Savage Model 24 – Gun Review

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The Savage Model 24 Combination Gun

Picture taken from: http://www.cylindersmith.com/savage24/FAQ.html

This is a guest post by Crazy Horse.

When asked me to contribute to his website we were discussing real survival situations, specifically what could the average person have with them to help in a reality based situation.  As with most all discussions of survival situations the topic of weapons arose.  I opined that if I could have only one long gun, (and I’m a guy with a lot of guns), I would probably pick the Savage Model 24 rifle & shotgun combination.  I know I will get assailed by the black gun crowd, but I am talking about a piece of equipment that can feed you and your family. It is a gun that I know is highly effective here in the mid-west and likely any where in North America for putting food on the table.  Obviously, I am not talking about a weapon to support a defensive position or lead an assault with, but something to help keep you alive and feed your family.  The Savage Model 24 is fairly accurate, it isn’t a MOA gun, but is certainly sufficient for the most commonly encountered hunting and very basic self defense situations.  The Savage Model 24 is also a very simple weapon which reduces the potential for misfires, jams, failures and parts breakage.  Its simplicity also makes it a great weapon for youngsters to learn to hunt with as well.  In a survival situation all members of the family who were capable, would need to contribute to the effort.  For those of you not familiar with this fine piece of now discontinued weaponry it is an over and under which has a shotgun barrel on the bottom and a rifle barrel on the top, and it is discharged by a hammer which contains a selector switch allowing the shooter to choose either one or the other.  See the picture above.

History of the Savage Model 24

These combination guns were initially issued to the United States Army Air Force and eventually the US Air Force in the Pacific theater.  The issued Stevens (Savage) .22/.410 combination guns were intended almost solely as foraging guns for small game.  They initially differed from civilian guns only in having an Ordnance bomb stamped on the receiver near the hammer.  The .22 L.R. was problematic from a standpoint of the Hague Accord rules against expanding bullets, so a bizarre full metal jacketed bullet was devised for this application.  Ultimately the weight, dimensions and rimfire cartridge were all rejected by the Air Force, and in the early ’50s, a purpose built survival rifle was chosen–the M-6.   The M-6 Survival Rifle fires a .22 Hornet FMJ over a 3″ .410 barrel, and is of all metal construction (see below).  (Cite: .

Picture from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:M6_Survival_Rifle.jpg

Versatility

My first gun was and still is because I have kept it for almost thirty years is a Savage 24 D, chambered in .22 long rifle and has a .410 on the bottom barrel.  Growing up in the rural midwest it is needless to say, but I have taken dozens of rabbits and squirrels along with more than a few quail and dove.  As a survival tool, this gun is very versatile and it will allow the shooter to take both small to medium sized animals and most any birds.  One of the best advantages to a person in a survival situation is that this combination is chambered for commonly available ammunition and that ammunition is light and small enough that it can be packed in relatively high amounts without causing an undue burden.  The Savage Model 24 was also chambered in some additional calibers which could allow for the taking of larger game and some may think those calibers would be better than the .22/410 for survival.  The Savage 24 can be found in the following caliber combinations:

22LR/.410

22LR/20 Gauge

.22WMR/20 Gauge

.22 Hornet/20 Gauge

.222 Rem/20 Gauge

.30-30/20 Gauge

.22 Hornet/12 Gauge

.222 Rem/12 Gauge

.223 Rem/20 Gauge

.223 Rem/12 Gauge

.30-30/12 Gauge

.357 Mag/20 Gauge

I also own a .223 over a .12 gauge, which with the surge in varmint hunting has evolved into the most expensive of the combinations.   This is also an excellent combination for a survival gun, but you do add a significant weight and size burden with the larger ammunition.  But you also get significant power increases as well.  Personally, the burden of the extra weight is one I am willing to deal with for the additional power and range this ammunition offers.  With a .223 soft point and a load of 3″ lead two’s, this would be the only gun you would need to carry.

The disadvantage of the Savage Model 24

I started varmint hunting near the town I lived in and used the shotgun barrel more than anything else for fox’s, feral cats and the occasional coyote.  The one item that always bothered me was when I tried to use it as a rifle and placed a large variable scope on it, the shotgun would recoil into your eye if you weren’t careful.  Having an optic on the gun obviously also reduced the speed & efficiency of the getting on target with the shotgun.  The evolution in ACOG & AimPoint type scopes, other advanced optical sights and after market rail systems, now allows the shooter to mount an optic out further forward on the gun so you can shoot with both eyes open and not worry about being hit in the eye.  A newer optic like that may be an option on an older gun like this, if you prefer to use an optic instead of just open iron sights.

Overall

The .223 Caliber/.12 Gauge combination would be my one gun survival tool. But I would certainly not shy away from any of the others Savage Model 24 combinations either.   How can you argue with a .357 or 30-30 over a 12 or 20 Gauge shotgun for taking deer and small game.  These combinations also have great availability of ammunition.  These great guns are out there and you can usually find a decent deal at your local gun shop.  But if you are shopping on line be prepared to pay for the less common .222 or .223 models.  The Savage Model 24, is my choice for a reality survival tool.

Where can you find one now?

Since Savage discontinued them, I have not found an exact new reproduction, but Rossi does makes some budget friendly matched sets that come in similar combinations as those listed above.  You can find the Rossi Matched sets by clicking here.  What would be the one gun that you would carry into a wilderness survival situation?

Thanks for reading!

Crazy Horse

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About JJ

As a child I grew up in the Midwest on a small farm and fell in love with the outdoors. Later, that led me to join the USAF where I became a USAF Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Instructor. As a SERE Instructor I have trained in all types of environments. Temperate, Arctic, Desert, and Rain Forest. After four years in SERE I retrained into the counterintelligence and counterterrorism field where I have worked for 11 years. I have traveled to the Far East, Asia, Southwest Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America. The combination of both careers has thought me to see two sides of a coin. I consider myself a realist and while I enjoy primitive survival living, hiking, camping, and hunting for short periods. I also have the experience & understanding to know that living primitively is NOT fun or easy for long periods. Therefore, I try to be practical and logical in an effort to build a reliable, flexible philosophy of self reliance that can be utilized in any situation. Hopefully reading this blog will help you to do the same.

33 Responses to Savage Model 24 – Gun Review

  1. Jt says:

    Good choice!

  2. Greg says:

    I love the versatility of the Savage Model 24. It is an all around hunting gun that will allow you to take small or large game. For a survivalist, or someone that lives off the land, this would be the rifle to have if you could only choose one.
    Greg recently posted..Top 5 Best Selling Game CamerasMy Profile

  3. JJ says:

    Thanks JT!
    I thought it was pretty sweet as well.

    Cheers
    JJ
    JJ recently posted..Bushcraft vs SurvivalMy Profile

  4. JJ says:

    Greg,
    I agree! By the way, those are some pretty sweet game cameras you have on your site at http://www.deertrackingcameras.com/blog/top-5-best-selling-game-cameras-2/

    I love seeing pics of the animals I am hunting. It really helps to pattern the animal and reduce the amount of time needed on the stand.

    Cheers
    JJ
    JJ recently posted..Bushcraft vs SurvivalMy Profile

  5. Tom says:

    Nice site, good info and comments.
    I just picked up a nice model 24 that is chambered with 22 mag. and 410.
    A real beauty!!!
    Can’t wait to shoot it.

  6. Dean says:

    I have a question. Does anyone know if the 1960 Savage model 24 full choke can fire .410 slugs through it? I love this gun but have not been able to find info on the ammo used in it. This model again is chambered with 22L and .410.

  7. Personally I would not recommend shooting slugs through a full choked gun. You may be able to shoot a Sabot slug through it since it has the plastic coating around the slug. Maybe the plastic would squeeze enough to exit safely, but I really don’t know, I would try asking one of the You Tube Gun Guys like “The Armory Channel”

    Of course you could look at the possibility of adding screw in chokes to teh gun if it is possible.

    Hope this helps. Cheers JJ

  8. Paul says:

    You can actually shot slugs through a full choke. Over time, your choke will no longer be full, but yes, it can and has been done by many with the blessing of more than one gun smith.

  9. Paul, Your right it “Can” be done, I just wouldn’t personally on my own guns. For the very reason that you explained above, plus possible over pressure issues on older guns.

  10. Larry N says:

    I have an unfired Savage 24V in 357mag over 20 gauge that I want to sell. In perfect condition. lan948 at frontier.com Live in Wisconsin.

  11. funke75 says:

    I have a question about the variant of ammo used for the 22 LR round. I’ve heard that subsonic 22 LR rounds can cause issues with cycling in some guns. Do you know if that would be an issue with this variety?
    funke75 recently posted..100 Dollar Survival RifleMy Profile

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  14. funke75, Since the Savage model 24 is an over and under gun it will fire all .22lr ammo the same. You can probably also shoot .22long, and .22 short as well.

    Cheers
    JJ
    admin_jjsere1 recently posted..Benefits of Adding Security Cameras to Your HomeMy Profile

  15. Dan Beck says:

    I purchased my Savage .22lr/.410 model 24 in 1960 at age 10. It has served me well ever since as my small game gun. I took my first deer with it at 11, 25 yrds., .45Long pistol round in the .410 barrel, small 70 lb. doe. It along with my Remington 870 12gauge, Marlin 336 .30-30, and Ruger Security Six .357 will always be with me and I am confident will serve well in Texas as these guns have never failed me.

  16. Bruce says:

    I have to 24s. one is the .223 over a 20. The other is not listed on your caliber list. It is a .22 mag over .410. Thought I would pass it on … Thanks

  17. jackson says:

    i have a 24d for sale like new 22l &20g any offers jp36@telus.net

  18. bkhart says:

    Most of the 24 shotgun barrels are cylinder choke and will handle slugs. Any .22 ammo will shoot in the appropriate barrel, just shot some long rifle through sub sonics yesterday for target practice with young nephew, everything works fine. Some brands work better in diffrent barrels,try till you find your favorites. Check out Savage24.com

  19. Jack says:

    Dear Friend

    I’m looking for some parts for my Savage Combination shotgun and was hoping you could help me or send me in the right direction. I need a barrel and the but plate and screws.

    Barrel .22 Mag or LR/20 ga. 3′
    but plate and screws.

    Thank you

    Jack

  20. Cheers!!!!!!!!!!! Love It..I want now…
    Gun Shop Ohio recently posted..DPMS PANTHER 5.56 MAXIMUM WARRIOR – $1,259.00My Profile

  21. donnie coxe says:

    I love all the 24’s.I own many of them..22lr/410,22mag/410 22mag/20ga 222/30.30/20ga and a rare 357 maximum over 20ga ..they are all 3″mag’s which is a plus.I have taken a lot of game with all of them over years…My collection’s not finished yet thou….If anyone has something I don’t have I’d be interested in buying it…I’ve heard there’s a 308 over 12ga out there and I want it!!!!
    contact me at fishaholic001@gmail.com if you have something..Thank you for reading my comments

    I own

    i

  22. donnie coxe says:

    Jack ….just looked on Ebay of all places and they have your butt plate for $15:00..

  23. Randy Dowdy says:

    Savage is offering newer models of the famous 24s again. I think they are ugly, but they are functional and a great gun for a SHTF scenario. I used to own a few of the older ones, a beauty of a 24B-DL with 20 gauge 3″ under 22 WMR, and a model 24 410 3″ under 22 LR. Wish I could have kept them. The 24B-DL had beautiful engraving of a fox and a grouse, the standard 24 was just bland.
    To anyone who needs parts, Ebay is chock full of parts for all Savage 24s. Good luck!
    Randy Dowdy recently posted..More GoodYear waste found OUTSIDE OF SPECIFIED AREAS!My Profile

  24. Woodsloafer says:

    Most 20 gauge models were chambered for 3 inch shells and were full choke. The exception was the model 24C (Camper’s Companion) which was chambered for 2 3/4 shells and was cylinder bored.
    You’re right, the Savage 24 is just about the ideal “survival” firearm when you need to feed yourself and your family.

  25. Hank Hosking says:

    Have taken half dozen white tails with a Savage 30/30 over 12ga, mounted with an old Weaver 2 and 3/4 scope. At fifty yards off a bench I can get 1 and 1/2 inch groups. But slugs shot with the same aim point are 6 ” low and 6″ to the right. Great little gun, very handy and the only one I now use for deer hunting.

    Hank hosking

  26. Don Cosaro says:

    I am looking for a Savage model 24 that was issued to the Air Force after WWII.
    Please contact gunseller.biz@gmail.com
    Thank you,
    Don
    GunSeller.Biz

  27. Keith McArthur says:

    I have a savage 24b in a 22 WMR over a .410. This caliber doesn’t seem to be listed anywhere that I can find online. I also have a model 24c. I love these guns. I am actively searching for a 24v -d in a .357 over 20 gauge. Thanks for your blog. Good information.

  28. Sue A Pennypacker says:

    Dear Sir: I had bought my deceased hubby a Savage over/under model 24S-D 22L 20 guage back in 1965. Now that he is gone, I would like to sell this gun, it hasn’t been fired more than 15 times. He keep it well cleaned, he just wanted the gun, even though he was not a hunter. If you could help me with what the value of this gun would be and where to go to sell it, I would be most appreciative. I did enjoy your site.

  29. Hello Sue,

    Do you still have the Savage 24 for sale?
    Thank you.
    Steve W.

  30. Biff A Bumgarner Jr says:

    @Sue A Pennypacker

    I am interested in giving your husband’s gun a good home. I’ve been looking for an affordable Model 24 in 22lr/20ga for quite a while now. I think it would be a perfect first hunting rifle for my son! Please contact me at bumgarnerbiff@yahoo.com, if you are still interested in selling the gun!

    Biff

  31. Dan Evans says:

    Hi, I have a Savage 24v or d with nickel plating and chambered in Rem. 357 max and 20 gauge shotgun lower with a large trigger opening for gloves. It was said that only 200 of these rifles were ever made in 1983 for an Alaskan hardware store for survival in bush planes. Does anyone know more about this gun?

  32. Sorry, I don’t but it sounds as though you have a keeper!

  33. Zane K says:

    I searched for ever for a savage model 24 and couldn’t find any for a reasonable price. I now came across 3 within a short period of each other and having my gun addiction the way it is I bought all 3. I have a 22lr/20ga camper, 24v .223/20 ga and a 30-30/20 ga now. Its funny how a guy can go from having never shot a 20 ga (always used a 12 growing up) to having 3 combos with them on it. I recently saw a gentleman selling a nickle plated .22/20 ga that had regular butt stock and changeable with a pistol grip in what looked like perfect shape, but he wanted a lot for it and I don’t really blame him. I find these guns a little heavy but for what you get its probably worth it. I hope to get a deer with my bow early season here in eastern canada, and if I do then our annual trip to a friends hunting camp will be with the .223/20ga, but if not then I may consider the 30-30/20ga. I can’t see myself ever selling part of the collection now seeing as it took some serious searching but I may lend one to my father in-law who got 30 partridge last year without a combo and could have gotten a lot more had he not only had a rifle. I love even reading peoples opinions on these and can’t wait to get some use out of mine.

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