Some of you may remember a post I did about going to the NRA meeting in Houston this year.
It was a great day and I got to monkey-finger a lot of great guns.
One was the Savage F/TR Target Rifle in .308 Winchester.
Now you might not recognize that look on a shooter’s face, but it means, “I’ve gotta get one of these!”.
I left that meeting determined to get one of those fine rifles.
But my local shop that gets rifles for me had a hard time getting one. They just weren’t very available.
Then last week, he finally found one and ordered it for me.
It is a big rifle, weighing almost 15 pounds with the scope installed. That is no problem, as I am not going to be hunting with this rifle and will not be humping it up and down mountains.
Instead, it will be a benchrest rifle and the weight won’t be an issue.
Let’s look at some of the features.
There is a warning printed right on the rifle that says the trigger is a special type of trigger, a “Target AccuTrigger” that can be set very light.
The blade on these Target AccuTriggers is red, instead of the silver color on the standard AccuTrigger.
The red center must be fully pulled to the rear for the trigger to fire the rifle.
The barrel is 30 inches long and is almost 1 inch in diameter at the muzzle.
It has a very nice recessed crown.
The fore end has some cooling slots machined into the laminated wood to help with cooling.
I bought a Leupold VX-3 scope, 8.5 X 25 X 50 Long Range Target with a 30mm tube and Fine Duplex reticle.
It is crystal clear.
It has a Focus knob on the left side of the tube.
The butt stock has some screw holes in the top to allow a raised cheek piece to be installed if desired.
My scope was just fine without it, but I have a couple supplied with the rifle if I decide I want one.
It has the over-sized bolt knob on the bolt to aid in opening and closing the action.
It also is a single shot, meaning that it has a built-in platform where you insert the bullet and it feeds easily into the action.
That might not be desirable for a hunting rifle, but I usually single feed my bench rifles anyway.
I had set up my targets at 100 yards and was ready to start shooting. I had brought some reloads I use in my Remington 700 and Accuracy International .308 that were neck-sized only.
That’s when the problem became obvious. Apparently the Savage has such a tight chamber that it would not chamber those neck-sized cartridges. So, I went and took down the target, loaded all my stuff up and went home.
(There was once a time when I would have gotten mad about all that, but age has mellowed me somewhat, and I just laughed at my silliness and didn’t get upset.)
Once I got home, I found some once-fired, fully resized cases and tried them in the rifle. They fed with no problems.
So, I loaded up 50 rounds with those cases, loaded all my stuff up and returned to the range and fired a five shot group.
It was so good that I shot another.
The first is .607 MOA and the second is .473 MOA. Not bad for the first 10 shots from a new rifle.
I shot a few more groups and adjusted the point of impact and then loaded up and headed home.
I will be working up some loads for this rifle with the brass fired in its chamber. I have very high hopes for it.
This rifle seems to be everything I had hoped for. It is a Shooter.