Budget bolt gun review and range test
This is a discussion on Budget bolt gun review and range test within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Some of you who may be like me are looking forward to the cool weather coming, and with that always brings the thoughts of deer ...
Post By glockman10mm
Post By suntzu
August 9th, 2012 03:35 PM
Budget bolt gun review and range test
Some of you who may be like me are looking forward to the cool weather coming, and with that always brings the thoughts of deer season. So, seeing as Im on vacation, I thought I would get ahead of the game and recheck my zero on the Savage I used last year, but more about that gun in a minute.
I have a model 710 Remington package gun given to me by a friend. Like the Savage, it came equipped with an inexpensive Bushnell 3x9 scope. Never having fired this rifle, and it being chambered for the same cartridge, which is my favorite, the 270 Win, ( yes, not only was I influenced by Keith, but Jack O'Conner got in there too), I decided to put together some handloads for it, and see what it would do.
The loads. For the Savage, I had put together a load last year which was very good for whitetail consisting of a 130 weight Sierra Spitzer atop 55 grains of IMR 4831. This load had worked wonderfully on deer, and had proven to give better than needed groups for woods hunting.
For Remington 710, I decided to try something different. Since I dont have a dedicated varmit rifle, I loaded it with the Hornady 110 HP, over top of 58.5 grains of IMR 4831.
The Rifles. The Savage 110 is one of the best and often overlooked actions built. The bolt is smooth, and every bit as easy as the best Winchester or Remington 700. The barrel is headspaced with a collar that connects it to the reciever, and is has button barreled rifling. The Savage over the years has been known as the "cheaper" rifle by esteemed rifleman, but the cost by know means is a good indicator of what the Savage is capable of.
This particular rifle came with a full floated barrel, budget Bushnell optics, and a rather flimsy, but functional stock.
But it has that legendary 110 action, and in my opinion all it needs is a Bell&Carlson stock and good glass to make it a real gem.
The Remington 710. This rifle was considered a dog by the dyed in the wool 700 fans. And to an extent, justifiably so. The Bolt binds, making quick cycling of the action iffy. The reciever covers the top of the bolt, making it difficult to load one at a time.
However, the composite stock, which is cheap, seems more sturdy than the Savage stock, fits well, and is not "floated". Another thing I noticed was the barrel length is about 2 inches shorter, so at 22 inches it should be a little stiffer, which might help accuracy. The metal is covered with a teflon looking gray coating, that contrasts nicely with the stock, and gives the overall impression of being impervious to outdoor environments.
The shooting; Starting with the Savage, I placed my target at 125 measured yards and fired a 5 shot group. Except for a flyer(easy on the comments), the groups were a little less than 1.5 inches, measured center to center. I did make a quick dope change which put me in the red, so as you can see, the groups could have very well been less than 1 inch. No Flies on a Savage!
Moving on to the Remington 710, I did a bore sight the old fashion way, by removing the bolt and looking thru it at 50 yards. I then shot a 5 shot group at the same 50 yard target. At this distance through the scope, I could see the rounds impacting about an inch above, but centered on the red dot target sticker. The cluster was small, with a few touching, and stringing from left to right. I felt like this was good enough to move out to the same 125 yard marker.
At 125 yards, I fired a 3 shot group ( it was getting to damn hot to shoot outside) and was rewarded with 3 rounds impacting on paper. Now at first glance, this group may seem large, but I was happy with it for 3 reasons; 1-My experience with the 270 and bullets of less than 130 weight seem to display a tendancy to be worked with more. 2-the center to center measurement was exactly 3 inches at 125 yards, and 3-this was my first effort with this rifle, and I am confident I can shrink this to about half. Besides that, this is minute of coyote out to 200 yards, just the way it is.
So, I am well pleased with the "budget rifles". They are certainly accurate enough for hunting, and leave you enough room to put a quality scope on it. BFWIW, the Bushnel on the Savage took a couple of hard knocks and bounces last year and kept its zero.
So, if price is keeping you from having fun in the woods this year, dont let it.
Another thing about these guns, is they could also be easily pressed into SHTF rifles. Except for the Remington, you can cycle the action pretty fast, and for what you pay for them, it wont make you cry to to get'em dirty and really work them hard. And they can be had in the Nato chamberings, but Ill stick to Jack's 270
Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.
August 9th, 2012 03:35 PM
August 9th, 2012 03:42 PM
Nice review, I too think that Savage is a good value and doesn't get the respect that they deserve.
“You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”
― Robert A. Heinlein,
August 9th, 2012 05:36 PM
We have both Savage and Rem 700 which are the pricier ones with good glass we use for precision long range shooting. In a nutshell: Savage over Remington for best buy. and Savage equal or better than Remington for precision. Both excellent companies but Savage is finally making a name for itself. And I actually like the accu triger with it,
August 9th, 2012 06:33 PM
I wish they would let us use rifles in Ohio for deer, but, they don't.
But, I still have a Savage 110 in .308, which I also bought as a package deal. I agree that the stock needs to be a bit sturdier, although I seem to recall they changed the stock around some a year or two after I bought mine, and made it sturdier. But the accu-trigger is actually a really good trigger, especially considering the price of these rifles. With the right loads, mine is about a 1MOA rifle. My bull barreled 700 in .308 has the edge in accuracy, but for practical woods use, either would work great.
Fortes Fortuna Juvat
Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor
August 9th, 2012 08:39 PM
Nothing wrong with a good budget gun. My old Rem. 722 in .223 has polished off many a rockchuck at ranges these old eyes can no longer see. With a Bushnell 3x9 at that! I think the rifle ran $169 at the time. It shoots every bit as tight as my 700.
Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid...
"For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield
August 9th, 2012 10:59 PM
The bold part says it all: your gun just has to be accurate enough for its intended purpose.
Originally Posted by glockman10mm
The "rifleman's rifle" is on my wish list... if I could only get drawn for something out here that might be the motivation I need to give the '06 some company!
NRA Endowment Member
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