If you are looking for a value priced rifle for hunting or range duty, the Savage series of rifles are worth a close look. A while back I was looking for a value priced rifle to test handloads and for hunting. After a ton of research, I decided to buy a brand new Savage 116 series package – formally known as the “Savage Arms 116FXP3 Package Series Rifle”. This package includes a stainless steel long-action rifle with 22″ barrel, a synthetic stock (free float barrel), and a Simmons 3-9 power scope. You also get the standard lock and sling with this package, items you probably will not use.
Initially, my groups were in the 1.125″ range with factory Federal softpoint 30-06 ammunition. Once I reloaded however, I was shooting groups as small as 0.319″ (second range trip with reloads). These results were obtained shooting off a rest, and by timing my shots (one shot every 3 minutes if I remember correctly).
I’ll admit it, I’m an accuracy freak. I was intrigued by the idea of such an inexpensive rifle that could shoot groups comparable to rifles costing much much more. In practice, this rifle has delivered on that capability for sure. What makes this a great hunting rifle in my opinion is that it’s very light weight (due in part to the cheap light-weight stock), and at a lower price point you won’t feel so bad about “banging it around” a bit. Finally, it’s synthetic/stainless – the perfect all-weather combination (we do get a bit of rain here in the Northwest 🙂 ).
Dollar for dollar, it’s really hard to beat Savage. The Accutrigger system is great- a very crisp, tune-able trigger with integral safety system, and the button rifled barrel provides great accuracy. In 30-06 you will not find this to be an “all day shooter” however due to the light weight which translates to HEAVY recoil. I think I need one of these in .223 or 22-250 – that way I could shoot it all day!