Website to exclude, • July, 2008

Fifty year ago, Savage Arms presented a brand-new bolt-action sporting rifle. In the pistol world, this to be news. Savage to be most renowned for the sleek lever activity Model 99, named for the year the its advent at the end of the 19th century. The certain had produced a few bolt actions, but they had tendency to it is in undistinguished in styling and performance, and were viewed as “poor man’s hunting rifles.”

Savage 110 .30-06 is Massad Ayoob’s only southpaw bolt action, the very first of its sort to it is in factory-produced.

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The new rifle, dubbed the version 110, to be different. It was built to run after the big dog, Winchester’s version 70, long well-known colloquially in gun circles as “the rifleman’s rifle.” The 110’s architecture work, started in 1956, to be done primarily by the so late Nicholas Brewer. Brewer had actually sought to architecture a trustworthy bolt activity arm with exceptional accuracy and also an affordable price. Firearms engineers have due to the fact that marveled at the brilliance through which Brewer linked economy of to produce with quality of end-user function.

In his authoritative text “Bolt action Rifles,” open minded de Haas described in good detail exactly how much cleverness had gone into Brewer’s architecture of the version 110’s action. Here’s one example: “The 110 sear, a marvel the ingenuity, offer a 3-fold function: as sear, bolt stop and also cocking indicator,” de Haas pointed out.

There were 2 other factors that caught the gun-buying public’s attention and assured the the new rifle would continue to be on the manufacturing line for the next half century. Presented in 1958, the total was conveniently made easily accessible in a left-handed model, and in 1962, the company made actions and barreled actions easily accessible separately.

Southpaw factor

Since the inception of the bolt action rifle in the 19th century, the bolt had constantly been ~ above the appropriate side, intended for operation by a right-handed, best eye dominant shooter. Converting one for left-handed use was a very expensive practice gunsmithing proposition. Brewer, native the beginning, designed the rifle to be produced with either right-handed or left-handed bolt handle. The resourcefulness of the design is the it is not mirror photo in the southpaw matches northpaw models: in each, for instance, the bolt stop/takedown bar is top top the best side the the receiver, or activity housing.

Note thumb position on the slide top-tang hands-on safety, one ergonomic and also ambidextrous function that was a Savage exclude, in guns of its form at time that introduction.

Various approximates indicate the somewhere in between one-sixth and one-twelfth that the human population is left-handed. Over there are numerous other people who room right-handed however left eye dominant, and are better off shooting from their left shoulder. Firing from the left shoulder through the bolt’s operating take care of on the ideal side that the rifle can be incredibly awkward. The Savage model 110 to be the very first production rifle made for lefties, through the bolt manage on the port side that the gun.

Most Mauser type actions (and, prefer the Winchester design 70, the Savage model 110 to be at its main point a Mauser form rifle) had the hand-operated safety in ~ the right rear of the action, to give ready access to a right-handed shooter’s thumb. Nick Brewer designed the model 110 v a tang safety, a sliding move on the tang, or the component of the rifle’s activity that mated through the optimal edge of the wooden stock. Press it forward to fire, slide it ago for “on safe.” due to the fact that the coming of the dual barrel “hammerless” shotgun in the previous century, this system had actually been acquainted to sportsmen about the world, and those in the United states were no exception. They appreciated a high-powered rifle that operated the exact same way.

And, that course, the tang safety and security is ambidextrous, equally obtainable to appropriate hand or left. Indeed, plenty of of us right-handed shooters have uncovered it an ext natural and also quick to run than the three-position “flipper” at the right rear of the version 70’s action. This kind of hand-operated safety would later on be copied in various other fine rifles, indigenous the first iteration that the Ruger design 77 to the brand-new Browning X-Bolt.

Custom rifle factor

Southpaw Savages aren’t mirror picture designs. Best hand bolt version (black synthetic stock) and left hand design (wooden stock) both have bolt release/takedown lever at same spot on appropriate side of recipient (arrows).

The 1950s to be a time when it was hugely well-known for shooters come “sporterize” bolt activity military rifles, which to be flooding the market. Since new “sporter barrels,” lighter and much more tapered than heavy duty army rifle barrels, were desirable, part importers just removed the barrels indigenous the cruddier armed forces surplus guns, and just offered the actions, knowing that gunsmiths and home hobbyists to be going come install brand-new barrels anyway. Due to the fact that military stocks often tended to it is in heavy, bulky, ugly, and unnecessarily lengthy at the front, the first step in “sporterizing” was frequently putting the barrel and action into some new wood. Thus, “barreled actions” were additionally popular ~ above the surplus market.

Winchester, Remington, et. Al. Would not sell simply the action or the barreled action. Lock figured, correctly enough from a advertisement standpoint, the there was more profit in marketing a completely assembled rifle. However, the individual who wanted a customized rifle with a modern, American-made action or activity and barrel would certainly now have to pay full price for a entirety rifle, just to litter away the stock and replace it with a newly purchased one. Savage witnessed a industry here, and also wisely went because that it.

Their 1962 announcement that they would offer actions and barreled action separately, for much less than the cost of a entirety rifle, was a excellent move. The endeared them to gunsmiths and gun shops through gunsmithing services, because it brought in more business.

But, an ext than something else, it was the affordability that the design 110 an unified with its outstanding performance that maintained it in the hands of outdoorsmen and also on the racks of gun shops.

Cost factor

Savage expressly designed the design 110 come shoot just too as—and even outshoot—the iconic design 70 Winchester, and to execute it at a markedly lower price point. Lock succeeded. In 1962, Remington introduced their version 700, i beg your pardon would easily outstrip the Winchester in popularity and also become the best-selling modern-day bolt activity rifle ever. Savage maintained performance pace through the Remington 700—and undersold the too.

The first port-side bolt manage endeared the 110 come lefties. However, the 110’s esthetic functions did no appeal to timeless gun buffs. Keep in mind truncated bolt configuration (1), non-streamlined bolt take care of (2), stamped alloy create guard (3), and also machine-cut checkering (4), and also pedestrian end up on both wood and also metal.

In 1966, once the 110 obtained a slight style upgrade, that still distinctly undersold the competition. The Remington model 700 bolt action started in ~ $129.95 manufacturer’s said retail price (MSRP) then, and the Winchester model 70 at $149.95. By contrast, the shooter can buy a Savage model 110 brand-new for as little as $102.50, follow to the 1966 edition of the yearly Gun Digest.

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Today, a Hunter collection rifle native Savage starts at an MSRP the $564, including Savage’s Accu-Trigger, about which an ext shortly. By contrast, the lowest MSRPs i can find on the network for the present “big three” the bolt action rifles space $779 for the all-weather version of the Ruger 77 note II, $900 for the Remington design 700 BDL, and $999 because that the latest reincarnation the the Winchester model 70. It appears that the Savage 110 series is currently an even far better value, proportionately, than it was when it was presented in 1958.