First follow-up to IWA: testing two Savage Rifles
The visit we paid to the Savage stand at IWA left a good impression on us: the rifles were solidly made, action was smooth and you get a lot for your dollar (or rather Leu, if you buy it directly in Romania).
So, as we had the opportunity to participate to a test organized by the person behind the Savage importer to Romania, Radu Bichis, we took it and had a close look at two rifles.
The test was organized at the Anatolie Salceanu shooting range in Joita. Shooting was done by Mr Bichis.
This rifle is an insider tip: you get the same action like in the more expensive Savage models, if you can live with a ‘normal’ stock: the Accu stock. The stock made a good impression on us: polymer is of good quality and leaves the barrel free-float. Unless you shoot long range (where a pistol grip and a buttstock adjustable in height and length would be required) this stock is more than enough.
Barrel twist is one in ten inch, that in theory favors mid to heavy weight bullets.
Theory was proven right: the best three shots group to date was one of approximately 24 mm with Geco SP 11 g (center hole to center hole).
Weather did not allow testing of the other five types of ammo planned. Follow-up is required here to check how the rifle shoots with several types of ammo.
It was interesting to check the groups shot with a similar rifle on a different occasion, a 10 FCP with 610 mm barrel. While there must have been a certain level of shooter’s contribution in opening up the 5 shots group with the lighter Norma ammo, one cannot ignore the certain preference for the heavier bullet.
Compatibility of the ammo with the barrel is thus rather a matter of the twist than one of the length of barrel.
The barrel on the test rifle was 20 inch (=510 mm) long and fluted. The profile is medium. The fairly short barrel helps keeping the weight of the rifle at a reasonable level: the rifle weights around 3.9 kg. Not a lightweight but still acceptable if you have to carry it for hours in the field.
The Accu-trigger had a good pull, broken in two: you have to first pull the safety mid-part and only then the actual trigger. All-in-all the pull is significantly less than one kilogram. It certainly helps putting tight groups on paper.
The over-size bolt handle allows loading in every condition, even using thick winter gloves.
Safety is a fairly straight two position thing: nothing to be mistaken.
With its picatinny rail for mounting optics, it’s medium length and profile barrel and 10 shots magazine, the rifle gets pretty close to a so called „scout” rifle.
AXIS 223 R
The second rifle we have looked at was an Axis.
It was an ideal rifle for target shooting.
First reason: the caliber. 223 Remington allows long shooting series in a relaxed way.
Second reason: the importer has tuned it heavily for target shooting.
Basically, only the action and barrel are left of the original rifle.
The stock has been replaced with a Boyd one (www.boydsgunstocks.com). Laminated wood not only looks nice but also turns a nice deer rifle into a real whole borer. The stock with its pistol grip allows a very constant and relaxed shooting position.
The front stock has a flat base, ideal to shoot from a rifle rest. The pistol grip allows a very comfortable position of the shooting hand.
As mentioned above, the trigger is very important when shooting tight groups. This is why the importer replaced the factory trigger with one from Basix (http://riflebasix.com). It breaks very smoothly and without creep.
Barrel length is 22 inch. The twist is one in nine, a median one (i.e. Neither short nor long). The barrel was harmonizing quite well with light bullets: one of the best 3-shot group was shot (on a different occasion) with 3.2 g Norma Vmax, a light bullet.
Both rifles were equiped with Delta scopes.
While not belonging to the exclusive club of German and Austrian (and American and Japanese) top producers of rifle optics, Delta produces very decent scopes that give you good quality for the money.
Conclusion: You get a lot of rifle for your 4.700 lei (10 FCP basis rifle – compensator and optic not included) respectively 4200 lei (the already tuned Axis).They make both excellent hunting rifles and shooting range favorites. We will keep you posted about the next chance to shoot groups with other types of ammo.