight. The shaft can be used by right and left-handers. A black rubber butt plate is attached to the end of the buttstock. The T 3 Varmint costs € 1384, which makes it significantly more expensive than Remington and Savage, but also offers more features and high-quality workmanship.

CZ 527 synthetic
The Czech CZ is not only the lightest rifle in the test, but also the cheapest rifle at € 799. The .222 Remington, which weighs just 2.9 kg, is intended to show whether thick match barrels and heavy gun weights really bring practical advantages. The 56 cm barrel of the CZ is only 14.5 mm thick at the muzzle and thus much slimmer than the other test candidates with muzzle diameters of over 20 mm.

The system comes from the Mauser 98, but has been modernized without any fundamental changes. CZ is building a scaled-down '98 Mauser system with two lugs in the case head and the classic long Mauser extractor. This system is designed for the small .22 center fire cartridges and has proven itself for many years.

The CZ 527 is considered to be very precise and reliable. The lever lock attached to the right of the lock secures the firing pin and locks the bolt in the locked state. The removable magazine made of sheet steel holds five cartridges, which are stored one above the other. The magazine is therefore very narrow, but looks a long way out of the shaft. The magazine catch is attached to the right of the shaft. The bolt handle with an 18 mm ball is within easy reach at the level of the trigger.

The small Mauser system needs some strength to handle. The lock holder is on the left side of the rear sleeve bridge, the lock can be easily dismantled without tools. The flat tops of the sleeve bridges are milled as 16 mm prism plates, on which inexpensive telescopic sight mounts can be attached without any effort.

The CZ is equipped with a set trigger, its trigger releases unpunched at 1,500 g and has a clearly noticeable trigger travel. It crunches and creaks properly - this trigger cannot be used for precision shooting, at least without the trigger. The adjustable set trigger reduces the trigger drag down to 150 g.
The rather soft plastic shaft without cheekbones has a slightly sloping back. The cast fish skin is flat and has little grip. The whole shaft looks pretty cheap and a bit shriveled in some places as if the mold was too hot. The barrel is freely swinging. The CZ 527 is a handy rifle that is well equipped and doesn't cost a lot (€ 799).

100 m shot performance and handling
The Jagdpraxis test team first examined the candidates on the 100 m stand. There the technical criteria such as trigger, safety, loading and unloading, ergonomics of the stock, functional reliability when repeating and precision at 100 m were checked.

We liked the triggers of the Tikka and Savage best, with a trigger weight of 900 g (Savage) and 1,000 g (Tikka) they are close together and have very similar characteristics. You stand dry and without a noticeable path. The Jagdpraxis test criteria demand trigger weights of 800 g and good characteristics for Varmint rifles in order to achieve the full number of points. Tikka and Savage come very close. The Savage gets 9 points and the Tikka 8. The Remington was also nice and dry with 1,300 g, but clearly too hard, only 5 points could be awarded here. The trigger of the CZ was even harder at 1,500 g, it also had a clearly palpable path and an audible crunch - this trigger was not worth more than 3 points to us despite the trigger.

In the evaluation of the magazines, only Tikka and CZ achieved the full number of points for removable box magazines with sufficient capacity. With the Remington there was one point deduction for the hinged lid, with the Savage even two points, because it doesn't even have a hinged lid.

No test rifle has manual cocking - and only the CZ has a firing pin safety, for which it is awarded 7 out of 10 points. The other three candidates have to deal with
Satisfy 5 points for your backups. The testers did not criticize the handling of the fuse - the Tikka fuse was very popular and the Savage's three-position fuse also earned praise. But there were no extra points for it.

In order to test the functional and handling safety, 50 cartridges were fired with each weapon. Here all four weapons showed themselves at their best, there were neither feed nor ejection disorders. The positioning and shape of the bolt handle are also okay. Tikka and Savage liked the best with longer bolt handles and thicker balls and were very easy to handle. The two models also have the best lock gear, followed by the Remington. The CZ is noticeably notchier, but still okay.

We didn't like the flat chamber ball of the Remington that much and the CZ also has a very small ball at the end of the stem. Tikka and Savage get a full 10 points, the other two rifles each get 8. When preparing for the rifle scope mounting, Tikka and CZ are ahead - the upper parts of a tilting mount can simply be attached to their integrated prisms, which gives a full 5 points. The other two sleeves have threaded holes on the sleeve bridges and receive 4 points for this.

As the last point on the shooting range, the testers turned to the stock. Here the Tikka was by far the most popular, its shaft allows the most comfortable attack, is long enough and has a grippy checkering. The forend is wide and flat at the bottom, which allows a good support. The barrel swings freely in the fore-end, for which the Tikka received a maximum of 10 points. The Savage also has good fish skin and a wide, flat fore-end. But your back is lower, the shaft not quite as ergonomic and also a bit shorter. It was also noticeable that it is significantly louder when you bump into hard objects. There are 8 points for this.

The Remington got 7 points for its soft Hogue rubber shaft. It feels good, is quiet, but is very short. You can hardly extend it, because a thick rubber cap is already on it. The CZ has a slim plastic shaft with a flat, non-slip fish skin. The forend is too narrow and the pistol grip is too flat. This shaft was only worth 5 points to the testers.

There are no big differences in the equipment - all weapons have sling swivels, they are not optimally attached to any rifle. Remington and CZ are best off because their short runs mean that the distance to the mouth of the run is more favorable. The triggers of the Savage and Tikka can be adjusted from the outside, with the Remington this is only possible after shaving and with the CZ you can only change the setting of the set trigger. No weapon offers a barrel change option or can be dismantled to save space.

That's how we rated it
The weapons go through a fixed test program, a maximum of 100 points can be achieved:

The precision
The four test weapons were fired from the firing frame on the 100 stand, each with four types of cartridges. Variable telescopic sights with at least 12x magnification were mounted. So that all weapons were tested under the same conditions, all rifle scopes were set to 12x. The best of the four shot patterns is rated for each weapon.

The Tikka (.222 Rem.) Shot the best five-shot pattern with 10 mm with the RWS Match Jagd 3.4 g. The Remington 700 (.223 Rem.) Followed with 14 mm with Federals Gold Medal (4.47g Sierra Matchking bullet). This weight goes very well with the 9-inch twist. The Savage shot a millimeter worse, but managed its 15 mm shot pattern with the even heavier Hornady Superformance Match with a 4.8 g match hollow point bullet. These three rifles thus reached the 15 mm mark at 100 m and received the full number of points here.

Little CZ (.222 Rem.) Shot a remarkable 20 mm shot pattern with her thin barrel, also with the RWS Match Jagd 3.4 g, which was enough for 5 out of 10 points on the 100 m track.

Then the rifles went to the 200 and 300 m stand in Wetzlar. Slightly overcast skies and hardly any wind offered ideal conditions for shooting at greater distances. There was shot from the benchrest rest, and all rifle scopes remain at 12x. First of all, the ammunition types with which the rifles had shown their best result at 100 m were used on the 200 m stand.

That it shouldn't stay that way at 200 m was evident from the first weapon, the Tikka. At 200 m she shot a good 42 mm scatter circle, but not with the RWS Match Hunt, which showed the best result at 100 m, but with Sako's Racehead with a 3.4 g hollow point match bullet. The Remington 700 TAC scored the top spread circle of 38 mm over 200 m with Federals Gold Medal, with which it already showed the best result over 100 m. The Savage coped best with this load at 200 m and shot a 5-round group of 44 mm. At 53 mm, the CZ already clearly set itself apart from the other three rifles. In terms of hunting, this precision is still sufficient (Norma Oryx 3.6 g), so a fox would not have a chance even at 200 m.

Excited we switched to the 300 m track, where the wheat should separate from the chaff ... The 66 cm match barrel of the Savage showed a clear advantage there - with Hornady Superformance Match cartridges the range was 72 mm. That gives 4 out of 5 possible points. It is interesting that the Federal, which shot so well at 200 m in the Savage, showed a pronounced vertical dispersion 100 meters further.

The Remington shot her best 300 m shot pattern of 78 mm with the RWS Target Elite, which is loaded with a 4.47 g match hollow point bullet. At 100 (18 mm) and 200 meters (48 mm) this cartridge from the Remington did not show top results. Third place went to the Tikka with 86 mm, shot with RWS Match Jagd. The CZ delivered scatter circles of over 100 mm over 300 m. The best result was 109 mm with the Norma Oryx.

The Remington achieved the highest score in the precision test, although the Savage scored the best result at 300 m. If you compare the points scoring up to the 200 m distance, the Tikka is the most precise rifle in the test field, the US rifles only pass the Finn at 300 m.

Corrosion protection
This test is carried out in everyday life in the area. All weapons were used for hunting and received normal care. After a shot, the barrel is cleaned and the metal parts are externally freed of moisture, as far as possible without dismantling, before being placed in the gun cabinet. After the test period, the liner is dismantled and examined for corrosion.

The Savage has a clear advantage due to its metal parts made of stainless steel. It is extremely easy to care for. Apart from removing bullet deposits from the inside of the barrel from time to time and oiling the conductive parts, you don't have to do anything. That gives full marks.

The Tikka was very robust and easy to maintain. Many parts, such as the trigger guard, magazine well and magazine, are made entirely of plastic. The finish turned out to be very corrosion-resistant. For this, the testers gave 4 out of 5 points.

The Remington also did very well, not lagging behind the Tikka, scoring 4 out of 5 points. The CZ needed more care, especially the sheet steel magazine was susceptible to flash rust - it was enough to 3 out of 5 points.

Processing quality and value for money
The four test weapons are in the lower price segment - typical mass products from large manufacturers. You shouldn't expect finely polished surfaces and you shouldn't make too high demands on the fit of the shaft and metal parts.

The Tikka T3 was by far best liked, it makes the highest quality impression, is very well made. Even if it is the most expensive weapon in the test field at € 1,384, it received 9 out of 10 points. The Remington is a real offer at 999 € and also showed an overall good workmanship. In view of the good price, it was enough for 8 points.

The Savage draws almost the same as the Remington in terms of processing, is also very easy to care for with its stainless steel barrel and system and has the better trigger. At € 1199 it is also 20 percent more expensive. There were also 8 points for this.

The CZ is by far the worst processed, especially the shaft is very rustic. But it costs significantly less than a Tikka or Savage. That also earned her 8 points.

Before we come to the final distribution of points, a few more considerations about the need for thick match barrels mentioned at the beginning and the differences between the .222 and .223 Remington calibers. It has been clearly shown that thick match barrels shoot more precisely than thin hunting barrels. However, it has also been shown that this only plays a role in hunting at shooting ranges of over 200 m or very small targets. Even the light Brno shoots a shot pattern of just over 5 cm at 200.

With a heavy varmint rifle it is much easier and more comfortable to shoot - at 300 m you have a clear advantage and the .223 Remington also showed its strengths here, especially when the barrels have a short twist for heavy projectiles like our test rifles. A load that shows top precision at 100 m does not necessarily have to be precise at a greater distance. It is entirely possible that a cartridge that shot worse at 100 or 200 meters will beat the previous best loads at 300 meters. The best cartridge for long shots must be determined at the desired distance - ballistic extrapolation of 100 m does not work.

If you also want to hunt deer with such rifles, you should definitely prefer the .223 Remington, because its target energy at a greater distance is significantly higher and the heavy projectiles are less sensitive to wind.

Conclusion
The winner on points is Tikkas T 3 Varmint, closely followed by the Savage. These two weapons get two Jagdpraxis magnifying glasses. Then the Remington comes in third place and is beaten by the CZ, which, however, had no real chances against the three heavy Varmint rifles in terms of its conception.

precision (max. 25 points)
In this weapon category, precision is given a high priority. Five-shot groups with several loads of hunting ammunition are fired from a firing frame at 100, 200 and 300 m. The distance to the center of the outer bullet holes is measured. The full score of 25 points is given if the spread is no more than 15 mm over 100 m, no more than 40 mm over 200 m and no more than 70 mm over 300 m. 10 points are awarded for the scattered circle at 100, 10 points for 200 and 5 points for 300 m. A point is deducted for every mm more at 100, every 2 mm more at 200 and every 4 mm more at 300 m.

Deduction (max. 10 points)
Trigger characteristics and weight are evaluated - in the case of set trigger triggers in the unpunched condition. With varmint cans, the trigger weight should not exceed 800 g. One point is deducted for every 200 g more, even poor deduction characteristics (pulling, scratching, falling through) result in a point deduction depending on the importance.

magazine (max. 5 points)
Loading and unloading is important and safety-relevant for bolt-action rifles. How quickly can you reload, how convenient are loading and unloading, is the magazine capacity sufficient, is there a shoulder stop? Full points are awarded to weapons with a removable box magazine and shoulder stop for at least 4 cartridges in standard calibers, which can be easily and conveniently changed.

Stocking / bedding (max. 10 points)
In addition to the ergonomic shape of the buttstock, fore-end and pistol grip, the butt plate and checkering are also assessed. The wood quality, on the other hand, does not matter. Plastic shafts therefore have no disadvantage. The quality of the bedding of the system and the storage of the barrel are also assessed. The system must be bedded tension-free and the barrel must swing freely in the fore-end. A wooden shaft should be well protected against moisture.

Furnishing (max. 10 points)
Here it depends on whether there are sling swivels and the front one is attached at the correct distance from the muzzle. Does the rifle have the option of changing the barrel or can it be dismantled to save space, can the trigger weight be adjusted without firing?

Fuse (max. 10 points)
Modern hunting rifles should have a hand cock that is easy to operate and can be operated silently. There are full marks for this. If there is no hand cocking, but a firing pin safety device is available, there is a 3 point deduction. If the weapon only has a trigger lock, 5 points will be deducted. Poor ergonomics when cocking the hand or securing means two points are deducted, as is the case if hand cocking or securing makes too loud noises.

Functional and handling safety (max. 10 points)
Safe function and handling are of crucial importance for hunting rifles. 5 points of this are allotted to the area of ​​the trouble-free firing sequence. The cartridges must be fed correctly and the empty sleeves ejected correctly. For this purpose, 50 cartridges are fired from each weapon. The maximum magazine capacity in each case in rapid firing sequence. One point is deducted for each feeding or ejection failure. If there are an unusually high number of malfunctions in a weapon, the cartridge brand will be changed, but this is indicated separately in the test report. 5 points are awarded for handling. It depends on whether the bolt handle is long enough and correctly positioned, whether the trigger guard is big enough and whether the system can be repeated smoothly and smoothly.
Processing / price-performance ratio (max. 10 points)
This evaluation is based on the quality of the materials used, the fit of the components and the finish. The assessment is made in relation to the price of the weapon.
Preparation for ZF assembly (max. 5 points). Here it depends on how easily the rifle can be equipped with an optical aiming aid. Does the system already have assembly lower parts or are these integrated (prism rail, in-house assembly preparation)? Or are there threaded holes for assembly bases? Is a scope mount possibly included? Varmint rifles in this price range are often equipped with inexpensive fixed mountings. Prism rails are beneficial and bring full marks.

Corrosion protection (max. 5 points)
Here it is checked how susceptible metal parts are to rust. The test is carried out in everyday life in the area. All weapons are used for hunting for several months and receive normal care. After a shot, the barrel is cleaned and the metal parts are externally freed of moisture, as far as possible without dismantling, before they are placed in the gun cabinet. After the test period, the liner is dismantled and examined for corrosion. Open sights or the lack of a rear sight and front sight are not assessed. Varmint rifles are intended for precise, long-range shots and do not require an open sight.