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Sabatti Semi auto .22 Sporter

Sabatti Semi auto .22 Sporter

Mention the name Sabatti to most UK shooters and there’s a good chance most of them will have heard of them. Those that have will associate this Italian gun maker with shotguns since that in theory is what they’re best known for. However, whilst the Sabatti name and related products are still establishing themselves over here, the Europeans have been big into Sabatti’s rifles for a long time, one of their most popular being the one and only rimfire the maker produces. Interestingly, whilst some other manufacturers take Ruger’s famed 10/22 as the initial design base Sabatti have gone one step further in that apart from the heavy, target-style barrel their Semi-Auto Sporter 22LR is an out and out copy.

Bare and Basic

It’s often said that most people buy with their eyes, the decision to purchase made within thirty or so seconds of the item or product being handled. If that is the case this Sabatti has an uphill battle mainly because this is one of the most bare and basic rifles I have ever seen.

The plain and what I conclude to be beech wood sporter stock and squared and chamfered forearm are plain and simple to a degree, like the rifle the Sabatti emulates, there’s no checkering, only the hatching on the plastic buttplate providing frictional traction against the shooter. Not so much of a problem but I would suggest that you like me wear a pair of decent shooting gloves, thin suede palms and fingers reintroducing security of hold such as those found on Viper’s tactical series.

The rather elongated action has dispensed any form of ornamentation apart from the anodised surface that encapsulates the entire surface only the maker’s name breaking the monotony on the left-hand side. On the right the oblong ejection port houses a polished bolt and short bolt handle. Underneath the non-adjustable trigger-blade sits within a black polymer guard at the rear of which is situated the crossbolt safety whilst to the front of the forward span sits the square magazine release for the 10-shot capacity rotary mag, the bolt lock is a small protuberance to the left of the release. The only other thing that remains is the accessory rail, which you will have to fit yourself, a process that’ll take about five minutes.

The heavy varmint barrel is 19” long and 1” in diameter and the muzzle comes cut 1/2x20 UNF for a moddy. A good 1” in diameter and 19” in length without a suppressor attached, this heavy varmint or target is finished with a light black anodised coating. Conceived and specified by importer’s Range Right especially for the UK market, the idea is that this Sabatti will be used primarily with quality, 40 grain high velocity rounds the idea being to give shooters a 22LR rifle with extended yet accurate range. 
 
So as to ensure the Sabatti’s heavy barrel worked at its best I elected to fit an A-Tec’s CCM-4. Good looking and easy to maintain and keep clean, even with high-performance rounds being shot through it, this little A-Tec’s ability to suppress noise is quite remarkable.

Oils Well

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Keeping to the high velocity theory the selected ammo was RWS’s HV HP, these 40 grain hunting bullets generating a consistent average speed of 1,059fps allied to 99.6 ft/lbs of energy.

Physically the Sabatti tips the scales at 8lbs 4oz with a balance point just in front of the chamber. With the A-Tec moderator fitted the rifle was an exact 42” in length or 37” with it removed whilst the trigger broke at a heavy 6lbs.

On the range the first of the Sabatti’s needs came quickly to light due in the main to the tension of the cyclic spring. Most new rifles tend to be dry of oil to a greater or lesser extent but the Sabatti was virtually bone dry. An application of Ballistol Universal oil to both the inner workings and the magazine eased matters.

Once things had settled down the Sabatti came into zero reasonably quickly; ½” to ¾” or so 60 yard distant groups more than possible which indicated that given a couple more boxes of ammo down the barrel should see the groups pull tighter. The one notable aspect was the fact that the rifle remained perfectly still at all times, not a hint of any form of recoil or muzzle movement. What you will find is that when it comes to cocking the bolt and the removal and insertion of the magazine, you’ll need to get a firm grip of things, the rifle’s rugged countenance hinting as to how the Sabatti should be handled.

At 8lbs 4oz this rifle is a little heavy for a 22 semi-auto and more aimed at the target shooter than the hunter.

Physical effort aside, once you’ve burned a sufficient number of rounds down the barrel, at sixty or so yards with high-velocity ammo, this Sabatti will do the business. Likewise, compared to the basic Ruger 10/22 the Sabatti costs a fraction less and offers the heavier target like barrel although the general appearance is of what’s best described as a rough hewn, slightly more down to earth, no airs and graces attitude. For anyone looking for a no nonsense vermin controller that has for want of a better term ‘target rifle aspirations’ then this Sabatti could well be the road to travel, the PAO scope an ideal entry level way of topping the rifle off with a target shooting scope.

From my own perspective of shooting the Sabatti in along with a brief outing on rabbits the rifle was alright, hitting what it was aimed at. However, irrespective of the fact I couldn’t sling the rifle over my shoulder or mount a bipod, the constant need for lubrication and the inherent stiffness of the trigger, bolt and magazine loading and extraction did at times grate. The upside is the Sabatti’s accuracy which when mated to the appropriate ammunition and hooked to a quality moderator means one shot-one kill hunting is a matter of course. But compared to a real 10/22 be prepared to have to manhandle the Sabatti - delicacy of handling is certainly not part of this rifle’s remit. 

 

  • Sabatti Semi auto .22 Sporter - image {image:count}

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  • Sabatti Semi auto .22 Sporter - image {image:count}

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  • Sabatti Semi auto .22 Sporter - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Sabatti Semi auto .22 Sporter - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Sabatti Semi auto .22 Sporter - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Sabatti Semi auto .22 Sporter - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Sabatti Semi auto .22 Sporter - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Sabatti Semi auto .22 Sporter - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Sabatti Semi auto .22 Sporter - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

gun
features

  • Calibres: .22LR
  • Options: N/A
  • Barrel length: 19” without mod, 24” with A-Tec mod
  • Actions: Semi-automatic
  • Grades: N/A
  • Open / Iron sights: No
  • Magazine Type: 10-round Helix
  • Integral: Screw attached accessory rail
  • Trigger: Mechanical, Non – adjustable
  • Price of rifle:: £325
  • PAO Scope: ½”x20 UNF
  • £150: A-Tec CCM-4

2 Comments

  • I have inherited one of the small number of Sabatti .22s imported into the U.S. in the mid-90s.  I should clarify by saying that I inherited most of a Sabatti .22; the (heavy) barrel, receiver, trigger group and buttstock.  I would very much like to put it back into operations condition but am facing some challenges.  I have found a gun parts dealer who has the bolt and most of the other needed parts, but I still cannot find anyone who has the recoil spring and recoil spring guide rod.  Do you know of a parts dealer on your side of the Atlantic who might have these in stock?  Or, do you know where I could obtain the measurements on these components so I could possibly find an appropriate rod and spring from other sources? I have read that some Ruger 10/22 parts will fit, but from the schematics I have seen that rifle’s recoil spring looks quite different.

    Default profile image
    Samuel Madsen
    11 Oct 2017 at 07:59 PM
  • I bought my Sabatti because I tend to regard Italian firearms as having more effort put into their manufacture. It feels chunky to handle and pulls into the shoulder comfortably, not like many of the competitors which have a "boy's gun" feel about them. Accuracy with HV is very good,regardless of what I feed it. Subs are fussy and annoying until cleaning, lubricating and brand of ammunition are resolved, but well worth the effort when you do. I no longer scan the gun mags looking at the latest .22 fashion offerings because I am well pleased with what Sabatti have provided.

    Default profile image
    Robert Coulbert
    09 Feb 2016 at 07:40 PM


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