One of my first loves was an old Savage 10FP in .308 Win. It had all the simplicity a guy could want, and it just plain shot. I have had a bunch of Savages over the years, and I have typically had a pretty good experience with them. So, when the opportunity to shoot a newer version of the Model 10/110 came around, I was eager to see how it compared to the old FP I loved so much.
Savage has been around for a long time, and they have made quite a few guns in that time. One of my initial concerns about this rifle was if it stood up to the classic Savages that I’ve shot over the years. I would find out soon enough.
The Basics of The Model 110
The 110 action has changed through several different generations over the decades, but this current 6.5 Creedmoor model is not too different from those of the past. Like most Savage actions, it’s machined from round stock with a front and rear ring. The two-lug bolt rotates the floating head into the front ring of the action, and the 24-inch barrel is threaded in the front of the action. The recoil lug is sandwiched there, and the whole assembly is held together with a barrel nut.
At the rear of the action, the safety and Accu-Trigger are attached, and the whole thing is set into the polymer stock. I’ve never been a big fan of the cheap plastic stocks on economy-priced rifles such as this, but that is also one factor in the budget price. On the bottom of the polymer stock, there is a detachable box magazine that holds three cartridges.
This model is obviously marketed as a hunting rifle. Its weight and profile features are optimized for a hunter. That being the case, I wasn’t surprised by some of the features or a lack of others. To me, this is a basic no-frills hunting rifle.
Being a hunting rifle, I wanted to set up this gun the way I would use it. The open Rocky Mountains where I hunt are full of big spaces, and shots can be had from archery range to as far as you’d dare pull a trigger. I decided to mount my Gen 1 Vortex PST 4-16, perhaps a little old school for today’s market, but these older scopes always worked great for me. I actually got one of the very first ones that came out – serial number 4. I mounted the scope in a pair of Warne rings and bore-sighted it on my kitchen counter. I attached a bipod for convenience and accuracy testing and lubed up the action before heading out to shoot.
I wanted to give the Savage a few different ammunition options to see how it performed. Some rifles are pretty picky when it comes to shooting accurately with any given ammo, so I wanted to have as many options for success as possible. The current situation at the ammo aisle is pretty sad still. I have managed to find a bunch of stuff lately, but the 6.5 Creedmoor is still not as common as it once was. That being the case, I decided to shoot a few of the factory options I had available as well as some of my most common handloads that have done well in my other 6.5s.
Opening Shots In the Field
After a vigorous hike that took me up to 5,000 feet, I paced off 100 yards and checked it with my rangefinder. I spent a few shots getting the rifle zeroed. Once I felt it had a good zero, I set to trying the hodgepodge selection of ammo I had brought. First off, I tried the Hornady match 143-grain ammo. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t exactly impress me either. I also tried some Desert Tech 140-grain Match, which also shot kind of ho-hum. I was really hoping my handloads did better. Otherwise, this was going to be a very quick review.
The next up was my 120-grain handloads. These are a boat-tail hollow-point round that I have used in several rifles for many years now. My son used them to take his very first mule deer as well as his first elk. Having used them quite a bit over the years, I was optimistic that they would do well in this little Savage.
The best I could get this 110 to group was just barely over one MOA with this ammunition. Which turned out to provide the most consistent groups of all the rounds that I shot. I picked out a few targets at some modest distances across the little draw, hitting 6 to 10-inch sized targets was pretty easy. I would feel more than comfortable using this rifle for deer hunting at ranges inside 400 yards.
This Savage has some great things going for it as a hunting rifle. It’s not particularly heavy. But at just shy of 8 pounds, it fits squarely in the average hunting rifle size. The 24-inch barrel is a fairly light profile and easily pointed, and I’m glad it’s not a 26-incher.
The Accu-Trigger never was a big selling point for me, but this one feels fine, and it’s perfectly suitable for a hunting rifle. While the magazine functioned flawlessly and fed smooth, it did feel a little cheap and somewhat finicky to remove from the rifle.
It’s hard to screw up a classic, so I wasn’t surprised with how well the 110 functioned. That said, I was left feeling a bit let down with the accuracy of this rifle. The one thing I really wanted this rifle to be was an excellent shooter, as I’ve become accustomed to that.
While I certainly feel like I could use this rifle for hunting, I would probably pick one of my other rifles over this one. Sub-MOA accuracy is a minimum “must have” for my hunting rifles, and this one just didn’t want to do it consistently. With more time and different ammo choices, perhaps I could’ve found a combo that it really liked.
The price point of this rifle seems to put it above entry level in the production market. At an MSRP of $849, it’s not exactly a slam dunk. But to be fair, with rifles in this price range, I have seen some disparity in performance. While the performance on this particular model didn’t blow me away, it wouldn’t surprise me to see better results from another example.
The reliability and function of the rifle did stand up with all the other good Savages I’ve shot over the years, so perhaps this one just needed a little coaxing.