Back in June of this year, I tested a new Savage .308 Tactical
proved to be one of the most accurate production rifles that I have ever
fired. Savage rifles, and the Tactical series in particular, seem to be
that way. The shoot great right out of the box. Most of the time when a
rifle comes in for a test and evaluation article, when we are finished with
it, we box it up and ship it back. Occasionally, we purchase them for
our own use. More often than not, if the gun is a Savage, I just call and
have it put on my charge card. It seems that their guns always shoot very
well. The Savage tested back in June stayed here, and has since been
enhanced a bit, not to improve its accuracy, but to make it easier to hit
with at extended range.
I initially tested the Savage Tactical with a Burris 6 to 18 power
varmint scope that I had on hand, but to improve my hitting ability with
the rifle at long range, I mounted a Leupold 6.5 to 20 power VX-III long
range target scope. This scope is built on a thirty millimeter tube that
allows more elevation adjustment than with a one inch tube. It has a
beautiful and business-like matte black finish that matches that of the
rifle very well. I bolted the scope to the rifle using a Leupold base and
rings that securely tie the two together without a trace of movement. I
really love the fact that Leupold supplies Torx screws with its mounts and
rings, and that the system is made of genuine steel, instead of some cheesy
lightweight alloy. The VX-III Long range scope has seventy-two inches of
adjustment at one hundred yards. Thatís a full six feet of adjustment!
The adjustment turrets have finger-operated knobs which make elevation and
windage corrections easily, yet are of a low profile design so as to not be
obtrusive. The scope also has a full five inches of eye relief at six
and one-half power, and still has over three and one-half inches of eye
relief at twenty power. This much eye relief makes shooting from
various field positions quick and easy, without having to crawl the stock
or getting smacked in the eyebrow by the ocular lens. The glass on this
Leupold is excellent, and the adjustments proved precise. The scope comes
with a screw-on sunshade, and the scope/mount package is the perfect
compliment to an accurate rifle set up for long range precision work.
While the factory stock on the Savage worked well, I like to
get a good cheek weld when shooting. Factory stocks are set up to fit the
average shooter, whoever that is. It ainít me. Every rifle on the market
comes with a cheek piece that is lower than I like. A good cheek weld on
the stock helps me greatly to shoot better from field positions, especially
from the prone position, which is often used with a tactical precision
rifle. The McMillan A-5 Tactical stock was selected for several reasons. It
is built of quality fiberglass material, not cheap injection molded plastic
as some stock makers use. The McMillan does not flex. The A-5 has all of
the features needed to be the best tactical rifle stock in the world, and
it is. My favorite feature is the thumb wheel adjustable cheek piece. It
allows the cheek piece to be easily and quickly elevated to place the
shooterís eye precisely behind the scope. This is important. If you are
having to raise your head to align your eye with the scope, you are not
properly positioned to do your best shooting. The thumb wheel adjustment on
the A-5 is perfection. The butt plate has an interchangeable spacer system
to vary the length of pull to suit individual shooters. The A-5 has a very
well designed beavertail forearm, and is equipped with an extra sling
swivel stud to allow the easy mounting of a Harris lightweight bipod, which
I did. The pistol grip on the A-5 is the most comfortable that I have used
on any tactical rifle. The barrel channel is plenty big to not interfere
with the free floated heavy Savage barrel. The bottom of the buttstock has
a slight hook, for placement of the support hand, if desired. The textured
black finish on the McMillan A-5 helps in a secure grip, and looks great on
the Savage. The A-5 stock is about twenty ounces heavier than the factory
synthetic stock, but is robust and very durable. It beds the barreled
action securely, and is the next best thing to a benchrest for accurate
shooting. The Harris bipod is their swivel model, and works great on this
rifle. It adds little weight, but offers stability to greatly aid in
shooting from the prone position.
The weight of the Savage rifle with the improvements shown is
just over thirteen pounds. It is not a rifle that one would want to carry
over the Beartooth mountains on foot in pursuit of rock chucks. The Leupold
VX-III target scope and the McMillan stock are however, along with the
Harris bipod, the perfect enhancements to an already accurate rifle. A
rifle is only as accurate as the shooter can hold it, and these accessories
make it much easier to accurately shoot a precision rifle. Set up like
this, and using high quality ammo such as the Winchester Supreme that I
used exclusively in testing the improvements to this rifle, this is the
most accurate and easy to use precision rifle package that I have ever
touched. It will place its shots in the same hole at one hundred yards,
every time, and groups incredibly well at extended ranges. It is the
definition of a precision rifle.
Check out the Savage Tactical rifles online at: www.savagearms.com.
Leupold scopes can be found at: www.leupold.com.
To order the best precision rifle stocks on the planet, go to: http://www.mcmfamily.com/mfsinc_n/tactical.html.
To locate a dealer where you can
buy this gun, go to:
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