Savage Model 42 Combination Gun .22LR/.22WMR & .410 Shotgun – Review
(www.gunsamerica.com) Disney just bought the Star Wars franchise for the exact same reason that Savage has finally re-created the Model 24 combination gun, CONSUMER DEMAND. Even though the generations may change dramatically, a great idea never stops being a great idea, and the idea of a rifle/shotgun combination was always a great idea. The new Savage is called the Model 42 and for now it comes in either .22LR or.22WMR over .410 shotgun. Comparing the engineers at Savage, circa 1939, to George Lucas, isn’t a big stretch surprisingly enough. The American public bought over a million Model 24s between its introduction in ’39 and sunset in the 1980s, and over the last several years the Model 24 has become extremely collectible. Everyone seems to want one, hence, the birth of the Model 42, which has an MSRP of $480, and street price substantially less. The original Model 24 was what many considered the ultimate “utility gun” back in the day. This Model 42 is still kind of the same gun, retaining the utility value, while taking advantage of modern materials and firearm design. We found the gun to be accurate, versatile, and downright attractive for a low priced utility gun. If you have been “watching” all the Model 24s that have come on to GunsAmerica, wishing you had bought them before they became collectible, the Model 42 is every bit as much gun as the Model 24, and it won’t kill you to throw it behind the seat of your truck.
Our test gun was the .22LR version, but the .22WMR appears to also be out and available. Practically speaking, the choice between the two boils down to what you want to use the Model 42 for, and which barrel you want to use for which task. For instance, if you want to use the 42 to rabbit hunt, but you expect to maybe see a grouse, or even a coyote, or visa versa, the .22WMR is great for a coyote, but probably overpowered for your average cottontail. The .22LR is perfect for the rabbit, and some buckshot in the .410 is perfect for a coyote. We also patterned both 2 1/2″ #6 shot and 3″ #4 shot with the .410, and even without the ability to use screw in chokes, the buckshot, #6, #4, and even some Winchester PDX1 flat disk loads worked fabulously.
The original Model 24 grew to a huge line of guns, in various configurations and model designations over the years. The top barrel at one time came in .22LR, .22WMR, .222, 30-30, .308 and even .357 Magnum. The bottom barrel has been offered in 12 and 20 gauge, as well as .410 shotshell. We have not heard if there is any plans to expand the Model 42 line, but as a first offering , .22LR and .22WMR, along with .410, are good choices from Savage. The few people I have spoken to about the Model 42 have instantly said “I wish it came in a (fill in combination).” You can’t please everyone, but my guess is that a lot of people will go and buy a 42 in its existing configuration.
It is also impossible to ignore the survival gun potential for the Model 42, outside of hunting and plinking. You can carry an enormous amount of .22LR ammunition for very little weight, and shotshells are about the same weight as handgun rounds, with much more versatility and punch. If you went into the woods with the Model 42, a brick of .22LR and a couple boxes each of #6 birdshot and 000 buckshot, you aren’t going to go hungry, and there is not an animal in the woods you couldn’t kill with the right shot placement. Predators, from wolves to humans, would also be short work for the .410 with buckshot. About the only thing you might want to be careful of is bears, though at point blank range, a bear who tries to steal the trout I just caught is going to have a very bad day with the Model 42 in my hands.
The stock on the new Model 42 is polymer, and the forend is grooved for your fingers. The buttpad is fit clean to the buttstock, and overall the fit and finish of the gun is nicely made, tight and neat. The Model 42 weighs in at just under 5 lbs. loaded and the barrels are 20 inches. Any 2 1/2″ or 3″ shotshell fits the .410 barrel. We did not try .45 Colt. About the only problem I have with the gun is that the extractor is polymer. You don’t really need the extractor except on high brass 3″ .410 shells, so I would use it sparingly. It would be an expensive machined part in steel, so plastic was probably the best choice to keep the cost of the gun down, and it would matter a lot more if you actually needed it. For the most part you flip out all the .22LR and most of the .410 shells with your fingernail, and the same probably goes for the .22WMR. The sights are also plastic, and we’ll get to that.
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