Looking for a value priced hunting rifle? Look at Savage!

Savage 116x combo in 30-06 - Image Copyright 2012 NWGUN.com

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).

Results from second range trip with handloads - this rifle can shoot! - Image copyright 2012 NWGUN.com

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!


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4 Responses to Looking for a value priced hunting rifle? Look at Savage!

  1. Tom says:

    Savage rules. All my long range rifles are built on Savage actions.

  2. Mike says:

    Looks like a nice rifle. I have to agree that if you are going to do a lot of shooting that the 30-06 is a bit on the high powered side. Have you considered a rifle that shoots .357 magnum or .44 magnum? Ruger has the bolt action 77/357 and 77/44 that would be great for all-day shooters. Recoil is more manageable than the 30-06 and ballistic performance of the two rounds in a rifle is pretty darn good. Reloading either of those is also pretty sensible.

    I like my bolt action 30-06 for hunting (Winchester Model 70 in stainless and walnut stock in my case), but for all day shooting it sure is fun to shoot .357 from a rifle. I have a Winchester Model 92 lever gun chambered in .357 magnum and what a joy to shoot…..all-day-long if you please……..

  3. Jim F. says:

    Bought my first Savage about 8 years ago (m-16/.300 WSM) and I never looked back. Now I own 3 more. GREAT GUNS.

  4. Akiko says:

    Mr. Carrube. I respectfully gsiadree with you about not using higher end optics on a rimfire. Especially with a Nikon you can also use their spot on technology to attempt to calculate wind drift for your chosen caliber, which is very relevant to the .17 HMR since it is so affected by wind. To each their own, but I don’t believe that just because it is a rimfire, it deserves less in the optics department.With the OTIS kit, the wire I was referring to actually has, on one end, where you can screw in a small brush, and on the other end, you can put a patch through it. I have not had any problems using regular size .22 patches for this. Because it does not really use the whole patch, you have to make many more feed throughs to get it thoroughly cleaned. With regard to magazines, some have reported problems with magazines not feeding correctly or reliably. I would suggest fully load your .17HMR magazines and let them sit that way for awhile to break them in, and that should take care of it. Some report problems while others have no problems at all. Again, the stainless steel ones as opposed to the blued ones have worked better for me.

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