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Hardware: Savage 93 Minimalist

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Provocateurs of the minimalist movement believe that you should only have 100 “things” that you own. No house, no car; you need to “declutter” your home and life. That includes guns, knives and books, but of course everybody knows it’s impossible to have too many of them.

Think of the hopelessness of the minimalist doctrine. One pair of underwear, one cooking pot, one rifle and 97 cartridges. In contrast, I believe that he who dies with the most toys wins! I find the minimalist mindset evil and denounce the heathen lifestyle. I like my stuff and happily live in clutter. It is the way.

Savage 93 Minimalist rimfire rifle.

Bad dreams started when I was asked to review the Savage 93 Minimalist rifle. Before the rifle even arrived I wasn’t sleeping, couldn’t eat and found it hard to focus just thinking of the concept of a minimalist lifestyle.

“Please don’t let this be the start of something unimaginable,” I thought. “Not the guns. Anything but the guns.”

I had visions of a rifle with a clothes hanger wire stock and a barrel like a plastic straw, the rest of the gun made from folded soda cans and a wisp of plastic for the trigger—a gun so simplistic that its combined weight barely utilized gravity. I believed that to review such a critter could well be the camel’s nose pushing under the tent. My things were in danger.

Then they sent me the gun. Huh, I thought. Minimalist? I am not seeing it.

I am told that the name comes from the stock and I noticed it had a large chunk cut out of the bottom of the buttstock and even more of it sculpted away along the sides. Doing this probably removed 6 or 7 ounces from the rifle. Other than that, it’s a smallish .22 Magnum rifle.

This is my kind of minimalism. The only difference is I would keep all the pieces of removed wood and let them collect on a flat surface somewhere.

The Savage Minimalist is an interesting rimfire rifle. I am not sure I understand the name, as it is still a handful of rifle. Besides, I would never use laminated wood if I were striving for minimalism. Other than billet steel, it’s probably our weightiest stock material. Clearly I just don’t understand the minimalist concept in action here.

So, I forgot the name and just reviewed the rifle. The laminated wood stock is rather thin and fits well in the hand, although for my taste they left a few too many sharp edges. The tip of the fore-end is angled forward under the barrel for a short section and then angled back about 45 degrees. The stock is narrow along the rifle, which is why, I suspect, they didn’t go with a flush fit rotary magazine; not enough room. Instead there is a single-stack, 10-round metal magazine protruding from the bottom of the gun. It is right on the balance point to carry the rifle, which is my only complaint. The magazine fits into a metal base plate held on with two screws. The plastic trigger guard is separate and again uses two screws.

The name SAVAGE is laser engraved and stacked down the length of the fore-end while the Savage logo is engraved in each side of the buttstock in the sculpted out areas. The pistol grip has laser stippling on each side with some stylish fingers along the bottom. The fore-end has finger groves that are laser stippled for grip, with the 1/10-inch-wide fingers pointing into the stippling and lined up for the entire length. The buttplate is hard plastic and the center is serrated.

Savage 93 Minimalist rimfire rifle buttstock.

The laminated stock is offered in brown and “green,” which uses some dyed green sections in the laminate to provide green highlights when the stock is formed from the wood. Sling swivel attachment studs are provided front and rear.

The adjustable AccuTrigger on my rifle breaks nicely at 2 pounds, 7 ounces as shipped. Perfect for any hunting rifle. The new 93 Minimalist is initially offered in .22 Win. Mag., and the 93R17 in.17 HMR. The Mark II Minimalist can be found in .22 LR, and I have heard a .17 Mach-II is on the way.

The button-rifled, 18-inch carbon steel barrel is threaded ½-28 at the muzzle for use with a silencer and has a cap to protect the threads. The round bolt is rather petite, measuring only .68 inch in diameter. The front half is milled flat on the bottom. There are two extractors, one on each side, with the firing pin in the top center. The standing ejector is off to one side, just behind the magazine. The bolt handle is 2.3 inches long and only ¼ inch at its thinnest point. It is square where it is welded to the bolt and has a round knob. There is a two-position safety on the right side. It does not lock the bolt shut.

The gun alone weighs 5.48 pounds and is only 37 inches long. It’s not a brute, but no true lightweight either. Thank God. I like this gun just as it is. It feels just right in my hand when I carry it, and it’s solid enough to be stable when I shoot.

When I was ready to test the rifle, .22 Mag. ammo was like unicorns and Bigfoot, I want to believe they exist, but it’s all faith and no proof. Luckily I had some ammo on my shelves. Most of it was newish but at least one Remington ammo product probably predates the Obama administration and was made in a time when everybody knew that no .22 Mag. shot well. Luckily it aged gracefully and proved it was the guns.

It was suggested to me that this gun cries out for a red-dot sight and I cannot disagree. However, our squirrel season just opened, and hunting these elusive little critters requires a bit of precision. I opted to install a Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7x33mm Rimfire scope in Leupold rings on the Weaver-style bases that are included with the rifle.

The gun shot well with no problems. It fed everything I tried without drama. The average of all the three-shot groups at 50 yards was .73 inch. The best ammo shot .58 inch. This is outstanding accuracy in a .22 Mag. I found the gun very user-friendly and a delight to shoot. I plan to make more than one pot of Brunswick stew with squirrels I shoot with this rifle this fall. While I firmly reject the minimalist lifestyle, I really like this Minimalist rifle.

Technical Specifications
• Type: bolt-action, rimfire rifle
• Caliber: .22 WMR
• Magazine: detachable, in-line box; 10-rnd. cap.
• Barrel: 18″; carbon steel; sporter contour; button rifled; 1:16″ twist; threaded muzzle w/cap
• Trigger: Savage AccuTrigger; pull weight adjustable 2.5 lbs.-6 lbs.
• Sights: none; two-piece Weaver bases installed
• Safety: two-position lever
• Stock: Boyd’s Minimalist; laminated wood; natural finish (green or brown);13.75″ LOP
• Metal Finish: matte black
• Overall Length: 37”
• Weight: 4.25 lbs.
 Accessories: lock, trigger adjustment tool, earplugs
• MSRP: $369; savagearms.com




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