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Savage Hunting rifles

Hunting rifles differ from target rifles in purpose, and this drives the differences in design.

Target rifles are designed for competitions, which most of the time requires firing many shots over a limited time span. In the process the rifle heats and, because of heat expansion, its geometry changes, causing deflection in the paths of subsequent bullets. To minimize heat expansion, most target rifles feature massive barrels which warm up much slower and radiate heat much better. They also tend to come with heavy stocks that help reduce the recoil while the bullet is still in the barrel, and as a result, reduce random deflection of the bullet due to rifle movement.

As a result they weigh quite a bit. Savage 12 F/TR, for example, clocks at 13 pounds. This is fine because while target rifles are fired a lot, they are carried very little.

Hunting rifles, on the contrary, are shot little, but carried a lot. Hunters rarely have a chance for a follow-up shot, and they never do a group of 10 shots on the game animal. In this scenario, heat dissipation is unimportant - the first couple of shots will be on target, and that's all that matters. The weight, however, is very important, as no one wants to lug around several kilograms of steel on one's back for miles and miles and miles on the hunting trail.

Because of this, the barrels are usually much thinner, the stocks much lighter, to save on the weight. Savage 11 Trophy Hunter XP, for example, only weights a bit over 7 pounds, and that's with the scope. The barrel profile does affect the group size: you should expect 1.5"-2" 5-shot group size from a hunting rifle at 100 yards. You will notice, however, that the first shot will still be dead on target, and for a hunting rifle, that's all that matter. This is because it is primary the heat expansion that affects accuracy, not the barrel's rigidity or "barrel harmonics".

Savage makes many wonderful hunting rifles. The ones that we carry in stock, we select for the following reasons.

First, in the state of WA, the minimum legal caliber for hunting medium to large game is .243. We stock rifles in .308 Winchester because it is a very popular caliber, and a wide range supply of ammunition is available in all price ranges. Also, it is a low pressure round, and so is easy on the rifle. If you decide to shoot the rifle for pleasure in addition to hunting, you can do it more with less wear on the bore.

Second, price, and price/performance. For many, Savage AXIS is a perfect beginner rifle. It is very inexpensive, light, and highly functional: given a deer, it will get the job done just as well as rifles several times as expensive. AXIS XP is a package deal that includes very decent Bushnell 3-9x scope, professionally mounted and boresighted, for only $30 extra. The equivalent scope and the rings, if you were to buy and install them yourself, would cost you around $100.

Savage 11 Trophy Hunter XP is a similarly great deal. A step up from AXIS, it is based on the same heavy receiver as Savage target receiver and comes with Accutrigger, so converting it to a proper target rifle by replacing the stock and the barrel is within reach for a home enthusiast. More importantly, it comes with Nikon BDC scope, which has Internet "street" price of around $200, so the cost of the rifle portion of the package comes to surprisingly low number.

Of course, in addition to the stock we maintain, many more can be ordered from our distributors for delivery within about a week, for a price that is usually much better than one you can find elsewhere. Please email sales@preciseshooter.com if you are looking for a rifle not listed below.

Savage AXIS Series

AXIS is a budget rifle that is specifically designed for hunting. It is lightweight yet accurate and integrates easy to install detachable box magazine. It is available in a number of calibers, and is available in blued and stainless metal, as well as with an installed and sighted in scope option.

While AXIS rifles feature a lighter receiver and lack AccuTrigger and AccuStock available on their more expensive sisters, the barrels are the same that are used on regular Savage hunting rifles.

Deal alert!

AXIS XP rifles are an especially good buy! They come with high quality Bushnell scopes professionally mounted and boresighted. These scopes sell for $75 online (for example, here). Accounting for the rings, scope bases, and professional installation, the rifle part of the package becomes less than $250.

Available calibers

  • 22-250 REM
  • 223 REM
  • 243 WIN
  • 25-06 REM
  • 270 WIN
  • 30-06 SPFLD
  • 308 WIN

Note: In the state of Washington the minimum legal caliber to hunt deer is 243.

Full details are available on Savage web site

Savage AXIS Heavy Barrel

This is an interesting cross between a target and a hunting rifle. Savage barrels are famously excellent, and even regular AXIS barrels are usually capable of producing sub-MOA 4-shot groups. The problem with the light, thin barrel of a regular AXIS is that it heats quickly, and so producing tight 5 shot groups is typically very, very hard. The barrel bends due to thermal expansion and the target starts to wander.

This is pretty typical for the hunting rifles, which need to be light and only need to place the first 1 or 2 shots on target.

Well, it is quite possible that the heavy barrel AXIS experiment, new from Savage, will bridge the target and the hunting world by producting a rifle which is light enough to be used for hunting, yet accurate enough for some range practice. The triggers on them are actually pretty decent as well - relatively light, and really crisp.

The barrel adds 1.5lb to the weight, which is still very much within the comfortable range for lugging the rifle around.

Please read our field report here.

At the moment, we them on hand in 308. Coupled with Savage's $50 rebate, they are really a fantastic deal!

Price: $334.95 (in stock))

If you are not in Seattle area, we CAN ship this product.

You can also email us at sales@preciseshooter.com or call 206 489-4907 if you have any questions.

Savage AXIS II

AXIS II is the 2014 variation on the base of Savage AXIS, bridging the gap between the budget AXIS series and classic Savage hunting rifles.

AXIS II adds famous Savage AccuTrigger and comes with Weaver Kaspa 3-9x40 scope, mounted and boresighted.

Available AXIS and AXIS II rifles

DescriptionSKUUPCAvailablePrice
AXIS HB222120113562221217 (in stock)$334.95
SAV AXIS II XP CMB 7MM-08REM 22" BBL5709401135657094943 (special order)$409.95
SAVAGE AXIS LH .308 22" MATTE572520113565725236 (special order)$344.95
SAVAGE AXIS II .243 22"5736701135657367432 (special order)$364.95
SAVAGE AXIS II 6.5 CREED LH575170113565751731 (special order)$364.95

If you are in Seattle area, please come to our store to purchase this product.

If you are not in Seattle area, we CAN ship this product.

You can also email us at sales@preciseshooter.com or call 206 489-4907 if you have any questions.

Savage 11 Trophy Hunter XP

11 Series rifles are a step up from AXIS. They feature the same receivers and the same Accutrigger mechanism as the much more expensive 10fp target rifles, but have lighter stocks and light profile barrels that are optimized for weight.

We recommend 11 Trophy Hunter XP because we believe they have the best price/performance ratio for a hunter rifle. They come with Nikon 3-9 scopes professionally installed and boresighted. These scopes alone sell $200 (http://www.opticsplanet.com/nikon-riflescope-buckmasters-3-9x40.html). This leaves the value of the rifle, the rings, and professional installation to be only $280 - an incredible deal for a rifle with an Accutrigger!

DescriptionSKUUPCAvailablePrice
16 Trophy Hunter XP 243Win197230113561972381 (in stock)$579.95
SAV 11 INTL TROPHY HUNTE XP 338FED 22 DBM WEAVER2245601135622456945 (special order)$364.95
SAV 111 HUNTR XP 6.5X284 22 3-9X40 TROPHY DOA2260901135622609928 (special order)$409.95
SAV 110 LONG RANGE HNTR 300PRC 26"5749501135657495429 (special order)$954.95

If you are in Seattle area, please come to our store to purchase this product.

If you are not in Seattle area, we CAN ship this product.

You can also email us at sales@preciseshooter.com or call 206 489-4907 if you have any questions.

Savage Stevens 200

Stevens 200 is an inexpensive Savage rifle which is built around the same exact receiver as Savage 10 series, but with a thinner barrel, cheaper stock, and no AccuTrigger. If you plan to substantially rebuild your gun, it's a fantastic starting point, because you are not paying for anything you will not be using.

And, of course, as any Savage, it would work superbly as a hunting rifle.

Savage has been working hard trying to discontinue its best value rife recently :-(, so these have become hard to find. We have one in 30-06 that we bought from a distributor who acquired the assets of a going out of busines gun store. We consider it "new old stock" - apparently unfired, but details of packaging may be missing (though it comes in the original box).

Price: $319.95 (in stock))

Unfortunately, we are currently not set up to ship this product.

You can also email us at sales@preciseshooter.com or call 206 489-4907 if you have any questions.