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IHMSA News Feature Article
Published in The IHMSA News, the Official Publication of The International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association
Published monthly except November/December - January/February
IHMSA on the web at http://www.ihmsa.org
 
A Rifle Basix Cure For The Savage 22 Striker
By Todd Spotti
 

     Some time back I did a review of the Savage Sports Striker in 22 long rifle. I found the gun to have real potential as a good, inexpensive alternative to the Anschutz as a bolt action unlimited gun. However, there was a catch, and that was the trigger. With a factory pull weight of approximately six pounds, it rendered the gun to almost the same category as a casual tin can plinker or a rat shooter. Competition grade accuracy was almost impossible. 

     Later on, I was able to fit the gun with an aftermarket target grade trigger. The gun immediately started to shoot MOA groups at 100 yards with quality ammunition. The difference in the little Strikerís performance was not only dramatic, but actually startling - especially when you considered the modest cost of this very well designed little gun. However, there was another catch. The aftermarket trigger was as expensive as the gun itself. 

     Well some months ago I became aware that Rifle Basix was taking an alternative approach to the situation. (If you donít know, Rifle Basix is small independent trigger manufacturer located in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Theyíve been producing high quality triggers for a wide variety of guns for several years now. In fact, Iíve been using one of their low profile triggers on my Ken Light XP-100 standing unlimited gun for over five years now without a single problem.) 

     Rifle Basix decided not to build a complete replacement for the factory trigger assembly, but rather to design and build a replacement sear instead. The new part would take full advantage of the existing Savage mounting frame as well as all of the other existing pins and other trigger parts. Only the sear, one spring, and a jam nut would be replaced. All the rest of the Savage hardware would be retained. This approach insured that cost would be kept to a minimum. As a result, the Rifle Basix trigger sear costs only $69.95 plus shipping. This is approximately 35% of the cost of complete custom trigger assembly.

     Design of the new sear literally took several months of constant work and what seemed like endless experimentation. Bob Brasfield, owner of Rifle Basix, told me heís got a shoebox full of prototype designs that were tried and rejected for one reason or another. The final design is surely a tribute to his patience and his skill.

     Installing the new sear was not difficult. First remove the bolt and then remove the gun from the stock. Youíll see that there are three horizontal pins secured with an ďEĒ clip in the trigger assembly. One pin holds the trigger arm/trigger finger lever (the rod to which the plastic trigger shoe is attached), another pin holds the safety lever, and a third holds the sear itself. Remove the clips, and then using a punch or even a finishing nail, tap out the pins and set aside. Label what pin with what clip goes into what hole as two of the pins and clips are a slightly different diameter than the other. You donít want to get them mixed up.

     First remove the safety lever clip and pin and detach the safety lever from the side of the trigger assembly. Next remove the clip and pin for the trigger finger lever and remove the lever with the attached trigger shoe. Lastly, remove the clip and pin for the factory sear and remove same from the inside of the assembly along with the weight of pull spring and the large safety detent spring. While doing the above, be sure to note the position of the safety detent spring which operates the safety lever. You might want to even make a rough sketch to insure you get it back into the proper orientation when reassembling. 

     Now make sure the Rifle Basix weight of pull spring is placed in its cavity at the front of the replacement sear. Place the replacement sear inside the gunís trigger frame in the same orientation as the original sear. Line up the holes and replace the pin and clip. Then place the trigger lever back in the assembly and replace the pin and clip. Lastly, replace the safety lever, safety detent spring, pin, and clip. 

     Now youíre ready to adjust the new sear. Re-install the bolt and cock. Turn the gun bottom side up and at the front of the sear youíll see an allen head screw. Turn the screw down compressing the weight of pull spring. (The appropriate size wrench is provided.) The screw should be turned in from the top approximately .02 - .04Ē for your initial adjustment. 

     Now youíll want to turn in the sear positioning plunger at the rear of the sear just enough to take all movement and creep out of the trigger lever. When the trigger is set for a light pull, the plunger will be screwed in only a relatively slight amount. Youíll have to experiment a bit with the settings in order to ensure that you get a creep free trigger breaking at the weight you want. Once you get the creep out with the plunger adjustment, you can play with the weight of pull spring to get things just where you want them. Youíll probably have to go back and forth a couple of times with the adjustments to get everything set just so. Once everything is set, snug up the small nut on the plunger to keep things in place. Now youíre ready to start shooting.

     So whatís the end result? Well before, I had a six pound trigger and getting target grade accuracy was extremely difficult. In fact, the hard pull of the original trigger would leave a deep, red indentation in the pad of my finger - Iím not exaggerating. Itís true. Now, I have a 10 ounce trigger with no creep or movement of any kind. The trigger breaks clean and smooth and silhouette grade accuracy is routine. Actually, you should be able to get the trigger down to 8 ounces. If you donít like your triggers that light, you can crank it up to around a pound and a half.

     In addition, if you should own a Savage rimfire rifle, youíre in luck. This same sear will also fit the Savage Mk I, Mk II, Model 93, and the 900 Last but not least, it also fits the Savage 502 - the 22 Mag version of the Sports Striker.

     Finally, I think itís safe to say that Savage 22 Striker coupled with the Rifle Basix sear is a bargain basement tack driver. So if you have champagne tastes but have only a beer budget, this is just what youíve been looking for. Rifle Basix also makes complete triggers for several Savage, and Remington models including the XP-100 in a center grip stock and for a rear grip stock. For additional info call 704-566-1939.

Good luck and good shooting, Todd

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Warning: All technical data mentioned, especially handloading, reflect the limited experience of individuals using specific tools, products, equipment and components under specific conditions and circumstances not necessarily reported in the article or on this web site and over which IHMSA, The Los Angeles Silhouette Club (LASC), this web site or the author has no control. The above has no control over the condition of your firearms or your methods, components, tools, techniques or circumstances and disclaims all and any responsibility for any person using any data mentioned. Always consult recognized reloading manuals.