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Old April 18, 2013, 04:18 PM   #1
breakingcontact
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Which Savage rifle?

I am looking for a general purpose rifle. I'm not new to guns, but for practical purposes, I am new to bolt action rifles.

-I have a local range where I "can" shoot up to 1000 yards. Not that I plan to regularly, but the option is there and I would like something capable of accuracy at least at 500 yards.
-Additionally, I'm not an active hunter, but would like to go sometime.
-I'm not overly price sensitive, but can't go beyond $600 or so.

I am looking at the following rifles:

Savage Axis (available locally for $280)

-I know this rifle is bottom of the barrel for Savage. If it's reliable and built to be durable, I am interested in it.

Savage 110/111 (available locally with scope for $500)

-I don't recall the scope it comes with, this is from Academy Sports.
-Overall I like the feel much better than that of the Axis although I don't care for the longer barrel.

Savage Scout (available through gunbroker for $500-$600)

-I really like the idea of scout rifles, but admit I don't know if they are practical in actual use.
-I do like the iron sights for backup. Can a scope be mounted traditionally on this rifle?

Savage 10FP (available through gunbroker for $700+)

-I had one of these years ago, I enjoyed it, but didn't have a long range to shoot at.
-I like the heavy barrel, but these seem to be the most costly of all the options

Savage 11 VT (available locally through Dick's Sporting Goods for $550)

-This is the one I'm most interested in.
-It comes with a Bushnell 4-12 x 40mm scope (I believe)
-Is this rifle going to be an issue though as it's a unique model to Dick's. I don't want to run into any issues with parts not being available or interchangeable if this is an odd model.

Thanks for whatever advice you can give. Basically, I'm not against any of the rifles and understand most of their strengths and drawbacks. I am of course attracted to the Axis for the price, but if I can get a much better rifle, for just a few hundred more, I'd like to go that route.
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Old April 18, 2013, 04:40 PM   #2
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I have an Axis. I would buy another one. But if you have the money, I'd recommend the 110. Especially if it comes with a scope.
The Axis comes equipped with a Bushnell 3x9 variable. I'm replacing mine with a Nikon. That makes my investment $500 into that gun.
So like I said, if you have the cash for something better right out of the gate I say go for it.
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Old April 18, 2013, 04:47 PM   #3
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Re: Which Savage rifle?

Thanks, that's kind of where I'm at. Tempted by the low cost of the Axis, but for around $500 could get a nicer gun.

Savage offers a lot of different models. I don't know what their standard gun really is.
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Old April 18, 2013, 05:09 PM   #4
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What you see is pretty much what you get with the Axis. There are no after market upgrades. You can get a new trigger from Rifle Basix but that's it, and the trigger job is 100 bucks.
If you ever have want or need for a different stock for the Axis, your out of luck.
Like I said, I like mine and would buy another one. But if you have the money to spring for a higher end model, go that route.
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Old April 20, 2013, 12:54 AM   #5
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Here is the ad for the 11 VT, It's $550 currently, minus $50 promotion, minus $50 if you open and close a store card.

$445 for heavy barrel, decent stock, accutrigger, decent scope
Attached Images
File Type: jpg savage_11_VT2.jpg (45.5 KB, 70 views)
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Old April 20, 2013, 08:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
I would like something capable of accuracy at least at 500 yards.
Accuracy, is accuracy..."degree" of accuracy is the variable, and how much you're asking of the weapon. Caliber becomes increasingly important with range as far as bullet drop and wind drift.

Just about every bolt gun nowadays will deliver minute of angle, or close to it, with match ammo. Is that "good enough" for you?

Just from my personal experience, and the fact that you're somewhat "generic" in your needs at this point-which would change if you get bitten by the long-range bug- I would keep my future options open.

By that, I agree with Savage as your choice....any flavor except the Axis.
Aftermarket support in terms of stocks, triggers and accessories second only to the 700. Easy-peasy to change your barrel yourself- changing calbers and upgrading to a match-grade barrel should you decide to do so.

As for the Scout...very nice rifle, and yes, you can mount a traditional scope.
However, the 20" barrel will cost you some velocity, a cost to pay at long-range.

The flexibility to upgrade off the Savage action-one piece at a time if desired, without needing to buy a new rifle- is unmatched.

Not to mention, IMO they are the most accurate out-of-the-box rifle you can buy for the $$.

Now, if upgrading is not of interest to you, I would strongly consider the Ruger American...I've yet to read a disappointing review. Do a search, Dan Newberry recently posted a thorough review of his.
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Old April 20, 2013, 08:59 AM   #7
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The Savage 11 VT looks to be a steal at $445! Here is a thread on that specific rifle from Savage Shooters.
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Old April 20, 2013, 09:17 AM   #8
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If I were looking at this rifle for "up to and including" 1000 yd shooting I opt for the .308, not saying you cant shoot 1000 yds with a .223, just that it would make more sense.. to me....does that make sense?
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Old April 20, 2013, 09:37 AM   #9
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I just joined the Savage Shooters forum and have been checking out their threads, thanks.

The only thing I can see that some of you real rifle guys may dislike about this model, there doesn't seem to be a nut on the barrel (near the receiver). So getting that barrel off would probably be a gunsmith only procedure?
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Old April 20, 2013, 10:37 AM   #10
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But, really, would you ever want to take the barrel off?
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Old April 20, 2013, 10:43 AM   #11
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If you like the VT model you found get it but realize it will be unwieldly and cumbersome to hunt with if you want to spot and stalk. However I noticed you are from TX so more than likely you'll be hunting from a stand or blind over food plots or feeders so having a heavy rifle won't bother you. Hunting is usually done in low light conditions and you will find that Bushnell scope on the rifle lacking in that department.

Most varmint rifles can get buy with a cheap scope because you are using them at a range or on a praire dog/woodchuck/rockchuck colony. This is usually done during daylight hours and not the dusk and dawn of big game hunting, or after dark for most pig hunting. So the low light gathering ability and any flaws in the clarity of the optics usually aren't noticed during daylight hours. The Bushnell scope you are getting on that Savage will be the same one sold in blister packs at Dicks, so go find out how much your scope is worth by looking there or at Wal-Mart for another 4-12 power Bushnell scope.

If you do ever plan to work your way out to 1000 yard at the range that scope won't get you there either. You'll run out of adjustmens way before you can get the bullet to 1K, and then I seriously doubt the adjusments will be repeatable if you do try to even adjust it out to 500 yards and back down. To get to 1K you are going to need a scope with repeatable adjusments and preferably a 30mm main tube. You can get there with some 1" main tube scopes and an angled scope base of around 20 MOA.

I'd say if you buy that rifle expect to replace the scope if you want to shoot beyond point blank range by making adjustments and not using Kentucky Wingage. My guess is that the scope you're looking at doesn't have a BDC, Mil-Dot, or MOA reticle to help get long range without using the turrets. So expect to spend another $300-500 to buy a scope that will get you into something basic with repeatable adjustments. Probably another $100 at least for a new base and rings as well. The really good scopes will be closer to $1000+.
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Old April 20, 2013, 10:51 AM   #12
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BTW I forgot to add that the VT model you looked at still has a "barrel nut". Savage started using a smooth style nut to clean up the appearance of the rifles, but the smooth nut can be removed with a strap wrench. You might need a little resin to help it get a grip to remove it the first time, but you can still replace barrels on it like any other Savage with the traditional barrel nut. You can buy a more traditional barrel nut to replace the smooth one and use your barrel nut wrench on if you really plan on using it as a switch barrel rifle.
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Old April 20, 2013, 09:21 PM   #13
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Re: Which Savage rifle?

I think something like the Bushnell will get me by for now. It doesn't have any mildots of bullet drop marks. I'd probably just work on shooting well out to 500 yards. If I get hooked and want to go past that I understand I'd probably have to upgrade.

Thanks for the info on the barrel nut. I assumed that was a corner they cut on this limited run rifle to cut cost.

I am not impressed with the cheap plastic mag. The model 10 has a much more substantial magazine. I figure I can just buy a few in case one breaks. I did see a converted 10 found mag offered online, would be interesting.

Thanks for the info.
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Old April 20, 2013, 11:59 PM   #14
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I can give some feedback on the rifles I own that seem to be in your price and preference range:

1. Savage Axis .308 Win: The one rifle I regret buying, I should have put the money toward a better rifle. The stock is too flimsy to handle the punch of a .308, it would be OK for a lower recoil rifle, like a .243 with 75 grain loads, or 22-250 or smaller. It has a host of "problems" that mostly stem from being a cheap rifle, I'll never buy another one. The bolt has a high lift, requiring the scope to be mounted higher than on other rifles, making for strange eye relief, and it's a short action round but long action rifle.. I know this is for reducing production costs, and it's not causing much if any accuracy issue, but it's a lot of extra movement for someone with a muscle memory for a short action.

2. Savage 11 Hunter XP .243 Win: So far I like everything about this rifle but the trigger (it is a non-accutrigger model).. I paid $425 for it brand new at Bass Pro, came with the usual XP package Bushnell Scope, but I already had better glass in hand for it, so the cost of that is factored out for me. I will likely change the trigger and leave the rest of the rifle alone, it is the heavier synthetic stock and shooting it isn't a painful experience like the axis. If you want to upgrade the optics and trigger and want a synthetic stock, this is a pretty good starting point, I would go either .308 or .243 in this rifle or better yet the accutrigger version for 500 yard shooting.

3. Savage 10 Trophy Hunter .22-250 Rem: This is my favorite of the three, it has a wood stock, a nice short bolt, an Accutrigger, and a nice Nikon ProStaff BDC scope. I have seen them anywhere from $550 to $650 depending on seller and caliber, I paid $575 for mine. If you can get one of these in the above mentioned calibers, I think it would be the easiest out-of-the-box no changes shooter for your goals without spending a fortune.
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Old April 22, 2013, 02:04 PM   #15
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I would have to agree with SVT Cobra, the Axis is flimsy in the stock. Mine is a .223, so not too bad for that caliber. But if I wanted something bigger I would definately look at a different model. You might try finding a Stevens Model 200. Same as a pre- accutrigger Savage 10/110 series. I have one in 30-06 that shoots great. Cost brand new $300 or so about 8 years ago. I don't think they market them anymore, but they still come up on Gunbroker now and then.
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Old April 28, 2013, 07:56 PM   #16
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This is a very detailed explanation of why not to get the Axis:

http://www.savageshooters.com/showth...s-and-Model-12

What does it all mean?
Get an old Sav 110 or Stevens 200 if you are going to cheap out, NOT THE AXIS.
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Old April 29, 2013, 06:52 AM   #17
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The 11VT looks like a great deal.

I have a Savage 11 TH in 223 and a Savage 11 FCNS in 308. I really like both of them, the Accutrigger is great.

Don't know what caliber you are looking for but Bud's Gunshop has some good deals on the Hunter model combos. They have the Accutrigger and include a Bushnell scope for around $400.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/78115
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/78116

For $460 you can get a combo with a better Nikon scope:
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...H+XP+308+NIKON

However if you are looking for a heavy barrel rifle the 11 VT at Dick's looks like the deal to beat.
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Old April 29, 2013, 09:59 PM   #18
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The Model 11 Hunter XP (package with the Bushnell Scope) does not have an accutrigger, I just bought one recently. The Trophy Hunter XP does have an accutrigger, and should have a Nikon scope. Both are decent deals, I already had better glass for my Model 11 .243, and I will simply upgrade the trigger myself. It won't be quite as good as an accutrigger, but mine is a hunting rifle not a target rifle so it will be adequate.

I paid $425 for my Savage 11 Hunter XP, they wanted $329 for the Axis XP. The stock alone is worth the extra money. If they would have had a Trophy Hunter XP, and if I didn't already have good glass for mine, it would have been a better deal at around $550. I couldn't upgrade my trigger AND buy an equivalent scope of the Nikon for less than $600 including the rifle..
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Old April 29, 2013, 11:32 PM   #19
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Honestly all of these are pretty good rifles. Savage is a damn good rifle. Since you're new to bolts you may wanna go cheap and get the axis just in case you don't like being behind the glass all that much. But then again a cheap rifle could lead you to hate it soooo..... I'd go with the model 10s in 308. Fine round for both the woods and the range.
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Old May 2, 2013, 11:50 AM   #20
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I hgave the Savage 10PC in .223 and its far and away my favorite rifle(saying alot since I have a custom Rem 700 7 mag). I have a vortex tactical scope on it and I shoot out to 800yds fairly oftem with it. Its not the lightest rig around, but tought to beat in the accuracy department.
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Old May 2, 2013, 07:08 PM   #21
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I have a 16 SS LH in 260. Accutrigger and Stock. I can't say enough good things about it. Have 700s, 70, 788s, and Mark X to compare and it's my favorite.
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