My 11 year old grandson has started with the JR NRA shooting program. He shoots once a week with range guns and a different one every week. I suspect he could do better if he used the same gun week after week. He is way too small for my Kimber 82G (we tired but it is too heavy for him to handle even prone with a sling). The range has Olympic style guns, both heavy guns and light Crickets, all set up for slings with click adjustable match target sights.
What does any one know about the Savage Mark I-FVT, Bolt action, single shot offered through CMP. Is it accurate enough? Is the trigger good enough?
Are the sights good enough? CMP says "Equipped with Williams receiver sight that is click adjustable for windage and elevation. The hooded front sight comes with interchangeable apertures." Are they adequate? They use a flat disk aperture whereas most Olympic style rear sights use a tube with the peep hole at the front end of the tube. Is that a problem?
The CMP discount is huge (nearly 50% off). The requirements to buy through them are easily met because he is shooting in a verifiable JR NRA program.
Are the Savage guns worthy enough for him to use until he is big enough to move over to the Kimber?
Location: The great metroplex of Reno TX about 6 feet outside of Paris and a couple of miles from the Paris TX Eiffel Tower.
Re: Savage Mark I-FVT for JR NRA shooting ???
I was going to say something negative due to their accuracy, but our club has four of these CMP Savage Mk I rifles, so obviously a former project leader thought well enough of them to buy four. They fill the niche you are describing, smaller than the full-size rifles and larger than the beginner's rifles.
I shot the Savages some, from a rest. In my tests, their accuracy with their peep/globe sights is adequate for beginner/intermediate shooters. However, to get to the next level, one needs better than 1 MOA accuracy, which I think may be beyond the capability of the little Mk I.
The sights on the Savage Mk I are good enough for intermediate-level, 10-15 year old shooters in a 3-P target program. The tube you mentioned is a sort of hood that helps prevent glare; unless one is shooting into the sun there is no advantage to having this hooded arrangement.
These rifles can achieve .975 MOA at up to 50 yards using a good low-cost 40 gr. Lead Round Nose standard velocity ammo such as Aguila Target or Aguila Match Rifle (both $30.25/500). Even the 1250 fps Fed AutoMatch ($13.50/325) shoots just fine. I have not tried any competition grade ($15/50 to $20/50) target ammo in our Mk I rifles.
The plastic stock of the Savage is annoying to an old hand like me. A youth probably will never notice that plastic has certain feel that is not like wood.
I have two alternatives to suggest: First is an old Rem 521T Junior Special, maybe even in a sporter stock. It is sort of a Savage Mk I from an earlier era... with that era's nice wood stock and fine looks. Although a repeater, with the magazine inserted the 521T can be hand-loaded one shot at a time. Also, inserts for the front sight can still be found, and Merit sells an adjustable aperture rear sight to fit.
Second alternative is a brand-new Izhmash CM-2. Our club has two of the Izhmash CM-2 which each weigh 7.5 lbs. I personally own an older model called the Vostok CM-2 which weighs 10 lbs. On the older models, the trigger pull goes down to 4 ounces; newer models I think adjust down to a pound.
In the end, buying a rifle is a trade-off between usability, cost, wants, and expectations. The Savage Mk I fills the bill for an inexpensive, reasonably accurate and light 5.5 to 6.0 pound target rifle with peep/globe sights. Worth a try? Yes. I'm sure our club will buy more if nothing better for the price shows up.